Unmasking Slurs

Jul. 23rd, 2017 01:36 am
[syndicated profile] languagelog_feed

Posted by Geoff Nunberg

I'm sympathetic to many of the arguments offered in a guest post by Robert Henderson, Peter Klecha, and Eric McCready (HK&M) in response to Geoff Pullum's post on "nigger in the woodpile," no doubt because they are sympathetic to some of the things I said in my reply to Geoff. But I have to object when they scold me for spelling out the word nigger rather than rendering it as n****r. It seems to me that "masking" the letters of slurs with devices such as this is an unwise practice—it reflects a misunderstanding of the taboos surrounding these words, it impedes serious discussion of their features, and most important, it inadvertently creates an impression that works to the advantage of certain racist ideologies. I have to add that it strikes me that HK&M's arguments, like a good part of the linguistic and philosophical literature on slurs, suffer from a certain narrowness of focus, a neglect both of the facts of actual usage of these words and the complicated discourses that they evoke. So, are you sitting comfortably?

HK&M say of nigger (or as they style it, n****r):

The word literally has as part of its semantic content an expression of racial hate, and its history has made that content unavoidably salient. It is that content, and that history, that gives this word (and other slurs) its power over and above other taboo expressions. It is for this reason that the word is literally unutterable for many people, and why we (who are white, not a part of the group that is victimized by the word in question) avoid it here.

Yes, even here on Language Log. There seems to be an unfortunate attitude — even among those whose views on slurs are otherwise similar to our own — that we as linguists are somehow exceptions to the facts surrounding slurs discussed in this post. In Geoffrey Nunberg’s otherwise commendable post on July 13, for example, he continues to mention the slur (quite abundantly), despite acknowledging the hurt it can cause. We think this is a mistake. We are not special; our community includes members of oppressed groups (though not nearly enough of them), and the rest of us ought to respect and show courtesy to them.

This position is a version of the doctrine that Luvell Anderson and Ernie Lepore call "silentism" (see also here). It accords with the widespread view that the word nigger is phonetically toxic: simply to pronounce it is to activate it, and it isn’t detoxified by placing it in quotation marks or other devices that indicate that the word is being mentioned rather than used, even written news reports or scholarly discussions. In that way, nigger and words like it seem to resemble strong vulgarities. Toxicity, that is, is a property that’s attached to the act of pronouncing a certain phonetic shape, rather than to an act of assertion, which is why some people are disconcerted when all or part of the word appears as a segment of other words, as in niggardly or even denigrate.

Are Slurs Nondiplaceable?

This is, as I say, a widespread view, and HK&M apparently hold that that is reason enough to avoid the unmasked utterance of the word (written or spoken), simply out of courtesy. It doesn't matter whether the insistence on categorial avoidance reflects only the fact that “People have had a hard time wrapping their heads around the fact that referring to the word is not the same as using it,” as John McWhorter puts it—people simply don't like to hear it spoken or see it written, so just don't.

But HK&M also suggest that the taboo on mentioning slurs has a linguistic basis:

There is a consensus in the semantic/pragmatic and philosophical literature on the topic that slurs aggressively attach to the speaker, committing them to a racist attitude even in embedded contexts. Consider embedded slurs; imagine Ron Weasley says “Draco thought that Harry was a mudblood”, where attributing the thought to Draco isn’t enough to absolve Ron of expressing the attitudes associated with the slur. Indeed, even mentioning slurs is fraught territory, which is why the authors of most papers on these issues are careful to distance themselves from the content expressed.

The idea here is that slurs, like other expressives, are always speaker-oriented. A number of semanticists have made this claim, but always on the basis of intuitions about spare constructed examples—in the present case, one involving an imaginary slur: “imagine Ron Weasley says “Draco thought that Harry was a mudblood.” This is always a risky method in getting at the features of socially charged words, and particularly with these, since most of the people who write about slurs are not native speakers of them, and their intutions are apt to be shaped by their preconceptions. The fact is that people routinely produce sentences in which the attitudes implicit in a slur are attributed to someone other than the speaker. The playwright Harvey Fierstein produced a crisp example on MSNBC, “Everybody loves to hate a homo.” Here are some others:

In fact We lived, in that time, in a world of enemies, of course… but beyond enemies there were the Micks, and the spics, and the wops, and the fuzzy-wuzzies. A whole world of people not us… (edwardsfrostings.com)

So white people were given their own bathrooms, their own water fountains. You didn’t have to ride on public conveyances with niggers anymore. These uncivilized jungle bunnies, darkies.…You had your own cemetery. The niggers will have theirs over there, and everything will be just fine. (Ron Daniels in Race and Resistance: African Americans in the 21st Century)

All Alabama governors do enjoy to troll fags and lesbians as both white and black Alabamians agree that homos piss off the almighty God. (Encyclopedia Dramatica)

[Marcus Bachmann] also called for more funding of cancer and Alzheimer’s research, probably cuz all those homos get all the money now for all that AIDS research. (Maxdad.com)

And needless to say, slurs are not speaker-oriented when they're quoted. When the New York Times reports that “Kaepernick was called a nigger on social media,” no one would assume that the Times endorses the attitudes that the word conveys.

I make this point not so much because it's important here, but because it demonstrates the perils of analyzing slurs without actually looking at how people use them or regard them—a point I'll come back to in a moment.

Toxicity in Speech and Writing

The assimilation of slurs to vulgarities obscures several important differences between the two. For one thing, mentioning slurs is less offensive in writing than in speech. That makes slurs different from vulgarisms like fucking. The New York Times has printed the latter word only twice, most recently in its page one report of Trump’s Access Hollywood tapes. But it has printed nigger any number http://tinyurl.com/ycn9sytp of times (though in recent years it tends to avoid the word in headlines):

The rhymes include the one beginning, “Eeny, meeny, miney mo, catch a nigger by the toe,” and another one that begins, “Ten little niggers …” May 8, 2014 

The Word 'Nigger' Is Part of Our Lexicon Jan. 8, 2011

I live in a city where I probably hear the word “nigger” 50 times a day from people of all colors and ages… Jan 6, 2011

In fan enclaves across the web, a subset of Fifth Harmony followers called Ms. Kordei “Normonkey,” “coon,” and “nigger” Aug 12, 2016

 Gwen [Ifil] came to work one day to find a note in her work space that read “Nigger, go home. Nov. 11, 2016

By contrast, the word is almost never heard in broadcast or free cable (when it does occur, e.g., in a recording, it is invariably bleeped). When I did a Nexis search several years ago on broadcast and cable news transcripts for the year 2012, I found it had been spoken only three times, in each instance by blacks recalling the insults they endured in their childhoods.

To HK&M, this might suggest only that the Times is showing insufficient courtesy to African Americans by printing nigger in full. And it's true that other media are more scrupulous about masking the word than the Times is, notably the New York Post and Fox News and its outlets:

Walmart was in hot water on Monday morning after a product’s description of “N___ Brown” was found on their website. Fox32news, 2027

After Thurston intervened, Artiles continued on and blamed "six n——" for letting Negron rise to power. Fox13news.com, April 19, 2017

In a 2007 encounter with his best friend’s wife, Hogan unleashed an ugly tirade about his daughter Brooke’s black boyfriend.“I mean, I’d rather if she was going to f–k some n—-r, I’d rather have her marry an 8-foot-tall n—-r worth a hundred million dollars! Like a basketball player! I guess we’re all a little racist. F—ing n—-r,” Hogan said, according to a transcript of the recording. New York Post May 2, 2016

"Racism, we are not cured of it," Obama said. "And it's not just a matter of it not being polite to say n***** in public." Foxnews.com June 22, 2015

One might conclude from this, following HK&M's line of argument, that the New York Post and Fox News are demonstrating a greater degree of racial sensitivity than the Times. Still, given the ideological bent of these outlets, one might also suspect that masking is doing a different kind of social work.

Slurs in Scholarship

As an aside, I should note that the deficiencies of the masking approach are even more obvious when we turn to the mention of these words in linguistic or philosophical discussions of slurs and derogative terms, which often involve numerous mentions of a variety of terms. In my forthcoming paper “The Social Life of Slurs,” I discuss dozens of derogative terms, including not just racial, religious, and ethnic slurs, but political derogatives (libtard, commie), geographical derogations (cracker, It. terrone), and derogations involving disability (cripple, spazz, retard), class (pleb, redneck), sexual orientation (faggot, queer, poofter), and nonconforming gender (tranny). I'm not sure how HK&M would suggest I decide which of these called out for masking with asterisks—just the prototypical ones like nigger and spic, or others that may no less offensive to the targeted group? Cast the net narrowly and you seem to be singling out certain forms of bigotry for special attention; cast it widely and the texts starts to look circus poster. Better to assume that the readers of linguistics and philosophy journals—and linguistics blogs—are adult enough to deal with the unexpurgated forms.

What's Wrong with Masking?

The unspoken assumption behind masking taboo words is that they’re invested with magical powers—like a conjuror’s spell, they are inefficacious unless they are pronounced or written just so. This is how we often think of vulgarisms of course—that writing fuck as f*ck or fug somehow denatures it, even though the reader knows perfectly well what the word is. That's what has led a lot of people in recent years to assimilate racial slurs to vulgarisims—referring to them with the same kind of initialized euphemism used for shit and fuck and describing them with terms like “obscenity” and “curse word” with no sense of speaking figuratively.

But the two cases are very different. Vulgarities rely for their effect on a systematic hypocrisy: we officially stigmatize them in order to preserve their force when they are used transgressively. (Learning to swear involves both being told to avoid the words and hearing them used, ideally by the same people.) But that’s exactly the effect that we want to avoid with slurs: we don’t want their utterers to experience the flush of guilty pleasure or the sense of complicity that comes of violating a rule of propriety—we don't want people ever to use the words, or even think them. Yet that has been one pernicious effect of the toxification of certain words.

It should give us pause to realize that the assimilation of nigger to naughty words has been embraced not just by many African Americans, but also by a large segment of the cultural and political right. Recall the reactions when President Obama remarked in an interview with Mark Maron’s WTF podcast that curing racism was “not just a matter of it not being polite to say ‘nigger’ in public.” Some African Americans were unhappy with the remark—the president of the Urban League said the word "ought to be retired from the English language." Others thought it was appropriate.

But the response from many on the right was telling. They, too, disapproved of Obama’s use of the word, but only it betrayed his crudeness. A commentator on Fox News wrote:

And then there's the guy who runs the "WTF" podcast — an acronym for a word I am not allowed to write on this website. President Obama agreed to a podcast interview with comedian Marc Maron — a podcast host known for his crude language. But who knew the leader of the free world would be more crude than the host?

The Fox News host, Elisabeth Hasselbeck also referenced the name of Maron’s podcast and said, http://www.rawstory.com/?p=714752

“I think many people are wondering if it’s only there that he would say it, and not, perhaps, in a State of the Union or more public address.

Also on Fox News, the conservative African American columnist Deneen Borelli said, that Obama “has really dragged in the gutter speak of rap music. So now he is the first president of rap, of street?”

It’s presumably not an accident that Fox News’s online reports of this story all render nigger as n****r. It reflects the "naughty word" understanding of the taboo that led members of a fraternity at the University of Oklahoma riding on a charter bus to chant “There will never be a nigger at SAE/You can hang him from a tree, but he'll never sign with me,” with the same gusto that male college students of my generation would have brought to a sing-along of “Barnacle Bill the Sailor.”

That understanding of nigger as a dirty word also figures in the rhetorical move that some on the right have made, in shifting blame for the usage from white racists to black hip hop artists—taking the reclaimed use of the word as a model for white use. That in turn enables them to assimilate nigger — which they rarely distinguish from nigga— to the vulgarities that proliferate in hip hop. Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough of Morning Joe blamed http://tinyurl.com/ybx9k2e7 the Oklahoma incident on hip hop, citing the songs of Waka Flocka Flame, who had canceled a concert at the university; as Brzesinsky put it:

If you look at every single song, I guess you call these, that he’s written, it’s a bunch of garbage. It’s full of n-words, it’s full of f-words. It’s wrong. And he shouldn’t be disgusted with them, he should be disgusted with himself.

On the same broadcast, Bill Kristol added that “popular culture has become a cesspool,” again subsuming the use of racist slurs, via hip hop, under the heading of vulgarity and obscentity in general.

I don’t mean to suggest that Brzezinski, Scarborough and Kristol aren’t genuinely distressed by the use of racial slurs (I have my doubts about some of the Fox News hosts). But for the respectable sectors of cultural right—I mean as opposed to the unreconstructed bigots who have no qualms about using nigger at Trump rallies or on Reddit forums—the essential problem with powerful slurs is that they’re vulgar and coarse, and only secondarily that they’re the instruments of social oppression. And the insistence on categorically avoiding unmasked mentions of the words is very easy to interpret as supporting that view. In a way, it takes us back to the disdain for the word among genteel nineteenth-century Northerners. A contributor to an 1894 number of the Century Magazine wrote that “An American feels something vulgar in the word ‘nigger’. A ‘half-cut’ [semi-genteel] American, though he might use it in speech, would hardly print it.” And a widely repeated anecdote had William Seward saying of Stephen Douglas that the American people would never elect as president “[a] man who spells negro with two g’s,” since “the people always mean to elect a gentleman for president.” (That expression, "spelling negro with two g's" was popular at the time, a mid-nineteenth-century equivalent to the form n*****r.)

This all calls for care, of course. There are certainly contexts in which writing nigger in full is unwise. But in serious written discussions of slurs and their use, we ought to be able to spell the words out, in the reasonable expectation that our readers will discern our purpose.

As John McWhorter put this point in connection with the remarks Obama made on the Mark Maron podcast:

Obama should not have to say “the N-word” when referring to the word, and I’m glad he didn’t. Whites shouldn’t have to either, if you ask me. I am now old enough to remember when the euphemism had yet to catch on. In a thoroughly enlightened 1990s journalistic culture, one could still say the whole word when talking about it.… What have we gained since then in barring people from ever uttering the word even to discuss it—other than a fake, ticklish nicety that seems almost designed to create misunderstandings?

kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
Having seen Angels in America live (Boston, November 1995, first national tour) and on screen, this Thursday I split the difference and saw the currently-running London production on tape-delay live-stream in a movie theater. (Part one, that is; part two is this Thursday.) I don't love it but it's interesting to see the staging. Also Kushner has, per the intro to the combined ebook version I have but hadn't read until now, made unspecified changes to part two, so I will be reading that before Thursday so I won't be distracted while watching. (While I only skimmed part one, the only difference I saw between the text and this production was the dropping of the homeless woman's jokes.)

Here are some notes, cut for spoilers and lack of interest: )

There are various encore presentations going to be happening, if you missed this and are interested.

(no subject)

Jul. 22nd, 2017 10:13 pm
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
[personal profile] alexseanchai posting in [community profile] unclutter
The local community theater guild is hosting a yard sale. I pay the guild $10, I get a space to sell my stuff.

Suddenly my "departing the living space for keeps" pile has grown by a dozen books and about three dozen DVD/Blu-ray cases.

Funny how that works. XD

(Whatever I don't sell will just go to the library book sale or the Goodwill as appropriate.)

(no subject)

Jul. 22nd, 2017 10:02 pm
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I want very much to respond to comments on some fics that are still anonymous. I could respond anonymously, but reveals are tomorrow, and I'd rather respond as myself. I've gotten recipient comments on four of the five stories, and the fifth person hasn't responded to any of the three stories they got but appears to have been prompt about responding to past gifts, so I'm assuming some sort of offline life thing has happened.

We're on our way home from Scott's parents' place now. If we weren't, I'd start the next story with a due date.

(no subject)

Jul. 22nd, 2017 10:09 pm
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
[personal profile] alexseanchai
Do scented soaps and lotions taste good to kittan?

Clearly I am approaching due for either figuring out how to clip Thea's claw tips or how to apply the red plastic thingies.

(ow.)

Sigh.

Jul. 22nd, 2017 09:46 pm
malkingrey: ((default))
[personal profile] malkingrey
The phone company guy finally showed up at 7:30, and said he'd tested the outside connections and the problem was inside the house.

We paid last December for a guy to come check inside the house when the phone line was acting wonky, and all he could come up with was recommending that we replace the jack and the splitter and the rest of the connecting stuff. Which we got the material to do, and then the problem went away on its own before Himself got around to it, so the material stayed in the bag we brought it home from the store in for the last six months. Then we had this latest round of dead phone line and yo-yo internet, and Himself finally did all the replacing, but it did no good.

If this keeps up, I'm giving serious thought to going to fiber-optic for internet and cell phone service for the telephone, and the hell with a landline.

Read "The Order of Their Stars"

Jul. 22nd, 2017 08:05 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Thanks to generous donations from [personal profile] ng_moonmoth[personal profile] across_space_and_time[personal profile] technoshaman, and [personal profile] alatefeline, you can now read the opening of "The Order of Their Stars."  Astin helps V with a shopping trip.
juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (I should have been born a cat)
[personal profile] juushika
Title: Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children Book 2)
Author: Seanan McGuire
Published: Tor, 2017
Rating: 4 of 5
Page Count: 190
Total Page Count: 222,575
Text Number: 708
Read Because: continuing the series, ebook borrowed from the Multnomah County Library
Review: A pair of unhappy twins girls discover the Moors, a dangerous portal world which will redefine their characters. This follows their lives from birth and has a slow start: to spend 20% of a portal fantasy within a stifling parody of suburbia is distinctly unmagical. But the Moors are fantastic—not perfect: I wish there were more danger and more moral relativity (especially in Jack's life)—but a Hammer Horror-style world is engaging and atmospheric. And the character growth of the protagonists is sincerely, inextricably tied to their world, which is what this book demands. I loved Every Heart a Doorway for its portal fantasy meta more than its plot, and didn't think I would enjoy the further stories of Jack and Jill when they had been the weakness of the first book. Down Among the Sticks and Bones is a more traditional narrative, but its meta elements remain in a present narrator who speaks directly to the reader and directly about the narrative—reminiscent of Valente's Fairyland series (but toned down), not entirely at home in the modern-day frame narrative, but preserving that focus on portal-as-character-growth, on the relationship between person and narrative. I have technical quibbles about this book (I haven't even mentioned the rushed ending), but it exceeded my expectations. There's so much room in my heart for stories which take a diverse, self-aware, dark approach to portal fantasy while maintaining a sense of wonder and aesthetic.


Title: The House of Shattered Wings (Dominion of the Fallen Book 1)
Author: Aliette de Bodard
Narrator: Peter Kenny
Published: Blackstone Audio, 2015
Rating: 3 of 5
Page Count: 415
Total Page Count: 222,990
Text Number: 709
Read Because: reading more form the author, audiobook borrowed from the Multnomah County Library
Review:
In Paris, in the aftermath of a devastating war, a vulnerable house of fallen angels is threatened by both a curse and competing houses. The premise is fantastic and atmospheric: aristocratic in-fighting, diverse and present pantheons, dangerous magic within the decrepit homes and cathedrals of Paris. It's at best indulgent, but at worst overwrought and—unexpectedly—cold. There are things that Bodard consistently does well: significant character growth, socially-complex worldbuilding (Philippe and his background is the easy highlight of this book), and big, magical climaxes. But, while present, those elements are unfulfilling because it takes so long to reach them and the journey is tedious: repetitive phrasing, politcking that reads like bickering, plot intricacies that have more to do with bad communication than true complexity. It feels long—not just longer than it needs to be, but longer than it is. I liked it more than the Obsidian and Blood series (although I'm convinced they could exist in the same universe), but, I suspect, for arbitrary reasons; it isn't good enough to recommend, or to make me read the sequel.


Title: Crucible of Gold (Temeraire Book 7)
Author: Naomi Novik
Narrator: Simon Vance
Published: Recorded Books, 2012
Rating: 3 of 5
Page Count: 355
Total Page Count: 223,345
Text Number: 710
Read Because: continuing the series, audiobook borrowed from the Multnomah County Library
Review: Temeraire and Laurence are reinstated and sent on an ambassadorial mission to the Incan Empire. Another rambling book; it does a better job illustrating the ways that alternate history and world forces are shaping the war, and but much of that is still backloaded while traveling and survival make up the bulk of the book. There's some welcome reoccurring characters, and Incan society provides another interesting take on dragon/human social structures, but this too is familiar to the series. As this series grows longer and its individual installments lose their cohesive plots, it lives and dies on the strength of previous investment in the characters and world—and I have that in droves, and will happily read the daily tribulations of Laurence and crew. But this is late in the game to still be waiting for the plot to coalescence and the pacing to pick up.

Effects of Father Loss

Jul. 22nd, 2017 07:10 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
 ... are not just emotional, but biological.  It shortens a child's telomeres.  While death has the biggest impact, divorce or incarceration have similar effects.  Shortened telomeres correlate with shortened lifespan and worsened health.  Now consider that in light of policies from prison to foster care.  Losing a parent is the worst thing that can happen to a child.  If they are not literally in immediate risk of death, everything else does less damage.  That sucks, but it should be used to find other ways of solving family and social problems that do not butcher children's lifespan and health at a cellular level.

No mention was made of mothers.  Likely the effects parallel those of father loss.  I would not be surprised if they are worse.

still not ginger

Jul. 22nd, 2017 06:59 pm
saturnofthemoon: (TARDIS)
[personal profile] saturnofthemoon
I honestly did not "have a horse in this race," when it came to the new doctor. That's what happens when you stop watching a show you love for *checks imdb*....six years. Given the show's declining ratings, I didn't expect the BBC to take this kind of risk with Doctor Who. I've never been so happy to be wrong. Yay, it's a girl! Now I need to watch Doctor Who properly again, (in other words not just skipping to the episodes with River and Missy.) Ironically, I didn't quit the show because I hate Moff. I'm actually in the minority who prefers Moffat to RTD.

Now to see if Chibnell can pull it off as showrunner. A quick glance at IMDB tells me that he loves the Ponds, which is a plus, but none of his Doctor Who episodes have been particularly spectacular.

I hope that Bill comes back as the new doctor's companion. I'm worried thirteen will have to travel with a really annoying white guy, aka a repeat of Will and Helen on Sanctuary.

This is a spoiler for Star Trek: Discovery )

Given that binge watching is not one of my strengths, it might take awhile to get caught up on Doctor Who. Also not sure where to start.

Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: Just the Poll Creator, participants: 0

Should I....

go all the way back to RTD and the ninth doctor
0 (0.0%)

start at the beginning of Moffat's era
0 (0.0%)

just go back to where I stopped, somewhere in season six
0 (0.0%)

Gratitudes

Jul. 22nd, 2017 06:53 pm
kass: a container full of wooden spoons for cooking (spoons)
[personal profile] kass
1. I made two really tasty things with my farm share yesterday: napa cabbage slaw (soy, sesame, fresh lime juice, rice vinegar, scallions, and peanuts) as well as a kohlrabi salad from Yotam Ottolenghi (fresh lemon juice, olive oil, Greek yogurt, salt and pepper, fresh mint, and I'll add arugula á la minute) and they will be tonight's dinner along with some roasted chicken thighs. Om nom nom.

2. This morning I was really good at what I do.

3. This afternoon I went for a walk with kiddo and the visiting [livejournal.com profile] ltlbird, and after that we played card games and watched cartoons, and these have been lovely ways to spend a Shabbes afternoon.

4. This weekend I've been reading a draft of something awesome and offering beta comments and that is making me super-happy.

5. I spent some time learning today about the origins of Yu-Gi-Oh, Pokémon, and Magic: the Gathering (my kid asked me which came first and I did not know, but now I do.) It's neat to be learning things about geek culture because my kid wants to know more.

How are y'all?

fic: the fighter

Jul. 22nd, 2017 06:50 pm
moetushie: (sports!!! rivals!!)
[personal profile] moetushie posting in [community profile] yurionicefans
Title: the fighter
Author: [personal profile] moetushie
Pairing(s): Otabek Altin/Yuri Plisetsky, Katsuki Yuuri/Victor Nikiforov
Rating: Mature
Warning(s)/contains: Violence, injuries
Word count: 628
Summary: Otabek's always looked out for Yuri, no matter what, but he can't help but wish he'd make different choices. Otayuri, mafia/noir AU.
Notes: Written for the Sports Anime Shipping Olympics, Bonus Round Four for the prompt: Yuri Plisetsky/Otabek Altin, "It’s hell to love a fighter."

Also my first time writing Otayuri, so... *plays with her hair*

Read on AO3
yatima: (Default)
[personal profile] yatima posting in [community profile] 50books_poc
Mukherjee's The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer is one of the best things I have ever read. His latest book, The Gene, shares the former's wealth of capsule life histories that draw out the deep humanity of his subject. Ironically, though, given its subtitle, The Gene feels less personal and immediate than its predecessor.

Mukherjee is a cancer physician and researcher, and where his description of cancer is a front line soldier's portrait of a respected nemesis, The Gene is more of a flyover survey of an emerging science. I learned a great deal about the origins of Genentech and Celera and the genetic underpinnings of sex and orientation. That said, the passages about his family - his paternal uncles and their mental illnesses, played out against the backdrop of Partition; the relationship between his mother and her identical twin - are as wise and lyrical as anything Mukherjee has written.

It's a long book. As is my habit with formidable non-fiction, I listened to it on Audible. Shoutout to narrator Dennis Boutsikaris for bringing this complex material to life.
abby82: (Hannibal--Hannibal tie closeup)
[personal profile] abby82
 "I called the number on his 'Wanted' site once, far from here. Just for fun."--Hannibal Lecter

22 July 1997

Jul. 22nd, 2017 11:02 pm
naye: Luffy holding his hat, looking happy, and the words "greatest story ever told" (one piece - the greatest story ever told)
[personal profile] naye
One Piece celebrates its 20th anniversary today. Two decades of the same story. Twenty years of writing and drawing a chapter a week very nearly all the year around.

Can you imagine? And it's still so good. It still makes me cry on the regular.

I've been following along for more than half the series' life - since 2004. I've shared lovely hours bonding with friends over One Piece and creating inspired by One Piece. And I met my wife through a LiveJournal post on One Piece.

I wish I were in Japan to celebrate, but alas.

At least I've already had I've of my wishes come true! I've gotten to tell Odacchi 'thank you for everything' along with hundreds of other fans. So until next time... HAPPY BIRTHDAY ONE PIECE!!
jesse_the_k: Dreamy photo of playground roundabout in rosy foggy light (lost youth)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
https://www.metafilter.com/167493/Distinguishing-character-assassination-from-accountability

is another excellent meta-post from [personal profile] brainwane. Links to ~twenty think pieces on how we can hold each other accountable with as much love as we have for a better future.

And the comments are excellent.
al_zorra: (Default)
[personal profile] al_zorra
 Yah, what is this anyway?  This third party hosting biz?

Dreamwidth, what have you done?











Amsterdam trip - day one

Jul. 22nd, 2017 10:58 pm
wildeabandon: photo of me with wavy hair and gold lipstick (Default)
[personal profile] wildeabandon
We had an early start, but not horrifically so. It was my first time travelling on the Eurostar, and it was lovely, with comfy seats and tasty food, but even more pleasant was the Thalys train from Brussels to Amsterdam. On arrival at the station we picked up an iamsterdam card which gets us travel and free/reduced entry into lots of museums and such, then took the tram to our hotel. The room is perhaps a little on the small side, but pleasant, and the bed is comfortable, which is the important thing.

We deliberately didn’t plan anything but unpacking and decompressing for this afternoon, which was the right call, as after all that travelling we were both feeling rather in need of a nap. We woke up around dinner time, and then went out for sushi (possibly an odd choice, but our first meal on our first holiday together in Prague was also sushi, so it seemed auspicious). It certainly wasn’t a bad choice - the sashimi was beautifully presented and very fresh, and the rice texture was spot on. My high point was either the scallop sashimi with tobiko, or the raw beef, avocado and cucumber roll, which was subtle and gorgeous.

After dinner [personal profile] obandsoller was feeling quite tired, so we came back to the hotel, and although my intention was to drop him off and then go for a stroll around the nearby Oosterpark, I ended up getting eaten by the inertia monster until it got dark, so that will have to wait until tomorrow.

Amsterdam trip - day zero

Jul. 22nd, 2017 10:55 pm
wildeabandon: photo of me with wavy hair and gold lipstick (Default)
[personal profile] wildeabandon
I decided that since we’d be leaving quite early on Saturday morning and had guests for dinner on Friday that it would be sensible to take an extra day off work so I didn’t have to pack in a frantic hurry. Obviously I then proceeded to plan an unnecessarily ambitious meal and fill the day from start to finish with Events, so had to pack in a rush on Thursday night instead… I got up fairly early and went for a run which finished at church. Somewhat to my surprise I found that the gates were locked, but I wasn’t foiled and managed to scale the wall and get in anyway (once past the wall the rest of the break-in was facilitated by the clever trick of having keys). I dropped off the cheques I needed signatures on, and spent a while trying to get the ancient (running Vista!) laptop working, as I’m hoping to get the people who count the collection to enter the figures directly into a spreadsheet rather than writing them down, to save me some data entry. I didn’t quite manage to get it working, but I did get a bit of organ practice inbetween interminably slow reboots…

I took the bus rather than running home, and picked up a last couple of missing ingredients, then began prepping the beetroot three ways (boiled and diced, roasted with balsamic vinegar, and finely sliced then deep fried, then baked) for the starter, and the venison meatballs for the main course. Naturally that took a little longer than expected, and I was a few minutes late out the door to head to [personal profile] charlie’s for lunch. They’d gotten out of hospital a couple of days ago, and were still a little fragile, but seemed massively happier than the last couple of times I’ve seen them, which was very pleasing to see.

I then had another session with the physio I saw a couple of weeks ago. After the first session I was absolutely amazed by how much difference he made to my back - I’d had a couple of days completely tension-free for the first time in months, and even after it started to creep back in, it was definitely less intrusive than it has been. This time he suggested trying acupuncture, which I’m quite sceptical of, but given his previous results I figured I’d give it a go. I’m still feeling kind of sceptical afterwards, but I’ll give it another couple of days to see how it feels then, and probably ask him to stick with the kinds of treatment he did from my first session in future.

Then home again, and more cooking until Stephani (winodw) and her newish partner Matthew arrived. I started with a failure, as she asked for a repeat of a cocktail I’d made her once before, but although we had all the relevant booze we were lacking apple juice. Oops. Still, we managed to find them something to drink, and I was pretty pleased with how the food came out. The new fella was quiet but charming, and they were adorkably coupley, which brought back fond memories of what Ramesh & I were like when we first got back together.

Uh oh

Jul. 22nd, 2017 04:53 pm
inkstone: The Gotcha screen from Pokemon Go (PokeGo)
[personal profile] inkstone posting in [community profile] pokestop
PokeGo Fest is running into some problems.

I know some of our members are from Chicago. Hopefully, you weren't one of these people! :/

(I feel like these were predictable issues? Oh Niantic.)

Grumble.

Jul. 22nd, 2017 04:44 pm
malkingrey: ((default))
[personal profile] malkingrey
The phone company said that the repair guy would come around today before 6PM to check the line from the street to the house (yes, the one that gets blown loose, if not down, in just the right conditions of heavy wind and rain/snow.) It is now 4:44, so they aren't liars yet.

I'm not holding my breath, though. And if he hasn't shown up by 6:30, I'm calling them again to complain.

Harry Potter Cross-Gen Recs

Jul. 22nd, 2017 01:36 pm
gracerene: (HP: Sirius Black)
[personal profile] gracerene
These are all of my Harry Potter recs where the people in the pairings are from different generations. Hopefully the cut tags are pretty self explanatory! :)

♥ = favorite

updated July 22, 2017

Harry Potter/Sirius Black )

Draco Malfoy/Severus Snape )

Maurader Era/Trio Era Slash )

Draco/Albus Severus )

Trio Era/Next Gen Slash )

Other Slash )

Het Pairings )

[reposting to DW]

Yuri on Ice stream coming!!!

Jul. 22nd, 2017 04:31 pm
kaoriva: (victuuri)
[personal profile] kaoriva posting in [community profile] yurionicefans
Hello everyone! I want to remind all of you that at 17:00 UTC -4 I will start the Yuri on Ice marathon on my rabb.it room! You all are free to join whenever you want! :)

Room: @EinzbernCinema

Perhaps my most touristy of posts

Jul. 22nd, 2017 11:13 pm
sabotabby: (gaudeamus)
[personal profile] sabotabby
I did it! I got a picture of the unicorn.

click here )

Comic-Con: many fandoms, much wow

Jul. 22nd, 2017 01:16 pm
destina: (fandom: fangirl)
[personal profile] destina
I know some people don't get why tumblr is awesome, but I think it's awesome because on San Diego Comic-Con weekend, it's really an all-fandom all-points-bulletin for tons and tons of fannish news. So far this weekend I have reblogged full con panel videos from The Walking Dead, Shadowhunters, and Legion. I've posted interviews and Q&As with The Defenders and J2 +Misha Collins. I've reblogged photos from Justice League, Blade Runner 2049, and Ready Player One, and shots of the cast from Arrow, Supergirl, Justice League, Kingsman, etc. I've reblogged pics of covetable merch, new posters, excellent cosplayers, and oh right, then there are the trailers.







I love fandom so much sometimes. :)
neotoma: Neotoma albigula, the white-throated woodrat! [default icon] (Default)
[personal profile] neotoma
Pita, spanakopita, mixed tomato-cheese handpie, olive bread, melomakarona, mango donut peaches, regular peaches, shiro plums, blueberries, yellow sweet cherries, a half-gallon of Mocha Moo, cheese curds, 3 lb of ivory and purple bell peppers , and spicebush (now called 'sorghum', because no one knew was 'spicebush' was) vinegar.

I made blackberry preserves and cut up the fruit for mixed stone fruit jam -- about half sour cherries, the rest plums, nectarines, and donut peaches -- to cook up tomorrow.

Coding resources?

Jul. 22nd, 2017 01:58 pm
zulu: Karen Gillam from Dr. Who, wearing a saucy top hat (Default)
[personal profile] zulu
Anyone out there on the ol' flist have any suggestions for tutorials or books I can read (hopefully from the library) to help me learn how to work with node webkit programming?

I'm a tinkerer and when I say "learn code" I usually mean "make it break in interesting ways until I--nearly accidentally--cobble together something that works".

Specifically what I want to do is this.

I used Twine Wrapper to make an app out of my Twine game.

I can see in the app.js file that it is possible to add, remove, and edit menus and menu items.

I'd like to change the menus so that "Edit" and probably "Window" are hidden (but not disabled, in case people still want to copy & paste...???). Then I want to add a "File" menu with "Redo" and "Undo" as menu items. These items would then have the same functionality as the Undo and Redo arrows/buttons in the Twine game itself.

From looking at the HTML source, I see that these buttons trigger "Engine.goBack" and "Engine.goForward" commands. But how to get a menu item to do that? I don't even know what that is.

For reference, a page like this is way over my head. I am definitely looking for the "For Dummies" end of the tutorial spectrum. To be really, really clear, I am asking to learn how to program, and I don't even know which programming language I'm asking about.

Thank you anyone who can point me in a direction!

[ SECRET POST #3853 ]

Jul. 22nd, 2017 04:04 pm
case: (Default)
[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets

⌈ Secret Post #3853 ⌋

Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.

01.


More! )


Notes:

Secrets Left to Post: 02 pages, 43 secrets from Secret Submission Post #551.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.
kate_nepveu: Ed and (armored) Al standing together in snow (Fullmetal Alchemist)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
So yeah, trying to interleave FMA & FMA:B was not a good call. With the possible exception of FMA 9 (still coming on my schedule), just skipping the first episode of FMA:B would have done fine.

Spoilers for all versions of Fullmetal Alchemist.

FMA 3, 'Mother' )

FMA:B 2, 'The First Day' )

FMA 5, 'The Man with the Mechanical Arm' )

FMA 6, 'The Alchemy Exam' )

FMA 7, 'Night of the Chimera's Cry' )

FMA:B 4, 'An Alchemist's Anguish' )

[ SECRET SUBMISSIONS POST #553 ]

Jul. 22nd, 2017 03:48 pm
case: (Default)
[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets
[ SECRET SUBMISSIONS POST #553 ]




The first secret from this batch will be posted on July 29th.



RULES:
1. One secret link per comment.
2. 750x750 px or smaller.
3. Link directly to the image.
- Doing it RIGHT: http://i.imgur.com/KuBug.png
- Doing it WRONG: http://imgur.com/KuBug

Optional: If you would like your secret's fandom to be noted in the main post along with the secret itself, please put it in the comment along with your secret. If your secret makes the fandom obvious, there's no need to do this. If your fandom is obscure, you should probably tell me what it is.

Optional #2: If you would like WARNINGS (such as spoilers or common triggers -- list of some common ones here) to be noted in the main post before the secret itself, please put it in the comment along with your secret.

Optional #3: If you would like a transcript to be posted along with your secret, put it along with the link in the comment!

Tempe March 2008 9/10

Jul. 22nd, 2017 08:42 pm
turlough: Gerard Way in bigass sunglasses, Taste of Chaos tour spring 2005 ((mcr) not afraid to keep on living)
[personal profile] turlough posting in [community profile] mychemicalromance_daily
Second to last batch of pics from their performance at the Tempe Music Festival in Tempe, Arizona, on 28 March 2008.

Teaser:
MCR

This way... )
meganbmoore: (flower in prison: scenery)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
I've been watching the 2011 sageuk Tree With Deep Roots, which is a political thriller about the creation of Hangul, which Six Flying Dragons is a prequel to. Tree should be watched before 6FD though. My first “I wish I’d watched this while it was airing” moment with it was the fight at the end of episode 7/beginning of episode 8. Because while I recognize that the flying/mid-air clashing effects were fairly advanced and cutting edge for 2011, they are…very dated, especially since I watched and rewatched the more advanced versions of that technology in Gil Dong and Mori’s fights in Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People earlier this year.



Speaking of Rebel, as I’ve been discussing with @dingax, who I’m watching Tree with, Tree is almost an inversion of Rebel. Or more accurately, Rebel is an inversion of Tree.



spoilers for both series )

spiders and demi gods

Jul. 22nd, 2017 09:27 am
hafital: (MCU - Nat and Steve)
[personal profile] hafital
hello friends, let's see if I can get through all the things I keep meaning to post about. Just realized I haven't posted since my birthday! I feel like a whole lot of things have happened at the same time that nothing much has happened haha. Ah life, you rascal.

this is largely a fannish post.

1. After watching all of Friday Night Lights, I rewatched it all the way through again because I wasn't quite ready to let it go. I read all the fiction that was decent (and although I started off giving it side-eye, my favorite pairing turned out to be Tim/Julie say what) and was sad that there wasn't much. Then I finished watching the final season of Bloodlines and it's just so WEIRD because Coach Taylor is now a murderer! Okay, not really, and I will follow Kyle Chandler wherever he chooses to take me. But, watching John Rayburn after watching Coach Taylor is a trip. (season 1 of Bloodlines is masterful and frankly the series should have stopped there, the other 2 seasons are messy. But even so I have huge fondness for the cast -- so I enjoyed the series despite this).

2. Because I am here for all things MCU, I did sit through Iron Fist even though everyone said not to haha. Yeah. Okay, so, it was really .... tedious is the word I think. And it's hardly worth discussing anymore. Danny reminded me of this guy I knew once who I had to travel around europe with and who I wanted to push off a train. Also, I spend a good amount of time trying to make jokes about the hand fighting the fist. HAHA. Easily amused, I am. I did like some parts! Okay, no, actually, the only part I liked was Claire. Everything else was gross. I started off with fondness for the other characters that would have normally carried me through any dislike for the show but one by one I stopped liking them except for Claire. I am going to watch the Defenders, though, and just hope that Danny annoys me less.

3. Wonder Woman was amazing and fun and as awesome as I could have hoped and I've really enjoyed all the excitement and discussion around it. The little girls dressed up as Diana, the fan art, seeing Gal Gadot everywhere because I have loved her for years and she is lovely. It's great to have a decent DC film. I enjoyed the heck out of it in the theatre, but only saw it once. I'm sure I'll see it again whenever it's available. I have to admit though that I felt a bit removed from it. I couldn't let go of how similar it was to CA:TFA. Casting Chris Pine didn't help, imo (although don't get me wrong, I adore him! If someone forced me to rank the Chrises, he'd be at the top). It's not that one or the other film is better or DC vs MCU or anything dumb like that, it's just that I felt like I was watching a remix. Still enjoyed it though!

4. AND I also saw Spider-Man: Homecoming. Which I loved <3 <3. cutting just in case )

5. Also, talk about late to the party but I am just now getting around to watching Band of Brothers. Yes, I know. That is so 2001. What can I say? I finally caved and got a subcription to Amazon Prime and there's tons of stuff on it. I watched all of the Sopranos, too, and that was also something I hadn't ever watched despite the hoopla. Anyway, I just finished watching season 2 of Billions, so watching a young Damian Lewis as Winters is kind of a continuing treat. Winters is nothing like Bobby Axelrod, which is probably a good thing.

6. Billions is outstanding, fyi. Highly highly recommend but it's not a fannish show.

7. I started watching 13 Reasons Why on Netflix, and fully agree with the critics about the treatment of suicide in this thing. Yikes.

8. ETA - Forgot to mention that I INHALED all of the new Anne of Green Gables, Anne with an E on Netlfix. I watched it in 2 days which I never do. Normally I stretch out a tv show for weeks. Anyway, to say I loved it is an understatement. It is not the Anne of Green Gables of my youth. And I don't care. It was awesome. Amazing. I want all the more seasons it deserves to be. ALL OF THEM.

~~~~

In other news, my mental vacation from writing is at an end I'm diving back into rewriting the second book. OY. REWRITING SUCKS YO. haha I just realized that oy and yo are the same two letters flipped. It's the little things.

I would also like to tackle some fan fiction I got brewing, and although the last 2 months would have been ideal to knock some of those out, apparently my brain had other plans. Like sloth. haha. Whatever, I will manage somehow.

I am going to Spain! For two whole weeks! In September. And considering I am allergic to olives and olive oil I might die! I have no idea what I'm going to eat while I'm there. Pray for me.

Mother continues to have misadventures in this new life after moving back to Los Angeles. That's a post for another day.

Deborah Watling

Jul. 22nd, 2017 06:41 pm
lost_spook: (Default)
[personal profile] lost_spook
Some more sad news for Doctor Who fans (well, of the Classic variety at least): Deborah Watling has died, aka companion Victoria Waterfield. A lot of people have linked to the clip from Tomb, but it is such a beautiful scene, so I'm going to do it as well:



(Forgive the embed outside the cut this once.)

Victoria was a companion that I always liked the idea of more than what they actually did with her most of the time, but Debbie Watling always seemed pretty lovely, and she had a very good relationship and rapport with both Patrick and Frazer. My old telly adventures have also led to me watching her (at least briefly) appear in The Power Game, along with her father, Jack, who was a regular (a favour which she returned in DW, getting him cast as Professor Travers in two of the Yeti stories).

Cats update

Jul. 23rd, 2017 03:33 am
vass: Icon of Saint Ignatius being eaten by lions (eaten by lions)
[personal profile] vass
He's being a terrible Dory again. (Sung to the tune of 'I'm telling a terrible story' from The Pirates of Penzance.) This time his evidence exculpatory is that I won't let him use the indoor swimming pool. (No, not the sink. And I don't have a bathtub.)

So he learned to turn the lever sort of door handles and also swing on them in such a way that he can open an outward opening door from the outside. I am pondering technological solutions. I hear there's a form of child lock that works on cats. Until then I'm leaving the lid down and putting a barrier in front of the door, but I expect that won't hold him for long.

(no subject)

Jul. 22nd, 2017 01:25 pm
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I managed to finish the [community profile] pod_together fic last night about 11:00. I haven't posted it yet because it lacks a title. I'm also still hoping to hear back from my partner in the undertaking, but we're not in compatible time zones, so it's difficult.

I also need a tag that I can use for when a character talks to an externalized manifestation of their own psyche in order to hash out a problem. There must be one, right? Any suggestions?

I woke with a migraine this morning. I think it's a multi-factor thing. I slept less last night than I wanted to because Scott took forever (two hours!) getting ready for bed after I was ready to sleep. Then, when he came to bed, he kept doing stuff with his laptop until I asked him why he was still up and still keeping me up. I had some coughing, so I didn't dare use the c-PAP. I was stressed about the story and about the family gathering this afternoon (BIL's birthday), and a number of other things. There's also some indication that my body may be preparing for a period (though I'm skeptical because been spotting off and on since late June. If I didn't already have a gynecology appointment on the 9th, I'd probably have called already to see about setting one up).

The lack of sleep and stress are making me ache. I'm wearing thumb splints today because I can't do what I need to otherwise. I have to wrap the present for our BIL some time in the next half hour (Scott's trying to repair the dryer). We only have Christmas wrapping paper.

What I really want to do is to lie down and nap. There just isn't time.

kings of con

Jul. 22nd, 2017 01:13 pm
starandrea: (Default)
[personal profile] starandrea
Rich: "I'm disappointed in all of you. It's Halloween, and Osric is the only one wearing a costume."
Osric: "I'm not wearing a costume."
Rich: "You're wearing a dress and you have a piece of fruit on your head."
Osric: "You're so old."

Rest In Peace, John Heard

Jul. 22nd, 2017 12:14 pm
calliopes_pen: (taibhrigh hear the Ood song)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen
John Heard has passed away at the age of 72. May he rest in peace. He was found dead in his hotel room yesterday, two days after having minor back surgery. He might be most well known for the role of Peter McAllister (Kevin’s father) in the first two Home Alone films. I also vaguely remember him from Cat People (1982).

Profile

commodorified: a capital m, in fancy type, on a coloured background (Default)
commodorified

July 2017

S M T W T F S
       1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031     

Most Popular Tags

Page Summary

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Jul. 23rd, 2017 02:34 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios