Some People Think It's Okay

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11/7/11 05:04 pm

I don't use this blog anymore, but have mixed feelings about actually taking it down. I tumble, food-tumble, and tweet. You can find more about me on my website.

10/21/10 02:41 pm - Foot-dragging or internet time?

So, last night, in an elation over Moon-disinvitation, I tweeted this:

Happy for news, but it remains that a racism 101 fail should never have taken this long to be resolved within a "progressive" community.

Kristin replied:

There were two different meetings and a lot of behind the scenes work involving a fairly large and diverse group.

And Nalo replied:

Given due process in committee/community work & the necessity to not act unilaterally, I'd say this was a speedy response.

I responded in a perhaps obscene five different tweets, to the effect that

a. Wiscon does have an intentionally slow and deliberative decision-making process, so it's true that speediness should not be a built-in expectation

b. I did wonder if some of my impatience was built into the fact that the debate I was aware of was taking place on the internet, while the debate over Moon's actual disinvitation was taking place in the real world

c. Despite a & b, I was disappointed that there was even a question, let alone a month-long debate, over whether someone who posted a diatribe against Muslims and then shut down debate on her blog should be honored at a convention representing itself as feminist and progressive. 

d. And the fact that there was a debate suggests to me that Wiscon has a great deal of work to do on the subject of becoming truly progressive.

This resulted in an unweildy twitter debate, which is near-impossible to re-create here.  For now, it can be read here.  (Readers of the far future, this is merely a search of my twitter name, so this will probably be buried).  It came down to the sticky issue of how an institution should respond to this kind of scandal, and how quickly, and what principles should be discarded/put at risk in that response.

I left the debate feeling I was wrong for framing my comments as impatience.  I'm not on the concom, and plenty of people who are/were displayed staggering amounts of patience in order to set things right.  But I remain saddened and angry that this decision was not a no-brainer, and that the fact that there had to be a debate in real-time meant that the internet-time damage to Wiscon's reputation was immeasurably more than just 39 day's worth.  I am GLAD everyone who spoke out did.  It was absolutely the right thing to do.  It rested on the comcon, and especially the troika, to fix this.  Yes, asking for a "quick fix" is problematic, especially in an institution that values consensus and debate.  But, perhaps nievely, I assumed that Moon's comments fell under the sway of certain core values that I expected Wiscon to uphold, without debate, as a group.

My co-tweeters -- have I left anything out?  Is there something to add?  Please do join in.

8/10/10 12:35 pm - Don't get around much anymore

So, my blogging resolutions went the way of almost all blogging resolutions: never materialized.  But I am doing a decent amount of both tweeting and tumbling, so that's a good place to find me at the moment.  Maybe someday there will actually be a website!  Not quite ready to let go of LJ, because, hey, lots of good people on here who I read, and who knows when you might need an angsty friends-locked post.  But I'm guessing I won't be doing a great deal of blogging 'round these parts, which, um, is already the case.  Just making it official.

5/10/10 08:37 pm - Second Half of "WE HEART VAMPIRES!!!!!!!"

Up at Strange Horizons!

5/3/10 11:01 am - New Story!

The first half of my story WE HEART VAMPIRES!!!!!! is up at Strange Horizons.  Big thanks to Syc Hill '08, and of course to the lovely _stranger_here . 

5/2/10 07:09 pm - Pony up!

Hey.  Remember how we had a betting pool?  OK so I totally do.  I kept not putting together the final post -- my latest plan involved getting Jenn to write it with me when I visited last weekend.  But I forgot to do that.  So, anyway.  Do y'all still have your ballots?  Here's the scoring system: 1 point for correct opening round guess, 2 points for Quarterfinals, 3 points for the Semifinals, 4 points for Zombie round, 5 points for a correct Zombie Round book pick, and 6 for picking the winner.  Post your scores if you've got 'em.  And, if you're like me and your co-workers threw out your ballot after they lost to you in the separate office pool, then resign yourself to sending a delicacy to someone almost as deserving.

Check out the final results here or in previous entries on this here blog.  You better check in, or I will hunt you down.

4/5/10 12:14 pm - TOB Betting Pool: the conclusion!

Okay, so the tournament has ended, and we have a winner: Wolf Hall!  Did anyone guess that?  Anyone?!

The final few brackets:

Book of Night Women v. Wolf Hall --- winner Wolf Hall

Let the Great World Spin v. The Lacuna --- winner The Lacuna

Zombie Round!

Miles from Nowhere v. The Lacuna --- winner The Lacuna

Fever Chart v. Wolf Hall -- winner Wolf Hall


The Lacuna v. Wolf Hall -- winner Wolf Hall

All right everybody, ante up!  My bracket is at work (my coworkers and I had a separate pool, I hope they didnt' throw it out, hmmmm) so I will put my tally tomorrow.  For the moment, just count every correct answer as one point?  Um?  The GF and I never figured out a point system.  Do we need a point system?  Weigh in in comments!

3/29/10 05:08 pm - I read some David Foster Wallace

So like a month ago I promised some substantive posts!  Here is one on a topic I mentioned.

wayiseeitbarry leant me two David Foster Wallace books a few months back, and I read A Supposedly Fun Thing almost immediately.  I always expected to dislike, or at best mildly tolerate DFW, I think because everyone talks about the footnotes and misrepresents postmodernism when discussing him.  The first time I encountered his work was when I visited an upper level english class at Williams on crutches as a prefrosh (long story).  They were discussing A Supposedly Fun Thing (the essay).  So I associated him with humiliation and being not quite sure what was going on and a college my mom wanted me to go to even though it appeared to be full of preppy people and horrible portents like sprained ankles.  

A Supposedly Fun Thing... (the book) is awesome.  No one really mentions that dude didn't just have style, he had a voice.  It was suddenly clear to me where a whole bunch of people were getting their nonfiction tricks from, everything from breaking machines and products down into absurd specifics to the neurotic, risk-averse, queasy narrator.  For all the supposed distancing, his work has a warmth and humor about it, too, and I liked the tension between those two things.

The other thing that was striking was that the early to mid 90s are, really, truly, another era, with their own concerns.  I mean, obviously this is true, but we haven't really codified them yet, the way the 80's so thoroughly have been.   When I was reading his essay on television, I kept thinking "Whoa, remember when everyone was really worried about television?"  The internet's ascendancy means that television's evil has slid into obscurity.  It's also striking that many of his complaints about TV could equally be lobbed at the internet -- I can't decide if that means internet hysteria is bullshit, or if it's a mo money mo problems kinda setup.  I fear it's the latter.  Seriously, every time I go back to the internet after hiatus, I feel queasy, like I'm eating food my body doesn't like.  But, oh, I go back.

My favorite essay was actually the one about the state fair, because I love the weirdness of state fairs.  The first essay about his minor magic math tennis powers annoyed the crap out of me, and I skimmed the second one about tennis.  Somehow, someday I will get into sports writing.  I played a lot of sports.  But that day has not yet come.  The big famous essay, A Supposedly Fun Thing, was indeed pretty great, but I knew too much about it to love it the way I loved the (very similar) state fair.  I mostly liked the images of DFW hiding out in his room eating fruit and worrying about his toilet.  Airplane toilets scare me so much I have to close the cover before I flush, lest it suck me down.  The stuff about infantilization was brilliant, too, though it didn't really line up with my experience on the one time I went on a cruise.  I experienced this constant anxiety of trying not to spend money, even though around every turn the ship wanted me to spend more money, and I was trapped on the ship.  

I was kicking myself for not reading him when he was still alive, which is admittedly a kind of weird feeling.  But I think I was sad not to have experienced that specific thrill of reading a book you hands-down love, and knowing that there is someone out there who will write even more.  I have Consider the Lobster, too, which I will read soon.  But in general, when I read an author I like I tend to hoard their books rather than tear through them, and in this case it will be especially hard not to do.

3/25/10 10:08 pm - TOB day: later on

And we have two more winners for you

Wolf Hall v. Anthologist -- Winner Wolf Hall

Why?  Because "It’s a big, awesome book with a big, awesome plot," a sentence which may have pushed me over the edge into wanting to read it.

Big Machine v. Book of Night Women -- winner Book of Night Women

Why?  "The narrative voice rises up from the page and in a frenzy demands attention. Devotion."  Most definitely want to read this one, even if it is fucking my bracket.

Now we will be going into the Semi-Finals, which will be Let The Great World Spin v. Lacuna and Wolf Hall v. Book of Night Women.  Despite the fact that this contest is super literary-hipstery, I always forget that the literary hipster books actually drop off pretty quick in favor of big meaty literary books.  Younger writers just starting out, falling to people in their prime?  A craving for lots of plot and character that everyone forgets about when they go back to normal reading?  That plot and character looking like more "work" and therefore more worthy? 

So, yeah, my bracket is only kinda awesome.  But c'mon Let the Great World!  You can do it!

3/23/10 09:32 pm - TOB betting pool: day something or other!

OK, I apologize for my long hiatus.  The GF was in town and everything was a fuzzy blur of sunshine and candy and then she left and I return to the cold succor of the internet.  Here is the rundown since my last post far:

Wolf Hall v. Logicomix --- winner Wolf Hall
Everything Ravages v. The Anthologist -- winner The Anthologist
A Gate at the Stairs v. Book of Night Women -- winner Book of Night Women
Big Machine v. Year of the Flood -- winner Big Machine


Let the Great World Spin v. The Help -- winner Let The Great World Spin
Lacuna v. Burnt Shadows
-- winner The Lacuna

Which brings us to today!  I think my bracket is doing okay?  I haven't actually checked.  Soon I will check.  But in the meantime -- how is everybody doing?
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