JULY 11, 2007

“Što Te Nema?” is a public monument created as a response to Europe’s worst atrocity since World War II – the systematic killing of 8,372 Muslim men and boys in the UN-protected safe area of Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina in July of 1995.

Conceived as a participatory nomadic monument, “Što Te Nema?” travels to a new location annually, enabling different communities to commemorate the Srebrenica Genocide collectively and in a public space on its anniversary.

The monument consists of a growing collection of fildžani, small porcelain coffee cups, continuously collected and donated by Bosnian families from all over the world. The total number of fildžani roughly corresponds to the growing number of body remains found, identified, and buried to date.

Every July 11th, the public is invited to participate in the making of the monument by placing the collected cups on the ground and filling them with Bosnian coffee prepared on site throughout the day.

This has been posted about before, here and here, but I wanted to post this particular photograph because they made the shape of Bosnia.


Why does trauma (especially long term) cause
anxiety and paranoia that seem completely illogical? a theory

A lot of us have
experienced severe anxiety in paranoia in seemingly normal circumstances,
simply by being around strangers or in public places, when we’re required to
socialize, when we’re trying to do a task or strive towards something we want
to achieve. We consciously know these circumstances are most likely not
harmful, and our fear seems illogical or greatly exaggerated. When the
circumstances are somehow connected or similar to our trauma, then it’s
explained, but sometimes it can go so far that 90% of activities are impossible
to do, there are places we cannot go, there are experiences we can no longer
have, to the point where it’s alienating, isolating, and sabotaging our life.

So why does this
happen, how does trauma affect us to cause all this?

1. Brain learns from experiences.

Your own, personal
experiences, not other people’s, and it will take your experiences into account
way above what other people say or what is considered normal. If trauma has
happened in certain circumstances to you directly, it no longer matters that
other people consider it safe or feel there is very feeble possibility of
getting hurt, for you these odds have been turned into 100% danger and threat,
and that is a very strong learning experience. Your brain has learned in very
painful way both that you can be severely damaged in certain circumstances, and
that what people have said about it not being dangerous, isn’t true anymore.

2. Traumatic experiences which are not fully
remembered, nor fully processed, not fully analyzed, understood, put into
perspective, and have leftover feelings to be expressed from, cannot be fully
learned from.

So, your brain doesn’t have a full, clean,
clear and conscious record of an experience, but what it does have is a record
of danger, terror, threat to survival, pain, possibility of death, connected to
partial memories, partial circumstances, vague situations. Brain’s job is to
keep you alive, and from this memory, your brain has detected threat to
survival, but can’t really process it or decide in which situation this threat
applies, and in which it doesn’t, so what does brain do in the meantime, while
it processes and analyzes the situation correctly? Mark every single thing that
connects in any way to the trauma, as deadly. And this is the right thing to
do, only way to survive, becuase your brain is not wrong. Some of the circumstances and situations you avoid could
potentially be deadly, maybe it’s 2% of what you’re scared of, but in current
state you cannot safely analyze which out of those are truly dangerous, so your
brain makes sure you avoid them all. Your brain will not take into account what
is socially acceptable, what others consider safe, what should be logically
safe, because that no longer matters once you’ve ended up in life danger
believing in those social pointers. All of that no longer matters, your brain
is developing your own system of recognizing danger, and it’s safest to assume
everything is danger until you acquire more precise information.

This is why processing trauma and getting a
clearer picture of what happened helps more than exposing yourself to
environments that feel dangerous. You can go and force your brain to learn from
new experiences and to check by exposing yourself to danger to see if you die
or not (which is torture), or, you can gather more information, avoid the
triggers and dangerous places until you know for sure what happened to you and
what allowed it and how in the future to prevent it, wait until your memories
are more full and connected and some of the perceived threats will clear up,
also for the sake of putting the danger into perspective, you’ll need statistic
of actual amount of people who got hurt in these environments, and under what
circumstances, your brain needs references to put your trauma into perspective,
and it is comforting to know that you’re not the only one. Take the time to
gain some recovery from your own situation until you are sure that if the same
thing repeated, you would be able to recover from it, and wouldn’t die. And
then, you can decide if it’s worth exposing yourself to these environments
again. Sometimes, it is not. Recovery doesn’t have to mean you can again go all
places without feeling fear. It can mean you now know where the danger is, and
you know better than to expose yourself to it.

*when I say “life danger” it doesn’t
only apply to situations where you could be killed or injured by another
person, it applies to situation where you could go thru such painful experience
you end up wishing you were dead and thus in danger of commiting suicide, it’s
a psychological death danger and a very real threat.

3. Your
instincs are not as wrong or illogical as society perceives them.

You’ll notice that when you’re in a more
vulnerable, distressed, triggered or otherwise sensitive state, the amount of
anxiety and paranoia will increase. This is not you just being even more
illogical, these instincts are in the right place. Current society isn’t
adapted to care about not harming people who are vulnerable and sensitive, and
will not treat an individual with compassion and care when they appear distressed or in need of understanding and safety, it is likely that people will trigger
and hurt you, invalidate your struggles and make you feel much worse than you
initially felt, among with impressing their social opinion that all of your
instincts and fears are wrong. That is the last thing you need when you’re
already feeling awful. So, if you have the urge to spend a week (or month, or
year) inside of your room, not speaking to anyone, that most likely is what
would be the safest course of action for you, and would enable you to process
your experience without someone inflicting their own opinion or judgment on

If your instincts get alarmed whenever you’re
faced with a person of authority, because you’ve suffered abuse from people who
have power over you? You are exactly right, people with power and authority
have proven to be harmful in endless occassions, it would take further research
to see in which circumstances they cannot allow themselves to be harmful, and
until you know for sure, all of them are going to be scary.

If you’ve been living in long term abusive
environment your brain has been wired to survival mode and has learned to
perceive the world as a dangerous place in order to keep you alive, it would be
insane to expect you to re-wire it, without getting reliable information of new
sets of dangers, and, there are always new sets of dangers.

I feel the bigger problem than people feeling
anxiety, paranoia and danger in certain circumstances, is that society insists
they should stop feeling that way, or that their fears are illogical. This
seems to stem from the conviction that it would be bad for people to
acknowledge the existence of danger and potential threat, because it isn’t very
comfortable to know that there are dangers even in most common places. It is
upsetting that the safety of traumatized individuals is being dismissed, and
instead, requirement for them to act socially acceptable, for their feelings to
be convenient, easy to handle and in order with social norms, is being forced
on them. If there was truly no danger,
nobody would be getting hurt or traumatized. We are the proof that the danger




Do you guys know why I’m so adamant about you vaccinating your kids?

I’m immunocomprimised. It means my immune system is weakened. I have very weak lungs and I rely on herd immunity to stay safe.

I’m allergic to the shot people get for whooping cough. How do I know? I had a 3 week, painful reaction. Now, this was a while ago, before shit hit the fan with the whole anti-vax movement.

But do you know what my doctor told me? It was safer for me to get the shot that I’m ALLERGIC TO than rely on herd immunity because if I get the shot, I’ll be in moderate-severe pain for about 3 weeks max. If I get the disease, I will die. My lung capacity is bad enough, but my body is too weak to fight the disease.

So not only are you putting your child’s life at risk by not vaccinating them, you’re putting mine and all the other people who cannot be vaccinated at risk because of a selfish decision that isn’t backed by science.

for those who don’t know, immunocompromised people are fucking everywhere. most commonly, they are cancer patients. all cancer patients, plus many other people with many other diseases are immunocompromised! it’s a staggering number of people. and i myself had a disease, other than cancer, that had me so compromised that even a common cold could literally kill me

so when you don’t vaccinate your kids, or even yourself for that matter, you’re putting all of us at risk!

For 8 months of my chemotherapy, I had to get special injections every day to keep my immune system at the most minimum level and the doctors told me I couldn’t eat raw food of any type because the chance of bacteria could take me out.

4 years later, after the chemo has ended, a cold hits me like a flu, and a flu leaves me unable to do much for week, then “getting by” for another week past that.  This is with me doing everything the doctors advise – exercise, vitamins, fruits and veggies, etc.

Please use the medicine that stops people from dying in droves like the Middle Ages.





Queer history did not start with Stonewall. That doesn’t make Stonewall unimportant but it is critical to realize that by only talking about queer history in context of Stonewall and America is erasure, and feeds into the attitude that queerness is somehow a recent development.

Even if it is not intentional, the impact of not directly addressing the fact that there are queer people and queer movements before Stonewall is harmful.  

This. This times a million.

In fact, I have a special interest in pre-Stonewall queer history in America, but even I know that goes back further than my interests take me (usually to the beginning of the 1950s) and is an international thing.

(Wanna start somewhere? Research Frank Kameny and see where that takes you. Wanna read some historical fiction? Try Stone Butch Blues.)

And you wanna talk about erasing queer history? I never hear anyone talk about Canadian queer history. They’ve got a history of their own, which is part of greater queer history.

I never hear anyone talk about the Toronto Bathhouse Raids of 1981.  I never hear anyone quote the famous ‘the state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation’ quote that was coined in the late 1960s, when homosexuality became decriminalized (amongst many other sweeping leftist reforms).

I can forever complain about how white colonizers destroyed traditional genders in many Indonesian ethnic groups, but nowadays ~traditionalists~ think it’s a recent Western invention, and that us Indonesian queers are just kids being “Too Westernized”.

Or how many white people I had the displeasure to interact with legitimately believe that queer people were already oppressed before white colonizers arrived (completely ignoring the huge diversity between Indonesian ethnic groups), and that “we should be thankful” that white people “introduced the concept of queerness to us”.

There’s also a lot of german and jewish queer culture and activism (lets call it that for now) starting as early as the end of the 19. century, that was largely wiped out by the nazis. Look up Magnus Hirschfeld and his work




Found a very well-dressed owl at an escape room in Georgetown. @copperbadge

There goes an owl who knows he looks good. The Gaston of owls. 

Noooo ooooone hoots like Owlston

No one shoots like Owlston

No one’s hearing is sharply acute like Owlston!

When his wings are spread and his head’s bobbin’,

His charm will go straight to your heart

You can ask any wren, finch, or robin,

They’ll tell you whose claws they’d let tear them apart!

Who else sees like Owlston?

Lands in trees like Owlston?

Can turn almost three hundred degrees like Owlston?

As a predator, yes, he’s intimidating!

Wow, what an owl! OWLSTOOOOONNNN!