rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
In case anyone's got some spare cash they found down the back of the sofa:

The National Immigration Law Center have donation-matching up to $100,000 to help them create a Rapid Response Fund:

Donate to NILC

Planned Parenthood Action have donation-matching up to $350,000:

Donate to PP

The Climate Science Legal Defence Fund have matching up to $50,000:

Donate to the CSLDF

The National Network of Abortion Funds have matching up to $50,000, and their solicitation e-mail ends "Let’s fund abortion, build power, and radically love each other," bless them (they're also the only organization I've encountered where a staff member has their preferred pronouns in their sig, which makes me feel warm and fuzzy):

Donate to the NNAF

If you know of others, please comment!

(X-posted to [community profile] thisfinecrew.)

The Blood is the Life for 28-06-2017

Jun. 28th, 2017 11:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
miss_s_b: Vince Cable's happy face (Politics: Vince - happy face)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
Definitely not standing: Jo Swinson, Jamie Stone, Layla Moran, Wera Hobhouse, Tom Brake, Tim Farron, Alistair Carmichael, Norman Lamb, Ed Davey
Probably not standing: Stephen Lloyd, Christine Jardine
Probably standing:
Definitely standing: Vince Cable

... Oh arse.

Look, coronations are bad. The "candidate" does not get examined, does not get their feet held to whatever fire the membership is stoking, does not have to state any positions before the crown is lowered. Recent political leaders who have had a coronation rather than an election include TMay, Arlene Foster, and Gordon Brown. We do not want to be in that company.

But even if coronations were ok, the coronation of someone who's published views are 1, so often at odds with the membership and 2, so changeable depending on who he is talking to... Lads, this is really, really, REALLY not good. And given the article I linked to in the very first piece I wrote on potential leadership elections after the GE, this whole situation smells really fucking funny and I do not like it one bit.

I'm in conversation with a bunch of other senior Lib Dems members of the awkward squad to try to do something about this. I mean, if there was a proper election and the members decided that Vince was the best person, that's one thing, but this is just a subversion of party democracy, and I hate it. Eurgh.

But if we can't do something about it... I don't know. The scissors are feeling very close to my membership card right now.

ETA: OfC given the legendary efficiency of the LDHQ membership department, if I were to cut up my membership card and send it back we'd probably have had another 2 general elections before they got round to processing my resignation...

Charles Hamilton Sorley, d. 1918

Jun. 27th, 2017 09:24 pm
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
[personal profile] mme_hardy
A good WWI poem, to take the last out of your mouth.

 When you see millions of the mouthless dead
Across your dreams in pale battalions go,
Say not soft things as other men have said,
That you'll remember. For you need not so.
Give them not praise. For, deaf, how should they know
It is not curses heaped on each gashed head?
Nor tears. Their blind eyes see not your tears flow.
Nor honour. It is easy to be dead.
Say only this, “They are dead.” Then add thereto,
“Yet many a better one has died before.”
Then, scanning all the o'ercrowded mass, should you
Perceive one face that you loved heretofore,
It is a spook. None wears the face you knew.
Great death has made all his for evermore.

Strange artifacts

Jun. 27th, 2017 09:12 pm
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
[personal profile] mme_hardy
I was looking for the text of a song I sang (as part of a chorus) in college; it was a setting of Sara Teasdale's "Pierrot stands in a garden".  I fell over a 19-teens anthology that is entirely poems about Pierrot.    I remember reading Murder Must Advertise and having no idea at all who Pierrot, Pierrette, and Columbine were.   Why did the Commedia dell'arte characters make so little of a lasting mark in American culture?  (Or, can it be, in my head?)

edit: I have just run into the section of WW1 poems about Pierrot.  Bizarre.

PIERROT AT WAR
A Year ago in Carnival
We danced till break of day;
A year ago in Carnival
The boulevards were gay;
And roses shook the whispering air,
Like a great sibilant soft fanfare.
 
In Carnival, in Carnival,
A Prince of Magic comes,
To the sound of fifes, and the sound of horns,
And the sound of little drums.

A year ago in Carnival,
The lamps along the quays
Lay softer on the misty night
Than stars in leafy trees,
And down the ribboned sparkling street
Pierrot ran on twinkling feet.
 
Ah year! — There is no Carnival:
The north burns dusky red,
And on the white of Pierrot's brow
Is a long scar instead;
While ever the muttering runs
From the bleeding lips of the guns.
 
This year, this year at Carnival 
A Prince of Magic comes, 
With blood-red crest against the sky 
And a snarl of angry drums. 
 
Maxwell Struthers Hurt

The bespectacled wizard grimaced....

Jun. 27th, 2017 09:40 pm
tree_and_leaf: HMS Surprise sailing away over calm sea, caption "Sail away" (Sail away)
[personal profile] tree_and_leaf
In Potter related news (is it really twenty years? And how many friends would I not have made were it not for Potter?), Stephen Bush of the New Staggers has done a director's commentary of his ancient Harry Potter fic, and it's one of the funniest things I've read in ages.

(He had an LJ aged 12? Precocious or what?)

omg missy

Jun. 27th, 2017 03:38 pm
fahrbotdrusilla: ([tdkr] Catwoman)
[personal profile] fahrbotdrusilla
you are delightful.
capriuni: Text: If you want to be a Hero, be Good to the Storyteller. (Default)
[personal profile] capriuni
The Monsters' Rhapsody: Disability, Culture, & Identity entered the world as an ink-and-paper bundle of joy on August 4, 2016.

In that time, 17 copies have sold: 3 to me (for technical reasons) and 14 to other people.

Somewhere on YouTube, I watched a vid of a panel of authors talking about self publishing, and one of them said that even when you get published via the traditional route (unless you're a Big Name Author that the publishing house is actively promoting), selling 200 copies a year is par for the course.

Considering that she was talking about prose books, and (if I recall correctly) her own work was of a traditional fiction sub-genre, and my book is poetry and it has an esoteric focus (unlike, say love poetry, or straight-up autobiography/confessional/abuse survival), I'm rather pleased to be within sight of 10% of that.*

Anyway, yesterday, I got it into head to try and convert my book from ink-and-paper to pixel-and-silicon by August 4, this year. ...

And this was after the computer I composed the book on died, so I had to re-download the PDF Lulu.com has on file, and go through the whole thing and rework the format to make it ebook compatible. ... My Inner Critic is fretting and chewing her fingernails, 'cause whoever first composed ebook algorithms didn't take the requirements of poetry into account at all (like allowing extra lines between stanzas).

So wish me luck.



*(shameless plug) If you'd like to help me get to a full 10% of Par For the Course, you can buy the book either at Lulu.com (where there's a 20% discount, and I earn $1.69):

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.


or on Amazon (where there is no discount, and I earn $0.03 from the U.S., and $0.33 from the UK [no, I have no idea why I get more money from a foreign-to-me seller])
(/shameless plug)
hannah: (Zach and Claire - pickle_icons)
[personal profile] hannah
My family's going to Denmark in a couple of months. For the first time, I'm included in the group. So I'll be going to Denmark in the first weekend of September.

It'd be easy to extend the trip for a few days, fly back to the US from Paris or London, see people I've never hugged or only met face-to-face once before. Or fly back to somewhere else! See someone in Canada, maybe, or Iowa or California, get a chance to...

But I don't think I could manage. I've got classes, for one, and dropping a full semester of them would push completion even further away and I don't want to be stuck in it longer than I need to be. My job's flexible enough I can take a good chunk of time off if I let them know months ahead of time and still be able to return without much disruption to my place there. So there's both of those things. One or the other could maybe be pushed aside for a little while. But not both.

It used to be I had all the possible time on my hands, but nobody to see and no way to visit them. Now I have people to see and the capacity to travel, but no time to see them. Seems fitting to my life, really.

State of the SB

Jun. 27th, 2017 11:22 am
miss_s_b: (Mood: Drama queen)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
Hate everything.
Having cashflow problems, some of which are my fault, and some of which are other people's fault, and all of which are beyond my control and therefore incredibly frustrating.
Cashflow problems meaning I am having to cancel on commitments, which I hate doing.
Politics in general is full of arseholes who keep arsing.
Work is frustrating, because I can't do the things I need to do for various stupid reasons (also beyond my control).
Have had no sleep and lots of pointless arguments with members of household, which means I am dangerously low on spoons, grumpy and frazzled.
And to top it all, my right tit is a big scabby painful mess.

Here's hoping you lot are all a bit happier...

Munich Film Festival II

Jun. 27th, 2017 11:28 am
selenak: (Orson Welles by Moonxpoints5)
[personal profile] selenak
The Infiltrator was part of the Bryan Cranston retrospective and basically came across as a well-made routine thriller without anything being either bad or having anything innovative going for it. I.e. if you've watched thrillers about undercover cops working to bring a drug cartel down, you can predict all of the story beats. (Other than one spoilerly bit ).) It's entertaining and does what it sets out to do, and needless to say Cranston is reliably good in the part, but I wouldn't say it's a must.

City of Ghosts, otoh, was a fantastic documentary, directed by Matthew Heineman, about the citizen journalist group Raqqa is being slaughtered silently (RBBS). Before I watched it, I was unfamiliar with the phrase "citizen journalist" , but it's really a perfect description, because before the IS came to Raqqa, only one of them was a journalist, the rest had professions like high school math teacher or engineer. Nonetheless, they took incredible risks getting out photos and film evidence of the atrocities the so called Islamic State visited - and still visits upon their city. The surviving founders of the group had to flee but they still have some members in Raqqa, trying their best to continue getting material out. I'm always hesitant to use the phrase "real life heroes", but these people are truly heroic, and one thing that galls me especially is that when they've made it alive to Germany and safety, they promptly run into one anti-refugees march by the godawful AFD in Berlin.

The documentary starts during the "Arab Spring" in 2012, for which the Assad Regime going after Raqqa school children was one of the local triggers, and ends last year. We follow the core group of RBBS; Heineman is an invisible presence, he lets them narrate their stories, and when there's background information/exposition, such the way the IS uses the media for recruitment changed radically from the very early static speech videos to the Hollywood style big production videos that came into use after the fall of Raqqa, the activists are doing the explaining (subtitled, for the most part, everyone talks in Arabic) while the audience sees excerpts of the videos in question. BTW, I'd never seen an IS recruitment video before, and I have to say, the exact copying of action movie gimmicks and aesthetics (complete with following-the-bullet shots, soundtrack, etc.) is nearly as unsettling as the content. It's not much of a comfort that RBBS was able to puncture the IS self image enough by getting videos and photos showing the true state of Raqqa out to counteract the IS claims about it that the IS forbade any satelites in Raqqa and ordered the inhabitants to publically destroy theirs, so they regain control of the imagery. But it's something.

If the excerpts from the IS videos go for action movie gloss on violence, the mobile phone camera made videos of the RBBS are shaky, abruptly cut off, full of (inevitably) strange angles - and shocking in quite a different way. For example, the first time we see executions, the abrupt deaths and the already dead bodies lying around are bad enough, but without either the camera or any narrator pointing this out, what is as gruesome is what you see in the background. Yes, these are heads on pikes on what used to be the town square, not cheap movie props in the latest zombie splatter, but real human heads.

There's a lot of survivors guilt among the activists; one of them had to watch his father being executed in punishment, all of them are directly threatened by the IS who calls for their deaths, one lost his brother who was among the refugees who drowned in the Mediterranean, and when he talks about his dead brother, he says he still sends him messages per Facebook (as the account hasn't been taken down). "I am broken, my brother. Broken." And yet, and yet, they still continue to risk their lives. There's also a lot of comraderie we see, being physically comfortable with each other, and the rare moment of pure joy, such as everyone having a snowball fight in Berlin. You feel for them, and admire them - and hope the movie will be seen by as many people as possible. Maybe it will remind them that 95% of the victims of IS terrorism are Muslims - and said victims won't, shan't be silenced, are doing their best to fight back.

L'Intrusa, directed by Leonardo di Costanzo, is, like The Infiltrator, "based on a true story", with organized crime in the background, but the contrast couldn't be greater. While delivering a tight narration, there's nothing routine or slick about this movie, which is set in Naples and manages to avoid every single cliché. The fact you don't see the Vesuvio or the bay anywhere is just one of them; L'Intrusa is set in one of the poor quarters. The central characteris Giovanna, who has organized a miixture of daycare centre and social centre for kids and teenagers to offer them a life off the streets. When the film starts, the centre is well established and has been running for years, has been embraced by the neighborhood - but then something happens that puts Giovanna in an unsolvable dilemma. One of the small to mid level gangster's wives - Maria - and her two children have come to the centre, claiming refuge. Giovanna, Maria's daughter Rita and Maria are the three main characters; the supporting cast is also individualized, from Giovanna's right hand woman Sabina to the widow of a man Maria's husband has shot to the little daughter whose father was beaten to a pulp by Maria's husband right in front of her.

L'Intrusa never shows on screen violence. It doesn't show the Camorra doing what the Camorra does, but the after effects are present everywhere. This was a deliberate choice by the director, who in the Q & A said that if you depict Mafiosi "from the front", i.e. put them in the centre of the narration, even if you position them as villains, you end up making them in some ways sympathetic or even glorify them. "So, in my films, I only come at them sideways" - i.e. they're not there on screen, but there's no mistaking the terribile effect they have. Now, the centre is a film full of life and joy, with a community acting together, and it's rare and very attractive to see that. But it's not utopia, and in fact the need for it directly grows out of the unseen horrors around it. Not surprisingly, more and more parents object to Maria's presence. Giovanna gets accused of prioritizing the perpretators over their victims. The aunt of the little girl who has seen her father beaten into a pulp demands to know how she should justify to her sister letting her niece interact, let alone play with Rita, what that would do to her niece. Things come to a head when Rita and some of the kids argue, a normal kids' argument, with the parents drawn into, but Maria isn't just any parent, and so when she says "if you touch my daughter again etc.", the awareness that this is the wife of someone who casually kills people, even if he's currently arrested and hopefully won't get out of prison any time soon, makes this a direct threat to the other kids.

Otoh, Giovanna's argument is: if you ever want to break the cycle of violence, you need to make sure that the Marias of the world don't raise their children to follow their fathers' footsteps. That these children learn other values, learn something different. If she turns these children away from the centre, this will not happen.

As I said: it's an unsolvable dilemma, and the movie doesn't simplify it. It even adds to the stakes because Maria at first comes across as arrogant and rude (it's not until well into the film when you see her alone that you realise she's shattered and scared as well). Not to mention that she starts out by deceiving Giovanna, and there's early on not much to justify Giovanna's hope that Maria actually wants a change for herself and her children - nothing but the fact Maria is here instead of being with her rich sister-in-law, who in the movie shows up twice in a big car to retrieve Maria, in vain, and evidently lives the well funded Mafia spouse life. Basically: you understand where everyone is coming from.

Something else I learned in the Q & A was that most of the actors were lay actors, actual Neapolitans whose main job is in social service (though no one played themselves), with Giovanna being played by a woman who is a dancer and dance choreographer. "Because Giovanna doesn't say much, she's so stoic, she expresses herself through her body language," said the director, "I wanted someone who could do that, that's why I picked Raffaela Giordano." Who indeed is able to express much by the way she looks at people, by her movements, and who looks like she's closer to 50 than to 40. Everyone looks "normal", i.e. like people you could meet on the streets, not like well styled actors with a daily workout. But none act amateurishly in the sense that you're taken outside the story or feel they're talking stiltedly; given Rita and the other children are a big part of the story, that's especially amazing.

Favourite detail: one of the projects the kids in the centre work on, and the one Rita falls in love with and participates with, is building a robot they name "Mr. Jones" out of old bicycle parts. You can bet that in most other movies, Rita and her baby brother would have changed placed in age and it would have been a little boy fascinated with the robot.

In conclusion: probably my favourite movie so far, and highly reccomended
umadoshi: (Deadline Russian cover)
[personal profile] umadoshi
New DW Communities

[dreamwidth.org profile] drawesome is "a friendly community of fan-artists who enjoy drawing. We hope to inspire and motivate each other to practice and hone our drawing skills in a stress-free, supportive environment."

[dreamwidth.org profile] comicsroundtable is "a fannish community for comics discussion, reviews, and general chat."


Fannish/Geeky Things

Neat Twitter thread on Wonder Woman costuming, written by a costume designer.

"Wonder Woman Actor Says Chief Is Actually a Demi-God". [io9]

"Dungeons & Dragons Wouldn’t Be What It Is Today Without These Women".

"More Murderbot Adventures from Martha Wells". [Tor.com]


Miscellaneous

"Disney Princesses Reimagined Years Later As Queens By Daughters And Mothers". "The main idea was to portray the relationship between a true mother and daughter as the same princesses a generation apart to show the similarities, the features that are alike." (Related ~10-minute YouTube video, which I haven't watched.)

"Report Finds Diverse Movies Outperform White Ones At Every Level".

"Declawing: A new study shows we can’t look the other way".

"Host a Silent Reading Party in 7 Easy Steps". [Book Riot]

"Why Honeybees Are The Wrong Problem To Solve".

"Invention Saves Wildlife From Drowning in Swimming Pools".

"Sitka artist designs slinky dress from 20,000 salmon bones".

"How I use comic books as a learning tool in my social studies classroom". [March 2016]



On Atlas Obscura:

--"Most of the World’s Bread Clips Are Made by a Single Company".

--"Jupiter Is Even Weirder Than We Thought".

--"Laurel Dinosaur Park: This dig site outside D.C. is known for its exceptionally high density of baby dinosaur fossils and dinosaur eggs".

--"The Wartime Spies Who Used Knitting as an Espionage Tool".

It's just a mountain, I can move it

Jun. 26th, 2017 06:12 pm
musesfool: art deco brandy ad (been drinking since half-past three)
[personal profile] musesfool
I was completely useless last night after several hours of day drinking. it was a lot of fun, but oy the headache that hit around 7 pm! Even though we definitely hydrated.

Now I have version 3 of some sort of bug bite balm cooling on the counter - it uses coconut oil, which I don't really like the smell of, so hopefully the tea tree oil, peppermint, lemongrass, and lavender essential oils will cover that up. Though I would bear the smell if it meant the itching stopped.

I know I said I was done with trying to make anti-itch cream - hot water, ice, and rubbing alcohol in conjunction with benadryl and zyrtec seem to work best, tbh - but I figured third time's the charm? And I had all the ingredients so...I guess we'll see. Or maybe I am just super itchy, since i am super allergic to bites and swell up and get all welty.

I guess that's all the exciting news from here.

***
colls: (SW Leia)
[personal profile] colls posting in [community profile] rocinante


~ Official Site

Welcome to episode 9/10 (they aired together, are on the DVD together and are listed together on syfy.com)

Episode Summary )

Three things:
1) The SyFy Episode Recap
2) Blue is the hungriest color on The Expanse
3) The True Enemy is Revealed in The Expanse: “Critical Mass” and “Leviathan Wakes”"

Please share your thoughts about the episode in the comments.
Some possible topics (but please share anything):
- What were your thoughts about the episode(s)?
- What was your favorite quote?
- The protomolecure: was this the alien encounter you were expecting??
- What are your overall thoughts of season 1?

Episode list )

Housekeeping:
Don't forget to note any SPOILERS for upcoming episodes in the comment subject line for anyone who's watching along for the first time.

(no subject)

Jun. 26th, 2017 09:15 pm
such_heights: amy deep in thought (who: amy [dust after rain])
[personal profile] such_heights
It occurs to me I've been on twitter a lot the last two months, but nowhere else. So - hi. Still here. Grieving, but here.

Comments disabled as I think I've had as much sympathy as I can handle (it's much appreciated, just A Lot sometimes).

<3
lizvogel: Good / Bad (Good Bad)
[personal profile] lizvogel
Because I couldn't find this when I wanted it, I am now posting it here (and bookmarking it everywhere I thought it ought to be).

Oblique strategies was originally a set of cards created by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt used to break deadlocks in creative situations, and is now a website. Each "card" contains a (sometimes cryptic) remark, the pondering of which may help you resolve a creative dilemma.

Spoilers, sweetie

Jun. 26th, 2017 07:32 pm
nineveh_uk: Cover illustration for "Strong Poison" in pulp fiction style with vampish Harriet. (Strong Poison)
[personal profile] nineveh_uk
Some recent media viewing

Versailles

It's absolute tosh, but it's fun tosh. There's a 10 minute section after each episode in which they tell you which bits are actually vaguely connected to reality, and which aren't. For someone with very little knowledge of the history of the period it manages to be quite educational. I certainly had no idea that in 1672 the Dutch Prime Minister was set upon by a mob in The Hague who not only killed, but possibly ate parts of him.

On another note, Wikipedia led me to this portrait of Louis XIV showing an early example of the contorted breasts and bum figure so beloved of bad film posters and novel covers.

My Cousin Rachel

Did Daphne de Maurier have an ill-advised affair with someone she met at a continental holiday resort? It would explain a lot. I enjoyed this very much, and finally found out the ending having somehow managed to avoid spoilers for about 20 years since I heard the first half as a radio play. I should like to read the book; the film maintained the ambiguity well, but I wonder how much the story relies for its depth on a certain interiority that is hard to maintain on film, but I can imagine being there in a novel.

Doctor Who

I've enjoyed this series very much in a low-key kind of way. I've really enjoyed Capaldi, and Peal Mackie is excellent as Bill. It's been nice to have a companion with no particular mystery or backstory to her, just someone going round the galaxy having adventures with the Doctor, and Mackie portrays a combination of cheerful friendliness and curiosity that works very well. Not to mention added fun from Michelle Gomez as the Master.

Read more... )

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