Introductions: zic and the squeaky-wheel growing pains edition

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98 Responses

  1. Avatar Damon says:

    Welcome Z.

    Now, to your confession: “I consider myself libertarian, too, particularly when it comes to the private property rights of one’s own self. ” Oh you done it now girl! You’re one of those “FYIGM” heartless libertarians, as has been bandied about around here. Welcome to the club.Report

    • Avatar rzic says:

      See, that’s the thing — you can’t deliver or care for a newborn alone. You need help. That’s something libertarians need to work into their ethos, I think. Lone hunters might survive, but lone mothers fail to thrive. It really does take a village.Report

      • Avatar Vikram Bath says:

        I submit this is a misconception about libertarians. Check out John Mackey.

        I know the Rand types do get more of the spotlight though. Still, highly community-oriented libertarians do exist.Report

      • Avatar Damon says:


        I don’t see libertarians as “lone hunters”. When I was married, I was very family oriented. We were a team and if I’d had kids, I would have raised them with my wife. I do not want, nor need, anyone’s help, because usually that help goes against how I’d want to raise my kids or the conditions on the help I’d find objectionable. Nor do I think that I should be forced to help others raise their kids. That I find morally repugnant.Report

        • Avatar zic says:

          @damon That’s a different thing, though. If you have kids, you need a woman. So her needs in this also matter. And her needs include a community of people to help her give birth, to recover from birth, and to help her care for those children.

          I’m not so much saying that you’re wrong as that you’ve looked at this through the lens of provider for a family but not through the lens of the person who’s body has to do the actual work of pregnancy, birth, nursing, etc. There is a reason that unpaid maternity leave, places to pump breast milk at work, nursing babies in public, access to quality day care and after-school care, contraception, and reproductive care are important topics; they’re addressing the needs of the women in the family unit, and that is something that libertarian ideology fails to consider deeply enough, at least in its current pop-culture iteration.

          Our failure to consider these things results in rent seeking in women’s bodies, time, and quality of life. Particularly if we think children are a net social good.Report

          • Avatar Damon says:

            Of course the mother of our kids has a lot of input into OUR decisions as a family. In fact, i’d probably defer to her on a lot of issues, but raising our child is, OUR responsibility. No one else’s. Nor is it my or our families’ responsibility to raise someone else’s kid.

            And I’ll remind you that people have been raising kids in environments with out “unpaid maternity leave, places to pump breast milk at work, nursing babies in public, access to quality day care and after-school care, contraception, and reproductive care ” for thousands of years. Philosophically, I have no problem with any of those services being offered. I just object to having to pay for them for other people’s kids. If I want them for my kids, I expect to pay for them.Report

  2. Avatar Christopher Carr says:

    Welcome. I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts.Report

    • Avatar rzic says:

      Thank you, Christopher. I’m hoping you’ll have time to do more posting, too. But medical school isn’t exactly for slackers who can bumble around surfing from a chair.Report

  3. Avatar Glyph says:

    Oh, sure, when a MAN complains about the local pub to its proprietors, it’s all “we already called ‘last call’, buddy, lemme call you a cab”; but when a WOMAN does it, she gets offered a job there! 😉

    Welcome, zic!Report

    • Avatar rzic says:

      wait, don’t you already have the job? Did you throw a stink and get kicked out? How’d that happen?

      (I just remember, back in my early days, that you were the one who leant me a shoulder and some support when it was needed. I remain grateful.)Report

  4. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    Wow, seems like the Admins are getting desperate for content if they let you in the door… 😉

    Seriously though, I’m surprised they waited this long to give you a login, should have done it a while ago.

    I look forward to your thoughts, and our inevitable debates.

    You remind me of my Aunt Nanette (don’t worry, I truly love my Aunt Nanette, who is also a ardent liberal farmer, but in WI).Report

    • Avatar rzic says:

      Yup. desperate. Scraping the bottom of the barrel! the dregs of the compost pile.

      (that’s the richest stuff, too.)Report

  5. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Dude, it’s good to have you here.Report

  6. Avatar Doctor Jay says:

    I am very pleased with this development, and the chance to extend and expand upon the many conversations we’ve had.

    I’m right there with you on the “challenge all stereotypes” thing. One of the most vexing things to me is when liberals, wittingly or no, employ a very broad-brush stereotype and justify it with some quasi-marxist rhetoric about class struggle. And I am a liberal, as far as I can tell.

    So yeah. Let it rip.Report

    • Avatar zic says:

      I think we have some history of this that predates either of us posting here, and I’m glad you found your way, Doctor Jay.Report

      • Avatar Doctor Jay says:

        I don’t mind telling you I’ve had a rather lonely time of it…Report

        • Avatar zic says:

          Since I can do this officially now, I invite a post on your time in the wilderness, @doctor-jay

          There’s a lot of banter about conservatives who turn against the fringe radicalism that’s the hallmark of (at least nationally) conservative politics; there’s even a name for it — RINO. There’s a lot less exploration of liberals who are repulsed by some of the worse tendencies of liberalism; and people who do speak out (Freddie and Chiat recently,) tend to get skewered. And liberals who want to discuss things across the isle, despite the brohaha about bipartisan, seem rare on the ground.Report

          • Avatar Doctor Jay says:

            Well, I was as much referencing the demise of the Golden Horde as anything else. But sure, I think I can come up with something. What are the logistics?Report

            • Avatar zic says:

              I don’t know if you ever did dKos, but I started my social-media adventures there. I got so crowded and echo-chambery that I fled to McArdle’s atlantic blog, found via the Daily Dish when Sully was at there. I read Coates, but I commented on McArdle’s blog, simply because it was terrific to have people with different views to talk to. But the hoard drew me in, and McArdle’s place got nasty nasty nasty without moderation.

              I think I sort of drifted away from the hoard before it became too much for Coates to manage; and there are people there I think I’ll always recognize. I see TheRaven at Mother Jones, for instance, and Raw Story. A few others. I wish I knew what has become of some folk, and I might email Coates and ask him to hold a reunion post one of these days; I’m sure corkingiron would moderate it. PetefromBaltimore still posts places once in a while, and still in the same humble but confidently conservative style. He may be my favorite internet-conservative friend ever; I have a deep and abiding respect for him, sort of how I feel about Will Truman here.

              But the common thread here is people in it for the discussion, we value constructive criticism, and someone who will help us push against our own biases even as we help them push against theirs.

              So I was asking for your own journey through the desert in that search.Report

  7. Avatar Will H. says:

    Hi, Zic!Report

  8. Avatar greginak says:

    Very cool. Glad to have you posting. Should lead to some good conversations. Big ups ( zic ups….snickers to self)Report

  9. Avatar Road Scholar says:

    It’s about time! This place could use a woman’s touch.

    Guys! Remember, seat down when you’re done.Report

    • Avatar zic says:

      Not just the seat, the lid, too. Keeps the pets from drinking out of the bowl.

      (My housekeeping skills are not something I pride on, fwiw. Cooking and growing vegetables, yes. Clean and tidy and organized, no.)Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew says:

        I consider the human toi-toi the backstop against accidentally killing my cats from dehydration.

        Also: Welcome, Zic! Your being brought on is a move that is long overdue (a view I am on the record with, btw).Report

        • Avatar zic says:

          It’s that the cat cleans herself, and I pet her, the dog gives kisses. Better to develop the habit of actually filling their water bowls. The lid goes down. And if it doesn’t, I screech. Because I’m the one who pets the cat, has her sleeping next to my face, and provides the bulk of the dog attention.

          The friggin’ lid goes down. End of discussion.Report

          • Avatar Michael Drew says:

            Hate to have to remind you, but they often climb into bed with us directly from digging around in their piles of poopy dirt that we conveniently place in various places around our homes for them.


            This is not to say the lid shouldn’t be down. Actually it mostly is here, too. But sometimes I’m glad to know they’re resourceful enough to remember to find water where they can if need be.Report

            • Avatar Glyph says:

              Forget the bed, those suckers will walk all over your counters and tables – that is, your food prep/consumption areas.

              Show me a man who has cats, and I will show you a man who keeps a box of s*it in his house.

              (I grew up with cats, though I currently don’t have any. But ours were indoor/outdoor and we didn’t keep a litter box, except for brief times if they were sick or injured or the weather was truly nasty).Report

  10. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    “I’m zic (or maybe rzic)”

    The “rzic” is simply because WP won’t let you set up an account with a three-character name. I’ve changed it now so it will show up as zic when you post.


    • Avatar zic says:

      Thank you, Tod.

      I hope I don’t let you down; and I’m holding you to your promise of more diversity. I nearly said no, that fear of no editor to catch my spelling errors. But I figured since I’d raised a stink, I’d better shoulder the burden.

      So here I be.Report

  11. Avatar Pyre says:


  12. Avatar Chris says:

    Welcome, stranger.Report

    • Avatar zic says:


      I’ve long been considering a post on migraine/brain stuff. If you know of a good summation (beyond Oliver Sack’s book, Migraine, which would be my reference point) on brain inflammation — seizure/migraine/bi-polar spectrum of inflammation, I’d be grateful to have it pointed out.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        You know, I don’t know much beyond the basics of migraines, so I’m afraid I’d be completely unhelpful.Report

        • Avatar zic says:

          Well, I’ll pick your brain, anyway.

          Starting with vision — how the brain combines sight from each eye. One of the cues of onset is blind spots in the vision, something I frequently experience. But I’ve noticed over time that it’s an integration problem; the blind spot goes away when I look through either eye alone; it’s only there when I look through both eyes. So the problem isn’t the eyes; it’s the migraine inflammation in the parts of the brain that processes vision.Report

          • Avatar Chris says:

            Interesting. Binocular vision is actually fairly complex, neurologically. Convergence begins in the primary visual cortex (usually just called V1), but different aspects of it occur higher up as well.

            Just doing some quick searching, it looks like the causes of “ocular migraines” are mostly unknown, though the leading explanation is that it starts in the retina, which would obviously be well before there’s any convergence. Perhaps the reason why it goes away for you when you close one eye, then, has something to do with the physical act of closing one eye and seeing with just one.Report

            • Avatar zic says:

              I think retina migraine’s something different; and more indicative of other vision problems. Ocular migraine can include a host of things, the blind spots I spoke of; flecks floating the the vision; swirling and smearing vision; some colors burning hot (van Gogh’s paintings express Migraine Vision(tm)). It can be a beautiful thing.

              I don’t think it starts in the eye; I don’t think it’s in the eye; the eye is just expressing something going on in the brain; the eye’s perception and transmission to the brain is fine; it’s the reception and decoding that’s mucked up. It’s more like stenosis or sciatica; problems in the spine that one feels in the hips and legs; there’s nothing physically wrong with the hips and legs.Report

  13. Avatar Vikram Bath says:

    slightly older than middle aged

    This, to me, was an interesting way to put it.

    Welcome to the halls of power!Report

  14. Avatar dragonfrog says:

    This is excellent news!

    I’ve found your comments and guest posts here reliably insightful and interesting (and not only because of confirmation bias). I look forward to reading more.Report

    • Avatar zic says:

      I was really glad when you joined, @dragonfrog for the same reasons.

      Plus, you add some variation in lifestyle that’s important for us to remember and embrace as part of the human experience. Thank you for that.Report

  15. Avatar Stillwater says:

    Dayum, you’ve been busy. What you relate seems like 2, maybe 3 lifetimes of career energy.

    Congrats and welcome to the FP/OP at OT.Report

    • Avatar zic says:

      I left out a few, too.

      My sweetie and I, wandering around the desert.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        Wandering around in the desert, eh? In my experience, one wandering is worth about one lifetime of experiences. So you’ve definitely experienced way more lives than your average cat.Report

    • Avatar zic says:

      Thank you, @gabriel-conroy

      It will be a challenge to me to produce work as provocative as some of your posts; but I’ll try.Report

  16. Avatar Joe Sal says:

    Congrats, and best regards!Report

    • Avatar zic says:

      Thanks, @joe-sal

      You’re name is relatively new to me; I don’t know if I’ve missed your comments, if so, forgive me. Can you introduce yourself a bit?Report

      • Avatar Joe Sal says:

        Joe Sal = Citizen
        I started using my regular name several weeks ago.Report

        • Avatar zic says:


          Thank you; I sort-of recognized your tone, but not the name. I’m relieve I wasn’t having odd associations; because of chronic migraine and head injury, I’m aware I sometimes connect unrelated things.Report

  17. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    Congratulations on your promotion from poster to blogger.Report

    • Avatar zic says:

      Thank you, @leeesq

      I still remember the day you showed up; very thoughtful and considerate. I’m glad Saul brought you into the fold. And I’m glad you’ve let your hair down and aren’t always thoughtful and considerate, too!Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq says:

        Actually I discovered this blog on my own. I just recognized that Saul, than ND, had my brother’s writing pattern so I emailed him about it.Report

  18. Avatar Alan Scott says:

    Woot! It’s about damned time!Report

  19. Avatar Murali says:

    Sorry, random word associationsReport

  20. I hope that after the New York Times snaps you up, you’ll still come by and visit once in a while.Report

    • Avatar zic says:

      after the New York Times snaps you up

      Ain’t gonna happen. I have zero interest in writing for the NYT; don’t like their style guide. (FWIW, I write using the AP style guide, though I might switch to present tense, depending on the needs of the story and demands of the publisher.)

      Right now, the only news agency I’d seriously consider pitching to is The Guardian, which still produces well-researched and reported news, mostly due to an endowment that frees it from the demands of selling advertising to pay for generating news. I’ve been watching Al Jazeera America with interest; it’s sort of news in its adolescence; and has a surprising socially liberal tone.Report

  21. Avatar Maribou says:

    Thank you for doing this, thank you for being stubbornly, warmly, consistently, gracefully, grittily yourself. More zic is always good.Report

    • Avatar zic says:

      I really hope you’ll sign up. Even if you post rarely, every word is worth reading and considering deeply. Your lived experience informs your writing in a powerful way, @maribou and more Maribou is a thing to be treasured.Report

  22. Avatar James K says:

    Welcome to the exclusive side of the velvet rope.Report

  23. Avatar Zac says:

    Just wanted to chime in that I’m very happy to see you writing for this site; I always enjoy your comments. To be totally honest, until you mentioned it on the previous thread, I had been under the foggy impression that you were already writing for the site and just hadn’t in a while. Not sure why I thought that, but I’m glad to see you posting nevertheless.Report

    • Avatar zic says:

      Thank you, @zac

      I’m really delighted your here commenting; and hope you’ll consider a guest post or two; you have a delightful way of expressing sharp insights.Report

      • Avatar Zac says:

        The main thing that stops me from submitting a guest post is that I’m a crap long-form writer, most of the time. My rhetorical skills lie mostly in pith and wit. And modesty, obviously.

        But one of these days, I’m sure it’ll happen. Just a matter of time. If nothing else, I’ve been invited by Glyph to do a write-up/analysis of the Black Mirror Christmas special…I’m just waiting until it’s been out long enough that it’s available for people to watch via legal means.Report

        • Avatar zic says:


          I’m a self-taught writer, meaning that I learned to write with the assistance of an editor on the front page of my local paper. I’m pretty much of the mind that the best way to learn is to have your mistakes out there in public; it has a way of reinforcing better writing (and worser writing) that’s not available any other way. But the editor part was really useful, too. I cannot copy edit reliably; but I can edit for content/form/etc. I volunteer, if you ever find yourself with a topic and desire.Report

        • Avatar Glyph says:

          I kinda lost track of Black Mirror recaps too, because nobody ever volunteered to do any of the second season eps, and I really only liked one of the three (“Be Right Back”) so writing them all up seemed daunting.

          Maybe I’ll just do all three in one post.Report

          • Avatar zic says:

            I would welcome that.

            They’re not the sort of thing one can binge watch, unless you want nightmares; so it’s easy (at least for me) to forget to watch them.Report

          • Avatar Zac says:

            Yeah, “Be Right Back” was by far the best one (my huge crush on Hayley Atwell notwithstanding), and I didn’t care for “The Waldo Moment” at all. Honestly, you could probably skip episodes two and three of season 2 without folks missing out on anything, because conceptually there’s just not a lot of meat on those bones. But the Christmas special was just so fishing amazing that I really want to write about some of the ideas that it presented (because if there’s one thing I really love to do, it’s dissecting and discussing the moral and societal implications of sci-fi technologies).Report

            • Avatar Glyph says:

              Oh wow, I didn’t even make the Hayley Atwell connection (I really only noticed her with Agent Carter, and my reaction there was “va-va-va-VOOM!”, quickly followed by “hey, she can act!”); though I had previously noted the Black Mirror casting director’s eye for attractive brunettes.

              “White Bear” has a little bit of something there to discuss I think, but “Waldo” really only has some decent performances and that’s about it.Report

        • Avatar Michael Cain says:

          The main thing that stops me from submitting a guest post is that I’m a crap long-form writer, most of the time.

          Do I let that stop me? It’s a skill that requires practice to develop.Report

  24. Avatar North says:

    I’m over the moon Zic! Congratulations my dear lady it’s well deserved.Report

  25. Welcome aboard! This is, to say the least, long overdue.Report

  26. Avatar Miss Mary says:

    Welcome 🙂Report