All you can do is the best you can do.

I don't know how people make these descriptions so pithy. American, 34, white, bi/pan, demi, in committed ltr, and I don't have many fandoms but the ones I do I do hard.
AO3: http://archiveofourown.org/users/bomberqueen17

Sep 2

He waited until the train was in motion to make his move—a true sign of someone who knows how to make the environment work to their advantage. Then he leaned forward. “Hi.” “How you doing?” “What are you reading?” “What’s your name?” “I really like your hair.” “That’s a really nice skirt.” “You must work out.”

It was painful to watch. She clearly wanted nothing to do with him, and he clearly wasn’t going to take the hint. Her rebukes got firmer. “I’d like to read my book.” And he pulled out the social pressure. “Hey, I’m just asking you a question. You don’t have to be so rude.” She started to look around for outs. Her head swiveled from one exit to another.

The thing was, I had already heard this story, many many times. I knew how it would play out. I knew all the tropes. I probably could have quoted the lines before they said them. I wanted a new narrative. Time to mix it up.

So I moved seats until I was sitting behind him. I leaned forward with my head on the back of his seat.

"Hi," I said with a little smile.

He looked at me like I was a little crazy—which isn’t exactly untrue—and turned back to her.

"How are you doing?" I asked.

"I’m fine," he said flatly without ever looking back.

"I really like your hair," I said. “It looks soft."

That’s about when it got…..weird.

He sort of half turned and glared back me, and I could tell I was pissing him off. His eyes told me to back the hell away, and his lips were pressed together tightly enough to drain the color from them completely.

But no good story ever ends with the conflict just defusing. He started to turn back to her.

"Wait, don’t be like that," I said. “Lemmie just ask you one question…"

"What!" he said in that you-have-clearly-gone-too-far voice that is part of the freshmen year finals at the school of machismo.

And I’m not exactly a hundred percent sure why I didn’t call it a day at that point, but…..maybe I just love turning the screw to see what happens. I gave him the bedroomy-est eyes I could muster. “What’s your name?”

Right now I’m sitting here typing out this story, and I’m still not entirely sure why I’m not nursing a fat lip or a black eye. Because that obviously made him so mad that I still am not sure why it didn’t come to blows. There are cliches about eyes flaring and rage behind someones eyes and shit like that that are so overdone. But it really does look like that. When someone gets violent, their eyes just kind of “pop” with intention—pupils dilate, eyelids widen. And his did. Even sitting down he was clearly bigger than me and I was pretty sure he was kind of muscular too, so at that moment I was figuring I was probably going to need an ice pack and sympathy sex from my girlfriend by day’s end.

"DUDE," he shouted. “I’M NOT GAY."

That’s when I dropped the bedroom eyes and switched to a normal voice. “Oh well I could see not being interested didn’t matter to you when you were hitting on her, so I just thought that’s how you rolled.”

Writing About Writing (And Occasionally Some Writing): Changing The Creepy Guy Narrative (via veruca-assault)

instant reblog

(via koi-ms)

never hit that reblog so fast in my life. 

(via trikcst3r)

(via dorothyoz39)


mccoydarling said: Please talk forever about Helen and ancient greek you are so enpoint

elucipher:

in the iliad helen speaks the last lament for hector. the only man in troy who showed her kindness is slain—and now, helen says, πάντες δέ με πεφρίκασιν, all men shudder at me. she doesn’t speak in the iliiad again.

homer isn’t cruel to helen; her story is cruel enough. in the conjectured era of the trojan war, women are mothers by twelve, grandmothers by twenty-four, and buried by thirty. the lineage of mycenaean families passes through daughters: royal women are kingmakers, and command a little power, but they are bartered like jewels (the iliad speaks again and again of helen and all her wealth). helen is the most beautiful woman in the world, golden with kharis, the seductive grace that arouses desire. she is coveted by men beyond all reason. after she is seized by paris and compelled by aphrodite to love him against her will—in other writings of the myth, she loves him freely—she is never out of danger.

the helen of the iliad is clever and powerful and capricious and kind and melancholy: full of fury toward paris and aphrodite, longing for sparta and its women, fear for her own life. she condemns herself before others can. in book vi, as war blazes and roars below them, helen tells hector, on us the gods have set an evil destiny: that we should be a singer’s theme for generations to come—as if she knows that, in the centuries after, men will rarely write of paris’ vanity and hubris and lust, his violation of the sacred guest-pact, his refusal to relent and avoid war with the achaeans. instead they’ll write and paint the beautiful, perfidious, ruinous woman whose hands are red with the blood of men, and call her not queen of sparta but helen of troy: a forced marriage to the city that desired and hated her. she is an eidolon made of want and rapture and dread and resentment.

homer doesn’t condemn helen—and in the odyssey she’s seen reconciled with menelaus. she’s worshipped in sparta as a symbol of sexual power for centuries, until the end of roman rule: pausanias writes that pilgrims come to see the remains of her birth-egg, hung from the roof of a temple in the spartan acropolis; spartan girls dance and sing songs praising one another’s beauty and strength as part of rites of passage, leading them from parthenos to nýmphē, virgin to bride. cults of helen appear across greece, italy, turkey—as far as palestine—celebrating her shining beauty; they sacrifice to her as if she were a goddess. much of this is quickly forgotten. 

every age finds new words to hate helen, but they are old ways of hating: deceiver and scandal and insatiate whore. she is euripides’ bitchwhore and hesiod’s kalon kakon (“beautiful evil”) and clement of alexandria’s adulterous beauty and whore and shakespeare’s strumpet and proctor’s trull and flurt of whoredom and schiller’s pricktease and levin’s adulterous witch. her lusts damned a golden world to die, they say. pandora’s box lies between a woman’s thighs. helen is a symbol of how men’s desire for women becomes the evidence by which women are condemned, abused, reviled.  

but no cage of words can hold her fast. she is elusive; she yields nothing. she has outlasted civilisations, and is beautiful still. before troy is ash and ruin she has already heard all the slander of the centuries; and at last she turns her face away—as if to say: i am not for you


bomberqueen17:

oh hey there giant spider!

wait, where’d you go?

ok ok ok ok ok I am never moving from this spot

I am totally fine with spiders 

totally fine

as long as they don’t ever touch me

and okay you’re bigger than my cat why can’t i see where you went

The Eastern Woodlands Greater Arachno-Nope.


oh hey there giant spider!

wait, where’d you go?

ok ok ok ok ok I am never moving from this spot

I am totally fine with spiders 

totally fine

as long as they don’t ever touch me

and okay you’re bigger than my cat why can’t i see where you went


bossladykei:

#dyscalculia #learningdisability #dyscalculia #add #adhd

bossladykei:

#dyscalculia #learningdisability #dyscalculia #add #adhd

(via dyscalculicdolphin)


Sep 1

Little-Known Facts

My parents visited this weekend. My mother is the historian of a little town called Schaghticoke, and has been for most of my life, and knows pretty much everything there is to know about it. Currently, it’s the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, so she has been focusing extensively on the role of our little town in that greater conflict, and of course on the wider ramifications of all the big changes and chaos that happened during that tumultuous era. (For example, the birth of women’s suffrage as a widespread movement can likely be traced to the huge number of upper-middle-class women who gained important managerial and logistical experience in coordinating and running the aid societies that were so crucial to supporting the soldiers of the Union army.)

But one thing I hadn’t known at all was that Schaghticoke was the home of a large gunpowder manufacturing mill. So large, in fact, that it provided over one-quarter of the total amount of gunpowder used by the Union Army in the conflict. [The area still has a major fireworks manufacturing facility; apparently we’ve always been a touch explosive.]

That’s kind of neat to know. But what did that mean? Well, Mom hasn’t been able to find out how it was transported, primarily. By rail seems so risky, with the threat of sparks. We do know that it was mostly taken down to the city of Troy, where it was packaged into cartridges.

And here’s the really haunting fact: it was discovered during this era that for mass manufacture of gunpowder cartridges, children of nine or ten years old were the perfect combination of hand-eye coordination and small fingers. 

So almost all of the cartridges used in the Civil War were rolled in factories by children. Child labor was the rule rather than the exception at the time, but I had never considered, before, that particular item. Because of course you couldn’t use a machine, there would be too great a threat of accidental combustion. The children worked in shifts, 24 hours a day, and the rooms had to be lit by lamps on the far sides of windows, because there could be no flames near the gunpowder. 

You read about the big battles and tactics, you read about the generals and the politicians, you read about the feats of derring-do, but you never really consider the brute-force logistics that made it al possible.


Aug 31

The Places Fandom Dwells: A Cautionary Tale

mizstorge:

Just about seven years ago, on 29 May 2007, hundreds of fans with accounts at Livejournal woke uo make the shocking discovery that their blogs, and those of some of their friends and favorite fandom communities, had been deleted without prior notice.

It’s estimated that Livejournal suspended approximately 500 blog accounts. The only notice of this was was the strike through the names of the suspended blogs, which led to this event being called Strikethrough.

At the time, Livejournal was the primary blogging platform for fandom. Its friends list and threaded conversations enabled fans to find each other and have discussions. Its privacy settings allowed fans to share as much or as little as they chose. It was a place to publish and archive fan fic, art, and meta. These features give some idea why the deletions of so many fandom blogs had been so devastating.

Speculation and uncertainty were rampant during the two days it took for Livejournal to finally respond to demands from users for information. At first, LJ stated only that it had been advised that journals listing an illegal activity as an interest could be regarded as soliciting for that illegal activity, which put the site at legal risk. It was eventually revealed that Livejournal and its owners at the time, Six Apart, had been contacted by a group calling themselves Warriors for Innocence, a conservative Christian organization with ties to the militia movement who accused LJ of being a haven for pedophiles and child pornography.

LJ had based the account suspensions on the tags used in LJ blogs. LJ users list their interests in their profiles, and those interests functions as tags. LJ took the blanket view that there was no difference between blogs listing “rape”.”incest”, or “pedophilia” among their interests, and blogs with posts tagged “rape”. “incest”, or “pedophilia”. As a consequence, some of the accounts that were suspended were support sites for rape survivors and gay teens, as well as the fandom sites that posted book discussions, RP, fan fiction, and fan art.

Livejournal grudgingly issued a partial apology to users on 31 May, but it took months for the organization to sort through the suspended blogs. According to Livejournal, most of the suspended accounts were restored. Not all of the suspended accounts were restored, and some of those that weren’t belonged to the support groups and fandoms.

One result of Strikethrough was that many communities and individual fans locked their blogs so the content could be viewed only community members, or those on their friends lists. Other fans opened accounts at blogging platforms like JournalFen, The Greatest Journal, or Insane Journal. There was definitely an atmosphere of mistrust and paranoia that hadn’t previously existed, and part of the problem was that Livejournal had not come through with promised clarification about what sort of content violated the ToS.

So, of course, it happened all over again.

On 3 August, Livejournal once again suspended a number of accounts without warning. This time, the account names were bolded, and the event became known as Boldthrough.

These deletions were the result of decisions made by a group consisting of members of LiveJournal’s Abuse Prevention Team, made up of LiveJournal employees and Six Apart staff, that had been set up to review blog content. This group was had been empowered to declare blog content offensive, a violation of the ToS that was defined by the team as content not containing enough serious artistic value to offset the sexual nature of the material. The team was empowered to terminate accounts without warning.

Anxious and angry LJ users waited ten days until LJ issued a response. Eventually, the ToS was changed to state that accounts deemed in violation of the ToS would in future be deleted only if the offender refused to delete offending content.

Just a few days before Strikethrough, LJ user astolat proposed a new blogging platform and fan fic archive, one that would be be created by fans, for fans. This was the birth of the Organization for Transformative Works, a non-profit organization dedicated to provide access to fanworks, and to protect and defend fanworks from commercial exploitation and legal challenge. Strikethrough and Boldthrough definitely pushed the project along. OTW opened DreamWidth in beta mode in April 2009, and began open beta testing of Archive of Our Own in November 2009.

In mid-January 2010, DreamWidth came under pressure by an undisclosed group who tried to convince DW’s server and PayPal, among others, that DW was a platform for child pornography. DW refused to give in to the harassment and intimidation, and promptly notifed users about the situation. The only consequence of the group’s pressure was that new requests for paid services were temporarily put on hold until DW was able to find a new payment processor service. DW remained true to its Guiding Principles by keeping users informed throughout this incident, and respecting freedom of expression by refusing to delete any posts or blogs to satisfy the demands of the group of trolls.

Which brings us to Tumblr.

Tumblr was launched in 2007. While not all fans have embraced it, citing reasons like character restrictions in replies and asks and the difficulty of finding others who share one’s fandom, it’s certain that the majority of fandoms are well-represented.

However, in July 2013, fans once again expressed outrage when Tumblr - without warning – removed accounts flagged as “NSFW” or “Adult” from public searches, made those blogs inaccessible to Tumblr users not already following them, and deleted a number of tags from its mobile app, including #gay, #lesbian and #bisexual. In a manner unsettlingly reminiscent of Strikethrough and Boldthrough, Tumblr did not immediately respond, and the response posted 24 hours later was widely regarded as a non-apology apology. Tumblr claimed it had been trying to get rid of commercial porn blogs, and eventually asserted that all the removed accounts had been reinstated.

If there’s a lesson to be learned from this, it’s that which George Santayana proclaimed: Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Most blogging and social networking sites are in business to make a profit, and fandoms make them uncomfortable. They inevitably take steps to control the content being posted, to keep outside groups or their new owners happy, disrupting fandoms and deleting material that fans had considered to be safely stored.

The only solution I can see is for fans to copy and back up the things that are important. Maintain active accounts at several sites. Keep a list of your friends’ pseudonyms and emails.

Because the only thing that’s certain is that it’s going to happen again, when we least expect it.

I highly recommed that you read A brief history of fandom, for the teenagers on here who somehow think tumblr invented fandom: by ofhouseadama.


This article is still being revised. I intend to eventually make proper footnotes at some point, but until then, here’s a list of sources I used in writing this article:

http://astolat.livejournal.com/150556.html

http://astridv.livejournal.com/84769.html

http://boingboing.net/2007/05/31/lj-purge-drama-who-a.html

http://www.dailydot.com/culture/livejournal-decline-timeline/

http://www.dailydot.com/lifestyle/tumblr-nsfw-content-tags-search/

http://www.dailydot.com/opinion/tumblr-statement-banned-hashtags/

http://www.dailydot.com/society/pros-cons-tumblr-livejournal-fandom/

http://www.dailydot.com/society/tracking-livejournal-fandom-diaspora-infographic/

http://dw-news.dreamwidth.org/16590.html?view=top-only#comments

http://elke-tanzer.dreamwidth.org/951013.html

http://fanlore.org/wiki/Archive_Of_Our_Own

http://fandom-flies.livejournal.com/profile

http://fanlore.org/wiki/Boldthrough

http://fanlore.org/wiki/Dreamwidth

http://fanlore.org/wiki/LiveJournal

http://fanlore.org/wiki/Strikethrough

http://fanlore.org/wiki/Tumblr

http://fanthropology.livejournal.com/374988.html

http://hatteress.tumblr.com/post/55834911159/tumblrs-new-nsfw-restrictions-and-why-turning-off-safe

http://innocence-jihad.livejournal.com/159327.html

http://innocence-jihad.livejournal.com/31786.html

http://liz-marcs.livejournal.com/283323.html

http://liz-marcs.livejournal.com/283781.html

http://metafandom.livejournal.com/114942.html

http://www.metafilter.com/61636/livejournal-suspends-hundreds-of-accounts#1712054

http://missmediajunkie.blogspot.com/2013/05/why-i-dont-use-tumblr.html

http://news.cnet.com/Mass-deletion-sparks-LiveJournal-revolt/2100-1025_3-6187619.html

http://staff.tumblr.com/post/55906556378/all-weve-heard-from-a-bunch-of-you-who-are

http://www.supernaturalwiki.com/index.php?title=LJ_Strikethrough_2007#After_the_Strikethrough_-_On_to_Boldthrough

http://tech.firstpost.com/news-analysis/the-death-of-the-blog-and-the-rise-of-tumblr-210071.html

http://transformativeworks.org/sites/default/files/OTW_Annual_Report_2007.pdf

http://www.dailydot.com/business/yahoo-tumblr-fandom-lessons/

https://zine.openrightsgroup.org/features/2012/fandom:-open-culture-vs.-closed-platforms

http://www.zdnet.com/after-backlash-yahoos-tumblr-quietly-restores-adult-nsfw-blogs-7000018342/

(via vulgarweed)


oh my god

oh my god

(via lets-talk-dyscalculia)


You can enjoy something without having to comprehend it. You can appreciate a melody without knowing what notes it consists of. You don’t need to “get” me or what I do. I’m not here to be understood, I’m here to be experienced. I’m not here to impress you. I’m here to party with you…

What’s all the rest of this madness for otherwise? What are all our ceaseless efforts for if not to earn us moments of pure euphoria and elation? Are we not meant to be in a state of energized enthusiasm about our own existence? Isn’t that an evolutionary survival technique anyway — so that we want to stay alive and press on — because we have joy to look forward to? I’m pretty sure that the end result of all our work, all our battling, and all our pain and suffering isn’t to see how serious and grim we can be. The darker the world, the more we must increase our efforts to stay in the light — and to defend that light from the encroaching shadow. If there is such a thing as evil, it wants nothing more than to have us believe that feeling joy is wrong.

We must be brave enough to wholeheartedly deny all the forces working to crush our spirit. We must not let devastation and death remove the joy from life. Existence is confusing and challenging enough as it is. Taking it too seriously and removing the few opportunities for unadulterated cheerfulness does not alleviate us of this burden — it weighs us down further and saps our strength until all we can do is plod along towards the void without any relief. The more appropriate response to life is to remain at play and in awe, not to mock the severity of our collective plight, but to truly stay engaged in the bewildering and ferocious grandeur of this adventure we’re on together. Whether we like it or not, we were all invited to this party and we must work to have the best time we can while we’re all here.

Having the strength to smile, to stay close to joy, and to stay close to each other will see us through our darkest and most challenging ordeals. It’s not as easy as being glum and cold, but it’s worth the extra effort. Believing that joy is wrong is the most violent disrespect to our inherent nature as loving, pleasure seeking creatures. Let us elevate ourselves and embrace our highest and mightiest capacity for happiness. This life is our chance to unleash as much joy onto the world as we can. Let us make that joy together. Let us cheer each other up and cheer each other on. Let us party and party as hard as we can. After all, we can’t save the world in a bad mood.

Musician and all-around great dude Andrew W.K. answering a reader’s criticism that his belief in partying makes it difficult to take him seriously.

The whole response is beautiful. This is particularly poignant this week:

The darker the world, the more we must increase our efforts to stay in the light — and to defend that light from the encroaching shadow.

Never think you’re insignificant, my friends. You’re all invited to party with me.

(via cognitivedissonance)

My roller derby team has a signed 8x10 of Andrew W.K. in which he exhorts us to party. We have followed this to a threepeat season championship. It is important. <also this is a beautiful little essay..

(via queerly-it-is)


My parents are visiting. My mother just walked up the road to the 7-11 and was informed that ‘due to a printing issue’ they haven’t been receiving the New York Times Sunday Edition. Very dismaying, it’s a Sunday ritual for her to read the paper and do the puzzle. 

Anyway. Dad thinks it’s a conspiracy by Andrew Cuomo. 


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