A Few Shiny Pebbles on the Infobeach
Ken MacLeod on Mundane SF

Well Barbara, if you could be any kind of tree, what kind of tree would you be?

Year ago, I happened across Barbara Walters' book How to Talk With Practically Anybody About Practically Anything. While reading that book was when I first understood that a book could be sold on proposal. As I recall (and this was decades ago), it did actually suggest using the question "If you could be any kind of tree, what kind of tree would you be?" as a conversational opener. The book was almost content-free.

So a few minutes ago when David called to tell me about Barbara's big gaffe, those were the first words out of my mouth. Having spent years of my life nursing while talking with practically anyone about practically anything, I am shocked, shocked that Walters thinks women ought not nurse in public.  I'm nursing right now while talking to you!

NursingGo lactivists! The nurse-in outside ABC is a great thing.

This having been said, I should also say that I have only had one complaint EVER about my public breastfeeding, and that was when feeding Elizabeth in the infant room at her preschool when she was about 11 months old.

(To spell it out for those of you who don't know me in person: I have breastfed while signing copies of my books; I have breastfed on panels; I have breastfed while teaching a writers workshop; I have breastfed in literally hundreds of restaurants; on most major airlines and in more public places than I can even think of. It is like breathing. How many places have you breathed?)

PS: The person I'd most like to hear from is the one who made Walters uncomfortable. Surely one does not fail to notice that BW is in the next seat in the cramped space of an airplane? Should she have felt tongue-tied, I have a surefire line to get the conversation going.

Quiz question: Which was more likely to cause a problem with longterm consequences? A woman nursing her baby in full view of the Interview Queen? Or the Interview Queen breathing her germs on the baby in the close confines of an airplane?