Book Review: Saga Vol. 8

 

This volume centers around the theme of abortion. My boyfriend thinks it is heavily preachy in parts, but I think it is well rounded, showing the reasoning behind both stances and using aliens to do it. This allows the reader to detach from the concepts from our world, I think, and reminds us how the “Other Side” thinks. It’s not so black and white sometimes.

Still pro-choice, though.

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Flushing Ghosts

I think this place is haunted
The water runs in the toilet
On its own
Startling your sister
Big cat eyes knowing
I remember how you would
Drink out of it
You weirdo
I cry into my upside down hair
Blow dryer muting it

Book Review: Women Who Fly: Goddesses, Witches, Mystics, and Other Airborne Females by Serenity Young

I felt like many of this book’s Campbellian claims for some version of a monomyth (read: unified theme) were thrown in without much expounding to make me truly believe there’s a strong thread there. There’s definitely a thread — a theme of flight. But I don’t think it means they’re woven together. They’re just similar threads — one here and one there — and it’s the book itself tying them together. A lot of times you have to take Young at her word or look at her endnotes to connect the dots yourself to work out the claims she mentions in passing. I’m not saying she doesn’t do a good job at explaining things, but she isn’t always clear. For example she states this passage with an endnote, rather than detailing how they’re interpreted as male:

“The angel who drives Adam and Eve out of paradise, the one with whom Jacob wrestles, and those that appear to Hagar, Daniel, Abraham, the Virgin Mary, the women at Jesus’s tomb, anand Muhammad are all male.[2]”

She states a lot of things as fact without a proper lead-in. She does eventually explain this passage with examples after a tangent or two, but up until that point you have to take her at her word until she arrives there and you’re just better off having looked at the endnote. This isn’t the best example of that, but hopefully you get the idea. You can guess what she is getting at until she makes a full circle, but all the while you have to suspend your skepticism. She makes her arguments out of order, making her chain of thought hard to follow. But that keeps you on your toes. The topic is never boring, even if you have to do a lot of the work.

This work seems like a conglomeration of her musings and observations of patterns — ideas she is justifying by fitting into her frame. What also stood out is her highlighting of stories that don’t fit the pattern she’s selling; she also talks about men who fly. Of course you can’t talk about women without contrasting them to men, but the titular subject(s) are otherwise misleading for the broad area this book covers. It’s broad because so many higher beings can fly regardless of their association with wings or flight to the point that it feels like she arbitrarily chose the beings she put into the book, possibly overlooking some and shoving in others. She even talks about Amelia Earhart, so flying mortals are under this umbrella. Like I said, arbitrary.

Here’s some interesting passages from the book:

“Princess Diana captured the world’s attention and imagination to a degree almost unprecedented by any other royal figure in history. The media was excessive in describing — and thus defining — her ‘fairytale’ romance, wedding, and happily-ever-after life. They just never got which fairy tale it was. On the one hand, she was the modern ‘wonder woman,’ having and doing it all…the fairy tale she really lived out, though, was that of the captured bride…”

“For all the detailed testimony elicited by the inquisitors, Hans Peter Duerr is struck by their apparent lack of interest in the actual contents of the ointment, beyond the fat of unbaptized babies and other repellent ingredients. He concludes that the influence of mind-altering plants was actually suppressed because it would have led to a natural explanation for reports of flying, and therefore would not have provided evidence for the existence of devils and their ability to physically interact with human beings.”

“But Elizabeth goes further. In perhaps her most astonishing vision, received during Mass on Christmas Eve, Christ appears to her in the body of a young female virgin, crowned and sitting on a throne. When questioned, her angel explains to her that hte virgin ‘is the sacred humanity of the Lord Jesus.’ In this vision, Elisabeth then questions St. John the Evangelist, asking why Christ has appeared in a woman’s, rather than a man’s, form. He answers that Christ has chosen the female form ‘to signify his blessed mother as well,’ because it is she who intercedes with her son to forgive the sins of humanity.’ Hildegard got it right; Christianity had entered an effeminate age.”

 

On the “Wannabe” and the “Cherokee Descendant”:

An ongoing list of quotes and links I want to collect on this topic. Will update as I find more of interest to me.

“A lot of people seem to have a hard time understanding what a wannabe is so I thought I would tell you. A wannabe is someone who claims to be Cherokee even though they have NO tie to the authentic nation, NO evidence to suggest their ancestors were part of said nation, yet they still say they are Cherokee simply because they have heard they were through family stories.

A wannabe is NOT someone who actually descends from a former citizen of said nation and can show it through documentation. Even though some of these people cannot enroll or register with one of the three federally recognized tribes, if they can show irrefutable proof of their ancestry, they are NOT a wannabe. They are a Cherokee descendant.” [“What is a Wannabe?” Thoughts from Polly’s Granddaughter]

 

“Though claiming without proof often gets people called a wannabe by Indians, many times people only say they are Cherokee because they don’t understand the difference between being Cherokee, a tribal citizen, and being a Cherokee descendant, one who descends from a Cherokee without being a recognized member of the tribe. Once people understand the terminology, usually they don’t have a problem with it. Wannabes are something totally different, in my humble opinion, than these people. For my thoughts on them, you can read here.” [“‘Wannabe Hunters’ and Credibility” Thoughts from Polly’s Granddaughter”]

 

 

“All of your ancestors should be equally important to you, as they are what makes you, you. But why should they be important to the rest of us? If your ancestors abandoned the tribe at some critical point in our history, then what qualifies you to come back now and demand recognition from those whose ancestors never turned their back on tribal relations. There is no shortage of genetic material flowing through the veins of a large number of Cherokee citizens that comes from Ghi-go-ne-li. One more or one less such descendant is of no consequence in the bigger picture. Being her descendant does not make you or anyone today anything special any more than my descent from Nancy Ward makes me special. I’m fascinated by this woman I descend from, but her descendants that abandoned tribal relations (and there are some) are nothing more to the Cherokee people than any other alien to our Nation. I cannot and will not violate the trust of the Cherokee people to offer any kind of recognition to a descendant of a long ago Cherokee when that would violate the will of the Cherokee people. And any Cherokee citizen who does if offensive to the will of the Cherokee people…

You must support the Cherokee people as we are, not as you wish we would be. On an individual level, you are free to try and get the Cherokee people to change their definition of who is and who is not a Cherokee. I know Bill Davis would support an amendment to our Constitution to permit descendants of long ago Cherokees to enroll. I would sign a petition to bring that to a vote. In fact, such a petition would be a good thing because it would be granting rights, instead of the vile petition being circulated by John Ketcher and the Smith slate of Councilors that seeks to destroy the rights of an innocent people.” [Cherokee by law in response to wannabeism” by David Cornsilk, 2006]

 

“The Cherokee people, whether as a loose confederacy of tribal towns or later as a unified Nation, have always recognized their tribal members by their kinship. It is this kinship, spanning generations and hundreds of years that forms the foundation of being Cherokee. Cherokee sovereignty has maintained the authority to recognize belonging to the tribe in many ways, from matrilineal relationships to descendancy from their final rolls. The tribe is a community of known individuals linked in a critical way. This kinship caused families to stay together during the forced removal process from the Southeast to Oklahoma. Those who no longer placed priority on that kinship or for another reason, chose to leave the group, i.e. cut their kinship ties. That was their choice. They left the group, the tribe.

I take a pretty radical perspective on people who claim Cherokee without kinship because most of the time they do it to claim privilege or benefits earmarked by institutions for “native people”, such as jobs, grant opportunities, and educational opportunities. Alternately, they seek to speak for a people with whom they have no history. Too often, a fake Cherokee voice is substituted for an authentic one in academic and public discourse. This constitutes fraud against bona fide Cherokees and an assault on Cherokee sovereignty.

My opinion is that it is time to bring the questions about a person’s tribal affiliation out of the closet. We should no longer be reluctant or embarrassed to ask whether a person claiming to be Cherokee is a member of one of the three Federally-recognized tribes. Yes, I go beyond mere genealogy. If your ancestor retained those kinship ties, then they stayed with their family, stayed with the community, stayed with the tribe. They would be on the rolls. If they chose to leave, then their ancestors bear the weight of that decision. Today, sovereignty by the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, Keetowah Band of Cherokee or the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is exercised by deciding who has retained the kinship ties necessary to be a part of the tribe. Others may have a Cherokee ancestor, i.e. Cherokee heritage, but are no longer part of the tribe.” [Carol Patton Cornsilk, ‘Andy Smith is NOT my Cousin’]

 

If you have more interesting links on this topic please feel free to share in the comments below.

Book Review: Petro and The Flea King

Petro and The Flea KingPetro and The Flea King by Kenneth Kit Lamug
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A cute book just around 150 pages full of illustrations and little dialog. Sometimes I didn’t know what was going on, because it was so whimsical, but found it didn’t matter because the scenes were adorable. I think any adult would get a kick out of reading this with a little kid. The setting is definitely an opportunity to get children to explain in their own words what is going on. It’s a book they can have a conversation about!

I was given my copy in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews

TBR: The Progeny (Descendants of the House of Bathory #1) by Tosca Lee

New York Times bestselling author Tosca Lee brings a modern twist to an ancient mystery surrounding the most notorious female serial killer of all time. A fast-paced thriller for fans of Ted Dekker’s The Books of Mortals, Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, and BBC America’s hit series Orphan Black.

Emily Jacobs is the descendant of a serial killer. Now, she’s become the hunted.

She’s on a quest that will take her to the secret underground of Europe and the inner circles of three ancient orders—one determined to kill her, one devoted to keeping her alive, and one she must ultimately save.

Filled with adrenaline, romance, and reversals, The Progeny is the present-day saga of a 400-year-old war between the uncanny descendants of “Blood Countess” Elizabeth Bathory, the most prolific female serial killer of all time, and a secret society dedicated to erasing every one of her descendants. A story about the search for self filled with centuries-old intrigues against the backdrop of atrocity and hope.

This book has a ton of reviews on Goodreads. 

 

TBR: Morgan Le Fay: Small Things and Great (Fata Morgana: Child Of The Moon Book 1) by Jo-Anne Blanco

THE CHILD FATED TO SHAPE DESTINIES … Young Morgan lives in Tintagel Castle by the sea, loved and sheltered by her noble parents. An extraordinarily clever child, extremely sharp-eyed, exceptionally curious. A little girl unlike other children.

One stormy night a ship is wrecked off the coast, bringing with it new friends – Fleur the princess from a far-off land, Safir the stowaway with a secret, and the mysterious twins Merlin and Ganieda. Morgan’s visions of another world awaken her to the realisation that she has abilities others do not possess.

Not long afterwards, Morgan encounters Diana, the Moon Huntress, who charges her with a dangerous mission. Morgan must enter the secret realms of warring tribes of faeries who vie for the souls of lost children. There she must summon her magic to fight ancient and malevolent powers, to rescue young souls destined to be reborn …

There a lot of hybrid mythologies going on here…

View more on Goodreads.

TBR: Manna City by Geoffrey Pierce

Nista is nine months pregnant, starving, and living in a cave. Her husband, Dane, thinks she’s gone crazy. And the first time she heard the voice of her unborn child, she thought she’d gone crazy, too. But the child has told her too many things, shown her too many things that have come to pass. She knows…someone is coming to usher them away from their isolated purgatory. Someone is coming to lead them through the unforgiving desert – teeming with lawless killers and savage beasts – to the last bastion of civilization, a mythical land of plenty called Manna City.

I don’t know what sounds more miserable, the desert or the pregnancy.

View on goodreads. 

TBR: Moral Panic by Ecke, K.M.

If anything can be hacked, nothing can be trusted.

Tanner Moore is at the top of his game in the high stakes world of big technology. As chief technology officer of Paragon, the largest corporation in the world, he is about to release the greatest convenience innovation in the history of commerce: drone delivery service to every inch of the globe.

But when an interview with journalist Amy Noral is secretly recorded and published by the clickbait media, Tanner’s fall from grace is swift and brutal.

Tanner is fired, publicly condemned as a terrorist for comments he never made, and kidnapped by a mysterious vigilante group who use surveillance data to track and kill their enemies. Tanner must navigate their underground world full of violent zealots and mental manipulation to find his way to freedom, or see his drone technology used as the most advanced assassination tool ever devised.

***
Moral Panic explores the collision of the most extreme elements of politics, ideology and technological media manipulation. It navigates through a maze of modern surveillance with a skeptical eye on the data-driven world we live in, to bring an awareness of the possibility of such a story coming true in the real world.

Amazon enters terrorist territory?

View more on Goodreads.