About Iris Vander Pluym

Iris Vander Pluym is an artist and activist in NYC (West Village), and an unapologetic, godless, feminist lefty. Raised to believe Nice Girls™ do not discuss politics, sex or religion, it turns out those are pretty much the only topics she ever wants to talk about.

Iris: MIA.

Hello, beloved readers. You may have discerned my absence from this space for a little while now, which is not typical for me. Seems that perhaps some sort of explanation is in order.

I’ve been going through some difficult personal shit. Without getting into specifics, processing trauma and abuse—even many years later—is not exactly easy or fun, but it becomes absolutely critical when the unfortunate manifestations blindside you (again), seemingly out of nowhere. Suffice it to say that I have an amazingly supportive partner, a tight circle of friends (i.e. “chosen family”), and a skilled therapist* to guide me. In the meantime however, I am finding it very difficult to focus, concentrate and opine for your infotainment upon the vital and timely topics of fascist doucheweasels, patriarchal shitheads, racist conservatives, treasonous theocrats, native-born white d00ds in local bars suggesting an upside to the day’s news out of DC, terrorist squirrels and other assorted menaces.

Then again, I only have one rule—and one rule only—for posting: whatever I want, whenever I want.** So here, have some of that. Continue reading

Defense against Carrier SLAPP Suit.

silencedstatue

Richard Carrier is suing the Freethought Blogs network, of which I am a part, as well as other groups and individuals (see below). Please help us cover costs and legal fees if you can, and share this post or the GoFundMe link on social media. Every dollar helps.

Thank you.

Dr. Richard Carrier is suing us for reporting  on his well-known allegations of misconduct. These allegations were widely reported on throughout the community, including by third-parties critical and sympathetic to him who are not themselves defendants.

This lawsuit has all the hallmarks of a SLAPP suit — a lawsuit filed to stifle legitimate criticism and commentary. The named defendants are Skepticon, The Orbit, and Freethought Blogs – as well as individuals Lauren Lane, the lead organizer of Skepticon; Stephanie Zvan, a blogger for The Orbit; PZ Myers, a blogger for Freethought Blogs; and Amy Frank-Skiba, who publicly posted her first-hand allegations against Carrier.

We need your help to keep our voices alive. All the defendants are represented by the same attorney, First Amendment lawyer Marc Randazza. Randazza is providing his services at a significant discount, but we are not asking him to work for free. Plus, there are thousands of dollars in “costs” for the case that don’t include legal bills, and there is no way to discount those. In order to continue fighting this lawsuit, we, the defendants of this case, have put together this campaign to raise money to defray our costs, some of which is outstanding. Donations will be used only for this case. In the event that the funds raised exceed our legal bills, they will be donated to Planned Parenthood .

We are pooling our defense costs with Skepticon, however as a 501(c)3 non-profit Skepticon is also conducting its own fundraiser where donations may be tax-deductible (ask your tax advisor). Skepticon cannot use donations it receives to help pay the shares of other individuals or organizations, though, and any excess funds raised via their campaign will go to the Skepticon conference fund.

We are confident that the court will uphold our First Amendment rights. But, through time, stress, and of course financial expense, every case like this has a chilling effect. Your support enables us to fight, and creates a warmer environment – not just for us but for others in the future.

Thank you for your support of freedom of speech, and may your new year be powerful and effective!

-Amy Frank-Skiba
-Lauren Lane
-PZ Myers
-Stephanie Zvan

Click here to donate.

I approve this message.

img_7716

“#NOT MY PRESIDENT!” in hot pink paint
Hudson & Christopher Sts.
__________

You know what? I also approve this tactic. Remember waaaaaay back in the ancient times of the Bush/Cheney regime, when protesters were banished to remote “First Amendment zones”? Apparently fragile conservatives – from the Commander In Chief to your ordinary right-wing doucheweasel – could never, ever be exposed to even the mildest, fact-based, critical messaging. Especially not anywhere near their Hitler Youth rallies/campaign events, or even en route thereto.

GOOD TIMES.

I want to see hot pink #NOTMYPRESIDENT everyfuckingwhere. Billboards. TV and print ads. T-shirts and jackets. Social media profiles. Bumper stickers. Tie pins. Skywriters.

#NOTMYPRESIDENT projected in gorgeous, searing fuchsia light, onto every Trump building in the world, every single night.

#NOTMYPRESIDENT spray painted in giant letters on the front of the goddamn White House. (Paging Banksy…)

I want hot pink #NOTMYPRESIDENT to be so ubiquitous that there is nowhere Trump or his supporters can go, in public, in media or online, without encountering it.

Hey, a girl can dream, can’t she?

Although now that I think about it, no one ever explained to my satisfaction what dire calamity would befall us all if these delicate conservative flowers actually encountered meaningful criticism, much less vehement protest. But based on my own experience with conservative specimens I’ve personally observed, I can predict with near certainty that they will flail and lash out like overindulged toddlers on a sugar high. Frankly this could be problematic if they have, say, the US’s entire surveillance and law enforcement institutions under their direct control. To say nothing of the nuclear launch codes…

Okay nevermind. Forget I said anything.

Have a nice day.

Honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

It has become my tradition on this day of remembrance to post the text of a speech delivered by Dr. King on April 4, 1967 at Manhattan’s Riverside Church entitled Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence (audio recording here), along with a short commentary about why I believe these words are so important. The speech is truly magnificent, yet it tends to be given short shrift relative to other works of the slain civil rights leader.

Continue reading

Moroccan Bisteeya (chicken in pastry with cinnamon).

Okay vegans, look away for this one. I promise I’ll make it up to you with a Moroccan recipe for beets that will knock your socks off.

bisteeya1

Bisteeya (alternatively pastilla, besṭila, bastilla, b’stilla or b’steeya) is a traditional Moroccan savory pie, usually served on special occasions as a first course. When I first started exploring Moroccan cooking, bisteeya was my Holy Grail. I fell in love with it in Morocco many moons ago; here in New York, the late, great Cafe Noir used to serve it up (and well).

This is the most delicious chicken dish I have ever tasted, bar none.

Continue reading

What if we’re wrong?

Our esteemed colleague and beloved friend Don Ardell forwarded an interesting exercise he received from his friend, a fellow Robert G. Ingersoll enthusiast. The Great Agnostic was asked what he would do if he passed on and discovered there was indeed a God. The Christian god, of all the possibilities. Ugh.

Q: If you died and somehow found yourself face to face with Jeezus Haploid Christ Incorporated, what would you say to him?

I have to admit my instantaneous reaction was to imagine myself getting right up in his grill and saying FUCK YOU YOU FUCKING FUCK. And not just because I’m a New Yorker and that’s how I greet everybody. It’s probably no secret ’round here that I detest Christianity (though I do not detest all Christians) with the burning passion of ten thousand UY Scuties. Cursing Jeezus out would succinctly convey my feelings perfectly well. But upon further reflection, a more thoughtful (though no less enraged or revolted) reaction might go something like this.

Continue reading

Tragedy in Ft. Lauderdale.

As of this writing, five people are dead and eight remain hospitalized after a gunman fired a barrage of bullets in a baggage claim area at Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida. The alleged shooter was taken into custody, and the airport was (and still is) on lockdown.

When the news first broke earlier today, my heart did too. My first thoughts went to the survivors, and to the loved ones of those who were killed and injured. I hope they get all the support and assistance they need after a(nother) senseless tragedy. Especially those with medical expenses that our wonderful society likes to charge to hapless victims of injury and illness.

My next thoughts were not quite so empathetic.

Continue reading