Grand old rags

Aug. 16th, 2017 08:45 am
supergee: (pissed)
[personal profile] supergee
I more and more agree with Jehovah’s Witnesses that pledging allegiance to cloth violates one of God’s explicit instructions. But people are, as Korzybski said, symbol-minded, and they take offense at anyone burning their symbol or even refusing to worship it. Furthermore, they believe that pulling down statues removes their subjects from history when there are still history books (and, as may be more relevant to them, history TV shows). But symbol-mindedness cuts both ways.

My image of the late unpleasantness at Charlottesville is the swastika next to the Confederate battle flag. They always belonged together: symbols of nations that were brutal to a subset of their own population, fought against America because of it, and lost. These people have pledged their allegiance to the Nazi flag, and I hope that enough of our fellow citizens still have enough justified loathing for that particular symbol to judge them by it. Which reminds me…

There is of course no alt-left, no group on the other side anywhere near as hydrophobically hate-ridden as the rabble at Charlottesville. But even if there were, remember: The last time we fought Nazis, we teamed up with the Communists.

QotD

Aug. 16th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"As I hear all the tawdry details of Jenner's story, I am also re-reading 'How Sex Changed' by Joanne Meyerowitz. [...] In it, Meyerowitz discusses the reactions to Christine Jorgensen's coming out in the 1950s, and how both her tale and many others who came out shortly thereafter, were steeped in the same sort of salaciousness as the promotions for Jenner's autobiography.

"Upon reflection, I realize, too, that every transgender person - and not just the Jorgensens and Jenners - face this same sort of thing. When you are trans, the standards of privacy are thrown out the window. We are expected to share our most intimate details to anyone we come across.

"Without exception, any time I was interviewed in any depth, I found myself asked about my name prior to my transition, or for photos of myself from my youth, or for details of any surgeries I may have undertaken. It really didn't matter if any of that would be relevant to the story: my disclosure was simply expected.

"The same standard is not expected of non-transgender people. Maiden names and other such things are considered private enough to be used as security features with banks and other institutions. Non-transgender strangers don't expect details of another's hysterectomies or vasectomies unless they happen to be medical professionals. So many things are naturally considered one's own private business.

"The minute one divulges one is transgender, however, all bets are off. What's more, to make an issue about such questions is to risk being panned as deceptive."

-- Gwendolyn Ann Smith, 2017-04-27

Current events

Aug. 15th, 2017 10:30 pm
filkerdave: (oh good god)
[personal profile] filkerdave
We used to agree that Nazis were the bad guys.

8-15-17

Aug. 15th, 2017 04:34 pm
supergee: (pythagoras)
[personal profile] supergee
Happy Pythagorean Day!

Stories need conflict

Aug. 15th, 2017 06:16 am
supergee: (gargoyle)
[personal profile] supergee
Nancy Kress points out that Utopias lack story values, so we get a lot of movies about how scary scientific progress will be.

Thanx to Tor.com.

(no subject)

Aug. 15th, 2017 05:27 am

QotD

Aug. 15th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"Race hatred cannot stop us
 This one thing we know
 Your poll tax and Jim Crow
 And greed has got to go
 You're bound to lose
 You fascists bound to lose."

  -- Woody Guthrie (b. 1912-07-14, d. 1967-10-03), "All You Fascists"

Nice Distinctions 31

Aug. 15th, 2017 05:18 am
supergee: (fandom)
[personal profile] supergee
Latest issue of my zine online. Thanx to Worldcon Fan GoH Bill Burns
breakinglight11: (Default)
[personal profile] breakinglight11
A major issue in Mrs. Hawking part 4 is Nathaniel finding out the Colonel was offered a knighthood that he turned down— and Mrs. Hawking never cared to learn why. Bernie and I discussed what that scene in the past must have looked like, and though it will likely never feature in any actual show, I thought it might be fun to explore for curiosity's sake.

A major thing people wonder about is what it must have been like in their home when they were married and living there together. He spent a lot of time abroad when he realized how little she wanted him around, but when he was there, things were... frosty. Quiet and stiff. We decided that due to her resentment, Mrs. Hawking developed a profound mental block when it came to all things related to him, a resistance to making any connection or taking any interest in him. And he lacked the tools to communicate directly with her enough to even try to address their issues.

Still, I could imagine him making occasional forays into getting her to talk to him about SOMETHING— in this case, what to do about this knighthood he felt so bad accepting. Here I tried to imagine what that conversation must have been like. To wit, mostly him attempting in his indirect way to solicit her thoughts, and her shutting him down at every turn without ever actually becoming aggressive or rude. At least not overtly.

Day #14 - All the More Reason )

tiskets and taskets

Aug. 14th, 2017 05:49 pm
jazzfish: a whole bunch of the aliens from Toy Story (Aliens)
[personal profile] jazzfish
The guy at MEC (Canadian for "REI") suggested a specific brand of bike basket (Wald), one that bolted onto the front fork in addition to hanging from the handlebars, so it had more support and didn't interfere with the cables.

I ordered one from Amazon last week and it arrived today.

I rode home awkwardly clutching the box with one hand because I had nowhere on the bike to carry it, which seems ironic.

Looks like it'll require specialised tools to attach, though, since my front wheel is 'quick release.' Also since I have basically no tools at this point in time. Guess I'm taking it into MEC on Friday. Maybe they can fix the shifter indicator that they broke a couple of weeks ago when it was in for a tuneup.

I /like/ having a bike. Very curious to see if I continue to like it when it gets cold and/or wet.

bright the hawk's flight

Aug. 14th, 2017 01:10 pm
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
[personal profile] jazzfish
Tattoo photo (warning: fb), taken on Friday shortly after the autostick-saran-wrap came off. The background isn't finished and the whole wants another going-over, but it's there.

I'm reasonably happy with it. I'd been thinking of the background as much more line-art sketched-in, but I like the detail work. And I'm exceptionally pleased with how the hawk came out.

It doesn't yet feel like a part of me. Probably gonna take awhile for that to settle in.

Keeper of the books

Aug. 14th, 2017 12:35 pm
supergee: (shelves)
[personal profile] supergee
Sephora Hosein is the new head librarian at the Merril.

Not us

Aug. 14th, 2017 07:07 am
supergee: (thumb)
[personal profile] supergee
Tiki Torches, unlike the president, clearly dissociates itself from the idiots and haters who marched with their product and the flags of two nations America defeated.

Choosing issues for convenience

Aug. 14th, 2017 06:04 am
madfilkentist: Photo of Carl (Default)
[personal profile] madfilkentist
On August 8, Donald Trump said: "North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen." The news media have been making excuses for him, saying he really didn't mean it.

On August 12, Trump uttered vague generalities after Heather Heyer was killed in what was apparently a terrorist attack.

Both are contemptible, but the first was off the scale. Let's be plain about this: The president of the United States threatened a nuclear first strike as retaliation for threats. He has the power to carry out the threat personally. Yet from everything I've seen, the second met with far greater outrage. It was outrage of convenience. The Democrats have long lost any plausibility as the party of peace. Obama cemented Bush's wars into a permanent routine that shows no sign of ending. Taking a stand against blowing up the world doesn't fit into a useful narrative.

On the other hand, Charlottesville gave the Democrats a chance to build alliances, to show that whatever their differences with others, 99% of us can unite against people who wear KKK hoods and make Nazi salutes. This would have been a dreadful tactical mistake, of course. Instead, we saw this tweet, which proclaims, "Next time someone tells you not to treat Trump supporters as if they are Nazis, show them this." (The picture shows a guy with a swastika armband and a "Make America Great Again" cap.

Violence against Nazis is OK. Trump supporters are the same as Nazis. Therefore ... the logic is irrefutable. Go forth and beat up anyone you disagree with!

I saw that because a filker retweeted it. I realize that retweets aren't always endorsements, so I'll refrain from giving a name, but when no further context is offered, it certainly looks like an endorsement.

Some people either actually think there are millions of Nazi supporters in the US. They say everyone who voted for Trump (including significant numbers of black voters) is a racist. Are you surprised now when the true, hardcore racists feel encouraged? Progressives keep telling them they've got lots of support. Surprise! They believe it, and they're acting boldly!

They provide a convenient narrative of "It's either them or us." If all you're thinking of is getting your candidates elected, that may be useful. But it pushes people toward, if not supporting the "them" side, seeing no point in speaking out against the "them." Why bother if you're going to be smeared anyway?

What about the Republicans who've capitulated to Trump in just about everything? Aren't they at least as much to blame? Yes, but I don't think any of them will read this. There's no purpose in my addressing them here. It's the people who measure Trump's actions by how much political fuel they can get out of them whom I'm addressing.

Do you care about building opposition to an administration that a large majority of Americans hold in contempt, or do you find it more satisfying to take advantage of it to get your own party into power? You still have the choice.

QotD

Aug. 14th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"From a programmer's point of view, the user is a peripheral that types when you issue a read request." -- P. Williams

Monday's Short Story!

Aug. 14th, 2017 12:16 am
murgatroyd666: (von Zinzer Hah!)
[personal profile] murgatroyd666 posting in [community profile] girlgenius_lair
http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20170814

I like the idea of a Raymond Chandler mystery story set in Agatha's world, although this P.I. -- excuse me, P.J. -- might turn out to be a slightly less conventional hero than Philip Marlowe was.

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Joshua Kronengold

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