Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Open Letter to "Live With Kelly and Ryan"

Dear Live Team, 
I love this show.  I watched back when it was "Live with Regis".  I watched on days off from school and summers through that Kathy Lee years.  Once I had a job, I actually arranged my schedule so that I could watch the host chat.  I did eventually get a job that was a little less flexible and had to go back to days off. Once I got a DVR, that helped.  And then my job changed to telecommuting.  And the best perk, in my opinion, was being able to have Regis and Kelly, Kelly and Michael, and then Kelly and Ryan on in the background. 
I recognize that contracts and allegations are tricky things. But I cannot in good conscience continue to watch a show that features a sexual harasser as a host.  The show has often invited on guest who where known abusers and harassers.  I usually turned the TV off for those, but could at least enjoy the host chat. 
I know ABC is deeply linked to Ryan Seacrest, but this is the show that I will miss, because victims are more important, especially when the people abusing them have instead of owning up, been using their platform instead to defend themselves and cause further harm to their victims.  Hopefully a change in hosts will make the news, since I won't be able to watch the show.  
I really do love the crew at Live, and appreciate the entertainment you've brought me over the years, but I have to put victims first.  
Tara K
Note: Above is the text of the email I sent to the show yesterday.  After reading this interview I was unable to continue enjoying the show, and since I had talked about it here, I wanted to post this here too. 

Monday, February 26, 2018

Feats of Success and Failure

I signed up for the Ravellenics this year.  Even though I had a shawl in progress, a sweater in progress, and some other floaty WIPS, I decided to start a new sweater.  And about the final Wednesday I freaked out.  I was just starting the first sleeve, I wasn't sure I had enough yarn to match the stripes in the body and wanted some time to figure that out, and well, the number of days left was not good.  I had enough yarn to make one sleeve match, as it turns out, but miscalculated how much I needed to make the second sleeve match and well, kept going along.  I decided that the neckline counted as finishing, so I just needed to get the sleeves done and I did and took a picture and then still had time Sunday so started work on the neck.  And then some niggling thing made me check the rules.  Midnight in Korea had been, well, it was several hours past, so oops.  This was my fault for not double checking the absolutely clearly posted time.  So, the sweater is ready for blocking and I don't get a medal and it's just a cute art symbol, and I still have a sweater and I'm still a little sad at myself. 
I watched the mass start cross country 30k for women, one of the final events of the Olympics on Sunday, and one skiier broke out in front fast and basically could not be caught.  It was amazing.  So the race was really on for second, third, and the rest.  A clump of skiers had broken away and two of them were firmly racing for second and they hit a turn and one went straight and one turned and it turns out only one of them was right.  They showed in the overhead shot, you could see both of them sort of look at the other like, wait, it's this way, right? So, the one who went the wrong way then had to get guidance from the race crew as to how she should make her way back, and in the end the skiier she had been neck and neck with got second and she was eighth.  I live in the city I grew up in and there are still days where I am like we should go this way, and others are like no that way, and they are correct.  It seems a lot to ask that as a high caliber athlete you should also have to keep an eye out for errant turns. But, rules are rules.  Wrong turn skiier did really well when you consider she skiied a bit more than everyone else, and hopefully that, and being eighth, which is also nothing to sneeze at will comfort her some.  
Once my sweater is blocked, I'm certainly planning to wear it. 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Three Interesting Things

1. This article focuses on a soon to be re-released YA book, but also takes a good look at how easy it is for privileged writers to write without fully unpacking their privilege. (For a deeper dive in to response to the revisions, Deb Reese has an updated review here.)
2. Several Asian American skaters at the Olympics have meant some fun microagressions like calling American born athletes immigrants
3. Stacy London's year of going broke is an excellent look at how money and emotion and denial can get all wrapped up together. 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Lessons of Book Club

1. Everyone experiences a book differently.  
2. No one's experience of the book is more or less valid than yours. 
3. Book club provides an opportunity to discuss and explain your experience of it. 
4. Sometimes that means you think about things you hadn't thought about, or noticed, or focused on your own.  
5. None of that makes your original experience incorrect, but the joy of talking through things with others is deepening or enhancing your experience and learning more about how others experienced it. 
6. You will like things that make other people annoyed and irritated and vice versa.  Sometimes you will even agree with their list of annoyances and still feel that the book worked for you. 
7. Passionate discussions often occur when there is disagreement, there are absolutely ways to be both passionate and respectful of other's experiences.  

Friday, February 16, 2018

Three Interesting Things

1. Tanita Davis talks about the recent revelations of sexual harassment in kidlit, and how it includes a person who had already been problematic
2. Kelly Faircloth talks hot consent with several romance authors. 
3. Alexander Chee's discussion of what writing for love or money really means is great. 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Mad, Sad, and Embarassed

I thought watching victims of tear gas from around the world help Americans being tear gassed for protesting was the most embarrassed I could be to be American. But no, it turns out watching American victims of prior mass shootings support students in a building on lockdown expressing their fear as they listened to sprays of bullets was it. My tolerance for how embarrassing my country can be has reached new highs (or lows) of late. But here we are. 17 people dead in a school where they had been doing shooter drills so long, even the shooter knew what the process was. This is unacceptable. I'll be donating monies to groups that stop this. My non-voting rep knows how I feel. My city council has put in place decent laws (the ones that weren't struck down that is) but of course Virginia is right next door. 
To the students and faculty of this school and others. I am sorry we failed you. You deserve better from us. 

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Great Society at Arena Stage

"The Great Society" is the second play in a duology about President Lyndon B. Johnson.  I did not see the first, I felt the play stood on it's own, but recognize there may be connections and continuations that I missed by not seeing the first. 
The play was done in the round and they made use of projections along the back walls, that displayed dates, and since the escalation in Vietnam was a large piece of it, numbers of killed and dead. 
I came away from "The Great Society" with a sense that Johnson was a incredible negotiator, that, as President's often do, he was juggling trying to make the best decision about Vietnam, getting Medicare and other social programs expanded, and trying to plan the best timing for voting rights and defense of civil rights.  As such Martin Luther King Jr. and Senator Bobby Kennedy were both finding themselves trying to live up the promises of those they represent and a little less sympathetic to issues of timing.  
It's hard to cover such a long period of time with so many things that are both known and thought to be known by the audience. 
And it's tough watching a play where there is a President with such a sense of the limited time he has available to get the maximum good done before the pendulum shifts and not see parallels. There was one that felt a little on the nose, but that is probably a your mileage will vary situation.  
As the dates progressed on the back wall, I had been getting myself ready for the assassinations of King and Kennedy, so was a little surprised at the choice to revisit that only in reflection after the election of Nixon.  Certainly, the play was about Johnson, but as Johnson came into the presidency through assassination, as they had been two prominent characters in the show, it seemed an odd choice.  
While the cast was wonderful, there were a number of flubs the night I saw it. Nothing that detracted from understanding but enough that it was noticeable.  The set and set design were really wonderfully used in this production, including the use of fake blood and fire in some dramatic ways.  

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Three Interesting Things

1. Knitting anatomical models of internal organs
2. I do not Netflix, but was interested to hear the second season of "One Day at a Time" has a non-binary character
3. It turns out Kansas has six teenagers on the ballot for governor. (And one for secretary of state.)

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

The Seasonal Big Bad and the Justice I Need

I have been examining why some TV is just not working for me right now.  Certainly in this age of peak TV, I have all the choices.  But there are many days, where I basically cannot convince myself watch anything that isn't on Animal Planet.  Now some of this is me being used to upping my reading in what used to be rerun time.  Some of this is that, as we learned from Modern Romance, more choice can either paralyze us or make us really picky. So, sure, there is the luxury of twenty two things I want to watch, and anything that isn't really hit my exact mood well, it gets saved.  
In addition to the above, I have noticed another trend. In the very episodic mystery of the week shows, there's a trend of a season long big bad.  Something to dole out little bits of to make you feel like you can't tune in willy nilly you must watch every single episode because you might miss the teeny tiny clue that will probably lead them to a dead end in the next episode, but what if it doesn't? 
And shows vary with their skill at this, because season long arcs are different that compelling mysteries of the week. Lots of people's feelings about favorite seasons of "Buffy" or "Veronica Mars" are wrapped up in their interest in the big bads.  
But there's a second part to this trend that I'm seeing.  It's hard to say how much it's wrapped up in love of certain actors, convenience, or lazy writing, but the season end happens, we think we have gotten the big bad, or are at least on the way to getting them, and then the next season rolls around and...escaped, or evidence was thrown out, or they resurrected, or came from another reality.  It's possible that more frequent comics readers are more used to this.  You can't really catch the villain, or if you do they escape from Arkham anyway, or show up in the next reboot. 
For me, this is a problem.  I know in real life stuff regenerates, recurs and is hardly ever wrapped up neatly.  Why do you think I'm watching TV?  I'm watching TV because I want the baddies caught, I want the mysteries solved, I want people to actually get smoochies with their love instead of constantly breaking back up.  I want something good to happen to someone and for it to stay.  
I peeked in on a few minutes of a show I am behind on last night, and let me tell you what happened. The big bad is still not in jail.  The big secret is still a secret, but one more person knows.  Maybe two. And there was one, one new character I didn't recognize.  I love this show, and I'm not naming it out of protection, but also because this has happened with so many shows that this one in particular is really just a representative example. 
Sure, some shows are there to provide tension and drama, but in the end, I find it's happening at the expense of ever getting any sort of justice or closure.  People have issues with season two of "Veronica Mars" (um, as do I) but it's not because they didn't find Lily's killer.  The love for season one was provided by getting an answer.  I don't need everything answered, but I need a few more big bads to stay caught. 

Thursday, February 01, 2018

Three Interesting Things

1. The ACLU and I don't agree on everything, but we do agree that better comprehensive sex ed is a great step towards curbing sexual harassment. I do want to note that a lot of coverage of sexual harassment focuses on a gender binary, rather than a spectrum and folks that don't fit neatly or always into such things are often more at risk, because a lot of our stuff seems to exclude them and that's also something we need to work on. Comprehensive sex ed should help with that. 
2. This deep dive into the last year in the life of some of the J20 protesters looks at how court limbo has a lasting impact on your life. 
3. The teens in another DC suburb have gotten the right to vote in local elections, and some experience changing laws.