liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (mini-me)
So my link to Ann Leckie's piece on liking things that are in some sense not "good" has lead to a really interesting discussion. I'd like to pull up some of my thoughts here, and separate the abstract underpinnings out from discussing the Hugo slates, which was one of the examples given.

amateur philosophy )

I slightly have the feeling that I'm rehashing Plato here, but there are worse things.

Clever

Jul. 15th, 2015 06:41 pm
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (mini-me)
[livejournal.com profile] woodpijn is having a discussion about IQ. She says she doesn't want to debate the sociological criticisms of IQ, so I'm following up the discussion here. Personally I am pretty much anti IQ, I am doubtful whether the thing it measures is meaningful and I am very conscious that more often than not it gets used to add quasi-scientific respectability to oppression.

mixture of personal anecdote and the beginnings of political commentary )
liv: cast iron sign showing etiolated couple drinking tea together (argument)
This is partly inspired by being a bit irritated by the latest from the NHS's Change 4 Life campaign, but it's something that's been brewing for a while. I have some pretty strong views about health and personal responsibility, and I think it's time I lay them out in my journal.

  1. Health is complex and multi-dimensional.
      You can't get everyone in the world and line them up in order of how healthy they are. There's no lifestyles, behaviours or diets which are always healthy or always unhealthy. The healthiest option isn't an absolute, but depends on the circumstances, depends on one's goals, depends on what options are in fact available. And health is often relative, and partly culturally dependent, and can mean different things to different people.


    mentions diet, body image and related topics )

    This might have been neater with 10 things rather than 11, but hey.
liv: cast iron sign showing etiolated couple drinking tea together (argument)
I've had fairly regular visits from Jehovah's Witnesses in the last few months. I know a lot of people like to play headgames with them, or respond with outright rudeness; I've tended not to go down that route. I am not completely convinced I'm making the right decision, because I really, really dislike proselytizing, and I think there's a strong argument which says that missionaries are already being rude by knocking on your door and telling you that your religion is wrong, so you're perfectly entitled to be rude back. The reason I've decided against that is because as a general rule I don't want to be rude to anyone unless it's really necessary, and also because I feel that these people are doing something that they sincerely believe to be a religious requirement, and as long as it's annoying rather than hurtful to me, I'm willing to extend them a little compassion.

convictions )
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
This is tangentially about both RaceFail and AmazonFail, but only in that they're both examples of the phenomenon I want to talk about. And I'm not drawing any direct comparisons between the two incidents.

Let's take a sequence of events: Somebody is Wrong on the internet. And not just Wrong about, you know, gun control or abortion or whether to vote Democrat or Republican (or whether the rest of the world outside the USA actually exists as anything more than a fable or source of rhetorical ammunition) but displaying bigotry against some minority group. Because the internet is inherently a public medium, people who belong to the minority group are going to notice, and are quite likely to express their hurt feelings. What happens now?

some observations on crowd behaviour )

In conclusion: calling someone a homophobe is really not equivalent to calling someone a f*ggot. Calling someone a racist is really not equivalent to using a racial slur.
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
Lots of different things recently have led me to ponder the situation of being a member of a minority group while also being white. This is mostly just stuff swirling incoherently round my head, but I want to write some of this down and I don't think waiting until I have a polished theory is going to work.

noodling )

Behold, my amazing lack of conclusions!
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
Having decided I'm going to be a feminist, I should actually do something about it. I'm somewhat in trepidation about discussing directly feminist ideas in public like this, but I'd be pretty useless if I kept silent and never dared to say anything about my convictions. But I am certainly not claiming to be any kind of authority on this stuff.

Anyway, this post, such as it is, is dedicated to [livejournal.com profile] ravingglory, [livejournal.com profile] lizzip and [livejournal.com profile] atreic.

sharing a planet with men )

I find myself in an LJ discussion (mostly friends locked) where I am trying to explain why feminism is a matter of justice. [livejournal.com profile] atreic comes from a similar place to me and feels alienated by feminism telling her that she's a victim even when her life is in fact perfectly satisfactory. [livejournal.com profile] lizzip has a strong sense of the need to make the world a fairer and more welcoming place for women. And all three of us find ourselves in conversation with men who don't see why they should bother with feminism, because at least this part of the world is basically equal already, and there are feminists making sloppy, man-hating arguments all over the internet.

I am working on the basis that the men who don't see the point in this discussion and a whole lot of other similar are mostly coming from a position of good faith. (Not absolutely all of them; there are clearly some people who just like to disrupt feminist discussions because they feel threatened or just like the attention they get from literal trolling.) But it's perfectly possible to genuinely and sincerely care about women, and still not get it; I didn't for a long time, after all. At some level, I want to convince such well-meaning people, but at the same time I feel really, really uncomfortable with any kind of proselytizing.

I'm also all dewy-eyed and naive and actually taking an explicitly feminist position in a highly charged internet argument is a novelty to me. I can really see both sides of the argument so well it's almost dizzying. I can see the weary frustration of seasoned feminists who have to deal with a huge wall of denial every time they mention a sexist incident. I can see why many might not want to argue at all, or might not want to be polite and patient, with men who might possibly deign to care about injustices against women if they can be convinced that feminists have a cast-iron rational case that would stand up in the strictest court. Everybody who complains about sexism has to answer for every feminist who might ever have said something negative about men, or something more emotional or hyperbolic than rigorous. At the same time, I can completely see why feminism can look really alienating; it alienated me for a long time, and for exactly the same reasons being raised in this kind of conversation.

I am going to propose a theory about why it's extremely difficult to report sexism and systematic discrimination. This is probably obvious to experienced feminists, but it might be helpful to people who don't see the point. Anyway, it's a conclusion I've come to recently. If you talk about individual incidents, people can (and seem particularly inclined to) always propose reasons why that particular incident might not be sexist. Even if someone believes that the most likely reason why a woman was disadvantaged is sexism, she's still rather in a double bind: if the incident was minor, she's making a fuss about nothing, but if it was major, then it wasn't mere sexism, it was viciousness by someone so far beyond the pale of normal human behaviour that there's no hope for them.

To avoid this problem, you have to go to systematic analysis to look for overall trends. The problem with that is that it becomes very abstract, people don't relate emotionally. And it's a lot of work, so it ends up being its own academic discipline, with its own jargon and community that is not very accessible to outsiders and a sort of self-perpetuating orthodoxy. Like most complex subjects, feminist studies and positions get misquoted and over-simplified by ignorant internet people. At the same time, if someone posts to a blog complaining about an annoying sexist remark, they don't want to and quite likely can't justify their complaint by giving an overview of all the feminist studies and theory ever to have been performed on the topic.

So it's easy to get to a point where someone who has done a fair amount of reading and thinking about feminist issues is going to dismiss a well-meaning but relatively ignorant man out of hand, if he starts demanding detailed arguments why he should believe her complaint. This can end up looking a lot like telling him that his opinion is worthless just because he's male, which is not at all likely to encourage men to be sympathetic to feminism.

Obviously, the fact that something is hard to demonstrate doesn't make it true! But what I would like to see is a little less readiness to look for reasons why sexism might not be sexism. I want people to at least consider the possibility that something might be true, and realize that some of the apparent causes for scepticism would still apply even if it were true. Also, the fact that some people who consider themselves feminists say ridiculous things fairly obviously doesn't make every claim that might be interpreted as feminist prima facie ridiculous!
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
In my feminism post, I flippantly said I wasn't interested in removing the syllable -man- from the English language. There was a bit of discussion in the comments, and it seems like a topic that lots of people have views about, so perhaps we could develop some ideas around this.

words are important )

I've been writing this in bits for a while, but have been very busy. I hope it hasn't grown too rambly and incoherent, and that the thread of the argument is still clear with all the tangents I've included! I'll be surprised and disappointed if it doesn't raise some strong reactions...
liv: oil painting of seated nude with her back to the viewer (body)
Body image and fat prejudice is a topic I've been trying to talk about almost ever since I started this journal, and I keep reading things that bring me back to it, and every time I start a post I give up because I'm pretty sure I'm going to offend people. Quite often I upset myself too. I've finally come to the conclusion that the best way to start discussing the question is to be very personal. I'm going to talk about my own experience of being fat, and not draw any implications yet.

I've been fat ever since I hit puberty. To be precise, I've been on the borderline between the "overweight" and "obese" BMI categories pretty much that whole time. On the whole, that hasn't really affected my life very negatively, but it has coloured my experience of the world.

body image discussion may be upsetting or triggering )

What upsets me is not that the hand I was dealt was one that included being so-called obese. It's the constant irritation of encountering hateful comments about fat people, even from sources that are otherwise quite sensitive and respectful. Sometimes people reassure me that they don't mean me, they mean really fat people. I'm not "fat", because I'm not ugly, or lazy, or stupid, or irresponsible. Well, guess what, most other fat people aren't those things either, or at least they're no more likely to be so than thin people. It's clearly true that many people are much fatter than me, and have often had a much, much more difficult time as a result than I have; I'm not trying to be a drama queen or look for sympathy here. But the thing is, any time somebody is making the assumption that there's some kind of size boundary above which you're a disgusting pig with no self-respect or willpower, the fact that I fall below that boundary in their eyes isn't much of a comfort to me. The boundary of what is defined as "fat" is very much dependent on context, and as I said at the beginning, the official medical definition makes me obese.

Another pattern that sometimes happens is that people justify their prejudiced comments because being fat is "unhealthy". But even if being fat is bad for you, which is debateable, there's no excuse to make prejudiced assumptions about people or even call for restrictions on their rights because they happen to have some unhealthy behaviours.

I'm going to leave this contentious topic at that for the time being. I just want to make it absolutely clear that comments about how disgusting fat people are, or about how fat people shouldn't get healthcare, or hurtful "jokes" about fatness, or anything along those lines, are comments about me. I hear them as comments about me, and in extreme cases, as threats to me. And I'm not prepared to hate my body in order to avoid being emotionally affected by those comments.

de mortuis

Feb. 28th, 2008 08:57 pm
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
Some very right wing American political thinker died recently; frankly I hadn't heard of him until his death, but he sounds like he was an absolute piece of work. Of course, this has reignited the usual debate about whether it's acceptable to say that someone who recently died was a disgusting racist. I started a comment to that Making Light thread, but in the end decided that it was too long and rambly and not really on topic (given that I barely know who Buckley was anyway), so it is better as a separate post than a comment on someone else's blog.

speaking ill of the dead )

Pain is bad. Mortality is bad. The fact that sometimes they affect despicable people doesn't really improve things very much, in my opinion. And part of the definition of not being evil is that you don't take pleasure in someone else's misery; using the excuse of their past bad behaviour to indulge in fantasizing about such things is morally dangerous.

Privilege

Jan. 25th, 2008 03:08 pm
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
There was a meme a while ago where people had to take a list and bold the "privileges" they experienced growing up. I know I've left it too late to address this, but I think it leads to some interesting ideas in general, so I'm going to babble a bit.

To deal with the meme itself: it originated from a teaching exercise developed at Indiana State University. Most people who filled in the meme commented that it isn't terribly well thought out. Some of the criticisms are a bit off-target; yes, it is US-centric and yes, it concentrates on class to the exclusion of other kinds of privilege, but that's because it was designed to teach American college students about class, not to be used as a meme in the rather international and highly varied context of LJ, or to make a profound statement about privilege in general. Several people argued that it fails even to address even American class privilege in a sensible way; I don't know enough about that to be able to comment. My reading of it is that somebody who bolded most of it would have the following advantages: a financially stable background; guardians who were committed to education; to some extent, though the list doesn't cover this as well as it might, a culture which is socially valued. Those are definitely advantages which some people have and others lack, which is not to say that everyone who has them must have a wonderful and perfect life and everyone else must be living in misery!

But I think the reaction to this meme is a good example of why those privilege lists don't really make the point they are trying to make very well. further discussion )

Well, what do you think? Someone complimented me recently on posting thoughtful essays to LJ, which made me realize I haven't done so in quite a long while. And now I've got past the major worst of work panic, I can write up things that I've been ruminating on for a while.
liv: ribbon diagram of a p53 monomer (p53)
Consider the following pair of statements:

A] God created the world.
B] A combination of random mutation and natural selection gives rise to new species.

There seems to be a persistent assumption that A implies not B. Even worse, there is a minor industry based on the false corollary that B implies not A, which really has no logical basis at all. This annoys me, because a lot of energy is being expended on debates which are logically stupid, but which also have harmful effects.

further expansion )

Anyway, the main conclusion is that statements A and B are independent because they are different kinds of statements. If people want to argue for or against one, they shouldn't muddy the waters by trying to talk about the other. The secondary conclusion is that there are some extremely unpleasant people who have a vested interest in convincing people of not B, and that decent people should be very careful in how they argue against such unpleasant elements, to avoid accidentally playing to their hidden aims.

I have other things to say about this topic but this is insanely long anyway. It's prompted by various conversations on the topic, both around LJ and in person. So thanks to [livejournal.com profile] smhwpf, [livejournal.com profile] pw201, [livejournal.com profile] pseudomonas, [livejournal.com profile] rysmiel and anybody else I might have forgotten who's been going over this stuff with me. See also, if you're not exhausted by now!

And, er, sorry about the music choice...
liv: A woman with a long plait drinks a cup of tea (teapot)
I'm in that annoying stage where I don't quite have time to write about the things I want to write about. This is partly because I've been spending my free time following links around and reading other people's writing, instead of posting.

So I might as well share some of the gems. The internet is full of instant gratification, but this year I'm starting to find myself drawn to full-length, properly though out essays much more than in the past, and the fact they're online rather than in foreign newspapers I wouldn't otherwise read is just a matter of convenience.

links with some commentary )

Hm, so much for not having time to post so I'll just put up a few links! That turned into a long essay after all. Let's see if I can harness that verbal energy into writing the review I'm working on.
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
I'm probably going to offend everyone with this post, but hey. Several things have come up recently that have put the idea into my head to post about the dreaded topic of abortion.

The main trigger was [livejournal.com profile] lavendersparkle's excellent polemic. I really like her argument, and it's one I don't really see being made in all the mountains of pointless aggro that makes up most of the abortion debate. She argues that The majority of abortions in the US and UK are caused by patriarchy, and gives a very closely reasoned and compelling explanation for this position, because: Abortion doesn't solve [...] problems; it simply makes them less visible. It pushes the burden of 'dealing' with them onto women who are then expected to be thankful that had the 'choice' to have an abortion. And her conclusion is the triumphant: I get so annoyed when I see pro choice feminist schmucks kidding themselves that they've achieved some kind of feminist utopia by being allowed to use their money, their bodies and their offspring to cover up the huge injustices of our society.

Then I found myself discussing abortion with [livejournal.com profile] ploni_bat_ploni, and ended up being quite vehement about certain aspects of the issue. I think I'd probably like to set my thoughts down here.

The last thing which really convinced me I should overcome my trepidation and post about this is the aftermath to this incident at Den of the Biting Beaver. (In case you haven't seen this, I'll summarize the background: Biting Beaver is a fairly strident American feminist blogger. She experienced a contraceptive failure and posted about having to go through hell to get the morning after pill. Her post was very widely linked, primarily by lefties outraged at the way the ill named "moral right" have all but closed off access to emergency contraception in the US. But this prominence brought the post to the attention of the pro-life crowd, some of whom proceeded to troll her (see the first link). Eventually, Biting Beaver was able to obtain her morning after pill. However it didn't work, and Biting Beaver was brave enough to post publically that she is pregnant and intends to have an abortion.)

This conjunction of people talking about abortion served to remind me why I potentially alienate everybody by being neither pro choice nor pro life. Essentially, I think the pro choice movement is generally well-meaning, but in their fervour to keep abortion legal, lose sight of the fact that abortion is not a good thing. However, I think much of the pro life movement is actively evil, even though I am broadly in agreement with the basic tenet that abortion is wrong.

elaborating this position )

I happen to believe that the issue, like many moral questions, is extremely complicated and good people can come to different conclusions from me, and still be good people. But if you want to take exception to this, go ahead.
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
More and more, I am noticing a really pernicious meme: the subsitution of health for religious virtue, or even salvation. And the notion of virtue that is being replaced with health was a bad and dangerous frame for morality anyway. An LJ post like this is only the tiniest of drops towards countering this bad meme, but I would rather make the post than do nothing. And of course I welcome any criticism or development of my argument.

as the great philosopher said, sh*t happens )

A couple of additional notes, to pre-empt the most likely criticisms I expect for this essay. Firstly, I'm not in the least saying that Christianity is terrible or any worse than any other religion. I think some of this view of virtue may be partly influenced by Protestantism, but that's a guess I can't prove. It happens that Christianity has been a dominant influence in our society for a long time, and there's nothing more to any bias in my depiction than that.

On other occasions when I've made arguments similar to this, I have found myself getting distracted into stupid debates about whether people should take responsibility for their actions. I absolutely believe that people should take responsibility and should know and accept that their choices have consequences. That's a given, as far as I'm concerned. But taking responsibility is a completely different thing from believing in magical rituals, or trying to claim that virtue is always rewarded.
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
It seems that lots of people round these parts are "blogging against racism". I'm really not sure whether I should participate, and here's why.

I should post something because I am against racism. Well, obviously; even BNP spokesmen sometimes claim to be against racism these days. I don't see much merit in giving myself a pat on the back: look at me, I'm such a good person, I posted to LJ saying Racisim is BAD!.

I should post something because I've been reading quite a lot of interesting and thought-provoking stuff because of the meme and other discussions about racism going on in the blogosphere more generally. But one thing I'm picking up very strongly is that a lot of people seem to want white people to "shut up and listen" and not try to take over the discussion. Well, I'm quite happy to shut up and listen, especially in the blog context because lurking when there are interesting discussions to read is a lot more rewarding than being in a conversation where I'm not allowed to speak.

The trouble is that if I don't post that I am against racism, I could be seen as tacitly supporting it, or not making sufficient effort to combat racism. I've seen just as many complaints about white people being unfairly privileged because they don't have to think about racism if they don't want to, or perpetuating racism by not speaking against it, as I have about white people invading the discussion and making it hard for the victims of racism to be heard.

The side-issue to this is whether I am one of the "white people" intended by the rhetoric from either side. I feel odd defining myself as "white", but clearly I have no skin pigmentation at all so I can hardly be anything else. I want to say "non-black", by analogy to the expression "non-white", but that would probably end up offending people. Navel-gazing about what my racial identity is is definitely not the point though. I think part of the problem is that the "racism" in "Blog against racism week" is sometimes being used specifically to mean racism against African-Americans, namely people with dark skin who live in the USA. Obviously, I have absolutely nothing to contribute to any discussion about the experiences of African-Americans. But I'm also not "white" in this context because I'm not a light skinned, WASPy American either! So on that level the whole discussion has nothing to do with me, except that, well, racism is happening and I would like to stop it, which is too obvious to be worth stating.

Oh, and I don't understand Theory. I don't understand gender theory or queer theory despite being gay and female, so I have even less clue about race theory. I can't use the jargon convincingly, I don't understand the ways of arguing that seem to come from Theory-based assumptions. Because the area is emotionally charged, this blind spot means that almost anything I say is likely to offend people. (By the way, if you are already offended by this non-post, please do tell me so.) It's probably better to say nothing at all than to speak against racism in the wrong way and come across as racist. Of course, perhaps the reason I don't understand theory is that I am in fact racist, however much I try not to be. I really hope that any friend who hears me saying something racist or with the potential for racist effects will point out my error to me.

So. I am very much against racism, but I don't think blogging the fact that I am against racism is going to do the cause any good.
liv: ribbon diagram of a p53 monomer (p53)
A random passer-by contacted me off LJ to ask: Is it difficult to reconcile science and religion? The flippant answer is: in my world, they never really quarrelled. But I thought I might expand a bit on that, especially as a few people expressed interest in seeing my thoughts on the topic when I alluded to it.

personal musings, not a definitive statement )

So the only conflict I am left with is deciding whether I should use my science icon or my religion icon for this post...
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
In case anyone is living under a rock, they've just released a Narnia film. This has led to lots of fun discussion about Narnia. [livejournal.com profile] daegaer has collected a lot of links, from both traditional and alternative media. On the whole the bloggers do a better job than the journalists, IMO. She has some good discussion in her own journal too.

If you don't want to plough through all those essays, the key one to read is Andrew Rilstone's Lipstick on my scholar. my take on the Problem of Susan )

With that preamble, what I really wanted to talk about is [livejournal.com profile] sartorias' recent post: Lewis vs. Susan. [livejournal.com profile] sartorias is reading the pshat of the Narnia Chronicles, rather than the nimshal of the Christian allegory. (If English has any technical terms for analysing allegorical text, I don't know them, so I borrow the terms from Jewish Biblical scholarship.) Why, within the story's own terms as opposed to the wider Christian context, is Susan excluded? The discussion on that post is really fascinating, and covers the religious questions, the feminist issues and all kinds of different viewpoints. There's one thing that stood out for me even with all these lovely thoughtful ideas, though: this comment of [livejournal.com profile] papersky's.

Let me highlight this sentence from [livejournal.com profile] papersky's comment, because I think it really brilliantly captures the experience of feeling yourself to be the only authentic human drowning in a sea of sheeple:
When I was a teenager there was a point where it really did seem to me that my female friends were actually ceasing to be people in their pursuit of being teenagers -- it wasn't sex so much as a desire to be attractive (fashion and make-up and dieting) a desire to have a boyfriend as an accessory and a desire to be "in" (changing, or affecting to change their personal tastes in music, films and culture generally to the majority taste)
The thing is, I think that's a hugely common experience among teenagers: believing you're the only one in your entire peer group who isn't totally superficial. Browsing around on LJ is a good way to get a perspective on this; you can see journal after journal after journal where teenagers, mostly girls, talk about how most of the people they know are idiots who only care about fashion and being popular, and they're the only one with ideals. I have this vision that the girls a particular unique snowflake despises are simultaneously writing in their journals about how they're so lonely being the only person who cares about anything beyond fashion and meaningless "relationships"...

I'm not going to embarrass myself by reproducing here the bad blank verse I used to write (and publish in the school magazine) when I was a teenager. I was luckier than most, because I managed to connect with other real people even before I had the maturity to realize that most people are worth getting to know, and you just have to make the effort. This led to some really intense and precious friendships; feeling that my friends and I were the last bastion of resaon against moronic popular culture was a very bonding thing. I had [livejournal.com profile] blue_mai, and Spanish M, and [livejournal.com profile] doseybat; I wasn't entirely alone.

CS Lewis was of course writing for children. If he actually intended to portray being Christian in a secular world as like being the only teenager ever to care about higher things, he was being very clever in some ways. The trouble is of course that Susan is discarded so suddenly; Lewis' readers are just as likely to identify with Susan (who is of course a very sensible and likeable person for the whole series up to the very last bit at the end) as anyone else. And the other trouble is that any really mature reader, as opposed to a child who thinks they are mature, is going to be able to see the worth even of someone who cares about mainstream culture, and therefore be annoyed that Lewis' Aslan doesn't value such a person.

While I'm (vaguely) on the subject, [livejournal.com profile] cakmpls has a very cool piece on The Outsider in A Christmas Carol. Scrooge, unlike the kids in Narnia, is saved precisely because he learns that he isn't actually superior to everyone else. He doesn't have to be an Outsider. Lewis' characters effectively get divine sanction for their smugness, and maybe that's the problem.
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
I'm a little bit behind the times on this, but there has been a fair amount of discussion around LJ about this survey on attitudes to rape organized by Amnesty. This parody of dumb rape prevention advice has been doing the rounds a bit (I think I have the original version, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] redbird, but it's a bit hard to trace memes to their source), and itself has provoked a range of reactions.

you've probably guessed by now that this post discusses rape )
liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
I've been bouncing various ideas around about this topic for a while now. The main immediate trigger is the discussion that developed around my post discussing the election result, but it's a general response to a whole bunch of things about the current political situation, discussions I've had or eavesdropped on via LJ...

off-the-cuff, rambly and probably not very structured )
I don't think there's a conclusion to this. The statement that Anti-semitism is a very light sleeper has become such a cliché that I'm having a hard time finding who originally said it or the exact wording of the quote. But whoever it was summed things up better than I can.

Additional note: part of what I wanted to discuss in this post was a comment, I think by [livejournal.com profile] papersky, about how shocking it is to read novels from before WW2 in which sympathetic characters make antisemitic comments. Of course, now I can't find that comment at all; if anyone happens to know where it is I would be most grateful. I think it's either in [livejournal.com profile] papersky, [livejournal.com profile] rysmiel or [livejournal.com profile] lethargic_man's journal, sometime in late March or early April, and either of the latter two might remember the discussion I'm talking about.

Soundbite

Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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