Fig

Aug. 17th, 2017 05:48 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Can maintain disdainful detachment even as another, unfamiliar, cat thoughtfully grooms Fig's hind paw.

A Thought on Antifa

Aug. 17th, 2017 10:28 am
lydy: (Default)
[personal profile] lydy
If you know me in person, I apologize.  I'm going to tell a story that I'm sure you've heard from me before.  I think I heard the original on NPR some time ago.  

It was a profile on Christiania, the weird city-state-anarchy in Denmark.  It started in 1971 as an occupation of an abandoned military property.  It has been a functioning, reasonably stable anarchy for more than 40 years.  It is neither the paradise anarchists hoped for, nor the hell-hole that everyone else assumed it would become.  It exists in strange symbiosis with Denmark.  Here is my favorite story about Christiania.

A couple of dude-bros (or, as we called them back in the day, skinheads) went to Christiania to buy drugs.  Christiania, being an anarchy, is a pretty good place to buy illegal pharmaceuticals.  The dude-bros went decked out in the regalia of their people which included jackets with large Confederate flags on the back.  I am unpersuaded by Americans who argue that flying the Stars and Bars is a matter of heritage, rather than racism, but in Europe, there is absolutely no ambiguity or plausible deniability.  The Confederate flag is frequently deployed as a stand-in for Nazi symbols in places where those icons are outlawed.  

Some of the residents of Christiania took it upon themselves to beat the ever-living snot out of the skinheads, and toss them over the city line.  The dude-bros said, roughly, "Why the hell did you do that?  I thought you guys were anarchists."  To which the anarchists said, approximately, "That's why, you idiots."

I am afraid of violence.  I am not physically fit, and have a low tolerance for pain.  I am fond of my reasonably comfortable life.  In a reasonable world, I would pay my taxes, and my taxes would pay for cops to protect me, and everyone else, from violence.  As we can see in Charlotteseville (and especially when contrasting it to Durham), this is not the case.  Which leaves...the Antifa.  Who stood up, and put their bodies physically in the way of the actual, real-live, terrifying Nazis.  And so here we are.  Is this dangerous?  Oh my god, yes.  Civil violence is terrifying, and it can spin out of control.  But the institutions, with their checks and balances and accountability...are not accountable.  Not functioning.  They murder with impunity, assault without accountability, and any discussion of "both sides" has to start with the fact that the state is on the same side as the Nazis.  And so, Antifa.  


Dear FemslashEx Writer or Artist...

Aug. 16th, 2017 10:04 pm
rachelmanija: (Buffy: I kind of love you)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Full letter with prompts to come ASAP. The letter below is incomplete.

ETA: I changed my sign-up since I posted this, so if you looked early on, look again if you're interested - I added a fandom and switched out some of the Original Work ships.

Dear FemslashEx Writer or Artist,

Thank you so much for writing for me! This is my first time doing FemslashEx, so I'm really excited.

(I only requested art for one fandom; however, if anyone is moved to do an art treat for me in any of them, I would absolutely love that.)

Loves, DNWs, and notes/prompts for my fandoms (Aliens, Carrie, Original Work, Star Trek: Classic Timeline, X-Men comics (Marvel 616) and X/1999 below cut). Read more... )

UPDATE: Nazis Fuck Off Rally

Aug. 16th, 2017 10:17 am
rachelmanija: (Default)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Looks like the Nazi scum saw how many people planned to show up to stand up to them in LA, and ran like the cowards they are. Apparently the Venice Nazi rally has been cancelled (but Nazi rallies are still planned in other cities). But it looks like OUR rally is still on, whether the Nazis show up or not.

I will keep updating but if our rally is happening, I'll still be there. I think it's important to show our solidarity and fire. Hey, just talking about showing up chased the Nazis out of LA before they even came - let's give them crowd photos to haunt their dreams and keep them out.

Poem Notes for "Strandbeest Dreams"

Aug. 15th, 2017 04:11 pm
cafenowhere: close-up photo of champagne cork (champagne)
[personal profile] cafenowhere
JJ and I received our contributor copies of Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation, edited by Phoebe Wagner and Brontë Christopher Wieland. I knew Upper Rubber Boot produces good-looking books, but the cover for Sunvault by Likhain is even more gorgeous and vibrant than you'd expect from the press photos.

village built on water with numerous multiple-story buildings graced with vertical and rooftop gardens

"Strandbeest Dreams" is a five-page poem inspired by Theo Jansen's Strandbeests, elegant kinetic artworks that Jansen aims to make self-sufficient and one day release in herds on beaches.



Because humans are not very good at letting creatures exist for their own sake, I imagined any such herds would be pressed into service, perhaps as beach cleaners. From one of our family vacations to a beach of Lake Michigan, I knew there would be plenty of clean-up for 'beests to perform on shores carpeted with zebra mussel shells. 

mounds of zebra and quagga mussel shells washed up on Lake Michigan

JJ has long admired the Strandbeests. When he found out Theo Jansen would be giving a lecture at the University of Iowa, he insisted our family attend. Jansen spoke of the 'beest evolution in a couple of different ways. Strandbeest enthusiasts all over the world download plans and create their own versions of the 'beests, often improving or customizing the designs. This is one mode of evolution. (Our family has actually bought and constructed two mini-Strandbeests, but we followed the instructions as closely as possible.) Another form of evolution is Jansen's pragmatic recycling of damaged, failed, or retired 'beests for parts. Subsequent generations may use the same PVC pipe "bones" or plastic pop bottle "air bladders" as their "ancestors" did.

Our poem posits both methods at work in our imagined Lake Michigan cleaner 'beests. The steward of the 'beests is a Latina scientist with lupus. Initially, the scientist (called The Hands) does not understand the titular 'beest's idiosyncratic malfunctioning, but eventually she applies her own experience of chronic illness to formulate an explanation and possible solution.

text reads "Star-lit, lupus-bit, The Hands reviewed the last few screens of diagnostics" over swirly yellow background

I have a different form of lupus than The Hands, but I'd really been wanting to write about the lengthy road to diagnosis for a host of autoimmune disorders. I also wanted to acknowledge the agony of these often invisible illnesses while honoring the achievements of folks suffering from them. It's not that good comes of the illness, but that we find and create good in SPITE of the illness, often using skills we've developed to cope with our illness. The distinction is fine, but important.

Our poem incorporates Spanish, pseudo-code, and the kind of medical questionnaire I've grown to despise. We were very careful with the formatting of the code, because, even though it's made up, the steps must be precise. If one has any hope of debugging a program (or navigating the health care system, for that matter), one must follow protocol, no matter how arbitrary that protocol may seem. Formatting turned into a big deal for the poem as a whole. Fonts, emphasis, columns and rows...we tried to maximize every inch of the page to reflect transitions in physical space, mental states, between languages and the narratives structured by differently purposed systems. That meant some back-and-forth in the copyediting stage, but publisher Joanne Merriam was very accommodating and conscientious, even when, late in the game, J and I decided we couldn't possibly use the word micron. No, it had to be micronewton.

Obviously, this was an incredibly personal poem for us. And our first poetic collaboration! We hope you enjoy "Strandbeest Dreams" and all the solarpunk speculations that Sunvault has to offer. 

rachelmanija: (Heroes: support WGA)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
The "alt-right," aka LITERAL NAZIS like the ones who murdered Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, is planning a protest in Los Angeles this Saturday. Here's what I found when I went looking for a counter-protest. I will be there.

Obviously, this could be dangerous. But I am not letting LITERAL NAZIS march in my city unopposed. Besides, it could be a great opportunity:



Please let me know if you're going, so we can rideshare or try to meet up or something.

Defend Diversity: Fight to Protect Diversity Policies in the Workplace!!

Public · Hosted by Defend Movement and Build the Peoples' Democratic Workers' Party

Saturday at 12 PM - 3:30 PM

340 Main St, Venice, California 90291

Woe is me

Aug. 15th, 2017 05:14 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Just noticed the book I was going to read tonight won't be out until November, so I shouldn't review it any time soon.
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