Making Me Sick.

Jul. 26th, 2017 02:13 pm
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[personal profile] captainsblog

It's been one of those hurry-up-and-wait weeks at work. Only two court appearances all week, the second and last of them early tomorrow, and both of them local; but I'm waiting on any number of clients, courts and opponents to get off their respective arses to schedule things, and I'm largely in limbo until they do.

This gives me unexpected time to watch the Parade of Idiocy going by. Frankly, I'd rather just be busy with work.  Yesterday gave us the grand spectacle of Senator John McCain being rushed back to DC, his brain cancer freshly diagnosed and the Best Care Anywhere for him assured, so he could get a round of applause on the Senate floor before casting the deciding vote to begin the process of taking such care away from thousands of his own constituents and millions of his fellow citizens.

He will tell you it was just a procedural vote.  He followed it with a much-praised floor speech where he decried the divisiveness of the chamber he's been a part of for decades and called for a "return to regular order." This, right after enabling debate, probable bribes, an exhausting "vote-a-rama" (that's the actual term they use) and an eventual final vote on the aforesaid stripping of health care from millions- on a bill that doesn't even exist in printable form yet. THAT's regular order?

But for me, the money quote in the speech was this:

Both sides have let this happen. Let's leave the history of who shot first to the historians.

If McCain really meant that, he wouldn't have enabled the continuation of this hyperpartisan process. He might have suggested, moments after the "no" vote he didn't have the balls to cast, that we depoliticize this whole business.  As I posited last week:

Would you buy a house that was designed by a hairdresser and built by a baker? How about getting behind the wheel of an automobile engineered and sold by the Ford Anvil Company? Stupid, right? And yet for my entire lifetime, we've been entrusting the repair and reform of our health care system to a bunch of politicians of both parties who couldn't surgically reattach their asses to their elbows if they even could tell the difference between them.

The Clintons tried and failed. Dubya tried and failed with Medicare Part D. Obama tried and failed. And now the Cheeto's going down in another spectacular failure.

Why don't they all say, WE QUIT. Turn the whole thing over to a blue-ribbon, nonpartisan panel of doctors, hospitals, patient advocates and pharmaceutical companies. Lock them in a room for a month- no politicians or lobbyists allowed- and see what they come up with. It's got to be better than this shit.

But that won't happen. Because as any fan of Star Wars could tell you, the history of who shot first is established here: Greed-o did.

----

But at least we don't have Death Panels, like them socialist medicine countries do. Or so they would tell you- and did, repeatedly and with fake poignance, over the saga of "Little Charlie Gard."  This infant became 2017's poster child for the triumph of Make American Medicine Great Again over those horrid National Health rationers in England.  On any number of occasions during the current US health care battle, the Cheeto and his minions have trotted out Little Charlie Gard as proof that socialized medicine will kill ya.

Bullshit.  No, assholes, your disease is what kills you; it's US profit-driven medicine that turns a baby into a political football so a doctor over here can diagnose him over the Internet and propose treating him with an experimental med that the doctor has a personal financial stake in.

Now that he's been outed, Doctor Profit has concluded that, well, no, his untested experimental med won't work after all, and the tragic little kid will be sent home for a death that will be as peaceful as it was inevitable. But "Little Charlie Gard" will no doubt still be a rallying cry for those who love him as a symbol but who ignore the inconvenient truth of his status under the horrors of Trumpcare: that from the moment of his birth, Little Charlie Gard was a pre-existing condition.

jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

By now, I imagine most of my fellow geeks are aware that when Peter Capaldi leaves Doctor Who in the coming Christmas special, he’ll be replaced by Jodie Whittaker. Naturally, not everyone was happy about the next Doctor being…gasp…a woman.

As the conversation progressed, I started to see more people suggesting the backlash wasn’t a thing. All they were seeing was people complaining about the backlash, as opposed to anyone actually being unhappy about a woman playing the Doctor. The whole thing was people getting angry over nothing, and feeding on each other’s anger.

Now Steven Moffat himself has joined in to proclaim, “There has been so many press articles about a backlash among the Doctor Who fandom about casting a female Doctor. There has been no backlash at all. The story of the moment is that the notionally conservative Doctor Who fandom has utterly embraced that change completely.”

Oddly, most of the people I’ve seen saying the backlash is imaginary, made-up, and/or blown completely out of proportion, have been men. Perhaps — and I’m just guessing here — because it’s easier for men to overlook sexism? Misogyny doesn’t directly affect us, so we’re less likely to notice it?

It’s like white people denying racism, straight people denying the hatred and intolerance of homosexuality, and so on. Just because we don’t see it — perhaps because we choose not to look, or perhaps because we’ve never learned to look — doesn’t mean it isn’t real.

For all those who share Moffat’s confusion, here are just a few examples of the ignorant, sexist, hateful, and sometimes flat-out batshit responses to Whittaker taking over as the Doctor.

#

“The replacement of male with female is meant to erase femininity. In point of fact, and no matter what anyone thinks or wishes, readers and viewers have a different emotional relationship to female characters as male. This does not mean, obviously, that females cannot be protagonists or cannot be leaders. It means mothers cannot be fathers and queens cannot be kings.

“…I have been a fan of Dr Who since age seven, when Tom Baker was the Doctor. I have tolerated years of public service announcements in favor of sexual deviance that pepper the show. But this is too much to tolerate.

“The BBC has finally done what The Master, the Daleks and the Cybermen have failed to do. They killed off the Doctor.”

John C. Wright (you may remember him from his freak-out over Korra and Asami.)

#

Over on Twitter, @TechnicallyRon took comments from angry Doctor Who “fans” and turned them into title cards.

Lisa Crowther also screenshotted some comments from angry Daily Mail readers.

#

Twitter also has plenty of comments like this fellow’s woeful lament, “And again the PC brigade get their way. R.I.P Doctor Who” (Source)

#

Joe Scaramanga’s response to this sexist twit was a thing of beauty.

#

British tabloid and shit-filled dumpster fire The Sun responded to the announcement by publishing nude photos of Judie Whittaker.

#

Caitlynn Fairbarns has rounded up a ton of the negative comments and reactions.

#

But remember everyone, it’s not about sexism!

“It’s a woman. That’s it, Doctor Who is ruined. Like I said, I’m not sexist, I just don’t think it’s a good idea.” –Mark S.W.

#

Now, folks might argue that the majority of Doctor Who fans are excited about the Doctor being a woman. (Though there’s a very real and valid frustration that we’re on our fourteenth doctor and the character has still been exclusively white.) Others will say some of the negative comments are coming from trolls just looking to get a reaction, or that of course Daily Mail readers are being horrid about Whittaker’s casting.

You might be right. That doesn’t change the fact that the negativity exists. It’s not one or two isolated assholes. It’s a real and significant thing, and it’s closely tied to the kind of harassment and disdain and hatred and other forms of sexism women deal with every day. Sexism that men so often don’t see. Sexism we respond to by telling women they’re overreacting, or they’re just imagining things, or that if they’d just stop talking about it the problem would somehow magically go away.

I get it. You’re tired of hearing people complain about sexism. Gosh, can you imagine how tiring it must be when you’re constantly on the receiving end of that sexism. Constantly being told you shouldn’t be allowed to play the same kinds of roles. Constantly being told your only worth comes from your body. Constantly being told your inclusion is some kind of public service announcement. Constantly having your accomplishments belittled as “PC pandering.”

Look, I wish we didn’t have folks like Wright rolling around with his head up his ass every time his Straight White Manliness feels threatened by a cartoon or a TV show or whatever else he’s scared of this week, but we do. Pretending otherwise not only turns a blind eye to the pervasiveness of sexism and other forms of bigotry, it also means turning your back on those who are directly targeted by that intolerance every day.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Jerk

Jul. 24th, 2017 06:28 pm
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[personal profile] moira_j_moore1
I'm working with a company that is going through liquidation. The guy who represents the liquidators has been there for about five days and has managed to alienate everyone. During my first conversation with him, he bragged about flying up from Las Vegas on the red-eye and going to work on less than three hours of sleep. (He had no interest in anything about me.) He gives orders he has no right to make, demands for work that is not only outside of the job descriptions of the employees, but would be counterproductive, given everyone is running flat out to do their actual jobs. I wonder how well he handles being told no. And he disapproves of people taking their days off. He appears to think people should be working every day, including days for which they wouldn't be paid. Joy.

Three Hines Books On Sale!

Jul. 24th, 2017 12:56 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

I checked Amazon today and was surprised to see that three of my books are on sale in electronic format. Barnes and Noble doesn’t appear to have price-matched the sale yet (they have now!), and I don’t know if this is limited to North America, but here’s what I do know:

Libriomancer is on sale for $1.99.

Goblin Quest is on sale for $2.99.

The Stepsister Scheme is on sale for $2.99.

That’s book one of all three of my fantasy series. If you’ve been waiting to check out my stuff, this is the perfect time.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

captainsblog: (Default)
[personal profile] captainsblog
♫....nothing survives, but the way we live our lives.♫

I reference these lyrics with some hesitation and modification: the former, because the song is called Daddy's Tune while I'm using it in a sisterly context; the latter, because I'm replacing Jackson Browne's 45's with my own age of 57 in comparison to what would have been our sister Sandy's 78th birthday today.

Sandy did make it to her 45th, but never to her 50th; by the fall of her 50th year in 1988, the demons had won and the sister, the daughter, the mother we knew was no longer with us. Except she was, and is: every day her daughters and grandchildren awake and face their days. Every day her remaining sister and I remember her words, her musical memories, her unique ways of looking at the world. Every moment we tolerate a spoiled pet because we have inherited the honor of receiving those special souls who get to be reincarnated as Sandy's cat.

I am not much for family chats on the phone, on holidays or otherwise, but today, with the luxury of her 78th birthday falling on a weekend, I called both of my nieces to check in and remind them that they, and their kids, were in our thoughts and prayers and that their mom would be- is- so immensely proud of the strong, independent women they've become.

Her last birthday was her 49th.  I've now passed that on my own calendar nine times and am heading for a tenth in November.  Two weekends from now, I will spend time with people I knew from 40 years ago; few of them ever met Sandy (being 21 years apart in age and school will do that), but all I speak to will know the importance of her to me, my family, and the person I've become.

Eleanor and I began the day taking Ebony to the dog park. We gardened, we watched BBC programmes, we had a Sunday dinner befitting so many Sunday afternoons I remember sharing with her.  And we celebrated a life that will always be celebrated in this world as long as her memories and DNA and the words from us continue.

And when the morning light comes streaming in,
I'll get up and do it again, Amen.
Say it again, Amen.

Trailer Roundup

Jul. 23rd, 2017 12:36 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

It’s movie trailer season!

1. Thor: Ragnarok – I love the banter between Thor and Hulk/Banner. Everything I’ve seen about this movie looks like fun.

2. Star Trek: Discovery – I’m intrigued enough to want to see more, and it will be nice to have some new television-style Star Trek. We don’t have CBS All Access, but I’m sure it will be available on Blu-ray eventually.

3. Ready Player One – I know a lot of people loved this one, but for some reason, the book just didn’t work for me, and the trailer seems to be following suit. The trailer looks pretty, but it doesn’t grab me.

4. Justice League – I don’t know. DC’s cinematic universe has let me down again and again…but then they did Wonder Woman, and I started to hope again. This looks like it could be fun. Or it could be a mess. I’m withholding judgement for the moment.

Which ones, if any, are you looking forward to?

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Ark Encounter Update

Jul. 21st, 2017 05:09 pm
moira_j_moore1: (Default)
[personal profile] moira_j_moore1
To review, the Ark Encounter is a building that is shaped like a boat on one side, said to be built to the specifications in the Bible, though that's impossible due to the half a building bit. It is in Kentucky, and the company that built it, Answers in Genesis, owned by Ken Ham, got a ton of tax breaks, and a bunch of land for $1, from the nearby county. The county is really strapped for cash and made the mistake of believing Ham when he promised that the ark would revitalize the community, increasing tourism and bringing tens of thousands of jobs.

That hasn't happened. The attendance at the ark is hard to determine, largely because Ham keeps moving the goal posts and doesn't provide any evidence of his claims. For example, he says that close to 10,000 people a day visit the ark. While I've read reviews that say the ark is crowded, there's no photographic evidence. The photos and videos that are online show a place that's kind of dead. Also, 10,000 people a day for a year would be 3,650,000 people. But then, sometimes he says it's more like 8,000, and then sometimes he points out that attendance was slower during the winter months, which is natural, except during the winter months he kept talking about the amazing attendance. So he's all over the place.

The ark says it employs 900 people, which I have a hard time believing, but even if that's true, it falls far, far short of promises, and anyone who isn't a young earth creationist need not apply. Whatever the attendance at the ark, those who visit are not stopping by the local businesses.

Going back to the attendance, Ham initially claimed 2 million would visit the first year. Then he said from 1.4 m to 2 m, which is one hell of a lot of wiggle room. When the first anniversary came into view, and it looked like it would be only about 1 m, he started saying that the 1.4 - 2m estimate was for a normal year, without defining what normal means or why this past year isn't normal.

Within two weeks he went from claiming that attendance was higher than expected and was bringing business to the nearby community to blaming atheists and secular news for dissuading businesses from investing in the area to blaming the nearby town for not building the infrastructure needed to make the ark, and then the county, successful.

The next bit is vicious. The county created a tax to help pay for safety services. The tax on the ark would be 50 cents per $28/$40 ticket. Ham has gone to court to stop this taxation, claiming that the ark is a ministry. Except the ark is a for profit enterprise. So then, the for-profit part of the company sold the property to a not-for profit part of the company, just to avoid this tax. For $10.

How much of a scumbag is this guy? The county was incredibly generous to him, he knows they're barely hanging on, but he pulls an unethical stunt like this to avoid a tax that would provide services his ark would benefit from. Unless he's ok with the fire department watching his boat burn down because he hadn't paid for their protection.

But joy of joys, the state has declared that by selling the property to himself - really - he breached one of the agreements, and the result could be that the company would lose a tax incentive of $18 m. Couldn't have happened to a more deserving scum bag.

Side note, Ham really hates it that the rainbow is associated with the inclusion of the LGBTQA community and love and peace and all that. He's going to have the ark lit up with a rainbow every night to take back the rainbow from, you know, everyone who's a decent human being, to celebrate genocide.

Cool Stuff Friday

Jul. 21st, 2017 12:22 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

Friday still hasn’t seen the new Spider-Man movie 🙁

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Half a Life.

Jul. 20th, 2017 05:27 pm
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[personal profile] captainsblog
Since I was in Bankruptcy Court at butt o'clock this morning, it only seemed right for me to do some math. (This, notwithstanding that one of our three district bankruptcy judges has admitted on the bench that he's lousy at math.)

When I got out, I saw some birthday posts for Eleanor on my Facebook feed.  She only joined recently, mainly to connect with one art-community friend, and we cautiously friended each other even more recently so she wouldn't get a scad of friend requests from bare past-life acquaintances I still keep in touch with from church and other places.  I always try to post something a little different and unique on peoples' birthday roundups, so this is what I thought of:

Your 32nd birthday I've shared with you. May it be among the best ever. I love you.

A little further math reveals the other "half" of that story. When you add up the years, I now realize that for more than half of the birthdays my beloved has ever had, I have shared them with her. They've had their ups and their downs, they've been shared with relatives and in restaurants, but the one constant has been what our wedding service referred to as "a love which shall endure." 

She's talking with Emily on the phone as I write this, and soon after we will head to a favourite Italian caffe for dinner and dessert.  It's cooled a bit after some monster t-storms came through this part of town (and possible tornadoes hit not far to the south), and tomorrow is the end of the workweek for both of us.

May the next 32 years of birthdays commence. I love you:)

fic (time lords not having sex)

Jul. 20th, 2017 12:09 am
nostalgia: (twissy touchy)
[personal profile] nostalgia
Twelve/Missy fic in which they try not to get jiggy with it.

It's almost entirely about sex. Twelve is frustrated, Bill is clever, Missy is an appalling person who keeps getting cockblocked.

Jul. 19th, 2017 10:04 am
nostalgia: (13 DOCTOR WHO IS A WOMAN)
[personal profile] nostalgia
its been a few days now and afaik dr who is still a woman
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

“There is a common poor attempt at a joke … that consists purely in stringing together a series of marginalized identities and calling attention to it … as if the mere existence of someone like that would be so absurd it could only be laughable.”

Invisible 3 CoverAlliah is one of the contributors to Invisible 3, which came out on June 27 and includes 18 essays and poems about representation in science fiction and fantasy. You can order the collection at:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | Smashwords | Google Play

Any profits from the sale of the collection go to Con or Bust, helping fans of color to attend SF/F conventions.

As with Invisible and Invisible 2, the contributors to this third volume have shared work that’s heartfelt, eye-opening, honest, thoughtful, and important…not to mention relevant to so much of what we see happening in the genre today.

#

Our Hyperdimensional Mesh of Identities

Growing up in the 90s and early 00s in the south-east of Brazil, all I saw in mainstream media were the same repetitive, harmful and offensive stereotypes about travestis in telenovelas and badly written comedy TV shows, and the effeminate gay men and macho lesbian women token characters whose non-conforming gender expression was grossly caricatured for cheap laughs.

As an openly queer young girl in school, I learned that I could be queer, but not too much, not too visibly. I’ve heard those laughs, and I internalized through bullying and ridicule that I should change how I presented myself to the world—which I did really fast by becoming the stock image of a non-threatening feminine girl, although I never hid my sexuality. My first awkward attempts at a masculine gender expression didn’t have time to blossom. I shoved it down some unreachable recess of my mind and avoided it for 10 years, which (along with compulsive heterosexuality and a binary cisnormative culture) is why it took me so long to understand my bisexuality and figure out my transmasculine non-binary gender identity.

Once I did, I uncovered a gender euphoria I’ve been cultivating ever since.

It took me years to understand the ways in which I inhabit my queer transmasculine genderfluid neuroatypical body, and my most powerful illumination came unexpectedly through the stories of a queer non-binary neuroatypical green witch: Elphaba Thropp, the Wicked Witch of the West.

Wicked: Cover ArtI first met her in the book series The Wicked Years by Gregory Maguire, where most aspects about her gender and sexuality were ambiguous or obscured between the lines, and later in fan fiction, where the depths of Elphaba’s intersectional identities (canon or not) could be explored to the fullest by writers that shared those same identities.

Despite being an avid reader of speculative fiction since childhood, it was only after these encounters with trans and non-binary characters in fan fiction during the first half of my twenties that I started researching these topics, that I found out where I belonged. I discovered a thriving community of authors from marginalized groups creating astonishing rebellious versions of every world I’ve ever dreamed of and countless others I couldn’t imagine would be paramount to my process of liberation.

I owe it mostly to the fictional characters and their creators that illuminated me—from early readings like Virginia Woolf’s Orlando to the most recent fan fiction stories about a non-binary autistic Elphaba, a genderfluid bisexual Korra (from The Legend of Korra), and an agender transhumanist Root (from Person of Interest). I wish I could’ve met them sooner. Along the way to self-discovery, I had to collect all sorts of missing pieces with jagged edges and weird fractal shapes, and figure out a way to put them together myself. I was lucky to stumble upon the stories that I did and then to be able to find the communities that I needed. That’s why representation is vital. You cannot search for something you don’t even know exists.

There is a common poor attempt at a joke (that I’ve seen in both Anglophone and Brazilian online spaces), often directed at dehumanizing non-binary people and mocking activists working at the multidimensional core of intersections, that consists purely in stringing together a series of marginalized identities and calling attention to it, using the accumulation of these identities as a joke in and of itself, as if the mere existence of someone like that would be so absurd it could only be laughable.

One of the things fantasy author Jim Anotsu and I wanted to acknowledge when we wrote the Manifesto Irradiativo—our call to diversity and representation in Brazilian speculative fiction—is that our lives cannot be reduced to an isolated shelf in a bookstore or a niche market, thus we cannot be constrained to discussing the realities of our identities in those compartmentalized terms. We’re so much more than single-issue stories, than the same old one-dimensional narratives constructed to serve the gaze of the oppressor without making them examine their privileges and dismantle their systems of violence.

Those single-issue stories exist and persist for several reasons concerning the maintenance of racial, economic, and social power, amongst them because there is a fear of “too much” diversity. As if a book about a bipolar asexual bigender Afro-Brazilian person, for example, would scare away or alienate the common reader—who is always presumed to be the neurotypical cis straight white default that can handle only one unit of diversity at a time, served lukewarm, unseasoned. But as Audre Lorde said in a 1982 speech at Harvard University: “There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.”

Stories matter. And we shouldn’t have the full extent of our existences cut, segregated, and dimmed in them. We deserve to live as a hyperdimensional mesh of identities when they want to flatten us, to be loud when they want to silence us, to occupy the spaces that have been negated to us, and to be wonderfully written and represented as such.

***

Alliah/Vic is a bisexual non-binary Brazilian writer and visual artist working in the realms of the weird and pop culture. They’re the author of Metanfetaedro and have various short stories published in themed collections and on the web. They’re currently building too many independent projects, working on their first novel, and haunting your internet cables. Find them tweeting at alliahverso and newslettering in Glitch Lung. Or buy them a coffee at ko-fi!

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

13's important thoughts

Jul. 18th, 2017 08:15 am
nostalgia: (13 - eye)
[personal profile] nostalgia
"shit i used to stick my dick in the tardis to make it go what will i do now?"

"my wife is bisexual i'm so glad i planned ahead on that one"

"captain jack is bisexual shit i'm still not free from his flirting"

"clara was bisexual but i can't remember what she looked like so never mind"

"why the fuck do none of these trousers have pockets in them?"

"dicks are literally magic how will i defeat aliens now?"

"missy will be so proud of me"

"maybe i can finally join the sisterhood of karn"

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el diablo robotico

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