It is full-on summer here. Fortunately, it was overcast most of yesterday and I was able to get out in the garden and away from screens.
When we moved into our house our back fence didn’t go all the way to the property line, leaving about a five-foot gap between the fence and the alley. Over the years this space filled up with trash. Like, serious trash. There was a bumper from a car underneath overgrown vines and weeds. Also, a rolled-up carpet. Not to mention years’ worth of soda cans and beer bottles and chip bags.
Shortly after we moved in, I hired someone to clear out as much as they could, and after about a year we built a new fence, capturing all that space that had once been an alley dumping ground. My current ‘gardening’ is digging up that reclaimed space to turn it into a suitable place for a bench and an extension of the garden. Yesterday’s work wasn’t so much working with plants and soil as it was slowly removing chunks of concrete, a brittle shower curtain, a small rotting rug, black calcified rubber hose, shattered pots, dead bush roots, a rusty tool set, etc. I got a lot of work done, but there’s still a lot of work to do.
As I was digging up all this stuff it occurred to me that that’s a suitable metaphor for our current situation. We’ve done a lot of work but there’s still a lot of work to do.
Art & Illustration
Books & Reading
- Speculative Fiction Showcase Speculative Fiction Links – Speculative Fiction Links of the Week for June 24, 2022
Cartoons & Comics
- Bizarro by Wayno (and sometimes Dan Piraro)
- Incidental Comics by Grant Snider
- The Nib by various
- Questionable Content by Jeph Jacques
- Strange Planet by Nathan W. Pyle
- Therapy Comics by Mardou – Fear
- This Modern World by Tom Tomorrow – The Six D’s
- You’re All Just Jealous of My Jetpack by Tom Gauld
- This week’s links from The Comics Journal
- WWAC reflect on transgenderism in Alison Bechdel’s Dykes to Watch Our For. Gender to Watch Out For: Stuart and Trans Lesbianism in Alison Bechdel’s Classic Strip
- Editorial Cartoons from the day after
- Lots of tips on how to be a health coach, but I say Be your own coach! Health Coaching: Your Ultimate Template Toolkit for Success
- Free Will Astrology – Week of June 23rd, 2022
- Sarah Polley’s thoughtful reflection on her time working with Terry Gilliam. Sarah Polley: ‘It took me years to see how responsible Terry Gilliam was for my terror’
I assume you already have your preferred news source(s). Here are news sources I use to supplement my news diet.
- Wonkette – I love the cursing and share their love of Molly Ivins.
- Popular Information – independent investigative journalism.
- WikiNews – Wikipedia has a news page. It can be kind of hit or miss, but I always use it when I’m following a breaking news story.
- The Daily Brief offers an overview of ‘top’ stories, but their choice of news organizations can be a little arbitrary.
If you’re looking for something to supplement your Wordle addiction, here’s a ton of online games from the gang at MetaFilter.
Scholarly Article of the Week
- Biodesign for a culture of life: Of microbes, ethics, and design by Rachel Armstrong
Abstract: “Scientific advances at the turn of the new millennium brought radical new insights into just how microbial our world is and the extent to which microbes influence our lives: from notions of the body (human microbiome); to their distribution in our living spaces (microbiome of the built environment); playing an integral role in ecosystems services in our cities (urban microbiome) and are fundamental to biogeochemical cycles—our world is irreducibly microbial. This paper asks what it means to dwell and design in such times and proposes an ethics for biodesign: which employs the insights and tools of the biotechnological age to generate new, ecologically beneficial forms of design, where microbes are the new “workhorses.” Exemplified in the Living Architecture, ALICE and IM-CITY projects—these biodesign case studies explore how working with microbes can help us contribute significantly to the (re)enlivening of the world by establishing a culture of life—based on mutual thriving.”
- A new season of Umbrella Academy dropped on Amazon.
Writing & Creativity
- Diane Duane describes how she outlines a novel.
I have lots of opinions about the state of the world, but really nothing novel or particularly helpful.
Goodbye to Tolerance
by Denise Levertov
Genial poets, pink-faced
you have given the world
some choice morsels,
gobbets of language presented
as one presents T-bone steak
and Cherries Jubilee.
I don’t care
if I never taste your fine food again,
neutral fellows, seers of every side.
Tolerance, what crimes
are committed in your name.
And you, good women, bakers of nicest bread,
blood donors. Your crumbs
choke me, I would not want
a drop of your blood in me, it is pumped
by weak hearts, perfect pulses that never
to nightmare reality.
It is my brothers, my sisters,
whose blood spurts out and stops
because you choose to believe it is not your business.
shut their little mouths,
your loaves grow moldy,
a gulf has split
the ground between us,
and you won’t wave, you’re looking
We shan’t meet again—
unless you leap it, leaving
behind you the cherished
worms of your dispassion,
your pallid ironies,
your jovial, murderous,
wry-humored balanced judgment,
leap over, un-
balanced? … then
how our fanatic tears
would flow and mingle
for joy …