2014 September 22
I’ve always been an avid reader. I got teased a lot in school for reading so much, and frequently got in trouble in class for reading instead of paying attention. I devoured all that I could with little concern for the appropriateness of the content, spy novels and Mack Bolan and the more adult targeted sci-fi all had plenty in them that weren’t perhaps intended for 12 year olds though that didn’t even slow me down. I was begrudgingly granted access beyond the kids section at our local branch library before I hit fifth grade and with equal aplomb I picked and chose from the variety of books my elder siblings had (mostly sci-fi, though I was not averse to reading texts on Elements of Logic or college history books in my mid teens). My grandfather ensured that I had a solid grounding in The Classics by assigning me things like Last of the Mohicans along with turn of the century juveniles like The Dare Boys as well as works by Wodehouse, Bierce, Benchley, et al.
My grandfathers' house was the greatest place on earth in my eyes. Every room overflowed with books. Shelves above doorways, stacks in front of stacks, several whole rooms of library style shelving all mostly organized. Many of the books were quite old simply because he’d been collecting books for so long, he subscribed to various book clubs as his interest wasn’t in the financial worth of ...
2014 June 26
Aereo has been shut down by the Supreme Court. Shady tech bros want to get rich by avoiding paying the licensing fees and following the regulations that everyone else does. I'm supposed to feel bad for them? When they're dumb enough to learn nothing at all from Napster? I'm no fan of the media hegemony, but Aereo wasn't "striking a blow for freedom" or any such nonsense. It was a bunch of dudes trying to get rich. And now they're trying to get public sympathy on their side by claiming to be fighting for freedom blah blah blah. They are not somehow morally superior to the tv stations and producers that they were trying to profit off of. Don't fall for their marketing hype.
2014 June 11
I am dismayed at the repeated sleazy violations of my friends and associates that happens at events. Attendees can be a problem, they creep on performers, they don’t respect boundaries, they assume that because a woman exists that they can objectify and harass them with impunity. This is depressing and infuriating.
I have a whole separate level of disdain and enmity for men who are to any degree a part of the performance community who engage in such behavior. These are your friends, supposedly. And yet you are glad to sexually harass them, to create excuses to get into the dressing room to see them changing clothes, to grope them against their will despite repeatedly being asked not to. It is appalling. You should be ashamed of yourself. I have had numerous performers complain to me about individuals that everyone in the community knows. And the performers quietly warn each other about the worst of them. I personally am a big fan of publicly naming and shaming predators, but I am not willing to violate the requests of confidence under which I’ve been told these things. If you think I might be referring to you in this, take that as indicator that you need to seriously reevaluate your behavior.
This is exacerbated by women who are very particular about which women they are willing to support and defend when they are subject to harassment. I’ve heard of lot of slut shaming of women in the community ...
2014 March 18
I judge people by where they get their news. Understanding the world in which we live is part of being a good citizen, a good member of the community, and being able to effect the changes you want to see in your world. Your ability to evaluate the quality of your sources tells me a tremendous amount about how seriously to take anything you say. As guidelines they aren't absolutes, but I've been using this model for 20 years and it's not failed me yet.
Don't follow news at all: Anything you say about current events is just noise and thus safely ignored, mostly neutral though with a mild tilt left or right depending on what radio station you listen to in the car, as their news segments will influence your views.
A combination of evening or morning local broadcast stations, the local newspaper, and local media websites: You're 75 or older, a product of your generation. You are moderately informed but fit very solidly in the general demographic of the region and likely don't have much depth or breadth of understanding of most issues.
A combination of broadcast and cable news, local and national papers, mainstream media websites*: You make an effort to know more about what's going on and are potentially well informed on the general issues.
Only alternative media (local alt-weekly, Village Voice, Mother Jones, Alternet, etc): Reasonably informed on the hot alt issues, but probably missing out on ...
2014 February 09
Hugs. This has come up a lot over the past year or so and I keep meaning to write about it so now I am. I get asked at least a few times a month why I don't hug people more often. I probably have overthought this because that's what I do. I try to err on the side of caution. I'm always open to hugs, hugs are wonderful, even necessary, and there are a handful of people with whom I've an established pattern of hugging such that it would be more strange for me to not hug them. But I very rarely initiate hugs because I don't know the state of mind of the person I'm greeting and don't want to impose an action on them they don't really want. I'm never sure if it's welcome or wanted. Even the act of asking is loaded, it is awkward for them to respond 'no' even if they have a really good reason. Here's a hint: Any damn reason, or no reason at all, that they have for saying 'no' is a really good reason, it's their body.
In my social circles there are a lot of performers, a lot of people who are constantly bombarded with people wanting contact, connection with them. We socialize women to not say no, to be accommodating and passive, and surrender their agency. In this context it's overwhelmingly men who are demanding physical contact, but I've certainly seen plenty of women doing the ...