I've talked a bit about personal health issues. Largely, I do it so that those starting out as writers understand that life isn't going to stop throwing obstacles in your path once you become published. As Rosanna Rosannadanna used to say, "It's always something." The idea is that you don't let it stop you. Fight the good fight, my friends. Anyway, let's talk about something that happened yesterday and how it's pretty disturbing.
I got a phone call from my insurance company yesterday. It seems they have a "new" program that they wanted me to take advantage of--one where they've hired a registered nurse to interface with their clientele. I was instantly alarmed. Why? Let's travel back to a time before Obamacare. Around a year before Obamacare.
I broke and dislocated my elbow in martial arts class.
Good morning, y'all. I've got some catch-up writing to do. (Thanksgiving was pretty great. It was also pretty lazy which, you know, is what it's about--after all the mad baking, that is.) So... ready for that steaming cup of righteous anger? Let's do this thing!
First up, let's discuss listening to women--particularly women of color. Also? Let's stop with the 'Who would've thought?', 'We didn't know!' 'If only someone had known!' bullshit. It's a form of rewriting history. Many groups knew there was a resurgence of white supremacy, and they were actively vocal about it. Women knew the GamerGate movement was a problem. (There's a direct connection between Steve Bannon and Gamergate.) Dear White Men, we--the whole rest of the planet--need you to wake the fuck up and listen.
And Godless looks interesting. I haven't seen it yet. I understand the episodes dropped over the weekend.
Let's talk about the importance of net neutrality and trusted news sources. Combined, they are an essential part of the American political process. In the case of net neutrality, it is directly connected to free speech. (You know, that thing that conservatives go on about being an absolute right.) Net neutrality is also essential to the existence of small businesses--a big part of America's economy. In the case of trusted news sources...well...we all know the problems around allowing opinion to taint news. Don't we? And yet, conservatives are all about stripping these things. Particularly the current head the FCC: Ajit Pai.
Let's start with this article: Ready for Trump TV? Inside Sinclair Broadcasting’s Plot to Take Over Your Local News. That should give you the heebie-jeebies. How many of you have brainwashed relatives who subsist on Fox News? How much more difficult are our lives going to be when all news is Fox News? Even more importantly, YOU ARE NOT IMMUNE TO FAKE NEWS.
I've seen a number of laments along the lines of "the success of Fake news is the result of a failure in the average American's education. Americans are too gullible and stupid now." Horse shit. Intelligent people are not immune to conspiracy theories. This is why we used to have laws designed to prevent opinion from bleeding into facts reported on the news. I remember a speech Ronald Reagan gave in the early '80s. It was around the same time he was spouting that lovely Welfare Queen myth and the $500 toilet seat story. (I think it was a toilet seat. It may have been a hammer.) I remember Reagan saying that he was abolishing needless Federal laws like the one restricting the news. "Because Americans are smart. Smart enough to discern the difference between fact and opinion." You know what's wrong with that statement? Human beings can be manipulated. They can even be successfully lied to. Intelligence has nothing to do with that. We all fucking know this. Can we stop telling ourselves otherwise? Every successful con starts with a mark who thinks they can't be fooled. If it were easy to sort the difference, Google, Twitter, and Facebook wouldn't have a fake news problem.
We also need anti-trust laws. Specifically, we need FCC anti-trust laws that prevent the consolidation of media and the influence of foreign powers.
As if that weren't bad enough, Ajit Pai is proposing to gut Net Neutrality.
Happy Monday, y'all. Let's get that blood pumping, shall we? Because caffeine isn't the only way to wake up. Righteous anger can work as well and--if applied in constructive ways--be more effective. So... just in case you weren't clear that the American Republican Party has lost its damned mind...exhibit A: Roy Moore. (Trigger Warning: sexual abuse and assault discussed in detail.)
Best line: "How can you call yourself a Christian and not know your hero's origin story?" Jesus was, so I was taught in religious school/instruction/mass once a week for thirty something years, the result of an immaculate conception. Dear Evangelicals: stop trying to justify statutory rape with your religion. It's creepy as shit. And now...links.
It's 10:30am, and I've already had to let two sets of workmen into the house. I've also got a panel this evening at Wizard World Comic Con. Here's the panel information:
Sorry about yesterday. I blanked on what day it was for some reason. I even went for my walk at 5pm and utterly forgot that we had DnD date night. (It was that bad.) The nice part is, I got so much done as a result. So much writing. It made me happy. So, while there was no blog post yesterday...it ended up being for a good cause.
There's not much going on around here, I'm afraid. I used up all my good ideas for posts when I wrapped up the one for my column on Skiffy and Fanty. Sorry about that. However, I can provide some not-necessarily Feminist links I've been collecting. You know, to provide some unease about other things in our world. You're welcome. ;)
Good morning, y'all. I can hardly believe it's mid-November already and that 2017 is almost over. Here's hoping that 2018 will be a better year, politically. This year has been damned depressing. Thank the gods for the last election. (Let's keep that up, shall we?) Okay, time for today's video. (Arggh. Youtube is getting worse, if that's possible. You seriously cannot search for 'feminism' and get a positive result within the first 20 returns any more. Fuck that noise.)
In my mind, there's a distinction between an awful comment revealing internalized oppression (racism or whatever)--hey, we're all hopefully working on improving regarding that one--and someone who has historically taken deliberate advantage of their power and hurt others. And that's where I draw the line. Mistakes are mistakes but a habitual abuser can fuck right off. They can particularly fuck right off when they've been forgiven in the past and continue the same behavior.
And now those links.
It's literally killing us via mass murderers and excessively violent cops. There are already laws in the books that are designed to prevent domestic violence abusers from getting guns. However, over and over those laws are ignored, de-fanged, and/or made procedurally impossible to employ. All because domestic violence isn't considered a "real" problem like terrorism. It's certainly not real enough to impinge on an abuser's right to own fifty-seven military grade weapons because "The Constitution." This, and yet domestic violence affects an overwhelming number of women. So much so that domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined. There is a proven and clear connection to misogyny and all those "mysterious lone wolf white dude" mass shootings, but no one seems to want to talk about it.
And this is the very reason why I roll my eyes whenever someone goes on about how awful some foreign country is to women. It's why I have to restrain myself from screaming. Pot. Kettle. Black.
While at WFC last weekend, I had a conversation with an established white male author. He said that he agreed with 95% of Martha Wells's speech. I didn't ask what the 5% issue was, but I almost did. He moved on of his own accord and implied that allowing the one exceptional (white) female and the one exceptional POC male author was enough representation. I was flabbergasted. He simply didn't see the connection between patriarchy and exceptionalism. I told him that "There can be only one" isn't just for Highlanders. Patriarchy uses that system to both pass itself off as "open-minded and generous" while pitting minorities against one another. We end up cutting one another's heads off. Thus, preventing us from uniting--because united we outnumber those in power--and toppling the establishment. It's part of maintaining the status quo.
Oppression is a virus, and we're all infected. Nothing changes if we don't face that fact.
Toxic masculinity is also warping the political scene--in truth, it always has, but now, because of Trump, the GOP has soundly embraced the idea that rich, white, CIS, het, Christian (a loosely used term in this context mind you but it's there) men are the be all, end all, and can do no wrong even when they do wrong. There are, in fact, days when I think Trump could be caught on film placing babies on spikes and the GOP would be perfectly okay with it--especially if the babies in question were female and brown. Toxic masculinity is far more widespread in American society than Americans care to admit. Sadly like many white women, it took last year's election for me to fully comprehend how bad the situation is in the US. I'm still reminded every day whenever anyone dares bring up Hillary Clinton in a positive way. And don't give me that bullshit about how any other woman would be more welcome. That's so disingenuous it makes me sick. Hillary was never perfect. I'll never claim that, but her main crime was being far more qualified than any of her male competitors. Well...that and not being drop dead gorgeous. Because what the fuck is up with the GOP trying to push Ivanka Trump as a contender for 2020? They seem to have a thing for beauty pageant queens. [cough] Sarah Palin [cough] She has no political skills at all, let alone business skills--not that her father does either, but I really don't relish the idea of being ruled by an empty-headed Russian-sponsored version of evil Galadriel dressed in Gucci.
World Fantasy Con was pretty amazing--for me, anyway. I deeply enjoy seeing all the people I don't get to see anywhere else. My panel was pretty okay. It could've used another male on it--it would've been the "all female authors who write fantasy" panel but for the one male who was the moderator. That isn't the best look, but it's a million times better than being the only female on a "guns and industrialization in fantasy" panel and being made moderator. So, progress. My reading went well--I didn't read to an empty room. (In fact, it was pretty full.) And my room mate was awesome. (Yay Shelly Rae Clift!) All good for me. However, there was the cultural appropriation panel (that I wasn't on) with the one requisite POC author. [sigh] That train wreck is discussed elsewhere. I will add that I understand that the racist question was asked by an established author who wasn't on the panel, and all the attendees I spoke with about it were not pleased. In any case, it's good to see attitudes are changing. And yes there will be struggles against positive change. There always is. I try to look upon it as a positive sign.
Another very important thing happened: Martha Wells's speech. It was important and very powerful. I teared up. I wasn't the only one, either. It felt like the perfect thing after the train wreck panel. And it was. All in all, I think the community is moving in positive directions. It's slow, but progress generally is. That said, I'll be doing my part to nudge change along much faster from behind the scenes.
And now, a more personal report behind the cut. :)
If you're a child in the US, today's the day when your parents round up all the candy and portion it out for the next week because they don't want to live with a bunch of rabid hamsters on speed...I mean, to keep you from poisoning yourself with all the sugar. Anyway, this is the first time I've had a phone with a good camera on it. Our neighborhood does an amazing job on the Halloween front. I've always wanted to document it. Unfortunately, this year it started to rain about halfway through our neighborhood tour. It was so cold I was reminded of the time Dane and I got lost in London at one in the morning. (It was October/November then too. Seriously, we were in the middle of nowhere.) Dane, naturally, made jokes about not crossing the moors (then and yesterday) because we're us.
Anyway, here's what I was able to get before the rain.
is a Science Fiction and Fantasy author living in Texas.