Elayne Riggs' Journal (for Leah)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Blogaround for Andante

My day job continues to utilize most of my waking energy (including my writing "muscles"), even in the summertime. I expect to get a handle on the situation soon. Until then, an occasional blogaround is the most I can do.

And my goodness, so many people have shuffled off this mortal coil since my last blogaround. Walter Cronkite just passed away, the day after the Firesign chatters would have been typing "This is Walter, this is Walter" to one another. Then of course there was Michael Jackson (Michael Davis has a lovely remembrance, and I found David McCandless' aggregation of the most-used words in Jackson's songs fascinating), and Ed McMahon (MJ Norton runs down a list of Fark headers in his honor), and Farrah Fawcett (to whom Kathy Flake, among others, pays tribute) and Billy Mays and Fred Travalena (remembered here by Skippy) and David Carradine and a host of others. But the one who touched me the most wasn't famous, except to the Liberal Coalition and other blogging circles. Andante of Collective Sigh, who had been kind enough to occasionally comment here back in the days when I was more active and she had more energy, left us on June 16. This is one of those occasions where pseudonymity makes me mad, because I would have wanted to know her real name in order to honor her more properly, and now I never will. Andante, this one's for you, wherever you are.

• By the way, if you're going to have a conversation with your kid about death, you could do a lot worse than the way Bint Alshamsa handled it.

• Also leaving us, but in a good and just way, is Hilzoy, who has decided to quit blogging. Hilary has been also gracious enough to visit Pen-Elayne and comment on occasion and, truth be known, was the only reason for me to keep both Obsidian Wings and the Washington Monthly blog on my blogroll, since neither place links back to me. Thanks for giving me seven years of great reading, Hilary. (Here's Hilzoy's last post, and here's another good one to remember her by.)

• But let's not forget all the celebrations as well. It's good to see other bloggers from the "class of 2002" celebrating the completion of seven years of blogging, like Dave Johnson at Seeing the Forest and Skippy. My 7th blogiversary is coming up on September 7. Also, Bully celebrates number six with a great pictorial (as usual), and Pam and Kate have another lovely pictorial of their wedding five years ago. Oh, and there was July 4, of course, which occasion the News Writer took to remind us how far we still need to go toward perfecting this union.

• Elsewhere on the political front, Susie Madrak utters a succinct truism; Eric Boehlert dissects the myth of an Obama honeymoon period; and Digby straightens out the Republican spin conflating diplomacy with apology, analyzes why conservatives cry wolf over deficits during times when the country has had surpluses, and reminds us again of the radical right's MO when it comes to media manipulation; over at HuffPo, Art Levine brings us up to date on the strike going on just down the road from me; and the General posts a top ten list of how liberal political correctness is oppressing rich white Christian men.

• With the San Diego Comic Con media event coming up, superheroes are on many people's minds. Charles Yoakum examines the unfortunate article in the L.A. Times giving advice to female con-goers as though we're brainless idiots rather than fellow geeks. Cheryl Lynn believes she knows why Wonder Woman isn't more popular to the current generation of readers. Michelle Bacon has a stellar feminist analysis of male fan reaction to Supergirl's new costume. (Full disclosure: My husband inked Supergirl for four and a half years, when both the character and costume were a bit different than present.) Speaking of Supergirl, Ken Jennings comes to the defense of Oscar the Juggling Octopus. And speaking of geek girls, Melissa McEwan notes an unfortunate substitution magazine to replace Electronic Gaming Monthly.

• Elsewhere in showbiz, Melissa Silverstein tallies up how many Emmy nominations went to women, including female comedy writers. I honestly don't know what gives with the late-night comedy show writing staffs having so few women -- still. No wonder so much comedy not automatically catering to a male sensibility is seen as unfunny. This could also have something to do with why a Comedy Central stand-up series "will only sign five women maximum," as reported by Courtney at Feministing.

• Mike at Left is Right isn't thrilled with Chase's latest financial shenanigans towards its credit card customers, but happens to note that "Like the average American I owe 10K on a Chase credit card." Say what? Are Robin and I the only middle-class people left in this country who aren't in debt? I can't even imagine how you get into debt for ten thousand dollars!

• Seriously, PETA? You're not helping. I mean, really, Che Guevara's granddaughter? Perhaps I shouldnt' be so suprised to find, as Amanda Marcotte did, that food consumption reporting is so sexist. Although I did know, as Jesse Taylor reports, that genre book covers are.

• Speaking of books Lance Mannion imagines himself as the hero of a very good novel or two; here are two short excerpts. He also bemoans the passing of hobbies, with a hobby defined as "a systematized, borderline obsessive form of usually solitary play that requires multiple trips to a specialty store for supplies and parts and manuals and has as its goal intellectual and spiritual and psychological satisfactions beyond simple amusement." I think we still have hobbies, but they don't require as much shopping, which is a really, really good thing. My blog is my hobby now, and I don't spend a single cent to do this, not like all the bucks I used to lay down at the copy shop and post office during my INSIDE JOKE days. On the other hand, when I was a teenager, one of my hobbies was making gum-wrapper chains (which I still have), and I didn't really spend any money doing that either.

• PZ notes "something too many religious people fail to understand — you can practice your religion, other people can practice their religion, but you don't get to tell other people that they must practice your religion." Some of us have a much lower tolerance for this behavior than others. Also from PZ:

Pass it on. I can't believe our President is only two months older than my baby brother. Gah, I'm old.

• Bits and pieces: I second Skippy's question: why doesn't MSNBC feature any actual news during the weekend? Zuzu reports that NYC has sold another piece of its soul, such as it is. Some of us who surrender to Britain tend to do so on an individual, marriage-type basis, not city-wide. Tgirsch writes an open letter to Wisconsin drivers; it's funny, just about nobody in NJ seems to treat the left-hand lane as passing-only. Vanessa at Feministing made me blub with this story about high schoolers from my current hometown. (Melissa McEwan blubbed too.) Tom Tomorrow hits the nail on the head as to what makes me so uncomfortable about movies featuring cruel humor. Pretty much it's the cruelty. Julianne at Cosmic Variance brings us 20 Insults from P. G. Wodehouse (are you listening, Bully?). Liza Sabater brings to our attention Death to Auto-Tune:

to which I say, amen. At Fafblog, the Medium Lobster celebrates Another Bold Victory in the War on People. Finally: Look out, says Annalee at io9, it's raining dead tadpoles! Seriously, a brolly ain't gonna cut it.

And that's the way it finally was, from about mid-June through mid-July...