In which I am a finalist for an award of which I was previously unaware — My novella “A Long Walk Home” was a finalist for the Hawthorne Citation. Their Web site says, Welcome to the Hawthorne Citation, which recognizes Excellence in Short Fiction, English-language. Now in our third year (2012) of the annual prize, we’ve cited some of the great short works in those years, from both well-known writers and yet-to-be-known writers.
Raymond Chandler’s Private Dick — Ta-Nehisi Coates with an incredible essay on misogynist and masculinity, using Raymond Chandler’s work.
Apple fires Maps manager — They waited this long? I cannot wait til Google Maps comes back to the iPhone and I can dump the ridiculously flawed Apple Maps. Apple’s biggest failure of both delivery and consumer trust in years, at least that affected me personally.
Can You Crack The Pigeon’s Code? — A WWII mystery comes to light. Or not, as the case may be.
Earth’s Core & Carbon: Planetary Center Holds Largest Store Of Common Element, Computer Simulation Suggests — Talk about sequestration.
Tobacco companies ordered to admit they lied over smoking danger — US judge says tobacco firms must spend their own money on a public campaign admitting deception about the risks of smoking. Let’s see if this sticks.
Can Culture Create Mental Disease? The Rise of “Hikikomori” in the Wake of Economic Downturn in Japan — Can culture create mental disease? Look at gun fetishism and religious mania in the U.S. Both are heavily culturally influenced, and both have broad swathes of adherents who go way beyond reasonable and well-socialized behavior. (Snurched from Daily Idioms, Annotated.)
Enclaves, Long Gated, Seek to Let In Storm Aid — So the wealthy who wanted to go Galt in their gated communities need public assistance after all? I wonder if Tea Partiers in the tri-state area are expecting to have the government help repave their roads and restore their utilities. Pretty tough for me to find much sympathy here.
‘Change is a mofo’: The GOP and white evangelicalism are in the same situation — The Christian Right rendered themselves unto Caesar, and in doing so lost the respect of younger generations for the church as a whole.
30+ Examples of Christian Privilege — Yep. And like most forms of privilege, completely invisible to the vast majority of its beneficiaries. Because with 73% of the population, and 89.3% representation in Congress, many Christians and Christianists are pleased to fancy themselves as a persecuted minority. It’s a comforting and self-valorizing narrative which is absolutely laughable from outside their own framework. (Thanks to Lisa Costello.)
Dying for the Right to Choose — Ta-Nehisi Coates on the conservative view of abortion. Walsh was lying in his refusal to admit that women actually do die during the work of pregnancy. But his position — “without exceptions” — strikes me as the honest one. The problem here isn’t packaging. There is no way to honestly modify its import. Either you believe that women who have sex should run the risk of being remanded to potentially lethal labor, or you don’t. No exceptions.
Fox News Exec VP: Guest Who Slammed Network Apologized – But Not Publicly — Or maybe not. Looks like another Fox lie. Unlike Ricks, who stated a simple, obvious fact when he said on the air that Fox News was “operating as a wing of the Republican party”. As we have long seen proven over and over again, in conservative America you lie boldly (as FOX has previously sued to preserve their right lie under the First Amendment) but apologize for telling the truth. FOLLOWUP: “[The FOX News] MO is that when the facts aren’t on their side, they attack the person.” Hahah. Ad hominem attacks are the conservative MO in general, given that the facts are rarely on their side in liberally biased reality. Ever listen to Rush Limbaugh? Or John McCain on Susan Rice? Mocking people is much more fun than responding substantively, and it helps generate more angry white men, which in their own words is the GOP’s key electoral strategy.
RINO Hunters Fire Warning Shots At Republican Senate Candidates — That Tea Party farce the GOP dreamed up to help mobilize their base against the threat of Kenyan Muslim socialism is biting them in the ass again, as it did in this election cycle just past. I’d say it couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch, except sometimes the far right gets their people elected, and that is a major disaster for everyone, including the oblivious chumps in the Tea Party themselves.
Notes on the Decline of a Great Nation — A European view of our country. The United States is frittering away its role as a model for the rest of the world. The political system is plagued by an absurd level of hatred, the economy is stagnating and the infrastructure is falling into a miserable state of disrepair. Gee, which party has made hatred a key electoral strategy? Which party has blocked almost all efforts at economic stimulus? Which party refuses to allow the government spend money on infrastructure? Would that be the party whose highest priority these past four years was to make Obama a one-term president, and thus spent all their political capital denying him anything that might make him look successful? Rather than, say, fixing this country’s problems? Nope, can’t quite put my finger on it. Must be Kenyan Muslim socialism at work. Ask any of Sarah Palin’s “Real Americans”, they’ll tell you that. (Via Pharygula.)
Revenge of the Reality-Based Community — A formerly prominent Republican laments discovering reality about three decades too late. So here we are, post-election 2012. All the stupidity and closed-mindedness that right-wingers have displayed over the last 10 years has come back to haunt them. It is now widely understood that the nation may be center-left after all, not center-right as conservatives thought. Overwhelming losses by Republicans to all the nation’s nonwhite voters have created a Democratic coalition that will govern the nation for the foreseeable future.
Mandate with Destiny — Obama’s electoral mandate. In 2004, the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal, conservatism’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, congratulated President Bush for “what by any measure is a decisive mandate for a second term” and exulted, “Mr. Bush has been given the kind of mandate that few politicians are ever fortunate enough to receive.” This year, examining similar numbers with different labels, the Journal came up with a sterner interpretation. “President Obama won one of the narrower re-elections in modern times,” its editorial announced. Kind of reminds me of Dick Morris predicting a 325-213 Romney “landslide” in the Electoral College, then proclaiming that Obama “eked out” a narrow 332-206 victory in the Electoral College. More of that vaunted conservative intellectual consistency all around. Or in shorter words: “The conservative stupid, it burns.” (Snurched from Ta-Nehisi Coates.)
?otD: If I leave here tomorrow would you still remember me?
Writing time yesterday: 1.0 hours (revisions to “Rock of Ages”)
Body movement: 0.5 hours (30 minutes on stationary bike)
Hours slept: 8.0 hours (solid)
Number of FEMA troops on my block forcing people to accept healthcare and committing voter fraud: 0
Currently reading: The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett