Weekly Open Thread with Parkour Plumbers

Freerunning Mario and Luigi are this week’s Open Thread hosts. Please natter/chatter/vent/rant on anything* you like over this weekend and throughout the week.

So, what have you been up to? What would you rather be up to? What’s been awesome/awful?
Reading? Watching? Making? Meeting?
What has [insert awesome inspiration/fave fansquee/guilty pleasure/dastardly ne’er-do-well/threat to all civilised life on the planet du jour] been up to?


* Netiquette footnotes:
* There is no off-topic on the Weekly Open Thread, but consider whether your comment would be on-topic on any recent thread and thus better belongs there.
* If your comment touches on topics known to generally result in thread-jacking, you will be expected to take the discussion to #spillover instead of overshadowing the social/circuit-breaking aspects of this thread.


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About tigtog

tigtog blogs a lot elsewhere, but here on Feministe she mostly does the tech support and feeds the giraffe. tigtog tweets in irregular flurries @vivsmythe.
This entry was posted in Life, Politics, Popular Culture, The Cultural Canon and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

181 Responses to Weekly Open Thread with Parkour Plumbers

  1. Andie says:

    Anyone following the current events in Quebec right now? The PQ is trying to bring in a charter of (secular-ish) values, including banning “ostentatious” (read:non-christian) religious symbols in government offices.

    However, they’re arguing that things like crosses are like, pretty much not religious anymore, yanno? They’re so secular so they’re a-okay.

    One PQ member has already been fired for opposing the charter with all its ethnocentric inconsistencies.

  2. Ally S says:

    [Content note: natural disasters]

    My mom, my step-dad, my little brother and I have been trying avert the widespread flooding in Colorado. We were forced to evacuate my step-dad’s house in Erie, CO, which happens to be in the flood plains. Had our neighbor not abruptly knocked on our door yesterday morning, we would’ve been trapped in the house under extremely unsafe conditions. In less than 2 minutes after the man knocked on the door, half of our front yard was submerged in about 6 inches of water from Boulder Creek, which is right next to the house.

    My step-dad almost died trying to save one of the cats. And in general, this whole ordeal has been very difficult for us emotionally – yesterday we all were in a shaken, weepy state and found ourselves overwhelmed. Especially since the city we fled to, Fort Collins, almost flooded severely yesterday. We haven’t felt this scared in months – it’s as though the flooding is following everywhere.

    Fortunately, the Cache Le Poudre river is most likely not going to flood severely here in Fort Collins, and the rain is no longer heavy in most areas. On top of that, my mom and my step-dad have maximum flood insurance coverage.

    I hope everyone else in the current flood zones of Colorado is safe. The flooding has been frigtening and dangerous throughout the entire front range, and Lyons probably got the worst of it.

    • GallingGalla says:

      OMG! I’m glad that you and your family are ok.

    • Andie says:

      That’s some scary shit, Ally! I hope you and your family are able to stay safe and mostly dry.

    • Donna L says:

      I’m very sorry, Ally; what an ordeal. I’m glad you’re all OK, at least physically.

    • Stay safe, Aaliyah. Hope it gets better soon.

    • Kerandria says:

      Good luck, Ally! Jedi hugs if you want them. I’m sorry that you and your family are living through this atm.

    • Marksman2010 says:

      That’s an incredible story. I’m glad you’re safe. I didn’t think floods could hit that quickly and that strongly. I was always under the assumption you would have days to box up your stuff and get out of town. But now I see floods can hit almost as fast as a tornado. But you and your loved ones are safe. That’s what really counts.

      • Ally S says:

        It depends on the nature of the flood. If it’s caused by the overflowing of some body of water like a river (due to either melting snow or slow-moving rainstorms or both), then flash floods can happen easily. But in my experience, floods caused by just heavy rain don’t hit places nearly as fast, and they can be easily averted.

        Regardless, all floods should be considered dangerous. Places like Big Sur in California don’t get flash floods all the time, but heavy rainfall there can cause rock slides and mudslides, which are very often life-threatening. More common examples of dangerous (and nearly universal) consequences of flooding include driving in a flood zone.

        I used to take floods very lightly – now I’ll never think of floods the same way again.

      • Clytemnestra's Sister says:

        I don’t know your situation, but if you have little kids (under 10) or somebody in your family has little kids and you have access to counselling, please consider taking them. The adults generally can work through things, older kids can generally understand what happened, but the younger ones are just too little to have any clue.

        Source: was in Houston when Allison trashed it.

      • Ally S says:

        Thanks for the suggestion. My little brother seems to be taking things well, and he’s 3, but I think my mom and my step-dad should still consider counseling.

    • Willemina says:

      Hugs if you want them, the stuff I saw on the news looked unreal. Here’s hoping the waters recede quickly and your family stays safe.

    • TomSims says:

      I’m sorry for your ordeal. I’ve been watching on the TV News. I hope you and your family are safe.

    • moviemaedchen says:

      Jedi hugs if wanted. I’m glad you are safer now.

    • EG says:

      Good God, Ally, that’s terrifying. I’m glad you and your family are safe. Please stay that way.

    • Ally S says:

      Thanks, everyone. I’m back in California now. After dropping me off, they went back to the house (which apparently wasn’t damaged badly, although everything else around it was) and retrieved essential belongings like their cell phone and their laptop, so things are much easier for them now. But they had to evacuate again due to yet another flash flood in Erie, and they’re in Fort Collins now. There’s a flash flood threat in Fort Collins now as well. I hope they’re safe.

      • tigtog says:

        I’m glad to hear that you’re all physically safe for now, Ally. I’m sure that they’ll be OK: they’re prepared now and the warning/emergency systems seem to be doing their job after that first flash flood took everybody by surprise.

  3. Echo Zen says:

    Whoa, you’re in Colorado? (Somehow I thought you’d moved to California.) I really hope things don’t become worse for you, Ally S!

  4. bookshopcat says:

    I recently stopped by my GP’s clinic to set up a care team meeting and found out that surprise! contrary to what I’d been led to believe, I don’t actually have a GP anymore!

    Apparently the doctors there will now only provide care that’s directly related to transition because the need for trans-competent doctors in this province is so high.

    While I can’t say that I’m surprised, it’s a massive setback, especially since I was told that this was a long-term, stable arrangement. This guy was far and away the best doc I’ve ever had, and the thought of trying to find another one I’m even semi-comfortable with is incredibly daunting. Like pretty much every trans person out there, I’ve hopscotched between care providers and had some hellish experiences along the way; the odds of finding a doc who’s in a position to help someone with my constellation of issues and/or has the time and inclination to be educated is remote at best- even transitioned people who don’t have Major Complicating Factors are hard put to it to find a local GP who’s willing to take them on.

    If I didn’t need a GP in order to keep on receiving disability benefits, I’d be tempted to put off the hunt, but I don’t have that luxury when annual reassessment time is fast approaching . This means I’m facing the prospect of jousting with people who identify as “professionals” and know far less about trans people than I did when I started transitioning. I’m not even going to fucking get paid for putting myself directly in the line of fire, let alone have any guarantee that doing so will improve my situation or that of any trans person the self-identified “professional” subsequently encounters.

    I wouldn’t mind educating “professionals” so much if I got paid appropriately for it*, but most of these noodle-heads just get pissy and aggressive when a trans person contradicts them, even when they’ve admitted multiple times that they’re getting all their “medical knowledge” from daytime soaps and the National Enquirer.

    *a base rate of 700$/hour with 250% surcharges for excruciating ignorance/ridiculous questions seems fair.

    • Donna L says:

      I’m sorry you have to deal with all this, bookshopcat. It’s all such a depressingly familiar situation.

    • Jenna says:

      Aargh. That sounds horrible. I wish you luck and the finding of a most excellent GP as soon as possible.

    • EG says:

      What a pain in the ass–I’m so sorry. Can this good practice at least recommend somebody? I wish you the best of luck in your search.

  5. Knitting update time!

    I’m making a jacket based on the triangular pattern of my brown tunic. Only real differences structure-wise will be that the front will be open, with an overlap, and the sleeves wide. The real difference will be in the colour: I’m using Noro Silk Garden #309, with a few bits of random cream cable pattern thrown in, and deep brown (the leftover wool from the tunic, actually) for the cuffs, back yoke and edgings. This is how far I’d got on Thursday night; it’s progressed a good bit since then.

  6. pheenobarbidoll says:

    Two weeks of hell have me dragging ass today. Fucking over this shit. Things better improve soon or y’all May be hearing about the smoking crater that used to be a town in west Texas.

    • Hugs if they’re wanted, pheeno. :(

    • Willemina says:

      I need to stop listening to misanthropic comedians at work. My first reaction to that was “Hey, I thought West blew up in April, not May.” I also blame booze.

      Sorry to hear of the shittiness pheeno, I hope it lets up before cratering is necessary.

    • pheenobarbidoll says:

      I scrubbed the house and released some stress on the dirt so I’m slightly happier. If our finances can stop taking unexpected hits, I’ll be better.

    • EG says:

      Rough time. I send you good wishes and the hope that things smooth out.

      • pheenobarbidoll says:

        Just sucks when you can’t afford to renew the car registration for 2 weeks and you get pulled over and ticketed, then discover you have to pay the ticket first which pushes back when you can get the car registered another few weeks, which means you risk another ticket etc etc.

      • tigtog says:

        And I just bet some of those fine residents of your town in West Texas make a point of musing loudly and often about poor people just not pulling hard enough on bootstraps. That sucks, pheeno.

  7. Jenna says:

    My radiation is over! Whee!

    All I have left on the schedule is three more months of Herceptin infusions(cakewalk compared to the rest of the ordeal).

    Now I just need to recover from my treatments.

    Also, because it is on my mind and kind of related. I really understand why Angelina Jolie did the surgery. I read a LOT of comments that said she should wait and only do the surgery if cancer was found, but, you know what? If they find cancer, you do the whole cancer treatment thing which most often includes chemotherapy and/or radiation, and you may lose lymph nodes too, like I did. The way she did it, she has surgery only. For me, the surgery was not the hard part. Chemo kicked my ass. Radiation therapy has left me tired, burned, and is possibly what lowered my body’s defenses to let an infection in.
    My boobs aren’t a business asset for me, though, so at this point I am planning on skipping the reconstruction. I want to be done. I want it over. I just want to heal.

  8. TimmyTwinkles says:

    Does anyone else read 10-20 books at the same time? Its a pretty bad habit, at a certain point I become locked in indecision on what to pick up and default to re-watching episodes of Arrested Development.

    • Donna L says:

      Not quite that many, but I do get pretty indecisive if I’m not fully absorbed in something after the first 20 pages or so. I still have books on my shelf that I put down partway through 25 or 30 years ago, but still sort of think maybe I’ll finish them someday. Like Moby Dick, although that was more like 40 years ago. And 30 years ago. And 25. (I think that’s about how many times I tried.)

      • TimmyTwinkles says:

        Ha thats exactly how I am with Sound and the Fury. For some reason I’ve always been made to feel like I should appreciate Faulkner but cant get through first chapter, literally some of the most boring prose ever, at least to me.

      • Andie says:

        Ohmygod that book. I cannot get into it, no matter how I’ve tried.

    • Marksman2000 says:

      I’m so bad about that, I once had a friend remark that I “collected” books, I didn’t “read” them.

      That’s not true, but I do have a bad habit of locating and starting so much material that I end up reading 10 books at once. I finish them–but very slowly.

    • TimmyTwinkles says:

      What is everybody reading right now? I love getting insight into intelligent people’s reading habits. Its a good way for me to learn about rad books I was unaware of, and it heartens me to be reminded that there are still a few of us left who read sheerly to read.

      • Willemina says:

        Mortal Engines by Stanislaw Lem.

        The last story “The Mask,” always makes me cry. :*(

      • TimmyTwinkles says:

        Case in point, now I have a new author I need to read! Just read some stuff about him, looks amazing. The description I read of his themes immediately made me think of Nabokov, specifically in the second half of Ada or Ardor where he examines how time and memories interact with the central character’s experience in the present. Its an amazing book,his prose is indescribably perfect as always, and the combination of epic love story and elegant metaphysical treatise is just cool. Like Lolita the love story is taboo (brother and sister), and its just as convincing and poignant (to me, reasonable minds will differ)

      • Donna L says:

        I don’t think the “love story” in Lolita is intended to be poignant. It’s intended to reveal Humbert Humbert as a despicable person, by his own words.

      • CaitlinH says:

        Yep. Lolita is not a novel about love. It’s a novel about pedophilia and rape. Humbert is supposed to be creepy, and unreliable, and despicable.

      • AMM says:

        Yeah, Humbert H. is truly creepy and repulsive.

        [the following is going to be a bit elliptical, to avoid being too triggery — I hope.]

        But what really gets me is that apparently for many decades, nobody thought that the central plot point — i.e., Humbert H’s ongoing abuse of Dolores — was all that bad. The literary discussion in the back of my copy of Lolita talks about humor, satire, social criticism, but what Humbert does to Dolores (cf. the discussion of the novel in Reading Lolita in Teheran to see what I mean) goes as unremarked as what fast food joints they go to.

        The wikipedia entry on Lolita indicates that criticism of the rapiness in the story didn’t start until the 1990’s.

        I’m beginning to realize just how pervasive rape culture has been for most of my life, that there wasn’t any need for the term “rape culture” because, until recently, there wasn’t even any concept of non-rape culture.

        (GAGFUW, indeed.)

      • Andie says:

        Drums in autumn, the fourth book in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. Have been enjoying it, for the most part. Claire is a pretty good fish-out-of-water character. It’s not without it’s problems though. The second or third book had a fair amount of fat-shaming that I was not impressed with (the main character, concerned about aging, makes several “at least I never got fat” references, which pissed me off). The handling of POC characters has been less than stellar as well, especially Native American characters.

      • Andie says:

        Oh… Yeah, just remembered the first and second book had some bad consent and abuse bits… So, trigger.

      • Just finished re-reading Au Revoir, My Darling, which is letters between an Australian couple during WWII, and re-started Raisins and Almonds, one of the Phryne Fisher detective series (I’ve read it about three times already, and it’s not one of my favourites in the series).

        I’m reading bits and pieces of E F Benson and M R James collections, but they’re disappointing. I think I’ve read their best works already. I’m starting to wonder if Benson wrote anything else as good as The Room in the Tower.

      • Hugh says:

        Antonia Fraser’s biography of King Charles II. It’s pretty good. Fraser has her biases, but they’re not that hard to look past, and she’s a good writer.

      • Timmy Twinkles says:

        Real quick comment on Lolita:
        I agree with all comments regarding Humbert being a monster; he self -identifies as one throughout the book so def no controversy there. And i had no idea the child-rape aspect was minimized until the 90’s, truly appalling. As much as I love the book (for prose Nabokov is the master and Lolita is his Mona Lisa), when I read it I kind of have to turn off the part of my mind registering how transcendently evil Humberts actions are.
        I was going to explain my reference to a love story theme and there are multiple passages I could cite just to illustrate what I mean, but in light of the fact that we’re talking about pedophilia I think that would be in poor taste. And actually, when I played around with the concept in my head, I’m not so sure a one-sided love, however sincere (though completely twisted and warped by sociopathy) can be called a love story. Which renders my favorite description of the book from a Vanity Fair book review (“the only convincing love story of our time!), stoopid.

    • Kathy says:

      I do this, especially with library books so I only have two or three weeks to read them all. I’ve gotten better at not letting them pile up, but I usually end up taking a handful back unread or partially read.

  9. Karak says:

    I’ve become obsessed with Supernatural, but I can’t help but notice how black people and women are all victims and villians, not really bystanders or existing. But I am living it–just started season 3.

  10. There’s nothing quite as enjoyable as being acutely aware of oncoming exams, essays and assignments, and of the start of two part-time jobs, in less than two days…and being completely blocked on any of those assignments, essays, exams and anything else that might lessen the workload. Not to mention too sick/tired to do any housework and ease that as well.

    By which I mean, this is Anime Weekend, and fuck it. I deserve a break before I press nose to grindstone.

  11. Andie says:

    My kid bought a dress to wear to her friends gr. 8 grad (because planning this shit in September is a thing..? ) and now I’m having omgmybabyisgrowingup mild panic attacks. She looks like a woman. A rather short woman, but a woman, nonetheless. Halp. Cannot deal.

    Also I have to fast tomorrow for another colonoscopy because they found something they “didn’t like” on my last one and I’m on my period so I’m pretty much going to be a whiny, blubbery, somewhat murderous shitting mess by this time tomorrow.

    • Jenna says:

      My sympathies on the colonoscopy. The prep is the rough part.

      I can’t guarantee it will work this way for you, but, even though I ended up diagnosed with Celiac disease, I’m glad they FOUND it.

      • Andie says:

        I got diagnosed with ulcerative colitis when I was eighteen.. Apparently after 10 years with it, your chances of colon cancer increases. My grandfather also died of colon cancer, so I’m freaking out a bit.

        Mind you “we found something we’re not sure of but that we don’t like” isn’t the same as “holy shit it’s cancer” so I’m trying to keep that in mind.

      • Donna L says:

        My sympathies. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease of the colon when I was 22, although for the first 7 years they thought it was ulcerative colitis — they can be very similar.

    • EG says:

      Best of luck with the colonoscopy. What a whole bunch of no fun they are.

    • Donna L says:

      What a whole bunch of no fun they are.

      Indeed. The only good thing about no longer having a colon is that I know I never again have to have a colonoscopy!

      Best of luck, Andie.

    • tigtog says:

      Wishing you well from half a world away, Andie.

  12. BFing Sarah says:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/charlotte-mecklenburg-police-officer-shoots-kills-unarmed-man-apparently-involved-in-wreck/2013/09/14/3c5fa19e-1d9f-11e3-80ac-96205cacb45a_story.html

    I just feel so devastated by this young man’s death. He was just looking for help and instead he was shot to death. I understand why the woman in her home was afraid; I do not like to answer the door when I am home alone at night and I would also be afraid to get a knock on the door after dark. But the cops? Why shoot first and ask questions later? The man had no weapon and nothing resembling a weapon in his hands! Can no one be trusted to have possession of a weapon and refrain from using it until it is absolutely necessary? I’m so tired of living in a country where people take out their guns and shoot first and ask questions later…ESPECIALLY when it comes to black men and young boys! How is a black man supposed to survive when he is seen as a suspect by everyone, including so many in authority. This young man was a college graduate with a fiancee and his whole life ahead of him…and now he is gone. It just makes me worry for my husband, my son, my cousins, my brother in law, my uncles…how can they be safe and stay safe? Why does this keep happening? When will it ever, ever stop??

    • Donna L says:

      The latest news is that the police officer who shot and killed him has been charged with voluntary manslaughter. It seems that even the police department doesn’t buy the cop’s story that Mr. Ferrell supposedly “charged him,” so he had to shoot.

      • BFing Sarah says:

        The thing is, I just don’t believe Ferrell will pay for what he did. Maybe, just maybe, he will do a little time (probably he will get off scot free like Zimmerman)…but not nearly as much as he should. And, meanwhile, a young man’s life is over and his family and friends are left behind to deal with this terrible, nonsensical loss. I get to the point where I sometimes just want to close my eyes and plug up my ears and scream at the top of my lungs, you know?

      • Willemina says:

        Ferrell is the guy that got shot. Kerrick is the guy that shot him. The lady in the house is the one that called the cops about a breaking and entering.

      • BFing Sarah says:

        Thanks. Yes, I know. I miswrote and my work computer is having major slowness problems so I couldn’t correct it right away. I figured most people would either know what I meant or be ignoring this exchange anyway. Also, I know the lady was the one that called the cops. Like I said above, I understand where she is coming from; if you are a person home alone and someone is banging on your door I can see how you would be frightened and call the police. I don’t know why you’d say it was a B&E, but I get why she called the police. What upsets me is that the police, once again, instead of being rational and finding out what happened with calm deliberation (HAAAHAHAHAHAAHA), fired on an unarmed black man and then tried, once again, to blame it on him. The police are supposed to be there “investigating” a “break in”…why in God’s name would a man who just broke into a house be hanging around that same neighborhood, waiting for the police? Its obvious that they didn’t even care to try to figure out what happened and why Mr. Ferrell was knocking on doors and approaching them (for assistance!!)…and you know they would have tried to “get to the bottom of things” if it was a white dude. Honestly, it just scares me. My husband and I talked about this very fear the last time his car broke down in a nice neighborhood. He called AAA, instead of the police…but guess who showed up first? The police. Most likely called by one of the nearby homeowners due to the “alarming” presence of a black male after 7 pm (wearing a suit, but lets just ignore that…I’m sure he is up to no good). I just think to myself that this could so easily have been him or one of the other men/teens in my family. Lately, it has been feeling like every single day another one of these stories pops up.

      • tigtog says:

        BFing Sarah, I’m reading and paying attention. I just don’t know what to say. It’s so fucking horrifying that the police have such blatant double standards about race that they have become a threat in themselves to civilians just going about their ordinary business while not-white.

        Australia’s police forces have their own huge problems with racial bias, particularly towards our indigenous peoples, but at least here the prejudice and discrimination tends to leave most victims of police prejudice still alive, probably though only because it’s a rarity here for most ordinary citizens to have guns, so the police can’t so easily use “I thought he had a gun!” as an excuse to use their own.

      • DannyChameleon says:

        The police in this country are NOT here to help you. They are here to enforce the law and protect themselves by any means.

      • Bagelsan says:

        I was reading about this story elsewhere, and naturally everyone’s blaming the one lady-person involved for being scared. Like, really? I’m pretty sure she did what you’re told you’re supposed to do if a stranger asks you for help; call the authorities. (The fact that the authorities are terrible racist trigger-happy assholes is the real issue, here.)

      • Timmy Twinkles says:

        A quick caveat: I’m not minimizing 9/11 or a terrorist’s capacity to kill Americans at any time. I’m saying that getting killed is not being robbed of your constitutional rights or freedoms. It’s getting killed, which can happen any number of more mundane ways that have nothing to do with freedom or having it taken away. My freedom of speech (commonly cited right protect by our troops fighting Taliban fighters across the world) is not at risk from al quaeda. Therefore, our military, while serving other arguably beneficial ends, is not protecting my right to do or be anything. At a stretch you could say my right to be alive, but that’s pretty bogus, in terms of a terrorist attack you’d be way more accurate saying the Fbi’s counter-terrorism division protects my right to live against terrorist plots.

    • EG says:

      The impunity with which white people shoot black young people is staggering and horrifying. I’m so sorry.

    • Timmy Twinkles says:

      The overriding problem as I see it is our society’s cult of hero-worship that has formed around law enforcement and the military (and firefighters for that matter but they aren’t going around killing innocent people so ill give them a pass)
      Examples: we are constantly told freedom isn’t free (meaningless statement), thank the troops, they’re fighting to protect our right to do or say X, etc. All nonsense. Nobody’s freedom is being threatened by tiny terrorist factions, nor by countries thanks to mutually assured destruction doctrine which is as pertinent as it ever was. I’m not hating on the troops, I’m saying they are in no way fighting for me , they’re fighting for perceived national interests and geo-political ends.

      Police differ in that their purpose is to secure my public safety and certain rights. But they’re not doing it pro bono. It’s actually a really attractive job opportunity to alot of people, particularly in blue collar communities since a college education is not required. Obviously they plan an essential role in society; we have laws, they need to be enforced, natch. So therefore every single one of them is a hero and I should shut up and be thankful they took on such a dangerous job just for little old me (not that dangerous, look at the stats it’s just not). Doesn’t follow. And a lot of police have a power complex or little man’s syndrome (not all, I’ve met more than by share of cops who were decent people competently doing a job). My roundabout point is police get away with things like blatant racist profiling which leads to this kind of shooting because we as a society have surrendered to them so much power and deference, coming mostly I think from a misguided sense of gratitude and respect for how dangerous we are told to think the job is. Same reason when out military racks up uncomfortably large numbers of civilian casualties, we came up with the brilliant concept of “collateral damage”, because since our troops protect our freedom obvi and it is sacrosanct, they would never recklessly endanger innocents in pursuit of such an elegant end and if they did well its just brown people and my freedom to watch Big Brother is safe! On conclusion, two words: drone strikes.

    • Tony says:

      Disgusting. I’m with you, BFing Sarah.

  13. Computer Soldier Porygon says:

    I am profoundly, profoundly hungover and must bake a cake for a birthday dinner in the next couple of hours. I am complaining about this in every possible internet venue.

  14. tigtog says:

    Only just woke up to the news of the mass shooting in Washington DC. I hope all Feministe readers in the area and their friends and family are safe.

  15. SkyTracer says:

    I’ve heard several people credit “Vince Gilligan’s genius” for yesterday’s (very intense) episode of Breaking Bad, but I haven’t seen a single mention of the woman who actually wrote the episode. I’d consider it rank misogyny if I thought those people understood what “showrunner” actually means (hint: it’s not “solely responsible for everything except Bryan Cranston’s acting”).

    It’s a privileged person’s problem, I know, but still.

    In other news, a woman (who happens to be trans) had the audacity to call Grand Theft Auto V “profoundly misogynistic” en route to giving it a 9/10 rating and “editor’s choice” recognition. This has angered many loud-and-stupid transphobes, dudebros (oh, there I go misandering again), and MRA types.

    For all “gamers” whine about how their precious toys aren’t more widely considered “art”, I’ve yet to encounter another artistic medium whose fans are as hostile to even the slightest critique as most gamers seem to be. They want the prestige of artistic recognition, but they want it without doing anything harder than moving their thumbs across an analog stick.

    I’d make a joke about “scorched-earth” solutions, but I don’t think it would sound whimsical enough.

    • Willemina says:

      9/10? That’s scathing for a big name release, and that says basically everything about the status of games as art and the criticism surrounding them.

      ::super eye-roll::

  16. PrettyAmiable says:

    So the shooter purportedly had auditory hallucinations a few days ago. Who’s ready for the next round of ableism-masked-as-concern-trolling in the media??

    • Willemina says:

      And he played violent video games too. So once again easy access to guns shooter games and lack of oversight of guns mental illness are probably to blame here. I love playing scapegoat madlibs.

      • DannyChameleon says:

        So once again easy access to shooter games and lack of oversight of mental illness are probably to blame here.

        …and shooter games quickly turns into all video games.

  17. pheenobarbidoll says:

    After 22 hours of labor, I am now a grandmother to an 8 lb 3 oz little girl

  18. I’ve just done my first photo composite in ages! Very pleased with it, too. I’ve been so distracted by (or focussed on, take your pick) knitting lately that writing and pics have disappeared. Though there is the excuse that if I don’t get the knitting done soon, it’ll be too warm to wear it. But it’s lovely to have a new portrait of my beloved. Not bad that I bummed off at work to do it, either. ;)

    http://i.imgur.com/zY8XjkI.jpg

  19. Okay, since there’s literary types on here… is structuralism really this mashed-potatoes flavoured, or is that just me being blinkered to something?

    • EG says:

      OK, I can maybe help, since structuralism is a big part of folklore studies! But is there a way you can make the question a little more specific? I don’t mean to be a pedant…but I’m not sure I’m understanding what it is you want to know.

      • I simply feel like it’s so simple I must be missing something. It seems to me that structuralism studies form and function over content, which is largely viewed as replaceable (I totally get why this is a factor in folktales). But it seems in practice to be not that different from “standard” – by which I mean pre-undergrad – levels of literary criticism: looking at rhythms, language, forms of storytelling, etc. It seems like the academy’s version of Tvtropes. Am I missing something huge and important, or is that basically it and I’m just anxious for no reason?

      • EG says:

        Nope, that’s about right. The biggest difference between structuralism and everything that’s happened since is that structuralism focuses on finding similarities between texts and everything else focuses on differences, on what’s unique about a given text. It’s interesting in that it can help to understand how a given genre is working–it tries to describe a kind of grammar of how story works, if that makes sense–but it then has the fallibility of making every text seem the same. Does that make sense?

      • That makes perfect sense, EG! Thank you so much for confirming!

        …now I just have to write that journal ;_;

  20. Jasmin says:

    Did anyone read about Tim Wise’s Facebook rant? Can’t say I’m surprised.

    • EG says:

      I’ve been seeing mentions of it on Twitter list, but I’m not on Facebook or anything. Is there a summary of what’s gone down somewhere?

      • BBBShrewHarpy says:

        Here is an excerpt:

        “And this is what’s funny…every second that fools troll my site, complaining about how I take up all the antiracist space so they can’t be heard, is a moment they aren’t setting up their own website, blog, or writing their own book…but they wanna blame me for why no one knows who they are…it’s not on me sweetheart..plenty of people of color get book deals and speaking gigs each year…if u didn’t its not on me…it’s cuz u havent said anything that anyone finds valuable…deal with that rather than wasting time trolling…Maybe another POC blew up your spot rather than me…ever think of that? No, of course not…cuz that would require critical thought rather than simplistic hater bs and stuff u can put on tumblr…seriously, it’s time for people to be told to step off…feel free to jump off the page trolls….or I can bounce you…and would love to…trust me, u will lose this beef..badly…”

        His followers were not impressed. He has apologized this morning, sort of.

      • Kathy says:

        Here’s a recent update. (Note: this is from Jezebel, who’s had their share of problems with race, but the groupthink threads are usually better than what’s on the front page. Also, TW for the HS comparisons.)

        http://groupthink.jezebel.com/tim-wise-update-spoiler-hes-still-full-of-shit-1338515932

      • victoria says:

        Thanks for the link, Kathy.

      • Jasmin says:

        Sorry for the late response! (I am a teacher, and on the West Coast, so I’m always late to the party.) besides what the OP mentioened, I think this storm has been brewing for awhile. Tim Wise obviously enjoys being singular (the white antiracist), and he handwaves away the erasure of the voices of POC activists saying the same thing. To me, this latest outburst sounds very “You people should shut up and be grateful” to me.

  21. tmc says:

    [Content note: Thanksgiving, Native American genocide, racist whitewashing]

    So I just got off the phone with my boyfriend and we had a bit of a strong disagreement about Thanksgiving. He asked me what my family does that day, and I told him that my mom cooks, and my brother and my family and my grandmom all go to my parents’ house and we eat together. It’s small and intimate and very chill. He informed me that he wouldn’t be coming because he doesn’t celebrate it, which I said was fine. He then said that we (my husband, myself, and my daughter) shouldn’t go have dinner with my parents either because it’s just fucked up and wrong.

    I do know and absolutely agree that Thanksgiving is fucked up and wrong, and that the myths and lies created around it are colonialist, racist, and terrible in every way. But my family isn’t celebrating Thanksgiving; we just like getting together to eat and everyone already has the day off and it’s an excuse to spend the time together. I’ve ranted to my mom about it every year (and about Columbus Day as well); I get into an argument about it with certain relatives of certain friends who are hyper-defensive of the holiday and try to pretend that there’s nothing sketchy about it; I post about the National Day of Mourning on Facebook every year, etc.

    According to my boyfriend, to talk about the genocide and white-washing of history with others but then to continue to privately have dinner with my parents on that particular day (regardless of whether we invoke “Thanksgiving” or not) is not living my activism, and is a fucked up and oppressive thing to do. My only justifications are that I enjoy the time with my family, my mom enjoys cooking for us, and my daughter loves getting to spend a day doing something a little different together with the family. And I don’t want to hurt my mom’s feelings by keeping her only grandkid away from her that day; in addition to just not wanting to hurt her because I love her, she does a lot for us, including watching my daughter every day since we can’t afford childcare and keeping her overnights when I have late classes. My justification seems pretty weak in comparison to his, admittedly.

    Am I fucking up? Am I a hypocrite? I’ve googled and googled trying to find social justice perspectives (specifically from Native Americans themselves) on having dinner with your family on that particular day, but I’m at work right now and almost all of the sites that come up are blocked. :-/

    While I appreciate and welcome any perspectives from Native American commentators, I do know that it is not their responsibility to educate me, and I recognize that this is likely a painful topic to discuss. I apologize sincerely for any fucked-up colonialist assumptions and/or language I have used, and I welcome correction. If this was a fucked-up colonialist thing to post in the first place, I will gladly take it elsewhere. I know intent isn’t magic but I do mean this in good faith and do not desire any cookies or backpats or anything. I just want to do the right thing.

    • tmc says:

      After talking more to a friend of mine, I have realized that I’m probably having a privilege-check tantrum and that’s why I’m feeling so sick to my stomach about this. Further reflection is needed but I feel like my boyfriend is probably more right about this one than I am.

      I really don’t want to hurt my mom’s feelings. :-(

    • EG says:

      My only justifications are that I enjoy the time with my family, my mom enjoys cooking for us, and my daughter loves getting to spend a day doing something a little different together with the family. And I don’t want to hurt my mom’s feelings by keeping her only grandkid away from her that day; in addition to just not wanting to hurt her because I love her, she does a lot for us, including watching my daughter every day since we can’t afford childcare and keeping her overnights when I have late classes. My justification seems pretty weak in comparison to his, admittedly.

      I’m not offering an opinion one way or the other on what you should do; I’m not NA and don’t think I have the standing to. But I don’t think that you should dismiss your reasons as “pretty weak.” I have the luxury of having a very flexible schedule and seeing my family frequently. Not everybody does. Sometimes a federal holiday is the only time you have to see people, to make an elaborate meal, when everybody can get together on the same day, and maintaining those family bonds is an important thing to do.

      I’m not saying that you are automatically right, either. I think I’m uncomfortable with the gender dynamics of his principles being necessarily “stronger” than the emotional labor that goes into building and maintaining your family, so often derided because it is done and valued by women, but it so often benefits the entire family. So whatever you decide to do, I think you should acknowledge that your reasons are significant. If you decide that despite their significance, you need to not go to your mother’s, that’s totally fair, but I think that should be because the political reasons are even more compelling, not because your concern for your family isn’t important.

    • pheenobarbidoll says:

      I’m going to bottom line my perspective- Thanksgiving isn’t going to go away. It just isn’t. So if you try to educate those around you, and reflect on the actions that have allowed your family to have this one day, and maybe even toss in a moment of silence to mourn those who were killed, then you’re not so hypocritical. My own family gets together and when we can, go to thanksgiving powwows. We mourn, but also celebrate those who gave us life. Personally I don’t expect people to sit at home. I just expect the recognition of what the day truly means. And tell your boyfriend that we don’t need him making you feel like shit on our behalf.

    • tmc says:

      Thank you both for your responses. For some reason my work computer will no longer load the page for this particular thread so I’m responding quickly from my phone to acknowledge that I’ve read and am grateful for your responses. I will respond to your posts when I get home from class later tonight!

    • Lolagirl says:

      Frankly, I think Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that has moved pretty far from its origins. I also say this as someone with a parent who is not USian, so for us as a family it has never been a GO U.S.A.! celebrate the pilgrims kind of deal.

      And I think that’s actually quite true for lots of folks. Like EG mentioned, it’s a government sanctioned holiday/day off work and thus easy opportunity for family and friends to share company and food rituals. So honestly, I think your SO’s reaction is pretty ott and unwarranted. And I sure as hell do NOT think your reasoning is weak, it actually sounds quite coherent and thoroughly reasonable.

      So I say go to your family’s house, share their company, and enjoy good food. Let your kid and your family build happy memories together, that stuff will be precious to them in the future.

      • Lolagirl says:

        And not to hijack, but my dad is quite sick and will not be alive by the time T-Day arrives. It seems so easy during much of the rest of the year to take family time like that for granted, but not so much when that opportunity is gone. Cherish it while you have it, it is precious and it is fleeting.

      • Hugs if you want ’em, Lola. I am so sorry.

      • Lolagirl says:

        Thanks, Mac. I’ve not updated since my last open post a few weeks back, but things have gone south quickly for my dad, and he only has a week or so left at this point. The thought of him not being around to undertake his elaborate Thanksgiving pie procurement and cranberry relish making programs any more breaks my heart. For me, and my kids, and my family. It sucks.

      • tmc says:

        I’m really sorry to hear that, Lola. May you and your family find peace in the days to come.

      • pheenobarbidoll says:

        Lola- it doesn’t matter that it’s moved from its origins. I sure as he’ll hope it did given that the first thanksgiving had colonizers giving thanks after slaughtering entire villages. So no. That excuse does not fly. It still means the same thing to NDNS. What it means to a minority of colonizers doesn’t change it.

      • pheenobarbidoll says:

        Also- saying ” that’s not what it means to me” about thanksgiving is exactly the same as saying ” the confederate flag doesn’t mean slavery to me” and utterly erasing the opinions, feelings and experiences of poc. So thanksgiving doesn’t mean woohoo pilgrims to some colonizers anymore. How fabulous. Good to know it’s still their opinion and perspective that fucking dictates that.

      • Lolagirl says:

        Be that as it may, Pheeno, my concern is that the larger point is getting missed here. Which is that TMC’s SO is wandering into the territory of isolating her and her kid from their family for what is often a big deal holiday for a lot of people. All under the guise of HDU! celebrate the holiday. My apologies to TMC if I’m reading too much into this scenario, but that was my initial take from what she described.

        I absolutely understand the objections to Thanksgiving from First Nations/Native Americans. On the other hand, my family and lots of other families use the date as a time to honor close family and friend relationships and BE together with them. And yes, be thankful for that togetherness and the opportunity to have it. My mother’s culture is very much bound up in food and family rituals, and this is one of her only opportunities to put that into action. Because it’s one of the only days we all get to travel home and be together.

      • pheenobarbidoll says:

        The larger point is genocide. Pick another day to stuff turkey in your mouth if you can’t figure that out. You don’t get to change the meaning because it suits you. Colonizers burned babies alive and kicked the heads of NDNs down the street like a game, then celebrated their victory over the savages by having a thanksgiving celebration. Later, it was made into a formal day so the whole country could enjoy genocide at the same time. Then Lincoln made it a national holiday on the same day he signed the order to get rid of the Indians , promising to kill or remove every Indian from Minnesota. But the bigger picture is your having a holiday that means whatever YOU want it to mean? That’s some race fail right there.

      • pheenobarbidoll says:

        So fucking offensive. Mods can we have a giraffe here? Or can some one else explain to Lola what the problem is with appropriating a genocide for her cultures feasting get togethers? And how changing the meaning is fucking oppression.

      • Lolagirl says:

        Really, for this?

        I’m seriously stunned.

      • Lolagirl says:

        And that observation of Thanksgiving is apparently a bannable offense at Feministe is good to know.

        [Moderator note: Giraffe alert =/= calling for a ban. That's just one option at the Giraffe's disposal.]

      • Willemina says:

        The narrative of the whole thing is still soaked with mystic sky daddy loves us juice as well. Can’t forget that bit of “ceremonial deism,” wink wink.

      • tmc says:

        Lola:

        I appreciate your response to me, but I do have to say that you’re wading into dangerous territory by essentially telling pheeno what Thanksgiving is “really” about and also invoking the “Angry Indian” stereotype by hyperbolizing the meaning of her latest response to you. I can’t speak for her, but from what I can see, she called for a giraffe because there is a history of NA folks being told how to feel about the various ways that their history has been obfuscated and appropriated – and regardless of whether you meant to do that, that’s where you’ve gone. Calling for a giraffe because she feels silenced and offended is not the same as calling for your banning because you celebrate Thanksgiving and it’s unfair to phrase it like that. As a matter of fact, in her response to me, she indicated that she doesn’t expect me not to have dinner with my family, and she certainly didn’t ask for a banhammer, so that is obviously not her viewpoint.

        The thing about trying to divorce Thanksgiving from its actual origins is not only the fact that we the colonizers (and that includes me even though my ancestors came to this country as chattel; I still have colonizing privilege and to deny that would be running into “Well my family never owned slaves so I can’t possibly have white privilege” territory) do not have the right to do that, but it obscures the fact that violence against Native American folks is an ongoing reality. It’s not a thing of the past. NA folks are terrorized, kidnapped, stolen from, silenced, raped, and murdered right here in this country every day and not only is it made invisible, but it’s frequently state-sanctioned and/or approved.

        The warm fuzzies I get when I think about the past Thanksgivings I have spent with my family do not outweigh the reality of what happened and continues to happen to NA people. Oppression is learned and taught. Part of my responsibility is to not only unlearn the oppressive behaviors and thought patterns that I grew up with, but to arm my child with the knowledge that she needs in order to fight the same oppressive narratives that she’s pelted with every day. And if I raise her to associate Thanksgiving with the same warm fuzzies that I grew up having, I don’t think that I’m doing her any favors. If we start making a change now, then by the time she’s old enough to understand what Thanksgiving is really about, it won’t be nearly as hard for her as it is for me to refrain from partaking.

        I’m fortunate, in that my parents are local and we see them frequently. And I don’t want to hurt my mom’s feelings about this. But my best friend and I have been talking and we’re trying to think of a way to approach both of our parents and also our other friends about what we can do differently this year; not about reclaiming Thanksgiving, because it’s not ours to reclaim, but about owning and dismantling the thoughts and changing our actions that we have that contribute to the silencing and violence that is waged against NA folks.

        I also very much appreciate having it pointed out to me the fact that I undermined the validity of my own emotions. That is something that I do to myself, due to being essentially trained as a child to consider my own thoughts and feelings as automatically invalid, inferior, and/or disgusting, and it’s something that my boyfriend and husband have both recognized in me and have been helping me with. I didn’t even realize that I was doing it again until it was pointed out to me (thank you EG and Lola).

        All of that being said, I do not think that I can continue to do what I’ve been doing on Thanksgiving (and to raise my daughter that way) in good conscience. I don’t know exactly what I am going to do or how I’m going to handle it with my family, but I do know that I can’t keep doing what I’ve been doing.

        Pheeno:

        Thank you so much for everything that you’ve said in this thread. I appreciate your perspective and know from experience that there is a cost and a risk to educating one’s oppressors, and I’m grateful that you were willing to do that for me (especially here; this place is so dismal when it comes to recognizing and owning colonizer’s privilege).

      • tmc says:

        PSA: I have a super long comment in mod addressing everyone’s posts to me. Thanks.

      • pheenobarbidoll says:

        We need a giraffe here. Mods can explain it to you Lola. And thanks tmc, I appreciate your understanding of this whole mess. Raising your kid to resist the mainstream racism against the indigenous is damn hard and I truly appreciate your efforts.

        [Thank you for sending a giraffe alert ~ mods]

      • tigtog says:

        Moderator note: it seems tmc and mac have already ably supported pheeno in explaining what was problematic with Lolagirl’s “but that’s not what it means to me” response to pheeno raising the issues of appropriation and erasure of genocide deeply embedding within T-Day. [eta] Here in Australia our indigenous peoples hold Invasion Day celebrations of indigenous culture on Australia Day, and for the last few years I’ve been attending the local I-Day gathering instead of the state’s A-Day celebrations – it seems so much more real and joyful as well as teaching my kids a less whitewashed view of our history, and I’m not surprised that indigenous people in the USA are doing much the same by holding their alternate day of remembrance and reunion on T-Day.[/eta]

        I also understand that this is a time of intense distress for Lolagirl as her father lies dying, and while I don’t want to condone what she wrote I also don’t want her to feel unwelcome here due to one comment carelessly phrased. We all step on our privilege sometimes and make a fail-mess. So long as we don’t double-down and make it worse, and make a point of listening and learning so that we don’t repeat the fail in future, then that’s part of what a social justice community is meant to be doing for each other – consciousness-raising to prompt self-examination and more effective ally-ship.

        I’ve just (belatedly) put up the new Open Thread for this weekend. I’ll leave this thread open for a while longer though.

      • DannyChameleon says:

        I live in the US. There are only two days that my partner is guaranteed to not be working: Thanksgiving and Christmas. These are also the only two days that the local market is closed, and as we not drive or own a car, it matters.

        The “celebration” of Thanksgiving is an indefensible support of the devastation and ongoing oppression of the Native American peoples. While it is true that the fourth Thursday of November is not the same thing as Thanksgiving any more than December 25th is the same thing as Christmas, any ritualization of those days will be seen to be those “celebrations”.

        For us, and a large portion of the working class of the US, those days are not just the only ones available to ritualize, circumstances demand it. As for us, I make sure to go to the market the night before, and we treat those days like any other day off. However, I can’t, in good conscience, fault someone who’s only option of visiting family, of celebration and ritalization, is what will be seen as the “celebration” of Thanksgiving.

      • Wow, Lola, you really need to walk your comments back. I don’t see anything wrong in your initial statement re: Thanksgiving being logistically the only time your family gets to do the together thing (neither does pheeno since she said as much) but you can’t arbitrarily redefine the meaning of a thing. Or reclaim it, either.

        TBH I don’t know what to do with Thanksgiving either; the wife’s family half-ass celebrates it (no thankfulness, just a turkey dinner some years, others it winds up skipped IME) but I’ve no connection to it myself and it just weirds me out. OTOH I don’t want to be That Person, particularly when the kid only gets two Nice Meals(TM) a year and looks forward to it for months. I don’t know. The way we practice it seems to be half acknowledgment of historical shit, half “okay, family time, we get a long weekend and marathon anime”. Not sure how to feel about it.

      • pheenobarbidoll says:

        Like I said, I don’t expect anyone to sit home. Realistically that’s just never going to happen. But I do expect those that know better to at least use that family time to educate themselves and their families. Then at least kids will grow into adults who have awareness of the real meaning, and can pass that onto future generations and possibly move away from the pilgrim crap.

      • Oh god the pilgrim crap. Val had already raeged about the level of that crap well before I turned up. -_- Of course, they keep trying to bring the kid to Jesus Expose My Child To Good Canadian Values at school, so it’s not like the conversation’s ever going to be over…

      • trees says:

        @Lolagirl

        Really, for this?

        I’m seriously stunned.

        How can you be so sure of yourself? This isn’t the first time you’ve demonstrated an ignorance of NDN-specific racism. You responded in a really dismissive way when I pointed this out to you once before. You basically said to me: “I’m a good ally and I know better than you”.

        I just came upon this awesome post through a link in that tran* inclusive statement: On the Fixed State Ally Model vs. Process Model Ally Work

      • trees says:

        I also understand that this is a time of intense distress for Lolagirl as her father lies dying, and while I don’t want to condone what she wrote I also don’t want her to feel unwelcome here due to one comment carelessly phrased. We all step on our privilege sometimes and make a fail-mess. So long as we don’t double-down and make it worse, and make a point of listening and learning so that we don’t repeat the fail in future, then that’s part of what a social justice community is meant to be doing for each other – consciousness-raising to prompt self-examination and more effective ally-ship.

        I couldn’t agree with you more, but please acknowledge that this isn’t an isolated incident. (see my comment at 8:44 http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2013/09/13/weekly-open-thread-with-parkour-plumbers/#comment-676371)

      • tigtog says:

        Thank you trees. I hadn’t realised that.

        This does make it even more important that Lolagirl not double-down on the race-fail this time. I hope she can step up.

  22. DouglasG says:

    40th anniversary today of the Battle of the Sexes, and it’s really depressing to see so many bitter comments about how Bobby Riggs threw the match to Billie Jean King in order to pay off bookies. (I’m tempted to fabricate a story about how Margaret Court threw the “Mother’s Day Massacre” match to Riggs in order to sabotage the women’s movement in the US, even though she was Australian, to get back at Billie Jean for saying that, even though Margaret wasn’t a feminist, she was feminism in action.)

    I remember distinctly that I was babysitting that evening. I was one of the few males I knew backing Mrs King, although I’m not sure I could have said why at the time. She wasn’t a particularly favourite player of mine (at the time, my favourite women players were Evonne Goolagong and Virginia Wade) and I don’t recall knowing much about Title IX at the time. Just some sort of instinct, I suppose.

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