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Weekend link dump for September 25

“Leavitt’s experience is one of a spate of recent examples in which individuals have been targeted with accusations of Satanism or so-called ritualistic abuse, marking what some see as a modern day version of the moral panic of the 1980s, when hysteria and hypervigilance over protecting children led to false allegations, wrongful imprisonments, decimated communities and wasted resources to the neglect of actual cases of abuse.”

“It’s worth noting how rapidly right-wing language about colorblind meritocracy melts away when it does not produce the desired results. Perhaps the actors cast were simply the most qualified?”

Wait, there’s Triple Joepardy! now? I don’t know about that.

“Joe Biden has shown again that American power and American values can be a difference-maker in the long struggle for freedom.”

Tractor hacking.

“Interestingly, it turns out that when both Republicans and Democrats get real substantive things they want, voters are impressed by Democrats and repulsed by Republicans.”

“Popular Information has obtained documentary evidence that migrants from Venezuela were provided with false information to convince them to board flights chartered by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R). The documents suggest that the flights were not just a callous political stunt but potentially a crime.” Even Ted Cruz thinks it’s a crime.

“They overturned Roe and, amid the chaos, gutted 12 more rights and freedoms you might have missed”.

“My contention is that while the polls could have another bad year, it’s hard to know right now whether that bias will benefit Democrats or Republicans. People’s guesses about this are often wrong.”

RIP, Joseph Fiorenza, former Archbishop of the Catholic Diocese of Houston-Galveston. He was in many ways a force for good, and he was also complicit in the coverup of sexual assault by various priests in his diocese. No amount of the former can ever excuse or minimize the latter.

“Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that there is extraterrestrial intelligent life (ETI) out there. Indeed, given the size of the universe (potentially infinite), we can surmise that there might be an awful lot of ETI (potentially infinite instances). How would this phenomenon affect religious thought, particularly Christian doctrine”?

Hold him accountable.

Honestly, the chess world needed a good anal bead scandal.

“It is difficult to state how completely disconnected from reality this ruling is, and how dangerously incoherent it is. It effectively says that companies no longer have a 1st Amendment right to their own editorial policies.”

RIP, Maury Wills, All Star shortstop for the LA Dodgers who set the record for most stolen bases in a season in 1962.

When you need to clarify to the media that you do in fact believe that “women should be allowed to vote and work”, maybe you’re a tad bit outside the mainstream.

Sue the hell out of them!

Knock it off, GEICO.

Lock him up.

Bar him from the ballot.

RIP, Pharaoh Sanders, jazz saxophonist.

RIP, Louise Fletcher, Oscar-winning actor for “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest”, and a Star Trek icon for her role as Kai Winn on “Deep Space Nine”.

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2 Comments

  1. Flypusher says:

    Since I’m a SFF nerd, I can’t resist commenting on “Fear of a Black Hobbit”. Disclaimer, I have plenty of books by J. R. R. Tolkien and George R. R. Martin (read multiple times) and own the extended version of the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. I don’t have the streaming services that carry “House of the Dragon” and “The Rings of Power”, so I haven’t watched them, but I’ve read/watched enough commentaries and reviews so that I have a good idea of what’s going on with them.

    As for the reaction to actors of color, there absolutely is a culture war element (not to mention trolling and counter-trolling on both sides- it generates buzz!), but there is also the fact that a big portion of the SFF fandom is very, very, very, very, VERY pedantic, often fanatically so to the point of getting extremely annoying. ANY deviation from cannon (not just the “wrong” skin color on actors) will get a fierce backlash from them. Technically the casting does deviate from Tolkien’s descriptions of Elves and Dwarves (there’s some wiggle room with the Harfoots), and Tolkien isn’t here to give an opinion. In the case of “House of the Dragon”, Martin himself has said that he is fine with the casting of Black actors to play the House Velaryon characters. That’s “Word of God” in fandom circles, and ought to be the end of that argument. Also Martin has said that he had once thought of depicting the Valerian characters as dark skinned, which would have been interesting for the changes that would have produced in fan responses.

    It’s obvious that fantasy (SciFi to a lesser extent) is currently very White and very Euro-centric. Martin said it best: most of is was/is written by White men. Tolkien founded the high-fantasy genre; it’s become popular because of authors like him and Martin who excel at world-building and create memorable characters, and because of Peter Jackson’s cinematic masterpiece. People love these worlds and want to be part of them, but people also like to see characters similar to them. The long term solution will be for new authors to use Asian and African fable/myth/folklore to build worlds the way Tolkien Northern European fable/myth/folklore to create Middle Earth.

    But Tolkien-caliber authors are rare, so in the meantime we have the issue of including people who may not match 100% with cannon. I look at it as I would look at a Shakespeare play with race neutral casting- if the actors do a good job, then I will enjoy the show. I will probably watch these fantasy shows one day (when it’s time to juggle streaming services), and I’ll be concerned with “are there interesting plots and compelling characters?”. “House of the Dragon” will have a easier time of this, since the story is written. It’s depicted as a history pieced together from 3 sometimes conflicting sources, so there is plenty of opportunity for development by talented writers, actors, and directors. What I have seen/heard so far looks good.

    “The Rings of Power” has a tougher job, as they bought the rights to “The Lord of the Rings” and it’s appendices, but not “the Silmarillion” and “The Unfinished Tales” which have a lot of Second Age source material. That means they will be inventing many new characters and plots to get several season’s worth of story. I asked a friend who was watching it what did she think of it, and she said that she had decided to consider it fan fiction (taking the words out of my mouth). I’ve read good fan fiction and execrable fan fiction; hopefully for the amount of money they’re spending, it will be very good fan fiction.

    (I’ll be pedantic on one point- Dwarf women in Tolkien’s world have beards!)

  2. Flypusher says:

    People like John Gibbs are Schrödinger’s misogynists. If they get blowback they will claim “just trolling”, but I have zero doubts that people of this mindset definitely would repeal 19A if they could.