Yeah, it’s another cover of a really old song. I should have played it with bouncy music hall energy, but the air was warm and the humidity was low and it was twilight and I could hear kids playing next door and somehow it came out like this instead.
I love this song so much, and now I want to learn how to play it on my ukulele.
“If I’m applying the First Amendment, I have to apply it to a world where there’s an internet, and there’s Facebook. And there are movies like The Social Network, which I couldn’t even understand.”—Supreme Court justice Stephen Breyer (via maxistentialist)
Tonight the San Jose Sharks beat the Los Angeles Kings to take the best of 7 series to 3 games to nil in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. If you didn’t understand a word of what I just said, some sports stuff happened in a very close and high-energy game. The game was played at Staples Center in LA, which meant some pretty high-profile people were at the game- among them Steven Tyler (of Aerosmith fame… and if I just really had to explain that you’re missing out) and geek icon Wil Wheaton.
Let me tell you a little bit here. I love Wil Wheaton. He’s an incredibly nice guy, has a really down to earth attitude, and is a fantastic writer. Oh, and he has a pretty fantastic family, too. Let me also say this: Wil Wheaton is an avid LA Kings fan whereas I am a ridiculous San Jose Sharks fan and the teams are bitter rivals. Wil is so well known as a Kings fan, he actually took over their Twitter feed during the 2nd period of the game today. And here’s what happened…
So my son, Nolan, just photobombed Steven Tyler on the Jumbotron, and Staples applauded him. That’s my boy! -@wilw
This is from a guy with a clearly Sharks-centric logo. Hardcore not cool.
THIS IS WHERE I GET SUPER UNPOPULAR. Hockey fans (and, really, all sports fans for that matter), it’s time to take a page out of the geek code and look to Wheaton’s law: don’t be a dick. It’s not funny, it’s not witty, and it definitely makes those of us who are not legitimately scary look terrible. Rivalries aside, this sort of behavior is really not cool. And don’t give me some sort of #yolo #BecauseItsTheCup logic. Because it’s the Cup, the players strive to be better… shouldn’t the fans?
So, I challenge anyone who reads this, let’s make sure hockey’s fun. I know it’s a pretty intense sport with historic rivalries and high tension, but the thing I don’t like is being scared of another team’s fan when I’m out at a game in my jersey. Don’t be a dick, and let’s not feed the trolls. Unless it’s good-natured ribbing, but that’s a whole different game.
After all, I love you wilwheaton, even if you cheer for the wrong hockey team. Go Sharks.
Wow. Greg Rucka is super for reals not here for your sexist bullshit in nerd or geek communities. Also, something that stuck out to me was this passage:
"Portland Public Schools has a lottery system to get into its magnet programs. For two years, our daughter has been dreaming of attending one specific middle school, one that’s art focused. She’s been in a science-and-math magnet program, and she’s done very well there, mind, but the social aspect… it’s been grinding her down. She was looking to escape. She was looking to go to a place where, she imagined, she could be who she is and not suffer for it."
His daughter, thriving academically in the math and science program is looking to leave for an art program because the SOCIAL ASPECT (read: sexist microaggressions based on her gender) is wearing her down.
And what’s devastating to me and so many others who will nod their heads while reading this post is that even if she overcomes this particular gauntlet and sticks with science and math? There’s going to be another one. And another one. And another one. All through high school, undergrad, graduate school, her first job, her entire career. Until she quits because she just can’t take another day of suffering to be simply who she is. Because there’s not enough support or resources or even people acknowledging that it is a *systemic* problem that needs to be addressed at every level.
I have a fun game/exercise that I play with my rhetoric classes. I pick a seemingly innocuous phrase that is (over-)used in mass media, then I ask the class to explain what it means. No matter what they say, I either pretend not to understand, or ask “no, but what does it mean?” The students think it’s frustrating, then funny, then, frustrating again. A favorite phrase for this game is “senseless violence.”
The point of the exercise is to examine some of the contradictions or confusion we use in everyday language. I feel this way about the phrase “faith in humanity,” and especially “restore [my/your/anyone’s] faith in humanity.” What is humanity, what does it mean to have faith in it, and why does the faith need to be restored? I assume that humanity means something close to “the goodness of human nature,” and not “the essential or unifying nature of personhood,” but I’m really not sure. At the very least the repeated recycling of this phrase should serve as a reminder of the Sisyphean task of restoring faith in humanity, whatever it may mean. Humanity is always already in doubt; our faith must endlessly be restored.
This exercise is one of our most potent writing tools for Cards Against Humanity, dissecting mass-media is a goldmine for us.
1. Single moms are the problem. Only 9 percent of low-income, urban moms have been single throughout their child’s first five years. Thirty-five percent were married to, or in a relationship with, the child’s father for that entire time.
2. Absent dads are the problem. Sixty percent of low-income dads see at least one of their children daily. Another 16 percent see their children weekly.
3. Black dads are the problem. Among men who don’t live with their children, black fathers are more likely than white or Hispanic dads to have a daily presence in their kids’ lives.
4. Poor people are lazy. In 2004, there was at least one adult with a job in 60 percent of families on food stamps that had both kids and a nondisabled, working-age adult.
5. If you’re not officially poor, you’re doing okay. The federal poverty line for a family of two parents and two children in 2012 was $23,283. Basic needs cost at least twice that in 615 of America’s cities and regions.
6. Go to college, get out of poverty. In 2012, about 1.1 million people who made less than $25,000 a year, worked full time, and were heads of household had a bachelor’s degree.
7. We’re winning the war on poverty. The number of households with children living on less than $2 a day per person has grown 160 percent since 1996, to 1.65 million families in 2011.
8. The days of old ladies eating cat food are over. The share of elderly single women living in extreme poverty jumped 31 percent from 2011 to 2012.
9. The homeless are drunk street people. One in 45 kids in the United States experiences homelessness each year. In New York City alone, 22,000 children are homeless.
10. Handouts are bankrupting us. In 2012, total welfare funding was 0.47 percent of the federal budget.
“What if someone took comments from porn sites and made them captions for comics in The New Yorker?”—This idea is full of gold. Have we done this yet, Internet? Can we make this happen? It’s for research. (via socratescloset)
When you finish a story, whether it be a novel or a short story, how do you decide what stays in the story and what doesn't? I find it hard when I start the editing process, because there will be times in certain moods where I really like something, and in others where I just want to eradicate it from existence.
I look askance at big blocks of prose. Those are places where attention wanders and the reader’s excitement begins to cool. I don’t care how good a sentence might be… we’ve got to keep moving. Hemingway said kill your darlings, but I try not to have darlings at all, and kill at will.
This is probably not terribly helpful. But I guess try and find one sentence in every paragraph that says the thing the reader needs to know to get to the next paragraph. Then see about deleting everything else. Maybe you can’t delete everything else. But you’d be shocked at how much can go.
There were a lot of sentences in Max Berry’s LEXICON that gave me an electric shock of pleasure. One was just: “A thin dog scratched in the dirt.” That was enough to show me a whole dusty, sandy, barren landscape of trailers, cars on cinder blocks, empty sidewalks, loneliness. One little sentence that carried a whole widescreen picture.
Try and find that thin dog, and skip everything else.