"As I hear all the tawdry details of Jenner's story, I am also re-reading 'How Sex Changed' by Joanne Meyerowitz. [...] In it, Meyerowitz discusses the reactions to Christine Jorgensen's coming out in the 1950s, and how both her tale and many others who came out shortly thereafter, were steeped in the same sort of salaciousness as the promotions for Jenner's autobiography.
"Upon reflection, I realize, too, that every transgender person - and not just the Jorgensens and Jenners - face this same sort of thing. When you are trans, the standards of privacy are thrown out the window. We are expected to share our most intimate details to anyone we come across.
"Without exception, any time I was interviewed in any depth, I found myself asked about my name prior to my transition, or for photos of myself from my youth, or for details of any surgeries I may have undertaken. It really didn't matter if any of that would be relevant to the story: my disclosure was simply expected.
"The same standard is not expected of non-transgender people. Maiden names and other such things are considered private enough to be used as security features with banks and other institutions. Non-transgender strangers don't expect details of another's hysterectomies or vasectomies unless they happen to be medical professionals. So many things are naturally considered one's own private business.
"The minute one divulges one is transgender, however, all bets are off. What's more, to make an issue about such questions is to risk being panned as deceptive."
-- Gwendolyn Ann Smith, 2017-04-27
Now I'm waiting for a new radiator and a new alternator. Those fixes will cost me almost as much as the car originally did (and I still haven't even *begun* to pay off the friend who lent me the money to buy it). I guess it's still cheaper than trying to buy yet another car. But I can obviously cancel any hope I have of getting anywhere near the path of totality next Monday.
Ah, well, at least I made it home before the car conked out. I have AAA Plus for 100 miles of free towing, but Pennsic is 300 or so miles from my residence, so I would have had to pay $800 for towing it back to my part of Greenbelt.
And what is it about my Pennsic attendance and violence? Three years ago, the last time I went to Pennsic, we had the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. This year I drove home to greet the news of the white-supremacist rally and ensuing deaths in Charlottesville, Virginia. What is it with me and Pennsic and violence in the streets? Or is this just a sad coincidence? Certainly I deplore the alt-right white-supremacist neo-Nazi crap.
So, anyone want the clean version? Maybe you've got a Kesha-adoring tween, but can't quite bear the idea of them listening to her singing "I'm a motherfucking woman!"? If so, I can hook a MFW up; reply and it's yours.
My primary and ongoing problem has been social aversion. Right now I have 3 potential new recruits – Michael, David, and Autumn – and the upside from each of them is substantial. Glorying in that upside and figuring out how to cause it to occur is good and useful, and I should get to that. Longer-term, I need to figure out and execute a systemic approach for dealing with the social aversion. I met Michael through JwJ, Autumn through CSB, and David through a lot of mutual groups. Going to groups is obviously good, and going to more and a larger assortment of groups would be better. But just *going* is insufficient.
At both JwJ and CSB, I’ve been there several years and put in substantial effort, and the payoff of meeting these people has no obvious and direct correlation with what I’ve been doing. And if I fish for unobvious indirect correlations, I can correlate anything with anything else. Building new imagination filters is not on this morning’s agenda.
And now it’s 10:16am, and I’ve gotten the morning medical routine done and the airing-out tent in the driveway folded and put away, and not much else. I think this is at least in part due to the emotional consequences of the antibiotics – one of the side effects of Keflex is that it kills off beneficial intestinal flora, and it’s hard to concentrate on other things when one has to pay such attention to “when is the next time I need to sprint to the bathroom?” I call this an “emotional” consequence because that’s what it feels like – it’s not simply the physical discomfort of constant belly-rumbles, but a feeling of apprehension. At least it’s working; the infection on my leg isn’t *gone*, but it is much reduced. And I take my last Keflex tomorrow morning.
I’ve invited Autumn to the Gearcon meeting tonight, and suggested to David that we meet Wednesday morning for coffee. I’ve been a bit too enthusiastic towards Michael, and have sent him a short email apologizing for that and asking him to contact me when he’s ready. And I guess I’m spending the rest of the morning listening to my belly.
The most memorable part of the movie for me was when Jessica finally meets her playwright idol, Sarah Jones, at a writing camp she takes her students to. And she gets a chance to ask Sarah something she's clearly been thinking about for a long time. (The following is paraphrased.)
Jessica: "How did you know when you'd made it?"
Sarah: "When they send me the memo, I'll let you know."
Jessica: "But you won a Tony!"
Sarah: "Yeah, that and $2.50 will get me on the Metro."
Jessica: "So you're saying that even if I win the most prestigious award there is, I'm still going to question what I'm doing."
Sarah: "Look. You like theater?"
Jessica: "I love theater. It's everything."
Sarah: "And you're doing theater, right?"
Sarah: "There's really not more to it than that."
--"The Incredible Jessica James"
From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2016-12-01:
"This generally has been called the "hate election" because everyone professed to hate both candidates. It turned out to be the hate election because, and let's not mince words, of the hatefulness of the electorate. In the years to come, we will brace for the violence, the anger, the racism, the misogyny, the xenophobia, the nativism, the white sense of grievance that will undoubtedly be unleashed now that we have destroyed the values that have bound us. We all knew these hatreds lurked under the thinnest veneer of civility. That civility finally is gone.
"We all knew these hatreds lurked under the thinnest veneer of civility. That civility finally is gone. In its absence, we may realize just how imperative that politesse was. It is the way we managed to coexist.
"If there is a single sentence that characterizes the election, it is this: "He says the things I'm thinking." That may be what is so terrifying. Who knew that so many tens of millions of white Americans were thinking unconscionable things about their fellow Americans? Who knew that tens of millions of white men felt so emasculated by women and challenged by minorities? Who knew that after years of seeming progress on race and gender, tens of millions of white Americans lived in seething resentment, waiting for a demagogue to arrive who would legitimize their worst selves and channel them into political power? Perhaps we had been living in a fool's paradise. Now we aren't."
-- Neal Gabler, in his essay Farewell, America.
(submitted to the mailing list by Mike Krawchuk)
Mark: What's my best advice for someone who wants to follow their dreams? Follow your dreams! ...Don't worry so much about the format. If you like to write, write. Don't try to write a book, or a script, just write. Dreams are small things that only become big things if you don't exercise them.
Fan: What's your inspiration for your music?
Mark: You really want to know? It's the telling of stories. All art: music, writing, art, is about connection. Like when I look at you and you smile. It's the audience. Otherwise you're just making music in your bedroom and what's the point of that?
Fan: If you could change one thing about your character's history, what would it be?
Misha: One thing about Castiel's history? His... past? Because it's been pretty shitty. He's always trying to do the right thing--and he tries really hard! That's like an anchor of his character. But when he tries to do the right thing, it invariably leads to creating catastrophe for everyone. So... not meeting Dean, I guess? Head the whole thing off at the pass. But I'll give you a better answer: when Cas got all pop culture references downloaded into his brain. Before that he was innocent. He was just like a fish out of water at all times. But now he understands things. That Metatron really screwed things up.
Fan: If there were a genderbent episode of Supernatural, who would you want to play you?
Misha: First off, every episode of Supernatural is genderbent. If we were doing a genderbending episode of Supernatural, who would play me? Probably Jensen.
1) Don't. Nobody has ever taken a photograph of an eclipse that looks like an eclipse. You won't either.
2) Don't. Don't spend time photographing which you could spend watching. It's only 2 minutes.
I looked over a 20 year old photo album from my childhood, and discovered that the nature shots were relatively boring while the shots of my family from 20 years ago were fascinating. Thus, I've endeavored to get myself into a lot more vacation photos.
Here's an old idea: The earth is probably very rare in the sense that the moon is exactly 400 times smaller than the sun, but also exactly 400 times closer. So the one exactly covers the other (yes, the earth and the moon both travel on elliptical orbits, not circular, and sometimes the moon is "too far" and you get an annular eclipse). Nevertheless, the earth may be the only planet for many hundreds of light years which experiences the total solar eclipse as we know it. So some visitors may travel far... very far... to come to earth and observe this rare cosmic coincidence. Look around you during the eclipse... and notice if there is anything strange about some of the "tourists."
"Intimacy is that state in which, as Malamud Smith wrote, 'people relax their public front either physically or emotionally or, occasionally, both... [One] comes as close as one is capable of, or as close as one feels permitted, to revealing oneself to another person.'
"Intimacy has to be voluntary. It can't be forced, presumed, or automated, and as such, it runs counter to the logic of conventional surveillance, which enrolls us before and regardless of whether we're aware or consent.
"Surveillance culture, therefore, is fundamentally inhumane: as Dr. Hortense Spillers recently said, losing the ability to choose connection is a paradigmatic sign that one is not free."
-- Keisha E. McKenzie, 2017-03-07