Saturday, December 03, 2016

White Moderates

Yesterday, I wrote about a hate-group putting up vile posters on our campus.

Other people on campus also wrote about this, several of them on their FB pages. On several of these pages, people got comments about how “we” should just ignore these posters. Some said we should ignore them because we had better things to do; others claimed it was their free speech right to put up the posters.

One person, though, defended those who put up these posters.

He said that we needed to understand that "most" people who felt this way (the way those who posted these racist posters did) were "every-day, hard-working" people who were just frustrated with the way things have been going in America -- the disrespect shown toward the military and the police, and toward "our" religious institutions.

Frankly, this attitude strikes me as worse than open racism. Note what this person is saying. First, he implies that anyone who condemns racism and hate is not hardworking -- perhaps it's only the elite, or those on welfare who would think racism is wrong?

Second, he claims that racism and bigotry are a proper response to police protests. He ignores any possibility that those protesting against the police might have just cause.

Finally, the point about disrespect toward "our" religious institutions, given that one of the posters is an attack on Islam, is especially vile.

These posters are openly racist, they are openly bigoted, they are a clear evil that we can understand and condemn. 

This comment -- and his other comments, which were equally troubling -- are more dangerous. They are like the Southern moderates of the 1950s, who didn't put on the Klan costumes, who didn't beat up black men and women and children in the streets, or lynch them, but who very civilly argued against passing laws, or making changes, or doing anything at all to stop those who did, because after all those people in the white hoods, they had their point of view too, didn't they.

Open racism and open bigotry will not be the problem over the next four years. Moderates and appeasement politics, those who just want to be devil’s advocates, those will be our downfall.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Trump's America

So this happened on my campus.

This got posted on the building where my new office will be:

Teaching Students Grammar -- Useful Y/N?

Over at Bardiac's place she wrote a post about strawmanning -- the ridiculous perceptions of what professors do and how we teach (or ought to teach).

In my comment there, I kind of went off on a tangent, orthogonal to Bardiac's original point. That tangent is one I'd like to take up here.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Packing to Move

So plant operations has finally sent me my packing boxes. I am packing my books and files, preliminary to the moving guys showing up, next Thursday, to move me to my new office, over in the fancy new building.

Well, newer building.

Meanwhile, I certainly have a lot of books. And more art on the wall than I would have guessed.

I don't think I'm going to have nearly enough boxes, y'all.

ETA: Man, I shoulda wished for money. No sooner did I hit post than the plant operations guys showed up with 15 more boxes!

ETTAA: Man, do I have a lot of books.

Small Sliver of Good News

A payment came through yesterday for some writing I did.

I love getting paid for writing.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Not The WORST Thing, but Still...

I used to semi-enjoy reading conservative blogs, for pretty much the same reason I was almost an anthropology major, and probably for the same reason I read and write science fiction. I like walking in other people's shoes. I like to be able, just for a bit and even if it's only slightly, to understand the worlds of people who are not me.

This election, though, has ruined that pleasure for me. Homo sum, said Terence, and therefore, humani nihil a me alienum puto. This is what I believe as well.

But sadly, conservative blogs are now gulping down the Trump Kool-Aid in two-liter sized go-cups. As much as I would like to continue to read and try to understand them, right now at least, there's nothing to understand. They're all repeating the same lies and fake news stories, while howling with hysterical hatred about those evil liberals (baby-killers, flag-burners, ballot-stuffers, and traitors).

Having read one (actually, I've read about fifty) of these post-truth screeds, I find I don't need to read another.

More than one Trump supporter has told me they voted for Trump because America was "so divided (with the implication that Obama/progressives caused this terrible division) and that "we" had to bring the country together again.

Somehow I don't think the foaming wrath of the alt.right is our path to that.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

New post up at Cooking with delagar

The kid and I have been making banana bread about twice a week for the past months. "Have you put this recipe up on Cooking with delagar?" she asked.

"Well, no," I said.

"Why not?"

Why not indeed.

Excellent Banana Bread

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Here We Are, Thankful America

All over the internet, people are posting "Why I'm Thankful" posts, though some are also posting, "Holy Hell 2016!" posts.

I'm leaning more toward the latter, frankly, what with our country being occupied by alt.right Nazis and White Supremacist plutocrats, but I fight to maintain a certain zen. Or at least to hang onto non-panic by my fingernails.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Review of To Shape the Dark

Oh, look! My review of To Shape the Dark, a wonderful new anthology edited by Athena Andreadis, is live today, over at Strange Horizons.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Hilarious New World

So we've elected a whiny baby to be our next President.

When he's not appointed racists and bigots and sexists to important post in our government, or using his new position to make himself richer, he's firing off tweets demanding that American citizens stop saying mean things about him.

Sunday, November 13, 2016


We all know the five stages of grief -- denial & isolation; anger; bargaining; depression; acceptance.

I seem to have gone straight from anger into depression.

I'm not sleeping and I'm not able to get much work done. Why should I, when our country has decided, out of pique and spite and hate, to elect this vile joke into our highest office -- when, now that he is in the highest office, not just America, but probably the world, is doomed?

Trump plans to pull out of the Paris Agreement.

That right there is all you need to know. Never mind what he'll do to education, to a woman's right to control her own body, to LGBT rights, to the immigrants in our country. Never mind the effect he's already having, with the spike in hate crimes / assaults.

All of those we might survive and mend, once (if) America comes to its senses. But climate change? Yeah, it's already almost too late to do anything about that. Trump's destruction of our progress on that, along with what he'll do to the EPA, that's going to be something we can't change.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Things Could Be Worse...

...though right now I am struggling to see how.

My one hope is that Donald Trump is, in fact, a joke -- he knows nothing about how the US Government works, he has no ability to negotiate or to work with other people, and he has the attention span of a gnat. How much will a man this inept be able to accomplish?

That's my hope, anyway. As I'm telling all the smug, triumphant, Trump-supporters I know, yeah, let's check back in a year or two. See how we think then.