If you've been in contact in other places on the internet, you already know I've been having ocular migraines since the 7th of February. Long story short, they don't know what is causing them. Brains are weird as it turns out. In the midst of everything, they've discovered that I've a cyst inside my brain. It's benign. Me being me, I decided to name it. So, everyone meet Sam the Benign Brain Sea Monster--formerly George the Benign Brain Tumor.
Full name: Sam
Title: The Benign
Gender: That's personal
Birthdate: February 7, 2016
Sam loves long swims along the coast in the rain, reading, swimming, sea food, swimming, sea chanties not involving the death of sea monsters, swimming, toy boats, swimming, sweet drinks with umbrellas in them, swimming, rubber duckies, swimming, being silly, and swimming. Sam is also a big fan of Colleen Venable, Trogdor, and My Pretty Ponies.
It should be obvious now that Erasure is a problem. It's not only a problem for all women no matter their race, DNA, sexual orientation, or religion. (Look up Intersectional Feminism if you don't get where I'm at with that.) Erasure is a tool used against all oppressed groups. (Repeat after me: oppression is a system. It has easily definable patterns.) Bring on Black History Month. It's been a great excuse to educate myself. (This is, the purpose of Black History Month, after all.) I admit, I'm doing partly because I'm writing about persons of color more and more in my work. I'm also doing it because this is a huge gap in my education and it sucks. Speaking as a white person to white people, we cannot afford a) to rely on what we're taught in school because it's mostly bullshit--THANK YOU, TEXAS and b) we ignore Black History at the peril of democracy--that is, what shred there is remaining in the US.
As a result of that self-education and exploration, I've recently discovered Pivot Television. It's nothing new, but it makes me happy. They're addressing issues of more substance than what outfit Paris Hilton is wearing, or the latest verbal attack on Taylor Swift. Now, once you've watched that episode on BLM go to this article by SFF author Mikki Kendall: The police can’t police themselves. And now the public is too scared to cooperate with them. Also, PBS is running a show on The Black Panther Party. I haven't seen it yet, but given my 1970s research I'm very much looking forward to it.
Two more links: Writing & Social Justice Teleseminar (it's free.) and Four Ways White People Can Process Their Emotions Without Bringing the White Tears. That last one is extremely helpful and reasonable, y'all. Wish I'd read it years ago, myself.
 For those who don't understand that comment, I give you this. Yes, I understand that influence is waning at last, but the damage is done and continues to be done.
 Hey, there's nothing wrong with Pop Culture News. Sometimes mindless entertainment is necessary in order to de-stress. I get it. It's only a problem if that's ALL you pay attention to, you know? I can't help seeing the new frequency that that crap is being featured on standard news outlets as a Bread and Circuses tactic. I also feel that way about 'reality' television, but I digress.
 It doesn't only apply to White Tears either. It can also apply to CIS/Het Man Discomfort too.
Usually, I follow up a heavy post like yesterday's with a lighter one. I can only take so much gloom and doom before it starts to weigh on me. (Balance is a good thing, bats and ghouls.) I figure others are probably similar on that front. Plus, ranting is fun and all...but there's far more to life than screaming. [gasp] I know! FaceBook lies! But you see, sometimes there's sunshine and kittens.
Awww. Aren't they sweet? Anyway...things that are happy-making.
--Not having a brain tumor. Okay. So, I've been having migraines for a little over a week now. Thus, that was great news.
--Watching Cloud Atlas again.
"Our lives are not our own. We are bound to others. Past and present. And by each crime and every kindness we birth our future." and "There's a natural order to this world, and those who try to upend it do not fare well." are two of my favorite quotes. The film kicks me in the heart and mind--all in a good way. Say what you will about the Wachowski's, I adore them. They don't always hit it out of the park, but they get massive points in my book for audacity. And yes, I love Jupiter Ascending and I don't give a shit who knows it.
--Reading. Leviathan Wakes rocks. I finished it yesterday. The Expanse (SyFy series) seems to have followed the novel pretty closely--except for the fact that Christen Avasarala and her timeline don't appear in the first book at all. (Sadly, the first novel is shy on women who aren't sexual partner possibilities and/or motivations for men.) I hear Chrisjen is in the second novel which I will be buying and reading. I also recommend Half-Resurrection Blues by Daniel José Older and The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black.
 FYI, that photo was swiped from here. I don't know who the original photographer was, alas.
Apparently, Weebly has a word limit. Let me just say "Technical Difficulties." and "Lesson learned."
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. -- George Santayana
It's time to admit that the great Egalitarian Experiment has failed.
Stop. Wait. Erase that for the moment. Let's start with the beginning...
Substantive change happens in waves. It cycles--particularly when that change involves larger, more complex, more entrenched issues like oppression. Humanity takes three steps forward and two steps back. From the outside, this looks like we're repeating the same exact mistakes. However, I've come to realize that progress is not a straight line. Progress is a loop. This is an important aspect of the learning and since we're discussing painful, harmful, problems, it's an important aspect of the healing process as well. Why I think this has to do with some of my core beliefs.
Oh, look. New website. How about that? :)
ConDFW is a nice convention. I have a good time every time I go. Good people all around. I hope they survive the ComicCon bullshit. (Seriously, ComicCon, this shit isn't funny.) This year's hotel was terrible. And I'll leave my rant there because this is Feminist Monday. :) Here are your links!
Literary/Entertainment: Actually, I can see this point: Diversity is Dead, and Whiteness Killed It. So, it's that time of year for "Best Of" lists, and once again women are being mysteriously left off. Turns out, the math doesn't back the "but there are not enough women in SF/F to provide enough fiction to go on that list" crowd. In Which I Do Math on Gender, Again. In case you still can't name any authors who happen to be women, Fran Wilde kindly takes on that task for you. Although, I'll add that apparently women are allowed to be debute authors. Established? Not so much. I can't help feeling this reflects society's attitude toward women in general. We're allowed to be young and new. We aren't allowed to be established, older, experienced, or powerful. Just young and hot. SFF in Conversation: A.C. Wise – Embrace the Rainbow. Author Daniel José Older is having a great conversation on Twitter this morning about diversity. You should follow him. Not only is his feed interesting, his novels are a great deal of fun too. How Entertainment Closeting Works. Zoe Quinn talks about Why I Just Dropped The Harassment Charges The Man Who Started GamerGate. I can't say as I blame her. I'm stunned she held up against the Shit-tide as long as she did. She is one strong, brave woman. I wish her well. I truly do. I wish that more could be done about abusive asshats. The fact that women are so vulnarable to abuse and so unlikely to get help when they need it is a stain on our county's humanity. My only hope is that her suffering has, at the very least, raised awareness. I hope she gets her life back. A Chat With the Producer Calling Out Sexist Descriptions of Women in Scripts on Twitter. Oh, and Samantha Bee is my new hero. (You have to watch the part where Ted Cruiz tries to kiss his daughter. LOL.) Five Signs Your Story Is Sexist. Kari Sperring writes On fear, permission and writing.
General: Stop Bernie-Splaining to Black Voters. You gotta love Mary Lou Marzian. Kentucky lawmaker’s bill forces men to get note from wives before purchasing Viagra. This next link about social media is scary. American Girls. For the record, this is some bullshit, Pope Francis: Catholic bishops not obliged to report clerical child abuse, Vatican says. As long as the Church ignores these abuses, I predict the Church will see a continual decline in numbers. And you know what? You deserve it. Next...I've been avoiding commenting on the Roosh V thing. Largely because as vile and awful as he is, I don't think it's cool that he was doxxed. I don't. Not. Cool. On the other hand, I'm okay that the internet fell on him. I haven't had time to go through this next one, but it looks promising: Women and feminism: reading guide. Laws written by men to protect women deserve scrutiny, Supreme Court told. How abortion opponents secretly bought a Va. abortion clinic to deceive women. THE FEMINISTING FIVE: SWAPNA REDDY. BOKO HARAM: 23,000 ORPHANS IN NIGERIA TO GET FREE EDUCATION. I'm a Detroit teacher protesting our awful school conditions. Here's why I think we’ll win.
Trigger Warning: Football star's ex-girlfriend begged valet: 'Please don't let him take me. I'm scared for my life.' I'm sick to death of the professional sports industry making excuses for this kind of behavior. This shit has to stop.
 Holding an event in the same town on the same weekend as a fan-run, not for profit convention IS A DICK MOVE. Doing so with multiple cons, multiple times a year? AN EVEN BIGGER DICK MOVE. Running your con using the fan-run/not for profit/volunteer business model when you're clearly FOR PROFT? The biggest dick move of all. There. I said it.
is a Science Fiction and Fantasy author living in Texas.