It starts early.
Good morning, y'all. I'm feeling clear-headed and energetic due to the removal of 75% of the head bees. The other 25% will be evicted in a couple of weeks--just in case the minor surgery impacts the blog. (Which, come on, we both know it will.) Anyway, here goes!
Feminist Monday will be Tuesday this week. One of these days I'll think ahead and write the post before the day it's scheduled. One. Day.
Anyway, I blame the Head Bees. The shots are to keep them away. See you tomorrow.
Warning: this is going to be a political post. So, before you bug out, I have a new article over at Skiffy and Fanty. It's about Honor Harrington, and if you're a writer thinking of gender-flipping and/or race-flipping characters, it might be of some use to you. It's called THE INTERSECTION: CONTEXT, HONOR, AND THE STRONG FEMALE CHARACTER™. Hop on over and have a look. Leave a comment, if you like.
On to other things.
If you're an American and you're here, I'm certain that you've been keeping up with what's going on with the Mueller/Russia investigation. The only thing I'm going to do differently is that I'm rounding up some related articles and attempting to look at the bigger picture. This doesn't mean I'm accurate. I'm merely trying to look beyond the every day news as it were. In any case, the developing situation is alarming.
Dems say whistleblower emails show gov't workers targeted for not backing Trump. Alone, that's not a good story. Combined with the renewed burst of 'housecleaning'...well... not having advisors in key positions means that Americans have no one to apply the brakes when Trump behaves like a dictator.
Even more worrying, the Trump Administration has connections to Russia and Putin. The business ties are damning enough, but there are more connections--campaign funding connections--via the NRA. Also, read: The Very Strange Case of Two Russian Gun Lovers, the NRA, and Donald Trump. The scary thing about the NRA/Russia story is that a majority of the GOP in our government have taken NRA money. If the NRA has been funneling Russian money to American politicians--and it's looking more and more like that's the case--then that means that Trump isn't the only problem. It means almost the entire Republican Party has been compromised by Russia. Interestingly enough, Trump and his administration have undermined sanctions put in place by Obama. This, even though they've finally instated sanctions of their own. The impression is that the Republicans didn't do so willingly. Personally, I think they didn't have a choice after the news about the NRA connection was revealed.
Now for the rest of the news about Russia.
Good morning, y'all. It's time for your Monday morning cup of righteous rage. Are you ready? Let's go!
First, today's videos.
I do sincerely believe that one of the biggest reasons gun deaths are such a problem (other than the easy availability of guns) is toxic masculinity. And again, I say that boys aren't merely "accident prone" and somehow, by nature, less mature than girls. Boys, via toxic masculinity, are taught they're the exception to every rule. They're encouraged to push past boundaries--yes even physics. They are socialized to not consider consequences for their actions. We've taught women and girls that they don't have to be second class citizens first because women and girls are (according to misogynist thought) always the problem. Fix women, and everything's okay. Women are paid less? Teach women to ask for more. Is rape an issue? Teach women how not to be raped. Pick any problem associated with women and you'll see the standard response is almost always how women should change their behavior. It's almost never about how men should change. Except, studies have demonstrated that when a woman asks for more money in an interview, she isn't given what she asks for. She's not even hired in the first place because she's a bitch.
Men should change because they are the biggest part of the power structure. We changed how girls were raised. Now, we're seeing that fact running headlong into how boys are raised. It's time to change how boys are raised. And I'll bet when we do, we'll see a lower motor accident rate among young males.
The frustrating part of this is that whenever I hear people discuss a behavioral problem that directly involves white, cis males how many times society refuse to see the common element: unenlightened white, cis males. It's why when I hear there was a "lone shooter/madman" I know that the perp was white, cis, and male. It's like repeatedly watching something happen and everyone saying, "We just don't understand how this could happen. 'Tis a puzzlement." when everyone damned well knows why on an unconscious level. It's fucking obvious. They just aren't willing to see it due to the power structures.
Toxic Masculinity doesn't just hurt all the other genders, it hurts men too.
Misogyny isn't merely a woman problem. Sexism is a System of Oppression problem. The same shit happens with any oppressed group. This is why intersectionality is important. The oppressed group no matter the group in question is expected to change their circumstances and behaviors while those in power are not. And when the oppressed group changes, they're punished for attempting to change the system.
And now for those links.
This morning in the Leicht-Caruthers household:
Me (half asleep): [mutters something about buying coffee and the lack of readily available Oaxacan Coffee in this town]
Dane: Remember kids: SXSW starts today. You can't go anywhere near the river or downtown. No Curra's coffee for you. No coffee shop writing either. The Out of Town Hipster Alert is flashing Amber.
Me: Hipsters aren't as bad as you make out. You know my feelings on man-buns, stylish hats, and beards.
Dane: Didn't you say there was a hierarchy of hipsters? I believe this was last night.
Me: Well, yeah.
Dane: Out of town hipsters are the worst. You decided. Right up there with Illinois nazis.
Me: I didn't say that! The two aren't even close. I mean, out of town hipsters might be a little bit self-involved, but at least they don't advocate genocide. [pause] Well, not un-ironically anyway.
Dane: And that's pretty much in the realm, isn't it?
Me: Damn it. I'm not awake. My debate skills aren't online. This isn't fair. And now I can't go to the Apple Store.
Dane: That's what you get for putting all those skill points in Northern Irish history and not in teleportation.
 For real, I totally hate that "I'm doing this sexist/racist thing ironically" bullshit.
 Yes, we do actually talk like this. I just don't do it very well before I've had coffee.
 Pretty much every word out of Viktor's mouth in Cold Iron and Blackthorne is something Dane would say.
 This is why I adore a) screwball comedy dialog b) Dashiell Hammett dialog c) Joss Whedon dialog and d) Amy Sherman-Palladino dialog so very, very much. Well. Beyond the fact that that style of dialog takes delicate finesse, timing, and skill as a writer.
Good morning, y'all. Sorry about yesterday. I turned in a novel and then passed out. I was super exhausted. Even if I'd had the energy to blog, I wouldn't have made a hell of a lot of sense at that point--having written 5,000 words in one day. There simply isn't enough coffee in the world to make blogging happen after that.
Anyway, let's get started. Shall we? First off, let's video.
“This, milord, is my family's axe. We have owned it for almost nine hundred years, see. Of course, sometimes it needed a new blade. And sometimes it has required a new handle, new designs on the metalwork, a little refreshing of the ornamentation . . . but is this not the nine hundred-year-old axe of my family? And because it has changed gently over time, it is still a pretty good axe, y'know. Pretty good.”
― Terry Pratchett, The Fifth Elephant
Whenever I'm in the midst of research I'm not really enjoying or when I'm under a lot of stress I give myself permission to load up something comforting on the iPhone, plug in the ear bugs and go for a long walk. For me, audiobook in question is almost always something by Sir Terry Pratchett. Almost every time I listen to Sir Terry's words they say something important about whatever is going on, whether it's something in my private life or the daily news. Yesterday, the topic was gun control and the United States Constitution.
Too many times I hear the erroneous argument that the US Constitution provides white dudes the absolute right to own a personal arsenal regardless of age (have a video of a 13 year-old boy buying a 22 caliber rifle without a single question from the seller.) Frankly, I've read it. The amendment in question ("A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.") is extremely out of date. Assuming that by "well regulated Militia" the authors of the constitution meant "untrained amateur with a personal arsenal of military grade weapons and all the ammo they can buy." That doesn't sound terribly well regulated, if you ask me. Even if it did mean that, the interpretation is ridiculous to the point of being laughable. Seriously? You honestly think you're going to be able to take on what amounts to an unlimited number of professional soldiers with high tech surveillance, drones, explosives, tanks, bomber jets, and so on all on your lonesome? You've been watching too many Action Movies. Also, I'd be willing to bet you look nothing like Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The Good Guy with a Gun™ argument is horse shit. If you honestly know anything of the psychology of emergency situations, you'd know that a) most non-First Responders freeze during emergency scenarios (and as in the case of a certain police deputy sometimes First Responder training isn't even a guarantee of bravery.) b) it's difficult to assess details during an emergency and c) do you really want to be wandering around an active shooter scene with a million cops on a hair trigger hunting for a white dude with a gun? Cops apparently have a hard time determining whether an unarmed child in a park with a toy is a threat.
Heinlein claimed that an armed society was a polite society. Not only was Heinlein a fiction writer which, speaking as a fiction writer, does not make one an expert in such matters--he was dead wrong. Even the American Frontier had gun control--more than we do now.
Good morning! I hope you're having a good day so far. I also hope your week is a good one. Shout out to those who gave a few dollars to the coffee fund. You ROCK. And now, for the links and commentary you came here for. Today's link list is pretty short. I'm getting very close to my deadline. So, I've been on the internet less than usual.
First, some videos. And yes, there's more Black Panther. Because I can't get enough warrior women and smart women and wise women in my life. (I still haven't seen the movie. [sigh] Soon. I swear.) Also, Janelle Monáe because she rocks.
So, I've been so involved in getting my latest novel wrapped up that two weeks in a row, I've forgotten to write my Friday post. Sorry about that. I'm just very close to my deadline and well...that's where my head is at, and rightfully so. Anyway...let's get started.
Mainly I'm writing about this in order to put together the bigger picture for anyone (like myself) who is interested. With the way that we're constantly bombarded by news these days, it's hard to understand what it all really means. So, I like to step back from the individual trees and have a look at the forest as it were.
This week has been interesting politically. The Mueller probe has slammed Manafort with new charges after Rick Gates pled guilty. Gates is cooperating with the investigation. Apparently, among the long list (32 counts) of illegal activities the pair are being busted for is hiding $30,000,000 from the US government. (Wow. Just. Wow.) That is not good news for Trump. Mueller is pushing ever closer to Trump's inner circle. The investigation is definitely picking up speed. This is the second week Mueller has been in the news with new indictments.
And it seems that the 2016 election isn't the only route Russia has used to influence American elections and politics. The NRA, an organization known for being a big influence in Washington via its lobbyists, is now being investigated by the FBI for its connections to Russia. This indicates a much bigger problem since Trump isn't the only American politician who has taken money from the NRA. (According to the article the NRA disclosed it spent at least $30 million on Trump's behalf and attacking Hillary Clinton – more than twice what the NRA disclosed it spent on Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential run. And there is evidence that indicates that it may have actually been as much as $70 million.) In truth, I've been bewildered by the self-destructive and oddly pro-Russian bent the GOP has been on for the past few decades. It's been extremely weird hearing positive words about anything Russian coming out of the mouths of the once staunchly anti-Russian party. Ultimately, this relationship between the NRA and Russia explains it because the GOP is riddled with NRA money. There are very few Republican congress critters who haven't taken NRA money. And since the NRA has declared itself a "social welfare organization" it doesn't have to disclose its contributors--a tidy loophole for foreign influence given Citizens United. That scares the piss out of me. And it should.
Last week has been rather eventful, what with yet another school shooting and the most recent round of Mueller indictments. On the good side of the equation, the movie Black Panther has soared past all the predictions of its box office intake. (YES!!!) That said, there's a lot out there to discuss. Let's get started, shall we?
Angela Basset OFMG! It's so great to see her on the screen again. I adore her. And how psyched am I to see black women portrayed as warriors and generals? SUPER PSYCHED! GIVE ME MORE WOMEN IN THESE TYPES OF ROLES, PLEASE! That's two movies featuring non-sexualized warrior women within a year of one another. I'm so happy! More women of Wakanda! More women of Themyscira! Yayayayyay!
Okay, now for the links. :)
is a Science Fiction and Fantasy author living in Texas.