On cathedrals and cooperation

This month my comrades at ALE and I are working on the theme of cooperation, and I thought a useful thing to think about in that context is not my usual favs of rebellion, or even collective republics, but architecture. In particular, I want to talk about what you could argue are the most important medieval buildings – cathedrals. Cathedrals, from the Latin cathedra meaning “throne of the bishop” are and were enormous and intricate buildings that took centuries to build, and you probably know that. However, we often talk about them as finished projects rather than as a testament to how humans cooperate with each other across time. That’s what we’re gonna do today.

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On the commemoration of the dead, and poppy season

A thing about being alive is that someday you won’t be. This is, of course, a matter of fact and also something that humans have always had to deal with. The dead, writ large, outnumber the living, and it is the living who have to deal with the dead. The bodies of the dead can harm us if they are not sufficiently dealt with, of course, however there is also the significant psychological connection that the living have with the dead. We grieve people that we have lost, and as a part of that often seek to commemorate them. That happens on a small scale when we have funerals for our loved ones who have died, which is a way of allowing those who knew and cared for someone to connect to their memory. Then you also have forms of collective grieving and commemoration of the dead as a large group, and let me tell you what, over here in the UK we are very much in the middle of one of those, because it is poppy season.

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Podcast alert – Fare Thee Well: the timeless endurance of Renaissance Faires for 1A

I stopped by 1A to talk about Renaissance Faires, medievalisms, and how big imaginations help us push back against ahistorical white supremacy

On looking in the past for a better future

This month I am very proud to say that the media collective that I am a part of Alternative Leftist Entertainment (or ALE, to friends) has launched. (You can follow us on Twitter, here.) This is a very nice thing for me, because it is a treat to have colleagues. Also it will be very nice for you, the lovely person reading this, because it means I have to do a piece each month along with everyone else in the collective that focuses on the monthly theme, so that is a nice thing to force me to write. Yay! (We like that right? We agree that me writing things is good, yes?)

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On periods, and the dudes who fear them

So today I had to see what is probably a joke about men’s attitudes towards periods, but which also might be a really stupid take about periods from some man on the internet, and I thought that was as good an excuse as any to talk about conceptions of menstruation in the medieval period. In theory, we have come a long way towards understanding how and why uterus’s bleed. In practice there’s a sad number of guys like this out in the world who just…feel the need to say things like this:

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On Margery Kempe and the Bad Art Friend

So, I am like a week later than this than I wanted to be because I got really sick, but have you read “Who is the Bad Art Friend”? You should read “Bad Art Friend”. This will all make so much more sense if you just go read “Who is the Bad Art Friend”. If you do not want to go read “Who is the Bad Art Friend” I will do my best to recap one of the most bonkers pieces of writing that I have read in sometime for you so that the rest of this article makes sense, I guess. It is easier if you go read it though.

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On apocalypticism, extinction rebellion, and ahistorical cosseting

Yesterday my colleague Dan Jones did a shift down at the bad take factory and decided to write an article seemingly aimed at making me incredibly angry. To be fair to him, he seems to be as embarrassed about it as is suitable, being as he hasn’t tweeted that he wrote it at all, and LOL neither would I. He is out here trying to plug his new book – and hey aren’t we all! – and so has written as confusing a statement as ever I have seen associating Extinction Rebellion with … apocalyptic preaching in the medieval period. In it he manages a rare feat – he both seems to treat his subject of study – medieval people – and the people involved with XR completely under the bus for no ostensible reason.

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On semen retention

Mostly because my life is cursed/an unending nightmare, I have been subjected to a lot of takes about semen retention lately. Part of this has to do with the fact that it is a specific alt-right talking point, with certain nazis going so far as to make statements like, “The (((elites))) [Jewish people] fear men who practice semen retention”, which…IDK man I don’t even know where to start with that one. Also, like, whatever the hell this is, which made me take psychic damage earlier this week:

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On the power of pushing back against the marginalisation of sex workers

So over the course of the course of the last week OnlyFans decided that they were going to suddenly ban adult content from their site. This may be seen as an inexplicable decision given that this is, actually, the thing that they make all of their money from. It is especially odd, given that a majority share of the company was bought in 2018 by Leonid Radvinsky, who has for over twenty years been working expressly in the porn industry. It would seem like he knew what he was getting into and exactly what it is that people were using OnlyFans for.

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On bad summers

In London everyone is complaining because we are having one of those summers that just isn’t a summer. This happens, from time to time. Instead of temperatures in the twenties/seventies we get a progression of teens/sixties and a bunch of rain. The grass loves it, and most people complain about it, because somehow they have been fooled into believing that the Island of Britain is reliably a warm place. (Citation extremely needed.)

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