Like, Provenance, while frequently funny, is not a non-serious book -- it concerns itself with classism, wildly unhealthy family relationships, interstellar warmongering, fetishization of cultural artifacts, and inhumane conditions of incarceration, not to mention murder -- but the structure of the plot is very classic screwball. Misunderstandings! Mistaken identities! Brilliant[ly ill-advised] schemes colliding with each other and blowing up in everybody's face! The faint air of Yakety Sax playing frequently in the background!
Honestly it feels a lot like Ann Leckie channeling Lois McMaster Bujold, with less intense character dynamics but also fewer moments of side-eye.
Our Heroine Ingray Aughskold is the foster daughter of an elected official who has been locked in competition with her foster-brother since they were both small for the eventual goal of inheriting their mother's position. Ingray comes from a public orphanage, while her asshole abrother is the son of a wealthy family, which gives him an edge that Ingray has never quite been able to best.
CUE: Brilliant[ly ill-advised] scheme! Ingray decides to attempt to break a fellow political foster-kid, Pahlad Budrakim, out of Compassionate Removal (i.e. terrible jail) in order to learn the location of the highly important cultural artifacts which Pahlad has hypothetically stolen.
Complication: Pahlad is possibly not Pahlad, and is certainly not inclined to be cooperative.
Complication 2: The space captain who Ingray hired to get them back home is wanted for theft by an alien ambassador, who Does Not Understand Humans, and whom everyone is panicked about offending due to some Very Important Alien Treaties.
Complication 3: Meanwhile, what Ingray's mother would actually like her to be doing with her time is shepherding around some other ambassadors, human ones from a different planet, who want to do politically-motivated excavations in a local nature preserve
Complication 4: Also, someone is about to get murdered!
Complication 5: And the cop in the case has a crush on Ingray!
Complication 6: And MANY OF THE HIGHLY IMPORTANT CULTURAL ARTIFACTS HAVE DISPUTED PROVENANCE AND IT'S VERY DISTRESSING (for everyone but me, because the minute I heard that title I was like 'this had better be about cultural heritage' and LO AND BEHOLD)
((...though I did want to see a little more documented archival paperwork and process surrounding the question of the authenticity of the artifacts, but I mean, ignore me, it's good, it's fine.))
My favorite character was definitely possibly-Pahlad, with their bitter cynicism and constant challenges to everyone else to do better; wanting More Pahlad all the time was probably my biggest complaint about the book.
My other favorite character was the almost entirely useless Radch ambassador, who just did not want to be there that day. Everything about the treatment of the Radch in this book delights me. "So weird to hear this totally clueless woman speaking with the accent we're used to hearing from villains on the TV!" You definitely don't need to have read the Imperial Radch books to enjoy Provenance, but I suspect it does probably make the few Radch cameos five times funnier.
DEAR ABBY: I am a 29-year-old single mother of two small children. My 5-year-old son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. I'm the only one in my family who has been trained in his care, so I understand the importance of a healthy diet, proper insulin dosage, checking his blood sugar, etc., and that unless his diabetes is properly managed, it could lead to serious health issues -- even death.
I have explained these things to my mother and attempted to train her several times, yet she continues to do things she shouldn't be doing. She stops by my house almost every night with "treats" like candy, ice cream, chocolate bars, doughnuts, etc. When I get upset about it, she'll casually reply, "Oh, whatever. If you dose him for the carbs in it, he's fine," which is not the case. Yes, he can have a treat now and then, but overall, he needs to stay away from that stuff.
It is extremely frustrating that she refuses to listen to me and continues to disrespect my wishes. I don't know what else to do. We have fought repeatedly over this, and she keeps telling me I'm "overreacting." I'm terrified my son will have permanent damage because of this. How do I get her to stop and listen to me? -- FRUSTRATED IN WISCONSIN
DEAR FRUSTRATED: You have allowed your son's medical condition to become a power struggle between you and your mother. Schedule an appointment with your son's pediatrician so your mother can have the facts of life explained to her. If that doesn't help her to accept reality, then understand that she can't be trusted. Do not allow her to drop by with goodies, and supervise any contact he has with her. It is your job to protect your little boy, even from your obtuse mother, if necessary.
The Minister Who Invented Camping in America
Marie Curie mobilized an army of women to help win World WarI
Why Mata Hari Wasn't a Cunning Spy After All
A Senator Speaks Out Against Confederate Monuments… in 1910
Desolation Row: Victorian Britain’s Sensational Slums
White Evangelicals Used to Dominate Christian Zionism, but Not Anymore
How Volcanoes Starved Ancient Egypt
The 'orphan' I adopted from Uganda already had a family
Urban Lights Are Confusing Birds to Death
'All wifi networks' are vulnerable to hacking, security expert discovers
The most important stuff about America we still don’t know.
How Sex Offender Registries Impact Youth
Read this and you may never eat chicken again
A Silent Epidemic of Cancer Is Spreading Among Men
One drug dealer, two corrupt cops and a risky FBI sting
China congress: How authorities censor your thoughts
Some victims stayed friends with Harvey Weinstein. I did the same with my rapist. Here’s why.
Hurricane Maria: Inside a Puerto Rican Barrio's Fight to Survive
With an isolated leader, a demoralized diplomatic corps, and a president dismantling international relations one tweet at a time, American foreign policy is adrift in the world.
Why Trump Can't Handle the Cost of War
I’m an environmental journalist, but I never write about overpopulation. Here’s why.
Create Your Own Visited States Map
We used to go on three week camping trips when I was a kid. We spend hours and hours driving to random places so we could see big statues of Babe the Ox and other weird roadside attractions. My dad loved that stuff. I look at the map and I can see oh, that's our trip out west. Those are the times we went down east and Dad refused to drive through la belle province. There's that Florida trip that was weird and awful.
Create Your Own Visited Provinces and Territories Map
There's still so much of my own country I need to see.
Challenge #129 is roller coaster.
As always, femslash ficlets of between 100 and 1000 words are welcome. See our profile for more detailed rules. Don't forget to make your claim at the Shakespeare Quotes prompt table challenge, but keep in mind that finishing date of October 31 is fast approaching!
Unsettling Canada - A National Wake-Up Call sounded like something I'd want/need to read from the minute I heard about it. A collaboration between two First Nations leaders, Arthur Manuel - a vocal Indigenous rights activist from the Secwepemc Nation - and Grand Chief Ron Derrickson - a Syilx (Okanagan) businessmen, it is touted by the publishers as bringing "a fresh perspective and new ideas to Canada’s most glaring piece of unfinished business: the place of Indigenous peoples within the country’s political and economic space."
Much of the writing on Indigenous rights and
Indigenous activism in Canada is not accessible to someone like me, who can pretty much only read ebooks. (I can read a physical, bound book, but only very slowly, stopping the minute my breathing begins to be affected, which in practice means three or four paragraphs a day, and that means only one or two such books a year, so I pick only the most important books to be read in this manner.) So I was delighted to find an ebook copy of this available from the library.
The book is written from Manuel's voice, wth advice and input from Derrickson. He begins with a rumination on the land of his peoples, what settler-colonialists have called the B.C. Interior, and on his work with the Global Indigenous People's Caucus - in particular, the presentation of a statement on the 'doctrine of discovery' to the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. The doctrine of discovery is a poisonous piece of European colonialist legalism which says that a European sailing along the coast of the land and seeing the rivers flowing down from the interior had, by virtue of their 'discovery' of evidence of that land, more right to it in law (European-derived settler law, of course) than those peoples whose ancestors have lived on, gained nourishment from and stewardship to, for generations.
It's a law that has no justice or even sense of reality behind it. It can only exist if you pretend that Indigenous people never did. Yet it is the basis by which most of the land of the American continents were taken from the people inhabiting those continents, and it lies at the root of land claim discussions even to this day.
Manuel goes on to speak briefly about his family - George Manuel, his father, was a noted Indigenous activist but not very present during Manuel's early life - and his youth, which included time in residential schools due to his mother's long hospitalisation and his father's absences.
These two strands - the history of Indigenous land claims, and his father's legacy of activism, come together in the narrative of Indigenous resistance to the Trudeau government's Statement of the Government of Canada on Indian Policy - the 1969 White Paper.
"Ironically, the impetus for unity [among Indigenous activists and organisations], and what finally put my father into the leadership of the National Indian Brotherhood, was provided by the Trudeau government's Indian Affairs minister Jean Chrétien. In June 1969, Chrétien unveiled a legislative time bomb that was designed not only to destroy any hope of recognition of Aboriginal title and rights in Canada, but also to terminate Canada's treaties with Indian nations. ...
The statement sparked an epic battle that did not end in 1970 when the Indian Association of Alberta presented its counterproposal in the Red Paper. In many important ways it was the opening shot in the current battle for our land and our historic rights against a policy designed to terminate our title to our Indigenous territories and our rights as Indigenous peoples. The White Paper of 1969 is where our struggle begins."
The White Paper, in essence, sought to end all concept of Indigenous nations, abrogate all treaties, eliminate the concept of sovereign lands held in common by an indigenous nation, and force full and complete assimilation - ending by cultural genocide the disappearing of the Indigenous peoples that no previous strategy had quite managed to accomplish.
Resistance to the White Paper was strong. Indigenous leaders formally rejected the government's position, declaring that nothing was possible without the recognition of the sovereignty of Indigenous people and a willingness to negotiate based on the principle that "only Aboriginals and Aboriginal organizations should be given the resources and responsibility to determine their own priorities and future development." But although the paper was withdrawn, the positions it espoused have continued to resurface, recycled and repackaged, in government negotiations with Indigenous peoples to this day.
In 1973, however, a Supreme Court decision gave Indigenous peoples a tool for fighting the White paper proposals. In a 3-3 decision in the Calder case, the Supreme Court declined to set aside the provisions of the Royal Proclamation of 1763, which stated that Indigenous peoples living on unceded land - which at that time included most of what is now Canada - had sovereign rights to that land, which could not be set aside by government fiat, but only surrendered via treaty. While a contested victory, and one that was less useful for many nations who had been tricked into giving up more rights than intended in colonial treaty negotiations, this decision still established the legal concept of the sovereignty of Indigenous nations which would eventually lead to more fruitful legal arguments.
Balancing between historical, academic perspectives and personal recollection, Manuel traces the story of the struggles of Indigenous peoples to reclaim their rights and build a new partnership with Canada over the past 50 years. As he examines the history of court arguments and governmental negotiations over issues of sovereignty, land claims, and other key points of dispute between Canada's Indigenous Nations and the Canadian federal and provincial governments, Manuel clearly and concisely explains the legal concepts involved at each stage. In so doing, he weaves a chilling narrative of repeated attempts to, quite literally, extinguish the rights, and the existence, of the original landholders in the interests of corporate exploitation and gain - a neo-colonialist project that would finish off what settler colonialism began.
Events that for many white Canadians passed by without any comprehension of what they meant to Indigenous peoples - the James Bay hydroelectric project, the repatriation of the constitution, the Oka crisis, Elijah Harper's lone stand against the Meech Lake Accord, the Nisga'a Treaty, the Canada-US softwood lumber disputes, the Sun Peaks protests, to name a few - are placed in a coherent context of colonial oppression and Indigenous resistance.
Manuel also places the struggle of Indigenous peoples in Canada within an international context, that of the "Fourth World" - defined as "Indigenous nations trapped within states in the First, Second and Third Worlds." He recounts his father George Manuel's role in the creation of the World Council of Indigenous Peoples, which led to the establishment in 2002 of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples - a document fiercely opposed and flagrantly ignored by Canada and the other major colonial nations, Australia, New Zealand and The United States.
What makes this book so important - and so accessible - is the insider perspective that Manuel brings to the narrative. He and members of his family were intimately involved with many of the key actions and negotiations; his personal knowledge of the dealings behind the scenes fleshes out his factual accounting of the events he witnessed and participated in. Manuel's personal lived experience makes this more than just a relating of legal points and bureaucratic counters, it allows the reader to feel the profound injustices faced by Indigenous peoples in their struggle to preserve their rights and their identities and their fierce determination to succeed.
... I did 6 pokemon drawings so far. Am mid-sketch of a 7th and did a sketch of someone (I was thinking of a Homestuck kid) dabbing... I don't know why, I was inspired in the moment. xD
At this point, I know I'm too lazy to get the whole 31 drawings done, at least not by halloween. We'll see, of course. xD
Writing-wise, um, nothing much? I still have two fics I haven't started to write. And I read over an incomplete Homestuck fic from 2013 and made some edits on it. Then I searched for the snippet of the third chapter I was talking about in an earlier post. I added like one sentence to it and realized I wasn't 1000% confident I could still get their voices right?? So I'm holding off on too much Homestuck stuff until I refresh myself with a new read through...
Or, you know, watch the read throughs on youtube because do you know how long Homestuck is??? It's not even completely read through on YT so I'd still have to read like all of Act 6. @.@ (But then, maybe I will actually just read it all? I dunno yet.)
And this reminds me I fell behind a chapter of Gunnerkrigg Court. Anyone else still reading it? =D
I want to make a playlist to go with NaNo story, cuz I saw there's a badge for doing it and I like badges, and playlists! So once I hammer out my story more, I'll be doing that. =3
Now for some sleep! x.x
I set myself up for stumbling, even failure, in so many ways. I read tutorials grudgingly at best and resent the way they all skip over so many details about why and what else, the explanations are too narrow to trust. I do try different techniques, but rarely on scrap or waste material. The idea of proper scrap/trash is a concept uncomfortably close to luxury -- to have so much of something that you can waste some deliberately. Winging it is perfect for making something that works, but also guarantees rough edges and parts that make you cringe.
I should get the completed pieces scanned, for documentation, but I haven't managed to find a good way to do that yet. Selling prints is not an impossible plan, but feels even more out of reach than any other part of this -- who would want a mediocre print of a questionable scan of a piece of crappy art?
I make things that disappoint me and are mostly useless, but I do it anyway. I wonder if this qualifies as mindfulness, or some kind of monk-like devotional practice, or just pointless stoicism.