A beautiful, beautiful sunny day out there. But I will be "good," and not run away to the seashore when I ought to be writing. My window's open, and for now that's just going to have to suffice.
Yesterday, I wrote 1,517 words on a new piece, for Sirenia Digest #65, "The Carnival is Dead and Gone." It sort of feels like it's happening in the same near future Manhattan as "A Season of Broken Dolls," and was inspired by all the talk about sideshows and freaks. So, a very good writing day. May there be another today.
I was just reading yesterday's coilhouse report on the assault of transwoman Chrissy Lee Polis and its aftermath. On the one hand, it's heartening to know that "Over 135,000 people have signed a petition demanding that the McDonald’s Corporation holds its employees accountable for the assault." And seeing hundreds of people show up for an anti-hate rally outside the MacDonalds where the attack occurred, that doesn't hurt, either. However, as the coilhouse article notes:
"Coverage of the story on the web has been as painful to watch as the footage itself. It was awful to witness the first wave of discussion, which appeared almost exclusively on white supremacist blogs, with transphobia piling on top of racism as details about Polis’ identity emerged. It was painful to watch mainstream, high-traffic blogs use the word 'tranny' in their coverage (the best example of this being, if memory serves correctly, Time-Warner-owned blog Smoking Gun, though their posts appear to have now been scrubbed of the slur). And it was painful to watch Polis’ own twin brother continually refer to her as 'my brother' and pointedly use male gender pronouns at her support rally. All around, a damning look at the country’s state of gender awareness, or lack thereof."
Lots of people aren't going to understand that thing about tranny. But just imagine Smoking Gun using words like nigger and faggot in articles reporting violations of African American and gay male rights. Yeah, it's like that. Doesn't mean you won't hear it used by transgender people, but...well, I'm going to assume I don't have to explain how an oppressed minority reclaims or appropriates denigrating language and, in so doing, gains strength from a thing that was meant to cause them harm.
Last night, we watched Robert Rodriguez' Machete (2010). We've actually had that particular Netflix envelope, unopened, since early February (!!!). Mostly, I was afraid that what made a very funny 30-second faux movie trailer couldn't be sustained for 105 minutes. But, I was wrong to worry, I'm happy to say. And fuck all, but Michelle Rodriguez just keeps getting hotter and hotter.
Later, Spooky and I finished reading Markus Zusak's The Book Thief. And what a brilliant and beautiful novel it is. Truly and genuinely. I'm lousy commenting on books, because I usually find myself relying on words that come off trite and come nowhere near expressing how I actually feel. Just because someone can write a book doesn't mean she can review or commentate on a book. It took me a while to figure that out. Regardless, yes, if you didn't read this one for the AB Book Club, please get around to it eventually. I struggle every day to achieve such simple, splendid poignancy as Zusak displays in this novel, and I think I've never yet come anywhere close. So, buy a copy or get it from the library. Listen to the audiobook. If you must, read it on your Kindle (shudder). Just read it.