May 17, 2015

When in doubt, links

When in doubt, links

The scarcity of posts around these parts is likely to continue for a little bit longer; in the meantime, have some links:

  • I’m trying not to make this into a long collection of terrifying political links, so I’ll limit myself to two news pieces. This is the stuff keeping me up at night these days. Also, it was only a matter of time until someone came up with this.

  • Okay, just one more. This one’s about higher education, but it seems to me it applies to libraries just as much:
    These are not economic terms; they are aesthetic, ideological and value-laden. The idea that life should be harsh, bitter, severe and strictly disciplined is, I think, key to what we are up against. Even when there is plenty of money in objective terms, the austerity agenda values punitive and repressive policies because it is based on an inherent, if sometimes unconscious, antipathy to the very services it purports to be managing. Academic management motivated by austerity frankly dislikes, and therefore aims to diminish, the democratic, emancipatory and transformative essence of our universities and colleges.
  • Before we all fall into a pit of despair, here’s some good news: Kate Manning’s My Notorious Life, about a midwife who practiced abortions in 19th century New York, might become an HBO period mini-series starring Anna Paquin. I really need to read the novel, and I look forward to watching this if and when it comes out.

  • More exciting things: upcoming DC comics series Bombshells sounds right up my alley. It’s about Batwoman, Wonder Woman and Supergirl fighting on the front lines of WW2 in an alternative timeline — yes, please.

  • At Panels, the always wonderful Andi recommends comics by all-female creative teams. Nimona and Lumberjanes (which I pre-ordered ages ago) will be in my hands very soon and I absolutely can’t wait to read them.

  • Cheryl Strayed being her customary brilliant self:
    There’s been nary a day in the past decade that I haven’t had to set someone straight about the fact that I wrote my books for people, not women. My female colleagues report much of the same. We swap stories and shake our heads and laugh, but it isn’t funny. Because when an artist has to assert that her intended audience is all humans rather than those who happen to be of her particular gender or race, what she’s actually having to assert is the breadth and depth of her own humanity.

  • Lastly, I came across Howard Zinn’s “Against Discouragement” by chance this week and it was absolutely what I needed to read:
    I learned something about democracy: that it does not come from the government, from on high, it comes from people getting together and struggling for justice.

  • I’ll leave you with a few pictures from a day children’s books festival I worked last weekend because it cheered me up considerably, at least for the day:













  • May we long have things like this.

    7 comments:

    1. I love those paper dolls! So fun.

      I couldn't agree more with Strayed. That's why I hate it when people use the phrase, "By women, for women," in relation to romance novels.

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      1. Yep. "Puts women's experiences front and centre" doesn't mean "and therefore only women could possibly be interested". The fact that people assume so is the root of so many problems.

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    2. I saw that op-ed from Cheryl Strayed in the book review this weekend and felt really sad about it. And everything I've been reading about the UK elections is also making me sad. I'm glad you closed with the pictures of your illustration event, which looks quite wonderful.

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      1. It was! And let me tell you something else happy-making: the lady in the yellow scarf on that second picture? She's an artist who did covers for our beloved DWJ (Earwig and the Witch and the other UK ones in that style). I've met her a few times over the years at events and she's super nice. She told me about how she got to exchange e-mails with Diana before she passed and about how lovely she was <3 Look, this was last year :D

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    3. Awesome pics! That looks super fun.

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      1. Huh.. was not expecting that to link to my G+ that I never use.

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      2. Blogger and its odd, mysterious ways.

        It was super fun, thanks! Next up is an Alice in Wonderland themed half-term event, which I'm also very excited about.

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    Thank you so much for taking the time to comment - interaction is one of my favourite things about blogging and a huge part of what keeps me going.