December 15th, 2008

Whale fluke

Unca Harlan's forum is a source of good things

Is it lurking if I say I go to a site? To be exact, I read, but don't post at, the Unca Harlan's Art Deco Dining Pavilion, one of the few places Harlan Ellison's willing to go on the Net. And it's been a source of worthy links and, of course, words:

Michael Rapoport pointed out something that should make us Bettie Page fans smile:
From the Dept. of Things I'd Never Thought I'd See: The august New York Times not only ran a full obituary for Bettie Page, but also, in Saturday's paper, a full and respectful analysis of her career, labeled "An Appraisal," by one of their chief film critics. Accompanied, yet, by a huge photo of Bettie in lingerie, gloves and heels that takes up most of the top half of the front of the Arts section. The article doesn't posit anything that will be surprising or new to anyone familiar with Bettie, but I'm amazed that it appeared at all.

Plus, the Times' website has an online slide show of Bettie photos.
From the pop-cultural side to the political side, author Adam-Troy Castro made a political post worth sharing:
Adam-Troy Castro
- Monday, December 15 2008 5:46:38

What's going on with claims that Obama "isn't really black" is a crazy, desperate form of denial.

Coming from those among black and bi-racial people, who may find him insufficiently of their type, it's one thing -- albeit no less wrong -- but I find the same claim much more interesting, and contemptible, coming from whites.

I have heard this from a number of folks who were against Obama during the election, including one close relative by marriage who wanted me to know that Obama "never" acknowledged the white half of his heritage (not even in the bestselling book he wrote about it), and that he just dishonestly identified himself as black to get elected (like that has historically been the sure-fire way to make getting elected President in this country.)

The only possible reason for such a person to make a big deal about this now is to deny him the accomplishment of becoming the first Black President -- and indeed, this is the point I have heard most desperately stressed. That he's NOT the first Black President. He's "lying."

(Yes, the relative in question actually believes this.)

Obama is more black, by ancestry, than a large number of people in the United States who identify themselves as black. People as black as him were slaves. People as black as him were lynched. People as black as him were denied opportunities in this country; people as black as him were forced to live through Jim Crow; people as black as him had to sit on the back of the bus. He is black enough to have had a black father. He is black enough to have black relatives in Africa. He is black enough to self-identify as black. He is black enough that were he not a famous figure, nobody seeing him for the first time would have any issues about calling him black. There is no possible reason for any white person to say Obama's "not really black" except desperate, frightened denial, grotesque on the face of it given that his otherness (such as it is) was played for such fear during his campaign. It's the same kind of people who feared that he was a "secret Muslim" or who claimed that his agenda was to "make white people slaves" who are now saying he "lied" about being black, everywhere except in his bestselling book about being raised by his white Grand-parents.

Anybody who says this stupid thing, including that relative, is an asshole. And a frightened one.
Thank you, Mr. Castro. (Not that he'll know I'm posting this, but still.)

Now it's time to shower and prepare for my job, which is four blocks away so I can't/won't use the snow and ice as an excuse for not showing up...
Blow My Mind

E-mail FAIL.

A little "argh":

I'm trying to download two new e-mails that MSN says are waiting for me. Four times I've tried, and each time it fails and I get the message
Your server has unexpectedly terminated the connection. Possible causes for this include server problems, network problems, or a long period of inactivity. Account: '', Server: '', Protocol: POP3, Port: 995, Secure(SSL): Yes, Error Number: 0x800CCC0F
...even though I'm still connected. I've tried closing and re-opening my Outlook Express; I've tried turning off the computer and turning it back on and then re-opening Outlook Express. No luck so far.

Please let this be a temporary glitch. I like getting e-mail.

Whatever the e-mails are, one of them is large (I hope it's not spam). Any of you send me a ginormous e-mail tonight?
Me 1

Happy birthday, girlyengine!

Drink some good gin!
Summon hot djinns!
Beat noi-sy tin! (sorry, that was kind of a forced rhyme)
Enjoy the feel of skin!
Don't be akin
To manneq-uins
Who cannot sin!
...I hope your birthday's full of win!

Happy birthday.

Later Edit: Oops, not her birthday yet. But I'm sure saying it early is no problem...
Me 1

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy, Day 9 of 7, or of 14, or of 42, or something

What made me happy today?

Writing a "thank-you" letter to someone who'd made a difficult experience of mine earlier this year a little easier to deal with. (I won't name this person, who was at most only obliquely mentioned on this journal.) I wanted to do a positive thing, and I did it.

What's also made me happy: channel-surfing onto the opening credits of The World Is Not Enough with the TV muted and the radio on, and the radio starts playing Dido's "Here With Me," and the song and the titles kind of sync up...