Posted by Clark

(note: nearly zero spoilers. perhaps actually zero.)

The three genres of the Mad Max trilogy

The interesting thing about the original Mad Max trilogy is that each movie belongs to an entirely separate genre. Mad Max is a 1970s biker film, Road Warrior is a western, and Thunderdome is NFL half-time show. In world-building, yes, they're all post-apocalyptic films (except for the first, which is perhaps during the very early stages of a grinding apocalypse), but genre conventions and associations matter a heck of a lot: they give us a structure to fit the pieces in to and a set of expectations about what comes next.

The original Road Warrior is, it's almost universally agreed, the best of the three, and I think the reason is not just the incredible visceral car chases and wrecks and stunts, but the western format. Echoing perhaps not only Star Wars and a bunch of Sergio Leone spaghetti, but the best western ever (Kurosawa's Seven Samurai) , the plot plays out like this: the drifter encounters a populace in need, insists that he's no hero, reluctantly is converted to serving the cause, and then – ronin-like – drifts away when the moment of need is over.

As a side note, the original Road Warrior also delivers on the important but unspoken requirement of a good western: good cinematography that displays a vast panoramic landscape. The shots where Max is looking down at the refinery camp and the desert looks so huge and empty under the infinite sky is breath taking. Later there's a second shot that always makes me catch my breath: the leaders of the refinery camp are deliberating under a single electric light against a wide purple sky. The juxtaposition of the small bright spark of technology (the first electric light we see in the entire movie, and, I think, the only one) against vast world gone dark is stunning.

Thunderdome sucked (although, after a re-watch recently, not as much as I'd once thought – it's actually the second best movie in the trilogy, and if only a few things were changed could be a lot better) for a lot of reasons, and one of them is that it departed from the Western genre for a Hollywood-ized, big-budget, campy halftime show.

Anyway, I take us down memory lane not merely for the sake of nostalgia, but as a jumping off point to explain Fury Road. Because until you understand what genre the movie is, you can't understand the movie.

A Western Super-Hero Movie

Fury Road has many of Road Warrior's strengths: it is at least half a western, and it is jam-packed with dangerous automotive mayhem.

Crucially, it did not make the same mistake as Thunderdome: taking its huge budget and using it for camp. Or, rather there are a few bits that could be campy in other contexts, but because they're so overwhelmed by gasoline, metal, and anger, they don't register as camp: one moment they're a distant dot on the horizon, and the next they're gone, behind, never to be seen again.

So, how well does Fury Road do as a Western? It does decently, but not great. The drifter arrives in town, he accidentally hooks up with the people in need, and he reluctantly agrees to help them. And then, at the end, like a tumbleweed, he drifts on. It checks all the Western boxes, but it does so perfunctorily, without passion …and, on one occasion, without a lot of sense.

Oh, and about the unspoken rule of good westerns? Yes, the amazing shots of the desert are there – boy are they there. But you knew that already, from the trailers.

If I had to put my finger on the one thing that disappointed me about Fury Road it was that it had a bit of superhero genre mixed in. In watching Road Warrior one feels concern for the protagonists and fear over their prospects. The villains are just real enough – one thinks that, yes, two years after the nukes fell and the gas ran out, the most brutal of the biker gangs and the renegade cops could have come to exactly this. In the first third of Road Warrior we see Humongous and his gang murder, rape, and loot outriders from the refinery camp, so we know exactly what they're capable of. Later, when our hero and his charges venture out into the wasteland and into conflict with the villains we know how it might very well end: the vehicles caught, destroyed, captives pulled out, brutally raped, and then crossbow-bolted when they're of no more use.

In contrast to this level of realism, Fury Road turns the dial one more, to eleven, for that push over the cliff. It was an inspired choice, in a way: I'm glad I saw these insane war rigs, I'm glad I saw the gouts of flame, the grenades, the spiked cars, the white skinned lunatics leaping off of moving vehicles to their certain deaths, and more. I've never seen anything like it before, and it was glorious.

…but necessarily, if you're serving up an apple, you're not serving up an orange.

The scale, the craziness, the everything – all at once, in every direction – is shocking, and aweing, and wonderful. …but because it's so much, and so hyper-real, the movie slips away from being a Western and into being a superhero movie. These villains are not what real biker gangs and real cops could have evolved into in the wasteland: these are comic book crazies. In the real world, no one would actually build these vehicles. No one would actually do these things. No one would actually set up this tribe or this economy.

…and thus, because it's so much larger than life, it is not life. In Blade Runner, when Deckard misses his jump at the very end of the movie and is hanging twenty stories above hard pavement I gulp, because the idea of falling twenty stories is a real one. I can picture it. My heart hammers. My palms sweat.

In Fury Road, when Max is standing on top of a war rig hurtling through the desert I'm mostly curious as to what will explode next. There is not a moment of fear about the shear insanity of standing on top of a moving vehicle doing sixty over rough terrain. Think about that: if you're anything like me, just standing on top of the tanker would scare you to the point of needing new underwear. Yet in Fury Road none of it seems real. The violence was glorious and picturesque and insane…but not once was it scary. …because not once was it real.

Fury Road is a superhero movie.

Who is the superhero?

Fury Road is odd. Unlike the previous films in the franchise, there's not one hero, there are two. And, in fact, Charlize Theron's Imperator Furiosa is at the center of the plot, and at the center of the heart of the film. She drives the action, she drives the truck, she drives the plot. This is a bit odd, given that the movie is called "Mad Max: Fury Road" and not "Imperator Furiosa: Fury Road", but what are you going to do?

That said, Max gets a lot of the action, and even if it's not 51%, there's more than enough to go around.

MRA boycott because Fury Road is feminist propaganda

Someone, I think Roosh V, has announced that Fury Road is feminist propaganda and should be boycotted. There are three reasons that I can think to call a boycott.

First, to put economic pressure on someone. Given the size of the movie industry and the size of the MRA world, I can't imagine that anyone thinks that this might work.

Second, to keep out badthink (the SJW tactic of blockbots, etc.). Say what you will about the MRAs, but I don't think that this is their style.

Third, to create a conspicuous cost to being a member of community, thus serving as an initiation ritual of sorts, and binding the members of the community together.

It's gotta be number three, right?

< shrug >

Moving on:

So, is Fury Road a feminist movie?

I can see why the MRAs say so. It does seem to go out of its way to hit a few feminist tropes – I felt like I was reading bad lesbian science fiction from the 70s once or twice.

Clan of wizened "wise women"? check.

…who live a simpler, more peaceful life? check.

…and have peaceful flower-power hippie names ("Initiating Mother", "Vuvalini of the Many Mothers", "Clan Swaddle Dog", etc.)

…and carry a bag of seeds with them, a symbol of the nurturing protective womb? check.

Pro-forma enunciation that women are not property? check.

Kick-ass heroine, because girls can be just as tough as guys? check.

So, yes, there is a bit of feminism shoe-horned awkwardly into the movie. But it's more silly than objectionable. And, in fact, conservatives will find a lot to chuckle over: the maguffin on the entire chase is the group of young breedable women…and yet not once does anyone suggest that they do anything other than breed. No, a just society, it seems, will still have these women cranking out babies…just under (heh) the good guys, and not the Ugly Old Coot.

Yes, but is Fury Road a feminist movie?

No. Not unless "blowing immense quantities of shit up in a vast barren desert" is a new form of feminism I'm unfamiliar with (and if it is, I promise to give feminism another look-see – that'd be a promising development).

To the degree it's got any ideology, it's about ethics in truck driving: "people should not be slaves, nor should they live under corrupt all-powerful kleptocratic dictatorships".

That strikes me as pretty damned libertarian.

Should you see it?


In the theater.


It's not the perfect movie. It's not even the perfect Mad Max movie. But it is a spectacle of the best kind, and there's no substitute for seeing it the way every western is meant to be seen: spread across a screen as huge as the desert itself.

Mad Max: Actually, It's About Ethics In Truck Driving © 2007-2014 by the authors of Popehat. This feed is for personal, non-commercial use only. Using this feed on any other site is a copyright violation. No scraping.

Posted by Ken White

The Supreme Court of the State of Washington has ruled that the state's strong anti-SLAPP statute is unconstitutional, violating the right to jury trial enshrined in Washington's state constitution.

Here's why, and what it means.

I've lawsplained anti-SLAPP statutes before. In brief, an anti-SLAPP statute is a tool to address frivolous and vexatious lawsuits aimed at protected speech. Generally, they work like this: the defendant files a motion showing that it is being sued because of speech covered by the statute. If defendant does so, then the burden shifts to the plaintiff to show that it has evidence supporting their claims. If the plaintiff succeeds, the suit survives; if the plaintiff fails, the court dismisses the case and (usually) awards defendant its attorney fees.

Anti-SLAPP statutes vary from state to state. Some apply only to narrow ranges of speech (like only speech involved in petitioning the government) and some cover very wide ranges of speech (like everything protected by the First Amendment). Their language varies on another point as well: how much evidence does the plaintiff have to provide when the burden shifts to them?

Most state statutes say the plaintiff has to show a "probability" of prevailing, or language to that effect. Almost universally, state courts have interpreted that to require the plaintiff only to produce sufficient evidence: that is, evidence that would be legally sufficient to support plaintiff's claim if the jury accepted it as true. In those states, the judge considering an anti-SLAPP motion doesn't weigh evidence — he or she doesn't consider whose evidence is more persuasive. Instead, the judge treats it rather like a motion for summary judgment: has the plaintiff offered evidence that if believed satisfies all of the elements of the cause of action?

Washington's anti-SLAPP statute is a little different. If the defendant carries its initial burden of showing that the lawsuit targets speech covered by the statute, it requires the plaintiff "to establish by clear and convincing evidence a probability of prevailing on the claim." That plain language seems to require the plaintiff to show more than enough evidence, and requires the judge to weigh the evidence.

The case at issue arose from a dispute at a Washington grocery called the Olympia Food Cooperative. The Cooperative's board of directors adopted a boycott of goods from Israel, and members of the cooperative sued claiming that the board exceeded its power. This is not mean-spirited satire about Washington. The cooperative filed an anti-SLAPP motion, and won. The court dismissed the case and awarded defendants attorney fees and statutory penalties in excess of $220,000.

On appeal, the plaintiffs argued that Washington's anti-SLAPP statute violated many rights, including the right to trial by jury in civil cases under Article I, Section 21 of the Washington State Constitution. The Court of Appeal rejected the argument, but the Washington Supreme Court agreed to hear the matter.

Today the court ruled that the state's anti-SLAPP statute violated the state constitution's right to trial by jury in civil cases. The court didn't reach any of the plaintiffs' other asserted grounds.

The defendants tried to backpedal from the plain language of the statute — they argued that "establish by clear and convincing evidence a probability of prevailing on the claim" just meant offering sufficient evidence, as in a motion for summary judgment or in other states' anti-SLAPP statutes, and didn't require weighing of evidence. They argued, in effect, that whatever the language said, the statute should be read the way most other anti-SLAPP statutes have been read. The court rejected that. Washington looked at California's statute, followed it, but deliberately chose different language for the plaintiff's burden. The legislature must have meant for it to mean something, the court reasoned. In fact, it required the judge hearing the motion to weigh evidence.

Next, defendants argued that dismissing frivolous cases doesn't violate the constitutional right to a trial by jury. True, said the court. But this statute doesn't merely dismiss frivolous suits. That's what anti-SLAPP statutes do when they merely require the plaintiff to show sufficient evidence. By requiring the plaintiff to prove its case by "clear and convincing evidence," this statute requires the judge to take over the jury's function, assess credibility, weigh evidence, and decide not only if plaintiffs' claim is frivolous, but whether it should win on the merits. The court held that the statute made the trial court "invade the jury's province of resolving disputed facts." This, the court held, was sacrificing one set of rights (the right to jury trial) for another set of rights (the right to free speech.)

Plaintiffs win and get to proceed with their case, defendants lose and have to defend their case, and Washington's anti-SLAPP statute falls.

So what does this mean nationwide?

This points to the vulnerability of anti-SLAPP statutes that impose a burden on the plaintiff to do anything other than produce sufficient evidence. Though the court relied on the state constitutional right to a jury trial, it reviewed federal jury trial authority extensively and demonstrated that there may be nationwide problems with anti-SLAPP statutes that require a judge to weigh evidence and resolve disputed facts. Other anti-SLAPP statutes that require plaintiffs to do more than submit evidence sufficient to meet the elements will be struck down if other courts adopt this logic.

Fortunately, the fix is relatively simple — all state legislatures have to do is define the plaintiff's burden carefully so that it resembles the summary judgment burden — the burden to produce admissible evidence which, if believed, is enough to win. Practically speaking, that will continue to weed truly frivolous cases out.

Speaking as someone who hates censorious and vexatious lawsuits, it would be nice, on some level, if plaintiffs suing over speech had to prove that their evidence was not just sufficient but strong. But that requirement has always been vulnerable to attack.

This ruling will only impact the more aggressive anti-SLAPP statutes, not the most common ones.

Thanks to tipster David.

Lawsplainer: Washington Supreme Court Declares State's Anti-SLAPP Statute Unconstitutional © 2007-2014 by the authors of Popehat. This feed is for personal, non-commercial use only. Using this feed on any other site is a copyright violation. No scraping.

Some catching up

May. 28th, 2015 06:22 pm[personal profile] dsgood
***Monday May 4, 2015 One of the other two tenants left, absentmindedly taking the other's car.

***Tuesday May 5, 2015 The bad tenant was back, not bringing the car.

I think this was when I began to feel I was in a soap opera. Without the sex.

***Wednesday May 6, 2015 NYTimes opinion piece on Catholicism had 666 online comments when I looked at it.

***Freelancers Union event: "Branding Yourself as an Expert."

***Thursday May 7, 2015 National Day of Prayer, proclaimed by the President. Free story idea: What happens if the US ever has an openly agnostic or atheist President? The tradition would probably continue.

***UK elections. Whenever I begin thinking the US would be better off with a parliamentary system, either the UK or Canada will helpfully prove this wrong.

***Linden Hills Adult Children Anonymous meeting.

***Sunday May 10, 2015 "The United States could relearn a thing or two from British politics -- specifically, how to relocate the pragmatism that once prevailed on this side of the pond." Subheading of opinion piece in the Star Tribune (Minneapolis daily paper.) The continuation is headlined "Polarization is less present in British politics." Author? "Lawrence R. Jacobs is director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs."

[ SECRET POST #3067 ]

May. 28th, 2015 06:34 pm[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets
case: (Default)

⌈ Secret Post #3067 ⌋

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


More! )


Secrets Left to Post: 01 pages, 012 secrets from Secret Submission Post #438.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ], [ 1 - posted twice ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.

Mom Update 5/28

May. 28th, 2015 03:00 pm[personal profile] deirdre
deirdre: (Default)
Tree on the Beach

Photo by Thom Bouman.

Mom’s moved to a room on a different floor, so she’s now out of the ICU.

Also, Rick posted a comment yesterday that clarifies what she’s up to:

I was over there yesterday and a couple of times today, and Deirdre’s been over there, too. Cheryl started physical therapy this afternoon. Predictably and as I warned her, it was tough sledding for her. I didn’t get a full account of what they had her do, but it seems to have included her at least standing up for a while if not walking a bit.

One of the nurses was by, as was a social worker, and both separately talked to me about Cheryl’s condition and possible next steps. The nurse seemed to suggest that it’ll probably be a couple of more weeks before Cheryl can be released to the outside skilled nursing facility (SNF). The social worker detailed four SNFs in the surrounding cities we’re likely to be able to choose among, so I got the names of all of those, so we can visit them. She also speculated that Cheryl may be cleared to be transferred to the regular hospital ward and out of the ICU within a few days. The nurse suggested that Cheryl might need to do some substantial amount of physical therapy before she is cleared for the needed hernia surgery, but this sounded a lot like speculation on his part, and really, as with much else, it’s up to the attending physician. Anyway, I do agree it’s sadly unlikely that we’re getting Cheryl home for quite a few more weeks, but the good news is that she is still getting steadily better.

In other good if belated news, Cheryl is now using a CPAP ( = continuous positive airway pressure) machine, borrowed from the hospital, when she sleeps, so that she isn’t continually woken out of REM sleep by brief cessations of breathing (as happens with a small percentage of people). I am told this extra-fancy CPAP machine is technicaly a BiPAP ( = bilevel positive airway pressure) machine, in which both breathing-in and breathing-out pressures are regulated. What I hear is that Cheryl had tried and disliked the regular machine she had at home, and had given up on it and given it to Deirdre after Deirdre had a sleep study concluded that she needed one. Apparently, Cheryl is now sold on (at least) the BiPAP, if not on CPAPs generally, as she now is reporting restful sleep that she’d been unable to get before. So, obviously, she’s really needed one all along.

About CPAPs

About 25 years ago, I dated a doctor for a while. One night we spent together, he said, “did you know you have sleep apnea?”

I didn’t even know what that was, and treatment options were limited back then (even though the CPAP concept was invented in 1980), so I just filed it away and eventually looked it up.

Finally, I’d gotten enough cash to get a sleep study, and the center had a couple months of backlog. My appointment was for the end of November.

My first husband died on November 15th, and the last I saw of him was on a ventilator. The sleep study? I just couldn’t. While a CPAP isn’t a ventilator, it was just too close, and I couldn’t handle it emotionally.

A couple of years later, my dad wound up getting a CPAP and would wax poetic about how much he liked it, but the mask over the mouth still freaked me out. Then I went to Clarion, and could not stay awake. The mental exhaustion on top of everything else was too much. At that time, I wished I’d gotten a CPAP, but obviously I couldn’t in the middle of Clarion.

Then my mom got a CPAP. Tried it. Hated it.

A few months later, our friend Ross mentioned his CPAP, saying he’d been most successful with a nasal interface (aka nasal pillows). That turns out to not hit the same emotional button for me as the mouth interface. I decided to try my mom’s CPAP out.

The first night? Slime city. I’d suffered from chronic sinus problems all my life, and it cleaned everything out. Even though I got very little actual sleep, I sure felt better the next day. The next two nights I also struggled with adapting, but I slept better both nights than I had in years.

Went to my doc, told the tale (including both parents having been diagnosed), and I was pushed to the front of Kaiser’s queue for an at-home sleep study. The resp doc was on vacation the day after I saw him, but he called me from vacation to let me know that I should go in to get a CPAP as soon as humanly possible.

I’ve been on a CPAP ever since, and I’m on my third machine. I no longer have chronic sinus problems. Though I never had serious acid reflux problems, those are also rarer and less severe than they were before the CPAP. (Though that is not universal; some have worse problems on CPAP.)

There have been exactly two downsides for me. First, I’m more prone to nosebleeds than I was before, though consistent use of Ayr Nasal Gel prevents that problem. Second, I have to plan when and where I sleep more. I can’t just catch a nap and expect to be well rested.

Which is a very long way of saying: I’m glad my mom is finally happy using a CPAP, though technically, they’ve put her on a BiPAP (which has different pressures for inhale/exhale). It took me a long time to get there, but I’m glad my mom’s finally on the same page.

Oh, and a weird thing? When we got tested initially, my father, mother, and I all had the exact same air pressure settings.

Originally published at You can comment here or there.

Organize-y stuffs

May. 28th, 2015 02:57 pm[personal profile] melannen
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
1. Seriously I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO NOMINATE for lost_library. ):

I'm definitely doing the song I mentioned last entry for Imperial Radch, and probably also The Complete Poetic Works of Basnaaid Elming, and possibly also the complete lyrics to My Heart Is A Fish, unless I find something more compelling when I re-read.

For Steven Universe, somebody else already nominated the spirit morph saga which is good, but I still have to narrow down the rest. :/ Here is a poll. You can answer it even if you have no idea what Steven Universe is. :P

Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 7

Which SU canon(s) should we make real?

View Answers

The No Home Boys (YA series)
4 (57.1%)

Passions of Xanxor (Romance Novel)
3 (42.9%)

Dogcopter (Movie Series)
0 (0.0%)

Crying Breakfast Friends (TV show)
2 (28.6%)

Space Train to the Cosmos (Album)
3 (42.9%)

G.U.Y.S (merchandising franchise)
1 (14.3%)

Lonely Blade (Movie Series)
5 (71.4%)

Beyond that I don't know. :/ I guess I could throw in some of the ones from last year that nobody offered. Or... nominate fewer than the maximum possible fandoms....

2. Is anyone going to [community profile] connexions_so? I was suddenly reminded that the other mid-atlantic multifandom slash con is actually happening again at long last, and am trying to decide if I should try to go.

3. So I bought my Sasquan membership two days ago and got a confirmation but there is no sign of my membership number or PIN yet. Other people who have done this, is that delay normal or should I be worried...?

open to suggestions

May. 28th, 2015 01:28 pm[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
A thank you to Resonant. I am pleased to report I am able to carry a case of books eight or nine blocks and less to report that I would rather do that than go home to get my cargo dolly first.

Cut for size Read more... )

OTW Fannews: At All Different Angles

May. 28th, 2015 10:13 am[personal profile] otw_staff posting in [community profile] otw_news
otw_staff: Sarah, OTW Communications Staffer by Ra (Sarah)

Acafans & artists are observing fandom with all sorts of different angles & sharing their results:


May. 28th, 2015 02:57 pm[syndicated profile] popehat_feed

Posted by Ken White

From: gemma@arialblack
Re: Fresh content for Popehat

Hi Ken

My name is Gemma and I work primarily as a freelance writer, I'm writing to you because I thought you might be interested in a contributed article for

Previous to starting my career as a freelancer I worked for many years in business and finance. When I became a mother, I decided to turn to writing to make a living and now pen articles on as many different topics as I can – from news and current affairs through to pieces on money matters.

I'd love to know if you'd be interested in a piece from me. This would come to you free of charge, and all I'd ask in return is that I'd be allowed to mention a partner as a resource within the text. If you're interested in this I'd love to hear back from you with ideas for topics I could write on. Otherwise I leave you with my best wishes

Kind regards

Dear Gemma:

Thank you for your correspondence?

We at Popehat might well be interested in an article. Specifically we'd be interested in an article about certain security issues. If you think that your background qualifies you to write about security issues — about certain threats to our children, that you and I as parents must consider to do our jobs — I can elaborate.

Of course it's fine to mention your partner. We at Popehat unreservedly support marriage equality and are in favor of normalizing all relationships by mentioning them in writing.


Ken at Popehat

Hi Ken

I would certainly be interested in hearing your ideas and would be more than willing to put something together on what you suggest. Please do let me know what you had in mind

Kind regards

Dear Gemma:

What I have in mind is nothing less than a comprehensive treatment of the greatest menace facing our race: ponies.

By race I mean the human race, of course. I'm not a racialist. Ponies are a threat to all ethnicities. Of course, some ethnicities are better able, because of circumstance, to repel the pony threat. Which ones is a matter of considerable debate. On the one hand white Americans enjoy superior wealth, agreeable climate, and the ability to be elected to our various legislatures without any apparent qualifications whatsoever. Arguably this makes us more equipped to deal with ponies through expensive security systems and various punitive zoning measures. Many whites would deny this truth; this phenomenon is known as Pony Privilege. But on the other hand, white Americans have become flabby, easily distracted, and generally unreliable with the sort of light antitank weapons that are most effective against closely-grouped clusters of ponies. I made my oldest child fire a LAW at a group of burros the other day — you know, for practice — and it knocked him right on his ass. What are they teaching our children in their physical education classes? The ponies aren't here to play dodgeball with us, Gemma.

I may have strayed somewhat from the point.

Yes. Back to your article. Listicles are very popular these days so to clickbait this motherfucker I'd like to see something along the lines of "The Ten Most Horrible Things That The Ponies Will Do To Your Children When That Day Comes. Number Seven Will Make You Soil Yourself And Curl Into A Stinking Ball." Then I'd like a series of ten cautionary tales, calculated to stir the complacent guts of America: Pilates classes disrupted. Facial hoofprints on children just before picture day. Great heaps of the dead making our electric vehicle charging stations almost inaccessible. HBO producers forced against their will to replace Peter Dinklage with a swaggering, abusive Shetland. Mere anarchy loosed upon the world. Blood-dimmed tides irretrievably staining my sustainable bamboo parquet meditation deck. And so on and so forth.

We need visuals that pop, Gemma, so if you and your partner could dress up as ponies, or people being hunted mercilessly by ponies past all hope and reason, that would be ideal.

I eagerly await your draft.

Very truly yours,

Ken at Popehat

PONIES FOR THE PONY GOD © 2007-2014 by the authors of Popehat. This feed is for personal, non-commercial use only. Using this feed on any other site is a copyright violation. No scraping.

annathepiper: (Aubrey Orly?)

The good folks of NIWA are gearing up to do a special promotional sale of assorted NIWA titles in mid-June, so a) to jump the gun on this a bit, and b) just because SURE WHY NOT, I’ve put Faerie Blood back on sale for 99 cents on all places where it’s sold. So if by chance you haven’t snapped it up yet, you have another shot at doing so very cheaply! And if you HAVE already snapped it up, spread the word, won’t you?

Appropriate purchase links as always are on the official Faerie Blood page, but here are the major ones:

Amazon | Nook | iBooks | Kobo | Smashwords | Google Play

And while we’re on the topic of stuff of mine you can get for nice tasty low prices, don’t forget, the short story “The Blood of the Land” is ALSO available for 99 cents through most major retailers–but if you go to Smashwords, YOU can set the price, and that includes FREE. Here are those links too!

Amazon | Nook | Smashwords | Kobo | Google Play

All the rest of my titles are currently available for $2.99, including Bone Walker and all three of the Rebels of Adalonia books. You can fill up your ereader with my stuff for less than a trade paperback!

Mirrored from

Mystery bird

May. 28th, 2015 08:19 am[personal profile] telophase
telophase: (Default)
Huddled on the landscaping cloth yesterday morning and this morning. It wasn't there during most of the day, so it's not hurt, just odd.

cut for pic )

Just saw "Spy"

May. 28th, 2015 11:09 pm[personal profile] china_shop
china_shop: Elizabeth laughing (WC Elizabeth - LOL)
Rollicking good fun, and bonus, my having watched a bunch of Bond movies recently provided useful context for many of the jokes. \o/

(no subject)

May. 28th, 2015 05:06 am[personal profile] maevele
maevele: (Default)
So you know how sometimes there’s some stupid movie you remember but can’t find what it was? One of mine was some horror sexual harassment comedy about a guy who was possessed or some shit, and all I really remembered was that at some point in the movie, someone told him “you’re not possessed, you’re pozatski.” So every couple of years I google for the term, and have never found anything.

I was randomly going through old blog posts to figure out my life’s timeline, as you do, and I had used the word in a post, decided to google it again, and found THIS:

My Demon Lover / 1987
85 minutes
Dir.: Charlie Loventhal
Starring: Scott Valentine, Michele Little, Arnold Johnson

Movies that cram in as many genres as possible are the best. What could be more special than a movie that wants to cover so much ground? And what could be more fascinating than watching that fail? Enter My Demon Lover, a romantic comedy with an OUTRAGEOUS twist: its main character Kaz (the attractive male lead played by attractive male human Scott Valentine) is secretly a hideous monster. Even TWISTIER? His grotesque features only show themselves when he is sexually aroused. But he still believes in LOVE, goddammit, and he’s seeking it out the only way he knows how: groping women on the street.

Yup. It’s real. From the description, it’s also just as horrible as I remember


May. 28th, 2015 04:56 am[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Including one of my favorites, the Go-Away Bird, whose alarm call really does sound like "Go away! Go away!"

Graduating (finally!)

May. 28th, 2015 01:39 am[personal profile] 403
403: Fractal of nested rainbow curves. (Edges)
It's been a long road, and I've been a hermit this year in pursuit of it. But I'm done. Really, finally done. On Friday, I shall emerge victorious as a Bachelor of Science.
annathepiper: (Castle and Beckett and Book)
Ancillary Justice

Ancillary Justice

Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Before I continued my sweep of reviews of the Hugo nominees for Best Novel–and in particular, Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Sword, I had to go back and get caught up on Ancillary Justice. And wow, am I glad I did. I’m very late to the game on this book, but I can see why it won ALL THE THINGS last year. Much has been said already about what Leckie pulls off with this novel, not only with the gender-agnostic society occupied by the main characters, but also with the dual plotline involving our protagonist, Breq. But I do have some thoughts on both.

Re: the gender-agnosticism of the Radch, this didn’t strike me as quite the Revelation(TM) as it might have done if I hadn’t read Samuel Delany’s Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand. But I have, and so the notion of people referring to one another as “she” no matter what their actual physical gender wasn’t particularly startling to me. I did appreciate how the worldbuilding allowed that even if the Radchaai’s language was gender-agnostic, the people themselves still had physical gender; the author has herself described that the Radchaai are after all humans, so yes, they do still have actual physical gender. This is supported in the text, when non-Radchaai react to gender cues that Breq has to work to actually parse.

That said, I’m of two minds about it. Half of me certainly delighted in being able to read a story wherein, if I so chose, I could imagine every single character as female. The other half of me wishes that Leckie would have gone further and used truly neutral pronouns–while at the same time, with my writer hat on, I can understand how that might have made her book harder to digest for the vast majority of readers. We do, after all, live in a still predominantly two-gender society, and furthermore, one which still considers “male” the dominant gender. There are factions of SF readers who have trouble admitting that women can star in SF novels–never mind write them. Heads already explode at trying to handle that. Asking them to handle people who don’t fit so easily into a gender binary is probably asking too much. (Though yeah, I’d like to see it happen anyway.)

And, re: the dual nature of the plotline in this book: yes, we’ve got a non-linear plot here, but one which has a coherent structure nonetheless, jumping back and forth between “present” time and a point twenty years prior. Once you get into the rhythm of it, you can follow along pretty clearly, even without obvious markers in chapter headers or anything of that nature. I appreciated that the book expected me to be clever enough to keep up.

But all of the above pertains to worldbuilding and plot structure. What about our protagonist? I loved Breq/One Esk Nineteen/Justice of Toren, and the entire notion of her being one segment of an entire ship’s consciousness. The book does a wonderful job at portraying what that multiplicity is like, even as it throws strong implications at you about the horrifying practices that make ancillaries for Swords and Mercies and Justices in the first place. But Breq in general is an awesome character, both as a ship and as the now-sole ex-ancillary bent on killing the Lord of the Radch. Breq’s body may be human (and there are hints that that body’s original personality might be recoverable), but her consciousness is not. Yet there are little quirks and nuances throughout Justice of Toren’s portrayal that tell you that the Ship has had literal centuries of time to absorb personality traits from all of its ancillaries. And to be sure, I’m particularly partial to how Justice of Toren liked to sing. Often with multiple mouths at once.

I do have to admit that despite the gender-agnosticism of Radchaai society, I kept looking for cues as to the genders of characters–notably, Seivarden, but others as well. I caught myself doing it, and in fact tried to force myself not to once I realized what I was doing, because I think that was part of the book’s overall point. Though in Seivarden’s case, gender cues are in fact explicitly called out early on, and it’s obvious that Seivarden is in fact male. (And now, writing about that character, I find myself actively torn between saying ‘her’ and saying ‘him’ because HA YES I see you what did there, Leckie.)

Plot-wise, I found the whole thing very focused, honed to crystalline clarity, with the dual plots ultimately leading to an intriguing and explosive resolution. Breq’s grudging caring for Seivarden is an excellent counterpoint to the drama that unfolds on Shis’urna, and Justice of Toren’s eventual destruction, with One Esk Nineteen as the only survivor. Overall, it was a distinct pleasure to read, particularly as preparation for going straight into Ancillary Sword. Five stars.

(Editing to add: and OH YES, I totally forgot to mention: in the Ancillary Justice Movie In My Brain, Breq is totally played by Summer Glau.)

View all my reviews

Mirrored from

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This story belongs to the series Love Is For Children which includes "Love Is for Children," "Hairpins," "Blended," "Am I Not," "Eggshells," "Dolls and Guys,""Saudades," "Querencia," "Turnabout Is Fair Play," "Touching Moments," "Splash," "Coming Around," "Birthday Girl," "No Winter Lasts Forever," "Hide and Seek," "Kernel Error," "Happy Hour," "Green Eggs and Hulk,""kintsukuroi," "Little and Broken, but Still Good," "Up the Water Spout," "The Life of the Dead," and "Anahata."

Fandom: The Avengers
Characters: Phil Coulson, Steve Rogers, Bucky Barnes, Natasha Romanova, Clint Barton, Bruce Banner, JARVIS, Tony Stark.
Medium: Fiction
Warnings: Public surveillance (consensual on the part of the main characters). Mention of past trauma with lingering symptoms of PTSD. Current environment is safe. Shyness. Nausea. Imposter syndrome. Boundary issues. Negative coping skills. Communication issues. Anxiety.
Summary: Steve coaxes Bruce and Bucky to go out running with him. Later on, there is Game Night.
Notes: Hurt/comfort. Family. Fluff and angst. Coping skills. Exercise. Healthy touch. Asking for help and getting it. Hope. Tony takes things apart. Dietary concerns and solutions. Comfort food. Positive coping skills. Talking. Self-control. Nonsexual ageplay. Nonsexual intimacy. Caregiving. Competence. Toys and games. Gentleness. Trust. #coulsonlives

Begin with Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

Read more... )
china_shop: Jones at the Burkes' dining table in his shirtsleeves (WC Jones shirtsleeves)
~11,500 words, Clinton/OFC, established Elizabeth/Peter/Neal, R-rated. Set post-series, in the Waltz 'verse.

In This Life or Another (AO3)

Clinton's new CI is trouble with a capital T. There's no way he's going to follow Peter's example. Not in this life.

About Fury Road

May. 27th, 2015 10:46 pm[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
So everyone is talking about Mad Max: Fury Road and I am starting to contemplate actually watching this movie. I'm not as much a fan of postapocalyptic stuff as I used to be, but daaaamn the buzz is strong with this one.  Thanks to [personal profile] technoshaman for the link.

“Patriarchy, it turns out, is prettiest when it’s on fire.”
-- Laurie Penny, Buzzfeed

What she said.  :D
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Shed antlers provide nutrients to other forest animals.  Squirrels, raccoons, and mice are the most prone to gnaw on them for the mineral value. 

Good News

May. 27th, 2015 06:43 pm[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Good news includes all the things which make us happy or otherwise feel good.  It can be personal or public.  We never know when something wonderful will happen, and when it does, most people want to share it with someone.  It's disappointing when nobody is there to appreciate it. Happily, blogging allows us to share our joys and pat each other on the back.

What good news have you had recently?

[ SECRET POST #3066 ]

May. 27th, 2015 06:42 pm[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets
case: (Default)

⌈ Secret Post #3066 ⌋

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


More! )


Secrets Left to Post: 01 pages, 023 secrets from Secret Submission Post #438.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ], [ 1 - posted twice ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.

(no subject)

May. 27th, 2015 04:31 pm[personal profile] telophase
telophase: (Default)
Juvenile mourning dove.

I saw that this looked a bi different than our usual doves, went searching, and discovered that the scaling--the white tips on the feathers that produce that scale pattern--are typical of juvenile mourning doves. So they're raising families, not that we couldn't have figured that out already.

Asking for a friend

May. 27th, 2015 05:04 pm[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
2 yrs ago I found a website that provided printed facsimiles of rare/archival Canadian books (may have been a govt site). All I recall was I typed in the title and it said they had it and it would cost $20 for the reproduction. I thought it was, but no.

(no subject)

May. 27th, 2015 03:14 pm[personal profile] telophase
telophase: (Default)
Bluejay on the feeder, and I think that may be a mockingbird on the fence.

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's a crowdfunding campaign to publish a book about a little boy who is black, queer, and imaginative. 

Speaking of flooding...

May. 27th, 2015 01:12 pm[personal profile] telophase
telophase: (Default)
...this short article is about my family in Wimberley. They're also featured in this news video (which starts with an account of people still missing before it gets to the feel-good stuff at about :45).
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's a thoughtful post on the representation of nonbinary people in genderqueer communities.  I've noticed that people who have to claim their own identity can be very rigid about identity, including a tendency to misgender or misorient other people based on what they think that person "should" be.  Really not helping.

OTW Elections needs your help

May. 27th, 2015 06:01 pm[personal profile] otw_staff posting in [community profile] otw_news
otw_staff: Kirsten OTW Communications Staffer (Kirsten OTW Communications Staffer)
Banner by Diane of a 3 line checkbox with the choices OTW, Elections News, and a checkmark next to Make your voice heard

The Elections Committee is trying out new software for the 2015 election season and needs some volunteers to do some voting! Find out more at

Posted by Ken White

A few states retain archaic statutes making some types of libel a crime. They're rarely used. They show up fairly regularly in stupid legal threats, and very occasionally in politically motivated harassment prosecutions.

Yesterday the Minnesota Court of Appeals struck down that state's criminal libel statute.

Minnesota's statute criminalizes statements that "expose[] a person or a group, class or association to hatred, contempt, ridicule, degradation or disgrace in society, or injury to business or occupation." It offers a defense of justification for a few exceptions:

Violation of subdivision 2 is justified if:

(1) the defamatory matter is true and is communicated with good motives and for justifiable ends; or

(2) the communication is absolutely privileged; or

(3) the communication consists of fair comment made in good faith with respect to persons participating in matters of public concern; or

(4) the communication consists of a fair and true report or a fair summary of any judicial, legislative or other public or official proceedings; or

(5) the communication is between persons each having an interest or duty with respect to the subject matter of the communication and is made with intent to further such interest or duty.

Isanti County prosecuted Timothy Robert Turner for violation of this statute when he posted malicious ads on Craigslist in the name of his ex-girlfriend and her daughter soliciting strangers for sex. He added their cell phone numbers. Timothy Robert Turner is scum.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals agreed that Turner's actions were contemptible and defamatory. But they found that the statute violates the First Amendment. First, it doesn't recognize that truth is an absolute defense to defamation — under the statute, you could be criminally prosecuted for making a true statement without "good motives." Second, it criminally punishes false statements about public figures or matters of public concern without requiring the government to show that the statements were made with actual malice — the long-standing standard protecting such speech.

Notice that the loathsome Timothy Robert Turner's speech was unquestionably false, and wasn't uttered about public figures or matters of public concern. But the Court overturned the statute in his case and reversed his conviction anyway. Why? In First Amendment cases, when a statute is so defective that it prohibits a substantial amount of constitutionally protected speech, courts will allow a litigant to challenge the entire statute even if the particular litigant's speech could constitutionally be punished. That's sometimes called the overbreadth doctrine. Here, the state conceded that the statute was overbroad (and possibly even conceded that it's substantially overbroad — it's hard to tell). The state asked the court to employ a remedy in this situation — to construe the statute narrowly to make it constitutional, that is, to say "Minnesota can only use this statute in cases involving false statements, and only by proving actual malice in cases involving public figures or matters of public interest." Courts are supposed to do that when they reasonably can rather than strike down an entire statute. Here, the court not unreasonably found that they'd have to fundamentally rewrite the statute to save it, and refused to do so. The line between narrowly construing a statute to save it and "rewriting" a statute is not perfectly clear.

The bottom line: the Minnesota court recognized that an archaic criminal libel statute was invalid when it didn't include the free speech protections afforded modern civil defamation defendants.

Eugene Volokh submitted a clearly effective amicus brief. Timothy Robert Turner escapes conviction, but hopefully never gets a job or relationship again thanks to Google.

Minnesota Court Rules That Criminal Libel Statute Is Unconstitutional © 2007-2014 by the authors of Popehat. This feed is for personal, non-commercial use only. Using this feed on any other site is a copyright violation. No scraping.


May. 27th, 2015 10:48 am[personal profile] telophase
telophase: (Default)
Small pics because I sent them from my phone to myself and accidetnally picked the smallest option, and am too lazy to bother re-sending. Guess I won't bother with a cut tag, then!

Nefer cleaning her toes.

Nefer has an opinion!

She looked even more cynical in real life than got captured in this photo.

Sore was sitting on the back of the couch behind me all evening, worried about the thunder.

james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
What were the Hugo nominees from the year of your birth? And have you read them?

Like any normal person, I was born in 1961, which wasn't a bad year for the Hugos.

Read more... )
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
Sigh. I don't know why I cannot link to the card catalog entry. Sorry for the broken html.

The local academic libraries have copies of Partners in Wonder: Women and the Birth of Science Fiction 1926-1965 by Eric Leif Davin. Worth a review?
galacticjourney: (Default)

There was another mystery Atlas Agena launch from Cape Canaveral on May 24. My sources tell me it was in the same series as the mission late February that broke up before it could reach orbit. It appears to be some kind of infrared missile launch detection system. I even got my hands on some conceptual art, though there's no way of knowing how accurate it is. Its project name appears to be MIDAS--I'm guessing this stands for "Missile Infrared Detection Alarm System" or something like that.

I don't know if the system works or if the satellite performed properly, but I understand "MIDAS 2" did make it into orbit. With tensions between American and the U.S.S.R. at an all-time high, thanks to whole spy plane kerfuffle and the break-down of summit peace talks, we need probes like this more than ever.

(see the rest at Galactic Journey!)

(no subject)

May. 27th, 2015 01:49 am[personal profile] maevele
maevele: Tom collins from rent dancing across the table, with text saying he is awesome (awesomeollins)
There was a making stuff party at wiscon, and as a result, I tried to knit for the first time in years. There was a time when I was one knitting motherfucker, but it started aggravating my wrist problems so I stopped. But I tried again at this party, and it didn’t hurt, so tonight I dug through my boxes of crap and found the few crappy aluminum needles and the really awesome yarn I hung on to, and tried again. I started and frogged stuff like twice just based on misjudging how it was going to come out based on which needles I was using but now I am like 15 rows or so into a purse, I guess? It was maybe gonna be a headscarf for a minute, but I need a purse.

But I’m just super excited to be knitting again, and if I don’t get all obsessive and watch my positioning it won’t hurt my hands and I can have cool stuff. I so miss all my good knitting supplies though, trying to relearn with aluminum needles and fancy yarn with ribbon and shit is hard. I wish I had known I was gonna get back into knitting before my birthday, it would have SO changed what I asked for.
annathepiper: (Book Geek)

Chapter 4 of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone brings us Harry’s first meeting with someone from the wizarding world–i.e., Hagrid! And we learn very quickly that Hagrid has no time whatsoever for Vernon Dursley’s shenanigans.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mirrored from

Literary Lacquer

May. 27th, 2015 12:47 am[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
These colors of nail polish were inspired by literature.  Shiny.  Link courtesy of my partner Doug.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's a post about rape in A Game of Thrones, comparing the TV series to the books.  This actually leaves out the statistic which most interests me: what is the ratio of women who have been raped to women who have not been raped?  Because in America it's about 1:4 for sexual violence, or 1:3 for women in the military and Native American women.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This story belongs to the series Love Is For Children which includes "Love Is for Children," "Hairpins," "Blended," "Am I Not," "Eggshells," "Dolls and Guys,""Saudades," "Querencia," "Turnabout Is Fair Play," "Touching Moments," "Splash," "Coming Around," "Birthday Girl," "No Winter Lasts Forever," "Hide and Seek," "Kernel Error," "Happy Hour," "Green Eggs and Hulk,""kintsukuroi," "Little and Broken, but Still Good," "Up the Water Spout," "The Life of the Dead," and "Anahata."

Fandom: The Avengers
Characters: Phil Coulson, Steve Rogers, Bucky Barnes, Natasha Romanova, Clint Barton, Bruce Banner, JARVIS, Tony Stark.
Medium: Fiction
Warnings: Public surveillance (consensual on the part of the main characters). Mention of past trauma with lingering symptoms of PTSD. Current environment is safe. Shyness. Nausea. Imposter syndrome. Boundary issues.  Negative coping skills.
Summary: Steve coaxes Bruce and Bucky to go out running with him. Later on, there is Game Night.
Notes: Hurt/comfort. Family. Fluff and angst. Coping skills. Exercise. Healthy touch. Asking for help and getting it. Hope. Tony takes things apart. Dietary concerns and solutions. Positive coping skills. Nonsexual ageplay. Nonsexual intimacy. Caregiving. Competence. Toys and games. Gentleness. Trust. #coulsonlives

Begin with Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

Read more... )

MOD POST: Amnesty is open!

May. 26th, 2015 09:49 pm[personal profile] sabinetzin posting in [community profile] intoabar
sabinetzin: (iron man - tony's heart)
Hello and welcome to the amnesty round! From now until just before the 2016 round opens (which will be some time in March or April), feel free to post any outstanding entries to the comm. That includes entries from any round that were not posted, as well as bonus fics, if your prompt was just too good to do once!

If you did not finish in the 2015 round and did not notify a mod, you can regain your eligibility for the 2016 round by posting in this period. No need to notify us, even if you defaulted previously; just post and we'll take care of the rest!

Please follow the standard guidelines. As always, remember your warnings statement and don't tag your own posts.

Happy posting!

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