Well, Brexit happened. If you don't understand why that's bad, watch this.
It's true. The British conservatives went with the Batshit. I'm terrified for my friends in the UK. This is already destabilizing the UK economy in a big way. (See also this.) I've heard that they're headed for a recession much like our 2008 recession. (That was horrible, and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. It took us forever to pull out of it. Even so, the US economy is fragile enough that this is going to effect us too. [shudder]) I hear this vote may not be actionable. I hope that's the case. I really do. I'm hoping that this referendum is the wake up call xenophobic, miserly conservative circles have needed, worldwide. Anti-intellectualism and nationalism does not go good directions. It simply doesn't. Please, please, please can we learn this lesson now?
We'd already planned to have dinner with family, and well, this ended up with me attempting a political discussion during a migraine. The results were...mixed. LOL. But really, what can you say to someone whose every objection to a political candidate ends with "It's a cover up!"? Seriously? Trump bribed the leadership of no less than two states (Texas and Florida) in order to avoid prosecution for fraud (see Trump University) and nobody seems to give a shit...but HRC, somehow, after multiple years' long investigations, manages to hide information about her wrong doings? Pfffffttt! Give me a damned break, people.
In other news, I finished reading I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest, and it was wonderful. Next, I started The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. We'll see how that goes. I enjoyed the film. I suspect the novel will be equally good. After that, I'm hitting the Octavia Butler on my bookshelf because I'm way over due. That's three novels in a row by authors who happen to be women. Sadly, I don't know that I've ever done that before. Go me.
Meanwhile in another part of the forest... Democrats stage sit-in on House floor to force gun vote. It's about time, damn it. (See The True Cost of Gun Violence in America.)
 Governor Abbot is still in office, and I've only heard about this scandal via NPR.
And now...those Feminist links. Ready? Let's do this thing. Today's videos:
After watching that video, now imagine being a woman and working on and/or testing those game mechanics as part of your job. Yeah. That. Now add sexism and sexual harassment on the job on top of that. And they wonder why women don't feel welcome in the gaming industry. [rolls eyes] The problem isn't entirely that these game mechanics exist. It's that they are so prevalent. For the record, I have worked in the gaming industry as both a tester and a graphic designer. So, I'm speaking from experience.
That said, this week I rewrote a story and am finally, for real happy with how it worked out. I've developed this nasty tendency to throw something together upon request, panic when the story chokes due to not doing what it's meant to do, and then forcing an ending on it in frustration. I can't do that. Lesson learned. Anyway, it's going out to Dre, my friend the fireman, to check the fire stuff, and then it's off for submission. I'm very pleased with it as a whole, not merely happy with some of the bits. There's a difference.
Argh. There's so much to learn about story. This makes me happy, though. Speaking of, writer Daniel José Older has a free (for now) lecture on Skillshare about storytelling basics. Having run through it myself, it's great. I highly recommend it.
In celebration of Friday, have some optimistic links. The first is: Roddenberry's Star Trek was "above all, a critique of Robert Heinlein." For the record, I'm a Trekkie, and I have been since I was about four years old. As I see it, Star Trek is the Peace Corps in space. It's not about war and is not, therefore, Star Wars. Trek has, fundamentally, a Utopian worldview. CO2 turned into stone in Iceland in climate change breakthrough. That seems to be heading in a more positive direction, at least. It doesn't remove the urgency from our need to move away from fossil fuels, but at least we may be able to do something with all the CO2. I'll be happier when they can build something out of it instead of merely burying it, though. Recycling seems the best plan, long term. And we do need to think long term. How Canada Became A Greenhouse Superpower. Interesting. I wonder if they have to use all the pesticides that open field farms require? I doubt it. Rowan-led team's Alzheimer's test '100%' accurate. That's huge. If they can test for it, they can treat it in its early stages and eventually cure it. And in other medical news... This isn’t hype: Canadian doctors just reversed severe MS using stem cells.
Am working on rewriting a story, and it's almost done, but I wanted to park an idea here.
Every group has its extremists. Every. Single. One. Dogmatic religiosity is a human problem. If there is one thing that I wish I could change, it would be this erroneous and arrogant belief that only one Belief System is valid and that all others are evil, sinful, unintelligent, and/or flat out dangerous. I'm tired of people pointing figures at one group or another and screaming about how awful they are--particularly when their own groups have committed equally as bad, worse, and/or similar wrongs. I'm sick of it.
Find the thing that you're most comfortable with--the belief system (or non belief system) that fulfills you and/or helps you get up in the morning. Sometimes this world is a tough old place. Do that thing. It shouldn't be up to anyone else but you what that thing is. Do not judge others' belief systems. That won't help anyone. In fact, it hurts everyone when you do. I see belief and non-belief as I do human gender and sexuality--as a continuum, a spectrum and even, dare I say it, intersectional. Humans are complex critters. We just are.
I also wanted to ask--theoretically...if you're a Christian and you already understand that certain parts of the Bible do not apply to modern life (like the ban on shellfish or the owning of slaves or the treatment of women and girls as chattel) then why not allow for the possibility that the phrase "I am the way, the truth, and the light." only applies to those who choose to follow those teachings? Can you allow for the possibility that maybe Jesus was preaching reform an already existing religious organization? That he wasn't insisting that this was a universal principal and the only way for absolutely everyone on the planet?
Adherence to absolutism is killing people. It's toxic.
So, yesterday was not a good day in history for the United States. Fifty people were murdered for the crime of being homosexual persons of color. Bigots and bigotry still hold sway in this country. This is obvious from the reactions from certain ends of the political spectrum. Understand, there is no justification for what happened. None. We have waited entirely too long to do anything about the problem. It was a hate crime made possible by easy access to military grade weapons. I can't go on. I haven't the words, and in any case, as a white person it isn't my place to speak but to listen. However, Lin-Manuel Miranda's Sonnet says everything: Love is love. [and] Cannot be killed or swept aside.
This, of course, does not mean I'm giving up on my Brontës. Ultimately, their raw, straight-forward natures are closer to my own. They most definitely didn't like what they saw, and they stated as much in the bluntest of terms. In addition, there is a part of me that will always be attracted to the brooding male--even if I know better to hang out within a fifty mile radius of him. Plus, their censure of the society around them is far more open and accessible. Of course, I feel now that the reason the Brontë sisters were so direct is because they owe a debt to Jane Austen. I suspect she blazed that trail. Still, the Brontës taught me my love of language. It is with them I that I learned how to use multiple meanings of a word in order to communicate. The Brontës opened my mind and my eyes to a whole literary world. It was like experiencing a forest for myself for the first time--when before, my whole sense of the concept had been a child's crayon drawing. This is why, when intelligent people whose opinion I respect spend decades studying an author's works, I'll bang my head on the question of why until I ultimately figure it out. Partly because I know my education is sadly lacking, and partly because I do so want to understand. And now I owe a debt to Jane Austen because she's done the same thing the Brontës did for me but with world building.
For me, the story begins with a film.
Sorry. Yesterday was not a good day for blogging. (Even if it was a good day for Story Brain.) Anyway, here's the review I wanted to post....
It's ironic that Horror, a genre so steeped in misogyny that it might as well be the president of the He Man Woman Haters Club, should produce some of my favorite Feminist Films. But... there you are. (Come on, SF filmdom. Step up your fucking game. Also, Noir? Please, for the love of all that is holy, join the fucking 21st century already.) Therefore, today's recommendation is a Horror movie in the same vein as Cabin in the Woods. If you enjoy genre-trope yoga, you're going to adore The Final Girls. Frankly, I don't feel it's gotten the attention (and Feminist love) it truly deserves. Mind you, I've talked about it once before, but I didn't do so in detail.
On the way back from the doc's office, we stopped for lunch.
Torchy's Tacos guy [being totally not serious]: Hey, gorgeous. Are you a flour or corn girl?
Torchy's Tacos guy: You staying here with me, or running away?
Me: Well, since my husband* is waiting in the car, I think I'll go with running away. [pause] Awkward!
Torchy's Tacos guy: ... [smiles]
Me [holds up receipt after adding a big tip]: I don't want to dig my glasses out of my purse and hold up the line. Tell me, how much is that?
Torchy's Tacos guy: [gives amount] You know, I was never big on being bossed around, but I've changed my mind. I like it when people play with me!
Only in Austin, folks--where half of Ft. Hood walks in the door just ahead of a cute lesbian couple and no one even blinks. There are moments when I really love this town.
*Dane's back is bustinated. Again. Don't worry, the Almighty Tallest be okay once the drugs kick in.
Good afternoon, y'all. Today's post will be short, alas. I'm still recovering from the great novel throw down. :) First, today's video (I'm so happy that Anita S. has returned to this work):
Literary/Entertainment: Get in the Picture: My Adventures in Correcting Yellowface. Yale English students call for end of focus on white male writers. BTW, the "Oh, sure. We agree this is bad, but we can't change because you won't understand the literary establishment if we don't continue to make you study it" excuse is circular logic. 7 Tips For Fighting Sexism In Hollywood, Courtesy Of Rose McGowan. Also, Kameron Hurley's collection of Feminist essays is out! The Geek Feminist Revolution.
General: The Symbolic Use of Women. Sorry weirdly happy rollerblading woman in white, here's a sanitary pad advert with actual blood. The Puzzling Vilification of Hillary, A Psychoanalyst’s Perspective. 5 Ways The Government Keeps Native Americans In Poverty. Woman Treated Like A Criminal For Refusing To Testify Against Her Abusive Boyfriend.To the women over forty and the twenty-somethings who write about them. The Male Gaze in a Math Book.
Trigger Warning: Here Is The Powerful Letter The Stanford Victim Read Aloud To Her Attacker. Campus rapist given lenient sentence to avoid "severe impact on him." And lastly, consider signing this petition to have the judge on the case removed from office.
is a Science Fiction and Fantasy author living in Texas.