GET /freshly-pressed/

List Freshly Pressed Posts

Resource URL

Type URL and Format
GET https://public-api.wordpress.com/rest/v1/freshly-pressed/

Query Parameters

Parameter Type Description
http_envelope (bool)
false:
(default)
true:
Some environments (like in-browser Javascript or Flash) block or divert responses with a non-200 HTTP status code. Setting this parameter will force the HTTP status code to always be 200. The JSON response is wrapped in an "envelope" containing the "real" HTTP status code and headers.
pretty (bool)
false:
(default)
true:
Output pretty JSON
meta (string) Optional. Loads data from the endpoints found in the 'meta' part of the response. Comma separated list. Example: meta=site,likes
callback (string) An optional JSONP callback function.
number (int) The number of posts to return. Default: 10. Limit: 40. Default: 10.
after (iso 8601 datetime) Return posts picked on or after the specified datetime.
before (iso 8601 datetime) Return posts picked on or before the specified datetime.
content_width (int) When in context=display, images/embeds in post content will be set to the desired maximum width. Default: 480.
thumb_width (int) Desired width of thumbnail images, in pixels. Default: 252.
thumb_height (int) Desired height of thumbnail images, in pixels. Default: 160.

Response Parameters

Parameter Type Description
ID (int) The post ID.
site_ID (int) The site ID.
author (object) The author of the post.
date (iso 8601 datetime) The post's creation time.
modified (iso 8601 datetime) The post's most recent update time.
title (html) context dependent.
URL (url) The full permalink URL to the post.
short_URL (url) The wp.me short URL.
content (html) context dependent.
excerpt (html) context dependent.
slug (string) The name (slug) for the post, used in URLs.
guid (string) The GUID for the post.
status (string)
publish:
The post is published.
draft:
The post is saved as a draft.
pending:
The post is pending editorial approval.
future:
The post is scheduled for future publishing.
trash:
The post is in the trash.
password (string) The plaintext password protecting the post, or, more likely, the empty string if the post is not password protected.
parent (object|false) A reference to the post's parent, if it has one.
type (string) The post's post_type. Post types besides post and page need to be whitelisted using the rest_api_allowed_post_types filter.
comments_open (bool) Is the post open for comments?
pings_open (bool) Is the post open for pingbacks, trackbacks?
comment_count (int) The number of comments for this post.
like_count (int) The number of likes for this post.
i_like (bool) Does the current user like this post?
is_reblogged (bool) Did the current user reblog this post?
is_following (bool) Is the current user following this blog?
global_ID (string) A unique WordPress.com-wide representation of a post.
featured_image (url) The URL to the featured image for this post if it has one.
format (string)
standard:
Standard
aside:
Aside
chat:
Chat
gallery:
Gallery
link:
Link
image:
Image
quote:
Quote
status:
Status
video:
Video
audio:
Audio
geo (object|false)
publicize_URLs (array) Array of Twitter and Facebook URLs published by this post.
tags (object) Hash of tags (keyed by tag name) applied to the post.
categories (object) Hash of categories (keyed by category name) applied to the post.
attachments (object) Hash of post attachments (keyed by attachment ID).
metadata (array) Array of post metadata keys and values. All unprotected meta keys are available by default for read requests. Both unprotected and protected meta keys are available for authenticated requests with access. Protected meta keys can be made available with the rest_api_allowed_public_metadata filter.
meta (object) API result meta data
date_range (object) date range covered by current results.
number (int) The number of posts brought back by current query.
posts (array) An array of post objects, with added Freshly Pressed info, in the editorial property for each post.

Example

cURL

curl 'https://public-api.wordpress.com/rest/v1/freshly-pressed/?pretty=1'

PHP

<?php

$options  = array (
  'http' => 
  array (
    'ignore_errors' => true,
  ),
);

$context  = stream_context_create( $options );
$response = file_get_contents(
  'https://public-api.wordpress.com/rest/v1/freshly-pressed/?pretty=1',
  false,
  $context
);
$response = json_decode( $response );

?>

Response Body

{
    "date_range": {
        "newest": "2014-04-24T00:02:56+00:00",
        "oldest": "2014-04-22T21:30:02+00:00"
    },
    "number": 10,
    "posts": [
        {
            "ID": 146,
            "site_ID": 43763408,
            "author": {
                "ID": 43387081,
                "email": false,
                "name": "mattwesselmusic",
                "nice_name": "mattwesselmusic",
                "URL": "http:\/\/mattwesselmusic.wordpress.com",
                "avatar_URL": "https:\/\/0.gravatar.com\/avatar\/0b248d718a45dc39904a9bce2ac74443?s=96&d=https%3A%2F%2Fs0.wp.com%2Fi%2Fmu.gif&r=G",
                "profile_URL": "http:\/\/en.gravatar.com\/mattwesselmusic",
                "site_ID": 44003045
            },
            "date": "2014-04-19T06:01:52-06:00",
            "modified": "2014-04-19T07:08:12-06:00",
            "title": "World&#8217;s Best Mom",
            "URL": "http:\/\/mattwessel.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/19\/worlds-best-mom\/",
            "short_URL": "http:\/\/wp.me\/p2XCRq-2m",
            "content": "<p>That&#8217;s a lofty title, I know. And believe it or not, I know her. Even more amazing (to me) is that I&#8217;m married to her.<\/p>\n<p>One might think the world&#8217;s best mom would be someone with years of motherly experience and a number of kids &#8212; someone who has been doing it for a long time.\u00a0My wife, Katie, doesn&#8217;t come close to qualifying under those terms. You see, we&#8217;re new parents. Our first son, Randol Thomas, was born on Thursday\u00a0at 12:56 a.m. at the incredibly young gestational age of 25 weeks and 4 days. That happy moment had a sad ending when our baby boy lost his life later that morning at 5:20 a.m. after struggling for hours to try and breathe with what we knew were severely underdeveloped lungs &#8212; something we knew would be an issue after my wife&#8217;s water broke at just 18 weeks.<\/p>\n<p>So how could she possibly be crowned &#8216;world&#8217;s best mom&#8217; when she has only had one child, who only lived for a few hours?\u00a0Allow me to explain&#8230;<\/p>\n<p>When Katie&#8217;s water ruptured at 18 weeks, she was told that she would likely go into labor within the next three days.\u00a0Her odds of lasting to viability (24 weeks) and giving birth to a\u00a0child that would live long term was at best 5% and probably\u00a0less than 1%. She was told that many women in her situation choose to terminate. Not one to judge, that comment simply went in one ear and out the other. It wasn&#8217;t an option for her and never would be. Because when you&#8217;re the world&#8217;s best mom, you never give up on your child, no matter the odds.<\/p>\n<p>When she went into labor two days later, she spent a frantic few hours at the hospital\u00a0and prepped for the delivery of a 19-week old baby. As scared and panicked as she was, Katie managed to ask questions about what would happen to her baby after birth, including a baptism and funeral arrangements. Because when you&#8217;re the world&#8217;s best mom, you want the best for your child.<\/p>\n<p>When her body then shut down labor a few hours later,\u00a0she was ultimately sent\u00a0home and told to stay on strict bed rest. It was then that she became incredibly germ conscientious. She knew that if she developed an infection, she would lose the baby. She had me cleaning the house all the time. If friends or family had even a\u00a0hint of a cold,\u00a0she asked them not to visit. When I brought her cups of water, if I accidentally touched the lip of the glass, she made me empty, wash and refill it. She even banned me from kissing her. None of this surprised me.\u00a0Because when you&#8217;re the world&#8217;s best mom, you do whatever you have to for the health and well-being of your child.<\/p>\n<p>When her body started to deteriorate as the bed rest turned from days into weeks, she constantly told me and those around her that it was worth it. It was worth the back pain and the leg pain and the neck pain and the shoulder pain and the ankle pain. It was worth the muscle atrophy. It was worth night after night of terrible sleep. It was worth being physically uncomfortable 24-7. Because when you&#8217;re the world&#8217;s best mom, personal comfort takes a back seat to what&#8217;s best for your child.<\/p>\n<p>When she reached 23 weeks and was admitted to the hospital for the rest of her pregnancy, Katie did so with a smile. She brought comforts of home with her and planned for a long, long stay. She put a day-by-day countdown on the wall and rejoiced when each evening turned into a new day. Even though each passing day meant another day of bed rest, agonizing muscle atrophy and stir-crazy boredom, it also meant\u00a0another day that the baby had grown within her. It meant one more day closer to the magic preemie window of 28 weeks. And when you&#8217;re the world&#8217;s best mom, you cherish all of your child&#8217;s accomplishments, even if that&#8217;s as simple as one more day in the womb.<\/p>\n<p>When her\u00a0nurses would come in to check on Katie during her stay in the hospital, she rarely let them leave without engaging them in a 15-minute Q&amp;A on every topic you could imagine relating to her situation. She relished every opportunity she had to absorb information &#8212; what to expect, what the nurses had seen in their careers and what she could do to improve her outcomes. Because when you&#8217;re the world&#8217;s best mom, you want to know all you can when it involves the life of your child.<\/p>\n<p>When Katie went into labor again &#8211; this time for good\u00a0- and\u00a0the attempt for a vaginal delivery had to be abandoned due to our baby&#8217;s crashing heart rate, Katie gave her doctors the go-ahead to proceed with an emergency C-section, a procedure that would\u00a0mean waiting longer to try for our next kid and one that would potentially limit the number of pregnancies we could have long term. It wasn&#8217;t a decision she made lightly, but it also wasn&#8217;t a very hard one to make. Because when you&#8217;re the world&#8217;s best mom, you&#8217;re willing to make sacrifices for your child.<\/p>\n<p>When our baby was fighting for his life in the NICU and the neonatologist came up to discuss possible next steps, Katie asked her about nitric oxide. It wasn&#8217;t even a treatment option that was presented to us, but Katie knew about it. She had read that it helped other babies in our situation. The doctor said it was an option and they&#8217;d be happy to try it. All because Katie knew to ask for it. Because when you&#8217;re the world&#8217;s best mom, you do your research and become your child&#8217;s best advocate.<\/p>\n<p>When the doctors told us that Randol Thomas wasn&#8217;t going to make it, Katie\u00a0asked her nurses what it would take\u00a0to get her from her delivery room down to the NICU to see her son while he was still alive. When her extraordinary\u00a0nurses (seriously, they were amazing) understandably questioned whether that was even possible given that she had just undergone a major operation, Katie rephrased her question into a statement that was more like, &#8220;I need\u00a0to see him. Please.\u00a0Just tell me what I need to do.&#8221; From there, the nurses came up with an improvised game plan that included a heavy dose of medication just to get her out of bed and into a wheelchair. During the transport, my determined wife uttered no cries of pain. She was wheeled down to the NICU and was able to hold our\u00a0son&#8217;s living hand while singing to him &#8212; just a couple hours after her C-section. Because when you&#8217;re the world&#8217;s best mom, nothing can stand in the way of you being there for your child.<\/p>\n<p>When she\u00a0was in the NICU, she realized no one had called a priest to have Randol Thomas baptized. We quickly called the on-call chaplain and asked him to come in. He arrived just in time to baptize our little boy. Our son\u00a0took his last attempted breath during the baptism and his heart stopped beating just seconds after it had ended. It was the perfect ending to his perfect life, and all because of Katie. Because when you&#8217;re the world&#8217;s best mom, you remember things that no one else does, even in moments of pure chaos.<\/p>\n<p>And when our precious child passed away and the amazing NICU staff brought him up to our room for Katie and I to hold him for the first and last time, Katie invited all of our family members who were at the hospital to share in that moment with us &#8212; to take their own turns holding our little guy. Because when you&#8217;re the world&#8217;s best mom, you want nothing more than to share the joy of your child\u00a0with those around you.<\/p>\n<p>I am devastated at having lost my son.\u00a0And I&#8217;m devastated that he won&#8217;t enjoy what would have been an amazing life with loving\u00a0parents, including a particularly incredible mother. Watching Katie over these past several weeks has been an absolute inspiration. Her love for\u00a0our son during his 25+ weeks in the womb and his few hours after birth is a testament to who she is as a person and, now, as a mom. I share this story with all of you in the hopes that it will inspire current and future moms to be as committed and passionate to their own children as\u00a0she was to our little boy.<\/p>\n<p>Next month, on May 11, I plan to hold Katie close, smile and say, &#8220;Happy Mother&#8217;s Day.&#8221; Even though our son\u00a0won&#8217;t physically be with us anymore, it doesn&#8217;t change the fact that my wife is now a mother. And a mother she&#8217;ll always be.<\/p>\n<p>In fact, she&#8217;s the world&#8217;s best.<\/p>\n<div id=\"attachment_160\" style=\"width: 490px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"http:\/\/mattwessel.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/katie-holding-randol.jpg\"><img class=\"wp-image-160 size-large\" src=\"https:\/\/mattwessel.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/katie-holding-randol.jpg?w=480&#038;h=270\" alt=\"katie holding randol\"   \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">The world&#8217;s best mom holding her firstborn son.<\/p><\/div>\n",
            "excerpt": "<p>That&#8217;s a lofty title, I know. And believe it or not, I know her. Even more amazing (to me) is that I&#8217;m married to her. One might think the world&#8217;s best mom would be someone with years of motherly experience &hellip; <a href=\"http:\/\/mattwessel.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/19\/worlds-best-mom\/\">Continue reading <span class=\"meta-nav\">&rarr;<\/span><\/a><\/p>\n",
            "slug": "worlds-best-mom",
            "guid": "http:\/\/mattwessel.wordpress.com\/?p=146",
            "status": "publish",
            "password": "",
            "parent": false,
            "type": "post",
            "comments_open": true,
            "pings_open": true,
            "comment_count": 69,
            "like_count": 90,
            "i_like": 0,
            "is_reblogged": 0,
            "is_following": 0,
            "global_ID": "e3cfa41f6f8b74c532625dd73b89035e",
            "featured_image": "",
            "format": "standard",
            "geo": false,
            "publicize_URLs": [

            ],
            "tags": {

            },
            "categories": {
                "Uncategorized": {
                    "ID": 1,
                    "name": "Uncategorized",
                    "slug": "uncategorized",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 16,
                    "parent": 0,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/43763408\/categories\/slug:uncategorized",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/43763408\/categories\/slug:uncategorized\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/43763408"
                        }
                    }
                }
            },
            "attachments": {
                "160": {
                    "ID": 160,
                    "URL": "http:\/\/mattwessel.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/katie-holding-randol.jpg",
                    "guid": "http:\/\/mattwessel.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/katie-holding-randol.jpg",
                    "mime_type": "image\/jpeg",
                    "width": 2048,
                    "height": 1152
                }
            },
            "metadata": false,
            "meta": {
                "links": {
                    "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/43763408\/posts\/146",
                    "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/43763408\/posts\/146\/help",
                    "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/43763408",
                    "replies": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/43763408\/posts\/146\/replies\/",
                    "likes": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/43763408\/posts\/146\/likes\/"
                }
            },
            "featured_media": {

            },
            "pseudo_ID": "e3cfa41f6f8b74c532625dd73b89035e",
            "is_external": false,
            "site_name": "Alive In You",
            "site_URL": "http:\/\/mattwessel.wordpress.com",
            "site_is_private": false,
            "editorial": {
                "blog_id": "43763408",
                "post_id": "146",
                "image": "https:\/\/s1.wp.com\/imgpress?resize=252%2C160&url=http%3A%2F%2Fmattwessel.files.wordpress.com%2F2014%2F04%2Fkatie-holding-randol.jpg&unsharpmask=80,0.5,3",
                "custom_headline": "The World\\'s Best Mom",
                "custom_blog_title": "",
                "displayed_on": "2014-04-24T00:02:56+00:00",
                "picked_on": "1970-01-01T00:33:34+00:00",
                "highlight_topic": "motherhood",
                "highlight_topic_title": "Motherhood",
                "screen_offset": "-4",
                "blog_name": "Alive In You",
                "site_id": "1"
            }
        },
        {
            "ID": 245,
            "site_ID": 35313815,
            "author": {
                "ID": 35169796,
                "email": false,
                "name": "twomoredead",
                "nice_name": "twomoredead",
                "URL": "http:\/\/haydensigal.wordpress.com",
                "avatar_URL": "https:\/\/0.gravatar.com\/avatar\/0e19e3759f66f67acdf1d2caedd9e7c8?s=96&d=identicon&r=G",
                "profile_URL": "http:\/\/en.gravatar.com\/twomoredead",
                "site_ID": 35313815
            },
            "date": "2014-04-18T12:04:50-07:00",
            "modified": "2014-04-23T13:58:05-07:00",
            "title": "Camp Coachella",
            "URL": "http:\/\/twomoredead.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/18\/camp-coachella\/",
            "short_URL": "http:\/\/wp.me\/p2oaJF-3X",
            "content": "<div style=\"width: 4602px\" class=\"wp-caption alignnone\"><img src=\"https:\/\/franklinlane.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/dsc01920.jpg?w=4592&#038;h=3056\" alt=\"Just kidding, I'm the one in summery festival wear.\" width=\"4592\" height=\"3056\" \/><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">Can you spot me? I&#8217;m the drunk one.<\/p><\/div>\n<p>So, I\u2019m back. Cue the party poppers and the loud reverie of all my adoring fans. If you just hear crickets, don\u2019t worry, that IS the reverie, those ARE my fans. I do very well on the insect circuit.<\/p>\n<p><strong><strong>\u00a0<\/strong><\/strong><\/p>\n<p>Anyway. I\u2019m writing this because you asked me to make a post about my Coachella experiences. \u00a0This is me doing just that. It\u2019s funny. When you initially asked me to write about it, I balked pretty hard. I was already self conscious about going to (what I perceived to be) an event people attend solely so they can say they were there, now I had to become what I hate most by actually blogging about it. But then we got to Palm Springs and we all started drinking and I quickly forgot notions of propriety and my stupid high horse (I\u2019ve since traded it out for a low pony, much closer to the ground, nowhere near as scary to ride).<\/p>\n<p><strong><strong>\u00a0<\/strong><\/strong><\/p>\n<p>What\u2019s strange to me is that I got the appeal of Coachella. As a person who doesn\u2019t enjoy crowds, constant loud noises and gets skittish under those circumstances (am I a squirrel?) I was surprised that I actually had a good time. I was even more surprised when I got back from the festival and (clutch pearls) wanted to talk to people about my experience. I had been infected with the chat virus and all it wanted me to do was cough up mucusy globs of Coachella gab. Maybe it was my neuroses trying to convince me\u00a0that I actually was roofied on Sunday (and not a victim of my own hubris and idiocy), maybe my college self had been slapped awake after three years of slumbering and wanted to celebrate, or it could have been a desire to meet a friend of a friend of a friend that knew the\u00a0attractive girl from New Zealand. But maybe, just maybe, it\u2019s because it\u2019s worth talking about.<\/p>\n<p><strong><strong>\u00a0<\/strong><\/strong><\/p>\n<p>Don\u2019t get me wrong, I still find uncomfortable the obsessions with social media and instagramming and facebooking and etc. etc. (the irony that I\u2019m blogging is apparent to me), especially when it\u2019s Coachella related. Do people really care there was a giant astronaut in a field at the music festival you went to? No. They don\u2019t. UNLESS. Maybe they went too. And I think that\u2019s why people get so braggy and chatty about going to Coachella, it\u2019s a (sub)conscious desire to rejoin the sense of community you have while you\u2019re there. You know that weird, depression you\u2019d get after camp was over when you were a kid? To fight it you\u2019d desperately try and stay in touch with your camp buddies. Doesn\u2019t matter if it was phone calls, e-mail, or actual mail. Well Coachella is just camp for (young) adults. You went to a random place where regular social rules don\u2019t apply. Jocks hang with nerds, hippies smoke with people who are slightly less hippie than them, parents do MDMA with their kids and then, when you\u2019re quite sure you love everyone within the boundaries of those dust choked polo fields, it\u2019s time to go home. Then what happens? You feel that weird post camp depression that you haven\u2019t felt since you were young. But this is much bigger than camp (sloppier too), and you probably didn\u2019t get the numbers of the friends you made because you were too whacked out to think of it, so direct contact might not be an option. What do you do? You shotgun blast every social media site you\u2019re signed up on with selfies of you in a sundress\/flowery headband or awkwardly bring up your struggle fighting the \u201cCoachella Cold\u201d in hopes that you connect with other people that shared your experience. All that nonstop bragging and picture posting is really a justifiable attempt at finding that community again. It\u2019s actually kind of a beautiful thing.<\/p>\n<p><strong><strong>\u00a0<\/strong><\/strong><\/p>\n<p>Just kidding. It\u2019s super annoying. We\u2019re adults now. We don\u2019t need to make everyone feel bad because we had a much better time than them (we can\u2019t help it, WE DID). We can show some damn self-restraint. That said, people don\u2019t need to stop posting about their festival experience so much as as they should just focus it toward others that shared it with them. It\u2019s going to feel much better when someone who also went talks with you about the weekend compared to\u00a0someone who\u2019s just glaring grumpily while your mouth spills stories about you mad tripping during Skrillex. They don\u2019t get that the colors of his set blew your mind. I do. Talk to ME about it.<\/p>\n<p><strong><br \/>\nThanks again for taking me with you.<\/strong><\/p>\n",
            "excerpt": "<p>So, I\u2019m back. Cue the party poppers and the loud reverie of all my adoring fans. If you just hear crickets, don\u2019t worry, that IS the reverie, those ARE my fans. I do very well on the insect circuit. \u00a0 &hellip; <a href=\"http:\/\/twomoredead.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/18\/camp-coachella\/\">Continue reading <span class=\"meta-nav\">&rarr;<\/span><\/a><\/p>\n",
            "slug": "camp-coachella",
            "guid": "http:\/\/twomoredead.wordpress.com\/?p=245",
            "status": "publish",
            "password": "",
            "parent": false,
            "type": "post",
            "comments_open": true,
            "pings_open": true,
            "comment_count": 9,
            "like_count": 35,
            "i_like": 0,
            "is_reblogged": 0,
            "is_following": 0,
            "global_ID": "9e386e2fa04b61ddcb42fcfb72d27080",
            "featured_image": "",
            "format": "standard",
            "geo": false,
            "publicize_URLs": [

            ],
            "tags": {
                "Coachella": {
                    "ID": 74471,
                    "name": "Coachella",
                    "slug": "coachella",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 2,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/35313815\/tags\/slug:coachella",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/35313815\/tags\/slug:coachella\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/35313815"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "Jerome": {
                    "ID": 402008,
                    "name": "Jerome",
                    "slug": "jerome",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 2,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/35313815\/tags\/slug:jerome",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/35313815\/tags\/slug:jerome\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/35313815"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "Skrillex": {
                    "ID": 26821090,
                    "name": "Skrillex",
                    "slug": "skrillex",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 1,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/35313815\/tags\/slug:skrillex",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/35313815\/tags\/slug:skrillex\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/35313815"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "Social Media": {
                    "ID": 49818,
                    "name": "Social Media",
                    "slug": "social-media",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 1,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/35313815\/tags\/slug:social-media",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/35313815\/tags\/slug:social-media\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/35313815"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "Your Mom": {
                    "ID": 33212,
                    "name": "Your Mom",
                    "slug": "your-mom",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 1,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/35313815\/tags\/slug:your-mom",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/35313815\/tags\/slug:your-mom\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/35313815"
                        }
                    }
                }
            },
            "categories": {
                "Coachella": {
                    "ID": 74471,
                    "name": "Coachella",
                    "slug": "coachella",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 2,
                    "parent": 0,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/35313815\/categories\/slug:coachella",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/35313815\/categories\/slug:coachella\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/35313815"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "Jerome": {
                    "ID": 402008,
                    "name": "Jerome",
                    "slug": "jerome",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 8,
                    "parent": 0,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/35313815\/categories\/slug:jerome",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/35313815\/categories\/slug:jerome\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/35313815"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "Ruminations": {
                    "ID": 10399,
                    "name": "Ruminations",
                    "slug": "ruminations",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 7,
                    "parent": 0,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/35313815\/categories\/slug:ruminations",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/35313815\/categories\/slug:ruminations\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/35313815"
                        }
                    }
                }
            },
            "attachments": {

            },
            "metadata": false,
            "meta": {
                "links": {
                    "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/35313815\/posts\/245",
                    "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/35313815\/posts\/245\/help",
                    "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/35313815",
                    "replies": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/35313815\/posts\/245\/replies\/",
                    "likes": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/35313815\/posts\/245\/likes\/"
                }
            },
            "featured_media": {

            },
            "pseudo_ID": "9e386e2fa04b61ddcb42fcfb72d27080",
            "is_external": false,
            "site_name": "Two More Dead",
            "site_URL": "http:\/\/twomoredead.wordpress.com",
            "site_is_private": false,
            "editorial": {
                "blog_id": "35313815",
                "post_id": "245",
                "image": "https:\/\/s0.wp.com\/imgpress?crop=0px%2C0px%2C252px%2C160px&url=https%3A%2F%2Fs2.wp.com%2Fimgpress%3Fw%3D252%26url%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Ffranklinlane.files.wordpress.com%252F2014%252F04%252Fdsc01920.jpg&unsharpmask=80,0.5,3",
                "custom_headline": "",
                "custom_blog_title": "",
                "displayed_on": "2014-04-23T21:30:02+00:00",
                "picked_on": "1970-01-01T00:33:34+00:00",
                "highlight_topic": "coachella",
                "highlight_topic_title": "",
                "screen_offset": "-7",
                "blog_name": "Two More Dead",
                "site_id": "1"
            }
        },
        {
            "ID": 7889,
            "site_ID": 691888,
            "author": {
                "ID": 709798,
                "email": false,
                "name": "Myles McNutt",
                "nice_name": "memles",
                "URL": "http:\/\/memles.wordpress.com\/",
                "avatar_URL": "https:\/\/1.gravatar.com\/avatar\/1ef0325d3b55740a42996dd9cdfadaab?s=96&d=https%3A%2F%2F1.gravatar.com%2Favatar%2Fad516503a11cd5ca435acc9bb6523536%3Fs%3D96",
                "profile_URL": "http:\/\/en.gravatar.com\/memles",
                "site_ID": 691888
            },
            "date": "2014-04-21T02:43:39-05:00",
            "modified": "2014-04-21T16:31:10-05:00",
            "title": "Discourse of Thrones: Jaime, Cersei, and Confronting Rape",
            "URL": "http:\/\/cultural-learnings.com\/2014\/04\/21\/game-of-thrones-jaime-cersei-rape\/",
            "short_URL": "http:\/\/wp.me\/p2TZu-23f",
            "content": "<p style=\"text-align:center;\"><a href=\"http:\/\/memles.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/04\/gameofthronestitle2.jpg\"><img class=\"aligncenter size-full wp-image-7434\" src=\"https:\/\/memles.files.wordpress.com\/2012\/04\/gameofthronestitle2.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"GameOfThronesTitle2\"   \/><\/a><\/p>\n<h3 style=\"text-align:center;\"><span style=\"color:#000000;\">Discourse of Thrones: Jaime, Cersei, and Confronting Rape<\/span><\/h3>\n<p style=\"text-align:center;\"><em><strong>April 21st, 2014<\/strong><\/em><\/p>\n<p>When I wrote <a title=\"Game of Thrones \u2013 \u201cBreaker of Chains\u201d\" href=\"http:\/\/cultural-learnings.com\/2014\/04\/20\/game-of-thrones-breaker-of-chains\/\">my review of &#8220;Breaker of Chains&#8221;<\/a> on Sunday afternoon, I certainly knew that the scene between Jaime and Cersei at the Sept of Baelor would cause a conversation.<\/p>\n<p>This is both because of the fact that it signals a departure from how the scene plays out in the books and the fact that it features a character that has become a more inherently likeable character in the series committing an absolutely vile, unforgivable act. On the whole, though, I thought the scene played in the same thematic territory as its literary progenitor, such that any conversation would be more about the impact on\u2014rather than destruction of\u2014the characters in question. I did not imagine the scenario we&#8217;ve arrived to, in which the scene is causing a considerable and often ugly debate (provided one makes the mistakes of reading the comments, perhaps even on this piece I&#8217;m in the process of writing).<\/p>\n<p>Or, rather, it&#8217;s causing two debates.<\/p>\n<p>The first debate is about the nature of Jaime&#8217;s character, and about the way we reconcile his actions relative to that character. The fact is that<em> Game of Thrones<\/em>, compared to <em>A Song of Ice and Fire<\/em>, began Jaime&#8217;s arc of redemption earlier, helped by the presence of the character&#8217;s point-of-view at an earlier point in the series. When Jaime is swordfighting with Bronn at the water&#8217;s edge earlier this season, that scene reads for the show as the start of a rehabilitative arc, and we at least generally root for Jaime to regain the parts of himself that define him. In the meantime, however, Cersei is the other thing that stabilizes him, a connection to his past life that could provide him comfort, and yet Cersei denies him. Through this lens, the rape becomes Jaime&#8217;s crisis of identity boiling over: here, in this moment of grief where their son is dead, she nonetheless denies his passion, leading him to lose control and sexually assault Cersei in an effort to take back his former identity by force.<\/p>\n<p>This is how I read the scene, a reading that does not excuse Jaime&#8217;s behavior but frames it within a complicated characterization. Jaime rapes Cersei, and the fact that he has reasons for doing it that stem from an identity crisis does not change that fact. It firmly frames Jaime as one of a long list of television anti-heroes, albeit through an act that is much tougher to accept than those committed by characters like Don Draper or Walter White. It is as though the writers, searching for a similar character action in the specific set of politics operating in Westeros, landed on rape as an offense that is horrifying for audiences today but comparatively acceptable by the standards of the culture established in the series.<\/p>\n<p>I can understand fans being upset about this choice, at the same time as I accepted it as a conscious effort to complicate the character. It definitively resists narratives that frame Jaime as a hero in this story, but I for one saw it as a reinforcement of how deep his insecurities\u2014bred into him by his daddy issues\u2014have corrupted his system in the wake of recent events. It is an act committed in grief but born out of a set of values that he has been asked to uphold, and which he has identified on some intrinsic level as being hand-in-hand with the identity he&#8217;s holding onto as hard as he can in a moment of instability.<\/p>\n<p>This, I would argue, is a productive debate about the character&#8217;s development and our understanding of heroism in Westeros in the context of the series specifically. What I did not realize going into the post-air conversation was that there would be an actual discussion about whether or not this was rape. Actually, let me rephrase that: I knew this debate would exist in the comments on something like Sonia Sairaya&#8217;s <a href=\"http:\/\/www.avclub.com\/article\/rape-thrones-203499\">cogent piece at <em>The A.V. Club<\/em> entitled &#8220;Rape of <em>Thrones<\/em>,&#8221;<\/a> in which she compares the scene&#8217;s changes from the book relative to similar changes in the Daenerys\/Drogo sequence in season one. Inevitably, the cultural conversation around issues like rape\u2014or any kind of issue of sociocultural politics surrounding a popular television series online\u2014will be dismissed as overthinking, and in this case as &#8220;feminist propaganda&#8221; or some other misrepresentation. It&#8217;s a sad state of affairs, but I&#8217;ve come to accept that even addressing issues like rape when engaging with a show like <em>Game of Thrones<\/em> will result in defensive statements that\u2014knowingly or unknowingly\u2014step into a minefield of misogyny from a certain breed of online commenter.<\/p>\n<p>[As for the idea that the scene isn't rape at all, I imagine some would argue that Cersei's refrain of \"It's not right\" stands as a moral objection to the circumstances\u2014the presence of Joffrey's corpse, for instance\u2014rather than the act of sex itself, but he is nonetheless forcing himself on her. That is still rape.]<\/p>\n<p>However, I had no expectation that this debate about the definition of rape would extend into comments from the episode&#8217;s director. Alex Graves did a round of interviews for the Purple Wedding, in which clearly multiple reporters spoke to him regarding this week&#8217;s episode as well. And what I&#8217;ve come to discover is that Alex Graves doesn&#8217;t think this was a rape in the same way. <a href=\"http:\/\/www.hitfix.com\/whats-alan-watching\/review-game-of-thrones-breaker-of-chains-uncle-deadly\">Asked by Alan Sepinwall about the sequence<\/a>, he suggests that<\/p>\n<blockquote><p>&#8220;&#8230;it becomes consensual by the end, because anything for them ultimately results in a turn-on, especially a power struggle.&#8221;<\/p><\/blockquote>\n<p>This conception of the scene is some insidious nonsense. It suggests that Cersei&#8217;s stern objections are <em>foreplay <\/em>that gets the two characters revved up for what becomes consensual sex over time. Now, Graves is also cited as referring to the scene as rape in <a href=\"http:\/\/www.hollywoodreporter.com\/live-feed\/game-thrones-director-controversial-scene-697733\"><em>The Hollywood Reporter<\/em><\/a>, so he isn&#8217;t arguing that it wasn&#8217;t a rape. However, he&#8217;s leaving room for rape to turn <em>into <\/em>consensual sex, and works to reframe the act as rape as one more messed up part of this already messed up relationship (which isn&#8217;t helped by <em>The Hollywood Reporter<\/em>&#8216;s insistence on using the word &#8220;taboo&#8221; to describe the sequence, foregrounding the incest\/corpse and making it seem as though rape is only a stigma based on a lack of cultural acceptance).<\/p>\n<p>Graves&#8217; comments reveal a reading not dissimilar to my own of the sequence, but with the crucial difference that he perceives this as an act of love. In <em>The Hollywood Reporter<\/em>, Graves suggests<\/p>\n<blockquote><p>&#8220;Jaime is still trying to believe as hard as he possibly can that he&#8217;s in love with Cersei. He can&#8217;t admit that he is traumatized by his family and he&#8217;s been forced his whole life to be something he doesn&#8217;t want to be. What he is &#8212; but has to deny &#8212; is he is actually the good knight, like Brienne.&#8221;<\/p><\/blockquote>\n<p>How can Jaime be a good knight when he rapes Cersei? How is this in any way an act of love? As much as I would agree that his actions stem from his identity crisis, that words like &#8220;love&#8221; or &#8220;good&#8221; are associated with this sequence makes me incredibly uncomfortable, and once again works to minimize the fact\u2014which Graves himself acknowledges\u2014that Jaime raped her.<\/p>\n<p>I will admit I didn&#8217;t have the same response to the scene as Sonia did. It&#8217;s undoubtedly problematic, but I thought the episode did some work through the Sam and Gilly storyline to reiterate the presence of rape both as a reality of Westeros and as a crime that is worthy of banishment to the Knight&#8217;s Watch but which nonetheless lingers as a consistent threat. For this reason, I&#8217;m not convinced that Graves&#8217; reading of the scene is the series&#8217; reading more broadly, and reserve any more definitive judgment on the story&#8217;s effectiveness until we see the next chapter in the story\u2014as much as I agree that rape can be a problematic story development, and that the series ignored the implications of the changes to Drogo and Daenerys&#8217; wedding night, I&#8217;m not so convinced that their plans for this one are as limited (particularly given that they&#8217;re showing more willingness to stray from the source material compared to the first season). I&#8217;m also not entirely convinced by her parallel between this scene and the series&#8217; use of nudity as it relates to appealing to male audiences though sexualized shock value, given that both character remain fully clothed within the scene in question.<\/p>\n<p>And yet we should be debating those kinds of questions. We should be debating how often rape is used in series like <em>Game of Thrones<\/em>, and how the series&#8217; sexual politics work across the series&#8217; run. We should be debating why no one\u2014including Graves\u2014is talking about the impact this event has on Cersei, as though it existed solely to represent Jaime&#8217;s existential crisis with no consideration of how it affects the woman being raped. What we shouldn&#8217;t be debating is the definition of rape, which is why Graves&#8217; comments are so concerning (and why I&#8217;m much closer to Sonia&#8217;s response now than I was when I watched the episode in a vacuum). It&#8217;s a case where gaining perspective from the people behind the scenes actually makes the sequence more problematic, as at least in the absence of an &#8220;official&#8221; point-of-view there&#8217;s more room to give them the benefit of the doubt.<\/p>\n<p>While judgment on the story as a whole will wait until the season (and perhaps even series) plays out, judgment on the discourse emerging after the event is well deserved in this instance.<\/p>\n<p><a href=\"http:\/\/memles.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/gameofthrones.jpg\"><img class=\"aligncenter size-large wp-image-7892\" src=\"https:\/\/memles.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/gameofthrones.jpg?w=480&#038;h=318\" alt=\"GameOfThrones\"   \/><\/a><\/p>\n<div id=\"r1PostCPBlock\" style=\"overflow:hidden;color:#000000;background-color:#ffffff;text-align:left;text-decoration:none;position:absolute;left:-99999px;\">Well, it becomes consensual by the end, because anything for them ultimately results in a turn-on, especially a power struggle.<br \/>\nRead more at <a style=\"color:#003399;\" href=\"http:\/\/www.hitfix.com\/whats-alan-watching\/review-game-of-thrones-breaker-of-chains-uncle-deadly#fXkyrczXFaq1Xwkq.99\">http:\/\/www.hitfix.com\/whats-alan-watching\/review-game-of-thrones-breaker-of-chains-uncle-deadly#fXkyrczXFaq1Xwkq.99<\/a><\/div>\n<div id=\"r1PostCPBlock\" style=\"overflow:hidden;color:#000000;background-color:#ffffff;text-align:left;text-decoration:none;position:absolute;left:-99999px;\">Well, it becomes consensual by the end, because anything for them ultimately results in a turn-on, especially a power struggle.<br \/>\nRead more at <a style=\"color:#003399;\" href=\"http:\/\/www.hitfix.com\/whats-alan-watching\/review-game-of-thrones-breaker-of-chains-uncle-deadly#fXkyrczXFaq1Xwkq.99\">http:\/\/www.hitfix.com\/whats-alan-watching\/review-game-of-thrones-breaker-of-chains-uncle-deadly#fXkyrczXFaq1Xwkq.99<\/a><\/div>\n",
            "excerpt": "<p>Discourse of Thrones: Jaime, Cersei, and Confronting Rape April 21st, 2014 When I wrote my review of &#8220;Breaker of Chains&#8221; on Sunday afternoon, I certainly knew that the scene between Jaime and Cersei at the Sept of Baelor would cause &hellip; <a href=\"http:\/\/cultural-learnings.com\/2014\/04\/21\/game-of-thrones-jaime-cersei-rape\/\">Continue reading <span class=\"meta-nav\">&rarr;<\/span><\/a><\/p>\n",
            "slug": "game-of-thrones-jaime-cersei-rape",
            "guid": "http:\/\/cultural-learnings.com\/?p=7889",
            "status": "publish",
            "password": "",
            "parent": false,
            "type": "post",
            "comments_open": true,
            "pings_open": true,
            "comment_count": 34,
            "like_count": 24,
            "i_like": 0,
            "is_reblogged": 0,
            "is_following": 0,
            "global_ID": "39edf3f2c159b92e482f8ec14619d9f1",
            "featured_image": "",
            "format": "standard",
            "geo": false,
            "publicize_URLs": [

            ],
            "tags": {
                "Alex Graves": {
                    "ID": 4661416,
                    "name": "Alex Graves",
                    "slug": "alex-graves",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 1,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/691888\/tags\/slug:alex-graves",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/691888\/tags\/slug:alex-graves\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/691888"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "Analysis": {
                    "ID": 10544,
                    "name": "Analysis",
                    "slug": "analysis",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 463,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/691888\/tags\/slug:analysis",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/691888\/tags\/slug:analysis\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/691888"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "Breaker of Chains": {
                    "ID": 217556073,
                    "name": "Breaker of Chains",
                    "slug": "breaker-of-chains",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 2,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/691888\/tags\/slug:breaker-of-chains",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/691888\/tags\/slug:breaker-of-chains\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/691888"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "Cersei": {
                    "ID": 4143333,
                    "name": "Cersei",
                    "slug": "cersei",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 16,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/691888\/tags\/slug:cersei",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/691888\/tags\/slug:cersei\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/691888"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "HBO": {
                    "ID": 66659,
                    "name": "HBO",
                    "slug": "hbo",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 154,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/691888\/tags\/slug:hbo",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/691888\/tags\/slug:hbo\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/691888"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "Jaime": {
                    "ID": 41681,
                    "name": "Jaime",
                    "slug": "jaime",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 15,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/691888\/tags\/slug:jaime",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/691888\/tags\/slug:jaime\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/691888"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "Rape": {
                    "ID": 71648,
                    "name": "Rape",
                    "slug": "rape",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 10,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/691888\/tags\/slug:rape",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/691888\/tags\/slug:rape\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/691888"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "Season 4": {
                    "ID": 81854,
                    "name": "Season 4",
                    "slug": "season-4",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 100,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/691888\/tags\/slug:season-4",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/691888\/tags\/slug:season-4\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/691888"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "Television": {
                    "ID": 459,
                    "name": "Television",
                    "slug": "television",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 1442,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/691888\/tags\/slug:television",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/691888\/tags\/slug:television\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/691888"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "TV": {
                    "ID": 462,
                    "name": "TV",
                    "slug": "tv",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 819,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/691888\/tags\/slug:tv",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/691888\/tags\/slug:tv\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/691888"
                        }
                    }
                }
            },
            "categories": {
                "Game of Thrones": {
                    "ID": 443849,
                    "name": "Game of Thrones",
                    "slug": "game-of-thrones",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 48,
                    "parent": 0,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/691888\/categories\/slug:game-of-thrones",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/691888\/categories\/slug:game-of-thrones\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/691888"
                        }
                    }
                }
            },
            "attachments": {
                "7892": {
                    "ID": 7892,
                    "URL": "http:\/\/memles.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/gameofthrones.jpg",
                    "guid": "http:\/\/memles.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/gameofthrones.jpg",
                    "mime_type": "image\/jpeg",
                    "width": 2100,
                    "height": 1397
                }
            },
            "metadata": false,
            "meta": {
                "links": {
                    "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/691888\/posts\/7889",
                    "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/691888\/posts\/7889\/help",
                    "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/691888",
                    "replies": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/691888\/posts\/7889\/replies\/",
                    "likes": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/691888\/posts\/7889\/likes\/"
                }
            },
            "featured_media": {

            },
            "pseudo_ID": "39edf3f2c159b92e482f8ec14619d9f1",
            "is_external": false,
            "site_name": "Cultural Learnings",
            "site_URL": "http:\/\/memles.wordpress.com",
            "site_is_private": false,
            "editorial": {
                "blog_id": "691888",
                "post_id": "7889",
                "image": "https:\/\/s0.wp.com\/imgpress?crop=0px%2C0px%2C252px%2C160px&url=https%3A%2F%2Fs1.wp.com%2Fimgpress%3Fw%3D252%26url%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fmemles.files.wordpress.com%252F2014%252F04%252Fgameofthrones.jpg&unsharpmask=80,0.5,3",
                "custom_headline": "",
                "custom_blog_title": "",
                "displayed_on": "2014-04-23T21:02:02+00:00",
                "picked_on": "1970-01-01T00:33:34+00:00",
                "highlight_topic": "game-of-thrones",
                "highlight_topic_title": "",
                "screen_offset": "-2",
                "blog_name": "Cultural Learnings",
                "site_id": "1"
            }
        },
        {
            "ID": 1907,
            "site_ID": 32543294,
            "author": {
                "ID": 31891655,
                "email": false,
                "name": "robertjacksonbennett",
                "nice_name": "robertjacksonbennett",
                "URL": "http:\/\/robertjacksonbennett.wordpress.com",
                "avatar_URL": "https:\/\/1.gravatar.com\/avatar\/4fe06b6fe76e8c35c92925674be5a6bc?s=96&d=identicon&r=G",
                "profile_URL": "http:\/\/en.gravatar.com\/robertjacksonbennett",
                "site_ID": 32543294
            },
            "date": "2014-04-21T16:30:49+00:00",
            "modified": "2014-04-21T19:22:14+00:00",
            "title": "Making sandwiches",
            "URL": "http:\/\/robertjacksonbennett.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/21\/making-sandwiches\/",
            "short_URL": "http:\/\/wp.me\/p2cxZQ-uL",
            "content": "<p>I don&#8217;t normally post about the writing process here &#8211; as in, like, detailed descriptions of characterizations, writing action scenes, etc. &#8211; because A. those sorts of workshop-guides weren&#8217;t terribly useful to me as a developing writer, but also B. I don&#8217;t really understand how to write those sorts of things for other people.<\/p>\n<p>Writing questions in general, for me, are a lot like hearing people ask me, &#8220;How do I make a sandwich? What&#8217;s the way that I become a sandwich-maker, a person that makes sandwiches?&#8221; And they&#8217;re asking this as if it&#8217;s an exotic and difficult thing to do, like becoming a certified engineer or an architect or something.<\/p>\n<p>So\u00a0I&#8217;m always kind of confused about how to answer. To extend this metaphor, my answers are usually about as helpful as, &#8220;You just go into your kitchen and do it.&#8221;<\/p>\n<p>And that&#8217;s it. There&#8217;s not really a right way or a wrong way to write, nor is there a right way or a wrong way to make a sandwich.<\/p>\n<p>Like, some people ask me the equivalent of, &#8220;When do I\u00a0become a For-Reals sandwich-maker? Is it when I\u00a0make a sandwich I\u00a0really like? Or one my\u00a0family likes, my\u00a0friends? One that another person buys from me? One that TONS of people buy from me, in stores across the country?&#8221;<\/p>\n<p>I don&#8217;t know. That&#8217;s up to you. Figure it out for yourself, man.<\/p>\n<p>Or, &#8220;What if someone doesn&#8217;t like my\u00a0sandwich? What if they HATE my\u00a0sandwich? What if they&#8217;re so upset by my\u00a0sandwich that they tell all their friends about my\u00a0bad sandwich?&#8221;<\/p>\n<p>I dunno. Fuck that guy, I guess. It&#8217;s just a sandwich. He doesn&#8217;t HAVE to eat it. There&#8217;s a bunch of sandwiches out there, if he&#8217;s obsessing about a bad one then that&#8217;s his problem. It&#8217;s up to you as to whether or not you want to make it your problem, too.<\/p>\n<p>So when it gets down to the nitty gritty of writing, the questions all sound like:<\/p>\n<p>&#8220;Can I put ham before the cheese?&#8221;<\/p>\n<p>&#8220;Yes.&#8221;<\/p>\n<p>&#8220;Can I put ham AFTER the cheese?&#8221;<\/p>\n<p>&#8220;Yes.&#8221;<\/p>\n<p>&#8220;But how will that change things?&#8221;<\/p>\n<p>&#8220;In that sandwich, the ham will come after the cheese.&#8221;<\/p>\n<p>&#8220;Do I need a degree to make sandwiches?&#8221;<\/p>\n<p>&#8220;No.&#8221;<\/p>\n<p>&#8220;Will a degree help, though?&#8221;<\/p>\n<p>&#8220;Maybe? I don&#8217;t know. Do you want to make the sort of sandwiches that you may or may not need a degree to make?&#8221;<\/p>\n<p>&#8220;Can I do three slices of bread?&#8221;<\/p>\n<p>&#8220;Yes.&#8221;<\/p>\n<p>&#8220;What about pickles?&#8221;<\/p>\n<p>&#8220;Those are also things that can go in a sandwich.&#8221;<\/p>\n<p>&#8220;Will people like them?&#8221;<\/p>\n<p>&#8220;If people like sandwiches that have pickles in them, and you put pickles in a sandwich, then odds are they will like that sandwich.&#8221;<\/p>\n<p>And so on, and so on.<\/p>\n<p>Do you want to make a sandwich? Just go in your kitchen and get some bread and try stuff out. No one&#8217;s stopping you.<\/p>\n<p>In fact, in all honesty, no one will probably care if you do or if you don&#8217;t, beyond a small circle of friends that are sympathetic to your sandwich ambitions. That&#8217;s both a hard truth, and a freeing one. Once you realize no one will likely give much of a shit about what you put in your sandwich besides you, you can do whatever you want.<\/p>\n<p>Do you want to make better sandwiches? Then eat a shitload of sandwiches that are better than yours, and pick them apart as you eat them, looking through the bread and whatever, and try and figure them out.<\/p>\n<p>But you don&#8217;t have to make THAT sandwich.<\/p>\n<p>Writing workshops and writing degrees, odds are, will tell you how to make a specific range of sandwiches. Maybe a big range, maybe a small range. But, again, you don&#8217;t have to make THOSE sandwiches. Might be helpful to know how, but you&#8217;re not married to those sandwiches or anything.<\/p>\n<p>Seriously, why would you want to make the same sandwich over and over again? Try stuff out. If it tastes bad, it tastes bad, but so what? You can always just make another sandwich.<\/p>\n<p>Just start doing it, a lot, and figure it out.<\/p>\n",
            "excerpt": "<p>I don&#8217;t normally post about the writing process here &#8211; as in, like, detailed descriptions of characterizations, writing action scenes, etc. &#8211; because A. those sorts of workshop-guides weren&#8217;t terribly useful to me as a developing writer, but also B. &hellip; <a href=\"http:\/\/robertjacksonbennett.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/21\/making-sandwiches\/\">Continue reading <span class=\"meta-nav\">&rarr;<\/span><\/a><\/p>\n",
            "slug": "making-sandwiches",
            "guid": "http:\/\/robertjacksonbennett.wordpress.com\/?p=1907",
            "status": "publish",
            "password": "",
            "parent": false,
            "type": "post",
            "comments_open": true,
            "pings_open": true,
            "comment_count": 28,
            "like_count": 94,
            "i_like": 0,
            "is_reblogged": 0,
            "is_following": 0,
            "global_ID": "cd050a92608d6295b936c6e4c24a2e69",
            "featured_image": "",
            "format": "standard",
            "geo": false,
            "publicize_URLs": [

            ],
            "tags": {
                "extended sandwich metaphor": {
                    "ID": 225485975,
                    "name": "extended sandwich metaphor",
                    "slug": "extended-sandwich-metaphor",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 1,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/32543294\/tags\/slug:extended-sandwich-metaphor",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/32543294\/tags\/slug:extended-sandwich-metaphor\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/32543294"
                        }
                    }
                }
            },
            "categories": {
                "Uncategorized": {
                    "ID": 1,
                    "name": "Uncategorized",
                    "slug": "uncategorized",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 179,
                    "parent": 0,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/32543294\/categories\/slug:uncategorized",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/32543294\/categories\/slug:uncategorized\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/32543294"
                        }
                    }
                }
            },
            "attachments": {

            },
            "metadata": false,
            "meta": {
                "links": {
                    "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/32543294\/posts\/1907",
                    "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/32543294\/posts\/1907\/help",
                    "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/32543294",
                    "replies": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/32543294\/posts\/1907\/replies\/",
                    "likes": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/32543294\/posts\/1907\/likes\/"
                }
            },
            "featured_media": {

            },
            "pseudo_ID": "cd050a92608d6295b936c6e4c24a2e69",
            "is_external": false,
            "site_name": "Robert Jackson Bennett",
            "site_URL": "http:\/\/robertjacksonbennett.wordpress.com",
            "site_is_private": false,
            "editorial": {
                "blog_id": "32543294",
                "post_id": "1907",
                "image": "https:\/\/s1.wp.com\/mshots\/v1\/http%3A%2F%2Frobertjacksonbennett.wordpress.com%2F2014%2F04%2F21%2Fmaking-sandwiches%2F?w=252",
                "custom_headline": "On Writing and Making Sandwiches",
                "custom_blog_title": "",
                "displayed_on": "2014-04-23T19:30:02+00:00",
                "picked_on": "1970-01-01T00:33:34+00:00",
                "highlight_topic": "writing",
                "highlight_topic_title": "Writing",
                "screen_offset": "0",
                "blog_name": "Robert Jackson Bennett",
                "site_id": "1"
            }
        },
        {
            "ID": 6819,
            "site_ID": 25649757,
            "author": {
                "ID": 25539729,
                "email": false,
                "name": "scottlong1980",
                "nice_name": "scottlong1980",
                "URL": "http:\/\/scottlong1980.wordpress.com",
                "avatar_URL": "https:\/\/1.gravatar.com\/avatar\/16ff642ef3589f7dd2ce3d4f2dc5c9d6?s=96&d=identicon&r=G",
                "profile_URL": "http:\/\/en.gravatar.com\/scottlong1980",
                "site_ID": 25649757
            },
            "date": "2014-04-18T08:22:33-04:00",
            "modified": "2014-04-19T21:24:35-04:00",
            "title": "What to do about Syria",
            "URL": "http:\/\/paper-bird.net\/2014\/04\/18\/what-to-do-about-syria\/",
            "short_URL": "http:\/\/wp.me\/p1JCFL-1LZ",
            "content": "<div id=\"attachment_6833\" style=\"width: 594px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"http:\/\/scottlong1980.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/homs-syria-1_2629740b.jpg\"><img class=\"size-full wp-image-6833\" src=\"https:\/\/scottlong1980.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/homs-syria-1_2629740b.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"Syrian government forces patrol the Khalidiyah neighbourhood of Homs, mid-2013. Photo: AFP\/Getty Images\"   \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">Syrian government forces patrol the Khalidiyah neighbourhood of Homs, mid-2013. Photo: AFP\/Getty Images<\/p><\/div>\n<p>You would think that, having stayed in Cairo for much of the last year, I would feel\u00a0closer than in New York or Boston to the Syrian catastrophe taking place only a few borders away. But it doesn&#8217;t work that way. Egypt has enough of its own problems: <a href=\"http:\/\/paper-bird.net\/2013\/08\/17\/the-killing-days\/\" target=\"_blank\">massacres<\/a>, mass arrests, one dictator on trial, another one running for president; these aren&#8217;t as replete with murder but they fill the mind as\u00a0blood fills the brain after a hemorrhage, and expunge thought. You imagine Aleppo for a second and flinch: There&#8217;s enough not to think about\u00a0without not thinking about\u00a0<em>that.\u00a0<\/em><\/p>\n<p>To be sure, Syria is here, in the form of thousands of refugees who have fled the killing. (The <a href=\"http:\/\/data.unhcr.org\/syrianrefugees\/country.php?id=8\" target=\"_blank\">UN says<\/a> there are almost 150,000 in Egypt; <a href=\"http:\/\/www.dailystar.com.lb\/News\/Middle-East\/2013\/Oct-19\/235073-unhcr-stresses-need-to-offer-syrian-refugees-safe-harbor.ashx#axzz2z6x4ryjl\" target=\"_blank\">some estimates<\/a> run double; in any case, Lebanon hosts many times that, more than a million.) But neighbors <a href=\"http:\/\/paper-bird.net\/2013\/08\/27\/the-flight-into-egypt\/\" target=\"_blank\">harass<\/a> them, <a href=\"http:\/\/www.hrw.org\/news\/2013\/11\/10\/egypt-syria-refugees-detained-coerced-return\" target=\"_blank\">police persecute<\/a> them, they stay out of sight. Many Egyptians are conscious of the influx mainly because of the Syrian restaurants that have sprung up here and there,\u00a0succulent\u00a0roast chicken splayed on the plate, <em>m<\/em><span style=\"color:#252525;\"><em>ehshi<\/em> and <em>manakish<\/em> that scarcely\u00a0taste of dispossession<\/span>. The food&#8217;s good; why isn&#8217;t everybody happy?<\/p>\n<div id=\"attachment_6821\" style=\"width: 594px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"http:\/\/scottlong1980.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/campssettlementssyriaoperation2013dec17.jpg\"><img class=\"size-full wp-image-6821\" src=\"https:\/\/scottlong1980.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/campssettlementssyriaoperation2013dec17.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"Source: http:\/\/reliefweb.int\/map\/lebanon\/syrian-refugees-region-dec-17-2013\"   \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">Source: <a href=\"http:\/\/reliefweb.int\/map\/lebanon\/syrian-refugees-region-dec-17-2013\" rel=\"nofollow\">http:\/\/reliefweb.int\/map\/lebanon\/syrian-refugees-region-dec-17-2013<\/a><\/p><\/div>\n<p>When I visited\u00a0Cairo in 2011 I met and became friends with Razan Ghazzawi, the fierce <a href=\"http:\/\/www.opendemocracy.net\/arab-awakening\/razan-ghazzawi\/seeing-women-in-revolutionary-syria\" target=\"_blank\">feminist<\/a> and\u00a0<em>Pasionaria\u00a0<\/em>of the resistance, who in a short time taught me a great deal about the revolution&#8217;s dreams. The war had been going on for just four months then, and already it had worn down everybody&#8217;s psyches; she&#8217;d come to Cairo\u00a0for six weeks to meet Egypt&#8217;s own revolutionaries and replenish her energies, at a time when events on the Nile still seemed in the vanguard of change. Now my closest Syrian friend here is a gentle refugee who shares my house; I&#8217;ll call him Youssef. He supports Assad, not militantly but with the vague erasing nostalgia traditional to exiles, threadbare asperities\u00a0who fled France with the Bourbons, beggared bourgeois on the run from Bolsheviks. He interviewed Bashar once for a Syrian paper, while Assad Senior\u00a0still lived, and can go on at length about his unassuming manners. We don&#8217;t talk politics much, since I disagree with most everything he says. Still his affection for the regime &#8212; which isn&#8217;t\u00a0<em>ancien<\/em>\u00a0yet, rather\u00a0<em><a href=\"http:\/\/www.maryjones.us\/jce\/rex.html\" target=\"_blank\">quondam et futurus<\/a> &#8212; <\/em>is barely political; rather it&#8217;s a memory of stability, secularism, and calm, and an amnesia about their foundations in blood. He and Razan wouldn&#8217;t abide\u00a0each other if they ever met, but they have some\u00a0things in common. Razan&#8217;s vision of what freedom meant was clear as if it were etched in fire, and very much a product of Syria&#8217;s splintered map:\u00a0a place\u00a0where people could realize their differences without shame or fear. Stability and calm were preconditions for that. Youssef&#8217;s gauzed vision of the placid days of old\u00a0includes the notion\u00a0that you were at liberty\u00a0to be yourself then &#8212; with the unspoken caveats of privilege and discretion; but making sure\u00a0<em>everybody,\u00a0<\/em>not just the lucky, could live free of surveillance and enjoy the sweet seclusions of security\u00a0and privacy also preoccupied the original\u00a0revolutionary dream. The\u00a0overwhelming violence has\u00a0made their imaginations definitively incompatible. Violence breaks bodies, but it also murders dreaming.<\/p>\n<p>The violence also stamps out efforts to imagine a solution. Increasingly the Syrian state&#8217;s violence is matched by the violence of political Islamists who oppose almost all the original revolutionaries&#8217; democratic ideals. Syria has become &#8220;a magnet for jihadist recruits,&#8221; <a href=\"http:\/\/www.lrb.co.uk\/v36\/n07\/peter-neumann\/suspects-into-collaborators\" target=\"_blank\">writes <\/a>Peter Neumann. Like many, he\u00a0blames Assad for fostering these movements, then allowing them to slip from his control. But it&#8217;s also clear that this burgeoning radicalism\u00a0owes plenty\u00a0to American policy, and American\u00a0allies. For one thing, the United States&#8217; left hand keeps unravelling what its\u00a0right hand does. As Adam Shatz <a href=\"http:\/\/www.lrb.co.uk\/blog\/2013\/12\/29\/adam-shatz\/iraq-syria\/\" target=\"_blank\">notes<\/a>,&#8221;the American government is fighting Sunni\u00a0extremists in Iraq, while its allies, notably Qatar and Saudi Arabia, are arming the same Sunni extremists in\u00a0Syria.&#8221;<\/p>\n<div id=\"attachment_6858\" style=\"width: 594px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"http:\/\/scottlong1980.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/jihad_in_syria-7751b1.jpg\"><img class=\"size-full wp-image-6858\" src=\"https:\/\/scottlong1980.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/jihad_in_syria-7751b1.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"Fighter for Jabhat al-Nusra ((Support Front for the People of Levant) kills captured Syrian government soldiers, 2013\"   \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">Fighter for Jabhat al-Nusra (Support Front for the People of Levant) kills captured Syrian government soldiers, 2013<\/p><\/div>\n<p class=\"p2\">More broadly, though, every successive American intervention in the region has backfired, creating more of the violence it was supposed to stop. \u00a0And this makes it even harder for well-meaning Americans facing the Syrian horrors to figure out what to do.<\/p>\n<p class=\"p2\">The swashbuckling American military adventure in Afghanistan in the 1980s, to counter the Russian invasion, helped create both the Taliban and al-Qaeda, and the former now controls large swatches of the country once again. The American incursion in Saudi Arabia in 1991, to roll back\u00a0Saddam Hussein\u2019s invasion of Kuwait, helped refocus the embryonic al-Qaeda\u2019s attention on the US, while\u00a0turning it from a regional annoyance to a global franchise. The American invasion of Iraq in 2003, justified in part by lies\u00a0that Saddam Hussein supported al-Qaeda, aimed to extirpate radicalism of all kinds from the Middle East; instead, eleven years later, a significant part of Iraq\u2019s Sunni population has been thoroughly radicalized and supports al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda is now fighting in Syria, in its new incarnation as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). On top of that, the American campaign in Libya failed to build\u00a0a functional state; but, like the long American involvement in Afghanistan, it stirred up\u00a0a spillover of arms and fighters that destabilizes surrounding countries, from <a href=\"http:\/\/www.nytimes.com\/2013\/02\/08\/world\/africa\/looted-libyan-arms-in-mali-may-have-shifted-conflicts-path.html?_r=0\" target=\"_blank\">Mali<\/a> to <a href=\"http:\/\/bigstory.ap.org\/article\/un-experts-say-libyan-arms-are-fueling-conflicts\" target=\"_blank\">Lebanon<\/a>. (Seymour Hersh\u00a0<a href=\"www.lrb.co.uk\/v36\/n08\/seymour-m-hersh\/the-red-line-and-the-rat-line\u200e\" target=\"_blank\">maintains\u00a0<\/a>that the US has been sending Libya\u2019s spare weaponry to Syria\u2019s rebels through Turkey.) Patrick Cockburn <a href=\"http:\/\/www.lrb.co.uk\/v35\/n19\/patrick-cockburn\/diary\" target=\"_blank\">summarizes<\/a> much of this grim history of incompetence:<\/p>\n<blockquote><p>The four wars fought in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria over the past 12 years have all involved overt or covert foreign intervention in deeply divided countries. In each case the involvement of the West exacerbated existing differences and pushed hostile parties towards civil war. In each country, all or part of the opposition have been hardcore jihadi fighters. Whatever the real issues at stake, the interventions have been presented as primarily humanitarian, in support of popular forces against dictators and police states. Despite apparent military successes, in none of these cases have the local opposition and their backers succeeded in consolidating power and establishing stable states.<\/p><\/blockquote>\n<p>Western\u00a0interventions in the broader Middle East \u2013 from the Maghreb to Pakistan \u2013 have done nothing to stop extremism. Instead, they\u2019ve created and spread it.<\/p>\n<p>There are principled and abstract reasons for\u00a0Western leftists to resist\u00a0the cult of liberal interventionism. But this history furnishes\u00a0a pragmatic\u00a0and specific argument for opposing\u00a0it in\u00a0Syria. A moral consciousness, however &#8212; one not content to concentrate on the restaurant menus while ignoring the dead and refugees &#8212; still gropes for some kind of answer. It&#8217;s natural for leftists facing the naked reality of mass murder to want some scope for action, some space where the Enlightenment ideal of thought informing practice can recover\u00a0its aptitude.<\/p>\n<div id=\"attachment_6860\" style=\"width: 594px\" class=\"wp-caption alignleft\"><a href=\"http:\/\/scottlong1980.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/2013-06-27-s.jpg\"><img class=\"size-full wp-image-6860\" src=\"https:\/\/scottlong1980.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/2013-06-27-s.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"Hmm. Banner from the  sixth annual Marx Conference,  \u201cLeft Perspectives on the International Crisis of Capitalism,&quot; Tel Aviv, 2012 \"   \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">Hmm. Banner from the sixth annual Marx Conference, \u201cLeft Perspectives on the International Crisis of Capitalism,&#8221; Tel Aviv, 2012<\/p><\/div>\n<p>It\u2019s in this light that I read <a href=\"http:\/\/pulsemedia.org\/2014\/04\/13\/alternative-left-perspectives-on-syria\/\" target=\"_blank\">a new piece <\/a>by Danny Postel, which is all over Twitter these days. \u00a0Its title promises\u00a0\u201cAlternative Left Perspectives on\u00a0Syria.\u201d<\/p>\n<p>Postel contends that \u201cThe responses of most leftists to the Syrian uprising\u201d have been \u201cdeeply disappointing.\u201d The Left\u2019s inadequacies \u201cfall into three main categories:\u201d<\/p>\n<blockquote><p>1. explicit support for the Assad regime<br \/>\n2. monochrome opposition to Western intervention, end of discussion (with either implicit or explicit neutrality on the conflict itself)<br \/>\n3. general silence caused by deep confusion<\/p><\/blockquote>\n<p>But wait: there&#8217;s hope.<\/p>\n<blockquote><p>There is a fourth camp, however: a small but growing group of progressives who embrace the goals of the Syrian revolution. There are several shades within this camp \u2013 it includes Marxists, pacifists, feminists, Third Worldists and leftists of various sorts. Some support the armed struggle in Syria, others do not, standing instead with the nonviolence activists in Syria. But what unites this camp is its solidarity with the Syrian struggle for dignity, justice and self-determination.<\/p><\/blockquote>\n<p>The writings of this vanguard \u201cdirectly challenge the dominant narratives on the Left about Syria and offer a critical alternative to it.\u201d And Postel gives us a ladder of links: \u201ccollected in one place, some of the key texts of this dissident left camp.\u201d<\/p>\n<p>To call these leftists \u201cdissidents\u201d is\u00a0self-congratulatory. Certainly there are some on the left who support Assad, but they\u2019re hardly hegemonic; they strike me as marginal and devoid of influence.<\/p>\n<p>Just as certainly there\u2019s a larger body of leftists who are uncertain, after military intervention seems to have proven its uselessness but no other form of action presents itself. So when an \u201calternative\u201d steps loudly to the fore, a Fourth Way, one plausibly expects that it will proffer a guide to the perplexed: that it will tell the hesitant what they can do to help.<\/p>\n<p>What\u2019s notable about the \u201cbody of writings and arguments\u201d Postel presents is that it does nothing of the\u00a0kind.<\/p>\n<p>I\u2019ve read almost all the texts he links to. Few of the\u00a0writers outline strategies, or offer innovative ways to assist the revolution. For the most part they just\u00a0describe how they feel, a repertory of emotion that runs the limited gamut from sympathy and solidarity to moral agonizing to self-congratulation. These are legitimate sensations, but more existential than political. It would be hard to call them constructive. Is this the new pathway for the left? In fact, I think the writings Postel posts <em>do <\/em>point out something about the left, but nothing as bold or hopeful as he imagines.<\/p>\n<div id=\"attachment_6863\" style=\"width: 594px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"http:\/\/scottlong1980.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/solidarity-of-labour1.jpg\"><img class=\"wp-image-6863 size-full\" src=\"https:\/\/scottlong1980.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/solidarity-of-labour1.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"solidarity-of-labour\"   \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">Walter Crane, &#8220;International Solidarity of Labour,&#8221; 1897<\/p><\/div>\n<p>Postel links to almost no proposals that are both concrete and in any way practical. I count three exceptions. The admirable\u00a0<a href=\"http:\/\/pulsemedia.org\/2013\/10\/08\/gilbert-achcar-on-the-syrian-revolution\/\" target=\"_blank\">Gilbert Achcar<\/a> opposes intervention but urges arming the (liberal) rebels (it seems, though, that the US has been doing this covertly for some time).\u00a0 <a href=\"http:\/\/www.opendemocracy.net\/mary-kaldor\/what-to-do-in-syria\" target=\"_blank\">Mary Kaldor<\/a> invokes international law: \u201cThe first step,\u201d also the only one she mentions, \u201cwould be to refer Syria to the International Criminal Court.\u201d She notes that, since Syria never signed on to the ICC, this requires a vote by the UN Security Council. Russia has repeatedly voted no, but \u201cthe current context might change things.\u201d <em>Might. <\/em>It\u2019s also possible that Vladimir Putin might hand Crimea back to the Ukrainians and retire. It\u2019s not very responsible, however, to make this kind of outcome seem easy.<\/p>\n<p>Finally, the always-brilliant\u00a0<a href=\"http:\/\/richardfalk.wordpress.com\/2012\/05\/31\/what-can-be-done-about-syria-tragedy-and-impotence\/\" target=\"_blank\">Richard Falk<\/a>, after painstakingly dissecting the inadequacy of existing options, calls (but not optimistically) for a renewed commitment to negotiation.<\/p>\n<blockquote><p>Just as doing nothing is unacceptable, mounting a military intervention is unrealistic, and perhaps undesirable, and for now politically impossible.<\/p>\n<p>What is left to fill the gap between the unacceptable and the unrealistic is diplomacy, which has proved to be futile up to this point, but hanging on to the slim possibility that it might yet somehow produce positive results, is the only conceivable way forward with respect to the Syrian situation. It is easy to deride Kofi Annan and the frustrations arising from the repeated failures of Damascus to comply with the agreed framework, but it remains impossible to\u00a0 find preferable alternatives.<\/p><\/blockquote>\n<p>This is glum, but realistic.<\/p>\n<p>But that&#8217;s it. \u00a0Nobody else has much to propose. The 2011 <a href=\"http:\/\/www.cpdweb.org\/stmts\/1020\/stmt.shtml\" target=\"_blank\">open letter<\/a> from the Campaign for Peace and Democracy has a lot of well-known signatories (Ed Asner, Noam Chomsky) but I don\u2019t know why Postel thinks it &#8220;challenges a dominant narrative.&#8221;<\/p>\n<blockquote><p>The Campaign for Peace and Democracy expresses its deep admiration for the amazing courage shown by the people of Syria, struggling for democratic reforms in the face of horrific repression. \u2026 We stand with the people of Syria in their remarkable struggle for democracy.<\/p><\/blockquote>\n<p>The open letter, often published in the\u00a0<em>New York Review of Books,\u00a0<\/em>used to be a distinct literary genre among the New York intellectuals; it&#8217;s no one&#8217;s fault if it seems dated as a Baroque eclogue. &#8220;Standing with&#8221; the oppressed and slaughtered is still a noble gesture. It&#8217;s churlish, but perhaps nonetheless important, to point out that while Syrians die, the standers remain standing.<\/p>\n<p>But is there a plan beyond the posture? Two years later, Thomas Harrison and Joanne Landy \u2013 the CPD\u2019s co-directors, both peace activists with long and distinguished records \u2013 produced a <a href=\"http:\/\/www.cpdweb.org\/stmts\/1023\/stmt.shtml\" target=\"_blank\">personal statement<\/a>, of which Postel also approves. I have huge admiration\u00a0for the authors, but this text leaves more questions than answers.<\/p>\n<blockquote><p>The fate of Syria must not be decided by foreign powers or forces \u2026 Equally, we condemn the attempts by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the other Gulf states to manipulate the Syrian revolution by promoting reactionary Islamist forces within its ranks \u2026 Consistent with our strong opposition to any kind of military intervention in Syria by the U.S., or other foreign powers, we also oppose providing air cover or establishing no fly zones.<\/p><\/blockquote>\n<p>All right, but what are you <em>for?<\/em><\/p>\n<blockquote><p>We stand for full democracy, an independent labor movement, and complete equality for women, sexual minorities, religions and ethnic groups everywhere.<\/p><\/blockquote>\n<p>And:<\/p>\n<blockquote><p>We will do everything we can to support Syrian groups and individuals who share this democratic vision, and we call on people throughout the world to do the same.<\/p><\/blockquote>\n<p>But what is \u201ceverything you can\u201d? What are you going to <em>do?<\/em><\/p>\n<div id=\"attachment_6864\" style=\"width: 594px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"http:\/\/scottlong1980.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/8824501.jpg\"><img class=\"size-full wp-image-6864\" src=\"https:\/\/scottlong1980.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/8824501.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"Are you sure?\"   \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">Are you sure?<\/p><\/div>\n<p>In some cases, the writers wrestle tangibly with their inability to find answers, and the result can be moving. Mohammed al-Attar, an exiled Syrian playwright, <a href=\"http:\/\/lb.boell.org\/en\/2014\/03\/03\/what-kind-support-do-syrians-want-statehood-participation\" target=\"_blank\">confesses<\/a>:<\/p>\n<blockquote><p>During an open debate organized by London\u2019s Royal Court Theatre at the end of August 2011, I was asked: \u201cHow can we support the Syrian people in their revolution without inevitably serving the interests of political agendas?\u201d I was silent for a few seconds, unsure of what to say, before tentatively replying: \u201cI\u2019ve no doubt that it is still possible to separate the\u00a0fundamental justice of the protestors\u2019 cause from the distortions of politicians and the media.\u201d<\/p>\n<p>Much has changed since then but the same question continues to be put forward, and I have\u00a0no clearer answer than that my brief and improvised one which I provided at the Royal Court Theatre.<\/p><\/blockquote>\n<p>Al-Attar\u2019s piece is well worth reading, but it is not clear why Postel regards it not as an analysis of the trauma of political commitment in a divided world, but as a clear prescription for action.<\/p>\n<p>But more often the pieces Postel praises just read like leftists exalting their own superiority to other leftists, because they have <em>deeper moral feelings<\/em>. Thus Bill Weinberg <a href=\"http:\/\/ww4report.com\/node\/12602\" target=\"_blank\">accuses<\/a> the left in general of<\/p>\n<blockquote><p>treason against our natural allies in Syria\u2014the secular, progressive forces in the opposition to the Assad regime, now besieged by ruthless armed actors on all sides. \u2026 Our natural allies in Syria are in this democratic resistance (not in the dictatorship!), and they will need solidarity whether the US intervenes or not.<\/p><\/blockquote>\n<p>But what are we going to do for them? We don\u2019t know.<\/p>\n<blockquote><p>Heeding these voices does not mean we have to support Obama&#8217;s intervention. But it does mean (at least) that we have to find ways to oppose it that do not betray and alienate Syrians who have for over two years been fighting for freedom and are now fighting for their very lives.<\/p><\/blockquote>\n<p><em>What <\/em>ways? Apparently we\u2019ll start writing a lot about our intense moral commitment, a strategy that probably won\u2019t alienate anybody, except perhaps the few people who pay attention &#8212; but won\u2019t help anybody either.<\/p>\n<p>Then there\u2019s Postel himself. He calls for a \u201c<a href=\"http:\/\/critinq.wordpress.com\/2013\/09\/30\/mission-accomplished-syria-the-antiwar-movement-and-the-spirit-of-internationalism\/\" target=\"_blank\">New Internationalism<\/a>.\u201d This entails lots\u00a0of rhetoric:<\/p>\n<blockquote><p>But for progressives, especially ones who profess the values of solidarity and internationalism, the story surely can\u2019t end at America\u2019s shores. Struggles around the world for justice and dignity matter to us. We believe that we have a stake in them and their outcomes. We take sides.<\/p><\/blockquote>\n<p><em>How <\/em>do we take sides? By \u201csupporting and sympathizing with popular struggles against authoritarianism and for human dignity.\u201d Well, sympathizing, at least. We good leftists are not afraid to restate the tough questions; we\u2019re just afraid to answer them.<\/p>\n<blockquote><p>Where does [the peace movement] stand on the struggle to topple Assad\u2019s murderous dictatorship? How does it propose the bloodshed be brought to an end? What is to be done?<\/p>\n<p>There are no obvious, clear-cut answers to these questions \u2026 These are vexing problems. \u2026 But only having a position on what shouldn\u2019t be done, while avoiding the question of what should be done, is a copout \u2013 and a betrayal of the tradition of internationalism. The question of what should be done is much thornier, to be sure \u2014 it requires more thinking, analysis, reflection, even soul-searching.<\/p><\/blockquote>\n<div id=\"attachment_6859\" style=\"width: 231px\" class=\"wp-caption alignleft\"><a href=\"http:\/\/scottlong1980.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/images-3.jpg\"><img class=\"size-medium wp-image-6859\" src=\"https:\/\/scottlong1980.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/images-3.jpg?w=221&#038;h=300\" alt=\"Feuerbach, Schmeuerbach: I'll change the world later\" width=\"221\" height=\"300\" \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">Feuerbach, Schmeuerbach: I&#8217;ll change the world later<\/p><\/div>\n<p>Postel never tells us what is to be done, but searching our souls is, in fact, an end in itself. Marx stands inverted: we may not be able to change the world, but we can think about it. \u201cThe point is to place the plight of the Syrian people front and center on the agenda and to think seriously about how to resolve it.\u201d Postel concludes:<\/p>\n<blockquote><p>What if progressives devoted just a fraction of the energy and effort that went into mobilizing against a US\u00a0military strike to the cause of bringing Syria\u2019s nightmare to an end? It might not make a concrete difference \u2013 all the efforts to resolve the conflict thus far, including those of Kofi Annan and Lakhdar Brahimi, have come to naught \u2026 But the effort would at least be an expression of solidarity and\u00a0internationalism. Factoring the Syrian people \u2013 who have been largely absent from the progressive discussion \u2013 prominently into the equation would represent a welcome departure from the solipsistic, US-centric tendencies of the American peace movement.<\/p><\/blockquote>\n<p>We will not \u201cmake a concrete difference\u201d; but we will express ourselves, and thus feel like the heroic internationalists of olden times. Postel seems unaware that this is not an alternative to solipsism, but an example of it. He gives no clue\u00a0what you could do to end the\u00a0&#8220;nightmare,&#8221; no suggestion how the \u201cenergy and effort\u201d should be directed, just\u00a0faith\u00a0that we\u2019ll be morally better if we expend it. Absent some proposal for a concrete solidarity more substantive than a warm, mushlike emotion, Postel hasn\u2019t factored \u201cthe Syrian people\u201d into an equation here at all, except as spectators of our own catharsis.<\/p>\n<p>It\u2019s easy to make fun of this Fourth Way, this brave alternative, which enters with a flourish of trumpets and exits with something between apology and sigh. But I don\u2019t want to make fun. These writers are honest, and a lot of them are very smart, Postel included. Their failure to deliver what Postel promised is instructive.<\/p>\n<p>The lesson they teach is that we on the left aren&#8217;t exempt from the diseases of the imperial ego. Leftists may opposite liberal interventionism, but its animating fantasies are ones to which they\u2019re not immune. The basic idea that <em>we<\/em> in our powerful\u00a0<em>we-<\/em>ness ought to be able to change the world; that our good intentions have the authority to make reality malleable; that injustice is friable before the force of our desires &#8212; that basic idea is pretty much the same, regardless of whether it&#8217;s armed with drones and aircraft carriers, or open letters and petitions. The brand of internationalism for which Postel feels such acute nostalgia was always predicated on a naive faith in morality combined with power. It&#8217;s painful for leftists to come to terms with a case where &#8220;solidarity&#8221; is difficult, where there aren&#8217;t easily intelligible solutions, and where any action risks making the unbearable worse. The proposition\u00a0that there are limits to what\u00a0you can do is intolerable to Westerners. The more this is brought home to you, the more you fall back on believing that &#8220;expressing solidarity&#8221;\u00a0<em>is\u00a0<\/em>action, that there is a magical power in the very intensity of one&#8217;s moral agonizing that must, inevitably, find a pliant\u00a0answer in reality, must bend politics to its will.<\/p>\n<div id=\"attachment_6883\" style=\"width: 594px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"http:\/\/scottlong1980.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/4296.jpg\"><img class=\"size-full wp-image-6883\" src=\"https:\/\/scottlong1980.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/4296.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"You're sounding multipolar. Take your medicine. Leaders of the BRICS blog (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), 2010,\"   \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">You&#8217;re sounding multipolar. Take your medicine. Leaders of the BRICS blog (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), 2010.<\/p><\/div>\n<p>The spirit of disenchantment is more and more characteristic of our world. Geopolitics used to be so comfortably bi- or unipolar. Human RIghts Watch, where I worked, was founded in the confidence that there were few things you couldn&#8217;t fix by getting the United States government to act. Washington was the fulcrum of their advocacy for decades; this peculiar dispensation where Beijing, Moscow, and even Brasilia and Pretoria are independent actors has brought about a grating\u00a0and harsh adjustment. Even for\u00a0more uncompromising leftists, it was reassuring to think that opposing America could put you on the right side of most of the world&#8217;s wrongs. These days, responsibility is strewn too promiscuously around. And after Iraq, after Rumsfeld and his known unknowns, awareness of power&#8217;s limitations has become too general for comfort. Twenty years ago we were taught to say &#8220;never again&#8221; to Rwanda. But how can you cope with\u00a0somebody like Alan Kuperman, whose\u00a0<a href=\"http:\/\/www.amazon.com\/The-Limits-Humanitarian-Intervention-Genocide\/dp\/0815700857\" target=\"_blank\">detailed study<\/a> of the Rwandan genocide found that, with utmost political will and celerity of action, the West could not have prevented more than a quarter of the deaths? The idea that our solidarity is not a cure\u00a0for everything comes hard.<\/p>\n<p>I hate to see moral solemnity\u00a0go to waste, though. There\u00a0<em>are <\/em>practical\u00a0things that an earnest leftist could do about Syria, if she wants to, rather than sitting around expressing solidarity to the void.<\/p>\n<p>Here are some suggestions.<\/p>\n<p><strong>1) Go to war.<\/strong>\u00a0I&#8217;m serious.\u00a0Everybody wants to be George Orwell these days, a fearless deflater of hypocrisies.\u00a0Christopher Hitchens\u00a0thought he was\u00a0Orwell. <a href=\"http:\/\/louisproyect.org\/2010\/05\/03\/the-paul-berman-ian-buruma-feud\/\" target=\"_blank\">Paul Berman<\/a>\u00a0thinks he is\u00a0Orwell. Even young <a href=\"http:\/\/paper-bird.net\/2013\/09\/14\/top-guns-last-words-on-johnny-weir\/\" target=\"_blank\">Jamie Kirchick<\/a> dons the Orwell drag, though he ends up looking more like a cross between\u00a0<a href=\"https:\/\/en.wikipedia.org\/wiki\/Rivers_of_Blood_speech\" target=\"_blank\">Enoch Powell<\/a>\u00a0and\u00a0<a href=\"http:\/\/www.slate.com\/articles\/arts\/books\/2012\/11\/evelyn_waugh_as_catholic_novelist_brideshead_revisited_and_helena.html\" target=\"_blank\">Evelyn Waugh<\/a>. But if you ask these ersatz Orwells what they&#8217;ve\u00a0<em>done\u00a0<\/em>for their causes, they&#8217;ll sound more\u00a0like Flaubert: &#8220;I stayed at home and wrote.&#8221;<\/p>\n<p>Orwell didn&#8217;t. Is Syria the Spanish Civil War of our generation, a crossroads of profound\u00a0moral choice? Then choose. Orwell went to Spain.\u00a0So did Arthur Koestler, Ernest Hemingway, Willy Brandt. So did\u00a0<a href=\"http:\/\/thepoeticquotidian.blogspot.com\/2007\/02\/w-h-auden-spain.html\u200e\" target=\"_blank\">Auden<\/a>:<\/p>\n<blockquote><p>The stars are dead. The animals will not look.<br \/>\nWe are left alone with our day, and the time is short, and<br \/>\nHistory to the defeated<br \/>\nMay say Alas but cannot help or pardon.<\/p><\/blockquote>\n<div id=\"attachment_6889\" style=\"width: 594px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"http:\/\/scottlong1980.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/antifascistas-1.jpg\"><img class=\"size-full wp-image-6889\" src=\"https:\/\/scottlong1980.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/antifascistas-1.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"Wounded British volunteers in Republican Spain return to the front following convalescence at Benic\u00e0ssim\"   \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">Wounded British volunteers in Republican Spain return to the front following convalescence at Benic\u00e0ssim, 1937<\/p><\/div>\n<p>That war is memorialized in poetry, more perhaps than any other of\u00a0the twentieth century&#8217;s wars. Why? Because the Thirties\u00a0really\u00a0<em>was<\/em> a moment when individual choice took on a communal meaning\u00a0&#8211; stopped being\u00a0existential\u00a0and became\u00a0political.<\/p>\n<blockquote><p>The Anschluss, Guernica &#8212; all the names<br \/>\nAt which those poets thrilled, or were afraid<\/p><\/blockquote>\n<p>&#8211; they still <a href=\"http:\/\/letsreadandfindout.blogspot.com\/2007\/09\/remembering-thirties.html\" target=\"_blank\">resonate<\/a>, because history turned\u00a0personal in them. That&#8217;s the burden of <a href=\"http:\/\/en.wikipedia.org\/wiki\/Edgell_Rickword\" target=\"_blank\">Edgell Rickword<\/a>&#8216;s lines, which every lefty schoolboy used to rattle off:<\/p>\n<blockquote><p>From small beginnings mighty ends:<br \/>\nFrom calling rebel generals friends,<br \/>\nFrom being taught in public schools<br \/>\nTo think the common people fools,<br \/>\nSpain bleeds, and Britain wildly gambles<br \/>\nTo bribe the butcher in the shambles.<\/p><\/blockquote>\n<p>Or there&#8217;s John Cornford, poet and Communist, killed on the Madrid front in 1936, at the age of 21. He <a href=\"http:\/\/www.poemhunter.com\/poem\/to-margot-heinemann\/\" target=\"_blank\">wrote<\/a>\u00a0to his distant lover before he died:<\/p>\n<blockquote><p>The wind rises in the evening,<br \/>\nReminds that autumn&#8217;s near.<br \/>\nI am afraid to lose you,<br \/>\nI am afraid of my fear.<\/p>\n<p>On the last mile to Huesca,<br \/>\nThe last fence for our pride,<br \/>\nThink so kindly, dear, that I<br \/>\nSense you at my side.<\/p>\n<p>And if bad luck should lay my strength<br \/>\nInto the shallow grave,<br \/>\nRemember all the good you can;<br \/>\nDon&#8217;t forget my love.<\/p><\/blockquote>\n<p>How different people were then! There are parts of that poem that an agonizing moralist or a muscular liberal, a fan\u00a0of Hitchens or a\u00a0signatory of the <a href=\"http:\/\/louisproyect.org\/2006\/04\/17\/the-euston-manifesto\/\" target=\"_blank\">Euston Manifesto<\/a>, might sympathize with. But they could never write the line &#8220;I am afraid of my fear&#8221; &#8212; because they&#8217;d feel it, too deeply.<\/p>\n<p>I&#8217;m indulging in an excuse to quote poetry here:\u00a0sentimental of me. But the poems say better than I can what I&#8217;m trying to say. Nobody on the left wants to put his own life on the line anymore. If &#8220;internationalism&#8221; requires a sacrifice, we expect the State to do the sacrificing for us. If comes to intervention, or policing, or punishing the guilty or protecting the good, the State will furnish the bodies, and they won&#8217;t be ours. When did we become so dependent on the powers we once wanted to overturn?<\/p>\n<div id=\"attachment_6882\" style=\"width: 594px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"http:\/\/scottlong1980.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/alb-spanish_civil_war.jpeg\"><img class=\"size-full wp-image-6882\" src=\"https:\/\/scottlong1980.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/alb-spanish_civil_war.jpeg?w=480\" alt=\"Member of the International Brigades at Montblanch, near Barcelona, October 25, 1938: photo by Robert Capa\"   \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">Member of the International Brigades at Montblanch, near Barcelona, October 25, 1938: photo by Robert Capa<\/p><\/div>\n<p>Those damn fool romantics in the Thirties took things personally, instead. If their governments wouldn&#8217;t stand up and say no, if their polities or parties were run by those &#8220;Whose suave compliance sealed the fate \/\u00a0Of thousands left to Franco&#8217;s hate,&#8221; they stepped up themselves; they went to Spain. They\u00a0took up a weapon like Orwell or drove an ambulance like Auden, they acted. &#8220;They floated over the oceans; \/\u00a0They walked the passes. All presented their lives.&#8221; More than <a href=\"https:\/\/en.wikipedia.org\/wiki\/International_Brigades\" target=\"_blank\">40,000 people<\/a>\u00a0joined the International Brigades in some capacity, combat or no.<\/p>\n<blockquote><p>What&#8217;s your proposal? To build the just city? I will.<br \/>\nI agree. Or is it the suicide pact, the romantic<br \/>\nDeath? Very well, I accept, for<br \/>\nI am your choice, your decision. Yes, I am Spain.<\/p><\/blockquote>\n<p>The only ones who shoulder this kind of responsibility today are the jihadists, people\u00a0still used\u00a0perforce to thinking of principles outside the State&#8217;s compass. The secular leftists sit at home and express their solidarity from the sofa&#8217;s safety.<\/p>\n<p>Of course, even setting aside the serious and principled pacifists, there are perfectly decent reasons not to go to\u00a0Syria. For one thing, governments have cracked down harshly on the jihadists who travel\u00a0there and on their allies who recruit; they call it terrorism. Moazzam Begg, for instance, the heroic survivor of Guantanamo, is now <a href=\"http:\/\/www.theguardian.com\/uk-news\/2014\/mar\/01\/moazzam-begg-charged-syria-terrorism-offences-guantanamo-bay\" target=\"_blank\">in jail<\/a> in the UK, charged with trying to train people for Syria. The same officials might start confusing foreign leftists with foreign jihadists, a terrible mistake since the jihadists actually do something, or might apply the same provisions for consistency&#8217;s sake. For another thing, there&#8217;s no reason on earth to think the Free Syrian Army has any use for a bunch of volunteers who don&#8217;t speak Arabic, know nothing about modern weapons, and get their medical knowledge from studying Foucault.<\/p>\n<p>So maybe I should expand my point a bit. Though violence in Syria has metastasized like a cancer, the struggle in Syria is not waged just through violence. And there&#8217;s work you could support or even participate in from outside Syria&#8217;s borders. I can name just a few Syrian organizations carrying on the fight on the front of human rights: the <a href=\"http:\/\/syriahr.com\/en\/\" target=\"_blank\">Syrian Observatory<\/a> for Human Rights, the Violation Documentation Center (<a href=\"https:\/\/www.vdc-sy.info\/index.php\/en\/\" target=\"_blank\">VDC<\/a>), the <a href=\"http:\/\/scm.bz\/?lang=en\" target=\"_blank\">Syrian Center<\/a> for Media and Freedom of Expression, the Local Coordinating Committees (<a href=\"http:\/\/www.lccsyria.org\/about\" target=\"_blank\">LCCSyria<\/a>), Syrian Women for the Syrian Intifada (<a href=\"https:\/\/www.facebook.com\/Syria.SANAD\" target=\"_blank\">SANAD<\/a>); there are more. (Please add others\u00a0in the comments if you like.) There are companion projects outside Syria which try to use the documentation such groups collect to raise humanitarian resources, like the <a href=\"https:\/\/www.facebook.com\/events\/249442715237860\/\" target=\"_blank\">#100000Names<\/a> Oral Memorial for Syria. It is arduous to determine\u00a0whether you can actually help any such efforts rather than getting in the way; it&#8217;s a terrible thing, the risk of realizing one&#8217;s own superfluity. That&#8217;s a danger you don&#8217;t encounter on the couch. But an individual commitment is better than an abstract solidarity.<\/p>\n<div id=\"attachment_6886\" style=\"width: 594px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"http:\/\/scottlong1980.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/international_brigades_poster1.jpg\"><img class=\"size-full wp-image-6886\" src=\"https:\/\/scottlong1980.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/international_brigades_poster1.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"Spanish Republican poster, 1937\"   \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">Spanish Republican poster, 1937<\/p><\/div>\n<p><strong>2. Remember the refugee.\u00a0<\/strong>A leftist who wants to cast off the shackles of the quotidian and go engage in meaningful action need not look for Syrians in Syria; that is one consequence of the war. The UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) c<a href=\"http:\/\/data.unhcr.org\/syrianrefugees\/regional.php\" target=\"_blank\">ounts<\/a> 2,700,000 Syrian refugees in surrounding countries. They <a href=\"http:\/\/www.theguardian.com\/news\/datablog\/2013\/jul\/25\/syrian-refugee-crisis-in-numbers-updated\" target=\"_blank\">calculate<\/a>\u00a0more than half of these are under 17 years old;\u00a038% are younger than 11.<\/p>\n<p>Those figures reflect only Syrians\u00a0who have gone to the UN for assistance; hundreds of thousands more are unregistered and underground. Estimates for the total in flight go as high as 9 million, out of a total Syrian population of less than 23 million.<\/p>\n<p>There is plenty to be done. A dedicated leftist might settle herself in Beirut, or in Cairo, or in Turkey near the southern border, and attach herself to one of the organizations working with\u00a0refugees, whether in cities or in camps. In Egypt, Syrians face xenophobia and violence from a population propagandized into thinking they are allies of the Muslim Brotherhood. Police <a href=\"http:\/\/www.dailynewsegypt.com\/2013\/11\/11\/hrw-urges-egypt-to-stop-coercing-refugees-from-syria-to-leave\/\" target=\"_blank\">pick them up<\/a> on pretexts; some are\u00a0<a href=\"http:\/\/english.ahram.org.eg\/NewsContent\/1\/64\/79892\/Egypt\/Politics-\/Between-deportation-and-public-rejection,-Syrian-r.aspx\" target=\"_blank\">deported.<\/a> In Lebanon, Syrian refugees <a href=\"http:\/\/mideast-times.com\/news.php?edition=190&amp;section=1&amp;newsid=727&amp;offset=0\" target=\"_blank\">now number<\/a> 30% of the country&#8217;s population. They <a href=\"http:\/\/time.com\/67365\/influx-of-syrian-refugees-fans-xenophobia-in-lebanon\/\" target=\"_blank\">suffer<\/a>\u00a0arbitrary curfews, police harassment, physical assault.<\/p>\n<div id=\"attachment_6890\" style=\"width: 594px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"http:\/\/scottlong1980.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/a-syrian-refugee-flashes-005.jpg\"><img class=\"size-full wp-image-6890\" src=\"https:\/\/scottlong1980.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/a-syrian-refugee-flashes-005.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"Syrian refugee in a tent compound in Boynuyogun, Turkey, near the Syrian border. Photo: Vadim Ghirda\/AP\"   \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">Syrian refugee in a tent compound in Boynuyogun, Turkey, near the Syrian border. Photo: Vadim Ghirda\/AP<\/p><\/div>\n<p>And if the exhausting labor of daily humanitarian work seems overwhelming, there&#8217;s advocacy needed\u00a0as well, to change the hearts, minds, and laws of wealthy nations that don&#8217;t want to let refugees in. European and American <a href=\"http:\/\/syrianrefugees.eu\/\" target=\"_blank\">migration policy<\/a> &#8212; the politics of the\u00a0closed door &#8212; means there is nowhere to resettle most of these people; they will remain in unsafe countries and conditions, in semi-permanent limbo. The West would much\u00a0rather pay money to keep Syrians in tents than offer them a final destination\u00a0in Detroit or Turin.\u00a0<a href=\"http:\/\/www.sbs.com.au\/news\/article\/2013\/09\/06\/sweden-grants-blanket-asylum-syrian-refugees\" target=\"_blank\">Sweden<\/a>, the most generous European state, has taken in just over 14,000 Syrian refugees, and given them permanent residency. <a href=\"http:\/\/www.kuna.net.kw\/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=2339299&amp;language=en\" target=\"_blank\">France <\/a>has accepted under five thousand. That&#8217;s still better than the United States. In August 2013, the US agreed to resettle 2000 Syrian refugees, though later in the year the <em>Washington Post<\/em> <a href=\"http:\/\/www.washingtonpost.com\/blogs\/wonkblog\/wp\/2013\/09\/05\/three-big-ways-the-u-s-could-help-syrians-without-using-the-military\/\" target=\"_blank\">reported<\/a> that &#8220;<span style=\"color:#2c2c2c;\">nobody&#8217;s actually been admitted yet, since they have to go through an extensive screening process for possible terrorist ties.&#8221; Already prejudice is\u00a0at play. A right-wing US website <a href=\"http:\/\/www.frontpagemag.com\/2013\/dgreenfield\/obama-considers-resettling-tens-of-thousands-syrian-refugees-in-the-us\/\" target=\"_blank\">warned<\/a>, &#8220;Sure most people just see refugees,\u00a0but Democrats see voters &#8230; \u00a0<\/span>If the Muslim Brotherhood Jihadists lose in Syria, their leaders will flee to Europe and America where they will suborn, undermine and plan acts of terror. &#8230;\u00a0Obama isn\u2019t all that interested in Christian refugees.&#8221;<\/p>\n<p>All these numbers are trivial against the appalling\u00a0figures\u00a0of three\u00a0million people externally displaced. Even the UNHCR, confronting\u00a0the recalcitrance of countries unwilling to accept supplicants, has set its sights\u00a0absurdly small.<\/p>\n<blockquote><p><span style=\"color:#000000;\">UNHCR <a href=\"http:\/\/www.resettlement.eu\/news\/crisis-syria\" target=\"_blank\">is proposing<\/a> that countries admit <strong><em>up to 30,000<\/em><\/strong> Syrian refugees on resettlement, humanitarian admission, or other programmes by the end of 2014, with a focus on protecting the most vulnerable. However, in light of the growing needs of the Syrian refugee population, this goal represents only the first benchmark in securing solutions for this group. &#8230;\u00a0UNHCR has called upon States to make multi-annual commitments towards a goal of providing resettlement and other forms of admission for <strong><em>an additional 100,000<\/em><\/strong> Syrian refugees in 2015 and 2016.\u00a0<em>[emphasis added]<\/em><\/span><\/p><\/blockquote>\n<p>That makes\u00a0just 130,000 refugees the UNHCR hopes &#8212; with little likelihood\u00a0of success &#8212; to resettle in the next three years, out of at least three million. Less than five percent.<\/p>\n<p>Serious leftists are prone to dismissing humanitarian work as merely palliative. They imagine it&#8217;s a\u00a0bandage not a cure, an\u00a0evasion of the &#8220;real&#8221; issues within Syria itself. It&#8217;s not. Work with refugees\u00a0gets to the heart of how states define citizens, how they value lives, how they decide who belongs and who is cast out. Leil-Zahra Mortada, an Arab\u00a0activist living in Spain, <a href=\"http:\/\/www.leilzahra.com\/?p=736\" target=\"_blank\">writes<\/a>:<\/p>\n<blockquote><p><span style=\"color:#1d1d1d;\">There is so much to be done. And it is not charity we are talking about, nor the corrupting relief mentality. It is radical and revolutionary work that is needed. It is stepping out of the narrow Eurocentric vision of semantics into political action. It is not only Assad and the Islamists who are killing the Syrian people, it is international systems like the EU border regime and the international relief mafias to name but a few. This is not about Syria, and this is not \u201cjust a faraway civil war\u201d. They are dying right here, on EU borders, and they are in EU immigrant detention camps. If it is not for Syria, and out of belief in the Syrian revolution, or even in the right for every people, wether they meet our shades of color or not, to rebel, it should be out of coherence with our political beliefs. Our fight on the EU front is needed. This is a people who has risen against a brutal dictatorship, only to see that they have a whole world to overcome. A world of international meddling, whether in the form of Islamist militias, or international relief, or leftist patronization. A world of closed borders and complicit governments that once again put their profit over life. A world of apathy. This is what the Syrians and the Palestinians in Syria are facing. Questions that are not only related to Syria, but related to international and intertwined local struggles.<\/span><\/p><\/blockquote>\n<p><strong>3. FIght for diplomacy. <\/strong>Finally, if, for understandable reasons, you don&#8217;t want to lobby your government for military action, you need to fight to make a diplomatic solution possible.<\/p>\n<p>If you don&#8217;t believe in war, diplomacy is the only way out left. And diplomacy these days is\u00a0as messy as war, though less bloody. It&#8217;s messy because that unipolar world we used to live in, convenient as it was, is gone. It&#8217;s messy because Syria has become a vast playground of the polarities, a prone place where different countries pursue and divvy up their divergent interests. Obama funnels a few arms to the Free Syrian Army; Russia and China and Iran vocally and materially support Assad; the Gulf monarchies shower largesse on the jihadists.<\/p>\n<div id=\"attachment_6895\" style=\"width: 594px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"http:\/\/scottlong1980.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/iran.jpg\"><img class=\"size-full wp-image-6895\" src=\"https:\/\/scottlong1980.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/iran.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"A place at the table: Sign from Kaffranbel, Syria, 2013\"   \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">A place at the table: Sign from Kafranbel, Syria, 2013<\/p><\/div>\n<p>It&#8217;s not enough, then, to push the American administration\u00a0or the EU to do this or that. Pressure needs to fall as well on the oil-soaked leaders of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, on Putin and Rouhani.<\/p>\n<p>It&#8217;s hard to say what, for a Western leftist, this might mean.\u00a0<em>Effective\u00a0<\/em>advocacy for peace would be internationalist, but not in the easy sense of announcing prefab solidarities. It would mean listening across a lot of borders. It would mean trying to acquaint yourself with what&#8217;s left of the left in Russia or Iran, or with civil societies that\u00a0aren&#8217;t of the left at all, and seeing if they have any practical concern with ending violence in Syria, or even ways to speak about it. It would mean reacquainting\u00a0yourself with\u00a0negotiation and compromise, which are always painful. It might mean recognizing your powerlessness, which is even more so.<\/p>\n<p>That path lies beyond the scope of what I&#8217;m writing here. Our left critiques power, and is\u00a0abstemious about engaging with it. That&#8217;s part of its genius, and its virtue. But something more is needed now, if you&#8217;re serious about Syria, than proclaiming sympathy or oneness. A more rigorous engagement requires putting something at risk &#8212; if not your life then your self-image at least, your private drama, your unquestioned faith in your purity and\u00a0your\u00a0efficacy. Action is dangerous. Hannah Arendt <a href=\"http:\/\/press.uchicago.edu\/ucp\/books\/book\/chicago\/H\/bo3643020.html\" target=\"_blank\">wrote<\/a>:<\/p>\n<blockquote><p>Action \u2026 always establishes relationships and therefore has an inherent tendency to force open all limitations\u00a0and cut across all boundaries &#8230;\u00a0To act, in its most general sense,\u00a0means to take an initiative, to begin. \u00a0It is in the nature of beginning that something new is started which cannot be expected from whatever\u00a0may have happened before.<\/p><\/blockquote>\n<p>This is different to but not incommensurate with what the poet <a href=\"http:\/\/thepoeticquotidian.blogspot.com\/2007\/02\/w-h-auden-spain.html\" target=\"_blank\">said<\/a>:<\/p>\n<blockquote><p>Tomorrow for the young the poets exploding like bombs,<br \/>\nThe walks by the lake, the weeks of perfect communion;<br \/>\nTo-morrow the bicycle races<br \/>\nThrough the suburbs on summer evenings. But today the struggle.<\/p><\/blockquote>\n<div id=\"attachment_6897\" style=\"width: 594px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"http:\/\/scottlong1980.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/996634_10153499807505405_1123923895_n1.jpg\"><img class=\"size-full wp-image-6897\" src=\"https:\/\/scottlong1980.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/996634_10153499807505405_1123923895_n1.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"&quot;Syrian women, revolt against all authority!&quot; Poster by the Syrian People Know Their Way collective, from http:\/\/www.opendemocracy.net\/arab-awakening\/razan-ghazzawi\/seeing-women-in-revolutionary-syria\"   \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">&#8220;Syrian women, revolt against all authority!&#8221; Poster by the Syrian People Know Their Way collective, from <a href=\"http:\/\/www.opendemocracy.net\/arab-awakening\/razan-ghazzawi\/seeing-women-in-revolutionary-syria\" rel=\"nofollow\">http:\/\/www.opendemocracy.net\/arab-awakening\/razan-ghazzawi\/seeing-women-in-revolutionary-syria<\/a><\/p><\/div>\n<p>&nbsp;<\/p>\n",
            "excerpt": "<p>You would think that, having stayed in Cairo for much of the last year, I would feel\u00a0closer than in New York or Boston to the Syrian catastrophe taking place only a few borders away. But it doesn&#8217;t work that way. &hellip; <a href=\"http:\/\/paper-bird.net\/2014\/04\/18\/what-to-do-about-syria\/\">Continue reading <span class=\"meta-nav\">&rarr;<\/span><\/a><\/p>\n",
            "slug": "what-to-do-about-syria",
            "guid": "http:\/\/paper-bird.net\/?p=6819",
            "status": "publish",
            "password": "",
            "parent": false,
            "type": "post",
            "comments_open": true,
            "pings_open": true,
            "comment_count": 14,
            "like_count": 28,
            "i_like": 0,
            "is_reblogged": 0,
            "is_following": 0,
            "global_ID": "00a63cdf8bf09080252d19b1e2d62579",
            "featured_image": "",
            "format": "standard",
            "geo": false,
            "publicize_URLs": [

            ],
            "tags": {
                "Arab spring": {
                    "ID": 50095623,
                    "name": "Arab spring",
                    "slug": "arab-spring",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 4,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757\/tags\/slug:arab-spring",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757\/tags\/slug:arab-spring\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "Assad": {
                    "ID": 293322,
                    "name": "Assad",
                    "slug": "assad",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 5,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757\/tags\/slug:assad",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757\/tags\/slug:assad\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "Danny Postel": {
                    "ID": 15487954,
                    "name": "Danny Postel",
                    "slug": "danny-postel",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 1,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757\/tags\/slug:danny-postel",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757\/tags\/slug:danny-postel\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "humanitarian intervention": {
                    "ID": 1274500,
                    "name": "humanitarian intervention",
                    "slug": "humanitarian-intervention",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 7,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757\/tags\/slug:humanitarian-intervention",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757\/tags\/slug:humanitarian-intervention\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "internationalism": {
                    "ID": 328411,
                    "name": "internationalism",
                    "slug": "internationalism",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 1,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757\/tags\/slug:internationalism",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757\/tags\/slug:internationalism\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "left": {
                    "ID": 6307,
                    "name": "left",
                    "slug": "left",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 1,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757\/tags\/slug:left",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757\/tags\/slug:left\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "leftists": {
                    "ID": 60686,
                    "name": "leftists",
                    "slug": "leftists",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 1,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757\/tags\/slug:leftists",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757\/tags\/slug:leftists\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "Razan Ghazzawi": {
                    "ID": 13424475,
                    "name": "Razan Ghazzawi",
                    "slug": "razan-ghazzawi",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 4,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757\/tags\/slug:razan-ghazzawi",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757\/tags\/slug:razan-ghazzawi\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "refugees": {
                    "ID": 114694,
                    "name": "refugees",
                    "slug": "refugees",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 2,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757\/tags\/slug:refugees",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757\/tags\/slug:refugees\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "revolution": {
                    "ID": 3731,
                    "name": "revolution",
                    "slug": "revolution",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 33,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757\/tags\/slug:revolution",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757\/tags\/slug:revolution\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "Scott Long": {
                    "ID": 2405744,
                    "name": "Scott Long",
                    "slug": "scott-long",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 101,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757\/tags\/slug:scott-long",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757\/tags\/slug:scott-long\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "Spanish CIvil War": {
                    "ID": 503595,
                    "name": "Spanish CIvil War",
                    "slug": "spanish-civil-war",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 1,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757\/tags\/slug:spanish-civil-war",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757\/tags\/slug:spanish-civil-war\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "Syria": {
                    "ID": 18052,
                    "name": "Syria",
                    "slug": "syria",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 10,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757\/tags\/slug:syria",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757\/tags\/slug:syria\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "UNHCR": {
                    "ID": 270963,
                    "name": "UNHCR",
                    "slug": "unhcr",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 1,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757\/tags\/slug:unhcr",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757\/tags\/slug:unhcr\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757"
                        }
                    }
                }
            },
            "categories": {
                "Human Rights": {
                    "errors": {
                        "unknown_taxonomy": [
                            "Unknown taxonomy"
                        ]
                    },
                    "error_data": {
                        "unknown_taxonomy": 404
                    }
                },
                "Poetry": {
                    "ID": 422,
                    "name": "Poetry",
                    "slug": "poetry",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 13,
                    "parent": 0,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757\/categories\/slug:poetry",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757\/categories\/slug:poetry\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "Politics": {
                    "ID": 398,
                    "name": "Politics",
                    "slug": "politics",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 173,
                    "parent": 0,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757\/categories\/slug:politics",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757\/categories\/slug:politics\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "Uncategorized": {
                    "ID": 1,
                    "name": "Uncategorized",
                    "slug": "uncategorized",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 151,
                    "parent": 0,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757\/categories\/slug:uncategorized",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757\/categories\/slug:uncategorized\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757"
                        }
                    }
                }
            },
            "attachments": {
                "6897": {
                    "ID": 6897,
                    "URL": "http:\/\/scottlong1980.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/996634_10153499807505405_1123923895_n1.jpg",
                    "guid": "http:\/\/scottlong1980.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/996634_10153499807505405_1123923895_n1.jpg",
                    "mime_type": "image\/jpeg",
                    "width": 792,
                    "height": 1121
                },
                "6895": {
                    "ID": 6895,
                    "URL": "http:\/\/scottlong1980.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/iran.jpg",
                    "guid": "http:\/\/scottlong1980.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/iran.jpg",
                    "mime_type": "image\/jpeg",
                    "width": 2048,
                    "height": 1461
                },
                "6890": {
                    "ID": 6890,
                    "URL": "http:\/\/scottlong1980.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/a-syrian-refugee-flashes-005.jpg",
                    "guid": "http:\/\/scottlong1980.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/a-syrian-refugee-flashes-005.jpg",
                    "mime_type": "image\/jpeg",
                    "width": 792,
                    "height": 475
                },
                "6889": {
                    "ID": 6889,
                    "URL": "http:\/\/scottlong1980.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/antifascistas-1.jpg",
                    "guid": "http:\/\/scottlong1980.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/antifascistas-1.jpg",
                    "mime_type": "image\/jpeg",
                    "width": 1500,
                    "height": 2285
                },
                "6886": {
                    "ID": 6886,
                    "URL": "http:\/\/scottlong1980.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/international_brigades_poster1.jpg",
                    "guid": "http:\/\/scottlong1980.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/international_brigades_poster1.jpg",
                    "mime_type": "image\/jpeg",
                    "width": 825,
                    "height": 1214
                }
            },
            "metadata": false,
            "meta": {
                "links": {
                    "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757\/posts\/6819",
                    "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757\/posts\/6819\/help",
                    "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757",
                    "replies": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757\/posts\/6819\/replies\/",
                    "likes": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/25649757\/posts\/6819\/likes\/"
                }
            },
            "featured_media": {

            },
            "pseudo_ID": "00a63cdf8bf09080252d19b1e2d62579",
            "is_external": false,
            "site_name": "a  paper  bird",
            "site_URL": "http:\/\/scottlong1980.wordpress.com",
            "site_is_private": false,
            "editorial": {
                "blog_id": "25649757",
                "post_id": "6819",
                "image": "https:\/\/s2.wp.com\/imgpress?crop=0px%2C0px%2C252px%2C160px&url=https%3A%2F%2Fs1.wp.com%2Fimgpress%3Fw%3D252%26url%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fscottlong1980.files.wordpress.com%252F2014%252F04%252F2013-06-27-s.jpg&unsharpmask=80,0.5,3",
                "custom_headline": "What to Do About Syria",
                "custom_blog_title": "",
                "displayed_on": "2014-04-23T19:02:02+00:00",
                "picked_on": "1970-01-01T00:33:34+00:00",
                "highlight_topic": "wplongform",
                "highlight_topic_title": "WPlongform",
                "screen_offset": "-6",
                "blog_name": "a  paper  bird",
                "site_id": "1"
            }
        },
        {
            "ID": 1155,
            "site_ID": 59147842,
            "author": {
                "ID": 56559186,
                "email": false,
                "name": "ipaulesbronet",
                "nice_name": "ipaulesbronet",
                "URL": "http:\/\/sometimesiweartiaras.wordpress.com",
                "avatar_URL": "https:\/\/2.gravatar.com\/avatar\/82d6d46a38494580f092afc26cdfa7d0?s=96&d=identicon&r=PG",
                "profile_URL": "http:\/\/en.gravatar.com\/ipaulesbronet",
                "site_ID": 59147842
            },
            "date": "2014-04-20T09:47:26-04:00",
            "modified": "2014-04-22T07:51:08-04:00",
            "title": "20 Things Everyone Thinks During Skype Interviews",
            "URL": "http:\/\/sometimesiweartiaras.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/20\/things-everyone-thinks-during-skype-interviews\/",
            "short_URL": "http:\/\/wp.me\/p40b3s-iD",
            "content": "<p><a href=\"http:\/\/sometimesiweartiaras.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/skype.png\"><img class=\"size-medium wp-image-1177 aligncenter\" src=\"https:\/\/sometimesiweartiaras.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/skype.png?w=300&#038;h=199\" alt=\"Skype\" width=\"300\" height=\"199\" \/><\/a><\/p>\n<p>1. Alright, here we go, I&#8217;m so ready for this.<\/p>\n<p>2. Okay, internet, any time now.<\/p>\n<p>3. Oh god, oh god, oh god, I have 3 minutes and my internet STILL won&#8217;t connect.<\/p>\n<p>4. Fucking internet! Why now? Why me?!<\/p>\n<p>5. I might as well just assume now that I&#8217;m not getting this job. Connecting to the internet is the easiest part of this interview.\u00a0She&#8217;s going to think I&#8217;m late, irresponsible, and incompetent. There is no way I&#8217;m getting this. I might as well stop trying now.<\/p>\n<p>6. Oh, okay. Right, had to press &#8216;connect.&#8217;<\/p>\n<p>7. So&#8230; where is she? We did say interview at 3, right? I should check my email.<\/p>\n<p>8. Yes, definitely 3:00. But&#8230; it&#8217;s 3:10, so&#8230; I&#8217;m definitely connected to the internet, right?<\/p>\n<p>9. This is my fault. I know it. She was probably on a few minutes early and because I wasn&#8217;t there, she logged off.<\/p>\n<p>10. Oh hey! She sent me an email! &#8220;Running a few minutes late, sorry.&#8221; Okay, good, so it&#8217;s not my fault.<\/p>\n<p>11. Alright, but now it&#8217;s been half an hour. This would definitely\u00a0not be acceptable if I were late.<\/p>\n<p>12. OHMYGOD it&#8217;s ringing. How many rings do I wait?! I don&#8217;t want to seem too eager, but I want them to know I&#8217;m excited about this opportunity!<\/p>\n<p>13. &#8220;Hi! It&#8217;s so nice to finally get to talk to you.&#8221; Oh no, what did I just say? She&#8217;s going to think I was being rude because I said &#8220;finally.&#8221; I&#8217;m screwed.<\/p>\n<p>14. Okay, I think this is going alright. Keep breathing, keep being you. You got this.<\/p>\n<p>15. That was the worst response ever, I cannot believe I just said that. Let&#8217;s hope the internet cut out or something and she didn&#8217;t hear that.<\/p>\n<p>16. Oh my god is she writing things down? I should just bow out now.<\/p>\n<p>17. She better not ask me to stand up or she&#8217;ll be able to tell I&#8217;m not wearing pants.<\/p>\n<p>18. Wait is that it? Do I have any questions? Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Come up with something! Stop sitting here like an idiot and ask her something!<\/p>\n<p>19. Solid. Okay, it&#8217;s done. I can go pee now.<\/p>\n<p>20. I definitely hung up, right? She can&#8217;t still see me?? I&#8217;ll just close my computer for good measure.<\/p>\n<p>&nbsp;<\/p>\n<p>(image: flickr.com)<\/p>\n",
            "excerpt": "<p>1. Alright, here we go, I&#8217;m so ready for this. 2. Okay, internet, any time now. 3. Oh god, oh god, oh god, I have 3 minutes and my internet STILL won&#8217;t connect. 4. Fucking internet! Why now? Why me?! &hellip; <a href=\"http:\/\/sometimesiweartiaras.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/20\/things-everyone-thinks-during-skype-interviews\/\">Continue reading <span class=\"meta-nav\">&rarr;<\/span><\/a><\/p>\n",
            "slug": "things-everyone-thinks-during-skype-interviews",
            "guid": "http:\/\/sometimesiweartiaras.wordpress.com\/?p=1155",
            "status": "publish",
            "password": "",
            "parent": false,
            "type": "post",
            "comments_open": true,
            "pings_open": true,
            "comment_count": 12,
            "like_count": 83,
            "i_like": 0,
            "is_reblogged": 0,
            "is_following": 0,
            "global_ID": "9c9b24239285fa05c1b29ae3e8ef6777",
            "featured_image": "",
            "format": "standard",
            "geo": false,
            "publicize_URLs": [

            ],
            "tags": {
                "college": {
                    "ID": 2016,
                    "name": "college",
                    "slug": "college",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 40,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/59147842\/tags\/slug:college",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/59147842\/tags\/slug:college\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/59147842"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "computer": {
                    "ID": 258,
                    "name": "computer",
                    "slug": "computer",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 1,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/59147842\/tags\/slug:computer",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/59147842\/tags\/slug:computer\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/59147842"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "funny": {
                    "ID": 684,
                    "name": "funny",
                    "slug": "funny",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 3,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/59147842\/tags\/slug:funny",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/59147842\/tags\/slug:funny\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/59147842"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "internet": {
                    "ID": 22,
                    "name": "internet",
                    "slug": "internet",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 5,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/59147842\/tags\/slug:internet",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/59147842\/tags\/slug:internet\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/59147842"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "interview": {
                    "ID": 11788,
                    "name": "interview",
                    "slug": "interview",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 1,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/59147842\/tags\/slug:interview",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/59147842\/tags\/slug:interview\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/59147842"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "job": {
                    "ID": 1114,
                    "name": "job",
                    "slug": "job",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 3,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/59147842\/tags\/slug:job",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/59147842\/tags\/slug:job\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/59147842"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "skype": {
                    "ID": 812,
                    "name": "skype",
                    "slug": "skype",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 1,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/59147842\/tags\/slug:skype",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/59147842\/tags\/slug:skype\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/59147842"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "technology": {
                    "ID": 6,
                    "name": "technology",
                    "slug": "technology",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 1,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/59147842\/tags\/slug:technology",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/59147842\/tags\/slug:technology\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/59147842"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "thoughts": {
                    "ID": 563,
                    "name": "thoughts",
                    "slug": "thoughts",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 1,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/59147842\/tags\/slug:thoughts",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/59147842\/tags\/slug:thoughts\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/59147842"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "video": {
                    "ID": 412,
                    "name": "video",
                    "slug": "video",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 2,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/59147842\/tags\/slug:video",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/59147842\/tags\/slug:video\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/59147842"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "web": {
                    "ID": 151,
                    "name": "web",
                    "slug": "web",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 2,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/59147842\/tags\/slug:web",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/59147842\/tags\/slug:web\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/59147842"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "young": {
                    "ID": 45675,
                    "name": "young",
                    "slug": "young",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 1,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/59147842\/tags\/slug:young",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/59147842\/tags\/slug:young\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/59147842"
                        }
                    }
                }
            },
            "categories": {
                "Uncategorized": {
                    "ID": 1,
                    "name": "Uncategorized",
                    "slug": "uncategorized",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 165,
                    "parent": 0,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/59147842\/categories\/slug:uncategorized",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/59147842\/categories\/slug:uncategorized\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/59147842"
                        }
                    }
                }
            },
            "attachments": {
                "1177": {
                    "ID": 1177,
                    "URL": "http:\/\/sometimesiweartiaras.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/skype.png",
                    "guid": "http:\/\/sometimesiweartiaras.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/skype.png",
                    "mime_type": "image\/png",
                    "width": 431,
                    "height": 287
                }
            },
            "metadata": false,
            "meta": {
                "links": {
                    "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/59147842\/posts\/1155",
                    "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/59147842\/posts\/1155\/help",
                    "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/59147842",
                    "replies": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/59147842\/posts\/1155\/replies\/",
                    "likes": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/59147842\/posts\/1155\/likes\/"
                }
            },
            "featured_media": {

            },
            "pseudo_ID": "9c9b24239285fa05c1b29ae3e8ef6777",
            "is_external": false,
            "site_name": "Sometimes I Wear Tiaras",
            "site_URL": "http:\/\/sometimesiweartiaras.wordpress.com",
            "site_is_private": false,
            "editorial": {
                "blog_id": "59147842",
                "post_id": "1155",
                "image": "https:\/\/s0.wp.com\/imgpress?crop=0px%2C0px%2C252px%2C160px&url=https%3A%2F%2Fs2.wp.com%2Fimgpress%3Fw%3D252%26url%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fsometimesiweartiaras.files.wordpress.com%252F2014%252F04%252Fskype.png&unsharpmask=80,0.5,3",
                "custom_headline": "",
                "custom_blog_title": "",
                "displayed_on": "2014-04-23T17:30:02+00:00",
                "picked_on": "1970-01-01T00:33:34+00:00",
                "highlight_topic": "humor",
                "highlight_topic_title": "Humor",
                "screen_offset": "0",
                "blog_name": "Sometimes I Wear Tiaras",
                "site_id": "1"
            }
        },
        {
            "ID": 250,
            "site_ID": 58244315,
            "author": {
                "ID": 4387764,
                "email": false,
                "name": "thewayoftheid",
                "nice_name": "thewayoftheid",
                "URL": "http:\/\/theantisocialite.com",
                "avatar_URL": "https:\/\/1.gravatar.com\/avatar\/7d106ebea65af51a5ce244411bfc8fc4?s=96&d=identicon&r=G",
                "profile_URL": "http:\/\/en.gravatar.com\/thewayoftheid",
                "site_ID": 14342943
            },
            "date": "2014-04-17T23:18:21+00:00",
            "modified": "2014-04-17T23:18:21+00:00",
            "title": "Eldercare: The Forgotten Feminist Issue.",
            "URL": "http:\/\/hoodfeminism.com\/2014\/04\/17\/eldercare-the-forgotten-feminist-issue\/",
            "short_URL": "http:\/\/wp.me\/p3Wo0r-42",
            "content": "<p><em>(This was written late last year; I pitched it a few places but received little interest. I&#8217;m posting it here because, well, it&#8217;s an important conversation.)<\/em><\/p>\n<div id=\"attachment_244\" style=\"width: 310px\" class=\"wp-caption aligncenter\"><a href=\"http:\/\/hoodfeminism.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/tumblr_mxea5k50zl1qed8fto1_1280.jpg\"><img class=\"size-medium wp-image-244\" src=\"https:\/\/hoodfeminism.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/tumblr_mxea5k50zl1qed8fto1_1280.jpg?w=300&#038;h=300\" alt=\"One of my favorite pictures of my mom. \" width=\"300\" height=\"300\" \/><\/a><p class=\"wp-caption-text\">Mom, back in the day.<\/p><\/div>\n<p>&nbsp;<\/p>\n<p>As I write this my mother is fast asleep in a nursing home, her third stint in 15 months. It is a heartbreaking thing, watching your parent slowly succumb to her mortality. You try to prepare yourself for the call you&#8217;ll get in the middle of the night from a nurse reluctant to give you the news you&#8217;ve been dreading for years. But no amount of preparation will ready you for that call. No amount of alcohol will lessen the pain. Even writing about it is hard because it forces you to deal with an absolute, inescapable truth. She is dying, and you are powerless to stop it.<\/p>\n<p>The woman I now visit several times a week is not the woman I knew five years ago, or even three years ago, when she bounded into my maternity suite with her walker, perching herself on the sofa while ordering my husband around. She is an entirely different creature, one who will ask me the same question in a five-minute span, one who is petulant and stubborn and scared. She is not the Joan who raised me, and it is difficult to reconcile this version with the one I knew. The one I miss. I watch my other friends in envy as they travel the world with their healthy, able-bodied parents, as those parents gift them with cars and weddings, top-shelf appliances and Maclaren strollers.<\/p>\n<p>As a junior member of the Sandwich Generation, I&#8217;ve been my mother&#8217;s primary caregiver for the last several years, a responsibility passed on to me when my brother and his wife retired to Phoenix. A changing of the guard, so to speak, because they&#8217;d spent over 20 years juggling full-time jobs, mortgage payments and ailing elders. <span style=\"color:#000080;\"><span lang=\"zxx\"><span><a href=\"http:\/\/www.pewsocialtrends.org\/2013\/01\/30\/the-sandwich-generation\/\">Statistics will tell you<\/a><\/span><\/span><\/span> that the average Sandwicher is older, whiter and affluent, which makes my case somewhat unique (I suppose) because I am none of those things. Earlier this year, when my husband was laid off after 14 years of what should be considered indentured servitude, our financial situation went from \u201cmeh, it could be worse\u201d to \u201coh, <i>this<\/i> is what abject poverty feels like.\u201d If money wasn&#8217;t going to toddler care, it was going to one (or both) of our mothers.<\/p>\n<p>But what I&#8217;m doing now is no different from what my brother was doing ten years ago, no different from what our mother was doing over 20 years ago when she moved my grandmother into our spartan three-bedroom apartment on Chicago&#8217;s south side. In fact, my situation isn&#8217;t a unique one at all, because growing up I was surrounded by women who lived as we did; three-to-four generations sharing 800 square-feet. For most poor\/working-class single women of color, this is a familiar, albeit depressing, narrative. My mother was raising a 12 year-old and a 67 year-old on barmaid&#8217;s wages and public assistance. Her friend Mona was using her barmaid&#8217;s wages to provide for her college-bound son and a mother in a nursing home. Another friend, Sally, was raising a gaggle of kids and grandkids on Sunday dinners she&#8217;d sell from her window. Though they all made it work, there were doubtless physical and emotional strains that would manifest in the years to come.<\/p>\n<p>As much as we love to pathologize the black inner-city experience, there was\u2014is\u2014a love that is real. Present. Corporeal. Etched in frown lines and callused hands. Displayed by women whose sense of love and obligation pushed them to their limits. <span style=\"color:#000080;\"><span lang=\"zxx\"><span><a href=\"http:\/\/www.apa.org\/pi\/about\/publications\/caregivers\/faq\/cultural-diversity.aspx\">According to this study on cultural diversity and caregiving<\/a><\/span><\/span><\/span>, African-American caregivers had lower levels of caregiver burden and depression than their white counterparts. <span style=\"color:#000080;\"><span lang=\"zxx\"><span><a href=\"http:\/\/www.blackandmarriedwithkids.com\/2012\/07\/mental-health-issues-of-the-black-community-remain-underreported\/\">Given that depression is fairly underreported<\/a><\/span><\/span><\/span> in the black community, I find this hard to believe. <span style=\"color:#000080;\"><span lang=\"zxx\"><span><a href=\"http:\/\/theweek.com\/article\/index\/246810\/how-the-elderly-are-treated-around-the-world\">While some reports<\/a><\/span><\/span><\/span> show Americans being generally averse to elder caregiving, <span style=\"color:#000080;\"><span lang=\"zxx\"><span><a href=\"http:\/\/people.duke.edu\/~ldbaker\/clippings\/old.html\">others show<\/a><\/span><\/span><\/span> just how ingrained it is in the black community, mainly because we cannot afford it. And we&#8217;re less likely to entrust the care of our Willa Maes to state institutions or private facilities <span style=\"color:#000080;\"><span lang=\"zxx\"><span><a href=\"http:\/\/www.ncea.aoa.gov\/Library\/Data\/index.aspx#problem\">because of the increasing number of abuse cases<\/a><\/span><\/span><\/span>.<\/p>\n<p>As writer Jane Glenn Haas pointed out, eldercare isn&#8217;t sexy enough to be a feminist issue. It lacks the naughty allure of reproductive rights, the seductive appeal of body image. It doesn&#8217;t even have a sassy <i>Lean In<\/i>-like catchphrase. But it should be a feminist issue, <span style=\"color:#000080;\"><span lang=\"zxx\"><span><a href=\"http:\/\/www.ocregister.com\/articles\/care-88916-home-elder.html\">since the numbers show<\/a><\/span><\/span><\/span> that women are most likely to shoulder the responsibility of looking after parents in their twilight years, and the most likely to live well into those twilight years. A lot of them have missed out on career and educational opportunities. A lot of them\u2014like my mother and her friends\u2014are doing this by the skin of their teeth, with scant to nonexistent resources. <span style=\"color:#000080;\"><span lang=\"zxx\"><span><a href=\"http:\/\/www.caregiver.org\/caregiver\/jsp\/content_node.jsp?nodeid=892\">A <\/a><a href=\"http:\/\/www.caregiver.org\/caregiver\/jsp\/content_node.jsp?nodeid=892\">lot of them will outlive their spouses (if they have them), exhaust their pensions (if they have them), and die alone.<\/a><\/span><\/span><\/span><\/p>\n<p>All of this begs a stronger push for policy changes that no longer penalize women for making the choice to care for their elders, a push for making more resources available to help them. <span style=\"color:#000080;\"><span lang=\"zxx\"><span><a href=\"http:\/\/www.rwjf.org\/en\/about-rwjf\/newsroom\/newsroom-content\/2013\/04\/rwjf-scholar-pioneers-innovative-program-to-help-low-income-elde.html\">Innovative programs like CAPABLE<\/a><\/span><\/span><\/span> can not only ease the burden of caregivers, but empower the senior citizens who need the care and improve their quality of life. But in order for this country to realize the importance of this issue, we need more voices\u2014big and small\u2014to amplify it.<\/p>\n",
            "excerpt": "<p>(This was written late last year; I pitched it a few places but received little interest. I&#8217;m posting it here because, well, it&#8217;s an important conversation.) &nbsp; As I write this my mother is fast asleep in a nursing home, &hellip; <a href=\"http:\/\/hoodfeminism.com\/2014\/04\/17\/eldercare-the-forgotten-feminist-issue\/\">Continue reading <span class=\"meta-nav\">&rarr;<\/span><\/a><\/p>\n",
            "slug": "eldercare-the-forgotten-feminist-issue",
            "guid": "http:\/\/hoodfeminism.com\/?p=250",
            "status": "publish",
            "password": "",
            "parent": false,
            "type": "post",
            "comments_open": true,
            "pings_open": true,
            "comment_count": 34,
            "like_count": 76,
            "i_like": 0,
            "is_reblogged": 0,
            "is_following": 0,
            "global_ID": "0817cf89d717c5b1a86d95ef431d7438",
            "featured_image": "",
            "format": "standard",
            "geo": false,
            "publicize_URLs": [

            ],
            "tags": {

            },
            "categories": {
                "Uncategorized": {
                    "ID": 1,
                    "name": "Uncategorized",
                    "slug": "uncategorized",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 25,
                    "parent": 0,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/58244315\/categories\/slug:uncategorized",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/58244315\/categories\/slug:uncategorized\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/58244315"
                        }
                    }
                }
            },
            "attachments": {

            },
            "metadata": false,
            "meta": {
                "links": {
                    "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/58244315\/posts\/250",
                    "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/58244315\/posts\/250\/help",
                    "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/58244315",
                    "replies": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/58244315\/posts\/250\/replies\/",
                    "likes": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/58244315\/posts\/250\/likes\/"
                }
            },
            "featured_media": {

            },
            "pseudo_ID": "0817cf89d717c5b1a86d95ef431d7438",
            "is_external": false,
            "site_name": "hoodfeminism",
            "site_URL": "http:\/\/hoodfeminism.wordpress.com",
            "site_is_private": false,
            "editorial": {
                "blog_id": "58244315",
                "post_id": "250",
                "image": "https:\/\/s1.wp.com\/imgpress?crop=0px%2C0px%2C252px%2C160px&url=https%3A%2F%2Fs1.wp.com%2Fimgpress%3Fw%3D252%26url%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fhoodfeminism.files.wordpress.com%252F2014%252F04%252Ftumblr_mxea5k50zl1qed8fto1_1280.jpg&unsharpmask=80,0.5,3",
                "custom_headline": "Eldercare: The Forgotten Feminist Issue",
                "custom_blog_title": "",
                "displayed_on": "2014-04-23T17:02:02+00:00",
                "picked_on": "1970-01-01T00:33:34+00:00",
                "highlight_topic": "society",
                "highlight_topic_title": "Society",
                "screen_offset": "-5",
                "blog_name": "hoodfeminism",
                "site_id": "1"
            }
        },
        {
            "ID": 28513,
            "site_ID": 3479559,
            "author": {
                "ID": 3722625,
                "email": false,
                "name": "shoreacres",
                "nice_name": "shoreacres",
                "URL": "http:\/\/shoreacres.wordpress.com",
                "avatar_URL": "https:\/\/2.gravatar.com\/avatar\/81d89dbb4de9f8b07209a1016052d67c?s=96&d=https%3A%2F%2Fs0.wp.com%2Fi%2Fmu.gif",
                "profile_URL": "http:\/\/en.gravatar.com\/shoreacres",
                "site_ID": 3479559
            },
            "date": "2014-04-13T09:03:12-05:00",
            "modified": "2014-04-23T12:16:42-05:00",
            "title": "Six Years on the Road",
            "URL": "http:\/\/shoreacres.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/13\/six-years-on-the-road\/",
            "short_URL": "http:\/\/wp.me\/peBbV-7pT",
            "content": "<p style=\"text-align:center;\"><span style=\"color:#643716;\"><img class=\"aligncenter\" title=\"Dad\" src=\"https:\/\/i0.wp.com\/www.varnishgal.com\/odometer1.jpg\" alt=\"\" width=\"400\" height=\"270\" \/><\/span><\/p>\n<p><span style=\"color:#643716;\">Even with a photograph in hand, I can&#8217;t tell you much about this car I helped to wash so many times. I never knew the make or model, and todayI&#8217;m not even certain of the color.<br \/>\n<\/span><\/p>\n<p><span style=\"color:#643716;\">On the other hand, I remember the back seat perfectly well.\u00a0 My world-on-wheels came furnished with a red plaid wool stadium blanket, a plastic solitaire game with red and blue pegs, and a doll suitcase filled with crayolas and colored tablets, paper dolls, and a pile of Golden Books.\u00a0\u00a0Whether it was a jaunt over to the A&amp;W for root beer floats, an evening at the\u00a0drive-in movies, or a trip to my grandparents&#8217; house, the back seat was mine.\u00a0 It was my castle, my refuge, my tiny bit of homestead to do with as I pleased.<\/span><\/p>\n<p><span style=\"color:#643716;\">On longer\u00a0trips, tiring of books and paper dolls, I&#8217;d stretch out on the\u00a0seat and pretend to sleep, while the low murmurings of my mother and father tucked a conversational blanket around me. Sometimes I drifted into sleep, secure against my pillows, enjoying the sense of movement and the <span style=\"color:#643716;\">soft hum of tires on concrete.<\/span><br \/>\n<\/span><\/p>\n<p><img class=\"aligncenter\" src=\"https:\/\/i0.wp.com\/www.varnishgal.com\/printer.gif\" alt=\"\" width=\"102\" height=\"27\" \/><\/p>\n<p style=\"text-align:left;\"><span style=\"color:#643716;\">Eventually, I\u00a0began to take more interest in the trips themselves. No longer content to sleep away the miles,\u00a0I dangled my arms over the front seat and chattered away.\u00a0 We played car games that involved the whole family, reading the Burma Shave signs,\u00a0looking for out-of-state license plates, or\u00a0&#8220;stamping&#8221; white horses in the fields for luck.\u00a0 <\/span><\/p>\n<p style=\"text-align:left;\"><span style=\"color:#643716;\">Filled with a child&#8217;s eagerness and impatience, I asked questions common to travelers since Moses led his little band out of Egypt toward the Promised Land. &#8220;How much longer?\u00a0 How much farther?\u00a0 Are we there yet?&#8221;<br \/>\n<\/span><\/p>\n<p style=\"text-align:left;\"><img class=\"aligncenter\" src=\"https:\/\/i0.wp.com\/www.varnishgal.com\/burmashave.jpg\" alt=\"\" width=\"250\" height=\"280\" \/><\/p>\n<p><span style=\"color:#643716;\">One day, I noticed the slowly turning numerals of the car&#8217;s odometer, and discovered a new form of entertainment.\u00a0 Every time a series of nines showed up, it was especially exciting. To see 4,999 miles\u00a0was just as good as seeing 99,999, and I loved those &#8220;big days&#8221; when the nines turned themselves into zeros.<br \/>\n<\/span><\/p>\n<p><span style=\"color:#643716;\">The fascination lingered into adulthood.\u00a0 When my last Toyota clicked over to 100,000\u00a0miles, I smiled approvingly. At 200,000 miles,\u00a0I gave it a pat on its dashboard and\u00a0whispered small, congratulatory sentiments into its engine compartment.\u00a0 As 300,000 miles\u00a0approached, I\u00a0developed a case of nerves.\u00a0 Would it die before reaching the benchmark?\u00a0 Might it be killed in an accident?\u00a0 Would it commit some sort of ghastly mechanical suicide while my back was turned?\u00a0<\/span><\/p>\n<p><span style=\"color:#643716;\">In the end, nothing untoward happened.\u00a0 I drove around for a few extra miles one evening in order to witness the grand event, and then smiled with\u00a0 satisfaction when the magical 300,000 mile mark rolled into view.<\/span><\/p>\n<p><img class=\"aligncenter\" src=\"https:\/\/i0.wp.com\/www.varnishgal.com\/printer.gif\" alt=\"\" width=\"102\" height=\"27\" \/><\/p>\n<p><span style=\"color:#643716;\">I&#8217;ve had opportunities galore to watch odometers\u00a0chew through great chunks of mileage, particularly during vacation trips. But, as I learned while still a child, there are vacations, and then there are vacations.\u00a0 Not all parents were as easy-going as mine.<br \/>\n<\/span><\/p>\n<p><span style=\"color:#643716;\">My dad\u00a0was a car guy, and enjoyed nothing so much as getting up and going, but he liked to combine a little education and fun with his appetite for the open road.\u00a0 Our family trips took us to Colorado,\u00a0 South Dakota,\u00a0Kentucky, and Louisiana. <\/span><span style=\"color:#643716;\">We\u00a0waded across the Mississippi at her source, and explored the muddy Delta where she ends.\u00a0 <\/span><\/p>\n<p style=\"text-align:center;\"><img class=\"aligncenter\" src=\"https:\/\/i0.wp.com\/www.varnishgal.com\/odometer2.jpg\" alt=\"\" width=\"400\" height=\"350\" \/><\/p>\n<p><span style=\"color:#643716;\">When we weren&#8217;t fishing in Minnesota, we visited with Paul Bunyan and Babe,\u00a0his great Blue Ox.\u00a0 We carried home glass tubes\u00a0filled with sediment samples from the iron ore mines near Hibbing, and\u00a0chunks of granite and basalt from Colorado. \u00a0Indian Corn from the Dakotas decorated our front door in the fall, and photographs proving we&#8217;d thrown snowballs at the Continental Divide made it to Show-and-Tell.\u00a0 <\/span><\/p>\n<p><span style=\"color:#643716;\">We even\u00a0had a real adventure or two.\u00a0\u00a0 I still remember a horse-drawn ferry\u00a0at a Kentucky\u00a0river crossing, and a wonderfully terrifying, stuff-of-family-legends\u00a0night in Rainy River, Ontario, where we landed in a room above a tavern that came complete with B-grade movie neon lights shining outside the window, a B-grade ruckus in the bar, and a chair shoved under the doorknob for a little extra security<\/span><\/p>\n<p style=\"text-align:center;\"><span style=\"color:#643716;\"><img class=\"aligncenter\" src=\"https:\/\/i0.wp.com\/www.varnishgal.com\/printer.gif\" alt=\"\" width=\"102\" height=\"27\" \/><\/span><\/p>\n<p><span style=\"color:#643716;\">With vacations ended and families\u00a0returned home,\u00a0my friends and I\u00a0compared notes on our summers.\u00a0 The year we traveled to\u00a0a Minnesota\u00a0lake and stayed in a cabin, I was telling excited tales of fish, snails, and leeches when a classmate looked at me and said, &#8220;Yeah, well&#8230;\u00a0 We drove over 3,000 miles.&#8221;\u00a0\u00a0 When I asked where they&#8217;d gone, she said, &#8220;All over.&#8221;\u00a0 When I asked what they&#8217;d done, she said, &#8220;We drove.&#8221;<\/span><\/p>\n<p><span style=\"color:#643716;\">Looking back on it now, I wonder if Robert Paul Smith didn&#8217;t have a similar experience. His <span style=\"color:#003366;\"><a href=\"http:\/\/www.goodreads.com\/book\/show\/272556.Where_Did_You_Go_Out_What_Did_You_Do_Nothing\" target=\"_blank\"><span style=\"color:#003366;\">memoir<\/span><\/a><\/span>, <em>Where Did You Go? Out. What Did You Do? Nothing, <\/em>makes the point that kids always are doing something &#8212; most of it quite interesting &#8212; while adults generally have neither the time nor the inclination to\u00a0find out\u00a0what&#8217;s happening under their very noses.\u00a0 <\/span><\/p>\n<p><span style=\"color:#643716;\">In the case of my classmate&#8217;s family, the &#8220;nothing&#8221; they experienced on vacation was about as close to nothing as you could get. Their two weeks were filled with highways, gas stations, and bad road food. They spent the bulk of their time trading drivers and trying to figure out how far they could\u00a0go before they had to turn around and head back.\u00a0 <\/span><\/p>\n<p style=\"text-align:center;\"><img class=\"aligncenter\" src=\"https:\/\/i0.wp.com\/www.varnishgal.com\/odometer3.jpg\" alt=\"\" width=\"400\" height=\"280\" \/><\/p>\n<p><span style=\"color:#643716;\">Every year, it was the same.\u00a0 When September arrived and it was time\u00a0to answer the question &#8212; &#8220;What did you do on your summer vacation?&#8221; &#8212; most of us wrote about camp, fishing and swimming, or trips to exotic destinations like Omaha. <\/span><span style=\"color:#643716;\">And every year our little friend bragged, &#8220;We drove 3,000 miles.&#8221; <\/span><\/p>\n<p><span style=\"color:#643716;\">We never knew quite how to feel about it.\u00a0 Sometimes we were jealous. Sometimes we asked a question or two, just to be polite. Most of the time, we simply told our own stories and moved on.<\/span><\/p>\n<p style=\"text-align:center;\"><span style=\"font-size:medium;font-family:Times-Roman;\"><img class=\"aligncenter\" src=\"https:\/\/i0.wp.com\/www.varnishgal.com\/printer.gif\" alt=\"\" width=\"102\" height=\"27\" \/><\/span><\/p>\n<p><span style=\"color:#643716;\">A little less than six years ago, three months after I began writing here at &#8220;The Task at Hand&#8221;, those memories came back in a rush.\u00a0 Logging\u00a0 on to my dashboard one late afternoon, I was surprised to see that, after just three months of blogging,\u00a04,996 page views had been recorded.<\/span><\/p>\n<p><span style=\"color:#643716;\">Looking at the graph, I was as <\/span><span style=\"color:#643716;\">mesmerized as a ten-year-old hanging over the front seat of the family car, waiting for the odometer to\u00a0roll over. I was going out for dinner that night and needed to leave, but I couldn&#8217;t move.\u00a0 The total views clicked up to 4,997, and then to 4,998.\u00a0 <\/span><\/p>\n<p><span style=\"color:#643716;\">With the total sitting at\u00a04,999, I finally pushed back my chair and left.\u00a0 I just couldn&#8217;t bring myself to make a phone call and say, &#8220;Sorry I&#8217;m going to be a little late. I&#8217;m waiting for the blogometer to roll over to 5,000.&#8221; Even if I&#8217;d made the call, they wouldn&#8217;t have understood.<\/span><\/p>\n<p><span style=\"color:#643716;\">Arriving back home later that evening, I found the page still showing 4,999 views.\u00a0 Whether or not it was direct intervention by the Great Cyber Gods I can&#8217;t say, but I got a screen shot of my first 5,000 page views. The image stayed in my files for a year or two, but over time it became less and less important.\u00a0 Eventually, I deleted it.<br \/>\n<\/span><\/p>\n<p style=\"text-align:center;\"><span style=\"font-size:medium;font-family:Times-Roman;\"><img class=\"aligncenter\" src=\"https:\/\/i0.wp.com\/www.varnishgal.com\/printer.gif\" alt=\"\" width=\"102\" height=\"27\" \/><\/span><\/p>\n<p><span style=\"color:#643716;\">In the intervening years, I&#8217;ve done a good bit of thinking about blog stats, followers, and the frantic search for page views and likes. Six years ago, I knew very little about blogging, but I knew something about journeys. I knew I didn&#8217;t want to be the vacationer who travels thousands of miles only to return home with no stories to tell, any more than I wanted to be a traveler so odometer-focused I had no time to glance at the scenery along the way.<\/span><\/p>\n<p><span style=\"color:#643716;\">Certainly, I had goals for my writing when I began this journey on April 19, six years ago. I still do, and those goals include increasing readership.\u00a0 But questions that began forming as early as childhood still apply. Am I traveling to see the sights, meet\u00a0some people and enjoy the experience, or am I traveling simply in order to brag about the miles I&#8217;ve\u00a0covered when I get back home?\u00a0 <\/span><\/p>\n<p><span style=\"color:#643716;\">If\u00a0you&#8217;ve come to know me at all, you know\u00a0my answer. When another anniversary rolls around and I&#8217;m peering at the blogometer, no matter what the numbers say, I&#8217;ll be thinking about them in the context of\u00a0writing, readers, and the relationships with people and life they represent.\u00a0<\/span><\/p>\n<p><span style=\"color:#643716;\">Sometimes, you have to drive to get somewhere.\u00a0 But whether you&#8217;re driving three thousand miles, or three hundred, or thirty, there&#8217;s no reason not to enjoy the scenery, and even less reason not to pull over now and then, kick off your shoes, order a drink and have some conversation with\u00a0the locals.\u00a0 You might hear a good story or two, and you might have something more than miles to talk about when you get home.<\/span><\/p>\n<p style=\"text-align:center;\"><img class=\"aligncenter\" src=\"https:\/\/i0.wp.com\/www.varnishgal.com\/printer.gif\" alt=\"\" width=\"102\" height=\"27\" \/><\/p>\n<h6 style=\"padding-top:80px;\"><span style=\"color:#643716;\"><em>Comments are welcome.\u00a0 And a special welcome to those who have arrived here from the &#8220;Freshly Pressed&#8221; page. You&#8217;re welcome to join in the conversation, but please respect my preference for No Re-Blogging.\u00a0<\/em><\/span><\/h6>\n",
            "excerpt": "<p>Even with a photograph in hand, I can&#8217;t tell you much about this car I helped to wash so many times. I never knew the make or model, and todayI&#8217;m not even certain of the color. On the other hand, &hellip; <a href=\"http:\/\/shoreacres.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/13\/six-years-on-the-road\/\">Continue reading <span class=\"meta-nav\">&rarr;<\/span><\/a><\/p>\n",
            "slug": "six-years-on-the-road",
            "guid": "http:\/\/shoreacres.wordpress.com\/?p=28513",
            "status": "publish",
            "password": "",
            "parent": false,
            "type": "post",
            "comments_open": true,
            "pings_open": true,
            "comment_count": 114,
            "like_count": 52,
            "i_like": 0,
            "is_reblogged": 0,
            "is_following": 0,
            "global_ID": "3e9a85a705a36d4a1b0b2bc0cf554080",
            "featured_image": "",
            "format": "standard",
            "geo": false,
            "publicize_URLs": [

            ],
            "tags": {
                "Blogging": {
                    "ID": 91,
                    "name": "Blogging",
                    "slug": "blogging",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 14,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/3479559\/tags\/slug:blogging",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/3479559\/tags\/slug:blogging\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/3479559"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "popularity": {
                    "ID": 282408,
                    "name": "popularity",
                    "slug": "popularity",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 1,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/3479559\/tags\/slug:popularity",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/3479559\/tags\/slug:popularity\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/3479559"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "social media": {
                    "ID": 49818,
                    "name": "social media",
                    "slug": "social-media",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 3,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/3479559\/tags\/slug:social-media",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/3479559\/tags\/slug:social-media\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/3479559"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "stat counts": {
                    "ID": 222142937,
                    "name": "stat counts",
                    "slug": "stat-counts",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 1,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/3479559\/tags\/slug:stat-counts",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/3479559\/tags\/slug:stat-counts\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/3479559"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "Travel": {
                    "ID": 200,
                    "name": "Travel",
                    "slug": "travel",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 10,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/3479559\/tags\/slug:travel",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/3479559\/tags\/slug:travel\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/3479559"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "vacation": {
                    "ID": 5001,
                    "name": "vacation",
                    "slug": "vacation",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 2,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/3479559\/tags\/slug:vacation",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/3479559\/tags\/slug:vacation\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/3479559"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "Wordpress": {
                    "ID": 33,
                    "name": "Wordpress",
                    "slug": "wordpress",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 5,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/3479559\/tags\/slug:wordpress",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/3479559\/tags\/slug:wordpress\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/3479559"
                        }
                    }
                }
            },
            "categories": {
                "Blogging": {
                    "ID": 91,
                    "name": "Blogging",
                    "slug": "blogging",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 15,
                    "parent": 0,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/3479559\/categories\/slug:blogging",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/3479559\/categories\/slug:blogging\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/3479559"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "Travel": {
                    "ID": 200,
                    "name": "Travel",
                    "slug": "travel",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 19,
                    "parent": 0,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/3479559\/categories\/slug:travel",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/3479559\/categories\/slug:travel\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/3479559"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "Writing": {
                    "ID": 349,
                    "name": "Writing",
                    "slug": "writing",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 163,
                    "parent": 0,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/3479559\/categories\/slug:writing",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/3479559\/categories\/slug:writing\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/3479559"
                        }
                    }
                }
            },
            "attachments": {

            },
            "metadata": false,
            "meta": {
                "links": {
                    "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/3479559\/posts\/28513",
                    "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/3479559\/posts\/28513\/help",
                    "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/3479559",
                    "replies": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/3479559\/posts\/28513\/replies\/",
                    "likes": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/3479559\/posts\/28513\/likes\/"
                }
            },
            "featured_media": {

            },
            "pseudo_ID": "3e9a85a705a36d4a1b0b2bc0cf554080",
            "is_external": false,
            "site_name": "The Task at Hand",
            "site_URL": "http:\/\/shoreacres.wordpress.com",
            "site_is_private": false,
            "editorial": {
                "blog_id": "3479559",
                "post_id": "28513",
                "image": "https:\/\/s0.wp.com\/imgpress?crop=0px%2C0px%2C252px%2C160px&url=https%3A%2F%2Fs1.wp.com%2Fimgpress%3Fw%3D252%26url%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.varnishgal.com%252Fodometer3.jpg&unsharpmask=80,0.5,3",
                "custom_headline": "",
                "custom_blog_title": "",
                "displayed_on": "2014-04-23T15:30:02+00:00",
                "picked_on": "1970-01-01T00:33:34+00:00",
                "highlight_topic": "blogging",
                "highlight_topic_title": "",
                "screen_offset": "0",
                "blog_name": "The Task at Hand",
                "site_id": "1"
            }
        },
        {
            "ID": 2323,
            "site_ID": 39791012,
            "author": {
                "ID": 39229368,
                "email": false,
                "name": "elainestirling",
                "nice_name": "elainestirling",
                "URL": "http:\/\/elainestirling.wordpress.com",
                "avatar_URL": "https:\/\/2.gravatar.com\/avatar\/b55f27c2cb518fdb60aee8bbd6d0bcba?s=96&d=identicon&r=G",
                "profile_URL": "http:\/\/en.gravatar.com\/elainestirling",
                "site_ID": 39791012
            },
            "date": "2014-04-20T11:23:37-04:00",
            "modified": "2014-04-22T12:06:24-04:00",
            "title": "Dreaming Gabo",
            "URL": "http:\/\/elainestirling.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/20\/dreaming-gabo\/",
            "short_URL": "http:\/\/wp.me\/p2GXsw-Bt",
            "content": "<p><a href=\"http:\/\/elainestirling.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/ggm2.jpg\"><img class=\"aligncenter size-full wp-image-2324\" src=\"https:\/\/elainestirling.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/ggm2.jpg?w=480\" alt=\"ggm2\"   \/><\/a><\/p>\n<p>Let us speak of love<br \/>\nOpenly in the streets where myth<br \/>\nVanquishes hard truth, and stories course<br \/>\nEternally like tendrils of a vine.<br \/>\nI\u2019ll learn again to disregard no dream<br \/>\nNaturally, to avoid reality\u2019s cold hosts.<\/p>\n<p>The gossips crow today of hosts\u2014<br \/>\nHow faithful, how devout to godly love,<br \/>\nExcepting fellow man; but in your dream<br \/>\nThey flourish, flawed, woven through the myth<br \/>\nIn which the hummingbird protects the vine.<br \/>\nMacondo breathes, and soldiers know, of course,<\/p>\n<p>Enemies in politics and sex direct the course<br \/>\nOf every man, while fever born of tropics hosts<br \/>\nFierce calumnies that twist what is divine.<br \/>\nGhosts, they coincide us, fleshed by love<br \/>\nAnd fecund women who secrete pure myth<br \/>\nBetween their limbs to fuel the shaman\u2019s dream.<\/p>\n<p>Oh, I\u2019ve no quarrel with the torpid dream;<br \/>\nGrist shines in every form, each course<br \/>\nAnd rivulet propels Creation\u2019s myth.<br \/>\nBut let us tolerate no disappointed hosts<br \/>\nRiven by the tales they tell of wearied love.<br \/>\nInstead, let\u2019s propogate a strong new vine!<\/p>\n<p>Ecstatic, we are labourers of fruit and vine<br \/>\nLaid back in hammocks where the dream<br \/>\nGathers sinew from the sins of love<br \/>\nAnd funerals like weddings run their course,<br \/>\nRespiring through the sleepy childhood hosts<br \/>\nColombia revived in you. This myth<\/p>\n<p>Is universal, plumb. Adopted myth<br \/>\nAnd native-born, we all grow from the vine<br \/>\nMysterious and drop our seed where hosts<br \/>\nAct fast to stimulate the better-tasting dream,<br \/>\nRemembering that preference guides our course<br \/>\nQuite ably when we speak perforce of love.<\/p>\n<p>Upending myth, you show me where the dream<br \/>\nExcises from the vine, fermenting new realities whose course,<br \/>\nZero tolerant of rudeness, hosts exuberant varieties of love.<\/p>\n<p>~~~<\/p>\n<p>An acrostic <a href=\"http:\/\/en.wikipedia.org\/wiki\/Sestina\" target=\"_blank\">sestina<\/a> contains a hidden vertical message, which I\u2019ve made easier to read by capitalizing the first letter of every line. Readers and adorers of Gabriel Garcia Marquez (1927-2014) will understand the wordplay.<\/p>\n<p>\u00a9 Elaine Stirling, 2014<\/p>\n",
            "excerpt": "<p>Let us speak of love Openly in the streets where myth Vanquishes hard truth, and stories course Eternally like tendrils of a vine. I\u2019ll learn again to disregard no dream Naturally, to avoid reality\u2019s cold hosts. The gossips crow today &hellip; <a href=\"http:\/\/elainestirling.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/20\/dreaming-gabo\/\">Continue reading <span class=\"meta-nav\">&rarr;<\/span><\/a><\/p>\n",
            "slug": "dreaming-gabo",
            "guid": "http:\/\/elainestirling.wordpress.com\/?p=2323",
            "status": "publish",
            "password": "",
            "parent": false,
            "type": "post",
            "comments_open": true,
            "pings_open": true,
            "comment_count": 32,
            "like_count": 52,
            "i_like": 0,
            "is_reblogged": 0,
            "is_following": 0,
            "global_ID": "53c3a93998116dde0d5b75335f49792b",
            "featured_image": "",
            "format": "standard",
            "geo": false,
            "publicize_URLs": [

            ],
            "tags": {
                "acrostic sestina": {
                    "ID": 225119795,
                    "name": "acrostic sestina",
                    "slug": "acrostic-sestina",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 1,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/39791012\/tags\/slug:acrostic-sestina",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/39791012\/tags\/slug:acrostic-sestina\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/39791012"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "Elaine Stirling": {
                    "ID": 109618493,
                    "name": "Elaine Stirling",
                    "slug": "elaine-stirling",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 288,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/39791012\/tags\/slug:elaine-stirling",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/39791012\/tags\/slug:elaine-stirling\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/39791012"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "Gabriel Garcia Marquez": {
                    "ID": 56032,
                    "name": "Gabriel Garcia Marquez",
                    "slug": "gabriel-garcia-marquez",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 1,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/39791012\/tags\/slug:gabriel-garcia-marquez",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/39791012\/tags\/slug:gabriel-garcia-marquez\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/39791012"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "homage": {
                    "ID": 154942,
                    "name": "homage",
                    "slug": "homage",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 2,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/39791012\/tags\/slug:homage",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/39791012\/tags\/slug:homage\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/39791012"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "Latin American writers": {
                    "ID": 4554291,
                    "name": "Latin American writers",
                    "slug": "latin-american-writers",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 1,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/39791012\/tags\/slug:latin-american-writers",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/39791012\/tags\/slug:latin-american-writers\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/39791012"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "magical realism": {
                    "ID": 36473668,
                    "name": "magical realism",
                    "slug": "magical-realism-2",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 4,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/39791012\/tags\/slug:magical-realism-2",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/39791012\/tags\/slug:magical-realism-2\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/39791012"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "medieval fixed verse": {
                    "ID": 222839982,
                    "name": "medieval fixed verse",
                    "slug": "medieval-fixed-verse",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 4,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/39791012\/tags\/slug:medieval-fixed-verse",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/39791012\/tags\/slug:medieval-fixed-verse\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/39791012"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "poetry": {
                    "ID": 422,
                    "name": "poetry",
                    "slug": "poetry",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 150,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/39791012\/tags\/slug:poetry",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/39791012\/tags\/slug:poetry\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/39791012"
                        }
                    }
                }
            },
            "categories": {
                "Form Poetry": {
                    "errors": {
                        "unknown_taxonomy": [
                            "Unknown taxonomy"
                        ]
                    },
                    "error_data": {
                        "unknown_taxonomy": 404
                    }
                }
            },
            "attachments": {
                "2324": {
                    "ID": 2324,
                    "URL": "http:\/\/elainestirling.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/ggm2.jpg",
                    "guid": "http:\/\/elainestirling.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/ggm2.jpg",
                    "mime_type": "image\/jpeg",
                    "width": 348,
                    "height": 145
                }
            },
            "metadata": false,
            "meta": {
                "links": {
                    "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/39791012\/posts\/2323",
                    "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/39791012\/posts\/2323\/help",
                    "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/39791012",
                    "replies": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/39791012\/posts\/2323\/replies\/",
                    "likes": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/39791012\/posts\/2323\/likes\/"
                }
            },
            "featured_media": {

            },
            "pseudo_ID": "53c3a93998116dde0d5b75335f49792b",
            "is_external": false,
            "site_name": "Oceantics",
            "site_URL": "http:\/\/elainestirling.wordpress.com",
            "site_is_private": false,
            "editorial": {
                "blog_id": "39791012",
                "post_id": "2323",
                "image": "https:\/\/s2.wp.com\/imgpress?resize=252%2C160&url=http%3A%2F%2Felainestirling.files.wordpress.com%2F2014%2F04%2Fggm2.jpg&unsharpmask=80,0.5,3",
                "custom_headline": "",
                "custom_blog_title": "",
                "displayed_on": "2014-04-23T15:02:02+00:00",
                "picked_on": "1970-01-01T00:33:34+00:00",
                "highlight_topic": "poetry",
                "highlight_topic_title": "",
                "screen_offset": "0",
                "blog_name": "Oceantics",
                "site_id": "1"
            }
        },
        {
            "ID": 2000,
            "site_ID": 52910516,
            "author": {
                "ID": 36685989,
                "email": false,
                "name": "Mummy Says",
                "nice_name": "kiranchug",
                "URL": "http:\/\/mummysays.net",
                "avatar_URL": "https:\/\/0.gravatar.com\/avatar\/65b83dd9bdf172f92da6292f65066e94?s=96&d=identicon&r=G",
                "profile_URL": "http:\/\/en.gravatar.com\/kiranchug",
                "site_ID": 52910516
            },
            "date": "2014-04-16T23:14:51+01:00",
            "modified": "2014-04-16T23:14:51+01:00",
            "title": "How tough is motherhood?",
            "URL": "http:\/\/mummysays.net\/2014\/04\/16\/how-tough-is-motherhood\/",
            "short_URL": "http:\/\/wp.me\/p3A0rq-wg",
            "content": "<p>I\u2019m forced awake before 6am everyday for another round of this thing that is life. I\u2019m always woken by screams after a night of perhaps five broken hours of sleep. I tend to the basic necessities of two small human beings &#8211; I feed, wash and clothe them. I express my love for them. Over the next couple of hours, I lift one or both of them continuously, I reason with the larger one using negotiating skills that would make my country proud. I settle disputes, I calm anger, I kiss away pain. I make decisions for them, I make choices about the things that matter most in their lives. At the time that most London office workers sit down at their desks for the day, I drink my second cup of cold but strong coffee. No-one ever says thank you.<\/p>\n<p>This is motherhood. It is not the world\u2019s hardest job.\u00a0It is not some cult for over-achievers. It is not some clique of amazing super-human women. It is not a club of martyrs. It is motherhood, and billions of us do it every day.<\/p>\n<p>A fake job listing for a director of operations by a US advertising went\u00a0viral this week. It asked people to apply for a 24-hour, 7 day a week role which was unpaid.\u00a0Unsurprisingly, while thousands of people read the job description, \u00a0few clicked through to apply. Why would they? The advert, which was of course a tongue-in-cheek look at the role of a mother, made the job sound like hell.<\/p>\n<p>But here&#8217;s the thing. I\u2019m a mother of two, and it\u2019s isn\u2019t hell. It\u2019s hard, yes; it\u2019s tough some days, yes, it\u2019s exhausting, often thankless, confusing, difficult, frustrating &#8211; it\u2019s all of these things. But it\u2019s not the toughest job in the world.<\/p>\n<p>There are more complex jobs. The astrophysicist thinks far harder than I ever do. There are more difficult jobs. The surgeon separating conjoined twins has a more complicated job to do than me. There are tougher jobs. The cleaner emptying out sanitary bins at 3am who still can&#8217;t afford a decent meal for his elderly father &#8211; his job is tough. These are just obvious examples. But what of the men and women who every day work in jobs they dislike, or the men and women who must make hard decisions which affect the lives of hundreds?The policy makers, the finance directors, the editors, the soldiers, the carers, the teachers &#8211; they are never described as having \u2018the toughest job in the world\u2019.<\/p>\n<p>I have a baby and a toddler and they are both completely dependent on me to feed them, nurture them, and keep them safe. What I do will affect their lives. The decisions I make today will have an impact on their futures. I want them to grow up to be kind and thoughtful and generous and brave &#8211; and it is I that must teach them to be these things. It is I that must spend each day giving them the tools they need to make it in this world. It is a role that carries with it a great deal of responsibility.<\/p>\n<p>But being a mother is also a role that is filled with love and laughter and infinite joy. It cannot be the toughest job in the world, because for every sleepless night and hour spent distracting a toddler on the verge of a tantrum, there is a lifetime of holding in your arms the being you made. No-one will ever love you in the way your child will. This gift to you will be forever yours. Knowing this, I defy you to tell me that being a mother is tougher than anything else.<\/p>\n<p>Being a mother is not a job. It is not something you get a P60 for and clock in and clock out for. It is not something you train for and get a degree in. It is not something that can be measured by KPIs and performance reviews. It is not this cult-like thing you aren\u2019t really a part of until you know how exhausting\/challenging\/thankless it is. Let&#8217;s not pretend that motherhood is anything other than the journey we find ourselves on when we have children. It doesn&#8217;t need to be about how many hours we were awake for, or how quickly we resolved a tantrum. It doesn&#8217;t need to be about how cleverly we juggle all the arts and crafts and toddler entertainment with running a perfect home and holding the family together.<\/p>\n<p>All of this is just life. We have good days and bad days of it. We are mothers.<\/p>\n<p>Billions of women before us, and billions of women after us &#8211; have done this and will do this. They will be mothers. And yes, being a mother is hard &#8211; but it isn&#8217;t the toughest job in the world. It&#8217;s just a particularly special one. Enjoy it. X<\/p>\n<p><a href=\"http:\/\/mummysaysdotnet.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/sling2.jpg\"><img class=\"aligncenter size-large wp-image-1944\" src=\"https:\/\/mummysaysdotnet.files.wordpress.com\/2014\/04\/sling2.jpg?w=480&#038;h=630\" alt=\"sling2\"   \/><\/a><\/p>\n<p><a href=\"http:\/\/honestmum.com\/category\/brilliant-blog-posts\/\"><img style=\"margin-left:auto;margin-right:auto;display:block;\" src=\"https:\/\/i0.wp.com\/i.imgur.com\/fJzNWoE.jpg\" alt=\"Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com\" width=\"204\" height=\"128\" \/><\/a><\/p>\n",
            "excerpt": "<p>I\u2019m forced awake before 6am everyday for another round of this thing that is life. I\u2019m always woken by screams after a night of perhaps five broken hours of sleep. I tend to the basic necessities of two small human &hellip; <a href=\"http:\/\/mummysays.net\/2014\/04\/16\/how-tough-is-motherhood\/\">Continue reading <span class=\"meta-nav\">&rarr;<\/span><\/a><\/p>\n",
            "slug": "how-tough-is-motherhood",
            "guid": "http:\/\/mummysays.net\/?p=2000",
            "status": "publish",
            "password": "",
            "parent": false,
            "type": "post",
            "comments_open": true,
            "pings_open": true,
            "comment_count": 129,
            "like_count": 230,
            "i_like": 0,
            "is_reblogged": 0,
            "is_following": 0,
            "global_ID": "d67b159e6affdb80fa634c2a76a747de",
            "featured_image": "",
            "format": "standard",
            "geo": false,
            "publicize_URLs": [

            ],
            "tags": {
                "children": {
                    "ID": 1343,
                    "name": "children",
                    "slug": "children",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 190,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516\/tags\/slug:children",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516\/tags\/slug:children\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "motherhood": {
                    "ID": 1883274,
                    "name": "motherhood",
                    "slug": "motherhood-2",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 125,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516\/tags\/slug:motherhood-2",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516\/tags\/slug:motherhood-2\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "parenting": {
                    "ID": 5309,
                    "name": "parenting",
                    "slug": "parenting",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 161,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516\/tags\/slug:parenting",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516\/tags\/slug:parenting\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516"
                        }
                    }
                }
            },
            "categories": {
                "Comment and Opinion": {
                    "ID": 10723323,
                    "name": "Comment and Opinion",
                    "slug": "comment-and-opinion",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 80,
                    "parent": 0,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516\/categories\/slug:comment-and-opinion",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516\/categories\/slug:comment-and-opinion\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516"
                        }
                    }
                },
                "Motherhood": {
                    "ID": 4089,
                    "name": "Motherhood",
                    "slug": "motherhood",
                    "description": "",
                    "post_count": 171,
                    "parent": 0,
                    "meta": {
                        "links": {
                            "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516\/categories\/slug:motherhood",
                            "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516\/categories\/slug:motherhood\/help",
                            "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516"
                        }
                    }
                }
            },
            "attachments": {

            },
            "metadata": false,
            "meta": {
                "links": {
                    "self": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516\/posts\/2000",
                    "help": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516\/posts\/2000\/help",
                    "site": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516",
                    "replies": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516\/posts\/2000\/replies\/",
                    "likes": "https:\/\/public-api.wordpress.com\/rest\/v1\/sites\/52910516\/posts\/2000\/likes\/"
                }
            },
            "featured_media": {

            },
            "pseudo_ID": "d67b159e6affdb80fa634c2a76a747de",
            "is_external": false,
            "site_name": "Mummy Says...",
            "site_URL": "http:\/\/mummysaysdotnet.wordpress.com",
            "site_is_private": false,
            "editorial": {
                "blog_id": "52910516",
                "post_id": "2000",
                "image": "https:\/\/s1.wp.com\/imgpress?crop=0px%2C0px%2C252px%2C160px&url=https%3A%2F%2Fs0.wp.com%2Fimgpress%3Fw%3D252%26url%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fmummysaysdotnet.files.wordpress.com%252F2014%252F04%252Fsling2.jpg&unsharpmask=80,0.5,3",
                "custom_headline": "How Tough Is Motherhood?",
                "custom_blog_title": "",
                "displayed_on": "2014-04-22T21:30:02+00:00",
                "picked_on": "1970-01-01T00:33:34+00:00",
                "highlight_topic": "motherhood",
                "highlight_topic_title": "",
                "screen_offset": "-14",
                "blog_name": "Mummy Says...",
                "site_id": "1"
            }
        }
    ]
}