Adventures with Katniss Everpounce

Sep. 24th, 2017 03:36 pm
kass: white cat; "kass" (Default)
[personal profile] kass
(Okay, that is not actually our kitten's name, but I use it sometimes anyway, because.)

Today we had our third bath, and this time it went well!

The changes were Z's idea... )

I feel unreasonably proud of this. Kitten bathing: achievement unlocked!

Gratitudes

Sep. 24th, 2017 01:58 pm
kass: apples and honey (apples)
[personal profile] kass
1. Although it is after the autumn equinox in my hemisphere, it is unseasonably warm right now, so I am grateful for air conditioning, even if I feel ridiculous using it on September 24!

2. Apple-picking with Mr. Kid today! This is one of our fall traditions and it is so sweet. The orchard is near our old house. Rows and rows of beautiful apple trees stretching toward fields and hills. And we got two bags of honeycrisps, my favorite apples of them all.

3. Related to the above, there is a granola-topped apple crisp cooling now on my counter. I'm also making a chicken curry in the slow cooker to eat all week, and I've cooked up some ground turkey and vegetables with soy and sesame and cilantro and will add rice noodles to them later for dinner tonight.

4. Dishwasher (now running) and washing machine (also now running.) The fact that we have these appliances; the fact that we have power with which to run them.

5. Watching Mr. Kid gleefully play with Mr. Kitten, who has a catnip mouse and is carrying it proudly around the room in his mouth. I can't tell whether the catnip is making the kitten goofier, or whether this is just his natural three-month-old goofitude, but either way, it's adorbs.

Vertical storage! Vertical space!

Sep. 23rd, 2017 08:53 pm
newredshoes: red-winged blackbird (<3 | this moment to arise)
[personal profile] newredshoes
So... okay, so, I saw six apartments today, and one of them seems... like it could be so good. I really, really liked it when I was in it, and then a few hours later, I was waffling like hell and doubting whether I really liked it that much and whether I should hold out for another and whether I should feel more strongly and why am I not feeling strongly... Broker pointed out that I could be gun-shy, given what apartment-hunting got me last time. I'm trying to stay balanced about the whole thing, but I don't!!!!! know!!!!!!

Me waffling about a super nice apartment )

All that said, as I was typing this entry, a friend I had lunch with checked in to see how the showing had gone. Between her reaction to the pictures and how excited I felt telling her about the place (and realizing that actually I do have places to put all my bookcases that make sense, and I could definitely work with those tiny bedrooms by painting an accent wall)... I'm leaning much more heavily yes. I should sleep on it! We'll see!

In case you were wondering...

Sep. 23rd, 2017 07:16 pm
kass: white cat; "kass" (Default)
[personal profile] kass
...the LEGO Ninjago movie is charming as hell. There's a delightfully meta frametale, plus Jackie Chan, plus bonus points for excellent use of a cat. I think I laughed as much as my kid did, and that's saying something. :-)

Cookie Monster

Sep. 23rd, 2017 03:57 pm
icepixie: ([Movies] Remy OMG)
[personal profile] icepixie
You GUYS, these cookies right here are basically what you making cookie butter out of, with a maple syrup crust. Oh man. So good.

(no subject)

Sep. 23rd, 2017 06:46 am
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
Thursday was family games night, with pizza. [personal profile] sithjawa joined, as well as the partner's large array of siblings and their spouses/etc.

After games were done, my partner showed me Who Framed Roger Rabbit? out of the "You haven't seen that yet?" queue. And we watched more of The Orville, and I tested out my stand mixer by making some cookies.

Friday, in honor of the equinox, I baked a sweet cardamom loaf. Then we did a shopping run, and my partner made dinner.

These past two days have involved a lot of small gas-powered motors around. Partner has summoned a yard maintenance company to take care of some of the tree, bush, weed, and tenacious invasive morning glory things that the ex neglected in the interminable six months leading up to departure. It's been loud, but is so much better looking now. Though there are still some more things left for today, like the stack of lichen-covered branches in the driveway.

*Whew*

Sep. 23rd, 2017 12:29 am
halfshellvenus: (Default)
[personal profile] halfshellvenus
I'm back home again, after driving our son down to UCLA for his move-in. It's a long drive—6.5 hours or so—but practically brief compared to the 10-11 hour (or 12 hour) trips to San Diego to take our daughter to school. It's a much more manageable distance.

The weeks leading up to this were tough, but the trip and separation itself a little less so, mainly because he was actually ready to be going. Well, emotionally, anyway. I still wound up packing most of his stuff, because neither of our children inherited my godlike Tetris skills.

Originally, we'd planned for both parents to drive south for the journey, but HalfshellHusband's broken hip keeps him from going anywhere. That was hard on him, having to stay behind again and say goodbye so abruptly. We went through this with our daughter too, but that was mainly because she'd packed too much stuff to fit a third person in the car!

So now I'm back, in the empty nest, and it is strange and likely to feel stranger over time, at least for awhile. HalfshellHusband saw the orthopedic surgeon a week ago, and while the pieces of bone have moved a little (PIECES, not just a crack as I'd originally hoped), the current thinking is still that surgery might possibly be avoided. Given HSH's tendency to overdue, I'm not so sure. He's supposed to keep weight off of that leg, but I catch him free-wheeling around without his walker or even the cane—or trying to make dinner on the sly because it's "not that hard," even though standing up for long periods is forbidden. This is usually followed by a long, sleepless night due to pain. :( I'm really dreading trying to juggle all of those chores and responsibilities while also having to nag HSH to stop helping when he shouldn't. Give me strength...

Other news... Work=grief, and I have no idea when/if I'll be able to get away for a few days to visit my mother. We've watched a couple of movies (The Girl On The Train was much twistier than I had expected), I've read some books, I've listened to more Chris Cornell (because I'm already feeling sad, and the mood aligns), and now a future of tackling the in-home chaos awaits me... And to think, Fall is usually my favorite season. \o?

umadoshi: (Tohru & the pretty boys (flamika))
[personal profile] umadoshi
We have a window in our bathroom! (A skylight, technically, since the exterior bathroom wall slopes outward and is shingled.) Except I have yet to see the window, because it's on the front of the house and I came in through the back door when coming home tonight, and there's still a bathroom wall between the room and the window/exterior wall. Getting the actual window in was the only time-/weather-sensitive part, and [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose and the contractor agreed that the drywall would stay intact for now. (I wasn't here for the discussion, so I don't actually know if that's because [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose and I haven't finalized what we're doing with that part of the room (the extra floor space we could gain by removing the existing interior wall and just having the sloped wall), or because of time constraints, or because that's just not being part of what that contracting company does...? *shrugs* But we have a window.

K.B. Spangler has a new book out this week--one that's not connected to A Girl and Her Fed. (Digital only right now, but a print version is coming.) [twitter.com profile] seananmcguire wrote a short Twitter thread in response when Spangler announced the new book's availability; the key takeaway about the actual writing is "If you want some of the most elegantly written, internally consistent, funny, touching, TRUE science fiction coming out today, you should take a look at @KBSpangler. She's the real deal, y'all. She's writing shit that breaks every rule, and still works."

In related news, I just spent a vile amount on US-to-Canada shipping* to get a print copy of Rise Up Swearing (so far the only compiled volume of AGAHF) and a little pin of Bubbles, the Fed's digital clownfish...avatar? (I'm blanking on the correct word. "Avatar" is applied to something else in that 'verse, though, IIRC. Hmm.)

I was spared having to decide, in this time of "yes, I swear, I'm trying to cut back on spending", whether I was going to get a "Literalists do it with their genitals!" shirt; the shirt is currently unavailable (as in, no longer showing up on the site at all, not just out of stock). My wallet is grateful.

*Ordered directly from the AGAHF store, and she was as appalled as I was at the shipping cost. It wasn't surprising, though.

The first week at Casual Job is over--all two days of it! (Four hours yesterday and eight today.) I'm having some tech frustration at the office that would take ages to type up and is not terribly interesting, but I'll say that I really, really hope the person who sometimes does on-site IT support for us is around on Monday, because WOW, calling the help desk was useless. -_-

So far at Hal-Con I've seen several people wearing geeky shirts from stories I know, and things like a Sailor Saturn costume down in the mall food court. (A moment of respectful silence for the food court workers this weekend, who'll be slammed.) But the best was when Ginny and I were running down from work to get lunch and ran into someone in Tohru cosplay! The cosplayer mentioned that she was off to get her Yuki and Kyo, but Ginny and I were then unsure if she'd meant plushies of the boys in their cursed forms or fellow cosplayers.
havocthecat: angry christina ricci with a chainsaw (feelings kill them all)
[personal profile] havocthecat
Never try to mean girl at a Slytherin.

I just need to find a good picture. Suggestions?

People keep making the mistake of thinking that just because I'm nice, I'm a pushover. Or gullible. Or both.

That is...beyond hilarious as a concept.

Fuck everyone today.

(Work issues, though I've run into the same idea outside of work, I suppose. I will elaborate when I'm not vaguebooking on a work computer on a work network.)

(no subject)

Sep. 21st, 2017 10:09 pm
gorgeousnerd: #GN written in the red font from my layout on a black background. (Default)
[personal profile] gorgeousnerd
1. First, US political stuff. Healthcare. )

Edit: If you're in the US, you can email the Senate Finance Committee about this before their Monday hearing. More on that here.

2. I didn't do Wednesday Reading last week, mostly because there wasn't much to say. I'm a bit belated this week, but I have more to say, so!

Books! )

3. I can't believe it's almost October, but it certainly felt that late in the year today, if not later. It never cracked 50 F outside. I went outside in layers (short of my jacket, but layers) and was uncomfortably cold until I walked around a bit. This is just a cold spot, though; it was in the 80s no more than ten days ago, and it's supposed to be back in the 80s in the next week. Still, as the last day of summer goes, it was kind of sad. I'm not ready to be talking snow levels, okay! Let me enjoy more of Halloween season first!
havocthecat: angry christina ricci with a chainsaw (feelings kill them all)
[personal profile] havocthecat
Not because I dislike the heat, because I unironically like 90+ degree hot, humid weather, but because it's given the ragweed fresh life. I'm sneezing non-stop.

Mishmash post

Sep. 21st, 2017 01:04 am
umadoshi: (kittens - Claudia - thoughtful)
[personal profile] umadoshi
--I want to say it feels weird to think that I'm going back to the office tomorrow, but it doesn't seem real enough yet to feel weird. (Having had only something like a week of work in the spring is not really helping. I'd barely sat down at my desk and then we were finished!) What does feel weird is thinking--hoping!--that when I get home tomorrow there'll be a window where there is now a solid wall.


--The first few days back are usually pretty reasonable. (I could conceivably even be home for supper tomorrow evening!) Thankfully, today I was able to finish and submit the half-volume that's due tomorrow, so that's not hanging over me...but I'll need to go pick up my and [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose's con passes, and then on Friday, no matter what time we wrap up at the office, I'll be going straight from there to the convention. I even made it as far as looking over the schedule and making notes this evening, although in practice I rarely make it to more than a small percentage of the panels and talks that catch my eyes. So many people. O_O (The "rarely" applies to cons and similar things in general, as this is only my second Hal-Con.)


--When I was poking around in my tags the other day to see if I could figure out when I stopped bouldering, I came across this 2013 post about Claudia from when she and Jinksy were about five months old. Oh, my kitten. *^^* (*finds baby!Claudia!kitten icon*)


--I have this half-formed theory that Casual Job is the appropriate excuse to actually start figuring out lipstick, since I really haven't, despite buying a bunch in Toronto. The defense I have to offer is that I'm usually at home living in pajamas when Casual Job isn't on (I'm very glad I'm not one of the many people who needs to Get Dressed to successfully work at home--although if it'd help my focus, you bet I'd do it), and when I go out it's usually either quick errands (hard to convince myself to bother) or to have dinner out with someone (and I know people eat and drink with lipstick on all the time, but it turns out I find it intimidating to consider needing to immediately touch it up while out if it smears/wears off).

Media Wednesday

Sep. 20th, 2017 06:12 pm
saturnofthemoon: (Claudius - reading is love)
[personal profile] saturnofthemoon
Given that I have a ton of schoolwork on my plate, it's the perfect time to update my journal.

I have not read Hilary Clinton's book yet, but all the one sentence one star reviews on Amazon are hilarious. Most of them are one sentence long reviews clearly written by people that just want to air their opinions on Hilary and have no intention of reading a single page of the item in question. I would really like to read "What Happened," but I generally don't buy books until they've hit the bargain bin and the library's reserve list is probably a mile long. Also, my self-imposed book-buying ban starts on my next birthday, which is exactly 31 days from now.

I'm not happy about the cancellation of Dark Matter. What am I going to do without Two in my life? (Note to self: get a Two icon or make one.) Because of Syfy's habit of constantly retooling its image, I've never seen a non-reality TV show that lasted more than five seasons on that channel. Killjoys got renewed and I guess that's good? I never made it past the pilot because Syfy no longer streams its shows on Hulu.

What are you currently reading?

The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2015. (Yeah, I'm a little late.) So far it's the most delightful thing I've read all year. I encountered my first Seanan McGuire story and she certainly lives up to the hype.

Anansi Boys - Not as good as I expected. The characters are a little too flat for my taste.

What did you just finish reading

The Prince of Medicine: Galen in the Roman Empire by Susan P. Mattern - I gave it three stars on Goodreads because it is well researched and the author does a good job of remaining objective. However, I found the book's subject utterly unlikeable and the accounts of public dissections made my blood chill. I don't recommend it for anyone who isn't a diehard fan of ancient medical history.

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood - Excellent, but definitely not an easy read. I feel Atwood chose the book's uneven narrative style to bring readers even further out of their comfort zone. There's also a spoilery explanation for it at the end. I'm not sure if I'm up for watching the TV show.

What do you think you'll read next?

Lately, my books have either been fantasy or non-fiction. I should tackle some of the unfinished series I have around my apartment, which consist of:

Kushiel's Legacy - There's sadly only one more Phedre book to go, then it's on to Imriel.

Dune - Given that I've read Dune three times over the past twenty years, I really should move on to the rest of the series.

Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy - Meh, it looks like JMS isn't turning it into a miniseries after all. However, I still bought the whole trilogy and should finish it...someday. The world-building is mildly interesting, but I find most of the characters to be utterly unlikable, with the exception of Nadia and Arkady.

Lord of the Rings - *winces* I like the Hobbit, (possibly because it's geared towards a younger age group), but LOTR makes me want to tear my hair out. Does Tolkein really need five pages to describe a rock? I just have The Return of the King and The Silmarillion left, but I'm on the fence about finishing this series. This is one case where the movies are better.

Harry Potter - Still haven't finished book 5. I might bump this up on the list for comfort reading.

I'm technically watching Underground, Sense8, Orphan Black and Doctor Who right now, but school takes up most of my free time. It looks like I'm going to be dropping/Netflixing some shows.

Keeping
Jane the Virgin
The Flash
Izombie
Agents of Shield
Legends of Tomorrow

On the Fence
Supergirl
Gotham
How to Get Away With Murder
Vikings

Summer Shows
American Gods
Game of Thrones


I'm not a fan of the traditional broadcast way of airing shows episode by episode. I like to have entire seasons dumped on the internet, available for me to watch when I have the time. For example, I've been wanting to see The Americans for some time, but I know there are four seasons on Amazon patiently waiting for me.

More Disaster Relief Links

Sep. 21st, 2017 07:38 am
wendelah1: words: Always be a little kinder than necessary (Always be a little kinder than necessary)
[personal profile] wendelah1
Because the hits just keep coming. Give what you can, if you can.

Fundraiser by St. John's Rescue: St. John Victims of Hurricane Irma. This is an island-based charity and rescue group.

Harvey HELP is a fundraiser started by educators for their college students who've affected by Hurricane Harvey in order to provide grants to help keep them in school. It hasn't attracted much attention, sadly.

21 US Virgin Island's Relief Fund is the fundraiser organized by former San Antonio Spurs star, Tim Duncan.

Hurricane Irma and Maria Relief for the Caribbean:

Catholic Charities USA

Global Giving

Save the Children

UNICEF.

Habitat for Humanity of Puerto Rico was mentioned in an interview on MSNBC by a government official, name unremembered.

This made me remember that Habitat for Humanity helps low income people build houses all over the world, including the USA.

Habit for Humanity of Florida. This site has info for victims, too.

Houston Habitat for Humanity.

From Fortune.com, here is a long list of places to donate for Mexico.
Here’s How You Can Help Mexico Earthquake Victims. It includes the usual suspects as well as some local organizations.

And since I'm an Episcopalian and a "socialist," here is a link for Episcopal Relief and Development.

Links (plus some commentary)

Sep. 22nd, 2017 11:00 am
wendelah1: (A better world is possible)
[personal profile] wendelah1
I wish there was something positive to report. Instead, here's your daily reminder that millions of Americans are still at risk of losing their healthcare.

That's why we need to keep making those Calls to Kill Trumpcare.

The Guardian: Senate aims for healthcare vote next week as Obama condemns repeal effort

The Rachel Maddow blog: On health care, the GOP literally doesn’t know what it’s doing.

Tell me about it.

NYT: Republican Leaders Defy Bipartisan Opposition to Health Law Repeal.

Esquire: The Republicans Aren't Even Pretending This Is About Healthcare Anymore They're too tired to lie. But they're not too tired to vote for this piece of crap masquerading as actual legislation.

Brief healthcare rant )

Other links

The Conversation: Flood Insurance is Broken. Here are some ways to fix it.

NYT: Harvey and Irma Wiped Out Our Kitchens. Still, We Cook.

Lit Hub: Life On the Road and In a Walmart Parking Lot. Review of Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder.

About the same author and book, in the NYT: On the Road With the Casualties of the Great Recession.

Why Are Americans Less Charitable Than They Used to Be? Researchers found that the losses of the Great Recession do not entirely explain why people aren’t giving very much money to charity. Maybe it's because they feel they have to donate to groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and NARAL, which are defending our democracy instead?

On a lighter note, from Lit Hub: 10 Famous Book Hoarders. My husband is a non-famous book hoarder. "No, Dad is an everything hoarder," our son pointed out. He has a point. Sigh.

BBC: The island people with a climate change escape plan. I'm glad to hear that someone has a plan.

That's Not My Age (a style blog for women over 50): Street Style Forever at London Fashion Week. Now I love seeing all the high falutin' old ladies in tennis shoes--it validates my own style-not-quite-choices but I'm having a harder time with the shirtdresses over blue jeans look. I'm trying to keep an open mind.
umadoshi: (kittens - sleeping)
[personal profile] umadoshi
Fannish/Geeky/SFF Things

"Seanan McGuire on What She Learned From October, Plus a Sweeps!" The interview is about what writing Toby's series (AKA her first novel and series) taught her, and the contest, which is open until September 30, is for all eleven books to date.

"Transcript for OTW 10th Anniversary Chat with Seanan McGuire & Martha Wells".

"Exclusive Interview and ARC Giveaway: In Other Lands author, Sarah Rees Brennan". This contest has closed, alas, but I really liked the interview (and its entirely appropriate attention to mermaids): "My protagonist Elliot is a huge nerd, so when he arrives in a magical world he immediately asks ‘Show me the mermaids!’ rather than ‘Explain to me this strange word… magic…’ and mermaids are for him a shorthand for him wanting to behold the many wonders on offer in a magic land–in other words, harpies, unicorns and mermaids, oh my. He then keeps asking about the mermaids, having lessons about them, researching them, getting different answers about mermaids from different people, until he finally does meet one–with consequences I will not spoil for those who do not yet know!"

"Sci-fi author Martha Wells on writing a series about a robot that calls itself Murderbot".

"‘SHEroes’: Wonder Woman meets Bionic Woman". "Lindsay Wagner, aka Jamie Sommers or “The Bionic Woman,” posted her photo with Lynda Carter, aka Diana Prince or “Wonder Woman,” on her Facebook page recently and, as expected, fans went wild with nostalgia."

"Superheroes for the Jewish New Year". [Book Riot]

Over at [dreamwidth.org profile] ladybusiness, [dreamwidth.org profile] renay posted a great interview with Kate Elliott.

"Present-Day Devices as Props". "Every Star Trek production requires a large number of props to act as technical devices of Starfleet or of aliens. There are custom prop designs for standard phasers, tricorders or communicators. But in most cases there is a need for additional props that either serve a specific purpose in the story or are used as generic futuristic decoration. Several of the props that could be seen are actually slightly modified devices of the 20th/21st century. In particular, game consoles have been used repeatedly for handheld scanners."

Sarah Gailey (author of the hippo-wrangling AUs River of Teeth and Taste of Marrow) currently has an unrelated serial, The Fisher of Bones, running in Fireside Magazine, who've just announced that the whole story is now available for preorder (and...get the ending before folks who're reading it/choose to keep reading it in serialization, which seems a bit odd to me, but sure).


TV/movie news

"Linda Hamilton Set to Return to 'Terminator' Franchise".

"MISS. FISHER’S MURDER MYSTERIES Movie Is a Go, Thanks to Kickstarter".

"“Madam Secretary” Showrunner Barbara Hall Developing CIA Drama for CBS" about "a multigenerational family of spies."

"The real hero of Netflix's "The Defenders" is the way Jessica Jones throws very heavy things".

"REPORT: Marvel Studios Developing a Power Pack Feature Film".


Miscellaneous

"Dictionary of the Oldest Written Language–It Took 90 Years to Complete, and It’s Now Free Online". [Open Culture]

"A 68 Hour Playlist of Shakespeare’s Plays Being Performed by Great Actors: Gielgud, McKellen & More". [Open Culture, 2015]

"Street Artist Paints Fantastic Fake Shadows Under Objects Perplexing Sidewalk Pedestrians Walking By".

(no subject)

Sep. 20th, 2017 08:57 am
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)
[personal profile] seekingferret
Listening to the West Wing Weekly podcast, I'm up to 2x3 The Midterm Elections and one of my least favorite scenes in the West Wing, when President Bartlet 'dismantles' Dr. Jane Jacobs's homophobia.

BARTLET
Good. I like your show. I like how you call homosexuality an abomination.

JENNA JACOBS
I don't say homosexuality is an abomination, Mr. President. The Bible does.

BARTLET
Yes, it does. Leviticus.

JENNA JACOBS
18:22

BARTLET
Chapter and verse. I wanted to ask you a couple of questions while I had you here.
I'm interested in selling my youngest daughter into slavery as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7.
(small chuckles from the guests) She's a Georgetown sophomore, speaks fluent Italian, and
always clears the table when it was her turn. What would a good price for her be? While
thinking about that, can I ask another? My Chief of Staff, Leo McGarry, insists on working
on the Sabbath, Exodus 35:2, clearly says he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated
to kill him myself or is it okay to call the police? Here's one that's really important,
'cause we've got a lot of sports fans in this town. Touching the skin of a dead pig makes
us unclean, Leviticus 11:7. If they promise to wear gloves, can the Washington Redskins
still play football? Can Notre Dame? Can West Point? Does the whole town really have to be
together to stone my brother, John, for planting different crops side by side? Can I burn
my mother in a small family gathering for wearing garments made from two different threads?


I know I've complained about similar rhetoric before. The argument is this: There are things in the Bible that a modern religious person doesn't observe. This abrogation means that any parts they do still observe are inherently hypocritical, because if they claimed to follow the Bible they would follow the whole Bible.

This is a really stupid argument. Christianity explicitly rejects some of the Hebrew Bible's obligations. It's not hypocritical for them to not observe these things, it's inherently doctrinal, and it could even be argued (as I've sometimes been forced to, because sometimes Christians do weird and offensive things with Jewish ritual) that it's hypocritical if they DO observe those things. The Christian Bible says that Christians do not need to keep kosher. It's right there in the text!

And even things Christians do still observe that are mentioned in the rant are not necessarily observed in the Biblical way, on purpose! Jesus doesn't condemn the idea of the Sabbath, and Christians do observe a Sabbath, but Jesus condemns the idea of putting people to death for breaching the Sabbath. So Christians have a much more relaxed approach to the Sabbath than Jews do. Again, this does not make them hypocrites. It means they ARE observing their religion.

This infuriates me particularly even though I usually don't care all that much if Christians are revealed as hypocrites, because this argument is the classic anti-Judeo-Christian argument: Ostensibly directed at Christians by people who don't bother to distinguish between Jews and Christians. Jews have our own approaches to difficult passages in Tanakh, but generally we don't believe that the ritual law has been abrogated. We think we still are obligated in most if not all of the things Bartlet mentions as absurd rituals. Orthodox Jewish farmers in Israel, to this day, don't plant two crops side by side in a field. And though we don't have the executive ability to carry them out, most of the stoning laws Bartlet mentions are still technically on the books.

And Orthodox Jews generally still believe we are obligated in the prohibition of et zachar lo tishkav, no matter how difficult that may be to reconcile with modern ideas about love and sex. But it's not like the fact that I don't eat shellfish is what allows me to hate gays without hypocrisy! That's the frustrating part of this argument for me. If you accept it, you seem to be accepting the idea that IF Christians hadn't abrogated parts of the Torah's ritual law, they'd be free to consider homosexuality an abomination. But the people who are making this argument clearly don't believe that. They believe that considering homosexuality abominable is evil and homophobic regardless of whether you eat shellfish. So people making Bartlet's argument are making an argument they don't actually believe to try to trap religious people with sophistry.

So when you're criticizing Christian homophobia, or Jewish homophobia, try to do it with an argument that you actually believe, and which actually engages with Christian or Jewish doctrine rather than with your imagined fake version of that doctrine. Ask a Jew how they reconcile Veahavta lereacha kamocha with the idea of telling your neighbor they can't marry the person they love. Ask a Christian how they can send their churchmates to abusive conversion therapies when Jesus preached kindness and humility and not judging the sins of others.

But don't ask them these things because they're traps you're seeking to catch them in. Ask them because religious people have thought about these questions and we have answers to them, answers our critics often refuse to listen to, and because the conversations about these questions are worth having and worth struggling with. These are hard questions that challenge our faith, and serious theists ask them. Serious atheists ought to, also.

And what frustrates me most about this scene, why it's one of my least favorite West Wing moments, is that President Bartlet, deeply Catholic, who once considered the priesthood, must have some answer to these questions that isn't dependent on taking Catholics to task for eating shellfish. This scene is profoundly out of character on a theological level for the man delivering it. And I don't like when President Bartlet lets me down.


Edit: Thanks for comments- I will not be able to respond until after Rosh Hashanah at earliest

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