I LOVE this web comic! 👨🏾‍🦲

Your Black Friend by Ben Passmore

This is a situation where I want to grab frame or two to put here, to entice you to click through and read the whole thing. But at the same time, I don’t wanna grab a full frame, b/c every frame of it—and the way the entire thing locks together—is So. Damn. Perfect, and such a perfect presentation of the thing it’s trying to talk about.

I love it. There’s nothing left to say. It’s 100% perfect for me. It is MAUS for this moment.

Stay classy, Ancient Rome!

Please note that the cock-lion’s “tail” is itself another phallus. *fingertip kiss* Magnifique!

Anyway, the next time you hear someone sounding off about how hopelessly depraved and perverted the present is, just remember this 2,000-year-old ding-a-ling and laugh in their prudish faces.

Bronze tintinabulum hung with small bells to function as a wind chime. It is decorated with a winged lion-phallus which was believed to provide magical protection against evil and to bring good luck to the household. Date 1st-Century
Bronze tintinabulum hung with small bells to function as a wind chime. It is decorated with a winged lion-phallus which was believed to provide magical protection against evil and to bring good luck to the household. (Date 1st-Century)source

“The most unjustly under-loved jazz great of the 1950s” #WomensHistoryMonth

I take exception to Tom Moon’s characterization of Dorothy Ashbury (quoted as the title): she isn’t just among “the most unjustly under-loved jazz greats of the 1950s”; she is almost certainly the most inexplicably under-appreciate jazz great ever.

Born in 1932 in Detroit, Ashbury broke barriers at every angle: a Black female professional artist in a male dominated industry, Ashby established the harp as an improvising jazz instrument, cracking open both mainstream society’s notion’s of what was and was not appropriate for a Black woman to do (playing classical harp) and cracking up the counterculture’s notion of what could and could not be done (bringing “novelty” background instruments like harp and koto to center stage, bringing global cultural and musical tropes to Euro-American-centric jazz).

“It’s been maybe a triple burden in that not a lot of women are becoming known as jazz players. There is also the connection with black women. The audiences I was trying to reach were not interested in the harp, period—classical or otherwise—and they were certainly not interested in seeing a black woman playing the harp.”

Dorothy Ashbury

But I kinda give zero shits about any of that; just listen to her music:

Don’t you dare click away from that track before you cross the 1min20sec mark! “Joyful Grass and Grape” is, like, 90% of the way to being a Wu Tang banger all by itself, just add some ODB and RZA.

This is why I love Ashbury: the deep, quiet Afro-futurism of this music that came 40 years earlier than it had any right to. She was sampling and mixing and beat juggling in her head, without the benefit of turntables and a sound system. In it’s infancy hiphop constantly justified itself by pointing to jazz—and sadly somehow missed its most obvious Matriarch. I am so delighted to have algorithmically stumbled upon Ashbury that my outrage about her erasure is itself entirely erased.

Here’s the initial track that joyfully blew my goddamned mind:

And there’s much much more out there. Listen. Listen!

Is this Presumably Bot-Designed Product Awesome, or in Remarkably Poor Taste?

More on this specific painting here, and a bit about famed Russian (anti) war artist Vasily Vereshchagin. Other works by Vereshchagin suitable for throw pillows:

Given the current state of Russian nuclear drills and military exercises on the Ukraine border, I imagine that all of this might feel a bit more painfully topically when those post goes live in a day or two.