greygirlbeast: (Bowie3)
Turns out, after driving to Birmingham, I had to forgo the dental appointment. We were home by noon yesterday. I'm no closer to knowing what the pain in my face is all about, and we're making an appointment with a local dentist. Screw this driving to Alabama nonsense. As for my doctor, she wants to put me on medication that will interfere with my ability to write, which makes sense, as she suspects I'm writing too much and the writing-related exhaustion is a major factor in my present health problems. I did point out that if I miss deadlines, I cannot pay medical bills. Hell, if I make deadlines, I still can't pay medical bills. Anyway, after we got home, we spent the better part of yesterday extracting shards of Budweiser bottles and knobby sweet potatoes from my buttocks. Which is to say, in an ideal universe, Robert Frost might have come across as a less-naive poet. Which is to say, this bit from "The Death of a Hired Man":

"Home is the place where, when you have to go there,
They have to take you in."

"I should have called it
Something you somehow haven't to deserve."

...well, it's bollocks. I mean, yeah, I wish, and I still love Robert Frost, if only for the sound of his words, but bollocks.

Yesterday, I received the cover flaps for the new mass-market edition of Murder of Angels, which goes on sale April 1st, 2008. Overall, I'm very happy with the cover. Penguin used the same model for Niki that they used for the mmp Silk cover. Anyway, much more to say on both these books (and the mass-market paperbacks, in general) tomorrow. Today, I find myself not in the mood to write about writing.

So, here are some links, instead:

From the Natural Resources Defense Council, a much-needed petition asking the US government to extend protection to polar bears under the Endangered Species Act.

Also, Vatican astronomer Guy Consolmagno has declared creationism to be a form of paganism. Well, duh. Still, this is a weird one for me, as I cheer all jabs at creationism and "intelligent design," but cannot help but be annoyed at Consolmagno's comment that what's so troublesome about creationism is "it's turning God into a nature god." For my part, the only gods worth a damn are nature gods, but since my concept of gods views them as metaphorical, or as focal points for consciousness, I suppose I can shrug this off and just be glad that even the Catholics still want nothing to do with creationists (the Vatican has a long history of denouncing "scientific" creationism). I also love Consolmagno's description of the concept of Papal infallibility as a "PR disaster," and this statement regarding the Pope: "It's not like he has a magic power, that God whispers the truth in his ear."

And lest I leave you with the thought that I have a soft spot for the Church, here's this bit about the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights (cough), denouncing the film adaptation as a platform for atheism aimed at children. Meanwhile, of course, the British Secular Society is pissed that the anti-Church aspects of the novels were watered down for the film. Me, I just want to see the bears...
greygirlbeast: (Default)
The Final Cut. Children of Men. Global warming. Polar bears. My head goes round and round in these circles.

For the most part, Planet Earth seems to be keeping mentions of humanity's impact to a minimum, but the polar-bear sequences stand out in stark contrast, an exception to the rule. This appears to have resulted from the camera men encountering so many drowning and starving polar bears. As global warming leads to shorter Arctic winters, ever-thinner pack ice, and earlier spring thaws, polar bears are quickly losing ground. Some biologists think they may be extinct by the end of the century, these bears, the world's largest extant terrestrial carnivores. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) share a common ancestor with the brown bear (Ursus arctos spp.), from which they likely diverged in the Middle Pleistocene, becoming a distinct species over the last 100,000 years*. But humans can wipe them out in only two or three centuries.

It would be a mercy, I suppose, in a purely selfish psychological sense, to ascribe to a religion that gives humanity dominance over "lower" lifeforms, that draws a distinction between Homo sapiens sapiens and all other animals, that says there's Man and then there's dumb, soulless nature (lowercase), which was only placed here to provide for Man's needs until some God or gods come/return to give mankind His just reward.

Anyway, because, one way or another, everything is connected, the polar-bear sequences in the "Ice Worlds" episode of Planet Earth last night brought me back around to Children of Men, and that got me thinking about these lines from Pink Floyd's The Final Cut (1983):

A place to stay.
Enough to eat.
Somewhere old heroes shuffle safely down the street.
Where you can speak out loud
About your doubts and fears,
And what's more, no-one ever disappears,
You never hear their standard issue kicking in your door.
You can relax on both sides of the tracks,
And maniacs don't blow holes in bandsmen by remote control.
And everyone has recourse to the law,
And no-one kills the children anymore.
And no-one kills the children anymore.

— Pink Floyd

Today, I'm trying not to think about drowning polar bears, trying to wander elsewhere and elsewhen in my mind, trying to find a story for Sirenia Digest 17.

*Kurten, B. 1964. The evolution of the polar bear, Ursus maritimus (Phipps). Acta Zoologica Fennica 108:1-26.
greygirlbeast: (chidown)
Well, on the bright side, we get new islands. So what if all the polar bears are drowning. I'm sure President Asshole and Co. have paid some neocon think tank to demonstrate a link between polar bears, homosexuality, and Islamic terrorism.

Meanwhile, a diverse new marine fauna has been discovered off the coast of Indonesia, including a previously unknown species of shark that "walks on its fins and a shrimp that looks like a praying mantis." They may all be extinct by the time biologists can get around to naming and describing them, as their habitat is "under danger from fishermen who use dynamite and cyanide to net their catches." But that's okay, too. Remember. We get new Arctic real estate.

Closer to home, the "EPA plans to close labs, drop scientists and reduce oversight." Which is to say, if we do not pay scientists to point out how humans are frelling up the place, then we also won't have to pay anyone to enforce those pesky environmental protection laws, and we'll get even more new Arctic Real Estate, and there will be more money with which to bomb Iraq (and Iran) and those gay Islamic polar bears will never even know what hit 'em.

I'm going to bed now.


greygirlbeast: (Default)
Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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