Category: books reviews with letter grades

London Gay Pride Crowdfunded; "F" for Letter Grades; Miami Beach Gay Pride

London Gay Pride Crowdfunded

With sponsors getting harder to find, London Pride will be utilizing crowdfunding this year to raise the money they need to do “a Pride people expect.” For those who don’t know, here’s something I posted about crowdfunding last August. That post talked about how crowdfunding was being used to support failing brick and mortar bookshops struggling to survive in changing times. This time it’s London Gay Pride that seems to be struggling.

They say it costs over £70,000 ($116k, €87k) to put on the parade each year, and they need help.

In return, donors will be given prizes in return such as being allowed to walk in a special ‘supporters’ section of the parade or a full ‘VIP experience’.

Speaking to Gay Star News, Pride vice chair Stephen Ward said: ‘We think it’s a great way for people to support an event that supports the gay community and get something back.’

Crowdfunding in a general sense seems to be getting more and more popular. But I’d like to know why there are less sponsors for London Pride. I have no doubt they will raise a good deal of money for this.

You can read more here.

“F” for Letter Grades

This isn’t directly related to books, gay issues, or pop culture, but indirectly I thought it was an interesting article because I’ve seen book reviewers/bloggers hand out letter grades to authors/books much like letter grades are handed out to those in school. No one ever questions it, or the motivation behind it.

Letter grades communicate precious little about the process of learning a given subject. When a child earns a ‘B’ in Algebra I, what does that ‘B’ represent? That ‘B’ may represent hundreds of points-based assignments, arranged and calculated in categories of varying weights and relative significance depending on the a teacher’s training or habit. But that ‘B’ says nothing about the specific skills John has (or has not) learned in a given class, or if he can apply that learning to other contexts. Even when paired with a narrative comment such as, “John is a pleasure to have in class,” parents, students, and even colleges are left to guess at precisely which Algebra I skills John has learned and will be able to apply to Algebra II.

You can read more here.

As I said above, I think it’s interesting with respect to book reviews that have letter grades. At least in school the letter grades are point-based, with calculations. However, with something as subjective as book reviewing I find letter grades not only insulting and condescending (if not presumptuous), but also a way to manipulate readers by sub-consciously taking them back to grammar school in a passive aggressive way where they learned how to judge others (and themselves) with letter grades.

I’m not talking about ratings or reviews. Just letter grades.

“F” for letter grades all the way around. I highly suggest readers stay away from web sites that grade books with letters. They are manipulating you and you probably don’t know it.

Miami Beach Gay Pride

This year’s Grand Marshals for Miami Beach Gay Pride will be Gloria Estefan and Kenny Ortega. This is one event I haven’t been to but always wanted to check out.

This is the sixth annual Miami Beach Gay Pride, and over 80,000 fans and supporters are expected to turn out to join the festivities.

Estefan and Ortega, both Latin and LGBTI icons in their own right, have lent their name and image to the Ocean Drive festivities to ‘bring together members and allies of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in celebration of the unique spirit and culture of the LGBT community’.

Here’s more, with a full explanation of the events, including date and time.