Monday, July 16, 2018

Anti-Racism Expansion Pack

I have written about this before but a lot of white people keep saying back then people were all racist/sexist/bigoted. And I beg to differ. But let's pretend for a moment that this was true. That anti-racism was an expansion pack that got released at some point. I am unclear if it was first beta tested by folks of color and then released to white people later. Also for mixed race folks, which release were they in? And if everyone was bigoted who even knew to develop an anti-bigotry expansion, that would be some really visionary thinking. 
Here's what we need to learn to accept. Bigotry used to be far more accepted in many cultures. You could certainly argue that even today, it will get you elected President. 
That doesn't mean that no one noticed that bigotry was bad. I'm really sure that people who were stolen from their homes and forced to be slaves knew that this sucked. It's nicer to think maybe they didn't know. Just like it's nicer to think a few white Europeans were a little bit mean to some of the Native Americans they encountered but mostly everyone was super nice to each other and shared food and there definitely wasn't like decades of bloodshed where the European descended folks constantly stole and hunted Native Americans. Or that time rich Americans overthrew the government of Hawaii because sugar. Or rounded up and jailed a bunch of people because they were good at farming, er, I mean a possible danger to the US because people who looked like them had done a thing. jails. This is an abbreviated list. 
But I wrote a paper in my British History class in college about contemporaneous vs. Contemporary views of King John and got the best grade I got all year for looking at how nowadays we were like, well, losing control of France was inevitable and folks at the time were like that was ours, dude, how could you? So, I am perfectly aware that priorities and such change over time. And that is sometimes a good thing. 
But we can enjoy problematic things, be they old or not, and still also say, okay, this bit is crappy. And here's my real question about this anti-racism expansion pack, those of you who keep arguing that everyone was racist then, are you sure your expansion pack is okay? I think it might need to be upgraded so that you can recognize that just about every time someone did a crappy thing, someone else said, ew, what are you doing? Sometimes that second person suffered for speaking out. Sometimes they got pushed away or silenced. But if you think all these movements for change just happened because someone had an aha moment the morning before, gosh, do you have a lot of learning to do. Maybe there's an expansion pack for that too. 

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Three Interesting Things

1. I found this remniscense of the challenges of being a student of color at Oxford interesting. 
2. The Capital Gazette takes a look at how various places have handled being the site of a mass shooting
3. A woman accidentally stole a car she thought was the rental car she'd parked at a store. It took trying to return the car for the mixup to be discovered. 

Monday, July 09, 2018

Passion and Prose - DC Stories

Politics and Prose had another romance panel on Saturday, and this time the theme was DC set stories.  Andie J. Christopher moderated, and Tracey Livesay, Aimee Agresti, and Kelly Maher talked about their stories that are set in DC.  Since some of these are local romance authors, I am friends with several of them.  Agresti and Livesay both have had politicians or politically adjacent folks in their stories.  Maher has not, although things like climate change, and human rights have shown up.  Livesay mentioned she liked writing about areas where there was both power and wide diversity that wasn't New York.  Agresti has politicians, so had DC as an obvious setting choice.  Maher said that she likes writing about cities.  When asked if DC is sexy, Livesay mentioned that power is sexy, as is people who want to change the world.  Maher mentioned competence being sexy.  Agresti said her book, which tips a little more women's fiction has people in it for the right and the wrong reasons, but certainly, she made the choice to have the people who really had great ideas do better.  Christopher did mention a recent article where Trump staffers are having a challenge dating, and asked if the authors thought across the aisle romances that appeared in this timeframe with this administration would be sort of like Nazi romances.  The panel did seem to agree, although Livesay did mention that there was probably still a market for that if an enterprising writer wanted to go for it. There was a comment about the transient nature of the city, particularly if one was writing about political types.  This, and some other comments about the city, led to one audience member letting them know she was a multi-generational DC resident, and if they thought dating here was hard they just weren't trying very hard, especially since there are so many young men out there.  (I of course introduced myself to her later, and told her I was a lifelong resident and that I apologized for their comments.)  
They were asked to name their favorite DC set stories not on this panel.  I confess, I might have been heckle/helping during this segment, so probably missed some of the suggestions. Certainly Nora Roberts has some DC stuff, as does HelenKay Dimon.  
It was a great panel and I appreciate that we're about a year into Politics and Prose's continuing efforts to be a bookstore that serves a romance audience, and I appreciate it.  

Friday, July 06, 2018

"Let's Go Steal a Podcast"

I was back on "Let's Go Steal a Podcast" with Christina and fellow guest Lisa Lin. It's a longer episode as we covered "The First David Job" and "The Second David Job".

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Three Interesting Things

1. Candice Patton and Ashleigh Murray talked about how they got some racist backlash for portraying characters that had been white in the comics.  (Warning, there is a video that autoplays depending one what browser you use.)  Anyone who doesn't recognize that Candice Patton and Jesse L. Martin are the heart of that show, well, they are wrong. 
2. Patreon has been cracking down on adult content, partly because the payment systems require it.  This is interesting especially because a lot of Patreon's early growth was them reaching out to folks who worked in realms other sites weren't supporting.  And now, those are in jeopardy. With very little opportunity to adapt on the part of creators since the rules are a bit nebulous. 
3. Capital Gazette reporter Joshua McKerrow's piece on working with Wendi Winters was moving and I imagine recognizable to those who knew her and worked with her. 
Bonus: I like heat.  Within reason.  (Heat index of 122, I start to admit it could be cooler.)  So, I found this Onion piece amusing.