Some weeks ago, Trayvon Martin, a seventeen year old boy walking home from purchasing skittles and soda, was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain with a history of paranoid behavior. You have probably read about this, and I don't know enough to say much more about it then many other people have said before. But I do have a few thoughts I want to sketch out.

Back in 1994, Patrick Stewart hosted Saturday Night Live. After his role as Captain Jean-Luc Picard, he was associated with a serious, stern character, which made the comic acting he did on Saturday Night Live even more humorous. His opening sketch after the monologue was called "Sexy Cakes", in which he played the proprietor of a an erotic bakery. Several customers would come in and ask to look at sexy cakes, but all of his cakes were variations on one theme: women going to the bathroom. The would-be customers are increasingly confused by this being the only item that the bakery offers. And the proprietor is increasingly confused why people would go into an erotic bakery if not for the purpose of obtaining a cake showing a woman going to the bathroom. With all of Stewart's characteristic British dignity, he informs his confused customers that this is, after all, an erotic bakery.

I grew up in Battle Ground, Washington, and knew all of two black children in elementary school. As a kid, I was raised with a normal amount of childish hatred. That can be quite a bit, and I can't pretend that the world around me was Sesame Street. I picked up prejudice from those around me. But I can say that there weren't that many times growing up, or as an adult, where fear and suspicion were one of my major emotions towards those who were different from me.

One of the subtexts, and indeed publicly spoken messages (by some) of the Trayvon Martin case is that it should be taken for granted that a black youth is dangerous. And since we live in a hostile world, I can see how that can sometimes be true, or that people's fears can exaggerate danger. But Trayvon, from his pictures, looks slightly built, even childish, and to think that a teenager out for a walk to buy candy is a life-or-death threat is something I can't quite grasp.

But I guess for much of the country (and, I will point out the elephant in the room: this is mostly the Southern part of the country), the idea that a black youth is ALWAYS a threat is something that is just taken for granted, and when others don't immediately draw the same conclusion, don't instinctively understand that these are identical, there is much confusion.

If I tried to explain to the holders of these views that they are not part of my currency, not something I was raised with, it would be about as useful as trying to explain to the upright, proper owner of "Sexy Cakes" that my definition of "erotic" is not "a woman going to the bathroom".

Last night, I dreamt that I was attending a fancy dress dinner party, except that I was in the nude. This is not unusual for me as, you must understand, I am a nudist (or, to eschew labels, I rarely wear clothes, and rarely see a point to so doing).... being in the nude was not a problem, but I realized that I needed to go from the place where the party was being held (it was sort of a large cottage on a big estate) to the main house, on the other end of the estate, to get something I'd forgotten, and for some reason my legs just weren't working well, so it was like walking against a heavy surf; I was walking on the grass next to a cobblestone path (which felt better on my bare feet), and people on the path were easily passing by me while I struggled towards an ever receding destination. When I woke up, I wanted to try to go back to sleep to get to that main house and find out what the heck it was that I'd been headed there for in the first place. Funny how dreams can set up worlds where you wish you could return to complete unfinished tasks....

And speaking of unfinished tasks, today I finished my audit of Glowing Fish's entire vast history of contributions to E2. So what have I learned about the G-Fish? That like a fine wine, he's (ahem) improved with age.... that he used to be very into Civilization.... that he's always been very into Portland.... and that he's essentially had all the tools all along to be a damn fine writer, the vocabulary, the ability to turn a phrase, and has progressed into putting these tools together better and better (and with more heft) over the course of his decade++ here.

The remaining Ironnoder audits are:

Tem42 -- on page 16 out of 35
The Custodian -- on page 21 out of 39

It occurs to me that I've farther yet to go with Tem then with Custo. But, at the least, the auditing ball's been rolling smoothly along!!

Nodegel Weekly #3
Prescription Strength Chillax
Week of Mar 12 - 18

"chillax it's the internet" --rosetinted, in le chatbox

Some weeks you get to read my sparkling prose in this preambly section. This week I have a bunch of exciting designs for my weekend time, so instead we proceed directly to the intravenous injection of hard drugs charts. Here we go...

The Happy Folk
Top 5 writeups from last week (Mar 12-18, 2012)
by noders above 1000 XP
  1. Everything2 Decaversary Interviews: LaggedyAnne (person) by Decaversal Studios +45 4C!s
  2. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (review) by The Custodian +33 8C!s
  3. Great Grain Robbery (event) by mauler +36 7C!s
  4. Green beer (thing) by wertperch +34
  5. How many bits are required to express every possible distance in the universe? (essay) by IWhoSawTheFace +30 4C!s

LaggedyAnne is someone who's pretty dear to me. I recall she even declared once at a gathering that I'm her "Auxiliary Backup Husband". (I believe that day was incidentally her wedding day, also known as Hot Damn 5.)(The Auxillary Backup Husband's main function is to jump in if the Primary and Backup Husbands both fail to maintain the wife's gin & tonic above a constant level.) One of Laggy's biggest contributions to the site other than superb writing was by pushin' niceness as a Content Ed, especially to new users.

And since I pushed a few recommends for Walter last week, I'll gladly do the same for her. Some Laggedy classics include: Listen, boy. Everyone is their own kind of ninja. (+115 and 16C!s), Living alone, one is apt to prefer a view of water (idea) (+58 10C!s), Sunflower (idea) (+18 1C!). Her aftermath node of ... An Partie contains the all-time best word of nodermeet advice, namely: "No, wait. Fuck that. Go find dann." Her factuals about ordinary, Midwest U.S. things are also nice (see for instance Brown recluse and picklevator) and of course she's also been known to post teh sexy nodes, the best of which is, I think, This thunderstorm intimacy.

Read those? I can, um... tell. *ahem* Back to the charts. Great Grain Robbery is the best kind of mauler w/u, informing in a punchy way about an important, undertaught-- I certainly didn't know about it-- bit of recent U.S. history. I also think it's interesting that wert's Green beer made it to +34 w/o any C!s. Topicality pays off, yo.

All in all a solid week for the site, with 5 w/us above +30 Rep. High 20s is usually enough to land you a spot on the top list.

The Strange Folk
Top 5 w/us by noders under 1000 XP (Mar 12-18, 2012)
  1. The spontaneous fluctuations of the mind (idea) by oldmaneinstein +12 1C!
  2. Canberra Aliens (fiction) by Roony +9 1C!
  3. fuck you I'm an anteater (idea) by rosetinted -3
  4. sonnet for my girlfriend (poetry) by Wasps -4
  5. Grim Reaper (thing) by sinnnnner -9

Kind of a down week for lower-levelers though, as these were the only 5 w/us from the sub-1K crowd-- although Canberra Aliens is not only my favorite node from this list but actually my favorite thing all week.

I love the way that story is written from a kind of bemused, oddly unreliable third-person, as if the narrator is omniscient but just kind of lazy about it. "The extraterrestrials garbled a few panicked sentences in their own slushy language. One of the more rash aliens reached for what I can only imagine to be some kind of laser-beam gun." The story hints at a sequel and I really hope he/she writes it.

Also: fuck you I'm an anteater's -3 Rep belies the fact that it went to (+18/-21). That's sort of like a different kind of winning.

March of the Critics
Top 5 review w/us from last week (Mar 12-18, 2012)
  1. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (review) by The Custodian +33 8C!s
  2. Butcher Bird (review) by Zephronias +23 3C!s
  3. Marnie (review) by dannye +22 1C!
  4. Grand Theft Auto Advance (review) by BranRainey +19 1C!
  5. Not Peace But A Sword (review) by Glowing Fish +18

March of the Critics continues. Not much to say here except that these are all solid reviews worth reading, and there were more just below the cut-line at +18. Pull up the quest node for the rest.

Other Highlights?

Ikura returned with a nifty w/u about Crackers the Corporate Crime Fighting Chicken (+21 1C!), his/her first node in about a year. When I was drawing up the Leaderboard this week (it's below), I was surprised to see that Ikura-- not one of E2's more recognizable names-- cracked into the #20 spot as kind of a dark-horse noder.

I use the word "harrowing" perhaps too much, but none-- none-- of the previous daylogs I've described as "harrowing" are as god-damn harrowing as March 13, 2012 (log) by jmpz. Geeeeeez. Heal well, sir.

2012 American Samoa Republican Caucus (event) by Glowing Fish has got to be the weirdest of the series yet. Non-citizens can vote? A large part of the Samoan population is Mormon? What?

And Mikare launches a neat hack in Custo's latest chapter of The Network Revenant: Supraorbital Ocularity (fiction). This story is rapidly building up towards a crescendo. If you like neologistic sci-fi poetry disguised as cyberpunk, this would be a great time to dive in and catch up.

Administravia

Nothing much to report again this week. (Editors. Your buttons. Use them more, please.) Oolong's bug report this week at E2 Bugs (thing) is the kind of ECore weirdness that's worth a dark chuckle though.

A note to the admins: Why is the ability to create a registry a monkeys-only thing? I've been using the phrase "he/she" a lot in these logs and have been wanting to create a Gender registry. Also, a This Is My Jam registry and a Spotify registry for music-sharing. Hell, I would probably create 2 or 3 registries a week just for funsies and feature them here if I just had the ability to make them. If the code is still working, will you please please open up that feature to Level 1 and above? Prrrrleeeeease?

Kthnx.

Lastly the leaderboard, then I'm out. Congrats again to The Custodian for taking command of the #1 spot this week, though it's a short-lived triumph. Herr Jet-Poop will be back at the top of the heap next time.

Be cool, noders. See you next week.

E2 Leaderboard
Top 20 noders who have posted a w/u in the last 4 weeks
(Feb 29 - Mar 18)
Sorted by xp
  1. The Custodian (120,959)
  2. dannye (90,130)
  3. Tem42 (74,534)
  4. iceowl (71,071)*
  5. Glowing Fish (60,854)
  6. mauler (58,091)
  7. wertperch (55,438)
  8. riverrun (49,268)
  9. etouffee (48,835)
  10. borgo (39,675)
  11. JD (34,932)
  12. sam512 (33,026)
  13. alex (31,086)
  14. shaogo (30,467)
  15. doyle (30,008)*
  16. artman2003 (28,066)*
  17. Transitional Man (27,740)
  18. allseeingeye (26,312)
  19. IWhoSawTheFace (25,066)
  20. Ikura (22,954)
(* = Posted a node 3 weeks ago, and is thus on the brink. Must post a new node by March 25 or get bumped off of next week's list.)

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