Sunday, September 21, 2014

Atheist "positivity" challenge? I think I'll pass

It's a bit moralistic, don't you think?

I dunno. Maybe I just don't like being told what to do. Maybe I don't like Facebook memes. Maybe I think atheism should fix its problem with misogyny first before worry about offending theists.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Friday, September 19, 2014

Links & Bits: 9/19/14

Roxane Gay's fantastic interview with Lambda Literary

Why we need to pay attention to all abortion narratives, not just the "good" ones

This picture made me smile

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Over half of white St. Louisans think Mike Brown's shooting was justified

According to a new poll, the majority of white St. Louisans believe Darren Wilson had reason to shoot Mike Brown.

I'm leery of partisan polls, but this falls in line with other recent polls that illustrate the racial divide in American, and especially in cities like St. Louis, which remains one of the most racially divide in the US.

Chauncey Devega breaks down the latest poll here.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Quoted: Phillip Lopate on Victim Narratives

[...] the impetus for many emerging writers drawn to autobiographical narrative is the need to recite a tale of abuse. They persist in believing that they can claim the public's attention only if they speak with the authority of a victimized outsider, as regards to racial prejudice, gender bias, sexual abuse, physical disability, multiple personality disorder, unloving parents, and so on. While these existential particulars might be a promising jumping-off point for the generation of material, there is still the need on the memoirist's part to creare a complex, flawed, I-character and a satisfyingly self-aware narrator. -- Phillip Lopate from To Show and To Tell
I think this is especially true for women to the point that it's become impossible to find your niche without a promising "victim narrative."

This isn't to say I'm insensitive to those who've experienced of sexual abuse, racial or gender inequality, and mental illness, or their need to tell their stories in the raw. Those things are important, but one shouldn't have to "credential" to own one's voice.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

How Voter ID Laws Affect Trans People

When politicians talk about voter i.d. laws, they often neglect to mention how these laws affect transgender people. The Advocate has a good write-up on how such laws in ten states will potentially disenfranchise trans people during the November elections:
The 10 "strict photo ID states" that researchers at the University of California Los Angeles's Williams Institute considered were Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Within these states, approximately 24,000 trans citizens whose identification documents do not reflect their correct gender could become disenfranchised. This is an estimated 28 percent of the states' voting-eligible trans population.

Monday, September 15, 2014


So I'm partway into the second draft of this thing -- the real "first" draft -- when I realize how strangely familiar the characters are.

Of course they're subconsciously modeled after Franny and Zooey, a book I haven't read in fifteen years but somehow managed to pull out of the recesses of my psyche for "inspiration." (There are also bits of Hamlet, but everything is Hamlet.)

When I was a kid, I couldn't draw, couldn't sculpt or sew or really "create" anything original, so I made collages. I just now realize I do the same thing with writing.