My Personal Feminism, 2017

Aug. 22nd, 2017 01:50 pm
[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

In the wake of Kai Cole’s piece about Joss Whedon, and some of the reaction to it, I’ve been thinking about what it means to be a man in the public sphere who considers himself to be a feminist. Part of this thought process was also spurred on by seeing some of the reaction to the news on Twitter by women:

I’ve talked before about my own personal feminism here on Whatever. In 2012 I noted why I was hesitant to call myself a feminist, and then a couple years later I explained why I was going to go ahead and call myself one. Here in 2017, I think it’s worth coming back around to it and thinking about it some more.

And at the moment, this is what I think about it: I consider myself a feminist because fundamentally, I believe that women should have and need to have the same rights, privileges and opportunities that men do — that I do — and I think it’s worth saying that out loud and working toward that goal. This feminism is part and parcel of believing that everyone should have the same rights, privileges and opportunities that I, a straight, white, well-off, gender-conforming man has, not just on paper but in the practical, mundane, day-to-day workings-of-the-world sense. We’re not there yet, and as we’ve seen in the last couple of weeks, there are a lot of people who never want to see that happen. I would be ashamed, especially now, not to stand up and be counted out loud as someone who believes in feminism, among all the other things I believe in.

But I am also deeply uncomfortable with feminism being part of my “brand,” for several reasons. The first is that I’m aware of my failings and imperfections, and I’m also aware that there are a number of failings and imperfections I’m not aware of. With regard to my feminism, I can work on the things I know about and listen when people point out the things I’m not aware of, but the general gist of it is that I’m aware my feminism is imperfect. I am loath to charge in saying behold, the male feminist! when I know there are lots of places where I fall down. I’m a feminist, in progress, and suspect I will be until I’m dead.

The second, following on the first, is that I’m also aware feminism doesn’t need me as a flagbearer. I’m not and shouldn’t be the vanguard of feminism (I mean, if I am, whoooo there’s trouble). What I can be is support, and occasionally a tank (i.e., someone being an obvious target and taking hits while other people get to work). One of the great gifts of getting older is the realization that you don’t have to lead every parade. Sometimes it’s enough to march along and have the backs of the people out in front.

The third, which is related to the second as the second is related to the first, is the awareness that I have the privilege of not being performatively feminist. Which is to say that I can — and sometimes do — decide to take a break from actively having to deal with issues and concerns of feminism, because I am busy, or distracted, or tired, or just decide I want to take a breather. My passive feminism is still there, my default belief in the equality of rights and opportunities, but I don’t have to do anything about it, and the personal consequences for my not engaging are very low.

Having the option to quit the field without penalty, and to engage only when you have interest, means some interesting things, not all of them good. It means, as an example, that you can choose to do only high-profile, high-impact flashy attention-getting things, and not the day-to-day grunt work that other people have to do. It’s not at all surprising that the reaction of the latter folks is irritation and frustration that you’re getting credit for something they see essentially as stunting for cookies.

I’m not going to deny that I’m aware that I have the ability, within my own little pond, to draw attention to issues and to make things visible by being loud and immovable in only the way someone with my advantages has, and in that way effect change. I try to be useful with that, and to make clear the fact that others have done work I’m essentially pointing to. And I try to do more than just the flashy, attention-getting, cookie-bearing stuff. But at the end of the day I’m aware that I have the option to engage, with feminism as with many issues, when other people are required to engage if they want their existence to be acknowledged as anything other than background noise. That makes a difference. I don’t think I can have feminism as part of my “brand” when I only have to engage with it at my whim.

(There’s also a fourth issue here, which is the disconnect between public and private lives. To be very clear, I’m not keeping any affairs — or, really, anything — secret from Krissy; we believe in communication and lots of it. But I’ve also been clear that while my public persona, including on this blog, is me, it’s a version of me tuned differently from the me who lives at home with my wife and daughter, away from the rest of the world. I don’t know that there’s anything in my private life to give someone pause re: feminism, but who knows? There might be. In which case, best to not lead with it as a brand identity.)

I consider myself a feminist. I am also 100% all right with being interrogated on that assertion, and to have people, and especially women, be skeptical until and unless I prove otherwise. I’m also aware that “feminist” is not a level-up — you don’t grind until you get the achievement badge and then don’t have to think about it ever again. I’ve said before that if your social consciousness is stuck in 1975, the 21st century is going to be a hard ride, and that continues to be a true thing. You have to keep engaging.

I’m also aware that I’m going to fail — that I’ll miss a step, or say or do something stupid, or otherwise show my ass, on feminism (among, to be sure, many other issues). And I can pretty much guarantee I’m not always going to take being called on that with initial good grace, because history suggests I’ll occasionally screw that up too. I can say that I do try to base my ego not on having to be right, but on doing the right thing. This is why I once did a primer on apologizing: because I need it in my own life.

So, yes. Here in 2017: I am a feminist, imperfectly to be sure but even so. I’m happy for it not to be part of my “brand.” I just want it to be part of me; of how I treat women, and others, and how I view the world for what it is and should be.


(no subject)

Aug. 21st, 2017 08:24 pm
nestra: (Hawkeye bow)
[personal profile] nestra
Random thoughts about The Defenders (whole series, positive and negative):

You know, after all these years, I still start to use the LJ code )

Happy Eclipse Day!

Aug. 21st, 2017 11:35 pm
[syndicated profile] jim_hines_feed

Posted by Jim C. Hines

We didn’t make it down to see totality, but my part of Michigan got about 80% eclipse coverage today, which was still pretty sweet. My son and I went to a library presentation this morning, where I was reminded about pinhole viewing, which led to this:

Pinhole Eclipse Projection

I’d ordered a solar filter for the 100-400mm lens on the camera. We also had some eclipse glasses from Amazon from a few weeks back.

I took a little over a hundred pictures, and was able to stitch some of the best into an animation.

Solar Eclipse Animation

Those black spots are sunspots. All in all, I’m pretty happy with how this turned out!

I also stitched together a static time-lapse, and added back a bit of color the filter stripped out. (Click to enlarge this one for a much better view.)

Eclipse - Time Lapse

Didn’t get much else done today, but I’m okay with that. And maybe for the 2024, we’ll be able to make it down to see the total eclipse!

Tasty foods

Aug. 21st, 2017 06:27 pm
kass: a container full of wooden spoons for cooking (spoons)
[personal profile] kass
Tonight's dinner is vaguely adapted from Mario Batali, and it's simple and tasty and should feed me for several days, so I'm saving the recipe here.

If you keep kosher and do not regard chicken as pareve, or if you don't do dairy, you won't want to add the goat cheese. (In that case you might add some olive oil, for mixing purposes.) And if you are gluten-free, you'll want to use gf pasta. But aside from those things, this recipe ought to work for most folks, I think, assuming that you eat pasta in the first place. Clean-up is also easy: one skillet, one pasta pot.

Pasta with broccolini, chicken sausage, and goat cheese )

Gratitudes

Aug. 21st, 2017 05:05 pm
kass: lilacs, "zen fen" (zen lilac)
[personal profile] kass
1. My friends. Even those whom I don't get to see often enough.

2. The place where I live, which is mine, and is filled with art and photographs and things that are meaningful to me.

3. The glorious green world. I always want summer to last forever, and it won't, but I'm doing my best to enjoy it while it's here.

4. I got to take two and a half days of vacation last week, and they were really lovely.

5. There is rosé chilling in my fridge even now. :-)

How are y'all?

Partial Eclipse

Aug. 21st, 2017 04:57 pm
goss: (2017)
[personal profile] goss
I took this photo at 3:53pm today:



From my house, this is as covered as the sun got during the solar eclipse. My dad has a special sun filter that he uses for surveying, so I took a bunch of video and pics during the event today. Though not a total eclipse, it was really cool to look up in the sky and see this in real time. :)
rachelmanija: (Books: old)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
I am a dancer in the New York City Ballet. I wrote the pages that follow during one ballet season. I began on November 21, 1980, and finished on February 15, 1981. I was lonely; I was sad. I had decided to be alone, but I had never decided to be lonely. I started writing on a yellow pad. I wrote, and I smoked. Every page was covered with a film of smoke.

If you like that, you will like this book. It's one of those slim but pithy volumes that precisely captures a time, a place, and a state of mind.

I've always had a fascination with ballet, ever since my second-grade teacher offered a trip to see the Nutcracker Suite (it was at least ten years before I realized that the second word was not "sweet") to her top three students. I had no idea what that was, other than that it was clearly desirable, so I went all-out to make sure that I'd get the prize. I was sufficiently enchanted with The Nutcracker and the general air of specialness surrounding the entire experience that I begged my parents for ballet lessons, at which I lasted something like three sessions. I don't recall the exact problem, but based on my age I'm guessing that there was too much standing around.

After that I confined myself to reading ballet books, which was more fun that actually doing it. Had I tried when I was older, I might have stuck with it for longer. Based on Bentley book and everything else I've read about ballet dancing, it has an austere, stoic, boot camp, push your limits atmosphere that would have really appealed to me if I'd been three to five years older. And then I would have gotten my heart broken, because I am not built to be a ballerina.

Winter Season beautifully depicts the illusion shown to the audience and the reality experienced by the dancers, and how the dancers live the illusion as well. It's got all the fascinating details of any good backstage memoir, without bitterness or cynicism. Even as it ground down her body, Bentley never stopped loving ballet; she seems to feel that she was lucky to have the chance to live the dream, just for the opportunity to spend a few minutes every day being the perfect expression of her body and the choreographer's art.

Winter Season: A Dancer's Journal, with a new preface

And I will place the next bit under a cut in case you just want to read about Winter Season. As opposed to ass. Read more... )

Our Eclipse Here in Bradford

Aug. 21st, 2017 06:58 pm
[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

It went well! We had intermittent clouds in the run-up, but for the first half (closing up to the maximum) we had very good views much of the time, and the clouds weren’t so heavy we couldn’t see. I made a box, but then Krissy’s work handed out eclipse glasses, so we used those instead, and I also used a makeshift filter on my camera to get some pretty good shots. This particular shot came just after maximum, when all of a sudden a lot of clouds rolled in and I could snap a naked shot of the sun without frying my camera. We got 88% of coverage, which is enough for a show. In all, a very fine eclipse, from the deck of my house.

The next eclipse for North America is in 2024, and as it happens, that one will have totality directly over my house. Which is convenient! And before you ask, we’re already booked up. Sorry.

Updated to add: Also, I think I may never get a better eclipse shot than this one. Thank you and good night.


gwyn: (ordinary day _silent_rage_)
[personal profile] gwyn
Perfect morning: Iced tea, bowl of cereal, cat, back deck lounge chair, nearly total eclipse of the sun. We had 92% totality in Seattle, and I could just sit on my lounger and watch. It was amazing. I guess a lot of people in my area got fog, but it was clear as a bell at my house.

I'd been so focused on the cancer stuff that I missed the opportunity to get glasses--the last time we had an eclipse visible here, there was no such thing as fancy glasses, and when they started posting about places you could get them it was too late to do mail order (also they were fakes) for me, and people on our local blog were driving around and calling, desperately trying to track more down. I wasted a lot of time, and mentioned it on the thread--that I'd been so busy with my health I hadn't thought about the eclipse at all and was bummed I couldn't get the glasses (I've done pinhole viewers, but…they're not as cool).

A really nice guy told me he had some spares, and his wife, who works at the Y where I'm a member, brought them with her and I picked them up last week. I'm so grateful to them, so grateful. It was amazing to be able to watch through the glasses. I stayed till every last piece of the moon was gone. Even with sunscreen I'm sure I'll be burned. It was totally worth it.

I've seen two other solar eclipses, but was too young for the first one to really appreciate it, and like I said, the pinhole boxes don't have the same view. I feel like if I croak in surgery next week or afterwards, I'm good. Got to see a big one, and it was wonderful.

I can see why ancient people were spooked by these: the shadows got really long, the sky was dimmer while at the same time the sun was pouring down, the temperature dropped by a few degrees. Blues was definitely confused--he could tell something was going on, and he ended up under the bed for a while. It was eerily silent, too, at totality. This is garbage day in my area, there is always construction going on around here in summer, there are usually people walking dogs and cars driving by. At peak time, it was utterly silent: no noisy, smelly trucks, no people walking, no construction noise. Everyone was watching the eclipse.
sineala: (Avengers: Steve with cowl)
[personal profile] sineala
Wish Fulfillment (1427 words) by Sineala
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Marvel (Comics), Marvel Ultimates, Marvel 616, Avengers (Comics)
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Steve Rogers/Tony Stark
Characters: Steve Rogers, Steve Rogers (Ultimates), Tony Stark (Ultimates)
Additional Tags: Multiverse, Fix-It of Sorts, Hydra Steve Rogers, Secret Empire (Marvel), Cosmic Cube, Angst, Avengers Vol. 7 (2017), Community: cap_ironman, Cap-Ironman Bingo
Summary: When Steve hears that Tony is alive again, he does what any Supreme Hydra would do: he captures Tony. Unfortunately for him, it's not the right Tony.

For my Cap-IM Bingo card, the square of Tony breaking free from chains. Spoilers for Secret Empire #8 and Ultimates 2 #100. My goal here is clearly to write all the Hydra Cap while he's still canon.

This one's a fix-it. If you enjoy the thought of Hydra Steve being punched in the face, this may be your kind of story.

Beach | Eclipse | The Defenders

Aug. 21st, 2017 09:41 am
goss: (\o/)
[personal profile] goss
  1. Beach

    Since my mom's abroad right now, I took my dad to the beach this weekend, with a couple other relatives for company. Saturday was a wonderful, sunny day, driving through the rainforest mountain. I was a bit worried during the week, since a tropical storm was headed to the Caribbean and there'd been a landslide on road along the coastline. But luckily, the storm missed us entirely and went further north. Also the effects of the landslide were mostly taken care of, so the road was clear.

    Here's a pic I took on Saturday, of the view from the house. As you can see, we got lovely, clear skies.



    And at nightfall it was just amazing to see thousands of stars per square inch in the sky. I mean, I know they're always there, but where I live we never see them all, due to the bright lights.

    On Sunday, the weather was a bit more overcast, but it was nice being warm and dry, while still having that lovely view despite the rain. I did a little bit of sketching of the rain falling on the deck. It was oddly mesmerizing watching the raindrops making circular patterns in the pool.

    Pencil Sketch: Raindrops )

    Glad the skies cleared up in the afternoon for the long drive in our return journey back home. Here's one more pic of the coastline on that part of the island. Gorgeous as usual. *___* Photo )

  2. Eclipse

    Hey, I hear there's gonna be a complete solar eclipse over the U.S. today. I think here in the Caribbean we'll be able to see a partial eclipse at around 2:30pm, a few hours from now. So I'm looking forward to that. :)

  3. The Defenders

    EEE! I didn't realised the series came out over the weekend. I see everyone on Tumblr and DW seems to have seen in. EVen my own *brother* has seen it. Where was I? At the beach. lol. Need to watch before I get spoiled somehow. /o\

    (no subject)

    Aug. 21st, 2017 05:22 am
    copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
    [personal profile] copperbadge
    Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

    Ways To Give:

    Sarah is raising funds to help save her family's house, where they are facing eviction. They are dealing with her mother's illness and recent unemployment, and they are trying to raise $100K to cover hospital bills and mortgage payments. You can read more and support the fundraiser here.

    Anon linked to a fundraiser for the legal fees for protestors in Durham, who pulled down the Confederate statue. You can read more and support their legal defense here.

    [personal profile] spasticat has been unemployed since October of last year, and while she's been actively looking for work, her benefits and savings have run out; she's raising funds for utilities, medication, and rent. At the end of September she is also moving back home, and needs funds to cover the move. You can read more and support her YouCaring here.

    [tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and has a fundraiser running to cover living expenses, previous medical bills, and a recent rent increase. You can read more and help out here.

    Buy Stuff, Help Out:

    [tumblr.com profile] magpiesmiscellany has a selection of tree-of-life pendants in various shapes, colors, and sizes for sale, with proceeds going to Planned Parenthood, Lambda Legal, the ACLU, Doctors Without Borders, Earthjustice, Sierra Club, and the National Immigration Law Center. You can read more and purchase them here.

    Housing:

    [personal profile] in_the_bottle is looking for a new housemate in London, in Fulham SW6, bordering Hammersmith. Two professional females, at least one fandom friendly. You can read more and get in touch here.

    And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.

    New vids: Timeless & Thor

    Aug. 20th, 2017 11:30 pm
    trelkez: (timeless)
    [personal profile] trelkez
    Two new vids from this year's VividCon!


    White Flag
    source: Timeless
    music: Joseph

    Figure out what you're fighting for, and you'll be okay.

    Download & stream on AO3.


    Tubthumping
    made with [personal profile] sisabet 
    source: Thor 1 & 2, Avengers 1 & 2, Thor: Ragnarok trailers, MCU extras
    music: Chumbawumba

    "Who is the warrior immortalized in this song?" Thor demands to know. "The one who gets knocked down repeatedly, yet cannot be kept down? We must hear of his resilience again!" -- Semaphore by DevilDoll

    Download & stream on AO3.

    What I’m writing, 8/20

    Aug. 21st, 2017 02:23 am
    dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
    [personal profile] dira
    …Some weeks just not starting more ginormous WIPs is the real success, okay? I expended a lot of focus on absolutely positively not starting SEVERAL things this week (and… yep, that is definitely the only thing that was using up brain processing cycles this week at an unusual rate, YEP, TOTALLY).

    Anyway. 

    WIPs currently active: 5, because I bumped All Eternals Deck #2 off the list until I figure out what happens after the beginning.

    Words written this week: 4,041

    WIPs that got no words this week: 0

    WIPs that did get words this week:

    Codename: Aluminum Bastard (aka broken dick epic): 883, and I started writing Chapter 47 and then abruptly discovered where the floating point on the outline labeled [particular sex act redacted]? should go in the story, so. Whee!

    Born in the Blood: 276, chugging along toward [more sex acts redacted]!!

    Slavefic #6: 104. Okay, that looks bad? I’m at the point where I outlined things for this part of the series literally almost two years ago and now have to figure out how to hook them up with the stories that I’ve actually written, so there’s a bit of frantically-jury-rigging-a-round-CO2-filter-from-square-components going on. Hopefully none of which will be apparent from the end result. :)

    Wildly Unmanageable Ace!Bitty Longfic: 661

    Jack/Bitty angsty happy ending kidfic: 2,117

    from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2x4lly5
    via IFTTT

    (no subject)

    Aug. 20th, 2017 07:35 pm
    resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
    [personal profile] resonant
    The spouse reconnected with his former therapist via Facebook instant messaging this weekend. They got to talking about current events.

    "I counseled a member of a neo-Nazi group once," the therapist said.

    "Did you learn anything useful about the movement?"

    "This particular fellow was a victim of childhood sexual abuse. I think that was the root of his rage," the therapist said.

    It makes me wonder how things would be different if American mental health care were in better shape.

    after long silence

    Aug. 20th, 2017 07:50 pm
    the_shoshanna: my boy kitty (Default)
    [personal profile] the_shoshanna
    The thing about not posting for a long time is, it makes it seem ever harder to post something again.

    The thing -- well, a thing -- about the state of my native country is, it makes almost anything I could post about my day-to-day life seem picayune.

    But my life is my life, and I live it day to day, and that, especially fannish aspects thereof, is what I generally write about here. So I'm going to try to do so again.

    I went to VividCon, and it was great )

    My lay chaplaincy had a sort of epilogue today )

    Kayaking continues to be tremendous fun! )

    My cat is hanging on, amazing our vet )

    And we have another big trip coming up! )

    thoughts (somewhat spoilery) on fannish TV: Orphan Black, Sense8, The Handmaid's Tale )

    Aside from all this, I'm reading lots of light fanfic, lots of heavy stuff on Twitter (although I don't post much there either), and the occasional book. And now I'm going to wrap up this enormous post and go lie on the couch. My evening plan!

    Back in the day.

    Aug. 20th, 2017 07:29 pm
    splash_the_cat: (Default)
    [personal profile] splash_the_cat
    I was feeling all nostalgic for lj the other day and remembered, hey, dufus, you have your dw journal.

    Life is life. Q is seven and starting second grade in two weeks. Yeesh, where did the time go? I spend most of my time these days parenting, writing sci-fi erotic romance with an eye to self-pubbing, and being a giant ball of simmering rage at the state of the world.

    Fannishly, I'm still working on some Jupiter Ascending stuff, and it remains the movie of my heart, but most of my writing is going to original stuff these days.

    I've been reading a shit-ton of romance, both as market research and because guaranteed happy endings are a balm to my soul. But I am gearing up to take a weekend soon and blow through N.K. Jemisin's Broken Earth trilogy in one go.

    I didn't garden this year - had no energy in spring, and never really got up the gumption. I probably should have twigged that as a sign I'm in a low-grade depression swing, but yay, hindsight.

    Not watching much TV these days (writing and being angry suck up all my free time), but I really want to pick up Killjoys, because I need some fun SF in my eyeballs. Man, do I miss SG-1. Clearly I need to plan a rewatch.
    trelkez: (dS - Fraser thoughtful)
    [personal profile] trelkez
    I'm in the process of posting vids that were never posted online (or haven't been available in a few years). Here's a trio of vids from VividCon 2016, online for the first time ... only a bit late:

    All the Way Home
    source: due South seasons 1 & 2
    music: Peter Mulvey
    premiered in: VividCon Auction, made for ride_4ever

    What will follow you? -- A Benton Fraser character study.

    Download & stream on AO3.

    Good For You
    source: UnREAL season 1
    music: Selena Gomez feat. A$AP Rocky
    premiered in: VividCon Challenge: Descent

    Then her mother gave her a knife, and said, "Cut a piece off your heel. When you are queen you will no longer have to go on foot."

    Download & stream on AO3.

    In Dreams
    source: The Two Faces of January
    music: Ben Howard
    premiered in: VividCon Challenge: Descent

    "Just the carcass of a man, now alone inside his skin." A tale of deceit, betrayal, and death.

    Stream on AO3. (Download coming.)

    It was a camel!

    Aug. 20th, 2017 01:14 pm
    rachelmanija: (It was a monkey!)
    [personal profile] rachelmanija
    This clip from CNN is well worth listening to.

    It encapsulates both the jaw-dropping awfulness and bizarreness of the Orange Supremacist era, and the extent to which the mainstream media has gotten so appalled that they're dropping their usual false equivalency. I mean the old "both sides have a point," which works when both sides DO have a point, but does not when you're talking about Nazis vs. anti-Nazis or Cheetolini vs. human beings with empathy. Also, it made me laugh.

    Yesterday post-rally [personal profile] hederahelix and I were discussing this.

    "It's just so surreal," she said. "Hey... Is that a camel?"

    I looked over. The U-haul next to us had a giant camel painted on the side.

    Below the camel, as if in explanation of why a U-haul would be decorated with a giant camel, were a few lines of Wikipedia-esque notes on camels, something like "A camel is an even-toed ungulate within the genus Camelus, bearing distinctive fatty deposits known as "humps" on its back."

    Penric's Fox doing well

    Aug. 20th, 2017 08:37 am
    [syndicated profile] lois_mcmaster_bujold_feed
    ...it just hit #121 on the Amazon sales rankings this morning. I am hoping it will crack two figures at some point on its initial sales arc, but since they change hourly, that's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it proposition.

    Amazon sales rankings are a snare and a delusion and clickbait, which I suppose means they're working fine for Amazon, but they are the only real-time feedback an author can have, which is a new thing in the world. One used to have to wait up to a year and a half for the first royalty report for data on how one's baby book was doing had done out there in the world.

    Speaking of "Fox", I meant to post this quote from a reader who had never read any of the Penric & Desdemona tales, and kindly agreed to test drive it: "Did it stand alone? Absolutely."

    I've already spotted some reviews from old readers insisting, wrongly, it must be otherwise, which makes it much like other series work I've done. The most frustrating lately was for Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen, with scads of old readers putting off new ones by claiming they had to read umpty-ump other books first, and the few new ones who slipped through the net, and read the book in front of them just as it was, saying it was fine.

    (The latter, sadly small, group may actually have had a better and clearer read due to not having to fight through a forest of settled preconceptions first.)

    So I think it might be better to take advice only from new readers, on this point.

    Ta, L.




    posted by Lois McMaster Bujold on August, 20
    rivkat: Dean reading (dean reading)
    [personal profile] rivkat
    Michael J. Yochim, Protecting Yellowstone: Details a series of conflicts about park management over the past few decades, including the reintroduction of wolves, the continued use of snowmobiles, gold mining, and allowing bison to roam beyond park boundaries. The bottom line is simple: politics always wins. But political coalitions can be built depending on the strength of the relevant science, as well as on the framing of issues as being about protecting nature, preserving access to the park, or promoting the economy of the surrounding areas.

    Joan C. Williams, White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in AmericaRead more... )

    Whatever Security Update

    Aug. 20th, 2017 01:25 am
    [syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

    Posted by John Scalzi

    A small piece of security information for you: Whatever (was well as the whole Scalzi.com) site, now operates using https, for extra added security. Mind you, as this site does very little in the way of transactions or anything security-critical, this may not be a big deal to anyone. On the other hand, Google sent me a note recently noting that unless I switched over to https, they’d start blasting “INSECURE” in the URL field of the Chrome browser, so, fine. Now it’s secure. Enjoy the securiosity! No, that’s not a real word. Even so.


    question for gardeners

    Aug. 19th, 2017 02:41 pm
    [syndicated profile] lois_mcmaster_bujold_feed
    All right, can anyone positively identify this mystery plant? It came up as a volunteer on the north side of my house, and seems to be self-seeding, because it keeps coming back each year. It blooms like this from the first week of August till frost. Bumblebees love it. Minnesota.






    Pleased but puzzled, L.

    posted by Lois McMaster Bujold on August, 20

    Cats Against Nazis

    Aug. 19th, 2017 01:58 pm
    rachelmanija: (Heroes: support WGA)
    [personal profile] rachelmanija
    The rally was fine, though quite small. I imagine there would have been a much bigger turnout if the Nazis hadn't cancelled. One of my neighbors was there!

    I went with [personal profile] hederahelix. We are now heading for Clementine.

    Here I am with my sign and feline fellows in resistance.



    oh, good, it's a to-do list

    Aug. 19th, 2017 02:07 pm
    celli: two bears hugging, captioned "wuv" (hugs)
    [personal profile] celli
    * finish picking up & taking out garbage & recycling (you're so close! you can do it!)
    * dishes, dishes, dishes
    * play with cat
    * finish first draft of PODSA/SGA fusion

    * write more PODSA mpreg
    * review Star Wars OT3 and brainstorm last scene
    * declutter
    * put up CAT TREE OMG - skipping
    * laundry - skipping
    * pack
    * litterbox
    carthaginians: ([b5] the thinker)
    [personal profile] carthaginians posting in [community profile] poetry
    they ask me to remember
    but they want me to remember
    their memories
    and i keep on remembering
    mine

    Linkspam on a Saturday morning

    Aug. 19th, 2017 09:00 am
    cofax7: Marion Ravenwood in a hat (IJ - Marion hat)
    [personal profile] cofax7
    What a week, huh? So exhausting. I swear, this regime is going to ruin my liver.

    Remember that guy at Google with the memo? (Seems like months ago, doesn't it?) Well, one of the MetaFilter gang decided to do a comprehensive discussion/analysis of his arguments, complete with citations. The Truth Has Got Its Boots On, which is a lovely Pratchett reference.

    Here's a resource for people confused about the Trump/Russia scandal. Amidst all the racism and Nazis, there are still questions about Trump's history with Russia.

    This New Yorker article also asks some questions about Wall Street Raider Carl Icahn and his relationship with the Trump regime. Conflicts of interest? Pish.

    This article looks at environmental justice from the perspective of the community rather than the regulator or government. It's both devastating and hopeful.

    This article from Pro Publica gives a solid historical overview of attempts to incorporate principles of environmental justice at the federal level, and how they have failed. I do love Pro Publica: they do solid investigative journalism.

    Politics can make strange bedfellows, as we know: hunters are on the front lines protecting the public lands.

    This Lawfare article about private military groups hints at some legal tools that can be used against the Neo-Nazis.

    The New York Review of Books has dropped the paywall on James M. McPherson's take-down of the myth of the Lost Cause.

    Here's a blackly funny report of a call to a Georgia Congressman's office.

    *

    Alton Brown's fruitcake recipe. It looks tasty, but the volume is far too small. Why make only one fruitcake at a time?!

    *

    I am working on my NFE story, but argh, just realized that book club is this coming Wednesday, and I haven't read the book yet! Argh. Also it took me 4 tries to get started on the story, and then I had to do some background research and realized that I had [redacted] wrong, and also [redacted], and now I have to research [redacted]. I'm not sure if I'm going to get done in time...

    *

    In other news, Help!. Is anyone else using Chrome and having trouble logging into DW? I turned off HTTPS Everywhere, but that didn't make any difference. I simply cannot log in.

    And now off to dog class where once again we will fail on the weave poles...

    Hymns by Sherman Alexie

    Aug. 18th, 2017 07:24 pm
    taiga13: Raylan Givens from Justified (Justified)
    [personal profile] taiga13 posting in [community profile] poetry
    Published August 16, 2017 in response to recent events in the United States

    Why do we measure people's capacity
    To love by how well they love their progeny?

    That kind of love is easy. Encoded.
    Any lion can be devoted

    To its cubs. Any insect, be it prey
    Or predator, worships its own DNA.

    Like the wolf, elephant, bear, and bees,
    We humans are programmed to love what we conceive... )

    New Books and ARCs, 8/18/17

    Aug. 18th, 2017 08:44 pm
    [syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

    Posted by John Scalzi

    A very fine collection of new books and ARCs arrived to the Scalzi Compound in the last week, and here’s what they are! See anything you’d like on your own shelves? Tell us all in the comments.


    rivkat: Dean reading (dean reading)
    [personal profile] rivkat
    Robert H. Lustig, The Hacking of the American Mind: The Science Behind the Corporate Takeover of Our Bodies and BrainsRead more... )

    Richard S. Dunn, A Tale of Two Plantations: Slave Life and Labor in Jamaica and VirginiaRead more... )

    uncorked

    Aug. 18th, 2017 06:07 pm
    philomytha: girl in woods with a shaft of sunlight falling on her (Default)
    [personal profile] philomytha
    This fic WILL NOT STOP. I have passed 10,000 words and it just keeps spawning new complications every time I think I've got something nailed down. It was only meant to be about 2-3000 words and the whole second half was going to be sorted out in about three paragraphs. I'm blaming MacDonnell on the Heights for some of it because it is just such a Barrayaran military song and every time it comes up on my playlist I come up with a new problem for Vorhalas to wrangle with. You know that on Barrayar they love songs about the loyal lieutenant who takes up the standard when the great general falls, and gets killed just before he can win the battle and ends up buried beside his general. But it feels like I've got about three years' worth of words coming uncorked all of a sudden; I'm fairly sure I've written more this month than I did in all of 2015. The finish line is in sight now, maybe, but there's still a lot to sort out.

    The current tricky bit is, what are the practical and legal consequences if a serving officer's District Count orders him to disobey his military superiors? I ask because I had Vorhalas do this in the current draft, and then when I was writing a bit of dialogue slightly later Vorhalas outright said he would never do that, so now I have to go back and fix it, because of course he wouldn't. But I'm inviting speculation here - what would happen on Barrayar if some hypothetical count and some hypothetical officer did this, to both the officer and the count?

    (no subject)

    Aug. 18th, 2017 08:56 am
    lakeeffectgirl: ((Inside Man) detectives)
    [personal profile] lakeeffectgirl
    Writing check-in (Wednesday-Wednesday): 5,210 words! Almost all of it weird GenKill stuff from prompts for the 'fest, but I'm pleased to say that I've written for four of the six days so far. This isn't what I expected to do this month - an unintentional GenKill renaissance, me? - but I'm enjoying it. I admit I'm a little less certain about what I have started for Day 5, mostly because of the logistics I'm going to have to figure out since it's not an AU, but we'll see. I also started Day 6 but it is 100% crack. :-D

    [personal profile] anniejd11 and I are going to Vegas in January and we have now purchased all of our major items: hotel, flight, and tickets to the Golden Knights game. I haven't been to an NHL game in so long that the ticket price was total sticker shock, but I'm glad I looked and purchased this morning, because otherwise we'd be going to Vegas but not for the game, because tickets would be GONE. I did find a fairly decent airfare yesterday, at least. But we're all set to go, and we still have four months to pay off the credit card I put it all on before we even get on the plane.

    ot: Huge Heyer Sale

    Aug. 18th, 2017 10:26 am
    filkferengi: filk fandom--all our life's a circle (Default)
    [personal profile] filkferengi posting in [community profile] vorkosigan
    There's a huge sale on Georgette Heyer novels over on bn.com and amazon. Lots & lots of screens of e-books for 2.99 each.

    Squee!

    Hugo arrives from Finland

    Aug. 17th, 2017 05:32 pm
    [syndicated profile] lois_mcmaster_bujold_feed
    We live in a remarkable world. Does anyone else notice...?

    Anyway.

    Out of the box.




    Some assembly required. Delayed by a hunt for a socket wrench that fit, which at length proved to be the handle that holds the other socket wrenches.




    Together! Am I an engineer's daughter or what.




    The front plate.




    United with its siblings.




    Ta, L.

    Later, by request at @16, a larger group shot:



    If anyone wants more data:

    http://www.sfadb.com/Lois_McMaster_Bu...

    Foreground needs cropped, but I haven't figured out how to do that yet. It'll do for a snapshot.

    posted by Lois McMaster Bujold on August, 20

    Free Speech and Nazis

    Aug. 18th, 2017 12:42 am
    [syndicated profile] jim_hines_feed

    Posted by Jim C. Hines

    Like many of us, I’ve been struggling to process what happened in Charlottesville over the weekend, and what’s been happening in this country for a while now. The racism and hatred and violence didn’t magically appear out of nowhere. It’s been building up for a long time…in fact, much of it has always been there. It’s just boiling over into the open right now, making it harder (but obviously not impossible) to look away and pretend it’s not happening.

    Part of the argument I’ve seen centers around free speech and the First Amendment. Free speech is a right, an important one, and rights apply to everyone. Even people you dislike and disagree with.

    But freedom of speech in this country is not and has never been limitless. From the U.S. Federal Courts, here are a few examples of actions not legally protected by freedom of speech:

    • Students making an obscene speech at a school-sponsored event.
    • Making/distributing obscene materials.
    • Inciting actions that would harm others (e.g., Shouting “fire” in a crowded theater.)

    Now, here are some of the “alt-right” protesters who gathered in Charlottesville.

    Nazi flag Nazi armband  Nazi salutes Hitler quote on shirt Nazi salute

    These people here? The ones wearing swastikas, waving Nazi flags, marching in T-shirts with Adolf Hitler quotes, and throwing Nazi salutes?

    This isn’t protest. This is a threat.

    The message here is not, “I don’t want you to take down a statue.” It’s “I believe in ethnic cleansing, in the murder of millions of Jews, Romani, and other non-white people. I believe people with disabilities should be forcibly sterilized or put to death. I believe non-heterosexuals should be imprisoned and killed.”

    These people are pledging allegiance to a movement of mass murder. We know what the Nazis stood for. We know what they did. When people stand up in 2017 and proclaim themselves Nazis, we know what they’re saying. We know what they’re promising.

    I’m not a lawyer, but I don’t believe freedom of speech protects the incitement of violence. I don’t believe it protects threats of genocide.

    Maybe you don’t personally feel threatened by this. In many ways, neither do I. I’m a straight white man, unlikely to be a primary target of these hateful people.

    Now imagine you’re Jewish. Imagine you’re black. Imagine you’re gay. Imagine you’re Romani. Imagine your ancestors were among the millions of people murdered by Nazis. Now look at those photos and tell me you’re not looking at a very real threat.

    “But not all of the ‘Unite the Right’ marchers were openly wearing Nazi symbols!”

    You’re right, and if you’ll read a little more carefully, you’ll see I never claimed otherwise. But they marched alongside Nazis. They chanted “Jews will not replace us!” alongside Nazis. They stood side-by-side with Nazis.

    “Isn’t it so convenient for you to exclude speech you don’t like from the free speech umbrella? Free speech is an absolute right, and the true test is whether we’ll stand up for speech we disagree with!”

    As established earlier, legally speaking, free speech is not an absolute right. Ethically–well, do you believe people have the absolute right to harass others? To threaten? To leak private information? To incite violence and murder? I don’t. Which means ethically, free speech isn’t an absolute right either.

    I struggled with this. But in the end, I look at the photos and videos from Charlottesville, and I see deliberate intimidation. I see the threat and promise of violence. I see people proclaiming their loyalty to an enemy our country went to war against.

    I see no reason to tolerate or accept that enemy.

    Nor do I have any respect for those who knowingly collaborate with them.

    Even the Joker hates Nazis

    (no subject)

    Aug. 17th, 2017 07:23 pm
    resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
    [personal profile] resonant
    The news is apocalyptically awful, of course. But I'm a Southerner, and I never expected that I would live to see those statues come down. It was something I didn't even dare to hope for.

    I don't want to lose sight of how amazing that is.

    Schadenfreude on weck

    NSFW Aug. 17th, 2017 05:19 pm
    petra: A man looking superior and pointing at a woman (Troy Barnes - Yeah really)
    [personal profile] petra
    ( You're about to view content that the journal owner has advised should be viewed with discretion. )
    trelkez: (HL - Duncan/Amanda laugh)
    [personal profile] trelkez posting in [community profile] vividcon
    The first survey on VividCon 2018 programming has closed. When you have time, please fill out our follow-up survey:

    VividCon 2018 interest survey for vidders and panel moderators

    If you are interested in moderating panel programming next year, submitting premiering vids, and/or wish to give opinions on streaming-only options on vidshows, please read over the survey. Nothing in here is binding; this is just to gauge interest and take down names/emails so we can follow up with potential moderators and vidders later on.

    (Potentially quite a bit later on -- at some point yours truly is going to get in a post-con nap.)

    As is mentioned in the survey, the Comet room will be used for panel programming next year. There will be plenty of time and space for panels and many opportunities later on to come up with panel topics and sign up to moderate them. This isn't the one and only chance to volunteer to moderate a panel, or to indicate interest in submitting a vid; we're still in the early stages of planning for next year.

    This is likely to be the last about next year's programming for a while, but if you have comments, questions, suggestions, or anything else related to panels and vidshows, you can always email vvctech@gmail.com. If you need to contact a staff person about the con on a different topic, please use our contact form.
    rivkat: Dean reading (dean reading)
    [personal profile] rivkat
    Either my internet access is really bad or something is wrong with DW; either way, apologies for the lack of cuts.

    Ron Formisano, American Oligarchy: The Permanent Political Class: This cri de coeur about corruption has a lot of outrage, but it’s short on definitions and thus on solutions. At times, Formisano suggests that anyone with a state, local, or federal government job is part of the oligarchy, as well as doctors, people in positions of authority at nonprofits, think tanks, and businesses. There is a lot of corruption in the US; the chapter about the abuses in Kentucky, where poverty, pollution, child mortality, and other indicators of suffering are extremely high, should make anyone angry. I understand getting mad at nonprofit CEOs who are compensated like for-profit CEOs—but the problem is not the parity (I don’t like the argument that “you chose a helping profession, you should accept less pay because of how good it feels to do good”; not only is it a trope usually used to justify paying female-dominated professions less, it positions doing good as something you ought to have to pay for, when really you ought to have to pay for acting solely in your own self-interest) but the fact that anybody can get paid as much as for-profit CEOs do, with so little tax. It is appalling that CEOs of nonprofit hospitals are paid hundreds of millions while the hospitals garnish the wages of poor patients who can’t pay—but that is true of for-profit hospitals too.

    Formisano also points out that our federal legislators get perks that let them live like millionaires even when (as is increasingly unlikely) they aren’t; during the 2013 government shutdown, Congresspeople stopped National Airport from closing because it served them and also deemed their own gyms and pools “essential” enough to stay open, though the workers there still didn’t make very much. These privileges, he suggests, corrupt even the people who moved up in class, so that a visionary leader at Brown University speaks eloquently about admitting more students from poor backgrounds but also doesn’t want to interfere with alumni preferences because she has a granddaughter. The elites funnel money to themselves and their families by self-dealing, whether in government (remember Kim Davis?), nonprofits, or business. Disgrace, if exposure occurs, is ameliorated by a soft landing—a pension, positions on other boards, and soft words from one’s co-elites. Even nonprofits are in on the game, and they increasingly replace grassroots activism with palatable-to-elites causes that are organized from the top.

    Formisano quotes Robert Borosage’s criticism of liberal focus on “opportunity” instead of equity or punishment for elite cheaters as “passive voice populism,” to good effect. Defunding tax collection is just another mechanism of harm—creating more loopholes for cheaters, who are subsidized by ordinary wage workers whose taxes are collected automatically. Though it’s relatively easy to cherry-pick from history, this John Adams quote seemed apposite: “civil, military, political and hierarchical Despotism, have all grown out of the natural Aristocracy of ‘Virtue and Talents.’ We, to be sure, are far remote from this. Many hundred years must roll away before We shall be corrupted.”

    James Q. Whitman, Hitler’s American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law: Repeatedly, Nazis looking for inspiration looked to the US system of racial discrimination, primarily in the treatment of immigration, the rights of those in non-state territories, and anti-miscegnation laws. Whitman emphasizes that the Nazis’ crimes were their own and that they also rejected liberal and democratic parts of American law. They also appealled to racist practices among other European colonial powers. Still, Whitman argues that, because the Nazis didn’t envision the Holocaust when they started out, they found compelling analogies in American discriminatory practices, even though these practices were often not aimed at Jews. As with everything about America, it was possible to be selective, and the Nazis had no problem claiming that New York City had “very little to do with ‘America’” because of all its race-mixing and Jews.

    Hitler was able to see the US as a model of Nordic supremacy, and he wasn’t alone; a Nazi historian described the Founding, in what Whitman says was the received wistom of the time, as “a historic turning point in ‘the Aryan struggle for world domination.’” One detailed scholarly work, Race Law in the United States, had as heroes Jefferson and Lincoln—Jefferson because of his insistence that blacks and whites couldn’t live under the same government if both were free, and Lincoln because of his early calls for black resettlement outside the US. Similarly, “Nazi expansion eastward was accompanied by invocations of the American conquest of the West, with its accompanying wars on Native Americans…. Indeed as early as 1928 Hitler was speechifying admiringly about the way Americans had ‘gunned down the millions of Redskins to a few hundred thousand, and now keep the modest remnant under observation in a cage’ ….”

    Jim Crow segregation, Whitman contends, wasn’t all that important to the Nazis, but citizenship and sex/reproduction were, and it was there that they took lessons from the US. In fact, “Nazis almost never mentioned the American treatment of blacks without also mentioning the American treatment of other groups, in particular Asians and Native Americans.” American immigration and naturalization law was, almost uniquely, racist and race-based, and Hitler praised it for being so in Mein Kampf. And there were various forms of de jure and de facto second-class citizenship for African-Americans, Filipinos, and Chinese, to which the Nazis could look as they created second-class citizenship for Jews—drawing on, for example, the distinction between “political rights” and “civil rights” that American whites offered to excuse segregation. Indeed, some Nazis considered openly race-based laws to be more honest about keeping “alien races” from getting the upper hand; they had no need for grandfather clauses, and they devised the Nuremberg Laws in part to “institute official state persecution in order to displace street-level lynchings,” which offended the facist need for state centralization.

    The US was also unique in anti-miscegnation laws, with careful rules about blood quantum—in fact, there were no other models for such laws for the Nazis to consult. And it mattered, Whitman suggests, that America was seen as a dynamic country—confirmation for the Nazis that the future was going in their direction. Among other things, American creativity on the definition of race showed that one didn’t need a purely scientific or theoretical definition of race, despite the leanings of German law; one could proceed with a political, pragmatic definition in enforcing anti-miscegenation and other discriminatory laws. Indeed, that’s ultimately what the Germans did when they defined Jews as including people with one Jewish parent if and only if they practiced Judaism or married Jews (rejecting, along the way, the even more aggressive American one-drop rule). Whitman concludes that we have to acknowledge that the Nazis practiced a particular kind of Legal Realism, whereby the law was supposed to assist in the process of social transformation, throwing formalism aside and recognizing reality—and reality, in both countries, was racist. “[T]o have a common-law system like that of America is to have a system in which the traditions of the law do indeed have little power to ride herd on the demands of the politicians, and when the politics is bad, the law can be very bad indeed.” Whitman finds the most prominent modern manifestation of this in the US in its harsh criminal justice system.

    ot: Ursula Vernon in Iceland

    Aug. 17th, 2017 10:31 am
    filkferengi: filk fandom--all our life's a circle (Default)
    [personal profile] filkferengi posting in [community profile] vorkosigan
    Ursula Vernon, who just won the Best Novelette Hugo, stopped in Iceland en route to WorldCon. She was with her husband Kevin, his cousin, Amy, & their friend Tina. They storified the trip, here:

    https://storify.com/RebelsHeart/ursula-vernon-and-friends-vs-iceland

    There're lots of gorgeous photos & great snark.

    August 2017

    S M T W T F S
      12345
    6 78 9101112
    131415 16171819
    20 212223242526
    2728293031  

    Tags

    Page Summary

    Style Credit

    Expand Cut Tags

    No cut tags
    Page generated Aug. 22nd, 2017 06:43 pm
    Powered by Dreamwidth Studios