July 20th, 2012


[links] Link salad salutes Sergeant Friday

Teh Crazy — J.A. Pitts on ranty, whacky characters.

Survey Shows Growing Strength of E-BooksE-books continued their surge in popularity last year, surpassing hardcover books and paperbacks to become the dominant format for adult fiction in 2011, according to a survey of publishers released Wednesday. (Thanks to my Dad.)

National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest 2012 — Wow.

Machiavelli – S.P.Q.F. — A fascinating historical overview. (Snurched from [info]sartorias here.)

Vintage ads for men's underwear — Heh.

US geoengineers to spray sun-reflecting chemicals from balloonExperiment in New Mexico will try to establish the possibility of cooling the planet by dispersing sulphate aerosols.

Ideology clouds how we perceive the temperaturesFlooding, drought, remain immune to politics.

14 dead, 50 wounded in shooting at Colorado theater, police chief says — Thank god for the NRA, or this man would not have been able to defend his essential liberties. What are your gun rights worth?

Decent Exposure: Guy Who Stripped Naked to Protest TSA Is Found Not Guilty — Ah, Oregon, where nudity is protected speech. I find that a lot more healthy for society than money being protected speech.

Utah GOP Fundraiser Accused Of Raping Women At Cabin Where He Hosted Political Events — Imagine for a moment if the headline was "California Democratic Fundraiser Accused…" We'd never hear the end of the yammering about soulless liberals and immoral atheists. I don't think for a moment the accused rapist's alleged assaults were a function of his political views, but I point out that the reverse assumption is constantly and loudly made by conservatives: that liberalism leads to immoral and criminal behavior.

Tony Scalia, Political Partisan, 12 Years On — Ah, Justice Scalia, that model of objective Constitutional jurisprudence. History will not smile on the Supreme Court of the past two decades. Not at all. Something Chief Justice Roberts might actually have finally figured out. But then, it's his name on the door.

Joe Arpaio’s Birther Obsession Just Keeps Getting Stranger — Because reasons. Hell if I can understand Birtherism as anything but arrant conservative racism.

How The ‘You Didn’t Build That’ Canard Went From Right-Wing Blogs To Mitt Romney’s Mouth[A] textbook case of how a distortion can emerge from right-wing online media, get laundered by Fox News, and go mainstream as a major line of attack by the Republican nominee for President. Confidential to Republicans and other low-information types: "Canard" means "lie".

Erickson Brings Fox's Bogus Small-Business Attack On Obama To CNN — Your Liberal Media: enabling and sustaining baldfaced conservative lies since pretty much forever.

Mitt Romney speaking French — Remember when one of the GOP criticisms of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry was that he "looked French"? Imagine the Right's reaction to a video of Kerry speaking French. Now witness their reaction to this video. Ah, the marvel of conservative intellectual consistency.

Vengeance Of Bain — Heh heh heh. Batman and Bane and Bain. The really nice thing about being an American conservative today is that it gives you complete freedom to hold completely batshit beliefs and go utterly unhinged while still proudly thinking of yourself as a sane, responsible citizen. Evolution denial was only the beginning. (Snurched from Steve Buchheit.)

?otD: Cup of Joe?

Writing time yesterday: 0 minutes
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 6.0 (fitful)
Weight: 239.0
Currently reading: The Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie


[personal|writing] The guilt of doing anything else

Yesterday I did not write. I feel badly about this. Guilty, even. It wasn't a Day Off, like last weekend.

Instead, yesterday was a day where I:

None of that seems like a poor use of my time. Some of it was quite important. Almost all of it was fun.

But I did not write.

The guilt of doing anything else is part of being a writer, at least for me.

[child] Privacy and parenting

Yesterday I was speaking on the telephone with a friend in Seattle who had spent some time with [info]the_child on her recent visit there. The friend mentioned in passing having had some serious conversations with my daughter about things which were said in confidence. I assured them that I was fine with this.

Which is a funny feeling, in its way, but also very true.

Mother of the Child and I have always tried to respect [info]the_child's privacy, even from very early on. In age appropriate ways, of course. Children, especially young ones, have so little control over their world. Allowing her space and time of her own has always been a method of empowering her.

This plays in multiple directions. She has, for example, come to me in the past and said, "I want to talk to you about something that happened at school, but you have to promise me you won't tell anyone."

To which my response has always been, "I'll try, but I cannot promise that. If the health or safety of another child is involved, I can't not tell their parents. How do you think I would feel if someone else knew you were in trouble, and didn't tell me?"

So far in this situations, she has accepted this, and has shared her confidences with me.

Now, closing in on her fifteenth birthday, [info]the_child is developing independent friendships with some of the adults in her life. I honor this, I love this. Especially when she builds trust and social connection with women who are self-actualized and empowered.

I don't think she can have too many role models, and the more varied they are, the better. Her mother and I do the best we can, but we suffer from the fatal deficiency of being her actual parents, and thus our advice and experience is deeply suspect to her teen aged mind.

All of which is to say, I continue to respect her privacy. Which at this age feels risky. I mean, she could be drinking, or acting out sexually, or, or, or, or… But I remember what it feels like to be fourteen-going-on-fifteen. I remember what it feels like to be a teen, seeking my independence and trying to set my own boundaries and resenting the way I still needed my parents for what felt like almost everything. And this is a child who has proven herself trustworthy and sensible over and over and over.

Her privacy is a critical part of her growing maturity. Letting go of my parental control of her life is a critical part of my growing maturity. So when my friend mentioned there had been confidences, all I could do was smile and be happy.

Our life is a river, and the current is starting to carry [info]the_child away from me. Which is right and proper and as it should be, and I celebrate her maturation process.

But still, letting go is hard to do.