There's battle lines being drawn.
Nobody's right if everybody's wrong.
Young people speaking their minds
getting so much resistance from behind

Monday, December 19, 2011

Linkee-poo likes the running of the deer

Win all The Wheel of Time audiobooks.

Added to the "Things I Didn't Know", Random Michelle K has a reading blog and Jim Wright has an Etsy store (although he only has pens there right now).

Weird thought of the morning, when I get to be a rich and famous writer who can't go out into public for fear of being mobbed by my fans, I might resort to hiring a locations scout to fill out scenes in my worlds.

Vintage science posters. (Grokked from Tor)

A good article on male privilege in geekdom. "The idea that perhaps the way women are portrayed in fandom is aleetle sexist is regularly met with denials, justifications and outright dismissal of the issue. So regularly, in fact, that there's a Bingo card covering the most common responses… We will now pause for the expected responses…" Yes, that. (Grokked from

Well, that could explain why OWS isn't sweeping the nation like a brush fire. BTW, just as a statistical nature exercise, it is highly unlikely that anybody reading this post is in the 1%. In the top 10%? It depends (I'm not tracking individuals here, but I know one or two who "know" about this blog). But the top 1% is right out. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

In relation to yesterday's link on it not being okay to not know how the internet works, I deleted a few lines about what else it isn't okay to say these days. One of those was it's not okay to say being gay is a choice. There's a whole list of things that we could state here ("your people", "AIDS is a gay disease", "poor people want to be poor", "welfare queen", etc). I just thought I should recreate a portion of the list here for future reference. (Grokked from Jay Lake)


Nathan said...

W00t! Got my scouting shoes on.

(Just do me a favor and decide to write about tropical islands, amusement parks, casinos and outer space. Those are a lot more fun to scout than Ohio.)

Eric said...

Ironically, I don't have a problem with what Gingrich is quoted as saying, my problem is with what he isn't saying.

I would like to think that human sexuality is a big happy continuum upon which consenting adults who aren't hurting anyone (unless there's a safety word, heh) can do whatever the hell they want. So while there's definitely strong evidence for biological predispositions re: orientation, I would like to think that a predominantly-straight person could have a gay or lesbian relationship, or that a gay or lesbian could have a heterosexual relationship, or that a person could choose to be celibate for non-religious reasons. That is, when it comes to sex, I subscribe to a libertarian ethos where we all ought to be as happily polysexual, monosexual or asexual as we want to be.

I'm pretty sure that isn't where Gingrich is coming from. This is what he isn't saying in the quoted segments, though I'm sure he's said it elsewhere: he subscribes to a cramped religious view that certain expressions of human sexuality are "sinful" because a bunch of patriarchal shepherds trying to breed themselves into military dominance of a bronze age shithole corner of the world had hang-ups and agendas. Gingrich isn't really saying sexuality has a voluntary aspect at all, because he's proceeding from the premise that certain forms of sexuality are arbitrarily immoral and therefore are not valid choices (and, natch, shouldn't be chosen).

Where I get my underpants in a knot over this is that people who start rebutting Gingrich's express statements because they really have a problem with his implied statements jump on the "voluntary" thing and make strong statements about biological predisposition. To be fair, I think the evidence is there that if you just had to pick one, you'd have the stronger case for siding with biology. But in doing so, one closes off what I think is a more progressive, enlightened and stronger civil-libertarian ideal, which is that how mature, consenting people love each other isn't something that rational people have any right to condemn; as well as the idea that creatures as capable of imagination, empathy, emotional bonds and physical expression shouldn't be confined by labels or others' lack of those qualities in whatever degree.

The idea that humans have latitude of sexual choice is one that ought to be celebrated, but that's just my two cents. And Gingrich can kiss my ass for subscribing to obsolete bronze age morals.

One last thing that I can't sign off without pointing out: the further irony in where Gingrich and I (sort of) agree on this and where we obviously part ways is that I wouldn't have a moral problem with a society in which a married man--if his wife consented--began consorting with a mistress, perhaps even--again with all parties' consent--marrying her while the first relationship continued, then--with all parties' consent--taking up with a third woman and possibly marrying her, as well. I.e. while I think I am predisposed by nature or nurture to be monogamous, I would have no problem with someone like Newt Gingrich participating serially or simultaneously in polygamous or polyamorous relationships, instead of having to be a hypocrite about it and a disgrace to the "ideal" of marriage he purportedly defends when he isn't cheating on a wife-of-the-moment, etc.

And, needless to say, if Newt wanted one of those relationships to be with a dude, that's totally cool.

Nathan said...

And, needless to say, if Newt wanted one of those relationships to be with a dude, that's totally cool.

Call me intolerant, but I'd have a HUGE problem with any dude who thought having a relationship with Newt would be a good idea.

::I know. I'm a jerk::


Eric said...

Call me intolerant, but I'd have a HUGE problem with any dude who thought having a relationship with Newt would be a good idea.

Hell, I wonder what any of his wives were thinking, but point taken.

Random Michelle K said...

Can I taunt you with the fact I've had my book blog since 2004? ;)

And I just assume that anyone having sex with Newt has terrible self-esteem issues and/or is a masochist.

Steve Buchheit said...

Nathan, well, most of them are rural settings, but the novel was set in a rebuilt from the bottom up San Francisco. And the next novel is also all local. I promise, when I become rich and famous, I'll set a novel that island hops the Caribbean.

Eric, I think the position you're coming from ideally elucidates the case of bisexualism, and how bisexuality, IMHO, is actually more prevalent in nature than is recognized. In this case, choice is the operative word. Even in our "enlightened" modern times the societal norm is to "pick one" instead of playing both sides (my un-researched opinion is most choose heterosexuality because that is the predominate social norm).

However, because I'm about as hetero as you can be (one of the reasons I don't like porn is the guy in the scene just kind of ruins it for me), I can say that I don't have a choice. Guys just don't turn me on and, in fact, have the opposite effect on my sexual arouse-ability. Even the thought of three-some/more-some including other guys is not a possibility of even fantasy for me. And the vision of Newt in a heterosexual consumation is enough to put me off my diet, let alone Newt in a same-sex coupling. (and here, I'll say, I understand that how I am put together is not how others are put together, and while I can contemplate - or have it explained in exacting detail - other possible combinations between men without feeling icky, it just doesn't make me hot). And since I'm no longer a young buck that can run on automatic and get my jollies by leaning against a slightly off kilter washing machine, indulging in such an experiment would leave me unable to perform.


Anyway, except for the complications polyamory introduces into the orderly transfer of property when it comes to inheritance and powers of attorney, I would have no problems with it as long as it is consensual between all parties (given the dearth of females in certain parts of the world, it could become common for a wife to have several husbands in those areas) and contractually enforced. I would even be open to relationships between several men and women living communally. Unfortunately in most cases of polygamous relationships throughout history, consent is a tricky thing (mostly because of the politics of sexuality and sexual roles).

Michelle, sorry, I just found out from your post today. Hence the "new to me." And yes, please feel free to taunt.

Random Michelle K said...


There. All better.


Steve Buchheit said...

You've been saving that up, haven't you Michelle? Glad we could be there to give you a release (which has nothing to do with the conversation with Erich).