Thursday, August 17, 2017

Collection

The surprisingly interesting history of the Slinky. Enslinkyment for all!

It is a curious truth that, when I hear the words "General Lee", they are words to me, more than a name - well, or they are the name of a car. Not of the man himself. (Take a look at the proportions, here, of car versus portrait for an understanding.) History distorts in this way all the time, perhaps most often at the hands of those with the intention to distort it. Still. Critical thinking is still possible - even if unpopular. Indeed, it may be our redemption.

The Atlantic has a canny and very wide-ranging/in-depth look at the deterioration of rationalism. Being American now means we can believe anything we want. In the opening paragraphs, there is an unfortunate tendency to sneer upon religion, but if you stick with the read, the historical points here are intriguing beyond ... well, belief. Caveat: there are some problems here. The religious flogging, of course. The statement (by a white male Boomer) that "by the 80s, Civil Rights seemed like a done deal." (That whole paragraph had me cackling/dismayed, and he restates the supposed reality of racial and gender equality in his conclusions.) Some of his statistics seem unsupportable by their mere lack of measurability ("Fewer than half of all Americans inhabit fact-based reality"). He makes more than one beautifully irrational statement in defending rationality, is what I am saying. Still, the background and organization and arguments overall touch on a LOT of things I have thought of saying myself, and never put forth this way.

"A profound interruption of the world as we know it" ... and I, for one, can't wait to see it! Who else is an eclipse nerd? Make with the clicky for some very beautiful artwork, and neato solar eclipse facts, especially about the animal world.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

the thing he loves

May I say ... something?


Oh it did annoy me when they called me Little Nell.

But when I told Chuckie he mustn’t—when he stopped, I found I missed it. Gruff old Chuck. And only I got to call him Chuckie. My duckie, my fellow. And just after I turnt twenty-one, he called me Missus, and I confided to him the secret, I had liked to be *his* Little Nell. He allowed then he would be my Chuckie.

Chuck had all the flattering words for me until we married, but the garrison must be obeyed, and once he'd dipped me and done me, he was off ... and I sighed relief.

My pain I could not feel.

I never let it be heard. But Charles. He frightened me. No idea the tiger I had gripped by its tail. And when his tail was limp, it was his fists grew hard. When he found he could not be hot, then he grew cold, and Regent's Park—a place *I* never saw—made itself my refuge.

He loved me little, but long enough to make me his claim to shame.

It was a lucky thing; perhaps still thinking me their Little one, mum and da opened up and let me come home. We called me Glendell.

But the claim. Twas a noose on me.

Would I have worn it without a sigh? Had I known?

Did we play only the roles playwritten for us, or was my life—was Chuckie's—such a dark disgrace? Perchance he found the honor in it, and maybe just as well. The Wilde might have meant that was redemption.

Where lies the collateral? To Chuckie's—to Charles'—propitiation?

What is the measure of his death to mine?

A ballad. And eleven inches. More than the tiger's tail.


***


He must have thought I might actually come. Summoned to Regent's Park, where I had not been permitted to darken the doorways an they called me Mrs. Woolridge, I sent instead the letter asking him to 

Beat my face and snap your fingers, thinking I will come for more? Not so long as there is a bolt-hole, and I will bolt under a labor of moles, if it is safe from your visitation.

Those men. They did not wish him married in the first place, and they encouraged his dissent against me in the second—she has been untrue, she is posting more than the mail, old boy—and in the third, my neck and a razor.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Collection

It is depressing how adamantly attached a certain type of person is to the idea that people of color never existed before the 1960s, except as slaves in America. Even Egypt is subject to the most bewildering whitewashing. And yet, here we are - arguing about a black person in a children's cartoon set in ancient Rome. Good Lord.

This post was begun before Saturday. I've taken out of it a more lighthearted link. These two will stand alone.




If we refuse to engage in the patient and difficult work of reconciliation ... If we sell away those with whom we disagree, what do we lose?

I love you, Mary. Thank you.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Collection

Mmmmmmmm! Palimpsest joy. Taking us back to the sixth century, no less. Speaking as an historical novelist writing in that period (indeed, the place and the people involved in Justinian's law itself), and having struggled with the dearth of contemporary primary resources: YAY!

Also, Palimpsest Joy would make a great name either for a band ... or maybe a porn star.

Oh, hey - speaking of pornography. I was having a "hmm" about how to frame this next link, but that may do nicely ... The Caustic Cover Critic has a good laugh for anyone who wants to see book covers NOT featuring that magical body part that might make Palimpsest Joy such a big star. It's technically SFW, but click at your discretion. But do click. The CCC is always worth it!

Another BOO from the cultural zeitgeist: hey, it's perfectly okay to ask female politicians discriminatory questions which are literally illegal in, say, the context of a job interview. (Prepare for the phrase "deliberately barren" to exist well past the 19th century, because it does.) Sigh.