so you may notice a lot of dead image links at some point in the future here.
(Right now they're still being hosted because I have a paid account).
I've switched over to SmugMug, so everything should be hosted from here on in.
So we should be good for a little while longer anyway.
Now let's see if this works.
Orange-Bellied Parrot as Totem
by Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
part 1 of 1, complete
word count (story only): 1419
:: Part of the Polychrome Heroics universe, the Mercedes story set, and the Road Trip story arc. Kais' luck seems to be holding, but someone else points out a surprising trend in it. ::
:: Pay Special Attention: I tried to be vague about the details of Kais' injury, but I wanted to frame these events first from Kais' viewpoint, so some unpleasantness is unavoidable. (The payoff for this will happen in the next story, of course!)
Kais turned her face toward the window, trying desperately not to cry.
Willem, the young man who had taken her clothes-- every stitch she'd brought with her save what she stood in-- tried to apologize. Again. “I mean, it's called a mangler, but it really shouldn't have done...” He lifted up one torn, button-less shirt and waved at the sodden mess.
“I can check everything your size in the lost and found,” he offered. “I feel...”
( Read more... )
Fandom: Yuri!!! on Ice (Anime)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Katsuki Yuuri/Victor Nikiforov
Characters: Katsuki Yuuri, Victor Nikiforov, Makkachin (Yuri!!! on Ice), Phichit Chulanont, Phichit Chulanont's Hamsters
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence, Social Media, Dogs, send dog pics not dick pics
Series: Part 50 of havisham's SASO 2017 works collection
From out of the blue, Victor gets a message asking him for pictures of his dog.
OMG, this show is adorable. The main character is a weightlifter at a sports university, who is mostly very happy being a bull-headed hot-tempered jock, until one fateful day when ( plot spoilers happen )
I'm about halfway through. Events have transpired, and ( more spoilers )
I just. Bok Joo is giving me so many feels. She's about as lacking in EQ and self-awareness as Go Mi Nam from You're Beautiful (that is a wild overstatement; NO ONE is as clueless and un-self-aware as Go Mi Nam!), but seeing her grapple with not being traditionally feminine and the way everyone treats her like a hefferlump, and her humiliation at knowing she's being ridiculous leading her double life but she can't help it, and the moments of pure happiness she grabs whenever she can... is all hitting me pretty hard. *snuggles her heartbroken and befuddled self*
Also, the love interest is somehow awful and utterly adorable at the same time. I don't know how he's managing it, but I have high hopes that he will
ION, I've rented the first disk of Black Sails, having decided to give it another try after bouncing off the pilot a couple of years(?) ago and since hearing many people squee. The warnings on the case include sexual violence; can anyone advise: how graphic is the non-con? Like, is it going to squick me and stick in my head for days? Does it happen to main/POV characters? /o\
IOON, we watched the pilot of You Me Her last night, and it was great. I'm looking forward to more.
Linkin Park's Chester Bennington commits suicide at age 41
Regardless of what you thought of their music, this is tragic. Another life lost to suicide... I don't know everyone else's experiences with the band, but I can't imagine my adolescence without them. There was a time in the 2000s when Linkin Park and Evanescence songs reigned supreme in AMVs, which is how I discovered both of them. As cliche as it may sound, their music *spoke to me* at a very emotional part of my life. They were the soundtrack for many nostalgic Yu Yu Hakusho AMVs (especially those made by Maze Castle back in the day) as well as many angsty nights. While my musical taste has shifted away from them in recent years, they were a formative band for me. I've spent the afternoon listening and singing along to Linkin Park songs old and new in his memory.
Maybe nobody cares about this band in fandom anymore, but I just did not expect to wake up to this news today, especially since I can relate to his mental health struggles. Somehow, I made it through all those trying years, and I hope you all do, too.
I'm not sure when I first met Jordin. Probably Confrancisco in 1993, where I first met a lot of the California filkers. (Most notably Kathy Mar, leading me the next year to drive up to a small con outside Toronto where she was GOH. But that's another story.)
My favorite memory of Jordin was his debut of "Heart of the Apple Lisa" during his Interfilk Guest concert at ConCertino in 1995. Which, being in Westborough, MA, was right in the heart of Fred Small territory. Given that and the number of computer scientists in filk, the titters from the audience started almost immediately. When he hit the first chorus, you could literally hear the wave of laughter roll from the front row to the back of the room. I was seated about 2/3 of the way back, with a clear sightline to the rear doors into the ballroom. As Jordin continued and the gales of hysterical laughter began to crescendo, I could see people running in from the hallway to find out what was happening.
And the topper? I am told Jordin later said he'd been worried how the song would be received as the jokes might be too esoteric. This at a con a few miles from the famed stretch of MA Route 128 known as "America's Technology Highway", home to the offices of IBM, DEC and Honeywell, HP, DG, and--sorry, different filker.
My second favorite memory came while waiting to board a flight at Dulles. I was sitting facing the concourse, watching people walk by, as one does. I saw someone who looked like Jordin walk by. I didn't get up immediately; I first thought it couldn't be Jordin, he lives in Seattle. A minute or two passed, and I became more convinced it really was Jordin. I got up, started to walk down the concourse, got about two gates, and saw Mary Kay sitting near the end of a row of seats. I went over and started chatting, and of course Jordin returned from his perambulations shortly thereafter. Turns out they'd been overseas at an astrophysics conference and were connecting back through Dulles. He'd actually won a significant award at that conference, making me the first filker other than Mary Kay to hear the good news.
Jordin leaves us a long legacy of original songs from the heartbreaking ("Waverider") to the anthemic ("Fire in the Sky"), parodies ("Psi Nought", "Dawson's Concom", "Unified Field Theory"), Les Barker recitations, Off Centaur recordings and songbooks, and drawers full of punny T-shirts. He will be missed.
Seattle Meets Highway 2
Highway 2 was the first highway to link Washington east to west and along it lies a cross-section of the state’s ecosystems, economies and ways of life. So we sent Mossback columnist Knute Berger and photographer Matt Mills McKnight on a road trip along historic Highway 2 to reconnect with the state beyond Puget Sound. Each day of the week we will publish a new story about the towns they stopped by. Read a snippet below and check back Monday for the next story.
Why a Road trip?
Ever since the November election and Donald Trump’s win, the Cascade divide has seemed bigger than ever. What are folks on the other side of the Cascade Curtain thinking? Crosscut felt it was time to get out of Seattle’s big blue bubble and find out. Can a classic American road trip help us reach out and gain a better understanding? From the deep-green Skykomish Valley to the Waterville Plateau to the Idaho border, we spent a week exploring the state of the state of Washington.
Coming next week
Day One: Spotted Owls, Rock and Pot
Mossback learns the Skykomish Valley has an unusual number of Obama/Trump voters and that a new industry is emerging in the ruins of an older one. It involves growing green stuff.
Day Two: Behind the Scenes in a Tourist Town
Tourists know Cashmere as a place to buy tasty treats from Eastern Washington orchards, but beyond its visitor facade, the area is also facing housing challenges. We visit a new project that offers housing for migrant and seasonal farmworkers.
Day Three: Father and son in the orchards
Since the 1890s the Mathison family has farmed the Wenatchee hills. They’ve built an operation that supplies tree fruit to the nation. We went into the Mathison’s high-tech packing plant and its organic cherry orchard to learn the secret of the family’s continuing success in a changing, global economy.
Day Four: Power, Sky and Space
On the Waterville Plateau, we learn about the power of power, and of water, open space and brilliant nights that city folk seldom see. This landscape was shaped by titanic forces; it can, in turn, shape and reset one’s mindset in a region where your nearest “neighbors” might live miles away.
Day Five: Fire!
An innocent detour near Davenport to learn about the death of an Old West outlaw turned into adventure as a cattleman’s warning about wildfires turned into the real thing. What we heard and saw taught us something about the vulnerability of rugged landscapes, frustration with government and the power of volunteers watching each other’s backs.
Since last November’s election, it’s seemed more important than ever to get outside Puget Sound’s blue bubble. Political divisions have made it harder to connect with one another across the state. We decided to venture out from our “socialist hellhole” and learn more about our fellow Washingtonians: how they live, the problems they face, what they think we ought to know.
So, we did what Americans often do. We took a summer road trip. Crosscut’s photographer Matt Mills McKnight and I chose to follow U.S. Route 2 — or Highway 2 — across the state. We put some 1,400 miles round-trip on the odometer.
We talked to farmers, fruit growers, ranchers and a Bigfoot entrepreneur. We encountered a wildfire, toured farm worker housing, talked to Donald Trump voters, chatted with a young man who was walking across America on foot and watched a horseshoe-pitching competition. Oh, and we learned that some small towns still shut up tight on Sundays.
Highway 2 is the northernmost U.S. highway in the country. In Washington, it runs from Everett on Puget Sound to Newport on the Idaho border. It passes through a stunningly beautiful microcosm of the state — from the green river valleys of Snohomish County, through spectacular Cascades scenery over Stevens Pass, and down through the orchard country of Wenatchee. It then heads up to semi-arid, half-mile high plateau country — land of hydropower and wheat. It cruises to Spokane through farm towns like Wilbur and Davenport, then pokes north and east through piney Pend Oreille country. It hits cities, towns, dams, farms, climbing rocks and places of geologic beauty like Dry Falls. The road is a seam that cuts through the Cascade curtain to link east and west, wet and dry, Red and Blue.
It’s a major highway, yet retains much of the old two-lane character that writer William Least Heat Moon called a “Blue Highway” for those character-filled, old-time roads marked in blue on old gas station maps; roads that tempt the vagabond. Highway 2 was a pioneer effort, the first major state road to connect the state end-to-end. Parts of the highway are designated as National Scenic Byways, including the southern part of the beautiful Cascade Loop; it’s still a crucial transportation corridor sometimes called the High Line. It’s slower and less busy than Interstate 90, which accommodates folks in a high-speed hurry. That leaves Highway 2 a perfect drive for those who want to get a feel for the contours of the land and our state.
No single road trip can define a place visited or a town passed through. But our thought was that “flyover” country is better driven through, explored and observed; that reaching out is better than hunkering down.
One thing we found is that people seemed delighted to meet Seattleites who showed curiosity about their lives and places. We found hot sun, fresh air and landscape where density more often refers to the quality of rock formations than zoning.
In Wenatchee, we had coffee with Kelli Scott, the new editorial page editor of The Wenatchee World, a great family newspaper with a huge legacy: largely through the newspaper’s advocacy, Grand Coulee Dam was built. The 36-year-old Scott, a member of that family, is a Democrat editing for a largely Republican audience, and it’s a challenge with differences of opinion easily reduced to rancor and cries of “fake news.” She’s trying to understand her readers while sticking to her progressive perspective on issues like healthcare and women’s rights.
She asked us why we were making our journey. I told her we were looking for hope in a divided time — ways of reconnecting. “Communicating outside our bubbles is a good thing for media,” she observed in a subsequent column, “for the country, for all of us.”
Over the coming week, we’ll be sharing some of what we found and experienced along Washington’s great connector. Ride along.
Day One: The “Sky” country of Snohomish County, land shaped by timber, owls, rock and pot.
Also see #MossbackRoadtrip
The Dream Act of 2017 has been introduced in the Senate to protect DACA recipients. It has four sponsors: Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY). United We Dream asks for peole to telephone their Attorney General. The number they give is (832) 610-3896.
Their suggested message is "I am calling to ask the Attorney General to come out publicly to defend the DACA program. This program has changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of immigrant youth across the country and it must be protected. I expect my attorney general to support the immigrant community and protect DACA."
Once we get back to the story of the murder itself, however, it turns out: IT'S BONKERS. The principals in the case are two pirate radio impresarios in 1966. Oliver Smedley, An Ardent Free-Trade Capitalist, was running a station called Radio Atlanta on a boat off the coast; Reggie Calvert, A Dance Hall Impresario, had taken over an entire abandoned British navy fort called Shivering Sands in the Thames Estuary and staffed it with a rotating encampment of youths running a station called Radio City. At one point Smedley and Calvert were going to have a merger, but then they had an ACRIMONIOUS BREAKUP spurred on in part by:
- the fact that Smedley was supposed to give Calvert a shiny new transmitter and instead provided an old one that never worked
- the fact that Smedley never paid all the bills he had promised Calvert that Radio Atlanta would pay
- the fact that Calvert got sick of all this and decided to merge with another station instead
The reason for all these pirate radio stations on boats and naval forts, by the way, is because in 1966 there was no legal pop radio in the UK (as explained, extensively, via the history of radio and Keynesian economic theory etc. that makes up the first half of the book). Because the pirates were technically outside of UK territory, on the other hand, they could technically get away with doing whatever they wanted, or at least the government like "it will be way too embarrassing to launch a huge naval raid against a bunch of youths on was a fort with a radio transmitter, so let's not."
HOWEVER, the fact that everything was happening outside of territorial waters where British laws and police had no jurisdiction BACKFIRED when:
- Ardent Free-Trade Capitalist Smedley decided he was so mad that Calvert had made a deal without him that he was going to MAKE SURE that the deal could never go through
- he was going to GET BACK HIS PROPERTY [the transmitter that had never worked]
- so he sent an ACTUAL OCCUPYING FORCE composed of out-of-work dockworkers to Shivering Sands, stole a bunch of key broadcasting equipment, took a bunch of it back to the mainland, and left a bunch of toughs to hold everybody who was on the station at that time hostage!!!
- (when they met the invading force, the hostage broadcasters were like 'welp' and made everybody tea)
- ("the vessel had to return briefly to pick up [the contractor who recruited the gang], who had been left behind drinking his tea")
- and then Smedley went to Calvert and his partner, an actual professional broadcaster, and was like 'I will not let you broadcast from there again or finish making your deal unless you pay me FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS'
Naturally, everyone involved was like 'wtf????' and refused to pay Smedley a dime; Calvert threatened to involve the police but the police were like 'ummmmmm technically we can't do anything for the same reasons we haven't been able to stop you from broadcasting;' Calvert then made a whole bunch of other even wilder threats; and all the hired dockworkers sat around cheerfully charging Smedley for hostaging operations which he was rapidly running out of money for.
Anyway, in the middle of all this, Calvert drove out to Smedley's house in the middle of the night and started screaming at him, and Smedley shot him and then claimed self-defense and that his HOSTILE OCCUPATION OF A POP RADIO STATION was just a little joke gone wrong! No harm no foul if only Calvert hadn't been so UPSET about it! It did help Smedley's self-defense case that Calvert happened to be carrying A FAKE PEN FULL OF NERVE GAS at the time, which apparently, according to his family, he always carried around just for safekeeping.
...so the author's point in writing about all this seems to be that a.) this incident was crucial in getting the pirate radio boats shut down and the formation of the current BBC radio system that includes actual pop radio, b.) that this is all a forerunner of later copyright battles and offshore data centers and so on, c.) pirate-radio-on-boats in the 1960s was a WILD TIME. About the latter, at least, he is most surely not mistaken.
(This has nothing to do with the main brunt of the book but I have to spare a mention for Radio City's chief engineer, who later was hired by the mob! to perform an assassination attempt!! using a spring-loaded hypodermic needle full of cyanide!!! in what it turns out was ACTUALLY a sting operation by the U.S. Treasury department who picked the hapless Radio City engineer to act as the assassin because "he needed the fee while being clearly incapable of killing anybody"!!!! This whole incident gets two pages in the book because it's somewhat irrelevant to the author's argument but seriously, where is this guy's movie?
For the record, the same mobsters then tried to intimidate Reggie Calvert's widow into selling them the remnants of the station and she was like 'lol no' and they were like '....well, when a lady knows her own mind, she knows her own mind! No hard feelings.')
So when such_heights and I got engaged in August 2014, I asked my BFF if she would, maybe, perhaps, make us a wedding quilt, too?
It’s now July 2017, the wedding quilt is finally finished, and OH MY FUCKING GOD IT IS THE MOST AMAZING THING IN ALL EXISTENCE COME LOOK HOW TALENTED MY BFF IS SHE’S THE GREATEST THIS IS THE GREATEST COME LOOK COME LOOK COME LOOK OMG!
( Many photos of the world's greatest quilt )
What was going on? Yesterday, a weak front was approaching and this feature was associated with an upper level trough coming off the Pacific (see 500 hPa--around 18,000 ft--map at 5 PM Wednesday). Such an upper trough causes
As a result, some altocumulus clouds (middle level puffy instability clouds) formed and were vigorous enough to start precipitating out ice crystals. The long tails of precipitating ice are called fallstreaks or mares tails. They get distorted and curved by the change of wind with height (wind shear).
So the bottom line is: folks saw precipitating altocumulus clouds forced by an approaching upper level trough.
Finally, if you want to see an absolutely stunning weather video dealing with clouds and precipitation in Arizona, check this out. Heroic music, gorgeous imagery....it may bring tears to your eyes.
The Weather of Arizona - A Time Lapse Film from Bryan Snider Photography on Vimeo.
What I really want to know: Can I rip off GVoice's old/retired web interface legally? Or more accurately, can I pay somebody else to do it for me with reasonable ability to assure them they won't go to jail or get sued into oblivion for doing it?
To be clear, there are some nifty functional subtleties I'd want to make off with, which I wouldn't even want to bother pretending I came up with on my own. For instance, there's some interesting algorithm for how texts are batched into threads which I haven't entirely reversed engineered, but make a huge difference in readability.
* I cannot finish your urgent project in a timely fashion if you keep interrupting me to ask when your project is going to be finished! Please stop!
* We have already done Thing based on all your requirements (and with your approval!) last quarter. We can just update it instead of spending so much time trying to come up with a new way to do it (only to come up with basically the exact same Thing). There is no need to spend hours reinventing the wheel!
* You have to decide whether you need a meeting to happen ASAP or if you need everyone involved present, because it's July coming up on August, and half the people you need will be out on vacation at any given moment and I have no control of that.
* I don't want healthy snacks in the vending machine. If I am driven to getting food from it, it's generally because I want Frito Lay corn chips or terrible plasticky cheap chocolate, not some sort of chip made from beans or some kind of granola bar! WTF?
Okay, this next one needs a little history. In the Constitution, war powers are given to the Senate: only the Senate, on majority vote, can declare war. George W. Bush managed to get war powers transferred to him, I think in the Patriot Act. A Dept. of Defense appropriations bill was approved that included removing war powers from the President, giving them back to the Senate. After it was approved, Paul Ryan took that wording out of the bill, which had been given bipartisan approval.
ETA: A scientist blows the whistle on the Trumpists moving scientists to non-science jobs in the hope they'll quit, while leaving their previous useful positions unfilled.
A Friend from my Meeting is walking, biking and rowing/paddling the US. Here's his blog, about his journeys.
The finding of a 14,000-year-old settlement verifies the land claim of the Heiltsuk First Nation in Canada.
Armed redneck lefties fight fascism.
Marble helped scholars whitewash ancient history.
Jordin Kare died yesterday, from complications of aortic valve replacement surgery. I am still somewhat in shock. He was younger than Colleen.
There is not much to be grateful for on this Thursday, but I am profoundly
grateful for Jordin's music, which has been part of my life's soundtrack
since at least the early 1980s. He was one of the founders of Off Centaur
Publications, publishers of the Westerfilk songbooks and many fine filk
tapes. (Jordin did the typesetting for Westerfilk I using
troff, which led to a number of typos involving single
quotes, which troff treats specially if they're the first character in a
Last night Naomi and I sang a few of his songs -- "Fire In the Sky", "The Designer" and "The Engineer", "Waverider", and all I could remember of "Kantrowitz 1972". It wasn't until this morning that I found the lyrics for that and "Sail for Amber", Colleen's favorite.
I just ...
One of your favourite 70's songs. I'm not very good at knowing which songs come from which decade, and most of the music on my computer has really inaccurate metadata. But one song which I know is from the 70s, and which is definitely one of my favourites, is Go to Hell by Alice Cooper. I'm not sure if it's actually my favourite 70s song, but I really ought to have something by Alice Cooper in the meme.
I'm really very fond of Alice Cooper goes to Hell; it was my first encounter with the idea of a concept album. I especially love this opening track because it's a bit of (darkly) humorous intro, with the bathos of ridiculously specific examples of depravity:
You'd gift-wrap a leper and mail him to your aunt Jane
You'd even force feed a diabetic a candy cane
I often tell the story of how when I went to university I gained a certain amount of respect among the alternative crowd by explaining that Alice Cooper was in fact a ouijia board chosen stage name for a definitely male singer. Despite not looking like the sort of person who would know rock music trivia. But I love Alice Cooper for being so gloriously terrible, and occasionally coming out with works of sheer genius like Poison (not from the 70s) in among all the McGonagall stuff.
( video embed (borderline NSFW) )
In one way it was really nice not to have to just sit and wind myself up while I waited. The bus timetable meant I got there about fifteen minutes early, too, because it was either that or be late, so I'd actually been sitting quite a while and it didn't seem like it at all with someone nice to talk to.
But it did mean I ended up really really hoping I get this. Which is really really inconvenient.
I had vague answers at some points where I think specific ones would be better. But the interviewers seemed more impressed with me than I would've been if I were them, so I dunno if I'm being too hard on myself or they're just really nice. Well, they are really nice, but I don't know how much that was masking their thoughts!
They said they hope to have an answer for us by the end of today or else tomorrow. So at least I don't have long to wait.
I woke up long enough before my alarm this morning thst I was both extra-bothered by needing a haircut and actually had time to do it. So I did, and I took picture after I got dressed (in my fancy clothes, not the grubby ones I walked the dog and went to the post office on first) and put it online and have had a lot of nice and supportive comments. I know selfies can boost self-esteem but I don't think I'd ever actually had it happen to me before! So that was fun.
(She isn't dealing with race here -- yes, of course, Luke Cage is a hero, how could he not be? And Falcon, and T'Challa. And many others whom I see on cable but whose names I don't know. But the field of combat/discussion is sexism here.)
So. Who are the women I see as heroes in movies, not as 'women heroes'? Not as sidekicks, or (forgive me, Rosalind Russell) as equal-to-men-but-in-a-men's-world, such as Hildy in 'My Girl Friday' (which was originally a man's role)? (I am exempting comedies from this, overall, because being a hero can be largely humorless. If someone has a hero who is female and in a comedy, I'd really like to know about it.) And what is a hero? For purposes of this post, I'm defining a hero as someone who goes up against impossible odds to achieve a goal that generally include keeping 'self and/or one or more other people alive, whether or not they are people the hero personally knows. (There are variations -- achieving an impossible goal can be heroic, but isn't always presented as such.) Another requirement is that the hero is someone with agency who chooses to use it to change the status quo for the better. By the end of the movie, something has to be different because of what the hero did. The stakes must be high, the difficulties many and the resources limited.
(Sexism example: Nobody complains about the Sundance Kid shooting people. They complain about Thelma and Louise blowing up the rude sexist trucker's truck. There's only one shooting in that movie, of a rapist, and I don't even want to hear about how he 'hadn't done anything yet' when he'd brutalized Louise in a way that made it clear that she's not his first victim.)
(Yes, Buffy and Faith are heroes -- but I'm thinking movies here, not tv, and the movie of Buffy was not so much about heroism as about overturning high-school and prom-night-movie tropes.)
Sigourney Weaver's Ripley, in Alien, Aliens, etc. My favorite is the second movie, because I went to see it with a really horrible boyfriend I was trying to break up with, and it gave me the courage to dump him. Ripley is a killer because of circumstances -- self defense and protecting the girl -- and her targets are the enormous aliens that are trying to kill them. Does it not count as being a killer if you use a spaceship to do it? Or if the victims are trying to kill you and are aliens?
(Ripley was originally a man's role -- it was written for Paul Newman, as was Axel Foley in Beverly Hills Cop. The name -- Axel Foley -- is a give-away, half Swedish and half Irish. I can come up with a few reasons why a black character would have that name -- but I seriously doubt that many black kids were named Axel until after the movie came out.)
Sally Field, in both Places in the Heart and Norma Rae. Neither of them has rape involved, present or past. This is steadfast, plugging, get-it-done heroism, not flashy. What changes is that through her hard work and steadfastness, and befriending outcasts (Danny Glover and John Malkovich), she keeps her home. It probably helps that Sally Field looks like a fluffy bunny in Places, and is sweaty and ungroomed in Norma Rae. I've worked in a factory without AC in the summer -- she looked like I felt on the assembly line. And that scene where she is dragged away to the police car, fighting for her life? She broke two ribs on one of the guys carrying her that day; she was dead serious in that fight.
Leia Organa, whether princess, freedom fighter, or general, is a hero. She's also a killer, unless all those dudes in white plastic armor don't count when she shoots at them and they fall down. She's also the Hutt-slayer and a liberator of planets. Over the first three movies (they will always be the first three for me, not the prequels) her character grows and develops. What we have lost when Carrie died was the rest of the story for her -- at least we have Movie 8 coming, with more of General Leia. (I have no idea why The Geek Feminist Revolution didn't include her as a hero, unless she's in an essay I haven't gotten to yet. I mean, she's the one with the two male sidekicks who think it's all about them.)
Karen Silkwood, played by Meryl Streep, is a hero, killed for trying to tell people about workplace safety violations in a plutonium factory. Meryl Streep also plays more of an action hero in The River Wild, and there are no rapes there -- and she does kill Kevin Bacon's character, who richly deserves it. However, Meryl Streep can play anything except a doormat; the closest she came to that was in Sophie's Choice, early on, where she is powerless to save both of her children from murder by the Nazis and never completely recovers afterward. It's a powerful role and amazing acting -- but she is not a hero, she's a survivor, and the two aren't necessarily the same.
Arwen Undomiel, one of two named women characters in Lord of the Rings (seriously: Rosie Cotton is a walk-on so Sam will have someone conventionally female to come home to) is a hero, and a swordfighter, when she rides down to the ford to bring Frodo up to Rivendell. I have fantasized at times about a version of LOTR from her viewpoint -- being the witness, seeing what's happening but not able to change the war, then choosing mortality over immortality because with Aragorn she had found something she could not find with another elf. There are hints in the books of their marriage being considered miscegenation by Elrond and others, but it can't be said overly strongly because he is Elrond Half-Elven, after all. What would her story look like, from her viewpoint? She wasn't Eleanor of Aquitaine, riding bare-breasted toward Jerusalem with the Crusades -- "the troops were dazzled" -- because sexuality barely exists in Tolkien's writing other than bromance. If anything, she is stuck being more like Katherine in Henry V -- outside the "men's discussion" of war and tribute and appeasement, but she escapes being the property that must be exchanged for the treaty to take place. But to get back to Arwen, heroes are people who act, and Arwen does act, in the scenes we see -- that is her choice. The book and movie show us the aftereffect, the willing bride and queen -- they don't show the inner struggle she went through to get there. (FWIW, I have a hard time not reading Merry and Pippin as kid sisters to Frodo, but that's me. Tomboy kid sisters who get into scrapes and out of them.)
Eowyn, also LOTR, is certainly a hero -- gets into armor, rides into battle, kills the Witch King --"No man can kill me." "I am no man." She also shows 'womanly' virtues by caring for the ailing king, her uncle, and mourning her brother. I would dearly love to see a story in which she and Arwen are hanging out and talking, since they are the co-rulers of neighboring countries. Peter Jackson has much to answer for in not having Faramir's courtship of and marriage to Eowyn in the movie. Yes, it was three hours long. It could have been three hours and five minutes.
I don't see Galadriel as a hero. Yes, she turns down the Ring. But that's it. Nothing changes for her after the movie -- she goes into the Weat, where all the elves were going anyway. She's a queen, a wise woman, a visionary -- but not a hero in these terms. And -- JRR Tolkien, why could you not have put Arwen and Galadriel in the same room *once*?
Speaking of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Katharine Hepburn plays her as a hero in her own eyes who is stuck in a proscribed women's role and trying her best to get out of it at times by manipulation and scheming (traditionally considered women's weapons). But she also brings knives to her sons when her husband has imprisoned them, so they can fight their way out --"It's 1183, and we're all barbarians." Much as I love Kate's movies, it's hard for me to call her a hero. A strong woman, yes, but in that narrative (play or movie) not heroic. She does not change anything. At the end of the story she's going back to her own prison, and everyone who was alive when the movie started still is, though their relationships have shifted a bit. Hepburn played the roles that were available, and women-as-equals or women-as-partners were her forte. But not heroes. But Kate Hepburn's movies could be an entire other post or three.
I am not sure whether Celie, in The Color Purple, could be considered a hero. She does not overturn the status quo as much as go along with it for her own survival. Much of the time she doesn't have agency, and when she does it's fairly minor -- designing women's trousers is not quite like going over a waterfall in a raft with your son and two murderers (The River Wild).
Regardless of Hollywood's prejudices, Black Widow is a hero, as well as a survivor. I would like to see a movie in which we see both of those -- the agency she has is to change herself after Hawkeye refuses to kill her. And yes, she's a killer -- it's her job. I'm not sure she's written as well as she deserves. Fanfic does better by her than the movies do, at this point, much of the time.
What women are your movie heroes, and why? (Y'all are forgetting to tell me why...)
ETA: It's a series, not a movie, but all the major women in Black Sails are heroes, in particular Eleanor Guthrie (who singlehandedly tries to keep the village of Nassau profitable), Max (who goes from slavery and prostitution to managing businesses, owning land, and not employing anyone enslaved), and Anne Bonney (who is a pirate, no excuses, no arguments, and who takes down a murderous thug who had already killed several men -- she noticed the shards of broken glass over to the side, and once she had them, it was as if she had her swords again.) They are all complex, complicated characters, who love and hate and make deals and make compacts and agreements and understand how their world works when many of the men around them don't.
When biographer and historian Nat Segaloff sat down to interview science fiction Grand Master Harlan Ellison for his new book A Lit Fuse, he knew that he was in for a challenge. What surprised him about the process was how much it wasn’t just about Ellison, but also about him.
How do you write something new about someone everybody thinks they already know? A writer who is famous for putting so much of his life into his stories that his fans feel that even his most bizarre work is autobiographical? That was the unspoken challenge in late 2013 when I agreed to write Harlan Ellison’s biography, an adventure that is just now seeing daylight with the publican of A Lit Fuse: The Provocative Life of Harlan Ellison.
I wrote the book because Harlan wouldn’t. He came close in 2008 when he announced he would write Working Without a Net for “a major publisher,” but he never did. Maybe he figured he’d said enough in his 1700 short stories, essays, and articles he’s published over the last 60 years. It wasn’t as if he was afraid of the truth; he always said he never lies about himself because that way nobody can hold anything against him. That was my challenge.
When we shook hands and I became his biographer, I also became the only person he ever gave permission to quote from his work and take a tour of his life. What I really wanted to do, though, was to explore his mind. What I didn’t expect was that, as I examined his creative process, I would also bare my own.
When you sit down with someone for a conversation, it’s fun; when you sit down with someone for an interview, it’s serious. Harlan has been interviewed countless times and he has always been in control. This time, I was. I had to get him to say stuff that was new, and I had to go beyond where others had stopped.
A Harlan Ellison interview is a performance. He will be quotable, precise, vague, and outrageous. He takes no prisoners. He will run and fetch a comic book, figurine, photograph, or book to illustrate a point, all of which breaks the mood. My job was to get him to sit still and not be “Harlan Ellison” but simply Harlan.
Harlan is one of the few speculative fiction writers (along with Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, and a handful of others) who became public figures. Part of this stemmed from the quality of his work but much of it was created by his being, as I kept finding in the clippings, ““fractious,” “famously litigious,” and “argumentative.” Indeed, most of the stories I found during my research could be divided into two categories: “What a wild man Harlan is” and “I alone escaped to tell thee.”
Balderdash. What I discovered was a man who takes his craft seriously and fiercely defends others who labor in the field of words. An attack on them was an attack on him, and an attack on him was not to be deflected but returned in kind. “I don’t mind if you think I’m stupid,” he told one antagonist, “it’s just that I resent it when you talk to me as if I’m stupid.”
Even though I had final cut, I ran whole sections past him to get his reaction. He never flinched. In fact, he challenged me to go deeper. It was almost as if – and don’t take this the wrong way – I was Clarice Starling and he was Hannibal Lecter — the more I asked of Harlan, the more I had to give of myself. Both of us put our blood in the book even though I am the author.
So far I've played games with both swampers and danieldwilliam and both of them picked it up quickly and enjoyed playing it.
It's based (surprisingly enough) on the idea behind dominoes - or, at least, the part of dominoes where you have tiles with two ends and need to match them against each other. In this case the different ends are different terrains (grass, mountain, etc), and you score by forming areas of the same terrain*. Each turn you have to make a judgement between going for the tiles that score the highest, versus going for lower-scoring tiles which allow you make the first move the next turn.
I enjoyed it, and I'm definitely taking it on holiday. If you're looking for a filler game then it'll do a great job of that.
*It's a bit more complex than that, but not a lot.
The maze of a suburban cul-de-sac with one road curving into another had Rituja Indapure slightly lost.
A candidate for Sammamish City Council, Indapure was out hitting her turf, knocking on as many doors as possible before the dinner hour began. Visiting with voters, Indapure, an Indian immigrant who has made the Eastside home for the last 25 years, also took time to talk about the high-stakes 45th District state Senate special election unfolding on the Eastside, including parts of Sammamish.
The outcome of the 45th District fight is crucial to Republican control of the state Senate, which rests on a one-vote margin. And Republicans’ control of the Senate has allowed them to bargain as equals with Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee and the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives on the budget and major state legislation.
In the Aug. 1 primary, two high-profile — and high-spending — first time candidates who reflect the district’s growing diversity are battling it out, attempting to build momentum before they face off in November. Indapure supports a fellow Indian-American, Manka Dhingra, a King County senior prosecutor running as a Democrat against Republican Jinyoung Lee Englund, a former staffer for U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and the daughter of Korean immigrants. A third candidate, Parker Harris, a private school teacher, is running a shoestring campaign aiming to tap into constituents’ frustration with both parties.
Washington State Republican Party Chairman Susan Hutchison predicted $10 million could be spent during the fight to fill the vacancy left by the death of Sen. Andy Hill, R-Redmond. By mid July, as primary ballots were reaching voters, over $1.9 million had been raised for the election, according to Washington State Public Disclosure Commission records.
In just the past five years, the Asian population in Sammamish has skyrocketed, growing over 300 percent according to Census data. The rapidly-changing demographic mix mirrors that of other nearby Eastside cities.
“We need to have a more representative government,” Indapure said. “And the onus is on people like me, to be the voice of the community.” So, inspired by Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal’s election as the first Indian-American member of Congress as well as the concern created by the election of President Donald Trump, she’s out campaigning for herself and offering her support to Dhingra.
As classical Indian music floated through the air, shoppers browsed booths scattered outside Sammamish City Hall. Many families lingered at the weekly farmers market, now in its 10th year, where products reflected the changing region. One booth offered residents henna tattoos while another specialized in Asian fruits and vegetables. Food trucks parked nearby sold dishes with Uzbek and Bombay roots to a city that was once a plateau covered in chicken farms and lumber mills overlooking Lake Sammamish.
A 2012 redrawing of the electoral maps placed a larger, more dense swath of Sammamish inside the 45th district, which also stretches across parts of Kirkland and Redmond and encompasses Duvall and Woodinville. Englund and Dhingra’s roots reflect the near tripling of the ethnic Asian population in the 45th district since 2000, when it stood at 8,679, to 2015’s total of 22,436.
The 45th remains one of the few purple districts left in the Puget Sound region, having consistently elected Republicans to the state Senate although residents rejected President Donald Trump by more than 2-to-1.
In November’s aftermath, a handful of community groups have sprung up, established by stunned residents disappointed with the outcome of the presidential election and wanting to do more. Many of them were becoming politically active for the first time.
Om Sharma, a resident of the 45th district, has witnessed a gradual shift among many immigrants, from passive to active community members, over the last 25 years after moving to the United States for graduate school.
“I’ve seen a lot more people, from the Asian-American community and the Indian-American community, now look to how to give back to the state they have adopted,” Sharma said. “People have gotten to a point where they, in some sense, have grown up and are looking around to see what they can do for the community.”
Sharma is leaning toward the Democrat, Dhingra, despite voting for the late Republican, Hill, in the last election. Dhingra’s stance on education and involvement in the community are big draws for Sharma, as is Dhingra’s unwillingness to consider an income tax as a means of raising revenue.
Both candidates, in fact, oppose implementing an income tax to increase state revenues, with Englund making it a top issue for her campaign. With the Seattle City Council recently approving an income tax on the city’s highest earners, Englund’s strong opposition to the tax has resonated with many Republicans in Woodinville.
“The idea of it terrifies people. It just opens up another way for the government to dip their hands into our wallets — at a time when state revenues are at an all-time high,” said Dale Fonk, head of the 45th District Republicans.
“Without much increase in benefit,” another member chimed in, during the group’s monthly meeting inside a small white-clad church in Woodinville. “That’s the most important part. If you’re paying for something you value, that’s one thing; if you’re paying for something you don’t value that’s another.”
Dhingra called Englund’s focus on opposing an income tax a scare tactic.
“An income tax is not even an honest conversation in this state; the only person talking about it is my Republican opponent,” Dhingra said. “Unless it comes down from the Supreme Court or from the people, it really is not a realistic conversation.”
Dhingra, who says new revenue is needed, supports implementing capital gains and polluter taxes while closing tax loopholes.
“We never went and fixed all the [budget] cuts that were made during the time of the recession,” she said.
“And now we are [at] a point of crisis,” she added, referring to the education as well as the mental health and criminal justice systems issues she has worked on for many years as a prosecutor. “If you want to take care of the population, you have to make sure you are investing in the population.”
Englund, who didn’t respond to multiple interview requests, kicked off her campaign in April, promising to work for better funding of education and improve policies for the development disabled. And she emphasized her immigrant roots, calling her family “the embodiment of the American dream.”
The campaign website also describes Englund’s platform as “protecting Washingtonians from a new state income tax, fully funding education, reducing traffic congestion, and grounding skyrocketing car tabs.” In a video on the campaign’s Facebook page, Englund told residents, “I don’t believe it’s an elected official’s job to push a partisan agenda, or frankly my own. The job is to hear from real people in our district and represent them.”
During an interview with Dori Monson of KIRO Radio, Englund said,“This isn’t just a state Senate race. This is a race for all Washingtonians.”
The conservative talk show host — who termed it “critical” to keep Democrats from controlling the Senate — replied, “It’s control of Olympia.”
That’s what has hundreds of Republican and Democratic contributors and volunteers, like Indapure, fired up about supporting their candidates.
FareStart Guest Chef Night
Every Thursday, the nonprofit FareStart hosts its very special Guest Chef Night. A noteworthy chef from Puget Sound takes to the kitchen, creating a unique, seasonal menu and making it alongside FareStart students — low-income men and women in their 16-week culinary training program. The resulting food stands up to any dining experience you’ll have in Seattle, the graduation ceremony is touching and it remains one of the best deals in the city ($29.95 for a 3-course meal!). This week, join Perry Mascitti of Tulalip Resort Casino for a menu that starts off with a Reggiano white anchovy ice cream as the amuse bouche and continues with a sugar snap pea, curry and Dungeness soup; the menu goes on to include nettle butter, chanterelles and grilled cauliflower (vegetarian options also available). If you can’t make it this week, check out other upcoming guest chef nights.
In other exciting news, FareStart is opening three new ventures in South Lake Union: Rise Café, Community Table (BBQ, Bowls, and Salads), and Maslow’s restaurant, set to open July 24.
If you go: Farestart Guest Chef Night, FareStart, 5:30 p.m. every Thursday ($29.95)—N.C.
The “fun” here references funeral. As in, dad is a part-time director of a funeral home whose coffins make for great kids’ hiding places and great fodder for a kid-imagined commercial. What?! Stick with me because not only is dad a closeted homosexual (who commits suicide; we learn that from the outset), his protagonist daughter Alison is also gay and their coming outs frames this genius-of-a musical, which is based on the graphic novel memoir by Alison Bechdel. Alison is played three ways: as a kid, as an adult and (my favorite) as a college student who is not quite sure she’s a lesbian until one fabulous, oh my god/oh my god/oh my god/ last night! encounter with a college student named Joan. The way Abby Corrigan fumbles her first same-sex amorous moment and then belts out a song about the ecstasy of discovering her truth is funny, genuine and heartwarming. A unique father-daughter story whose honesty and poignancy is beautifully captured in music and lyrics by the Tony-award winning team of Jeannine Tesori and Lisa Kron. The final visual and line is perfection.
If you go: Fun Home, 5th Avenue Theatre, Through July 30 (Tickets start at $36)—F.D.
Teatro ZinZanni Costume Sale
If there’s a silver lining to Teatro ZinZanni’s premature vacating of its Seattle Center home (and upcoming October move to Marymoor Park), it’s this sale. As the theater makes more room in storage, they’ll be selling male and female costumes, furniture, lighting and sound equipment and, of course, “fancy hats.” I imagine this to be like the dress-up chest of dreams, but outrageous, well-organized and cared for. As they say in the ad, “Start thinking about your Halloween costume now!”
If you go: Teatro ZinZanni Costume Sale, 4025 21st Ave W (Magnolia), 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 22 (Free)—N.C.
The Little Hours
If Fred Armisen as a priest with a pageboy haircut isn’t enough to tempt you, imagine Nick Offerman in a velvet cloak, and Aubrey Plaza, Kate Micucci and Alison Brie as the crassest nuns you’ve ever seen. Several critics admit The Little Hours may be “a one-joke movie” (Gasp! Raunchy men and women of the cloth!), but it’s so well executed that the film still puts a lot of today’s comedies to shame. If you didn’t catch it at this year’s film festival, you have a whole week to laugh at this film, and then follow it up with a visit to the confession booth.
If you go: The Little Hours, SIFF Cinema Egyptian, through July 27 ($14)—N.C.
Wandering and Wondering
Off-the-beaten path, the expansive and quiet Kubota Garden is especially worthy as a weekend destination in Seattle’s South End. (As a South Ender, I’m always surprised that more people don’t know about this hidden jewel. Or, perhaps that should make me grateful it’s void of crowds). On Sunday, the garden will host a 3-hour butoh performance (butoh is a type of Japanese dance that’s hard-to-define; slow, controlled, sometimes performed wearing white makeup). Not your usual kind of outdoors cultural activity; contemplation encouraged.
If you go: Wandering and Wondering, Kubota Garden, noon to 3 p.m. July 23 (Free)—F.D.
Ah! Wall of text! My eyes!
Maxima’s dialog was supposed to be all background text, like with the foreground stuff overlapping it, but I figured out how to make it all fit, and turned out to be kind of relevant.
BTW Jabber’s real name is Jazmine, she goes by Jazza cause it’s hard to have street cred when you’re rocking a Disney Princess name. Also Jazza sounds cool. Her last name is Ng, pronounced “ing” and she’s half Taiwanese. I know she doesn’t look particularly Asian, but while Lucy Liu is half Chinese and looks Asian as… uh a very Asian looking person… Chloe Bennet, who plays Skye/Daisy/Quake on Agents of SHIELD is also half Chinese, and I was blown away when I learned that, because she does not look Asian to me AT ALL. Apparently she’s a fairly successful pop star over there. So weirdly, Agents of SHIELD is the only show I’m aware of with two Asian leads in it. So my point is, Jazza is half Taiwanese and I can draw her however I like. Thanks Chloe!
Also I’m aware I now have a character named Dabbler and one whose nickname will probably be Jabber on occasion. So no chance that will confuse anyone. Also between her and Jiggawatt I have two “JW’s” which is why Jabberwokky doesn’t have a choker yet. I didn’t have time to design hers. Though Jiggawatt’s choker is just a “J” so it shouldn’t to hard to make them look different.
Also also I kind of didn’t plan that last panel well with the order of the word bubbles and the placement of the characters. The person speaking first should be on the left so their bubble will be above them, but if I had reversed the camera angle to accommodate that, then Max and Arianna wouldn’t in the shot. Oh well, Portals to the rescue.
Two links for those of you who like clicking on things. I was on a webcomic podcast and talked about webcomics mostly.
Also I found a kickstarter for a comic that looks decent. A gal bonds with a goddess and gets all fit and super powered. Really nice art too. Ignore the fact that the title “Patriotika” makes it sound like either a ‘What-If distaff counterpart Captain America but in Russia’ comics, (that should actually be called “Kommissarina Kremlin”) or one of those Poser rendered ‘superheroine loses her powers and gets damsel in distressed’ comics. I know you guys know what I’m talking about. Anyway check it out if you like.
47 people clicked through to that post from Facebook. 5 from Twitter.
The 5 from Twitter all did so within an hour of the post going up.
The 47 from Facebook did so over the course of the following 12 hours (19 of them within an hour, but then an ongoing curve downwards).
Which indicates to me that Facebook does a pretty good job of knowing when something is interesting to my friends, and keeping it "active" for a while, whereas Twitter sweeps it away near-instantly, and unless it really grabs people it's gone.
And looking at my overall referrer stats, Facebook gets between three and six times the number of clicks that Twitter does.
(Just had a look at my actual LJ statistics too - yesterday I had 145 readers, of which 100-ish were reading via their friends-page and 45 were going direct to my posts/journal. Sadly I don't get the same info from DW, but Google Analytics tells me that 78 people visited that post on DW.)