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Clarion West Write-a-thon 2017 Post 1: Father’s Day, science fiction, skepticism

Hello everyone and welcome to the first day of the 2017 Clarion West Write-a-thon, where you can sponsor me, or sponsor another writer, or sponsor all the writers. Sponsor somebody who isn’t me just to spite me! It’s okay! I realize it’s become one of my traditions to write weekly essays during the Write-a-thon, so if you’re just dying for me to write about something other than politics for a change, you’re in luck! (Fair warning: there might still be politics.) My three topics for this essay: Father’s Day, science fiction, and skepticism. My dad introduced me to science fiction,…

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The Christian case for pride

I’ve talked about how my first major break with the white evangelical mainstream was over gay rights when, as a teenager, in the 1980s, I decided I supported them. I was mostly pretty quiet about this decision. I didn’t have faith in my power to change anyone else’s mind, and wasn’t ready to deal with all the pushback I knew I would get from other people trying to change mine. But the thing I want to talk about right now is this: as a teenager, I concluded not only that I did support gay rights, I concluded that as a…

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Terrible people

Hey, I don’t want to get too out of line or anything here, but doesn’t it seem like maybe today’s conservative movement has become dominated by terrible people? I mean, on the same day that my friend publishes an article about her assault by a bunch of Trump followers in Seattle — Literally shaking after publishing this. But it was time. I Was Mobbed and Assaulted at a Conservative Rally https://t.co/dEDaiCqJV5 pic.twitter.com/G9OF9rRrh7 — Deep State Rosie (@MMASammich) May 24, 2017 A Republican candidate for office assaults a reporter for asking him about “Trumpcare” — @MMASammich I assume you’ve been following…

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Easters I have known

It’s Easter Sunday. [Note: When I started writing this it was Easter Sunday. It is no longer Easter Sunday.] When I was growing up, and well into my adult life, that meant watching my parents sing in the church choir. I would clear my Sunday Norwescon schedule in order to go to see them. Often, it was the only time that whole year I set foot inside a church. I was probably not alone in that distinction. Two Easters in a row, in addition to my parents singing, I got a sermon about something called the “Jesus Institute.” The pastor…

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Julie’s Norwescon Schedule

Thursday Paranoia (Will Destoy Ya) 9:00pm – 10:00pm @ Cascade 5&6   Friday Self Publishing Comics: Online and On Paper 1:00pm – 2:00pm @ Cascade 3&4     Inclusive Voices in Horror 4:00pm – 5:00pm @ Cascade 7&8   The Kids Aren’t All Right 6:00pm – 7:00pm @ Cascade 5&6   Reading:  Julie McGalliard 7:00pm – 7:30pm @ Cascade 2   Saturday Autograph Session 1 2:00pm – 3:00pm @ Grand 2   Wolf in the Fold – Enduring Allure of Shape-changers 3:00pm – 4:00pm @ Cascade 7&8   Why Do Villains Look Like That? 6:00pm – 7:00pm @ Cascade 5&6…

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Everywhere I look, melting snowflakes

One of my working theories about understanding the political right in this country — everybody from Donald Trump to your Mom’s racist brother — is to assume that every insult they lob against the “other side” (that is, us, liberals, Democrats) is projection. Take this “snowflake” business. It’s clear how the right uses it — a derogitory term meaning people on the left are just too precious, too sensitive, too delicate for this world, with feelings that are soooooo easy to bruise, a worldview that is soooooo fragile. Although “snowflake” has been a slang term in other uses before, the…

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Alpha women finding love

When I was younger, I used to assume that ridiculous anti-feminist articles like this one were persuasive pieces aimed at feminist women like me. They were scary stories, cautionary tales, intended to undermine my confidence in my own values. Their message was: ladies, I know you think you’re happy pursuing your career and all that, but YOU WILL PAY THE PRICE SOMEDAY WHEN YOU CAN’T FIND LOVE. I laughed at them. How pathetic, how gullible did they think we were? Then there came a time when I started to assume that they were nothing but clickbait, deliberately incendiary nonsense crafted…

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Pussy-hat Planet

Say, did you know millions of people worldwide marched for women’s rights and against Trumpism last Saturday? (Samantha Bee had a nice summation.) I was among them. My husband was among them. My parents were among them. My mother — who isn’t quite as addicted to online media as her Gen-X daughter — wasn’t sure why the icon of the march was a simple, oddly-shaped hat, with corners that look like cat ears, typically in pink. “Hey, Julie,” she said. “What’s up with that hat?” (Note: my mom doesn’t actually talk like this) “It’s a pussy hat,” I told her. “The cat…

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Why am I angry today, Wednesday, January 18, 2017?

Why am I angry today? Let’s see. Last night I had insomnia again, a recurring problem since November 8, 2016, that date which will live in infamy. Then, when I did finally manage to fall asleep, I had a dream ported in from the nearby alternate universe where Hillary Clinton is about to be sworn in as the next president. So when I woke up to the dismal DT reality I was already in a pretty foul mood. I made coffee and checked in on the state of the world, as usual. I probably shouldn’t do that first thing, but…

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Goodbye Lewiston Idaho

Greetings from the Wrangler Bar & Grill, Lewiston, Idaho. See the image up there on top of this blog entry? That’s their logo, as depicted on the mirror behind the bar. The bar itself is nice, a classic wooden style from, probably, the early 20th century, somewhat retrofitted for its place in a bar in a strip mall that was probably built in the 1990s. We’re in the non-smoking bar, having passed through a noxious, nostalgic cloud of cigarette smoke in the smoking bar. I remember this, what it used to smell like to enter a bar, what it felt…

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Arguing with 9/11 truthers

“How much is BIG BROTHER paying you to spout his lies?” This was the text of a direct Facebook message from a friend-of-friend 9/11 truther who apparently got sick of arguing with me in public and thought he could bait me into duking it out privately, with an insult so bizarre that I’m not sure whether I’m more annoyed or amused. (Lie. I’m more annoyed, obviously, which is why I’m writing this, in order to tip the balance toward being amused.) How much is big brother paying me? What kind of question even is that? What answer are you looking for,…

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Goth House: Goth House Thinks about War

Originally published March 20, 2003. The first panel is because I interrupted an ongoing storyline with all the Goth House characters reimagined as supervillains, in order to write about the Iraq Invasion. The first phrase “I rarely get topical with the comic” doesn’t mean that I rarely got political. Mocking the religious right was always a feature, for example. However, when I started the comic I imagined it taking place in a timeless sort of gothic punk world, reminiscent of Edward Gorey’s work. Only his world stops around 1953 and mine stopped around 1983. ——— I rarely get topical with…

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Christmas time is here again

I started writing this on December 17, the day after Paul and I traveled to Bellingham for the 20th(!) Clambake Christmas Special. We got to see long-time favorites Clambake, punk rock kids Secondhand Suits, the reunion tour of the Fabulous Bakettes, and the Dirty Bird Cabaret, which included both a classic fan dance and a kick line. AND! AND! Bellingham had some kind of cosplay/meetup/flash mob Krampus-related thing going on, so around midnight the Shakedown filled up with A MILLION KRAMPUSES. Totally worth it. But (if you’re sick of my political rants, stop reading now) part of why I was…

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