(no subject)

Sep. 17th, 2014 01:40 pm
nestra: Jim with his hand on Blair's chest (pic#535440)
[personal profile] nestra
Crusher's grandmother has died, and she lived on a colony that was an attempt to recreate Scotland. Why? I don't know. Well, it seems to be mostly so that people can walk around and say darkly threatening things in Scottish accents.

Then, while sitting in Ten Forward, Crusher tells Troi about the sex dream she had after she fell asleep reading her grandmother's journal, which contained an account of her 100-year-old grandmother's 34-year-old lover. Um. With her grandmother's death, Crusher appears to have inherited the family ghost. He's from 17th century Scotland, and he likes to fill houses with spectral roses and date a succession of mothers and daughters.

I'm sorry, there is nothing about this episode that is not embarrassing. I feel bad for the actors, but at least they got paid. Ain't nobody paying me to watch this. (And this was even before the ghost takes over the body of her dead grandmother.)

One Minute to Curtain

Sep. 17th, 2014 10:06 pm
fignewton: (jack daniel quiet aside)
[personal profile] fignewton
The second of the S3 bingo ficlets for the A Player of Games square: Jack will do his duty, even if he hates playing the game. Jack's thoughts on his team in Shades of Grey. 555 words, rated PG.

And whee! I have finally completed one line of my bingo card! 'Bout time. :)

One Minute to Curtain )

OTW Fannews: Founded on Fanworks

Sep. 17th, 2014 04:46 pm
[syndicated profile] otw_news_feed

Posted by Kiri Van Santen


image by Robyn of James Madison, fourth president of the US

  • Jennifer Parsons wrote at Tech Dirt about fanfic written by one of the U.S. founding fathers. "Why fanfic? What made Madison decide to use existing characters to make his point rather than inventing his own characters like John Arbuthnot did for his own political allegory?...The easiest way to tackle these questions is to tell you an allegorical story. There once was a comic artist, 'Jim M.,' who wanted to comment upon the important issue of CIA torture. To make his point, he drew a three panel comic strip. In the first panel, Captain America is taking down a fanatical Nazi commander who tortured prisoners of war for the good of the Fatherland...In the second panel, Jim M. draws Captain America standing next to President Obama, who is casually observing that although the CIA did 'torture some folks,' the lapse can be excused because the torturers were patriots who loved their country. In the third panel we see Captain America's shadowed face as he walks away from a burning American flag."
  • Although some are very pleased with the offerings on Kindle Worlds, various sites posted a story by Jeff John Robertson at GigaOm about Kindle Worlds' success in light of a presentation by OTW legal staffer, Rebecca Tushnet. "For Amazon and its partners, it will be difficult to overcome such perceptions since the underlying problem is not just about licensing terms, but something more fundamental: the impossibility of having it both ways, of fostering maximum creativity while wielding maximum legal control. As Tushnet notes, Kindle Worlds is hardly the first time that a licensed model of creativity has come up short: the music industry’s imposition of sampling licenses smothered hip-hop in the 1990’s, while commercial controls eroded the popularity of the early fan fiction universe, Darkover."
  • The Fandom Post reported on Dynamite Entertainment being one of the latest companies to go DRM-free. "There will be a slow, focused roll-out over time that will grow the available titles to reflect the vast majority of Dynamite’s library. Throughout its first month of operation, Dynamite will donate ten percent of all sales to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of the First Amendment rights of the comics art form and its community of retailers, creators, publishers, librarians, and readers."

How far back have you seen fanworks go? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.


Dear Tricker or Treater:

Sep. 17th, 2014 11:52 am
muccamukk: Porthos laughing victoriously. (Musketeers: I Win!)
[personal profile] muccamukk
Thank you making something for me! I love presents, and putting work into something for me makes me very happy. I'm pleased that we have fandoms in common, mystery author or artist, and I look forward to seeing what you end up doing!

A few general likes and squicks before I talk about my fandom. Erm, obviously, I'm not expecting all of the following. Write what you want to create something about these characters, and if you want ideas, check out the list. Since you clearly have excellent taste in characters, I trust to your judgement.

General Likes and Squicks )

Fandoms: The Musketeers (2014), Pacific Rim (2013), Sleepy Hollow (TV) )

Optional details are optional! I'm so in love with all of these characters that whatever you want to write or draw will make me extremely happy. Again, thank you for offering them, and good luck and god speed.


Sep. 17th, 2014 01:44 pm
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
Zooniverse debuted another citizen science project, this one marking penguins caught on camera in Antarctica, Penguin Watch. It's even simpler than Snapshot Serengeti: you just click on adults, chicks, and eggs.

Most of the shots I've seen have either nothing in them, or small flocks. But then there's this one...cut for screenshot )

(no subject)

Sep. 17th, 2014 01:31 pm
nestra: (Default)
[personal profile] nestra
Oh, lord, I pulled up the next episode in my Star Trek rewatch queue, and it's "Sub Rosa."
[syndicated profile] tobiasbuckell_feed

Posted by Tobias Buckell

Karen Lord and I teamed up to chat with Justin Landon of Staffer’s Book Review for his Rocket Talk Podcast up at Tor.com:

“In this episode of Rocket Talk, Justin brings on Karen Lord and Tobias Buckell to discuss their most recent works, what they mean when they talk about Caribbean Science Fiction, and the challenge of reading western literature from a different point of view. Justin also manages to squeeze in some talk about how the two see series fiction.”

(Via Rocket Talk, Episode 27: Karen Lord and Tobias Buckell | Tor.com.)

[syndicated profile] tobiasbuckell_feed

Posted by Tobias Buckell

I have found my pull quote for this review:

“Once the action starts in Hurricane Fever, it never lets up”

(Via Hurricane Fever by Tobias S. Buckell | the Little Red Reviewer.)

It was awesome to meet up with the Little Red Reviewer when I appeared at Kazoo books with Jim Hines, which she wrote about on her blog as well (head over to win a copy of Jim Hines’ latest book).


Sep. 17th, 2014 01:49 pm
kass: orange aspen leaves, "zen fen" (aspen zen fen)
[personal profile] kass
I want to take a nap.
I want to lie down in the sunshine.
I want to drive across the state border and go on an adventure.
I want to get a pedicure.
I want to dye my hair.
I want to cut it all off.
I want to get a tattoo.
I don't want to do work today.
I don't want to deal with people who are angry at me.
I don't want to deal with people who make me angry.
I want to be somewhere else.
I want to write back to that person and tell them exactly how I feel about what they said to me.
I don't want to deal with the fallout of having done that.
I want it to be a month from now already.
I don't want it to be a month from now already.
I want to go buy pumpkins and mums for the doorstep.
I don't want to spend tonight attending a meeting via FaceTime.
I want the TARDIS to come and whisk me away.
hagar_972: woman with a laptop at a rocky shore looking at the ocean (Default)
[personal profile] hagar_972
Some digging around turned out that B'tulot is expected in "autumn" - so probably After The Holidays - and the second season of everyone's darling, Ptzuim BaRosh, is tentatively slotted for "early 2015", which makes me think they ran into some production issues with that one.

But just. Can has the cop show with mermaids already please?

OTW Fannews: Founded on Fanworks

Sep. 17th, 2014 10:08 am
otw_staff: Kiri, OTW Communications Co-Chair (Kiri)
[personal profile] otw_staff in [community profile] otw_news
image by Robyn of James Madison, fourth president of the US
Why can fanfic work better than OCs? James Madison knew & might approve of more content being DRM-free.
[syndicated profile] tanehisicoates_feed

Posted by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Hi all. Thanks for joining in on this collective read of Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow. The conversation will take place in comments below. You can tackle any angle as long as you've done the reading. That last part bears some emphasis--This conversation is for people who are reading The New Jim Crow. If you haven't done the reading for the week, please refrain from commenting. Please respect the space of people who've actually put in the hours.

I'd like to start off the discussion with some brief thoughts on Chapter 1 and the Introduction. I can't remember a book that's brought more attention to a particular societal injustice in recent years than The New Jim Crow. This is a credit to the intellectual courage of Michelle Alexander. Alexander is direct and frank about the influence of white supremacy in our history and in our society, and refuses to hem and haw in the name of an empty "moderation." I suspect its that direct and frank approach that has attracted so many readers to her case. Should any sanity enter our sentencing laws over the next few years, some portion of the credit will likely belong to The New Jim Crow.

Activists and writers have long argued that there are "racist elements" or "racist injustices" embedded in our current crisis of mass incarceration. Alexander would have us push this claim much further, arguing that mass incarceration is "a stunningly comprehensive and well-disguised system of racialized social control that functions in a manner strikingly similar to Jim Crow." She disarms the popular notion that it is somehow wrong to discuss a modern Jim Crow in the age of Barack Obama, noting that the "No other country in the world imprisons so many of its racial or ethnic minorities. The United States imprisons a a larger percentage of its black population then South Africa did at the height of apartheid." In Alexander's rendering Jim Crow didn't die, so much as it mutated.

The trickiness of white supremacy is a major theme in the first chapter. Alexander pulls from the current Morganite historical consensus, which holds that there was nothing particular in the way that Africans looked or acted that necessitated race-war. On the contrary, racism was created by a series of policies meant to achieve particular ends. In Alexander's view, those ends were continued profits for the nascent American planter class:

Deliberately and strategically, the planter class extended special privileges to poor whites in an effort to drive a wedge between them and black slaves. White settlers were allowed greater access to Native American lands, white servants were allowed to police slaves through slave patrols and militias, and barriers were created so that free labor would not be placed in competition with slave labor. These measures effectively eliminated the risk of future alliances between black slaves and poor whites. Poor whites suddenly had a direct, personal stake in the existence of a race-based system of slavery. Their own plight had not improved by much, but at least they were not slaves. Once the planter elite split the labor force, poor whites responded to the logic of their situation and sought ways to expand their racially privileged position.

This theme continues through much of Alexander's first chapter--just when it seems that poor whites and blacks are about to unite, a powerful interest bribes poor whites with skin privilege and the grand alliance is sundered. So it was after Bacon's rebellion. So it was after Reconstruction. So it was after the populist movement. And so it was after the Civil Rights movement. In each case, Alexander finds an interest cleaving poor and working whites away. The New Jim Crow is only the latest machination.

Alexander sees the first rumblings of this in the Nixon presidency:

H.R. Haldeman, one of Nixon’s key advisers, recalls that Nixon himself deliberately pursued a Southern, racial strategy: “He [President Nixon] emphasized that you have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks. The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to.”  Similarly, John Ehrlichman, special counsel to the president, explained the Nixon administration’s campaign strategy of 1968 in this way: “We’ll go after the racists.” In Ehrlichman’s view, “that subliminal appeal to the anti-black voter was always present in Nixon’s statements and speeches.”

Crime, Alexander argues, was one of the key issues Republicans used to send that "subliminal appeal." But the usage of crime did not end with Republicans. It quickly spread to Democrats. And thus we behold Bill Clinton endorsing "three strikes and you're out" laws, funding a massive prison buildup, and promoting a "One Strike and You're Out initiative" that "made it easier for federally assisted public housing projects to exclude anyone with a criminal history."

And yet despite claims of shrinking government and kicking the poor off the dole, mass incarceration effectively meant a new sprawling bureaucracy. Prisons, it turns out, are expensive. "The reality is that the government was not reducing the amount of money devoted to management of the urban poor," writes Alexander. "It was radically altering what the funds would be used for. The dramatic shift toward punitiveness resulted in a massive reallocation for public resources. By 1996, the penal budge doubled the amount that had been allocated to AFDC or food stamps."

There's a lot to like in these first two chapters. Connecting mass incarceration to the larger story of white supremacy is important work. As is moving from abstract terms like "mass incarceration" to actual actors and actual policies.  Ensuring that  progressives remember the damage done by one of their modern presidents is equally important. I am in broad sympathy with Alexander's basic thesis--that caste did not disappear from America in 1968.

But I was also somewhat frustrated by a few (perhaps minor) historical problems.  Alexander claims that the Emancipation Proclamation did not free any slaves. In fact the Emancipation Proclamation immediately freed thousands of slaves in rebellious states under Union control.  ("Never before had so large a number of slaves been declared free," writes historian Eric Foner.) Later Alexander uses Daniel Patrick Moynihan's report "The Case For National Action" as an example of a new consensus that sought to ignore structural racism and indict black culture. It's true that conservatives used the Moynihan report for those purposes, but I don't think Alexander's rendering is as nuanced as could be. Unlike most conservatives, Moynihan was never confused about the root causes of black poverty:

That the Negro American has survived at all is extraordinary -- a lesser people might simply have died out, as indeed others have. That the Negro community has not only survived, but in this political generation has entered national affairs as a moderate, humane, and constructive national force is the highest testament to the healing powers of the democratic ideal and the creative vitality of the Negro people. But it may not be supposed that the Negro American community has not paid a fearful price for the incredible mistreatment to which it has been subjected over the past three centuries.

Moynihan believed that part of that price was "culture." I obviously disagree with this, but I think it's important to fairly represent the debate. Moreover Moynihan, unlike most conservatives, did not think the answer to the "tangle of pathologies" was to wag one's finger at black people. Moynihan believed in full employment--"government as the employer of last resort." He authored Lyndon Johnson's famous address at Howard University--arguably the best speech ever given by an American president on racism and white supremacy.

Peter Christian-Anger gets it right here:

Scholars have shown that the 1950s nuclear family was an outlier in history, not the rule. But Americans shaped by the postwar "cult of domesticity" did not know that, and it is important to note that Moynihan was not ringing the alarm as a social conservative. He believed that poverty was concentrated among large families, white and black, and that these conditions were leading to break-up and potential social dysfunction. Years of research have confirmed his suspicion: break-up can indeed be a trigger for poverty, although it is most often a correlate, not a cause. More typically, as he suggested, the relationship is the other way around: Money problems exacerbate the difficulties of marriage and child rearing. Conservatives have often reversed this part of his message, or ignored it.

Perhaps More importantly, I am less than convinced by Alexander's rendition of white supremacy as a means of cleaving poor whites away from blacks. My view on this is that white supremacy is an interest in and of itself. It's not clear to me where the politics ends and the bribe begins.  I generally think that the Left tells itself this story in order to evade the political complications of dealing with white supremacy as a sensible, if deeply immoral, choice as opposed to a con played on gullible white people.

Maybe in the final analysis none of this matters. And I think the broad outlines of Alexander's thesis is correct and evidenced by data. But I found her rendition of history to be a little too pat and would have liked to see her push a bit more on the finer points.

This article was originally published at http://www.theatlantic.com/personal/archive/2014/09/books-for-the-horde-the-new-jim-crow-chapter-one/380350/

Need pain holiday!

Sep. 17th, 2014 09:25 am
badgerbag: (Default)
[personal profile] badgerbag
My injection site/bad leg are truly hideous the last few days. I powered through the weekend on tramadols (about 3 per day plus codeine at night, and i had coffee 3 days in a row on vacation) Now down to only painkiller at night and tylenol in day but today I need to kick that up a few notches. I just want to lie on ice packs/heating pads and writhe around. God.

Lots of meetings today. I would like just a little cup of caffeinated tea....

ah, home.

Sep. 17th, 2014 08:35 am
blueraccoon: (optimist turkey)
[personal profile] blueraccoon
I've missed a few days of positivity due to traveling and vacation, so I'll do today and tomorrow and then I think I'm done. Today's positive things are all about being HOME:

1. Morgan and I had a good flight home. Boring, but good. I paid for wi-fi on my phone, which if I'd been thinking I would have done on my laptop but whatever. The seats were bigger than our flight out, almost comfortable, and we were in an exit row so we had plenty of leg room.

2. The Buddy boy is home with us, where he belongs. He looks good, his coat is super soft because they gave him a bath, and everyone at the pet country club loved him and told us how amazing and sweet and well behaved he was. Just, you know, don't ask how much we paid for his week. (When the woman told us the total, she said "And your second mortgage is...") But because he liked it and had a good time, we made our reservation for Thanksgiving already. (Now we have to make our own reservations for that week and figure out what we're doing.)

3. Our house is super clean and neat due to L the Amazing, who spent a lot of time here while we were gone and man, it shows. We can't find a few things, but that's par for the course. But it's good to come home to a clean house.

Tired this morning, but hopefully the tea and the Nuvigil will kick in soon.


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