Feb 2021, fave media

Books

Fireheart Tiger by Aliette de Bodard

A queer fantasy novella about learning to choose love that nurtures rather than hurts you. Also lovely fairy tale vibes. My feels! De Bodard’s Patreon here.

Paladin’s Strength by T. Kingfisher (Saint of Steel #2)

Secret cinnamon roll mercenary meets up with a nun. They each have secrets. Hijinks on the road ensues.

I didn’t realize T. Kingfisher had a new book in this universe, and boy did it come out when I needed a laugh-out-loud pick-me-up. Kingfisher (aka Ursula Vernon)’s Patreon here.


Short Fiction

Of Fur and Fer by Alyssa Cole

Cole said it best: “A post Civil War blacksmith meets her werewolf girlfriend.” What more do you want?? Also there is hope for more stories about them! YES PLEASE.

Diamonds and Pearls by JL George

My feels again in this story about reclaiming a lost mother tongue.

Mouth & Marsh, Silver & Song by Sloane Leong

Resonant tale on consent outside of sex – as in, it must be freely given.


Music

Brenzy’s Colors

Em and the Fates’ This Love

India Carney’s Something Just Like This


Podcasts

The Cut, 2/9/21 “You Might Be In Love With Your Best Friend

Intimacy, important, life-shaping relationship – in friendship, not romantic or sex.


Articles

I Left My Career in Prestige Media Because of the Shitty Men in Charge and They Are Still In Charge and Still Fucking Up by Jennifer Barnett

This is one of Medium’s premium articles, so you only get 3 free a month.

White Danger: Double-Mindedness, Violence, and the Confusion of Whiteness by Autumn Brown

“Consider this: If a white man experiences himself as a confused, helpless victim of his own lack of consciousness and understanding, he is not then responsible for his own behavior. No alternative behavior, no solution, no apology, and no internal work is then required. He may continue causing harm and enacting social, emotional, psychological, or physical violence in perpetuity, always and forever claiming that he does not understand, and could never understand, why his behavior is harmful. But his confusion and helplessness is not disconnected from an explicit show of domination. The former offers a path of distancing from the latter, assuaging guilt, soothing the ego, reassuring the white person of his goodness. He is protected, and his double-mindedness is intact.

There is a different path, albeit it is a harder one. Whereas the double-minded and unintegrated self is causing interpersonal and collective harm, the integrated self may actually be capable of interrupting patterns, of offering true apology and accountability, of taking responsibility for body, words, and decisions in real time. Hard, yes, but it is not, after all, so tall an order. Black and brown people, indigenous people, and people of color learn from a very young age that part of our job is to control ourselves, lest we die. White people instead learn that they have little responsibility to control themselves. White people learn that the locus of their control responsibility lies externally, and they learn to control others, often through violence, microaggression, gaslighting, manipulation, and other forms of overt or subtle abuse.

Perfection is blurring your boundaries by Erinne Brown

“Perfectionism is sneaky. It creates an illusion of safety from criticism, judgement and punishment. It’s subconsciously believing “if only I can be perfect or do it perfectly, I will be enough.” Perfectionism, however, is restrictive, limiting and exhausting – it only cares about the outcome. I’ve found in my personal experience and coaching work that perfectionism truly does have a positive intention – for us to be loved and seen as worthy. This is a powerful motivation, especially if we have received messages in our upbringing or in society that we are not inherently lovable or worthy of belonging and acceptance. It’s only natural that we would work twice as hard or do the absolute most to appear as though we are enough.”

Why Opening Restaurants Is Exactly What the Coronavirus Wants Us to Do by Caroline Chen

“Still Rivers said, “now is not the time to relax.” She, too, was critical of state policies to loosen restrictions. “When you create the same conditions that allowed the last surge, you should expect the same results,” she said. “Our main move should be to reduce transmission as much as possible while we vaccinate as much as possible.”

Time is not on our side, as the morphing B.1.1.7 variant showed us when it picked up the E484K mutation. While we are lucky that our vaccines still work against the current variants, we have to keep in mind that in this race between vaccines and variants, the variants aren’t staying static.

The big fear is that eventually, a variant will come along that provides the virus with a complete immune escape, preventing our vaccines from working against it. Even though we can update our vaccines, that would take time. The only way to guarantee that the virus won’t mutate into a variant that our current vaccines don’t cover is to lower transmission significantly, said genomic epidemiologist Alli Black.”

Snopes Debunked the World. Then the World Changed. by Colin Dickey

It’s a premium Medium article.

“What we need is not just facts and debunking, but a new kind of truth: a truth that kindles joy and communion, a truth that allows us to recognize our follies and laugh at them and learn from them. Where facts are no longer just a joyless pushback against disinformation, but a means of venturing forward into a less terrifying world.”

A California University Tries to Shield an Entire City From Coronavirus by Shawn Hubler

“Public health experts say the initiative is the most ambitious program of its type in the country and could be a model for other universities. U.C. Davis, part of the 10-campus University of California system, has made free coronavirus tests — twice weekly, with overnight results — available to all 69,500 people in the city of Davis and hundreds of nonresidents who just work there.

It has also trained dozens of graduate students to help with contact tracing; recruited hotel and apartment owners to provide free isolation and quarantine housing to anyone in town exposed to the virus; and hired some 275 undergraduate ambassadors to combat health disinformation and hand out free masks.

The university has also recently expanded campus wastewater testing into Davis, and in coming weeks plans to administer vaccinations at its coronavirus screening centers and to bring screening to some public school sites.

Funded by major philanthropic donations, state and federal grants and CARES Act money, the program, projected to cost up to $38 million, has caught more than 850 potential outbreaks in Davis since it got underway shortly before Thanksgiving, according to Brad H. Pollock, who chairs the university’s department of public health sciences and directs the project.”

The Lockdown Showed How the Economy Exploits Women. She Already Knew. by Jordan Kisner

An audio version of the article is available as well.

“When the lockdowns started, this growing malaise exploded into a crisis. First came the discussion of “essential workers,” a category that, it was quickly noted, frequently corresponded with the most critically underpaid workers. Then came the acute realization among the middle and upper classes that their lives had run smoothly because they’d been able to subcontract domestic labor — and, critically, elder care and child care — to other people. After nearly a year of school closures, working parents are keenly aware of the amount of child care they rely on underpaid teachers to provide for eight hours a day. Without even the ad hoc systems for managing the constant work of child care (day care; grandparents; after-school programs; summer camp; babysitters), American parents have discovered that the requirements of caring for a family match or even exceed the requirements of the full-time jobs needed to support that family.”

Roxane Gay on How to Write About Trauma by Monica Lewinsky

“For some people, writing about trauma well means that it helps them work through something. But is that going to be writing trauma well for an audience? And which audience? You really do have to think through these questions as you’re writing trauma and decide, what is your end goal? And what are you going to consider a success?”

Tearing Down an Urban Highway Can Give Rise to a Whole New City by Alex Marshall

From 2014. My family’s life was changed by eminent domain, so the idea of reversing it is so… titillating.

Diverse Group of Artists Receive New Grant to Imagine a Racially Just Oakland by Nastia Voynovskaya

Line cooks are at the highest risk of dying from COVID, says UCSF study by Madeline Wells

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