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July 13, 2013

Giving subway creepers a taste of their own creepy medicine

Short version: Observant guy sees a creepy guy trying to chat up a woman who is doing her best to ignore the creep, so observant guy sits next to the creep and says the same things to him that the creep said to the woman. Writing About Writing (And Occasionally Some Writing): Changing The Creepy Guy Narrative
It was painful to watch. She clearly wanted nothing to do with him, and he clearly wasn't going to take the hint. Her rebukes got firmer. "I'd like to read my book." And he pulled out the social pressure. "Hey, I'm just asking you a question. You don't have to be so rude." She started to look around for outs. Her head swiveled from one exit to another. The thing was, I had already heard this story, many many times. I knew how it would play out. I knew all the tropes. I probably could have quoted the lines before they said them. I wanted a new narrative. Time to mix it up. So I moved seats until I was sitting behind him. I leaned forward with my head on the back of his seat. "Hi," I said with a little smile. He looked at me like I was a little crazy--which isn't exactly untrue--and turned back to her. "How are you doing?" I asked. "I'm fine," he said flatly without ever looking back. "I really like your hair," I said. "It looks soft." That's about when it got.....weird. He sort of half turned and glared back me, and I could tell I was pissing him off. His eyes told me to back the hell away, and his lips were pressed together tightly enough to drain the color from them completely. But no good story ever ends with the conflict just defusing. He started to turn back to her. "Wait, don't be like that," I said. "Lemmie just ask you one question..." "What!" he said in that you-have-clearly-gone-too-far voice that is part of the freshmen year finals at the school of machismo. And I'm not exactly a hundred percent sure why I didn't call it a day at that point, but.....maybe I just love turning the screw to see what happens. I gave him the bedroomy-est eyes I could muster. "What's your name?" Right now I'm sitting here typing out this story, and I'm still not entirely sure why I'm not nursing a fat lip or a black eye. Because that obviously made him so mad that I still am not sure why it didn't come to blows. There are cliches about eyes flaring and rage behind someones eyes and shit like that that are so overdone. But it really does look like that. When someone gets violent, their eyes just kind of "pop" with intention--pupils dilate, eyelids widen. And his did. Even sitting down he was clearly bigger than me and I was pretty sure he was kind of muscular too, so at that moment I was figuring I was probably going to need an ice pack and sympathy sex from my girlfriend by day's end. "DUDE," he shouted. "I'M NOT GAY."

July 08, 2013

Mos Def gets force-fed Guantanamo-style, to protest conditions at the prison

Spoiler: Force-feeding is brutal torture. Mos Def Gets Force-Fed Through A Tube: I Got This 'Unbearable' Burning | ThinkProgress
American hip-hop artist and actor Mos Def, also known as Yaslin Bey, appears in a video released by the British human rights charity Reprieve on Monday in which he undergoes the process of being force tube fed, similar to what hunger strikers at Guantanamo Bay experience. The military reported on Monday that 45 of the 106 detainees on hunger strike at Gitmo are being force tube fed (what the military refers to as “on the enteral feed list”). Experts, human rights advocates, physicians, medical associations and even some U.S. lawmakers have either likened the process — which involves strapping the detainee to a restraining chair and force feeding via a tube that is inserted in the nasal cavity, run down through the esophagus and into the stomach — as torture or said it violates medical ethics and have called on it to end. The detainees themselves have described the “painful” process, with one reportedly describing it as as having a razor blade being shoved down his throat. Mos Def appears on video going through the process — as outlined in a recently disclosed Gitmo Standard Operating Procedure — in apparent agony. “When the tube went in,” he said, “the first part of it is not that bad but you get this burning, I got this burning and it starts to get really unbearable like something was going into my brain and it reached the back of my throat and I really couldn’t take it.”