Thursday, October 15, 2009

Trans Relative New Yorker Cartoon

To Kindle or not to Kindle

Notes to a friend on the Kindle and ebooks in general.

Today's Talk of the Nation was all about the e-book revolution. Tina Brown (Time, Vanity Fair and now The Daily Beast) Is starting up a new publishing company that will offer all it's books as ebooks first and foremost. She explained that the traditional time line for book development and publication is making "real" books obsolete because of the quickening pace of our culture. By the time a writer thinks of an idea, writes the book, sends it to a publisher, gets it approved and that publisher gets the book to the shelves years have passed. By that time an idea could have percolated thru the culture and become irrelevant.
Her new venture will be called Beast Books and she is going to be publishing lots of new kinds of ebooks, shorter and more like expanded magazine format (ie: the New Yorker) as well as standard length books. They will be available online quickly and for a relatively small cost.($5-$10) She mentioned that Phillip Roth has a new book coming out (applause from this fan) and she was able to read the book on one cross country flight. Her goal is to provide a similar high quality, readily available and culturally relevant product. Now I'm really excited about buying a Kindle! I do love my books and I will always have old timey books in my house.... going thru my books reminds me of how I cherished those volumes and how they changed me as a person. Infact.. I'm planning a book shelf just for books written by the Kennedy Family in my new place. ALSO: Kindle type ebooks allow for indexes and footnotes that by nature aren't available with audio books. But one has to wonder if the next generation will even care about the written word on real paper. Should we even care about that if the trade off is that the personal and cultural absorption of ideas and knowledge goes to warp speed? Are we on the verge of a "intellectual revolution" that will rival the industrial revolution in it's eventually explosive effect on our society? The consequences boggle the mind! I wish I was going to be here for another 50 years to witness it!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Boston is Grieving

Here's is a link to the most watched Boston news station's website. From here you can watch great local coverage of the wake and funeral of Senator Ted Kennedy. I am too emotional right now to post a full blog. Maybe it's because every Kennedy funeral brings back the funeral of JFK when I was 10 years old. Those scars are opened every time another Kennedy dies.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Lesbians and Transmen. Fetish?

I am a member of an online group for transman,their allies, friends and lovers. On that site I moderate a group for transmen and lesbians. The following post is a one of my responses in a forum discussion about relationships between transmen (female to male transgenders) and lesbians. Two previous posters used the words fetish and creepy when speculating on why lesbians might be attracted to transmen.

My response from today.....
Thanks so much Sean for your well thought out reply. It gave me a chance to put my thoughts together because it s a perfect example of what I was alluding to when I posted this subject to the forum.

I must object to the use of the word fetish when talking about lesbians and transmen. Why is that word absent in discussions about gay men and transmen? Het women and transmen? I also challenge the use of the word "only". I have been active in the trans positive community for 10 years and I haven't come across anyone who seeks out transwomen or transmen exclusively for sex or LTR. I'm sure they are out there but they are not common. I must add that I would defend thier right to have consensual sex and relationships with anyone they chose to (as do you). That being said the use of the word fetish in this context and conversation is marginalizing and suggests that the desires of one group of people are suspect and that of other groups of people are not. When this word is used it is almost always targeted at a group of people by someone who is not attracted sexually to that particular group. (ex: Gay men about lesbians, Het men about queers and dykes about het men etc) We are less likely to objectify and marginalize someone we are hot for.
This line of thought leaves out one undeniable fact. Queer women are in bed with transmen because there is mutual attraction on many levels. Isn't that the great equalizer being ignored here? The transmen I have known and or loved adore women, be they lesbian, bi or st8. In addition, they don't want give up their LGBT membership cards. They still consider themselves part of the community even tho they dodge lots of "friendly fire" coming from that community.

I'd like to tell Armand and those who share his opinion of me... I have been a dyke, queer and outsider since I was a tyke in the sandbox. I have become accustomed to the greater society labeling me and my way of loving as "creepy". It's just so disturbing when the these attacks come people I still consider my allies. I'm grateful this forum gives me the opportunity to speak out.

Transmen and Friends is a site closed to non members. The general public cannot read this disscussion stream but if you would like to become a member you can go to the main page of the site to apply.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Photos of Nantasket Beach and Harbor Islands

Memorial Day at Nantasket Beach: Rainsford Island

I had a wonderful afternoon in Hull. Nantasket Beach is 45 minutes from my house. I took Gwen (the enchanted corgi) with me and she SO enjoyed it. After walking on the beach and taking photos of the old Paragon Amusement Park buildings, honky tonk board walk and carousel I drove out to the part of Hull that projects out into Boston Harbor. It's where the fishermen and the townies live. I love standing at the very end looking across the water at the Boston sky line. I took photos of Boston light and several of the Harbor Islands. One of the islands is named after a fellow Rainsford. There's not many of us around anymore. The following quote is from the Boston Globe. August 2001.

Rainsford Island, just off Boston, was named for one of earliest recorded settlers, Edward Rainsford, who had a farm there as early as 1636. In 1819, the Old Mansion House was built on the Great Head of Rainsford Island. Due to the structure of the house it was also known as the Grecian Temple. For many years thereafter, this was the chief summer resort on the island.

After his first wife, Mary, died in June 1632, probably as a result of complications in giving birth to twins, he remarried to Elizabeth, who on 15 December 1633 was "admitted to Boston Church." She died 16 November 1688.

As the story goes... a descendant of Edward and Mary, also named Edward, became a wealthy merchant later in Boston's Calvinist period. His wife was charged and convicted of heresy for conducting bible study in their home. The Calvinist Church Pastor objected to her teaching the bible because she was encouraging people to have a direct relationship with God... unencumbered by the Pastor who was consider the intermediary for his flock. For this Mrs Rainsford was banished to the wilds of Rhode Island. Edward left his business holdings and went with her. A true act of love when RI was a uncharted....

I love me a rebellious woman and the man who would stand by her. My descendants came to Boston in 1900 from Ireland but I like to think I share a common ancestry with a brave heretic.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions. Just sayin....

All the talk on the political left and the political right about what is and what is not torture can give one the impression that there is some debate on the subject. There is no debate. The United States is one of 194 countries who are signers of The Geneva Conventions which where developed beginning in 1863 to define what is humane and legal treatment of prisoners of war.

Question: Has the USA under the leadership of George Bush tortured prisoners of war? Read on and decide for yourself.

Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions

In the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each Party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following provisions:
(1) Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed 'hors de combat' by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.
To this end, the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:
(a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;
(b) taking of hostages;
(c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment;
(d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.
(2) The wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for.
An impartial humanitarian body, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, may offer its services to the Parties to the conflict.
The Parties to the conflict should further endeavour to bring into force, by means of special agreements, all or part of the other provisions of the present Convention.
The application of the preceding provisions shall not affect the legal status of the Parties to the conflict.