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[links] Link salad can't touch that - Lakeshore — LiveJournal
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Jay Lake
Date: 2010-03-11 05:50
Subject: [links] Link salad can't touch that
Security: Public
Tags:art, cool, culture, language, links, personal, politics, process, science, writing
The comment thread in my post of yesterday on language etymology and word choicse is quite amazing — Go check it out.

A Whiff of Colonialismrosefox on the Spinrad column, and non-Eurocentric writing. The discussion isn't the least bit about me, quite the opposite, but it does cause me to consider myself. This is a complex topic for me, because of my own background. I'm solidly in the privileged class of white, male, Anglo-Saxon, tall(ish), well-educated, well-employed, etc. etc. Yet I spent most of my childhood in non-white, non-Anglophone countries, and I have a non-white daughter growing up in my house. My experience of culture, privilege and race is far more complex than you could ever assume from seeing my face in an author photo, or reading my utterly English name on a book spine. Yet one of the reasons I've generally stopped talking about race and culture on this blog is that every time I do, a meaningful portion of readers see my name and face and assume I'm another clueless privileged white guy, and respond accordingly with either vitriol, scorn or earnest attempts at re-education. It's hardly a tragedy for the public discourse that some privileged white guy's words about race have been tuned out, but it saddens me personally to self-censor.

Syphilis: Menace to Industry — Classic poster art. Somehow I never quite thought of industrial productivity as a primary motivator for safe sex.

Constructing a marble machine — Impressive (and obsessive) as all get out. (Thanks to willyumtx.)

Habitable Planets: Working the Odds — Drake, Drake, duck!

Still Taking Exception — Daniel Larison on American Exceptionalism, Obama, and his critics on the Right.

?otD: What color are your parachute pants?

Writing time yesterday: 1 hours
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 7.5 (solid)
This morning's weigh-in: 231.4
Yesterday's chemo stress index: 3/10
Currently reading: [between books]

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User: fledgist
Date: 2010-03-11 23:07 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It seems to me that Spinrad is stuck in about 1975 (to be reasonably generous). I'm not going to take the position that privileged white Anglo-Saxon male with blue eyes can't write about the Global South, any more than if I were a novelist I would not be able to write about white people living in the West. A lot depends on how you treat the subject. Not on who you are.

For an interesting take, you might want to consider the case of Anthony Winkler, the Jamaican novelist, whose writing is immensely popular in Jamaica. It is vulgar, bawdy, surprisingly accessible to non-Jamaican readers. He uses terms like "ole naygur" which sound racist but were not long ago in common, everyday use by black people in rural Jamaica. Winkler is a white Jamaican. Take a look here for a review of his autobiography: http://www.caribbeanstudies.org.uk/docs/SCS_Newsletter/SCS_Newsletter_2008.pdf (scroll down to page 48).
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User: alumiere
Date: 2010-03-13 00:29 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I had two pairs: black w/ white trim/insets, and black w/ dark purple. Oh, and I wore them with the uber pointy toed flats (not creepers) that were so popular in the 80's.

I don't own the pants anymore, or the shoes, but I do have two skirts made of "parachute" material - dark grey and black, and new pointy shoes/boots but with heels this time.
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