JR Thorpe
JR Thorpe lives in Britain, collects vintage ball gowns and poetry books, and has had blue hair for ten years.

JR’s Latest Articles

Carnival Will Be Extra Political This Year

The modern Carnival, which starts on Friday in Rio, is one of those fun bits of world culture that, if you look a bit closer, turn out to be pretty serious. This year's Brazilian Carnaval, along with maintaining its reputation as one of the world's most sparking and riotous parties, is also going to be a political event, with news reports that there will be many pointed references to the policies of Donald Trump among the swirling samba dancers and elaborate floats. In case you think this is a h…

By JR Thorpe

Why Are The Only "Acceptable" Immigrants Rich?

Lest you think America is the only country with immigration issues, on Thursday, the UK Supreme Court ruled that a law concerning an income threshold for people who want to have foreign wives or husbands was lawful. Under the law, Brits with non-EU spouses need to earn a certain amount every year (a little more than $23,000), or their wives or husbands risk deportation. How's that for some fun xenophobic bullsh*t. As the Australian wife of a British academic (a class of workers who, you may not…

By JR Thorpe

Myths About Animals You Probably Believe

It's been a long week. So let's occupy ourselves briefly with the animal kingdom, and more specifically our misconceptions about it. Animals seem to collect myths, and not only the legendary kind. We all carry around perspectives about feathered, furred, and other friends that happen to be based on bad science, old wives' tales, or just plain misinterpreted data, and discovering our errors can be somewhat of a shock. The source of myths and misinterpretations about animals can be as interesting …

By JR Thorpe

America's Dark History Of Bathroom Discrimination

As you've no doubt already heard, the Trump administration has officially revoked the Obama-era guidance that allowed transgender students to use the school bathroom that fits their gender identity. Though the Obama administration had tied their guidance to Title IX — the federal law that bans sex discrimination in schools — the Trump administration's letter claimed that it was removing the guidance "in order to further and more completely consider the legal issues involved." This development is…

By JR Thorpe

Strange Animal Cures For Human Ailments

I'm fascinated by the history of medicine — particularly when it gets gory, gross and preferably involves random animal parts. Everything from ground-up vulture brains up the nose (a medieval European cure for migraine) to wolf's testicles in oil (an Occitan idea for a woman who had "too much desire", to be rubbed on her genitals) pops up if you delve deep enough, and the weirder and more faintly confusing the better. However, modern medicine, with all its wonders, occasionally delivers the sort…

By JR Thorpe

The Strange History Of Yoga In The West

February 22, in case it wasn't mentioned while you did downward dog today, is World Yoga Day, which means it's time for a trip into the more bizarre moments by which the practice entered the Western consciousness. Whether you got your first taste of it from the Beatles and their famous visit to an ashram or from the '90s influx of yoga studios across the nation, yoga is now a firm part of American fitness, but it hasn't always been that way. In fact, while it's had devotees from Thoreau through …

By JR Thorpe

What Rights Do Trans Teens Have In The U.S.?

Long before the inauguration, many politicians, activists, writers, and others voiced major concerns about the Trump administration's attitudes towards LGBTQ rights in general — and the rights of transgender people in particular. And now, a month into the administration, the first volley to this effect has been fired: numerous news organizations have reported that the administration is drafting up an order that would revoke rights for transgender students in public schools. This order is much mo…

By JR Thorpe

What To Do If You Want To Run For Office

Want to change the world? You're hardly alone — many valuable and positive things have come from the widespread public opposition to the policies and values of the Trump administration, including a sudden uptick of people interested in running for political office. And this sharp increase of interest among folks who likely would have never thought about getting involved in politics in the past is even more important than it might initially appear. Back in 2014, Pew Research profiled all current…

By JR Thorpe

How Marriage Equality Can Save Lives

Obviously, there shouldn't be any sort of "discussion" around marriage equality — everyone should have the right to marry. But this very commonsense point hasn't stopped people from assuming that the issue of marriage equality is still up for debate, both culturally and legally. Even though the U.S. Supreme Court decided Obergefell v. Hodges in June 2015, local governments still regularly challenge the ruling, and cultural commentators still often weigh in on the issue. What's often overlooked w…

By JR Thorpe

How The Japanese Internment Camps Happened

February 19 is the Day of Remembrance, when people across the United States remember the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, a decision that was born out of fear and paranoia and led to cruelty and ruined lives. In this political climate, it's more important than ever to look at the history that created the provisions of the Japanese interment camps, which existed across the U.S. from 1942 to 1945, and had continued repercussions for the detainees that persist to this day. As w…

By JR Thorpe