June 16th, 2011


Genderfixing Comics

 Here is a thoughtful and detailed look at why the commercial comics industry doesn't appeal to women, and why that would be difficult to fix.

I think -- if you want strong female characters, a respectful tone, nonsexist plots, female writers/artists, etc. -- you are better off looking at independent comics and/or webcomics.  There is more freedom and better content there.  Vote with your feet, your eyeballs, and your dollars.  Look for projects you like, and support them.  I recommend [personal profile] wonder_city which is webfic rather than webcomic, but a superhero soap opera with awesome gender dynamics and other diversity.  Girl Genius is a favorite webcomic.  

Don't see what you want?  Go to the Crowdfunding community on Dreamwidth or LiveJournal and see if you can rustle up interest in launching a new project -- an especially good approach if you can afford to sponsor such a thing, but don't have all the skills to create it.

Sexuality and Legality

This article talks about whether a judge's sexuality affects his ability to rule on legal issues.  It doesn't.

It's worth thinking about because there is no unmarked case, no way to be uninvolved in the category.  Everyone has a sexuality.  Similarly, everyone has a gender and an ethnic background.  Those groups often have opinions or advantages/disadvantages relating to legal issues.  There is no "outside" to be.  In such instances, if you ruled out everyone whose identity involved them in the issue, the number of remaining humans would be 0.  So then, those are not eligible reasons for a judge to recuse himself from a case.

"Family Ties and Torn Skies" now in stock!

ellenmillion now has hardcopies of the anthology Family Ties and Torn Skies.  Advance perks are going away this weekend.  Reviewer perks will still be available.  Let her know if you would like to review our book.  (About a third of the items in it are things I wrote for Torn World.)  We're about halfway to providing comp copies for contributors, so your support is welcome.

America on Fire

America is on fire.  This might be considered a problem.  I mentioned recently that much of the southwest is undergoing drought from mild to maximum levels.  This article discusses megafires in Arizona and Texas.  Affected areas are largely Republican, and the Republican party tends to disbelieve climate change.  When it's their own hunting ranges and houses going up in smoke, perhaps this will eventually clue them that the climate really is changing.

Dry conditions encourage fires.  Fires encourage floods.  Floods encourage landslides but also plant growth, which later dries out and becomes prone to fires.  So the problem is just getting worse.

Consider also some other aspects of climate change -- torrential rains, blizzards, wild heat waves and cold snaps, violent tornadoes and thunderstorms and hurricanes, etc.  Look at the individual pieces and it may not seem related.  But consider them together and they do create a consistent pattern: extremism.  We've cut into the buffers that help keep the climate moderated, so that there are gentle swells instead of wild swings in precipitation, temperature, and moisture.  Without those buffers, we get slammed.  No amount of money or political influence will protect you from the direct path of a large wildfire, flood, or storm.  We need to restore buffer zones such as forests, grasslands, and marshes.  That's not easily done when the environment is hysterical.