February 21

On the passing of Umberto Eco

Author Umberto Eco passed away two days ago at the age of 84. Although not an author I read on a regular basis, he was an amazing writer, whose work was rich, like Godiva chocolate or hundred year old balsamic vinegar, the kind one can sip like wine. I can read most books in a week or two, but Foucault’s Pendulum took me well over a month, and I would be able to glean more upon a second or third reading.

Death is a sad affair, with the world losing a person whose influence could mean a lot to it. In Mr. Eco’s case, his work had wide reaching appeal, and powerful impact, and it will endure for a long time, though his name may not be as recognized by as wide an audience as some. He has well earned the peace he is now at.

I hope some day to write half as well as he.

October 1

The month of Back to the Future

In honor of the 30th Anniversary of Back to the Future, Amazon Prime is offering the trilogy for free in HD. To honor one of my favorite movie trilogies of all time,  I will watch one movie a day, cycling, every day this month. I will live tweet it, and then review the movie here at the end. I want to see if, like a song, the movies get old upon repetition, or if they stay fresh. I have seen them a half dozen times or more already, so it won’t be new to me. But, this will be a new experience. I have BTTFI cued up right now. So, if you wish to follow the twitter feed, it is at https://twitter.com/zalphaprime. In addition, starting tomorrow, I will also be posting fun factoids and other content about and relating to the movies.

Turn it up to 11, set your time circuits, and get ready to rock!

Category: Culture | LEAVE A COMMENT
August 18

A Response to Emilee Danielson

Original Post

I want to say, first, that I am the parent of a transgendered adolescent. I support my child fully in their identity. Now, on to the subject of your rant.

Throughout your entire piece, you have very little positive to say about being a woman. You talk about the pain of being a woman. You talk about the fear of being a woman. You talk about the depression of being a woman who is trapped by their hormones, over and over again, and relate that as your experience.

You talk about the uniquely heteronormative experience of losing one’s husband (because, of course, a woman is nothing without her man). You speak of finding value only in what one’s family thinks of one, and, then, only if one has a husband and children.

You write off Ms. Jenner’s experience because you truly  do not understand it, and, while dismissing her as being not a woman and repeatedly misgendering her, you have nothing good to say about your own experience being a woman.

You may rant and rave about how Ms. Jenner does not fit your definition of what it means to be a woman, but from my perspective, all you seem to be able to hang on to is the worst and most negative aspects of that experience. You do not talk about the connection you feel to nature, as you are endowed with the ability to nurture life within you. You speak nothing of the joy of seeing your newborn child for the first time. You did not touch on culture not shaming you for being in touch with your emotions, or being able to cry without feeling ashamed of yourself. You didn’t mention being able to have close, emotional relationships with other women without being worried that others would label you as being homosexual, or, if you were homosexual, giving yourself away through those close relationships.

You also did not bring up a legal system that has long been on your gender’s side in the great majority of custody disputes. You did not admit that if a woman is raped or is the victim of domestic violence, she can go to the police, and, more often than not, get something in the way of justice, protection, and find many support groups to help.

Seeing as that you are fifty, I can understand that you grew up in a world of clearly defined genders, gender roles, and strict guidelines on behavior, and probably parents who bemoaned the changes that were happening to those definitions. Under the surface, those clear definitions were an illusion. There were people who were not heterosexual, there were people who did not, at their core, feel like the gender they were assigned at birth. When you were growing up, though, those things that had been denied and hidden were coming to light, and people were feeling more and more free to be who they were.

Yes, there are differences between the genders. But, can you imagine waking up every single morning, hating the very body that you are in, feeling betrayed by the flesh you inhabit? That your breasts and vagina were completely wrong and that they should not belong to you?

Can you even begin to imagine what it must be like to be constantly reminded every moment of every day that every aspect of your physical being seems to have betrayed you? Kind of like puberty, but permanent, never ending, and always there?

You talk about how horrible it is to be a woman. Can you imagine being a woman, trapped inside a man’s body, as if you had been dumped without resources on a strange planet and were expected to survive?

You may take offense at Ms. Jenner all you wish. I find your attitude towards those that are transgendered to be much more offensive, and your misogyny to be quite stomach turning.