Open thread

Since I am pretty much unavailable now and for the foreseeable future, and since this has traditionally been a place for people to reconnect when various sites go down, or they are de-platformed somewhere, for now I am leaving this thread open for communications by trolls, real people, and whatevers.

I might write one or two posts more, as the spirit moves, but probably not. I will try to monitor email for a short time, in case anyone has problems with access. (It is currently set up to pass users who have already had a comment approved.)

I will try to stop by later and remove the creeps, death threats etc.

Cheers, and carry on.

-GD

Are drag queens for kids? (RIP Wilson Gavin)

Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.
– John Donne

This is Wilson Gavin.  He was conservative and he was gay.

I am neither, but I think we should mourn him and I think we should consider his views.

The guy on the left is drag queen Diamond Good-Rim.  Rim is slang for anus.  A “rim job” is…well, you can google it…

They are at a library in Australia and Good-Rim has just finished a presentation to some children as part of an official library program. Gavin is part of a group opposed to the program and they are doing an action at the library, chanting “drag queens aren’t for kids”.

The video of the action went viral on Twitter, with Good-Rim’s friends piling on Gavin, threatening to get him kicked out of his university and encouraging him to die. A few hours later, Gavin was dead at a Brisbane railway station, and the police were treating it as a suicide.  The video which had been posted by Jess Origliasso of the Veronicas to her 319,000 followers on Instagram was taken down, but of course everyone has it by now.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

News sources say the protesters were “storming”, but you can see here they are standing in one place chanting with hands in pockets, with no visible signs or printed slogans, while Diamond Good-Rim shakes a finger in Gavin’s face and the Veronicas put their camera in another guy’s face in a fairly intimidating manner.

It was claimed the protesters broke into the program area where children were being read to, and that children were crying, but there are no children in the video.  The protesters claimed they waited until the program was over, and met the drag queens on their way out. There are no children in the video.


Hey, little girl, can you say ‘Good-Rim’?
  

The other drag queen at the event was Johnny Valkyrie @johnevalk, who performs as “Queeny”, and is taking advantage of the publicity to ask for money on his/her FB page:

Johnny Valkyrie UPDATE:

Please help me fund my affirmation procedure if you have capacity. I am transgender, and openly. I worry the media will backlash given the anti-LGBTI+ bend of the Murdoch media.

Please also support Diamond Good-Rim.

Please see my new post on my page;

Hello. Your love and support is literally in the thousands. The media and the public have made the incident viral. Thank you for your support. If you can, please help me with funding my affirmation procedure, which will cost me my entire savings ($10,000).
The incident yesterday which has gone viral has exhausted me. The media and opposition will come after me given I am transgender and homosexual. I am worried about my mental health, my employment and my ability to handle the legal action I need to take regarding the incident that has exploded on National News. I wish my activism paid the bills, but I have to do 9 – 5 elsewhere. I am so tired. I need your help. #IStandWithQueens

Apparently this $10,000 “affirmation surgery” is a mastectomy.

“Queenie ” also complained bitterly on Twitter that instead of thoughts and prayers, some people were actually delivering petitions to the government about the issues Gavin had cared about.

No Queenie, this is not “hate speech”, or transphoooooobia, these are good questions, and I don’t have any good answers.  But when someone does not want to take these questions seriously, it is not a good look.

So what about drag queens in libraries? Is this sexualized entertainment, of an adult nature?  Does this promote puberty blockers and sterilization of gay kids?

A while back I wrote some positive stuff about the drag queen programs in libraries.  But now I’m not so sure.  What for example does it say about gay people?  Like, what do gay people look like?  Like a freak show?  Like Halloween?

And we’re starting to see a lot of violence associated with this MtF trans  stuff.

If you spend a little time with google, you can find photos of drag queens doing strip tease in libraries, using profanity, teaching children to twerk, or stories about convicted child sex offenders in the programs. Are there any grownups watching?

This is what Wilson Gavin looked like, just a person.

Here is what he did with his life.

On Saturdays, he served at a soup kitchen. Soup kitchens are good, there should be more soup kitchens in this world.

He spent a year teaching kids in Mongolia. It’s good to get out of your own back yard. It’s good to see the world in some role other than a tourist.  It is good to share your skills and to mentor people.

He gave money to homeless people on the street. Okay, I’m not as good with this as with the soup kitchens, but some people are like that and there’s a lot worse things you can do with your life.

And that is exactly what the gay people I know are like. They have jobs, they play classical music, they wear suits, they go to church, they give to charity, of their time and their money.

Maybe those are the kind of gay people the kids should be seeing.

~~~~

Hmm, no article, yet, but can we really expect it in the current trans-bully climate.  Hasn’t been added to the list of LGBT-related suicides either.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_LGBT-related_suicides

NOTE: Not sure if anyone who is not from Brisbane can sign it, but the petition is here: https://www.epetitions.brisbane.qld.gov.au/petition/view/pid/810

OMG: more on Mr. Diamond Good-rim.  Did you know oral-anal sex is called “rimming”,   and that the CDC recommends the use of a “dental dam” to prevent STDs?  How to: (NSFW) https://www.cdc.gov/condomeffectiveness/Dental-dam-use.html

Lessig sues NYT

Just in case anyone has forgotten the time Lawrence Lessing advocated for secretly taking money from Epstein, he is now suing the NYT for printing it, which he claims is “clickbait defamation”.

And in case anyone has forgotten what this has to do with Wikipedia, Jimbo was the campaign manager for Larry Lessig’s 2016 run for president.

The background to the current drama:

The lawsuit is here: https://www.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.mad.217861/gov.uscourts.mad.217861.1.0.pdf

This is what Lessig wrote, back in 2019:
The Streisand Effect is strong with this one. But as we know, Larry has been flogging his book, there is no such thing as Bad Publicity.

How to find sleeze in Bangkok without Kudpung

First of all there is no reason to believe that Kudpung even knows where to find sleeze in Bangkok, or that he is anything other than a Nice Catholic Boy.

See here the first entry:

It is for the newsletter: “Nittayo TESOL Newsletter Submitted on 2008-07-15 by Chris Carter-Smith”.  The newsletter itself is in the Wayback Machine.  It’s from the “Education Department of Bangkok Archdiocese”:

Subscribe to our Newsletter now!

and get our free TEN TIPS guide to getting good job.

Get privileged information on job vacancies in Thailand, free job services of the NELC, the EDBA schools, and legal requirements and what you need to know about or living in Thailand.
A non commercial newsletter from Thailand’s largest provider (43 schools, 72,000 students) of not-for-profit education. Up-to-date factual information on job opportunities, TESOL training, administrative and bureaucratic developments, visas and regulations, current facts on everyday life and working in Thailand.

RexxS (l), Kudpung (r)

So you will see a number of the Manchester cabal recusing themselves in the current arbcom case request, because they either know Kudpung, work in Thailand, or both. You cannot expect Wikipedians to put their jobs on the line for a volunteer position in Wikipedia, no matter how prestigious. /snark

The distance between Worchester and Manchester is only 90 miles, so is there any reason to believe they don’t know each other?  Of course they do.

So what about the Thai sex trade?  If that is why you are going to Wikimania this year, you don’t need Kudpung.  Google is your friend.  Try here.  Although if you are that interested in the Thai sex trafficking, you probably don’t have any friends besides google.

Also, if you have any change in your pockets, as people do when they take a lot of trains and such, while you are walking around the night markets, checking out the lady-boys, the change will magically disappear.  If you are used to being aware of your surroundings and knowing when someone brushes up against you, even by accident, you will not know when your pocket has been picked. Yes, they are willing to take the risk for the equivalent of just a few pennies.

Also, Thailand is known for the date-rape drugs. If you go into a shop, do not accept tea or anything, or you may wake up somewhere with all your money gone and a pocket full of costume jewelry. If you find yourself in Bangkok for Wikimania, get out of town as soon as you can, maybe head north to Chiang Mai or even to Vientiane, where you can get away from the infernal British Empire non-cuisine and sample some colonial-era French pastry.

On the other hand, Thailand does have pad thai, and Singha beer.

Hmm, I wonder if Kudpung could get me a job in Thailand? ….

VERY FAST AND VERY HARD

Our President has been giving a lot of thought to Iran lately.

He even explains it in SHOUTING ALL CAPS.


He is ready to target 52 Iranian cultural sites.

Now where on earth is he going to find the locations of 52 Iranian cultural sites?

Oh.  Never mind.

Check the page views for the Wikipedia list of UNESCO sites.

Saturday – 825

Sunday – 7,423

Monday – 14,109

 
In other news, hackers may have taken down the FDLP site, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Federal_Depository_Library_Program&diff=934182851&oldid=934170619

But the redirect is still working and you can still link to think pieces like this one from 2016-2017, about military assessments in a supposed “post-primacy world”.

Looks like HuffPo already reviewed it (and it has been noted in other quarters, and pooh-poohed in others, who think America is still very dominant indeed) but IMO they picked the wrong paragraph to highlight. Given the NYT article that “The Pentagon also tacked on the choice of targeting General Suleimani, mainly to make other options seem reasonable.” and “When Mr. Trump chose the option of killing General Suleimani, top military officials, flabbergasted, were immediately alarmed…” I would have gone with the section on Presidential briefings on p. 87.

Preceding articulation of specific risk judgments outside of the Pentagon, defense and military senior leaders should skillfully integrate the foundational terms suggested by this report into all DoD’s communication with defense-focused communities of interest and practice. Once established as a common point of departure, the foundational terms of reference pave the way for a more sophisticated articulation of risk outside of DoD….

The six critical risk considerations captured under persistent dialogue described earlier in Section VI are also effective tools for communicating important risk considerations to key decision-makers outside of DoD. They are set up to specifically see an “if that, then this” relationship between specific defense and military actions or choices over the near-, mid-, and long-terms. They purposefully make side-by-side comparisons of red and blue relationships. Moreover, they do so specifically for both DoD and defense-interested senior leadership to understand the consequences of an increasingly diverse and dynamic challenge and response menu….

To the extent DoD senior leadership allows the post-primacy narrative to take hold, focuses risk assessment on adaptation, and frames internal and external communication in the context of succeeding in a hyper-competitive environment, the likelier it is that any significant DoD course corrections will survive scrutiny. Again, drawing on important insights from the study’s SRG, risk communication is “about the story.” The same SRG member concluded that DoD “need[s] to start explaining the story in a more compelling way.”

Yep, it’s them thar briefings.

This is really some kind of profound insight into the inner workings of our government, and maybe even explains the level of communications that occurred leading up to the missile attack that killed Suleimani. Yeah, maybe I better upload a copy of the PDF, just in case:

At our own peril – DoD Risk Assessment in a Post-Primacy World

Kathryn Lynn Davis

Kathryn Lynn Davis (born June 19, 1955)[4][5] is an American romance writer specializing in historical romances set in Scotland.

Between 1983 and 2001, Davis published eight historical fiction novels, including the New York Times bestseller Too Deep for Tears.

Contents

  • 1 Early career
  • 2 Success
  • 3 Personal life
  • 4 Selected awards
  • 5 Bibliography
    • 5.1 Historicals
      • 5.1.1 Historical romance
      • 5.1.2 Southern Gothic
    • 5.2 Contemporaries
      • 5.2.1 General fiction
      • 5.2.2 Romance
      • 5.2.3 Too Deep for Tears trilogy
      • 5.2.4 Dream Suite
    • 5.3 Anthologies
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links

Early career

Davis’s first book was Child of Awe, written in 1980 while she was studying for her Master’s exams, but it was the fourth book published.[4]

Instead she met an editor who wanted her to write a trilogy about the meat packing industry in North Dakota.  She ended up signing for the trilogy, and these were the first three books that were published.  She said she learned more about writing from these three books since she had to find a way to make other people’s ideas interesting.[4]

Her first published novel,  The Dakotas: At the Wind’s Edge was set in the town of Medora, North Dakota.  Davis received nationwide attention when the book was banned in that town. [4]

In the meantime her editor died, and another editor suggested she write a southern Gothic, which was Memories and Ashes.[4]

Success

At that time she renewed her acquaintance with Page Ashley, an editor who had loved Child of Awe, and they had a pivotal conversation about all the countries she loved: England, China, Scotland, and India.  Page jokingly suggested she combine them all. After talking four hours with her husband, Davis had the basis for Too Deep for Tears. Page was no longer an agent, but she connected Davis with Andrea Surrillo, who remains her agent to this day. After a year of working with editor Linda Marrow, the book was published as a hard cover and was a success.[4] It made the New York Times Best-seller List in 1990, and stayed at number five for seven weeks, selling more than five million copies.[7] 

The next book was Sing to Me of Dreams, written as an exercise.  Another book was started, as there was as yet no intention of a sequel to Too Deep for Tears, but it was shelved, and instead Davis wrote the sequel All We Hold Dear nonstop. The sequel was accepted by the publisher, and Davis kept writing.  Finally the book Somewhere Lies the Moon tied all the character lines from the other two books together.[4]

Davis had always had great confidence in her ability as a writer, that people would want to read her books, but by 1996, she had become unsure of herself, since her later books had not done as well as Too Deep for Tears, which people had found profoundly emotional.  She stopped writing for a year, but then turned to anthologies, as a low pressure way to write. Eventually several of her earlier books were republished as e-books.[4][7]

W_KATHRYN DAVIS_0405akfm.jpgIn 2000 Davis acquired the rights to her books from her publisher, but did not do anything with it for several years.  Eventually friends guided her through the process. She pays several hundred dollars to scan the books and for cover art. The books typically sell for $4.99 a copy and the publisher takes 30% of the purchase price. While  authors do have to do their own marketing – several historical romance novel colleagues have promoted Davis’s books – they also get more editorial control over the product. Davis’s first e-book, Child of Awe, was rewritten to make the original heroine more sympathetic, before coming out in 2014. Two of her books, “Too Deep for Tears” and “Child of Awe,” have been on Kindle best-seller lists.[7]

As Davis started republishing her old material, she remembered the passion that went into them.  “I feel happy and joyful again,” she told an interviewer at her home at the age of 59. “Never decide it’s the end.”[7]

Davis continues to teach creative writing at the University of California,  specializing in courses on works-in-progress for their extension program. She has taught university-level journalism and copyediting, and has presented workshops in public schools encouraging students to write. She has been a guest lecturer at the James Joyce Cultural Centre in Dublin, Ireland.[5]

Personal life

Davis was born in Riverside, California, where she still lives.  She has a sister and a brother who is a radio personality.[4]

Davis received a BA in English and history from the University of California, Riverside, graduating Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa.[2]. Later she received an MA in history from the same university with an emphasis in England, and minors in China and medieval Europe. A portion of Too Deep for Tears is set in historic China.[4]

Davis met her husband Michael at the University of California Riverside when she was an undergraduate student.  She was 18; he was 30 and had nearly completed a PhD in American literature. He was working as a scientific editor for one of her college professors, but started doing photography shortly after they married. Davis tried to work and write at the same time, but her writing suffered, and her husband encouraged her to write full time, and supported her financially while she did so.  As soon as Davis became successful as a writer, her husband was able to leave his editing job for photography.[4]

In the 8th grade Davis wrote two novels.  A friend was reading one of them in class and tears were streaming down her face.  This was when Davis realized she wanted to be a writer.  A second pivotal moment came in her teens when she saw a movie with a ghost piper in it, “Francis the Talking Mule & the Haunted Castle,” and on hearing the sound of the bagpipes, had a friend drive her to the library and checked out every book about Scotland.  This is where her love of Scotland came from.[4]

Heather Sullivan (l)

After the publication of Somewhere Lies the Moon, Davis went on tour with with singer/songwriter Heather Sullivan, who had written the song that inspired it, “Somewhere There Lies the Moon”.  The tour ended in Ireland, where Davis spent time touring with her husband.

Selected awards

  • 1989 – Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Historical Saga, Too Deep for Tears [1]
  • 1990 – New York Times bestseller list Too Deep For Tears [2]
  • 1994 – one of “40 Alumni Who Make A Difference” for the University’s 40th Anniversary[2]
  • University of California Riverside’s Creative Writing Alumni Award for Fiction[2]
  • 1999 – Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Historical Novel, Somewhere Lies the Moon[1]
  • RT Career Achievement Award for the Too Deep for Tears trilogy[2]

Bibliography

Historicals

Historical romance

  1. Child of Awe (1987)
  2. Too Deep for Tears (1989)
  3. Sing to me of Dreams (1990)
  4. All We Hold Dear (1995)
  5. Somewhere Lies the Moon (1999)
  6. The Endless Sky (2001)
  7. Highland Awakening (2016)
  8. A Tear for Memory (2016)
  9. Once Upon a Highland Glen (2019)

Southern Gothic

  1. Memories and Ashes (1985)[5]

Contemporaries

General fiction

  • The First Thanksgiving (2010)
  • Wake Up! Wake Up! (2011)
  • Weave for Me a Dream (2017)

Romance

  1. Dakota Series: At the Wind’s Edge (1983)[5][6]
  2. Dakota Series: The Endless Sky (1984)[5][6]

Too Deep trilogy

(or “Victorian Trilogy”)

  1. Too Deep for Tears
  2. All We Hold Dear
  3. Somewhere Lies the Moon
  4. A Tear for Memory , novella (prequel) published in Highland Winds: the Scrolls of Cridhe (2014)
  5. Highland Awakening , novella (prequel) published in Highland Flames (2015)

Dream Suite

  1. Sing to Me of Dreams (1990, 2016)
  2. Weave for Me a Dream (Volume 2) (2017)

Anthologies

  •  “Clouds Across the Moon,” short story, Mother (1996), ed. Claudia O’Keefe: an anthology of short stories and poems by authors including Maya Angelou, Amy Tan, Joyce Carole Oates, Barbara Kingsolver, et al. [3]
  • A Tear for Memory (novella), Highland Winds: The Scrolls of Cridhe, historical novellas set in Scotland, along with Ceci Giltenan, Tarah Scott, Lily Baldwin, Suzan Tisdale, Sue-Ellen Welfonder, and Kate Robbins.[4]
  • Highland Awakening, Highland Flames: Guardians of Cridhe, (2015), with above authors, including Victoria Zak.
  • Child of Awe, Highland Charm: First Fantasies,  a collection of paranormal historicals, (2015) full-length novels written by Kathryn Lynn Davis, April Holthaus, Victoria Zak, and Dawn Marie Hamilton.Also on Captured Hearts and Stolen Kisses.
  • Highland Heartthrobs and  Snowswept Moors, along with Ceci Giltenan, Lily Baldwin, Emma Prince and Parris Afton Bonds.

References

External links

Romance meltdown

[NSFW.]

Romance novels may be a billion dollar business, but this week the Romance Writers of America, an organization formed to provide networking and support to writers, embarked on a path of self-destruction.

The main players in this are writers Courtney Milan and Kathryn Lynn Davis.

Courtney Milan is the pen name for Heidi Bond, a 40-ish best-selling author and former law professor who went to Berkeley and clerked for two Supreme Court justices.  She has 44.2K followers on Twitter.

Kathryn Lynn Davis, in her 60’s, writes romances set in Scotland.  She went to community college, does not seem to have any social media presence, and is not even notable enough to have a Wikipedia article.  Google does say she once received something called a Kafka award. oops, no, this was Kathryn Davis in Vermont, – definitely NOT the same person.

The first round was fired by Courtney Milan, who called one of Davis’s books, first published 30 years ago, a “fucking racist mess”.

Milan later said she did not realize the book was written 30 years ago, and admits she has not read the book, but defended the practice, which she referred to as “dunking on”. To “dunk on” someone is to “best them in a spectacular way that is humiliating to them”.

Davis claimed she lost a three-year book contract as a result.

By now Davis is 64 years old.  She dropped out of writing about 20 years ago, then reappeared looking fragile, joking about being medically challenged, and posing for pictures with a pill container. Her husband, if he is still alive, would be 76.  These days she only writes a few short stories for anthologies.

Milan was sanctioned by the writers’ organization, but went on the offensive with some ALL CAPS in-your-face language.

Her Twitter followers came to her defense with more f-bombs and a #Istandwithcourtney hashtag.

The rest you can google for yourself — the story has already made the rounds of the New York Post and New York Times, and has now been noticed on the other side of the pond by the Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/dec/31/romance-novel-industry-uproar-discipline-author-racist-courtney-milan

Milan explains how it is all about race:

“People saw it as an attempt to silence marginalized people,” Milan said. “Doing this to me seemed like a message that if it could happen to me, it could happen to anyone, and everyone needed to shut up.”

Milan is claiming on Twitter to be part Chinese. 

Also, beating people up is a Good Thing.

Julie Chen eye surgery.

What she objected to in the book was the phrase “almond eyes” (see also “Why Do We Describe Asian Eyes As ‘Almond-Shaped’?”) as well as a description by an elder Chinese woman of being taught as a child to lower her eyes in the presence of men.  (see about eye contact in China 1, 2, 3, )

Courtney Milan

Chart: google ngram viewer

None of this is as yet in her Wikipedia article.

So how does Milan respond to concerns about other marginalized people?  Is it okay to refer to people with labels they themselves consider to be slurs?

Oopsie.



If you do a twitter search for “courtneymilan” and “terf” or “cis”, or even “lesbian”, there’s a whole lot more where that came from.

If there is any doubt how this type of language is being used to dehumanize and justify violence, see https://terfisaslur.com/ or https://www.reddit.com/r/terfisaslur/

And a final defense of “trans woman” Gregor Murray.



So not only is this Courtney person a really big potty mouth, it looks like she hasn’t done her homework about these other issues.  Which calls into question how she got into these high profile positions in the first place, if she is so disadvantaged, and why if she is so smart, is she not still still clerking in the Supreme Court or teaching law school instead of playing Mean Girls on Twitter with her little brat pack.


And they pick someone who is aging, and hasn’t been active for years, picking up a few contracts here and there on their old name recognition. Circular firing squad, going after the old guard, and with a bunch of disrespectful and sexualized language. Is that how they talk to their mothers and grandmothers?

Update: Now this is starting to make more sense,

“Because of those chapters and their dues-paying members, it has about $3 million in the bank…”

…and Ms. Milan is even now reading up on the bylaws and drumming up a petition to recall the newly-elected president.  As far as the “secretive process outside the organization’s normal ethics procedures”, Ms. Milan was the head of the ethics committee that normally does investigations, and she was the one under investigation — you don’t get to investigate yourself, even if you clerked for the Supreme Court. Which kinda explains why they can’t come up with a reasonable explanation for the “white supremacist” thing, outside of acting outraged and throwing around some f-bombs. But that unfortunately is American politics these days, throw enough mud and maybe some of it will stick. But keep your eye on that $3 million, and see if they are able to pull off a Sad Puppies revolt.

Another update: Here is some more background, this apparently has a huge political backstory, of a third person retweeting Trump stuff in their timeline, and something about ownership of a publishing company that was about to publish the (now former) president’s new book.  This is towards the end of the Metafilter thread.  The backdrop is a history of party politics, the “Reno nightmare” alluded to at the time Nora Roberts quit the organization after backing down as emcee moments before the convention started, is talked about in detail here. [archived]