Category Archives: culture

Alternative Math, and Satire Failing

And the ridiculous thing is, the comment section on YouTube is full of clueless regressives and transphobes thinking the blatant stand-ins for the Bush and Trump administrations (the actual phrase “alternative facts” originates with Kellyanne Conway), creationists, and Fox News are supposed to represent “liberals”.

Authors Answer 47 – Portraying Cultures in Fiction

Of course the meaning and importance of this question varies a lot depending on what kind of story it is.

I Read Encyclopedias for Fun

If you want a novel to come alive, you don’t want a generic group of people. You want some culture. Culture is an important part of life, and different cultures are often shown in novels, whether real cultures or fictional ones like in fantasy. But how do authors handle cultures?

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 47 – How do you portray different cultures in your writing?

Linda G. Hill

I don’t. I like to know what I’m writing about, so if I was to include another culture in my fiction, I would demand extensive research of myself. Research takes a lot of time, and time isn’t something I have a lot of… so… I haven’t, really, had any cultures in my writing that aren’t my own.

Allen Tiffany

Great question. Doing this is tough. You have to be judicious and clever as you share aspects of different cultures, especially if you created them (such…

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Has the English language become inherently cynical?

I needed to write a description of a character the other day and started with the word “moralistic”, but thought there might be a better word so I looked for synonyms.

It’s possible that I didn’t look hard enough, but as far as I am aware, the English language does not have a single adjective that means either “thinking and talking about morality a lot” (which was what I was looking for) or “advocating moral concepts” that doesn’t either directly suggest hypocrisy, or have a conflicting alternate definition.

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J is for Japan


I blog about Japanese popular culture a lot, but I haven’t said that much about the country itself. I’ve actually always thought it was a pretty interesting place since well before I got into anime fandom.

I particularly like Japanese mythology, folklore, fairy tales, and ghost stories. Magic foxes that can take human shape, princesses from the moon, objects that come to life and become vengeful after being thrown out, things like that. You can see how influential some of these stories are, but they’re all very interesting in their own right as well.

The Purity Myth

I typed this a couple of days ago and just now realized I never actually posted it.

I just read read this a few days ago over at hessianwithteeth.

I am currently reading The Purity Myth by Jessica Valenti. I’ll talk more about the actual book in another post. I found this questionnaire at the back of the book. I thought I’d fill it out and share my answers with you. I’d encourage others to do the same, because these questions really do get you thinking about gender assumptions.

Apparently I might be the only one who did, but I wrote answers to all the questions, because they do get me thinking.

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Bizarrely incomplete spellchecker dictionary

I just ran a spellcheck on Project Quintessence part 1, and even not counting the few lines of non-English dialogue and the character names, there were ten times as many real words it didn’t recognize as there were spelling errors.

Here’s a partial list. For things like religions and sexual identities, saying that labels people call themselves by aren’t words is both an example of and could contribute to “invisible minority” issues. (Unless it was done on purpose; in that case it would be directly insulting. But I’m assuming no real word was thought of and then still intentionally left out.)

Words I think it’s especially unbelievable that it didn’t recognize are in bold, and words that WordPress doesn’t recognize either are in italics.

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