Tagged: screed
for the #DiversityInSff hashtag — book recs
chris. | 4 September 2013 | 1:37 pm | (culture) consuming, biblios & syllabi, deconstructing bigotry | Comments closed

Today Twitter has been hopping with the #DiversityInSff hashtag.  It’s been interesting and useful conversation — check it out!

When i saw people asking for book recs, i braindumped all the useful awards lists i could think of:





Here’s one i retweeted:

I also saw many people asking about how to respectfully create diversity in their own works.  Here ya go:



And i couldn’t resist making a few comments of my own, because it was early in the day for me and i was feeling sassy and cranky:



wind-up Jess
chris. | 29 January 2013 | 4:18 pm | (deconstructing) class(ism) | 4 Comments

One of my favorite toys when i was little (and very nearly the only doll i had for a long time) was a Drowsy doll.  If you gave a tug on the pull-string, she’d say something like “I go sleep now, night night!” or “I want another drink of water!!” or she’d cry or laugh or whatever.

Perhaps someone should have warned [personal profile] raanve of my evil tendency toward making others talk for my amusement.  [maniacal laugh MANIACAL LAUGH]  Then she’d have been prepared for when i do things like send her links to heinous newspaper comment threads where a letter-to-the-editor written by a college student in support of raising taxes in order to slow tuition hikes gets the poor letter-writer raked over the coals.

Hilarity ensued.  And also blistering critique!  Nor could her outrage be contained merely to our chat session!  No, it spilled over onto Twitter as well!!  And now it is presented here (with Jess’s blessing, of course) for your edification.

from chat:

me:  hey, all you ignorant assholes who proudly proclaim how you paid your way thru’ college decades ago: tuition’s gone up 100% in the PAST 4 YEARS. your college tuition was VASTLY CHEAPER. why?? BECAUSE TAXPAYERS FUNDED IT.

Jess: YUP

me:  i am also curious about the claim of “working class retired people” who are living off their capital investments.

Jess:  ha.  Yeah.

me:  i’m surprised these comments haven’t caught fire yet on account of all the straw flying around in their arguments.

Jess:   Also, I like how this person thinks they are KILLING IT with the logic of, like, “renters don’t pay property taxes” but guess what!  RENTERS DO. JUST NOT DIRECTLY.  IT’S CALLED RENT.  AND IT GOES UP TO ACCOMMODATE SHIT LIKE PROPERTY TAXES

Guess what else!  Renters DO pay property taxes and ALSO get no equity!  Not to mention the fact that you live in an urban area, and how many single-unit homes are really around? So, you know.  Maybe if you want people to collect your trash & make your food & stuff, you should appreciate that many of those people rent by necessity & stop being such a dick.

Also: Sure! Raise my taxes!  I am totally down with that!  I am currently “poor” enough that we get a lot of that refunded, and even if I wasn’t – I would still be okay with paying taxes! Because I enjoy living in a comfortable civil society with the possibility of a comfortable future even if the economy conspires against me.

So. You know. I guess I’m just not the rugged individualist that these folks are.  Not like I didn’t work throughout college, and then work afterward to pay off my academic debt, of which only a minor portion belonged to my parents.  Also not like I’m currently working for not-so-much money to educate other folks working their way through community college, as you so helpfully suggest.

Bascially, I hate these people so thanks for the link! :D

me:  happy to help! :D

Jess: I’d be thrilled to pieces to pay capital gains taxes because it would mean that i had INVESTMENTS AND INCOME above & beyond what I make from my job(s)  Which – surprise! – I do not have.

me:  ALSO. this is what it comes down to for me: anyone who uses THE INTERNET to make complaints about taxes & funding government IS A FUCKING IDIOT.

Jess: What??? The internet has nothing to do with the government!  and was built entirely by pioneering entreprenuers!  don’t you know anything?  sheesh.

Some of these are super lol-worthy, tho in that they clearly… have no idea what kind of privilege they’re talking about.  “I left for WSU with literally a single small suitcase and an apple box of possessions in a car that seemed to defy the odds of making it to Pullman”  Oh. So you didn’t have a lot of your own stuff (pretty common for an 18-year-old) and you HAD A WORKING CAR? THAT WAS YOURS?  Perhaps a shoddy, somewhat unreliable car, but. You know. A car.

“I learned what hunger felt like and that created a drive to succeed”  ok, then.

“i worked hard for every nickel” — without any societal help or assistance, right?

like, you made your own electricity & kept robbers at bay & fought fires & paid the wages of your teachers?  right? That is totally how that shit happened, right?

me:  ps: WSU is a state university. (as you may have guessed from the S portion. ;)

Jess: Yep.

me: also, drove on roads that the commenter laid down their ownself AS THEY WERE DRIVING ON THEM.

Jess: So it’s good to know that you are a fucking super-hero SELF MADE PERSON.  Good job, Gatsby1.

And LOL FOREVER to this idea that anyone who suggests that maybe people take on their fair share of the social burden is lazy, unwilling to work, or not already working.  OR WHATEVER

“I learned how to live very frugally but without sacrifice of my dignity.”  Oh how nice. You were “poor” but you preserved your “dignity” Only to squander said dignity on the internet under a boring screename. Thanks NW Thinker. Thank you for this valuable life lesson.

Oh shit, I can’t stop, and also I can’t stop laughing

“We’ve worked hard for every single nickel and how dare it be endangered by a zealous politicain lusting over a pot that he didn’t make.”  I ALSO MAKE ALL MY OWN POTS.  ARE YOU LISTENING, AMERICA??

“Don’t tell me all our hard work was an effort in futility because it will all be stolen because of our own due dilligence!”

Oh, honey, it sounds like your “own due dilligence” is not very diligent.

and from Twitter:

  • GDI, @wrdnrd is winding me up again.
  • Rest safe in the knowledge that you will never be the self-reliant, hard-working, simple American genius that Random Internet Commenter is.
  • I’m just a Regular Guy! Who did it all on his own! With no social structures in place to assist me at all! Typing on this internet I built!
  • See, I pedal this bicycle wheel to generate electricity & it goes into this computer with its home internet I built & I did this all myself
  • It’s pretty cool, right? I exist entirely outside the system, which is why I paid my way thru state university &.. oh wait. Hang on.
  • I’m DEFINITELY not a huge a-hole who doesn’t know what they’re talking about or who makes use of other government services.
  • Somebody please make me stop.

Nope!  :D  “WHY DO YOU DO THIS CHRIS”  Oh, no reason….

Michael Jackson eating popcorn

  1. BTW, this is my new favorite insult in conversations like these!  :D []
chris. | 12 January 2012 | 12:04 pm | collected rants, trailer trash | Comments closed

There is someone in my life whom i can really only describe as the most classist liberal i’ve ever met.  Of course social mobility upward is the only right and proper thing for someone born poor, right??

Yet i was somehow still legitimately shocked when, during a discussion of language change1, this person quipped that the problem was probably “too many people who live in trailers”.

Oh, you didn’t….

Trailer trash manifesto, part 1:  You do not have the right to determine that another human being is trash.

Trailer trash manifesto, part 2:  You don’t get to assign a sense of stupidity to anyone based solely upon the fact that they — either by choice or necessity — live in inexpensive housing.

I’m betting that the person who said this to my face had never actually met anyone who’d ever lived in a trailer.  How can someone possibly know anything about someone else without ever meeting them??

Correction: This person didn’t realize they knew someone who’d lived in a trailer — didn’t realize they were actually making this assertion to someone who had, in fact, grown up in a double-wide modular home2.

To a certain extent this person has a point about trailer trash and language change.  Because i grew up in a modular home, and i am all for language evolution/change.  I even start my sentences with “because”!  And also “and”!!  Anyway, i’m not sure how a person can be against language evolution — being against it has never stopped it in the past.

I don’t even know how to end this rant, because it still just makes me so mad.  In conclusion, i’ll just leave you with “Jersey Shore” done in the style of Oscar Wilde start with part 13.

  1. It’s a natural evolutionary process — GET USED TO IT. []
  2. Which, for those of you who aren’t aware of the fine gradations of pre-fabricated homes, is basically a trailer that’s just a little larger and has no wheels. []
  3. Tho’ i do suspect these clips amuse me for reasons that are the opposite of why Playbill thought the concept would be amusing. []
invisibility of low-income families
chris. | 6 January 2012 | 2:50 pm | (deconstructing) class(ism), collected rants | Comments closed

The SR-520 floating bridge here in Seattle was recently made into a tolled road.  As TV station KING-5 reports, however:

Well before the 520 toll started, University of Washington professor Robert Plotnik worked on a report on how the toll might impact low income families in the Puget Sound area.

“I don’t think the traffic research community had thought of this before,” said Plotnik.

Of course it hadn’t, because who would ever waste any time calculating the effects on low-income families??

For context: The SR-520 floating bridge connects Seattle (on the west side) with Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland, and other points on the east side.  Oh, and the University of Washington (in Seattle) and Microsoft (in Redmond).  And of course low-income families would have no business going any of those places.

Sure, perhaps they don’t.  But, what the fuck, research community, how could you forget to measure the financial impact of something on those likely to be most impacted by a new hit to their finances??

policy: I’m not talking to you about my migraines
chris. | 1 December 2011 | 11:43 am | ugly sack of mostly water | Comments closed

I had an awkward moment earlier this year where someone suggested a(n, admittedly, new-to-me) home remedy for my migraines.

Naturally, the person was not a fellow migraine-sufferer.  Naturally, their home remedy made no goddamn sense to me.

Listen.  I need to be honest with you: i don’t want to hear your schemes and crackpot ideas for how i can cure my migraines.  I’ve had regular migraines since i was 13 (regular headaches since i was 8 — yes, an 8-year-old with regular headaches).  Chances are, i know more about head pain than you do.  I certainly know more about my head pain than you do.

So here’s my policy for all head pain -related discussions going forward:  KEEP IT TO YOURSELF.  You try to talk with me about head pain and what i should be doing to treat mine, i’m just giving you a very simple reply — “Thank you, but i only discuss my health issues with my spouse or my doctor.”

That is all.

16 tons, & what do you get?
chris. | 12 August 2011 | 4:35 pm | collected rants | Comments closed

Coal and mining have been on my mind all day since talking about it with [personal profile] raanve earlier today on Twitter.  So here are some links i’ve been mentally collecting over the years.

The Last Man on the Mountain.  NPR, 11 august 2011.
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.”
Robert Kennedy Jr. says West Virginia coal industry out of control in documentary.  Seattle Times, 14 july 2011.
Seattle Times review of this summer’s “The Last Mountain”, which i regularly failed to see while it was showing at the Varsity on The Ave.  Now i’m going to have to wait for it to come out on video.
Women Fight to Save Appalachia’s Last Mountain.  Ms. Blog, 8 june 2011.
Profile of some of the women featured in “The Last Mountain.”
Julia ‘Judy’ Bonds, 58, dies; outspoken foe of mountaintop strip mining.  Washington Post, 4 january 2011.
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.”
The Biotic Woman: The Dirty Politics of Coal.  Bitch Magazine blog, 2 march 2010.
Cursory look at the concept of “clean coal.”
Fire in the Hole.  Smithsonian Magazine, may 2005.
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?”