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Sidetracks is a collaborative project featuring various essays, videos, reviews, or other Internet content that we want to share with each other. All past and current links for the Sidetracks project can be found in our Sidetracks tag.




text that says Jodie's Section

➝ The Smithsonian features 'Ten Historic Female Scientists You Should Know About'.

I read Tracey Chevalier's book 'Remarkable Creatures' which was partly about Mary Anning and I remember learning about Barbara McClintock's studies of maize, but all the other female scientists are new to me.

➝ The Rejectionist wrote a 'Dear Superior Person..." post in answer to a link on the Bookslut blog, which I sent her. It is awesome in both its fury and its acceptance of the need to rage about everything.

I probably spend too much time thinking about anger these days, specifically about anger and reconciliation (as you can probably tell from the way my reviews and comments are bending these days) and also anger as a political force. Seriously, if you want to hear me go on, just introduce the topic of anger. I suspect it’s why I’ve started linking to more anti-capitalist pieces recently, because sometimes it seems to me that the anti-capitalist movement still allows space for public anger about everything, while other political communities can struggle with that idea now.

It is wearying to hear the many ways in which people dismiss political anger. Your anger has to be about the big things, or it is trivial and pathetic. Your anger is preformative, rather than sincere. Your anger is going to fuck everything up for everyone else. Your anger is not worth it, let it go. It is naive to be angry — don’t you know, little girl, that everyone else got past anger years ago! Your anger is the problem here.

And I get the reasoning behind some of these statements, I do. People listen better if you’re not screaming in their internet face. At the same time, anger is so powerful; it’s part of what brings people to political action and plays a vital role in cultivating empathy? Yet all that positive stuff and all that necessary stuff about anger (sometimes you just need to shout or capslock) is swept away. Anger end up described as entirely negative and (most important in shutting down angry responses) unproductive, probably directed at something stupid and destructive. I would kind of like to see honest discussions open up about anger. Like Renay told me once, emotions – we all have them.

➝ Ana I think you will like reading Teju Cole’s recent article at Flavorwire about Kony 2012 and the White Savior Industrial Complex. It clearly shows the problem with the recent ‘Invisible Children’ project and calls people to ‘think constellationally’ about the reasons behind social injustice. Very smart.

The Aurealis Awards (Australian SF/F and horror awards) have released their shortlists and there are lots of female authors among the finalists.




text that says Renay's Section

It's been a week, that's for sure. My OTW-related life exploded and my team manager at $dayjob has been gone and I met with a mortgage broker and life. Thanks for carrying me over the finish line content-wise, Jodie. ♥

➝ Fanfiction is getting a lot of play recently thanks to Fifty Shades of Gray (if you don't know what that is, I can't tell you how glad I am that you don't). I did a lot of catch up reading, starting with The Practice of Fanfiction, which led me to Dear Author's series on fanfiction which led me to annoyance and despair. I get people outside the community need to have the 101 discussion a few times, but we're approaching iteration 946254926748263 at this point and I would like to move on. Thankfully, Aja had some Opinions about that series, and maybe it's obvious by now that I have a thing with Aja's Opinions. Is that a ship? Is there going to be fanfic of this?

Her series is over at Manga Bookshelf, and here's what available now:


Interview with Levar Burton:
First of all, as a student of culture and popular culture and the impact that it has on us all, I know this to be true: Seeing yourself represented in the popular culture is really critical in terms of forming your own self image.


➝ Paolo Bacigalupi had an article in Kirkus titled The Invisible Dystopia. The article was simple and straightforward, though. It was a comment that got me:
But this really rubbed me the wrong way and seemed backwards to me. I agree that these are tough times for queer youth, but a lot of queer youth that I see also seem really delighted with their lives and don't need to be categorized in the role of victim. Shipbreakers features a lot of characters of color. You could use the same argument to say that black youth in the USA are being discriminated against and shot down in real life, so they already live in a dystopia and why would you want to read about them, and that only by writing a story where white people are the victims of racism could you open the eyes of our true target audience, white kids, to the nature of racism. Doesn't that sound bananas?


It misses the fundamental thrust of his argument. In oppressive societies and situations, there can still be personal happiness and success for people who are in these groups. Cultural situations and systems that seek to hold us down impact our personal happiness, but we are varied people with excellent abilities to compartmentalize and live our lives reaching ever upwards for a better way to be. People can be victimized without losing their other qualities. People can victimized and be happy in their personal lives. People can be victimized and still be fully realized people. Pretending that happy people aren't victims of a system as insidious as the one Bacigalupi mentions is to pretend the system doesn't exist; that's more dangerous than the system itself.




The Further Adventures of Lady Business


This week, Ana reviewed Cereus Blooms at Night by Shani Mootoo, Girls to the Front by Sara Marcus and Global Women, edited by Barbara Ehrenreich and Arlie Russell Hochschild.
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Welcome to Lady Business!

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Renay is a long time member of slash fandom and nerdfighteria who stumbled into book blogging by accident and decided she liked arguing with herself at length and in capslock — it was all downhill from there. more? » about.me icon twitter icon pinboard icon tumblr icon

Ana is a reader who’s been blogging about books since early 2007. After several abandoned career paths, she decided to become a librarian and currently works for a large public library system. more? » twitter icon tumblr icon last.fm icon

By day Jodie is one of those evil marketers you're always hearing about. In fact she’s an evil British marketer and probably the inspiration for the next Bond villain. more? » tumblr icon last.fm icon

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