Thank You!

Oct. 18th, 2017 05:43 pm
otw_staff: 'Comms' and 'Claudia' written beneath the OTW Logo (Claudia)
[personal profile] otw_staff posting in [community profile] otw_news
Organization for Transformative Works Membership Drive, October 12-18, 2017

However you took part in #otwdonate, thank you for getting us started on our next 10 years! We've got some numbers for you about how this membership drive turned out: https://goo.gl/SMZamk

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Fuck Magic 該死的魔法

Oct. 18th, 2017 07:33 pm
[syndicated profile] ao3_buckysteve_feed

Posted by <a rel="author" href="/users/carolchang829/pseuds/carolchang829">carolchang829</a>

by

當一個法術強迫Steve和Bucky交換了身體...面對自己苦戀多年對象迷人的身軀...Bucky抵擋不了誘惑...

Words: 674, Chapters: 1/4, Language: 中文

These Words I Couldn't Tell You

Oct. 18th, 2017 05:32 pm
[syndicated profile] ao3_buckysteve_feed

Posted by <a rel="author" href="/users/Synonyma/pseuds/Synonyma">Synonyma</a>

by

Les pensées personnelles de Bucky pour son ami Steve.

Words: 2441, Chapters: 1/1, Language: Français

[syndicated profile] ao3_buckysteve_feed

Posted by <a rel="author" href="/users/tomioneer/pseuds/tomioneer">tomioneer</a>

by

At first Bucky didn’t know what Steve was trying to do, just wrapping his fingers around Bucky’s and holding on for a minute. Then he thought maybe Steve was feeling a little dizzy and stooped to put his bowl on the floor, holding tighter to the fingers in his grip while he did so. “Feelin’ alright?” he asked, scooting closer on the bed. Steve’s cup was mostly empty, nestled between his legs and surrounded by careless folds of blanket. He was looking, Bucky thought with deep-rooted worry, a little red around the face and ears. More so than yesterday, that was for sure.

Words: 3231, Chapters: 1/1, Language: English

Series: Part 1 of and you know I've been burned

10/18/2017 Meeker Slough

Oct. 18th, 2017 04:12 pm
mrkinch: Erik holding fieldglasses in "Russia" (binocs)
[personal profile] mrkinch
High tide was at noon, so when I got to So 51st St about 1:30 it was still a bit early in terms of exposed shoreline; two hours later there were more visible shorebirds but the sun angle was crap. That's shorter days for you. Still, not winter yet: )

Walking back to So 51st St I had an experience that reminded me of the butterfly migration a couple weeks ago. Gulls began appearing from the east southeast, evenly spaced over a wide area, uniformly not very high, and soared out over the Bay. I don't think they were landing on the spit opposite, although I admit I was so fascinated I didn't watch to see; they were definitely not landing anywhere short of there and I had the impression they just kept flying. They seemed to materialize out of the haze in front of the hills, and I have no idea where they came from. The reservoirs in Contra Costa? A pond this side of the hills? The Delta? Many of them were small gulls, possibly mews, but as the wave continued I saw the lots of ring-bills as well as Californias and westerns. More than a hundred, I'd guess.
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
[personal profile] bironic
Hi, friends. Thanks for voting in the poll! Indecisiveness combined with a general suspicion that everything I say and write these days is stupid banal can lead to extra-long periods of not posting.

I have been all right. Going to the gym 4+ days a week is not my natural inclination, and I still hurt in many places, but it is clear the activity is keeping my mood afloat, helping me sleep better and, yes, building strength and stamina. I took tonight off to browse the local library book sale -- $2 for Neil Clarke's Best Science Fiction of the Year vol. 1 and Whale Rider on DVD, yay -- and write a post.

My sister came to visit over Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples Day weekend. (Wow, it looks even worse to put those side by side than to use one alone. Wish we could just say Indigenous Peoples Day now, but it hasn't permeated the culture yet.) We went to a book event featuring chef Jacques Pépin, daughter Claudine and granddaughter Shorey. Having grown up watching Pépin, Julia Child and the Frugal Gourmet on PBS, it was a real treat -- especially since he came out twenty minutes early to do photo ops with anyone who wanted.

The discussion itself was quite funny. Claudine, the moderator, got teased by her dad, but she dished it right back. "Never work with family," she quipped at one point. They told stories about things like how PBS timed its filmings so if Claudine wasn't a fast enough learner at rolling out dough or whatever, Jacques would elbow her out of the way and do it himself. Whereas when he partnered with Julia Child, she just told the film crew, "We're going to make this dish and we'll tell you when we're done," meaning some poor editor had to trim 110 minutes down to 20-something. Nor did they work from recipes, so airings were delayed because the producers had to reverse engineer them.

We also went to the county fair in the rain, figuring the crowds would thin out. Incorrect! Nonetheless, we enjoyed many animals, vegetables and minerals crafts. A pair of goats tried to eat our plastic ponchos, and once again the rabbit and cavy tent drove me to look into how feasible it would be to get a couple of guinea pigs to cuddle at home. (Space, climate control and frequency of cage cleaning & feeding are the main concerns, i.e. I could not be away for more than about a day without arranging for care. And I don't know if I trust my ability to maintain the energy levels to do what's needed. This was easier growing up when we had four family members to share tasks.) LOOK AT ITS LITTLE TRIBBLE TUFTS.

Work has been work-y. We were urged to apply for some awards in our field, which took up most of the last three days. I've won a few in this job, so I'm a bit hopeful. Otherwise just trying to keep my head down and enjoy the aspects of this career that I enjoy while our office's overall stress rises and morale dips. Pretty sure [coworker] is about to quit.

Good news is we still get financial support for professional development. Next week I'm flying to San Francisco for a conference. If any of you have food recommendations in the Union Square/SoMa area, especially for breakfast and lunch, share away. I'm already set on returning to a couple of takeout places in Chinatown for tasty tasty dim sum. Still dreaming of the shrimp and leek dumplings from my first visit there a year and a half ago.

2017 Intro/Sticky

Oct. 18th, 2017 07:37 pm
dexstarr: (Default)
[personal profile] dexstarr
Hello!

I am Dex aka dexstarr, and you can find me many places:
🐍 [archiveofourown.org profile] dexstarr (ao3|fic)
🐍 [personal profile] dexstarr (dreamwidth|random musings)
🐍 [tumblr.com profile] galacticcoyote (tumblr|fandoms)
🐍 [insanejournal.com profile] dexstarr (insanejournal|roleplay)
🐍 [livejournal.com profile] dexstarr (livejournal|old, retired)

more about me )

[ SECRET POST #3941 ]

Oct. 18th, 2017 07:39 pm
case: (Default)
[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets

⌈ Secret Post #3941 ⌋

Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.

01.


More! )


Notes:

Secrets Left to Post: 01 pages, 18 secrets from Secret Submission Post #564.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.

More batb

Oct. 18th, 2017 04:11 pm

Quick Check-In

Oct. 18th, 2017 10:29 pm
[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

Hello fellow humans! I am not dead. I am slowly making my way down the length of California toward my high school reunion.

Life is good. I hope also that your life is good.

Tell the class about your day in the comments.

Yours,

JS


GODDAMMIT.

Oct. 18th, 2017 03:24 pm
kore: (Default)
[personal profile] kore
It's been coming for a long while now, but....still. Damn.



I have a narrative "thing"

Oct. 18th, 2017 06:02 pm
dragovianknight: (WoW - lion)
[personal profile] dragovianknight
For tank/DPS combos*. This grows more obvious the more I try to brainstorm this years NaNoWriMo project.

Also, if I didn't hate the mechanics/stats side of it, I would totally write litRPG. But even in my gaming, I want less fussing with stats, not MORE.



*I blame [personal profile] darthneko and I swapping to monk mains this expac. One brewmaster plus one windwalker will rip through anything, including heroic dungeons. Sadly, we can't yet duo current-content raids, or the bullshit quests that keep sending me to Emerald Nightmare would be done already.
[syndicated profile] the_mary_sue_feed

Posted by Kaila Hale-Stern

File this one under Wednesday weird. The #1 trending topic on Twitter is currently “Melania” after a video and comparison photo shots convinced wide swaths of the Internet that Trump had employed a Melania doppelganger. The conspiracy fast became a meme, and the rest is history.

First, Twitter lit up about this video. You have to admit that as we zoom in on Melania, her nose looks different, as does her fringe of hair—and her vigorous nodding to Trump’s words. It was made weirder by Trump saying “My wife Melania, who happens to be right here.” For those who really got into this thing whole-heartedly, I think it’s demonstrative of how out-there Trump behaves on an everyday basis that nothing he or his family does would surprise us anymore. We’d totally be down for believing he swapped in a spare Melania look-alike for a photo op.

While portions of the Internet took this very seriously and broke down comparisons to the microscopic level, others had more fun memeing and hamming it up.

Let’s all simmer down, folks. Camera angles can play tricks:

But personally, I’m going with this take:

Anyway, given the terrible things Donald Trump has done just today, like deny he was rude to the widow of a fallen soldier (hmm, who should we believe, Donald Trump or the soldier’s mother?), and never follow up on the promise of fundraising $25,000 for the family of another lost soldier, we shouldn’t be distracted by this silliness (or so focused on picking apart a woman’s appearance). Still, #FakeMelania was too much of a moment in cultural history not to record. Everyone really needs a break, don’t we?

  • Twitter says they’re going to institute new rules for handling abuse on their network. Oh, sorry, that banshee-like sound you just heard was my incredulous, hysterical laughter. (via Wired)
  • So who’s been watching Mindhunter??? OMG how I’ve missed Anna Torv. Also, this is cool:

  • The cast of Halloweentown, reunited. (via Buzzfeed)
  • Director Guillermo Del Toro doesn’t mince words about Hollywood’s toxic culture: “The people with money are assholes.” (via THR)
  • French women have their own “me too”-esque hashtag, only it’s #BalanceTonPorc (“expose your pig”) (via Time)
  • Is my wife Hayley Atwell’s presence in Georgia a possible hint that she could be filming there for the Avengers? Please? Peggy please? (via Comicbook.com)

You made it halfway through the week! Hooray! So what’d you see today?

(image: screengrab)

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[syndicated profile] the_mary_sue_feed

Posted by Teresa Jusino

Director Marianna Palka has taken a loaded word and a batshit premise and managed to create a feminist satire that seems to be as insightful and incisive as it is funny and weird. Check out the trailer for her new film, Bitch, above!

This dark comedy tells the story of a woman (played by Palka) who is so overwhelmed by her life as a mother and wife that she becomes an actual bitcha female dog. Her cheating husband (Jason Ritter) and their kids then have to navigate life without her, clueless about all the physical and emotional labor they heaped upon her day in and day out, completely taking her for granted.

The film’s title is a divisive word in feminist circles. I happen to be in the camp that believes that the word can be reclaimed and be empowering depending on context and usage. There are others who see the word as demeaning in all contexts and prefer it never be used with regard to women. At Sundance this year, Palka explained her take on the word and why she chose it as a title:

“I think because there’s such a power in the word, and I think that the word actually means so much to so many people. I think that it’s obviously sometimes misused as a word and a term. I always think there’s another way to talk about someone. If you want to call them that, you should call them something else. You could say that they’re being assertive.”

Bitch arrives in theaters November 10th. Will you be checking it out?

(via The Muse, image: Youtube)

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[syndicated profile] the_mary_sue_feed

Posted by Teresa Jusino

As Ava DuVernay reminded us when she spoke at the Hammer Museum Gala earlier this week, “good guys” do exist. As rife as Hollywood is with terrible, horrifying examples of manhood, there are also those who genuinely and wholeheartedly embrace their role in doing better and furthering the cause of gender equality. I needed to take a minute to acknowledge them here; to remind myself that the world isn’t a complete shit-show.

We’ve already heard today about Kevin Smith putting his money where his mouth is and donating all future royalties from any films of his produced/distributed by the Weinsteins (which is a lot of films) to Women in Film. Now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, we’re also hearing about Channing Tatum stopping development of his film adaptation of Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, which was in development with The Weinstein Company.

A post shared by Channing Tatum (@channingtatum) on

My hope is that more people in Hollywood take things like a company’s record re: abuses against women into account before deciding whether or not to work with them in the first place. And if new information comes to light, they do what Tatum and his producing partner, Reid Carolin, have done: take their business elsewhere.

In addition to those men in Hollywood who are fighting on the business front, there are those who are working toward changing the culture of masculinity by really examining it and redefining what it means. I’ve been following Justin Baldoni’s work for a while now, at first because I’m a huge fan of Jane the Virgin (he plays Rafael), but shortly thereafter because I’ve learned that he is extremely passionate about using his craft and his platform to better the world around him.

His production company, Wayfarer Entertainment, exists not only to create content, but to engage in social justice and change, primarily in the realm of homelessness, but for other causes, too. One of those productions is a show called Man Enough.

I’ve been getting glimpses of the making of the show as it’s progressed via Baldoni’s Instagram, and it seems like a really cool idea. It’s a dinner party-style conversation show with a rotating cast of male participants who will be gathering to have honest conversations about what masculinity is, and can be.

Far from being an MRA-style bro-fest, Man Enough will gather men with all different experiences and relationships to gender in order to perpetuate a masculinity that isn’t about destruction and pain, but rather, one that allows the space for vulnerability and growth. Says Baldoni, “There is no shortage of men, I can tell you right now, that want to be at that table and have that conversation even in this town, believe it or not, because men are ready to talk, men are ready to open up, men are tired of the way things have been.”

The Hollywood Reporter announced that the show’s rotating cast includes Matt McGorry (How to Get Away With Murder), Derek Hough (Dancing With the Stars), Javier Munoz (Hamilton), comedian Bassem Youssef, spoken word artist Prince Ea, transgender activist Aydian Dowling, and former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.

The fact that they’re including not only straight, white, and cis perspectives on masculinity, but those of men of color, queer men, and trans men gives me a lot of hope that the conversations they have will actually be valuable, and hopefully inspire similar conversations among men who watch.

Man Enough premieres online on November 28th at wearemanenough.com.

Lastly, I’ve been heartened to see men outside the Hollywood environment begin to have conversations on social media via hashtags like #ItWasMe and #HowIWillChange, taking responsibility for all the ways, big and small, in which they have individually perpetuated rape culture and sexism while vowing to do better.

I hope that this conversation leads to real, concrete action, and that this action continues. Sexism can’t be dismantled without men’s participation, and it gives me hope to see that there are men out there that see the dismantling of sexism as something that will benefit them much more than any “power” they have under this oppressive system.

(image: Wayfarer Entertainment)

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the: (cindy lou whom)
[personal profile] the posting in [community profile] fandom_icons

180+ (ongoing) THE GIFTED HERE.

+ UPDATED DEFENDERS w/ 33 JESSICA JONES HERE.
also features elektra & colleen
the: (cindy lou whom)
[personal profile] the posting in [community profile] icons

180+ (ongoing) THE GIFTED HERE.
+ UPDATED DEFENDERS w/ 33 JESSICA JONES HERE.
also features elektra & colleen

re:

Oct. 18th, 2017 05:30 pm
watersword: A empty box with the words "but I, alas, do not know how to see sheep through the walls of boxes" from Le petit prince (Writing: sheep through the walls of boxe)
[personal profile] watersword
this excellent post from [personal profile] rosefox's [syndicated profile] story_hospital_feed — does anyone have thoughts on what warmup exercises for writers might look like? I've encountered the concept, but not at length.

The Faculty // The photo trip

Oct. 18th, 2017 11:15 pm
prisca: (F-Casey&Zeke comic)
[personal profile] prisca posting in [community profile] 100words
Title: The photo trip
Round #64 = Quote VI = For a while" is a phrase whose length can't be measured. At least by the person who's waiting. -- Haruki Murakami.
Fandom: The Faculty // Casey Connor, Zeke Tyler
Rating: PG13
Disclaimer: of course, I don't own The Faculty, nor the characters

Read more... )
naye: robin from one piece reading, with the words "book love" (book love)
[personal profile] naye
This week of farewells (and teaching my replacement as much as I can cram in without making her head explode) is... exhausting. Good, because I feel appreciated and missed, but also it's weird to have what have been my everyday interactions tinged with so many emotions now.

Phew.

Books have been a blessed distraction from all the things these past couple of weeks, and since my last post I've finished...

Maelstrom (Whyborne & Griffin, #7) by Jordan L Hawk
Fallow (Whyborne & Griffin, #8) by Jordan L Hawk
Undertow (Whyborne & Griffin, #8.5) by Jordan L Hawk
Draakenwood (Whyborne & Griffin, #9) by Jordan L Hawk

These are all so perfect I can't even. They hit right in the feels, every single time, and I'm such a sucker for the ongoing themes of found family (which grows as the series goes along!), adorable husbands, and copious amounts of h/c and assorted peril. I have so many favorite things about this whole series, but one of them was the incredibly sweet and different f/f romance that develops in Undertow.

Whispers Under Ground (Peter Grant, #3) by Ben Aaronovitch
Broken Homes (Peter Grant, #4) by Ben Aaronovitch

My re-read by way of listening to Kobna Holdbrook-Smith narrate the Peter Grant books continue, and continues to be hugely enjoyable. After five years here I understand that dialects are a thing and I can make a rough sort of distinction between North and South; between posh and working class; between England and Scotland and Wales - but I can never "hear" them properly when I read the books myself. With Holdbrook-Smith's narration it's all right there and it really enriches the experience of the story. Plus I do love the forays into tube tunnels, sewers and brutalist architecture we get in these two books. (Also the plot does the thing which I can never brace for and always hits really hard.)

The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal by KJ Charles
Remnant: A Caldwell & Feximal/Whyborne & Griffin Mystery
by KJ Charles and Jordan L Hawke

Yes so I got to the Simon Feximal book because I wanted to read the crossover with Whyborne & Griffin (of course I did) and then I was rather happily swept up in the characters and their paranormal Victorian adventures and romance - so different from the sweet Whyborne & Griffin one, but nevertheless hugely charming and absorbing. And the crossover did NOT disappoint! I may in fact have made a few dolphin noises reading it...

An Unseen Attraction (Sins of the Cities, #1) by KJ Charles
An Unnatural Vice (Sins of the Cities, #2) by KJ Charles
An Unsuitable Heir (Sins of the Cities, #3) by KJ Charles

And having been so enthralled by KJ Charles' writing I had to go seek out some more, and I was so pleased to find this series! It's one plot told over three books featuring an overlapping set of characters in Victorian London. Each has two main POVs - the characters who (spoiler?) - get together in the course of the book - so these are different in each. It's a really neat device that works a treat here.

I was incredibly charmed by the POV characters, many of whom are struggling with how the world sees them; how what makes them who they are is something that their society or family just won't (or don't want to) accept. It was quite wonderful to see aspects of my own relationship in all of these - but particularly #1 and #3 has things (such as a non-binary character with a pansexual eventual partner) that really, really resonates with me. And that I don't think I'd come across in fiction before!

I'm currently reading...
A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge
Foxglove Summer (Peter Grant, #5) by Ben Aaronovitch

As for what I'm reading next - honestly, probably a lot more KJ Charles and similar, because they are sweet and comforting and I need all the sweetness and comfort I can get as I spend over a month separated from the love of my own life.
[syndicated profile] the_mary_sue_feed

Posted by Princess Weekes

For weeks, my best friend kept coming up to me saying that I had to—I absolutely had to—read Spinning. I was promised a bucketful of tears and a heart full of queer feelings; that is exactly what I was given after reading Spinning by cartoonist Tillie Walden.

In Tillie Walden’s graphic memoir (published on September 12), ten years of her life are recounted, in which her mornings and nights are consumed by competitive figure skating. Initially, the structure, the intensity, and the competition are things that give Tillie comfort, a steadiness until her family decided to move from New Jersey to Texas. It is there that Tillie’s world begins to change, the routines she’s set up for herself slowly fade away, and the emotional needs she requires are more than ice-skating can provide.

What I find so powerful about Spinning from a narrative perspective is the honesty with which the author tells her story. While Tillie is our protagonist, we’re allowed to see her selfishness, her ambition, and her almost elitist behavior with the other girls, and recognize them as faults. Her parents are shown to be caring and distant. The emotional vulnerability is also clear as she recounts feelings of longing for both emotional love and romantic love. My absolute favorite panel is when she recounts the first time she knew she was attracted to women.

“I never ignored the fact that I was attracted to them. I had known I was gay since I was 5. Now I was almost 12. A teacher’s aide had shown me how to hold your sleeve when you put your jacket on. I still remember her hands on my shoulders. I didn’t have a word to describe it yet, but in that moment I knew.”

While Spinning is not about coming out, Tillie doesn’t need to go through a crisis to know she’s gay either (yay!), but her falling in love and infatuation with other women while she’s closeted only helps to illustrate how not acknowledging that part of herself to others keeps her in a box that’s getting smaller by the minute.

Being young and gay is still hard, despite how many strides we have taken as a society. Homophobia is all around us, and just because people don’t stigmatize women as much for holding hands and even kissing, that doesn’t mean everyone’s suddenly OK with lesbians. Coming out means risking relationships and hearing a lot of “I like you—but not like that” comments from same-sex friends.

Ice skating is shown for the physically and emotionally intense experience that it is, with one scene in particular with some busybody parents that made me want to find each one of them and shake them for shaming a child. It also provides this binary between Tillie, who in her everyday life is very tomboyish in her appearance, to the hyper-glamorized world of ice skating, where you have to wear a full face of makeup to then go sweat, and are punished for showing a bra-strap or panty-line, despite having to do spins and kicks. But Tillie is drawn to it and to women who managed to meld into that world in the seamless way she cannot.

As a work of art, Spinning excels at using shadows, darkness, and whitespace to illustrate Tillie’s joys, fears, and loneliness. Not to mention her athleticism and that of the other skaters.

When we call for a diversity of queer voices, Spinning is emblematic of why that call is there. There are so many stories to tell in so many ways that until we see them, it’s hard to believe it never existed before. Tillie’s story is about a young woman trying to get to a place in her life where she can be whole without compromising the pieces of herself that mean the most. As an artist, a lesbian, and ultimately, as a woman on the verge of self-truth.

Spinning is beautiful and brilliant so yes, you might want to prepare yourself for the feels.


(images: First Second Books)

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[syndicated profile] the_mary_sue_feed

Posted by Marykate Jasper

As Legendary Pictures gears up for production on the film adaptation of Detective Pikachu, rumors are starting to fly about the big names they have in mind for the title role. That Hashtag Show reports that Legendary’s top choices to voice Detective Pikachu are Hugh Jackman, Ryan Reynolds, Mark Wahlberg, and…Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Unfortunately for the studio, none of the four have even agreed to meet about the role – yet!

The internet might be disappointed by this list, since Danny Devito has been its most memed suggestion, but I am honestly so entertained by the idea of Hugh Jackman or The Rock voicing a goddamn Pikachu. I hope Jackman would go full Logan, growling all his lines while playing a bouncy yellow fantasy creature. The Rock could just be the Rock, doing his thing, and I would enjoy it.

The Detective Pikachu movie will be based on the Japanese Great Detective Pikachu video game, whose trailer you can see below. The game centers on a talking Pikachu who isn’t as skilled a fighter as most Pikachu, but more than makes up for it with his career as a talking, crime-solving master detective. When he finally meets a human boy who can understand what he’s saying, they team up to solve Pokémon-related mysteries.

Detective Pikachu is scheduled to being shooting in January 2018, with Rob Letterman (Shark Tale, Monsters vs. Aliens) set to direct. I think Hugh Jackman and The Rock are pretty awesome suggestions, but who would you like to see voice Detective Pikachu? Viola Davis doing her Amanda Waller voice? Mark Hamill? Tara Strong? Hit me with your best suggestions!

(Via IGN; image via screengrab of the Detective Pikachu trailer)

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A Little Dab’ll Do Ya

Oct. 18th, 2017 03:03 pm
[syndicated profile] ao3_buckysteve_feed

Posted by <a rel="author" href="/users/Aylwyyn228/pseuds/Aylwyyn228">Aylwyyn228</a>

by

Bucky frowned. “I know you, don’t I?"

Oh, God. Not that kind of day.

Words: 1028, Chapters: 1/1, Language: English

smallhobbit: (Default)
[personal profile] smallhobbit
This was suggested by Okapi as of benefit to some of the things I do in church.  Initially I thought about BSL, but then realised if I was intending to do this properly it would require more than a month, so I decided to learn some Polish instead.  There is a significant Polish contingent in our area, so it seemed logical.

I signed up for Duolingo and began the first lessons.  But after nearly a fortnight I realised I wasn't going anywhere, although I had a large list of vocabulary.  I have nothing to hang the language on, in that there's no similarity to any of the other languages I have a smattering of.  And nothing was going in.  I decided to admit this wasn't working and stop, rather than battling on for another week.  On the plus side, I now have a certain feel for the language when it's spoken.

To the replace this, I've been watching a youtube video with basic BSL greetings, which means I might at least be able to sign 'welcome' which would be welcoming.

I haven't even done much of my sewing.  We were away or out most of the weekend, and this week I've been sorting odds and ends for our holiday and have generally been feeling uninspired.  All I've done is sew one button, which I think helps to pull the appliqué together better for this square:
pics )

What Is a Problematic Fave?

Oct. 18th, 2017 07:56 pm
[syndicated profile] the_mary_sue_feed

Posted by Clare McBride

Much like Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart and obscenity, we know a problematic fave when we see it, but actually nailing down a specific definition can be hard.

Overuse of a word always runs the risk of devaluing it, which makes exercises like the first question at New York Comic-Con’s “Let’s Talk About Our Problematic Faves” useful in recentering and refreshing the concept. Moderated by Diana M. Pho and featuring panelists Lara Elena Donnelly, Terence Taylor, and Mark Oshiro, I was pleasantly surprised by both the delightful panelists—go follow Taylor on Twitter right now, you will not regret it—and the introduction to affect theory it provided.

But first, the definition of a problematic fave. While I do agree with Taylor’s baseline definition that a problematic fave is something you have to recommend with a caveat—such as noting that Lovecraft is a big ol’ racist when recommending At the Mountains of Madness—Donnelly provided the best explanation by way of metaphor. Specifically, the metaphor of ice cream. Ice cream is delicious and easy to love, but eating ice cream all the time will leave you malnourished. This doesn’t mean you can’t have ice cream, of course, you just have to be upfront about what it is and incorporate it into a diverse diet.

Which, when it comes to geek media, is easier said than done. You only have to look at the uproar surrounding the gender and racial diversity in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Ghostbusters to see what happens when you try to add to a classic by expanding on it, and it only gets worse when it comes to media criticism. How do we account for these kinds of reactions?

Two words: affect theory. To explain, Pho introduced us to the work of theorist Sara Ahmed—specifically, her essay “Happy Objects,” collected in her 2010 book, The Promise of Happiness. In it, Ahmed posits that there are objects that make us happy. (They affect us, hence the name of the theory.)

When people organize themselves around those objects, they create “affective communities”—or, in this case, fandoms. Fandoms, at a base level, are connected by fans commonly recognizing a piece of media as good or enjoyable. Not only does it makes us happy, it can form a major part of our identities. I mean, just look at how House sorting has seeped so far into mainstream culture. (I’m a Hufflepuff for life, by the way.)

So when someone comes along and points out its flaws—an “affect alien,” per Ahmed—we can feel threatened. Ahmed uses the stereotype of the “feminist killjoy” as an example of this. It’s not just someone yucking on your yum. Someone else being unable to find happiness in your happy object, especially for unassailable reasons like, say, “this story says terrible things about women,” can feel like a commentary on your own enjoyment of it. That your happy object is completely unworthy or that you’re wrong or a bad person to enjoy it all. To go back to Donnelly’s metaphor, you feel like you’re not allowed to eat ice cream and that you’re a bad person for even wanting it at all.

But the thing is, many “affect aliens” aren’t aliens at all, but other members of the fandom the “aggravated” parties have had the privilege to ignore in the past. Affective communities have rapidly expanded in the age of tumblr, as the previous barriers to entry for fandom have all but vanished and the social media platforms we perform fan labor on do not allow us to build curated communities of fans. (The loss of community building and moderation as a skillset in fandom is another post for another time.)

As a result, fandom is now less homogenous and members have much more access to each each other, even if their perspectives on their shared happy object are totally different. This is why ship wars seem so much more common now; when you’re all working in the same tag, you have to deal with people who ship something you don’t like all the time.

The petty kneejerk impulse is to point the finger at the seeming affect alien and tell them they’re wrong and that their inability to derive happiness from your happy object is a personal failure—the slave bikini is actually empowering or shipping Zutara makes you a bad person. I’ve had that impulse, you’ve had that impulse, we’ve all had that impulse. But it’s important to not indulge that impulse in order to actually engage with your problematic fave in a meaningful and useful way. We and the media we consume will never change if we dismiss criticism or problematic media out of hand.

ha(Although, of course, this doesn’t mean that you are obligated to consume media you find offensive, don’t like, or doesn’t like you. Catch you never, C. S. Lewis.)

We all love things that are problematic. The way to deal with it, though, is to be able to step back and have a nuanced conversation about its pros and cons. For instance, I find empowerment in the queer characters on Gotham, but I’m also very upfront about how awful that show (and, to be honest, the entire Batman universe) is about mental illness. We live in very polarizing times, but both of those things can be true.

I am, at the end of the day, a ride or die reader response theorist (tl;dr: meaning is generated whenever a reader engages with a text, which means that everything is subjective), but I find affect theory a really interesting thing to add to my fandom framework toolkit. It explains why we behave the way we do when it comes to our problematic faves. And once that’s quantified and defined, we can understand it and improve.

(images: Warner Bros., Clare McBride)

Clare McBride was raised on the Internet by a Nintendo 64 and reruns of Mystery Science Theater 3000, which is as good of an explanation as any. She is a contributing editor at the Hugo Award-winning Lady Business and SYFY Fangrrls. Find her at Twitter @omnivoreal

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Posted by Teresa Jusino

It’s very easy to look at someone like Harvey Weinstein and see a monster. The decades-long history of abuses makes that crystal clear. But make no mistake, it isn’t only “monsters” we have to worry about when it comes to sexual harassment, sexual assault, and the systematic sexism that plagues the entertainment industry.

Earlier today in Variety, I read a piece by TV critic Maureen Ryan, where she talked about her sexual assault at the hands of a TV executive at an entertainment industry event that broke her a couple of years ago, making her question whether or not she wanted to stay anywhere near television. Aside from the vulnerability of her account, she also stresses the point that the man that did this to her was the boyfriend of someone she knew. He had a lot of friends. He was well-liked. In other words, he seemed like a “normal” guy.

He didn’t seem like a monster.

Yesterday, Amanda Segel, an executive producer of The Mist (which was produced by The Weinstein Company for Spike), came forward with allegations of sexual harassment against Bob Weinstein. Here, in a nutshell, is what she says happened:

  • In June 2016, Weinstein invited Segel out to dinner, which she accepted, hoping to build their professional relationship on The Mist. When it became clear his interest in her was romantic, she politely declined.
  • After that “no,” Weinstein proceeded to email her wanting to “be friends.” She made it clear that they would indeed just be friends, and that she was not interested in dating him.
  • According to Variety, “Segel asserts that during this period Bob Weinstein invited her to a house he’d rented in Malibu for a party. When he called Segel to tell her the address of the house, she gathered that it was not a party but an invitation for the two of them to be alone. She did not attend.”
  • He continued to ask Segel out to dinner between June and August, “joking at times that he was her boss and could fire her if she didn’t agree.” Once, she agreed to go to dinner with him, but brought Mist Executive Producer and writer Christian Torpe along with her. “Weinstein was clearly unhappy with Torpe’s presence at the dinner, according to Segel.”

Eventually, his harassment stopped, but then the angry outbursts started over work things, where he’d yell at her for things that were outside of her control. Eventually, she pursued legal action, and as it stands now, she still works on The Mist, ” but arrangements were made that she was never to be in the same room as Weinstein or on telephone calls with him, an agreement that was honored by Weinstein. It was also agreed that TWC would let Segel out of its option to keep her on the show if it was picked up for a second season.”

Did you find yourself saying during any of that, especially the early stuff, “I mean, that doesn’t seem that bad,” or “At least he’s not his brother,” or “Plenty of guys keep trying. What’s the harm?”

As Segel herself told Variety, ” ‘No’ should be enough. After ‘no,’ anybody who has asked you out should just move on. Bob kept referring to me that he wanted to have a friendship. He didn’t want a friendship. He wanted more than that. My hope is that ‘no’ is enough from now on.”

What’s interesting is that Weinstein is both the product and an architect of the very sexist industry that helps perpetuate the idea that “persistence” is a positive trait when applied to men and their dating lives.

Countless films and television shows (many of them starring Andie MacDowell, for some reason, as you’ll see in the Cracked video by Daniel O’Brien below) portray the trope where a guy asks a girl out, gets turned down, then proceeds to engage in all manner of manipulation and harassment to “win her affections,” which is then rewarded by her “breaking down” and accepting a date.

There are “persistent” women in film, too. They’re usually the stars of horror movies or thrillers. Only “persistent” men get framed as cute. “Persistent” women are a sign that “bitches be crazy.” And desperate.

Through pop culture, as well as through our real-life culture, men are taught to “be persistent” when pursuing women. They are taught to “not give up,” to “not take ‘no’ for an answer.”

Meanwhile, women are conditioned, too. You can’t have systemic sexism without conditioning people on both sides of the gender divide (and everyone in between). Women are taught that when they are pursued, they are valued. They are taught that men have to “work for it,” and so we shouldn’t be too quick to say yes, lest we look “easy.”

Because straight men want sex with women, but God forbid women want it in return! No, it has to be begrudging. It has to be allowed, rather than desired. It has to be “earned” and “conquered,” not simply given.

We’ve heard the word “predator” in relation to men like Harvey Weinstein, but it could just as easily apply to any man who doesn’t attempt to shuck off his sexist conditioning. Because all men are taught to be predators, and all women are taught to be prey, if not by the people most directly in our lives, then by the culture around us.

And women are taught that there’s special power in this. That by virtue of having the “power” to say no, that this actually makes them more powerful than men, those “poor saps” who are guided by their libidos. Women are apparently the ones “really” in control.

First of all, men are never told that “the right to say no” is some kind of special power. It’s just, a thing that is expected. Because people have the inherent right to say yes or no to things they want or don’t want. So, the fact that the “right to say no” when it comes to sex is sold to women as some kind of special feature on womanhood is absurd.

Secondly, this might actually be true, were it not for the fact that when women do exercise their right to say no, it’s rarely as simple as that. At its most harmless, a rejected man might scoff, and walk away offended, saying something along the lines of I didn’t actually think you looked good anyway. At worst, a man might commit an act of violence against the woman who dared say no to him and his “charms.”

And between those two extremes are the men who pull a Weinstein: making her life miserable over time, lording power over her, making her work life difficult. Death by a thousand paper cuts.

There is no true power if your ultimate decision, whether positive or negative, isn’t taken seriously and accepted.

And yet, despite the fact that “saying no” comes with the constant underlying threat of going horribly wrong at any time, women are taught to “play hard to get.” As not-fun as that might be for them, it keeps the game “fun” for men, because men “like the chase.” And of course, keeping things fun for straight men is all that matters in this life. So, we’re taught to see this dispensation and withholding of sex as powerful so that we do it. We’re taught to enjoy that “power.”

Is it any wonder, then, that men don’t take no for an answer. That men don’t believe women, period. After all, if “no” really means “yes” or “try harder” when it comes to sex, what else are women lying about?

These most recent allegations against a Weinstein brother aren’t sad because they’re coming out of the same disgraced Hollywood company (though that’s part of it). They’re sad because they reflect something that’s more prevalent than even the Harvey Weinsteins of the world: they guys who think that if they just try hard enough, they’ll “land” the woman of their dreams.

Because women are things to be earned and collected like trophies, or else animals to be hunted and mounted on the walls, not people.

(image: Paul Smith/Shutterstock)

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Posted by Sam Riedel

You might know Ashley Eckstein as the voice of Ahsoka on Star Wars: The Clone Wars, but these days, she lends her voice to the company she founded: Her Universe, designers of quality apparel for geeky women. Last year, then-TMS editors Carolyn Cox and Sam Riedel tested Her Universe’s first line of activewear; this year, we sent Sam to New York Comic-Con to talk with Ashley about her forthcoming memoir, It’s Your Universe, and what’s next on her radar.

Ashley Eckstein: I was so touched that you guys would actually test it out. That’s what I wanted. I want to hear real feedback. That was our first Marvel, right?

TMS: I think so. Was it your first activewear?

Yeah, because I remember you wore the Captain America? That was the first line. So. Yeah I mean obviously Kohls, we work closely with them and they do activewear already. I wanted to learn and we’re still learning. We’ve done two lines since and I’m very critical and nitpicky and I want to hear how can we improve.

I remember when we were doing that video. That was relatively early in my transition for me, so I was kind of nervous about wearing stuff that was that tight and—not revealing exactly, but like, “how explicit are we going to be here with the contouring?” But I felt a lot more comfortable in that than I was expecting. I think that sort of comfort for a diverse array of body types is one of the things that has become a selling point for Her Universe in general. Was that one of your intentions going in?

It was definitely one of my intentions going in. And it’s also one of my intentions with Her Universe in general for any of our lines. I’m actually a pretty modest dresser and modest person, and I tend to design for—if I don’t feel comfortable in it, I probably won’t design it because I wear a lot of our clothes, too. I don’t know; I just want everyone to feel comfortable. I don’t want it to be too revealing or too tight or too short—I want you to be able to wear it for all different events and all throughout the day. So it is something that I was conscious of and I wanted it to be something that you could truly work out in, you know, true performance wear and not something that was just for show.

So we’re constantly learning. I mean, not every piece is perfect; I’ll be the first to tell you that. We just got a Loki sports bra in that, I have to be honest, it looks really cool on, [but] I haven’t worked out in it yet. There’s there’s a lot of straps going on because it looks like Loki, so I’m still figuring out how functional it is. It looks I feel like if Loki—

Were to do any form of exercise?

Yes. It looks like something that like, a lady Loki would wear working out. Does that make sense? And that’s what we try to do with all of our clothes—it’s inspired by the character, and if this character were to design a fashion line with us, what would it look like? So we’ll see. We don’t always achieve the what I call the “unicorn design” that’s just perfect—perfect fit, perfect function, perfect design—but we always try.

I’m curious as to how you decide which properties and which franchises to go after. But I’m also curious as to how you choose what kinds of pieces to put in those lines—you mentioned that it’s very much informed by what would this character wear, what their sensibilities would be. Which of those comes first? You know—”we need to do something with a bunch of jackets, what can we look for for that” or is it the other way around? 

I would say it actually changes with every line. It depends on the character. You know, sometimes the character is more prone to a certain type of look. For example, Loki—everyone knows his cape. So I said we have to do a cape blazer. So sometimes the character and their costume very much dictate the look. Like the pleather jacket—you know, Loki is known for his leather. So it’s like, “well, we need to have a pleather jacket in there.” But sometimes it’s the fashion trends. Sometimes we’ll very much go on what’s on trend in fashion, and just put the fandom onto that. You know, like activewear—that was one thing that was on trend in the active world and then let’s add the fandom onto the popular silhouette. So I think it varies per collection. Which is exciting because it’s always something new.

But I do think one thing I try to focus on and pride ourselves on is the property comes first. So for example, with Wonder Woman, we worked with Jesse Thaxton, who won our fashion show at [San Diego] Comic-Con [2016], right? And she wanted to design something with the sword that goes down Wonder Woman’s back. And we didn’t necessarily have a tank top already designed that could have a sword down the back, but we said that’s the right thing to do for this property. So we designed a brand new tank top silhouette that have a sword on the back. We’ve never done anything like that before. So the character and the property—we always try to stay true [to it]. That comes first.

Is it difficult to trace both what’s on trend and what’s popular fandom-wise? That seems like a couple of balls that are really difficult to keep in the air at the same time.

Yes it is! And you know, sometimes they work well together and sometimes they don’t at all. So to me, since we’re a licensed company, the property and the character have to come first. I’m not going to force a trend on a property where it doesn’t make sense. So in a perfect world I think especially the more we venture into fashion, if the two make sense together, that’s great. For Leia, puffy vests are in style—well, it’s about time that we do the Leia Hoth puffy vest. When trends and the franchise can come together, great, but if it doesn’t, I’m not going to force it.

I want to touch on what you announced [Thursday]—I think you’d said that you were writing a book before, but that it’s going to be coming out through Disney Book Group. You mentioned that writing a book was something that you had said that you were never ever going to do. What was that final push that got you to do it?

Well, I just—I didn’t feel that I had it in me. Whenever I went to write something, I would start to write what I thought was going to maybe be even a chapter of a book, and it ended up being an essay. So I just thought, “Well hey, this is not a talent I have. I’m not cut out for it.” And so when I was talking with Disney, we were just brainstorming ideas. They asked me about my story and I said, “Well, I don’t feel that my story warrants a memoir or anything, but I’m so proud and grateful for what Disney taught me and what Disney inspired me to do, because I truly feel like without Disney, I wouldn’t be here. Disney taught me how to make my dreams come true. So if I can share my story, but at the same time share the advice and the inspiration behind my story and why I believed that any of this was possible thanks to Disney truthfully”—and this is coming from me. Disney did not come to me and ask me to write this; I asked Disney if I could do this. I’m so grateful for it. I said, “If you’ll let me write that book, then I would love to write that book. But I don’t feel like I can necessarily write the whole book.”

They said, “Oh no, don’t worry, we will find you the right author that can do this with you.”

They introduced me to Stacy Kravetz, and she’s written a couple of other books and inspirational books for girls. So we immediately started talking and sharing my story with her. What she was able to do for me—I realized this was the part that I just could never get past: the structure of the book. I didn’t understand how I could structure a book. So after several conversations she helped me build the structure of a book. But then I realized, I really wanted to be in my voice. And if I want this in my voice, I gotta write this. So when you have a deadline—I don’t like to let anybody down. If I give you my word and I commit to something, I will not let you down. And I’d already given my word! I realized I had no choice. Obviously I had the help from Stacey, I would write a chapter and send it to her. “How does this sound?” And I have an amazing editor at Disney that I worked with as well. So definitely a team, definitely a group effort. But those are my words, this is truly what I wrote, because I wanted it to be in my voice. I’m grateful for it. Without this experience, I would still be sitting here telling you I could never write a book. And now I’m actually like, “What are we going to do next? I believe I can do it!” I mean really, if you think you can’t do something, let this be a lesson: you can.

I do want to actually thank Oreos, though. And Chef Boyardee. I’m so embarrassed to admit that. And Lucky Charms. And Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I had a moment where I literally cried on my couch because I realized I had thousands upon thousands of words to write. And I didn’t know what to do. So after I cried a little bit, then I went to the grocery store and I reverted back to childhood. I got Chef Boyardee ravioli. Mint Oreos. Lucky Charms and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. And I locked myself in my apartment and literally wrote nonstop for five days straight. I mean, I ate more than just those things. But that’s basically what fueled me. So I would like to think Oreos for getting me through that tough time. [laughs]

That’s that’s a hell of a sugar rush to give you that boost through.

I don’t know if that’s the best lesson as I’m giving advice. Say “eat a bunch of Oreos and you can write a book.”

What lesson do you want the tweens and teens that are going to read this—if there’s one big takeaway that they get from this book, what do you want it to be?

I mean the biggest lesson is truly, your dreams can come true. But there’s so many other lessons in how to get there in the book. Oh my goodness. You know. I think—and this is what I shared [Thursday]—I broke it down into steps, and that’s what I realized after looking back—sometimes things seem overwhelming. You see a dream and it just seems so overwhelming you don’t know where to start. So oftentimes you don’t. You just stop. And I hope I can prove that by breaking it down into steps and taking the advice and following the process—and again this is just my advice, this is just my opinion, I’m not saying that this is exactly what you should do, because everyone’s journey is different. But I hope that after reading it they realize that if you kind of take it one step at a time, that the impossible becomes possible. And that if you can dream it, you can do it.

It’s also going to be a very interactive book—that was actually one thing I didn’t say up there. I keep journals all the time. I don’t write in them like a diary. My journal looks like a map, like honestly a mess—if you opened it up you’d be like, “What is this?” But I’m constantly jotting down quotes or thoughts or ideas or lists. I make a lot of lists. So I kind of set the book up as like my journal, and so it’s going to be very interactive. So as the reader goes through it, I’m going to have prompts and I’m going to ask the reader to fill out the lists and do the prompts. I hope that it becomes a tool and an interactive piece that by the end of the book—I want the reader to know at the end of the book that the dreams that they wish can and do come true.

As we’re recording this, we can see the the Loki collection and the Sailor Moon behind you—is there your white whale that you’re still chasing? Do you want to do a collection of something, is there a burning desire—?

I will tell you there is an upcoming announcement that we’ll have soon where I’m getting to expand the brand in a way that is a dream come true, and it’s something we’ve been working hard on. I think for me … This is my dream come true, this is truly genuinely what I believe and feel. So many people think, “Oh, you’re being paid to say this.” No, this is a dream for me. This is what I’ve wanted my whole life. If I could work with Disney, for Disney, the rest of my life, I’d be so happy. The opportunity and the door with Disney opened up in a big way last year, and so we’re expanding in ways aside from just the book. But to me, it’s about the messaging. I’m so grateful for the inspiration that Disney gave me, and I am especially passionate about kids and tweens, because that’s the age where I feel like you can really change the course of someone’s life. So through this book and through other opportunities, I have the opportunity to speak to this newer generation. So I’m very excited about that.

I hope we can continue to to do more and grow more, especially in this fandom niche of the market, because Star Wars and Marvel [have] grown so much. Especially—when Ahsoka came out, I mean it was shocking. First of all, Star Wars was a boys’ property. But second of all, she was so inspirational, and she changed an entire generation of Star Wars fans. And now it’s so exciting to live in a time with Rey and Jyn and all of these—you know, Hera, Sabine, all these strong characters, so it’s an exciting time to be working with Star Wars and Marvel and Disney. And I have to say it’s not just Disney—it was a dream come true to be able to work with DC and Warner Brothers this year with Wonder Woman, we’ll be doing more with [her]. I feel like we’re just scratching the surface in fandom and with these amazing characters. So to be able to do more with them—not only fashion but whether it be publishing or even entertainment—I hope to do more, and continue to get these stories and these characters out there.

Sam Riedel is a former Contributor Coordinator and social media editor at The Mary Sue; for the purposes of anthropological inquiry, she’s all woman, baby. Her work has lately been published by Bitch Media, Vice, and The Establishment. Follow her on Twitter @SamusMcQueen for red hot pro wrestling takes and irregular selfies.

(images: Sam Riedel)

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mllesatine: (pink clouds)
[personal profile] mllesatine
I just wanted to point out that owning a car and being able to get to and from work without the constant time pressure is fucking awesome. 10 out of 10, would buy again. So nice to sit in a nice, comfy car where I can blast my own music and don't have to smell the train station or have to touch anything I don't want to touch. I really enjoy not being around crowds of loud, inconsiderate, smoking people. Communiting is amazing and everyone who says it's bad hasn't dealt with public transport. I do not miss the smell of piss in the train station, I don't miss the late trains or the missed connections, I don't miss having to carry my bike up and down flights of stairs.

The best thing is that I can now do things like stop at my garden, dig up a patch, take a pumpkin and some plants with me, stop at the supermarket to buy some soil and be home by 5.30 pm. I would have required at least two trips to accomplish what I did today without a car. And today I still had time to repot some of my house plants.

The only thing I miss is that I now no longer have time to read my magazines on the train.

But Satine, I hear you ask, what kind of horticultural masterpiece did you create this time? I took some of the linum (flax?) plants home and put them in pots so I could give them to my mom. She will be pleased because I raved about them. Not only do they have a very pretty, light blue color they also produce blossoms the whole summer.

I hope the weather (it has been 20 °C today) keeps because I'm not nearly done digging up the garden. But at least the hedge has been cut (pruned?) and most of my efforts have been succesful. Will plant more than one pumpkin next summer, will not do so many beans or spinach but more peas and hopefully the Italian parsley will come back. Fingers crossed that only half my plums will have maggots next year. I did my very best with the stupid glue ring and if that doesn't help I will try an insecticide the year after.

10/18/2017 Inspiration Trail

Oct. 18th, 2017 11:00 am
mrkinch: Erik holding fieldglasses in "Russia" (binocs)
[personal profile] mrkinch
This time of year there's little point to going out before sunrise, so it's easy for me to get up too early and then leave too early because why hang about at home? Anyway, I got to Inspiration Point before the sun topped the hills to the east and things were quiet at first, but it wasn't long before it was shining on the trail and waking up the birds. I had a tough time with raptors, just not fast enough to get definitive looks, but I think I had northern harrier, Cooper's hawk, and possibly a barn owl; I disturbed it twice and STILL had no good look. The bird was fairly light colored even in the shade (too light for a harrier, which has a somewhat owl-like face), utterly silent, and I had the impression of a facial disk. But to imagine the best bit of the morning, take a look at this toyon tree )

and then imagine it populated by five or so western bluebirds joined by the same number of cedar waxwings. I was so happy. Fall east of the ridge: )

I also saw a very healthy-looking coyote.
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Posted by Marykate Jasper

Hilary Swank has joined the cast of I Am Mother, a new science fiction film from Australia. It’s being produced by a smaller, indie studio, but Swank’s casting brings some big-name recognition to the project. She joins Clara Rugaard (Still Star-Crossed), Luke Hawker (the Krampus from Krampus) and Tahlia Sturzaker.

Below is the film’s summary, courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter:

I Am Mother portrays a teenage girl (Rugaard) raised underground by a robot mother designed to repopulate the earth following an extinction event. Their unique bond is threatened when a blood-drenched stranger, played by Swank, is taken in by the teen, only to find herself at odds with her gear-and-piston parent. Overnight, the stranger casts doubt on Mother’s claims about the outside world and begins to unravel the fabric of their insular family. Unsure whom to trust, the girl begins to probe into Mother’s dubious nature and uncovers the truth of her greater mission.”

The movie will be directed by first-time director Grant Sputore from a script by Michael Lloyd Green.

Now, as long as this doesn’t morph into some weird libertarian fable about the danger of the nanny state – always a depressing possibility – this sounds like a pretty awesome premise for some women-centered science fiction. Badass women busting each other out of bunkers turned out super well for Mad Max: Fury Road, so here’s hoping.

Given all the cool concepts they’re pushing forward with, Hollywood seems pretty enamored with science fiction at the moment. From auteur French films about prisoners in space to the adaptation of The Martian author Andy Weir’s Artemis, they’re throwing it all at the wall. Given the advances in CGI and the appetite for superhero movies, I’m not surprised that studios are taking advantage of the genre, but I’m curious how they’ll all perform in a more crowded market – and, perhaps more importantly for their success, how new, original properties like I Am Mother will be marketed in an era where studios seem so invested in licensed, franchise-building movies.

(Via Variety and The Hollywood Reporter; image via Shutterstock)

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Posted by Kaila Hale-Stern

A new Justice League poster is born and I have Many Thoughts.

As Comicbook.com notes, “the promotional materials for Justice League are lightening up (literally and figuratively),” as DC/Warner Bros. seem keen to leave behind “the somber, gritty tone of Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel and Batman v Superman for a more colorful and heroic representation of DC Comics.” I am alllllllllll for this kind of promotional push and realignment, as it were, of our heroes. Feast your eyes:

First of all, the poster really does catch the eye with dynamic colors—not the brooding gloom of some previous DC outings. I also find it very interesting that The Flash is now rather front and center, but I’m not surprised: according to reports from early screenings, Ezra Miller’s Barry Allen has been consistently testing as the audience’s favorite member of the League, so it would make sense if some of the marketing starts to shift in his direction (gotta sell all that future Flash merch!).

Wonder Woman is prominently placed (if we were reading this poster like a book, she’d be the first one “read”), and I have to say that I’m loving that Diana isn’t posed sexily—she looks fierce and determined as hell. Emphasis is on her strong arm, gauntlet and sword rather than her chest! Hoorah!

And DC seems rightfully proud of Aquaman’s reimagined badass costume, since we see a lot of it displayed here (I appreciate the splashes of water surrounding him in case anyone was confused). We’re also getting a ton of detail into Cyborg’s mechanized body. I’m psyched for Ray Fisher’s Vic Stone, and can’t wait to see that electronic eye in the flesh, as it were. To me, the least impressive pose here is Batman’s, who looks like he’s up for a brief sparring round at the neighborhood boxing gym.

If you contrast this poster to earlier marketing we’ve seen from JL, and especially in contrast with the dark palettes and sense of looming angst that marked, say, Batman v Superman, it’s evident that DC is definitely trying to suggest a lighter and more fun approach with Justice League. A lighter tone was also reportedly behind many of Joss Whedon’s reshoots for the movie.

What’re your thoughts on the new poster? Speak to me in the comments.

(via Comicbook.com, image: DC/Warner Bros.)

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(no subject)

Oct. 18th, 2017 11:17 am
platypus: (Default)
[personal profile] platypus
I'm going to stop crossposting to LJ. Comments are rare, and I feel sort of uneasy talking to an empty room. I am continuing to write (sometimes) at platypus.dreamwidth.org, and I'm happy to add anyone I know there. I'll leave comments open on this, and I'll always be happy to catch up with old LJ friends.

Does anyone actually use their LJ OpenID to read/comment on Dreamwidth? I'm thinking of removing all the OpenIDs from my friends (or circle or whatever Dreamwidth calls it).

Texas Gothic...

Oct. 18th, 2017 06:01 pm
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
...that liminal time that happens every Wednesday at 1PM when they test the
tornado sirens.

Будем знакомы

Oct. 18th, 2017 01:22 pm
[syndicated profile] ao3_buckysteve_feed

Posted by <a rel="author" href="/users/Taala/pseuds/Taala">Taala</a>

by

Стив решает заняться личной жизнью

Words: 15386, Chapters: 1/1, Language: Русский

wednesday reads 'n things

Oct. 18th, 2017 11:35 am
isis: (Default)
[personal profile] isis
What I've recently finished reading:

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo, which is the sequel to Six of Crows, but really it's the second half of the brick it would have been if published together. I loved the additional character revelations and development, but I think that unlike nearly everyone else, I liked the first book a bit more. This book felt as though there was too much shoved into it, particularly in the last third; I found myself getting bored and wanting it to just be over, already, which is not how you want to feel while reading something you otherwise enjoy a lot! Also, it seemed to me that the narrative depended, even more than the first, on holding back information from the reader (as opposed to from the characters), which is fine once or twice but gets tiresome when repeated constantly, especially when there's an air of "look how clever the characters are! Look how clever the author is!" and I got a bit annoyed with this device.

There are some interesting and appealing relationships, both m/f and m/m, but as I mentioned last week, I also ship the noncanonical but subtextual Nina/Inej. But in general I really liked all the main characters, and I liked all the canonical relationships to some degree. Also I am in need of a crossover with Gentleman Bastards or Old Theradane.

What I'm reading now:

The Ship of the Dead (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #3) by Rick Riordan, YAY! And it's delightful. Though a little odd to be reading with my eyeballs, since I listened to the others as audiobook, especially with Norse terms that are spelled a bit differently than they are pronounced. I was pleased to see my favorite crackship finally making an appearance (skip) Riptide's a babe, apparently! And Jack, true to form, is smitten! Pen/Pendant is best sword ship!! Also, having a Norse name misheard as "Bigly" made me choke laughing.

I read another couple of chapters of Fly By Night but it's mostly on hold until I finish the Magnus Chase.

I'm still listening to Airborn by Kenneth Oppel while pool-running, and I think I might be getting close to the Thrilling Climax, though the waterproof mp3 player I have makes it impossible to tell how far I am into the book. It's very much Boys' Own Adventure (with plucky heroine friend) in Alternate Steampunkish World, a little silly, but entertaining.

What I'm reading next:

Might try to get hold of Provenance by Ann Leckie. I just looked at my to-read list and, gah. So much to read! I still haven't read the currently-last Expanse book.

What I'm watching now:

We have two episodes left of Westworld, which for Reasons we will likely watch tonight and tomorrow night. It's a weird and unsettling show, and I hope that the threads will start tying themselves together next season, because there are so many fascinating ideas and I will be disappointed if they don't GO somewhere.

What I'm watching next:

I am going to be on my own for up to 10 days beginning Friday afternoon, so maybe I should watch something that B wouldn't care for. If you've got a rec for something on Amazon Prime or Crunchyroll (or other free method) that I might get fannish about, I'm open to suggestions. Though...

What I'm playing now:

Still Dragon Age: Origins. I'm a bit put out because I apparently started my romance too late to trigger a necessary conversation in order to make it work right. Also I'm always too full up with inventory. I got bored for a while and only picked at the game. On the other hand, I really enjoyed the quest involving escaping prison, so I'm more excited now, and since as I said I'm going to have a lot of free time next week, I will probably play a lot.

What I'm playing next:

If I lose interest in DA and all the DLC quests I have available, I might fire up Witcher 2 and see how that goes. At least I'll finally be able to understand the half of the fandom that's based on characters from it!

A post about posting

Oct. 18th, 2017 01:23 pm
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
[personal profile] bironic
As anticipated, gym requirements, travel and guest hosting have eaten into the (already diminished) time and energies that would normally go into writing more DW/LJ posts. But I've got some long plane trips coming up and am optimistic about contributing more.

Would you like to help me prioritize topics?

Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 32


You should post about:

View Answers

Recent read: All Systems Red - Martha Wells
14 (43.8%)

Recent read: Provenance - Ann Leckie
15 (46.9%)

Recent read: Stories of Your Life - Ted Chiang
13 (40.6%)

Recent read: Mash Up - ed. Gardner Dozois
4 (12.5%)

Recent read: From a Certain POV (Star Wars stories)
10 (31.2%)

TV: The Good Place
17 (53.1%)

TV: Star Trek: Discovery
15 (46.9%)

Vid notes for "When I Go"
9 (28.1%)

What I've been up to
19 (59.4%)

Thoughts on personal training and touch
16 (50.0%)

Thoughts on body image
15 (46.9%)



Or something else that you are welcome to suggest in comments. :)

ETA: Whoops, forgot "Movies: Blade Runner 2049." ETA 2: and Festivids. Note to self.

Aquaman by Razzah (almost SFW)

Oct. 19th, 2017 06:06 am
mific: (Aquaman)
[personal profile] mific posting in [community profile] fanart_recs
Fandom: Aquaman/DCU
Characters: Aquaman
Content Notes/Warnings: bare pecs and a delicious happy trail, so use your judgement about where to open it!
Medium: digital painting
Artist on DW/LJ: n/a
Artist Website/Gallery: Razzah on DA
Why this piece is awesome: Almost all the Aquaman art I'll be reccing is from after the current Momoa incarnation came out, but some, like this, date from the casting announcement before we got to see what costume DC were planning. I like the various fusions of old Aquaman details with the artists' imaginations that result, and this is a good example. It's also as hot as hell - wait for the pic to load then click through for the close up - it's worth it! (Those eyes, the pecs, the hairy belly, ulp). 
Link: Aquaman

life's a beech

Oct. 18th, 2017 06:15 pm
lamentables: (Default)
[personal profile] lamentables
We had the weird weather on Monday. The one where the sky was so full of sand from the Sahara and wood smoke from I-forget-where, that it was dark for most of the day. The sun was a flat red disk, just the way it is in polluted Asia. Perpetual sunset from sunrise to around 3pm. The mismatch between the angle and colour of light was disconcerting, as was the mismatch of darkness and warm wind. At yoga everyone was unsettled and we never achieved the usual atmosphere of calm and focus. I was so disconcerted that I didn't even try to photograph it.

Tuesday was gloriously bright and sunny, but I was stuck indoors in a meeting from 9am to 1:30pm. I had nobly agreed to do some work with the managers from the charity at which I used to be a trustee. They are both lovely, so it wasn't too much of a chore. It was draining though, performing and thinking out loud for two people for such a long time. Afterwards I went into town to the health food shop. I did need to buy stuff, but the shop is becoming a convenient way to treat myself. My loyalty card is rapidly filling up.

Today we're back to proper autumnal weather - gloomy, wet, and much colder - and I had to take Percy for a walk in it. He seemed quite cheerful about it all.

Normal autumnal weather #oftheday

My gardener doesn't seem to mind the weather and has demolished most of the front garden today. It's great to see the beech trees without lots of grass and weeds choking them, and I'm looking forward to the gardener planting more of them to fill the gaps and make a decent beech hedge all round the front.

Today is the usual last day of my working week, and we're shortly fleeing the country for a fortnight. No more work for me until 6th November. Hurrah!

Outfoxed (by Cesare) (G)

Oct. 19th, 2017 05:40 am
mific: (McSmooch Silhouette)
[personal profile] mific posting in [community profile] stargateficrec
Show: SGA
Rec Category: Alternate Universe - specifically, fairy-tale type AUs
Characters: John Sheppard, Rodney McKay, Teyla Emmagan, Ronon Dex,  Elizabeth Weir, Radek Zelenka, Michael, Jeannie Miller, Lucius Lavin, Acastus Kolya
Categories: slash (John/Rodney). Also a little background Elizabeth/Zelenka.
Warnings: Nil
Author on DW/LJ:  [personal profile] cesare 
Author's Website: See the AO3
Link: Outfoxed on AO3
Why This Must Be Read: This is a charming and engaging story, and what I love most is how wonderfully in-character everyone is, despite the fairy-tale AU format. Rodney, especially, is utterly himself, even transformed into a fox - as the excerpt below shows. A delightful read. 

snippet of fic )
lucifuge5: (Mikeyway :))
[personal profile] lucifuge5 posting in [community profile] fanart_recs
Fandom: Bandom (My Chemical Romance and Electric Century)

Characters/Pairing/Other Subject: Mikey Way

Content Notes/Warnings: N/A

Medium: Digital art

Artist on DW/LJ: N/A

Artist Website/Gallery: [tumblr.com profile] tcustodisart

Why this piece is awesome: Because [tumblr.com profile] tcustodisart is THE artist to check out if you're a fan of Mikeyway. Their site is filled to the brims with Mikeyway throughout the MCR eras and beyond.

Deer Eyes is a good example of how well this artist can depict Mikeyway's occasionally haunting yet always sharp gaze. Surrounded by darker hues, your eyes can't help but focus on this Mikeyway: a little awkward and a little friendly. If anything, the doodle style enhances the overall vibe.

Link: Deer Eyes
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Posted by Kylie Cheung

On Saturday, the organizers of the Women’s March issued a statement apologizing for the “hurt and confusion” caused by their announcement that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders would headline the upcoming Women’s Convention, taking place October 27–29 in Detroit, MI.

‘‘We are sorry we caused hurt and confusion for so many of you this week,’’ the Women’s March said in a series of tweets. They added, ‘‘We acknowledge the announcement about Senator Sanders gave the impression he is occupying a central role at the convention. (He is not.)’’

You see, Sanders is very much male in a society where far too many brilliant women are overlooked for platforms and opportunities to represent themselves—to tell their own stories as women instead of having their stories told by men—which was just one reason why the decision by the Women’s March organizers didn’t sit too well with feminists. Other critics also argued that Sanders’ harsh character attacks on Hillary Clinton, which painted the painfully stereotypical image of a dishonest, deceitful woman during the primaries, laid the groundwork for Clinton’s defeat in the general election.

But the harm that Sanders has done to the Democratic party is farther reaching than some petty internal conflict in the 2016 primaries. In particular, his time in the limelight has drastically impacted the Democratic party’s outlook on women, people of color, and all Americans of marginalized identities, and the importance of fighting for their rights. Don’t get me wrong when I say I’m grateful for Sanders’ contributions to the Democratic party’s 2016 platform, re: universal health care, marijuana legalization, a $15 minimum wage, and Palestine. But someone who’s spent the past year unapologetically leading a crusade against the concept of “identity politics” has no place at a convention to unite intersectional feminists in a contentious, dangerous political climate such as this.

While Sanders’ anti-identity politics crusade picked up in the wake of the Democratic party’s devastating general election defeat, from the start, his ultimate message was that nothing was a bigger, more urgent threat to Americans than the country’s broken economy and corrupt political establishment. According to this message, socialism was the cure-all: All the other, innumerable identity-based problems, ranging from racial and anti-LGBTQ discrimination to increasingly inaccessible abortion, would immediately cease to exist. In many ways, whether or not it was his intention, Sanders’ rhetoric convinced his supporters that “identity politics” are nothing but a distraction from “real issues.” And, as Sanders himself might say, “let me be very clear”: in those supporters’ eyes, women’s issues are not real issues.

That 12 percent of Sanders’ supporters went on to vote for Trump in the general election also shows the extend of the damage done by his message of all-consuming, unquestioning hatred for the “establishment”—without even clearly explaining just what the establishment really is. In their eyes, largely because of Sanders’ preaching, the debate was establishment vs. anti-establishment to the death—not of progress vs. bigotry, of feminism vs. patriarchy.

To Sanders’ feisty faction of “Bernie Bros,” the sociopolitical oppression shouldered by women, the LGBTQ community, and people of color to this day is purportedly a thing of the past, and those who continue to harp on continued discrimination are simply being whiny, annoying “social justice warriors.”

The reality, of course, is that over the past five years alone, marginalized Americans continue to face all sorts of challenges, old and new. In many states, gay and trans people can be fired or evicted solely for their orientation or gender identity. Racially charged police violence continues to claim black lives at staggering rates. And across the country, especially in rural areas, hundreds of restrictions on abortion enacted just within the past few years have decimated access to safe, legal abortion, shutting down clinics by the dozen and outright banning different, safe forms of the procedure.

Surely, regulations on Wall Street and a higher minimum wage would help all of the aforementioned groups, given the often intersectional nature of social and economic issues. But the point is that there’s great harm in talking about “identity politics” like they’re unimportant issues, when often, as with abortion rights and the institutionalized racism behind mass incarceration, they can be life and death matters.

And speaking of abortion rights, over the past year, Sanders ranked among prominent Democrats including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Gov. Jerry Brown, and DNC chair Tom Perez, who opened their arms to “pro-life” Democrats, stating the DNC should get behind them and offer them funding. The idea behind this was typical Sanders-speak: Economic issues unite, while petty, irrelevant “social” issues do nothing but divide.

“I think you just can’t exclude people who disagree with us on one issue,” Sanders said of his decision to support the Nebraska mayoral candidate in April. Pelosi, Perez, and Brown would come out with similar statements shortly after.

At a time in which the United States has the highest maternal mortality rate in the industrialized world, when the federal and the vast majority of state governments would like to see Planned Parenthood defunded, it’s shocking that anyone could be so dismissive of abortion rights, so willing to cheaply negotiate away women’s human rights. It’s unlikely that a Democratic candidate could win Republican voters just by flip-flopping on one, singular issue; the real way to win voters is to win over those who historically have records of sitting out elections, many of whom are progressives. Clearly, this isn’t about winning back seats as Sanders says it is, as much as it is about sending the message that the party has “matured” post-2016 election, and now sees what’s really important (read: not women’s rights issues.)

For a while, the idea that abortion is a human right and GOP lawmakers’ fetishization of fetuses has no place in forcing women to give birth seemed widely accepted among the left. It wasn’t until the whole “identity politics have divided America, etc.” argument became the glamorous, prototypical Democratic argument that it is, today, that abortion rights suddenly became something to shrug at and compromise on. And it wasn’t until Sanders that the Democratic party altered its direction exclusively to shy from identity-based issues.

It’s important to note that this tension in the party is fundamentally one of privilege. If Sanders and his legions of Bernie Bros would rather rant about Democratic socialism to women than listen to their voices, perhaps that’s because many of them have never experienced the same identity-based oppression, but nevertheless feel confident in their authority to claim that identity politics are meaningless.

In his latest book, We Were Eight Years in Power, Ta-Nehisi Coates tackles the phenomenon of politicians on both sides of the aisle disregarding on what they deem “identity politics,” and offered one starkly disappointing episode involving Sanders and a woman running to be the second Latina senator in U.S. history.

“It is not good enough for someone to say, ‘I’m a woman! Vote for me!’ No, that’s not good enough,” Sanders said. “One of the struggles that you’re going to be seeing in the Democratic Party is whether we go beyond identity politics.”

His suggestion that female candidates are trying to gain advantage in proudly declaring their gender in a male-dominated political sphere—or that candidates of color are attempting to gain advantage in declaring their race in a predominantly white political sphere—with nothing else of substance to offer, is equal parts offensive and ridiculous. If we all really believed that being part of a marginalized identity made winning elections any easier, then we’d really need someone to explain the demographics of our Congress to us. It’s absurd that Sanders believes that this is new information he’s imparting on people who have been made well aware by life that being part of a marginalized group isn’t an advantage.

As for that last part about going “beyond identity politics,”—boy, do I have questions. Namely, what is beyond identity politics? I can’t think of anything other than the right’s beloved colorblind society, and if that’s what Sanders has convinced his fellow Democrats is the best path forward, then they’d better be prepared for intersectional feminists to fight back. And in the meantime, here’s to hoping Sanders is confronted about this at the Women’s Convention.

(image: Crush Rush / Shutterstock.com)

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