To Wiscon 41 we go!

I’m off to Wiscon 41 today, and will delight in my vacation.

I hope to see many of y’all there!



Grunge and Twin Peaks

[CW: Chris Cornell’s death.]

So, Twin Peaks is back, with new episodes on Showtime.

I was never a Twin Peaks fan.

In fact, I actively disliked the show.

I had a couple of friends who LOVED it, who were not particularly good friends to me, so that was one thing. The other thing was, I could not figure out what the POINT of the damn series was. Where was the plot? Where was the story? Where was the line from A to B that made clear all the ways people were confusing and complicated? Where were the motives explained and the consequences earned?

Twin Peaks was not the story I needed, when it first aired.

When Twin Peaks first aired, I was reading Melanie Rawn’s Sunrunner books. You know, those epic doorstoppers. I was also reading Charles de Lint, Emma Bull, and Pamela Dean. I was watching a LOT of very bad late night tv — does anyone else remember CBS’s Crimetime? Sweating Bullets, Forever Knight, Dangerous Curves, Silk Stalkings, and Dark Justice? I certainly do! I was *not* reading comics anymore, nope, just reading Hellblazer, Shade the Changing Man, Sandman, She-Hulk, Excalibur, you know, not actual COMICS like X-Men or anything, just a couple *mature* titles here and there.

I was at a point in my life when I wanted stories to be clean and straightforward. I wanted easy prose that didn’t make me stop and re-read things. I wanted stories that were new to me but also familiar. I didn’t want a challenge from my entertainment.

A couple years later, I was REVELING in challenging fiction. I wanted the weird, the quirky, the tesseract of self-referential, I wanted dark themes and weird joy. I spent a lot of dates at the Lagoon theater in Uptown. I read a lot of very angry Comix. If Twin Peaks had aired then? I would have LOVED it. But I missed it by a few years.

These things happen.

Chris Cornell died last week. A lot of folks were talking about the importance grunge music in their lives, the importance of Cornell’s work. How grunge was the music that refused to indulge the post-Cold-War lie that everything was alright now, that the kids were alright.

I was not in the right place to be really into grunge, when it first hit in the 90s.

When grunge was HUGE and completely unavoidable, I was desperate for music by, about, and for women. Angry women, queer women, women who rocked the fuck out. So I loved Hole, and Babes in Toyland, but I was REALLY into Melissa Etheridge and Tori Amos and Ani DiFranco. Now, decades later, I can look back and see how important and valuable grunge was, both musically and culturally. But I don’t miss it the way I miss Prince or Bowie.

I try, when discussing cultural works, to remember past-me. Past-me needed and loved different things than present-me. Heck, there are a MULTITUDE of past me’s, all needing and wanting different stories. I try to not say a work is terrible, but to say it’s not for me right now. And I usually try to imagine who the work might be for.

I don’t always manage this, obviously! But I try.

All that said? I watched the first twenty minutes of the new, Showtime, Twin Peaks series yesterday. And you know what?

Wow, this is really NOT for me right now.


I hope all y’all enjoy it!



On convention hugging

It’s SF/F convention season again, and once more we are all presented with the conundrum —

Do I hug this person hello and goodbye, or not?

Social hugging! It’s a thing! Yet, it is MOST DEFINITELY NOT A THING for a lot of people.

Here is how I, personally, navigate these situations. While this may not work perfectly for you, feel free to modify it for your own use.

If I want to hug a person hello or goodbye, I say to them, “Do we hug?” (Or, “do we hug hello?” etc.)

If they say “Yes, we hug!” then we do, indeed, hug.

If they say *anything else*, I back off and we do not hug.

If someone says to me, “do we hug?” and I *want* to, I say “yes, we hug!” and there is a hug.

If I do not want to hug this person at this moment, I say one of the following things, or something similar:

I don’t recall us hugging
I’m not much of a hugger
I don’t think we hug
Now’s not a great time
Not that I know of

If the other person does not understand the soft no and moves in, I take a step back and say

No thank you
Now now
I meant no

If my hug offer is rejected, I move into the next part of the conversation “It’s great to see you! How have you been?” or “I’m so glad we talked, when’s your next panel?” or something similar. If I have just rejected someone else’s hug offer, same script. No apologies, no talking about feelings or misunderstandings, just move into the next phase of the social interaction.

Clear verbal communication BEFORE touching.



What have I done against fascism, May 2017

Well, whatever I have done is sort of overshadowed by the bullshit oozing out of the White House this week. But here goes.

– continued donations to those fighting fascism
– continued donations to those aiding those harmed by increasingly damaging federal policies.
– called, emailed, and wrote MoCs, Justice Department, state officials, city officials, and newspapers about: fighting the AHCA, investigating Trump’s obstructions of justice, calling for a special prosecutor, advocating the Gold Line public transit, pressing for affordable housing in my neighborhood, and calling for a $15/hour minimum wage for all city employees.
– got a coworker to stop making concentration camp jokes
– blogged about a few things of importance
– worked on my knitting, prepped the garden for planting, saw my daughter’s spring circus shows. And, we are fostering a puppy. These things also fight fascism!

What is going on in the world? France elected Macron, thank goodness. The House passed a revised AHCA by four votes, and now it goes to the Senate. Sally Q. Yates testified before Congress about Russian election interference and she kicked ass. Amy Klobuchar is being more vocal about opposing Trump the further he interferes with Commerce and Justice. Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, and his puppets are advocating for dropping the Russia investigation, while Trump meets Russians in the Oval Office. The Assistant A.G. is floating the idea of limiting freedom of the press. A reporter in West Virginia was arrested for asking Tom Price questions about the AHCA. A protester arrested at the Sessions hearings was found guilty of disrupting the peace. International travel is being increasingly restricted into the U.S., even for citizens.

… When I say it all like that, it sounds like the voice-over prologue of a dystopian movie.

Speaking of which, the Hulu series The Handmaid’s Tale started this past month. It’s very good.



Special Prosecutor NOW.

We need a joint select committee of Congress, an independent investigation, and a special prosecutor to investigate Trump’s obstruction of justice in the ongoing question of Russian ties, collusion, and subornation.



Who will be at Wiscon? Comment or email and let me know!


Wiscon is coming up soon!

I expect many of y’all will be there. Some of you I know already, some I don’t know yet. Comment and let me know if you’re going to be at the convention, and what you’ll be doing. Will you be on panels? Hanging out at the Floomp? Are you running a room party? Yes, please, even if you think I already know you will be there!

If you do not want to reply publicly, send me an email!

I just want to start planning my weekend, you know?




Marvel Comics has given Captain America’s shield to real-life white nationalists

This news story appeared yesterday:

Trump rally overshadowed by standoff outside Minnesota Capitol

Look at the photos. Look at the fourth photo.

There’s a man, there, carrying Captain America’s shield.

That man is one of the neo-Nazi white supremacists who attempted to get into the Minnesota State Capitol yesterday. He and his compatriots could not get in.

They were defied by regular Minnesotans, linking arms, standing their ground against hatred. The neo-Nazis were defied by the heroism of ordinary people who see evil and refuse to turn away. These regular Minnesotans understand something that Marvel Comics and Nick Spencer have completely failed to grasp. ETA: Marvel Comics and Nick Spencer are currently running a story in which Captain America is and was always meant to be a member of Hydra, the Nazi-surrogate in the Marvel Universe. When challenged on the advisability of this, Nick Spencer and Marvel have stated that the story is just a gimmick, it doesn’t really mean anything, it’s for ratings and money. They have said Captain America doesn’t matter that much. They have said it’s just fine to have heroes be Nazis. /ETA

Decent human beings do not harbor, encourage, or condone white supremacy. Decent human beings do not by their action or inaction permit evil to fester.

You brought this on yourself, Marvel. Instead of cute kids running around playing at being Avengers, a grown man carried YOUR shield, Marvel, into battle on the steps of my state capitol building yesterday.

And your shield, Marvel, stood for hatred.

May you long reap the joy and reward of your actions.