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Author: McJulie

About me, some stuff

Write-a-thon 2018 progress report: editing

(Pictured above: some of my notebooks from the 2006 Clarion West workshop) I know the world is on fire, but the Write-a-thon is happening for TWO MORE WEEKS! Sponsor me! Sponsor another writer! It’s not like I haven’t been writing, I just haven’t been writing essays and progress reports. This Write-a-thon I’ve actually been doing mostly editing, which is an absolutely necessary art of writing, but it’s hard to measure progress. Drafting is easy — it’s all about the wordcount, baby! But editing, especially final stage editing like I’m doing on Stripping Down to Scars, that’s harder. How do you…

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Theories of human evil: Neutrality

Almost a year ago, on my birthday, I was listening to one of my presents to myself (2010 live recording of Les Miserables) and drinking alone (like you do) and came out with some thoughts on the moral philosophy of Les Miz viewed through the Good-Evil Chaotic-Lawful axis of Dungeons & Dragons. (Twitter thread here) I was just ruminating on Twitter, but I came up with a theory of human morality that has been toying with my mind ever since: most people think they are lawful good, but are actually neutral neutral. What do I mean by that? The D&D…

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Territorial demons

This is a story about the last time I went to church, which was about two years ago now, on one of our final family visits to my grandma in Lewiston. It was a new building, which felt like a concert hall or a commercial establishment. A big foyer entrance, espresso stand off to the left, a staffed “help desk” right in front of the main doors, beige carpeting. The presentation during the service was self-consciously modern. They had a rock band, drummer isolated behind a plexiglass cage to cut down on the noise. They sang songs I didn’t know,…

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The stories we tell

I posted a few tweets a while back, on a topic that has been weighing particularly heavily on my mind since 2016: Among other things, I can’t believe evangelicals are still trying to get all pious about things like adultery, given their near-universal support for DJT. It tells you a lot about their “faith” to know they want to abuse transgender people but write DJT an endless free pass. I have a LOT of #exvangelical resentments stored up, but one of my hottest rage points right now is that literally everything they ever said about “sexual morality” is now revealed…

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Theories of human evil: stupidity

Shown above: Dietrich Bonhoeffer A while back I ran into this quote from famous German anti-fascist, Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Stupidity is a more dangerous enemy of the good than malice. [..] Against stupidity we are defenseless. Neither protests nor the useof force accomplish anything here; reasons fall on deaf ears; facts that contradict one’s prejudgment simply need not be believed- in such moments the stupid person even becomes critical – and when facts are irrefutable they are just pushed aside as inconsequential, as incidental. In all this the stupid person, in contrast to the malicious one, is utterly self-satisfied and, being…

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Tidings

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe…

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Night: Friday, October 13, 2017

Originally published 2008, not sure what time of year. The characters are me and my husband, not the Goth House characters. The files are all called “Night” so I guess that’s the name of the comic? Which is weird because I don’t actually remember and there isn’t a title page. When I was drawing the comic regularly, I would always try to post a nightmare on a Friday the Thirteenth. This comic is based on a nightmare I had. My zombie, vampire, and nuclear war nightmares always seem to end pretty much like this, with a weird semblance of normalcy…

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Political misogyny

It recently occurred to me that patriarchy does not actually define people as “men” and “women.” it defines people as “men” and “not-men.” Of course, the most obvious and prevalent not-men in patriarchy have always been women, and in many ways patriarchy can be seen as an attempt to control the reproductive capacity. So it’s easy to think of patriarchy as mostly an attempt to limit the rights of women, which also makes it easy to think of feminism as primarily about advancing the rights of women, and misogyny as mostly about denigrating women. But I don’t think that gives…

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Dear evangelicals, I have a burden on my heart for you

Ran into this article, titled “Why most evangelicals don’t condemn Trump,” and started getting steamed. So, it’s Sunday, time to engage in the modern version of that time-honored evangelical tradition known as “complaining about the sermon in the car on the way home from church.” First, it’s written by somebody called Gary Abernathy, publisher and editor of the (Hillsboro, Ohio) Times-Gazette. So, standard disclaimer — I am an ex evangelical of the Pacific coast, and this might give me a different perspective than an ex evangelical of the midwest. With that out of the way, let’s get to it! Evangelical…

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Nothing to prove to a bully

Note: I originally started writing this post in October 2014, shortly after attending my first GeekGirlCon. But I didn’t post it then. Why not? I’m not sure. I think I might have not had a conclusion until a couple of months later, and by then it no longer seemed relevant. But after reading this article about the Russian propaganda machine, I realize that it’s more relevant than maybe I knew — things like Gamergate really were an early skirmish in this war. There’s a point where I speculate “But why video games? Why now?” and I have to admit that…

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But have you considered, really considered, the science of phrenology?

When I climbed on a plane to Scandinavia a few weeks ago, everybody was rolling their eyes about something I’m going to call the Googlebro Manifesto, written and sent around to his co-workers by a male software engineer who work(ed) at Google and was feeling all peevish about the existence of “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” by which he appears to mean “Google’s moderate steps to increase diversity and fairness in the workplace.” Specifically, diversity and fairness as they apply to women. What if, Googlebro wants to know, women are underrepresented in tech, not because of any pervasive cultural bias, but…

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A plague of toddlers

Peggy Noonan, a Reagan-era conservative, recently wrote an essay criticizing Donald Trump for being “Woody Allen Without the Humor.” It delivers some truth about Trump’s own character flaws. He is indeed “whiny, weepy and self-pitying” and possessed of a “mad, blubbery petulance.” But it also hits heavy with eye-rolling traditional masculinity framing about “the way American men used to like seeing themselves [..] the strong silent type celebrated in classic mid-20th century films—Gary Cooper, John Wayne, Henry Fonda.” vs. male characters who “couldn’t stop talking about their emotions, their resentments and needs [..] self-justifying as they acted out their cowardice…

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Clarion West Write-a-thon 2017: Week 5 progress report

The 2017 Clarion West Write-a-thon is happening now! You can sponsor me, or sponsor another writer. A shout-out to all the summer birthday kids, who marked their passage through life on family road trips and dried-out summer days, in suburban isolation or Vacation Bible School. Or, you know, during writing workshops. My birthday, coming as it does in the late middle part of July, is always during Clarion West, probably always during the fifth week. And so it was in 2006 when I attended the workshop. In fact, my birthday was on a Thursday that year too, and I spent…

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