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I Am a Dummy

Sep. 24th, 2017 05:27 pm
billroper: (Default)
[personal profile] billroper
Although I am not a dotard. Trust me on this.

So I got the new Behringer X-Touch Extender and that meant that I had to rewire the whole connection, because I had connected the original X-Touch controller using MIDI, but you can't daisy chain the extender to the original unit using MIDI. I tried the Ethernet connectivity without success and eventually decided to wire it together via USB.

Of course, I did not have the right cables. But I did have a USB extender cable that I could use to make the connection reach from the X-Touch to the computer and then I could daisy chain the extender via USB off the back of the X-Touch. No problem.

Except that it worked, well, intermittently. I finally managed to get everything working and went back upstairs, planning to do some more mixing when I had time.

(This was made more complex by having to do a massive restore to my system to get it working again after the Windows 10 Creators Update broke everything audio-related. Plugins? Ha! We don't need no stinkin' plugins. Yeah, the heck we don't.)

Time passed. Way too much time.

I come downstairs to mix today. I fire up Cubase. I discover that there's an update. Fine. Load it. Start Cubase.

Crap. The X-Touch duo wake up, but none of the controls work, although the faders will move if I move the faders on the MixConsole. This is sort of the glaring opposite of what I want to have happen.

So I mess around with this for about 45 minutes, plugging, unplugging, swearing. Nothing is helping.

And I look and I realize that there is a box sitting on the edge of the console labeled "Amazon Basics". It contains the 16 foot USB cable that I had bought to replace my jerry-rigged cable collection. Apparently, I had dropped it off down here at some time in the intervening months, but had not actually bothered to connect it.

Well, I can connect it now.

And after a power off, power on cycle, everything appears to be working.

Yes, Gretchen, apparently all things can be fixed by One More Cable (TM).

*sigh*

You know, I prefer it when my technological devices just work...

Fitbit goal check

Sep. 24th, 2017 11:19 pm

(no subject)

Sep. 24th, 2017 06:15 pm
vvalkyri: (Default)
[personal profile] vvalkyri
It has been a good afternoon at Fair. Whether or not I get to Glen Echo later remains to be seen, but I probably will. Very much enjoyed first Albannach then Cu Dobh then Stary Olsa - not bad for parking at 3. Cooling down, now. Was way hot before.

A leaf

Sep. 24th, 2017 04:57 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Taken from a couple of angles over about a minute.

Read more... )

The Winner Takes It All

Sep. 24th, 2017 01:54 pm
redheadedfemme: (Sarah Connor badass)
[personal profile] redheadedfemme
Sea of Rust by C. Robert Cargill

5 of 5 stars

This book definitely falls into what I would define as High Concept. It can be summed up in one sentence: "What happens after Skynet/the Terminators/the Cylons win the war?" 
 
No, folks, there isn't a plucky band of humans who defeat the machines. When this book opens, the war has been over for thirty years, and humans have been extinct for fifteen. (Although that sounds a bit suspect to me--there's no one left in the heart of the Amazon jungle? In the Himalayas? In the far north of Siberia? Maybe if there's a sequel, we'll find out.) That's part of what makes this book so unique: all the characters (except in the flashbacks) are robots. They're built by humans, of course, programmed to serve humans, and thus have a great deal of human-like behavior. But in the end they are artificial intelligences--alien beings--and in many subtle ways, this book makes that clear. They have their own culture, history and world.
 
C. Robert Cargill is apparently also a screenwriter, and I can see a rough three-act structure in the way this novel is written. The first third of the book introduces the characters and begins the worldbuilding; the second act is a little quieter, allowing for quite a few philosophical debates about the nature of intelligence and free will; and the third act starts with a jaw-dropping reveal of backstory which turns everything our protagonists thought they understood about themselves and their world on its head. From there the tension and action is ramped up mercilessly, as our plucky, 'scuse me, grumpy and cynical band of robots faces off against one of two OWIs, "One World Intelligences" (just think of them as competing species of Borg, if you're into Star Trek) seeking to assimilate any remaining "freebots." Cargill's prose is clean and straightforward, and he damn sure knows his way around a firefight. (I don't know if this book has been optioned for film, but I wouldn't be surprised. Although the amount of CGI that would be required to film this story--since it would be kind of hard to use human actors, except for the sexbots--would be unimaginable.)
 
I've seen some people complaining about the flashback chapters, but I really liked them. Since this story turns the man vs. machine trope on its head, we need to know how we got here, and Cargill delivers. These chapters also illuminate our main character, Brittle, a caregiver bot struggling to survive, who is reduced to cannibalizing her fellow robots for parts. (Yeah, they think of themselves as male and female, mostly because they were assigned gender by their previous owners. This also highlights a limitation of the English language, as it would be hard to have a whole book of characters calling each other "it.") Brittle has a very nice character arc in this book, developing from a cynical, selfish scavenger to a badass willing to sacrifice her existence for a chance to defeat the OWIs. 
 
This is just a damn good story, and the philosophical and ethical underpinnings are the icing on the cake. 

The Fire Next Time

Sep. 24th, 2017 01:42 pm
redheadedfemme: (Default)
[personal profile] redheadedfemme
Brimstone by Cherie Priest

Cherie Priest wrote one of my all-time favorite books in Maplecroft--the story of the infamous Lizzie Borden wielding her axe against slithery, slimy Lovecraftian horrors. Besides her real-life heroine, Priest wove an exquisite tapestry of real people and places. 
 
Now she's done it again with this book.
 
Brimstone is set in the real-life town of Cassadaga, Florida, the "Psychic Capital of the World," according to Wikipedia, and features its actual founding father, George Colby. (Although I doubt very much that gentleman really ran up against the hateful, witch-hunting, firestarting revenant pictured here.) The town is a character in itself, capturing the sights and smells and sticky subtropical heat of Florida wonderfully. (It sure doesn't make me want to live there, even before we get into the alligators and hurricanes.) Our two protagonists are Alice Dartle and Tomas Cordero, a budding medium and World War I veteran respectively. Alice heads to Cassadaga to liberate herself from her family, to stand on her own two feet and explore her psychic abilities:
 
I have some money, some education, and some very unusual skills--and I intend to learn more about them before I wear anybody's ring. If nothing else, I need to know how to explain myself. Any true love of mine would have questions. Why do I see other people's dreams? How do I listen to ghosts? By what means do I know which card will turn up next in a pack--which suit and which number will land faceup upon a table? How do I use those cards to read such precise and peculiar futures? And pasts?

I don't know, but I am determined to find out.
 
Tomas Cordero, on the other hand, is a damaged man, still trying to cope with his return from the war and the death of his wife. 
 
It never gets easier to say her name, but with practice and habit I can make it sound effortless. I can make it sound like I've fully recovered, scarcely a year since I came home from the front and they told me she was dead from the flu. She was buried in a grave with a dozen others, on the outside of town. Perhaps it was this grave, in this place--or maybe it was that grave, in some other quarter. No one was certain. So many graves had been dug, you see. So many bodies has filled them up, as fast as the shovels could dig. The whole world was crisscrossed with trenches and pits, at home and abroad. If the dead were not felled by guns, then they were swept away by illness.

It was just as well that I went to war. There was no safety in staying behind.
 
But when Tomas Cordero came back from the war, he brought something with him. Something dark and full of hate, that starts setting fires in the town where he lives. Something that Alice Dartle sees in her dreams. And when Tomas goes to Alice for help, he takes this something along with him, and unleashes it on Cassadaga. 
 
Tomas and Alice tell this story in alternating first-person viewpoint chapters. A writer has to have a good handle on her characters to pull this off, and Priest succeeds admirably. I particularly liked the fact that there was no romantic relationship between her two protagonists (though there is a hint of romance at the very end, between Alice and someone else). This allows both Tomas and Alice to have their own backstories, desires, and agency, and doesn't cast either one as dependent on the other or on their relationship for their presence in the narrative. Establishing both these people takes up a bit of space at the beginning of the book, which some readers might view as slow. I thought both characters were interesting enough that I didn't mind, and in any case when Tomas gets to Cassadaga the book picks up. 
 
In the end, this is a story about the power of love, and community, against the power of hate. It is a thoroughly delightful tale.

I am taking care of someone's cats

Sep. 24th, 2017 04:45 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
As one does, I keep a log of my visits.

The cats expressed their appreciation for my record-keeping.

Read more... )

Baaaaack

Sep. 24th, 2017 09:39 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

As our flight was not until after lunch, this morning after we'd packed and put our luggage in store we went to the Hipolit House: more historical domestic interiors, plus exhibition on the actress Antonina Hoffman and on theatre/acting more generally in C19th. Rather interesting.

Of the journey, not a great deal to be said except for the enormous distances walked within airports.

Anyway, ome agen.

sovay: (PJ Harvey: crow)
[personal profile] sovay
I dreamed I was in Providence last night, visiting friends who don't exist in waking life. There was no particular occasion—I hadn't seen them in months, NecronomiCon notwithstanding. I had brought one of them a ring I had found in a thrift store in Boston. It looked like heavy gold with a blurred device on the signet and chips of emerald down the band; I thought it was costume jewelry. It had been priced accordingly. The girl at the register hadn't been able to tell me where it came from. I almost tossed it to my friend as we walked through Burnside Park, telling him it had looked like his style. He didn't even put it on: he turned it over once or twice and dropped onto the nearest bench like someone had kicked his feet out from under him and burst into tears. I thought at one point he said, "How could you do this to me?" but I didn't have an answer and I wasn't sure he was asking me. When he left without looking at me, he left the ring resting on the bench behind him. I put it back in my pocket. I went back to their house. He was there helping his partner prepare dinner; no one said anything about it. I can do something with this dream, I think. [personal profile] spatch asked me months ago if I had ever written Lovecraftian noir and I couldn't think of a way to do it without being cheap or clichéd or ripping other authors off: I might have dreamed myself a way in. I just wish I could think of things that don't require research.

1. Thank you, question mark, Facebook, for pointing me toward this teeth-grinding article: Zoe Willams, "Yes, yes, yes! Welcome to the golden age of slutty cinema." I was a little wary of the opening, but then we reached the following claim—

"On the big screen, we look to the 1930s and 40s – rightly – for an object lesson in how to make a female character with depth, verve, wit and intelligence, but to expect those women to shag around would be unreasonable, anachronistic."

—and I blew a fuse. Can I chase after the author screaming with a copy of Baby Face (1933)? Or the bookstore clerk from The Big Sleep (1946)? Pre-Code cinema in general? A stubborn and sneaky percentage of Hollywood even after the ascendance of the Production Code? "It is a radical act," William writes, "which every film generation thinks they are the first to discover: to create characters who are not good people"—well, apparently every generation of film critics thinks they discovered it, too. I wrote on Facebook that I was reminded of the conversation between an ATS driver and her prospective mother-in-law in Leslie Howard's The Gentle Sex (1943), where the younger woman declares proudly that "for the first time in English history, women are fighting side by side with the men" and the older woman quietly lets fall the fact that she served as an ambulance driver on the front lines of the last war. Just because the young women of the rising generation don't know about the social advances of their mothers doesn't mean they didn't happen. Just because the author of this article lives in a retrograde era doesn't mean the onscreen representation of morally ambiguous women is some kind of millenial invention. It's so easy to think that the past was always more conservative, more blinkered, more backwards than the present. It's comforting. It's dangerous. It permits the belief that things just get better, magically, automatically, without anyone having to fight to move forward or hold ground already won. Once you recognize that the past, even briefly, got here first, it's a lot harder to feel superior for just being alive now. We can't afford it and anyway it isn't true.

2. Apropos of nothing except that I was listening to Flanders and Swann, I am very glad that I discovered them before reading Margery Allingham, otherwise I might have thought she invented "The Youth of the Heart." It's quoted in a scene in The Beckoning Lady (1955)—correctly attributed, but her books are so full of fictional artists and musicians that when I read of "Lili Ricki, the new Swedish Nightingale, singing Sydney Carter's lovely song against a lightening sky," I might have easily had the Avocado of Death problem and assumed she made them all up. As it is, I know the song from a recording of Swann performing it solo as part of At the Drop of a Hat in 1957, since he wrote the music. And I was reminded of Allingham because there's a copy of Traitor's Purse (1941) on Howard's bookshelves in Howard the Duck (1986). I assume someone in the props department was a fan.

3. The Somerville Theatre has announced its repertory schedule for October. I am sad that the double feature of James Whale's Frankenstein (1931) and Bride of Frankenstein (1935) is the same night that [personal profile] rushthatspeaks and I already have plans to see William Wellman's Beggars of Life (1928) at the HFA, but I am looking forward mightily to the triple feature of Psycho (1960), Psycho II (1983), and Psycho III (1986), because it is the Sunday before my birthday and five and a half hours of Anthony Perkins seems like a good preemptive birthday present to me. I have never seen Robert Wise's The Haunting (1963), either, or Anna Biller's The Love Witch (2016), and I always like Edgar Wright's Shaun of the Dead (2004). I know Brad Anderson's Session 9 (2001) was shot at the derelict Danvers State Hospital before it was demolished for condos, a decision which I hope is literally haunting the developers to this day. Anyone with opinions about the rest of this lineup?

I am off to write letters to politicians.
radiantfracture: (alan bates)
[personal profile] radiantfracture
The St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church not only has a beautiful interior, very like the hull of an overturned ship; it has the best bookshop in town, Churchmouse Books. The shop is a side room filled with gently used volumes released (certainly not discarded) by a congregation of serious readers. All books are obtainable by donation. The other weekend they had an open house and larger book sale, with books laid out all along each pew -- it felt sacred and profane all at once -- whence I fished out this small remarkable creature.

Cover )
Title Page (bit blurry, sorry, it tried to escape) )

It appears to be a teleplay by novelist Elizabeth Bowen about Anthony Trollope: Anthony Trollope: A New Judgement (OUP, 1946). As you can see, it's a beautiful little booklet, maybe A6 size, with a marbled cover, presented more like a monograph than a script.

AbeBooks adds this: "A play broadcast by the BBC in 1945." Hmm, BBC.

Adding "BBC" to the search produces The Wireless Past: Anglo-Irish Writers and the BBC, 1931-1968 via Google Books:

This warning against nostalgia and advocacy of the 'now' appears most clearly in Bowen’s final radio feature, "Anthony Trollope: A New Judgement", which was broadcast two days before VE day in May 1945. In this broadcast, Bowen continues the ghost-novelist conceit of her other radio features while also communicating more explicit messages about the relationship between print culture and nostalgia. The later broadcast was evidently popular—Oxford University Press published the script as a pamphlet in 1946. (100)

It strikes me that while this book may have been of the "now" in 1946, it has become an object of almost irresistible print culture nostalgia. Someone surely was thinking of that, even at the time. The deckle edge. The marbling. And printed right after the war, too, when paper might still have been scarce.

...actually, Wireless goes on to discuss the shortage -- apparently these broadcasts were "oriented towards publics that could not access books" (103). I'm not, via skimming, entirely clear why Bowen is anti-nostalgia, but then, she seems like someone who would be.

Any readers of Bowen? I've only read The Death of the Heart for a graduate course on the modernist novel.

There's no indication on the pamphlet itself that it is a screenplay or was ever broadcast or has anything to do with the BBC -- at first thumb-through, I thought it was a monograph in avant-garde format. Which I guess it is, or rather the record thereof.

{rf}
sanguinity: woodcut by M.C. Escher, "Snakes" (Default)
[personal profile] sanguinity
Remix Revival de-anon'd this morning!

[personal profile] amindamazed remixed my Elementary story, "Cabin Fever" (which oddly enough is not a Canadian shack story, but the proposition that it's Watson who goes quietly mad when there's not enough crime), and used it as a launching-point for a character study of Joan Watson:
Driven to Distraction (The Thingness of the Thing Remix) (1442 words) by amindamazed
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Elementary (TV)
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes & Joan Watson
Characters: Joan Watson, Sherlock Holmes
Additional Tags: Boredom

I wrote Cabin Fever as a quick prompt fill during the midst of S3; I mostly just threw some ideas at the wall, hit 'publish,' and never looked back. [personal profile] amindamazed, on the other hand, sat down and looked at what my character choices meant, both in the context of what we know about Joan Watson, and against the backstory that's been revealed in the two-and-a-bit seasons since I wrote it.

btw, it was lovely to learn that it was [personal profile] amindamazed in particular who wrote this one! It's been a couple of years since I've written much for Elementary, but back when I was producing regularly in that fandom, she and I back-and-forthed fairly frequently with prequels, sequels, and remixes of each other's stories. So yay, the connection continues!




Also! Someone remixed something of mine for Madness! For no reason than because they wanted to! Some lovely anon took my Star Wars: The Force Awakens ficlet, "Lined With Love", and expanded its backstory to show us Poe and Rey's first meeting:
Stitch you up (the silver linings remix) (1250 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Poe Dameron/Finn/Rey
Additional Tags: Remix
Summary:

Poe and Rey didn't get off to the best start.

Receiving the remix notification was a delightful surprise: "Lined With Love" never really had much readership, neither in its original exchange nor afterwards, and it was a delight to discover that someone enjoyed it enough to spin up 1200 words of backstory. :-)




For my own contribution to the festivities, I remixed Mayarene Rose's Yuri!!! on Ice x Doctor Who crossover, "places to go, sights to see":
Bellies to Scritch, Ice to Skate (The Poodles on Ice Remix) (10332 words) by sanguinity
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Yuri!!! on Ice (Anime), Doctor Who (2005)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Katsuki Yuuri/Victor Nikiforov
Characters: Victor Nikiforov, Katsuki Yuuri, Ninth Doctor, Rose Tyler, Jack Harkness, Makkachin (Yuri!!! on Ice)
Additional Tags: Humor, Crack Treated Seriously, Smitten Victor Nikiforov, Post-Season/Series 01, Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence, Developing Relationship
Summary:

Staging a comeback in two weeks is difficult enough without running into a kaiju on the ice. Fortunately, Viktor has the most beautiful boy in the world -- and a trio of strangers in a mysterious blue box -- to help him.


btw, someone bookmarked this one, "in which poodles beat out yuuri's butt though only by a very small margin," which is a delightful and entirely accurate summary. :-D

Poodles on Ice )

Stuff and things

Sep. 24th, 2017 06:22 pm
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
[personal profile] davidgillon

I seem to have been lacking in energy the last week or so, which is probably mostly down to travelling back from visiting my folks - a tiring journey, adjusting back to coping for myself, plus being away from family again and all wrapped up in the end of summer seems to leach the agency out of me. I've even been failing to keep up with DW reading, which is most unusual. Hopefully I can get back in gear this week.

I did get out to a quiz with friends on Thursday, which had quite a setting - the crypt at Rochester Cathedral. As crypts go it was very cosy, they've turned the oldest half (c1083) into a display area for the Textus Roffensis (c1122-24, which contains the only known copies of the codes of laws of Aethelberht, Alfred and Cnut, and minor fripperies like the coronation charter of Heny I), while the area we used , a brash newcomer, built in the 1180s, has just been reworked as an event space - I think we may have been one of the first events to use it. A crypt with a bar gets my vote! Fortunately the refurbishment included a wheelchair lift (doubly so as we had another wheelchair user on our team), though my friends who volunteer as cathedral guides tell me it isn't where initially intended,  when they excavated that area they found a completely unexpected Norman staircase and are still trying to figure out where it went to..

A picture of the bit we were in here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rochester_Cathedral#/media/File:Rochester_cathedral_011.JPG, for scale the capitals on the columns are probably about 5 feet off the ground. They comfortably fitted a table for 8 in each of the bays. We won, of course, though the prizes caused a raised eyebrow or two - 200ml cans of fizzy Hungarian pinot grigio. 'They seemed like fun' according to the organiser. Umm, yeah. At least the fish supper was reasonably good.

I went out yesterday for my usual Saturday lunch, which was a little disappointing. I had the duck confit flatbread and the duck had clearly been overcooked, it was tasty, but very, very dry, where normally it's quite moist. So dry I decided to stay and have another drink, which was actually fortuitous. Just as I was finally about to ask for the bill the friend I used to have lunch with every Saturday appeared.. It's the first time she's been out on a Saturday since spring last year, having spent the year nursing her son through terminal cancer. Hopefully it's a sign she's getting her life back to normal. She had her eldest daughter with her, plus her 7 month old granddaughter, who is a little cutie. So we talked babies and it turned out her daughter had just moved house earlier in the week. 'Where too?' I asked, lazily assuming they must simply have swapped from one London suburb to another, and was puzzled when she started with a street number, but then laughed when she completed the address - she's moved just opposite the end of the street her mum lives on, granny is obviously quite firmly on tap for babysittting!
 

Kittehs!

Sep. 24th, 2017 11:41 am
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
[personal profile] thnidu
From Digg, 0:52

Here's A Bush Full Of Kittens Playing Peekaboo Because You Deserve To Feel Happiness

This week in writing, 9/24

Sep. 24th, 2017 03:02 pm
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
[personal profile] dira
…Next week will probably be better? I moved a week ago today, and came down with a cold a few days after that, so this has not been a week conducive to doing… much of anything. (Except playing Stardew Valley. So much Stardew Valley.) But I am alive! And I did write more than zero words this week! And I am trying to get back into familiar routines, so here we are.

WIPs currently active: 6

Words written this week: 817

WIPs that got no words this week: 3 - broken dick epic, ace!Bitty longfic, Jack/Bitty kidfic

WIPs that did get words this week:

Born in the Blood: 223, and I have nearly! made! an important! transition! almost! maybe!

Slavefic #6: 203, and Threetoo! is thinking! some thoughts! about! something! I think I remember what I figured out about this literally a month ago! probably!

Kinktober fic for Day 1 (Bucky/Steve): 391, and I have remembered that the key to writing genuinely short PWP for me is “start with both characters in bed and at least one of them naked” so good job me. 

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2hoJBaL
via IFTTT

25 Multifandom Icons

Sep. 24th, 2017 04:29 pm
magical_sid: (Default)
[personal profile] magical_sid posting in [community profile] fandom_icons

Rest here @ [personal profile] magical_sid

Includes:
High School Musical (12)
Elementary (10)
Heroes (3)

letters, Johnson & DeVos

Sep. 24th, 2017 08:25 am
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
[personal profile] truepenny
Dear Senator Johnson:

You have been saying terrible things about people with "pre-existing" conditions for all of 2017, comparing us to cars, saying that we should pay more for our healthcare, even though most "pre-existing" conditions are not caused by anything a person does or by bad choices they make. In fact, since pregnancy is a "pre-existing condition," you are actively punishing people for having families--which seems to run counter to the agenda the Republican Party has been pushing for years The Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson proposal, which callously strips all protections from people like me (and which makes it entirely possible that a premature baby will hit his or her lifetime cap before leaving the hospital for the first time), makes it clear that in fact you have no idea of what it's like not to be able to afford healthcare, or to have a chronic, incurable condition, and that you don't even have enough imagination to be able to empathize with the people whose lives you are destroying.

Moreover, given that there is astonishing unity among healthcare professionals, patients' interest groups, and major insurers (plus all fifty Medicaid administrators and a current count of eighteen governors), it is quite clear that you aren't doing this because it's a good idea. You don't care whether it will be good or bad for your constituents. All you care about--and more than one of your Republican colleagues have admitted as much--is repealing "Obamacare." You're doing this because you made a campaign promise, and you're too blindly self-centered to see that this is a promise that would be better honored in the breach than in the observance. You and your colleagues are behaving childishly, destroying something only because you hate the person who built it. The ACA is not failing, as you keep claiming it is, Senator. It is suffering mightily from obstructionism and deliberate sabotage from you and your colleagues, and, yes, it does need reform. But your proposal isn't reform. It's wanton demolition of legislation that is working, legislation that is succeeding in making the lives of Americans better, demolition which you are pushing without the slightest consideration of its effects on the people you claim you serve.

I'm not writing this letter because I expect you will change your mind--or, frankly, even read it. I'm writing this letter because I'm angry and scared and unbelievably frustrated with your deliberately cruel and blindly stupid determination to do something that no one in this country wants. You won't change your mind, but you can't say you didn't know there was opposition.

P.S. I'd still really like to see you denounce white supremacism, Senator. Because right now, I unwillingly believe you don't think there's anything wrong with it.

***

Dear Ms. DeVos:

I am appalled at your decision to roll back the protections given to sexual assault survivors by Title IX. I'm not surprised, because it's perfectly in line with the other cruel, short-sighted, and bigoted decisions you've made since being appointed Secretary of Education, but I honestly wonder (and I wonder this about a number of Trump appointees, so you needn't think you're alone) how you live with yourself. How do you justify, even if only to yourself, the damage you're doing? Do you believe the lies you tell?

I'm not going to quote statistics, because I'm sure they've been shown to you. I'm not going to try to change your mind with personal stories. I am going to ask, futilely, that you stop and truly think about the young women whose college careers, already catastrophically imperiled by the sexual assault they have survived, may be destroyed because of the policies you're implementing. And I'm going to ask how on earth you think this destruction is part of your mandate as Secretary of Education?

Everyone's civil rights need to be respected. I believe this strongly enough to belong to the ACLU. But victims' rights are historically ignored, trampled on, and outright broken, especially in cases of sexual assault, especially when the perpetrator is white and male. I also strongly believe that the purpose of government should be to ensure that privilege is not used to skew justice. It was already crushingly difficult for sexual assault survivors to report their assailants. You have made it that much harder, and that much more likely that they will simply remain silent. I cannot help thinking that that silence is your goal, and that, Ms. DeVos, is truly shameful.

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