Thursday Link Dump

Clever Manka, · Categories: Thursday Link Dump

Legend from Eleanor Lutz’s map of Venus.

A topographic map of the goddesses of Venus.

I feel like I link everything Ijeoma Oluo writes, but here’s another one, sorry not sorry.

If you are just now feeling the urgency of the need to fight systemic racism, chances are, you are white. I know, I know — I’m starting off with blanket assumptions about you and that doesn’t feel good; you literally don’t have to tell me about it, I’m quite familiar! But seriously, you are probably white or white passing (yes, I’m aware that Ben Carson and Lil Wayne exist and some people of color are capable of holding on to baffling amounts of denial, but I do not have whatever power it would take to break through that level of delusion so let’s just stick with new white folk). I’ve written down this handy list of things that you’ve missed so far that you’re going to need to catch up on, on your own time. This knowledge and preparation will not only make your fight against racism more effective, it will allow us to continue our progress as you catch up.

A nice long read on Rebecca Solnit. Speaking of the author of the essay “Men who explain things” (which probably kicked off the term), have an article that covers a bit of the history as well as the translation of mansplain in 34 languages.

I think the author of this article missed a great opportunity to title it “Making Change” but oh well.

Levitt’s research project ended long ago. The data is in, the takeaway clear: Those who were told to go and who made the leap—who quit the job, left the relationship, had the children—were better off. Those who challenged the status quo of their lives were “substantially happier than those who do not make a change,” Levitt writes. This was true for almost every dilemma, and even more so for the obviously consequential ones. It was true after two months and it was true after six months. And so, Levitt concludes that “people may be excessively cautious when facing life-changing choices.”

I’ll never watch the opening scene of Disney’s Beauty and Beast the same way again.

Sending this article about That Time You Failed to Follow Up on Diversity to every man I know because ACCURATE.

Let’s talk about the biggest elephant in the room. The one where we accept the broken, fucked up system that we ask women and people of color to endure. And then we extend it. Not through a small handful of misogynistic bros who want to talk about the developer with the fine ass. Rather, by the complacency of people who would otherwise swear up and down about how they are making the world a better place. How they would love to help the cause, roll up their sleeves, and put in the work.

If only they could find the time.

A group of Indian women sent a rocket to Mars for less than it cost to make the movie The Martian.

If you’re sufficiently inspired by Tonika Johnson’s use of photography to fight racism (and other -isms of this day and age), check out this article for tips on re-thinking how you frame and edit your shots.

I was introduced to my new favorite YouTube channel, Ask A Mortician, in good time for me to find this article about death and cremation (it’s not recent, but it’s very good). It also ties in with these skull decorations for fire pits that many people have sent me (which makes me so happy–it’s like you all know me!).

Just because you’re a woman doesn’t mean you can’t be an asshole.

Perhaps of interest to only me and three others here? Using Semagic to download/archive your LJ scrapbook.

74 Responses to “Thursday Link Dump”

  1. meat_lord says:

    Good roundup! I'm looking at a slow day today, so I should have time to peruse these.

  2. vladazhael says:

    Guys, I need good vibes for the next 90+ minutes for a super secret project of utmost importance for which luck is a factor. I will give details later.

  3. vladazhael says:


    I got Hamlet tickets. 2nd row. I will be that close to Oscar Isaac. OMG.

    Thank you for the vibes, you are mighty!

  4. damngoodcoffee says:

    The last line of that piece on Solnit jfc. No kidding.

    Love the Beauty and the Beast piece too. The only version of that story I really love is Robin McKinley's Sunshine.

    • vladazhael says:

      Wait, was it Sunshine or Beauty? I remember Sunshine being a vampire thing (though also pretty great).

      • CleverManka says:

        Beauty was the first one she wrote based on the fairy tale, and Rose Daughter came out in 1997. ETA: Whoops! 1998 according to Amazon.

      • damngoodcoffee says:

        Beauty was more clearly based on Beauty and the Beast, but I think of Sunshine as telling the same type of story in a lot of ways.

        • vladazhael says:

          Ah, okay. I can definitely see that, which is why I wasn't sure if it was a mistake (given the existence of the other two) or a comparison you intended.

  5. Absotively says:

    The top comment on the Beauty and the Beast piece is also really good. And it provides a suitable warning for the rest of the comments!

    • Fancy_Pants says:


      Can anyone clearly explain to me why internet dudes get so particularly angry about cultural/literary criticism? They don't seem to disagree with the content per se, in the way of having a discussion/debate about the author's thesis, they just seem APPALLED and OFFENDED at the concept of someone being critically engaged with another person's work. Why tho?

      • CleverManka says:

        Because…men suck?

      • Absotively says:

        I think maybe it's the idea that there's something they didn't notice themselves? It's like they expect that they will have picked up on and analysed every single detail worth noticing when they watched or played or read a thing, and so if someone talks about something they didn't notice, that person must be either bringing up points that are unimportant or calling them stupid.

        • Fancy_Pants says:

          UGHHHH, there really are no answers to that question that won't make me want to lock myself in a dark room, are there?

        • CleverManka says:

          I've never seen that so well-articulated before. Thank you.

        • damngoodcoffee says:

          This makes so much sense re:whenever I have seen Joss Whedon's works criticized on the internet and the subsequent angry reactions to any such criticism.

          Also I think they're just resistant to change; they want to be gatekeepers.

  6. Fancy_Pants says:

    Ooh that life change article. OOOH. What do you guys think? Is it really always better to Do The Thing?

    I've been thinking lately that I should move to a new city. Ostensibly for better career options, but honestly it's because I have this vague feeling that it's uncool to spend my entire adult life in the same place and I should throw caution to the wind and make a change! But I really really love where I'm living now. It's livable and affordable and cool and by the ocean and I have an awesome friend group and music community and it's only a few hours away from my and my partner's parents.

    How can you tell the difference between being ready for a change and stupid FOMO? Or the difference between being complacent and genuinely happy?

    Should I just get a tattoo and call it a day?

    • vladazhael says:

      I'd get the tattoo and call it a day. There are different versions of Doing The Thing; the important part is to do the one that seems most genuine to you, which in your case sounds like staying near your friends and the ocean. Sure, staying in the same place might not have the sheen of external coolness, but packing up and having to rebuild your friend group and community is difficult in ways that we don't have a lot of social vocabulary for. Having left friends and family behind in several successive places as I've moved around, I've found that I've never gotten to go back and visit as much as I intended, and it takes years and luck for me to establish a healthy social life in a new place.

      • CleverManka says:


        I don't think it's always better to change, but the times in my life where I've been miserable and had to eventually change something, I've always thought "gee, why didn't I change sooner?"

      • Fancy_Pants says:

        SUCH an important consideration. Making friends is a very long term process for both me and my partner.

        The desire for the "sheen of external coolness" might just be a hint to myself that I'm unsatisfied with *something*, and could use some introspecting rather than distracting myself with an enormous life change.

        Everyone's responses to this were SO great. Thanks for letting me think out loud here!

    • littleinfinity says:

      How can you tell the difference between being ready for a change and stupid FOMO? Or the difference between being complacent and genuinely happy?

      I have no idea but if you figure this out pleeeeease let me know :/

      • Fancy_Pants says:

        Whew, so glad I'm not the only one looking around at the world being like "Make decisions? How? Spreadsheets maybe?"

      • CleverManka says:

        I try to think about how I'd feel if *whatever aspect* was the same in five years. Does that thought make me feel pleased, comforted, or *insert positive emotion here*? Things are good. No need to change if I don't want to. If it makes me feel disappointed, antsy, or *insert negative emotion here*, time to start looking at options for change!

        Contentment =/= Complacency. It's okay to be content! Sometimes it does take some discussion (with yourself or others–or both!) to figure out which one applies in a certain circumstance. We're so unused to making up our minds about our desires because we (women especially) aren't taught how to know what we want. We're so used to being told what we should and shouldn't want.

        • littleinfinity says:

          I meant to reply to this yesterday – thank you for the “in five years” suggestion, I've been mulling over that this morning and I think it's a useful tool for getting some perspective.  Would I be ok at the same job in five years?  NOPE. I think part of what gets me with regard to contentment/ complacency is this idea that things can be “good enough”, but “good enough” can have a lot of layers of meaning depending on the exact situation and the time frame.  Like, is my job good enough for the next few months? Sure. But then there's a point at which a few months turns into a year, turns into two years, and I guess it's that slow creep of “good enough for now” that I'm trying to avoid or reverse in a lot of aspects of my life (productivity, exercise, creative pursuits, work, etc etc). It seems that contentment can turn into complacency in slow and insidious ways sometimes. Anyway, thank you, and I have much to consider.

          • CleverManka says:

            Yay! I'm happy I could help. And yeah, the difference between "good enough for now" and "good enough for always" is enormous. I hope your considerations lead you to someplace wonderful.

    • Lee Thomson says:

      So I am a wuss, and I produced a child we call Episilon girl because in math epsilion is the smallest possible change, and I want to say that you can make small changes, or make temporary changes, and try things out in different ways… so like, household upheaval across the country might not be for everyone, but extended vacations in different places and asking real estate people about those new places – that is totally a doable thing. But I am hesitant and slow to change (when I say this my friends scoff, but they don't see the agonizing and aggravation BEFORE I change) and I like knowing things about what comes next.

      Personally the only move I would make from here would be CLOSER to the ocean, so your words there, they make no sense to me.

      also can we both get tats? I am in need of a tattoo, I have never done this before and I am 56 and old enough, dammit.

      • vladazhael says:

        1) I'm with you on the closer to the ocean thing.

        2) I bought my dad his first tattoo for his 64th birthday, and he just got his second and has more planned. In your case, I say Do The Thing!

        • Lee Thomson says:

          I need a tattoo that is bear, sailing and north star – or some combination – any suggestions? I really really love the dot work things I've seen, that are so lacey and gorgeous.

          • Rillquiet says:

            A compass rose and the Big Dipper, maybe? They're oblique references to bears, sailing, and Polaris, rather than literal ones, so that might fit the bill. But my inked friends say that if you've got just a concept and no clear picture, it's worth finding an artist whose work and personality you like. You'll probably have to pay consultation fees, because artists' time is valuable, but if you're trying to flesh out a concept, that could help you narrow it down.

          • vladazhael says:

            ^ This. Ask around for good artists in your area and consult with them.

          • Lee Thomson says:

            yes, both of those have crossed my mind

            I did not know you could just walk in with no clear idea, and get help like that. Consulting! Brilliant!

      • Fancy_Pants says:

        This is perfect. Thank you for this. Also "Epsilon Girl" would be a great name for a lovely soft sci-fi short story, but having a child is basically the biggest possible change!

        YES to tats. I am legitimately ready to pull the trigger on that. Let's do it! The epsilon symbol would make a great tattoo, just sayin…

        • Lee Thomson says:

          yes the child herself (now 23 – yikes!?!) was indeed the largest possible change, but all her milestones have passed through the accumulation of tiny tiny tiny increments

          I never thought of a story title! When in Calculus her boyfriend's teacher said "now we are going to look at episilon" and the boy says "oh, I know her, she's nice" which is one of my favorite things.

    • jenavira says:

      Man, I wish I knew. I struggled through this a couple years ago, getting a job offer (for less pay, for more work, in a town that…is substantially more conservative than where I live, but in a part of the world I'd love to live in) and turning it down and I still wonder sometimes if I did the right thing. I am reassured by the fact that humans are very good at rationalizing after the fact – most people are happy with what they have because the alternative is being miserable with what you have and that's no fun at all, so unless you fixate on The One Change as the thing that will fix your life and solve all your problems, making That One Change is probably not really going to make that big of a difference.

      That said, my entire goal for the year is Try More New Things. I'm just not a huge believer in the absolute necessity of major upheaval. There's nothing wrong with being comfortable.

      • Fancy_Pants says:

        Mmmm, yes yes. I think somehow I've romanticized in my head the idea of relocating as like The One Change to test my mettle and help me find myself et cetera. There are plenty of small changes and terrifying things I can do right here if I'm afraid of becoming too set in my ways.

    • Heathered says:

      You're happy and by the ocean? Get the tattoo and stay where you are! ETA: This whole thread is so intelligent and useful. I am constantly re-delighted to know all you people.

      • Fancy_Pants says:

        Haha yes! I feel like that's settled then. Agreed on both points! It's incredible to be able to throw a big angsty question into the void and get so many lovely, kind, and thoughtful answers.

  7. Lee Thomson says:

    this is both spectacularly tacky and too witches:

  8. Xolandra says:

    In addition to the well-meaning men who cannot find the time to do the hard work of fostering diversity, I would like to send a shout-out to the well-meaning men who will totally be your ally, but maybe you could ask nicely? Because your rage is just so off putting. Like, yeah, you have every right to be mad, but you're alienating people, over here. /spits

    Jazzfest in my town was just announced! It is too much $$ for me (tix are like $70 a piece), but I just found out about this human and I am unsure how I feel about him:

    ETA: Listen to this over headphones, there are some fun easter eggs in the channel mixing

    I mean. Other than SUPER HANDSOME:

    • CleverManka says:

      maybe you could ask nicely? Because your rage is just so off putting.

      It's like the photo of the (white) woman screaming in the cop's face. I'm almost outta here for the day so don't have time to find it, but…yeah. Not helping there, friend.

  9. Flitworth says:

    Hi guys! AHCA vote was delayed, if your Rep. hasn't already declared opposition, now's a great time to call and tell them your thoughts! [assuming you're liberal, if not, welp, color me baffled in this space]

  10. meat_lord says:

    This is definitely off topic, but hey, I just handled a difficult conversation well! Deets in reply.

    • meat_lord says:

      So, As You Know, Bob, I'm a recovering codependent who loses their shit when faced with an upset loved one. Also relevant: text conversations where the other party is actively having a breakdown are a major anxiety trigger for me, too.

      I spent my lunch break texting the datefriend about a troublesome mental illness symptom that has been getting worse and worse for them. They were like "IT IS BECAUSE I SUCK, INHERENTLY, AND ALL THE ABUSIVE THINGS MY PARENTS SAID TO ME WERE TRUE. I DON'T HAVE THIS PROBLEM BECAUSE I HAVE X AND Y DISORDERS OR ANYTHING."

      Instead of going into codependent must-fix-years-of-self-loathing mode and having a panic attack, I kept my cool and was like, "No, this is not a reflection on you as a person, and perhaps you could try a method other than increasing self-flagellation to fix it?" And they were like, "You know what, that's a really good point."

      When I said, "Hey, [symptom] has been getting a lot worse for you lately. It worries me a lot, and it is clearly a brain malfunction. Please talk to a professional about it," Datefriend enthusiastically agreed–and fortunately they have a psychiatrist appointment tomorrow. I feel so much better for having expressed that to them, and I hope the psychiatrist will be able to help.

      • vladazhael says:

        Very, very, very well done! You set a shining example for all of us who are trying to get over codependent tendencies.

        • meat_lord says:

          I really appreciate all the praise that you and other Manka-ites are giving me. It helps me, like, notice that I'm improving, and it helps reinforce that hey, I can refuse to pre-emptively cater to someone's every emotional need and the world won't end! It's even a good thing to not do that!

      • Lee Thomson says:

        that sounds like a tough spot you successfully navigated both yourself and your friend out of – you have every right to feel proud of yourself!

    • meat_lord says:

      I just really hope I'm doing okay at balancing listening to my partner's thoughts and feelings, even the ugly or frightening ones, and giving them space to be not okay, with holding my own boundaries (which are that I cannot hear very much of their uncensored internal monologue about how much they hate themself and how much they suck, because it makes me unbelievably upset and sets off my own brain weasels).

      • jenavira says:

        You sound like you are doing really well (and like datefriend is good about hearing boundaries, which is key), go you.

      • Fancy_Pants says:

        Balancing your needs and your partner's needs when those two things come into conflict is The Hard Problem in relationships, and I don't think it comes easily to anyone. But it sounds like you're able to (1) articulate what those needs are and (2) identify the source of the conflict and (3) communicate effectively and lovingly about it–those are all HUGE HUGE HUGE skills!

        So good for you! +25 relationship XP! You're leveling up! (I'm not really a gamer so I don't really know, but it seemed appropriate).

    • RoseCamelia says:

      You did great! Seriously great. But you know that, and you have no need of my approval. Just want you to know your responses were obviously great from way over here.

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