I wrote this a couple of weeks ago on a plane en route to ClickerExpo, but I forgot to finish and post it live. Here we go!
I had the opportunity to see the new tour of Les Misérables this week, and I’m still trying to decide how I feel about it.
I came awkwardly to my Broadway nerddom. When young Laura told my piano teacher I wanted the learn the “Phantom of the Opera music,” I meant Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, and I was honestly boggled when she gave me the title track to Lloyd Webber’s show, which I’d never heard of. Then that stage passed, and I came of theater age during the heady early ’90s. This of course meant Les Misérables was a key influence.
Check your machine learning licenses. Even if you didn’t know you had granted one. Especially if you didn’t know you had granted one.
I have just been alerted by my narrator to a clause tucked into my Findaway Voices distribution agreement. It was the last bit of attached Schedule D, distribution policies about things like poor recording quality, hate speech, and [highly inappropriate behavior with animals and minors], and other categories I never expected to apply to our work, so I hadn’t seen it.
Gonna take a moment to share something that frankly shouldn’t be political, but judging by the party-lines vote so far, apparently is.
Someone shared a meme on Facebook to say that white men should be treated well because they won World War 2. This of course not only ignores the contributions from BIPOC members of the armed forces (and all women), but blatantly denies the history of why there were fewer non-white combatants than there could have been, such as official regulations which prevented enlisted black men from serving in the same capacity as enlisted white men. Dorie Miller shot down enemy planes at Pearl Harbor in a cook’s uniform because he was not allowed to be a gunner. He saved countless lives, was awarded a medal, and was sent back to continue as a cook until his death, because that was the regulated role of a black sailor.
This shared meme also ignores that tens of thousands of eligible Asian-American men could not fight alongside white soldiers because they had been taken from their homes without due process and imprisoned for years in camps where people were shot to death if they walked too near the fences—a thing which is Very Bad if it happens in Europe, but apparently is not worth mentioning in history classes when it happens here.
Every year, I join Rhonda Parrish’s Giftmas blog tour, a circle of authors sharing Christmas and other seasonal cheer to raise money for the Edmonton Food Bank. This year our theme is Connections — which, I’m not gonna lie, struck me as a tough theme in 2020.
On Saturday, I went to the unveiling of a new historical marker. (I know, I know, but not everyone can have my thrilling rock star life.)
This nerd event was special, though.
Grace Julian Clarke was an author, a journalist, a clubwoman, an activist, and a force of nature. She was also my great-great-great-aunt. She was born in 1865, the daughter of the significant-but-mostly-forgotten congressman George Washington Clarke. Growing up in an abolitionist home, she was well-prepared for a career in social reform.
November 3 is a particularly significant day in the United States, laying out a path for the future.
But in fact, we can re-write the future every day, with thousands of choices. And you can make me give you an early glimpse of Kin & Kind.
If you’ve been online with me for a while, you know that slavery and trafficking is something I am against — and something we can fight with tiny daily decisions, from the brand of chocolate bar we eat to the clothing we purchase, as well as the more obvious issues like the porn industry.
So on November 3 I will be live-streaming all day to raise money for IJM to fight slavery and exploitation.
You wouldn’t think a call to “Hey, anybody who’s interested, let’s do something this month!” would be so controversial, but you know humans. So I thought I’d lend my own insight on why there might be such varied opinions on the legitimacy and worth of NaNoWriMo and its participants.
What makes my opinion qualified? Well, first I’d say I’m as least as qualified to have an opinion as most of those I’ve seen expressing opinions. ;-) But also, I have changed my views on NaNo over the years, so I feel I have a take from several angles.
In this Business of Creativity episode we tackle the little-discussed but not uncommon phenomenon of the fear of success. Let’s go over several ways we see this happen, what might be behind it, and what we can do about it.
Ceallaigh S. MacCath-Moran joins me for this month’s Learn With Me, sharing an academic discussion of folklore, fiction, responsibility in using story, the universality of motif, and conspiracy theories!
(Note: I really debated posting this and potentially diluting signal. This is not me lecturing on racism or its effects or its solutions; God knows there is plenty of formal and informal education available, and I’ve linked some at the end. This is my own thoughts on my own blog on my own working out frustration and inability, which might resonate with and perhaps prompt some others who feel as I do. Let me be explicit — if this post is taking time from more educational or proactive reading, skip this. If you’re interested in my personal experience, it’s here.)
I have always been the kind who called or wrote instead of the kind who marched, because I can articulate a more detailed argument. Nothing against marching, props to those who did, I just thought I could use my own skills (I do words professionally) in another avenue. But in the last few years I have been increasingly frustrated with expressing my opinion as a constituent. (Last week, for example, I finally received a senatorial response to my January plea on proposed changes to Title IX making sexual assault harder to prosecute, a month after those proposed changes were enacted, and that response was just a “thank you for your message” and a ridiculously insulting mansplaining-down that Title IX existed, as if anyone who wrote to express specific concerns about proposed changes wouldn’t know what Title IX even was.)
As a behavior professional, I know that a lack of response leads to escalation. That’s just the science. (Watch anyone whose snack doesn’t immediately fall out of a vending machine.) If we didn’t want people marching and shouting instead of kneeling or writing, we should have listened earlier. I’m glad I escalated. This is about Baby’s First Protest, if you will.