As I mentioned recently, I've been slogging through Stephen King's IT on a mission to get a fuller picture of the story we've been told 1.5 times in film. When I say "slogging," I mean it. For all that I enjoy about the book, there are so many things that I don't, most notably its massive page count and glacial pace. It comes back to that "big books" problem, which I've talked about before (probably on Twitter somewhere) -- albeit in a somewhat different context. In brief, I've avoided books over 300-350 pages for years simply because I work so much and read too slow. With all that swirling around in my head, I decided to put IT down for a bit to put my brain into something else. All of this leads me to my topic for today: Read More
Richard Spencer and his cronies have arrived in Gainesville, FL for an event at the University of Florida. He was not invited by anyone but himself. The student body overwhelmingly doesn't want him here. The city overwhelmingly doesn't want him here. But he's here nonetheless to share his message of hate, to manipulate young people to serve his needs, and to play all of us like a fiddle. This event isn't just about presenting his ideas. He'll use this as an opportunity to stage altercations, lie, and manipulate in order to legitimate his movement. This new breed of neo-Nazi/white nationalist[note]...or whatever stupid name you want to give these racist pisspots[/note] has a wide range of technological tools at their disposal that make disseminating lies and hatred easier than ever. Every reaction we give them is more fuel for his fire. They don't need us to discriminate against Spencer or his kind; they'll make it up if they have to. None of this means we shouldn't respond. What it means is we're sort of trapped between a rock and a hard place in all of this. If we react, it will be used against us. If we don't, it'll seem like silent consent. Either way, it seems like we are powerless against this stuff. The problem, however, isn't us. Read More
here. My job, today, is to offer a few scattered thoughts about responses to Kaepernick's protest. Since I don't feel like writing a proper introduction, I'll just get right into it: 2. He has freedom of speech, duh! Read More
Cashier: Are you a Barnes & Noble member? Me: No, but... Cashier: *judgmentally* ...you know what the membership card gives you, right? Me: I do, but... Cashier: *dismissively* ...Alright then. $15.What I had meant to say was this:
I understand what the card provides, but Barnes & Noble closed down the only store within a 30-40 minute drive of my house, so I don't get the opportunity to browse there anymore. And I don't like browsing for books online, which means I don't buy books all that often from any online bookstore. Sorry.Read More
issued an apology on their website. To be honest, I think they handled it well. They responded quickly to criticism, removed the post, and apologized basically in the same evening, which is not something you could say about other places in our community. John DeNardo has accepted full responsibility, and Sarah Chorn, who runs the column, has said her apologies and apparently gone dark for a bit. I know both a little bit (not as much as I would like, but we do live in different dimensions, so...), so I feel confident in saying their responses are sincere and that they both feel pretty awful about it all. I hope that is the end of it and that we can use this moment to move things in a more constructive direction.
----------------------------In 2014, I was on a panel about postcolonialism and science fiction at LonCon3. It was a tough panel for me because as much as I should know what I'm talking about when it comes to the field I've spent the last 8 years studying, I've always had a bit of that impostor syndrome. And that feeling is always enhanced by the fact that I know I come from the very group which made a field like postcolonialism necessary. My ancestors probably enslaved people, stole land from others, destroyed entire cultures, colonized entire regions of the world and stole as many resources as they could. What right do I have studying and writing about these things in the academic context? A lot of that was in the back of my mind when I walked over to the panel location with my fellow panelists, and it stayed there even as I gave my thoughts on questions from the moderator and the audience. What am I doing here? Read More