Welcome to the Playpen, our space for ferrety banter and whimsical snippets of things that aren't quite long enough for articles (although they might be) but that caught your eye anyway.
Warning, thar be swears.
Bloomsbury could have used the Australian cover, which would have cost no extra money and saved everybody's pride; or they could have spent some money commissioning a new cover, with or without a picture of a person on it, which would have shown they'd taken the point and wanted to respond constructively. But they've decided to put in precisely enough time, thought, and money to change only the one very specific thing that Larbalestier complained about and nothing else. It says, 'We surrender unconditionally without in any way accepting that we were wrong'; it says, 'We'll cooperate to extent of doing precisely what you ask with a pointed lack of enthusiasm'. Which is quite childish but also understandable, especially if the original cover really was trying sincerely (though unwisely and even perhaps unconsciously racistly) to do something interesting.
It's news to me (since I essentially live under a rock). I notice that the girl on the new cover, while technically black, is still on the paler end of the spectrum. Maybe I'm too cynical for my own good, but I can't help wondering if that wasn't a deliberate decision on the part of the publishers so as not to make her too black.
Tim Wise has suggested that Barack Obama had a somewhat easier time winning over white voters because he wasn't as black as, say, Paul Robeson.
On the plus side, those look like some interesting books and interesting authors. Must check them out someday ...
There had better be some damn good reform soon.
This is what Republicans actually believe.
Context is here.
(Rami's thing, not the American scariness. The scariness is scary.)
To drop the tone back down: I just came across this. Genius!
The biggest problem Americans face is that one of their political parties is made up almost entirely of insane, bullying, me-first bigots, while the other party is made up almost entirely of wishy-washy invertebrates that wouldn't be able to find their asses with both hands and an ass-finding guide.
These are powerful individuals with many tools at their disposal, and they're deliberately whipping the wingnuts into a frenzy.
Which will surely hurt them in the long run, since surely the crucial independent voters who determine the results of elections will blame the wingnuts and their sponsors if they actually derail the healthcare agenda? Nothing turns off moderates worse than shouting and violence.