Sunday, June 30, 2013

Friday, June 28, 2013

Mussolini's Gay Island

How terrible that exile and imprisonment could be an improvement for some.  And in far too many places, this still would be true.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

I Have Three Words For You...


Wednesday, June 26, 2013


DOMA and Prop 8 are gone. Good. Let us celebrate today.  Let us celebrate that love can win over hate at every wedding where two people come together and say, "I wish to be with this person," from now on.

But let us not forget that there is so much more still to do, legally and socially. The fight goes on. And it is a fight not just for gay rights, but for trans rights, black rights, Hispanic rights, for the rights of any oppressed or discriminated minority group. Yet it isn't even a fight just for minorities, but a fight for the rights of all humanity. Today just reminds us that we can win. It reminds us that we can make the world better for all people, so that everyone, from the straightest, whitest, malest, richest person to the most destitute, most powerless minority, all around the world, can stand together in equality and peace and safety. 

That's the thing so many don't understand: these are victories for everyone! Gay rights isn't an attack on straight people! It doesn't diminish anyone's love or relationship. It only GROWS love! Combating racism isn't trying to take from white people, it's giving everyone the same chances, to let everyone be who they are and not just who they've been assigned to be by some quirk of pigmentation.  When everyone can be themselves, instead of a series of masks with prescribed parts to play, everyone can be truly free.  That, though, is a very scary thing to contemplate, to stand naked before the world, judged only by your own self.  That is why so many hide behind bigotry and prejudice: fear.  Fear of themselves, fear of judgment, fear of others.  The only way to fight fear is love, understanding, and the resolution that that kind of fear shall someday have no dominion over anyone.  


My favorite part of President Obama's statement on overturning DOMA: 
The laws of our land are catching up to the fundamental truth that millions of Americans hold in our hearts:  when all Americans are treated as equal, no matter who they are or whom they love, we are all more free.
I change "Americans" to just "people," but that's just a nitpick.

Love, Life, and Bots

The life lessons of MST3K.  Numbers 3, 5, and 7 can't be emphasized enough.  It always strikes me most that I laughed just as much when I was ten as now when I'm 30, even though more than half of the references and jokes went straight over my head (and some still do).  It didn't matter, though!  There was so much, that just the stuff I got was enough to keep me giggling.  (And sometimes even the stuff I didn't get was still hilarious, because even though I didn't know exactly what they were talking about, I knew that if I did know it would be perfect.  If that makes any sense.)

MST3K taught me that I could love something and laugh at it, too.  It taught me how to critique.  It taught me to make connections between even the most disparate things and how to parse allusions and the fun of making fun of the terrible.  It taught me to really look at what I was watching.  It taught me to see things like sexism in entertainment.  It taught me a lot of things.  Not bad for a show about robots and bad movies.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Beautiful Learning

Here's something I certainly never expected to read: beautiful textbook covers of 1920s Japan

(Via Tor)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Friday, June 14, 2013

Best Bears

I don't know how you can really rank bears, because they're all wonderful, but here's one guy's ranking.

(Via The Awl)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Sweet Pangs Of Love

Reader, I have a confession.  I've been in love for nearly a year now!  His name is James Grime!  He's British.  He's nerdy.  He's lanky.  He's ginger. His cheeky grin and bright blue eyes make me weak in the knees.  Every time I see him, I grin and sigh because he's so dreamy.

Hold your congratulations and jealousy-tantrums, though: Sadly, this is a wholly one-sided affair, doomed to eternal unrequitance.  My beloved doesn't even know I exist!  He lives in another country, and I actually have no idea if he is gay.  But, still!  He's a doctor!  A doctor of mathematics who juggles and is dedicated to outreach and public education!  *swoon*

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Monday, June 03, 2013

Bourgeois Art Gallery

Yantra Painting

The yantras and mandalas of Buddhism and Hinduism are visual meditations, but I've never seen one like this, that is quasi-representative instead of geometrical.

Ganymede and the Eagle by Bertel Thorvaldsen

Usually, Ganymede is being abducted in representations, but this is a much more innocent, even sweet, scene.  It also cleverly alludes to his future role as cupbearer to the gods.  

Casita al Mar by Emilio Sanchez

Perfect symmetry is appealing.  And this is perfect, empty symmetry.  Except it's not quite perfect.  The way the sun hits the porch creates shadows that don't mirror one another.  That subtle imperfection makes it a much more interesting painting than it otherwise would be.

Sunset on Mount Diablo (Marin Sunset) by William Keither

The vivid scarlet of a sunset is a strange thing.  In a way, it's an ominous color, the color of blood, but in actuality it is very relaxing.

Water Buffalo

I have a fascination with jade.   It's a remarkable material from a physical standpoint, strong and resilient, as well as beautiful.  It carves and polishes so well.  Just look at that happy little water buffalo.

The Accident by Willem Geets

Titles can be funny things.  I honestly thought the town was all gathered and agawp at that young man's stripping!  But, no, he's being a hero and rescuing someone else.  Strange, though, that we don't see the accident.  Or the accident victim.  I think Willem might have just wanted to show a stripping, strapping young man, really. 

Pair of Skyscraper Bookcases by Paul Theodore Frankl

Oh to have bookcases like that!  (The eternal lament of the bibliophile.) 

Sun on Prospect Street (Gloucester, Mass.) by Edward Hopper

I'm not sure what it says about me that I don't typically react to Hopper the way most seem to.  They see alienation, cynicism, the hollowness of modern life.  I see beauty.  Stark beauty, melancholy beauty, but beauty, and even hope.

Sunday, June 02, 2013