Food for Thought on a Friday: Linkage

(WSFA is rapidly selling out of the book pictured above. You can still order it here.)

First off, on Omni I’ve been posting gift book suggestions, the top 10 lists for the year of Karen Lord, Felix Gilman, and Dexter Palmer, and an interview with local Tallahassee author Julianna Baggott about her huge YA book deal. Go read it all here.

Mary Anne Mohanraj has posted about the future of the Speculative Literature Foundation, including some thoughts on boosting publicity and content creation. She’s looking for suggestions, feedback, etc.

If you missed it, John Coulthart wrote a great post about the uproar over the short film A Fire in My Belly, which includes a brief clip of ants crawling over a crucifix: “Two ironies are immediately apparent following the withdrawal of the film from the exhibition: the first is that the action has spread news of Wojnarowicz’s work all over the world this week, in which case the Catholic League can congratulate themselves on increasing the viewing of the “blasphemous” film a thousandfold. The second is that the work of both Wojnarowicz and Galás in the 1980s dealt in a forthright manner with the loathing shown towards people with Aids and the refusal of governments and media to deal honestly and openly with the disease.”

Also note this response from Diamanda Galás, whose music accompanied the censored film, to the Smithsonian removing it. Some in the comments cross a line as far as I’m concerned by calling her response, essentially, insane. It’s an impassioned and intelligent response as far as I’m concerned. (I also noted an article recently about an uptick in attempts at book censorship–from both the left and the right. Censorship from the left sucks, too, frankly, when it occurs. And I’m not particularly sympathetic to charges of blasphemy in general.)

Matt Cheney has a link to a good piece about a certain sameness in the last few Best American Short Stories volumes, along with his own commentary. Equivalents in genre fiction include fantasy fixated on the upper classes or endlessly depicting homogenous societies or nations.

Finally, Tariq Moodod is interviewed about five books on multiculturalism. It’s fascinating stuff and makes me want to pick up Moodod’s books. A couple of quotes, context lacking so you have to go read it: “Actually, when you think about it, many of the specific controversies in relation to multiculturalism involve women and arguments about gender…Some feminists have been critical of multiculturalism because they say that it leads to selling short women’s rights.” … “I argue that the way that we come to see why Britishness is important is actually not so very different to how we see multiculturalism as important, because we see how these identities, whether they be minority Pakistani identity in Britain or whether it is being British – and many minorities want to be British; it is not something that is imposed on them – we see that these identities are important to people. So we have to find a way in politics of including rather than of trying to exclude them.”


  1. says

    The Moodod article; I want to know how two of the books he mentions resolves (or proposes to resolve) the female circumcision issue. Either you stop, or you go to prison. It is pretty simple. There isn’t exactly room to “find some sort of accommodation”. This is where I have my own problems with some definitions of multiculturalism; some actions are simply not defensible.

  2. jeff vandermeer says

    Agreed, in all cultures. I also tend to believe women’s rights across the board tend to get sidelined or ignored more in most contexts sadly.

  3. Sam M-B says

    And that has made me really wonder what I think of child male circumcision. Ok, problem too hard, hope Moodod and co. can solve that one.

  4. tony donnesdale says

    Of the horrific comments written after DIAMANDA GALAS’ superlative response
    to the removal of FIRE IN THE BELLY are written in largest part by a well-known
    stalker of Diamanda Galas,MIchelle Walsh aka Kalliope Amorphous. I read on her
    website a portrayal of this rather bizarre person, who also stalked AMMA, the leader
    of the Indian religious cult. It appears that she falls “in love” with famous females
    and then, when her affection is not returned, calls them homophobes–a rather vicious
    response to 26 years of work on the part of Galas, in particular. She has been caught,
    but no charges have been issued yet.

  5. says

    The Moodod article; I want to know how two of the books he mentions resolves (or proposes to resolve) the female circumcision issue. Either you stop, or you go to prison. It is pretty simple. There isn’t exactly room to “find some sort of accommodation”. This is where I have my own problems with some definitions of multiculturalism; some actions are simply not defensible.

  6. Truth Revealed says

    Ho-hum… Tony Donnesdale… Let me correct you. There were MANY PEOPLE that were hurt and ridiculed on Diamanda’s Facebook page, but it must have been much more personal than she wants to admit because she blames EVERY negative comment on Kalliope. The truth is, Kalliope worked on many art-portraits of Diamanda and was a close friend. Diamanda has a very superior, manipulative and intimidating effect on the people who admire her. Diamanda, several times, made affectionate claims to Kalliope on that page, as to many people, but we never took her seriously. Still, if Kalliope was to have had intimate feelings for her, Diamanda certainly invited it. Diamanda can be very cruel and vicious, even to those closest to her. I know of fans and friends of hers for over 20 years that have recently washed their hands of her as of a few months ago.
    There was a lot of horrible things happening around the world and people had their own business to tend to, and Diamanda became increasingly erratic and paranoid on her Facebook page. Kalliope’s Facebook page was shut down and most of the artwork was lost. Some were left on Diamanda’s official page. Kalliope wanted to walk away from Diamanda’s page and life discretely and quietly, but she wanted Diamanda to remove the her copyrighted art. Diamanda refused, and instead pretends everything is OK and then asks her fans to please post all the great photos Kalliope has made if they have saved them, so she can retrieve them and keep them. Kalliope immediately told Diamanda to stop it, then Diamanda went berserk, calling her names such as “cow”, “dyke”, “tuna”, “fish”, etc. There are many screenshots of her homophobic insults. So after that, anytime anyone had anything bad to say about Diamanda, she blames it on Kalliope. Well well Tony… let me SHOW YOU THIS: Kalliope isn’t the only person who’s had a run-in with Diamanda recently. In fact, VERY MANY of her fans who were witness to this debacle have turned away, feeling hurt and betrayed.
    In addition to this, I think everyone should know, particularly fans of Diamanda, that she obviously posted on under the names “MALAKAS”, “MORONS”, “SEBASTIEN PLEASE WILL YOU”, “diamanda galas”, “P.I. Rhode Island”, and possibly a few others. Read the arrogance in her self-description “diamanda is a genius”, etc.
    I also know more information on Diamanda’s ridiculous cybertrolling that I’m not going to post here, but I know enough to know that she’s a fraud, a fake, a hypocrite. Maybe she was honest and loving at one time, but a lifetime of cynicism has made her this way. She hates everyone, she’s in this life to get all she can because she ‘doesn’t believe in an afterlife’, she has no conscience anymore. A great talent, I admit, but a very twisted, confused and angry soul.

  7. says

    Pobrecita de Kalliope, por favor, entiéndanla, justifíquenla… ella sufre muuuucho con todo esto, es una graaan artista y no merece taaanto sufrimiento, taaanta difamación…TANTA PUBLICIDAD !!!!!!!

    Kalliope Chinga tu madre !!!! entiende que no puedes y no podrás por más que desperdicies tu tiempo en publicar páginas enteras llenas de porquería y mentiras, manchar lo que Diamanda se ha ganado a base de talento y trabajo duro.

    Se ve que todo esto ya lo tenías preparado ya que empezaste a guardar imágenes desde el principio, pero te diré algo, este tipo de publicidad es efímera. Las imagenes y las tantas pruebas que publicas no hacen más que demostrar el gran enojo que existía y que existe hacia tí. Quisiste utilizar a Diamanda para darle a tu carrera algún impulso pero por qué ???.. no puedes luchar por algo propio ???.. La reacción lógica de cualquier persona frente a un comportamiento como el tuyo es este, Diamanda es coherente con lo que dice, piensa y hace, al contrario de lo que muchos dicen y por lo que muchos se espantan, yo estoy orgulloso de su actuar ya que es lógico. Qué esperabas ?… una felicitación ?… un gracias ?… nooo, por menos que eso una mentada de madre y todo el desprestigio que te mereces por querer sacar partido de alguien que de manera sincera te brindó un lugar donde pudieras platicar directamente con ella ( y que gracias a tí muuucha gente ya no puede hacerlo ) y vender tus pendejos perfumes.

    Pero esto seguirá y con todo gusto yo también seguiré.

    Vamos, muéstrale a la gente como sufres, que sientan lástima por tí, quizás ese sea tu único talento.