Monday, November 26, 2007

Chance congruence of relevant reads

I spent the last few days relaxing over in Maine (turns out southern Maine is at about the same latitude as upstate NY) at Jenn's parents' house. While there I had the luxury of doing a good amount of reading. For the occasion I had brought my copy of The Handmaid's Tale since it had been a while since I read it and I had put it at the top of my recommended pile for Jenn to read. It's a wonderful book that, to my mind, should be required reading for all responsible citizens. For those not familiar, this 1985 book portrays a chilling (and aptly relevant for our times) futuristic society where radical Christian zealots have taken over the country under the pretense of protecting citizens from Islamic terrorism. They have gradually installed a highly controlled patriarchal-religious-military society where, due to perceived declines in birthrates and massive clashes over abortion rights, have forced all non-believing or divorced women to be virtual procreation slaves; worshiped as vessels of divine birth and reviled as whores at the same time. If you think about it, this kind of nightmare isn't that far removed from some of the idealized societies that some real world Christian (and Islamic) fundamentalist organizations have been calling for.

Anyways, if you haven't yet, I do highly recommend this book. But finishing it earlier than anticipated into our Thanksgiving vacation, I had to make an emergency trip to a rural Maine bookstore for more reading. I was actually in the mood for some straight forward sci-fi, but sadly, the store we went to (a small one) didn't have anything that appealed so instead I bought a used copy of All Quiet on the Western Front, the classic anti-war tale (written in 1928) of a German soldier during World War I that I hadn't read since high school. Again, without consciously thinking about it I had stumbled across a book that I think is extremely timely and relevant to current events here in the U.S. I'm about half way through the book and it truly is a classic that brings the horrors of war and how war and violence twists and destroys the lives of soldiers in countless ways. Again, highly recommended.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Today is the Transgender Day of Remembrance. Here's your homework on this day:
  1. Take 2 minutes out of your day and read this short article from Julia Serano about what this day is all about and then go out and get her excellent, eye-opening book, Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity.
  2. Call or write your local congressional representatives and remind them of this day and that we won't be scapegoated.
  3. Be proud of who you are or let that t-person in your life know how proud you are of them.


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

ENDA update and Dana update

It appears that HRC and Barney have gone ahead and fucked us on ENDA despite opposition from all corners of the lgbt community. More details here:

On a personal update - I've had my head buried in some very cool but time- and brain power-consuming library projects (launch of a newly designed library home page with integrated federated search, virtual info lit instruction pilot project, development of a library toolbar for Firefox and IE, concerted marketing project, RSS library feed integration with our CMS and more) for the past couple months and just find myself burned out at the end of the day most days and unmotivated to go sit in front of the computer some more at home. In addition, I've been busy cataloging my 1,300 issue comic collection (re-embracing my inner geek!) and have been hit with a mild case of the early winter blues - I'm never ready for the cold weather! As a result, I haven't posted to here in a while. Hope to change that...