Elayne Riggs' Journal (for Leah)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Blogaround for Susie

Because her mother Marie (deepest condolences, Susie) sounds like she was as much a character, in her own way, as my Dad was in his. Susie and many others on my blogroll are spending the weekend at YearlyKos-come-Netroots Nation, NerdProm for lefty political wonks. I've spent the weekend catching up on blog reading so I can finally do this blogaround.

• Speaking of NerdProm, financial and practical considerations prevented our attending the San Diego Comic-Con once more (at this point I doubt I'll ever attend again), and lots and lots of others stayed home as well. Val crystallizes how I feel about cons pretty well (i.e., if I'm not scheduled to do something I kind of feel lost), and Bully throws a con of his own.

• We're losing more good folks, but we're not forgetting how they've filled our hearts with wonderful memories. Pam mourns the passing of her old high school teacher, author Frank McCourt. Bob talks about coping after losing his son Robbie, and Kath has a lovely memorial.

• Kath also hits the nail on the head about how all of us adults are really pretending to be grown-ups, and Vinnie celebrates 20 years of wedded bliss with Dorian. I have such cool friends!

• Tara Tallen (née Jenkins) is running pages from an old story she and her now-husband David did last century called Real Magic; check it out! And Lauren at io9 sings the praises of Templar, Arizona, one of my favorites as well. Also: hooray, Gene Colan's being released from the hospital tomorrow!

• Also from Lauren: Zombeatles? Look, I'm as much a Beatlemaniac as the next person, but I confess I really don't get this trend. Vampires, I understand. I even comprehend the steampunk bandwagon (Robin's analogy). I've been right there giggling at YouTube mashups of Der Untergang. But, as good for a momentary smile as "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" might be, I just don't see what's so attractive about the overall zombie ouevre. Oh, and lastly from Lauren, now this is cool art.

• I totally identify with Neil when he mentions his significant other telling him he doesn't relax enough, he's always Doing Stuff and needs to learn how to be "in the moment" more. I can't tell you how many times Robin has said this sort of thing to me. My response is that there's just usually too much Stuff to be Done, and I enjoy Doing Stuff. But I think it's also true that some moments we wind up remembering the most fondly are the ones where we're just kind of hanging out doing nothing, just Being. I swear I'm going to try that sometime, when I'm not Doing so much Stuff.

• I have a saying very similar to Dave Johnson's "Seeing the Forest" Rule:
"When right-wingers are accusing others of something it is usually a cover for something THEY are doing." It is also very Karl Rovian, using the Sun Tzu tactic of attacking the enemy's greatest strength in ways that turn it into a weakness.
But even I never guessed that "death panels" actually existed in Texas when our former President governed there. Cookie Jill points out a Wikinews item talking about the Texas Futile Care Law, which basically did (does?) what the fear-mongered nutjobs believe Medicare paying for end-of-life counseling would do. William Wolfrum calls attention to their death threat fetish, another reason they're so quick to accuse opponents of wanting to kill the citizens they use and secretly disdain. Of course, as Avedon points out, Nazi namecalling and the like is just a game to these people, all about scoring points so they can win the next election, they who hate government so much they crave to sabotage and dismantle it from within whilst enriching themselves and their cronies. And as the Rude Pundit notes, it's been going on a long, long time. Perhaps even as far back as Revolutionary times, when the US Public Health Service was formed (Bryan reproes their logo; so much for arguments about the Founding Fathers turning over in their graves).

• Of course our modern media, what a lot of lefty bloggers sneeringly refer to as journamalism, is utterly complicit. Even the liberal side of the mainstream media talks more about the debate over healthcare reform than about the specifics of that reform. Jamison Foser pegs 'em. Of course, as Foser also points out, you can't expect too much from people who don't even have a basic grasp of history. The Place for Politics-- That We Just Make Up. And speaking of making things up, Eric Boehlert wonders why Sarah Palin gets a free pass on her nonsense while every Al Gore utterance was picked apart as unbecoming whining.

• Another story I hadn't heard anywhere else: GE is greenwashing whilst it simultaneously outsources all its green jobs to China.

• Lest they fall through the memory hole even though the story itself is So Last Month, some good posts about the Gates arrest matter from Mary at Pacific Views, Dave Winer at HuffPo, and especially Digby, whose writing on the subject of police abusing power in general has been exemplary.

• Tony Bourdain meets Sandra Lee; world fails to implode. Nick Solares at Serious Eats travels to my old home town for a greaseburger. And Tristero examines the revolutionary concept of food that tastes great.

• A couple good 'uns from Mark Morford: God is not your bitch (it always drives me crazy when sports stars credit their teams' success to the Sky Fairy as if said fairy were taking sides) and Marijuana, gateway drug to Jesus. Now if he could only shake his fat-hatred. Maybe he could have a talk with Paul Campos. And/or Lesley at Fatshionista, who's been hilariously reviewing More to Love (first episode snarkily recapped here, second one here). And/or Melissa McEwan.

• I really, really adore Liss. And she keeps writing more and more stuff that leaves me in awe. Like this post about dudebros, two posts on accusations of man-hating, here and particularly here, and two more about feminism and humor, including the story of a dudebro called Tim and this one about the state of stand-up comedy, which I like to call Stag-Nation.

• Kath also presents good insights as to why ambush "humor" makes me uncomfortable. And I'm glad there are people out there like Kate making the world safer for comedy - not necessarily in burlesque, but certainly with 79 other female comedians (the group photo is here).

• Some bits and pieces: More from Amanda on Manic Pixie Dream Girls; and to think there was once a time before I was sick of Zooey Deschanel. Dennis Markatos at HuffPo mentions new bike initiatives in New Rochelle; I think City Hall there is wonderful, every time I'd visit it for my ex-boss I'd wish I worked there. Charles Green, also at HuffPo, points out that Justice Sotomayor was right about the Other knowing more about both Default and Other cultures than the Default usually knows. Lambert at Corrente is mock-shocked about the fix being in on American Idol, and amused by the commuting kitty. And whilst everyone's celebrating all the guys at Woodstock, the News Writer pays tribute to Grace Slick, soon to be 70 (yes, we're all getting older, but I'm actually happy about that considering the alternative!).

• Lastly, now that I've "finished the Internet" I'm looking forward to reading the latest series by Sara Robinson on modern fascism in America. Part I is here; Part II is here. Long but, from what I've skimmed and read from others, utterly worthwhile.

But first, a bit of a Sunday lie-down, now that the blogaround's a fait accompli.