July 28th, 2009


Open Letter to the SF Community re: Ellison/Bradford Incident

To the Speculative Fiction Community:

We at the Carl Brandon Society are writing this open letter to our community regarding the recent incident involving Harlan Ellison and K. Tempest Bradford. Mr. Ellison, mistakenly believing that Ms. Bradford had criticized him on her blog, wrote a post on his discussion board that included the following passage:

She is apparently a Woman of Color (which REALLY makes me want to bee-atch-slap her, being the guy who discovered and encouraged one of the finest writers and Women of Color who ever lived, my friend, the recently-deceased Octavia Estelle Butler). And she plays that card endlessly, which is supposed to exorcise anyone suggesting she is a badmouth ignoramus, or even a NWA. Ooooh, did I say that?

Mr. Ellison has subsequently apologized to Ms. Bradford and she has accepted his apology. We do not wish to address what has now become a private matter between the two. However, since the problematic post was made in public and thus was published in full view of the SF community, the Carl Brandon Society wishes to define some basic principles of discourse which were put into question as a result of this exchange. We hope community members will consider and respect these principles in future debates and disagreements.

These principles are as follows:

1) The use of racial slurs in public discourse is utterly unacceptable, whether as an insult, a provocation, or an attempt at humor. This includes both explicit use of slurs and referencing them via acronyms.

2) Any declaration of a marginalized identity in public is not a fit subject for mockery, contempt, or attack. Stating what, and who, you are is not “card playing.” It is a statement of pride. It is also a statement of fact that often must be made because it has bearing on discussions of race, gender, and social justice.

3) Expressing contempt for ongoing racial and gender discourse is unacceptable. Although particular discussions may become heated or unpleasant, discourse on racism and sexism is an essential part of antiracism and feminist activism and must be respected as such. There is no hard line between discourse and action in activism; contempt of the one too often leads to contempt of the whole.

The Carl Brandon Society assumes in this letter that everyone reading it shares the common goal of racial and gender equity, and general social justice, in all our communities. We hope for a quick end to arguments over whether or not unacceptable forms of debate should be allowable. These arguments obstruct the process of seeking justice for all.


The Carl Brandon Society

Candra K. Gill
Claire Light
Victor Raymond
Nisi Shawl
Diantha Sprouse

Please feel free to add your signature to this letter in the comments.


Yes well then

Today I'm wearing one of the new bras I bought from catundra's Intimo Party. And gosh callistra you were right. Also, wow, that's a lot of background noise, and by background noise, I mean pain and discomfort, from not wearing the right size.


I disagree

Here's a little article from news.com.au on Masterchef - it talks about how this show remade the reality show and presents the average Aussie viewer as nicer, kinder and calmer viewers. That we stayed that way cause there was no texting to vote people off etc. Except, of course, for the people on the chatroom boards who were really mean.


As usual all the commentary on why this show was successful has missed the point.

At times, Masterchef got 3 in 4 viewers. That's a pretty big chunk of the pie. But here's why, I reckon. It wasn't really a reality show - yeah it had the odd sob story and some bitchy behind the scenes remarks, sometimes it wasn't about cooking but whether your grandmother had battled cancer - but basically, it wasn't a reality show. It was a contest that had real people in it. And every night, there were several rounds of the contest. Every time we tuned in, we knew there would be a couple of races to see who could make the best invention and who could survive the pressure cooker test. In every episode, something happened.

Secondly, we like food. We like cooking and we like eating. Every episode we saw new things made and we took notes and tried out recipes and had fun concocting our own inventions. And it had big name celebrity chefs popping in and out, making things.

And that's why we liked Masterchef. It had pace, things happened and it had food. The contestants were real enough that you could relate to people and root for them. But really, it was all down to learning how to make spring roles and lemon meringue pie.

Oh yeah, and it was about the blubbering.

I bet that Masterchef 2 and every other incarnation of this show, will never rate as well as this one did. C'est la vie.


Female Appreciation Month - Links

Give me a shout out if you're posting for Female Appreciation Month and I'm not linking to you - I would hate to miss any!

Felicity Dowker appreciates Melissa Etheridge and Joss Stone and Neneh Cherry (OMG awesome Janis Joplin tribute!!)
lilysea appreciates Thea Gilmore
vodkandlime brings a girl power edition to FAM with Gwen Stefani, Pink, Destiny's Child, Madison Avenue, The Ting Tings, Kelis, Spice Girls
jonathanstrahan appreciates Cowboy Junkies and the Trinity Sessions
jasonfischer appreciates Hole
callistra appreciates Fever Ray and Delerium
baby_elvis appreciates Vera Lynn, The Andrew Sisters, Anne Miller and Ethel Merman
robinpen appreciates Alice Rusell
pharaoh_katt appreciates Jack Off Jill and Lesbian Bed Death

OMG How awesome are these songs!!!

Hoyden About Town looks at a feminist reading of the Labrynth
pharaoh_katt blogs about The BMI Project


Female Appreciation Month Day 15

Bit of pretty melancholy for me today.

First - Splendid - a band which featured Angie Hart, formerly of the band Frente. Can't seem to find anything on Youtube for Splendid but I love their album Have You Got a Name For it. I discovered it after the song Charge was on Buffy (vid below but its a songvid for something unBuffy related) - I *think* they were one of the guests bands playing at the Bronze in the background. I loved that song, grabbed the album. The album is also lovely.

Here Angie Hart sings Blue, which was also featured on Buffy. Have to go with a songvid for it, by hauntboo:

Looking for Splendid Youtube vids, I found this, another song I love from the Buffy soundtrack, I Quit - Hepburn

I Quit, I Quit
Cause loving you's a job I don't need
Ain't gonna go to work no more
I Quit, I Quit
The situation's vacant for me
Ain't gonna go to work no more

Second band for today - Leonardo's Bride. I just love her voice, it's so unconventional and unexpected.

Even When I'm Sleeping:


Surely I'm too young but

Maybe it's a mid-life crisis? I worked myself up into quite a state last night at counselling, which was not that surprising given that I had had a pretty crappy weekend and had been worked up about things towards the end of last week.

And I went in there and sorta prefaced it with ... I had that health scare, I'm job hunting, work is stressful, I have a book about to go to press and I have all that other stuff on my plate (aka TPP, Swancon/Natcon etc etc). But ...

I felt like my personal reaction to the Hottest 100 was silly, or out of proportion, and certainly felt ridiculous when expressing it to people outside the sphere of it. And really, I'm not sure how much I documented it, but emotionally it really threw me around. And it felt like, it felt like I wasn't being robust enough. And that that meant I was ... not functioning within normal parameters, or something.

And also, I have noticed how much the ex is in my thoughts and space - he certainly has been in my posts here in a noticeable (to me) way. And you know, yeah he got married a couple of weeks ago and that's obviously been on my mind. I don't wish it was to me, but I do kinda wonder why he got to have that ... and I don't. Intellectually I know a lot of things - we weren't to be, I could never have been happy with him, I'm not sure I ever was and therefore whatever happens to him now is utterly unrelated to me.

But I'm going through all this music with thoughts and memories of him, and being with him, are completely wrapped up in all of it - music we listened to together, music we found together, music I listened to without him, or thinking about him, or music he hated or mocked me for liking. Music I stopped listening to because he didn't like it. It's a time stamp I guess. And it just feels in some ways like all the emotions of the break up are being stirred up again. On top of that, I am finally cleaning out my wardrobe and tossing out old clothes - clothes I wore when we were together I guess. And it also feels like a significant point in time of me moving further on - that the clothes I wear will be unrelated to him to.

I guess really this is all moving through grief to the moving on bit. And it's good and positive but that doesn't mean it's without pain, and loss and heartbreak. And you know the great big cloud of ALONE.

So I wondered if this was partly why I was so frustrated and upset and ... angry it turns out.

But as we talked about things, and my reaction to the Hottest 100, and why I very much do not like to be condescended to ... it all came back, I spose as it must do, to me. To what I think of me. I think that I don't/can't ever be good enough. I took the Hottest 100 personally because I read it as if [insert awesome and noteworthy female artist] won't be remembered as being influential/creative/inspirational/important, then what hope do I have of ever being good enough. I think maybe I am feeling like the invisibility of women means I am invisible. Which, you know, is probably actually a very real and normal feeling a feminist woman would have. And this is why I also hate to be condescended to - my outrage is related to what and who I am, and have, not being given the recognition it, and I, deserve. I, thus, am invisible. That the person interacting with me, is not seeing *me*.

But this moved onto ... *I* don't think I am doing what *I* think I should be doing.

I ranted for a while about societal expectations etc of what I should do with my life (get married, have kids) and blah blah but it's not really how I guide my life, not really, anymore. The truth is, I am in a moment of transition in which, what I must do is untether myself from the baggage of my old expectations of me and what my life would be and ACTUALLY DO that which I want to do and fully be the person that I am. It seems pretty easy, just let myself off the hook. I think the problem might be that the hook is really high, I didn't leave a chair to stand on and I hooked myself on using some tab at the back, behind my shoulder that I can't reach.

What am I saying here? I'm saying that, in all this grieving and moving on, I also need to grieve and move on from the idea that a life means finding someone, getting married and having kids and happily ever after. Not giving up necessarily on the option but also exploring and embracing the idea that that's one lifestyle but not the only one that is "wholesome" (ugh I USED that word in the session WTF!), fulfilling and meaningful. Hence my post yesterday on what for me has actually been worth experiencing in being alive - it wasn't necessarily what I thought a list like that would look like.

The point further along of course then is ... well, then what? Cause really, when we talked it through, I've spent a lot of time warming the seat of my life rather than actually living it. I've been waiting for my life to happen when the truth is ... life is what happens to you along the way. And ... maybe I've wasted a bit of it. Cause this is not really what I want my life to be and carrying along this path is not where I want to go. I don't want this to have been what my life was about - [insert discussion of day job stuff here which I tend to not talk about on my blog].

So... but do I have what it takes to actually unhook myself, untether the baggage and take the leap. And where am I jumping off to anyway?

I don't really feel much better after the session. It was very emotional and I still feel quite frustrated, impatient, antsy.

But what I do know is that the source of all this upset is me. And that's important because the only thing I *can* change in this world is me. And that kind of gives me hope.