First of all, I have a long post about art and money and why the whole literature versus entertainment debate annoys me up at Pegasus Pulp.
There are a few notable points about yesterday’s regional elections in the North-East German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, namely that the Green Party made it into the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern parliament for the first time ever and is now in all 16 German state parliaments, that the liberal party (liberal in the European sense, i.e. libertarian in the US sense) did not make it into the parliament this time, which is further proof of the malaise that has affected the party, that the conservative party CDU suffered losses, while the ruling social-democratic party SPD gained even more votes, and that though the rightwing extremist and xenophobic NPD lost votes, they still made it into the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern parliament.
What does this tell us about the state of politics in Germany? Nothing we didn’t know already, namely that Angela Merkel’s coalition is in trouble and that the FDP are steadily losing voter support. If this trend continues in the local and state elections coming up in the next two weeks, I fully expect to see heads rolling at the FDP.
Talking of upcoming elections, Niedersachsen, the state where I live, will have a local election, i.e. city and county councils, next weekend. There is not a whole lot of interest, either in Niedersachsen or elsewhere, because local elections are traditionally not a good indicator for national trends. Today, I already cast my vote by mail-in absentee ballot. I’m a pragmatic voter and I ended up voting for different parties on the town council and county council level, because the candidate for county council happens to be our mayor and he has done a very good job here. And I support candidates who do a good job, even if they belong to a party I don’t normally vote for.
And now for some links:
Ellen Datlow complains about the stereotyped portrayal of older women in fiction and film. I don’t write a whole lot of older women (or men, for that matter) and those I do write are mostly supporting characters. But I agree that the “frumpy older woman” stereotype is annoying, particularly since the sixty- and seventysomething women I know are very different and a whole lot more diverse than those stereotypes.
The portrayal of older men isn’t really any better though. I can’t count the number of times I have seen a wheelchair-bound and dementia-addled old man featured in some film or TV show or novel only to realize that this guy isn’t ninety as I had previously assumed (and plenty of ninety year olds are in excellent shape) but seventy, i.e. about the age of my very energetic father.
YA fantasy writer Janice Hardy has a nice post about the eternal question “where do you get your ideas?”