Friday, October 5, 2018

Rape & Sexual Assault Statistics

Rape & Sexual Assault Stats - I needed to wrap my head around the numbers, so I built a spreadsheet and googled up a bunch of data. According to the narrow, pre-2011 definition aka "forcible" - only 80-90k per year are actually reported to law enforcement. However, only 23-28% of incidents are reported making the real numbers somewhere in the 300-400k per year range, again, based on the word "forcible". Under the new, wider definition, could the numbers be more like 600-800k, or higher? Real rape/sexual assault stats are difficult to ascertain - and the professional public health/law enforcement/justice statistics world has been struggling with this for some time.

Another quoted stat is that 17.7 million women "as of 1998" have been raped or sexually assaulted. Extrapolating population growth and using an incident rate of 0.268 per 1,000 I come up with 24-25 million "as of 2018". With roughly 164 million women in the U.S. (today) - let's say 150 million over age 12 - that's about 16-17%. Which seems low. Less than 1 in 5 women? I always thought it was more like 2 in 5. 40%?

Also if we take 600k per year (even though the numbers have been dropping over the years) and multiply that times 50 years, that's 30 million which seems accurate. That's 20% - still only 1 in 5.

Horrific. Even if it's really only half or a quarter of what I've come up with.

Trump Weaponizes Victimhood to Defend Kavanaugh

Between the Scenes with Trevor Noah on The Daily Show

By the way, by my estimates, at least 25 million women and girls in the U.S. have been sexually assaulted...600,000 per year...

Rebecca Solnit :: We Are What Will Happen

We Are What Will Happen
(short talk for an anti-Kavanaugh rally in San Francisco)

This conflict began as a question about the fitness of one man to sit on the Supreme Court. But now it’s about much more. It’s about who this country is for and who matters, who decides, who can be heard, who will be believed and respected. And with that it joins the battles we’ve called Black Lives Matter and #metoo and Dreamers and voting rights that are part of a long, long project of making this a country for everyone, a country that lives up to its old unfulfilled promises of equality.

This conflict is about that old white male elite versus the voices of women, of immigrants, of people who aren’t rich or straight or white or male or cis-gender. It’s about the refugee children they put in concentration camps. It’s about the Muslim ban. It’s about Standing Rock and indigenous rights. It’s about an old war to keep women silent and out of public life so that men could perpetrate violent crimes against us in private with an impunity some are still shocked to be losing.

It’s about white patriarchy’s assumption that it controls the truth and the facts and the story. They assume their authority is so great that their assertions will override witnesses, evidence, the written record, that theirs are the only voices that matter. That they can have whatever facts they like and make other facts go away.

We are facts who will not go away.

Sexual assault means being stripped of the right to say no, of the right to self-determination and safety and dignity, of the voice that is inseparable from who each of us is. And when sexual assault is denied, trivialized, mocked, or celebrated, when victims are treated as less credible and made less audible than the people who attacked them, that’s exactly the same kind of silencing and dehumanization and devaluation, done by the judicial system or the university or in this case the Trump Administration and half the US Senate.

Survivors, I hear you, I know your value is beyond measure, I send you our love and our pledge that we will change this world for you and with you. We are changing it. We will not stop. We are claiming our voices. With them we will tell our stories and your stories, we will mourn and we will celebrate and we will open all the doors they nailed shut. We will sing until our voices shatter their windows. We will set free the truths they imprisoned.

The conflict about the direction of the country is out in the open. We may not win this round. But we are winning the war, which is why they are so angry and so frightened. It is they who are the backlash. Will we go forward to a country that lives up to those dreams and promises of equality and inclusion? Or will we go back to their frat-house nightmare of white men who can rape and lynch and destroy with impunity and keep us silent? I believe that we will win.

We are the great majority. Our love for each other, for the right of everyone to have a voice and to live in dignity, is stronger than their hate.

Do not ask what will happen. We are what will happen.

I believe that we will win.

"Good Government", On Governance, #fucktrump, #MeToo, #Resist, #BLM, #Dreamers, #Equality, #VotingRights, #FuckKavanaugh, #OldWhiteMaleElite, #FuckTheGOP, #RapeCulture, Rape Culture, We are here to kill rape culture

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Twenty Tango Lessons :: Andrea Shepard's "Life Is A Tango Blog"

Oscar Grillo Artist

From Andrea Shepard's blog "Life is a Tango"...she's in Montreal...

I took my very first tango class in 1997. It is now 2017, so that means I have been officially dancing tango for 20 years! And what a journey it has been.

So, has it all been worth it? Absolutely.

Has it been easy? Of course not.

Over the years I have learned many things. I have learned confidence and humility, I have learned to let go and to stand up for myself, to be both tougher and more understanding, to lead and to follow, to express myself and to listen, to be engaged and relaxed, to think ahead while living in the moment, to follow the rules while thinking outside the box.

In no particular order, I have come up with 20 things I have learned in 20 years of tango. In an effort to keep my posts both shorter and more regular (it has been months since my last post!), my plan is to publish one "lesson" a week for the next 20 weeks.

Lesson No. 1: Tango evolves and so must we. Tango has changed in the 20 years since I was a beginner. The dance has changed, the trends and customs have changed, my city has changed and of course I have changed. Back then, tango learning was all about the steps. By the time I had finished Tango 2 I think I had learned ganchos and boleos, barridas and sacadas. Teachers were not really talking about following the line of dance, or the ronda -- beyond mentioning the fact that things moved in a generally counter-clockwise direction on the dance floor -- most local DJs did not play cortinas to separate the tandas and nobody used the cabeceo. The Broadway show Forever Tango was touring the world while Sally Potter's movie The Tango Lesson and Carlos Saura's Tango were just being released. All around us were showy moves and dramatic music. Pugliese instrumentals and show soundtracks were played everywhere. In a couple of years, this new group called Gotan Project would bring an entirely new, equally dramatic and thoroughly modern sound that would be a big sign of things to come. Meanwhile, tango shoes from Argentina were not yet readily available so we all danced in whatever kind of dance shoes we could find. Montreal was already a major player on the North American tango scene, and you could dance seven nights a week even then, but each night there was one milonga on offer, so the whole community knew where to go, came together and most events were a guaranteed success."

Click here to read the complete "Part One" post...and then click on each successive of the Parts 2-20 at the bottom of each post...

My Tango Double-Life :: Aneta Key TED Talk

Executive advisor Aneta Key lives a double life. Outside of her corporate and familial responsibilities, her passion is the Argentinian tango. It’s a dance that promotes a radical openness (and endorphins!) that has led her to follow it across the globe.
TEDArchive presents previously unpublished talks from TED conferences.
Enjoy this unedited talk by Aneta Key.
Filmed at TEDGlobal University 2012.

Monica Paz on "that milonguero feeling"

Aight. I'm not a great headline writer. Just watch the video.

Here's her website:

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Comme il Faut Shoes :: Short Video

From the video owner: "While in Buenos Aires we stumbled across a curious manufacturing operation nestled in an alley and realized it was a unique opportunity for CH Video. Alicia Muñiz, the founder and designer of Comme il Faut, has been dancing tango most of her life. Dissatisfied with the available tango shoes Muñiz decided to go ahead and make her own. Seeking to bring a higher level of fashion and design into her shoes, Muñiz broke the mold and created one of the most sought after and successful line of tango footwear in the world."

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

When To Quit Tango - By Karen Kaye

Photo by yours truly...

From Karen Kaye, aka Epiphany [9/14/18]...great advice here...I'm excerpting the first two below...there are five total...short and profound read...and surely applicable to lots of areas of our lives...

There are times when tango brings people prolonged angst. If you find yourself constantly complaining about the frustration you feel from tango, read on. Sometimes the pain comes from things within our control – and it’s up to us to decide whether to change, or move on.

#1. Expectations. The easiest way to suffer constant disappointment is to have expectations. You cannot expect the best dancers to seek you out. You cannot expect organizers to run events the way you want. And you cannot expect people to dance differently, act differently or be who they are not. Expectations will poison your life with constant resentment. Instead, focus on the real reason we go to a milonga.

#2. Negative self-fulfilling prophecy. If you constantly attribute bad nights to things like, “They are too snobby to dance with me”, or “I don’t get asked to dance because…”, you are single-handedly poisoning your own life. Our words, thoughts and beliefs create the experience we have in life. It’s called the Law of Attraction and it’s one of the most powerful things you’ll encounter in life. If you won’t change the victim mentality, you will never find true fulfillment in dance – or life. This often bleeds into #3.

Lots of other interesting looking posts on her blog...check it here to read the rest...or here :

Monday, September 17, 2018

"For The Love of Tango" :: Tango Documentary [2014]

One hour, nine minutes (1:09) Available to rent or purchase on Vimeo OnDemand:

For the Love of Tango from Work site on Vimeo.

Filmmaker Susan Kucera captures the story of a blind man’s journey into the intoxicating, complex world of Argentine tango and explores the impact tango has had on the lives of professional tango dancers, teachers, performers, and enthusiasts. In the end, beyond the fancy footwork, beautiful dresses, high heels, and dazzling performances, tango is about discovering of oneself. Shot on location in the United States (Hawai‘i, New York, Seattle, Portland), the Czech Republic, Germany, and Canada, For the Love of Tango reveals how we can communicate with one another beyond all barriers of race, language, age or physical limitations.

Bonus Dance Material included
For more information:
Professional Tango Performers and Teachers Featured:
Jorge Torres and Maria Blanco
Natalia Hills
Gabriel Misse
Mayte Valdes and Carlos Barrionuevo
Alex Krebs
Ilana Rubin and Tony Fan
Astrid Wieske

From the filmmaker's KickStarter Page (from 2012-2014):

For the Love of Tango..... Through the story of one blind man we explore the intoxicating, exciting and complex world of Argentine Tango. How did a blind person become involved in this dance, how does he navigate the dance floor full of other dancers when he can’t see and how does he asks someone for a dance? By accompanying him on his journey we learn about and experience a whole other world.

We delve into the lives of professional Tango dancers and teachers, including Tango Master: Jorge Torres of Broadway’s: ‘Forever Tango’, world class Tango performers like Natalia Hills & Gabriele Misse, Mayte & Carlos Barrionuevo, international tango teachers like Alex Krebs, Brigitta Winkler, Tony Fan and Ilana Rubin among others, as well as ‘regular people and lovers’ of the dance whose life has changed as a result of being immersed in it.

As Suki Schorer, (she danced with the NYCB under Balanchine 1959-1972. Promoted to principal in 1968 by Balanchine. She joined the faculty of SAB as a full time teacher in 1972. and now holds the Brown Senior Faculty Chair), reminds us: ‘It is an addiction.... but a healthy one.’

Tango challenges everyone who enters into its world from the relationship between the sexes to exploring our limitations; our ability to surrender and let go, to finding confidence and grace in our bodies and minds. It shows how we can communicate with one another beyond all barriers of race, language, age or physical limitations. It is truly a universal language that can inspire and connect us beyond the surface.

In the end we see that beyond the fancy foot work, beautiful dresses, high heels and dazzling performances Tango is....... really about the discovery of oneself.

from the creators:

Life is like a dance - I knew nothing about the Tango, other than what most people know of it if they haven't danced it themselves, dancers in perfect rhythm, legs flashing, alluring costumes, the characters of the professional dancers' persona on stage - but as I entered this journey with a film makers eye, interviewed and edited, I discovered what all the passion is about for those who try to learn the dance themselves. It has all the flavors of life and I could see clearly why my partner, Gawain Bantle loved it to such a degree.

The film is about the inner essence of Tango and it's parallels to what life is - full of joy, frustration, attraction, love, narcism, humility, fear, balance, human interconnectedness, and the mastery of the art of Tango. As in any art, the artist has to bring forth what he or she feels inside balanced with good training in order to do the dance well. You have to know the rules, but then you have to let go and really feel! Life is like a dance, we come together, share special moments, and ultimately part: as the great dancer, Jorge Torres remarks, to dance Tango… to really dance Tango… you must discover yourself.

The film exists because of Gawain Bantle's enthusiasm for the dance and he and I have been on location in several countries and unusual locations doing principle photography for a few years. We've produced the film ourselves shooting it in between other projects. The inimitable dancer Jorge Torres, a true professional and one of the most amazing human beings I have ever met signed on as Executive Producer and together we have worked to finish "For the Love of Tango". With some last minute post-production costs, we're almost there.

- Susan Kucera - director, producer, cinematographer

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Abrazo de Tango :: Selling Diamonds with Tango

More co-opting of "El Tango" for commercial/advertising purposes. The Belgium Diamond House offers the D'Agostino Duet, the Donato Solitaire, the Fresedo Duet. "Tango is more than a's a love story...that begins with an embrace..."

I have to laugh. But I guess we should be happy that people/companies are doing this. I suppose. Perhaps it helps spread more tango around the world.

This is from seven years ago. I found it on Vimeo.

Abrazo de Tango from Belgium Diamond House on Vimeo.

TANGO is more than a dance, it's a love story that begins with an EMBRACE.

Belgium Diamond House has always sought inspiration from artistic influences in human history, and our designers have been captivated y the art of Argentine Tango. Even if you don't dance, once you wear one of our meticulously crafted "Abrazo de Tango" diamond accessories, you'll be immersed in a world of timeless grace and passion.

Please go to for more collection details.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

La Llorona :: Fabrizio Cammarata (and Chavela Varga, too)

I first heard/discovered Fabrizio Cammarata in Austin, well, outside of Austin in Wimberley, a number of years ago...happened across this first one whilst putzing around this morning...and then found the second one searching further...

There is nothing quite like live music, in person, being right there in the moment...

I like the first performance better...

From wiki: La Llorona - In Mexican folklore, La Llorona (pronounced [la ʝo.ˈɾ], "The Weeping Woman") is a ghost of a woman who lost her children and now cries while looking for them in the river, often causing misfortune to those who are near, or who hear her

From wiki/the song/lyrics here:

Here's the scene from the film "Frida" with Chavela Vargas singing La Llorona:

And here's a high def version: