This post is a free-for-all for people to:
a) post links to perfume-related content they posted elsewhere (on or off DW)
b) talk about anything they want to talk about that isn't big enough for a full post
c) socialize and hang out without worrying about "off topic"
d) or anything else that comes to mind!
It’s a lazy long weekend otterday!
Please feel free to use this thread to natter about anything your heart desires. Is there anything great happening in your life? Anything you want to get off your chest? Reading a good book (or a bad one)? Anything in the news that you’d like to discuss? What have you created lately? Commiserations, felicitations, temptations, contemplations, speculations?
Chicken Schnitzel. [Photographs: Joshua Bousel]
It's no coincidence that chicken schnitzel—pounded chicken breasts that are breaded and fried—is such a popular dish around the world: Perfectly cooked schnitzel, like the version here, is juicy and tender, with a golden, crunchy exterior that is almost impossible to resist.
Why this recipe works:
- A quick 30-minute brine ensures that the chicken cooks up extra juicy.
- Toasted white bread processed into medium-fine breadcrumbs makes a coating that sticks well to the chicken and isn't too skimpy or too thick.
- Pan-frying the chicken and flipping it more than once ensures the schnitzel comes out an even golden-brown color.
Note: The tenders removed from each breast can be breaded and fried separately. After draining on paper towels, schnitzel can be held in a warm oven on a wire rack set on sheet pan.
Special equipment: Food processor
serves Serves 4, active time 1 hour, total time 1 hour
- 2 quarts plus 2 tablespoons cold water, divided
- 1/3 cup kosher salt
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, tenders removed, about 8 ounces each
- 12 slices white bread
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups canola or peanut oil
- 1 tablespoon finely minced parsley, for garnish
- 1 lemon, sliced into 4 wedges
Whisk together 2 quarts of water and salt in a large bowl until salt is dissolved. Place the chicken breast halves in brine and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, toast bread until golden brown. Tear toasted bread into large pieces, transfer to a food processor, and pulse until bread is broken down into medium-fine crumbs. Transfer breadcrumbs to a large shallow dish.
Remove chicken from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Place one chicken breast half in a resealable plastic bag. Using a meat pounder, rolling pin, or small skillet, pound chicken breast into an even thickness about 1/4-inch in height. Repeat with remaining 3 breasts.
Set wire rack on a sheet pan. Place flour in a large shallow dish. Place eggs in another large shallow dish and beat with remaining 2 tablespoons water until uniform in color. Coat one chicken cutlet in flour, shaking off any excess. Transfer chicken cutlet to egg wash and coat evenly, letting any excess run off. Transfer to bread crumbs and coat evenly, pressing lightly to ensure bread crumbs adhere. Place chicken on a wire rack. Repeat with remaining 3 chicken breast halves.
Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet to 375°F. Place one chicken cutlet in oil and fry until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side, flipping as needed if bread crumbs begin to darken too much. Transfer schnitzel to paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with remaining three chicken breast halves. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately with lemon wedges.
Will Shetterly wrote a blog post asking if I had addressed “RAINN’s refutation of ‘rape culture’” yet. I’m writing this less to respond to Shetterly and more because I think there’s some good conversation to be had around RAINN’s recommendations. But I should warn folks that by invoking his name and linking to his blog post, I’m basically guaranteeing that Mr. Shetterly will show up in the comments. To Will and anyone else, please remember that trolling, refusing to respect boundaries, and general dickishness will get you booted.
The Rape Abuse Incest National Network (RAINN) released 16 pages of recommendations to the federal government. In his blog post, Will chooses to quote a TIME Magazine article by Caroline Kitchens about “Rape Culture Hysteria” that references a few select paragraphs from RAINN’s recommendations. Kitchens claims that by blaming rape culture, we “implicate all men in a social atrocity, trivialize the experiences of survivors, and deflect blame from the rapists truly responsible for sexual violence.” She talks about the “thought police of the feminist blogosphere,” and how the concept of rape culture poisons the minds of young women and creates a hostile world for young men.
I’m glad to know Mr. Shetterly is looking for good, objective reporting to validate his crusade against those he dubs “social justice warriors.”
Let’s look at the primary source and talk about what RAINN’s recommendations actually said, shall we?
The paper opens with a discussion of how rape is alarmingly underreported on college campuses. Rape culture is mentioned on page two:
“In the last few years, there has been an unfortunate trend towards blaming ‘rape culture’ for the extensive problem of sexual violence on campuses. While it is helpful to point out the systemic barriers to addressing the problem, it is important to not lose sight of a simple fact: Rape is caused not by cultural factors but by the conscious decisions, of a small percentage of the community, to commit a violent crime.”
I absolutely agree that it’s important to hold rapists accountable for their choice to rape. I’ve been saying and emphasizing and teaching that for decades. I think it’s absurd to claim an individual has no responsibility for their crime … but it’s equally absurd to claim that crime occurs in a cultural vacuum, or that these two ideas are mutually exclusive.
Most of the time, when I see rapists being excused with little more than a wrist-slapping for “cultural” reasons, it’s judges and police blaming victims, or the old “boys will be boys” attitude that minimizes the severity of the crime and the responsibility of the rapist. Which is exactly what so many conversations about rape culture try to point out.
RAINN says it’s important to remember that the rapist is responsible for the choice to commit rape. I agree. They do not say that the concept of rape culture is invalid, only that it shouldn’t overshadow the need to hold individuals responsible for their crimes.
RAINN recommends a three-tiered approach to reducing rape on college campuses:
- Bystander intervention education: empowering community members to act in response to acts of sexual violence.
- Risk-reduction messaging: empowering members of the community to take steps to increase their personal safety.
- General education to promote understanding of the law, particularly as it relates to the ability to consent.
Bystander intervention includes educating people about what rape is, helping them see beyond rape myths and victim-blaming narratives, sharing the research that explains how the majority of rapes are committed not by strangers, but by people the victim knows, and so on. (Strangely enough, a lot of the points I made in a blog post about rape culture a few years back.)
RAINN acknowledges the difficulty in separating risk-reduction from victim-blaming. Personally, I have very little problem with a risk-reduction approach. I do have a problem when that’s the only approach, which seems to happen all too often. When people focus solely on what women/victims can and must do to reduce rape, then we put the responsibility on them. If your only idea about reducing rape is to tell women what to do differently, you’re the one who doesn’t understand that rapists are responsible for their decision to rape.
I’ve been pushing for education for ages, including education about the laws. And for improvement in those laws, based in part on a better understanding and definition of consent. Unfortunately, a lot of people have a very poor understanding of consent. We encourage things like getting prospective sexual partners drunk, pursuing reluctant or uninterested partners, and the myth that you should just magically know what your partner wants. (It’s almost like we have an entire culture that doesn’t really get how consent works.)
On the legal side of things, RAINN stresses that college advisory boards aren’t in a position to be deciding rape cases. I agree. I worked as part of a student justice program at Michigan State University. Rape cases went to the police. We tended to work with things more on the level of catcalling from the street, trying to intervene with behaviors and attitudes before they escalated to more serious crimes. The goal was early intervention and prevention.
But there’s also a culture (oh look, there’s that word again) of secrecy around sexual assault and abuse, and I certainly understand that many institutions do try to bury rape reports and pretend it’s not a problem for them. Steubenville is a good, well-known example.
The report then goes on to talk about:
- The need for more education for everyone about rape
- The need for the legal system to respond more seriously to rape cases
- The need to provide support services to victims
- The need for more research
In RAINN’s 16-page report, we find a single mention of “rape culture,” which is part of a paragraph stating that rape culture shouldn’t be used as a way to remove responsibility from the rapist. Sorry, Will. I see no “refutation of rape culture” here, just a call for a balanced approach, one which I generally support and agree with.
I get that Mr. Shetterly is mostly just interested in scoring points against those he deems “social justice warriors.” My advice to him would be that if your knowledge and understanding of rape is such that you believe “saying no usually works” to prevent it, maybe you should try talking to some rape survivors and learning more about the topic before you try to have this kind of conversation.
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
Before sending your ebook out for review, take a quick look to make sure it's readable. Just had one that isn't. Looking at it, i would guess it was originally a pdf and someone fed it through Caliber without double-checking the resulting epub.
There's a problem when an industry lacks diversity: “None of these agents look like me,” she said, “and they don’t represent anyone that looks like me.” ... “What if they don’t get what I’m doing?” While it's possible for people to reach understanding across cultural lines, it is much easier for people to understand each other when they share a lot of common ground. Lack of diversity among gatekeepers (agents and editors) therefore undermines access and representation.
Now here are two quotes from advantaged people in the industry: "I think the change is going to have to come from within those who are affected,” and Another agent, when asked why less than 1% of her submissions were from people of color, captured what seems to be the publishing industry’s general attitude in just 10 words: “This seems like a question for an author to answer.” Both of those are right. In order to work, social change must incorporate the views and needs of the people affected; top-down solutions tend to be offensive and ineffective.
However, that doesn't mean everyone else can just abdicate all responsibility. You have to look for the part of the problem that lies within YOUR reach. In this case, it means engaging a conversation about unmet needs. The industry should be asking, "If people of color don't read or buy books, why not?" (They have less access to education, fewer books starring characters like them, less disposable income, etc.) And then ask, "What would help fix that?" If a question is for authors to answer, then agents and editors should in fact be asking authors that question, and listening to the answers.
And here it is in the essay: The question industry professionals need to ask themselves is: “How can I use my position to help create a literary world that is diverse, equitable, and doesn’t just represent the same segment of society it always has since its inception? What concrete actions can I take to make actual change and move beyond the tired conversation we’ve been having for decades?”
Of course, there are many issues in publishing, as in society. Most people will pick one or two favorites to focus on. Maybe they want to deal with sexism or classism rather than racism. Maybe they want to focus on books that will hook people who rarely read. Everybody doesn't have to deal with every problem, but every problem should have somebody working on it.
Me, I'm weird as usual; I'm the one waving a broom and shouting, "Fight ALL the oppressions!" What am I doing? Sure, I write characters from all different cultures, because I'm a mix. But I also promote projects by a wide range of creators. Word of mouth advertising is really, really important. I may not have a lot of money but I make one hell of a barker.
This is an area where crowdfunding can help. You can support creative people of color. You can ask for ethnic characters or plot structures. You can look for projects to fund a book for distribution. Yes, there's a filter, but we don't have to go through that bottleneck anymore. We can go somewhere else. The market is a lot more diverse than the dinosaurs believe. They're standing in the breach? Fine. Let them have it. Go somewhere else, go where there are people, and get their attention. There are niches with almost no representation and therefore minimal competition. Go fill them. People are starving for stories about characters similar to themselves. Feed a cat, gain a cat.
One of the things he's not very good at is ( litterbox management. )
Whether it's chicken, pork, or beef, this marinade is my go-to recipe when I want to cook a quick stir-fry dinner. [Photographs: Shao Z]
Whether it's chicken, pork, or beef, this marinade is my go-to recipe when I want to cook a quick stir-fry dinner. It takes 30 minutes to marinate and another 10 to 15 minutes to stir-fry everything.
Why this recipe works:
- Salt and soy sauce tenderize meat, help it retain moisture, and increase its savoriness.
- Sugar helps browning characteristics.
- Oil helps distribute fat-soluble aromatic compounds over the meat.
- Cornstarch insulates the meat form the high heat of a hot wok, ensuring that it doesn't overcook along its edges.
- Aromatics like pepper and wine add a nice basic flavor to meat that pairs well with other ingredients.
Here are a few meat and vegetable pairings to get you started:
- Easy Stir-Fried Beef With Mushrooms and Butter
- Easy Stir-Fried Pork With String Beans
- Easy Stir-Fried Chicken With Ginger and Scallions
Basic Stir-Fry Marinade
1/2 pound chicken, pork, or beef
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground pepper (white or black)
1/2 teaspoon Shaoxing wine
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon oil
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
In a large bowl, add ingredients in the order they are listed. Mix well and marinate for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
Special equipment: Large bowl
serves Makes marinade for 1/2 pound sliced beef, pork, or chicken, active time 1 minute, total time 30 minutes
- 1/2 pound sliced or diced chicken, pork, or beef
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper (white or black)
- 1/2 teaspoon Shaoxing wine
- 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon vegetable, peanut, or canola oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix with hands to coat thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes before cooking.
Not sure what I'm going to read next. Probably the mystery I mentioned in my last post.
Yesterday, I wrote about how it takes some training to learn to shrug off insults, and said this:
“Speak carefully. Try to be kind. And don’t be a dick unless it’s your last choice.”
To which one commenter replied:
“Rather than attempt to tailor speech to be inoffensive (which is a neverending race to the bottom), we should be equipping people with the tools to handle a world where people disagree with them.”
I’m sorry – when did I say inoffensive? Christ, I offend people all the time.
I wrote “Dear Daughter: I Hope You Have Some Fucking Awesome Sex,” which was read by millions. It offended tons of conservatives, took parents off-guard, shocked hundreds of religious groups.
Did I set out to not offend them? No.
I wrote All Women And Never Men: A Rant On A Polyamory I Dislike, about the one-penis policy and how it’s usually (though not invariably, I hesitate to add) sexism and selfishness wrapped into a package that a lot of women ultimately come to regret. I still get angry letters on that one.
I wrote Can I Buy You A Coffee? and its follow-up essay, which talked about how colossally rude it is to hit on women and then pretend you were just trying to do them a favor. Pissed off a lot of guys on that one. Men’s Rights Advocates aren’t too fond of me, either.
And look through my archives! I’ve said lots of things that have deeply offended my liberal buddies, my conservative buddies, my religious buddies, my atheist pals. You’ll find thousands of comments from people who not just disagreed, but were actively enraged at what I had to say.
And you know what?
I chose to offend them.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve written tons of essays where I fucked up and said something inadvertently offensive, mainly because I didn’t understand transgender issues, or kink-related issues, or some subtle form of politics. And I’ve written lots more essays where I meant to say, “Hey, I’m in favor of this” and wrote it so badly that I appeared to be me criticizing that, and that’s my piss-poor words rising up to rightfully bite me.
But with each of my better essays, I thought carefully: Who will this offend? And I quickly devised a list of the sorts of people who I thought this would piss off…
…and I was okay with it.
If some conservative father who never wants his daughter to have sex gets pissed off, then I’ve accepted that as a cost of doing business. If some douchey pick-up artist takes offense when I tell him how he’s manipulating women, sorry, but it’s what I believe.
If some couple who’ve been perfectly happy in their one-penis policy is mad because they’re different from all of those other OPP people, well, I feel a little bad, but I couldn’t figure out a way to get ‘em out of the line of fire.
If I use the phrase “Girl Drink Drunk” to discuss my love of flavored vodka, I’ll undoubtedly annoy a couple of my feminist friends who don’t like the genderification of drinks – and, more importantly, don’t love classic Kids in the Hall sketches the way I do. But I pondered that, weighed their annoyance as comparatively light versus my amusement at the term, and chose to offend a little.
But note in each of those cases: I’m usually aware of what I’m doing, and making a conscious choice. (And if enough of my friends really get bent out of shape about the Girl Drink Drunk bit, then maybe I recalculate the equation. Maybe I don’t. Times change.)
So no. I’m not trying to erase all offense from the universe. I’m trying to say that I make decisions, weighing my free speech versus how upset someone’s going to get versus how legitimate I feel their offense is, and making a judgment call. In others, I say things more nicely to cushion the blow. In some cases, I don’t say things because I think it’d hurt people’s feelings for no good reason.
(NOTE: You may not be able to avoid hurting people’s feelings when you’re speaking the truth as you see it. But when you start hoping to hurt people’s feelings as part of an essay? That’s when you’ve become a dick.)
And there are times I just go off on those I’ve decided I don’t give a rat’s ass about. Point is, I offend all the fucking time. It’s impossible to do comedy without offending. It’s impossible to make legitimate changes without offending.
I just try to offend as part of a greater plan, is all.
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.
One of them is an investigation of early Chinese novels, which led me to The Plum In The Golden Vase, the "fifth great novel" of Chinese literature, which has spent most of its five-hundred-plus-year existence banned due to graphic sex. Apparently the first really good English translation has just appeared on the scene; according to the article I'm reading, the first English translation in the 1940s had all the sex, but translated it into Latin instead of English, to get around some censorship law or other.
I assume Latin was chosen because Classicists all have dirty minds anyway.