Reblogging Audre Lorde
November 8, 2017 9:31 PM   Subscribe

Audre Lorde is so foundational in my self-love as a black woman and yet I struggle to drop her quotes as pithy responses to tweets, posts, et al. Her 1979 NYU speech to white feminists, "The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House," demands reading in it's entirety. The straight up boss lady bravery to tell a room full of white feminists that they're playing themselves is what gives me permission and grace to tell white people their ENTIRE truth every damn day.
posted by hautenegro at 9:50 PM on November 8, 2017 [15 favorites]

yeah, rick-rolling Audre Lorde: What's the Fifth Wave coming to? Angels on a pin.

"Trip to Russia", Sister Outsider (1984) seems to me an appropriate counterfactual at this late date of imperium.
I was interviewed by Oleg this evening, one of the officials of the Union of Soviet Writers, the people who had invited me to Russia and who were footing the bill. In my interview with him I learned the hotel that we're staying in was originally a youth hostel and Oleg apologized because it was not as "civilized," so he said, as other Moscow hotels. I came across this term civilized before, and I wondered whether it meant up to American standards. Increasingly I get a feeling that American standards are sort of an unspoken norm, and that whether one resists them, or whether one adopts them, they are there to be reckoned with. This is rather disappointing.
posted by marycatherine at 5:22 AM on November 9, 2017

Sorry, I can't understand what you're saying. Can you reword that?
posted by koavf at 9:31 AM on November 9, 2017

It doesn't take tumblr to take things out of context. We've been doing this with various sacred scriptures for millennia.

You can watch TV preachers commit some sort of cargo cult exegesis on Bible passages today; I've seen Glen Beck do similar for various words, with terrible not-even-wrong folk etymologies.

I get, and can sympathize, with the idea that pithy quotes, taken out of context, can warp our ideas of politics and theory, but no more than any early learning of how history, society, and literature are put together--and tons of people never get more than that early learning.

And this:

Intellectual copyright is under siege as much conceptually as it is literally.

This gets my goat in particular, because there are two levels at which this is literally incorrect. Never mind the lack of walls, moats, and trebuchets--what is "intellectual copyright," as distinct from plain old "copyright"? And how is copyright under siege? Are we supposed to take that as a given? Because discussing how quotes are taken out of context doesn't implicate copyright--that sort of short quoting just doesn't apply. Quotes are often so brief compared to the work as a whole that they are de minimis; they don't even rise to the level of being legally cognizable. Longer quotes are nearly always going to be fair use--which is not copyright infringement.

And what is this "conceptual copyright" that's under siege? Again, the removal of context? That's not copyright. It's context, which gives a certain meaning. And yes, usually, the intended meaning. Which doesn't disappear when someone quotes out of context--whether that removal form context is innocent and accurate, innocent but erroneous, or malicious. The recipient of the out-of context quote might be misled, but well, that's how transmission of ideas works. What are you going to do, have a comprehension test before you allow someone to quote on twitter or tumblr? That'd be so useful for the Constitution, or the hot takes following any bill's introduction.
posted by pykrete jungle at 9:34 PM on November 9, 2017

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