Content Creators: The Bloggess

November 13, 2020 4 of 8

I’m trying to remember when I first discovered Jenny Lawson, who blogs at The Bloggess. I believe that one of my friends (Leta, maybe?) linked to And That’s Why You Should Learn to Pick Your Battles.

I dug around on her site a while and found her to be hysterically funny and, like the very best funny things, every once in a while, Jenny will post something that hits you right in the gut. Often these gut punches have to do with Jenny’s mental health. Jenny has a mental illness and she is very frank about her struggles.

She did a TEDx Talk about her mental illness and she had a panic attack in the middle of it. Jenny lives in San Antonio and the talk was at the Empire Theater. I hadn’t gotten tickets because, well, time got away from me. It turned out that I walked right past the theater that day and I came *this* close to seeing if she’d gone on already and, if not, if I could’ve bought a ticket. And I’m very disappointed that I didn’t because I’d’ve loved to have been one of the people there who gave her a standing ovation.

She wasn’t there to see it, because her anxiety made her run off to the back as soon as she was done. But I’d’ve happily ovated her standingly.

And I’m not the only person who loves her. She opened a bookstore here this year, Nowhere Bookshop on Broadway in Alamo Heights. Well, I say “opened,” but they’re only open for curbside service right now. But she also started a virtual book club this year and she expected maybe 50 people. Last I heard it was over 1,000. There is a $10 setup fee and then you get charged $25 per month plus shipping (and sales tax if you’re in Texas) for the books. If the book is more, the book club eats the difference and if it’s less, they send you some kind of extra thingy, like a bookmark or a pin or something. Some of the books are autographed and two have come with little bookplates with the author’s autograph on them.

If you want to join the club, the signup page is here: The Fantastic Strangelings Book Club. A number of my Gratuitous Amazon Links are book club selections.

Speaking of Gratuitous Amazon Links, what’s up next? The Madman’s Daughter, by Megan Shepherd, apparently. I have some recollection of this series, but since I read them four years ago, it’s not so crisp and clear. This is the first book in a trilogy, also called The Madman’s Daughter, which is about the adventures of Juliet Moreau, the daughter of Dr. Moreau from The Island of Dr. Moreau. I will soon be posting the other two books.

Content Creators: Slacktivist

November 7, 2020 3 of 8

I’ve been a reader and occasional commenter at Fred Clark’s Slacktivist blog for a really absurdly long time. I think I was still married to Thomas when I found him. I checked him out for the reason that most people do — his deconstruction of the Left Behind books.

In the very, very late 1980s, my college roommate fell in with a group of young women who believed that the end of the world was right around the corner. When Geraldo Rivera had his show on the now-debunked Satanic panic, they had a prayer meeting in my dorm room.

I’m a Christian, but I don’t believe that there’s going to be a physical second coming of Jesus. Most of the Bible verses that are used as “proof” that such a thing is going to happen at all are taken out of context. Personally, I believe that most of it was about the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD.

But anyhow, I’m getting away from myself here.

This whole school year, with the constant talk of the rapture and everything in my room, where the only way I could get away from it was to hide in a friend’s room, was pretty scarring for me. My floormates who were near it, but not right in the middle of it, developed an allergy to this sort of talk, as well.

Left Behind hadn’t been written yet when this all went down, but a lot of the things that Fred talked about, like the Scofield Reference Bible, were things I’d come into contact with during that year. His deconstruction of that worldview, and the community that built up around his blog, was very cathartic for me.

Over the years, Fred has covered a lot of religious topics, and also political topics, and he’s talked about his own life, and upbringing, and baseball and places where any and all of those topics overlap.

Frankly, Slacktivist is one of the first places I check out when I sit down at my computer. I have trouble keeping up with the comentariat, both in terms of how fast the threads go and in terms of what they talk about, and really that’s a great experience for me, because I’ve learned so much over the years.

So I highly recommend that you check it out. If you lean progressive for your politics, or your religion, or anything like that, I think you’ll enjoy it.

And for my Gratuitous Amazon Link, I guess my comic book reading project is appropriate for this post. I first learned about Kamala Khan, the current Ms. Marvel, in the comments of Fred’s blog. So today it’s Volume 5: Super Famous, by G. Willow Wilson, Takeshi Miyazawa, Cliff Chiang, Adrian Alphona, and Nico Leon