“From Stoicism to Hysteria: The 1957-58 Asian Flu Pandemic: Why Did the UK Respond So Differently?”

Interesting article by Freddie Attenborough. Some may find it not ‘left-leaning’ enough, particular in its criticism of the Guardian, and some snide remarks about contemporary social mores, but this is well researched with a lot of media articles quoted and presents a picture of what some have been calling a “panicdemic”, where media scare stories heighten fear over giving unemotional facts.
Some highlights:

“you can have as many scientists, virologists, epidemiologists, mathematicians and clinicians as you like; but decisions about which experts get the ear of government, which get favourable write-ups in the mainstream media and which end up on government special advisory panels – those decisions reflect and are driven by a society’s overarching values, fears, anxieties, norms, assumptions, prejudices, obsessions and expectations. ”
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Prose Poem: Those Who Are Complicit

cyclone fence in shallow photography
Photo by Travis Saylor on Pexels.com

You cannot care for people and embrace tyranny
You cannot care for mental health yet impose isolation on the suffering
You cannot care for knowledge and deny education
You cannot care for physical health yet close gyms, playgrounds, and cancel tests and treatments

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Poem: Politics of Fear

woman in gray tank top looking frightened
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Politics of Fear

The easiest way to control people
Is to have them do it themselves
Conjure up a boogeyman
A certain race or sexual orientation
Or an impending disaster or disease
Play on their fears
Whip up hysteria
And tell them that their safety depends
On doing exactly what they are told
To burn witches and inform on Jews
To ostracise gay men and fear the weather
To keep inside or they’ll die – or kill someone
A terrified populace won’t just let you take their freedom
Their civic rights and their humanity
If they are terrified enough they will demand it

If we are petrified enough we police each other
If you give people a figurehead or a cause or a religion
We are capable of inhumanity in its name
We don’t burn witches now
But we still inform on our neighbours
And treat them with suspicion
Will history judge us
(For screaming abuse at someone
Who gets within six feet of us
For reporting our friends for visiting loved ones
In defiance of government edicts)
As we judge those who did what was then
“For the public good”
Who were “just following orders”
Who let fear take their humanity?

Fic: Female Presenting N8pples

Today’s piece looks at gatekeeping and the way Tumblr’s ban on adult content directly affected marginalised users including those who are LGBTQ+ and/or women and posited women’s bodies as sexual as compared to men’s.

access black and white blur cage
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

A coffee shop, December 2018

“Female presenting nipples?” Josh laughed, leaning back in the booth with his coffee in one hand. “It sounds like a really weird conference. Or modern art piece. Or a one hit wonder pop band.”

Rachel nodded. “It’s ridiculous.”

“Look I only do Instagram and barely that these days. You’ll have to explain this Tumblr thing a bit more. They’re banning porn?”

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Fic: Fandom Policing

This month’s theme is ‘gatekeeping’. Today’s piece looks at gatekeeping and harassment in online spaces.

access black and white blur cage
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

John deletes his Instagram, his DeviantArt; he’s already deleted his tumblr and other sites linked to his J05draws username and set up a twitter under a new psuedonym. He’s relieved he never put his real name on those sites. Ten years ago he was enjoying being a fanartist. He was recently starting to use his popularity to highlight his original works and planning on taking commissions.

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The Myth of the Relationship Hierarchy Strikes Again

ralb

I was reading an interesting story recently. It happened to be fanfiction, but I’ve had this experience with plenty of mainstream novels. I was enjoying the storyline, the plot was good, the author was hitting some of my favourite tropes and the story was, overall, well-told.

Then: bam. The relationship hierarchy* reared its ugly head.

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