Read more Kate

If you haven’t yet read Kate’s latest piece on the Kevin Smith/Southwest Airlines debacle, get thee to Broadsheet, stat. It is definitive, and it is moving, and it will remind you of why you started reading Kate’s work in the first place.

Whenever the issue of whether larger people should be forced to buy two airline seats comes up — as it did this weekend, when director Kevin Smith was booted from a Southwest Airlines flight, and as it did last April, after United introduced a policy practically identical to Southwest’s — the first and only thing a lot of folks think of is that time they had to sit next to a fat person on a flight, and it was so uncomfortable.

[snip]

Here’s the first thing I think of when this issue comes up […] The weekend my mom was dying.

Read the whole thing, and the next time someone concern trolls you about fat people flying, send them that link. If their heart’s not broken by it, they didn’t have one in the first place.

“but who can distinguish one human voice amid such choruses of desire”

America lost a great voice this weekend: the poet Lucille Clifton died. She was 73 years old.

Clifton wrote wonderful, poignant, witty poems whose formal simplicity belies their emotional and political depth. She wrote of the realities of living in a large, black, female body in a racist, sexist culture; she survived cancer and wrote of the joys of the body in the face of mortality. I hope all Shapelings have run across the marvelous, body-loving “homage to my hips“:

these hips are big hips
they need space to
move around in.
they don’t fit into little
petty places. these hips
are free hips.
they don’t like to be held back.

Read the rest here.

From “scar” (in The Terrible Stories, which has a section on breast cancer):

we will learn
to live together.

i will call you
ribbon of hunger
and desire
empty pocket flap
edge of before and after.

You can find a longer collection of Clifton’s poems, as well as an introductory essay to her work, at the Poetry Foundation. Warning: tissues may be needed. Clifton’s poems touch on abortion, whiteness, hate crimes, war, menstruation, grief, and so many other “terrible stories;” yet they vibrate with such compassion and clarity of vision that it’s easy to forget how tough and nervy they are. Blessing the Boats, her selected poems from 2000, is an excellent entry point for new readers, and a powerful testament to the importance of Clifton’s voice to our culture.

I’ll let Lucille Clifton end this post herself, with a video of her reading in 2008.

Rest in peace, Lucille Clifton. Thank you for being one human voice.

Links: Golden Globes backlash, or This one goes out to the ladies

Those of you who hopped on our Golden Globe live-blogging adventure on Sunday (which was way, way more fun than I expected — GIVE YOURSELVES A HAND) might be interested in the following posts on Jezebel about (sadly predictable) sexist reactions to various women at the show:

James Cameron & Kathryn Bigelow Used To Be Married — Get Over It

‘You Don’t Put A Big Girl In A Big Dress’: Dissing Christina Hendricks

And, my personal favorite: Paper Devotes 363 Word Article To Mo’Nique’s Leg Hair

Basically these are all iterations of a theme: woman dares to look “different” (i.e., boobs, leg hair) and/or succeed artistically, must be put in her place. Well played, media journalists. What daring provocateurs you are.

Items… Of … Interest!

Please read the post title in a Futurama announcer voice.

Welcome to 2010, Shapelings! Have some links.

Kate takes on the “no fatties” dating site controversy at Broadsheet.

Jezebel’s Jenna discusses V Magazine’s latest plus size fashion shoot, which features back fat and belly rolls! For reals!

Lauredhel talks full body scanners, disability, and privacy at FWD.

Latoya inaugurates “Moff’s Law” at Racialicious, and we are totally copying her on that. It starts so deliciously and just gets better:

Of all the varieties of irritating comment out there, the absolute most annoying has to be “Why can’t you just watch the movie for what it is??? Why can’t you just enjoy it? Why do you have to analyze it???”

If you have posted such a comment, or if you are about to post such a comment, here or anywhere else, let me just advise you: Shut up. Shut the fuck up. Shut your goddamn fucking mouth. SHUT. UP.

Read the whole thing.

Open thread: Other people are not on fluffcation

While we’re on fluffcation for a bit, perhaps you’re jonesing for some non-lemur blogging. May I recommend some excellent reading material? Here are some non-fatosphere blogs that I’ve been reading lately:

FWD (feminists with disabilities) for a way forward is brand-spanking new as of last month and is already chock-full of awesome posts. It’s a group blog, and a few of its writers are familiar around these parts as well, so go check them out and wish them well.

The Sexist, written by Amanda Hess, is part of the Washington City Paper (so it may be of particular interest to those of you in the DC area). Amanda is sharp in both wit and tongue. She’s so fun to read, I want to send her cookies.

The Pursuit of Harpyness, in addition to having the most kick-ass name ever, is a feminist group blog with a lively (but not overwhelmingly huge) commentariat.

I’m going to assume that you’re all reading the mind-blowing Fugitivus, but if you’re not, dear god, what’s wrong with you? Harriet Jacobs is one of the best writers in the blogosphere, hands down. Plus she’s wicked funny.

Tami from What Tami Said describes herself as “a wife, womanist, writer, stepmother, music lover, black woman, sister, nappy advocate, American, yogi, bibliophile, daughter, student, Midwesterner, progressive, eccentric,” but what she leaves out is whip-smart thinker and achingly good writer. Her blog often ends up in my “Posts I will be linking to over and over and over and over” folder.

And, for something a bit more fluffy for a great cause, I am totally obsessed with The Uniform Project. Part experiment in sustainable fashion, part fundraiser for children’s education, and all awesome. Sheena’s Halloween costume is a vision. Once you catch up on the archives, you’ll never look at a basic black dress again.

What blogs do you want to pass along to your fellow Shapelings?

ETA: For anyone who needs another dose of prosimians, may I suggest the humble aye-aye?

Up close

Long-time Shapelings know that we are big fans of PostSecret. If you haven’t been there yet, check it out — it’s an amazing project. I loved one of the secrets posted today:

hopper
[A pointillist painting: Georges Seurat’s Esquisse d’ensemble [sketch for a larger work, presumably Un dimanche après-midi à l’Île de la Grande Jatte], with these words handwritten over it: Up close, everyone looks less perfect. In that, though, they look human.]