Why did we think Gender Trouble would save us? What did we think it would save us from? Did we read it to make sense of gender, or to have our sense that gender made no sense – (alternately put: that the sense that it made was intimately related to a set of elisions we lived, difficult-ly, in our bodies) – confirmed.

There are many days when I wish I could go back and read Gender Trouble for the first time, again. May 12th-13th 2013 was one of those days. You can’t go back, of course, but I suppose I had to try.

Originally, I wanted to write this essay for students – to tell them it is ok not to understand Gender Trouble. That reading and not understanding, and keeping on reading is one of the singular pleasures and engagements of the life of the mind (and, I guess, the body too). It is so not because it is fun to be confused, but because being lost in this particular way is related to having – or developing – a political life: to the extension of ourselves into the world and to the forming and care for the collectivities that we will need to survive this world, and that, perhaps more importantly, we want to survive us into a different future. Actually, about this kind of thing, Lacan once said something of importance: “Do not give up on your desire.” That doesn’t mean striving toward knowable ends – commodities, marriages – but just the opposite. It means having some kind of commitment to that which fissures the otherwise seamless appearance of sense. Reading Gender Trouble without understanding it is about making a vow to the fissures that constitute embodiment, us, and our world. This vow is not the same thing as being able to describe the seemingly intractable contradictions of gender norms and the disasters of disaster capitalism, although it’s good to be able to describe these contradictions with acuity and to understand the history of how we got here. But reading without understanding is something different. It has something to do with not giving up on your desire.

Gender Trouble on Mother’s Day  (via cahun-caha)

This article is sooo worth reading

I missed both the school cafeteria and the menu restaurants in Madrid, and I’m not embarrassed to admit it ;)

I love the total disrespect they have for season. Is it August 31 and 38ºC outside? Fine, first course would be beans stew with pig ear

I have only been 4 days in my neigbourhood and I have barely put a foot on the street. Well, it was enough time to see a man pee, several crazy women with crazy patterns, say hello to the usual drunk men at the corner, and expend 3h without electricity.


Ever wonder how a Jellyfish “stings”?  Turns out, it’s actually like a Needle.  Check out this awesome graphic that Emily Weddle created from the latest episode of Smarter Every Day.

As you can see in the graphic, a Jellyfish actually stings you with needles.  The process in the photo spans the time of approximately 20 milliseconds. If you watch the video I incorporate timing data so you can perform measurements.  

What’s so cool about this is scientists don’t really understand HOW they nematocyst fire.  They’re pretty confident that they’re triggered by mechancial contact on the outside, of the tentacle… but they’re NOT sure how the stinger “inflates”.  Dr. Seymour thinks it’s too fast to be osmotic.  There’s obviously a channel somehow that opens and creates flow and pressure into the organelle.  I bet it’s some kind of REALLY quick chemical process.

I think we’re going to call graphics like this “Smarter Every Day InfoGifs”.     Emily came up with that name, I can’t take credit for it!  Here’s her webpage.

This video is great

Also, I still have a jellyfish stung in my arm…1 month after!!

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