LGBT Stuff

Breaking: Bert and Ernie Are Puppets.

If people want to think of Bert and Ernie as lovers, there’s nothing anyone can do to stop them. And I don’t think there’s really any harm in thinking that. In fact, I guess if it helps someone to think Bert & Ernie are gay, then they should go on thinking that. But I think this whole dustup is pretty dumb because Bert and Ernie just are not gay. As characters, they are not written to portray fully-developed human beings with sexual/romantic feelings at all. They’re written to portray children who are best friends and that’s it.

People

Reflecting on the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks

As I get ready to turn in for the evening, reflecting on September 11, 2001, that’s where my mind and heart is. How did this change us? Has it changed us so much that we’ve forgotten where we came from? How we got here? Where we were trying to go?

Books

Book Review: So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson

(5/5 stars) This is an exploration of shame as a punishment, as a fundamental human impulse, as a force for good and bad. Ronson goes into a little bit of the history of how shame has been used in the past, but focuses especially on how shame functions in our internet-based society today.  To wit, he explores several contemporary case studies in shaming.

This book functions in some ways as a collection of essays rather than a structured exploration of ideas. As such, there are points where he pursues aspects of shame that seem to be a digression from the core theme, for example the parts about Radical Truth and humiliation paraphilia.  Those parts don’t make the book less interesting, but readers should be warned: you probably won’t come away with any strong conclusions about what can be done about internet lynch mobs. 

In sum, this book is funny and thought-provoking. I highly recommend it.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/carefree-child-childhood-countryside-259704/
Philosophy

What is Free Will?

What do people actually mean when they talk about free will or volition?  I don’t have any answers to that question, but I think about it from time to time and I thought this time I would jot down some of my thoughts.

Food

My Latin-Inspired Dinner Adventure!

Appetizers
– Pineapple-Ginger-Jalapeño Margaritas
– Avocado Shrimp Salsa
– Tostones
– Magic Green Sauce

Mains
– Carne Asada
– Mexican Grilled Corn

Desserts
– Mexican Chocolate Ice-Cream
– Dulce de Leche Ice-cream
– Churro bowls

Books

Book Review: Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

(5/5 stars)  I’m not sure where I heard of Akata Witch; it was probably one of my podcasts. I was just excited to read a fantasy novel based on a magic system from a non-European mythology. I did not know it was a YA novel, though, and I was very delightfully surprised by what I found.

The story structure and plot aren’t exceptionally different from other stories of this sort: a young outsider learns that she has a destiny and finds camaraderie in a community of other outcasts.  But the characters are fun and interesting. The culture is lush and fascinating.  And the magic system is scary and fascinating.  Overall, I really enjoyed this book quite a lot.