From "Lessons of the Montreal Massacre: Why women must fight to be what they want" by Catherine Porter, 2009-12-05:
"At the time, I thought to be a feminist meant you had to be militant," says [Nathalie] Provost, who today is overworked and feeling skittish as the anniversary approaches. She was the young woman who, from her hospital bed a couple days later, urged Canadian girls to not be frightened by the event and to pursue engineering careers. She was also my introduction to feminism in life, not just theory. And to the concept that the personal is political.
"I realized many years later that in my life and actions, of course I was a feminist. I was a woman studying engineering and I held my head up."
"There'd never been a more advantageous time to be a criminal in America than during the 13 years of Prohibition. At a stroke, the American government closed down the fifth largest industry in the United States - alcohol production - and just handed it to criminals - a pretty remarkable thing to do." -- Bill Bryson
"We had some really strange conversations, with her explaining what these composers were trying to do and me trying to explain what consciousness was; but it was surprising how often the two completely different things came together and turned out to be related. The neat thing about ideas is the way they keep doing that." -- Owen Griffiths, narrator/protagonist of Very Far Away from Anywhere Else by Ursula K. LeGuin (1976, Antheneum Publishers, New York, NY; ISBN 0-553-20081-X)
"The capacity for getting along with our neighbor depends to a large extent on the capacity for getting along with ourselves. The self-respecting individual will try to be as tolerant of his neighbor's shortcomings as he is of his own." -- Eric Hoffer
From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2013-01-16:
"It turns out, of course, that there are some limits to possibility; but childhood seems the right time not to know this. Books confirm at the least anyone's right to dream." -- Carl Phillips, from Another and Another Before That: Some Thoughts on Reading.
(submitted to the mailing list by Kathleen Magone)
"The supreme trick of Old Scratch is to have us so busy decorating, preparing food, practicing music and cleaning in preparation for the feast of Christmas that we actually miss the coming of Christ. Hurt feelings, anger, impatience, injured egos -- the list of clouds that busyness creates to blind us to the birth can be long, but it is familiar to us all." -- Edward Hays, A Pilgrim's Almanac, 1989
[To all who are marking today as the start of Advent, may you have time for reflection as well as time for shopping.]
"I have always wondered why the saying was 'let sleeping dogs lie' when disturbing a sleeping cat was so much more exciting." -- martianmooncrab, 2013-11-17 (thanks to realinterrobang for quoting this earlier)
From "Nine ways journalists can do justice to transgender people's stories" by Lauren Klinger, 2013-11-11:
"There was a time in the 1970s and 80s when every story about a gay person was the coming out narrative," Nick Adams, associate director of communications for GLAAD, said in a phone interview. But, he added, "with trans stories we're still in that period."
By concentrating on the coming out narrative, journalists may ignore other issues that affect the transgender community. With the Manning story, [Janet] Mock said, "it took days to get to the media to talk about healthcare and rights for prisoners, and those are the bigger issues. [Journalists] were hung up over 'he, she, Bradley, Chelsea' " instead of focusing on the question of how we should treat people when we incarcerate them.
"I have never felt that anything really mattered but the satisfaction of knowing that you stood for the things in which you believed and had done the very best you could." -- Eleanor Roosevelt (b. 1884-10-11, d. 1962-11-07), My Day (newspaper column) 1944-11-8
[To everyone celebrating Chanukah and/or US Thanksgiving today, I wish you a good holiday!]
"You know what would fix congress? Putting a couple first grade teachers in charge. They would fix that shit NOW." -- Princess Bitchykins (@SamuraiKnitter), 2013-11-26
"The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar Left, and black people. You understand what I'm saying? We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or black. But by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did." -- John Ehrlichman (b. 1925-03-20, d. 1999-02-14), interviewed by Dan Baum, collected in The Moment: Wild, Poignant, Life-changing Stories (Harper Perennial, 2012, ed. Larry Smith) [found here after being quoted on a local-to-my-ISP newsgroup]
"As a kid I liked to read through my dad's Reason newsletters. One topic I remember was a search for new pronouns, similar to how some feminists have embraced the gender-neutral 'ze'. The Libertarians, however, wanted pronouns that did not assume human or animal existence. Instead of 'he' or 'she', they suggested 'e' as a sort of ur-pronoun that assumed neither gender nor humanity.
"At the time, I was fascinated by the science-fictional overtones of 'e'. I imagined conversations with intelligent robots, or aliens, using this new pronoun: a language of the future! It wasn't until years later that I realized the real aim. While the language appealed to my love for science-fiction, the point was actually just to help normalize the idea that 'corporations are people'."
From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2013-11-22:
"In whatever arena of life one may meet the challenge of courage, whatever may be the sacrifices he faces if he follows his conscience - the loss of his friends, his fortune, his contentment, even the esteem of his fellow men - each man must decide for himself the course he will follow. The stories of past courage can define that ingredient - they can teach, they can offer hope, they can provide inspiration. But they cannot supply courage itself. For this each man must look into his own soul." -- John F. Kennedy (1917-1963), U.S. President, from his book Profiles in Courage.
(submitted to the mailing list by Terry Labach)
"As a server, I did an experiment tonight, I was saying basically only Doctor Who quotes to my tables, some understood, others did not. These are a few of the phrases and people's reactions:
"[Offering desserts (to the kids)] 'You could have a slice of Triple Chocolate Strada for only $6.99 which I personally think is a bit steep. But then again, it's your parent's cash and they'll only waste it on boring stuff like lamps and vegetables. Yawn!'
"I actually sold every table the dessert I offered when I offered it this way. Few got the reference, the ones who understood 'Hi I'm The Doctor' were completely losing their shit at this point in the meal, as I'd been dropping references all dinner."
-- strangeronbakerstreet, 2013-07-25
"[T]he media needs to show our humanity, and not to constantly exploit us. I know that there is a tremendous amount of work to be done, to help reduce unemployment and harassment of trans people -- but the media can help bring this change about by altering the narrative. I want to see a trans person on a TV show whose gender identity is as unremarkable as anyone else's. I want to see a show that simply shows that being trans is just one more way of being human." -- Jennifer Finney Boylan, quoted in "11 Transgender Stars Weigh In on Trans Images in Entertainment", The Wrap, 2013-11-15
"Suicide rates for trans people are a likely underestimate[d], and probably unavoidably so. There's no way of measuring how many people chose to die before they ever figured out why everything hurt so much." -- Lauren Zinnia Jones (@ZJemptv), 2013-11-21 ( two tweets)
"W/ so many complex identities under the trans umbrella, how do we become allies to ourselves?" -- @JMaseIII, 2013-11-19
"Allies to ourselves? By recognizing that our diversity is our strength; we should hold each other up, not tear each other down. Patriarchy, white supremacy, & mass incarceration don't parse our differences, just our difference, which = dangerous." -- @arjunagreist, two tweets) 2013-11-19
Transgender Day of Remembrance, to remember and mourn the way-too-many transgender people (mostly trans women of colour) killed for being who they were.</p>
In the US, 53% of all anti-TLBG murders of trans women (and 73% of anti-LGTB murders were of non-white victims). Race and age and other factors insulate me somewhat, but it still comes down to the fact that every few days somebody is killed for being trans like me.
Obviously, for me this issue is personal. And I know that at least some of my cisgender friends take it personally too, because of me or because of other transgender friends and relatives. Of course, one doesn't have to take these murders personally to care that they happen, that the victims, too often treated as disposable in life, deserved better -- deserve to be remembered. That this should not be "just how the world works."
 I've been beaten once and threatened several times (not counting mere taunting and insults) simply for being visibly gender-nonconforming, despite being subject to a lot less risk of that crap than many other trans people. So OT1H I know this affects me, and OTOH I know it affects many of my sisters a whole lot more.
"Debugging someone else's code is something that happens in one of the outer circles of Hell and Dante inexplicably forgot to include it in his descriptions. Even if it is code written by someone who is meticulous, a fair programmer, and a good commenter in general---there's always the vague sense of trying to force your thoughts to flow through or conform to someone else's neural pathways, which is just as uncomfortable as wearing gloves micro-tailored to someone else's hands." -- silmaril, 2013-11-14
[Happy birthday to aliza250!]
"[...] The issue of gay and lesbian rights was always a cash cow, because there was much fear and misunderstanding about gays, a tiny and often invisible minority at the time. AIDS only exacerbated that, as the right exploited a panic over the epidemic and further stigmatized gays as diseased, dirty and disgusting. Radical right groups promoted fear and ignorance, putting money in their coffers for the larger ideological battles they were waging against women's right to choose, secular society, free speech and what they saw as widespread sexual immorality -- battles that have re-energized them over the years and which they are still waging, sometimes with alarming success (as evidenced by recent anti-abortion legislation in the states), using the Republican Party to do it.
"Today, with Hawaii on the verge of becoming the 16th state to pass marriage equality, and with gays much more visible, conservative ideologues are having a harder time on the issue, including trying to raise money around it. But it doesn't mean they're any less ferociously focused on taking away the rights of gays -- or women, or Muslims, or atheists or any other group that doesn't fit their Christian theocratic worldview.
"Enter transgender rights, the newest potential cash cow for the extremist right. [...]"
-- Michelangelo Signorile, "What the National Organization for Marriage's Shift to Trans-Bashing Means", 2013-11-12
From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2013-11-13:
"If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful after all." - Michelangelo Buonarroti, sculptor, painter, architect, and poet (1475-1564).
(submitted to the mailing list by Patsy Wang-Iverson)
"One joy scatters a hundred griefs." -- (listed wherever I got it from as simply, Chinese Proverb)
"Watching my 4yr old daughter play by herself renews my faith in my own creative process. Must. Think. Like. Child." -- Tim Neufeld (@timneufeldmusic), 2013-10-18
"When I'm lonely I stand in the corner and play my saxophone and feel sorry for myself. I would ask you to accompany me on the piano, but if I did that I wouldn't be lonely, would I? And what's the point of a saxophone if not to celebrate despair?" -- Jarod Kintz
(Speaking of rights, congratulations to Hawaii!)
"Dreamwidth could not have existed were Maryland not a civilized state. If I hadn't been able to convert my COBRA coverage into the state group health plan, I wouldn't have been able to leave my job with Six Apart. Or if I had, I would have had to pick up another job that offered health insurance benefits. Because Maryland did have that program, I was able to buy decent coverage, with prescription benefits, for $275 or so a month. It was a $1000 deductable yearly before benefits kick in, and July (the month my deductable resets) was always a bit of sticker shock, but having that coverage saved my bacon in more ways than I can count: multiple monthly prescriptions, frequent doctor visits, two surgeries, and an assload of various therapies later, I'm less disabled than I otherwise would have been without being able to treat my disorder. Some days I'm more disabled than others, but on the whole, I'm able to lead a productive life because I can treat the condition I have.</b> -- synecdochic, "what the affordable care act means to me", 2013-10-18
[Three quotations today, which tie together around the holiday. I think they reinforce each other.]
"If I didn't learn anything else from war son I truly did learn how to love. I can walk into a forest and sit next to a tree and observe all of nature's wonders for I have seen Napalm burn the jungle. I can love a child's laugh because I have heard their screams. I can love the freedom you have today to go out into the world and choose what you want to do because when I was your age I was deprived of my freedom, my youth, and my innocence, while I was supposed to be making this a better world for you to live in. I do feel I have played a small part in making this a better world for you to live in, not because I have fought and killed but because I cried out in anger and told you the horror and reality of warfare. I pray to God that none of you ever have to rest your head on a pillow at night and try to sleep with the memories that the men carry with them that landed at Omaha beach, Inchon or the Ashau Valley. But I want you to realize that they are why you have the freedom to read this letter." -- xinloi at Daily Kos, 2013-11-06
"[...] the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations [...] the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples." -- from concurrent resolution of The United States Congress passed 1926-06-04
"There's commemorative cannon-fire outside my office right now, and I'm more disgusted than moved. Yet more artillery fire seems to me to miss what should be the point." -- Jacob T. Levy, 2009-11-11
Fom the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2013-11-07:
"As it is now constituted, the House Intelligence Committee will never decry, deny, or defy any spy. They see eye-to-eye, so they turn a blind eye. Which means that if we rely on them, we can kiss our liberty good-bye." -- Alan Grayson, U.S. Congressman (D-Florida), writing in the Guardian.
(submitted to the mailing list by Jeff Copeland)
"Even for a wizard there will often come times when someone close to you, perhaps your spouse, criticizes your habits by comparing them to those of animals. This is distinctly unfair to the animals, who have far better habits than we in many areas. When, for example, have you seen a frog collecting taxes or a squirrel running for electoral office? Present arguments like these to those people who criticize you. If they still do not see the wisdom of your ways, you may then feel free to bite them." -- The Teachings of Ebenezum, Volume IX
[Actually a start-of-chapte fake-quote from A Malady of Magicks by Craig Shaw Gardner (1986, The Berkley Publishing Group, New York)]
"Some people underestimate how erotic it is to be understood." -- Mary Rakow
"That's one thing that's always, like, been a difference between, like, the performing arts, and being a painter, you know. A painter does a painting, and he paints it, and that's it, you know. He has the joy of creating it, it hangs on a wall, and somebody buys it, and maybe somebody buys it again, or maybe nobody buys it and it sits up in a loft somewhere until he dies. But he never, you know, nobody ever, nobody ever said to Van Gogh, 'Paint a Starry Night again, man!' You know? He painted it and that was it." -- Joni Mitchell (b. 1943-11-07)
"'Let us not kid ourselves,' Professor Vladimir Nabokov reminds us. 'Let us remember that literature is of no practical value whatsoever. ... ' But practical value isn't the only kind of value. Ours is a mixed economy, with the gift economy of the arts existing (if not exactly flourishing) within the inhospitable conditions of a market economy, like the fragile black market in human decency that keeps civilization going despite the pitiless dictates of self-interest." -- Tim Kreider, 2013-10-26
[I was going to pair this with another quotation, about the joy and glory of making art for art's sake but an artist still needs to eat and pay the rent ... but I can't find that other quotation now. Whoops.]
"When you put it like that, you're actually making pretty good use of your limited time on this Earth. And by 'limited time on this Earth', I mean that we're all going to become immortal space-robots." -- Vi Hart, 2013-10-22, "Doodling in Math Class: Dragon Scales" (last part of a three-part video, so you might want to look at part 1 and part 2 first ... and then go watch or re-watch all of her other videos just because)
"Care less for your harvest than for how it is shared and your life will have meaning and your heart will have peace." -- Kent Nerburn
From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2013-10-27:
"Science is telling us to have more fun together and do more stuff. This is great news, for we must obey science." -- Danny Wallace, writer, on research by Robin Dunbar of Oxford University suggesting that men need to get together with friends twice a week.
(submitted to the mailing list by Terry Labach)
"It doesn't make sense to call ourselves ugly because we don't really see ourselves. We don't watch ourselves sleeping in bed, curled up and silent. With chests rising and falling with our own rhythm. We don't see ourselves reading a book, eyes fluttering and glowing. You don't see yourself looking at someone with care inside your heart. There's no mirror in your way when you're laughing and smiling and happiness is leaking out of you. You would know exactly how bright and beautiful you are if you saw yourself in the moments where you are truly beautiful." -- unknown (it apparently went around Tumblr, that site whose main purpose seems to be making sure attributions get lost but I hear some folks use for some sort of blogging, a few months ago; has also been seen on Facebook and Pinterest, never with attribution AFAICT -- if anyone does know where it came from, please yell; the language sounds too modern for the source to have been legitimately lost already)
[A blessed Samhain to my friends who celebrate it -- happy new year, and may the year treat you well!]
"They say that I'm bad and should rot
For munching on kiddies and tots
It's not that I prey
On children per se:
The grownups won't fit in my pots"
-- from "A Baker's Dozen Of Limericks For Halloween" by maugorn, 2013-10-30
"The bottom line is, if you're not the one who's controlling your learning, you're not going to learn as well" -- Joel Voss, quoted in Wired 2013-10-15
[Happy birthday to my sister, if she reads this! Well okay, even if she doesn't.]
"Whenever I hear someone who has not had a transsexual experience say that gender is just a construct or merely a performance, it always reminds me of that Stephen Colbert gag where he insists that he doesn't see race. It's easy to fictionalize an issue when you are not fully in touch with all of the ways in which you are privileged by it." -- Julia Serano, Excluded: Making Feminist and Queer Movements More Inclusive (Seal Press, 2013) [ excerpted here]
Three quotes from Lou Reed (b. 1942-03-02, d. 2013-10-27), gathered from various quotation websites:
"There`s a bit of magic in everything, and some loss to even things out."
"One chord is fine. Two chords are pushing it. Three chords and you're into jazz."</i>
"The most important part of my religion is to play guitar."
From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2013-04-04:
"Boredom is the brain's way to tell you you should be doing something else. But the brain doesn't always know the most appropriate thing to do. If you're bored and use that energy to play guitar and cook, it will make you happy. But if you watch TV, it may make you happy in the short term, but not in the long term." -- Gary Marcus, psychology professor.
(submitted to the mailing list by Terry Labach)
"homeopathic compression: throw away the data and transmit the spaces; the data to be reconstructed from the spaces by virtue of these having remembered its shape. the only compression method more effective with increasing original data density." - yr hmbl srppnt, 1st october 2004 (swiped from the .signature file of ppint in rec.arts.sf.fandom)
"Why does "I can't just give them money, they might spend it on drugsl" always refer to homeless ppl, never to tech startup employees?" -- Chevalier sans Tête (@eassumption), 2013-10-24
"When I find myself not wanting to work on a thing, usually because unexpected delays make it drag on, I ask: 'What can I do to make this fun for myself?'
"Sometimes the answer is simple as adding snakes, puns, and existentialism. The weirder a thing gets the more motivated I am to finish it, because I no longer know just what the finished effect will be. When I've had enough experience with a thing that I truly know how it will turn out, and the finished form looks just as it did in my head, I feel no motivation to actually do the thing. When it could all go wrong, life is fun!"
(Happy birthday to fidhle, and to my brother!)
"The message here is clear. Bigotry and transphobia? Possibly annoying, but really nothing to worry about. Calling out bigotry, however? That's a major disruption that needs to be stopped. The real problem with the discussion wasn't all the people declaring that transgender people are mentally ill and denying them their basic identity. It was that anyone got at all upset about it.
"[A]ll of this has a particularly bitter ring to it for the trans community. It is, after all, another instance of the most innocent seeming and yet destructive trick in the transphobic arsenal - the manufactured debate about time and place. The trans community sat through years of this at the hands of the larger GLBT community, as trans issues served mainly as the first thing that would be offered as a concession in any political negotiation. Trans issues were actively treated as the thing to deal with after marriage equality. But there's a larger trick involved. Trans issues aren't appropriate for federal non-discrimination laws because they'd imperil passage of laws to protect sexual orientation. They aren't appropriate for Wikipedia, because they have to win victories elsewhere first. The process of telling trans people that their concerns were inappropriate for a given venue goes back as far as 1969, when Jim Fouratt cut trans people out of the formation of the Gay Liberation Front immediately after the Stonewall riots.
"Often, of course, the harmful effects of this are coupled with talk about how this isn't some slight against trans people. It's just the rules, as those arguing for transphobia kept saying during the naming debate.
"[T]his is the situation Wikipedia has given us. Vehemently and hatefully denouncing the validity of trans identities? OK so long as you don't reference their genitals. Arguing passionately in favor of misnaming Chelsea Manning while covering up the fact that you work for her jailer? Not even worth mentioning. But knowing trans people? Means you're too involved to take administrative actions regarding trans people. Being willing to call out transphobia and hate speech for what they are? Means you can't even edit on trans topics."
"Jazz will endure as long as people hear it through their feet instead of their brains." -- John Philip Sousa
Here's something I've retweeted, and I think linked on FB, but keep forgetting to post on LJ/DW/IJ/etc.: Emory's kickstarter for producing wee "finger doumbeks" -- to produce the larger models, he needs a bigger 3D printer.
They look too small too really make useful sounds, but watch -- listen to -- the video on that Kickstarter page, especially, when Carmine Guida is playing one; they actually sound pretty cool! Cute, portable, playable ... and you can use them as drinking vessels (the larger sizes will be available with or without handles, so you can use one as a "stein-bek"). You want one of these hanging off your belt at Pennsic, n'est-ce pas?
There's only about a week and a half left in the funding period for this project at Kickstarter, and still quite a way to go, so check it out. If nothing else, some of the drumming in the video is nice (well, except for my bit -- I thought I was doing okay until I heard what better drummers had done with it).
The latest news is that he's started trying two-colour drums, with a white drumhead on a red shell.
These tiny drums are fun. Not as loud as a full-size doumbek, of course, but small enough to keep one with you all the time so you're never caught without a drum. Check it out.
"We may have the worst healthcare system in the industrialized world. There's a reason other countries aren't copying what we do here." -- The Gay Blade (@ Daily Kos), 2013-10-20 on the (pre-Obamneycare) American healthcare lack-of-system that the Affordable Care Act is trying to improve upon.
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