Archive: May 2019

tweets for 2019-05-30

Friday, May 31st, 2019
  • RT @TheKidSkoob: One day I’ll have a daughter and we’ll be running late for an event and this will be the reason why 😂… ->
  • RT @ava: “In the wake of Trump’s ads, the lynch mob rhetoric escalated. Pat Buchanan wrote that the eldest of the five, 16-year-old Wise, s… ->
  • RT @alysiareiner: Over 1000 former federal prosecutors agree that President Trump obstructed justice & it’s not even a close case. WATCH NO… ->
  • RT @Amy_Siskind: It is estimated that just 3% of the American public has read the Mueller report, which Mueller says speaks for itself. He… ->
  • RT @mirajacob: Two things I didn’t know until I was yesterday years old:
    1) Memorial Day was started by African Americans honoring fallen… ->
  • (More below the fold…)

tweets for 2019-05-29

Thursday, May 30th, 2019

tweets for 2019-05-28

Wednesday, May 29th, 2019

Book Review: Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe (2019)

Tuesday, May 28th, 2019

A raw and unflinching memoir with moments of humor.

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through Edelweiss.)

In 2014, Maia Kobabe, who uses e/em/eir pronouns, thought that a comic of reading statistics would be the last autobiographical comic e would ever write. At the time, it was the only thing e felt comfortable with strangers knowing about em. Now, Gender Queer is here. Maia’s intensely cathartic autobiography charts eir journey of self-identity, which includes the mortification and confusion of adolescent crushes, grappling with how to come out to family and society, bonding with friends over erotic gay fanfiction, and facing the trauma and fundamental violation of pap smears. Started as a way to explain to eir family what it means to be nonbinary and asexual, Gender Queer is more than a personal story: it is a useful and touching guide on gender identity–what it means and how to think about it–for advocates, friends, and humans everywhere.

Gender Queer is a raw, honest, and often funny exploration of sexuality and gender identity, written by non-binary, gender queer cartoonist Maia Kobabe. Assigned female at birth, this memoir recounts Kobabe’s journey to understand and define eirself. Why, for example, is e drawn to gay M/M porn when all of em closest intimate relationships are with women? Which pronouns best fit? Is e doing a disservice to eir students by staying in the closet? And just how can e write realistically smutty fanfic when e’s never been kissed?

One thing I was struck by is just how open-minded Kobabe’s family is – even if they sometimes stumble. (But then so do we all, as e points out. On that note, I’m not even 100% sure I’m using the Spivak pronouns correctly, despite consulting the chart on Wiki. I apologize in advance.) The panel where Kobabe’s cousin’s wife Faith thanks Kobabe for the email about eir’s pronouns, and says how blessed she is to be part of this wonderful family, moved me to tears. This is how it should be. We need more positive coming out stories like this.

That’s not to suggest it was all rainbows and wet puppy noses. Kobabe’s account of going to the gynecologist for a Pap smear is harrowing. I hate it as a cisgender woman with social anxiety issues (but no genital-related dysphoria); I can only imagine how terrifying that trip was/is for Kobabe.

I was also surprised by how much I related to some of Kobabe’s experiences, like not wanting breasts (I too have had the cancer fantasy); hiding my period; and being discomfited by women’s underwear.

Gender Queer is a vital read, just for the section on pronouns alone.

(This review is also available on Amazon, Library Thing, and Goodreads. Please click through and vote it helpful if you’re so inclined!)

tweets for 2019-05-27

Tuesday, May 28th, 2019
  • RT @Gwenda: We shouldn’t get another dog right now, but I inadvertently looked at a Petfinder email while cleaning out promotions and this… ->
  • I just signed a petition: Every citizen deserves a vote — End felony disenfranchisement. Sign here: ->
  • RT @Nikyatu: "As [white] women got pregnant and had their own families, they’d…orchestrate sexual assaults between enslaved people so tha… ->
  • RT @OriginalFunko: RT & follow @OriginalFunko for a chance to WIN a @HotTopic exclusive Super Sized Dragon Ball Z Shenron (Jade) Pop! #DBZ->
  • RT @YNB: I’m in! On June 2nd — plus every day leading up to it and every single day after — I will be praying for @realDonaldTrump
    to… ->
  • (More below the fold…)

tweets for 2019-05-26

Monday, May 27th, 2019

tweets for 2019-05-25

Sunday, May 26th, 2019

tweets for 2019-05-24

Saturday, May 25th, 2019

tweets for 2019-05-23

Friday, May 24th, 2019

tweets for 2019-05-22

Thursday, May 23rd, 2019
  • Alejandra, a trans woman and activist, faced ongoing violence in El Salvador. Act now to stop the USA deporting her… ->
  • Sign now: Stop 12-year-old Tamir Rice’s killer from rejoining the police force! #StandWithSamaria ->
  • RT @BreeNewsome: The white supremacists running this country are not about to put Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill to have y'all contemplatin… ->
  • RT @dog_rates: This is Norton. On his fourteenth birthday his hydrotherapy session received a pupgrade. 14/10 arthritis doesn’t stand a cha… ->
  • RT @dog_rates: This is Sysco. He‘s 13 years young and floofier than ever. Likes to point when he finds a new best friend. 13/10 looks like… ->
  • (More below the fold…)

tweets for 2019-05-21

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

Book Review: This Place: 150 Years Retold by Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm, et al. (2019)

Tuesday, May 21st, 2019

A powerful look at Canadian history from an Indigenous perspective.

four out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through NetGalley. Trigger warning for racist violence against Indigenous peoples, including colonialism, kidnapping, forced assimilation, and land theft.)

Though the body of post-apocalyptic Indigenous literature is much smaller than I’d like (Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice and the 2016 scifi anthology Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time are the only two that spring immediately to mind), in my own experience, one observation seems to cut across them all: that, for Native Americans and Indigenous peoples, the apocalypse has already happened – is happening – in the form of colonialism. For them, “post-apocalyptic” is not sub-genre of science fiction, or an escape from the banality of everyday life, or even a warning of what could happen, if we continue down our current path. Rather, “post-apocalyptic” describes their current reality, their lives, their struggles, their continued resistance. No matter how many times I encounter it, it’s a statement that always bowls me over.

While This Place: 150 Years Retold is not really a science fiction anthology (“kitaskînaw 2350” by Chelsea Vowel notwithstanding), it’s hard not to view the comics in this collection from an apocalyptic lens.

The ten comics featured in This Place explore various historical figures and events in Canadian history from an Indigenous perspective: from Sniper Francis “Peggy” Pegahmagabow, who served in WWI, killed 378 enemy soldiers and captured 300 more, and went on to become the most decorated Indigenous soldier in Canadian history…only to be repeatedly denied loans after the war (“Peggy” by David A. Robertson and Natasha Donovan), to a fictionalized account of a mother’s stand against CA’s kidnapping of Indigenous children, spurred in part by the young boy she failed to save when she was in foster care herself (“Nimkii” by Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm, Ryan Howe, Jen Storm, and Donovan Yaciuk).

While both the artwork and storytelling is a little uneven (par for the course in anthologies), for the most part I found this a pretty solid collection of historical graphic stories. The result is fierce, cutting, and sorely needed. I hope this lands in high school syllabuses on both sides of the border.

(tbh, a grounding in Canadian history is a plus, but by no means necessary.)

(This review is also available on Amazon, Library Thing, and Goodreads. Please click through and vote it helpful if you’re so inclined!)

tweets for 2019-05-20

Tuesday, May 21st, 2019

tweets for 2019-05-19

Monday, May 20th, 2019

tweets for 2019-05-18

Sunday, May 19th, 2019
  • RT @Roku: 🚨#StreamingWeek giveaway alert🚨
    For a chance to win a #Roku player:
    🔁 RT this post
    ❤️ Like this post
    👣 Follow @Roku
    Happy Str… ->
  • RT @BooksNest: ✨ GIVEAWAY ✨
    I'm so grateful to be part of this fantastic community, you've all be so supportive! So I wanted to do another… ->
  • RT @queensflame: mystery sci – fi fantasy ARC giveaway! these are arcs of books released within the last year. RT + FOLLOW by 6/5 for your… ->
  • RT @justinamash: Our system of checks and balances relies on each branch’s jealously guarding its powers and upholding its duties under our… ->
  • Ultra-war hawk @AmbJohnBolton wants to create the perception of a dramatic new threat that makes war with Iran inev… ->
  • (More below the fold…)

tweets for 2019-05-17

Saturday, May 18th, 2019

tweets for 2019-05-16

Friday, May 17th, 2019
  • RT @DohaMadani: Ummmmmmmmmmmm wot? 🧐 ->
  • RT @TBlackford3: Please help our family out. Our toddler's brain cancer treatment has put us in financial peril, in addition to being traum… ->
  • RT @alissacaliente: hey guys today is the OFFICIAL 4-YEAR ANNIVERSARY of THE RELEASE of masterwork slash cinematic marvel slash greatest lo… ->
  • RT @andraydomise: Enslaved women would often abort their children rather than doom their children to a life in bondage. They were often sev… ->
  • RT @sttepodcast: To celebrate the release of The Secret Life of Pets 2 we are giving away this awesome prize bundle.
    Simply follow @sttep->
  • (More below the fold…)

tweets for 2019-05-15

Thursday, May 16th, 2019
  • RT @collectsideshow: In honor of John Wick's puppy, we want to help as many furry friends as possible with this week's Let Your Kid Sidesho… ->
  • RT @RafiDAngelo: You will never be rich enough to be affected by the taxes we want to levy on the rich. Please shut your poor ass up while… ->
  • RT @justicedems: If this is what they think about @AOC — that she should just stay in her place — imagine what they think about the million… ->
  • @VanshikaPrusty I'm following via email & my favorite book by a marginalized author is Octavia Butler's Earthseed d… in reply to VanshikaPrusty ->
  • RT @VanshikaPrusty: ✨B I R T H D A Y G I V E A W A Y✨
    —I’m giving away 3 books; 2 to the 1st winner & 1 to the 2nd winner, both picked by… ->
  • (More below the fold…)

tweets for 2019-05-14

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019
  • RT @CharoShane: Please, please donate to an abortion fund if you can, any abortion fund. There is no abortion fund at which your money won'… ->
  • RT @ParkerMolloy: So… an embryo is a human life except when it’s not? That the determining factor for these forced-birth advocates is whe… ->
  • RT @VeganAri: As a gay man it’s absolutely heartbreaking and extremely frustrating to watch #vegan outlets promote Chick-Fil-A — a company… ->
  • RT @prisonculture: Questions I regularly ask myself when I'm outraged about injustice:
    1. What resources exist so I can better educate myse… ->
  • (More below the fold…)

Book Review: This Land is My Land: A Graphic History of Big Dreams, Micronations, and Other Self-Made States by Andy Warner & Sofie Louise Dam (2019)

Tuesday, May 14th, 2019

I want to go where the vegan lesbians are.

three out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through NetGalley. Trigger warning for sexual violence against women and children.)

A community founded in upstate New York in 1848 and based on a radical reimagining of society, marriage and child rearing…

…ended up being one of the world’s largest purveyors of cutlery and tableware.

Written by Andy Warner and illustrated by Sofie Louise Dam, This Land is My Land highlights thirty self-made or experimental communities, loosely falling into one of the following categories:
1 – Intentional communities: “Groups of people who chose to radically remake their social structures.”
2 – Micronations: “Brief histories of the tiny, unrecognized nations of the world.”
3 – Failed utopias: “The bigger the experiment, the harder it falls.”
4 – Visionary environments: “Stories of wonderful and bizarre places where individuals make their visions reality.”
5 – Strange dreams: “Proposals, plans, and schemes, never brought to pass.”

Before visions of radical utopias start swimming through your head (they sure did mine), know that the places featured here range from large-scale art projects created by a single individual (Nek Chand’s Rock Garden in India; Ra Paulette’s Caves in New Mexico; Nevada’s Thunder Mountain Monument); to large, sprawling – if unusual – homes, again built for a single person or family (Freedom Cove, off the coast of Vancouver; Arizona Mystery Castle); to honest-to-goodness intentional communities and communes – one of them even traveling (The Van Dykes).

Among my favorites are the communities and nations created by people seeking to escape oppression and persecution. Chief among these is Libertatia, a city-state established in a bay in Madagascar by a French pirate and a Dominican priest in the 1600s. The crew of the Victoire made a habit of attacking slaving ships, freeing the kidnapped human cargo, and then splitting the bounty equally between all. Newly freed slaves were welcome to join the crew if they desired. Libertatia became their permanent, democratic, anti-authoritarian settlement. At least, if you believe the 1724 book A General History of the Pyrates; there is no physical evidence of the colony’s existence today. (I want to believe.)

Sadly, many of these larger communities were either established as tax havens (libertarians seem to be especially egregious offenders here) or as a means for the founders (men, always) to rape and traffic women and children. (You’ll never look at Oneida flatware the same way again. And I was rooting for you up until the child rape, Noyes.) I really would have loved to have seen more positive examples, but there you go. People suck more than they don’t.

One cool thing: of those sites still in existence, many are open to tourists. The Arizona Mystery Castle seems like a pretty rad vacation destination (but not in the summer, obvs).

(This review is also available on Amazon, Library Thing, and Goodreads. Please click through and vote it helpful if you’re so inclined!)