Tag Archive | social commentary

In A Few More Days

I was going to do a post on the latest jackassery turned up in evidence against Arizona’s Brown People Bad law, but I just don’t have the spoons to deal with any more of the worst of human nature today. Maybe in a couple of days.

In the meantime, try to be good to each other. Say a prayer for your fellow humans if you’re the praying type or think good thoughts for somebody. Let’s try to add to positive global karma in our own little ways. You know, for a change.

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Because Boys Fly and Girls Smell Spell?

And while we’re on the subject of putting women “in their place,” apparently Dallas Independent School District thinks that a woman’s place is not in the cockpit of an airplane, and is taking some pains to make them aware of it young.

I know this story is a little old, but there’s only so much stupid I can deal with in any one day.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Let’s Talk Tropes

Happy Valentine’s Day, all y’all out there who love to read about love. And to those of you celebrating Singles’ Awareness Day, Arizona Statehood Day, or Anti-Monetizing of Love Day, happy day of your choice.

Isn’t it amazing how even when it’s not about love, it’s still about love? Even if we’re boycotting Valentine’s Day, it’s still a reaction of profound awareness. We can’t miss it. We have our noses rubbed into it. We have to react to it, even if the reaction is bad.

Partly because of Valentine’s Day, and partly because I’m wrestling with the outlining of another superhero romance (it refuses to decide if it’s a novella or a novel; it’s very irritating), I thought it might be a good time to talk about tropes in romance. Much like the very commercial Valentine’s Day celebrated in the US, you can love tropes or hate them, but it’s hard to escape them.

I think my favorite romance trope is actually an anti-trope. I like it when the party who is not expected to have the power–the woman in heterosexual romance, the “beta” lead in homosexual romance, or anyone who can surprise me in poly romance–knows exactly what he/she/zie wants and isn’t ashamed of it. Whether that’s applied in a romantic sense, a sexual sense, or a social sense is really all the same to me.

On the flip side, the trope I hate most–hate, hate, hate–is when the evil ex shows up at that point in the story where, near the end, it needs to look like Our Heroes are going to lose. I’m familiar with this as the black point/negative point in literature. If you have a villain, it’s the point where it looks like the villain has won. But since romances so often don’t have villains, people succumb to the urge to cast the ex in the role of the villain. It doesn’t work, and since it’s almost always the woman or the beta personality who is made to feel threatened this way, that means the “villain” is another woman or beta personality. Not only is it inadequate to the task it has to fill in the story, it contributes to stereotyping and role-enforcement in a way I find pretty unforgivable.

What about you? What’s your favorite romance trope? Your least favorite? Or maybe the trope you love to hate or hate to love?

(And I confess, I still choose to celebrate Arizona Statehood Day. Even in upstate New York. Even happily married. And even with what some of the bigoted assholes who’ve wormed their way into government in the state have done to it.)

Social Commentary: How “colorblind” are we, really?

File this under “things that need saying.” And shouldn’t, dammit, because this is the twenty-first century and the United States and we’re supposed to have gotten smarter than this. But I was talking a couple of months ago with a neighbor whose nephew had just gotten suspended from school because there was some kind of a to do in the school bus, and folks looked at the one kid with dark skin who happened to be there around and decided he was the one, out of all of them, who should get suspended. “Colorblind” is great except when it stops us from seeing crap like this still happening under our noses.

And so, crossposted by permission of Neo_Prodigy:


Well There Goes The Neighborhood (from the LJ of Neo_Prodigy)

The other night I was home sitting next to the fireplace, sipping on a most exquisite glass of Chardonnay, listening to Bach as I prepared to curl up to a lovely evening with Dickens.

[Point of fact: Actually I don’t drink, I was sipping on a bottle of Coke, editing my novel Empyrea on the Macbook and rocking out to Sloan but for the sake of atmosphere and setting for this post, we’re going to roll with the former. Also as you read this imagine hearing me read this to you in a really posh upperclass British accent. You’ll understand why.]

As I prepare for such a magical evening, I was interrupted by a most disturbing commotion outside.

Outside my neighbor’s girlfriend was outside, screaming, banging and kicking at the door.

GF: OPEN THIS FUCKING DOOR! I KNOW YOU GOT ANOTHER GIRL INSIDE YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE!!!!!!

After no response the girlfriend eventually hopped in her car and took off like a bat out of hell. I swear I was clutching my pearls the entire time. My nerves are still frazzled. Clearly I’m going to have to move as this neighborhood has gone to hell since they’ve allowed those caucasians to move in.

It was fine when it was just one family. I figured my property value wouldn’t take that much of a hit, but steadily more white peepul have moved into this neighborhood and because of that, we’ve seen an increase in crime, drug use, and violence.

They aren’t like us respectable Negroes or civilized people of color. These white peepul clearly act like a bunch of savages and they are ruining this country. This nation was founded on good Native American principles and these illegal immigrants just came in and took over everything.

I had to work hard to get where I am and these white peepul get government bailouts and are always complaining how the black man or Obama is keeping them down.

They’re all so scary. [clutches pearls]

I wish we could just round them all up and send them back to Europe.

………………You know with a few exceptions.