May 23

Green field

I am sure that John Green is a fine writer. But I’ve also noticed the strange spate of articles that seem to imply that he invented the YA genre.

Now I’ve been reading YA for many years now, since my late 20s. (I didn’t read YA at all when I was a Y – I skipped straight from reading primers to National Geographic and Moby Dick.) And I know for a fact that YA existed well before John Green, even “realistic” YA, whatever the hell that means.

So the peculiar canonization of John Green and this string of bizarre articles that anoint him as the vanguard of a post-sparkly-vampire seriousness in YA isn’t simply about taking a white male more seriously than everyone else. It’s also about privileging a certain narrative structure—the dominant narrative’s dominant narrative. It’s not only that Green is a straight white man, it’s that he writes in the way that generations of straight white men have deemed important and Literary.

I also like how the piece explored how to a certain class of critic (also known as “bad, useless critic”) the only valid literature is the one tiny genre of “realism.” Though of course realism is a construct like any other, and just as fictional as anything else.

But thank you, time-traveling John Green, for rescuing us from all these women and their lady books! We all really appreciate it.

May 22


One of the strongest disagreements I have with the liberal left is that if you criticize Islam, you are either racist (even though Islam is not a race!) or some other very bad type of person. Who fucking cares. How Islamists treat women is fucking inexcusable. Fuck Islam. Fuck cultural relativism. And fuck all ya’ll who think any differently. I don’t care.

First we stop pretending. Call out the hate for what it is. Resist cultural relativism and know that even in countries undergoing revolutions and uprisings, women will remain the cheapest bargaining chips. You — the outside world — will be told that it’s our "culture" and "religion" to do X, Y, or Z to women. Understand that whoever deemed it as such was never a woman.

No, no, misogyny isn’t specific to Islam. Of course not. But I’ve lived in an Islamic country. I’ve seen it for myself. And trust me, other than if you are in some cult here, the worst of what Christians do to women is usually better than the best treatment a woman gets in an Islamic country.

I don’t care about nuance, Yes, I know about the history of colonialism in Arab countries and how this reinforced and promoted misogyny, the “patriarchal bargain.” Yes, I know about Wahhabism and its history.

And you can take your nuance and shove it right up your ass.

The fact is millions and millions of women are treated every day like animals. No, there’s not much we can do about it. No. But pretending that this culture is equally valid or that we should respect it in any way is absolute insanity.

I won’t have any part of it, ever.

May 21

So sad

It’s hard for me to cry for someone in this situation.

Tim Trampedach, a 36-year-old business owner who lives in San Francisco, has seen his home’s value soar from $1.2 million to $1.6 million in the past three years. He and his wife want to move into a bigger place, but there are simply no homes within their price range in their Portrero Hill neighborhood.

For $1.6 million in many (very nice) parts of the country, you can buy 7 or 8 really great houses.

Listening to rich people whine about living in an expensive place is not exactly music to my ears. Don’t like the San Francisco prices, move the fuck out of the San Francisco area.

You could live in the same $400,000 house in Portland, and have $1.2 million leftover.

And then shut the hell up because as we’d say where I grew up, your problem ain’t even approachin’ one.

May 21


It’s nice to see all of the commencement speakers rejected lately by students. It’s the one area where the students have the tiniest bit of leverage, and good that they are using it.

But it’s got the elites up in arms, and their journalistic bulldogs telling the students what spoiled brats they are and all that. It’s sort of funny to see, since of course the elites still unaccountably and absolutely rule the country and being rejected as a commencement speaker truly does nothing at all to harm the individual or the institutions they are a part of.

They just aren’t used to being rejected, and that’s why it’s become a big deal. Telling someone “no” who has never been told that in his or her life in any real way is seen as a true crime, especially by those in journalism who both fawn over those already in the firmament of our society and who hope to move up to such status.

The offense in other words is being rude to a powerful person – even one who very much deserves it – when it’s not considered out of form to be unpleasant to a waitress at a diner somewhere.

In reality, both are the same.

May 21

Dr. and Pratchett

I just realized I have the same visceral reaction to Dr. Who and Terry Pratchett: DO NOT WANT.

I don’t even really know why. It just is.

It’s something about both of them trying too hard, but that’s all I can really articulate.

May 20

Width of the band

It’s so much more pleasant reading someone who knows what the fuck they are writing about reference ISPs, infrastructure, and bandwidth.

Cringely also said the same thing I have all along, that it’s just a matter of turning up a few more ports on a router somewhere and doing a crossconnect and this whole “problem” would be solved. In most cases, it would cost literally a few hundred dollars (network engineer time + $50 fiber cable + NOC crossconnect fee).

May 20

Spaced out

Those who deride the space program as useless and unnecessary seem not to realize that if the technologies and experience developed there allow it to save even one major city from an asteroid strike, it will have paid off a million times over.

Never mind that if it one day allows us to somehow divert a planet-killer asteroid, it will have paid off, well, for everything.

Anyway, some things humans should do just because they are awesome and amazing.

Unfortunately, I’ve found those who oppose space programs and the like are not nearly as practical as they imagine themselves to be. Practicality also involves resilience, and knowing that for even the smartest person not all ends can be seen.

May 18

Virginia Hankins

Bad-ass photo. It is of Virginia Hankins, who is “ia self-professed warrior, actress, stuntwoman and knight. She played Joan of Arc against William the Conqueror on Spike TV’s hit show Deadliest Warrior. She is currently one of the industry’s leading stunt archers, mounted weapons trainer, jouster, woman motorcycle rider, and the first female knight in the 50 year history of the Southern California Renaissance Pleasure Faire.“


May 17


Greatest crossover idea ever: the organization responsible for the clones on Orphan Black is a subsidiary of Cyberdyne Systems, the corporation that built SkyNet in the Terminator series.

So most of the clones + Cameron + Sarah Connor team up to battle SkyNet and patriarchy.

Sarah Manning and Sarah Connor kicking ass together? Oh. Hell. Yes.