imaginary family values presents
a blog that reclines to the left
Warning: This has been migrated from an earlier blog server. Links, images, and styles from postings before 2018 may be funky.
Since insomniac children is a hot topic these days, I ought to share a story of our own adventures in this department.
Whitey Bulger, who used to be the FBI’s second-most-wanted man, told a Federal magistrate in California that he needs a court-appointed attorney.
Reading various essays on the racial politics of the new X-men movie—see, for example, Ta-Nehisi Coates, N. K. Jemisin and Matthew Yglesias—reminds me just how sophomoric the whole “let’s use mutants as a metaphor for the oppressed minorities of the real world” conceit is. I mean, if African-Americans could fly or shoot laser beams out of their eyes or read white minds, the whole civil-rights movement would have turned out a bit differently, eh?1
Seized with an idea for a short-short, I put aside the story I am working on in my Copious Free Time for long enough to write “Dying in the Zone”.
Rivalry among elite universities serves an important social function, because if alumni of these schools did not regard one another with some suspicion, they would be more likely to team up and fleece the rest of the country even more than they do today. It’s sort of the flip side of Jay Gould’s quip “I can hire one-half of the working class to kill the other half.”
On the way home from work, I saw an advertisement plastered across the back of a bus, announcing that the Christian Day of Judgment will come on May 21st. This led me to wonder:
Matthew Yglesias points and jeers at an NYT article on how Newt Gingrich is trying to sell his third wife as an asset to his Presidential campaign. Gingrich, one of the leaders of the effort to impeach Bill Clinton for his marital misdeeds, negotiated the terms of his divorce with his first wife while she was recovering from uterine-cancer surgery. He broke up with his second wife after she had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Callista Bisek, his third wife, had been Newt’s mistress during his second marriage, but she convinced him to become Roman Catholic, so I guess there won’t be a third divorce.
Like many people in the Orthodox community, I receive occasional brochures from Kupat Ha’ir, an organization that provides financial support to poor people in Israel. Kupat Ha’ir has such a history over-the-top marketing—touting the miracles that God has performed on behalf of its donors—that last year, one prominent Lakewood rabbi described its techniques as “gezel gamur” [complete theft].
I have been putting off reviewing N. K. Jemesin’s The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms ever since it came out, partly because there is just so much to say about it that I haven’t found the time to write up the review it deserves. But now that it is out in mass-market paperback and nominated for a Hugo and nominated for a Nebula and you can get the ebook for only $2.99, I should let you all know, at the very least: Read this book. It rocks. Consider that a placeholder for the more comprehensive review that I ought to have written a long time ago.
I’m too lazy to chase down the link in the wee hours of the morning, but I remember seeing a presentation by a team from Microsoft, arguing that user interface designers are too constrained by the desire to make everything easily accessible to a naive user. After all, they said, mastering a contemporary video game requires a lot of effort, and yet people are willing to pay for the opportunity to make just such an effort. They concluded that the people who design user interfaces for productivity applications should learn from the people who design video games.
Does this mean we can take our troops out of Afghanistan?
Little zombies on the hillside
Little zombies eating human brains
Little zombies on the hillside
Little zombies all the same
There’s a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one
And they’re all busy eating human brains
And they all look just the same.
This is a test of blog-to-LJ connectivity. It was posted at 2011-04-24T09:53-0400.
Various news outlets have reported that a pro-life group is calling a fetus as a witness before the Ohio state legislature, which is debating a bill that would outlaw abortion in any case where the embryo or fetus has a detectable heartbeat.
“The Blessed Ones”, for which I sought beta-readers here, has been rejected by F&SF and Asimov’s, and I’m trying to work up the courage to submit it to Tor.com (one of the few other SF publications that will consider work above 10,000 words in length). I’ve gotten some good feedback on “Knives” (see here), so after I get some other stuff out of the way I will start revising it. And while waiting for feedback on “Knives”, I wrote something else that I call “House Arrest”, a little over 5,800 words, which begins thusly: