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Artem Bali

Most of you probably made your way here via my most-read articles,
Capitalism Has Failed, and Jay-Z’s Streaming Scandal Is Proof and The Difficulty in Defining Donald Glover’s “This is America.” These were among the first pieces I wrote, and I was lucky enough to have Medium’s editors select them to be Member Feature Stories.

My collection of my favorite essays, Disposable People, Disposable Planet is available for purchase here.


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Photo by Tech Nick on Unsplash

The Devil card of the tarot can be frightening. In some traditional decks, the illustration features a satyr — a mythical figure that has the head and hind quarters of a goat and the body of a man. The drawings can have a monstrous, menacing quality to them. The Devil sometimes has a man and a woman chained to him, explicitly referencing a state of bondage. Modern depictions may show the “Handsome Devil” — a charming man, who will lead you into temptation and perhaps destruction. On the surface, the The Devil card seems to represent a dangerous external influence…


Chapter 10: The Paper Journal

By Kitanya Harrison, writing as Harrison Kitteridge

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Cover of Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Paper Journal
Cover of Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Paper Journal

Does anyone really believe that before the Alex Tiberius films James Bond never had to suck a cock? Non-metaphorically, I mean.

Is it really plausible that none of the archvillains James Bond battled had beautiful neglected male lovers for 007 to seduce then ruthlessly exploit? It’s all hidden in plain sight, isn’t it, in the preening preposterousness of the baddies? Their statement accessories (golden guns, Persian cats, surplus nipples, etc.), …


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Poster for the documentary “Crime Scene: The Disappearance at the Cecil Hotel”

SPOILERS FOLLOW.*

The Netflix documentary, Crime Scene: The Disappearance at the Cecil Hotel. explores the investigation into the disappearance of 21 year-old Canadian student, Elisa Lam, from the Cecil Hotel in downtown Los Angeles in February 2013. I went in expecting a whodunit but ended up watching a series that documents the unfolding of a set of escalating conspiracy theories that gripped the amateur sleuth community that became obsessed with solving the mystery of Elisa’s disappearance. The documentary is as much about information and patterns and how we process them in groups as it is about Elisa and her mysterious…


Black Women are Always Being Asked to be Patient

Photo of the Temperance with other tarot cards out of focus in the background
Photo of the Temperance with other tarot cards out of focus in the background
Image by Céline Martin from Pixabay

I’ve been learning the tarot for a couple of months now, and I can say definitively that it has helped bring balance into my life. It’s ironic that one of the cards I sometimes viscerally recoil from — Temperance — embodies calm, balance, and moderation.

I’m usually a cautious person, who doesn’t like risk. I also don’t like confrontation. If you try me, though, I will bark back or bite, if I have to. I like things calm. I enjoy the quiet. I practise moderation. So why don’t I like the Temperance card. I think it’s because these qualities are…


Chapter 9: The Valley of Fear

By Kitanya Harrison, writing as Harrison Kitteridge

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Cover of Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Paper Journal
Cover of Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Paper Journal

My eldest brother, Algernon, is even cleverer than Mycroft, but neither he nor I possesses Mycroft’s facility with people. Algernon and I have vastly different interests, but our personalities are quite similar. Neither of us would ever admit to anything less than boundless confidence, but the truth is we are both quite introverted and very often become overwhelmed by social interactions. Mycroft is cut from a similar cloth (it is not a Holmes quality to be gregarious) but has a much more tolerant disposition. Algernon understands…


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Image by jessica45 from Pixabay

What is justice? It’s a tricky question about how to set things right. In order to do that, you have to know what’s wrong. Figuring that out isn’t always simple or direct, particularly when you’re the one who may have transgressed. Is justice about apportioning blame? Is it about punishment? Is it about getting your pound of flesh? The Justice card of the tarot introduces these complications into readings where it appears.

Traditional depictions of Justice (both within and external to the tarot) depict a figure holding a sword and scales. It is forbidding, unforgiving imagery. When Justice shows up…


The knives may be emotional, but they inflict violence and wound.

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Film poster for “Malcolm & Marie”

SPOILERS FOLLOW. Netflix’s Malcolm & Marie is not a romantic drama. It is a distillation of a toxic, abusive relationship that fails to face its central premise head on. Malcolm & Marie is about emotional violence and the elisions and manipulation that cover it up. The film was marketed very differently, and I think the bait and switch backfired. …


Chapter 8: The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor

By Kitanya Harrison, writing as Harrison Kitteridge

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Cover of Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Paper Journal
Cover of Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Paper Journal

Being stabbed had been unpleasant. Thankfully, by some minor miracle, Mary had missed everything important. That’s not to say my injuries weren’t serious. The lacerations were deep, and I had lost quite a lot of blood and may have died if Sherlock hadn’t been there to ruthlessly apply strong pressure to the wounds. The war had brought me to terms with my own mortality, so I didn’t fear death, not anymore, not the way a normal person does. But I freely admit that living in that…


Illustration of Indiana Jones.
Illustration of Indiana Jones.

Growing up, I loved the Indiana Jones movies. I hadn’t seen them in ages and recently decided to rewatch them starting with the first installment of the series: The Raiders of the Lost Ark. It didn’t go well.

I’ve always loved the silence of the opening of Raiders. There is no dialogue for a long stretch, but the stakes are conveyed. The audience knows Harrison Ford is playing the hero and that he is in a dangerous situation. It’s excellent visual storytelling. The mastery of Steven Spielberg’s filmmaking in those first several minutes rekindled my fond feelings for the film…

Kitanya Harrison

*squinting in Nanny of the Maroons* | Read my essay collection, DISPOSABLE PEOPLE, DISPOSABLE PLANET: books2read.com/u/mBOYNv | IG: kitanyaharrison

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