On Al Franken

Al_Franken,_official_portrait,_114th_CongressI’m not at work today– I woke up with my head swimming like crazy, a condition that, seven hours later, hasn’t really gotten any better– and I probably ought to be doing something, anything other than sitting in front of a screen.  But seeing as how things like walking around or moving in general aren’t exactly easy at the moment (the decision to call in was made moments after realizing I needed to sit down for my morning piss, and then needing to take a second to not pass out after I did) I’ll just write a shorter version of the post I had in my head anyway because staring off into space until bedtime doesn’t sound super exciting.

So, yeah: screw Al Franken.

I really could make that the entire post, and be done with it, honestly.  There’s been a lot of yammering in Democratic circles over the last couple of weeks– I am paying no attention to what the other side thinks, because fuck them– about whether Franken resigning after multiple credible accusations of sexual harassment, at least some of which Franken admitted to, was going to be a Good Thing for the party or not.  Franken, if nothing else, is at least a reliable vote in the Senate for Our Stuff, and has managed for the most part to buck the trend of former-entertainers-turned-politicians being useless buffoons.  I myself tossed the idea of him running for President around a couple of times,  an idea that I’ve mostly shot down because I’m really dead tired of voting for white men for President and don’t want to do it anymore.

And I dunno.  Maybe I’d feel different– I suspect not, but maybe– if Franken was from a state that didn’t have a Democratic Governor, and maybe I’d feel different if the current lead candidate to replace him wasn’t a woman.  But the idea of keeping a predator in the Senate because he’s currently useful to us is not a look I’m especially happy with.  Oh, you don’t like the word “predator”?  Too fucking bad.  Dude shoulda kept his goddamn hands to himself.  It is actually not hard to not grope people.  In fact, not groping people is easier than groping people!  There’s less to do!

“But the Republicans aren’t about to ask the shitgibbon to resign!  And they’re voting for a pedophile for the Senate right now!”

So?  Fuck them.  They’re assholes, every last one of them, and I don’t want to be like them.  I want every single one of these sex-assaulting shits removed from whatever public role they hold, and I want each and every single fucking one of them replaced in whatever positions they held by women.  And honestly, I’ve seen a few prominent feminists on Twitter posit that they aren’t especially chafed by the idea that a few genuinely innocent men might get caught up in this, and I’m starting to come around to their side of things.  Blow the whole shit up and start over.  I don’t care if Franken gets tossed to the wayside in the process.  Motherfucker shoulda kept his hands to hisgoddamnself.  He didn’t.  Bye, Felicia.

And now my head’s swimming again, so I’m going to go back to lying around and not doing anything.  If anybody else gets busted for sex assault while I’m gone, assume I want them done and dusted and don’t bother telling me about it, OK?  Cool.

On things that should wait until morning

9780765395245

I’m not tagging this as a #review for reasons that are probably going to become obvious pretty soon.  For starters, it’s fuck o’clock in the morning.  I was asleep an hour or so ago but for some fucking reason I’m WIDE THE HELL AWAKE NOW THANKS and got rapidly tired of tossing and turning in bed so now I’m in the living room and angryblogging on my laptop, because that is a wise decision.

I blew someone some shit on Twitter earlier today for starting a Tweet with the words “everyone will shit on me for saying this, but…”.  I feel like if you’re starting to say something with those words, that’s your brain telling you that you’re probably wrong and that you should probably listen to it.  Listening to my own advice apparently isn’t one of my strong suits.

So, with that in mind, let’s write an intemperate post about Taste of Marrow, by Sarah Gailey.  You may recall my review of River of Teeth, her first book, which I wanted to be fond of but really wasn’t.  I ended that review by saying I was disappointed but I was still in for the sequel– the premise, remember, is basically cowboys riding hippos, which covers for a lot of sins– and having finished Taste of Marrow tonight before briefly going to sleep I think I’m officially out.  The sins of the first book are all still there, from the sidelining of the hippos to that one character’s annoying accent to, again, the dude who is apparently the bad guy randomly getting eaten by hippos in what is probably the single most deus ex hippo ending I’ve read in a book in a long time… to Hero.

Hero moved from an annoyance I was able to put up with in River of Teeth to something that actively pissed me off in this book.  Hero is again consistently referred to with plural pronouns for the entire book, by every character.  Hero is also still never once described.  I think at one point Gailey says that Hero is wearing a shirt, which they must open in order to examine a scar.  That’s as far as it goes.  Gailey goes out of her way to never have any character who isn’t part of the core cast mention or speak to Hero, because those people presumably wouldn’t use Hero’s preferred pronouns and would at least guess at Hero’s gender.  At this point I’m not even willing to describe Hero as a nonbinary or trans character; Hero isn’t a character in this book so much as a little game that Gailey is playing with her readers.  For all I can tell from everyone’s behavior in the book, the most reasonable conclusion is that Hero is a cis straight woman who the author is just playing the Pronoun Game with for no fucking reason at all.

I feel compelled, again, to point out my pronoun bona fides, insofar as such things exist; the next book I’m reading is Jy Yang’s The Red Threads of Fortune, which postulates a culture where all children are referred to with plural pronouns until such time as the children themselves announce their gender, which sometimes takes years; Yang themself prefers the plural also.  I’m a couple of weeks away from writing my 10 Best Books of the Year post, and a series with a trans main character is going to be very high on that list.  Elves in the Benevolence Archives, my series, are genderless and referred to with custom pronouns.  You can look far and wide in the hundreds of thousands of words I’ve written on this blog and not see a single word complaining about pronouns other than the two posts relating to this series.  It’s emphatically not the singular “they” I have an issue with, it’s the fact that this author is deliberately fucking with her readers with this character and that Hero’s nonbinaryness, if in fact Hero is actually nonbinary, feels like the “what’s in Hero’s pants” guessing game is exactly what Gailey wants her readers doing.   Which is bullshit.

Blech.

A simple request

Could every man who is about to be driven from his job because of his history as a rapist and/or sexual harasser– and you fuckers know who you are— just do us all a favor and resign from your jobs and disappear off of the face of the earth now, without further ado and/or drama?  You fuckers are over, and the world’s about to be better for it.  Go join the fucking dinosaurs in the tar pits.

Thanks.

Two more brief book reviewlets

Today is super exciting.  It is Friday, and yet I am home with my wife and son, who I get to spend an entire day with, and none of the three of us have to go to work or school!  Friday is always one of my days off, the boy is out because his school is doing parent/teacher conferences today (ours was last night; I was gratified to learn that, insofar as such things exist at my kid’s school, he’s in the high reading group) and my wife took the day off because my wife never takes days off and as it turns out if she doesn’t take every Friday off for the rest of the year she’s going to lose a lot of vacation days for no good reason.  So we’re all home!  I got up and had a cup of coffee and now I don’t need to hustle to get to work!

It’s exciting.

Anyway, I’ve been reading a lot in the last couple of days and there are more books I want you to know about:


9780765396310

First, let’s talk about Corey J. White’s Killing Gravity, a book billed as book one of the “Voidwitch Saga,” which is awesome because my main takeaway from this little novella is that I want a lot more of it.  Tor has absolutely been killing it with their novella imprint; these are short books but I have most of a bookshelf dedicated to them already and I’m getting to the point where if I find out a new one is out I buy it instantly without further investigation.  I’ve never done that with an imprint before.

Anyway, Killing Gravity is compared to Firefly on the cover but I don’t find that to be an especially apt comparison; I think for most people what they look for in a Firefly lookalike is the sense of humor and this book is emphatically not funny.  It’s a 160-page exercise in tone and badassery and gene modification and bioimplants and psychic assassins and shadowy corporations and lots and lots of psychokinetic murder and oh there’s also sort of a flying squirrel?  But it’s not funny.  That’s not a complaint; most books don’t have to be funny to be good, but you do have to be funny to remind someone of Firefly.   The prose is a particular standout here; this is one of those books where it’s so distinctively written that it almost doesn’t matter what it’s about– the writing is that good– but it’s an awesome setting and a cool story too and I really want to see more of it.  (EDIT:  March of 2018!)


518d7K+AT4LThe second book I just read this morning, and will almost certainly take you less than an hour to get through cover to cover.  You Have the Right to Remain Innocent isn’t so much a good book as an important one.

The premise of the book’s pretty damn straightforward, and the author isn’t especially subtle about making the point over and over again: don’t talk to cops.  Don’t talk to cops, don’t talk to cops, don’t talk to cops.  Don’t talk to cops if you’re innocent, don’t talk to cops if you’re guilty, don’t talk to cops at all unless you have your lawyer sitting right next to you, in which case your lawyer will tell you not to talk to the cops, or unless you’re telling the cops clearly and unambiguously that you will say not one word until that lawyer is sitting next to you.

Sounds pretty simple, right?  That’s not really a book all by itself, but this is America and folks need to be constantly reminded of simple shit like this, so the book is full of examples of the cops and prosecutors fucking innocent people over who were stupid enough to “head down to the station to get things cleared up” and ended up in jail for crimes they didn’t commit.

Don’t talk to cops.  If that statement isn’t obvious to you, read the book a couple of times until it sinks in.