All posts by lizziezhang

The Two-Sentence View of History

An Indigenous History of North America

I’ve been reading a lot of accounts recently that argue indigenous people asserted much more control over many areas of the continent into the 19th century than modern people usually assume (check out The Native Ground by Kathleen DuVal or An Infinity of Nations by Michael Witgen, not to mention Hamalainen’s Comanche Empire) and I got to thinking about the response my post about the teaching of Native history received.

One of the most common responses was along the lines of “Well, Native Americans didn’t contribute much to history anyway, they didn’t do much important, it’s sad but they were basically just wiped away by Europeans.” There is an incredible amount of hindsight bias in that kind of thinking. When you are living in a society in a time where Native people have been very carefully thrust out of view, it is easy to see the dominance of European-descendants as an inevitable…

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Producing the Today programme

steviefm

Around this time last year I wrote an article about my then job, which was managing the social media and website for BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. Not long after publishing it, I was given the chance to to move off the online team and become a producer on the actual radio show. I thought now might be a good time to write an updated blog entry about what this job involves and give some examples of what I’ve been doing for the past year for anyone who might be interested in hearing more about the behind-the-scenes mechanics of the show.

mishal

First of all, just to quash from the gate any suspicion that I landed this dream job by being some kind of ruthlessly ambitious careerist, let me say that this is a role that I never envisioned myself doing. Not because I didn’t want to, quite the opposite, but because working for a programme…

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Letter to a Young Transperson

Is it Level?

transphotoDear Me in Past Tense,

There you are, kneeling by the cardboard Barbie house dad made between jobs. You there, picking up the washrag upholstered furniture, aspiring to the talent to make a miniature couch out of packing foam, there are a few things I should tell you.

The first one you already know. That girl sitting next to you pulling the homemade plaid pants off of Barbie in favor of the cowboy dress is not only your sister, but your absolute best friend. You will be tempted to think you are in danger of losing her, but you shouldn’t. She is permanent.

The rest isn’t so clear.  It won’t ever be.  It doesn’t have to be.

You will feel like you are playing by a set of rules no one explained to you – sort of like kindergarten, when you couldn’t make the right handed scissors cut paper. You will correct yourself…

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What I Did For Love

Literally Patti Murin

1374291_724263284266109_1603825607_nSo I openly and loudly consider myself one of the luckiest women alive, because somehow I managed to find one of those incredibly rare and unique men who is kind, loving, loyal, intelligent, funny, laid back, and who puts up with me willingly and happily. Oh, and he’s hot. Like REAL hot. Good work, Murin.

Fear not, this whole blog is not going to be a sickeningly delirious post about how much I love my fiancee and how lucky I am to have found him and blah blah blah chick lit novel I can’t believe he’s mine what did I do to deserve this. No, I deserve him. Oh, I freaking deserve him. Because when I look back on everything I went through to get him? I can’t believe I lasted this long without becoming a nun or a cat lady, or worst of all, a contestant on The Bachelor.

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I Allow Myself Poetry

Paper Pencil Life

I allow myself poetry
I’ve said this before, but poetry is probably the largest influence on my comics.  What I feel and experience in reading my favorite poems is what I hope to express in comics.  The poet Dorothea Grossman is up there for me in terms of guiding this idea.  I so wish I had VOLUMES of her work instead of the slim selected poems that was published shortly after her death.  The poem that I mention in the comic is called “I Allow Myself” and you can find it here along with many others and a couple of podcasts that feature her work.  I also want to note that I misquoted her poem in the comic.  It should read: ” I allow/ myself the luxury of breakfast/ (I am no nun, for Christ’s sake.)”

I am a proud subscriber of Poetry Magazine and still an avid listener of the podcasts.  I *still* have…

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Top Ten By Year: 1978

Cinema Enthusiast

For those unaware of my Top Ten By Year project:
The majority of my viewing habits have been dictated by this project since September 2013. Jumping to a different decade each time, I pick weak years for me re: quantity of films seen and/or quality of films seen in comparison to other years from said decade. I use list-making to see more films and revisit others in a structured and project-driven way. And I always make sure to point out that my lists are based on personal ‘favorites’ not any notion of an objective ‘best’. I’ve completed 1935, 1983, 1965, 1943, 1992, and now 1978. Next I’ll be doing 1925.

So, we’re finally at the end. 1978 contained my longest watchlist and the longest time spent on an individual year in the Top Ten By Year project. I was reminded just how much I love…

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