HelenWongOnline

Cannibals and Hannibal

Growing Pains

The show raises questions about cannibalism actually being evil; there are a lot of not-so-subtle rationalizations that Hannibal Lecter thinks up to justify his decision to murder and then eat people like it’s no big deal. Eat the rude. Why? Because they’re pigs, apparently, and the best way to deal with the rude is to turn them into filet mignon or chateaubriand or whatever other near-unpronounceable dish that Hannibal feels the need to eat, because he’s clearly incapable of preparing anything that can’t be categorized as high-class food porn. Read More…

Breaking cycles of trauma in our lives

Safe, Sane and Consensual

The newborn in my arms looked like a prune but smelled like heaven. If a fairy were to throw baby powder and marshmallows into warm milk, it would probably conjure up this tiny human being. The maternity ward was quiet, so as a doula at the San Francisco General Hospital, Read More…

straus

Give us this day our daily method

Two Steps Forward

I know and care about many people whose closed-mindedness is hurting or killing them. Parents of close friends refuse to change their fat- and sugar-laden diets, even after diagnoses of heart problems or diabetes. Every single smoker I know is aware of how damaging the habit is, but most never Read More…

Microbes matter more than you think

Safe, Sane and Consensual

I was pissing blood — like I’d eaten beets, except I hadn’t. A tiny demon was sitting in my abdomen, twisting my organs into knots while stabbing them with knitting needles. It wasn’t my period. That was all I knew. I searched for “pissing blood pain abdomen,” and Google told Read More…

Stacey-Nguyen-full

Cruel and Unusual

Anxiety shook me when my fifth-grade teacher assigned us a paragraph on what we thought about Stanley “Tookie” William’s death sentence. Williams, a former leader of the Crips charged with several accounts of first-degree murder, was put on death row in California. In prison, he began writing anti-gang and anti-violence Read More…

straus

The Trouble with Dogma

This view of Christians as morally superior to others is all too common. Native Americans were slaughtered and raped by generations of European settlers. Never mind that they had lived sustainably on the land for millennia; never mind that their retaliatory violence was an attempt to protect their homes; never mind that they could have contributed so much more than maize to the settlers’ lives. They believed in animalistic nature gods and, therefore, were little better than animals themselves. The Crusades were a centuries-long bloodbath borne of the belief that everyone should be Christian. Judeo-Christian values have wrought the fruitless, zero-sum blood feud between Israel and Palestine: complete unwillingness to compromise, bolstered by years of gruesome violence on both sides, backed by each group’s unyielding belief that they are the chosen people. Read More…

Choosing life and strength over suicide

Safe, Sane and Consensual

I was stone-cold sober and doubled over the gutter on Haight Street in the middle of a sunny Saturday, vomiting. The street smelled the way it always does — of piss and trash with the occasional waft of Salvadorean food. It was nauseating. My friends hovered over me, a little Read More…

HelenWongOnline

Dickens makes you a dick

Name-dropping famous authors that you don’t actually know or read or love in a conversation actually reflects negatively on your intelligence, because eventually, if you talk to someone who actually knows his or her shit, the impression you make isn’t a very good one. You come off as pretentious at best and as an Edna at worst. Read More…

Emotional and social politics of PMS

Safe, Sane and Consensual

I was a sink with a leaky faucet. The tears wouldn’t stop. There was nothing wrong. I wasn’t sad. I just couldn’t stop crying. My mind churned out reasons to be sad, and I cried until I had a pair of swollen goldfish eyes. The worst part about it? This Read More…

Rebecca-Gluck_online

Speaking truth to outrage

I had seen my grandfather do it years ago. My father did the same even more recently. I didn’t think I would ever engage in what always seemed to me a hands-off subject, but there I was, in a vehement argument about politics. It started as an uneventful high school Read More…