“I Never Knew it Would Come to That” the Eternal Excuse of Participants and Bystanders

Another great read.

The Inglorius Padre Steve's World

Jewish Men being Rounded Up in Baden with Citizens looking on  

Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

Holocaust historian Yehuda Bauer wrote: “Thou shalt not be a victim, thou shalt not be a perpetrator, but, above all, thou shalt not be a bystander.”  These words from his book Perpetrators, Victims, Bystanders: The Jewish Catastrophe 1933-1945 serve as a warning to members of a society where various minority groups are being labeled as enemies of the state and often less than human.

Over the past week we have watched as a rabid Trump supported sent pipe bombs to a dozen men and women who the President has personally attacked in speeches, interviews, or on his Twitter account. We have watched as a White man gun down two Black senior citizens in a Louisville, Kentucky Kroger store after failing to gain access into a Black Baptist Church. We…

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Kristallnacht In Broad Daylight



Writing for First Draft is one of my passions. It’s often my therapy. This has been one of those times. The MAGA Bomber’s failed attempt at mass assassination shook me to the core. Then, the massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh left many of us questioning what it means to be an American in the Trump era.

I am proud to be an American, but I am ashamed of our current leadership’s inability to respond with an ounce of human decency or a scintilla of empathy. As far as the president* is concerned, it’s an inconvenient interruption of rally mania. As far as I’m concerned, Trump and his allies have blood on their hands, if not literally, then symbolically.

I’m not the only one questioning what it means to be an American in 2018. Veteran political journalist Howard Fineman grew up in Pittsburgh as a member of the…

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The “unsayable” thing at the center

Peedeel's Blog

sun and grass

I think there is a general misconception that you write poems because you “have something to say.” I think, actually, that you write poems because you have something echoing around in the bone-dome of your skull that you cannot say. Poetry allows us to hold many related tangential notions in very close orbit around each other at the same time. The “unsayable” thing at the center of the poem becomes visible to the poet and reader in the same way that dark matter becomes visible to the astrophysicist. You can’t see it, but by measure of its effect on the visible, it can become so precise a silhouette you can almost know it.

Rebecca Lindenberg
Why Write Poetry?

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Peedeel's Blog

I like misty autumn mornings,
And cold snowy winter nights.
Rainstorms bring me inner peace,
Thunder sets my soul alight.
I care not for summer days –
Too long, the heavy heat.
Give me candlelit evenings,
Early darkness, a silent street.

Natalia Crow

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Peedeel's Blog

Books to read

Today you can buy the Dialogues of Plato for less than you would spend on a fifth of whisky, or Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire for the price of a cheap shirt. You can buy a fair beginning of an education in any bookstore with a good stock of paperback books for less than you would spend on a week’s supply of gasoline.

Often I hear people say they do not have the time to read. That’s absolute nonsense. In one year during which I kept that kind of record, I read twenty-five books while waiting for people. In offices, applying for jobs, waiting to see a dentist, waiting in a restaurant for friends, many such places. I read on buses, trains and planes. If one really wants to learn, one has to decide what is important. Spending an evening on the town? Attending a ball game?…

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Nature will not name itself

Peedeel's Blog

There are experiences of landscape that will always resist articulation, and of which words offer only a distant echo. Nature will not name itself. Granite doesn’t self-identify as igneous. Light has no grammar. Language is always late for its subject… But we are and always have been name-callers, christeners. Words are grained into our landscapes, and landscapes grained into our words.

Robert MacFarlane
The Word-Hoard: Robert MacFarlane on rewilding our language of landscape

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learned on my own

Peedeel's Blog

sky and sea

What I had to learn about poetry is that the poem wasn’t necessarily going to tell me something. It was going to be something that I learned on my own in the poem but maybe the next reader would learn something different. This also draws me to writing: I am free from having to know something. That’s the most natural mode of learning for me – questions, not answers.

Natalie Diaz
This Life is Supposed to Hurt

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How to Tell if a Woman is a Bitch


Individual Empowerment

It’s not always easy to spot a bitch, but once you know what to look for it becomes easier to identify, label and put a woman in a box.
1. She stands up for herself and others. Think Harriet Tubman or Wilma Mankiller.
2. She doesn’t care about your opinion of how she should dress or that you want her to smile. Think Serena Williams or Angelina Jolie.
3. She is comfortable with her sexuality, even if it doesn’t exist in a standard form.
4. She is a feminist who publicly speaks for equality. Think Margaret Cho or Jessica Williams.
Now you now how to spot a bitch. What did I miss? Leave a comment below about how you are a bitch or a bitch you admire.
 I have a seesaw relationship with “bitch”. I don’t like the negative connotations, but at the same time it offends me…

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