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Happy Earth Day

2019-04-22 10:28 pm
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I didn't get to do much. For me it's more of Happy be a bitch day. So if you came across my bitch side today, I'm sorry. It's the work stress. Today was the day the chair of my department had to defend why biology and chemistry shouldn't be cut out and all of us let go. So yeah I'm a little short tempered. We still won't know for weeks. Because maybe they're hoping will quit (work, life, whatever, either way it's a win for them).


And then this happened.

So that's good at least. Now to find 15K more of my second christmas story where things go wrong (but it can't be angsty).

But the stress is destroying creativity

Monday Update 4-22-19

2019-04-22 08:19 pm
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[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
These are some posts from the later part of last week in case you missed them:
Poem: "By the People's Voices"
Poem: "The Consequences of Their Own Neglect"
Sunday Yardening
Poem: "Faces in a Mosaic Mirror"
Poem: "The Blue Bird of Happiness"
Poem: "To Repair the Damage of the Lumberman"
Emotional Intimacy Question: Positives
Wednesday Yardening
A Bad Take on Going Nonverbal
Hard Things


 Look on the sale page to find all the sponsored poems.

The April [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam was this past weekend. See what I wrote.

I posted about the Notre Dame Cathedral fire and an update afterwards.


Poetry in Microfunding:

There are two open epics.

"Learning the Vocation" belongs to Path of the Paladins. Shahana and company play games in the common room.

"A Cave Swarming with Strange Forms of Life" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Iron Horses and has 20 new verses. Kenzie tells Pretty Ears what is bothering him.


Weather here has been mild with occasional rain. Seen at the birdfeeders this week: a flock of grackles, a small flock of sparrows, a small flock of mourning doves, two pairs of house finches, a pair of cardinals, a pair of goldfinches in summer plumage, a brown thrasher, a robin, and a red-winged blackbird. Currently blooming: violas, daffodils, hyacinths, purple grape hyacinths, forsythia, violets, tulips, redbud tree, pear tree.  

(no subject)

2019-04-22 06:44 pm
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[personal profile] alexseanchai
Today is the April Feathering the Nest prompt call over on [personal profile] dialecticdreamer’s blog! Drop by, offer a prompt, and get a short story focused on nonsexual intimacy. Fluff and joy for EVERYONE!

good things on a list again

2019-04-22 06:01 pm
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[personal profile] alatefeline
Hugs from kiddos at school!job.
Kiddos expressing themselves.
Marginally good news about a friend who has been ill.
Plans for probably tomorrow.
Getting through the day with some functional ability to focus left.
Homemade coffee.
Oregano.
Fuzzy plaid pajamas.

Signal boost!

2019-04-22 06:54 pm
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[personal profile] fuzzyred
Feathering the Nest time on [personal profile] dialecticdreamer's page! Leave a prompt, get a fic! Leave a donation, share the fic with everyone and support the author!
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[personal profile] librarygeek
Today is the Feathering the Nest prompt call over on [personal profile] dialecticdreamer’s blog! Drop by, offer a prompt, and get a short story focused on nonsexual intimacy. Fluff and joy for EVERYONE!
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[personal profile] kyburg
harry-and-ginny-potter:

It is international language week at my school. This morning a girl who is fluent recited the Pledge of Allegiance in Arabic. Everyone freaked out. Some people loved it, but more hated it. Saying that the pledge should only be spoken in English because “this is America not the Middle East” and now our principal just announced that we are no longer allowed to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in anything besides English at our high school. In the hallway I passed the girl who spoke the pledge. She was sobbing. This is to anyone who says that America is a post-racism world. Reblog the shit out of this. Get this known

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Dear #bookfair - 12 wonderful years, and looking forward to this year’s Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. See you at the RTCC. #bookworm (at USC Ronald Tutor Campus Center Ballroom)
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ms-meredith-milton:

actualaster:

headspace-hotel:

tiny-tiger-lily:

headspace-hotel:

redgoldsparks:

My most recent comic for The Nib! You can read my other Nib stories here. 

instagram / patreon / portfolio

I’ve noticed there are fewer butterflies just in the past few years.

Also bees. There aren’t as many bees.

Also far fewer fireflies.

seriously!!!

Used to be even 10-15 years ago there would be patches of sidewalk next to gardens that sometimes you couldn’t walk on once in a while because they were just covered in butterflies sunning themselves between trips to the flowers.

Like there were times I would walk past some spots and it’d be like a movie with this wave of small butterflies that would fly up, disturbed by my passing.

Used to see lots of fireflies, too.

Now it’s a rare treat to see multiple butterflies at once, and lightning bugs are much fewer and far between.

It’s sad.

As a child in the midwest in the 1980s, I used to go camping with my family and I remember being about 5 and standing very still so that the monarchs would land on me.  There are photos of me as a little girl covered in butterflies.

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krankikankles:

lazilycleverprincess:

openblogtomyabusivemother:

Finish the sentence. Write many more after that if you want.

Reblogging this will work. Liking this will work. Messaging me will not work. Email me at chronic.survivors@gmail.com

That I know you hate me, I just don’t know why I was never good enough. I was a good kid. I got good grades, I’m a masters student now. Why isn’t that enough? Why am I not enough? Why is my brother perpetually better than me? You lie and say you love me but we both know that’s not true. After everything you’ve done I know that’s not love. I hope one day I’ll be strong enough to cut you out my life for good.

ill never forgive you for not wanting to get to know the son you gave birth to. ill never forgive you for strangling my identity, and ill never forgive you for feeling peer pressure to call me my name around your friends so they dont know youre actually transphobic.

I forgive you. I forgive you for valuing secrets above my sanity. I forgive you for caving into my sister instead of acknowledging she had addictions, same as your brother and your son. I forgive you for doing your job even when it shortchanged the whole family. I forgive you your shame, even when it meant only predators got access to our family. For assuming I was telling when the truth was in plain sight. I forgive you. I know you never meant a moment’s harm to another living creature, and I can prove it. But in denying damage was done? Yeah. I’ve got lot of work because of it.

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caffeinewitchcraft:

“You’re…different. I’ve never met a girl like you.”

She stares at him, hands stilling over her sword. “What?”

“All the girls in my village are so boring,” he says. “So focused on finding husbands that they don’t bother learning about the world.”

“Girls in your village aren’t allowed to own property or vote,” she says, somewhat incredulous.

He winces at her tone. Need she be so harsh? “Well…it’s not like they’ve ever needed to, we’re a very progressive village and I always vote in favor of their needs. You’re not like that though, you fight for your rights yourself.”

“They are fighting for their rights,” she says. She sets down her sharpening stone, a frown stretching across her face. “No voting, no property, no wages of their own to purchase necessities. Besides finding a kind husband, what else do you think they can do to find a good future?”

“Th-they could leave,” he says. He did not expect the conversation to go this way. He expected her to blush like she had when he complimented her sword skills. He finds himself oddly defensive. “The men in my village aren’t slavers. The girls can leave any time.”

She snorts. “On foot? Your village is a hard, three day ride from the nearest city and that’s by horseback. And, even if they made it, what skills do they have? What references? The risk is too high for any woman to leave, that’s as good as trapping them. The fact that it takes me holding a sword for your opinion of women to change just shows how small-minded you are.”

 He bristles, unable to refute her. “Look, I was just trying to pay you a compliment! There’s no need to attack me.”

“Trust me,” she says, standing when he moves to loom over her. They’re of near equal height and, if he was trying to intimidate her, he fails. “You’ll know it when I’m attacking you. This isn’t it.”

He doesn’t seem to hear her, flustered to be seeing her eye-to-eye. “Furthermore, I think I’d know what sort of girls I grew up with! They’re timid and lack a desire to explore the world.”

“The world you created for them doesn’t take long to explore,” she says. Her sword is bare in her hand. “Marry or descend into poverty. Bear an heir or be cast into poverty. Behave or be thrown into poverty. I was there for a week and figured it out. But,” she continues, looking him up and down, “maybe I shouldn’t be so quick to judge. After all, you’ve lived there your whole life and you still haven’t figured it out.”

He splutters. “That’s not–there are other options–”

“When the revolution is done,” she says, coldly, “and your people are forced to give women rights, see how many stay and how many leave. See how many suddenly discover their wander-lust. See how many end up like me.”

She leaves him there and stalks off to the edge of camp. She leaves him there with his mouth opening and closing, and heart pounding in his chest.

She leaves him there with the unsettling realization that he doesn’t want the women in his village to end up being like her, so different and strong. Because, if they did, where would he be? Where would his home be?

It’s an upsetting realization to have, mid-revolution. No chance to back out now.

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badjokesbyjeff:

Dont challange Death to a pillow fight

Unless you want to deal with the Reaper cushions.

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Elizabeth Warren’s Plan to Break Up Big Tech Is Extremely Aggressive. Good.:

seandotpolitics:

On Friday morning, on Medium, the blogging platform of choice for all presidential candidates, Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren debuted a plan to “break up Big Tech.” Silicon Valley, she writes, has “too much power — too much power over our economy, our society, and our democracy.” The problem? Not enough competition. Taking a page from the “hipster antitrust” movement, Warren bemoans the “weak antitrust enforcement” that’s allowed tech megaplatforms to accumulate power without having “to compete as aggressively in key areas like protecting our privacy.”

But she’s got a plan to change all that. Warren’s proposal centers around what she believes have been two major obstacles to healthy market competition in Silicon Valley: (1) that mergers like Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram in 2012 have limited competition in the tech industry; and (2) that platforms that own “proprietary marketplaces,” like Amazon or the App Store, can also participate in those marketplaces, giving them intense competitive advantages.

To combat the first, Warren would appoint regulators charged with “reversing illegal and anti-competitive tech mergers” (and, no doubt, preventing new ones). To address the second, Warren would propose legislation that would designate tech platforms with a total global annual revenue of $90 million or more as “platform utilities,” subject to specific regulations. Once they reached revenues of $25 billion or more, they would no longer be able to participate in the marketplaces they own. (For example, Amazon would be obligated to spin off Amazon Basics.)

It’s an aggressive proposal, to say the least, and the first of its kind in the presidential race.

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when i watch old movies i’m constantly surprised by how much acting has improved. not that the acting in the classics is bad, it’s just often kind of artificial? it’s acting-y. it’s like stage acting.

it took some decades for the arts of acting and filmmaking to catch up to the potential that was in movies all along; stuff like microexpressions and silences and eyes, oh man people are SO much better at acting with their eyes than they were in the 40′s, or even the 70′s.

the performances we take for granted in adventure movies and comedies now would’ve blown the critics’ socks off in the days of ‘casablanca’.

there’s a weird period in film where you can see the transition happening.  right around the fifties, I think.  the example my prof used when i learned about it was marlon brando in “a streetcar named desire” - he was using stanislavski acting methods and this new hyper-realistic style and most or all of his costars were still using the old, highly-stylized way of acting. it makes it way more obvious how false it is.

i even noticed it in ‘the sting’, which was 1973. i actually think they used it on purpose to get the viewer fished in by the second layer of the con; the grifters at the bookie’s were acting like they were acting, and the grifters playing the feds were acting for reals. if you’re used to setting your suspension of disbelief at the first set’s level, then the second set are gonna blow right past you.

or possibly the guys playing the grifters playing the feds just happened to be using the realistic style for their own reason, and it coincidentally made the plot twist work better. but i like to think it was deliberate.

i was thinking about this again, and when you know what to look for, it’s really obvious: old movies are stage acting, not movie acting. it just didn’t really occur to anyone to make the camera bend to the actors, rather than the other way around. just image search old movie screenshots and clips and gifs, you’ll see it. the way people march up to their mark and stand there, the way they deliver their lines rather than inhabiting the character. the way they’re framed in an unmoving center-stage.

this is a charming little tableau, quirky and unexpected, but it’s a tableau. it lives in a box.

now, i usually watch action movies, and i didn’t think it was fair to compare an action movie with what appears to be an indoor sort of story, but i do watch some comedy tv. so i looked for a brooklyn 99 gif with a similar framing, intending to point out that the camera moves, and the characters aren’t stuck inside the box. but i couldn’t even find the framing. they literally never have all the characters in the same plane, facing the camera, interacting only within the staging area. even when they’re not traveling, they’re moving around, and they treat things outside the ‘stage’ as real and interact with them, even if it’s only to stare in delighted horror.

as for action, it took a while for the movies to figure out what, exactly they wanted to show us, and how to act it. here’s a comedy punch:

here, also, is a comedy punch:

the first one looks like a stage direction written on a script. the second one looks like your friends horsing around and being jerks to each other. the first one is just not believable. the physics doesn’t work. the reaction is fakey. everyone’s stiff. even the movement of the camera is kind of wooden. the second one looks real right down to the cringe of his shoulder, and the camera feels startled too.

i’m not saying this to dis old movies, i’m just fascinated and impressed by how much the art has advanced!

I’m going to bed, but I also want to say that I think, without actually bothering to explore it and make sure, that there’s been a similar shift in comics, probably related to the shift in acting/camera work. And I think you still see remnants of old “stage acting” comics in the three-panel style set ups (you might still see it in long form comics, but you’d probably call it bad composition)

Now can someone explain why people in old films talked Like That

Y’all, THAT’S HOW PEOPLE TALKED.

Seriously, I used to work in a sound studio, and one series of projects required us to listen to LOTS of old audio recordings. Not of anything special - just people talking.

AND THEY TALKED LIKE THAT.

It was so fucking wild to hear just a couple of people being like,

“WELL HI THERE JEANINE, HOW ARE YOU TODAY?”

“OH, NOT TOO BAD, JOE, THOUGH MY HUSBAND’S BEEN AWAY ON BUSINESS FOR A FEW WEEKS AND I MISS HIM SOMETHING TERRIBLE.”

“WELL IT’S A HARD THING, JEANINE, BUT YOU’LL GET THROUGH IT.”

“WELL I SUPPOSE I’VE GOT TO, HAVEN’T I JOE?”

All in that piercing, strident, rapid-fire style we associate with the films of the era. If you’ve watched lots of old movies you can imagine the above in that speech pattern.

I don’t know if people talked like that because it was in movies but I suspect it’s the other way around.

Same goes for the UK - When they made the TV series The Hour, set in the 1950s, they had to tell the very well spoken, privately educated Dominic West to tone down his imitation of a 1950s newsreader because being accurate would have sounded to a 2011 TV audience as if he was doing a parody. When you watch Brief Encounter they’re not speaking like that because they can’t act, they’re speaking like that because it was the norm on screen. It now sounds unnatural because it’s not the norm any more.

Obviously there were people with regional accents and who didn’t speak in a heightened manner, but they didn’t get to be on TV or in movies unless they were villains. (And usually the villains were putting it on, like Richard Attenborough in Brighton Rock. Sure, he was Richard Attenborough, but he was brought up in the Midlands, and by the on-screen standards of the time, that was common.)

Even the Queen’s very posh accent has changed over the last 50 years and become “more common" - check out newsreel footage etc for proof - and recordings of her father are almost like someone from a foreign country (well, it is the past).

There is, for many film historians/critics, an actual turning point from mannered, theatrical, or “overplayed” acting on screen to naturalistic/American Method realism on screen. It happens in the 1954 movie On the Waterfront, during a traveling shot in which Marlon Brando’s character and Eva Marie Saint’s character are walking together. Eva Marie Saint accidentally drops her glove in the middle of the scene. Marlon Brando instinctively picks it up as his character, and continues the dialog, all the while playing with the glove–turning it about, trying it on, etc. Eva Marie Saint stuck with him, never broke, and the director didn’t call “cut.” 

Before that scene in that movie, if an actor dropped a prop by accident, they would have re-shot the scene–because Brando mostly disappeared out of frame as he bent down to pick up the glove, and (as is explained above) movies were framed to keep the people in the scene in the frame. I

t’s a pretty famous scene in movies because Brando’s character doesn’t give the glove back, but instead uses it to amplify what the two characters are experiencing, naturally and without artifice. It is, for all intents and purposes, the exact moment that screen acting changed.

Okay, but here’s the thing about television specifically: given the size of TV screens when they first came out? Stage acting was the only thing that could be READ. Watch Star Trek: TOS on a modern screen and it looks absurdly overacted. Film of the same era is not, and yet the TV is.

And that’s not a fault of the actors; they were all very capable of naturalistic film acting (yes, even Shatner) – as the later movies would bear out. It’s because they were acting for the small screen, not the big one.

Stage acting and stage makeup is what it is because people are far enough away from the stage that you have to cake on the makeup garishly and exaggerate the hell out of your for it to be VISIBLE. And in early television? Yeah, those constraints actually very much applied. You could move the camera, sure, but the quantity of visual information you could send was just damned limited.

Here’s another example of that.

Watch some Classic Dr Who. You may or may not notice it without watching for it, but every shot of the TARDIS is taken from the same angle.

The TARDIS was, at that time, a stage set. The camera was behind the fourth (Sixth?) wall. It was fixed. And most TV sets were built like this. They had a specific fourth wall and everything was filmed from that angle.

Fast forward to the new series, and you’ll see that the TARDIS is being filmed from different angles all the time, including following the actor around.

Three things have changed:

1. Cameras have become much smaller.

2. Set building for TV has developed as an art. Those early sets were built by people who were trained to build stage sets.

3. Overall technological improvement resulting in things being cheaper.

The TARDIS set that was just retired? Each of its walls was designed to slide out. So you could put the camera anywhere you wanted. Presumably this is the case with the new one too. They couldn’t imagine doing that back in the day. Nor could they afford the complexities of a set like that.

It’s actually my opinion that TV has very much matured as an art form…this century. This decade. We are doing and seeing things that couldn’t be done ten years ago, twenty. Heck, even five.

Going back to speech patterns for a moment – I was a young child in the 80s, so my memories of the norms of the time period are limited (especially because I was incredibly sheltered), but the books I read at the time and the popular movies of the time all have this kind of – whimsical, sardonic speech pattern going on. Think John Waters dialogue. 

I always thought it was kind of stylized. But then I ended up in a weird part of YouTube one night and found someone’s home video of just walking aroud a 7-11 convenience store at midnight talking to people in Orlando, Florida. Just trying out their new camcorder for shits and giggles, talking to other customers, talking to the cashier, etc. And you know what? They all talked like a goddamn John Waters movie. It was the weirdest thing, like I was watching outtakes from The Breakfast Club or Say Anything. I expected one of the Cusacks to walk into frame any second.

Anyway, so I think it’s super cool how human speech and interaction shifts over time, and if you’re living through the shift, you don’t really notice it as it happens.

The cameras they were using back in the 1940s-1970s were enormous and heavy. Moving them was a chore, and you had to have track built to move a camera that big. Getting the camera in close to the subject was very difficult.

It was the arrival of the Steadicam in the 1970s that started to change everything. You could hook the camera to an individual person using a harness. For the first time the camera was liberated. Think of the walk & talks on “The West Wing” - that would not have been technologically possible in earlier film and television.

Also filming through the 1950s was mostly done on sets. A few directors like John Ford would go shoot on location for parts of their movies, but most films were made on sets because it was cheaper and easier. When the studio system began to break down in the 1960s, and cameras started becoming lighter, you saw a shift to location shooting, which reduced the proscenium staging of older movies.

ALSO, going back to how they just Talked like that in movies in the 30s and 40s. That weird accent, kind of British, but not. Think Katherine Hepburn in The Philadelphia Story. It was a specifically created form of speech, created by Edith Skinner, for performers and public speakers, as the ELEGANT way For Important People to talk. It was called the Skinner Dialect, and in classical acting training FOR YEARS, it was mandatory. Which is why you see it in such bastions of the golden era of cinema, like cary grant and katherine Hepburn. It was also how your tutors taught your rich well educated babies to speak, especially in the new England states. IN FACT: the sort of “no accent” accent that most newscasters have is a watered down descendant of the Skinber Dialect.

It’s late and I’m tired, so someone may need to back me up on this, but back to the camera movement thing: I’d also like to mention how the introduction of talking pictures delayed the evolution of camera work/camera movement in a way.

Body mics were unwieldy (see that one really excellent scene in Singin’ in the Rain where they’re trying to wire Lina Lamont for sound, just *chef kiss*). When all your actors need to be within range of a large, static microphone, it sort of limits your camera options.

I could not tell you where it was from, but I distinctly remember a film class where we were shown a clip from the late 20s/early 30s as an example of this. The actors are clearly directing their speech in the general direction of a vase of flowers in the middle of the frame, which presumably has a microphone in it.

In some ways, sound tech had to develop before camera work could even think about getting more interesting.

Yes. That’s correct. Film was moving towards a developed visual language during the silent era. People were trying innovative, artsy things with the camera… And then everything got put on hold to deal with the technical challenges of sound.

We didn’t move back to long-ass silent reaction shots or sticking the camera in the place that most captured a particular character’s subjective experience for a couple of decades. A lot of the cinematic conventions we take for granted now were developed very early, dropped, and then came back.

I’m so glad someone mentioned Skinner because that was what I was thinking of. Another good example of how people talked in that heightened dialect is actually The Man from UNCLE (2015). If you notice, Henry Cavill as Napoleon Solo doesn’t speak the same sort of dialect that we do nowadays and neither does his CIA boss. Cavill and his boss (played by Jared Harris–incidentally both men are Brits playing Americans) have a slightly toned down version so it’s not too startling to the modern audience but it’s still pretty damn authentic and it works because of the rest of the film. TMFU does a good job with setting up the entire world of the 1960s and so when you hear Napoleon’s voice it’s like hearing a French accent in a film set in Paris–you know it’s an accent, but it fits the world.

Oh god, the reactions to that accent made me so ANGRY. It was flawless. I have rarely heard such a good send-up of the accents from media of that era. The only time I think he slipped was one line as they’re about to enter the park bathroom. It’s literally one word out of the whole film. And yet all of the reactions were “LOL, he fucked up the American accent.” ARRRRRRGH!

Jared Harris saying ‘nazis’ the way Americans do in old movies was priceless! It’s one of my favorite details.

All of this except I just have to add that realism is itself a style. That “olde-timey” acting isn’t simply failed modern acting, it actually values very different things. Acting was a species of rhetoric, and also of dance; vocally, it had more in common with, say, black gospel preaching (think of MLK’s affected phrases: we will GO to the mountain!) than with today’s realist microexpressions; physically, its closer to dance (think of Keaton or Chaplin.) To say acting of this period is realist is almost like complaining that ballet isn’t realist–of course not, we’ve come to see people perform! And personally, I like it - e.g. I still like what Shatner is doing (which is treating Trek like Shakespeare) 1000% more than if he were being realist; in fact I think TOS is amazing because it’s NOT realist.

Can I just…pipe in and say that there’s a reason stage acting is like that? Do you know how hard it is to make your expressions and vocalizations read to the very back of a theater or auditorium? Stage acting has to be exaggerated like that because of its nature.

Also there was a comment in here about actors in film embodying characters whilst actors on stage don’t and I’ve never seen more false a statement in my life.

This. It’s like the difference between a sprint and a marathon.

@kyburg  I think you’d be interested in this.

You’d be right!
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ok but what if like. werewolves transform under the full moon but theres just this one and by day hes a big tough guy and then when he transforms hes a tiny dog. just fucking. just fucking turns into the tiniest, fluffiest dog

imagine that howling at the moon

imagine

Truly a ferocious predator.

And lastly: (He’s the pack leader obviously)

the big wolves are his younger sisters

Okay I’ve literally reblogged this prob a hundred times but it’s the best post ever so here we are again.

this has over a million notes and ive n e v e r seen it before what corner of tumblr did this crawl out from?

I’ve been looking for this everywhere!!!

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highcheesewhiz:

the ending omg

W H A T

@dest-chase @greyskycloud

I was about to make a joke that this is the tutorial level in every platformer game but THE ENDING GOT ME

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Goldfinches

2019-04-22 12:22 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
I have two male goldfinches in the forest garden right now, one on the hopper feeder and one on the thistle feeder, both in their summer coats.  :D  In winter they are a drab olive, but in summer their bodies are brilliant yellow. They still have some smudges on their shoulders, but they're mostly changed over.  So cute! 
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Welcome to the April 2019 Feathering the Nest prompt call!

Today’s prompts have the theme of nonsexual intimacy, which leaves a great deal of room for readers to name their preferred characters, or universe, or events. (I generally don’t write fanfiction, but the core idea often translates well into an original story.) Drop a reply here with at least one prompt and I’ll write a story snippet of at least five hundred words. If I have to choose one among many, thank you. I keep prompt ideas in mind when guiding longer story arcs, to keep a better balance between the positive and negative elements.
Read more... )
[syndicated profile] alpennia_feed

Posted by Heather Rose Jones

Monday, April 22, 2019 - 07:00

There are always at least two layers of historic information about non-normative sexuality: the normative, prescriptive narratives of authorities, whether religious, medical, legal, or other; and the individual, concrete, descriptive accounts of everyday experience. It can be enlightening to see where and how these come into conflict. The cases where records acknowledge that actual human beings often fail to follow the paradigms the experts have set out. Or where we see the disconnect between the official model of how society was supposed to respond to sexual transgression, versus actual experiences and outcomes. Big picture histories too often lean entirely on the former and fail to represent the true variety of experience.

Major category: 
Full citation: 

Puff, Helmut. 1997. “Localizing Sodomy: The ‘Priest and sodomite’ in Pre-Reformation Germany and Switzerland” in Journal of the History of Sexuality 8:2 165-195

As can be expected from the reference to priests in the title of this article, it focuses mostly on relations between men. But there is some information on women within the more general context of “sodomy” involving clerical personnel.

The article focuses on the church’s role in persecuting “sodomites” during a period roughly between the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215 and the Reformation (ca. 1517). Puff demonstrates that there were a variety of approaches taken, depending on context and contradicting the impression that the chuch was uniformly hostile. As a rule, church personnel didn’t participate actively in sodomy trials and there is little evidence for systematic purging of sodomites from clearical or monastic positions. The bulk of the article reviews a number of individual case histories that shed light on the everyday reality that contrasted with the more theoretical evidence of penitential literature, among other sources.

Although there had been increasing concern about sodomy in penitentials during the 5th through 11th centuries, the consolidation of institutional power in the church that increased in the 12th century and later made it possible to address a number of deprecated practices, including simony, priests keeping concubines, and the poor level of priestly education. Also at this period, we see the first introduction in law codes of a death penalty for sodomy, although there is little evidence that it was implemented.

What Puff identifies in this research is that the picture described by earlier historians of church officials acting in concert with lay courts to deliver sodomites for prosecution and execution turns out to be a myth. That picture may have been true for heretics, but although sodomy was sometime conflated with heresy, sodomites were excluded from this church-state partnership of persecution. And even when theoretically included, actual court records paint a different picture than these normative records.

The titular phrase of this article “priest and sodomite” was not an established “social type” but rather emerged from certain specific points of conflict that reflect specific local and political circumstances.

[There is a great deal of fascinating detail in this article, but most of it is irrelevant to the theme of this blog, so I’m going to jump and skim to hit the points relevant to women.]

One contributing factor to the image of the “priest and sodomite”, as well as to accusations against nuns of sexual deviancy of various types, was the popular trope of the morally corrupt clergy. Anti-clerical sentiment, and especially anti-monastic feelings, were regularly expressed in popular tales, satire, and reform propaganda. While corrupt clergy certainly existed, the motif had the attraction of transgression against the clergy/lay social boundary. And the real-life transgression of the boundary between clergy and secular persons seems to have generated a disproportionate number of the legal actions against sodomites. If such relationships remained entirely in one group or the other, they were less likely to cause notice.

While the majority of Puff’s examples involve relations between priests and laymen, one case of a religious recluse, Katharina Güldin in Rottweil in 1444 involves an accusation that she practiced the “vice against nature which is called sodomy” with an unnamed lay woman. The case was recorded because city officials lodged a complaint to the deacon of Rottweil. The outcome of the case is not recorded.

[That, alas, is the extent of the relevant information in this article.]

Event / person: 

Story Question

2019-04-22 01:00 pm
notasupervillain: Cat at computer (Default)
[personal profile] notasupervillain
Story question.

You're a political staffer. Maybe for a Cabinet Offical. You're generally down with his dogwhistling to facism and racism, but today, he's hit an issue that affects you personally and you want to change his mind. Like, try to imagine yourself as the guy who wrote that letter to the New York Times about all the bad stuff they were stopping Trump from doing. You're definitely the hero when you tell your own story.

What quasi-ethical route are you taking to change your elected offical's mind, and/or what issue are you couragously and righteously hoping you can sneak past him? Like, maybe you're stealing the NAFTA withdrawal bill off your boss' desk. "This far and no further", you tell yourself. 

I'd like it to be something at least somewhat unethical you're doing for the Resistance, and I'd like the issue to involve facism, racism, and/or climate change. I have a draft from my previous chapter, and I could stick with that, but hey, might as well get some advice from the political watchers.

There is a word for me!

2019-04-22 12:04 pm
notasupervillain: Cat at computer (Default)
[personal profile] notasupervillain
Aphantasia. When you can't form mental images or visualize things.

I found out that I had this - or rather, that not everyone has this - when my boyfriend read a Scientific American article about it and said that described me. I'm not at totally zero, but I'm super low functioning. And it makes a lot of sense now, that other people can hold images in their minds. I just thought other people were really good at pattern memory or relating images to words and remembering those, which is how I compensate. Unlike anxiety and depression, I feel pretty neutral about this condition. I'm better at some things because of it and worse at others - it's a wash in the end.

And of course there's a word for everything, but I was more interested in the concept than the name for it, until today when I was trying to write a comment and reference the condition. So there we are. Aphantasia. 

Irregular Webcomic! #3976

2019-04-22 10:11 am
[syndicated profile] irregular_comic_rss3_feed
Comic #3976

The first reader who can correctly identify where I took the photo used as the background will win a prize. I'll send you a book from my personal library - a book that's been sitting on my shelf for several years. A book that is related to the location. That's enough hints for now. I need the answer correct enough to identify the building, so just the city is not enough. You can answer either by email or in the forums.

Fusion burrito

2019-04-22 12:31 am
fayanora: SK avatar (Default)
[personal profile] fayanora
Earlier in the month I made slow-cooker chicken tikka masala, but I doubled the lentils and put in a bunch of onion. It was a bit thick for my taste and a bit bland, I think I did something wrong when I made it. But rather than waste it, I put some in a tortilla, put salsa and hot sauce on it, and had a fusion burrito. It was pretty good. I had that for meals for several days.

Poem: "By the People's Voices"

2019-04-21 11:22 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the March 6, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] mashfanficchick. It also fills the "short temper" square in my 2-28-19 card for the Meet Ugly Bingo Fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Officer Pink thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Read more... )

Some stuff...

2019-04-22 02:10 am
archangelbeth: Woman doing a zombie "braaaaains" pose (Braaains!)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
More editing, but not enough to finish the chunk. Much of the early portion of the day was spent feeling so ungodly sleepy...

Then the computer was whining that it was out of memory, and I had to go and carefully compress some files, one at a time, to try to free up space -- and then it cried that it was out of memory again, and I turned on Activity Monitor, and suddenly, POOF! Memory appeared. >_>

Spouse says it was probably coincidence.

Have moved the speaker out to the car, but not plugged it in or anything. Still, it will hopefully be nice to have something that will be willing to hook up to Bluetooth so I can play stuff from my phone when A: the radio is boring, and B: kid is not playing stuff on their headphones.

Need to edit TWO things, I think. Eeeeg.

Havva Quote
One: I am emphatically NOT fine. Two: YOU CAST HOLD PERSON ON ME!
--Bryn, Hit & Abyss, Episode 8: Words Kill
(It's true; one of the other PCs cast Hold Person on her, and not for that great a reason.)


INwatch+Bookwatch )

Funny insult

2019-04-21 10:26 pm
fayanora: SK avatar (Default)
[personal profile] fayanora
From a reddit thread asking "Redditors who post their own nudes online, have family members ever found them? What happened? ( https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/bfnd31/redditors_who_post_their_own_nudes_on_nsfw_subs/ )

Not sure if this counts, but I used to post nudes on Tumblr and also on a local gay forum's NSFW thread during my "formative" years (aka horny and single). I've had closeted classmates writing to me, in good faith, letting me know that "somebody leaked my nudes". I'd thank them and say it's alright, I was the one who uploaded them.

I grew up in a conservative Asian country and was probably the only out gay guy in my university class, so it's always kinda fun to see people DM/PM-ing me on the forum and go like "oh I think I know who you are!".

One tried to blackmail me. I asked him to write that on sandpaper and shove it up his own arse.


LOL that is a hilarious insult.

Yeah, Alex is on Reddit now. ( https://www.reddit.com/user/burningonyx )

Goodnight, internets

2019-04-22 03:57 am
autographedcat: (Default)
[personal profile] autographedcat

Goodnight, internets

Goodnight, internets


()

ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the January 8, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by discussions with [personal profile] dialecticdreamer. It also fills the "masks" square in my 9-30-18 card for the Fall Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Mercedes thread of the Polychrome Heroics series, following "When Opportunity Meets with Planning." Read that first or this won't make much sense.

Warning: This poem features intense and controversial topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It includes consensual impersonation, a bank robbery, a domestic abuse victim, extreme malfeasance from the bank including the endangerment of said victim, the bank manager is an obnoxious dick, random customers choosing NOT to interfere with the bank robbery, soaking someone with a watergun, threatening to use superpowers for minor genital injury, psychedelic use of superpowers, the banks' only public restroom does not meet ADA standards, and also has a camera, vandalism via superpowers, the vault has WAY more money than it should, hiding out in an underground bunker, cramming calories, faceplanting anyway, and other challenges. There are no casualties in the bank job. If these are touchy topics for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

Read more... )

Getting Things Done

2019-04-21 09:50 pm
billroper: (Default)
[personal profile] billroper
There are a great many things that I should be getting done. However, life is being exceedingly busy, so they aren't getting done, because other things keep crowding their way up the priority queue.

Maybe next weekend.

Writerly Ways

2019-04-21 09:16 pm
cornerofmadness: (Default)
[personal profile] cornerofmadness
Huzzah! I finished one of the two Christmas stories.

This writerly ways comes thanks to My Hero Academia and the recent arc has gotten me thinking about unlikable characters. Should there be something redemptive about them? I suppose it matters if they're the good guys or the bad. One of the main characters, Midoriya is such a sweet, caring and endearing character. He's the entire reason to watch it. It's his story. In fact he elevates this manga/anime from all the other shonens like it. Most have a screamy boy who trains and trains and trains, fights, loses trains more and wins.

Midoriya doesn't scream. He's gentle and earnest and that's why unlike Bleach, Naruto, Black Cover and so many others I haven't lost interest. But that's not what I want to talk about. Midoriya had a friend as a kid, Bakugo. They both grew up rurally and wanted to be like their hero All Might (sort of a superman type). Well in a world where 80% of the people get some sort of magical power, Midoriya doesn't and Bakugo does.

Rather than have pity, he dubs Midoriya 'Deku' (which means good for nothing, a name he chooses to keep later on) and bullies the living crap out of him. When Midoriya gets a quirk as they're called (Thanks to All MIght) they both get into the premiere superhero training school. Deku is happy to be going with his friend (which he is unwavering about) but Bakugo isn't happy about it. He has a screaming fit instead and continues to bully Deku in the new school.

He is determined to be the number one hero, a goal shared by many including Deku and Todoroki (whose father is the number two hero in the world currently) but while the latter two are gentlemanly about it, Bakugo is obnoxious, violent and bullying and not just to his classmates. He bullies students from other classes. He's so violent that the teachers are worried about the wisdom of teaching him, yet know if they don't he will become a villain.

So Bakugo is a thoroughly unlikable and powerful character (on whom Deku refuses to give up) and we've started a new arc, cut for spoilers )

So right now we're at a place where Deku and the classmates need to help Bakugo and I'm struggling with this. Bakugo is so rotten I can't see why anyone would risk what the kids are risking to help him. WHy would you help this guy? He would be unlikely to help them. They could lose it all to help and it somehow feels hollow.

Can you buy helping a right bastard because it's the correct thing to do? DO you need more to make you want to see the unlikable character be saved? In a way I think I do. Draco Malfoy is pretty awful as a person but we get to see that he's been forced into some of it by his father (but not all of it, some of it is entitlement) so we have a bit of sympathy. Dawn was a terribly unpopular character on Buffy but if you really look at season 6 Dawn, she's lost her sister, the only family she has and when she gets Buffy back, Buffy is so damaged she has nothing left over for Dawn. Giles is gone. Willow and Tara have their own issues and heck being a teenager is a drama unto itself.

The same argument can be made of Connor another generally unlikable character in one respect but when you take a moment to examine the character it's obvious you can't expect much other than what you get after someone has been brainwashed for eighteen years to think the worse of his father and then gets gaslighted into believing Angel murdered the only father he had ever known, there is (or at least should be) some pity.

But with Bakugo we have no tragic backstory, no anything to depict him as anything but a power hungry bully. Should I care what happens to him?

How do YOU handle unlikable characters in your own stories?

Have some links from around the web.

Finding Acceptance and Peace Through the Ceremony of Writing

Women writing

Are You a Writer or Creator?


The Literary Merits Of Not Showing Off


Write What You Know: How Setting Shapes Story

And from Betty

How Much Research Should You Do For Your Book?

The Black Moment It's a good article but man can't we find another term other than black to denote negative things

The Character Arc in Six Specific Stages

The Flip Side

Five Tips for Writing Tears that Carry Power

How I Wrote an Extended Series

WHAT DOES YOUR ONLINE ACTIVITY SAY ABOUT YOU?

Five Characters With Strong Arcs

Crafting a Redemption Arc for Your Villain

The Five Stages of Becoming a Fiction Writer

Does My Character-Driven Story Need an External Conflict?

It's been awhile since I've done these

Yearly Word Count -


16267 / 100000 words. 16% done!

Mischief Christmas -


4938 / 21000 words. 24% done!

WIPBingbang -


17027 / 30000 words. 57% done!

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