How Long ’til Black Future Month?

The Jetsons

N K Jemisin
N K Jemisin

Waiting in a doctor’s office back in November, I finally got around to reading the New Yorker for January 27, 2020. The article that struck me most was Dream Worlds by Raffi Khatchadourian.

The subject was the science-fiction writer N. K. Jemisin. “In 2018, she released ‘How Long ’til Black Future Month?’ a collection of short stories.” I haven’t read them. In fact, I was not even familiar with Nora Keita Jemesin until this 20-minute read. She is fascinating.

“Jemisin mastered an outsider’s art of adaptation.” This is a skill lots of black people have developed. “Shifting between Alabama and New York, where she spent summers with her father, she adjusted to the jarring differences across the Mason-Dixon Line, both social and personal… Childhood, she told me, was ‘a schizoid experience.’ In Mobile, she shifted across racial divisions, too, attending a predominantly white school that had been forced to desegregate…”

“How Long ’til Black Future Month?” takes its name from an essay that Jemisin wrote in 2013. “It begins with two memories of watching ‘The Jetsons’: first as a girl, excitedly taking it all in, and then as an adult. ‘I notice something: there’s nobody even slightly brown in the Jetsons’ world,’ she wrote. ‘This is supposed to be the real world’s future, right? Albeit in a silly, humorous form.”

Representation

“‘The thing is, not-white people make up most of the world’s population, now as well as back in the Sixties when the show was created. So what happened to all those people, in the minds of this show’s creators? Are they down beneath the clouds, where the Jetsons never go? Was there an apocalypse, or maybe a pogrom? Was there a memo?’” One of the aspects of equality involves representation in the work.

Another was trying to break down the stereotypes surrounding black people and the science fiction genre. About a decade ago, Octavia “Butler’s sense of invisibility was still sorely felt. One of her blogposts was “‘If you’re a person of color who is into science fiction, speak up. We’re doing a headcount of how many of us exist.’ And it was a huge number… In fact, the post was titled ‘The Wild Unicorn Herd Check-in.'”

Backlash

“Amid a reactionary backlash, Jemisin became a target. In 2013, she gave an impassioned speech about race in the genre, noting that a white supremacist had just run for president of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. Though he lost, he had secured ten percent of the vote, prompting her to criticize the ‘great unmeasured mass of enablers’ who had been silent. The former candidate, in turn, called her an ‘ignorant half-savage’ in a racist screed.

“As the cultural divide sharpened… conservative writers began interfering with the Hugos, using a loophole to shape the list of nominees. Until it was closed, two years later, people protested by selecting ‘No award’ on ballots. ‘The Fifth Season’ won its award just after the loophole was closed.

“Accepting her third Hugo, Jemisin stood at the lectern, with the rocket-shaped award beside her, and declared, ‘This is the year in which I get to smile at all of those naysayers, every single mediocre, insecure wannabe who fixes their mouth to suggest that I do not belong on this stage, that people like me could not possibly have earned such an honor, and that when they win it’s ‘meritocracy,’ but when we win it’s ‘identity politics.’ Holding up the award, she added, ‘I get to smile at those people, and lift a massive, shining rocket-shaped finger in their direction.'”

I like the idea of Black Future Month.

Nov. rambling: gifts of grace

Contractions-bitsThe Child Soldier Crisis: ‘Kids Are Cheap’

1619-2019: From Slavery to Mass Incarceration

Flat Earth conspiracy is growing especially among born again religious zealots

John Oliver Slaps Down Coal Baron’s SLAPP Lawsuit: ESB

Samantha’s Journey Into the Alt-Right, and Back from The New Yorker Radio Hour with David Remnick. I happened upon this while listening on the radio in the car last week. Whoa.

Susie Meister: How Studying Religion Made Me a Liberal and The Reality of Being a Reality Star, from Ken Levine’s podcast

Why use Ukraine to impeach when you’ve got the emoluments clause (and the Hatch Act)?

Weekly Sift: An Impeachment Hearing Wrap-Up

Recognizing Israeli Settlements Marks the Final Collapse of Pax Americana

The GOP Tax Cuts Didn’t Work

As a Veteran, I Refuse to Celebrate War

On Nov. 19, 1863, the accomplished Massachusetts statesman Edward Everett gave a two-hour speech at Gettysburg, but history gave him the shaft

RIP, the great Howard Cruse, from cancer.

Now I Know: The Woman Who Sniffed Out Parkinson’s and The Man Who Won a Trip to Mars and The British Ban on Clapping and When the US Air Force Bombed Montana and How Luke Skywalker Beat the Puffins and Why Did the Crab Cross the Road? and The Poacher Who Got Sent to the DVD Player

Gifts of grace

Ranked-Choice Voting “Allows You to Vote for the Person You Really Like”

Why bad taste is over – An interview with John Waters

Ruthie Berman & Connie Kurtz Residence – NYC LGBT Historic Site

Worker Training Program tackles opioid misuse and addiction. I know Jonny Rosen IRL.

Syracuse University janitor who cleaned racist graffiti replaces it with kindness

We desperately need to get out kids back outside

blue books

250 families receive “gifts of grace” to donate to meaningful causes

US Census Bureau: American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month

Authentic black beauty

102 Common English Idioms with Meaning and Examples

The Beautifully Macabre Cartoons of Gahan Wilson

Massachusetts Highway Exits to Be Renumbered by 2022

It’s a Musical

Who’s the greatest JEOPARDY! player of all time? I’m so glad this is on ABC-TV in January, not part of the syndicated series

Gone in 13 Episodes (or Less!)

The story of The Whistler radio program

Groucho Marx on TV after the game show You Bet Your Life

MUSIC

He’s Just a Gurl Who’ll Quid Pro Quo – Randy Rainbow

Dommage – Bigflo & Oli; English lyrics to Dommage

Papaoutai – Stromae

I’m Going Home – Sacred Harp Singers At Liberty Church; Idumea– ditto; Sacred Harp and Shape Note singing

The Rock by Sergei Rachmaninov

Mr. Tambourine Man – the Starbugs, from New Zealand

One, a U2 cover, features McKenna Breinholt as the soloist and the 100-person Cinematic Pop orchestra and choir, arrangement of Rob Gardner

Hooked on a Feeling – Pomplamoose

Coverville 1285: The Bonnie Raitt Cover Story and 1286: J. Geils Tribute and Indie Hodgepodge

Metamorphosis episode of Star Trek (original series), incidental music

Rockin’ in the free world, the Netherlands, 2016

Mah Na Mah Na – Piero Umiliani (1968); Mah Na Mah Na – first Seaame Street appearance (1969)

LAY DOWN (Candles In The Rain) – Melanie & The Edwin Hawkins Singers (1970). Full recording.

I Wanna Be A Lifeguard – Blottomoji version

A highlight of the Barbershop Harmony Society’s International Convention

Tina Turner is 80 years old. The big Interview

The Best-Selling Music Artists of the Last 50 Years

End of year rambling: who ARE these people?

The year’s worst falsehoods and bogus claims

Is God a Robot That Just Hasn’t Been Invented Yet?

Hating the poor in the season of giving

How to Hire Fake Friends and Family

Fiction from the New Yorker: Cat Person

Thousands Once Spoke His Language in the Amazon; Now, He’s the Only One

How ancient mastodon bones sparked a modern-day battle among scientists

Chuck Miller: When I caught the Times Union editing my blog headlines without my permission

RIP, Sue Grafton at 77 – Y Is For Yesterday: her last mystery series novel

Arthur answers Roger’s questions about the regime in DC and the nasty people in DC and blogging, and Kiwi language and his most evergreen post

RIP to Rose Marie, who was of an uncertain age; at least she was around for this; Dick Van Dyke has lost two costars this year, with Mary Tyler Moore passing in January

2018 US postage stamps: Musician John Lennon, performer and activist Lena Horne, America’s first woman in space Sally Ride, and children’s television pioneer Mr. Rogers

Mark Evanier has been blogging for 17 years this month, a site I check out daily

RIP Dick Enberg

Clifford Irving, Author of a Notorious Literary Hoax, Dies at 87

Quotable Kirby

Erie, PA Receives Record 53 Inches of Snow in 30 Hours

Now I Know: The People Who Protect Chewbacca and The Worthless $65 Million Masterpiece That Cost $29 Million and The Town That Pays Criminals to Cut it Out and The Accidental Masterpiece and The New York Police Department’s Giant Problem and The People Who Protect Chewbacca

What is it like to go through a car wash with the windows down?

Wise Old Sayings

TICKS, MANY OF THEM

What Do You Call a World That Can’t Learn From Itself?

This is the thanks he gets for “overhauling” the American tax system?

‘He Would Probably Be a Dictator by Now’

The Nationalist’s Delusion

The United States of America Is Decadent and Depraved

Should We Care What Happens to the GOP’s Soul?

I Won’t Tolerate A ‘Different Viewpoint’ When It’s Based On Blatant Lies

The Whoppers of 2017: the year’s worst falsehoods and bogus claims

“Neoliberalism” isn’t an empty epithet – It’s a real, powerful set of ideas

How life is now in Puerto Rico

“Hope has two beautiful daughters: their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are.” – Augustine of Hippo

TWENTY-SEVENTEEN

The Queen’s Christmas Broadcast 2017 and 1957

2017 is the best?

Instagram’s Favorite New Yorker Cartoons of 2017

YouTube’s highest paid stars – who ARE these people? I’m old

The Biggest Tech Fails of 2017

Turner Classic Movies’ annual Obituary Video

The Daily Show team looks back at the biggest events of 2017 in news, sports, and pop culture

MUSIC

RIP Keely Smith

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised – Gil Scott Heron

Keep On Doing What You’re Doing/Jerks On The Loose – Kelly Hogan and Nora O’Connor

Two songs from Björk’s 2017 album Utopia

Dmitri Shostakovich – Waltz No. 2

Regretro -Lifestyle album

The Last Day of Summer – Elyxr, ft Color Theory

Retrospect -Freen in Green, ft. Liz Enthusiasm

Heavensent – Bao

TWO TICKET TO PHUKET

Sufjan Stevens, Chris Cornell, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Taylor Swift on longlist for Best Original Song Oscar

Dominic Frontiere, Composer for ‘The Outer Limits,’ ‘The Flying Nun,’ Dies at 86

Random notes from Facebook

obama-cryWhen another person and I, separately, posted on Facebook from The New Yorker, The News Reshuffled what was clearly a piece of satire, Emotional Obama Tearfully Thanks Trump for Granting Him Citizenship, a few people thought it was unfunny. One, on my feed, said it was a “lie” that I was sharing FOX News garbage, and that the New Yorker is a terrible magazine.

Trying to explain that it was meant as humor did not help. However, when I posted, from the same source, that Obama had paid Mexico $5 million to keep Trump, now THAT was considered funny.
***
I believe:

One should NEVER say, Continue reading “Random notes from Facebook”

July Rambling: Weird Al, and the moon walk

I REALLY want to see the movie Life Itself, about Roger Ebert.

clock.numbers
Political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. – George Orwell. To that end, Bible Stories for Newly Formed and Young Corporations and Congratulations: It’s a corporation.

An answer to the child immigrant problem at the US-Mexican border? I note that the Biblical Jesus was a refugee, his parents fleeing Herod’s wrath. Yet so many people who profess to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ “are so uncaring and hateful about hungry children trying to get to a better, safer place to live.”

In the non-surprise category: Stand Your Ground Laws Lead To More Homicides, Don’t Deter Crime.

Misleading on Marriage: how gay marriage opponents twist history to suit their agenda.

Yiddish Professor Miriam Isaacs has dug in a previously unknown treasure of over a thousand unknowns Yiddish songs recorded of Holocaust survivors; the text is in Swedish but can be translated. Miriam was my old racquetball buddy decades ago.

The Creation Myth of 20th Century Fundamentalism by Jeff Sharlet, who I also knew long ago.

Australian swimming great Ian Thorpe came out as gay. Arthur explains why it STILL matters. Also: I Can Be Christian, and Gay, and Live in Alabama.

Portraits of people in 7 days’ worth of their own garbage.

These next several feel of a piece, about understanding life and each other:
Amy B says This is not a bucket list.
It’s Not as Simple as it Seems: Neal Hagberg at TEDx Gustavus Adolphus College.
Technology has taken much away much.
I Dare You To Watch This Entire Video.
*She Sent All Her Text Messages in Calligraphy for a Week.

Our church, First Presbyterian Albany, hosted a work camp in the city the week leading to the 4th of July. Homes were repaired/painted throughout the city; 400+ youth and adults, from several states, including Hawaii, plus folks from Ontario, Canada, were hosted at Myers Middle School; 75+ First Pres folks volunteered to make it all happen. We received some media coverage, including one of the radio stations, WFLY present on opening day. Here’s the web link to the Times Union article. Plus nice coverage from a local public radio station.

The Importance of Eating Together.

Sinful, Scandalous C.S. Lewis, Joy, and the Incarnation.

Interview with Marion Meade, Dorothy Parker biographer.

Jaquandor, via George RR Martin, on writing. While he writes just one word at a time, I write five or six, accidentally leaving one out.

Why Readers, Scientifically, Are The Best People To Fall In Love With.

Why the Myers-Briggs test is totally meaningless.

whyteachmusic
Melanie plays with toys. So does Chuck Miller.

GayProf’s life continues at 40.

Is Dustbury, “prolific” as the inevitable consequence of a desire to maximize his output before the time comes when he cannot put out anything? And, I wondered, am I?

I realize that the 45th anniversary of the moon landing depressed me. Here’s part of the reason. Another part is that, despite disliking violence, I understand why Buzz Aldrin punched Bart Sibrel after being harassed by him suggesting that the July 1969 moonwalk was faked.

Cat Islands.

Louis Zamperini Was More Than A Hero.

Paul Mazursky wrote and directed Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986), Moscow on the Hudson (1984), An Unmarried Woman (1978). But I saw (or heard) him in a number of TV shows and movies.

James Garner’s legacy: A commitment to civil rights and political activism.

Why I want to see the movie Life Itself, about Roger Ebert.

Check out this interview Rebecca Jade, my first niece, did recently through Voices of La Jolla. Click on the microphone/link on the upper right-hand corner to listen to the podcast.

Watching the new Weird Al Yankovic videos, especially Word Crimes. Weird Al is a marketing machine.

Did I mention that Paul McCartney came to Albany, NY? And Omaha, Nebraska? Who performed the mysterious ‘train song’ from the Beatles’ ‘A Hard Day’s Night’? The George Harrison Memorial Tree killed … by beetles.

Some of SamuraiFrog’s favorite Marvel stories; nice reveal in Fantastic Four #21. Also, for round 15 of ABC Wednesday – YOU can still join! – Mr. Frog will “highlight a different Muppet for each letter, hopefully, some of the lesser-known Muppets and milestones in Muppet history.” So far, A is for Arnold, who you WILL recognize; B is for Bobo the bear.

Superman and the Bible.

For the rest of the summer, absolutely everything new that’s published in the New Yorker will be unlocked. “Then, in the fall… an easier-to-use, logical, metered paywall.”

Renting Liechtenstein.

Could “The Big Bang Theory” get canceled? I’ve watched the show maybe thrice, but I find TV machinations interesting.

Mark Evanier wrote about The Battle of the Network Stars, some cheesy TV competition c. 1977. What struck me is that I knew every actor and the associated show from CBS, all but one from ABC, but had serious trouble with the NBC stars. Even I knew of the actor, say, Jane Seymour, I had no idea what show she was representing.

GOOGLE ALERTS (me)

Arthur responds to my TWO posts on Hobby Lobby.

Dustbury cites my Instant Runoff Voting post and my TMI post.

Mr. Frog tackles #1 Songs on My Birthday, which some of the rest of you regular bloggers – you know who you are – might consider.

(not me)
Alison Green, M.D. will join Green Family Practice Clinic on August 1st as the newest family practice doctor in Newport. “Alison joins the practice established by her father, Dr. Roger Green, continuing a rich family heritage of healthcare providers.”

(image from http://teachr.co/1oik2Qr )