A while back, we had a discussion on the blog about the cover art for my princess novels. For the most part, I really like these covers, but they’re not perfect.
Now I could talk about the way women are posed in cover art … or I could show you. I opted for the latter, in part because it helped me to understand it better. I expected posing like Danielle to feel a little weird and unnatural. I did not expect immediate, physical pain from trying (rather unsuccessfully) to do the hip thing she’s got going on.
Pictorial hilarity ensues. But don’t forget to ask yourself: If Jim looks so funny in these poses, why in the world are they treated as normal for women on book covers??
I was a little disturbed, however, by the number of people in comments who congratulated Jim on his bravery. Again, why in the world is it brave for Jim to pose for and post these pictures, but it’s normal for women characters on book covers??
a chav costume party sanctioned by Leeds University Union
But imagine what it’s like to be a working class kid, already struggling to fit in and watching Leeds University Union promote this shit as acceptable and unproblematic. Imagine how it would make you feel about your right to be at that institution at all.
There’s a devaluation that happens with relationships that are intimate, but not necessarily sexual in nature, and I hear that devaluation every time I get asked if I have “someone special” in my life. The answer to that question, of course, is “YES!” I have several special people in my life. People whom I love deeply and am very intimate with, rely upon for support, support in turn, and consider very close partners. They are not romantic or sexual partners, but that doesn’t make our relationships less valid or less strong.
The story Jess and i were talking about today that got all this in my head all over again. Jimmy Weekley, 71, says that when he was a kid, there were more than two dozen homes in Pigeonroost Hollow, W.Va. “But right now no one else lives in this hollow except me, James Weekley, and the coal company.”
Obit for Judy Bonds, “one of the most visible and outspoken activists against what is sometimes called ‘mountaintop removal,’ a mining practice peculiar to Appalachia in which peaks are sheared off with explosives to expose the coal seams below.”
Fascinating article about coal fires around the world.
From the back kitchen window of his little house on a ridge in east-central Pennsylvania, John Lokitis looks out on a most unusual prospect. Just uphill, at the edge of St.Ignatius Cemetery, the earth is ablaze. Vegetation has been obliterated along a quarter-mile strip; sulfurous steam billows out of hundreds of fissures and holes in the mud. There are pits extending perhaps 20 feet down: in their depths, discarded plastic bottles and tires have melted. Dead trees, their trunks bleached white, lie in tangled heaps, stumps venting smoke through hollow centers. Sometimes fumes seep across the cemetery fence to the grave of Lokitis’ grandfather, George Lokitis.
This hellish landscape constitutes about all that remains of the once-thriving town of Centralia, Pennsylvania.
So, yeah, it hits a bit close to home for me. No, i’m not from Centralia, but i’ve driven thru’ it — back when you still could. And, yes, that’s me ranting in the comments at Bitch’s blog. One of my great-grandfathers worked the mines. The power plant where my dad worked was (still is) coal-powered. My grandparents’s house, where i spent half my time growing up, was heated by a coal furnace. I was able to add a word to a list at Wordnik because i know just a little too much about coal mining.
“If coal is so good for us hillbillies,” [Judy Bonds] said at a 2008 Appalachian Studies Association conference, “then why are we so poor?”
Since June 2010, I’ve been locating, collecting, and researching the sartorial ephemera of U.S. women of color for an existing website and prospective museum exhibition called “Of Another Fashion” — both of which highlight “the not-quite-hidden but too often ignored fashion histories of U.S. women of color.” (quoted @ Etsy)
In this society, not driving means you are poor, in some way disabled or odd. When I was young, I was less aware of this, since there are a fair number of young people who bike or take the bus. But now — at my age — I am aware that I look poor or disabled or odd.
Eleanor’s writing from Minneapolis, and i suspect that notions of who has a car / who doesn’t have a car will depend on where one lives — what city, what neighborhood. For instance, i suspect it’s significantly less odd to be car-less in New York City. In my case, while it is fairly odd for me to not have a car in Seattle, it’s not so terribly odd in the U-District, my neighborhood. I regularly see the inhabitants of Greek Row hauling many grocery bags 2 blocks from Safeway back to their fraternity/sorority houses.
Now my granny cart. That‘s odd, and Andy’s still sufficiently embarrassed by it that he winces whenever i try to use it, which at this point in our tenure in this neighborhood is really only about once a year. Wimp.
Still, i think Eleanor’s point definitely stands. Whenever i’m outside of the U-District and explain that i don’t have a car, i always get odd looks. I’ve had people i’ve only known for 2 hours offer to give me a ride home, because why would you take the bus???
I have been glued to the internet since last week as i try to keep updated on what’s going on with the Fukushima nuclear power plant. I grew up in Central Pennsylvania and was deeply impacted by Three Mile Island. Here are the resources i’ve been hitting up:
@makiwi — Makiko Itoh on Twitter. A private individual who’s fluent in Japanese and English, Maki has been providing translations from Japanese news sources and press conferences since the earthquake and tsunami.
@pdfguru — Max Wyss. Private individual; Maki’s partner and “in-house engineer.”
MIT NSE Nuclear Information Hub. What it says on the tin. And i know it’s MIT and you might be expecting it to be written in Ancient High Jargon, but the writing is straight-forward and accessible.