No Thanks

Links, thoughts, etc.

Hello all! This is an email that goes out to everyone, a reminder that I’ll be putting longer form stuff as well as extra photos of Clem, cartoons, behind the scenes things, etc. — in emails for subscribers only, so make sure to sign up if you haven’t yet. I’ll be off Instagram for the foreseeable future, so if you like my work and want to stay inside my very chaotic brain, this will be the place! As always if you want to subscribe but need a sliding scale or can’t afford right now, send me an email at and we’ll work it out!

Below, a bunch of links and things to think about. I highly suggest opening everything / doing explorations of your own, as I’m not even scratching the surface but hopefully pointing you in some helpful directions.

Longer read: the ableist history of Autism Speaks

See also:

Context for that here, CW for whole piece and for paragraphs below.

“In Rowling’s essay, she compared being trans to having a mental illness, suggesting trans men want to “escape womanhood”. She also said she could have transitioned if she was ‘given the option’ when she was younger, but suggested these feelings can be grown out of. She faced backlash from many who branded her a TERF (trans-exlusionary radical feminist). Rowling was also criticised for transphobia after the release of her 2020 novel, Troubled Blood, which featured male serial killer who murdered their victims while wearing ‘women’s clothing’. 

Like Rowling, Adichie has been accused of transphobia in the past, such as when she suggested trans women are not ‘real women’ and that they had ‘male privilege’. She blamed social media for the reactions to JK Rowling’s anti-trans actions, saying the online response was “cruel and sad”

BOOK: Captive Genders Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex, Second Edition

DOWNLOADABLE ART! “Honoring Trans Lives, Dreaming of Trans Freedom”

A post shared by J Mase III : Poet & Educator (@jmaseiii)

See also: What You Need to Know About BDS

Dean Spade on How Mutual Aid Will Help Us Survive Disaster

I’ll touch on this more in the subscriber newsletter but — why are people even trying to do Thanksgiving? Risking everything to celebrate the genocide holiday? In the middle of a viral pandemic? What.

It always feels dissonant to me, but it feels even eerier now. Giving thanks? Now? A process which is literally dangerous to you and everyone around you? The most “giving thanks” thing you could do for others would be to do nothing this year. Not even a friend pod. NOPE. Nothing. No matter how safe it seems, no matter how much you try to prepare — it just doesn’t work like that. I’m sorry, but it’s true.

I know I know I know that the social isolation aspect of this is incredibly hard. Trust me — I really get it. But I hope that we can get creative again while trying to control the outbreak of the virus. Yes, it’s gotten this bad because of government failure to provide money for everyone to stay home. Without doubt. But the past few months has also shown a remarkable resistance to many Americans thinking communally, which is eerie around this holiday because it already rests on multiple delusions and amnesiac historical renderings to pretend it’s in the service of togetherness. It’s a lie on top of a lie on top of a lie. Why celebrate this in the middle of a pandemic which is disproportionally affecting people in prisons, people in Native communities, poor people and unhoused people. “Giving” would be making sure those in need of a place to isolate had one. Giving would be ending homelessness and hunger. Giving would be freeing people from the terrible conditions in which they are imprisoned. Giving would be reallocating wealth. Giving would be doing everything we can personally to take care of community health—social distancing if possible, washing hands, wearing a mask. Forgive me if passing some potato to your relative you don’t even like that much seems utterly unthinkable at this moment.

I saw this piece on Slate called “The Perfect Time to Delete Instagram is Right Nowabout how hard it’s going to be to watch super-spreader events this holiday season and to not subject yourself to that. To be honest I had to laugh. Because what this person is describing has been everyday of the pandemic for disabled people. It’s not just super spreader events that are hard to watch. It’s the people you thought cared about shit casually flaunting how they are out and about, and how no one watching seems to care if they are chic enough. “Gorgeous!” reads a comment on yet another post of a person who is maskless and surrounded by friends. It’s been watching people you thought were friends just really, really not get it. It’s been watching the “return” of life to usual as though that were possible, knowing that people are going on without you. It’s been people saying “this is the third wave” as if the first ever stopped. It’s been people taking “measured risks” that you know are killing people more vulnerable around them. It’s been watching people grapple with isolation for the first time ever and trying to be compassionate because it’s really fucking hard and lonely, but so many live like this all the time. It’s been seeing think pieces about “ten people doing great things with their online platforms” as though the internet wasn’t a place for genuine connection and action before this. It’s been trying to talk to people earnestly about how to be safer and getting repeatedly being met with resistance, hostility, projection, etc. See below screenshots from March if you wanted to know why I stopped trying to Use My Platform to do anything, really. I’m exhausted and really sad!

ID: a screenshot of an exchange where a stranger says “your immune dysfunction is not your fault so don’t feel bad” among other weird things. The response reads “I don’t feel bad what I need is for healthy people to practice basic hygiene so I don’t die.”
A screenshot of a conversation that includes a drawing of a trophy that says “Stayed the fuck home.” underneath a person has said “you are such a clown. building your social brand off a pandemic and guilt tripping the less fortunate. Nice work!”

Anyways rant over, I hope you are staying safe, I hope you are finding small ways to laugh. I hope you remember whatever you’re going through, you are so not alone, even if everything feels 100000% more lonely than usual these days. Why don’t you respond to that text you’ve been putting off right now? Or send someone you’ve been crushing on a great meme like the hero you are. I hope you maybe saw a great dog today. AND IF NOT? WELL GUESS WHAT! HERE IS ONE RIGHT NOW HERE SHE IS:

ID: a photo of clem being chunky clem. She’s got a curled up paw and is giving side eye to the camera, unclear why.
ID: a photo of Clem being very small. She is sitting on the sidewalk looking up at the camera. Her eyes are so beautiful it is bewitching. Very hazel.

With love,
Shelby + Clem