Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Culture wars, misc.

This article from the Daily Beast on the recent accusations that Amy Schumer's comedy is too reliant on racial stereotyping makes a salient point about the good, if sometimes misguided, intentions of anti-racist white people, who tend to be the most vocal critics:
Google counts more than 45 publications with stories about Amy Schumer’s “racism,” but of the articles on display, the vast majority appear to be written by white women on the “woman” beat. Most articles provide no commentary whatsoever, and the ones that do oscillate back and forth between wanting to defend Schumer and not wanting to be associated with the not-so-nice words she’s been called. Even the articles that are resolutely critical about Schumer’s treatment of race, like Anne Thériault’s over at The Daily Dot, feel like long paraphrases culled from notes made off of a black activist’s Twitter page, not like personal explanations of their own responses.
As a white person who once wrote on the "woman beat," it's easy -- and expected -- to fall back on poststructuralist narratives that plot people along axes of power. It's also an incredibly lazy way to form an argument. Deviate from it, and your no longer offered the protection from the far left blogosphere. I'm not saying this doesn't go on in the right, because it does, but the left is particularly anxious to eat its own that most leftist sites are becoming parodies of themselves.

Tangentially related -- and I woukd write a longer piece to tie these things together, but I don't have the time this week --  but this article from Federalist (yes I said Federalist!) on the history of the culture wars and where we are now in them was also interesting:
There is significant potential for a new, diverse coalition that responds to this overreach. The religious Right, libertarians, and even the moderate Left are already being drawn together by their refusal to be cowed into conformity by social justice warriors. The comedians who rebel against an audience that calls every joke racist or sexist, the professors who refuse to be cowed by the threat of Title IX lawsuits, the religious believers who fight for their right to practice their beliefs outside the pew represent a coalition that will reject the neo-Puritanism of the Counterculture, rebel against its speech codes and safe spaces, and reassert the right to speak one’s mind in the public square.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Camp NaNo (EditMo)

Again I'm using NaNoWriMo's "Camp" as an excuse to edit and older piece (actually last year's NaNo novel). Editing is much harder than writing, particularly editing a kamikaze piece of NaNoWriMo crap that you only took half-seriously.

The best way I can describe my MC is "intellectual redneck." That's probably more than anyone needs to know (and I cringed mightily writing the phrase "intellectual redneck"), but hey, I grew up in a family of smart people with very little formal education, and I guess I wanted to represent that? More importantly, I just wanted to write a female character who wasn't tethered to her own victimization. 

Saturday, July 4, 2015


  • Nothing says punk rock like a wrap dress from H&M! TLC is airing a marathon of What Not To Wear, the show I hate watched off-and-on during its decade-long run. My issues are primarily with gender expression (some women seriously do not want to "dress feminine." Why is this such a hard concept for fashion people to grasp?) and "lifestyle" dressing, meaning not everyone has works or plays in a conventional (read: white, middle-class) environment that requires safe, inoffensive dress, but even considering that, enough with the cookie cutter looks. Wrap dress? Check. Chic blazer? Check. Bag? Check. Pop of color? Check. The older British version subverted that a bit, I think, or at least allowed for some semblance of personal style. 
  • Camp NaNo is underway. I'm not going to bore anyone with weekly updates, which I tend to rely on as a crutch because I can't be bothered to write about anything else and I do love the meta. It's going. That's my update.
  • I always thought swinging from a chandelier was metaphorical?
  • Despite student request, Columbia is not putting trigger warnings on reading lists. Trigger warnings shouldn't even be a consideration for an institute of higher learning in my opinion, but hey, feelings. Words and ideas harm people or something. 
  • Somewhat related: it's been years since I linked my blog at any of the feminist or ostensibly feminist places I used to. Part of it is because I don't call myself a feminist anymore and it doesn't seem correct to (even when I still agree with the goals of feminism), but mostly I just can't adhere to the ideological perfection demanded from feminist sites. It's not like I pride myself on being crude or cruel, but I'm tired of culling through every word for the tiniest possible offense. What's really sad is that there are fewer opportunities for female writers who aren't part of some feminist collective -- no matter how tangentially.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Links & Bits: 7/3/15

The Bilerico Project says goodbye.

Judy Bloom doesn't like trigger warnings.

A libertarian take on gay rights.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Quoted: Neil Gaiman on writing

You write. That’s the hard bit that nobody sees. You write on the good days and you write on the lousy days. Like a shark, you have to keep moving forward or you die. Writing may or may not be your salvation; it might or might not be your destiny. But that does not matter. What matters right now are the words, one after another. Find the next word. Write it down. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. -- Neil Gaiman
Read the full essay here. Happy Camping!