Memories are made in Los Angeles parking garages. Some inspire electrifying nostalgia and even more electrifying storytelling. First blunt smoked … First hand job given or received … The survival, or execution, of one’s first carjacking …
My sexual miseducation took place in California. It often happened at school. I was twelve years old and gluing paper to paper. Collaging. A classmate said that she’d met her boyfriend at the mall. They had sex in the stairwell. Several times The boyfriend was very mature. Seventeen. My classmate said that she was scared
Before George Holliday caught the L.A.P.D.’s beating of Rodney King on camera, the former police officer Don Jackson helped reveal the brutal reality of policing for Southern California’s Black citizens.
The night of Jan. 14, 1989, Don Jackson, a police officer turned activist, arrived in Long Beach, Calif., riding in the passenger seat of a rental car driven by Jeffrey Hill, another activist and an off-duty state corrections officer. Both men wore plain clothes, and clandestine chaperones escorted their Buick. A van carrying a television crew tailed the rental car.
About the existence of cats, our father encouraged us to ask, “Why?”
He couldn’t stand them.
Cats annoyed and disgusted him and because of these effects, they also annoyed and disgusted my mother. Rarely did Mom or Dad simply utter gato. Gato always traveled alongside cochino.
I never asked Dad about his anti-catness. He did once mumble something about cats’ historic ties to the devil, but the comment didn’t explain his unique distaste. His grudge seemed personal, not infernal.
In the days leading up to my grandmother’s death, my eyes lingered on her ninety-year-old hands. As a little tomboy, Arcelia’s hands had mesmerized me. I watched them feed cookies to caged parrots. I felt the caresses she offered to dogs, cats, and pigeons. In the kitchen, her mandil darkened as she wiped her wet
My mother was raised near the second-oldest cemetery in Guadalajara, Panteón de Mezquitán. Established in 1896, murals cover the high walls surrounding its terrain. Some of these artworks feature incarnations of Death herself, and, depending on the weather, one can find Mezquitán’s graveyard dogs sunbathing, hiding from the rain or scratching mosquito bites. During my grandmother Arcelia’s funeral procession, a yellow canine appeared beside her coffin. My mother nudged me.
“It’s your grandfather,” she whispered. “He’s accompanying my mother.”
In “Bad Art Friend,” The New York Times framed a story with a clear pattern of stalking, replete with vexatious litigation, as a quest for justice. The Daily Beast published a story about a fatal stalking case, its headline blaming the victim for her femicide: “Body of Florida Student Found a Week After Spurned Suspect Killed Himself.” Meanwhile, ABC7NY aired footage of
School security officers establish a militarized atmosphere. They also create a sense of imprisonment. This adversarial dynamic heightens student stress. At best, a militarized environment makes learning difficult. At worst, it makes learning impossible. When these officers use deadly force against youth, learning grinds to a terrifying halt, turning campuses, and their surrounding neighborhoods, into combat
My first encounter with girls as ardent capitalists happened between the covers of Ann M. Martin’s Baby-Sitters Club books.
That my parents continuously thwarted my entrepreneurial dreams made me wonder what was wrong with them, and, by extension, me. First I wondered if they weren’t so weird about my tween bootstrapping fantasies on account of us being Mexican. Then, as I got a little older, I started to wonder if they weren’t being such assholes about my moneymaking schemes because I was… a girl. After I had that second epiphany—and this was before I’d ever heard the word intersectionality—I fused these concerns. I then spent time wondering what it was about my being a Mexican girl that provoked their restrictions.
As the coronavirus continues to take lives, the lives of teachers and school staff included, the good-educator-as-unflinching-martyr trope is being used to shame those of us who express concerns about IRL instruction. Last month, New York Times’ columnist David Brooks penned a screed that all but accused educators critical of their working conditions of laziness,
Watching Britney Spears shave her head in 2007 made me want to do it too. The bitch looked good bald, better than Demi because she wasn’t doing it for a film role, she was doing it because life, and I recall feeling liberated by proxy as I watched Spears snatch hairdresser Esther Tognozzi’s razor and drag it along her scalp, using it to carve her femininity away, the precise curve of her cranium set free by her own hand. This incident and others appear in Framing Britney Spears, a new documentary by the New York Times. The film casts strong doubt over the legitimacy of the patriarchal legal arrangement under which the megastar has been stuck for the last twelve years. Framing Britney Spears also deepened my desire for Justin Timberlake to eat a bag of dicks.
At the end of last year, musician FKA Twigs, born Tahliah Debrett Barnett, brought allegations of romantic terrorism against her former partner, actor Shia LaBeouf. Barnett’s lawsuit, which was filed last month in Los Angeles County Superior Court, alleges that LaBeouf perpetrated sexual battery, battery, assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and gross negligence.
Like Barnett and millions of other women, I am intimate with romantic terrorism. After a whirlwind courtship, a man I dated used romantic terrorism to trap me. I remained with this batterer for a long time, and, like Barnett, one of the ugliest questions I’m asked is, “Why didn’t you leave?” The question is audacious considering that I did leave. That’s why I’m able to freely discuss the experience.