Linkspam is full of somber thoughts

Drought Frames Economic Divide of Californians

“Many people say they are trying to use less: They are capping their sprinkler systems, installing expensive new drip-watering systems or replacing their thirsty lawns with starkly beautiful desert landscapes. But they can also afford to buy their way out of the drought, assuming that fines will be the primary punishment for those who do not conserve, and that the water will keep flowing for those who can pay.”

America’s 1.5 Million Missing Black Men Is Nothing Short Of Genocide

“To put it another way, for every 100 black women, there are 83 black men. This is not the case in white America, where for every 100 women, there are 99 men, almost complete parity.

What that means, effectively, is that black men have disappeared. This reality lends credence to the idea that black men are an endangered species — not just symbolically or rhetorically, but based on the hard numbers.”

There’s a Reason Gay Marriage Is Winning, While Abortion Rights Are Losing

“Same-sex marriage is something men want. Lesbian couples account for the majority of same-sex marriages, but even the vernacular “gay marriage” types it as a male concern. That makes it of interest to everyone, because everything male is of general interest. Though many of the groundbreaking activists and lawyers who have fought for same-sex marriage are lesbians, gay men have a great deal of social and economic power, and they have used it, brilliantly, to mainstream the cause.

Reproductive rights are inescapably about women. Pervasive misogyny means not only that those rights are stigmatized—along with the women who exercise them—but that men don’t see them as all that important, while women have limited social power to promote them. And that power is easily endangered by too close an identification with all but the most anodyne version of feminism. There are no female CEOs pouring millions into reproductive rights or threatening to relocate their businesses when a state guts access to abortion. And with few exceptions, A-list celebs steer clear.”

The corrosive cult of compliance in our schools

“No matter what these children were doing, anytime the solution involves placing a child in shackles, the people in charge have grotesquely failed.

These cases of arrest and restraint are just the ugliest and most visible ways that children who are different get excluded. The same justification — that everyone must comply with the rules — informs other kinds of actions by schools.”

Homeless Millennials Are Transforming Hobo Culture

“Conventional wisdom says the Internet and mobile technology keep us in our own little bubbles, isolated and insular. And while perhaps that’s true for those with homes, Quain says it’s the opposite for hobos. For the itinerant homeless, traveling in groups makes sense for a bevy of reasons: safety, company and economies of scale, especially when it comes to digital devices. “Lots of us travel in groups and share the expense of one phone,” Quain says.”

One of the Original X-Men is Gay And it Matters More than You Think

“Of course, the catch is that if we’re going to have a serious conversation about this story, we’re going to need to delve into two of the most complex and controversial fields: sexual orientation and identity; and X-Men continuity.

Fasten your seatbelts.”


Against Entropy

Yesterday I got home from work, and J and I set about Cleaning A Few Things.

1. Established new (free!) shelf with pantry items and cookbooks and tea.
2. Wiped off all those containers so they were not dusty.
3. Sorted all baking items and threw out rancid/musty ingredients.
4. Cleaned all remaining containers of baking items.
5. Hung hooks for lunch boxes/bag.
6. Sorted all waterbottles and thermoses into new (free!) small cabinet.
7. Cleaned off four shelves in the kitchen.
8. Scrubbed UNDER the shelf, oh my goodness.
9. Did three loads of dishes by hand and two loads in the dishwasher.
10. Carried miscellaneous stuff to the basement to be put away.

It’s just …

… there’s always more to do, of course.

Re-painting the bathroom and hallway made us notice how FILTHY the switchplates were. So J replaced those over the weekend. And the nice new shelf with the cookbooks on it made us notice the other shelves in the kitchen that were … questionable.

There’s always more. But … but the goal is not to be DONE. The goal is to not give up. The goal is to continue to put in the work. Cleaning a house is never, ever, over. There is ALWAYS more to do. Parenting is apparently never over, it just keeps changing. Creating feminist spaces in fandom is never over — each victory opens the way to the next challenge. We don’t stop saying Black Lives Matter just because the officers in the Freddie Gray case are going to be charged with murder and wrongful death.

When I wonder, as I do sometimes, why I continue putting effort into tasks that never end, for which there is no real victory condition, I think of the X-Men and wonder no longer. “Protecting a world that hates and fears us” was the X-Men mantra all through my teens and early twenties. You keep putting in the time, you keep showing up, you stay in the fight even though there is no win available to you. You stay because it’s the right thing to do. Because it needs doing. Because you are the person there with the ability and the will and what the hell else were you going to do with your next fifteen minutes, anyway?

My job is a bit like that. Never-ending. In air traffic control, there are always more planes. It’s like an eternal game of Tetris — you don’t ever WIN, you just keep not-losing. And the planes keep coming.

The planes keep coming. The misogynists keep lashing out. The institutions of racism grind onward. And my house keeps getting dirty.

… But that’s no damn kinda reason to give up.

I want a cleaner house. I want a just state that protects all citizens. I want SF/F and comics conventions that do not defend harassers.

The fact that there is always more to do doesn’t mean I shouldn’t do it.

Who the hell else is going to clean my house?


#BlackLivesMatter #MayDay

Today is a national day of action, of awareness, of resistance, of protest.



Linkspam thinks the world is a nifty place and humans do good things

Ancient City Discovered Underwater Solves Enigma That Puzzled Egyptologists For Years

“Thonis-Heracleion (the Egyptian and Greek names of the city) is a city lost between legend and reality. Before the foundation of Alexandria in 331 BC, the city knew glorious times as the obligatory port of entry to Egypt for all ships coming from the Greek world. It had also a religious importance because of the temple of Amun, which played an important role in rites associated with dynasty continuity. The city was founded probably around the 8th century BC, underwent diverse natural catastrophes, and finally sunk entirely into the depths of the Mediterranean in the 8th century AD.

Prior to its discovery in 2000 by the IEASM, no trace of Thonis-Heracleion had been found.”

Geek Girls Rule! #313 – Bitch Planet: Go read it right fucking now.

“Bitch Planet is not so far away as some might think, guys. The things that scare me about this comic are the same things that scared me about the Handmaid’s Tale. I can already see the roots of that bullshit in the society we inhabit. And it scares the fuck out of me.

Which is why I’m not gonna be quiet anymore.”

Jiinsy’s RedBubble

For all your Disney Jaeger Pilot art needs. Go look, it’s adorable.

Here Are Some Paintings Of A Woman Riding Aristotle Like A Pony

Mallory Ortberg is a national treasure.

“You’re undoubtedly considered by your friends and wishers-of-well to be a reasonably smart person. Most likely you consider yourself fairly well-read. Even an educated person.

And yet it is possible – even probable – that you were not aware, before this moment, that one of the most popular legends and artistic motifs of the Northern Renaissance was the tale of a woman named Phyllis who once rode the Greek philosopher Aristotle like a pony.

But she did. She rode him. Like a pony.”

Rode him like a pony. I love Mallory Ortberg’s work.


That’s all for the Mayo Clinic

Yesterday I went to the Mayo Clinic for my last conversation with the ENT surgeon about my throat.

They’ve done what they can for me. No one there in any of the four departments I visited had any clue. A number of things have been ruled out.

It’s not killing me any faster than any other thing is killing me.

Now I take all the data back to my GP, and we figure out how to live with this.

The Mayo ENT did say that if we ever DO figure out what is wrong with my throat to PLEASE CALL HIM and let him know.


When we wonder whether speculative fiction changes the world

When we wonder what the effects of science fiction and fantasy are —

When we wonder whether fiction has an impact on young people —

When we ponder and speculate over the role YA has in our children’s lives —

— I want to point out that the teenagers and twenty-somethings, the thirty-year-olds, protesting and rioting and shouting for justice in the streets, these people grew up on Harry Potter, on the MCU, on Buffy, on The Hunger Games.

Loving Buffy, Harry, Katniss, and Steve doesn’t make you a revolutionary. But it makes a war against injustice look possible.


April 24 2015

1. We’re getting a bit of work done in the house. Our bathroom and first floor hall have both needed patching and repainting for, oh, four or five years? And we had a shelf we wanted hung, a sort of plate rail in the dining room.

Now, J and I have hung another plate rail, in the living room. (Neither of these plate rails hold plates, you understand. They hold LEGO models for Micropolis.) And we have painted in our house, certainly. The upshot is, we KNOW how tedious the ninety-year-old trim is to paint. And we KNOW that our plaster walls are, I don’t know, adamantium-laced of something. So we hired the jobs out.

The contractor, at the end of the second day, when he was not yet done, looked at us and said, “so, something tells me you knew these weren’t simple jobs.” We allowed as how, yes, we did sort of suspect.

He’s coming back next week to finish up.

2. On Wednesday I had the pleasure of seeing a play at the Guthrie Theater with a group of friends. (Technically, the play we saw — Blue Stockings — was in the Dowling Studio.) The play was a great deal of fun, and I recommend it.

I would like to mention, though, that the invitation to this event had said, “you don’t all know each other, but I assure you that you will all get along.” The inviter was right! I met some lovely women, smart and articulate and funny, and it was the perfect crowd in which to see a play about suffrage, women’s rights, and the education of women.

I am not a particularly outgoing person. If you only see me at conventions this may not be apparent. I try very hard to fake it at cons. So I was, in fact, a wee bit trepidatious about this excursion. But it was lovely in all respects.

3. My son has become enamored of a game called “Goat Simulator.” In which you, a goat, wander around destroying things and beating people with headbutts and your tongue.

He recently acquired a jetpack for his goat-self.

I just don’t even know.



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