I have about a dozen half-written blog posts that are, ultimately, all about the same thing: people come up with really dumb arguments to justify discriminating against or otherwise being awful to other people. Then I have a couple of partially-written posts explaining some fallacies in some supposed-science memes being passed around on social media—not being passed around by the usually anti-science folks, but by the people who are usually ridiculing the cluelessness of the science challenged.
A couple weeks ago there was a rash of op-ed pieces and blog posts debating whether it is the job of various people to constantly educate other people about the realities of oppression, unwitting misogyny, institutional homophobia and racism, and the ways that people unintentionally perpetuate those things. And I understand. Some days I’m just too tired to deal with yet another clueless person….Continue reading Do I have to explain everything?→
But I don’t want to only write about people being clueless and/or bigoted all the time. I have to remind myself that one reason I see so many stories clustered around particular topics is because I tend to read news sites that report on topics of interest to me, and as an out gay man who was raised Southern Baptist, studied math and science at university, and have always been a sci fi/fantasy nerd, I gravitate toward news sites that cover social justice, science, technology, and nerd culture. So I’m going to see a lot of stories like Gamer Gate, or the propaganda efforts of anti-gay folks, and so on.
It’s not just which news sites I choose to go to, of course. If some sites are covering a story, similar sites will pick it up, even if only to summarize and point to the original piece. Seeing these stories, and seeing people respond to them, make the news gatherers, reporters, and editors look for similar events in subsequent news cycles.
Sometimes, of course, there really are a lot of things happening all related to a particular topic. The recent Appeals Courts’ rulings about marriage equality, and the Supreme Court’s decision to let them stand, has put a lot of states that no one expected to be dealing with marriage equality so soon into the crosshairs. This makes people who oppose same sex couples having the right to marry feel even more threatened. And because each circuit court covers a bunch of states, these people who feel threatened are scattered over a wide geographical area. You have a lot of people in a lot of places all reacting to a perceived threat, you’re going to have a lot of incidents that will rise to some level of newsworthy. A whole lot.
I had about four half-written pieces that I could have finished to post yesterday, but they were all about the sorts of stories I link to up in the first paragraph. One of my goals for the year has been to reduce the outrage, and focusing so much attention on those stories does not help me with that goal. The problem is, the only other topic I had nearly ready to publish was about people who look down on other people because of the kinds of books they like to read. Which had a very same-y feel to it.
Which all led me to here, contemplating how everything I’m writing about (other than my novel) is processing exactly the feelings I don’t want to be spending so much time on. I suppose it could be argued by writing them down, I have gotten some of it out of my system, but I’m not sure that publishing them all would further the purpose.
So I’m going to try to concentrate my attention for the next few days on my fiction writing. I’m overdue for writing about the craft of writing, any way.
Another in my series of posts recommending web comics that I think more people should read:
I’ve long been a fan of: “Mr. Cow,” by Chuck Melville… and not just because the artist is a friend! A clueless cow with Walter Cronkite dreams presides over a barnyard of a newsroom. And if you like Mr. Cow, you can support the artist by going to his Patreon Page.
I’m also a big fan of “Deer Me,” by Sheryl Schopfer. This artist is also a friend. I have previously described this strip as: “Three roommates who couldn’t be more dissimilar while being surprisingly compatible.” Except in a recent story line Thomas has moved out! Eeek! And if you enjoy Deer Me, you can support the artist by going to her Patreon Page!
If you like epic fantasy with a lot of humor, check out Felicia, the Sorceress of Katara, by Chuck Melville. Felicia is a vixen sorceress who is trying to make her own fate, independent of the Magi Council. Felicia also appears in a series of books, and an actually-printed-on-paper series of comic books! Of Felicia’s prose books, my particular favorite is Felicia and the Dreaded Book of Un. However, if you were to ask my mom which book is best, she would tell you it’s Felicia and the Cult of the Rubber Nose.
The Young Protectors begins when a young, closeted teen-age superhero who has just snuck into a gay bar for the first time is seen exiting said bar by a not-so-young, very experienced, very powerful, super-villain. Trouble, of course, ensues.
National treasure “Weird Al” Yankovic is releasing a new video each doy this week of a parody of a hit song. This was Tuesday’s, which is my second favorite thus far, Weird Al’s parody of Blurred Lines, Word Crimes:
It’s Friday! It is the first Friday in July, it is a big holiday, and by the time you read this, I will be two days into my vacation where I am attending both a tabletop gaming convention and a My Little Pony: Friendship is magic convention. My husband and I are such nerds!
Here’s a collection of news and other things that struck me as worthy of being shared:
John Oliver on Uganda’s Anti-Gay Laws and the Role of American Hater Scott Lively:
Continuing the Daily Show’s tradition on his new HBO series by covering a serious, important story that the big media ignores. It really is worth the full 17 minutes. It’s funny, sad, horrifying, and an incredible interview at the end.
(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)
♫ Ginsburg’s Hobby Lobby Dissent | Song A Day #2007: