Melissa Etheridge at Tanglewood (selected quotes)

We were three or four songs into Melissa’s set when I asked my girlfriend (of the unique 3-year generation born 1980-1982) how she learned about lesbian music. She explained “probably through Women’s Studies” during her undergrad years.

Sent this tweet 7:37pm, three minutes later we were dancing.

L: “Mab introduced me. She opened a portal.”

L: “And Elliot followed it up.”

L: “…introduced me to Joan Armatrading…”

Melissa was going all out “I want to come over” on this most perfect late summer evening as a couple dozen friends gathered together on the lawn to enjoy her.

L: “…Chris Williamson, Song of the Soul…”

L: “My mom listened to this music!”

L: “I went to Michigan.”

Melissa Etheridge: “…to hell with the consequence!”

L: “…a Pandora station. ‘Holy fuck. This is lesbian music!’”

About this time, someone kicked my lawn chair.


What a great call! Suddenly we were all standing and dancing. A lick of lesbians in the midst of thousands totally getting down to Melissa, just like in the old days. Such laughter and incredible grins! The only thing wrong with it was the failure of the rest of the audience to catch our enthusiasm and join in.

M: “Earth Wind and Fire was better. Everyone was up dancing…snakes were going all around. I’ve never seen Tanglewood like that.”

Melissa played a 90-minute set, maybe more?

I was curious how frequently M attends shows at Tanglewood. She used to come as a teenager because she went to a boarding school nearby, and then this summer “more than ever before. It helps to have friends to go with,” she explained.

Melissa Etheridge: Somebody bring me some water!

I commented on our obvious delight: “We are the coolest group here.”

T: “That’s absolutely right! Everyone else is either jealous or they suck.”

Melissa Etheridge: Come to my window . . . 


ps – new album: The Medicine Show  (2019).

Mid-Century Modern (e.g. Frank Lloyd Wright)


Steph:                     We’re going to call this “Mid-Century Modern?”

Lindsey:                 Okay.

Steph:                     Okay. That’s what they’re called.

Lindsey:                 I like this one too.

Steph:                     Yeah.

Lindsey:                 It’s a little more like… It has brick, it has some more privacy.

Steph:                     Yeah, I like that the height of the exterior is tall enough.

Lindsey:                 Yeah, I like that.

Steph:                     But you still have all those windows. This is my question, who is going to wash those windows?

Lindsey:                 I don’t know.

Steph:                     Yeah.

Lindsey:                 [laughter] I don’t know babe.

Steph:                     Besides the fact that you gave up money.

Lindsey:                 This is a Craftsmen that somebody’s calling a mid-century modern home, but it’s a Craftsman home. I don’t know why they’re calling that a mid-century modern. I like craftsman homes.

Steph:                     You don’t like it?

Lindsey:                 I do like Craftsman, but I lived in a Craftsman. I don’t have a lot of experience inside mid-century modern homes.

Steph:                     Okay.

Lindsey:                 On the interior.

Steph:                     Okay.

Lindsey:                 I have a couple.

Steph:                     Okay.

Lindsey:                 I know I like the light. I know I also want some room definition, which is contrary to the whole trend of totally open floor plans.

Steph:                     Yeah.

Lindsey:                 I would like a room that you close the door to that has a piano in it, for example, and that it’s not open, and if you want a computer on, it’s not in the same space.

Steph:                     It’s not interference, yeah.

Lindsey:                 To me that’s important.

Steph:                     You need a music room.

Lindsey:                 A separate space. I did live in a Craftsman, and it was all open. The floor plan on the first level was just-

Steph:                     Uh-huh, all the way around.

Lindsey:                 It had a middle.

Steph:                     I guess that’s like the house I grew up in.

Lindsey:                 Right?

Steph:                     It went all the way around.

Lindsey:                 The house I grew up in-

Steph:                     Which was kind of cool.

Lindsey:                 The house I grew up in was that, but all of them had doors.

Steph:                     Because one way through was the bathroom and it was kind of like a secret.

Lindsey:                 Oh, that’s fun.

Steph:                     Yeah.

Lindsey:                 Between a room was a bathroom?

Steph:                     It was under the stairs…

Lindsey:                 The bathroom was under the stairs?

Steph:                     The stairs went upstairs and downstairs and then the bathroom, a single seat toilet, was tucked there.

Lindsey:                 Oh, it was under the stairs. That’s cute.

Steph:                     Yeah. People could use that without going upstairs. You had a guest bedroom or bathroom.

Lindsey:                 That’s cute. I like that.

Steph:                     It was cute, but then we could run around the entire… But normally we didn’t. Normally, we just navigated the house in a “C,” from the kitchen to the dining room to the living room to the front entry and stairs.

Lindsey:                 Kitchen to the dining room to the living room to the stairs.

Steph:                     Yeah.

Lindsey:                 But over here is a bathroom? Wait, but what’s the…

Steph:                     Between the stairs and the kitchen…

Lindsey:                 …is the bathroom. You could walk through it?

Steph:                     You could walk through it, but we didn’t usually, because it was the bathroom.

Lindsey:                 That’s cool!

Steph:                     Every now and then we were…

Lindsey:                 What year was the house built? Do you know?

Steph:                     Rich and Dad would know. I don’t know.

Lindsey:                 Hmm. Cool.

Steph:                     My brother would know. Wait a minute, because the reason that we’re having this conversation is because we discovered that your album is designed in the mid-century modern style.

Lindsey:                 There’s privacy things they have going on there. Do you see that?

Steph:                     Does that mean we’re not supposed to have this conversation on the podcast?

Lindsey:                 Oh, no, no, no. I was looking… How did they get… There are not a lot of areas with the amount of privacy that would allow for as many windows as I think are beautiful in a mid-century modern house for me to feel comfortable having them open all the time.

Steph:                     Right.

Lindsey:                 I just noticed that they did a little technique here where… Because curtains are not mid-century modern. Curtains don’t fit the aesthetic.

Steph:                     Okay.

Lindsey:                 This is a slat kind of thing.

Steph:                     Okay.

Lindsey:                 That functions as a curtain, but still lets the light in. Okay. You were talking about the album.

Steph:                     That’s how we got here, because we were talking about the conversation between the text on your album-

Lindsey:                 And the pictures.

Steph:                     The text, and the font, and the style of that.

Lindsey:                 Yeah.

Steph:                     And the style of the photographs.

Lindsey:                 Right. The photos are 1970, and I said to the person who ultimately designed the text that I wanted the text to be more modern-looking. I guess by modern I meant clean lines, which to me is like a mid-century modern home.

Steph:                     Right, so that’s how you closed the gap.

Lindsey:                 That why I said it’s like the equivalent in album text…

Steph:                     Then we started looking-

Lindsey:                 …to a mid century modern home.

Steph:                     Right. The example of the album cover that you’re talking about was, did you say, John Lennon’s cover?

Lindsey:                 No, George Harrison.

Steph:                     George Harrison.

Lindsey:                 His text is very clean, and I like the very clean text. I forget the name of that album, but it was George Harrison with a line and all of the text is very thin. The album cover was a sepia tone with a picture of him that had been faded. It wasn’t live color, but the whole album cover evoked that kind of sparseness, but in particular the text. I like what I arrived… I’m not going to say her name, because she doesn’t necessarily know if she wants to be in this.

Steph:                     Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Lindsey:                 I like what she arrived at with the text.

Steph:                     Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Lindsey:                 It’s modern but it isn’t that.

Steph:                     Right. Right. Then we got to this conversation, because you sent it to somebody to do the layout without any instruction whatsoever, and she matched the text-

Lindsey:                 To the pictures.

Steph:                     To the pictures and put it in that kind of time.

Lindsey:                 It was seventies.

Steph:                     It was okay. The point is that you didn’t want your message to be “This is all about the 70s”. What you’re saying is, “I started with the music of the 70s.”

Lindsey:                 Yeah.

Steph:                     “That’s where I started. That’s what you see first.”

Lindsey:                 Yeah.

Steph:                     Then you have to think about what is happening between the words, the text on the album, and the photos on the album.

Lindsey:                 Yeah.

Steph:                     And then how do all three relate to what’s happening in your lyrics?

Lindsey:                 There you go.

Steph:                     Yeah. Like that. Is that the house you liked best?

Lindsey:                 Well, I don’t know. It’s all relative. I don’t know. It’s a little boring, honestly.

Steph:                     It’s all relative.

Lindsey:                 Too much glass.

Steph:                     What were we saying before about the title?

Lindsey:                 [crosstalk 00:06:47] I like the wood like that. What, the title?

Steph:                     The title of the album.

Lindsey:                 Right? Yeah. You were saying something about how it reveals…it’s just the outline, so people have to fill in?

Steph:                     Right, right.

Lindsey:                 …the content of Anthem?

Steph:                     Yes.

Lindsey:                 Or that they’re participating in the making of Anthem? There’s space there.

Steph:                     Yeah!

Lindsey:                 This is interesting, because this is a very densely populated area, obviously. Neighbor, neighbor.

Steph:                     Right.

Lindsey:                 I’m assuming they have not a lot of windows on each side of this home, and just on the back is where they’re getting their light.

Steph:                     Right.

Lindsey:                 And they did a good job. I liked that.

Steph:                     Which means they live there.

Lindsey:                 I know. I was going to say, “I don’t know if I want that, but I like how that looks on that window.”

Steph:                     All right.

Lindsey:                 I don’t know. I just like looking at houses.

Steph:                     This is seven minutes. We could go a little bit longer. Is there anything else you want to say about the album release, which is happening…?

Lindsey:                 I hope to have it in hand August 12th.

Steph:                     Right, and then the second house concert is going to be…?

Lindsey:                 August 18th.

Steph:                     August 18th.

Lindsey:                 Here’s the classic.

Steph:                     And then there’s another.

Lindsey:                 September. [background sound — a squeeze-toy horn] Oh, there’s the timer.

Steph:                     Oh, kale chips. Okay. Okay. We’ve got a plan. Anthem.


The Resource and Reallocation Crisis

One way to understand the scope of the planetary crisis is how authors of speculative/science fiction deal with the problem of avoiding self-inflicted human extinction.  Alastair Reynolds composed a page of (fictional) historical reflection in Blue Remembered Earth (2012).



Geoffrey (the primary protagonist) is returning to his home in Africa from a space flight to the Moon. Unbeknownst to him until she speaks, he’s accompanied by a “construct” of his grandmother, Eunice (a main protagonist).

cover_BlueRememberedEarth_Reynolds_2014-06-26 at 7.43.43 PM“Look at that planet. It’s still beautiful. It’s still ours, still our home. The oceans rose, the atmosphere warmed up, the weather went ape-shit, we had stupid, needless wars. And yet we still found a way to ride it out, to stay alive. To do more than just survive. To come out of all that and still feel like we have a home.” (Eunice,  p. 167)

Geoffrey and Eunice are in “the recuperation and observation deck . . . Africa lay spread out . . . in all its astonishing variegated vastness. The Libreville anchorpoint was actually a hundred kilometers south of its namesake city and as far west again, built out into the Atlantic. Looking straight down, he could see the grey scratch of the sea-battered artificial peninsula daggering from the Gabon coastline, with the anchorpoint a circular widening at its westerly end.

To the north, beginning to be pulled out of sight by the curvature of the Earth, lay the great, barely inhabited emptiness of Saharan Africa, from Mauritania to the Sudan. Tens of millions of people had lived there, until not much more than a century ago—enough to cram the densest megacity anywhere on the planet. Clustered  around the tiny life-giving motes of oases and rivers, those millions had left the emptiness practically untouched. Daunting persistence had been required to make a living in those desert spaces, where appalling hardship was only ever a famine or drought away. But people had done so, successfully, for thousands of years. It was only the coming of the Anthropocene, the human-instigated climate shift of recent centuries, that had finally brought the Saharan depopulation. In mere lifetimes, the entire region had been subject to massive planned migration. Mali, Chad, Niger . . . these were political entities that still existed, but only in the most abstract and technical of senses., their borders still recorded, their GDPs still tracked. Almost no one actually lived in them, save a skeleton staff of AU caretakers and industrialists.

The rising sea levels of the twenty-first century had scarcely dented Africa’s coastline, and much of what would have been lost to the oceans had been conserved by thousands of kilometres of walled defenses thrown up in haste and later buttressed and secured against further inundation. But there was no sense that Africa had been spared. The shifting of the monsoon had stolen the rains from one part and redistributed them elsewhere—parching the Congo, anointing the formerly arid sub-Saharan Sahel region from Guinea to Nigeria.

Change on that kind of scale, a literal redrawing of the map, could never be painless. There had been testing times, the Resource and Reallocation years: almost the worst that people could bear. Yet these were Africans, used to that kind of thing. They had come through the grim tunnel of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and made it out the other side. And at least climate change didn’t ride into town with tanks and guns and machetes.

For the most part. It was pointless to pretend that there hadn’t been outbreaks of local stupidity, micro-atrocities. Ethnic tensions, simmering for decades, had flared up at the least provocation. But that was the case the world over; it wasn’t a uniquely African problem.

A million glints of sunlight spangled back at Geoffrey from the central Saharan energy belt. When people moved away, machines had arrived. In their wake they had left regimented arrays of solar collectors, ranks of photovoltaic cells and long, stately chains of solar towers, fed by sun-tracking mirrors as large as radio telescopes. The energy belt stretched for thousands of kilometres, from the Middle East out into the Atlantic, across the ocean to the Southern United States, and it wrapped humming, superconducting tentacles around the rest of the planet, giving power to dense new conurbations in Scandinavia, Greenland, Patagonia, and Western Antarctica. Where there had been ice a hundred and fifty years ago, much was now green or the warm bruised grey of dense urban infrastructure. Half of the world’s entire energy needs were supplied by Saharan sunlight, or had been until the fusion reactors began to shoulder the burden. By some measure, the energy belt was evidence of global calamity, the visible symptom of a debilitating planetary crisis. It was also, inarguably, something rather wonderful to behold.” (pp.165-166. Ace: New York)



Homolingualism and the Interaction Taboo: Simultaneous Interpreting in the European Public Sphere

Kent, Stephanie Jo. (2012). Homolingualism and the Interaction Taboo: Simultaneous Interpreting in the European Public Sphere. In The European Public Sphere –  From critical thinking to responsible action. Luciano Morganti and Léonce Bekemans (Eds.)  in the “Multiple Europes” series from P.I.E Peter Lang S.A. Editions scientifiques internationales, Brussels.

This case study presents conference-style simultaneous interpretation in the European Parliament as a dynamic microcosm for communicating Europe. In the enlarged EP, the regime of controlled multilingualism has been challenged by an emergent pluralingualism in which Members use multiple and mixed languages in addition to the services of simultaneous interpreters. This marks a temporal and paradigmatic shift in the larger game of languages in the European public sphere. First, ritual effects of jockeying for voice through the use of pluralingual communication skills establishes co-identification among the Members while also revealing the power of simultaneous interpretation (SI) to alleviate status inequality by leveling linguistic difference. Second, discourses of and about SI, language policy, and communication policy participate in an interaction taboo by overemphasizing information and technology. This reduces communication to one dimension—the transmission of information in space—by minimizing the relationship and identity effects of communication in the unfolding of time. This artificial separation of information from the social interaction of human beings is also evident in strategic planning about communicating Europe. The findings suggest that institutional inertia in communicating Europe can be altered by making SI a common resource for the pluralingual development of everyone who lives in the European Union.

 See the poster from the conference presentation: Beyond Homolingualism [pdf] and the original abstract.

May Day

Weird synchronies. Today was the last lecture in a course I interpreted this semester on American Romanticism. (Oh, are they talking about me?) Earlier this semester I got excited by Walt Whitman. I don’t think I ever read Leaves of Grass. Now it’s Moby Dick. I did try to read it, once. On my own – not for a class. I don’t remember anything that I read because it was assigned. (Careful, tangent alert!)

Sometimes, there really just isn’t anybody to call.

Only life to live.

Most of my consciousness is directed toward my friend, a teacher, a guide who never led me wrong. Feeling grateful, mostly, for her life and all the gifts she gave, is giving, will continue to give.

Weird synchronies.  Today was the last lecture in a course I interpreted this semester on American Romanticism.  (Oh, are they talking about me?)  Earlier this semester I got excited by Walt Whitman.  I don’t think I ever read Leaves of Grass.  Now it’s Moby Dick.  I did try to read it, once.  On my own – not for a class.  I don’t remember anything that I read because it was assigned.  (Careful, tangent alert!)

The teacher emphasized the relationship between Ahab and Starbuck – a lot of action happened between “The Quarterdeck” and “Symphony,” and there’s two key chapters in between: “The Musket” and “Cabin.”  Then we got to “The Chase.”  There’s also an intense analysis of Ishmael, the trope of embodiment, and the author’s philosophy. (Today the Occupy Wall Street movement is unleashing a wave of protest intended to ignite the 99%. I only know one person in the 1% who likes me.  I might have met some others but they didn’t like me too much.)

Mei Mei wants attention too.

Social Justice in Education Initiative: Let’s dream of an approach to social justice that enables students and teachers to bring their multiple selves to learning

with Evangelina Holvino and James Cumming of Chaos Management, LTD

Expanding Conversations about Social Justice in Education: Exploring Possibilities and Tensions
2nd Forum of the Social Justice in Education Initiative
University of Massachusetts Amherst
April 20, 2012

Our poster presents a summary of our thinking applying the concept of simultaneity to help students and teachers bring their multiple selves to enhance the learning task. Holvino’s theory of simultaneity (2010) views identities as multiple, interacting and continuously shaped by the simultaneous organizational and societal processes of race, gender, class, sexuality, ethnicity and nation, among other social differences.

Having multiple selves means learning how to accept the resulting ambiguities and contradictions in learning together. It means that interactions are frequently marked by something we call “problematic moments.” These are rich sites for understanding how people are impeded or enabled to enact simultaneity. They are also moments when an intervention has the most potential for engaging justly with differences, changing the conversation and its outcomes. We will explore how to enhance such outcomes.

CIBER Business Language Conference

CIBER Business Language Conference: Building Bridges from Business Languages to Business Communities

UNC Center for International Business Education & Research and UNC-Chapel Hill
March 21-23, 2012

“ESL and Innovation” (Business Language Research and Teaching 2011 Award Presentation)

Feedback from the conference evaluations:

Dear Ms. Kent,

As you may know, the post-conference evaluation survey for the Business Language Conference includes a section where we ask people to tell us if there were any specific sessions they particularly liked. I hope you’ll be pleased to know that your presentation was one of the most often mentioned.

(via email, April 2, 2012)

Description: Executives and employees negotiate misunderstandings arising from thinking in different languages as well as having different levels of English fluency. Moments of repair and explanation after so-called ‘communication breakdowns’ or ‘odd’ or ‘funny-sounding’ instances of English usage can serve many functional uses within workgroups, providing the basis for valuing intercultural differences as an intra-organizational social norm and cultivating innovative thinking.

Dialogue in DUO: Future Change Through Language and Interaction

Dialogue Under Occupation VI
Beirut, Lebanon
May 2012

Blogentries (Dynamic Diagnosis):

  1. stumbling into spirit
  2. Presupposing Salmon: Ready DUO Players?
  3. Fantasia
  4. A Temporal Turn?

Proposal (Prelude):

Dialogue at the Dialogue Under Occupation conferences is contested territory. Participants in this workshop will analyze the language use and social interaction among a roundtable of participants from a previous DUO conference discussing the academic boycott of Israeli universities. Specifically, two “problematic moments” will be presented for collective analysis. Dr James Cumming theorizes, “Problematic moments are unlike other moments because they mark a brief point in time when the conditions of possibility for the group to have new, more productive and deeper conversations can be realized.”

For the purposes of this workshop, to dialogue is theorized as collectively changing the meanings of the past in order to collaboratively invoke new meanings for the future. The goal of re-visiting problematic moments is to proactively engage the question of re-calibration in the Bakhtinian sense of orienting to a chronotope. Can we learn how to generate alternative timespaces with revised identifications and altered relationships? Workshop participants will explore and evaluate the language use and interaction among roundtable participants from DUO IV, with an eye upon ourselves as human subjects contributing to the persistence or alteration of existing social realities.