Saturday, October 24, 2015

But while the war in Iraq is widely accepted to have been a disastrous mistake, another crucial event during the George W. Bush administration has long been considered unfit for political discussion: President Bush’s conduct, in the face of numerous warnings of a major terrorist plot, in the months leading up to September 11, 2001.

The general consensus seems to have been that the 9/11 attacks were so horrible, so tragic, that to even suggest that the president at the time might bear any responsibility for not taking enough action to try to prevent them is to play “politics,” and to upset the public. And so we had a bipartisan commission examine the event and write a report; we built memorials at the spots where the Twin Towers had come down and the Pentagon was attacked; and that was to be that. And then along came Donald Trump, to whom “political correctness” is a relic of an antiquated, stuffy, political system he’s determined to overwhelm. In an interview on October 16, he violated the longstanding taboo by saying, “When you talk about George Bush—I mean, say what you want, the World Trade Center came down during his time.”
Trump’s comments set up a back and forth between him and Jeb Bush—who, as Trump undoubtedly anticipated, can’t let a blow against him by the frontrunner go by without response—but the real point is that with a simple declaration by Trump, there it was: the subject of George W. Bush’s handling of the warnings about the 9/11 attacks was out there.

Friday, October 23, 2015

And again, this is all part of consensual sex, the kind that is supposed to be women’s feminist reward. There’s a whole other level of confusion around the smudgy margins when it comes to experiences like the one I had at college 20 years ago. It was an encounter that today’s activists might call “rape”; which feminist hobgoblin Katie Roiphe, whose anti-rape-activist screed The Morning After was then all the rage, would have called “bad sex”; and which I understood at the time to be not atypical of much of the sex available to my undergraduate peers: drunk, brief, rough, debatably agreed upon, and not one bit pleasurable. It was an encounter to which I consented for complicated reasons, and in which my body participated but I felt wholly absent.
“A lot of sex feels like this,” Gattuso wrote in May, after her popular Crimson columns drew the attention of Feministing, a website at which she has since become a contributor. “Sex where we don’t matter. Where we may as well not be there. Sex where we don’t say no, because we don’t want to say no, sex where we say yes even, when we’re even into it, but where we fear … that if we did say no, or if we don’t like the pressure on our necks or the way they touch us, it wouldn’t matter. It wouldn’t count, because we don’t count.”

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

....and sticks to you

Being stuck in the middle is a big responsibility. We are the sole conduit for the Millennials to communicate with the Boomers. Basically, we know it all! That is a huge responsibility! Think about it for a minute. I can not only locate a book on Amazon that I want to read and then proceed to download it and read it digitally, but I also can find that same book using the Dewey Decimal System. I am really great at taking pictures with my phone and then backing them up on the Cloud for future use. I can also use a slide projector and an overhead projector, and I still have my first camera, a Polaroid....a huge benefit that my generation has over both the Boomers and the Millennials is our ability to see both sides, and then act accordingly. We are like glue holding this mess together. 
- via

This is too fucking chirpy and cutesy for me to embrace fully, but yeah: Gen X is the true sandwich generation.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

"Beyond the Veil," Henry Vaughan (1622-1695)

They are all gone into the world of light!
  And I alone sit lingering here;
Their very memory is fair and bright,
          And my sad thoughts doth clear.
It glows and glitters in my cloudy breast,        
  Like stars upon some gloomy grove,
Or those faint beams in which this hill is drest,
          After the sun’s remove.
I see them walking in an air of glory,
  Whose light doth trample on my days;        
My days, which are at best but dull and hoary,
          Mere glimmerings and decays.
O holy Hope, and high Humility,
  High as the heavens above!
These are your walks, and you have showed them me,        
          To kindle my cold love.
Dear, beauteous Death! the jewel of the just,
  Shining nowhere but in the dark,
What mysteries do lie beyond thy dust,
          Could Man outlook that mark!        
He that hath found some fledged bird’s nest, may know
  At first sight, if the bird be flown;
But what fair well or grove he sings in now,
          That is to him unknown.
And yet, as Angels in some brighter dreams        
  Call to the soul when man doth sleep,
So some strange thoughts transcend our wonted themes,
          And into glory peep.
If a star were confined into a tomb,
  Her captive flames must needs burn there;        
But when the hand that locked her up, gives room,
          She’ll shine through all the sphere.
O Father of eternal life, and all
  Created glories under Thee!
Resume Thy spirit from this world of thrall        
          Into true liberty.
Either disperse these mists, which blot and fill
  My perspective still, as they pass;
Or else remove me hence unto that hill
          Where I shall need no glass.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Sunday, October 4, 2015

books read in October 2015 the fuck is it October already? Usually I hit the hundredth-book-read mark well before now, I think. Anyway, my reading dropped off precipitously, partly due to bouts of illness/depression, partly due to a burst of actual writing, and mostly due to screwing around on the internet. Fuck that. Back to reading. I find those "read only books by women/minorities" challenges interesting -- I'm thinking I'll try women-only authors for the month of October. This has already knocked out Pratchett rereads! (Rereading is my other big drag right now. It's comforting, it's familiar, I've done enough of it this damn year.)

Fiction is in red. Date of first publication in (parentheses).

94. Representing Sylvia Plath, ed. Sally Bayley and Tracy Brain (2011) (yes, I am either stupid or hardcore enough to read 'academic' shit like this even when the last time I was near a grad school program was 1997) (PS it was terrible)
95. A Carlin Home Companion: Growing Up with George, Kelly Carlin (2015)
96. Don't Suck, Don't Die: Giving Up Vic Chesnutt, Kristin Hersh (2015) (amazing, heartbreaking)
97. American Pain, John Temple (2015) (pretty sensationalistic, plus the main POV character is a raging asshole, and no sympathy for addicts is really displayed at all)
98. Disclaimer, Renee Knight (2015)
99. Asylum, Jeannette de Beauvoir (2015)
100. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, Joan Aiken (1962) (reread of childhood book)
101. Twain's End, Lynn Cullen (2015)
102. Fanny & Henry: An Alternate Ending to Mansfield Park, Sherwood Smith (2015)
103. Always Coming Home, Ursula K. Le Guin (1985) (reread)
104. The Little Men, Megan Abbot (2015)
105. The World Before Us, Aislinn Hunter (2015)

all 2015 booklist posts

you'd think if the Internet is truly the bestest 'library' ever one damn person could source something this good

Now I am quietly waiting for
the catastrophe of my personality
to seem beautiful again,
and interesting, and modern.

The country is grey and
brown and white in trees,
snows and skies of laughter
always diminishing, less funny
not just darker, not just grey.

It may be the coldest day of
the year, what does he think of
that? I mean, what do I? And if I do,
perhaps I am myself again.