Lately, I’ve been losing sleep, dreaming about the things that we could be… – One Republic, Counting Stars
Counting stars. Lucky ones, that we’re not living in The Reich as imagined by Harry Turtledove in “Shtetl Days.” But also gold ones, on the coats of men like Turtledove’s Veit Harlan, or worn by Billy Joel in memory of pogroms past and a white supremacy rally in Charlottesville that never should have been.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the Judenstern (Jew’s star), and how a symbol of religious and cultural identity got turned into a badge of shame. I’ve been thinking a lot, too, about who did that and why, and the way the Trump administration makes scarlet letters and gold stars and pink triangles things of the present instead of things that never should’ve been — at least not the way they are. Identity and identification aren’t the same thing, but suddenly they seem to be, at least in the sense that without documentation — of citizenship, for example — an immigrant doesn’t exist, or becomes illegal. Or in the sense that dark skin is used identify a young man as Other, a monster, and in the eyes some with authority, that is his whole identity as well. Read On
So, hey, first things first. Alisa Schreibman is the same person as Allie Berg. Allie’s just a pseudonym for those super-racy romances I probably won’t be writing many more of.
“Hamsa, Hamsa, Hamsa, Tfu, Tfu, Tfu,” is a story I wrote that was included in the anthology, Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling that was published last year when I was too crazy to post about it. The kick-ass cover links to Amazon, where you can buy it. The title up there links to Apex Books, who published it, with all the other links where you can buy it. Read On
This boudoir photography celebrates the eroticism of Orthodox marriages, using sensuality and suggestion rather than blatant sexual imagery. What’s off-limits in public–even wearing the hair uncovered–becomes a beautiful gift when appropriately shared in private.
While I’ve got problems with the treatment of women in Orthodox Judaism, the photographs in these articles have an appealing gentleness. You can feel that the photographers revere the trust being put in them and care that their results please their clients on a spiritual level. Read On
People had been raving about Gail Carriger’s books for years by the time I got around to reading Soulless. I’d started it several times and put it down, just not particularly interested in the characters. I decided to give it another try after reading Meljean Brooks’s Iron Seas steampunk (two of them this year, some last). Kay Hooper’s Stealing Shadows fell into my lap when a friend started talking about a character from the series. Read On
by Peggy McIntosh
“White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools, and blank checks.”
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“In unpacking this invisible knapsack of white privilege, I have listed conditions of daily experience that I once took for granted. Nor did I think of any of these perquisites as bad for the holder. I now think that we need a more finely differentiated taxonomy of privilege, for some of these varieties are only what one would want for everyone in a just society, and others give license to be ignorant, oblivious, arrogant, and destructive. Read On