Friday, March 28, 2014

lazy meals: New Mexican New England Clam Chowder

New England Clam Chowder
green chiles

Mix to taste in the pot. Nom!

I think I invented this one, though it was not the science of the rockets. It's best with fresh roasted chiles, of course, but canned chiles are nice.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Today's USA inequality FAQ

From The chartbook of economic inequality, here's economic inequality in the US:


From Self Help is no help for inequality | The Great Debate:
there is no evidence that neither children nor adults know less about financial matters today than they did in 1930, or 1950, or the late 1970s — when the U.S. savings rate was 10 percent. There is also no evidence they know more than in 2006, when the savings rate fell to zero. (Today is it about 4 percent.) 
To presume home-buyers put into predatory loans by mortgage brokers working for outfits like Countrywide Financial could have stopped the housing market implosion if they knew a bit more about balancing their checkbook is absurd. Just as absurd as thinking a high school class in money management could help someone two decades later decipher a 100-page, single-spaced mortgage origination document loaded with “gotcha” clauses.
From John Cassidy: Is Surging Inequality Endemic to Capitalism? : The New Yorker:
In the nineteen-fifties, the average American chief executive was paid about twenty times as much as the typical employee of his firm. These days, at Fortune 500 companies, the pay ratio between the corner office and the shop floor is more than two hundred to one, and many C.E.O.s do even better. In 2011, Apple’s Tim Cook received three hundred and seventy-eight million dollars in salary, stock, and other benefits, which was sixty-two hundred and fifty-eight times the wage of an average Apple employee. A typical worker at Walmart earns less than twenty-five thousand dollars a year; Michael Duke, the retailer’s former chief executive, was paid more than twenty-three million dollars in 2012. The trend is evident everywhere. According to a recent report by Oxfam, the richest eighty-five people in the world—the likes of Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Carlos Slim—own more wealth than the roughly 3.5 billion people who make up the poorest half of the world’s population.

...major companies are giving their top executives outlandish pay packages. His research shows that “supermanagers,” rather than “superstars,” account for up to seventy per cent of the top 0.1 per cent of the income distribution. (In 2010, you needed to earn at least $1.5 million to qualify for this élite group.) Rising income inequality is largely a corporate phenomenon.

...If ownership of capital were distributed equally, this wouldn’t matter much. We’d all share in the rise in profits and dividends and rents. But in the United States in 2010, for example, the richest ten per cent of households owned seventy per cent of all the country’s wealth (a good surrogate for “capital”), and the top one per cent of households owned thirty-five per cent of the wealth. By contrast, the bottom half of households owned just five per cent. When income generated by capital grows rapidly, the richest families benefit disproportionately. Since 2009, corporate profits, dividend payouts, and the stock market have all risen sharply, but wages have barely budged. As a result, according to calculations by Piketty and Saez, almost all of the income growth in the economy between 2010 and 2012—ninety-five per cent of it—accrued to the one per cent.
ETA:

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

What would Wonder Woman wear? Amazonomachy has the answer

Just read (and recommend) The Amazon Women: Is There Any Truth Behind the Myth?. Its mention of Amazonomachy, "the portrayal of the mythical battle between the Ancient Greeks and the Amazons" in Greek art, made me think of the long argument over Wonder Woman's skimpy costume. I can't see DC going with something like this:


(Though people who are concerned with butt shots and twisted torsos for fighting women should note they're nothing new.)

But a fine costume might be inspired by these Amazons:




Monday, March 24, 2014

If I was making an anthology of superhero fiction

I would include Robert N. Lee's "Finest Kind" from his 666ties stories. Otis Redding and Elvis are superheroes, but not allies. There's more about the stories in the series at Awesomedome.com.

This is the second plug I put off making because the work doesn't neatly fit in a genre, so I'm not quite sure how to tell the people who will love it that they will love it and the people who won't get it that they won't get it. This particular story may appear to be about super heroes, but it really isn't. It's a gonzo meditation on the mythical 1960s.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

things science fiction writers got wrong #8247

I'm going over my third novel, The Tangled Lands, to release it as an ebook in a week or so. Written in the late '80s, it was set partly in a cyberpunk future that's now effectively an alternate version of our present. Which meant I was surprised when I came on a line about a smoking section in a bar. I never thought outright smoking bans would be so successful.

The line was not purely cosmetic, so I had to think for a minute or three before I found a new version for the book. Yeah, I could've left it alone. But it was the wrong place for something that's now distracting, and I like the new line better, so all's good.

on Rightscorp, the internet's privateer, and what to do if they say you've been busted for piracy

If you've been accused of pirating or think you might be, you should learn a little about Rightscorp before you do anything. As I understand the situation—and I am not a lawyer, so don't bother suing me if I'm wrong—companies like Rightscorp cannot legally get the names of suspected pirates from the ISPs directly, so they play a little trick. They send DMCA takedown notices with a request that the ISP send their full notices to the suspected pirates. Most ISPs agree. The full notices include details of what's suspected and a demand for payment. If the ISP's customer clicks on the notice links and pays, the accusing company gets (1) the person's identity, (2) the person's confession, and (3) profit.

Remember that wireless networks get used in many ways by many people. ISPs can know where piracy happened, but they can't know who pirated without a confession. So if you get charged through your ISP, your concern is with them, not with Rightscorp. The ISP will almost certainly be content to give a warning the first time they get a DMCA notice about you.

Here are most pertinent bits from  a few short articles that I recommend you read in their entirety:

From Comcast Kills Business Model of Piracy Monitoring and Settlement Firm | TorrentFreak:
Rightscorp usually asks for $10 or $20 per infringed title, demands that are concealed in DMCA notices so they can bypass the courts.
Under the DMCA Internet providers are obliged to forward copyright infringement notices to their customers, so with this strategy the company can contact the alleged pirates without knowing who they are.
At least, that’s the theory.
The problem is that Rightscorp’s entire business model relies on the willingness of the Internet providers to forward their full settlement requests. To make sure this happens the company specifically adds the following line on top of each DMCA notice.
**NOTE TO ISP: PLEASE FORWARD THE ENTIRE NOTICE**
Unfortunately for the anti-piracy outfit, not all ISPs are doing that.
TorrentFreak looked into the matter and we found that Comcast, the largest ISP in the United States, strips out all the threatening language and references to the proposed settlement. Instead, it only lists the infringement details including the source, file-name and a timestamp.
From Is the MPAA giant waking up and luring defendants through their $20 DMCA settlement letters? | TorrentLawyer™ - Exposing Copyright Trolls and Their Lawsuits:
What is bothering me, however, is that the release on their https://secure.digitalrightscorp.com/settle website (pasted below) releases the accused defendant from their claim of copyright infringement for a mere $20, but it has the defendant ADMITTING GUILT to the infringement. Thus, in legal terms, an accused internet user who pays the $20 may be released from liability for THAT instance of infringement, but the next time they catch that user downloading, they can not only sue for the full $150,000 (or ask for TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS as a settlement), but in court, they would use the prior settlement as EVIDENCE OF GUILT that the accused defendant habitually downloads copyrighted videos and TV shows.
To be clear: EVERY settlement agreement for copyright infringement should have language stating that the accused defendant is not admitting guilt, or else the act of settling a copyright infringement claim can be construed as an “admission” of guilt in a court. Specifically, the language (e.g., taken from CEG-TEK’s settlements) would say something like “this Liability Release represents a compromise and that nothing herein is to be construed as an admission of liability on the part of RELEASEE.” This language appears to be purposefully ABSENT from the RightsCorp Settlement Agreements.
For this reason, it is difficult for me to suggest hiring a third party / attorney and paying one of us to anonymously settle a $20 matter, BUT it is my opinion that the RightsCorp settlements are simply dangerous to your legal rights.
There're more interesting articles about Rightscorp at TorrentFreak.

And a reddit discussion: Recently received infringement notices from ISP linking me to Digital Rights Corp. -- Faced with 12 infringement notices each for $20. Paid two of them before learning the facts. Next steps?

For Canadians: Canadian Movie & Music Pirates to Be 'Fined' Without Court Orders | TorrentFreak

ETA: Judge: IP-Address Is Not a Person and Can't Identify a BitTorrent Pirate | TorrentFreak

Saturday, March 22, 2014

on "Oginga Odinga of Kenya", one of Malcolm X's favorite songs

I had heard that "Oginga Odinga of Kenya" was one of Malcolm X's favorite songs, so I went looking and found two versions:





Gail Falk wrote about it in Freedom Songs,
My favorite Oginga Odinga tells about the State Department’s ill fated effort to show Kenyan official Oginga Odinga in 1963 that race relations in the United States were really fine. The State Dept. included Atlanta on its tour (after all, it was supposed to be the City Too Busy to Hate) and put Odinga up at the Peachtree Manor, one of the only integrated hotels in the city.  SNCC staff heard about Odinga being in town and went to visit him with the purpose of giving him a different perspective. They invited the Kenyan to accompany them to the Toddle House restaurant, right next to the hotel, where they were refused service because of their race, and a number of people were arrested for sitting in. Odinga realized he had been given a “whitewashed” version of American race relations. He taught the SNCC workers the Swahili word for freedom, which is the chorus of the song: Uhuru, Uhuru, Freedom Now, Freedom Now.
The Freedom Singers recorded it in the '60s, so maybe I'll find a copy of that someday. But here they are doing another of their songs with the Obamas singing along:



And not related, but found in the search, another example of why I admire Malcolm X so much:

on Douglas Lain's 'Billy Moon'

This is not a book to read when you want to read a book like another kind of book. It should be shelved under "literature and fiction" because the people who go to the science fiction and fantasy section are not looking for a book like this, though some of them will be very happy when they find it. Douglas Lain is a great writer, but when I try to figure out how to recommend this book, I'm at a loss, because Billy Moon's characteristics are strengths or weaknesses depending on what you're looking for. I searched for other reviews to see if I could simply recommend one, and I came away thinking they're all fair, the positive ones and the negatives ones. Trying simply to be as clear as possible, I'll say that for me, the book is fascinating without being compelling, so I read it in bits over several weeks. Whether I would've found it compelling if I'd taken the time to read it quickly I don't know, but it isn't the sort of book that makes me rearrange my schedule or stay up all night. It's a book about love and honor and responsibility and reality and family and revolution that looks at those things quietly and quirkily. Lain reminds me a little of Chesterton and Vonnegut in ways I can't explain. Here's a review that may be as good as any if you want to know a little more: Douglas Lain's 'Billy Moon' | Portland Monthly.

ETA: For a couple more takes by readers with different tastes:

Book Review: ‘Billy Moon’ by Douglas Lain | Blogcritics

Book Review: Billy Moon by Douglas Lain | Marxist-Humanist Initiative

ETA 2: Library Review gave it a lovely writeup and made it their Debut of the Month: Science Fiction & Fantasy Reviews | August 2013.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

my new book, A Socialist Reader, free or 99 cents!

I made an ebook that's free at Smashwords and is currently 99 cents at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, but will be free at those sites when they notice it's free at Smashwords and match the price.

Contents:
• A very short introduction by me 
• Two collections of my favorite quotes about socialism, sharing, and wealth, Quotes for Socialists and Socialist Quotes from the Great Religions
• The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels
• Socialism, Scientific and Utopian by Frederick Engels 
• The Soul of Man Under Socialism by Oscar Wilde
Available:
• Amazon
• Barnes & Noble
• Smashwords

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Bordertown sensibilities: Lindsey Stirling and Landfill Harmonic

Transcendence (Orchestral)- Lindsey Stirling - YouTube:

About Landfill Harmonic:

weird tricks for getting Smashwords to accept an epub made with Apple Pages

SmashWords is extremely useful and extremely tricky to deal with, at least for me. Making epubs with Pages for Amazon and Barnes & Noble is simple, but making epubs for SmashWords isn't. Here's what currently works for me:

1. Make the epub in Pages without a cover image.

2. Place the cover image in the epub using Calibre.

3. Unzip the epub file with ePub Zip/Unzip. (The Mac's usual unzipping tools will only create new problems.)

4. Open the folder you just created, find OPS/toc.xhtml, and open it with a text editor like TextEdit. Delete

<nav epub:type="toc" id="toc">
and

</nav>
5. Open titlepage.xhtml. Delete
preserveAspectRatio="none"
6. Save the changed files and rezip the folder with ePub Zip/Unzip.

Good luck!

Friday, March 14, 2014

the primitive drumming of my people

Because St. Patrick's is coming up, the dance class did an Irish tune. I was, as usual, a little lost at the beginning, but I think I caught on reasonably well by the end of the song. It made me think about rhythms, and how people used to talk about "primitive" African drumming, which is actually extraordinarily complex—European rhythms are primitive.

If you want to research this, you could start at Polyrhythm - Wikipedia: "In traditional European ("Western") rhythms, the most fundamental parts typically emphasize the primary beats. By contrast, in rhythms of sub-Saharan African origin, the most fundamental parts typically emphasize the secondary beats. This often causes the uninitiated ear to misinterpret the secondary beats as the primary beats, and to hear the true primary beats as cross-beats. In other words, the musical "background" and "foreground" may mistakenly be heard and felt in reverse—Peñalosa (2009: 21)."

Thursday, March 13, 2014

on spoilers

Just left this comment at Why I refuse to watch movies without spoilers:
What spoilers spoil are the artist's intention of how the story should be revealed and the audience's initial experience of the art. Because I respect both of those things, I don't care how old something is—I won't spoil it. If you don't know what Oedipus Rex is about, read or watch it before someone rushes in to tell you. 
​The thing I hate most about people who spoil is their attitude. I'm not sure which are worse, the ones who're gleeful or the ones who're indifferent, but neither think it's wrong to deprive someone of an experience. 
That said, I believe in consensual activities, so if a spoiler and a person who likes to be spoiled find each other, I'm happy for both of them.

Race relations are low on the concerns of all Americans—a post especially for social justice warriors

I saw this rather hectoring article: The Only Thing Americans Worry About Less than Climate Change? Race Relations - The Wire. The writer, a white guy named Philip Bump, thinks the low ranking of race relations is a bad thing. Here are the priorities Gallup found:


I went looking for the original study and failed to find a break-out for white and black folks, so I'm guessing the results weren't very different. Pollsters usually mention wide divergences in subgroups. But I googled a bit and found Race Relations | Gallup Historical Trends, which has this:


So the answer is most white and black folks think race relations are good overall. I found a few more things I had suspected:

U.S. Blacks, Hispanics Have No Preferences on Group Labels—Black or African-American is just fine, as is Latino or Hispanic, and "people of color" is such a non-issue that it doesn't even appear on the list.

Fewer Blacks in U.S. See Bias in Jobs, Income, and Housing: "Older blacks are more likely to say differences are due to discrimination" A more precise statement would've been "older blacks and younger identitarians who attended expensive private schools" but the latter group only matters in the online warriorverse.

Standard disclaimer: No, this does not mean there's no more racism. It only means racial issues have improved greatly in my lifetime, and many of the talking points of social justice warriors aren't relevant offline.

ETA: An interesting point about the first graph. It does have a breakdown by Republicans and Democrats. This did surprise me: race relations are slightly more important to Republicans than to Democrats.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Four quotes about Guaranteed Income

“The solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income.” —Martin Luther King

"Will a guaranteed annual wage kill incentive among the poor? If a man is given a certain amount of security, won't he quit working? Exactly the same contention could be made about the sons of the wealthy who are left large fortunes. Yet the evidence suggests that, given economic freedom, people will generally choose to do that which interests them most. It is up to society to see that these interests are widened and that too requires investment." —Pierre Berton

"In the distribution, a certain minimum is first assigned for the subsistence of every member of the community, whether capable or not of labour. The remainder of the produce is shared in certain proportions, to be determined beforehand, among the three elements, Labour, Capital, and Talent.” —John Stuart Mill

“Some minimum of food, shelter, and clothing, sufficient to preserve health and capacity to work, can be assured to everybody.”  —F. A. Hayek

Matt Bruenig on Black and White Poverty

Why Paul Ryan Is Wrong to Blame Black Culture for Poverty | Demos: "As of 2012, black poverty is down 50 percent from its 1959 starting point while white poverty is down just 30 percent. The swing in percentage points is even more dramatic, with black poverty down 27.9 points and white poverty down just 5.4 points. The historical trend data don't support Paul Ryan's racist theory of poverty, but they do support a racism theory of it."

My feminism will be Minchin or it will be bullshit

The song, Confessions:


The intro to the song, which I recommend playing after the song:


Now, you could also say my feminism is Clara Zetkin's or Emma Goldman's. Here's Zetkin on the difference between socialist and bourgeois feminism:
...the liberation struggle of the proletarian woman cannot be, as it is for the bourgeois woman, a struggle against the men of their own class. She does not need to struggle, as against the men of her own class, to tear down the barriers erected to limit her free competition ... The end goal of her struggle is not free competition with men, but bringing about the political rule of the proletariat. Hand in hand with the men of her own class, the proletarian woman fights against capitalist society.
That's quoted in Tony Cliff: Clara Zetkin and the German Socialist Feminist Movement (Summer 1981), which does a nice job of pointing out that many male socialists have failed to live up to the goals implied in Engels' Origin of the Family.

Okay, I didn't mean to make this post at all serious. I just wanted to say I believe in politics that can laugh at itself, and never forgets that we're human animals before we're political animals, and human animals are hilarious.

Since I'm on feminism, I'll end with an Emma Goldman quote:
At the dances I was one of the most untiring and gayest. One evening a cousin of Sasha, a young boy, took me aside. With a grave face, as if he were about to announce the death of a dear comrade, he whispered to me that it did not behoove an agitator to dance. Certainly not with such reckless abandon, anyway. It was undignified for one who was on the way to become a force in the anarchist movement. My frivolity would only hurt the Cause. 
I grew furious at the impudent interference of the boy. I told him to mind his own business. I was tired of having the Cause constantly thrown into my face. I did not believe that a Cause which stood for a beautiful ideal, for anarchism, for release and freedom from convention and prejudice, should demand the denial of life and joy. I insisted that our Cause could not expect me to become a nun and that the movement would not be turned into a cloister. If it meant that, I did not want it. "I want freedom, the right to self-expression, everybody's right to beautiful, radiant things." Anarchism meant that to me, and I would live it in spite of the whole world — prisons, persecution, everything. Yes, even in spite of the condemnation of my own closest comrades I would live my beautiful ideal.
No, I'll end with an odd bit of tribute to Goldman:
)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Based on Forbes' most powerful people, straight white males are not the definition of privilege now

From The World's Most Powerful People List - Forbes:

RankName/TitleOrganizationAge
1

Vladimir Putin

President

Russia61
2

Barack Obama

President

United States52
3

Xi Jinping

General Secretary, Communist Party

China60
4

Pope Francis

Pope

Roman Catholic Church77
5

Angela Merkel

Chancellor

Germany59

If you focus on political power, Putin's the only white male among the world's four most powerful leaders. If you include religious power, remember that to have the Pope's power, his sexuality must remain unknown—celibacy has no gender.

ETA: I was writing hastily above. Sure, you can be celibate and have a gender, and the Pope uses a male pronoun, so while I might argue that his job calls for him to be agender, if you think his gender is male, that's fine by me. But it's very odd to call him straight. It makes me wish someone would ask him how he identifies.

Monday, March 10, 2014

on hateful words and compassionate ones

Just left this comment at What Really Happens When You Use the R-Word | John C. McGinley: "Actually, "retard" and "retarded" are not always used as put-downs. They're only used as put-downs when they're used rhetorically as put-downs. If you do a little googling, you will find every other euphemism for people who are developmentally disabled being used as a put-down, including "developmentally disabled". Compassion is about compassion, not about the words we use. We can say the most insulting words with compassion and sound compassionate, and the nicest words with hatred and sound hateful."

On the list of things many people don't understand: the meaning of a word changes with its context. Black teens can call each other nigger and know there's only respect or affection behind it. Sneer at someone and say, "You and what army, sweetheart?" and you'll probably get hit.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

quick thoughts on Heroes, Arrow, and Agents of SHIELD

Emma and I tried the first episode of Heroes a few years ago and only liked one character, Hiro. I'm not sure why we decided to try it again, but now we can't understand why we didn't like it. Though we still think Hiro's the greatest, it's a fine show so far—we're about halfway through the first year. I understand the next two years fall in quality, rather like Veronica Mars did, so I don't know if we'll stick it out. But the first year so far is damn fine work.

We nearly stopped watching Arrow at the end of season one, but we're enjoying it more now because they figured out something that the comic book, so far as I know, never did: If Green Arrow is Robin Hood, he needs his band of Merry Men. The TV show is doing a good job with that. Also, I have a man-crush on the guy playing Slade Wilson. And a different kind of crush on the actor playing Felicity.

Agents of SHIELD. Oh, Agents of SHIELD. How I wanted to love you. The only reason I'm watching one more is we're getting Sif, who deserves her own movie. Maybe the writing will turn around, but I'm not expecting it to. The show runners do not seem to remember the first rule of television: burn story. The show feels like it's run by fans, and not in a good way.

Clara Zetkin, founder of International Women's Day, on solidarity

Clara Zetkin, socialism and women's liberation | SocialistWorker.org: "The proletariat will be able to attain its liberation only if it fights together without the difference of nationality and profession. In the same way, it can attain its liberation only if it stands together without the distinction of sex. The incorporation of the great masses of proletarian women in the liberation struggle of the proletariat is one of the prerequisites for the victory of the socialist idea and for the construction of a socialist society." —Clara Zetkin

ten places in the US where everyone should be talking about class



Saturday, March 8, 2014

The difference between sex and gender, especially for the trans athelete suing CrossFit

Transgender athlete sues CrossFit for banning her from female contest - CNN.com:
The lawsuit also alleges that CrossFit's policy of having to compete in a person's original birth gender, would require that transgender athletes would have to reveal their personal histories. In essence, that they'd have to "out" themselves, even if they sought privacy, the lawsuit alleges. After her sexual reassignment surgery, Jonsson changed all her records to reflect her sex change to female, including her birth certificate, according to her lawsuit. Jonsson kept her background a secret and did not identify herself as transgender, according to the complaint.
Your gender is a cultural construct, but your sex is not. Your gender is how society treats you—do you meet the cultural definition of a man or a woman? Your sex is how medical people treat you—for your health, they can't ignore your sex. You can change your gender, but you can't change your DNA.

So Chloie Jonsson's gender is female, but her sex is male, and she has male physiological advantages like greater upper-body strength that make it unfair for her to compete with cisgender women.

PS. I keep wondering if we'll give up on gender sometime soon. It seems less and less relevant.

Friday, March 7, 2014

my first Amazon review for my latest book

At Amazon.com: How to make a Social Justice Warrior, D. J. Anderson said,
Shetterly is a fascinating writer, and he covers a LOT of material here. He is consistently thought-provoking, and he is at his best here, struggling with complicated issues and walking through his thoughts and personal journey.
That's about as good as it can get.

Don't worry. I probably won't share any more. But that's a lovely one to start with.

My Social Justice Warrior book is done

Details: My book is done, and so am I

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Dogland made me who I am: a 45-second video

Belle Knox, aka the Duke University Porn Star

I was inspired to write by Elizabeth Stoker's This Duke University Porn Thing, which applies her version of Christian ethics, which I generally like, to the story of Belle Knox, the 18-year-old would-be porn star who has been outed and harassed at Duke University. Stoker made me want to look at the story simply as a socialist.

Like renting space in your womb or being a medical test subject, sex work is one of the purest forms of capitalism. The only ways you could more literally sell your body would be to sell your organs.

From the simplest socialist point of view, workers are united. Insulting a sex worker is no different than insulting a dock worker.

But there's also Marx's notion of alienation to consider. His idea is that our labor and our sense of self are separated when we work for someone else's profit rather than for what we think is fun or necessary. Which means porn stars are alienated in the most extreme sense. They're alienated from their bodies.

I watched a couple of Belle Knox's tapes. The fascinating and sad one claims to be her first interview to do porn—the real interview probably happened before, when she agreed to be on camera. The interviewer notices she cut herself in the past, and she says she did it because she thought she was fat. That moment changes the story from "this is a cute woman who likes rough sex" to "this is a human who has hurt her body in the past and is now selling it."

I won't draw an easy conclusion. But I want a world where no one wants to hurt themselves, and no one wants to make porn for any reason other than the love of making porn.

Update: Bully who outed Duke porn star has his porn preferences publicized | Bed Post | Creative Loafing Tampa

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Traffic Cop Dances Like a Boss!

Dance is changing my idea of female beauty

My standard for female beauty was probably set when I was ten or twelve and first saw Diana Rigg in The Avengers:



I don't mean racially. My standard for female beauty includes Michelle Yeoh:



and Pam Grier:



and Buffy Sainte-Marie:



and a great many women with dark hair and bodies that look tall and strong, on-screen, anyway. But since I've started dancing, I'm finding shorter and heavier women attractive too. I'm sure it's the effect Laci Green describes, the consequence of paying attention to more kinds of women:



It's a cliché, but the most attractive thing a person can do is smile. Right now, I'd say the second is dance. Dancing, like smiling, can be completely goofy and completely enchanting.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

time to accept my aspieness

About every ten years, I'll come across something about Asperger's, take a test online, find I score in the 30s, wonder if I should get professional testing, then forget about it because a professional would only tell me to accept I'm a bit aspie.

But after reading How Asperger's reignited a passion for art, I'm thinking I need to do more than accept it. I need to embrace it. I need to love my limitations to make them my strengths.

At those times when I wondered about aspieness, I read What is Asperger Syndrome? and found this insightful:
From my clinical experience I consider that children and adults with Asperger’s Syndrome have a different, not defective, way of thinking. The person usually has a strong desire to seek knowledge, truth and perfection with a different set of priorities than would be expected with other people. There is also a different perception of situations and sensory experiences. The overriding priority may be to solve a problem rather than satisfy the social or emotional needs of others. The person values being creative rather than co-operative. The person with Asperger’s syndrome may perceive errors that are not apparent to others, giving considerable attention to detail, rather than noticing the ‘big picture’. The person is usually renowned for being direct, speaking their mind and being honest and determined and having a strong sense of social justice. The person may actively seek and enjoy solitude, be a loyal friend and have a distinct sense of humour. However, the person with Asperger’s Syndrome can have difficulty with the management and expression of emotions. Children and adults with Asperger’s syndrome may have levels of anxiety, sadness or anger that indicate a secondary mood disorder. There may also be problems expressing the degree of love and affection expected by others. Fortunately, we now have successful psychological treatment programs to help manage and express emotions.
The amusing part to me is "social justice". Clearly, it's meant in the broadest sense, but I do wonder how many social justice warriors are aspies.

I am aware that being aspie is dangerous: Man jailed for killing pedestrian with punch.