The Minneapolis City Council recently voted to defund the police in favor of establishing a "holistic public safety force". This move would require an amendment to the city charter, and so requires a city-wide vote. On the face of it, it seems like a pretty extreme move. And a lot of people on both sides … Continue reading Wrapping My Head Around “Defund the Police”: A Review of Alex Vitale’s The End of Policing
(The following is a continuation of this post) Uh... Well... they say you never really want to meet your heroes right? I think honestly, it would be awkward to have lunch with someone I was like, a really big fan of. It would be hard not to get all "fannish" and weird. I think it would … Continue reading Jennifer Asks: What One Currently Living Writer Would You Most Like to Have Lunch, A Beer, or A Coffee With?
In light of Toni Morrison’s recent passing, I finally decided to pick up one of her novels (having been collecting them at garage and library book sales for years, putting them on the “to-read” shelf). I figured I would go ahead and start with the most critically acclaimed, her Nobel-prize-wining Beloved. It’s a brilliant and … Continue reading When the Medium is the Message: Some Brief Thoughts on the Movie Adaptation of Toni Morrison’s Beloved
I just finished reading Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card. I can’t say these are books I like. But at the same time, they are not easily dismissed. They are books that some people absolutely hate, and which are deeply meaningful to others. Let’s begin with Ender’s Game. The novel … Continue reading Empathy as a Weapon in the Ender Saga Part I: The Empathetic (Sympathetic) Monster
George R. R. Martin is often credited with describing his writing process as being more like a gardener than an architect. In other words, he prefers to discover a story as he goes, editing it here and there like a gardener tends his plants, but mostly allowing the process to unfold naturally, rather than planning … Continue reading Lessons from GoT Part 3: This is the Way the World Ends
One of the most common tropes used in a fantasy series is to begin with a young, naïve hero who is scooped out of his sheltered, mundane experience (usually by a mysterious bearded wizard) into some kind of grand adventure. In The Rivan Codex (a great read for anyone interested in the mechanics of very … Continue reading Lessons from GoT Part 2: Building the Sandbox
Have you ever read the credits on a movie and find a long list of “Bartender”, “Soldier A”, “Drug Addict,” “Man with Hilariously Large Penis” etc? Characters who appear only for brief moments with few, if any speaking lines and whose names remain unknown because the script writer never bothered to give them a name? … Continue reading Lessons from GoT Part 1: When Every Bleeding Grain of Sand has a Name… [Spoilers for Book 1 below]