Monday News: On Columbus, Yahoo is anti-male?; we are all Tsundoku; and best fantasy series?
Use This New Book Excerpt to Shut Down the Fake Heroism of Christopher Columbus – Do they still teach US school kids the rhyme that starts, “In fourteen-hundred-and-ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue…”? The reality is that one of Columbus’s first observations about the Arawak people was that ‘they would make good slaves,’ but that is hardly the basis on which to hold Columbus Day sales and bank holidays. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and Dina Gilio-Whitaker’s new book, “All the Real Indians Died Off” and 20 Other Myths About Native Americans, provides a much starker history lesson about Columbus Day:
Old myths die hard, it is said, and few die harder than the Columbus discovery myth. The claim that Columbus discovered America is the original prevarication that laid the foundation for a national mythology at whose center is the deliberate discursive erasure of Indigenous peoples. The statement itself is a misnomer. “America” as it is usually understood refers to the United States of America, but most people understand that in 1492 the United States was still 284 years into the future. The use of the term “America” as a synonym for “United States” also ignores the rest of North America, as well as Central and South America, where countless others refer to themselves as “Americans” (Latin Americans), so the term is far too broad to have any real meaning beyond reference to the Western Hemisphere. If we are to be accurate about a national origin myth of discovery, it would be more appropriate to say that Columbus discovered the Bahamas, Hispaniola, and Cuba. – Colorlines
Yahoo hit with another lawsuit claiming anti-male discrimination – Two lawsuits (with both plaintiffs represented by the same attorney) have been filed against Yahoo, alleging that their stack ranking system for employees was used to violate federal and state laws against discrimination and failing to provide adequate notice in the event of large-scale layoffs. In an ironic turn of events, the discrimination alleged is toward men, who, as we know, are vastly underrepresented in tech and under-protected by the US legal system.
[Scott] Ard was hired at Yahoo in 2011, where he had editorial control of the Yahoo.com homepage. In 2014, following a leadership change that put Chief Marketing Officer Kathy Savitt in charge of Media Org, Ard was shifted to a role in which he managed Yahoo Autos, Yahoo Shopping, and Yahoo Small Business. . . .
Like [another plaintiff, Gregory] Anderson, Ard places blame on two female Yahoo managers who took over Media Org in early 2014, Kathy Savitt and Megan Liberman. Ard claims that before Savitt and Liberman ran Media Org, his performance reviews indicated his work was “fully satisfactory” and that he received ratings of “exceeds” or “greatly exceeds” in five out of seven quarters. – Ars Technica
There’s a word in Japanese for the literary affliction of buying books you don’t read – How are there not at least a dozen words for this in almost every language?
Tsundoku is the stockpiling of books never consumed. Sahoko Ichikawa, a senior lecturer in Japanese at Cornell University, explains that tsunde means “to stack things” and oku is “to leave for a while.” The word originated in Japan’s late 19th century Meiji Era from a play on words.Sometime around the turn of the century, the oku in tsunde oku was replaced with doku, meaning to read. But because tsunde doku rolls awkwardly off the tongue, the mashup version became tsundoku. – Quartz
The 9 best fantasy book series – Sure, ‘best of’ lists are arbitrary, but who doesn’t enjoy duking it out over our favorite books and series? This best of list (why nine?) immediately exempts Lord of the Rings, Song of Ice and Fire, and Harry Potter, presenting a list in alphabetical order, beginning with the Dark Elf trilogy and ending with The Riverside series:
Author: R.A. Salvatore
First book: Homeland (1990)
This three-book series by follows the story of Drizzt, a drow (dark elf), who rebels against the cruelty of his race and suffers greatly for it. He abandons his home and spends years wandering the Underdark wilderness with his magical pet panther, later finding his place on the surface. Sojourn, the third book in the series, debuted on the New York Times bestseller list when it arrived in 1991. If you enjoy Dungeons & Dragons and similar RPGs, this series is for you. . . .
Author: Ellen Kushner
First book: Swordspoint (1987)
The subtitle to Swordspoint, “A melodrama of manners,” should give you a hint about what sort of tale to expect from award-winning author Ellen Kushner’s cult classic novel. If your favorite part of Game of Thrones is the political backstabbing, you’ll love the elegant and witty interplay in Kushner’s status-driven world. Don’t worry: There are still plenty of sword fights and seductive affairs (with Kushner giving some refreshing attention to queer romances). Fifteen years after Swordspoint launched the mannerpunk genre, Kushner returned to Riverside for The Fall of the Kings, co-authored by her wife, Delia Sherman, followed by The Privilege of the Sword and The Man With the Knives.
– Daily Dot