My Blog Week: May 5 to May 11

A black cat, nicknamed Nortie, who serves as Torsade's site ambassador.

All the Latest from Torsade!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cartoon of mayor reassuring public that there are no Martians

Cartoon of the Week: Learn a New Language

 

 

A Word on the Week

 

Cartoon of woman baffled and dismayed

What to My Wondering Eyes Did Appear

 

Off to a normal start on Monday, I went into old posts to reconcile some links, and found that through a convergence of Word Press updates and the transition of my site from a dot-blog to a dot-com, all my images were failing to load. Instead, then, of my normal work schedule, I’ve had to spend the week fixing pages and posts. On the upside, I had a fresh chance to confront the alt attribute. The use of this field should be simple to grasp, but advice on how to use it contradicts, conflicts, and misleads. Its main purpose is accessibility, not better SEO performance.

The best guide is, what short description would be most helpful to you if you could not see images? For example, my Hammersmith signature pic says: “Pastel drawing of 1800s farmhouse.”

(Original art is a big feature of Torsade, so I begin each alt with the medium—charcoal, pencil, oil paint, etc.)

 

Lose the Language

 

Suppose you are a candidate running for president, with the good intention of overturning the bad trends in American public behavior and dialogue? Suppose you keep saying over and over that you will fight for laws to “protect the rights of families”, or to “create better economic opportunities for American families”?

It’s a “familiar” form of rhetoric; it’s a comfort zone into which political speakers slip readily. But over 45 percent of the population is made up of single people. Now, anecdotally, let me report that when I was a young (potential) voter, I felt this myself, that voting was a thing you did later in life when you were set up, which meant, vaguely, made respectable and stable by achieving this family thing so widely referenced.  

At a time when every vote counts, it’s a shame to use exclusionary language…but the notion, again, is such an easy one for politicians to slip into, I doubt they think of it as bigotry. How would it sound to a minority woman if a candidate said (not so far-fetched, in some states), “I pledge to protect the rights of white men?”; “I will work to create better economic opportunities for white men?”

These easy stereotypes—that all young people are students, all old people cozy grannies and grandads, all respectable people part of a family unit—alienate good, worthy voters from the system they are being told isn’t for them.

It does more than that, these days, when social media flames up dangers for anyone pointed at or objectified. Contributing citizens, people entirely respectable in their daily routines, should not be dehumanized and imperiled by strangers’ crazy fantasies. Young underpaid workers, retired people needing to supplement their income, single people who need good jobs as much as married heads of households, should be referred to, when candidates do so, as…people.  How about:

 

“I pledge to protect the civil and human rights of all persons on American soil. I pledge to uphold the constitution and support the rule of law, and allow the judicial process to determine at what point, if any, a person’s freedoms should be curtailed or surrendered. Beyond any such circumstance, every person deserves safety, stability, opportunity, and comfort.”

 

 

 

Monday, a poem in the Jumping Off series, “Is Nothing”; Tuesday, Sequence of Events: Give a Dog a Bad Name, continued with Rob, tutored by Rica, figuring out a few things. On Wednesday, the next part of the “Bride to Be” story, the heroine thwarted by her father’s shrewd guess. Thursday, Catastrophe, a few accolades for military performance. Friday, the latest Folly, “Where End Meets Beginning”, Matthew Piers Trout coming closer to a revelation he will understand if he lives so long. And Saturday, a reissue of “The Public Waits for a Hint”, a poem from Mystery Plays
Images on my posts often have a link to related information (click first image), sometimes serious, sometimes whimsical, sometimes in answer to a direct reference. Since people can be leery about links, I include them here: what they are, what sites they point to.

 

 


 

 

My Blog Week: May 5 to May 11

 

Is Nothing (poem)
May 6

Poets.org: Rod Padgett, “Nothing in That Drawer”

 

Sequence of Events: Give a Dog a Bad Name (part six)
May 7

 

Bride to Be (five)
May 8

Poetry Foundation: William Matthews, “The Cloister”

 

La Catastrophe de la Martinique: fifty-five
May 9

 

Where End Meets Beginning: Ninth Pale Knight
May 10

 

The Public Waits for a Hint (poem)
May 11

Poets.org: Galway Kinnell, “Wait”

 

 

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