Jesurgislac’s Journal

April 4, 2009

I love you.

Filed under: Dragons,Good Stuff Happens,Internet — jesurgislac @ 7:16 pm
Tags: ,

In the name of love.

In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love

(nobody like you…)

Early morning, April 4
Shot rings out in the Memphis sky
Free at last, they took your life
They could not take your pride

In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love…

It came upon the noontide clear,
That glorious song of Pride,
And marchers bending near the Clyde
Their rainbow banners steer.
“Peace on the earth, good will to all”,
From queens and dykes drag-king
The streets and traffic do not stay
To hear the marchers sing.

Still through the traffic’d streets they come,
With rainbow banners unfurl’d
And still their whistles blow the noise
O’er all the straightly world.
Above its grim and stony roads
They march with song and Pride
And ever o’er its Babel sounds,
The Prideful marchers sing.

Yet with the woes of gay-hating
The world has suffered long;
Before the march of Pride has rolled,
Two thousand years of wrong;
And man, at war with man, hears not,
The love song which we bring:
O hush the noise, ye men of strife,
And hear the marchers sing.

And ye, beneath hate’s crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow
Look now! for gay and rainbow hours
Come swiftly on the wing
O rest beside the weary road
And hear the marchers sing.

For lo! the days are hastening on,
by dykes and queens descried
When, with the ever-circling years,
Shall come the Age of Pride;
When Pride shall over all the earth,
Its rainbow splendors fling,
And all the world give back the song,
Which now the marchers sing.

March 16, 2009

Collective noun cats

Filed under: Dragons,Polls — jesurgislac @ 3:59 pm
Tags: , , , ,

What collective noun should be in use for cats?
( surveys)

(Collective nouns from Rinkworks: the only one I’ve never seen in use is dout, which I find is more commonly used for wildcats – I didn’t include “a destruction of cats” as that is properly only used for wildcats. Oddly enough.)


March 4, 2009

Kathryn Cramer: fail, fail, and fail

Back in February, Kathryn Cramer announced (Stupid Things People Say On the Internet 4690) that all of us who use pseudonymous identities are “criminals and conmen”. I read, I mocked, I moved on.

(Warning: don’t click on the link from my post to her blog. Kathryn Cramer did something bizarre to it that ensured anyone trying to click through to there from here ends up at one of those spam-friendly sites that promise you FREE MONEY IN YOUR OWN HOME.)

Kathryn Cramer, regrettably, found herself unable to move on. She picked on one specific person active in a recent discussion of racism/cultural appropriation on livejournal, who blogs under the id CoffeeandInk, and decided to out her real name on www.kathryncramer.com. (I’m not linking directly to Kathryn Cramer‘s blog: I see no point, if she’s decided that people who try to check out her blog from mine will be redirected. Update, 3 – In fact Kathryn Cramer, using her pseudonym of Pleasantville, had already outed Coffeeandink on the feministsf wikipedia: when Coffeeandink complained about that first outing, Kathryn Cramer then outed Coffeeandink on www.kathryncramer.com.)

This wasn’t an accident: Kathryn Cramer knew that CoffeeandInk preferred to be identified online only by her chosen pseudonymous identity, and not by her real name.

Following an outpouring of sympathy for CoffeeandInk, and criticism of Kathryn Cramer, the entry in which CoffeeandInk was outed has now been password-protected so that only friends of Kathryn Cramer can read it.

(Warning: don’t click on the link from CoffeeandInk‘s post to Kathryn Cramer‘s blog; Kathryn Cramer did something bizarre to it that ensured anyone trying to click through to there from here ends up at one of those spam-friendly sites that promise you FREE MONEY IN YOUR OWN HOME.)

A couple of people took screenshots (with CoffeeandInk‘s name redacted) of Kathryn Cramer‘s post before she password-protected it.

Kathryn Cramer’s outing of CoffeeandInk – cache of the googlecache”

Kathryn Cramer's outing of CoffeeandInk - screenshot

So yeah. She did it. Kathryn Cramer decided to out someone’s RL identity, linking it with her online handle, knowing that this person did not want it to happen, because – Kathryn Cramer justifies this – she feels CoffeeandInk was insufficiently respectful and nice to two people with whom CoffeeandInk worked thirteen years earlier, at a company where Kathryn Cramer‘s husband now works. Kathryn Cramer used her privileged information about CoffeeandInk‘s legal name, because of some Kathryn Cramer Thing about how one ought always to be polite and respectful to people for whom/with whom one once worked, at all times and under all circumstances.

(Will Shetterly, who is in his own estimation a well-known writer, also outed CoffeeandInk, because she wrote a post quoting things he said and linking to the posts in which he said them and linking to his rebuttal of her post, which in Will Shetterly‘s world is called ‘misrepresentation’) but then changed his mind and deleted her legal name, though he’s been protesting ever since that he was jolly generous to do even that.)

Honestly: I think that even if I’d agreed with Kathryn Cramer in all respects up until the moment she did this, at the point she did this, I’d have to quit supporting her. Because… people have all sorts of reasons for wanting to maintain a pseudonymous identity online. And, no matter how much I disagree with them politically, no matter how rude or offensive they are to me or to people I care for, I know I have no idea what pressure they may be under to keep their online identity covert – whether being outed will lose them their job, lose their marriage, lose their children, lose their life, even. I just don’t know. I have no right to bust in and potentially do damage I can’t measure, to people whom I’ve never interacted with.

So, I consider that a minimal standard of decency in debate: if for any reason or none you happen across information that enables you to link someone’s legal identity to their online handle, you just don’t do it. Not just out of respect to that person’s right to privacy: but out of respect to all the other lives that person’s right to privacy may be protecting.

Kathryn Cramer fails that basic test. Further, I am unimpressed by her attempting to take some kind of high moral ground about this – and yet doing things such as redirecting links to her blog posts to spam sites to avoid people reading the post in which she outed CoffeeandInk‘s legal name. She hasn’t apologized for doing it; she hasn’t taken the post down; she’s just trying to stop people who disagree with what she did from linking to her blog.

We deal with each other on the Internet on a sometimes painful level of honesty, and often with poisonous vituperation. I’ve been awesomely rude to some of you reading my blog now, and frankly, I think I usually had good cause. (Feel free to disagree.) But, there is one thing I would not do, and that is the one thing Kathryn Cramer felt herself justified in doing: I would not link your legal identity to your online identity, unless you had made explicitly clear it was OK to do so. I would not link to a post in which I saw it done. I would protect the frame of our debate, our ability to exchange our views honestly and freely. I may loathe you, but I’ll loathe you on a level playing field.

Kathryn Cramer: fail, fail, and fail.


Update: Kathryn Cramer has posted a demand for an apology from the person she outed on her blog. I cannot link to her blog, because she has set up a redirect to a spam website. I e-mailed her to ask her if she would remove the redirect so that I could link to her demand for an apology: she responded instructing me to never contact her again and to remove the name Kathryn Cramer from my blog. I find this culmination of fail …strangely ironic, really.

–Update 2: Because I am a bad person who cannot resist a good story:

Teresa [Nielsen Hayden] recalls a Readercon Midnight Horror Panel showing that US pros know how to have fun. The title was ‘Is Violence Necessary?’, and ‘a dead-drunk and bizarrely dressed Kathryn Cramer first monopolized the discourse, pacing back and forth in front of the panel while ranting incoherently into her-friend-the-invisible-mike; then assaulted another panelist who’d been holding up signs (“HELP US PLEASE HELP US”) and intermittently suggesting she sit down and shut up (during the early phases of which struggle she inadvertently kicked David Hartwell in the face, whereat David went and sat in the audience); then capped it all when, upon the panelist’s extricating himself from her clutches, she toppled face-first from the dais, too drunk to even put out her hands to cushion her fall, and announced while lying there with her face in the carpet that said panelist was fired from The New York Review of SF. “I quit six months ago,” he reminded her. (That was John Ordover.) After that David collected her up for future use, and the panel ended.’ – Ansible 80, March 1994


February 10, 2009

Tuesday Recipe Blogging: Cheese and Potato Pie

In its simplest form, this isn’t even a pie. It’s just the fastest way to get three hungry kids fed, presuming that you routinely have potatoes and cheese in the house. This was my dad’s fast food meal for us.

(more…)

February 2, 2009

Banned From Argo

Yes: banned again. This time, most unusually, not for arguing too hard that same-sex marriage is a civil right, or that safe legal abortion is an essential choice. I got drawn into a conversation on Livejournal about race, cultural appropriation, and racism, Patrick Nielsen Hayden jumped in with both feet and Teresa Nielsen Hayden jumped after him with a flamethrower.

There’s a quick recap here. More information here. A timeline of events here.

And a rather brilliant post called Laurels Wither, or, It Just Doesn’t Work That Way by Bellatrys.

(Teresa’s response to my posting these links in a comment at her journal: “Jesurgislac, my only remaining point of curiosity about you is why I didn’t ban you earlier.”

I’m impressed: I normally only get banned for making comments with information the owner of the blog/journal does not wish people to read, at blogs which either (a) are rigidly anti-choice or (b) rigidly against same-sex couples having the right to marriage.)


If the following makes no sense to you, don’t worry about it; I fitted in as many injokes as I could. Potentially NSFW due to one use of a word that, while technically no more obscene than “dick”, is usually regarded as far more offensive.

Banned From TNH

When we pulled into TNH to talk of race and such
The fans set out investigating every little touch
We had high expectations of her hospitality
But found too late she isn’t geared for nithlings such as we
(more…)

January 29, 2009

Saddleback

from this week’s Savage Love

And now… without further delay… the winning definition of “saddleback“… by a gaping margin… definition number 5: “Saddlebacking: the phenomenon of Christian teens engaging in unprotected anal sex in order to preserve their virginities.” After attending the Purity Ball, Heather and Bill saddlebacked all night because she’s saving herself for marriage.

Here’s why this definition is perfect: Saddlebacking, like barebacking, involves one person riding up on another’s backside. But in this case, it’s not the bare-naked cock-in-ass that’s the most important feature of the ride, but the fact that the person being ridden has been saddled—thanks to the efforts of the Rick Warrens of this world—with religious hang-ups and serious misconceptions about sex. Like the barebacker who casually tosses away his health—or his partner’s health—because he believes, quite erroneously, that “risky = sexy,” the saddlebacker offers up her ass because she believes, quite erroneously, that she can get fucked in the ass—vigorously, religiously—and still be considered a virgin on her wedding night.

I’ve set up a website—www.saddlebacking.com—to popularize the new definition. (Get to work, Google bombers!) Now let’s get this term into common usage as quickly as possible.

Let’s go!

January 27, 2009

Tuesday Recipe Blogging: flying food

Via, via, the open letter on Virgin Airlines food, inspired me to this week’s Tuesday Recipe:

I used to fly from Heathrow to Scotland on the BMI earlybird flight more often than I like to remember. In theory, you could get a breakfast on the flight: in practice, getting a vegetarian breakfast required booking it at least 48 hours in advance. (The flight was one of those you can book 12 hours in advance – I don’t know if they still exist, but on at least one occasion I decided to go to Edinburgh if I could get a seat, rang up BMI in the afternoon, booked myself on the next day’s flight… and found I was 36 hours too late to get a vegetarian breakfast.)

The one time I managed to book in advance and navigate their special meal booking system to get a vegetarian breakfast on the plane, another vegetarian was sitting several rows ahead of me, so when he asked could he have a vegie breakfast, he got mine: and no, the flight attendant did not apologise for the mistake.

Food on short flights exists mainly to give the passengers something to do. (Actually, I suppose the practice of serving meals probably initially began because flight attendants, whose primary duty is to save the passengers lives in the event of disaster, were always mostly female, and what do you have women do when they’re not saving lives? Serve food.)

On long flights, though, you do need to eat something – even if you’re not doing anything: and of course the crew need to be fed: they’re working. The only problem is, and particularly if you’re vegetarian: the food is usually vile, where it isn’t inedible.

My solution is baked cheese on bread. (more…)

January 25, 2009

Here be dragons

Filed under: Dragons — jesurgislac @ 11:53 am
Tags: , ,


January 15, 2009

Savage Saddlebacking

Mocking Rick Warren:

My life’s purpose over the last week was reading thousands of proposed new definitions for “saddlebacking” sent in by my readers. As with the new definition of santorum crafted by Savage Love readers (“the frothy mix of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes a byproduct of anal sex”), the new definition of “saddlebacking” has to be some act that (1) needs a name but doesn’t already have one (we can’t just rename “reverse cowgirl,” people) and (2) is naughty enough to discomfort, say, a Reverend Warren, but something that actual people might actually do because that’s the only way the actual word will actually get used.

If you click on the link, you can find what definitions 2 to 7 are, but for my money, the best definition is number one:

Saddleback: “Logically, if ‘barebacking’ means having butt sex with no condom, then ‘saddlebacking’ should mean having butt sex with a condom.” Dan Savage notes: (1) I like the idea that “sex” is understood to include condoms and that sex without condoms—bareback sex—needs a special term. But tons of people suggested that “saddlebacking” should be the opposite of “barebacking,” so here it is.

I like this especially for mocking Rick Warren, because Warren’s much touted global AIDS work is on evangelical Christian lines. Warren doesn’t promote saddlebacking, so his church should be made to – by name, if not by tithing.

It is worth noting that during the 2000 campaign, Bush, a born-again Christian, promised to provide more federal funding to faith-based groups working on various social problems. Thus it may be no coincidence that some of the same people who once treated the issue of AIDS with indifference suddenly seemed so concerned about it. Do evangelical Christian groups have a role to play in fighting the AIDS epidemic? Maybe they do, but at the moment they are engaged in an unseemly battle with secular AIDS organizations over US government contracts that could derail what little progress there has been in combating the epidemic.

Most of the $15 billion in the AIDS plan is to be spent on treatment and care for people with AIDS, but $1 billion is earmarked for HIV prevention through abstinence-only-until-marriage education. Since 1996, the US government has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on similar programs in American schools. These programs teach children that heterosexual intercourse within marriage is the only safe and acceptable form of sexual behavior. Teachers in those programs are barred from mentioning condoms and birth control—except their failure rates. (God and the Fight Against AIDS, Helen Epstein)

Some of the other definitions are highly ingenious, but none have the poetic appropriateness of definition 1, so I would like you to vote for that definition from the list of nominees by sending an e-mail to saddleback@savagelove.net, including “saddleback: 1″ in your subject line. Or, if you must, vote for another definition, one you like better (put the number of your preferred definition in the subject line to have your vote count – “saddleback: 1,” “saddleback: 2,” etc.) But vote now!


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