[personal profile] jazzyjj
I'm back with another book review. Today I'm reviewing "Electro Shock!: Ground Breakers of Synth Music," written by Greg Rule. I downloaded this one in audio from the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, and the narrator did a wonderful job. I really enjoy music of all genres, and thought I'd give this book a listen. I'm so glad I did.





The book is basically a survey of keyboard music by different groups. Musician interviews are included too. The only down side for me was that there were no songs included on the recording. But I was nevertheless captivated by all that these musicians had to say about their respective music and about music in general.
tim: "System Status: Degraded" (degraded)
[personal profile] tim
It's a popular thing to say that abortion is a complicated issue, or a moral gray area, or that there's room for lots of different opinions on it because it's so nuanced. It's popular in general to take this kind of mealymouthed non-position, because it makes you sound thoughtful without requiring any moral effort or stamina.

When it comes to reproductive rights, even liberals are likely to hesitate, to cite bioethics, or to say that abortion is a necessary evil. They're likely to say that it should be safe, legal and rare.

But here's the thing about abortion: the only way you could possibly have doubts as to whether everyone should have completely unfettered access to it is if you're either uncertain about bodily autonomy as a right everybody has, or if you're uncertain about whether it's something people other than cis men should have.

I don't think anyone is really uncertain about bodily autonomy. At least for cis men, we're generally in agreement that one of the rights that all human beings have is to not have any other person in their body without consent.

One of the times when we decide to suspend personhood is when somebody is imprisoned. The widespread acceptability of prison rape jokes shows that the one situation when we consider suspending bodily autonomy okay is when we think somebody deserves to be punished.

So there are really only two reasons for thinking abortion is a moral gray area:
  • You don't think women are really people.
  • You think women should be punished for having sex.

Of course, cis men don't get punished for having sex with other consenting adults, because having sex with other consenting adults is something that human adults get to do. So it comes down to whether or not you're sure women are really people.

(While the effect of forced pregnancy is that everyone with a uterus, including cis women and trans men like me, as well as genderqueer people who have uteruses, the intent behind the pro-forced-pregnancy movement is to control women and punish them for existing as sexual beings. We need to be aware of both effects and intent here.)

Are you sure that women are people? Then surely you believe that nobody has a right to be in a woman's body without her consent.

Do you think that having sex grants implicit consent to pregnancy? Then you don't really think women are people, because we're all fine with men having consensual sex and don't, as a rule, believe they waive any of their basic human rights by doing so. Thinking women waive their bodily autonomy by choosing to have sex really just amounts to treating pregnancy as a punishment for sex.

I'm assuming that people who have doubts about abortion believe that fetuses and embryos are people. If they don't think that, then I really don't know what they're on about (although there is plenty of evidence they don't really think that -- ask a pro-forced-pregnancy person whether they favor punishing somebody who has an abortion in the same way that people who commit murder are punished.) Believing that fetuses are people poses no threat to my believe in the fundamental right to an abortion. Like all people, fetuses have no right to be in any other person's body without that person's consent.[*]

And yet, in 2016, I still live in a country where people considered liberal, progressive, in favor of civil liberties, and so on can still say abortion is a moral gray area with a straight face. I still live in a country where even liberals, even people who support personal freedom, haven't made up their mind about whether women are people.

[*] In answer to the question, raised elsewhere, of what we say if we believe fetuses are people and recognize that they didn't consent to be in the body of their gestational parent: I'd say three things to that. First, the concept that you have the right to self-defense isn't too controversial. You can come up with plenty of reasons why an adult person who is posing a threat to you might not be a totally free agent, but ultimately, your right to defend your body against invasion by them is considered sacrosanct. Second, fetuses don't have the ability to defend themselves, and I'm happy to defer that particular what-if to the time when that changes. And third, being in a situation you didn't consent to doesn't generally confer the right to use somebody else's body -- for example, if you would die without a kidney transplant, and if you didn't consent to have kidney failure, that still doesn't give you the right to force someone to donate their kidney to you if they don't want to.
[personal profile] jazzyjj
Howdy folks! I'm back with my 3rd book review. This time, it's a poetry book. The book I'm reviewing this evening is "The Collected Poems of Maya Angelou." I read Angelou's book "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" back in high school and loved it. Fast-forward to when Bill Clinton first got elected President. It was then that I heard a lovely poem written and narrated by Maya Angelou. I guess I'm showing my true political colors, lol! Actually I was never that much into politics, and nowadays I pretty much dislike it altogether given the nasty shit that's been going on in the world. But back to the book. Then a couple years ago I saw that one of her poetry books was available in audio from the Library of Congress, so I jumped at the chance.





I'm glad I read the book. I like poetry, and these poems were no exception. Ms. Angelou definitely has a gift for writing, and a wonderful voice. The narrator did a nice job. She even did the same accent. So if you are a Maya Angelou fan and haven't read this book, it is definitely one you'll want to put on your reading list. I for one am so glad I did. I'm not going to bother summarizing these poems, because Angelou pretty much covered a wide array of topics in this collection. I hope to find "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" in audio, and re-read that one too.

commute notes

Jul. 18th, 2016 08:46 pm
grrlpup: (rose)
[personal profile] grrlpup

hopscotch numbered from the top with tiny hopscotch beside it

I am pretty sure I’ve never seen a hopscotch grid numbered from the top. I kept trying to make sense of it after I had walked past, and ended up walking around the block to look again.

I have, however, seen a tiny hopscotch marked “for cats,” and I wonder if that’s what the smaller one is here. I can’t quite read the numbers.

———————————————————-

orange racks ready for Biketown bikes

Portland’s Biketown (because co-sponsored by Nike) bikes arrive tomorrow! The racks have been in place for a week or so– people happily started locking their regular bikes up at them, and then the city sent out some grumpy tweets and added the CAUTION tape.

This rack is just outside my office, so I’ll try a ride down by the river on my lunch break sometime soon. I admit, I don’t really understand the customer base for bikeshare. Commuters would want their own bikes, right? Some tourists will use them, in good weather, if they’re not afraid of sharing the road with cars downtown. Maybe close-in bar hopping after the bus stops running? I guess we’ll find out.

This post also appears at read write run repeat. Comments read and welcomed in either place!

[Linkspam] Monday, July 18

Jul. 18th, 2016 03:59 pm
tim: A bright orange fish. (fish)
[personal profile] tim
An open letter to the author of the "I'm a closeted trans woman and I'm not coming out" essay, by Katelyn Burns (2016-07-13). "How many times will a closeted trans person read your essay and convince themselves again that not transitioning is the correct move?"

Not your feminist dream girl, by Raquel Rosario Sanchez (2016-07-13). "Like men, women are multifaceted people who can simultaneously support terrible policies and empowering ones. They are political candidates whose personal and political lives may make us cringe at points and cry with emotion at others. Feminists have pushed for more strong, complex, imperfect female characters on TV and in film, in order to get away from the one-dimensional women we are usually presented with in media. In Hillary, we have an influential woman who is just that: she is not the easy-to-figure out stereotype we expect women to be."

Invisible Talent, by Kaya Thomas (2016-07-14). On the frustrations of being a Black female computer science major and being told by an industry desperate to pretend its cultural failure is a "pipeline problem" that you don't exist.

Evidence, by feministkilljoys (2016-07-12). "My proposition is simple: that the evidence we have of racism and sexism is deemed insufficient because of racism and sexism." Long, meaty article about the function of demands for evidence of racism and sexism.

"The Best Time I Pretended I Hadn’t Heard of Slavoj Žižek", by Rosa Lyster (2016-07-14):
My advice is intended only for special occasions. It is for when you have an itch to scratch, and that itch is called, “a puerile desire to get on other people’s nerves.” All you do is stonily deny any knowledge of a person or cultural touchstone that you should, by virtue of your other cultural reference points, be aware of. These will of course be different for everyone, but my favorites include:

Žižek, John Updike, MORRISSEY (only for experts), Radiohead, Twin Peaks, David Lynch in general, Banksy (only for streetfighters), Withnail and I, Bauhaus (movement), Bauhaus (band), Afrika Burn, the expression “garbage person,” A Clockwork Orange, Steampunk (this one is really good), Jack Kerouac, “Gilmore Girls,” Woody Allen, the expression “grammar nerd,” the expression “grammar Nazi,” cocktails, bongs, magical realism, millennials, Cards Against Humanity, trance parties, bunting, many comedians, William Gibson, burlesque, the Beats, The God Delusion, sloths, anarchism, Joy Division, CrossFit, “The Mighty Boosh,” and Fight Club.


A White Male Led Revolution Against American Inequality, You Say?, by D Frederick Sparks (2016-05-22). "This blind spot, not being able to see these things because they don’t have to, is why I find it highly unlikely that white male left progressives are going to be the ones who identify and anoint the messianic figure in American politics who will lead the revolution against inequality. And if I had to wager, I wouldn’t put my money on said messianic figure being a privileged white male from the Northeast. I’d put my money on a black woman from the south or a Latina from the Southwest, someone who on an ontological and inter-sectional level understands the various power paradigms that contribute to unfairness in this country and can competently speak to and address all of them, and not just get fixated on one."

Dissociation is scary. Dissociation is safety, by Sarah Gailey for the Boston Globe (2016-05-08). CW: firsthand discussion of having PTSD and being triggered. This article describes what it's like for one person to have PTSD -- it's only somewhat close to my own experience, and if it isn't like this for you then you shouldn't assume it means you don't have PTSD, but more stories are always useful.

Martin Luther King’s hate mail eerily resembles criticism of the Black Lives Matter movement, by David Matthews (2015-08-18). Title says it all.

Plot bunny

Jul. 18th, 2016 12:57 pm
brainwane: several colorful scribbles in the vague shape of a jellyfish (jellyfish)
[personal profile] brainwane
The Ghostbusters crew gets called in to visit the main New York Public Library building (the Schwarzman Building, with the stone lion statues out front) ... because weird happenings are afoot at the new Hamilton exhibit.
erika: (Default)
[personal profile] erika
HERE I AM IN CALIFORNIA.

So excite, very anxiety, much broke; job offer waits for background check to strike.

too much to write about so here are some links to things I made:

GOFUNDME --
true story, ok:
I did not want to have to do this but I am completely effing broke and my peeps were all like "you can ask for money it's ok" and I was like "NO! as an Iowan, I live by grit and my stubborn jaw, with MAYBE some corn syrup for gas" but now I'm in California so I'm trying to fit in by having NO SHAME.

photos from my trip driving from Iowa to California via TOO MANY MILES

------

People in my life have gotten incredibly worried when I talk about not having stable housing. Look, loves, I'm not downplaying your concerns in the slightest. Me? I pretty much only get scared by irrationality: heights, jump scares, enclosed places I can't leave, and the murky waters of emotional lotus-fertilizer.

Trust, I know my sense of fear is fucked up, but based on experience, the average stranger is a lot less likely to assault me than someone I date. Statistics bear this out, people, it's not just my shitty choices!

Ghostbusters

Jul. 17th, 2016 11:05 pm
brainwane: several colorful scribbles in the vague shape of a jellyfish (jellyfish)
[personal profile] brainwane
I just saw it tonight with friends.

It's like Magic Mike XXL, in that a big reason I saw it is that internet feminists urged me to do so. Also in that there's enjoyable beefcake for straight women, in the form of Chris Hemsworth (stay through the credits).

Also there's Kate McKinnon.










I enjoyed this movie so much. My face nearly hurt from smiling as I walked out. It's so fun. I welcome links to interesting reviews and responses!

Hamilton Things

Jul. 16th, 2016 02:35 pm
owlectomy: A squashed panda sewing a squashed panda (Default)
[personal profile] owlectomy
(1) We saw Daveed Diggs's last show!

The rest is under a cut )
[personal profile] jazzyjj
Hello everyone. This is a review of a concert recording that I listened to. This will be a bit short but I trust that you will enjoy reading my review of the concert, just as much as I've enjoyed bringing it to you.





This was a concert featuring jazz pianist Bess Bonnier, whom I hadn't heard of before but I like a variety of music so I downloaded and listened to this one. The concert was actually performed back on May 18 of 2006, but it was archived and digitized for everybody's listening pleasure. I hadn't heard many of the pieces which Bess Bonnier performed, but it was an excellent concert. I'm happy to report that the sound quality was in no way diminished either. Judging from the sound of the applause, I could tell that a lot of people were in attendance and that they all enjoyed themselves very much.





Prior to the concert, a few remarks were given by National Federation of the Blind President Emeritus Dr. Marc Maurer. I must admit I'm not a huge fan of the NFB. They have done some good things here and there, but I generally have found myself in disagreement with their views. That said, Dr. Maurer's remarks were very honest and sincere.

Neoreaction a Basilisk

Jul. 14th, 2016 07:25 pm
owlectomy: A squashed panda sewing a squashed panda (Default)
[personal profile] owlectomy
I got the ebook for Neoreaction a Basilisk by Phil Sandifer because I backed the Kickstarter; the book should be widely released next year.

This is kind of a weird book. It's a book of philosophy-as-horror that takes as its organizing principle the internet "rationalist" movement, and the neoreactionary and alt-right movements, and the ways in which they intersect; but it loops out to consider Thomas Ligotti, China Mieville, Franz Fanon, Paradise Lost, Hannibal, and especially William Blake.

As a work of philosophy, it is unusual in that it is thoughtful, accessible, and well-written. Having read a couple of the "Philosophy and [Arbitrary popular mass-media product]" books, I have to say that it's refreshing for a writer to take Arbitrary Popular Mass-Media Product seriously in a way that doesn't seem like a condescending "Hey, kids! What does Hannibal have to teach us about [Arbitrary Philosophy 101 Topic]?" - and it's maybe still more refreshing that the book deliberately turns away from the impulse to tie things up neatly, arguing (correctly, I think) that rationality needs empathy and imagination if it's to get beyond a small and circumscribed vision of the world, and stepping away from the bounds of what we can logic out necessarily means embracing uncertainty.

I'm not sure how much appeal the book would have for somebody who didn't have at least a little bit of train-wreck-curiosity about the main topics of the book, and if you do have a little bit of train-wreck-curiosity you probably already backed this guy's kickstarter. But I am really glad I read it.

(And it pointed me to China Mieville's essay on social sadism, which I must now track down.)

N.B: Sandifer is also the author of Guided by the Beauty of Their Weapons, on Theodore Beale and the recent Hugo debacle. I recommend it as well.

Throwback Thursday: Runway Walk

Jul. 14th, 2016 10:33 am
grrlpup: (rose)
[personal profile] grrlpup

illustration of style show from A Dream For Addie

I surprised sanguinity this morning with a skill from my past– a practiced runway walk, complete with stop, pivot, and graceful gestures at features of my clothing as they are described by the narrator (who was also me).

I learned it in 4-H, because we had a fashion show every year to show off the clothes we sewed, knitted, and crocheted.

Granted, mine is the smiley midwestern version, more A Dream For Addie than Project Runway. But then, I was modeling a Rick-Rack Rhapsody navy-blue t-shirt from JCPenney. Frump Power!

This post also appears at read write run repeat. Comments read and welcomed in either place!

Casual narcissism

Jul. 13th, 2016 09:38 pm
tim: "System Status: Degraded" (degraded)
[personal profile] tim
[CW: Brief discussion of rape]

Alice: "You stepped on my foot! Ow!"

Bob: "It hurts my feelings when you say I hurt you by stepping on your foot. I'm a good person, and you're attacking me."

I hope we all agree that in this interaction, Bob is wrong. He's treating Alice as if she said that he stepped on her foot for the sole purpose of hurting him -- as if all her actions revolve around him, erasing her desire and need to protect herself.

But what about this interaction?

Carol: "Hey, guys, does anybody know the phone number for CVS?"

Eve: "Not all of us in the group you're addressing are guys. It would help if you used gender-neutral language."

Carol: "Stop attacking me! I'm not some kind of sexist asshole, and anyway, 'guys' is gender-neutral."

In this interaction, as in the first one, Carol is being narcissistic. She is treating Eve as if all of Eve's actions center around Carol: as if anything that Eve does that has the effect of hurting Carol must be done with the sole purpose of hurting Carol. Carol can't conceive that Eve might be asking Carol to use gender-neutral language because Eve doesn't like being misgendered (or because Eve doesn't mind, but knows other people in the group who aren't guys don't like it). She can't conceive that something might hurt her feelings, but not be done in order to hurt her feelings. So Carol changes the subject from Eve's feelings of hurt (or desire to protect others) at the misgendering use of "guys" to her own feelings of narcissistic injury over having her behavior corrected.

Now how about this example?

Faith: "I think you should know that Oscar is a rapist."

Grace: "I hate call-out culture so much. You're just trying to ruin Oscar's reputation. It's so mean of you to try to exile him from the community."

Grace's response reflects a similar misconception (perhaps accidental, perhaps deliberate): she hears Faith's damaging statement about Oscar, and she assumes that Faith only said it in order to harm Oscar. Perhaps Faith wishes Oscar no harm, but also wants to protect her friends from being raped. To keep her friends safe, it's necessary for her to say something that reflects poorly on Oscar. Grace assumes that because Faith says something negative about her friend Oscar that she's only doing it to hurt Oscar. Again, it's apparently inconceivable to her that Faith might value Oscar's well-being, but not enough to put her friends in danger by keeping quiet about Oscar's behavior of raping people.

When someone says you did something hurtful and you change the subject to how you're actually a good person, how your interlocutor doesn't really know you, and how you feel attacked, you're behaving like a narcissist. And you're committing a logical error: the assumption that nobody would act in a way that's disadvantageous to you unless they did it in order to hurt you. (This is also true when the person you're defending is a friend rather than yourself -- in that case you're still defending yourself, since you're attempting to protect yourself from the pain of having to admit someone you like and trust did something wrong.)

Reading Wednesday

Jul. 13th, 2016 09:01 pm
grrlpup: (rose)
[personal profile] grrlpup

Off and on this year I’ve been reading malt-shop YA that I get via interlibrary loan– Anne Emery’s set of four about the Burnaby girls, and last week, to commemorate Lois Duncan, her first novel Debutante Hill. I love the malt-shops, but their worlds are relentlessly white and after awhile I was longing for books from the same period about black girls.

The closest I came up with was Brenda Wilkinson’s Ludell, published in 1975 but set in 1950s Georgia where Wilkinson grew up. Ludell would be categorized now as middle grade, and its sequel, Ludell and Willie, as YA. I’m still waiting for the third one, Ludell’s New York Time. 

The first two have all the back-then vocabulary and detail that I love about old kidlit. This is before school lunch programs, so the teachers sell boiled hot dogs and candy and soda at lunchtime. Blue jeans as girls’ fashion are a brand new thing and the grown-ups disapprove. The jukebox at the after-football dance is called a “piccolo.”

The dialect is stronger than in most books now, and it took me a few pages for my associations with old racist books like the Bobbsey Twins to fade away. I like “nem” for “and them.” And you know how everyone’s always yelling and shouting in Harriet the Spy and The Long Secret? These books are like that too! I mean, I think Ludell is especially loud, like Harriet is. But in both cases, it’s almost everyone, not just the main girl.

Checking dates on Goodreads just now, I see that there are several reviewers of Ludell who say it’s the first book that made them like reading. I heart Ludell. (And Ludell and Willie are a sweet couple.) I will be starting a Wikipedia article about Brenda Wilkinson, in case anyone has favorite articles or links about her.

 

This post also appears at read write run repeat. Comments read and welcomed in either place!

Page generated Jul. 26th, 2016 09:43 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios