Monthly Archives: September 2009

I’m Ashamed.

I don’t want this to devolve into “But he said this and that justifies everything!” so I’m going to leave names out of it, and tell you a story instead.

There once was a small city.  The mayor of that city decided to use private funds to bring a certain political talk show host to the city.  The host had been born in the city, you see, and was a semi-minor celebrity.  But because a good number of the citizens of this city had different political views than the host, these citizens decided to attempt to flout free speech and force the mayor to rescind his invitation.

So far, thank God, the mayor has held firm.

I’ve read the letters in the local paper, and yesterday and today had the disquiet of watching a (thankfully small) group of people protesting outside City Hall.  And honestly?  I’m furious.

If someone is invited to your city to practice his right of free speech and you don’t approve of his politics, you have the right to stand up and say: “I don’t agree with you.”  You can even give your reasons why.  But you don’t have the right to attempt to shut down his freedom of speech, which is exactly what I see happening in my city, right now.  I read the signs those protesters were waving; they weren’t “I don’t agree with you” signs, they were “We don’t like you, and we’re going to force you to not speak” signs.

Those who wave banners in the name of free speech while completely failing to understand what free speech is, infuriate me.  They don’t comprehend what  it will cost us, if people like those protesters get their way.  They don’t understand their own history.

And what a truly stupid thing to waste time protesting, anyway.  The best way to make someone like a talk show host go away, is to stop feeding him publicity.  And there are so many other things going on that should be protested.  For instance, the use of public money to fund useless purely ornamental projects while people are losing their jobs and homes.

If you don’t like a speaker’s politics, don’t attend his lecture (and hope, if you want, that everyone else shares your opinion and the hall is empty).  Forcing a person to not speak is no different, and every bit as despicable as a public book-burning.

Update:

Apparently the theater where this event is going to happen, local businesses, and the local spring festival organizers are all being harassed by those opposed to the speaker.  That’s hilarious.  For one thing, this event is put on solely at the Mayor’s choice, and with private money.  It has absolutely NOTHING to do with local businesses or the festival.  They have no power whatsoever to change anything…so those callers are really wasting their time.  And in the case of the theater itself, the owners are legally bound not to discriminate.  They can’t refuse to book an event like this because they don’t believe in the speaker’s politics.

But here’s the kicker:  the calls have been logged (as to where they are coming from).  The vast majority are coming from people who aren’t only NOT in the city, but not even in the same state!  As if someone in a different state should have any say whatsoever in what happens here!

But in good news, the same day the event tickets went on sale, they were completely sold out by noon.  So I guess there’s still plenty of people IN the city who actually believe in free speech…and common sense.

Me and Cool Stuff not Related to Me.

Okay, so I was doing pretty good at this blog thing for a little while there.  I was posting regularly at least!  My only excuse for failing lately with the regular posting is that I was costuming like a crazed thing.  Yup.  And for all that, I actually only completely two costumes: Elizabeth Bennet, Zombie Slayer and a steampunk outfit.  We won’t discuss the projects still laying about in various stages of completion…at least not here.  The fire has burned through, I’m in a relatively sane, quiet phase of my costuming (which means no deadlines for finishing anything until Halloween).  If you want pictures, etc, they are on my other blog.

This not to say that I’m sane, however.  What fun would that be?  It’s just that my mad-doctor focus has shifted back to my doll-making and writing.  Where it properly should be, perhaps, giving that those are the things which actually bring in some funding for the costuming.  It’s a vicious circle.  Sigh.

The dollmaking will be spoken of later, when there are pictures.  The writing, well, okay, let’s talk about that.  I’m about 13,000 words into my new novel.  It’s set in a mad, poisonous Elizabethan court in a city much like Venice (except that the water in the canals is not exactly…normal).  There are two girls, one a Queen trying to keep her throne, and the other a girl just trying to hold onto her mother’s life.  There’s a serpent/dragon, and Six Very Dangerous Men and at least Six Very Dangerous Women.  To help myself keep on track, I’m posting it chapter by chapter on Goodreads.com, right here.  You can check it out, if you wish – I adore comments, suggestions, and all feedback.  I’m trying to put at least one new chapter up a week, as I write it.  Slightly scary proposition, since I could easily write myself into a corner I can’t get out of, but it worked out okay last time…and it was fun.  And it kept me focussed, since there’s nothing like a message in my inbox, begging for a new chapter, to inspire me to write another ten pages instead of just sitting down to watch t.v.

And in the wider world of Cool Things, my deeply beloved author Scott Lynch is back from his mysterious disappearance, and is regularly blogging on his livejournal account once more.  He says he’s deep in revisions of the next Locke Lamora book, so I can finally breathe once more.  And better still, he’s posted author notes to the first chapter of Red Seas Under Red Skies, AND a first chapter of his upcoming novel, The Republic of Thieves. Right here.  I’m so conflicted.  So far I haven’t read it, because I’m one of those people who don’t read advance chapters.  Ever.  I’d rather wait and sit down with the entire book – it just feels so much more special.  But part of me just wants to make an exception.  Because it’s Scott Lynch.

BUT.  And here’s where it gets so cool I just might be about to pee myself, Scott Lynch is also writing a different, non-Lamora novel, and he’s posting it chapter by chapter on his website. For free.  Because he loves us, (and maybe he’s just a little sorry he vanished for so long?).  Go here.  Go now.  I have yet to read it, because I’m savoring the anticipation just a little bit.

qmain

What else?  The glory of that has temporarily blocked all blood to my memory…

Oh yes.  Bloglovin’.  Ever had that feeling that you read too many blogs?  And while you keep checking your favorites over and over hoping they’ve blogged something new, other blogs just keep slipping through the tracks and you don’t remember to check them for 6 months?  Been there, done that, will never do it again: I’ve discovered Bloglovin’.  Thanks to a reader of my site who apparently has my very own blog saved to that site (the incoming address showed up, and I got curious), I’ve discovered how awesome this site is.  You simply save all the addresses of the blogs you like to this site, and it checks them for you.  As soon as one of those blogs updates, Bloglovin’ shows a link to it on your personal Bloglovin’ page.  You only have to visit one page for all your blogging needs!  And if there’s a particular blog entry you like and want to save, simply click the little red heart next to it, and Bloglovin’ saves that entry for you on a separate page.  So you will be able to find it easily and visit it whenever you wish.

Before I found this site, I was using MyYahoo to keep track of my favorite blogs, but it lists the last five posts for every blog you follow, no matter how long it’s been since the blog updated.  Bloglovin’ shows only the new posts, so you don’t have to remember if you’ve read a particular entry or not.  My most genuine thanks to the reader of this blog who inadvertantly led me to Bloglovin’!!!

And finally, here is what’s stuck inside my brain this week:

Too much eye make-up, dude, but the song’s friggin’ addictive!