[syndicated profile] racialicious_feed

Posted by Racialicious Team

If you missed our first call, don’t sweat — we’re still looking to hear from any creators of color heading to San Diego Comic-Con next week.

To recap: If you’re going to be an exhibitor or presenter during the convention, or know someone who is, drop us a line in the comment thread here, or at team@racialicious.com and we’ll boost the signal as part of our SDCC preview, which will also our looks at the programming. Just let us know where to find you both at the event and online.

Also, stick around during the con, as Kendra & Arturo bring you live-tweets and images throughout the weekend!

Top image by Kevin Dooley via Flickr Creative Commons

The post Last Call For The Racialicious SDCC Creators Of Color Round-up appeared first on Racialicious - the intersection of race and pop culture.

The Ghost in the Crown - Act 1

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015 05:37 pm
marnanel: (Default)
[personal profile] marnanel

What if Dr Seuss had written Hamlet?


The sun did not shine.
There were clouds overhead.
I sat in the castle
And wished I was dead.
My father had perished.
My dad lost his life.
My uncle usurped him
And married his wife!
An action more evil
Than man should commit.
And I did not like it!
Not even one bit!

My mother, the queen,
And her husband, her kin,
They knocked on the door.
They said “May we come in?”
They opened the door
Of the room where I sat.
And they said to me,
“Why do you sit there like that?
Did you know derrières
Are a bit like your dad?
For everyone’s got one.
(Or everyone had.)
You cried for a night
When he died without warning.
But you can have lots
of good fun in the morning!
There’s plenty of fathers!
They’re twenty a dime!
They don’t last forever.
They die all the time!
So stop going round
In a suit of black cloth.
You’re sure to be sad
If you dress like a goth.
Don’t run off to college.
Just chill for a while.
Now I’m your new father.
So give us a smile!”

And then I was sadder
Than ever I’ve felt.
My body’s alive
But I wished it would melt.
My mum, like a beast,
With my uncle was lying,
In less than a month
From her mourning and crying.
They jumped into bed
While her tears were undried,
And I wished that the Lord
Would allow suicide.

My friends came to tell me,
“Come quickly! Come down!
We’ve seen on the ramparts
A GHOST in a CROWN!
It gave us a fright
Like we never have had!
It shines in the dark!
And it looks like your dad!”

I went to the ramparts
High over the town.
I looked! And I saw him!
The GHOST in the CROWN!

He said, “Listen closely,
For everyone’s sake!
They said I was killed
By a venomous snake.
My bruv did the deed!
Not a serpent that hisses!
He wants to be king
And to sleep with my missus!
Tell your uncle from me
He’s a murdering swine!
Or your haircut will look
Like a mad porcupine!”


I’ll be posting these over the next few days, one for each of the five acts of Hamlet. When I’m done I’ll work on some illustrations. Feedback and sharing are very welcome.

(no subject)

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015 12:33 pm
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Scott's phone interview yesterday seems to have gone reasonably well. We're a little worried by the fact that they didn't talk to him for the full half an hour that was originally scheduled, but they did talk nearly that long, and finishing the time would have kept the interviewers there past 5:00. I don't expect they were eager to do that.

Second shift at Scott's work has lost another person, so there's going to be even more overtime. Scott has been frustrated because they have a handful of competent temps who he thinks should be hired permanently, but management doesn't seem to be making any moves in that direction.

The oldest of our nieces is a big John Green fan, and there's some sort of event related to the Paper Towns movie that will be happening near our vacation rental while we're there. She desperately wants to go and is trying to talk Cordelia and the other cousin near their age into lobbying for it. Cordelia's reaction is that she's not interested in the movie until and unless she reads the book first, and she's 45th on the waitlist for one of the library copies. I'm not sure how enthusiastic Cordelia would be anyway-- She's not at all big on movies, generally, and never has been. We can't get her to the theater even for things that she's really eager to see.

Scott was going to order a larger hard drive for me, but I'm not sure if he got around to it before we lost power on Saturday. I'll have to remember to ask him. He says that putting a new hard drive into my laptop will be trivial. My current hard drive is 120 GB; the one he was talking about getting is about 500 GB, so it would be a really big difference.

My shoulder is doing a lot better in spite of my not doing the exercises since Saturday. I haven't wanted to put the stress on my ankle which does still hurt, just not as much as it did on Monday. I've been trying to walk and stand as little as I can get away with. Unfortunately, that means that the dishes are piling up, and that the laundry still needs to be put away.

Drat. Something weird is going on with our internet, but I can't get any information about it. From my laptop. Usually, I can tell, without getting up, whether or not our local network is connected to anything external, but right now, the program won't give me that information. Of course, that may well mean that there isn't a connection at all. I don't know. There is a dial tone on the landline, so it's not that. I suppose I should hack my way into the study (which is full of empty cardboard boxes) and try cycling the modem.

Oh, and suddenly we're back. I have no idea what happened.

The anniversary presents I ordered for Scott finally arrived yesterday. He seemed pleased with them. One of them is an Atomic Robo book, and the other is some sort of game book. He's now got three or four different game systems that he'd like a chance to try and probably won't end up doing anything with.

Some time when the weather is nicer (It's currently raining, I think), Cordelia will probably walk to Bookbound and buy the two Hunger Games books she doesn't own. She tried to do that on Monday but discovered that the store is closed on Mondays. She was more than a little cranky about that.

Scott might have to work late tonight. He's hoping not, but he said there was a chance he'd be working late tonight, tomorrow and Friday. If that happens, dinners will be a challenge because we're out of leftovers. Of course, maybe by tomorrow, I'll be comfortable standing long enough to cook.

Happy Canada Day!

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015 12:28 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
flag

Also 'Near total annihilation of the 1st Newfoundland', which is a less happy anniversary.

June challenge — good work everyone!

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015 05:14 pm
nou: The word "kake" in a white monospaced font on a black background (Default)
[personal profile] nou posting in [community profile] flaneurs

Congratulations to everyone who attempted the June challenge! I hope to go through everything and make a roundup post within the next couple of weeks.

[syndicated profile] lib_dem_voice_feed

Posted by Caron Lindsay

I have to say that I am incandescent with rage at a profile of the only Liberal Democrat MEP Catherine Bearder which has appeared in the New Statesman. The implied conclusion of both the journalist and the several Liberal Democrat sources quoted seems to be that Catherine is a lightweight who needs the back-up of a group of men. She’s criticised for not pursuing their agendas and her own concerns, on massive issues like wildlife and human trafficking are dismissed by the journalist as pet projects.  Yes, that’s right, protecting vulnerable people from the brutal exploitation of modern slavery somehow is a niche issue? Not in my world.

The thing is, despite the drip-drip of patronising criticism that comes through the article Catherine comes out of it really well. What I get is an impression of a politician who, heaven forfend, is well-connected to her constituency and the people she represents. Heaven forfend! It’s hard to do that across a single UK Parliamentary seat. Across a region? That’s more challenging and Catherine does it well. That is just as important as legislative achievement.

Dave Keating, the journalist laments that the lack of political heavyweights:

The Liberal Democrats lost their Brussels heavyweights like Graham Watson, Andrew Duff and Ed McMillan-Scott.

They’re all very heavyweight for sure, but so are some of the other MPs who contributed a massive amount to the Parliament and were incredibly highly respected. He doesn’t seem to have noticed Sarah Ludford, Sharon Bowles who actually chaired the Parliament’s Economic Committee and Fiona Hall who actually led the UK Lib Dem delegation. As Ludford herself noted on Twitter:

As if the journalist isn’t bad enough, here’s what a Liberal Democrat source has to say:

This has led to some tension between Bearder and the Liberal Democrat machine in Brussels. They want her to focus on the big issues, but she wants to spend more time on wildlife conservation.

“A lot of us are helping her out on a voluntary basis, not just her staff at the Parliament,” says one Liberal Democrat who works outside the Parliament in Brussels. “She’s only one person and she can’t do everything…but there are people who want her to focus more on the big issues.”

How utterly patronising! Let’s just have a look at some of the issues she’s been working on. Well, first of all, there’s that trivial matter of the air that we breathe. I mean, that’s not fundamental to every human being on the planet. Here Catherine writes about what she’s doing  to save the lives of a number of people equivalent to half the size of the large town where I live.

She also had a successful campaign,with  the Sunday Mirror, to have wildlife crime properly tackled. Not only that but she set up the group MEPs for Wildlife, a cross party group of MEPs working with NGOs to find ways to tackle wildlife crime.

And later this year, she’ll be working to ensure minimum rights for victims of human trafficking. Ending human suffering and acting to stop the wipe-out of an entire species is important. That may not suit the agenda of some of her former colleagues but it’s a pretty good record of achievement as far as I can see. When there’s only one of her, I think she should concentrate on the issues she wants to and not let her former colleagues dictate to her what she should be doing.

Apparently her record isn’t good enough for some, as this Liberal Democrat source rather sniffily complains:

“That’s the world we live in,” notes one former Liberal Democrat official. “The other MEPs got a lot done in the European Parliament, but Catherine has always been very good at local politics and she was in her constituency often. That’s where she excels, she’s very personable. But it seems that the more successful work you do in Brussels and Strasbourg, the less likely you are to be re-elected.”

Ah, so she’s not doing successful work or getting noticed in the European Parliament. Really? She was recently picked as one of 8 MEPs to watch (and the only woman) when it came to the debate on Britain’s future role in Europe.

Another factor that seriously annoys me is that mention is made of her age, and concern is expressed that she might not have the stamina for the job, but no mentions is made that her venerated former colleagues are remarkably similar in age. Edward McMillan-Scott is just 7 months and a day younger, Andrew Duff is just under 2 years younger and Graham Watson 7 years younger. Men are allowed to get older, it seems, but women aren’t.

I have an novel suggestion for every Liberal Democrat in the Brussels Bubble (and everywhere else). How about just not undermining your colleagues to the press? It’s really frustrating when people are undermined in this way and I can’t for the life of me see what good it does.

The other day, at a diversity hustings in Glasgow, I asked both leadership candidates how they would tackle the sort of “everyday sexism” that we see in the party. They both gave good answers, but they weren’t quite what I was looking for. It’s not about disciplinary processes, it’s about the culture of the party which I believe is no more sexist than wider society, but should be much less so if we really do believe in equality. This unpleasant article is an example of the sexist attitudes that need to be tackled head on.

 

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

(no subject)

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015 04:44 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1348 aged 15 Joan of England (my toy,wikipedia). Daughter of Edward III. Joan was on route to marry the son of the King of Castile when she died of the Black Death.

Born on this day in 1868 to King Edward VII of the United Kingdom and Alexandra of Denmark, Princess Victoria of the United Kingdom (my toy,wikipedia). Victoria never married, possibly because her parents wanted to keep her around to keep them company (urgh, parents), although possibly just because she didn't want to. She lived in Buckinghamshire where she became president of the local horticultural society.

i came, i saw, i kicked some ass

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015 11:33 am
musesfool: darth vader saying "He said what about his sister? Gross." (he said what about his sister?)
[personal profile] musesfool
So I was dismissed from jury duty yesterday afternoon and I'm done for 6 years (NYS) or 4 years (Federal)! I got a lot of reading done!

What I've just finished
Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson, which I liked but didn't love. I didn't find it as gripping as I'd hoped. Otoh, possibly that's because I've now done some 101-level reading on WWI and therefore was already familiar with some of the stuff? Everything about Woodrow Wilson's courtship of his second wife was new to me, but not particularly enthralling.

Otoh, I definitely need to get a book about Room 40, since it comes up a lot in both WWI and WWII stuff (some veterans of Room 40 were part of the British counterintelligence/codebreaking/espionage group in WWII). Anyone got any recommendations?

What I'm reading now
The Good War: An Oral History of World War II by Studs Terkel, which is basically exactly what it says on the tin. It might get interrupted, though - see below.

What I'm reading next
Uprooted by Naomi Novik just came from the library, so I might put the Terkel down and read this, since it has to go back to the library.

I also think I might need to add With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa by Eugene B. Sledge (& Paul Fussell (Contributor)) to my reading list. I haven't read anything specifically about the Pacific theater, mostly to spare my own tender sensibilities (and I haven't watched The Pacific, for mostly the same reasons, plus my aversion to Jon Seda), but maybe it's time I did.

I also seem to be reading more exceptionally lengthy fic in not-my-active-fandoms, but I still have not found the Star Wars AU of my heart (or one of them, anyway), where Vader and Palpatine are so focused on Luke that they totally ignore Leia (so far, not so AU), and she totally wrecks them Jedi-stylez (ah, there's the AU part).

Also, the canon-divergence AU where Vader recognizes her, either on the Death Star or at Bespin, and he's like, "wait, TWO kids? PADME TOLD ME THAT EXTRA HEARTBEAT WAS JUST AN ECHO" and then he's like, "you could rule by my side!" and she's like, "ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?" Because let's face it, Leia's totally got his temper, but she's also got a strong enough will to not be taken over by the dark side. I dunno, I think Vader would secretly be delighted that Leia is his daughter even when she's sticking a lightsaber through his chest. (Also, he would be so proud to learn that she'd strangled Jabba with the chains he'd used to bind her - give me the missing scene in RotJ where he finds that shit out. Skywalkers fighting slavery forever!)

Listen, Vader's (Anakin's) sins are many and unforgivable, but I would desperately love to see him interact on a more knowledgeable basis with his kids, but especially Leia, since that never happens in canon.

I think I had more to say but work keeps interrupting. Ugh. I was out of the office for two days! And voicemail and email clearly said I wouldn't be here! But did that stop people from repeatedly emailing me about time sensitive things? Of course not. So now I don't know the status of anything, because nobody is answering my questions about whether anything actually happened while I wasn't here to do it! Ugh.

On the plus side, we're closing early tomorrow for the holiday and have Friday off. Maybe I will get something finished in time for Steve's birthday!

***
liadtbunny: (Tardis bigger on the inside)
[personal profile] liadtbunny posting in [community profile] gensplosion
Hello! I'm [personal profile] liadtbunny, your gensploder for this month:) This is the first time I've recced, so I hope I don't mess up. I'll be a reccing a mix of fandoms for the next four weeks.


FANDOM: The Avengers (2012), Harry Potter - J.K Rowling, Blackadder, Life on Mars (UK), Spooks, James Bond (movies), Doctor Who, Misfits, Sherlock (TV), The Thick of It
FIC LINK: No Avenging, Please, We’re British
AUTHOR LINK: [archiveofourown.org profile] netla
RATING/WARNING(S): Teen
WIP?/WORD COUNT: 3854| complete
MAIN CHARACTERS: Harry Potter, Gene Hunt, Edmund Blackadder, Ros Myers, Loki(Marvel), James Bond, Kelly Bailey, Sherlock Holmes, Malcolm Tucker, Eleventh Doctor.

FIC SUMMARY: Director Blackadder of SHIELD had a dream. A dream of getting other people to do all the hard work saving the world while reaping the benefits of a huge pay check at the end of the day.

RECCER'S NOTES: A lot of multi-crossovers tend to be overwhelmed by trying to fit a multitude of characters in to a fic, but netla pulls it off with aplomb or even a turnip. This fic is a very funny version of ‘The Avengers Assemble’ movie but reworked with British super-heros, um, well, shall we say British characters for the sake of accuracy. Not only are the characters swapped but the locations are very British too. Marvel’s SHIELD has a swish HQ, while the London HQ has plastic Ikea chairs and our heroes go searching for Loki on a council estate. Perhaps not for people who can’t take the majority of the humour coming out of taking the Michael out of their faves. And with Malcolm Tucker involved there is some sweary-sweariness.

Free agency is upon us

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015 08:24 am
snickfic: text: Sign number 23 that you're obsessed with hockey: you think the proper way to spell the plural of leaf" is "leafs" (hockey)
[personal profile] snickfic
If we finish out the day with our core four, Olli, and Pouliot still on the roster, I will consider it a successful free agency day.

*aggressively bites nails*
[syndicated profile] racialicious_feed

Posted by Guest Contributor

By Guest Contributor John Sims

We live in troubled times. This story started many scores of years ago with the founding fathers, some of whom may have recognized the toxic contradictions that would poison the future of this great land. Our history reveals constant resistance to social justice and respect: the sabotage/abandonment of Reconstruction, the compromised Civil Rights Movement, thwarted Black Power, silenced affirmative action, with countless lynchings, injustices, and instances of police and state brutality along the way. We are in haunted times, where race and Blackness are debated and presented with sleight of hand, tricking our best minds to think we are in a post-Black/racial epoch. We are in war times: white supremacy, privilege and denial on one side, black poverty, mass incarceration, double-consciousness on the other. Welcome to an American Civil War that started long before General Lee was born.

The wounds of the Civil War continue to sting after 150 years, along the lines of geography, race, and regional heritage, compromising national healing and sometimes civility. In the late 1990s in South Carolina, tensions flared over the placement of the Confederate flag on the capitol dome. Mass demonstrations and counter-demonstrations across the South revealed deep rifts in the reading of the Civil War and its aftermath, how greatly divided we really are as a country, and how this war continues.

In war, flags are important signifiers that mark social, cultural and historical space. While some may believe the Confederate flag is about heritage and not hate, its history and present reality speak otherwise. This flag can never represent the rich diversity and dynamic heritage of Southern folk, where the African American experience has played a central role. To continue to fly this flag is more than passive-aggressive and disrespectful; it promotes visual terrorism. If Black people and sympathetic allies are not in constant resistance and protest of such symbols, we run the risk of sending the wrong signal: that everything is fine and that we don’t matter. So we protest.

If we cannot resolve the issue of the Confederate flag, something we can see and touch, how can we as a nation process the complex things we cannot see? There are cemeteries for Confederates soldiers; where are the national memorials to the victims of slavery, to descendants of African slaves who built the economy that made this country a world power? What can we make of the fact that in WWII, white American soldiers often treated Nazi prisoners of war better than their African American compatriots? The Confederate flag flying, the Fergusons, the Eric Gardners, and the Freddie Grays of America are forceful reminders of this nation’s consistent lack of respect for Black people. And where there is no respect, there is no justice, and there can be no peace.

“Recoloration Proclamation” and “#BuryBuryFlag Artist John Sims.

To mark both the 150th anniversary of the end of Civil War and the conclusion of Recoloration Proclamation (my fifteen-year multi-media art project concerned with the Confederate flag, visual terrorism and the ownership of Southern heritage), I organized The Confederate Flag: 13 Flag Funerals. This was a funeral/burial group performance in each of the 13 states represented by the 13 stars on the Confederate flag. These events, held on Memorial Day, May 25, 2015, were intended to create a space of ceremonial reflection on the desire for the death, burial, and perhaps the burning of all the Confederate flag represents: a symbol of terror, treason, supremacy, a bearer of the message that history is rewriteable, visual terrorism is sustainable and Black Lives Don’t Matter.

Then weeks later, South Carolina happened.

Contrary to much media reporting, this incident is far from unbelievable. It is a product of American racism. The time is now for the Confederate flag to come down in South Carolina, Mississippi, and other places where it flies high. The time is now for federal law prohibiting the use of the Confederate flag in state flags or on governmental property. The time is now to demand that taking the flag down be more than a mere consolation prize, for the time is now to address head on the foundational issues that undermine social justice and respect for all Americans.

The Confederate Flag: A Call to Burn and Bury. Courtesy John Sims.

The Confederate Flag: A Call to Burn and Bury. Courtesy John Sims.

So in response to Charleston as an artist and concerned citizen, I am extending the 13 Flag Funerals Memorial Day project to a countrywide call for the collective burning and burying of the Confederate flag on July 4th, 2015. I am asking all Americans to join together on Independence Day to demonstrate that this symbol of slavery, segregation, subjugation, and a lost war will not divide us further and that the this great American Civil War must come to an end.


John Sims is a multi-media political math artist who creates projects spanning the areas of mathematics, art, text, performance, and political-media activism.  #BurnBuryFlag

The post Art as Remembrance and Creative Resistance: John Sims’ Flag Funerals appeared first on Racialicious - the intersection of race and pop culture.

Poems! Judgement! Bonus Cinquain!

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015 10:11 am
ann_leckie: (astounding)
[personal profile] ann_leckie

Today is the first day of July, which means yesterday was the 30th of June and the “finish the duck limerick” entry period is over. Judging will now begin!

It might take a while. I got a whole raft of fabulous entries, and I don’t envy my distinguished panel of judges the job of picking out the three best. I really enjoyed reading your last lines a lot, and laughed out loud several times.

At any rate, I have turned the entries over to the judges. I can’t say when we’ll have results, but I’m looking forward to seeing them!

In the meantime, have an actual, honest-to-goodness poem on the assigned topic, “Tell me in verse, citizen, how God is like a duck.”

Seriously, absolutely no apology necessary for that!

Mirrored from Ann Leckie.

[syndicated profile] lib_dem_voice_feed

Posted by Jade O'Neil

Diversity Hustings GlasgowIn a normal election, hustings can be a great place to spot key differences between candidates and find where they stand on various areas of policy. Internally, however, there’s often a lot of overlap between the candidates’ values and hustings can become a little ‘same old, same old’. For this reason, Scottish Lib Dem Women teamed up with Ethnic Minorities Liberal Democrats, Liberal Youth Scotland, and LGBT+ to organise an event in Scotland that wasn’t about policy but was about one specific area instead: diversity, both within and outwith the party.

This is a topic seen far too often as a fringe issue or a minor problem, so it was great to have a full two-hour discussion that allowed us to touch on a great number of areas under the umbrella of diversity. There was a lot of interest in the event so we streamed it online and also took questions through Google Hangouts, Facebook, and Twitter.

Following a coin toss, Norman Lamb made his opening remarks first. He talked about celebrating diversity and removing the pressure to conform, then discussed some of his experiences as a Minister and his commitment to improving the way people receive services, giving examples of racial and LGBT+ inequality found in our NHS. He went on talk about individual rights, celebrating our achievement of introducing same sex marriage (“it wouldn’t have happened without us!”) and discussing the work that still needed to be done regarding the spousal veto as well as non-legislative, cultural problems that need to be addressed. He wrapped up with a discussion of our party, and proclaimed it “shocking that a liberal party that fundamentally believes in diversity is the least diverse party in British politics”. He put forward his “liberal case for positive action” and described his vision for the Lib Dems as a “radical, progressive, liberal movement of change that can capture people’s imagination.”

Tim Farron talked about being brought up in poverty and the lack of opportunity afforded to people of his background to kick off his opening remarks. He went on to describe inequality as being utterly immoral as well as stupid and “an utter waste of talent and capability.” With a reference to the preamble to our constitution, he talked about his plans to put muscle behind addressing diversity. After a brief rundown of our achievements on addressing diversity internally so far, he stressed that there was still some way to go, and also made reference to removing the spousal veto. He set out his plan to build up diversity in a “self-disciplined, deliberate way” and stressed that we need to address the matter “consciously and pro-actively”. He went on to talk about how we advertise ourselves to the public and warned against just talking amongst ourselves like the Labour party. He described us as “internationalist and anti-nationalist” and highlighted our need to take the lead in an EU referendum. He wrapped up with praise for Charles Kennedy and his style of leadership.

Both candidates criticised the make-up of our parliamentary party and both stressed the need to win elections in order to make a difference to people’s lives, reminding us all why we’re in politics in the first place.

We then took questions from representatives of EMLD, SLDW, LGBT+, and LYS, followed by questions from the floor and online. These covered a range of topics including our internal gender-balance, support for EMLD candidates, LGBT+ equality, youth engagement, LGBT+ priorities in Northern Ireland, recognition of non-binary genders, the importance of electing people from more diverse socio-economic backgrounds, gender mainstreaming, policy impact assessments, conflating women’s issues with family issues, the make-up of our local party executives, abortion, standing up for people in urban communities, and much, much more. It would be a monumental task to try and summarise each candidate’s answers to all of these wonderful questions, so instead I’d like to summarise some of the key points made by each of them on some of the main areas of discussion:

On LGBT+ equality, Tim talked about the need to recognise “minorities within minority communities” and ensure that we don’t forget about trans people when discussing LGBT issues. He suggested that some of our priorities need to be to end the gay blood ban and stand up against conversion therapy. He also talked about our personal responsibilities to stand up against anybody who is bullied and he stressed the need to stand against homophobic bullying in schools. Norman urged us to celebrate the advances in attitudes and legislation that we’ve made but also to recognise that there’s still a long way to go. He talked about young people and combatting cultural issues to ensure that they grow up knowing that same sex attraction isn’t in any way ‘not normal’. He talked again about equal treatment through public services and the need for training for healthcare professionals as well as changes needed to curriculum in schools.

On gender balance,  both Tim and Norman expressed concern about Alison McInnes’ effective deselection, with Norman describing it as “tragic” and said he wants to hear from the membership about which specific positive action mechanisms we would prefer to see implemented. He stressed that more than positive action was required though, and he talked about addressing other barriers such as income, childcare, and work commitments. Finally, he spoke about his desire to see a gender-balanced leadership team and his openness to a discussion about opening up future leadership contests beyond the parliamentary party. Tim advocated all-women-shortlists and zipping for regional lists. He also praised the Leadership Program and urged us not to be too quick to judge it a failure, and promised that at least 10 of his team of 20 spokespeople, if elected, would be women. He agreed with Norman that there is a liberal case for positive action, but added that he would want to do it even if it was a little illiberal because he considers it so important.

On the under-representation of BME people, Tim reaffirmed his commitment to positive action and suggested that zipped lists should have a minimum of 10% BME candidates in total, and also talked again about his commitment to having a diverse team of spokespeople. He said he wanted to see more muscle behind the Leadership Program to ensure that there’s appropriate support in place to  elect our diverse candidates once they’re selected. Norman talked about his commitment to speaking to under-represented groups outside of the party about their priorities, and the need for us to ensure we reflect modern Britain. He also advocated the use of by-elections as excellent opportunities to give experience to our BME and other under-represented candidates.

We started to see a much bigger distinction between the candidates when it came to their stances on youth engagement; Norman advised listening to young voters rather than lecturing them and confronting their criticisms of us (including on tuition fees) in order to convince them that we can be trusted. He talked making sure that we were seen as a party who understands aspiration and different routes to success, and as a party always on the side of opportunity for all. He wrapped up by advocating that we engage with young people on areas that most affect and interest them – particularly regarding our “antiquated drug laws” which unfairly criminalise young people. Tim’s response to this was a strong line against trying to be “down with the kids”. He dismissed the strategy of talking about “clever policies” and spoke with passion about getting people by their gut and engaging young people on a level outside of politics. He talked about his “football surgeries” as an example of immersing himself into communities and making sure that he was accessible so that young people in his constituency recognised him as somebody they could talk to about problems. He recommended immersion in communities and putting yourself where people are.

Both candidates need a little slap on the wrist for some of their language during the debate: I had to grit my teeth when Tim referred to “both genders” following a discussion about recognising gender as being non-binary, then Norman got an eye-roll for his use of the word ‘youngsters’ while discussing youth engagement. Aside from these slip-ups, I think both came across very well throughout the debate.

Thanks again to Tim and Norman, our excellent chair, everyone who attended, and our online audience. The event seemed to be well-received, and I hope it’s something we can do more of in future contests. I also hope that this will help make the case for streaming more of our events to engage with people who can’t attend.

* Jade O'Neil was a European list candidate for Scotland and blogs at Misinformed Musings. She proposed the motion on protecting the safety and rights of sex workers at Scottish Conference.

Wednesday Reading

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015 09:06 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
I forgot to mention that last week I re-read Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, which was a good thing, as it turns out I am moderating that Readercon discussion on the book for which I volunteered at the last minute. I am still annoyed by the ending, because the story stops right before the guys are banished and Ellador is supposed to visit the outside world. Unless, of course, Gilman meant to leave us with nothing but questions.

Spoilers ahead, if you can spoil something published in 1915.

It's pretty clear Ellador is not going to be down with the roles of women in 1915ish America - so when Ellador goes back, would Van be allowed to go with her? Would he want to, or would there now be a rift between them? Jeff doesn't leave. His wife is pregnant, and he was getting along in Herland quite well. He expresses no regrets, but would be ever want to bring his child into his own world? Terry, after his crime, would not be allowed back, and I wonder if, once back home, he would sever his friendship with Van. Or if the guys would stick together regardless. I don't like the idea of Ellador potentially dying of disease once she leaves Herland, but that is hinted at as a possibility by Van's narration. At the beginning of the novel, as an introduction, Van states he doesn't have the notes and drawings he made in Herland, and he sounds as if he is alone, though that might just be to conceal future plot elements from the reader.

Does anyone know if some modern writer ever did a follow-up novel?

This week, I bought and read Persona by Genevieve Valentine. It's not that long. Set in a future where international politics takes place (nominally) through the medium of national celebrity diplomats - Faces - and the freelance press is underground, sometimes in the guise of paparazzi (Snaps), it follows one Face (Suyana Sapaki) and one Snap (Daniel Park) through a series of dangerous events. It's essentially a thriller but with a lot of excellent characterization and worldbuilding. I would love to read a sequel to this, with more on the Snaps as well as the Faces.

Also purchased as an ebook this week: A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett. This will be a re-read, for a Readercon book discussion. I thought about excavating for my print copy, but decided against it partly because that would be a pain, partly because the e-book means I can carry it easily to the con. Also, with an ebook it's really handy to be able to highlight relevant passages.

All For One by ironychan is a fanfiction novel that starts out with Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson looking for Bucky Barnes, but almost immediately veers into an adventure story involving Natasha Romanov, S.H.I.E.L.D., Hydra, lots of clones, a talking bird, trust issues, an eventful trip to South America, and a monkey. I highly recommend this one. Also, it appears the author has another novel featuring Iron Man.

If you're in the mood for a long, indulgent angst-o-rama, and don't mind lots of Britishisms in a story about Americans, I'll Keep You Safe Here With Me by sara_holmes is long and meaty. It's Hawkeye/Winter Soldier slash, which I hadn't previously encountered, but is apparently a largish subgenre. Set post-Avengers, Hawkeye is hiding out and drinking himself to sleep every night when the Winter Soldier, who's just barely getting some memories back, kidnaps him. A massive road trip ensues, in which they help each other with their assorted issues and PTSD. I will confess the Britishisms grated on me, but I liked that both characters needed a friend, and I love road trip stories.

Finally, roboticonography wrote Frozen!Peggy in Flames We Never Lit. It is one part from being finished, but it felt reasonably finished already to me. The continuity of it bypasses Agent Carter because it was written earlier than the show, and involves some comics canon (Nick Fury has been around since the 1940s). Peggy volunteers for a cryogenics program and is not revived until 2012, when she is the only survivor. I am pretty sure this is the first time I have ever seen a story in which Steve and Peggy get to have a happy relationship together in the future, which surprises me a bit. It was written before CA: Winter Soldier came out, so the eventual Bucky plotline goes in a different direction. Pepper Potts takes the place of Angie as Peggy's main female friend.

I'm still considering myself on a book-buying ban until I read more things I already have. Sort of. I want to buy a print copy of Lisa Bradley's collection at Readercon, so she can sign it for me. Also, I might allow myself one nonfiction book from Wesleyan Press if there is something I absolutely can't resist, because they give you a discount at the con.

That said, for future reference: Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older is out.

Birthday greetings and felicitations

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015 07:00 am
onyxlynx: Festive pennants in blue & purple with word "Birthday" centered. (Birthday)
[personal profile] onyxlynx
 to [personal profile] marykay  (and an email recipient of good tidings!)!  Glorious and joyful day!
theferrett: (Meazel)
[personal profile] theferrett

“Of course you like getting older,” said the emails. “You’re a guy! When guys get older and fatter, they get more attractive. When women get older and fatter, they get ignored.”

That response came from writing a brief essay on Fet about how I felt stronger as I got older – more confident in my own skin, more capable, more responsible.  And a handful of women emailed me to tell me that the process is entirely different as you age if you’re not some skinny young thing, that loneliness is what happens to older women.

Yet I know several pudgy women in their late thirties who have to actively turn away new partners, because they are swamped with offers. I know several women in their late fifties who are still dating extensively, sometimes smooching it up with men decades younger.

There are lots of women who do get older, and quietly turn the color of woodwork, and fade from view like some wrinkled chameleon.

I think too many of ’em learned the wrong lesson.

Because what you often see with attractive people – men and women alike, though women are more often taught to rely on their looks – is that when they’re young and beautiful, they are beswarmed by suitors. They can’t order a goddamned drink without seventeen muscular young bohunks squirming in between them and the bar and offering vodka and oral sex.

So what gets taught to these attractive folks is passivity. People buy them tickets to concerts because folks like their arm candy skills. People text them, beg them, to come to the party. They email ’em on Fet: hey, you wanna get tied up? You wanna get candlewaxed? You wanna get photographed?

Some of them come to think that this is how you get a social life, not realizing all this special beauty comes with an expiration date.

And these people – who are not every attractive young person, mind you, but a subset thereof – don’t actually ever figure out what they want, because they’re continually being brought out to other people’s adventures. They’re getting offered so much that they don’t have to think about what satisfies ’em: it’s like forever eating at a huge buffet where you can have any kind of food, so you don’t pay attention to what those little pink things you love are called, they’re in there somewhere, you’re sure.

This is just eating. Eating comes with everything you like, always. Why bother investigating further?

Then those folks get a little older, and maybe a little saggier, and suddenly the options drop off. Part of that is because your social groups start to unwind when you hit your late twenties – things change when you’re not all going to the same college, and when some of your old friends are dropping out of your social circle as they have kids – but for these people, part of that is because they’re just not as physically luscious as they used to be. And after years of being offered things, going out and asking for things seems…

…well, pathetic.

So they sit, and feel ignored – because they are ignored. Maybe they go on some diets, get some plastic surgeries in an attempt to recoup some of that visual appeal.

Others, however, sit there and go, “Wait, I’m not getting the things I want? How the fuck do I get those?”

And they go off on bold adventures to a) figure out what they want, and b) go out and get that shit.

Here’s the thing about life: there’s all this talk about how “older men” are so attractive, but the truth is that most of those men aren’t. There are young women who are drawn to older guys, but they’re largely not drawn to stoop-shouldered accountants who stammer when placing an order at Burger King.

Who do they like? Men who have a good, solid handle on what they want, and aren’t afraid to ask for it.

Strip the genders off that concept. Then try this on for size: People like folks who have a good, solid handle on what they want, and aren’t afraid to ask for it.

“But Ferrett!” you cry. “Men don’t like pushy women the same way women like pushy men!”

For romantic purposes (not, say, career advice), I’d argue that approach is coming from that same logic of evolved scarcity: I used to have partners swarming me, now I have less of them, I don’t want to scare the remaining ones away by acting weird.

And you will scare people away by being forthright about your desires. It happens. I assure you, as someone who’s routinely shouting his opinions into a public space, I have tons of people who want nothing to do with me. Tons of people think I’m an asshole, they think I’m too melodramatic, they think I’m insensitive.

Hint: Though I find many of these people attractive, I am not dating them.

I both contract and expand my dating pool by being explicit about what I need.

Part of a good evolution into older age comes in understanding that you’re not going to be able to appeal to all the people you wanted. Maybe when you were young, you could wrap anyone you wanted around your little finger, so you had like an 80% hit rate between “attempted seduction” and “closing the deal.” That’s rare – but hey, if it happens, recognize that this hit rate is highly unlikely to continue into your sixties.

You need to understand that the best you can do is to find people who fucking love what you have to offer.

Like, for example, all these younger women who supposedly want older men. Does that list compromise all younger women? Hell no; not a day goes by I don’t stumble across some profile that says, “I won’t play with anyone over 30, it skeezes me out to play with someone who could be my Dad, don’t ask.” There’s plenty of women out there who will not date someone older, and God bless them. In fact, based on my OKCupid trawls, the number of young women who really need a 46-year-old balding dude in their life are in the minority.

Yet the reason those older men have done so well is that they speak confidently enough that the folks who do find That Kind Of Guy attractive can find them.

(And many – not all, but many – of them date at all ages. I do.)

Likewise, the older and beautifully bolder women I know don’t give a fuck when all those shallow idiots who only want some 22-year-old cutie ignore them: they’re too busy finding dudes who dig what they have to offer! They’re finding folks who are also into their fascination with theater, folks who are also into their love of costumery, folks who are also into their love of bicycle riding.

They’re not interested in dating, they’re interested in doing. And oh, how the dates follow when you start doing.

Yeah, there’s a hundred folks out there who don’t want you any more, just because you’re old. That’s sad. But the women I know, God bless them, have said, “Fuck it, I don’t care if they don’t like me, I’m gonna do the things I like and the partners will follow.”

And they date happily, thrillfully, zestfully. They lead a quirky life. Their boudoirs are stuffed full of whatever genitals they prefer to partake of.

And I’m not saying everyone can do this. Some folks don’t have the kind of personality to pull it off, and some people just aren’t that into things to make this happen, and other people are too shy. All of that happens. This isn’t a guarantee.

Yet I can say if you’re getting older, and you’re starting to feel yourself fading into the wallpaper – what do you have to lose? Give it a try. Be that old person who doesn’t give a fuck. Look at the older women who are still out there dating – they exist, go find ’em – and note what they’re doing.

Because man, there’s still a lot of fun to be had.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

[ bookmonth ] 2015-06

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015 02:20 pm
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Book list )

Half-way through the reading year. Linear extrapolation says 124
books, fractionally down from last month's 124.8. Somewhat varied
month, with some sort of highlight being a hitherto unread Stephenson.

Plenty of travel coming up in the next few months, we'll just have to
see what tha tdoe sto the annual total.

things of the day

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015 11:14 pm
samskeyti: (banksy heart)
[personal profile] samskeyti
1. K & R are getting married, on London's sunniest day. ♥

2. My shipment of kale produce box was on the verandah yesterday evening, so there was pasta with curly kale, flat parsley, garlic, red capsicum, pepitas and browned organic butter for dinner tonight. (And tomorrow!)

3. There is not another 7am meeting until Wednesday fortnight.

Opinion: The habit of liberalism

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015 12:26 pm
[syndicated profile] lib_dem_voice_feed

Posted by Dominic Collard

I read somewhere that it takes 30 days to make a new habit. By all accounts, predictable behaviour is what the old brain likes. When it sniffs out something new, something out of the everyday ordinary, it’ll fire up the fragile in us and persuade our will power into a quick surrender. Any attempts to break with our norm will be wrestled from us. Until 30 days. At 30 days, the brain tells itself…. hold on, I recognise this, this thing you’re doing – carry on, nothing to see here. 30 days for the reluctant plodder to transcend into the regular jogger; 30 days until the ciggie quitter becomes the “No thanks I don’t smoke”-er.

30 days ago I made a decision to make a new habit. I decided I was going to care more about what happens next in our country. I was a bit nervous; ‘caring’ isn’t really something that comes naturally to me. I am a prolific helper of old ladies with heavy suitcases, and I will confidently stand by my record for apprehending dog walkers with a laissez faire attitude to canine bowel movements; but give me bad things happening elsewhere, to other people, and my default is to lurch for my off switch. Out of sight, ‘n all that. The “And here’s where your money will go to” bits of Comic Relief, the “Scenes some viewers may find distressing…” – these are my tea brewing moments. It’s appalling. I know it’s appalling. But, you know… habits!

So that’s why I joined the Lib Dems, 30 days ago. I had voted for them in the General Election, and they had lost gigantically. I’m not suggesting the former led to the latter, but somehow I felt responsible that I hadn’t done enough. So what better place to kickstart a habit for wanting things to be better.

The funny thing is, I think I must be a wonder of medical science, because this new habit of mine… none of it feels like it’s been a struggle so far. The old grey matter seems to have been roundly unfussed with this seismic shift in my new way of life. In fact, it seems to have positively enjoyed the new habit, welcoming it like a long lost friend. And perhaps that’s exactly what it is.

Perhaps this isn’t a new habit at all. Perhaps there’s nothing new for my brain to fight against. Perhaps I’ve been a Lib Dem all my life. Certainly the last 30 days haven’t seen any mind-blowing moments of sudden clarity, no thunderous Damascene conversion. I still believe in the things I’ve always believed in, still defending them when they’re being rubbished, still incredulous why absolutely everyone doesn’t agree with me on everything.

I thought being a member of a political party would mean placards and marches and leaflet folding and canvassing and long meetings in dusty village halls chaired by people called Kenneth. But it’s been nothing like that. I’ve had a chat over a pint with Norman Lamb, done a bit of research on fracking for a party colleague (conclusion – not a good thing!), and Tim Farron even let me help him out with an article for The Guardian. If you do take a notion to care more, the Lib Dems seems to be a place where you can turn that into actually doing useful stuff. It’s all been rather good fun.

I know, I’m not quite threatening a Nobel prize for political activism on the record of my first 30 days, and I know that we (‘we’ – sounds a bit funny that); that we won’t win anything with cosy chats and sideline hugging. I’m working myself in, slowly.

If, during those first 30 days, I had been close to surrender, then something happened on day 24 which would have pulled me back from the brink. I’m sure it would have done. I met someone who said that he had joined the Lib Dems because of an article I wrote. I don’t think I’ve ever politically awakened anyone. Awakening my children for school every morning is success enough. Maybe he’ll go on to awaken someone else. Maybe that’ll happen, over and over again. Like a ripple. Or a habit. An unbreakable habit.

* Dominic Collard is a writer and guest editor at http://blog.pearson.com

About This Blog

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Hello! I'm Jennie (known to many as SB, due to my handle, or The Yorksher Gob because of my old blog's name). This blog is my public face; click here for a list of all the other places you can find me on t'interwebs.






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