The documented camps include not only “killing centers” but also thousands of forced labor camps, where prisoners manufactured war supplies; prisoner-of-war camps; sites euphemistically named “care” centers, where pregnant women were forced to have abortions or their babies were killed after birth; and brothels, where women were coerced into having sex with German military personnel.

Every part of this New York Times story about the research being done to document the shocking number of camps/ghettos/slave labor sites/etc in Nazi Germany is fascinating and awful, of course. 

But let’s take just a moment, once again, to notice that even when we are talking about people held in camps by the fucking Nazis, we still seem to dance around using the word “rape.” Were the women raped by German military personnel in these brothels? Nah, they were coerced into having sex

When you realize that we can’t even use the word “rape” to describe what was done to the women that the Nazis kept in sexual slavery during World War II, you maybe — once again — know some of what the term “rape culture” refers to. 

Specifically, in this case: It refers to a culture that facilitates the act of rape by enforcing penalties for talking about it. When we can’t even call the rape of the women kept as sex slaves by the Nazis what it is, we make it much harder for people who are alive today to be taken seriously when they use that word. 

"Little Q" and Mrs. Carter

I know that the Oscars were two days ago, so we’re all super sick of talking about Quvenzhané Wallis and Seth Macfarlane and the red carpet reporters and the goddamn Onion and all of that, but something did occur to me as the discourse has continued.

I have friends — people whose opinions I respect a lot — who had some less-than-enthusiastic responses to Beyonce for calling her forthcoming tour the “Mrs. Carter Show.” And I understood why they bristled at it.

But thinking about the shit that Quvenzhané Wallis got on Sunday gave me a little bit of perspective on “Mrs. Carter.” Because she is a nine year old girl; she has an uncommon name; people whose job is to report about people who have been nominated for Oscars have chosen to call her everything from “Little Q” to “Annie” in lieu of actually learning how to say her damn name properly (kwuh-ven-juh-nay will get you pretty close); she was disrespected by a horde of white grown-ups all day right there on television; and, I don’t expect it’s unfair to extrapolate, she’ll probably be disrespected by other people, on television and off, in ways both subtle and overt, for years to come.

We’ve been having a public debate for two days whether it’s appropriate to make jokes where part of the punchline involves calling a nine-year-old girl a cunt. We’ve been arguing whether it’s playing the race card or something to ask why countless reporters can’t be bothered to call a little girl by her actual name. We’ve had to decide whether a joke from the host of the fucking Oscars that sexualizes that nine-year-old is appropriate or not. 

I’m not going to argue any of that stuff. There are plenty of smart people on the Internet who’ve done that. But it does cast “Mrs. Carter” in a new light. 

Because we’ve seen over the past few days about how a whole bunch of important people feel it’s okay to talk about black girls, to their faces or behind their backs or wherever else. We’ve seen a big public debate about how much disrespect is okay to throw in the face of a little black girl. So by the time you’re Beyonce’s age, in Beyonce’s position, with Beyonce’s power? 

I get why you might want to go on tour and make damn sure that everybody knows to call you “Mrs. Carter.” 

Yeah, she could have been “Ms. Knowles.” But watching the way we’ve treated Quvenzhané Wallis over the past couple days makes me think that, if you’re a black woman who’s been in the public spotlight since you were a teenager, and you’re finally in a position to dictate what people can call you, it can be any damn name you want.

Death Threats

by Charlie Daniels Death Wish
album The Siren Song Called Us Home

150 Favorite Songs: #72, “Death Threats,” Charlie Daniels Death Wish (2000)
You’ve never heard this song. Not unless you lived in the Rio Grande Valley sometime between 1999-2001, and even then, only if you went to shows at Trenton Point. So go ahead, click “play” and listen for the first time.

This was the first song that friends of mine wrote that validated, for me, what DIY and punk rock and making your own culture meant. There were other songs I loved that my friends had written, but I loved those songs because my friends had written them. “Death Threats,” though, I loved because it sounds fucking incredible. I love the first half, when it’s a creepy ballad, with a leaky organ and hollow drums and ringing guitars setting a mood that makes the whispered croon about how “I know how your hair gently crests around your head / defining its beauty / tension like moths in its mouth” seem inevitable. I love the choruses when the organ drops out and the atmosphere stops sweeping across with the wall-of-sound guitars, and Donner sings about “And I keep my promise / safe with me.” 

And then I love the payoff, when the song stops being about creepiness and tension and setting a mood, and the thing just fucking explodes. A half decade of screamo andall that followed in the early 00’s might threaten to make the sung-to-screamed approach to songs seem like a cheap novelty, but what I love about “Death Threats” is that, even with all of that perspective, it still doesn’t sound like that, because it earns its explosion. This isn’t “Hey, check it out, we’ve listened to a couple hardcore records” showiness — it’s a bridge between the haunting atmosphere of bands like Joy Division and the early Cure and the outright menace you get from big Tony Iommi guitar riffs, or from the ferocity of Pantera. It’s a big emotional swing, yeah, but it also follows a through-line. 

"Death Threats" earns everything it puts out there. I remember hearing this song thirteen goddamn years ago now (holy shit, time is crazy) and all of that is still true. I love my spooky songs and mood-setters and tension-builders, and I love "Death Threats" because it was written by friends of mine who knew that all of that stuff could be truly amazing if, after you built all that tension, you released it as aggressively as possible. That’s something that the bands who didn’t live their brief lives down at a reception hall in the southernmost part of South Texas never figured out. I was, and still am, really proud to know that in these small places, my friends knew things that were hard to learn. 

29 plays

Victory (Nine Inch Nails Remix) (Featuring The Notorious B.I.G. and Busta Rhymes) - Puff Daddy

Victory (Nine Inch Nails Remix) (Featuring The Notorious B.I.G. and Busta Rhymes)

by Puff Daddy
album Victory (Remixes)

150 Favorite Songs: #73, “Victory,” Puff Daddy (feat. Notorious BIG and Busta Rhymes) (1998)
Man, do I love this song. Pretty much from the beginning of his career until this very moment, Sean Combs-or-whatever-alias-he-was-using-at-the-time has been a joke of a rapper. And, I mean, I get why: He did have a tendency to lazily jack whatever pop song had a good hook and/or riff and drop unconvincing raps over it. (See: “I’ll Be Missing You,” “Come With Me,” etc.) But he also knew how to surround himself with immensely talented collaborators, and he had an unparalleled ambition for exactly how grandiose hip hop could be; a song like “Victory” is as responsible for the career of Kanye West as whatever well-respected shit you can point to.

I mean, he spent $3 million dollars on the music video for this song alone. It was set in the year 3000! It co-starred Dennis Hopper and Danny Devito! Car chases! Explosions! Rain machines! Helicopters! Busta Rhymes perched atop a gargoyle like Batman! (Go watch it, seriously.)

That grandiosity is part of what made Puff Daddy a joke, but as someone who’s always been attracted to the epic, I love it. The original beat for the song is based on a Bill Conti sample (from Rocky, naturally), for a sweeping, epic, pseudo-classical atmosphere, but the remix linked here is where it gets really interesting, for me. Not only did Puffy bring in Biggie and Busta for guest verses, but he also commissioned Trent Reznor for a remix. This was 1998, mind you, and hip hop and alt-rock did not have the sort of mutual-appreciation-society that they do now. This was before rap-metal became a fad, even, and when everything besides rap and country was something teenagers might say to describe what they considered omnivorous musical tastes. Reznor chops the fuck out of “Victory.” He changes the order of verses, moves lines from the end of the song to the beginning, takes subliminal background vocals and drops them right into the forefront, and transforms it into something else. 

The result is a weird, super-aggressive (naturally), and incredibly dynamic song that doesn’t really sound like Nine Inch Nails or a hip hop song; you don’t really nod your head to the Reznor remix of “Victory,” even when Biggie is dropping lines like, “Real sick, raw nights / I perform like Mike / anyone — Tyson, Jordan, Jackson, action / pack guns, ridiculous / and I’m quick to bust / if my ends you touch” (which would be continually referenced by other rappers for over a decade, even as recently as on Watch The Throne and Cruel Summer).

But it’s not all about head-nodding; at least not if you were a white kid from Indiana trying to learn how to relate to hip hop when this song came out, which I’m pretty sure is a big part of who Puffy was trying to reach when he commissioned the remix. It’s also about that 12-second break after the first verse where the beat drops out completely, and Puffy and Busta’s voices are intercut into a weird conversation (“Can y’all hear me out there?” “What? What?” “What’m I gonna do now?” “Where you at?” “It’s all fucked up now!” “Where you at?”) before an extended and unlikely pause, and then Busta’s voice drops the hook over an extremely Reznor-ian wall of guitars. That shit is mind-blowing. It’s what I imagine teenagers today feel like when Skrillex drops the bass or something — tension, build-up, release. 

That tension/build-up/release is present in the original version of the track, too. It just works in different ways — the strings that steadily rise over the first verse until they’re as loud as Puffy’s voice, the drums that come in to get your head nodding when it’s Biggie’s turn, the way that the verses flow easily between Puffy and Biggie (at least partly because it’s obvious that Biggie wrote both parts) and then Busta’s hook breaks it up sharply just by being in such a distinctly different meter. 

There aren’t a lot of songs like “Victory,” in either its original or its remixed form. It sounds dated in some ways, not least because Biggie’s voice will always sound like the 90’s, and (in the remix) Trent Reznor’s guitar sound is very much the mid-period Nine Inch Nails effect, but there’s a lot about it that’s ahead of its time. There are plenty of reasons to criticize Sean Combs’ music, but “Victory” went places that it took other rappers a long time to go. 

22,187 plays

Here is an unlikely sentence to type in 2013: Alongside Mark Waid’s Daredevil, Brian Vaughn and Fiona Staples’ Saga, and Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye, Joshua Dysart’s Harbinger reboot is one of the very best full-color adventure comics currently being published. 
I really loved Harbinger when it was originally published, when I was first getting into comics as a kid. The concept is fairly timeless, a more paranoid take on the basic X-Men idea. “Harbingers” are people (almost always teenagers) born with special potential to possess super powers. There are only two people alive who are capable of unlocking that potential, both of whom are able to do so as a result of powers that also allow them to read and control minds: A billionaire named Toyo Harada, and an abused teenaged runaway named Peter Stanchek. Harada runs a multinational corporation that recruits Harbingers by the bucketload, while Stanchek tracks them down where he can, recruiting his fellow misfits to fight Harada’s evil empire.
It’s special kids against the world, with a strong amount of moral ambiguity running through it. Those “special kids” are developing really well in the current series — the team, at this point, is three girls and two boys, with a girl leading the team, and the character featured on this page, Zephyr, as the breakout star. 
There’s an element of early X-Men or Buffy or maybe Wolfman/Perez-era Teen Titans here: a big teen-based adventure story with vividly portrayed, idiosyncratic characters whose idiosyncracies aren’t played for laughs.
Hawkeye and Saga are getting a lot of attention — and deservedly so — but Harbinger might be my favorite of them right now. 

Here is an unlikely sentence to type in 2013: Alongside Mark Waid’s Daredevil, Brian Vaughn and Fiona Staples’ Saga, and Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye, Joshua Dysart’s Harbinger reboot is one of the very best full-color adventure comics currently being published. 

I really loved Harbinger when it was originally published, when I was first getting into comics as a kid. The concept is fairly timeless, a more paranoid take on the basic X-Men idea. “Harbingers” are people (almost always teenagers) born with special potential to possess super powers. There are only two people alive who are capable of unlocking that potential, both of whom are able to do so as a result of powers that also allow them to read and control minds: A billionaire named Toyo Harada, and an abused teenaged runaway named Peter Stanchek. Harada runs a multinational corporation that recruits Harbingers by the bucketload, while Stanchek tracks them down where he can, recruiting his fellow misfits to fight Harada’s evil empire.

It’s special kids against the world, with a strong amount of moral ambiguity running through it. Those “special kids” are developing really well in the current series — the team, at this point, is three girls and two boys, with a girl leading the team, and the character featured on this page, Zephyr, as the breakout star. 

There’s an element of early X-Men or Buffy or maybe Wolfman/Perez-era Teen Titans here: a big teen-based adventure story with vividly portrayed, idiosyncratic characters whose idiosyncracies aren’t played for laughs.

Hawkeye and Saga are getting a lot of attention — and deservedly so — but Harbinger might be my favorite of them right now. 

If you’ve written any copy on the post, it’s likely that your post falls under fair use of the copyrighted material. In fact, it’s ONLY the contextless photo and other posts that pretty obviously exhibit copyright infringement (though even then, reposting specifically for discussion — even if the poster is not the “discusser” — is considered to be one of e.g. the best practices in fair use for online video creators).

As a community, Tumblrers need to file counter-claims EARLY and OFTEN. Don’t let up until they reinstate your post. Threaten to leave Tumblr if your post is not reinstated. Cite your right to repurpose material for criticism and comment under the Copyright Act of 1976 and specific exemptions to the DMCA for online video and content creators.

If a copyrighted image or song is the jumping-off point for a direct commentary, criticism, or discussion on that image or song, your use of it almost certainly falls within the boundaries of fair use.

Get familiar with the four factors of fair use — the nature of the copyrighted work you’ve used, the purpose for using it, the amount used, and the effect on the potential market of that song (e.g. posting to Tumblr audio does not make a song downloadable to others and can only be heard in the context of the post, whereas posting a download link allows others to acquire the original song file for themselves). And then write to Tumblr INCESSANTLY until they reinstate your post. Be aggressive. Be annoying. Cite relevant best practices; cite other websites’ counter-claim policies; cite whatever you can cite. Tumblr is just intimidating you.

Reblogging this commentary, which is relevant and worth considering for anyone who posts music they don’t own on Tumblr. 

(via cureforbedbugs)

Source bmichael

Reblogged from bmichael

natepatrin:

katherinestasaph:

bmichael:

PSA: Don’t write a lot on your copyright infringing posts.
Notice I didn’t say “Don’t copyright infringe.” That’s because, well, Tumblr is basically all about copyright infringing. The massively popular social media site is built on the back of anonymously copyright infringing images and porn. When someone reports a contextless pic (I’m assuming rare, since there’s usually no text/metadata to tip off the copyright holder) and it gets shoved down the memory hole it’s not big deal. If you, like me, like to write thousand word essays about songs you don’t own and also make it easy for a reader to hear said song, then you’re in more of a pickle. I suppose that’s why the smart people just embed a YouTube/only listen to music on YouTube. (I’ve actually seen this asserted three times in different places over the last month - that smart people don’t download MP3s anymore, they just listen to individual tracks on YouTube or Spotify, so I guess I’m super stupid because I still download MP3s.)
I’ve had a handful of these notices so far this year, and I usually just reply and ask for the text of my post, which then gets emailed back to me. No harm, no etc. Still - something to be aware of.

They told you what post it was? I’ve gotten one of these notices and to this day I have no idea what it was about. 

Well, that stinks. I might switch to YouTube embeds for 500 Favorites, then, though I’d like to find out if it’s possible to use audio-only with no visual component in the event that the only available YouTube clip uses eyesore photomontages.

It is possible! Here’s a link to how. 
Also, I wonder if downloading mp3s is a generational thing — if you’re old enough to remember buying CDs and then switched over to downloading mp3s via Napster/Audiogalaxy/Soulseek/Oink/whatever, then there’s maybe a mental block involving not possessing anything, even some data on your computer, that represents the music you have access to. I know that streaming everything feels weird to me, and I know that people I know who are in their late teens and early 20’s do not feel that way at all. 

natepatrin:

katherinestasaph:

bmichael:

PSA: Don’t write a lot on your copyright infringing posts.

Notice I didn’t say “Don’t copyright infringe.” That’s because, well, Tumblr is basically all about copyright infringing. The massively popular social media site is built on the back of anonymously copyright infringing images and porn. When someone reports a contextless pic (I’m assuming rare, since there’s usually no text/metadata to tip off the copyright holder) and it gets shoved down the memory hole it’s not big deal. If you, like me, like to write thousand word essays about songs you don’t own and also make it easy for a reader to hear said song, then you’re in more of a pickle. I suppose that’s why the smart people just embed a YouTube/only listen to music on YouTube. (I’ve actually seen this asserted three times in different places over the last month - that smart people don’t download MP3s anymore, they just listen to individual tracks on YouTube or Spotify, so I guess I’m super stupid because I still download MP3s.)

I’ve had a handful of these notices so far this year, and I usually just reply and ask for the text of my post, which then gets emailed back to me. No harm, no etc. Still - something to be aware of.

They told you what post it was? I’ve gotten one of these notices and to this day I have no idea what it was about. 

Well, that stinks. I might switch to YouTube embeds for 500 Favorites, then, though I’d like to find out if it’s possible to use audio-only with no visual component in the event that the only available YouTube clip uses eyesore photomontages.

It is possible! Here’s a link to how

Also, I wonder if downloading mp3s is a generational thing — if you’re old enough to remember buying CDs and then switched over to downloading mp3s via Napster/Audiogalaxy/Soulseek/Oink/whatever, then there’s maybe a mental block involving not possessing anything, even some data on your computer, that represents the music you have access to. I know that streaming everything feels weird to me, and I know that people I know who are in their late teens and early 20’s do not feel that way at all. 

Source bmichael

Reblogged from bmichael

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