18 March 2023

Slowly Recovering From Daylight Savings Time

I haven't waved a machete with blood dripping from it (O+ only) at a sidewalk solicitor in more than three days. Well, ignoring the time change.

  • Once again, publishers are deflecting attention from their own lack of diversity by employing outside sensitivity readers instead of:

    • Developing expertise and experience in-house that is not derived from white upper- and upper-middle-class backgrounds;
    • Realizing that the "correct" decision for a long-ago-published book that requires too much editing to make it "fashionably acceptable" today is to just continue to publish the older edition (since, through their disreputable negotiation process, they've grabbed the rights for the life of the copyright);
    • If even that risks offending too many people (because someone will almost always be offended somehow, somewhen — which is not to say that offensiveness is to be encouraged, only that it is in some sense inevitable), consider removing it from the catalog and returning the rights to the author/successor;
    • Remember that although commercial publishing is commercial, part of the First Amendment (or, in other nations, whatever passes for a freedom of speech imperative) rent (the economic concept, and whether it's Ricardian or non-Ricardian, or perhaps both, is a tough question) is that sometimes the protections of free speech have a commercial cost;
    • More than one of the above.
  • "Rent" like general support for the arts — not forgetting support for the arts infrastructure, like theatres but not like TicketBastard. And perhaps not imperialistically determining that a no-context location several thousand kilometers away is the "rightful" place to display stolen merchandise. Of course, as my late friend Harlan Ellison said, they could always pay the writer — and believe me, that was the toned-down version of that rant. Or musician… leaving aside, for the moment, payment for the composers…
  • But at least that's actually productive writing. It could be critical theory (which was more about getting tenure and getting promoted to full professor than it ever was about actually thinking about some of the hard questions raised by unpacking contexts and assumptions).
  • One rather delicious bit of schadenfreude from the recent Silicon Valley banking issues is that neo-Falangista/antiregulation/antigovernment/cryptolibertarian Peter Thiel is one of the uninsured depositors being backstopped by the federal government.
  • Over across the Pond, marginally-educated footballers like Gary Lineker and Marcus Rashford, MBE, are demonstrating that they're far more aware of the world, and willing to speak out about it, than the public-school toffs running His Majesty's Government (damn, I started typing "Her Majesty's Government" by reflex there) and their cronies installed at the BBC. Apparently, being educated at either Heathfield or Eton was insufficient to understand what professional athletes did. Bluntly, in substance both Lineker and Rashford were correct in their protests. Linekers' "mistake" was in sticking up for dirty foreigners, unlike Rashford sticking up for children; that's why Lineker suffered a "consequence" and Rashford ascended to the Queen's Birthday Honours List.
  • Dear Karens' Bruncherie: Please remind your customers — especially those driving very-recently-registered Alfa Romeos (like the one who inspired this note) — that this is a residential neighborhood with lots of mass transit and not much parking. And that a narrow driveway entrance is not a parking spot, even (or especially) if the resident is out grocery shopping when your customer pulls up and blocks that driveway to enjoy the $27 omelette special (toast, hash browns, and juice extra).