Brainwashing with a Smile

Students required to smile at Pennsylvania school — or get sent to the office (New York Daily News) I was not in the target demographic for Bill Nye the Science Guy when it first started airing in 1993, and even if I had been, I still wasn’t in the mood to hear anything about science while I was in the middle of a string of science teachers who could most charitably be described as megalomaniacal assholes. More to the point, having grown up in that era of…

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The Toner Prices Are Too Damn High

Although I try to write as much as I can every day, some days, and some years, just turn out better for me in that regard. At the beginning of 2010, when I was in the middle of a period of peak productivity (including writing the short story that would eventually become my first novel, The Prostitutes of Lake Wiishkoban), I quickly realized that my old inkjet printer was costing me a mint as I kept replacing ink cartridge after ink cartridge when they ran out.…

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Being Offended is the First Step

Comic Michelle Wolf Responds To Backlash: ‘I’m Glad I Stuck To My Guns’ (npr.org) The legendary British comedian (and bibliophile with unspeakably good taste in novels) Stephen Fry has a famous quote about people saying they’re offended by other people, which comes from a 2005 interview in The Guardian about his researching of his Jewish ancestry. Anyone who’s spent any significant amount of time on social media has probably seen the quote multiple times, and its popularity when it comes to image treatment has made it…

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First They Take Our Money

Colorado GOP threatens to  throw teachers in jail for going on strike (shareblue.com) Want to Be a ‘Volunteer Adjunct’? Southern Illinois U. is Hiring (Chronicle of Higher Education) One of the most annoying and nonsensical arguments that some conservatives make is that left-wingers shouldn’t use anything that they’re opposed to in efforts to further their own ends. These bloviations usually go along the lines of, “Oh, you say you don’t like big corporations? Well, your smartphone was made by a corporation, dur hur hur. If you…

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Both Ways, Always

Trump, Putin talked comparative beauty of hookers in phone call (Yahoo!) Trump Just Signed SESTA/FOSTA, a Law Sex Workers Say Will Literally Kill Them (Vice) Whenever you’re trying to sell any piece of writing, you want to market it as being timely for when it will be published. Back when magazines only existed in print versions, this often meant trying to sell winter-based articles in the summer and vice versa (due to long “lead times” between the editorial cycle and publication), and although online publications…

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