A Small Public Service Announcement


Ursula Le Guin has a blog. Did you know that? I didn’t. [le guin]

Immediately, on the front page, is an incredible poem that I want to quote in its entirety but I think you should probably read it there. (I don’t see a direct way to link to individual postings there, so it’s #122 in Feb 2017 [here]

The Wall
by Anita Endrezze (Yaqui)
Build a wall of saguaros,
butterflies, and bones
of those who perished
in the desert. A wall of worn shoes,
dry water bottles, poinsettias.
Construct it of gilded or crazy house
mirrors so some can see their true faces.
Build a wall of revolving doors
or revolutionary abuelas.
Make it as high as the sun, strong as tequila.
Boulders of sugar skulls. Adobe or ghosts.
A Lego wall or bubble wrap. A wall of hands
holding hands, hair braided from one woman
to another, one country to another.
A wall made of Berlin. A wall made for tunneling.
A beautiful wall of taco trucks.
A wall of silent stars and migratory songs.
This wall of solar panels and holy light,
panels of compressed cheetos,
topped not by barbed wire but sprouting
avocado seeds, those Aztec testicles.
A wall to keep Us in and Them out.
It will have faces and heartbeats.
Dreams will be terrorists. The Wall will divide
towns, homes, mountains,
the sky that airplanes fly through
with their potential illegals.
Our wallets will be on life support
to pay for it. Let it be built
of guacamole so we can have a bigly block party. [read the rest]

It goes on. It’s so, so good.

I find it amusing that people say “OMG she’s 81 and she’s blogging!” As if “blogging” is different from “writing”, which is a thing that Le Guin has been doing quite well for a very long time. Anyone who’s amazed that she’s able to blog ought to be amazed that water is wet and that cats like tuna fish.

My mom, who is older than Le Guin, developed and maintains a website since the late 1990s. [pmr] The only thing that surprised me about that was that she used Microsoft Front Page, which – since content management systems like WordPress and Squarespace didn’t exist at the time – was probably reasonable, too. At least she’s stopped periodically messing up the server-side Front Page extensions… (“No, mom, I’m a UNIX computer security consultant, not Microsoft tech support. You know way more about that stuff than I do!”  I learned.)

Comments

  1. says

    Anita Endrezze’s poem, that’s power. A wondrous read, which should not be ignored by anyone, no matter how distracted by server side extensions or any other horror. ;)

    I read your mom’s page some time back (I was curious, so I got nosy.) Very interesting stuff! You got seriously lucky in the parental lottery, Marcus.

  2. kestrel says

    Le Guin is my favorite writer, and one of the things I like most about her is she finds other talented people and good causes. This is beautiful.

  3. says

    Caine@#2:
    You got seriously lucky in the parental lottery, Marcus.

    I did. I have a really good interior perspective on the value of good parenting compared to inheriting wealth. I wouldn’t trade my parents for all the billion$. They’re kinda strange, (and so am I! Nurture, not nature!) but they’re some of the best people I’ve ever met.

    I’ll tell you a funny expression my dad has, which I’ve heard him use any number of times: “${person} just didn’t pick their parents right.” It’s wonderfully not-exactly judgemental but really nails down a certain kind of person.

  4. says

    Remember to put a rose-strewn doorway in Nogales
    where my grandmother crossed over,
    pistols on her hips.

    Why do I love that so much it makes me cry?

    I wish I could go like Orpheus and find Townes VanZandt and get him to set that to a tune, and record it. It’s already redolent of “Panch and Lefty” – I can smell the dust.

  5. says

    I did. I have a really good interior perspective on the value of good parenting compared to inheriting wealth. I wouldn’t trade my parents for all the billion$.

    Amusingly, my opinion is exactly opposite. I would be perfectly fine with any parents able to provide my basic needs (food, shelter, clothes). Some billion$ on top of that wouldn’t hurt. Of course I would want kind and non abusive parents (no childhood religious indoctrination, no beatings, no rape and so on). For anything beyond basic needs I see parents as irrelevant. I am the one who chooses from whom I want to learn. I also choose how to spend my time, what to do, or what to learn. Parental guidance isn’t required for that.

    I spent my childhood on a couch with library books and being happy whenever parents just left me alone. Then at some point I realized that my local library sucked. They had “Harry Potter” and school level textbooks, but they absolutely lacked scientific books about any subject. So I spent my teen years on a couch with pirated books and being happy whenever parents just left me alone. (Please, don’t yell at me, I was a minor with no bank account and relatives who refused to buy me any books telling me to just go a to a library, therefore the illegal pirate library was the only option I had.)

    For the record: my parents and family members were perfectly fine caring people. But they hardly influenced who I am now. When it comes to useful knowledge, I learned from my university’s debate teacher more than from all my family members combined.

  6. says

    Ieva Skrebele@#8:
    I spent my childhood on a couch with library books and being happy whenever parents just left me alone.

    Me too! Perhaps we were both lucky that our parents left us alone, and gave us room to operate, rather than raising either of us as fundamentalist ignarts, or filling our heads with hate. You pirated books, I had a faculty library card (that my dad arranged) at the library of an Ivy League university – but either way, we had books and time.

    As you point out, not being being abused or indoctrinated is a gift that many don’t have. One thing I always enjoyed about my parents was more or less unfailing support (OK, some of the sword wounds and bicycle accidents resulted in a bit of “I told you so.”) Being left to one’s own devices is a great gift.

  7. says

    My mum didn’t want to leave me alone. I was very stubborn, thus forcing her to leave me alone. Mum tried to send me to singing, dance, swimming and whatever other lessons. Each time I went once and refused to go again. When I developed interest in fencing, Krav Maga and woodworking, mum tried to make me quit all the “masculine” hobbies. She tried to make me wear feminine clothes (you already know how that ended). And she also tried to make me learn cooking (I just refused to enter the kitchen). Ultimately my mum had to give up and leave me alone. My mum had the best intentions with her attempts to raise me, but she only ended up annoying me.

    I had a faculty library card (that my dad arranged) at the library of an Ivy League university

    Yeah, living near a good library is amazing. While living in Germany I absolutely loved being able to use the local library. Unfortunately, good libraries are simply nonexistent anywhere in Latvia (for a bunch of reasons including some stupid political decisions).

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