Firing Roger Ailes and exiling Milo Yiannopoulos isn’t going to fix much of anything, by Sady Doyle for Quartz (2016-07-22). "The truth is that harassment and abuse are never about individual people; they’re about structures. When we help the victims of harassment, the solution should not be to deal with a single offender; it should be to deal with all the people who enabled the problem to exist and refused to solve it until it reached a critical mass."
Reddit is still in turmoil, by Kate Conger and Megan Rose Dickey for Techcrunch (2016-07-21). Reddit is a trash fire, as a business and not just as a community.
What Science Says To Do If Your Loved One Has An Opioid Addiction, by Maia Szalavitz for FiveThirtyEight (2016-07-19), and for a somewhat different take, a Tumblr post: "...drug addiction, across the board, actually has the best prognosis of any mental illness without any treatment whatsoever."
How about some mixed corgi puppies? The Australian shepherd and golden retriever mixes are my faves.
How ‘Political Correctness’ Went From Punch Line to Panic, by Amanda Hess for the New York Times Magazine (2016-07-19). "In [Trump's] campaign, 'P.C.' is no longer just a joke, or a slick rhetorical tool for riling the base. It’s the shrewd recognition of a dark aspect of white American psychology: That many experience being told not to use certain words as a kind of violence."
I’m With The Banned, by Laurie Penny (2016-07-21). On Internet trolls and "weaponized insincerity": "Milo is the best player here. Like Trump, and like a lot of successful politicians in this postmodern circus, they channel their own narcissism to give voice to the wordless, formless rage of the people neoliberalism left behind. They offer new win conditions for the humiliated masses. Welcome to the scream room. There’s a cheese plate."
Your pipeline problem is that you’re not doing anything to reach the pipeline., by Kieran Snyder (2016-07-21). "If you’re looking in the same places, sourcing and talking to candidates the same way year after year, and not getting the results you want, it doesn’t mean that there’s a pipeline problem. However, it does unequivocally mean that your particular approach has roundly failed at tapping into whatever pipeline exists."
The Coming War on ‘Black Nationalists’, by Yohuru Williams for The Nation (2016-07-20). Everything old is new again: "To be clear: The black lives movement unapologetically focuses on the dignity and worth of black lives. The careless and dishonest way Duffy, Giuliani, Clarke and others chose to frame that movement creates a context that shifts attention away from the very police practices that nonviolent protesters are demonstrating against. "
Republican Convention 2016 Attendees Are Searching for Hot Gay Sex on Craigslist, by Nicolas DiDomizio for mic.com (2016-07-19). Of course, eh?
Along the way,sholio made a great point about inside/outside voices, code-switching, and venting in the right way at the right time & place:
( Taste of wisdom ) Since I left the working world behind in 1993, I need reminding that spewing TMI at everyone I meet doesn't always work.
After last week on call, almost anything was bound to be an improvement. But my oncall ended at 11am Monday; Sunday night and Monday morning managed to cram in nearly as many pages as any two-day period the preceeding week. By Monday at 11 I was a total wreck. (While I was deep in work on one or two other tickets, the two daytime SEV2's timed out and paged me at 10:30. At which point $BOSS came by. I was almost totally nonverbal at that point - it was all I could do to get out a couple of words to indicate that I was working on it.)
Monday afternoon was predictably unproductive. Since I had two medical appointments on Tuesday I had already planned on taking the day as vacation. I needed it. I was still pretty stressed on Wednesday; almost anything could trigger an immediate adrenaline reaction, and I was snappish and probably no fun at all to be around.
Thank the gods for gin, hot baths, and cats.
It took me all day Wednesday and most of Thursday to get my commits from the week before rebased on top of the stuff S had pushed in the mean time. I finally did make some actual forward progress on Friday, and finally got the workflow to go through the final stage that it had been hanging up on before. (Intentionally vague and generic, I know.)
Even with (and to some extent because of) ten workspaces and who knows how many browser tabs, I still wasn't able to keep things organized. I kept forgetting which tickets went where and what I had done on them, and found several of them open in multiple places. No surprise there.
Have I mentioned dishes? We have dishes. Yesterday around dinner time the kids (Kat and Alex, not g and j) brought down roughly a full dishwasher load from their room. I did one load last night, put one in this morning, and there will be at least another by nightfall.
I finally brought up the rack that I'd had the dishes stacked on in the Starport, and rearranged the shelving to put the corelle conveniently on the lower shelf. I'm tempted to put most of the blue dishes away where they won't get used; one of the problems seems to be that nobody (else) notices that dishes have to be done until they can't find a clean one.
I think I cooked three or four meals this week.
Writing and music. Um... (Posted by accident before I could fill in this part. TL;DR no music to speak of -- ripping CDs doesn't count. Broke 1000 words of writing, so technically met the 500-words-twice-a-week goal, but spread over three days. I'll take it anyway.)( Notes & links, as usual )
When it comes to reproductive rights, even liberals are likely to hesitate, to cite bioethics, or to say that abortion is a necessary evil. They're likely to say that it should be safe, legal and rare.
But here's the thing about abortion: the only way you could possibly have doubts as to whether everyone should have completely unfettered access to it is if you're either uncertain about bodily autonomy as a right everybody has, or if you're uncertain about whether it's something people other than cis men should have.
I don't think anyone is really uncertain about bodily autonomy. At least for cis men, we're generally in agreement that one of the rights that all human beings have is to not have any other person in their body without consent.
One of the times when we decide to suspend personhood is when somebody is imprisoned. The widespread acceptability of prison rape jokes shows that the one situation when we consider suspending bodily autonomy okay is when we think somebody deserves to be punished.
So there are really only two reasons for thinking abortion is a moral gray area:
- You don't think women are really people.
- You think women should be punished for having sex.
Of course, cis men don't get punished for having sex with other consenting adults, because having sex with other consenting adults is something that human adults get to do. So it comes down to whether or not you're sure women are really people.
(While the effect of forced pregnancy is that everyone with a uterus, including cis women and trans men like me, as well as genderqueer people who have uteruses, the intent behind the pro-forced-pregnancy movement is to control women and punish them for existing as sexual beings. We need to be aware of both effects and intent here.)
Are you sure that women are people? Then surely you believe that nobody has a right to be in a woman's body without her consent.
Do you think that having sex grants implicit consent to pregnancy? Then you don't really think women are people, because we're all fine with men having consensual sex and don't, as a rule, believe they waive any of their basic human rights by doing so. Thinking women waive their bodily autonomy by choosing to have sex really just amounts to treating pregnancy as a punishment for sex.
I'm assuming that people who have doubts about abortion believe that fetuses and embryos are people. If they don't think that, then I really don't know what they're on about (although there is plenty of evidence they don't really think that -- ask a pro-forced-pregnancy person whether they favor punishing somebody who has an abortion in the same way that people who commit murder are punished.) Believing that fetuses are people poses no threat to my believe in the fundamental right to an abortion. Like all people, fetuses have no right to be in any other person's body without that person's consent.[*]
And yet, in 2016, I still live in a country where people considered liberal, progressive, in favor of civil liberties, and so on can still say abortion is a moral gray area with a straight face. I still live in a country where even liberals, even people who support personal freedom, haven't made up their mind about whether women are people.
[*] In answer to the question, raised elsewhere, of what we say if we believe fetuses are people and recognize that they didn't consent to be in the body of their gestational parent: I'd say three things to that. First, the concept that you have the right to self-defense isn't too controversial. You can come up with plenty of reasons why an adult person who is posing a threat to you might not be a totally free agent, but ultimately, your right to defend your body against invasion by them is considered sacrosanct. Second, fetuses don't have the ability to defend themselves, and I'm happy to defer that particular what-if to the time when that changes. And third, being in a situation you didn't consent to doesn't generally confer the right to use somebody else's body -- for example, if you would die without a kidney transplant, and if you didn't consent to have kidney failure, that still doesn't give you the right to force someone to donate their kidney to you if they don't want to.
Here is a guide to the care and feeding of a sourdough starter, in the form of a downloadable booklet. It contains most of the advice I’ve been sharing with people for the past few years, whenever I give them some of my starter.
This sourdough guide contains:
- How to store your starter
- How to feed your starter
- An easy method to make a basic loaf of bread
- Scheduling/timing for making bread in winter and summer
- Tips for better sourdough bread
- Adding flavour
- Out of bread? Can’t wait two days for a loaf?
- Health and wellbeing of your starter
Download the sourdough guide:
- Spinster’s Bayley Sourdough Guide – A5 folded booklet (choose this if you use A4 size paper)
- Spinster’s Bayley Sourdough Guide – plain document (choose this if you use letter size paper – the foldable booklet probably won’t work for you)
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Some examples of my sourdough
- Fresh baked sourdough bread
- Pumpkin and rosemary sourdough bread
- Baguette style loaf
- No-knead style loaf baked in cast iron
- Crostini with garden tomatoes and ricotta
- Dough rising
- A dryish starter
- Sourdough veggie fritters
- Sourdough pancakes with caramelised apple
- Long rolls replace crackers in my house
- Sourdough foccacia with leek and olives
- Walnut and rosemary bread
Twelve years later, my ankles are definitely different. The worst sequela relates to the plates and screws. They don’t give like bone and tendon, so the right foot & ankle always hurts first (especially in very cold weather). Athletes generally have another surgery to remove any hardware; at the time, I couldn’t see the point. If I had to do it again I would go for the second surgery.
Learn the names of effective pain relief and write it on your “important things for an emergency” card. Just when I thought I understood living with a disability, something changes and there’s more to know.
Words can’t convey how wonderful MyGuy is.
click through for image, my description follows here
[Image description: At a restaurant, two women at a table look over at a booth where a child, father, and mother are signing. The child is signing "Yes," the father is signing, "You have to poop right now?" and the mother is signing, "This minute?" One of the woman at the table says "Isn't sign language beautiful?" Description ends]
Not your feminist dream girl, by Raquel Rosario Sanchez (2016-07-13). "Like men, women are multifaceted people who can simultaneously support terrible policies and empowering ones. They are political candidates whose personal and political lives may make us cringe at points and cry with emotion at others. Feminists have pushed for more strong, complex, imperfect female characters on TV and in film, in order to get away from the one-dimensional women we are usually presented with in media. In Hillary, we have an influential woman who is just that: she is not the easy-to-figure out stereotype we expect women to be."
Invisible Talent, by Kaya Thomas (2016-07-14). On the frustrations of being a Black female computer science major and being told by an industry desperate to pretend its cultural failure is a "pipeline problem" that you don't exist.
Evidence, by feministkilljoys (2016-07-12). "My proposition is simple: that the evidence we have of racism and sexism is deemed insufficient because of racism and sexism." Long, meaty article about the function of demands for evidence of racism and sexism.
"The Best Time I Pretended I Hadn’t Heard of Slavoj Žižek", by Rosa Lyster (2016-07-14):
My advice is intended only for special occasions. It is for when you have an itch to scratch, and that itch is called, “a puerile desire to get on other people’s nerves.” All you do is stonily deny any knowledge of a person or cultural touchstone that you should, by virtue of your other cultural reference points, be aware of. These will of course be different for everyone, but my favorites include:
Žižek, John Updike, MORRISSEY (only for experts), Radiohead, Twin Peaks, David Lynch in general, Banksy (only for streetfighters), Withnail and I, Bauhaus (movement), Bauhaus (band), Afrika Burn, the expression “garbage person,” A Clockwork Orange, Steampunk (this one is really good), Jack Kerouac, “Gilmore Girls,” Woody Allen, the expression “grammar nerd,” the expression “grammar Nazi,” cocktails, bongs, magical realism, millennials, Cards Against Humanity, trance parties, bunting, many comedians, William Gibson, burlesque, the Beats, The God Delusion, sloths, anarchism, Joy Division, CrossFit, “The Mighty Boosh,” and Fight Club.
A White Male Led Revolution Against American Inequality, You Say?, by D Frederick Sparks (2016-05-22). "This blind spot, not being able to see these things because they don’t have to, is why I find it highly unlikely that white male left progressives are going to be the ones who identify and anoint the messianic figure in American politics who will lead the revolution against inequality. And if I had to wager, I wouldn’t put my money on said messianic figure being a privileged white male from the Northeast. I’d put my money on a black woman from the south or a Latina from the Southwest, someone who on an ontological and inter-sectional level understands the various power paradigms that contribute to unfairness in this country and can competently speak to and address all of them, and not just get fixated on one."
Dissociation is scary. Dissociation is safety, by Sarah Gailey for the Boston Globe (2016-05-08). CW: firsthand discussion of having PTSD and being triggered. This article describes what it's like for one person to have PTSD -- it's only somewhat close to my own experience, and if it isn't like this for you then you shouldn't assume it means you don't have PTSD, but more stories are always useful.
Martin Luther King’s hate mail eerily resembles criticism of the Black Lives Matter movement, by David Matthews (2015-08-18). Title says it all.
- Orange beets: all the taste, none of the stain
- That maple tree en route to library. Displaying the magic of growth in public for me to wonder
- Meeting up with an out of town friend in the closest cafe to my living room
It's like Magic Mike XXL, in that a big reason I saw it is that internet feminists urged me to do so. Also in that there's enjoyable beefcake for straight women, in the form of Chris Hemsworth (stay through the credits).
Also there's Kate McKinnon.
Please go see Kate McKinnon Sexually Awakens a Generation. I mean Ghostbusters— RJ Edwards (@RJmakes) July 16, 2016
anyway I figured out why we're all extra gay for kate mckinnon in ghostbusters and it's bc she's femme jeff goldblum— craft pop-tarts (@2furiosa) July 3, 2016
will the world ever be the same after Holtzman, will there be any straight women left— Noelle Stevenson (@Gingerhazing) July 17, 2016
I enjoyed this movie so much. My face nearly hurt from smiling as I walked out. It's so fun. I welcome links to interesting reviews and responses!
The only writing I did last week was last Sunday's weekly post. I'll try to do better; hopefully I won't be feeling as harried this week. I did get in some music time -- last Sunday, and yesterday. And some walking with Colleen and Kat, also on Sunday.
Quite a bit of back pain. It's been mostly ok in the morning, but tends to get worse on the way home. Probably something to do with being tired, but also possibly stress. Have I mentioned having trouble identifying my mental state? It's called alexithymia.
The alexithymia also bleeds into problems identifying physical state, because of course they're related. I have trouble distinguishing the physical symptoms of anxiety and hunger, for example. Not to mention distinguishing between wanting food, and needing food. The latter barely registers, and certainly not as hunger, until I suddenly start feeling the symptoms of low blood sugar. Which I have learned to recognize. Or until Colleen notices that I'm starting to snap at people.
Stress is, apparently, another of those states that I don't start noticing until it's been going on too long. And then it bleeds into burnout and depression. (And, no, depression doesn't register as sadness. At all. It's best described as a combination of apathy and despair.) I think I'm noticing a trend here.
I'm getting better at noticing. Look in the notes for an exclamation mark in column 3 -- that means I've actually noticed an emotion while it was happening. They're rare -- the only instance this last week was Sunday.
Speaking of stress, I'm oncall this week. With pages including 6am Tuesday morning -- Prime Day -- and midnight last night. This morning. Whatever. One thing I've noticed is that I don't have enough mental bandwidth. I can't multitask. At all. Period. Things get lost track of.
If a page comes in, I completely lose track of whatever I was doing, including dealing with another page, and it takes me a while to get my context back. Which leads to things like having something like 10 different browser windows open in 8 workspaces, with multiple tabs in each, many of which refer to the same tickets. Because context. And, of course, re-investigating the same thing multiple times because I've forgotten what I was doing an hour ago.
I'm getting a little better at going up to people I don't know and asking for help. But, of course, I'm even worse at remembering names than I am at multitasking, which leads to things like waking the wrong person up at six in the morning. (And forgetting that I had an email in my inbox telling me who the right person would have been. See multitasking.)
(Brief pause -- my desk is being catted on. The absolute best thing I've done for my mental health in years was putting a cardboard box on my desk, attaching it with a couple of screws, and lining it with a towel.)
Back to reaching out and talking to people. I don't think my reluctance to do that has anything to do with what I afraid people will think of me. So, this doesn't seem to have the characteristcs of social anxiety. No, it has more to do with what I think of me, and in particular feeling stupid and at a loss for what to do. Plus total lack of self-confidence, which leads to (or somehow relates to) an unwillingness to "disturb" people.
It's not just at work. Even at home, I take a closed door as a "do not disturb" sign even when I'm pretty certain that the person on the other side (usually N) would be happy to see me. It's hard enough when I know they're expecting me, though I'm getting a little better about that.
In a slightly different direction, some links from ysabetwordsmith about emotional self-care (see Monday, below) proved unexpectedly triggery and anxiety-provoking. So we're talking low self-esteem here, maybe. (Maybe?! Let's get real here.)
It's been a long month this week.( Notes & links, as usual )