capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
Thanks to the last of LiveJournal's servers being moved to Moscow, Russia, and to LiveJournal disabling its secure encryption (allowing Web Crawling bots to read all your private information), I am no longer cross-posting my entries from Dreamwidth. And, this blog as a whole will be deleted on Friday, January 6, 2017-- no later than 9:00 am Eastern Standard Time (2:00 PM, Greenwich Mean Time).

This blog is archived in its entirety at Dreamwidth, and you can still reach me there (And if you want a hand in setting up your own journal on that site, I can give some pointers). The link is here:

And I also have a Tumblr, here:

I'll see you on the other side.

This is not goodbye.
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
Inspired by the election results: A text tee-shirt that reads: "Optimistic out of SPITE"

This one is in color, gray, and transparent on a black field (transparent matches whatever color your shirt is -- it's available on a wide range of light colors).

I also plan on making a version that's all transparent on black, and all black on transparent.

You can find it here.
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
On Wednesday, January 11, 2012, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) unanimously (I.E. both "liberal" and "conservative" judges) ruled that religious organizations can discriminate at will in deciding whom to hire and fire, as long as those people have the title of "minister."

On the one hand, I'm a firm and staunch supporter in the Separation of Church and State, and believe that freedom of religion is also freedom from religion.

And I can see how, if government officials are allowed to a say in what's considered a "real" religion and who's considered a "real" minister, life could get very dicey and uncomfortable for those with minority belief systems in this culture.

However -- the reason, (on supposed religious grounds) that Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School fired Cheryl Perich was that she sued the school for violation of the American with Disabilities Act, and it's against their religion to involve the courts in settling disputes.

Oh, how convenient. [/Church-Lady Voice]

The thing is: Suing in the Courts is the only provision of enforcement written into the ADA Law.

When the ADA became law 21 1/2 years ago, being told I had the right to sue someone who denied me access sounded like a fantastic gift and a tool of empowerment. But over the years, I've come to see that provision (especially since it's the only tooth that the ADA has) as a tool of disempowerment for PWD. Allowing us to sue also allows those with ability-privilege (like playground bullies) to play "Keep Away" with our civil rights.

Besides, for those business owners who might otherwise want to be inclusive, being told they'd "Better do this right, or you're gonna get sued!" is hardly conducive to fostering an atmosphere of openness and flexibility.

But now that the ADA is law, I don't know how to change it.

capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
It wasn't this bad, four years ago, was it? Back then, the Networks didn't break into the regularly scheduled local news to give the results of the Iowa Caucuses as if they were the actual presidential election, did they?

Damn! This is going to be a long year, isn't it?

capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (question)
(Manually cross-posted to my LJ mirror)

On Sunday, November 27th, I was having lunch with my long time friend and writing mentor, Irene O'Garden, who founded The Art Garden, and she asked me what writing, other than The Art Garden, that I've been doing. So I started talking about Plato's Nightmare / Aesop's Dream.

And another guest there, Scott Laughead, got really excited by the idea of what I was doing, and said that I should find a partner, and apply for a grant to support my work on this, because it's important (And that getting a partner would make it easier to get a grant, because it would show potential donors that this is more than just a pet peeve or private pipe dream or fantasy).

I agree that it's important; I truly believe that participating in storytelling (in whatever medium, and whether as teller or audience) is central to our humanity, and that the stories we tell have a profound impact on the realities we bring about. And yes, noticing that the Experience of Disability can be found in folklore (and literature) is one way to acknowledge that Disability is part of human experience. Period. And it's about time we got over the idea that the Disabled are always rare exceptions, and this whole, new "politically correct" thing that we have to change everything for, out of the blue, because some do-gooder got a bee in her bonnet...

And seriously? even the idea that someone might give me money to do something I've loved ever since I can remember loving stuff is a downright heady and intoxicating idea.

But --


Turning Plato's Nightmare / Aesop's Dream into something that would even make sense to use grant money would mean turning it into some form that engages the Capital P "Public," in some way (and that makes the idea very Scary [Capital S]). And right now, it's very much a private, editorial, thing: just my private opinions, based on my own experience (very real and valid, but also limited).

How do I change PNAD from a private noun into a public verb, so to speak?

I'm tickled by the idea, but I'm also stumped.

Any suggestions?
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (music)
[AN: When I woke up, this morning, I thought this was going to be a long, involved, post with video links and full transcripts of words, audio, and description. But that was six hours ago, and it turns out I don't have the attention span for all that, anymore. So this is just to make note of these two sychronistic phenomena]

"American Country Music" fell out of my good graces after September 11, 2001, when the whole genre turned into "America's gonna whup the World's ASS!!," and the Dixie Chicks were ostracized for daring to criticize Bush's war policy. And I thought I would cringe at Country Music forever.

But then, yesterday, I read this post from Dave Hingsburger: The Day the Dog Didn't Die [emphesis mine]:

(quote) So here's to Darius Rucker, here's to song writers Brett James and Chris Young who worked with people with disabilities in writing the song, here's to CMA [Country Music Accademy] for making space for people with disabilities to shine. (unquote)

And then, a couple hours later, I was surfing through the channels on my set, and caught a glimpse of a country music video that featured two disabled war veterans just going through their daily lives (with actual disabled actors, no less, not able-bodied folks in Cripface), in a way that just happened to include putting on your prosthetic leg and glass eye (one soldier had lost a leg, the other had become visually impaired) when you get dressed in the morning, without pity.

The lyrics of the song, without the visuals, are all about getting over a bad romantic break-up; with the video, it's all about how being Disabled is just "A different kind of normal," instead of OMG!Inspiring!Tragedy! (though you wouldn't know it by reading the comments on YouTube).

*The Shape I'm In* lyrics are behind this cut )

YouTube Video Link "The Shape I'm in" performed by Joe Nichols

You know, a generation ago, the Disability Rights movement got a big momentum push from the veterans returning from Vietnam, translating the skills they learned protesting the war policy into agitating for accessibility. Back when these wars started, especially since the lower mortality rates, this time around, translates to higher "survival with disability" rates, I was wondering if, or when, the Disability Rights movement would get another boost from vets.

Maybe that's starting to happen, now.
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
I decided to call it "Chimeragons" (even though that wasn't the most popular choice on my poll), because as I was drifting off to sleep, I thought of a perfect slogan/subtitle:

"Where Fabulous Monsters meet the Shape of the Future" -- social commentary, philosophy and humor

Link! Chimerigons

I haven't finished my logo for the store, yet. For some reason, they don't let you design your storefront before creating your stuff. But I'm working on it (The first half of the title will be in an Ancient Greek-inspired font, and the suffix will be shaped out of hexagons -- with wings and horns and hooves sprouting out of the letters).

I've got three items up for sale, so far:

  • "Monster on Wheels" kids' shirt (Grown-ups in wheelchairs already get infantilized enough as it is, so I'm working on a grown-up graphic that's a little bit edgier, with maybe a PG-13 rated motto)*

  • Right-handed "Plot Bunnies are Brooding" mug. (I made a mistake, and clicked the wrong thing, and it's only available on a ceramic coffee mug -- but two sizes and six styles!)

  • Left-handed "plot Bunnies are Brooding" mug (this one is also available on stainless steel travel mugs and beer steins)

Ideas I want to do soon:

  • something to do with this quote from Helen Keller: "[O]ur old ideas are up a tree... traditions are scurrying away before the advance of their everlasting enemy, the questioning mind of a new age" (probably greatly abridged), to remind people that she grew up, and said a lot more than "wa-wa."

  • Something celebrating the Americans with Disabilities Act's 21st anniversary ("The ADA is old enough to buy a beer. So why is it so hard to find an accessible bar?" -- or something)

  • Something (or three) protesting the "Teach to the Test" trend in current American education

  • Things with Shakespeare Quotes, preferably lesser-known, snarky ones.

  • Things with proverbs.

  • A bunch of anti-bullying, anti-pity, ideas**

*I'm thinking a full-grown dragon with smoke rising from his/her nostrils, and the slogan: "It's better to light a person than curse the darkness"

**The idea came to me that: "Pitying = Bullying" Agree?
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (brain)
On January 6, Craig Ferguson Interviewed Alex Kingston. And, as part of that episode, he finally got a chance to air his Ode to the Legacy that is Doctor Who legally (yay!).

On January 8, I woke up wanting to write up my thoughts about the episode, and thoughts I've had about that ode since it aired in November.

But then, I got hit with the news of the violence and death and cynicism in Tucson, and it sucked all the squee out of my heart.

Today, I woke up and decided that this would be the day I made this post. So, here's a close approximation of what I would have written a week ago, colored by the fact that I am (actually) a week, and (legally) a year, older:

  1. He had Gary Sinise on first (this is a ranty-McRant-rant tangeant). )

Now, onto that "Summary of Doctor Who set to the Orbital Theme Remix" (We can't really call it "The lost cold open" anymore, can we?):

  1. I disagree with the lyric: "He is a force for good
    in an otherwise uncertain universe."

    The Doctor is not a "force." He's an individual, endowed (blessed, cursed, what-have-you) with an immense intellect, an equal capacity for imagination, and a profoundly strong moral compass (and a kindness that he has grown into). But he is also flawed, and often mistaken, and that moral compass and intellect can sometimes get in the way, and his actions, as often as not, have unforseen consequences that unleash evil as well as good.

    He's not a superhero, to my mind, but he is a hero -- in the Joseph Campbell sense of the word. And if you're looking for a fictional character to be your role model, it would be hard to find a better one.

  2. More lyrics: "One thing is consistent, though, / And this is why the show / Remains beloved by geeks and nerds: / It's all about the triumph of Intellect and Romance / Over Brute force and Cynicism."

    Yes. THIS. ...And, sadly, I think this is one reason why Doctor Who has never really caught on in America, and remains a relatively small fandom even among the geeks (compared to Star Trek, mainly): there's always been a part of American culture that has embraced Brute Force and Cynicism, and looked askance at Intellect and Romance as "sissy."

    If you want to get an idea of how far back into our culture this goes, just take a look at how Benjamin Franklin was treated, at the end of his life, and how low he is in the hierarchy of Heroic Founding Fathers, compared to the soldiers and generals.

  3. I guessed right! re: which River Song clip they'd show before she came out, to introduce the character to first timers (It was the Fez killing scene on the rooftop). It was a brilliant choice: it showed all the main characters in a single shot (Amy, Rory, River and the Doctor), and it hinted at the wit of the dialog and the relationships between them. And it had a big shooty-gun bit, too (see above).

    I think they made a really bad choice for a clip for Matt Smith's interview, btw (The one where he first encounters the vampire ladies in Venice). That's a great scene for those who already know the essence of the Doctor. But it's kind of hard to sell him as a main character-Hero, if your first impression of him is gleefully running away (I'd have loved it if they'd shown the clip of him riding a galloping horse, or [but it's too spoilery] when he introduces himself to the "Deathy aliens... of Death!" at the end of "Eleventh Hour").

  4. I was bemused / amused when Alex Kingston compared American Who fans to the Zombie!Apocolypse. Do you think American fans really are more that much crazier than their British counterparts, or is it just that much harder to camouflage a television shoot in the open plains than it is in the hidey-holes and alleyways of Cardiff?

  5. I've seen (via "Confidential" clips on YouTube) that this next season will reveal who River Song is. Do you think, if RTD were still in charge, he'd have the same answer as Stephen Moffat is dreaming (or has dreamt) up?

Okay, I think that just about covers all the rambling thoughts that have been rambling through my brain these last couple of weeks...
capriuni: Text; Beware of the words. (words)
On Saturday evening I posted a link to the news of the mass shooting in Arizona without comment besides the fact that it made me sad. But over this weekend, I also realized that I need to do more speaking up. I am still reluctant do open a Facebook or Twitter account, but I can still do things like write letters to the editor, at least once in a while (I think the last time I even attempted it was back in 2004).

Today, the local call-in radio show (on my public radio station) was inviting people to call in with their ideas. And if you couldn't call, to send an email. I couldn't get to the phone before the hour was up, so I got on-line after breakfast to send them one. And I got hung up on the wording (And what's the etiquette on formal email salutations, these days, especially if you're not sure who's reading it on the other end? Do emails need the same sorts of salutation and introductory remarks as traditionally posted mail?).

So here's where I say the same thing over and over, while I figure out the best way to say it. I wouldn't mind if you shared your preference in comments.

Main point: It's time to expand the concept of "Fighting for our freedom," and "Honoring those who serve" beyond the military.

NB: In this community, the military (especially the Navy and Air Force) has been the number one employer since World War 2. So anything that could be construed as "dissing" the military is potentially incendiary, and thus my nervousness regarding the wording of my argument.

Iterations on a point beyond this point )

*Sigh* and now, the day is basically over, and we're on to the next news cycle. Reminds me a bit of this recent XKCD comic: -- writing "good code" is very much like "writing good."

Oh well, I think this is something I need to work out and get out there in one form or another, even if it's not to this particular radio program on this particular day.
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (no)
I feel like I should at least make an acknowledgement that this happened, and that I'm thinking about it, today, and wishing the world would be a better place:

Associated Press report, via Yahoo!news: Representative Gabbrielle Giffords, of Arizona was shot today at a public meeting with her constituents
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (fail pie)
I am too distressed to say anything about the protests in London (and elsewhere in the world, ftm) besides: "Argh! Waaah! Fail! Fail! Fail!"

But yesterday, [personal profile] spiralsheep wrote a very good entry, and I found myself saying "Yes -- This!" several times. So here it is:

In which there are protests and demonstrations: (Vandalism is a crime against property. It's not violence. Violence is a crime against people.)
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (I don't blame you)
  1. Back in 1971, Bud Lucky wrote a series of number songs for Seseme Street, including "Ten Turtles," which is built around the device of placing a phone order to your grocery store to have produce delivered (boy-- I long for this even more than a housecall from a doc!) And for the past week or so, it's been running through my head.

    Lyrics )

    And along with the tune getting stuck in my head, I've been puzzling out an acutual menu for a Vegetarian Harvest feast buffet that would use all of these ingrediants. I'd skip the quanities in the song, because, really: ten whole brussels sprouts are not an equal balance to ten whole rutabegas. Plus, I'd add extra things, like spices and flavoring, maybe rice, and/or other grain. But this veggie order would be the foundation.

    My speculative menu )

  2. It's Season 41 on Sesame Street, now, and they've brought back Super Grover (updated: He's now Super Grover: 2.0). This new version is dedicated to fulfilling new standards in science and math subjects, which is the focus for this season (the season just past was dedicated to health and the environment). I love Super Grover-- old, and new versions.

    The other night, I looked up an old skit I remembered, where Super Grover "Helps" a girl in distress whose computer isn't working. Grover admits that he knows nothing of computers -- in fact doesn't even know what a computer is, but suggests that he tries hopping up and down while yelling "Wubba, wubba!" While he's doing that the girl notices that she simply forgot to turn the computer on. Then, she calls Grover over to show her that the computer's fine, now. And Grover takes credit for saving the day.

    The majority of comments on that particular clip (if you are squeamish, don't prod the beach rubble), focus on how stupid and arrogant Grover is for falsely claiming credit. But as usual, they miss the point. This old version of SG was also educating viewers on a couple of basic science and technology points: a) computers are not magic, or alive, and you have to turn them on, and b) beware of the Proximity = Causality logic fallacy.

    Super Grover was so focused on hopping around the room yelling "Wubba!" that he didn't even know that the girl found the on/off switch. All he knew was that the very next thing that happened was that the girl announced the result, and so, of course he took credit. I think all television reporters on the science and tech beat should be forced to watch this clip, and be tutored on its subtext (That said, I'm still tempted to yell "Wubba, Wubba!" when my computer and periferals suddenly stop playing nice).

    And if I'm not mistaken, it's the origin of the chorus in Monster in the Mirror song)

  3. Speaking of logical fallacies: I note that, although Democratic politicians took a major whopping on Tuesday, the so-called "extreme Left" congressmen all kept their seats. It was all the "moderates" who got voted out and replaced by uber fiscal and social Right-leaning Republicans.
    I fear that pundits and statesmen alike will take this to mean that the country, agrees with the fiscal and social Right.

    But I take exact opposite message away: the "Moderates" got voted out because they chickened out, and failed to do the big things that need to get done. So the people who voted them in two years ago just couldn't stomach voting for them again. And that's what provided the opening for the Deficit and Social Agenda Hawks to move in.

    A fable-like moral to this list item: Sparrows and Doves can keep the Hawks away from their nestlings, but only if they act together, and have the courage to go after them.

  4. Also on November 2, Laura Miller of posted an essay shredding the whole concept of NaNoWrimo" Better yet, DON'T write that novel! (Thanks to [personal profile] trouble for the link). I didn't give it more than a cursory read, because my Internal Editor does a perfectly fine job telling me I'm a doody head, all on its own. But her basic argument seems to boil down to: "If you spend your time writing, you're a waste of space. But if you spend your time reading, you're bettering yourself and society." I bet, if you asked her where apples come from, she'd say: "The Store." *smirk*

    She also seems to assume that every single person who writes for NaNo actually intends to submit it somewhere for publication, so they can be Rich-and-Famous[tm]. As if that is the only reason, ever, to write anything. Her bio-blurb attatched to the article makes a big point of how she is a famous and powerful writer... I wonder if she even remembers the fun of organizing a writers group, and swapping stories, and maybe trying her hand at a round-robin. Or if she, herself, has ever done any of that.

  5. So, the New Sherlock, by Moffat and Gatiss. What commentary I've seen on it focuses mostly on how they've modernized it by sticking it in the 21st C., and giving Sherlock a shiny new SmartPhone. But, I see a more subtle modernization in their storytelling (I may, however, be alone in seeing this, I don't know).

    In the original stories by Doyle, Dr. Watson is the narrator, but he more or less keeps himself out of the stories: he's playing the role of the ethical news reporter.

    But in this particular television remake, thanks to subjective qualities of camera angles and lighting, Moffat and Gatiss have made these John Watson's stories. As is the default assumption in our modern fiction, the view-point character is the protagonist more than simply the narrator. In this remake, it seems to me, Sherlock is the catalyst for change that propels John's life into a whole new arc. How John rises to the challenge that Sherlock poses is what makes him the hero. The mystery genre provides the medium for this story, but the who-dunnit aspect is not the main point.

    ...Anyway, yes. Well done, that. Or at least, interestingly done. Don't know if it's better storytelling, but it is fresh.

PS: I wubba you!
capriuni: Self portrait, multicolored (Colors of me)
Two reasons for the chest-clearing:

  1. It's an excuse to use my long-lost default journal icon
  2. Midnight is the start of (inter)-National Art-Making Month, and I want to clear as much space as possible for 31 days of mad creativity.

So here goes:

There was a Pete Seeger Album that was regularly played, in my house, during my childhood and youth, called Dangerous Songs. One of my favorite songs on the album was an English Version of an old German Folksong, and the words went thusly:

Die Gedanken sind Frei, my thoughts freely flower
De Gedanken Sind Frei, my thoughts give me power.
No scholar can map them no hunter can trap them.

No man can deny: Die Gedanken Sind Frei
No man can deny: Die Gedanken Sind Frei

it continues, behind this cut )

I'd always trusted that it was a straightforward translation, as translations go (with allowances made for scansion and rhyme, and that sort of thing). But a few months ago, thanks to YouTube, I've found multiple versions of the song in the original language, translated by various people who are native German users.

And their translations, all remarkably consistant, except for a few variations of personal word choice and idiom, go thusly:

Thoughts are free, who can guess them?
They flee by like nocturnal shadows.
No man can know them, no hunter can shoot them,
with powder and lead: Thoughts are free!

the rest of the song is behind this cut )

Not a single "flower;" no mention of personal "power" or "conscience" or the toppling of dictators.

And I must say: I'm disappointed.

But not in the original, 18th-19th century folk, who claimed this song as their own. No. I'm Disappointed in Arthur Kevess, who came up with the English version in 1950. He kept the melody and the refrain, and a few of the words, but he changed the Meaning of the original in order to fit his own personal philosophy. In fact, he changed the meaning to the opposite of the original, in spirit.

In the original:

Thoughts are free because they are private and secret and intangible as ghosts. And: "Doesn't matter what hardships you inflict on me on the outside, because there is no way you can take away the Happy Place inside my head! So, I choose to be Happy!"

In the Arthur Kevess version:

Thoughts are free because they are powerful weapons against any and all dictatorships, and nothing can stand in their way. And: "I will use my freedom of thought as a Crusader to free all of Mankind the world over!"

Now, it is true that a small band of philosophy students, calling themselves die Weiße Rose (The White Rose), used the Die Gedanken Sind Frei as a rallying song in their protests of Adolf Hitler and Nazism (and were executed for their trouble), and the English version of the song by Kevess is a powerful and fitting tribute to their courage (And I thoroughly understand why he was moved to use "flower" as a recurring image).

But --

It is not really a "translation" of a "traditional folk song."

And now that I know the differences, the fact that so many anglophone folk singers believe that it is a "translation" kind of makes my brain itch.
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (insert here)
[Begin Quote]

"Anyone that reads intelligently knows that some of our old ideas are up a tree, and that traditions are scurrying away before the advance of their everlasting enemy, the questioning mind of a new age."

[End Quote]

Helen Keller -- Why Men need Woman Suffrage The New York Call: October 17th, 1913

Sadly, her prediction that there would be less war and more socialism if women got the vote hasn't held up as strongly as one would have hoped. I think that's because she's falling into the assumption of confusing "innate nature" with "Culturally accquired nature."

Give women the vote and you change society. But change the society, and the women change, too.

I imagine that we are more peaceful and egalitarian, on the whole, than we would have been if women never had won the right to the vote and to education (And worldwide statistics tend to bear this out: societies with a high level of gender equality are more prosperous and peaceful than those without). But we're hardly living in the peaceful, socialist utopia she was envisioning.

Still, the Grown-Up Helen sure could bring the snark. And I want to see her in fic outside the Miracle-Worker trope. Maybe something with the Doctor (I think it's the image of the Questioning Mind as advancing enemy that brings the Doctor Who Ethic to mind -- somehow, I can see her waving Seven's Question-Mark brolly around with glee)
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
preample, to explain jukeboxes )

This morning, I was thinking about progress, for myself, on this story that's been brewing in my head for close to a decade and a half, and as a society, as we're stumbling toward health care reform, financial reform, energy policy reform, etc., etc.. And how Progressives are growing disappointed with Obama, because he's not as Progressive as we want him to be. And I thought: well, it may be two steps forward, one step back (and three steps sideways), but at least there are steps foreward.

And the coin dropped. And this song, from the new version of The Electric Company has been playing on a loop ever since. And I don't want to be singing it alone, so I'm sharing ("Old School and New School on the dance floor" also reminds me of my Doctor Who fandom, right now):

capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
Well, I'm sort of blogging. Mostly, I'm just providing a link:

Here is a video address from Marlee Matlin and the International Labor Organization, made on the International Day for People with Disabilities (December 3, 2007); it's in Pidgin Signed English, with English subtitles (I think there are also titles available in Spanish and French), and voiced over in English.

For some reason, all embedded media has vanished from my journals. I can still watch them on YouTube, but not here (or in LJ). There's also nothing for me to click either. All I see is a blank space where a vid would have been. So here's a link, instead: Decent work for people with disabilities.

For those of you who can't watch vids, here are the bits that stood out for me:

  • One in ten people have a disability, world-wide

  • That's six hundred and fifty million, total

  • And four hundred and seventy million of working age.

  • That it's not just important to offer jobs to the disabled, but also to offer jobs suited to their abilities and interests

    • You know the only job that my New York State "rehabilition" social worker told me was available, that she was willing to recommend me for?

    • (after I graduated with a 3.79 GPA in Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Communications)?

    • Packing raw eggs into cartons on an assembly line.

    • Oh, yeah. That's a perfect job for someone with poor balance, poor muscular timing, and spasticity in her hands.

    • And the salary wasn't even enough to cover the costs of wheelchair-accessible transportaion to get to the job.

  • That, in the face of this discrimination and lack of dignity and choice, many people with disabilities just drop out of the workforce.
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (renegade)
And that I am the first in my circle to post a version of the following message:

HAPPY Moon-Landing Day!!
Happy Moon-Landing Day!
happy moon-landing day.

Forty years ago, today (July 20, 1969), a human being left a perfectly ordinary enclosure built on Earth, and put his foot on the moon.

Let that sink in for a moment.

You know that white, shiny, round thing that you can often see when you look up in the sky (as often during the day as at night)?

Well... There are human footprints up there.

Come on, admit it: that's got to make you think: "wow," just a little bit.

As shiny and exciting as the International Space Station is, it's less than a tenth of the way to the moon.
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
Link to the blurb off the Associated Press wire, today:

The legislation broadens federal reach to protect those physically attacked because of their gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or a disability. Current law is limited to crimes motivated by race, ethnicity or religion.

(emphesis mine -- I added it to counter the meme that the worst that the disabled face out there in the Big Bad World is patronizing pity.)

Here's a link to a longer article from DisabilityScoop:

Disability One Step Closer To Getting Hate Crimes Protections by Michelle Daiment

And I just love (irony airquotes FTW!) this quote from Senator John McCain (you know, the other guy running for president, last year):

Victims are traumatized enough from a crime to then be subjected to questions about their ‘race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability’ in order to pursue a crime


Are you implying, Senator, that my disability is something I should be ashamed of? Or do you think I'll be traumatized talking about the fact that I'm a woman?

He, and others who oppose Hate Crimes laws on principle, argue that beating someone up or killing them is already against the law, so why give "Special protection" to people in certain minorities? Doesn't that run counter to the whole notion of "equal protection under the law?"

But hate crimes are different -- both in their intent and their effect. A hate crime, by its very definition, uses a single individual as a proxy for an entire group (or perceived group of people). If it's reported on the news that a transgendered person was found murdered, or if a disabled person, for example, and there were indications that the only motive for the crime was some aspect of this person's identity, than all the other people who share that identity will likely become fearful, and curtail their own liberty, not going out in public, and staying "Out of harm's way." That's why these crimes are committed. The physical act of the crime is against one person, but the act of terrorism is against thousands.

So, no, it's not the same as a murder committed by a jealous lover, or a thief. If I hear about such a crime on the news, I do not become afraid.

Oh, and I do like that this legislation seems to recognized that gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation are all separate catagories.
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[ profile] spiralsheep has been doing an ongoing series of posts about strong Asian Women in History. And a subset within that series has been focusing on Indian Statues of Queens Riding to Battle.

One of the things I've been noticing is that all these mounted warrior queens have been riding astride their horses, "like a man," and that got me wondering about the meme that's been nestled in my head for much of my life, that:

"In Ye Olden Times, women rode Sidesaddle. Period. Women riding astride their horses is a welcome, but relatively newfangled, thing that emerged along with women's jeans and pantsuits.

But, after seeing [ profile] spiralsheep's pictures of mounted Asian women from the 1800s and earlier, often shown with much better "seats" and riding techniques than I've seen demonstrated in European statues of male knights on horseback, that got me wondering if the sidesaddle really was as universal and "normal" as I always thought it had been.

The Wikipedia article on the sidesaddle is certainly written as if it were universal and normal. But this picture made it clear to me just how unbalanced, and therefore uncomfortable (and probably unhealthy), riding sidesaddle was for the horse (considering all the health warnings doctors give us about the dangers for humans of carrying full backpacks lopsidely, off one shoulder, and how bad that is for our spines). And the article's implication that the sidesaddle plays an important role in therapeutic riding programs was eyebrow-raising for me, because, in my experience, most of the benefits of riding (for those with mental and physical disabilities), come from the symmetricallity and body movement that riding astride gives you.*

Then, at the bottom of the Wikipedia page was a link to this article: Sidesaddles and Suffragettes: the fight to ride and vote. And the author of that piece points out that yes, the sidesaddle was important to the Ancient Greeks, but the Ancient Greeks were terrified of women's power. According to her, sidesaddles didn't come into Western Europe until late in the fourteenth century. And yes, that's a long time ago, but it's a hell of a lot more recent than "Always." And the sidesaddle wasn't "normal" for women even in all of Europe, much less Asia and the Americas.

Further down in the discussion thread of that post, there's a brief discussion of whether Feminism is a White-women's Thing. And that prompted me to go searching for this:

Sojourner Truth's Ain't I a Woman? Speach (1851)

I'll keep the link here because it's a wonderful speach, and one that I'd like to come back and reread on a regular basis.

*(I haven't ridden in years -- since the school horse I rode at the therapeutic school here went lame with a parasitic infection, and they never got a replacement suitable for my needs -- and I miss it so much, I could cry, sometimes. Whenever I see a picture of horse and rider [including [ profile] spiralsheep's postings] I click my tongue, in a horse-encouraging way as a Pavlovian response... Just saying.)
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
2008 is leaving a sour taste in my memory, and the memory of many of my friends.

But nothing is unadulterated badness, and so I'm taking this time and space to remember the things that I read in 2008 that made my life a little nicer and gentler and better than it would have been if I'd never encountered them:

(out of order, chronologically)

  1. Jane Austen's final novel, Persuasion.

  2. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznik.

  3. The transcript of Barack Obama's speech "A More Perfect Union"

  4. "A Performance of Henry V at Stratford-Upon-Avon" by Elizabeth Jennings (thank you, [ profile] angevin2).

  5. "With True Love and Brotherhood," by [ profile] lizbee (A post-"The Next Doctor" fanfic); with writing like this on my f'list, I don't need to follow the "Official" Who.

  6. Solstice Wood by Patricia McKillip.

  7. Jane Austen's first novel: Northanger Abby (I'd actually read it before, for a college class. But that was so long ago, and this was my first "mature" reading of it, without it being an assignment, so it might as well have been a first reading.


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