Saturday, October 13, 2012

This month in the Slacktiverse

Note that because the large period of time between the last update and this one, there's probably going to be more submissions per person than usual.

The Blogaround

TRiG writes: Here's what I've posted to my blogs in the past while:
The thoughts expressed in "
Burning Kittens Is Wrong" will be familiar to anyone who reads Fred Clark's blog Slacktivist, as my post is mainly a summary of and a riff on a couple of his more famous posts. (Content note: mentions, though not in detail, horrific animal abuse)

In "
Who Wrote the Book of Genesis?", I publish a non-scholarly essay laying out in simple language the basic evidence for the JEPD documentary hypothesis about the authorship of the first three books of the Bible. (This was not written by me; it was written by Ron Maimon under an open licence which allowed me to republish it. I found it interesting, so I did.)

How did Túrin's sword speak?" is a question about an event in The Silmarillion. I suggest my own answer, but I also welcome dispute or alternative suggestions from others. This post, too, owes something to Fred Clark, though not by any direct route.

For some light relief, "
Something is happening to my petit pan au chocolate" merely juxtaposes two music videos which amused me.

I quote another interesting essay by Ron Maimon in "
Abram and Sarai made a mistake, twice". This one presents the hypothesis that a story which is told three times, with minor variations, in the Torah, is actually derived from Indian tales. (Content note: Biblical incest.)

And finally, in "
Christiascam", I mention an interesting scam I happened to notice on Facebook.

clevernamepending writes: I've got [some] of my own posts I'd like to suggest:
The first one is a post I did about
yelling at girls from cars and why it is a toxic thing.

The second one is about
the language around consent(
I will be talking about rape, I will be talking about consent, I will be talking about all sorts of issues that float around it, and I'm not sure how qualified I am to be talking about these things, so, be warned.)

I've got one on why
opening up restaurants isn't all happy sunshine .

And one on
bisexuality .

Ian Perez wrote:
An Open Letter to ABC Family, where I express my disappointment with a particular channel's continuous return to the "high school-aged teen crushes on, and begin, a romance with an adult authority figure" romance well. (Content Note: Disability, Consent)

"Sword and Sorcery" and Derailing, in which I argue that narratives that don't involve rape are essential, even if those narratives that do use it do so in a way that isn't problematic. (Content Note: Rape and Rape Culture, Privilege, Sexism)

Coleslaw wrote:
I leave for a trip to London and this is where you run off to? Fortunately, I caught up enough on chores to read the comments at the old Slacktiverse site.

So, my postings since September 15. There are several dealing with my trip to London, starting with Home at Last. From there we have Oh, Happy Day, about my misadventures once I got home, and All My ChildrenJet Lag Heading EastThe Eye of London Is Upon You, and Chinatown, Shopping and the Aquarium, all pretty straightforward "we went here, then we went there" accounts with pictures. Starts With "C" is not about Romney dissing Sesame Street, but about an import from the USA into British cuisine. I still have more to write about the London trip, but everyday life keeps happening. It's Not a Bad Little Coffee Cup, Really, is about a retirees convention we attended, and In the Loop is my review of the movie Looper. I also made a visit to one of the few Green visitors' centers in the country, which is impressive considering what we usually recycle around here is mid-19th century sentiments.

Ana Mardoll wrote:
Twilight: Pride and Prejudice
(Content Note: Marginalization, "Reverse Racism")
If Twilight is a story about racism, it's a fundamentally lop-sided narrative, with a white woman falling in love with a white man, with them being opposed and literally attacked by animalistic dark people, and with those dark people needing to be brought to see -- ultimately by the sheer force of their werewolf gods, who are presumably in charge of the imprinting pairings -- that the white people they've been hating all their lives are actually mostly peachy folks.

Twilight: Sustaining Stereotypes
(Content Note: Manipulation, Stereotyping of Women and Native Americans)
As a character choice, as one character in one novel, it's not such a bad thing. It's realistic for a teenager to reject their heritage and it's realistic that in a novel about vampires and werewolves, that teenager may end up being tragically wrong. But as a trend, Jacob fits a little too easily into the notion of a young native boy refusing to conform to the traditions of his tribe and being smacked down by the universe in response.

Narnia: Honor Before Efficacy
(Content Note: Bullying, Violence)
There are hundreds -- maybe thousands -- of Narnians all over Narnia, and right now whether they live or die past today depends on whether a little boy from England can manage to kill a grown warrior who has him wounded and on the defensive. So naturally, the Right and Moral thing to do is to make sure the genocidal tyrant has the best possible chance to win as Peter can possibly give him.

This month, Storiteller wrapped up the summer season in her garden, cooked a lot, and rode her bike less than she would have liked.  In Rain, Rain Don't Go Away, she describes her reasons and process of installing a rain barrel.  Inspired by her husband's comment that the recipe was "easy," she struggles to make an apple tartin in Most Complicated Caramel Apples Ever.  Because two comic book conventions were keeping her off of her bike (both of which allowed her to hang out with Froborr!), she wrote about the portrayal of cycling in comics in Sequential Art in Motion. With another uptick in discussions around mandatory helmet laws and the issues surrounding wearing bike helmets, Storiteller explains why she chooses to wear one in To Wear or Not to Wear a Helmet. She talks about the substantial yield from her pepper plant and provides a vegetarian chili recipe in Picking a Peck of Peppers.  Having logged very few miles in the saddle this summer, she realized she misses her bicycle and describes I got a fever, and the only prescription is... After visiting her parents in upstate New York, she contemplates the fundamental differences in city layout and friendliness to bicycling between her current city and her hometown in In the suburbs I learned to drive and you told me we'd never survive. Lastly, she fondly remembers apple picking over the fall and includes a recipe to use all of those many apples in Apple of My Eye.

Francis wrote:
Some Things are Inappropriate in Churches
On Pussy Riot and what they were actually doing with the Punk Prayer (in honour of the appeal)
Healthcare: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness
On how to run a healthcare service, why the British one is massively more efficient than the American one, and what the British government is doing to try to "fix" this.
Deconstruction: The Parable of the Prodigal Son 
Because every story tells more stories than the one intended.

chris the cynic writes: It probably doesn't seem it from my output this passed month, but most of what I do is writing fiction fragments that reimagine other works, usually Twilight and Left Behind.  I did some of that, making a Snarky Twilight episode covering the transition from chapter 10 to chapter 11, two episodes of Edith and Ben (another Twilight re-imagining) in which Ben and Jackie talk in the kitchen and fail to make it to the living room.  I even had two episodes of Skewed Slightly to the Left, a Left Behind re-imagining, covering the bomb dropping on Chicago and the immediate aftermath.  But most of my output this month was just plain random with some political and depression related stuff thrown in.

First off, due to a facebook meme, Bella from Snarky Twilight was drafted onto my zombie apocalypse team.  I had a post in which she points out that love is what you do, not how you feel.  And two posts trying to work an earlier prompt based post into the larger zombie apocalypse scheme of things so that the sequence is now: Traveling back to right what shouldn't go wrong, the old post, Why we can't go back.  As opposed to before when the old post was just this thing hanging out there.

On the depression front I talked about being faced with sadness whose source you can't identify and being afraid that if you look for the source you'll find so many reasons to be sad you'll be overcome. (Content Note: Depression, obviously.)  And then talked about the fact that, now that my depression may have been dealt with, I still have to face a life that's more than a bit of a downer. (Content Note: Depression described in detail, as well as family and financial problems.) And three other posts related to the topic but I feel like I'm writing too much already so we'll move on to the next topic.

On the political front I wrote about the situation with marriage equality in my state, why down ticket races matter if you want the choice to be between good and bad rather than meh and bad, the absurdity of "Pulpit Freedom Sunday" and why the churches that participated should lose the tax exemption they bore false witness to get, and I created Team Big Bird merchandise because apparently one presidential candidate thinks more of Wall Street than Big Bird's street.

And on the just plain random front I said non-monchromatic fashion lines shouldn't be named after colors, invented Team slogans for God, Eris, and assorted Left Behind and Twilight characters, discussed the reasoning behind different methods of translation, shared before, during  and after pictures of shaving off my beard, made note of my blog turning one year old, posted images of fallen leaves glazed in rain, asked for programming help with something I want to do in gimp, told anyone who cared to listen that I want stamps in order to carry out a silly and wasteful childhood dream, gave advice to people shouting at pedestrians from moving cars (Content Note: Profanity), and pointed out a fun bit of an interview with Mark Hamill.

Like I said, usually there's more fiction fragments and less random.

In case you missed this

There are cis women with facial hair. This particular cis woman with facial hair is awesome.  She also did the impossible: using nothing but a calm reasoned explanation of her views she got someone who was being a jerk on the internet to stop being a jerk and apologize. (Content Note: Gender policing. [Which was magnificently overcome])

TRiG writes: The Northern Ireland Assembly narrowly failed to pass a motion in favour of marriage equality.

Things you can do 

All Out, an organization working toward the spread of LGBT rights on a global scale, writes, "MTV is a proud sponsor of 'Testosterona', a blog that promotes violence targeted at women, gay men and trans people in Brazil. Tell them to drop it NOW."  Testosterona is based in Brazil, and thousands of All Out members in Brazil have already spoken up.  All Out now wishes to deliver a petition to MTV's president next week.  You can find that petition here. (Content Note: Testosterona contains misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, and instructions on how to rape.)

--Co-authored by the Slacktiverse Community


  1. And good god I could listen to you forever.

    Not right now though. Tired. Need sleep. Shall read some of these tomorrow.



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