Be back soon with substance; maybe not wit or interesting stuff, but some kind of substance....
Be back soon with substance; maybe not wit or interesting stuff, but some kind of substance....
For those of you not familiar with this controversy, there is a summary (from this article) ( below the cut: )
2. Being told that I am angry at god and cannot be moral/ethical b/c as an atheist. Punk, which one of us needs a book and an invisible sky-nanny to tell us right from wrong? (Spoiler alert; it ain't me!)
3. Explaining over and over, using as many one-syllable words as possible, why Tantrump is a disaster, and Sanders is neither a progressive nor a Democrat.
4. The weather flailing wildly about from 40 to 80 in a matter of hours. My sinuses are seriously about to explode. OMG, staahhhp!
5. Humana's customer phone service. OMG, just shoot me now! How can any one company have such dedicatedly bad service and make so many completely ridonkulous mistakes and still be the 800-pound corporate gorilla that it is astounds me.
6. Probably a bunch of other obnoxious garbage that I don't want to think about long enough to list. I am going to take a nap and then play games with my kid. Because reasons.
After my unpleasant Monday, things looked up a bit, in part because himself kept to himself. Then Thursday, I got his with I don't even know what; either the short-lived stomach bug from hell, or I ate something that disagreed with me, violently! I ended up calling in sick to my middle school classes (first time this school year), but was begged to come in for my evening 'other person in the building' shift anyway. Meh - three hours to play games and surf - I can do that. I did feel better by then, after a horrible morning. By Friday I was fine, though I felt like I'd run a marathon, and my stomach muscles were threatening mutiny....
I was able to take Friday easy, but then turned right around and worked my butt off in the yard on Saturday (for which my back has not stopped chastising me...ouch!) Still, good work was done...
Then Sunday was a brief D&D session with the kiddo, his friend, and my cousin. And grading papers. Have I mentioned I kind of hate grading papers? *sigh*
More than you ever wanted to know about my Struggle for the Yard (See, that's me, in the icon, holding back the ebil weeds...LOL): ( Read more... )
So first final exam given, one to go, then one school DONE! Huzzah!
1. A song you like with a color in the title
Tangled up in Blue (Dylan)
2. A song you like with a number in the title
I am the One (Inon Zur)
( The rest here )
Anyway, not a lot of posting happening for a bit, I think. Much sleeping, though....
I hope everyone else is doing swimmingly!
1. HR 861 Terminate the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
2. HR 610 Vouchers for Public Education
3. HR 899 Terminate the U.S. Department of Education
4. HJR 69 Repeal Rule Protecting Wildlife
5. HR 370 Repeal Affordable Care Act
6. HR 354 Defund Planned Parenthood
7. HR 785 National Right To Work (this one ends unions)
8. HR 83 Mobilizing Against Sanctuary Cities Bill
9. HR 147 Criminalizing Abortion (“Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act”)
10. HR 808 Sanctions against Iran
Please copy/paste and share widely. Call your House Representative and ask them to not only vote "NO"...but to speak up for our rights, health & safety, and our beautiful country.
If your senators and reps aren't saved in your phone yet, text your zip code to 520-200-2223. You'll get a text back with everyone's contact info. It gives you Federal and State.
PASS IT ON (copy and paste to share since you can't share from form this page)
The yard is pretty much stabilized, so if I can keep up with the few weeds/vines that pop up for a few more weeks, I think I will have a good handle on it not becoming a jungle again! Imagine: I might even be able to USE my patio! Who'dd'a thunk it???
The niblet is in the Chamber Choir at his HS, and last night they did an amazing rendition of Gabriel Fauré's Requiem with the choir and orchestra. There were a few squeakers from the orchestra, but it was a really good performance, especially for such an incredibly complicated piece! I'm so proud of that kid I could burst sometimes. Of course I was geeking out all over the place that they did it in Latin...LOL
Otherwise, I'm just waiting for the weekend! I have a pretty big stack of grading to do, but I should have a good bit of downtime, too. And we should be back to our D&D campaign, which is a lot of work (I'm the DM, and it's an all-original campaign), but a heckuva lot of fun! Mostly, though I'm looking forward to sleeping!
I adore my HS/MS teaching; the school is amazing, the kids are fantastic, I can throw pretty much anything at them and they will tackle it head on. But OMG, I am so not a morning person! At least they start a bit later than Niblet's school, but I still have to get up to get him up, and even so, it's not by much. :( *yawn* Sooooooo sleepy.....
I've been trying to find some of the migrated communities that concerned themselves with the religious right in the Bush era, and found a few, though they seem to have gone dormant since, well, about when Obama took office. I guess we stopped worrying for a while.... But things have changed; a lot.
I do hope that they will revive themselves (I've been trying to contact admins, and not gotten much response), but in the meantime, I have gone ahead and started anti_theocracy, a new community dedicated to gathering resources & information on theocracy and the activities of the religious right in the post-Obama era.
It is more imperative than ever that we be aware of what our politicians, religious and cultural leaders are up to, and what they stand for. I hope to make anti_theocracy, a clearinghouse and resource for anyone concerned with religious overreach both in the US and abroad.
Please come by and join! I hope to have some solid informational pieces up in the next few days, and I welcome contributions from members.
Here is our Profile Page that has posting guidelines, and a little bit about the purpose of the community.
It's open for everyone to join, so I hope to see some folks there!
In other news, I had a lovely Easter dinner with family (well, most of them anyway).
My cousin (well, technically my ex-husband's stepmother's brother's wife, so 'cousin' it is!), is awesome. We play D&D, go antiquing (and junk shopping) together, and fiddle with pens and crafts and who knows what all. She is also pretty much a full on lefty liberal, and I'd say about 99% heathen, too.
Well, she typically does the family Easter meal. These things can, as I am sure many of you know, be fraught with tension, but this was nice. Niblet (my son for new folks) and I went over, as did my ex, his dad (also my 'Dad,' and always will be), and his wife (also known as SMiLfH; step-mother-in-law-from-hell, because she totally is), and Dad's father. The last three are hopelessly religious (though I suspect Dad fakes it to avoid the wrath of SMiLfH). But my ex, my son, my cousin, and her husband are really not. SMiLfH and ex's grandfather are also super republican conservative types, and while Dad is as staunch a liberal as anyone, he keeps it rather mum for the same reasons as he pretends to rather more religious sentiment than I suspect he really feels.... All in all it is sometimes a bit of a tinderbox awaiting a match...
Nevertheless, there were no disagreements, no bickering, not even very much shade thrown. Signs of relief all round! And then my son and I stayed around to rant about Tantrump with my cousin. Good food, good folks, no conflict? As good an Easter as about the best a heathen like me can hope for!
So a happy walking dead/zombie Jesus/Easter to all of you, as well! ;)
You must go and read this - I guarantee you will get a few laughs! (And go give your fave fanfic authors some love while you're at it - thank goodness we have them!)
My students were positively insane today! It doesn't help that I have them for the last class of the day in Friday. I adore them, but OMG, there were a few I wanted to stuff in a sack!
These are my middle schoolers, BTW, and they are amazing and smart and inspiring, but also wiggly as hell....
Doesn't help that I'"m not immune to the spring fever myself. I am pretty over this semester/year. Oh, and then there is that other spring fever, also known as hayfever.... *achoo!*
Still, I love spring here - I fall in love with living here all over again every spring, and every fall. (Which is a good thing, since the summers nearly cook me, and Jan/Feb just suck in general....)
AtLA Commander Zhao = Lucius Malfoy
Dragon Age II’s Fenris = Diablo 3’s Crusader = C.O.D. Adv. Warfare’s Commander Gideon
Dragon Age II’s Male Hawke = Dragon Age: Origins’ Ser Bryant/Arl of Denerim
Dragon Age II’s Varric Tethras = StarCraft II’s Matt Horner
Diablo 3’s Kormac/Templar = Star Tek: Enterprise’s Malcolm Smith
Fable III’s Ben Finn = Star Trek Reboot’s Scotty
Fable III’s Sir Walter Beck = LoTR’s Theoden
Diablo 3’s Headrig Eamon = Dragon Age: Origin’s Loghain MacTyr = Mass Effect’s Adm. Han Gerrel
Dragon Age II’s Arishock = Diablo 3’s Imperius
Bioshock Infinite’s Booker DeWitt = Diablo 3’s Lyndon/Scoundrel
Dragon Age: Origins’ Alistair = Crossing Jordan’s Nigel Townsend
Dragon Age: Origins’ Morrigan = Diablo 3’s Cydea Mistress of Lust = Farscape’s Aeryn Sun
Bioshock’s Rosalind Lutece = Diablo 3’s Leah = Mass Effect FemShep
Mass Effect’s Grunt = StarCraft’s Abathur = Diablo 3’ Zoltan Kuhle = Dragon Age Origins’ Oghren
Dragon Age: Awakening’s Anders = Dragon Age II/Inquisition’s Cullen (how’s that for ironic?)
A GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb (MOAB), nicknamed the "mother of all bombs," was dropped at 7:32 pm local time Thursday, the sources said. A MOAB is a 21,600-pound, GPS-guided munition that is America's most powerful non-nuclear bomb...Officials said the target was an ISIS cave and tunnel complex and personnel in the Achin district of the Nangarhar province.
We bombed a cave.
He's mad. He's utterly fucking power-mad. We have let an insane child run loose in the world's biggest arsenal.
THe story on CNN here.
I am still working on getting the tags fixed, but there aren't so many posts that it's a problem. I'm thinking I might start making icons again; I always sort of loved the amazing range of what can be done in 100 x 100 pixels....
*OK, yes, some of them are a bit dated, but really, they were quite 'au currant' when they were made!
If it were less terrifying, it might be amusing to take bets on which way Tantrump and his GOP puppet show will get us all killed first..... *sigh*
I promise I won't go all doom (or politics) all the time, but there will be political posts (hopefully mostly more analytical than ranty, but...)
(Not that I'm going to go so far as to thank LJ/SUP for the prompt; they still suck!)
So now the big question: do I accept the new LJ TOS so I can make a post there telling everyone to find me here? Right now I can't post or comment at all w/o accepting the new TOS.....
I'm on DW at https://lunadelcorvo.dreamwidth.org/. If we're not already friends there, please add me and drop me a line and let me know who goes with your username, if it's not the same.
But OK, then, here I am. :)
P.S. We need new moods! I need 'rebellious' and 'defiant,' just for starters....
P.P.S. Anyone know of any friending things? Anyone out there at all, come to think of it?
The person responsible in my case is cmcmck
I'll try to find things I haven't mentioned before which may not be easy.
If you want a number, please feel free to ask.
1. I am left-handed.
2. While I am sarcastic to my very core, and in many cases, something of a cynic, I remain a romantic at heart.
3. I have had an Eagles song trapped in my head for weeks now. This is largely because someone I am close to is pretty much living that song, but it's rather strange nonetheless.
4. I LOVE coffee, but really only flavored coffee, and then with tons of cream and sugar.
5. While I am decidedly not religious (putting it mildly!), I have an odd love for Catholica; obscure saints and relics and such. I have a Plenary Indulgence on the wall over my desk.
6. At least two major loves in my life have been completely fictitious.
7. My oldest scar, a gash on the outside of my right thumb, was acquired when I was four, and decided to use a chisel to strip the bark from the branches my grandfather had trimmed from our Russian Olive. I still remember it vividly, and I also remember that was when my grandfather decided it was time to look past my being a girl, and teach me to use tools.
8. I have two cats; a black longish-hair named Midnight (not named by me), and a tuxedo short-hair named Widget (named by my son).
9. Once I romance a character in a game, it is nigh unto impossible for me to romance anyone else; I honestly feel like I'm cheating.
10. When I realized I had acquired over 100 fountain pens, I decided it was time to sell some, however, in the process, I have acquired at least that many once again.
11. I recently managed to mangle the heel of my hand on a bench grinder while sharpening my scythe. (Yes, really, and it's not for a costume, either!)
12. I only ever eat coffee yogurt.
13. I am, still, sometimes uncertain of what I want to be when I grow up.
14. I refuse to grow up.
15. While not religious, I have a peculiar affection for Ganesha, and you will find him all over my house. (It was once even a running joke that I was guaranteed to encounter a Ganehsa pretty much every time I left the house....)
16. I have never read a John Green book, and likely never will. I find the premises of his stories to be pedantic and unoriginal, and fail to see the cause for all the kerfluffle. Harry Potter, sure. The Fault in our Stars, not so much.
17. I get a peculiar sense of pride when one of my son's friends or one of my HS/Middle School students is surprised that I get their geek references.
18. I absolutely hate cilantro. I'm one of those people for whom it tastes like foil-wrapped soap. Blech!
19. I still miss my mom.
And there you have it!
I dropped the thesis. It's a long story, but I got painted in to a corner and sort of forced to make a hasty decision. I didn't want to do a second thesis, and I sure as hell didn't want to do it over the summer. The topic is good, but I found out fast that COMM theory doesn't really have the tools to do what I wanted to do. As I explained to one of my advisors, I can cook very well, and I can garden, but even I can't mow the lawn with a frying pan, and that's very much what it was feeling like. So it's tabled for now. Not sure what I will do with the COMM degree, or if I will finish it at all, but you know what? I have a degree, I have a great job teaching, I get fantastic peer reviews, so it's not going to keep me up nights.
I have been working with husbandman and some friends on starting a business. Wow, what a lot of work that is! I think it's going well, and I think we have a really great thing. We'll just have to see if it goes anywhere! But that's been taking up a lot of my time. It's satisfying; I'm getting to do a lot of really good design work, which I do miss, and I have been learning some new skills, too. Of course, the fact that husnabdman is out of the country (4 weeks) makes things harder! LOL
I am also teaching two new summer camps; web design and a movie making one. (NO, I'm not totally qualified, but for 15 hours I can keep middle schoolers busy on these things!) And the extra money over the summer is SO very welcome!
Planning to go to WindyCon with the Niblet this year. He actually asked to go and bring 2 friends for his birthday. So I booked a suite and we are planning costumes right now. He want to be the Demon Hunter from Diablo3, so I am putting myself through a crash-course on making armor! It's a lot of fun so far! Yes, will post pics once I get some stuff together. I'm thinking if I have time, I may do the Wizard from D3 to go along with him. Or maybe the Crusader? But I want him to have his costume first; I've had my day of stealing the show with a killer costume, I want him to have his turn. If I have time for a second one great, if not, that's fine, too.
You may know I have a possibly unhealthy love of RPG video games like Diablo and Dragon Age. And of course, the third installment in the Dragon Age series is due out on the fall. So I have dived into DA2, for the first time. I was really nervous that it wouldn't hold up against DA Origins (the first one), which has been SO important to me. (Heck, I'm giving an academic paper on it in fall!) And in some ways, it doesn't hold up. But nevertheless it's amazing and heartbreaking in so many wonderful ways. So that (and of course, the associated fan-fic binge) has also been eating up a good bit of my time!
And that's about it for now. I've got all manner of ranting and commentary n the political climate, but... I don't know. Some days, it's almost too stressful to get wrapped up in it all. I want to keep writing about it and dialoging and such, but some days I have to put it down. Can one rage-quit citizenship? Meh; maybe I'll put some posts up soon.
I'm done with classes for the summer. I got me evaluations, and they are pretty good. My numbers are still above national, institutional, and departmental averages. As far as comments, it's a mix, as it usually is. And it's rarely a surprise, either. There will be one or tow disengaged students that will whine about too much reading, too much writing, too hard, etc. Welcome to college! I'm a big pussycat compared to some of the best instructors I had; count your blessings, you lazy sots! The enthusiastic students will be complimentary, and occasionally offer legit critique or advice, which I actually welcome. The rest can barely be bothered to fill out the eval at all, and therefore refrain from comment. All my peer faculty assessments are glowing, so I'm tickled, all in all!
I'm doing this thesis thing (again!). Still not 100% sure WHY I'm putting myself through the thesis process again, but it's gong well, if slowly. I'm trying to use COMM theory to analyze early illustrated manuscripts of Dante's Divine Comedy. COMM theory is resisting. I'm (slowly) persevering. Good news is, once I beat the theory into submission, the rest is cake; I can talk Dante all day long!
I'm teaching the Photoshop summer camp for the third year, and I seem to have picked up two more, as well: websites and movies (egad! wish em luck on those; I know how to do both, but necessarily how to teach middle schoolers!). But it's quick and easy money, so no complaints!
Otherwise, I am chilling and enjoying the summer! Rather unlike many parents I talk to, I am actually thrilled when my kid is out of school; I hate sending him back in the fall! Although, we are really excited about this fall. He's going to a very small private school that bases its educational framework on classical education and Socratic method. They are amazing, and I am hoping this is what the Niblet needs. He's SO damned smart, but he hates school, largely because he sees he's getting crap for education. Here's hoping this gives him something to sink his teeth into!
So that's it. I'm relaxing between wrestling matches with the thesis, gaming a bit, doing a little Latin and Art with the Niblet, and just living. I like summer. :)
In conversation with someone I respect today about the #YesAllWomen, I mentioned the “M&M” analogy (imagine a bowl of M&Ms. Only 10% are poisoned. Grab a big handful. No? What’s your problem? Not all M&Ms are poisoned….) as a counter to the “NotAllMen” response to YesAllWomen. I was informed that viewing every male I encounter as a possible threat, as potentially hostile, and as a potential rapist/attacker/abuser/harasser was “not a productive way to establish relationships.”
No kidding, ya think? Tell me something I don’t know!
While this person is someone I respect tremendously both in terms of intellect, reasoning, ethics, and all around decency, to get this response from him was painful and disappointing.
It is true he (yes, he) was not in my life when any number of relationships went bad, and I feared for my safety, feared getting hit, was hit, was stalked, was verbally abused either in the relationship or for ending it; but he has heard all these stories. He also was not in my life when the tow truck driver who had my car on his truck and was driving me 135 miles through the middle of nowhere spent most of that time telling me in graphic detail what he wanted to do to me with the hand from which he’d lost the outer two fingers, but he was with me three years later when I next needed a tow in Chicago and the same man showed up, easily recognized by that hand. Although, come to think of it, he told me then he’d never really believed me until he saw the man himself.
He was, however, in my life when I was almost driven out of my Master’s degree following rumors of impropriety between myself and a male professor with whom I had dared be friends. He was in my life when I woke up in the middle of the night to find a stranger with a knife and a flashlight standing over my bed trying to pull the covers off of me.* (I never knew who he was; and I never felt comfortable in that neighborhood again.) He was in my life when my elderly disabled mother was traded by her roommate to a drug dealer to rape in order to pay off a $50 debt.
So it was a shock to me that he could still protest, almost 20 years into our friendship, that approaching every male I meet as potential threat was a problem *I* had, a flawed approach on MY part, failure of MY reasoning skills, and yes, unfair to men. As enlightened as I otherwise find this person, he pounced on my approach to men as a problem; because Not All Men. *sigh*
Yes, of course I know that this dynamic is a poor way to begin relationships, be they personal, professional, of transitory. EVERY woman knows this. But, as #YesAllWomen has so poignantly shown, we also know the price for rejecting this approach. We are told as young girls to be careful of every man we meet. We are told not to do a thousand things that will put us at risk. And I’m not talking about sex without a condom or skydiving, here. I’m talking about all the things large and small that woman calculate all the time. It’s late; should I find someone to walk me to my car? I need to be sure to let my friend or family know I have arrived safe and didn’t get raped going home a few blocks at night. I pay attention to how I walk if I’m alone at night; remember, don’t walk like a victim. Keep your keys between your fingers so you have a weapon. Yell ‘fire’ if you are attacked, because you have a better chance of actually getting help than if you yell ‘rape.’ We all know the drill.
And let’s not even start talking about the professional world. I have never, in any of the jobs or careers I have had, been assured of fair treatment as a woman. I have been harassed, marginalized, underpaid, “gal-Friday’ed,” propositioned, threatened; the usual litany. All women have experienced some kind of misogyny or discrimination. That’s what #YEsAllWomen means!
That is the reality that men cannot ever truly grasp; no more than I, however much I may care and want to make it better, can ever really grasp what it is to be a person of color. It’s just not my reality, and the best I can do is accept that it is a reality in which I will never participate, and accept that I do not deserve to be above suspicion in terms of my behavior on race until and unless I demonstrate that I’m not racist. I don’t have the right to co-opt the discussion of race by defending my not-racism. And I sure as HELL don’t have the right to tell a person of color that viewing all white people with caution is a “poor way to move in the world.”
Not that I haven’t done just that. I have “but not all white people’d” with the worst of them, with the best intentions. I have been guilty of this as surely as I have been guilty of racism, in ways I could have understood had I been paying attention, and in ways I probably could never understand because I live inside white privilege. But that’s just it. If you live inside a privilege, you don’t get to tell those who don’t share that privilege that their fear, caution, or misgivings are a “poor approach.” Very few people wear signs identifying them as racists. No one wears a sign identifying them as a rapist, an abuser, or a misogynist. And like racism, sadly for both, misogyny can be dangerous, even fatal. So yes, women do, and at present, have to assume that because 10% of the M&Ms are poison, this M&M could, in fact, be poison.
And no, that doesn’t mean I hate men, or view them all badly. Is it unfair to men? Hell yes, it is. Misogyny hurts men, too. But I’m not going to bet my life and safety to assuage the butthurt of some man that’s offended because I regard any male I don’t know as a possible threat. Don’t like it, my male interlocutor? Be the change. There was a kerfluffle a few years back about a police department that had lost the trust of the community because they had not acted to remove corrupt officers. I think this is much the same situation. Nobody WANTS to live in a world where they can’t trust the police, and of course, no one thinks every police officer is corrupt. But as long as some are, you just can’t know. As long as some are, this one *might* be. As long as people who report corruption are ignored or disbelieved, do you really feel comfortable trusting any random officer with your life?
But remember, only 10% of the M&Ms are poisoned. Eat up!
* Just to be clear, while this was a terrifying incident that stayed with me for years, I was not assaulted. I woke up, and with all the good temper I usually show when woken in the middle of the night, began cussing the guy out and demanding the get the &*^% #$@! our of my house right the hell &*^%$ now. Not the response we are taught to have, I know, but in this case, it clearly derailed his power fantasy, and after backhanding me across the face, he fled into the night, letting out my four cats in the bargain. And it does not escape me that had I followed the advice we are given for how to handle such circumstances, which is "don't fight back, survive." I would have been raped....
The first is about a heroic teen who saved a friend from a drunk driver: ”Teen saves friend from suspected drunken driver, gets hit instead”
In the first story (which was also carried on other news outlets), the main takeaway seems not to be that a teen boy risked his life by pulling a friend out of the way of a drunk driver, saving her life at the cost of some serious injury to himself. No, the takeaway is that that poor kid saved the bitch’s life, and STILL ends up in the ‘friend zone.’
And the second wasn’t a story, but a video someone shared: ”The Sex-Starved Marriage: Michele Weiner-Davis at TEDxCU”
If you don’t have the stomach for watching the TED talk, I can summarize: wives, stop mistreating your husbands, if he wants sex and you don’t, just live by the Nike motto, and 'just do it.' Yes, she actually said that. Just do it. In the comments, she said “What's 15 minutes out of your life when you consider the great benefits to your spouse, your relationship and your well being?” She did say it’s not just a problem with women, but I all her examples were women, so….
Now the problem with the friend-zone is one I have been railing about for a while. The “friend-zone' is essentially the idea that women are sex-dispensers into which so-called “nice guys” put niceness coins and therefore rightly expect sex to pop out. And if a woman is not romantically interested in a guy, even if he is (always by his own assessment, I notice) a 'nice guy,' he has been unjustly consigned to the ‘friend-zone,’ a pitiless realm where good men are denied sex by the women they desire. It’s misogynist claptrap of the highest order, but it simply won’t go away.
The fact that roughly half of the comments on the first story revolved around how the “poor kid” was “friend-zoned for life” reveals the horrifying prevalence of the idea that there are times when a woman, not otherwise interested in a man, is obligated to give them sex. This is simply wrong. What’s more, it’s a prime specimen of sexist troglodyte rape culture.
There is NEVER an occasion in which a woman (or anyone) is obligated to have sex if she does not want to. There is NO amount of emotional blackmail, guilt-tripping, whining, or false entitlement that makes that expectation OK. Period. Full stop.
Now I am not saying that the kid in the story is guilty of this; the interviews don’t say. But certainly this is how this incident is parsed in the public conversation, and therein lies the problem.
So how does the second item figure in? This woman, who claims to be a sex therapist, essentially accuses married woman of friend-zoning their husbands. She doesn’t use those terms, but it amounts to it. She says that the person who wants less sex/sexual contact needs to just do it. Just do it. If you don’t want to, if your sex drive suffers from age, hormones, fatigue, whatever? Too bad. Do it anyway, you might even end up enjoying yourself. Isn’t it worth a few minutes of your time if he’ll be happier and easier to live with?
I can’t begin to say how wrong this is. This IS rape culture. Yes, she claims it’s not only women, but all her examples are women. And honestly, while I do know that men can suffer from low desire, I’m guessing the numbers are far from even. (I’d be delighted to be proved wrong; Medscape says 26-43% of women experienced low sexual desire compared to 13-28% of men; Archive of Sexual Behavior reports a far higher lifetime prevalence of low sexual desire among women (16%) than men (4%)) So please, spare me your slipshod veneer of ‘I’m speaking to guys, too.’ Shall I define ‘privilege’ for you?
Essentially, what this woman is saying is that if you are a woman who has a lower sex drive than your spouse, you are broken, you are selfish and unfair, and you are hurting him and courting divorce. (The entire video, outrageously, is couched as divorce avoidance advice; don't get me started). Spouses are entitled to sex, so you have to provide it. In this formulation, being married is only one more set of circumstances in which women are obligated to put out whether they want to or not, and in this case, their relationships, home, and family may depend on it. ‘How dare you expect a man to stay in a relationship with you if you won’t give him sex? It’s only 15 minutes out of your day…’ HOW IS THIS EVEN OKAY?!
Gee, wait a sec, don’t we have some word for unwanted sex? Let me think…oh, yeah, RAPE. Oh, it’s a choice? It’s a choice to provide sex in exchange for financial, emotional or social stability and security? Oh, that is different. But don’t we have a term for exchanging sex for some other consideration? I know there’s something….oh, yes; we call that prostitution. A man doesn’t have to leave a $50 on the dresser for a woman to be aware that she is prostituting herself.
Having known women who struggle with unequal desire in their relationships, I have seen the damage this does. Women who struggle with this end up trying to ‘just do it,’ and end up feeling cheap, used, objectified and ashamed, to say nothing of losing trust and intimacy with their partners. They struggle with feeling defective, broken, and unworthy because society (and, often, their spouses) tell them the inequity is their fault, and that it is their responsibility to fix it, to pay up and put out. They struggle with spouses who equate sex with caring, and use guilt and emotional manipulation to make them feel that ‘if they really cared, you’d be willing to have sex as often as I want it.’ It’s toxic, and it’s regressive, and we, as a society have to stop perpetuating this idea.
What is so terribly, horribly hard to understand here? What is so complex about women having sexual agency that is so hard to wrap our heads around? Are there actually men out there that WANT women to ‘put out’ when they don’t want to? (Don’t answer that; the obviousness of the answer is the whole problem!) But haven’t we fought this out by now? Hasn’t it been established that no, women do not have to lie down and shut up when men demand it, no matter the circumstances? Haven’t women struggled long enough with blame, guilt, and labels like ‘frigid’ or ‘cold fish?’ Do we really expect women to simply accept that dispensing sex is their function in life, and is more important than their own self-worth, their own sexual selves and sexual agency? Because I thought we were in 2014, not 1714. (I’m beginning to think I’m mistaken on that point, however….)
Text of the petition: The Federal Government and the Government of the State of Nevada must act to arrest the "militia" currently occupying Clark County, Nevada. Congressional Representative Steven Horsford has already asked for assistance in addressing this unlawful occupation. Allowing these men to continue to stop motorists, harass citizens, defy the laws of the land at gunpoint, and persist in their in seditious activities sets a dangerous and illegal precedent. It is becoming clear that these self appointed "militia" will not simply grow bored and disperse. The situation is dangerous, unacceptable to the rule of law, and must be dealt with before it escalates further.
Click the title to go and sign!
That said, there have been plenty of times that a new technology hailed as the greatest thing ever, the wave of the future, FDA-approved, and perfectly safe has been anything but. Cigarettes, DDT, lead paint, RBGH, and frakking come easily to mind; there are plenty of others. These things, once ‘scientifically verified’ as safe and beneficial, have since been proven otherwise. And certainly, early protests against these things were critiqued as being anti-science, conspiracy hysteria.
So clearly not everything government and/or industry tells us is safe actually is safe. Mistakes are made. It then becomes something of a minefield to navigate the fine line between unreasoning hysteria and recognizing and revealing a genuine threat. Enter the GMO.
One the one hand, progressive and pro-reason icons like Dawkins and ScienceBlogs roundly condemn GMO opponents as little better than anti-vaccers. Even the DailyKos published an article entitled “GMO Truthers need to be kicked out of the Progressive movement.” The article offers both a strident condemnation of GMO-related “anti-science,” and a short list of refuted claims. And there is certainly a lot of hysteria about GMOs that does mirror the anti-vaccer rhetoric, including claims that GMOs cause autism, or all the studies in favor are industry funded, to name only two.
On the other hand, a lot of profit relies on this technology, and not just in terms of food production for the starving of the world (though there are other, arguably better solutions that involve changing our entire culture of food, but that is a related, but different topic; next post perhaps). But to what degree IS it reasonable and rational to hold corporate stakes as determinative in assessing the relative safety of a food technology? And while the mere fact that other nations have enacted partial or full bans on GMOs is not a testament to their safety in and of itself, consideration of which nations have done so gives one pause. Of the 26 (as of late 2013, almost double the 14 in 2012), many are progressive nations whose overall approaches to issues like sustainability, health, and the environment are admirable: Germany, France, Australia, Japan. These are not nations known for their hysterical, superstitious tendencies (like the US). And while the main consensus is that GMO foods do not produce nutritional harms, there are significant questions about environmental impact, both of the crops themselves, the impact they may have on insect populations, and even more significantly, the impact of the chemicals and pesticides these crops are so often engineered to withstand. Round-up ready crops mean Round-up will be used, in abundance. We know that both herbicides and insecticides can have serious negative consequences. There are also questions about adaptability, seeding, and loss of native species (both crops and the ‘weeds’ that such crops are designed to resist). While some of that may technically be a licensing and patent issue, it is nevertheless inextricably tied up with the question of GMOs as healthy for not just our bodes directly, but our environment, our economy, and our world. So perhaps a GMO tomato won’t hurt me. But what happens if one company ends up owning the vast majority of crops? Corporate monopoly is, I think it is safe to claim, never a benefit to anyone but the corporation.
Mind you, you will not see anything in this post about ‘meddling with nature,’ or anything of that sort. This is not, from the tomato’s perspective, an ethical issue. However, it might be an ethical issue an far larger scales. So perhaps the claim that eating a ‘conventional’ cucumber will give you cancer IS hysteria. But I am not convinced that the question of the safety of GMOs is as simple as that. I think it’s a far more nuanced issue, with much farther reaching implications and questions. And on that level I take some exception to the notion that raising those questions puts me in the same camp as the anti-vaccers and chem-trail believers (or Oprah, for that matter!)
What are your thoughts? Is this an issue for you, and if so, on which side? Why? For those outside the US; how is this issue perceived and debated in your milieu?
The stories are as follows:
160 year-old Documents Intentionally Destroyed in Franklin County, N.C.
The basic story (full story at the link) is that an entire roomful of historic documents (whole shelves of record books along with boxes of wills, deeds, photos, letters, etc.) was discovered in a previously sealed room under the Franklin Co., NC courthouse. Researcher, overjoyed as such a find had just begun the slow process of sorting and cataloging them, when they were told to cease doing so. After some weeks of red tape, an as-yet-unamed local government agency swooped in, took the lot to the basement, and systematically and intentionally burned them in the incinerator.
The other story, halfway across the world:
Lebanon Library Torched, 78,000 Books Burned By Islamists
In this story, a historic library in Tripoli was burned by arsonists after a pamphlet considered offensive to Islam was found tucked into one of the books. The library contained thousands of rare historic texts and manuscripts, from both Islamic and Christian history.
So what do these have in common, aside from the obvious destruction of historic materials? I think that the connective thread here is simply that: that there exists the idea that destroying the past is a good thing. That the destruction of history in the furtherance of one's current ideology is acceptable. And I think this is the worst, deepest, most fundamental kind of violence.
George Orwell, in his masterwork of political tyranny and destroyed history, Nineteen Eighty-Four, wrote the following:
"If the Party could thrust its hand into the past and say of this or that event, it never happened — that, surely, was more terrifying than mere torture and death? And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed -if all records told the same tale — then the lie passed into history and became truth. 'Who controls the past,' ran the Party slogan, 'controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.'"
Who controls the past, controls the future. An odd truth, but a powerful one. One of the deepest horrors of Orwell's dystopia is that the past has no meaning, there is no past but that authored by the Party. Ellie Wiesel, writing so often of the holocaust, demands that the past be protected from violence. Because in doing violence to the past, all violence is allowed.
And so, these news stories represent the very worst kind of violence; violence to truth, violence to the past. The author of the first story conjectures (with reasonable foundation), that the records were destroyed to hide the shady doings they might reveal done by the forefathers of someone currently in political power. Islam has a long record of destroying the past, from the Buddhas of Bamiyan to the proposal to destroy the Sphinx. In the second story, we don't even need an ostensibly offense pamphlet to see the destruction of a library, a historic library at that, as a purely brutish sweep against knowledge, agaisnt the past, any past, and record that things might ever have been other than as they are now.
The Christian right attempts violence to the past regularly, with its ongoing attempts to rewrite the past of our own nation, making of its Enlightenment progressive deists a crew of Christian fundamentalists; Thomas Jefferson recast as he Sam Brownback of his day (there's a terrifying thought!). And this is, ultimately, the mark of the unsustainable worldview. When your doctrine requires that there be no past, only a harsh glare of a bright. unchanging, ever-present NOW, you have, in essence, become The Party of Orwell's Oceania.
And once there is no past, no truth, no objective reality, then all violence is possible. This hated enemy has always been hated, has always been the source of all our ills, and must be eradicated. And once gone, they never were. Without the past, without memory, there can be no genocide, no holocaust. There are no 'atrocities,' because there is no 'never again.' When the past has no meaning, and is rewritten at will, there is no wrong, for what was done, was not done.
It doesn't hurt that I'm in a digital media course. That kind of got me all nostalgic for the ol' LJ (which is of course, more DW these days, since LJ continues its drain-circling idiocy and malfunction....
So, what's what? Said digital media course, by the same instructor as my general media course last semester. This is good; she's pretty cool. I really enjoyed the last class more than I expected, so I'm pretty jazzed abut this one.... (It isn't every semester you get to do your semester term paper on a video game you love! w00t!)
And on the teaching front: Dante! At last! I am SOOOOOOO excited about this. At the absolute worst, it gives me a sterling excuse to re-read the entire Commedia start to finish, in detail. I haven't done that in a while. Plus the students seem pretty open and talkative, which is awesome!
I'm also doing another junior-level, a repeat of one I've done a few times, this time at another hospital as part of the RN->BSN program. This is a tough accelerated course, but the students are great, and it's half a semester. In, out, done! Never a bad thing. And I'm still taking Latin, which is good.
My scary little brain is still turning and churning PhD options, but there remain precious few within reasonable distance. There is a perfectly adequate (if not stellar) history PhD about an hour away. There is a truly stellar medieval history PhD an hour and a half away. And, there is a kick-a$$ Dante studies program 5 hours away. No really good options there.... The hour-and-a-half, stellar medieval program is really tempting, but oy. Not sure how I'd structure my life around that kind of commute, especially for the level of work I'd be doing. Phooey. Ah, well, I'll just bide my time, see what DH comes up with when the ink dried on his own PhD, and see what opens up.
Another reason I have stopped posting as much is that I have sort of stopped trying to do commentary on the political sphere. Not because I stopped caring, but because - well, it's almost too much. Where does one even begin to discuss how insane things are? Eh, I might try to get back into writing more (in my copious spare time, of course!)
I still have a Latin final, but that's no big deal (I have a LOT of studying to do tho! Eeek!)
Speaking of Latin, I also have discovered a wonderful possibility for the niblet for hight school! It's a classical academy, and they base their teaching around Latin, Greek, the Socratic method, and a solid foundation in classic and classical literature. It's a challenging atmosphere, but it's really small, and I think he'd respond well. He's been so disenchanted with school, it's kind of heartbreaking, so I'm really hopeful about this!
In other, sadder news, we lost the grand matriarch of the family last weekend. She was my son's great, great grandmother, and a Winchester, no less! (Yes, those Winchesters...) Not many people get to say they spent time with 5 generations of family in one room! At 104 years old, she was still sharp as a tack, full of piss and vinegar, but equally full of laughter and wit, and a character like only she could be. What an amazing woman. I guess I had sort of started to think she'd be around forever... Here's to you, Sudie; we'll miss you, but with fondness.
Naturally, all of this is, as I said, inevitable. With a condition like hers, we all knew it would end like this. Which doesn't make it one whit less awful to see. And of course, it's bringing back the pain of my mother's death all over. So yay. I feel for hubby, too, as he recently had a good friend who had suffered a long-term illness call hi out of the blue to say goodbye. He said he'd taken a turn, and wouldn't be seeing him again. We found out a few days later he and his wife checked into the swankiest hotel in town, had champagne and then committed suicide together. I made the news. Now his grandmother is past the point of no return, and his grandfather is swearing he won't outlive her.
His father (my father in law) has also been left nearly blind by a failed eye surgery in one eye and a blown vessel in the other in about a four week period. So, universe, if you're listening, we're good now, no more surprises, yeah?
Otherwise, I suppose things are fine. I feel totally overwhelmed with work this semester, but I suppose that's not altogether new either, I really want to finish up the last of the kitchen because, as wonderful as it is, it's been the f-ing elephant on my shoulder for the better part of three months and I'm so ready to set it down. However, it's going to be 8 weeks before the tile comes in for the backsplash, (which yours truly is installing) so it's more or less never going to be finished. (First world problem, especially in light of all the rest, but it's the little ones that bug ya, ya know?)
And I so did not intend to make this a pity party sort of diatribe. Ah well, bucket dumped; look for a slightly more upbeat post next time!
- I think everyone should go to college, if for no other reason than (here in the US, at least) elementary education has become astonishingly dumbed down. My son has been lucky enough to get into some of the best schools in our area (largely because of where we live; he is still in the public system), but the education he has received throughout has been rudimentary and shallow. As a professor, I also see freshman every year, and their lack of basic reading, writing, and thinking skills together with their overall lack of cultural literacy is appalling. The "basic education" one used to get by the end of high school now requires college. Someone mentioned an MA now being considered the benchmark that a BA used to be? Given the dearth of actual education students receive by the end of high school, that makes perfect sense.
- I also think that there should be some kind of mandatory waiting period BEFORE going to college. Nobody knows themselves well enough at 18 to decide the course of their own lives, and they often don't have a clue about how the world works. Make them go live on their own for a while, travel, practice being a self-sufficient proto-adult, THEN college.
- I do think tuition should be if not free, then affordable. The ways in which universities bilk students for ever more money makes me see red, especially in light of the cash cow that is college sports. Too often, the "academic side" of a university never sees a penny of that sports cash.
- I also think that NO degree program should be without foundational humanities/gen ed content. Yes, pre-med students DO need philosophy, pre-laws do need art, business majors (maybe more than anyone) need history. Maybe Plato and Napoleon have no direct bearing on performing surgery or negotiating a corporate merger, but I don't want to trust my body or my economy to myopic 'vocationally trained' automatons that have never heard of Plato or Napoleon...(or cracked a work of literature, or studied a painting in context). The same goes for basic science, literature, composition, logic, etc. The lack of education in these broad, general, culturally foundational areas is why we have politicians who have no clue what evolution is, or how climate change works, or how women get pregnant.
- No, I have not 'pushed' my son towards college. With two professors as parents, both of whom have completed at least one degree in his lifetime, I think it's inevitable; he sees, first hand, that education is its own reward, and already observes the disastrous lack of education in our public figures. He's also painfully aware of how little actual education he's getting (and he's even in the advanced program, which I note not to brag, but to point to the lamentable state of education at large), and is often frustrated by it.
Tough one, because I had so many, and they varied by age. When really small, I remember Santa Mouse best, but then it was the Hobbit, then Watership Down, then the Prydain series, and of course Nancy Drew and…..
2. What are you reading right now?
Well, quite a few. More's Utopia, Eliade's Sacred and Profane (teaching those), Inferno (again, teaching that in Spring), Machiavelli: A Biography (for fun) and Black Swan Rising for lighter fun.
3. What books do you have on request at the library?
Amazingly, none at present!
4. Bad book habit?
Well, if it's something at all academic, I write in my books, like a LOT. I don't usually dog-ear, and treat them well otherwise. I do tend to keep them too long, especially inter-library loans.
5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?
Also nothing, but then the semester just started, and I already own the ones I end up teaching. I also have way too may I have yet to get to!( Questions 6-55 (yes, 55) under the cut! )
Classes are going really well; I've just begun to shake up my students, which is always very rewarding. In Utopia/Dystopia, they are having to come to grips with the idea that America is NOT the be-all of a perfect society! It's great when I can lead them to realize this in in their own - that's how minds open! And in Dev. of Christianity, we have just dealt with how little evidence we have outside of the bible for Jesus ever existing, and how very dodgy the biblical 'evidence' really is. Then we went right into an overview of 1st-3rd century heresies. It's funny how easily they can spot the logical inconsistencies there, compared to if I started them on contemporary stuff. But by the time we get to 20th century, they will be used to thinking critically - that, again, is where minds open. So good stuff all round!
Getting the countertops installed tomorrow! Yay; no more temporary counters of old cabinet doors! Of course this means I have to unhook the sink (again) and will need to re-plumb the new one...*sigh* Hopefully no more than one (maybe two) days of no kitchen sink.... First world problems again, I know. LOL
OK, geek moment: Picking up Diablo 3 for Xbox today (been playing on Mac for ages). Whee! Also SO totally psyched for updates on all my favorite games: D3 Reaper of Souls expansion, and Fable Legends both look *awesome!!!!* And still hopeful for Dragon Age: Inquisition - I adored Origins SO, SO, much, and DA:II just really didn't do a thing for me. (Maybe if I'd played it first, but it was a piss-poor followup to the awesome that was Origins...) SO yes - much squeeing for this little geek girl!
Oh, and tea. I'm in a huge tea phase right now - just got a big batch of Jasmine Dragon, and mixed up a new batch of my black tea/berry blend. Gonna float away at this rate, but what the heck - tea is good, right?
Assuming a windfall of some sort, I'd probably either take the fam out to eat, or books.
2. What's the worst movie you've ever seen?
I don't tend to see movies in theaters, so if a movie sucks, I DON'T watch it. I've see the first 20 minutes or so of some real dogs on Netflix, but I (thankfully) don't have to sit through them, so really remember them. Last one I remember hating all through was Blair Witch.
3. Have you ever seen someone die?
4. Describe a favorite memory.
Any of dozens of moments of my kid; otherwise likely holidays when I was a kid. (I guess I"m lucky - I have an awful lot of good memories to pick from!)
5. If you could choose one place on earth to live, where would that be?
Tough call - Europe, for sure, but hard to say where. Maybe southern France, northern Italy? Part of the culture/landscape and part for the history. Amsterdam is also appealing.
6. What's the name of the song that's stuck in your head right now?
This changes almost daily (I'm ridonkulously susceptible to brain bugs!) Right now, it seems to be Into Darkness by Mumford. Because my entire summer had a Mumford soundtrack, pretty much.
7. Did you have braces?
Yes, for most of high school.
8. What is the last book you bought?
Machiavelli: A Biography (Miles Unger) and Lust for Liberty: The Politics of Social Revolt in Medieval Europe (Samuel Cohn). Both from City Lights books in San Fran!
9. Is there anything that has made you unhappy recently?
Not really personally. I do continue to despair over the political idiocy that seems to rule my nation….
10. What do you want most in life?
Honestly, pretty much what I have: a wonderful family, a great kid, the chance to keep learning always, a way to reach out to others and open some eyes in hopes of helping to bring changes….
11. Are you in love?
12. Fiction, Non-fiction, or both?
Both, for sure! I love a good novel (and I've actually been making a pony to read more fiction lately) but I read so much within my academic interests, which I also love!
13. What does your Livejournal name mean?
Oh, dear. Well, it harks back to a time when I was looking for something sort of spooky, magicky and mysterious. (Ah, youth!) By the time I got to thinking it was time to move on, it was kind of entrenched. And of course my DW name is my LJ name in Italian.
14. What kind of person do you think you are?
Wow. Let's see: arrogant and insecure by turns, creative, quirky, sometimes moody, embarrassingly liberal in most of my views, but quite old fashioned in a few others, to say nothing of aesthetically. Drawn to things that are unusual, odd, bizarre in wonderful ways, and sometimes either not affordable or not good for me. A hopeless romantic who is also a cynic. An herbivore who can't type, and an atheists who adores Dante and cathedrals. And, I suppose, something of a study in contrasts!
15. Do you believe there is nothing higher than human kind?
Not God, if that's what you mean. But I don't really privilege humans as being "higher" than other beings, so "higher than" is sort of an irrelevant concept for me. I do think that the greater good outweighs our often selfish human interests, and that the whole sum of life has far greater value than only that of humanity. And I suppose, if pressed, I subscribe to a sort of cautious and certainly non-sentient version of the Gaia idea - that the earth exists as a larger organism of which we are all a part, much like the millions of organisms that coexist with each of us. Maybe not what the question is looking for, but it's what I've got.
16. Which fictional character could you most see yourself marrying?
How long do you have? Top choice has to be Casavir (NWN2). After that - wow, too many to count, and no way to tell if they are wishful thinking or totally impractical (aside, of course, from that whole fictional thing….)
17. Name someone with the same birthday as you.
18. Name an obvious quality you have.
Known for my long curly red hair, and I love it!
19. Do you have an all time favorite song?
Also subject to change, but currently, White Blank Page (Mumford & Sons) - oh, the feels……
20. What type of friends do you like?
The kind that I can go months (if not years) without seeing/conversing with, and when we do finally meet up/talk, it's like no time has past at all. (This was the previous person's answer, but it says it better than I would have, I think, so I'm keeping it!)
In other news, the kitchen is almost done, classes are off to a pretty good start, and I finally have a Dante course for Spring! W00T!
We looked at buying salvaged cabinets, but honestly, with a kitchen as small as ours we just didn't have much wiggle room to work with whatever we ended up finding. And I really wanted to go for a classic arts & crafts/Stickly/mission style, which you just do not find in salvaged cabinets. So we went the Home Depot route, and have custom designed cabinets arriving in two weeks. Which means I am in crazy mad demolition mode!
Actually it's rather fun, finally being able to demolish this stuff I've been cursing at for three years. So far, all the cabinets but the sink base are out, we are stripping wallpaper (my new worst job ever!) and I am stripping roughly 50 years of paint off of the window and door frames (my number 2 worst job ever!). Although I did find this awesome soy-based gel stripper that is no oder and water washable - makes it SO much easier!
After that's done, I'll paint the whole thing (one coat primer, one or two coats base, and then a rag finish in a slightly lighter color), and stain the woodwork. That *should* just about get me to delivery date. Then we get the cabinets, but no counter. We have to get that remeasured after the install, and wait another 3 weeks.
Then I am putting in a tile backsplash that I haven't quite figured out what I want to do with yet. I'm waiting for samples to figure out what I CAN do (arts and crafts style tile is frakkin' expensive y'all!). This will also determine my final choice of paint, so I hope they get here soon, cause clock is ticking! Then I will take the glass panels from the 2 cabinets that have them, and do a mock-stained glass design on them (depending on what I end up doing with the tile and paint colors...) I still have to find a facet, and pick an over-the-range microwave.
Whew! First world problems, right? I have ordered the cabinet hardware (OMG gorgeousness and love!). Here is our door style: Gettysburgh in Maple Auburn Glaze. I'm thinking a sort of toned down golden parchment yellow for the walls, and a sort of sage-green tiles with rust-colored grout for the backsplash. I'll post pics as it starts to come together.... meanwhile, more stripping! (If only that was as much fun as it implies....)
Where is your cell phone? Purse
Your significant other? Hubby
Your hair? Red
Your mother? Missed
Your father? Unknown
Your favorite thing? Calm
Your dream last night? Sexay!
Your favorite drink? Coffee
Your dream/goal? Doctorate
The room you're in? Lobby
Your fear? Invisibility
Where do you want to be in 6 years? Tenure-track
Where were you last night? Bed
What you're not? GOP
One of your wishlist items? Kitchen!
Where you grew up? North
The last thing you did? Dinner
What are you wearing? Casual
Your TV? Off
Your pets? Feline
Your computer? Mac
Your life? Tapestry
Your mood? Balance
Missing someone? Yes
Your car? Red
Something you're not wearing? Watch
Favorite store? Book
Your summer? Lazy
Like someone? Many
Your favorite color? Cinnabar
When is the last time you laughed? Niblet
Last time you cried? Niblet!
Who will re-post this? Clueless
Bath or shower? Shower
Writing utensil? Fountain-pen
Vacation activity? Lounging
Bedding preference? Silk
Pet peeves? Legion
Favorite thing to do on a rainy day? Tea
Your biggest strength? Adaptable
Favorite thing about school? Teaching
Most awesome gift received? Niblet
What do you collect? Pens
Best kept item from childhood? Antiques
Greatest indulgence? Chocolate
Your house? Home
Fruits or vegetables? Yes!
Quiet or loud? Quiet
Essentially, the Sokal Hoax refers to an article, written by a legit academic and submitted to a peer-reviewed, post modern, academic journal. The published it, and it drew all manner of praise, whereupon the author spring the gag - it was all gibberish, intended to specifically poke fun at the jargon-laden, pretention that is (all too often), PoMo academia. It made a big kerfluffle, and everyone was aghast, and nothing really changed. (There's even a post modern generator, if you'd like to craft your own meaningless theoretical garble: http://www.elsewhere.org/pomo/.)
But now, in response to the trend in theology towards an almost post-modern jargon-fest, typically aimed at harmonizing science and religion, a scholar has perpetrated his own 'Sokal-style' hoax. He cooked up a long blob if impenetrable gibberish, submitted it to a few Very Serious Theology conferences, and despite having offered up essentially word soup, was happily accepted. Read the whole account, together with his entry, here: http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.
"You know, the Age of Enlightenment and Reason gave way to moral relativism. And moral relativism is what led us all the way down the dark path to the Holocaust…Dark periods of history is what we arrive at when we leave God out of the equation."
I kid you not. CWA boasts approximately 500K members. It was founded by Beverly LaHaye, long-time right-wing activist and wife of Tim LaHaye, author of the Left Behind series, a violent fiction series about the struggles of Christians against the anti-Christ's world government. They consider themselves the opposition to National Organization For Women, and are explicitly not only Christian dominionists, but overtly anti-feminism.
Given my familiarity with the group (read their profile here) this comment from their CEO does not surprise me. It seems to be just the most recent in a string of outright inversions of reality of "black-is-white" magnitude that have become part of the discourse lately. It happened gradually, but it is deeply significant, and goes a long way to explain how the rabidly faithful constituents of the Religious Right/GOP consistently, repeatedly, proudly vote against their own interests.
The Right has been stunningly, bafflingly successful at convincing incredible numbers of people to not merely believe, but staunchly defend and act upon things which are demonstrably, factually false. And I'm not talking the kind of demonstrably false that requires an advanced science degree, I'm talking things that are quite easy to verify. The following it a list of core principles in the right-wing, and each of them is simply false:
- Abortion causes breast cancer
- Birth control is abortion
- Abstinence only education prevents pregnancy and diseases
- Condoms don't prevent STDs
- Atheism is the same as moral relativism
- Climate change isn't real
- Obama has taken more vacation days and spent more money than any other president
- Homosexuality is a choice, and 'fixable'
- Hitler was an atheist, and the Nazis were atheists (or gay)
- Rape does not cause pregnancy
- The bible/Jesus is against the minimum wage
- America was founded as a Christian nation
- Public schools 'teach' homosexuality
- Obama was not born in America
The implications of this are terrifying. A population that will believe anything...well they will believe anything. They can be made to do anything, accept anything, regard anything or anyone as evil. And the people who construct the messages then have virtually unlimited power.
I had some amazing work from my students this term; I'm really proud and very impressed by a number of them! Who said you can't teach theory to freshmen? Then again, I had more people just blow stuff off than ever before! Whole research papers without a single citation, students not bothering to turn in research papers (20% of final grade! WTF?) or just taking half the semester 'off' and showing up for the exam. Weird. Still, on balance, a very satisfying semester teaching-wise.
I managed to pull off As in both my own courses, somewhat to my surprise in one case. You may recall the 'difficult' prof I mentioned earlier? The arrogant one, who also threatened to take a letter grade off because of my 'absences' a.k.a. going to and presenting at professional conferences. Um, hello? Isn't that kind of central to the business of academia, and THIS is why you want to dock my grade? Like I turned in any bit of work that wasn't an A.... Oi.
The other course was Comm Theory. On the one hand, it was pretty easy; I've studied half this stuff before in the context of the original theories, like Foucault, Sartre, Baudrillard, etc. On the other, it was kind of hard for me to take some of it seriously, more or less for the same reason. "Oooh, you figured out that people choose what to reveal and what not to reveal for reasons of power? That's nice; Foucault did that 20 years before you did, and did it better." On one of my essays RE this theory ("Privacy Management Theory") I attached a few pages of Foucault's chapter on confession and the perpetual spirals of power and pleasure. Arrogant, perhaps. The program seems to keep falling over itself at having an 'academic' in the program (the vast majority are business folks taking this as a first graduate experience for the sake of advancement in their jobs), so the professors I've worked with tend to appreciate that I take a different, and decidedly more 'academic' perspective even where I call bullshit on some of what they are teaching. *shrug* Works for me, I suppose.
I'm getting PhD hankerings again. Oi, again. LOL. First thing is going to have to be Latin - I really need to get my shoddy Latin up to snuff to even be considered most anywhere I want to go (options for which are severely limited by my location). Anything I do will involve a commute of some kind - the question is how far, and how often. So we shall see. No hurry, I can keep chipping away at this COMM MA for now, while I explore the possibilities.
Meanwhile - summer break! w00t! What the heck am I going to do with myself all summer! (OK, try to brush up Latin, but OTHER than that.....LOL)
(If anyone *does* want to read it, let me know. It's set in the game-verse of Neverwinter Nights 2, a D&D based, sword and sorcery type realm. It's written in such a way that you can follow it if you haven't played the game. It's character study that fills in behind the events of the game, and yes, it's a romance!)
Anyway, a few days later we all get an e-mail titled "apology" in which he basically said "I'm really very sorry you all suck and can't work at the graduate level, and clearly I expected too much." *Incoherent Rage*
Really, if you think I'm reading into it, here it is:
This course has not gone well for me and some(perhaps all) of you.Hardly anything has gone as I planned or anticipated.Apparently I was presumptuous about where all of you are with regard to expectations for graduate course work.I took too much for granted based on my past experience.I will continue to try to accomplish the stated goals for the course.(Yes, the lack of proper spaces is his, not mine. Now I'm hardly one to get on my high horse about my typing, but then, I'm not the one telling my higher lever adult grad students they suck, either....
Why, oh why did I start this degree? Oh, right, because there isn't a nice, respectable, history or medieval studies program within three hours drive of here. *headdesk* DOn't even get me started on how I'm loving the obligatory Theory course.... Y'all know how much I *love* theory. Grrrrrr.
My classes (taking) are meh. Only they are actually kind of meh with a vengeance. No really, something can, in fact, be aggressively meh, trust me. On the other hand, the ones I"m teaching are going great. I even got nominated for a faculty favorite award by a sorority on campus... o_O Never heard of it before, but it's kinda awesome!
Getting ready to buy a new iMac - w00t! So I'm combing over files and junk accumulated on my HD. I am a packrat! But cleaning house feels kinda nice, even if it'sonly the digital variety; I've been too sick to do the real kind, and I"m not looking forward to getting caught up once I fell better. And how much does that suck, anyway? "Feeling better? Great, here's the mop!" *sigh*
In game world I may be late to the party (seems I usually am, sadly) but I am so very deeply in love with Dragon Age:Origins. This game - if you remember my squeeing over Neverwinter Nights 2, this is much the same (same devs, even) but times a thousand! The depth and complexity of the plot decisions and the characters - I find it truly impressive. I just adore it. The world, the people - just wow. It is similar, I understand, to the connection a lot of people feel for the Mass Effect series (also same devs). I have not played that, because I'm kind of a Sword & Sorcery gal, but I might have to check it out.
What is bugging me is that the hubby totally does not get it. At all. To him, video games are a big waste of time and energy. If I were to try to explain to him how difficult it is to choose which contender to put on the dwarven throne, or told him that I really, truly cried when my character's parents died, he'd say that was the stupidest thing he'd ever heard. If I showed him that hundreds, thousands of people who felt similarly, or that spoke of how profoundly that game affected them, he'd say they were all losers who needed to get a life. And he wonders why I get defensive about my games?! Alas.
OK, wasn't trying to make this the game-angst post, so I'll leave it there for now....
(And yes, OK, I am very much smitten with Alistair, what does that have to do with anything? You know me and those paladin/templar/warrior types....)
How I grieve now you're gone
In my dreams I see you
I awake so alone
I know you didn't want to leave
Your heart yearned to stay
But the strength I always loved in you
Finally gave way
Somehow I knew you would leave me this way
Somehow I knew you could never.. never stay
And in the early morning light
After a silent peaceful night
You took my heart away
And I grieve
In my dreams I can see you
I can tell you how I feel
In my dreams I can hold you
And it feels so real
I still feel the pain
I still feel your love
I still feel the pain
I still feel your love
And somehow I knew you could never, never stay
And somehow I knew you would leave me
And in the early morning light
After a peaceful night
You took my heart away
I wished, I wished you could have stayed
(Call me crazy [and you'd likely not be wrong], but here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=
and give her your heart, your heart
As well as your body?
And can you lie next to her
and confess your love, your love
As well as your folly?
And can you kneel before this king
and say "I'm clean", "I'm Clean"?
But tell me now where was my fault,
in loving you with my whole heart?
Oh, tell me now where was my fault,
in loving you with my whole heart?
Her white blank page
and a swelling rage, rage
You did not think
When you sent me to the brink, to the brink
You desired my attention
But denied my affections, my affections
So tell me now where was my fault,
in loving you with my whole heart?
Oh, tell me now where was my fault,
in loving you with my whole heart?
Lead me to the truth and I
Will follow you with my whole life
Oh, lead me to the truth and I
Will follow you with my whole life
(x) Shot a gun (Blackpowder longrifles, but they count, right?)
(x) Gone on a blind date
(x) Skipped school
( ) Visited Canada
( ) Visited Hawaii.
( ) Visited Cuba
(x) Visited Europe (Seven countries, in fact!)
( ) Visited South America
( ) Visited Las Vegas.
(x) Visited Central America (Panama!)
( ) Visited Asia
(x) Visited Florida
( ) Visited Mexico
( ) Visited Washington, DC
( ) Seen the Grand Canyon
(x) Flown on a plane (I've even been the one doing the flying!)
( ) Served on a jury
(x) Been lost
(x) Traveled to the opposite side of the country (By myself by car even; took me 4 days!)
(x) Swam in the ocean
(x) Cried yourself to sleep
(x) Camping in a trailer/RV or tent.
(x) Ridden on an elephant (And lots of horses.)
( ) Ridden on a camel (No, but I've hugged a tiger)
(x) Eaten just cookies or cake for dinner
( ) Eaten a raw oyster
(x) Been on TV (Don't get all excited, I was all of maybe 4, and it was some local public access kids show)
( ) Been on Radio
( ) Stolen any traffic signs (Not personally, but I still have the 'Neighborhood Watch' sign a friend of mine, er, happened across...)
(x) Been in a car accident. (Ugh, yes, a few. They are awful - there is no other sound quite like it!)
(x) Been a patient in the hospital
(x) Donated blood
(x) Gotten a speeding or any other type of ticket.
(x) Gotten a piercing (ears or other body parts)
(x) Gotten a tattoo
(x) Driven a four-door car
( ) Ever owned your dream car (Define 'dream:' do we mean dream car you could actually own, or was we talking Lambhourgini here?)
(x) Been married
( )Been divorced
(x) Fell in love
(x) Fell out of love
( ) Flew in Goodyear blimp
( ) Flew in hot air balloon
( ) Flew in helicopter
( ) Rode on a snowmobile
( ) Gone para sailing
( ) Jumped out of a plane
( ) Rode a Segway
(x) Rode on a motorcycle
(x) Rode a bicycle
(x) Roller skated and ice skated
( ) Water Skied
( ) Eaten raw octopus or other raw seafood
( ) Fished and hunted for food
( ) Played amateur sports
( ) Coached a school's male soccer team
( ) Been a member of a sorority or a fraternity
( ) Editor and volunteer on a World Wide Web Site (I actually have several that I maintain and publish myself, does that count?)
(x) Mother, grandmother (Mother, yes, grandmother - egads, bite your tongue!)
( ) Father, grandfather (Physically impossible to do this AND the previous...)
(x) Relative of or married to a Veteran
(Unrelated note: I need new icons!)
She reasserted that it was not really logically possible to accept even an ethical dimension to Jesus without accepting the divine, because Bible. And also CS Lewis. *eyeroll* Essentially, the argument is this: 1) Jesus was a great moral teacher (bible says so). 2) Jesus said he was divine (bible says so). 3) If he said he was divine and was not, he lied. 4) Great moral teachers do not lie (I say so). 5) Therefore, either Jesus was not a moral teacher, or he is divine.
Oh, the fallacies just abound in that little bit of reasoning! So here is my response: ( (cut for length; I do get rolling!) )
I've probably come across as a bit more 'appreciative of the mythology' than I am, but one must pick one's battles. In all honesty, I find a few of the supposed teachings of Christ to be quite fine, if stunningly basic and unoriginal, and others to be every bit as archaic and (in contemporary terms) backwards as one would expect from a male member of a first century patriarchal sacrificial cult. I do appreciate the tenacity and creativity of Christianity as a movement in the first few centuries; as socio-political or cultural trends go, it is certainly a unique success story in terms of adaptation, integration into society and having a knack for surviving....
The ones I'm taking are...odd. One is theory. And I am sure most you you know how I feel about theory; it has it's place and can be a powerful tool for understanding things. It is also wildly overused, irresponsibly used, and leads to more or less every stereotype of academic pretension going. So naturally, I have some ambivalence to begin with.
Then there is the whole nature of theory within the communication discipline. It's largely been pinched wholesale from here, there and everywhere, with nary a nod for its source. So here we are, nattering on about what is clearly Sartre's intersubjectivity, or Foucault's perpetual spirals of power and pleasure, only we are pretending Sartre and Foucault never existed. (Or worse, I'm the only one in the room who even recognizes the attribution.) But yet, we still stand on academic integrity. Huh.
Thirdly, this course is taught be a professer of whom I am quite fond, but who happens to be very much to the 'social science' end of the comm spectrum.Naturally, I am as far to the other end as it is possible to be, so it's sometimes hard to keep the right glasses on, if you take my meaning. She's awesome, and very well-respected at what she does, don't think this is in any way a dig. It's just a bit like trying to do philosophy in a chemistry class. I keep having to set aside everything about how I usually do things.
And finally, there is the fact that I"ve had theory courses aplenty, I've been slicing and dicing with theory for years now (I'm even teaching a theory course this semester!) and frankly the "Let's talk about what a 'theory' is" is putting me to sleep. I should be grateful - easy course, yeah? One of these days I'll figure that one out; meanwhile, I'm hungering for a challenge!
Then there is the movie class. Just odd. But I plan on writing my first paper this weekend, getting it in early, and then starting on the big final project. Neither of these are intimidating. Sorry, but a five-page analysis of a theme in a film just doesn't intimidate me.
I do have my conference, which I am pleased as punch about. (If you didn't see it on FB, I've been invited to present at the International Conference on Medieval and Renaissance Thought in April. I'm presenting a paper on the theology of eating in Dante's Divine Comedy.) It's been a while, and I'm really glad to be doing some serious academic work. I've also been asked to participate on a panel as an adjunct faculty representative at my uni, which is a very good sign, particularly since the academic dean, who is also my boss, is the one who recommended me to the organizers! Oh yeah, credibility, here I come!
In other news, I am having so much fun with all the new (to me) games I got for Xmas! I'm loving Diablo 3 to bits. As with many games I tend to enjoy, the touches of humor and wit really give the game some dimension, and after D2 (which I still play) the graphics are breathtaking. So is the sound! Wow! I've never made a habit of using headphones to play, but D3 really does its audio well! I have also gotten a full version of Baldur's Gate (which I played the hell out of back in the day) on the iPad (imagine!).
And of course there's Dragon Age, and yes, I am head over heels for Alastair, I admit it. He's heroic, a little damaged, deeply determined (as all those paladin/templar/warden types I fall for are) but sensitive (ditto). However, he's also sarcastic and snarky sometimes rather adorably dorky. (Look at that WTF? eyebrow. Gotta love it!)
I always really got a kick out of Steve Valentine, Alastair's voice actor, as Nigel on Crossing Jordan, and he does a really masterful job of making Alastair into a dimensional character. (So often these stoic-heroic types are utterly one-dimensional; it's a running joke about the 'captain cardboard' paladin.) I heard the studio wanted Nathan Fillon (whom I also love) to voice Alastair, but I can't see it. The writing is quite good in this game overall, but a lot of Alastair's dialog, especially the funnier bits, would have totally fallen flat without the voice acting. Valentine managed to hit the right blend of goofy, snarky, and sensitive that just works. Very much fun!
Oh, and finally, after years of various jerry-rigged contraptions to keep from sleeping on a mattress on the floor (something I've always hated) we finally have a bed! It gets delivered tomorrow! Here it is: The Royal Bed Whee! So excited!
"Hello, my name is Raven, and I have a paladin problem. It's been 15 minutes since I gamed with one of my boys....."