[I feel, based on my own reactions each time I think about the loss described here, like I should provide some kind of content-warning to avoid ruining someone's day if this is their nightmare fuel. But I'm really not sure what form this warning should take.]( Linda Ronstadt describes what she can't do. May be upsetting to artists. Many people may just calmly think 'oh, that's sad'. )
From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2017-03-08:
"I found much that was alarming about being a citizen during the tenures of Richard Nixon and George W. Bush. But, whatever I may have seen as their limitations of character or intellect, neither was anything like as humanly impoverished as Trump is: ignorant of government, of history, of science, of philosophy, of art, incapable of expressing or recognizing subtlety or nuance, destitute of all decency, and wielding a vocabulary of seventy-seven words that is better called Jerkish than English." -- Philip Roth, novelist
(submitted to the mailing list by Mike Krawchuk)
Mirrored from Suns In Her Branches | Kiya Nicoll.
The service ended on the vehement command: “Spend the afternoon! You can’t take it with you!”
I feel the church year proper has begun at last.
Rank by rank again we stand,
from the four winds gathered hither.
Loud the hallowed walls demand
whence we come and how, and whither.
There are times I feel that if I got nothing from church but the singing, that would be enough. I grew up sort of Methodist, which perhaps gives me a particular perspective on what Church Is About, but there’s also that… the only times that I felt deeply I could belong, in that church where I was, had to do with music. There is a particular feeling of voices joined in song, a particular sanctity, and it is so important to me. And even if I’m up in the balcony space – the drive means I’m often too late to be in the sanctuary proper – I can sing, I can belong, I can stand and feel the music welling up and my hand can mark the beats and this is important, so important.
Of course, I get more from church than the singing. But the singing would be enough.
The readings included The Little Duck and Pry Me Off Dead Center, which was also the sermon, and I found myself contemplating theology, listening. Theology and action and the necessity to move, and the shape and the change needed in the world, all of these things. One part of the sermon quoted Annie Dillard, and that, too, goes into the pot.
Balance, but also motion; not to be lukewarm, and thus spat out.
I came home and wrote a mythological snippet, titled Mercy, which I put up on my revamped Patreon in the appropriate category. We’ll see how that project rolls.
"Just because your electronics are better than ours, you aren't necessarily superior in any way. Look, imagine that you humans are a man in LA with a brand-new Trujillo and we are a nuhp in New York with a beat-up old Ford. The two fellows start driving toward St. Louis. Now, the guy in the Trujillo is doing 120 on the interstates, and the guy in the Ford is putting along at 55; but the human in the Trujillo stops in Vegas and puts all of his gas money down the hole of a blackjack table, and the determined little nuhp cruises along for days until at last he reaches his goal. It's all a matter of superior intellect and the will to succeed.
Your people talk a lot about going to the stars, but you just keep putting your money into other projects, like war and popular music and international athletic events and resurrecting the fashions of previous decades. If you wanted to go into space, you would have."
-- George Alec Effinger (not sure which story -- I can find lots of sites repeating that it is from Live! from Planet Earth, but I haven't seen any saying which story in that anthology the quotation is from)
"As long as we're valuing capital over labor, we have a future in store that's owned by the 0.0001% where the rest of us get to pay for the privilege of being allowed to breathe their air and live on property they own. Where I get stuck at is how we get out of this bind--with people like the Mercers and the Kochs and the various Putin-orbit oligarchs holding the rights to so much of the world's wealth, how do we devalue, divest, and otherwise claw back those resources to a place where we can use them for the good of society, rather than the plutocrats?" -- Boussinesque, commenter at Balloon Juice [thanks to realinterrobang for quoting this earlier]
"The ideal government will have the values of the Federation, the business acumen of the Ferengi, the sense of honor of the Klingons, and the subtlety of the Romulans. Our current government has the values of the Romulans, the business acumen of the Federation, the sense of honor of the Ferengi, and the subtlety of the Klingons." -- Harold Feld, 2017-09-12 [Yes, it's intended to be recognizeable as a new take on the old joke about heaven and hell.]
"What makes it so plausible to assume that hypocrisy is the vice of vices is that integrity can indeed exist under the cover of all other vices except this one. Only crime and the criminal, it is true, confront us with the perplexity of radical evil; but only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core." -- Hannah Arendt
"When childhood dies, its corpses are called adults and they enter society, one of the politer names of Hell. That is why we dread children, even if we love them. They show us the state of our decay." -- Brian Aldiss (b. 1925-08-18, d. 2017-08-19)
[I think Aldiss is seriously overstating the case here, but found the metaphor interesting.]
Mirrored from Kiya Nicoll.
I never used to be a big short fiction reader. I mean, I read it, a lot of golden age SF compiled into books, but it wasn’t really the thing that grabbed me. The pieces were the wrong shape, I suppose. I would have things that stuck with me – the story I’m working on at the moment owes so much to the normalcy of flight in Heinlein’s “The Menace From Earth”, even though I suspect that nobody I don’t say that to will spot how it circles on that particular story’s thermal.
Something shifted, somewhere. I’ve written a couple of fairy tales – one published in Les Cabinets des Polytheistes, one still being anxiously polished like an Arkenstone while I try to figure out what to do with it – and those are shorts. When I read the call for submissions for The Death of All Things I immediately had what grew into “Delayed Exchange Deferred” right there, at my fingertips, the shape and the kick of it. A few other things exist for me now, as shorts that I can work on, which is… remarkable to me as someone who has mostly lived in half-stewed novels for a very long time.
And, occasionally, I’m venturing into reading short a bit more. Perhaps because that’s something I can fit into my life – between the kids and everything else it is complicated to sit down and do anything long, and a short I can swallow in one gulp.
Which is part of how I read “Avi Cantor Has Six Months To Live”. Which – given I saw that it was World Suicide Prevention Day yesterday – I am finally getting my act together to comment on.
I’m not Jewish, or of Jewish heritage, but I’ve long had the traditional fannish appreciation of Jewish minutiae, and there are those there. And there is the quiet endurance of the main character, Avi Cantor, and his ongoing struggle with life and death and identity and…
… it is one hell of a story.
I don’t know what to say about it, honestly. Avi’s struggle, that story, is a piece of why I wrote “Delayed Exchange Deferred”, though, so maybe we can get the stories out there that will make the world whole again. If we just tell enough of them. If people read or hear or see enough of them.
"As long as we are not actually destroyed, we can work to gain greater understanding of other peoples and to try to present to the peoples of the world the values of our own beliefs. We can do this by demonstrating our conviction that human life is worth preserving and that we are willing to help others to enjoy benefits of our civilization just as we have enjoyed it." -- Eleanor Roosevelt (b. 1884-10-11, d. 1962-11-07), My Day (newspaper column) 1961-12-20
Mirrored from Suns In Her Branches | Kiya Nicoll.
The new church year begins, and as is the habit at ours when the weather allows, it began out on the common with music and performance and bagpipers.
We were exhorted to wake up and see wonders. The children played on the grass.
A second staff has been added where the rainbow pride flag blows, so that it is joined by the rose-to-blue trans flag, which the senior minister has been exhorting us to add for a while. “Long may he, she, and they wave!” he proclaimed as he introduced the new flag to the congregation.
We brought water. This is the custom: that given we separate over the summer, we bring back water from where we have gone, we pour it all together, we make it holy by our communion, and this is how we bless the children who come for blessing. I wrote up on the board where we had gotten ours, including “eclipse track, Kentucky”. (Right on the Kentucky/Tennessee border, but technically Kentucky.)
May justice roll down like waters.
From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2017-02-22:
"Of these things perhaps we might learn, he said. Neoliberalism vulgarized time, he said, but, he said, vulgarity is a geared wheel itself so against it do we deploy a slow watermill or acid guano or a stone wedge?" -- China Mieville, from his short story The Dusty Hat, printed in his collection, Three Moments of an Explosion.
(submitted to the mailing list by Terry Labach)
"We're basically after Joe's beer money, and Joe likes his beer, so you better make sure that what you give him is at least as pleasurable to him as having his six-pack of beer would be." -- Jerry Pournelle (b. 1933-08-07, d. 2017-09-08)
(While thinking about Pournellr, see also a quote butterfluff posted from Falling Angels (Niven/Pournelle/Flynn) in 2003 (that I should probably repost as a top-level QotD entry someday), though I don't know which author(s) of the three of them penned that passage)
"This is a clash between people who want to build bridges and those who want to divide us as societies. We have those, unfortunately, in all kinds of religions and different fields of society. It's not Islam that is radicalizing people. Those people are radicalizing Islam." -- Souad Mekhennet, interviewed on the CBC radio program The Current, 2017-07-28