This is about her writing. And these are her writing: about the House Un-American Activity Committee -- and the search for "dangerous Communists" in Hollywood in the 1950s, and this is her walk-along interview with Ernest Hemingway, including his peculiar style of speaking without articles. And this is a NYTimes review of the book she wrote about her 50-year affair with her editor, who had died but whose wife was still alive. Well, you can't please everyone.
The neo-Nazis who look forward to concentration camps and Hitler on the money.
An examination of change in William Morris's The Wood Beyond the World.
Two kinds of wilderness, in Ireland.
This is weird and dangerous: government agencies suing people who file Freedom of Information Act requests for information they don't want made public.
Kremlin mouthpieces are attacking "emotional" Morgan Freeman for telling the truth in his video on Russia and Putin's KGB past. Methinks they doth protest too much.
All the Sinclair Broadcasting tv stations are being required to show Trumpist propaganda.
Ibram Kendi, a scholar of racism, says that education and love are not the answer to racism. Dismantling discriminatory politics is.
The Jesuits are returning 525 acres given to them in the 1880s to the Rosebud Sioux tribe.
West Africa's most daring designer.
Hillary looks back in anger.
2. Recently my Dreamwidth pages have stopped defaulting to https, which means sometimes I get a log-in screen instead of the post, and if I get the post, I'm not logged in. I have HTTPS Everywhere for FireFox, and the Dreamwidth HTTPS beta option turned on. What is happening?
It may have started when FireFox updated last, or it might be part of my general computer woes, idk.
Over the weekend I read Sarah Gailey's novella River of Teeth, an alt-US-history Western with hippos, which I've seen mentioned around the place. It spent a lot of time on character introductions, and the ending felt rather TBC, and I'm not sure I'll read the next one. I think I would have preferred a stand-alone novel to what felt like the first instalment in a longer story, or perhaps I'm just not in the mood for Americana (though it reminded me enough of Richard Brautigan's The Hawkline Monster that I dug that out and may read it sometime soon).
In the meantime, I've started Moon Over Soho, the second Rivers of London book. I read the first some years ago (when I bought my Kindle and went back to occasionally consuming things other than fanfic) and found it too gruesome for my fluffy-fanfic-reading palette, but I've been encouraged to persevere. Not gripped yet, but it's early days.
I just finished Another Oh Hae Young, like, in the last half hour.
Huh. It started promisingly. I liked the convoluted set-up and was intrigued to see how they were going to get Do Kyung out of the enormous hole he'd dug himself into, but in the end... they didn't really bother. ( Rambling. Spoilers. ) Also, overall, this might be the drama I've watched with the highest alcohol consumption and the worst communication (and that's really saying something, on both counts!). Not one I'll be rewatching or would particularly recommend.
I haven't planned what I'll solo-watch next, but I think it'll be something very different.
Pru and I finished Moonlight Drawn by Clouds yesterday, and next week we're starting Mystery Queen, a Sherlock Holmes AU where Sherlock is a housewife.
J and I have one more week (three episodes) of Goblin to go, and then I suspect it's a Hong sisters drama, either My Girl (which I haven't seen) or Master's Sun (which I have).
My teacher and I are still in the middle of Chief Kim.
Parks & Recreation season 5.
We watched Rogue One over the weekend. I think I enjoyed it more this time, having read some fanfic.
Not a word.
Election this weekend. My sister and I nearly went and advance voted yesterday lunchtime, but during the trudge up Featherston St to the polling place, I talked myself out of it on the grounds that if I vote on Saturday, if the outcome initially seems close or unfavourable, I can tell myself they haven't counted my vote yet and it will make all the difference. /dork
Also, I was supposed to go sign-waving this morning (and got up early specially), but the other person cancelled and then the forecasted rain arrived, so I finished Another Oh Hae Young instead.
I am trying SO HARD not to get unhealthily invested in the election outcome; I can't afford to get sick over this. *crosses all my fingers and toes, while still trying to maintain emotional detachment, ha*
If you live in a Democratic state you can help.
.....if you live in a state with two Democratic Senators who support the ACA, you may be asking yourself: what more can I do? How can I influence persuadable Republicans in red states who may be on the fence?
Well, we have an answer! We’re bringing back the blue state/red state calling tool from the last healthcare fight.
Here’s how it works:
Sign up below to make phone calls from our peer-to-peer dialing tool. You’ll get an email confirmation with a login, password, and URL to sign into our system. Once signed in, you can start making calls immediately—and we’ll give you a script to make it as easy as possible!
Next, you’ll call a voter in a key state with a swing Republican Senator. These folks are your friends—they attended the Women’s March, they’re standing up to #DefendDACA, and/or fight for progressive causes.
You explain how they have power now. You’ll remind them why the continued fight against TrumpCare is so important—and why they have particular power in this moment.
You ask them to use their power. You’ll ask them to call their senator in opposition to the bill, and to share their own reasons for opposing it.
The tool connects them to their Senator’s office. The call tool will allow you to automatically patch them through to the Senators’ district offices.
It’s super easy: more than 1,000 Indivisibles in blue states made 100,000 phone calls to constituents in our target states in the final two days before the healthcare vote in July. And we won. We can win this time, too.
Tags:not a reblog, activism, PDWCrosspost2, save us
Tumblr post (this is likely a reblog, and may have more pictures over there)
Should you have to give up your privacy and personal info to recycle a printer cartridge?
Reinterpreting the opening line of Beowulf.
The Free Telegraph is a Republican propaganda farm. It is not a news source.
For some US military recruits, the fast track to citizenship is cut off.
Hippo Birdie Two Ewe, Sandra Boynton!
The Great 78 Project digitally archives ancient recordings -- and you get free access. And more about this project, which I think is absolutely great. I wonder if they have a copy of the Pablo Casals concert that is on 78s in my basement?
Journalism books you won't find in your syllabus.
Resistance alone is not enough for women's rights.
Doonesbury had it right 41 years ago.
For example, second paragraph:
Just ask college students. A fifth of undergrads now say it’s acceptable to use physical force to silence a speaker who makes “offensive and hurtful statements.”
A fifth of undergrads? No. A fifth of the 1500 undergrad students they surveyed. That's 300 or so.
Villasenor conducted a nationwide survey of 1,500 undergraduate students at four-year colleges.
Nationwide? There are far more than 1,500 four-year colleges (for those of you not American, the word includes universities). How were the colleges chosen? How were the students chosen? How many were chosen at each university? How many overall were from the same discipline? There's no way to know. We don't even know if he chose accredited schools, or those pay-for-a-degree places. Did they ask at Ivy League schools, the majority of whose students come from well-off families? Did they ask at places like City College of New York, where the tuition is much lower and people who are there are from a variety of backgrounds, not wealthy? Ag and tech colleges, out in the countryside, or only urban colleges?
Further down it says the margin of error is 2-6 percent, "depending on the group." Oh, really? Which group is 2% and which is 6%? We aren't told. It appears we are to be grateful that a margin of error was even mentioned.
The whole thing is supposed to be about undergrads' understanding of First Amendment-protected free speech. Since we are not told the exact wording of the questions asked, it's impossible to know if the responses were appropriate to them, or if the questions were leading the students to a specific response.
And then there's this:
Let’s say a public university hosts a “very controversial speaker,” one “known for making offensive and hurtful statements.” Would it be acceptable for a student group to disrupt the speech “by loudly and repeatedly shouting so that the audience cannot hear the speaker”?
Astonishingly, half said that snuffing out upsetting speech — rather than, presumably, rebutting or even ignoring it — would be appropriate. Democrats were more likely than Republicans to find this response acceptable (62 percent to 39 percent), and men were more likely than women (57 percent to 47 percent). Even so, sizable shares of all groups agreed.
It gets even worse.
Respondents were also asked if it would be acceptable for a student group to use violence to prevent that same controversial speaker from talking. Here, 19 percent said yes....
Let's look more closely, ignoring the editorializing sentence for the moment. Half of who? Half of 1500 people is 750 people, scattered across the US. And then again -- 19% of who? Everyone? Women? Men? Democrats? Republicans? We aren't told.
Meanwhile, the entire other side of this survey is ignored. By stressing the minority and ignoring the majority, the minority's views are inflated and made more important. Let me turn this around for you: more than 80% of undergrads say that violence is not acceptable in dealing with an unwanted speaker. Try turning around all the other numbers, and the story falls apart. Instead of "students" substitute "students surveyed", and it also falls to pieces. Who cares what 1500 people out of 200 million think? If we don't know why those 1500 were specifically chosen, why should we care?
I have worked with surveys, written surveys, conducted and analyzed surveys. It is possible to have a statistically perfect survey with 1500 people surveyed, but only if the respondents are very carefully selected to avoid bias. There is no way to tell if that was done with the evidence given in this story. For all we know, those respondents could have been selected from the same departments or majors at all the colleges. The colleges could have been technical schools or enormous state universities or religion-affiliated schools. There is no way to know. Why does this matter? Liberal arts, political science and pre-law students are more likely to have read about the First Amendment than optics majors or engineers, for instance. I'm not saying the optics majors or engineers would be more conservative or liberal -- but they are less likely to have discussed free speech in a class. Improper choice of respondents can provide very slanted results -- for example, the survey that said Dewey would win over Truman was conducted by telephone, and the calls went to houses on the corners of two streets; this meant that people who were wealthier (because corner houses pay higher taxes, based on road frontage) were questioned, while their less wealthy neighbors (who voted for Truman) were ignored.
Also, by not including any context relative to current events, there is no way to know if the small percentage who thought violence was acceptable was the same as during the Vietnam War, for instance, or Desert Storm. I guarantee you, it was not the same percentage as during the Revolutionary War, when those who spoke against any prevailing view to an audience who disagreed would have been lucky to have been ridden out of town on a rail, if not tarred and feathered. (Feel free to do the research if you wish; be sure you have a strong stomach for the details of what happens when boiling tar is applied to skin.)
What it all comes down to is this: this story is written poorly by someone who does not understand how statistics should be used, and was not properly edited. It was published in order to scare people, although the publisher may not have realized its propaganda value. By not including the whole story, and by allowing editorializing in the middle of it, it slants the results.
This would not have been published during the time when Kay Graham was publisher. Editor Ben Bradlee would not have let this story pass. He would have told the reporter to rewrite it, clean it up, and get more depth into it.
And the reason I am writing this is that this is not the only paper that misleads with statistics, and you need to be aware of this, and of what to look for when someone is quoting a study, badly, misleadingly, in a way that bids fair to be used for propaganda. Be cautious and critical when you see numbers and statistics, and look for whether the writing is made personal/editorialized. It matters.
I also forgot to mention some of the TV I've been watching during recovery. There were some shows everyone told me required absolute attention, which is not often how I watch TV these days, so I kept saving them for when I'd have time to really watch.
The Expanse was the first one, and I can see why people like it (I've only seen the first season since it's free streaming on Amazon; I'm not gonna pay 20 bucks for the second season, though), but it suffered from the same thing that pretty much all SF and fantasy suffers from that I really, really hate: it's still largely a show about men, with one or two roles for "strong" women, who are stuck representing all of our gender. One woman on a spaceship with all guys, one woman in politics surrounded by all guys…I'm just so fucking weary. And the small supporting female roles are all defined by their relationships to men--the police captain or whatever she was, the other woman, both defined by their relationships to creepy skeevy Thomas Jane, Juliette Mao by defying her father, by the men she's dealt with in the past. Maybe the second season is better, I have to hope so. I like the worldbuilding, but this hundreds of years in the future and women are still barely in the story; I have no more patience for stories where we're writing alternate worlds that suffer from the exact same myopic shit we have now.
belmanoir watched GLOW with me, I think we saw the first three, maybe four, episodes? I liked it, but I have to agree with a lot of what I saw in complaints about the show--Ruth is a terribly unlikeable person to hang your show on from the beginning. Not being likeable isn't inherently bad, there are great shows with horrible characters at the center, but she doesn't have a strong enough character to make you want to follow her on the path to redemption the way a lot of those stories do--when you have an unlikeable protagonist, you really have to beef up a lot of the other things to make them compelling. The other problem we both had was that they're spending way, way too much time on the men and not enough on the secondary female characters. Especially the wrestling dynasty girl, I want to see way, way more of her, and I don't give a fuck about the men. It's a huge mistake to spend so much time on the skeevy director guy or Piz the producer, especially in a story about these women. The '80s stuff is hilarious, though, and I love the soundtrack and I'm interested to watch more, I just hate knowing that they're going to keep spending so much time on the guys.
I've seen the first few episodes of Sens8, and I'm baffled by why people love this so passionately. But I'm hoping it gets better as it goes along; as it is right now, the only character I care about is the Mexican actor and his boyfriend, but that's not a lot of screen time. I mean I get that people like it because it's one of the few shows with main storylines of gay and lesbian and trans people, and I can definitely understand that, plus there's the international stories instead of it being yet another subset of white America, but…nothing's sparking with me so far and some of the stories are so over the top ridiculously unbelievable and stupid that I'm gnashing my teeth--but I'll stick it out at least through the first season to see if it gets better.
I watched all of the first season of Bojack Horseman and…wow, was that fucking depressing. It's billed as a comedy, of course, but I never laughed once, not even at all the fun it pokes at Hollywoodd or the guest voices or anything. It's just so goddamn bleak. It took me a while to get past the bizarro concept (the style of the world, with animals being partly humanistic and partly animalistic, and vice versa, is something that creeps me out beyond words), but I really wanted to embrace the show because I know a lot of people who love it so much, but I didn't expect it to make me wish I'd never woken up after surgery. I sometimes feel like that's all that's left of the future, this sort of miserable existence where you're just wasting time till you die, and the show made me feel that x1,000. So thanks, show, for making my already suicidal tendencies even more pronounced.
I'm self soothing by watching the first three series of The Great British Bake Off, which they won't show here for inexplicable reasons (on PBS and Netflix, season 1 is actually season 5, and season 2 is season 4, which just…why). It was interesting to see how the show evolved. I was kind of disturbed by one contestant because she was so clearly an abused woman, she showed every behavior I ever saw working at the shelter years ago--either abused by a husband or possibly a parent farther back, but since there was no husband in any of the home segments or the finale and her children said some really telling things, I'm betting it was an ex-husband. Good on her for participating, though, but it made me really uncomfortable many times because I kept wondering if the producers realized how it was coming across on screen. Still, it's fun to go back and see some of the things I've heard about in the show but never saw, and the show honestly, even when you're tense for the people you want to win, is so pleasant.