Rants

  • Growing Up Ginger

    Yesterday, a friend posted on Facebook a link to this article

    A List of Essential Children’s Books To Empower Black Girls to Love Their Hair

    and it simultaneously made me really happy, and really weepy and introspective. read more

  • How I Became a Doctor in 23 Seconds

    A few months back, I was setting up a new iPad, and had to create an account in order to complete the setup.  They didn’t ask for terribly much information, but they did ask for one piece of information that I was not able to provide.

    They asked for my “title”.  It was a required field, my choices were

    Mr.
    Mrs.
    Ms.
    Dr.

    and it would not let me continue setting up the account until I had selected one of those.  Which, for me, was a problem.
    read more

  • An Open Letter to Home Depot

    Earlier today, a friend posted this photo on Instagram

    Now, the fact there is an Instagram that exists, on which my friends can post these things, that is found on the Internet, told me my initial suspicion was correct, but I glanced at the upper right corner of my 27” iMac just in case.  Sure enough, it’s the year 2016.
    read more

  • Why You Totally Need Facebook’s Newest Post Scheduling Feature

    Recently, I noticed another round of the sluggishness, inconsistency in performance, and general nonfunctional bullshittery that always accompany Facebook working behind the scenes in preparation of rolling out new “features”.  Facebook’s definition of a “feature” is “OMGHOLYWOW new thing you didn’t even know you wanted until we gave it to you you’re welcome enjoy!” whereas the rest of us tend to define Facebook “features” more in terms of “major drawback and hindrance to basic functionality and could you seriously please just fucking stop changing shit on pages because you’re not doing anything anybody really wants done and this is not how you’re going to encourage us to actually start paying for this service okaythanksbyenow”.

    But this new feature could very well be the best thing that has ever happened to anyone.  Because where last week you could only schedule things in advance to post to your page, now you can backdate things that you post on your page. read more

  • How Not to Sell Vibrators

    A few days ago, I received a Carol Wright Gifts catalog in the mail.  If you’re not familiar with them, they are one of the many Random Occasionally Useful Crap companies that sell everything from dog shoes to paisley-framed reading glasses to novelty kitchen gadgets.  And I admit that, when I receive these publications, I flip through them before placing them in the recycle bin because once in a great while there is something that actually interests me.

    In this case, it was Fleece-Lined Leggings.  I’m very sad that I can’t in good conscience order those.  Because they sound super comfy and ideal for working-at-home winter days.  But I will not give Carol Wright a dime of my money until they change one very important thing.

    The leggings were on the first page of this seemingly innocuous gift catalog and, encouraged, I continued flipping pages.  The Removable Instant Eyebrows on page 7 were definitely pause-worthy.  But it was pages 20 & 21 that made me stop dead in my flipping tracks. read more

  • Dear BBC…

    Every year or so, an Internet quiz starts recirculating, about 100 books the BBC thinks most people have only read six of.  The implication being, of course, that most people are ill-read mental slobs who don’t know which end of a dust jacket to eat their soup with.

    And every year or so when I see this quiz pop up again, I take a peek at the latest iteration, which never fails to amuse, amaze, and annoy me.  I have been reading since 1975.  I average 2 or 3 books a month.  And since I math almost as well as I read, that tells me 100 books is a small fraction of what I’ve mentally consumed in my literate lifetime.  So, BBC, here are a few things I would like to tell you about my reading habits and my take on your idea of what people should be reading: read more

  • Those Are Not “Free” Magazines

    Anyone familiar with this blog knows that I have extremely mixed feelings about the print-on-demand magazine industry.  On the one hand, it provides an outlet for creative people to do some amazing work with no financial outlay.  On the other hand, that very lack of required financial commitment has created some rather callous attitudes among people who now claim the title of “editor”.

    One recurring statement from these editors drives me particularly crazy, that they do not give “free” magazines to contributors.  And yes, they usually do put the word ‘free’ in quotes, whether for emphasis or irony I’m not sure.  In one distinctly memorable case, a magazine’s submission guidelines stated quite emphatically “we do NOT give out free magazines, so DON’T ASK”.  This is the attitude I have a problem with. read more

  • The Large-Breasted Geek Phenomenon: Some Theories

    I have a dear friend who is, hands down, the most dedicated geek I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.  She loves Star Wars, Doctor Who, Comic-Con, WoW, you name it, she’s into it to a degree I find not only endearing but fascinating in its dedication.

    She also has really large breasts.  And apparently, there are women who believe these things cannot exist simultaneously in a single being, so they insist either the breasts are fake or the geekery must be.

    I know for a fact both of these things are genuine in this particular woman, and I also know there are others like her in the world.  Which begs the question, where does the large-breasted geek come from?  How is she formed, in what environment does she thrive?  After careful thought, I have come up with three possible theories to explain her. read more

  • Things That Are Not Plagiarism

    Few things on the Internet bug me more, as an editor, an artist, and a human being who loves language enough to want to see it used properly, than the constant throwing around of accusations of plagiarism by people who don’t seem to have taken the time to learn what that word actually means.

    Plagiarism is when someone takes someone else’s original work and claims it as their own, either intact or after making only very minor alterations that leave it still recognizable as the original work. read more

  • Things That Are Not Artistic Nudes

    I spend quite a bit of time on deviantART, scouting out content for The Poetic Pinup Revue.  It’s one of my favorite parts of the job, and it has netted some truly beautiful images that might not have found their way to our pages otherwise.

    However, it must be said that for every gem uncovered, there are several layers of non-gemlike material to be got through first, and the majority of them are found in dA’s “Artistic Nudes” category.  Granted, they only wind up there for lack of a more suitable category, such as “Porn by People Who Do Not Have the Balls to Admit Their Work is Porn” or even a more general “Photos of Nipples and Genitals with Little Else to Recommend Them” but, while I will never tell another artist what to create, the following really don’t qualify as “Artistic Nudes”. read more

  • A Niche is Supposed to be a Good Thing

    Once upon a while back, I read and refrained from joining in on a conversation about required sizes of digital images for quality print.  One individual insisted that 300 dpi and 72 dpi are exactly the same thing and anyone who says otherwise doesn’t know what they are talking about.

    Yeah.  I’ll let you absorb that for a moment.

    Party B said “um… no” and proceeded to explain why.  Party A refused to listen, and Party C, on whose page this conversation was taking place, finally said “hey, let’s just cite artistic difference and end this”.  Wise party, that C.  C was wrong, of course, but at least the conversation ended.

    It has recently been brought to my attention that someone of the Party A school is starting a magazine.  And their “niche” will be not requiring high-resolution images. read more

  • The ‘Editor’ vs. ‘MagCloud Profiteer’ Quiz

    I have written before my opinions of the impact of print-on-demand publishing on the magazine world, both for the better and for the worse. Before I go any further, I would like to state one thing very clearly: I will never be against any outlet that provides creative people the opportunity to get their work into the world without requiring any financial outlay upfront. Ever. And because print-on-demand publishing provides exactly that, I am not against it, per se.

    However, some of the people who, as a result of that outlet, are now running around bearing the self-granted titles of “editor” and “publisher” are frankly starting to piss me off just a bit. So, here’s a little quiz, some basics that really should be covered before you give yourself a title like that. read more