Wednesday, July 29, 2020
4.4 million (official) cases.
150,000 dead, so far.
Meanwhile, as someone who probably had it (I was never officially diagnosed, so like many people I'm not included in the above count), I'm suffering many after-effects.
I get dizzy, quite often.
I still have no appetite. And when I do eat, I feel sick for about an hour afterwards.
For about a month, I had weird headaches. (This seems to have stopped.)
For nearly six weeks, I was exhausted most of the time. I had trouble walking my usual exercise route -- a mile and a half, some of it uphill. For awhile, I could only walk about a quarter of a mile out and back. (This has mostly gone away. I still get more tired on the walk than I did before I was sick, but I can walk the whole way now.)
Also weird insomnia -- I fall asleep okay, but then wake up about three hours later and can't fall asleep.
I don't know how much of this is due to the virus, and how much is due to being shut in the house 23 hours a day.
Evidence is coming out showing that the virus can leave lasting damage to the heart.
That it has life-threatening effects on children.
That it can have long-term effects on the kidneys and the lungs.
It can lead to amputations.
But Trump says it's just the "sniffles," and anyway it's going to "just go away," any day now.
So don't fret.
Monday, July 27, 2020
Sunday, July 26, 2020
I think almost everyone has read this appalling essay by Tess Morgan, whose life was apparently ruined because her adult son got a tattoo. (Or, as she put it, had his "precious skin" inked like a "pig carcass.")
Reading the essay, most people can't help feeling that Tess has some very clear issues. Her son -- her adult son -- is not a person to her. He's a possession, a perfect object that she's spent time creating and polishing, like a fine cherrywood desk. How dare that desk have an image engraved on it against her will? How dare this creature -- her possession -- act as though he's a creature with autonomy?
This is the same reaction we see from certain parents who find out that their children are trans. They describe themselves -- as Morgan did in her essay about her son's tattoo -- as heart-broken, as crushed, as unable to sleep or eat. They say they have "lost" their children. They say their lives are now "horror films." They describe their children as "mutilated," as "damaged forever," as "contaminated."
They speak of ROGD -- rapid onset gender dysphoria, an entirely fictional "disorder" not recognized by any reputable clinician, and claim their children are trans because their teachers or peers or "the media" brainwashed them.
Almost all of them also claim that their children "never" showed any sign of being trans or unhappy before this sudden announcement. As the parent of a trans child, and as someone who knows many trans people, I entirely understand how someone could convince themselves that this is true. My kid was happy, if anxious, before he hit puberty. If I was someone who wanted my
Many of them speak of "losing" their son or "losing" their daughter -- as if their child had died. As if a trans child is not the same child they always were.
As with Tess Morgan, these are parents who have control issues. (Very often they will describe a doctor or other professional gently advising them to get therapeutic help, and they explode in fury -- because there is nothing wrong with them, they insist. It is that very bad child who should be made to understand how evil and wrong they are!)
My kid is not a possession. Nor did he become some "new" child because he transitioned, or because he changed his name. (You would not believe how many of these people are furious because "their" child choose a new name.) He's still the kid I raised, the one I loved then and love now. And he was always trans, though for years he didn't understand that, and neither did I.
You can read more here.
Friday, July 24, 2020
Via TYWKIWDBI, here is AOC speaking on the ways (some) men in power attack women who get uppity
Thursday, July 23, 2020
This was shared by someone on my FB Timeline who is a center-left person, on the whole, well-educated and sane. They work as a social worker, so they have some life experience.
I've seen similar memes and comments from people both on the Right and Left (though more from those on the Right). When the posters aren't just arguing in bad faith -- which does happen -- these comments stem from a fundamental misunderstanding of what protest is for and how it works.
I interrogated one of these people once, asking them what form of protest they would find acceptable. Their answer -- after they obfuscated a while -- was that people should stand off to the side of a sidewalk (so that they don't block it) holding up signs quietly. The signs should have civil requests on them: like, "Please Give My People Civil Rights."
Well, that's not how protests work. That's an ineffective way of protesting.
Protests work, as MLK Jr. knew, by disrupting the status quo. Protests work because they make it impossible for the status quo to continue.
Those in power will never surrender their power of their own free will -- why would they? The status quo is fine with them. The way things are is working well for them. Why would they disrupt it, especially for people they don't care about and usually actively dislike?
For a protest to work, we have to create a world in which the way things are no longer work well for those in power.
We can do this by occupying lunch counter seats, or by boycotting their businesses, or by blocking traffic, or by surrounding the seats of power with immense crowds which draw attention to the ineffectiveness of those in power, or any number of other ways.
For example, the Right to Life brigade mounted a daily, non-stop protest outside the strip mall where Planned Parenthood in Fayetteville was located. This was where my kid was getting his check-ups and his prescription for HRT. They harassed anyone who drove in or out of the parking lot, non-stop. They banged on windshields and shouted about killing babies, while holding grotesque signs against people's windows. They caused so much disruption to the businesses in the strip mall that when PP's lease came up for renewal, the owner of the strip mall refused to renew it.
And they also made it clear they would do the same to anyone else who rented to PP. To this day, PP in Fayetteville has not been able to find a location in order to re-open.
Whatever you think of the Right to Life Crowd (I think they're willfully ignorant bigots), you have to recognize that this was an effective protest.
The key factor in any protests must be the disruption of the status quo. We must make it impossible for those in power to continue business as usual.
Otherwise nothing happens.
That's not an effective protest. That's virtue signalling.
Tuesday, July 21, 2020
|God help us|
this is absolutely deranged pic.twitter.com/Hl3x7xDi0J— queen of bitch island (@kittynouveau) July 20, 2020
Monday, July 20, 2020
“Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition …There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect.”
“Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition …There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect.”— Betty Cracker 🐊 (@bettycrackerfl) July 20, 2020
-- Frank Wilhoit https://t.co/AAeTchCKxM
Sunday, July 19, 2020
I recently learned that one of my cousins contracted Covid-19 back in May, and was in the hospital for nearly a month, in the ICU for most of that. She tested positive for the virus and even after she was released from the hospital has not yet recovered.
But she insists she didn't have the virus. The hospital lied to her, she says. The virus is a hoax, she says.
Want to guess who she voted for?
You remember when MAGA Americans thought the smart thing to do was to accuse all of us who didn't join their cult of having "TDR," or Trump Derangement Syndrome? Yeah. We should have known then that, as with almost everything else about them, this was projection.
How are we to run a country when 30% of our fellow citizens are this obdurately removed from reality?
This is excellent news -- also, if you haven't read the Underground Railroad, what are you waiting for?
Probably only interesting if you read SF
The roots of Trump
Thursday, July 16, 2020
Monday, July 13, 2020
Sunday, July 12, 2020
on the last week of my 8 week intensive language course, i would like to say that language, as a concept, was a mistake, and should not have happened, and it is bad— datefriend time @ one of these days 💖💛💙 (@jasperlizard) July 13, 2020
in latin moremur and moriemur are verbs that mean different things and the only difference is the i, which is not even the worst of it. cecidit and cecidit mean different things. but you see this pales in comparison to what english does language was a MISTAKE— datefriend time @ one of these days 💖💛💙 (@jasperlizard) July 13, 2020
Thursday, July 09, 2020
This is my great-great grandmother, Etta Hawkins.
And this is my great-grandmother, Bertha Skaggs:
That's a picture of my grandmother, Mae Skaggs, on her knee. Bertha died at 32, when my grandmother was twelve. Mae was sent to Indiana to live with a relative. Family history says the relative owned a "roadhouse," which is local parlance meant a whorehouse. I don't know how much of that is true.
What happened was, I couldn't remember my grandmother's name. So I hunted for her husband's obituary, and fell into the internet.
The trail ends with Ella -- or at least that's as far back as I can discover.
Wednesday, July 08, 2020
If you hang around the wrong corners of the internet (sometimes I can't stop myself) you may have seen people with "1488" or just "14" in their usernames.
What's this refer to, maybe you wondered.
"88" is used for "HH," since H is the 8th letter in the alphabet. It's a cutesy way of saying Heil Hitler.
"14" means the fourteen words of the white nationalist slogan: "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children."
And this, well
If you want to know why certain conservatives are now stanning Tucker, there you are.
Monday, July 06, 2020
Sunday, July 05, 2020
I had that dream again -- it's always a different dream, but the basic conceit is the same. I need to get somewhere, urgently, but when I open a door to get there, there's another door behind the door (like in that cartoon) and another behind that one, and so on.
Or I'm climbing stairs, except they keep running out before I reach the place I'm trying to get to.
Or (last night) I have to take elevators, but they won't stop on my floor; or they don't go to the floor I need to reach; or the elevator doors open, but there's no elevator, or it's stalled halfway between floors. Or I finally reach the right floor, but the person who needs to sign off on my paperwork is gone, and no one know when he'll be back.
I mean, the symbolism is obvious; but they're still stressful dreams.
Friday, July 03, 2020
Thursday, July 02, 2020
As all y'all know, my sabbatical for Fall 2020 was granted. This means I don't have to return to campus until January 2021.
Also Dr. Skull is currently unemployed, due to the virus. (Normally he'd be teaching at the Governor's School right now.)
And the kid is back up the hill, taking a summer class.
So I have absolutely nothing to do, day after day after day. The last time I had this much leisure, I was ten years old.
8:30: I get up, drink coffee, do the NYTimes Crossword puzzle.
9:00 until about 2:00: I write. Just now I am working on a vampire novella (which is SO not my lane) and finishing the revisions of the Velocity Sequel.
2:00: Eat lunch while reading something.
2:30: Consider the housework. Usually laundry needs doing, or the floor has to be swept. Today I made a grocery run. Yesterday I picked up books at the library and did laundry.
4:00-8:00: I read.
8:00 If it's not too hot, I take the dog for a walk. Lately it is far too hot. And next week the highs are going to be in the 100s, with 70-80% humidity.
9:00-Midnight: More reading, though occasionally I watch a movie.
Midnight or so: Bed
These days I remember my Catullus:
Ōtium, Catulle, tibī molestum est: ōtiō exsultās nimiumque gestīs. Ōtium et rēgēs prius et beātās perdidit urbēs.
Leisure, Catullus, it destroys you; with leisure, you're just too hyper..
In the fall, once things cool down, I can take more and longer walks. That will help.
Wednesday, July 01, 2020
The Gop solution to the collapsing economy is exactly what it always is: give more money to rich people.
Here at my university, we're collecting groceries to feed our students. The GOP proposes to give a $4000 tax credit to any American who takes a vacation.
That's $4000 per person. So $8000 for a couple. Plus $500 each for their kids.
Notice it's a tax credit.
So who does this benefit? Well, it benefits those who have $8000 to spend on a goddamn vacation. As for the rest of us, hey, the lines at the food pantries are down to a couple miles each, I hear.