So this happened: Oh Dear: SFWA Bulletin Petition.
It's probably not of interest to anyone but science fiction literature fans. It's a continuation of the shenanigans that started last summer when several foolishly misogynistic things happened, one after the other, in the professional rag of the Science Fiction Writers of America, followed by a stunning piece of racism on the SFWA official Twitter (see timeline/summary here). The result was that most of the SFWA members voted to change the way the content management of the SFWA Bulletin would be handled.
The petition in question objects to the proposed changes, which the writers consider to be overly "PC." There were two versions of this document. The one that was actually submitted is a tough read, full of extracts from correspondence and invocations of Freedom of Speech and concluding with a quotation from Charlton Heston, who is cited as an "early civil rights activist." The earlier version, which is also available online, was positively appalling. At one point, the writer compared the hard-working writers who will be thoughtlessly slapped around by the new rules to slaves picking cotton, at the mercy of the folks in the Big House.
No, I am not kidding.
If you can make yourself do it, follow one of the links to the actual (final) petition, and take a look at the signatories.
Who happen to include someone for whom I've long had all the respect in the world.
... [G]ay and lesbian service members stationed in states that do not recognize same-sex marriages, will be eligible for 10 days leave so that they can marry in a marriage equality state.
The Defense Department will also announce all branches of the armed services will extend the same benefits and privileges to same-sex couples as they grant heterosexual couples, including housing and health care. Spouses of military members will also be extended the same on-base privileges extended to other spouses, including access to military stores ... .
The Con or Bust auction closes Sunday, February 24, at 11:59 p.m. (U.S.) Eastern Time.
The auction's goal is to help "people of color/non-white people attend SFF conventions ... under the umbrella of the Carl Brandon Society, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization whose mission is to increase racial and ethnic diversity in the production of and audience for speculative fiction.... its goal is simply to help fans of color go to SFF cons and be their own awesome selves."
IIRC, this effort grew out of the observation that because fen of color often felt uncomfortable at cons (which tended to be more homogeneously white than is the actual readership of speculative fiction), they were reluctant to spend scarce funds to attend cons, and thus they were missing out on the chance to network and to take part in the awesome discussions and cross-pollinations of ideas that are among the most important aspects of SF&F cons. (Read more about the program.)
Anyway, awesome stuff! If you have a fannish friend or relative with an upcoming birthday, this list of lovely swag can solve your gift-buying dilemma! First editions, signed editions, gaming miscellany, great new comics, steampunk stuff, beautiful handcrafted jewelry and knit goods, cookies, and more! (I myself have bid on too many lovelies ... I'm sincerely hoping to get outbid on at least some of it ... .)
Looks like it's going to go to the ballot in November. It's going to be tense: the Mr. says he's expecting a huge voter turnout. But I have lots of hope.
"Many of you have heard that the Susan G. Komen Foundation (the folks who do all that pink-related branding regarding breast cancer) is withdrawing its financial support from Planned Parenthood, which in the past did breast cancer screening and education for lots of poor women with funds offered by the Foundation. The Komen folks swear their choice to do this is not politically motivated ... ."
- SF Author John Scalzi
You can read the rest at Scalzi's blog, Whatever. And if you like his writing or were thinking of trying his stuff, he has arranged to give the proceeds of the sales of his eBooks for the next week to Planned Parenthood. He has links for lists of the books in question on the blog.
And if that's not your cup of tea, or you don't yet do eBooks (*raises hand*), you might consider giving Planned Parenthood a donation.
And if you have religious or other reasons not to support Planned Parenthood, then you might do some legwork of your own and try to find some other organization that will provide these types of services for poor women - and give them a donation. Because fewer poor women are going to be able to get these services now that SGK has cut off their contributions to PP.
Thanks, you all.
cho (stage 1 breast cancer diagnosed September 2007; post-lumpectomy, wide re-excision, and radiation; Tamoxifen therapy continuing)
I've been reading, over the past few days, Debbie Reese's posts on her blog American Indians in Children's Literature about the recent fiasco in Tucson. In response to the mandate from the state government that specialized programs like Mexican-American Studies no longer be taught, school officials demanded that books used in these classes be removed from classrooms. The removal was carried out during school hours - in one case, right before the eyes of the students as a class was taught. The teachers will have to jettison the rest of the year's lesson plans and come up with new ones - for general literature instead.
Also troubling is Arizona Superintendent for Public Instruction John Huppenthal's statement about what he saw and heard when he visited one of the classes in question. He was outraged by a poster of Che Guevara on the wall and says that the teacher called Benjamin Franklin racist. This is rather puzzling: when I took Russian history in high school in 1975, we had pictures of Stalin etc. on the wall, and no one flipped out. As for what the teacher said about Franklin that day ... a student video crew was filming, and the video is available online (link from the AICL blog).
Meanwhile, Indian Country Today supplied a link to this video, which shows another type of response:
You can check out the group's Website as well.
Followups to the links I posted last week:
A direct one: What's going on with #yesGayYA
" ... before I can get to a number of other things, we have a publishing kerfuffle to discuss. Yes, another one. It's gotten pretty bad ... The long version: (Pack a lunch, you'll need it) ..."
[Excellent summary, with plenty of links , of the whole situation.]
A related one: Of Bigotry, Children and Culture:
"At four different points [in the show], the comedian asked for child volunteers to come up onto the stage and have themselves drawn ... The fourth and final time her hand went ignored, the girl in front of us let out a frustrated sigh and exclaimed, ‘He’s only choosing boys ... !’"
[About children, and the lessons that we may not know we're teaching]
The issues aren't always what we think they are. Neither are the consequences.
"My two kids at home were going to lose their mother because someone decided that my life was worth less than that of a fetus that wasn’t going to survive ... ."
Signed first editions of books (including Martha Wells' latest, red!), cookies and stuff (including gluten-free and vegan), boxes o' books, nifty jewelry, ARCs, Tuckerization (that is, having a character in a book named after you, or with another name that you choose), art, and more!
Please check out the auction at con_or_bust: "Con or Bust was, of course, started to help fans of color attend a specific con, WisCon 33 in 2009. But now that it's in its third year, we have thought hard about the best way to expand the conventions that Con or Bust helps people attend. And we have decided against selecting particular cons, because that necessarily restricts those who can receive assistance to those who are interested in those specific cons, are able to attend at those times of year, and live within feasible travel distances ... ."
(I have an offer up ... nobody wants it thus far ... you could always re-sell them on eBay.)
February is Heart Month, and today is Wear Red Day, to draw attention to heart disease in women.
You may not think you know any women who are affected by heart disease, but yes you do, because you know me. XD I had an angioplasty more than 20 years ago, at the tender age of 31. I was pretty active and only a bit overweight, but heart disease runs in my family.
I decided to post this today after hearing about the death of Melissa Mia Hall.
Of course, heart disease was only the thing that actually killed her - she really died of a lack of health care and the insurance to pay for it.
"During their recent 'Summer for Marriage' tour the National Organization for Marriage played a Peter, Paul & Mary recording of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land” during their rallies, without the permission of the artists.
"Kathleen Perrin, a participant on the Courage Campaign's Prop8TrialTracker.com, contacted Peter Yarrow and told him. Yarrow called the use of the song by NOM “heartbreaking” and said that he would be contacting NOM asking them to stop ... " [READ MORE]
Thanks to qe2 for pointing this out!
When someone says something like "Are you for human rights? Or for individual rights? There is a huge difference. The two cannot occupy the same space," I don't feel like listening to them any longer.
(Person is definitely on the conservative/Libertarian side ... the Young Lady showed me how to hide the posts.)
rachelmanija has been involved with the Virginia Avenue Project for many years. They're a free afterschool academic and theatre program in Los Angeles. 100% of participating children graduate from high school. 95% go on to college. 98% are the first person in their family to go. Over the years, Rachel has talked about watching the kids go on to exciting and varied lives; one even has a job at the White House.
Unless the Project raises $15,000 by mid-March, they'll lose their centerpiece program to budget cuts. In this program, the One-on-Ones, professional actors and writers write a short play to act in with a kid, rehearse it with them in a lovely camp in the country, and then perform it back in Los Angeles. This program has been running for twenty years.
helptheproject is an auction to benefit the Virginia Avenue Project and help them keep the One-on-Ones. Current offerings include knitted animal-ear hats, baked goods, a custom-designed cookbook full of hand-tested recipes, autographed books, original fiction and poetry from professional authors, and regionally themed packages from several areas. Bidding runs until midnight of March 1st. Please consider bidding and offering items for auction -- and keep an eye on the offers, as more cool stuff keeps being put up there.
After trying and failing three times to post this in debunking_white (I understand that it was going to be screened, but I couldn't get it to post at all - it kept trying to make me log in to LJ when I was already logged in), I figured I'd just post it here.
In comments on one post, someone from the U.K. had asked about the current status of the KKK. The Southern Poverty Law Center is an anti-hate group that (among other things) tracks the activities of groups like the Klan and makes the information public. Their page on the KKK is here. The KKK is still, sadly, quite active.
The SPLC has lots of info on this subject. See, for example, the Hate Groups Map.
If you are organizing some sort of relief drive and need some pictures of aid being delivered in Haiti, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies' Flickr site has some very effective photos marked with Creative Commons tagging, so that they can be used for non-profit efforts.
Look for the notation "Some rights reserved" and click on each of the icons to the left of the note to see the specifics of how to use the material legally.
The U.S. Coast Guard also has a site with some effective Haiti pictures, for those who want pictures of U.S. aid efforts for this sort of use.