randomling: A wombat. (Default)
KJ Charles protagonists by Hogwarts house.

Gryffindor: Stephen Day, Archie Curtis, Richard Vane, Silas Mason, Nathaniel Roy, Jonah Pastern, Simon Feximal

Ravenclaw: Dominic Frey, Rowley Green, Crispin Tredarloe, Saul Lazenby

Hufflepuff: Harry Vane, Lord Gabriel "Ash" Ashleigh, Clement Talleyfer, Ned Hall, Ben Spenser, Martin St Vincent, Robert Caldwell

Slytherin: Lord Crane, David Cyprian, Daniel da Silva, Justin Lazarus, Julius Norreys, Francis Webster, Theodore Swann, Randolph Glyde

Which means we have:

Gryffindor/Slytherin x4, Gryffindor/Ravenclaw x2, Gryffindor/Hufflepuff x2, Ravenclaw/Hufflepuff x2, Ravenclaw/Slytherin x1, Hufflepuff/Slytherin x3

Made it to the UK

Sep. 23rd, 2017 04:30 pm[personal profile] pheloniusfriar
pheloniusfriar: (Default)
I realized how tired I was when I got to to the airport here and decided that my initial plan to take a bus tour of London was not such a good idea, and I wisely decided to head straight to Oxford. Took the Hogwarts Gatwick Express train to London's Victoria station, headed to the London Underground where I was disappointed to learn it was not a political movement (cues rimshot) and headed from Victoria Station to Paddington Station, and from there caught a train to Oxford. Definitely a good idea because I was having trouble keeping my eyes open by the time I got here. I pretty much caught all of my connections and it still took about 4 hours of travel... ugh.

The situation was not helped that in order to find where I was staying I needed to go to the Porter's Lodge at St. John's College in Oxford. This process was impeded by a complete and utter lack of any signage or guidance. I was reasonably sure I was close to it, but to find it I basically pushed open a massive fortress door (which was mysteriously unlocked, and which I saw people occasionally wander out of as I stood on the sidewalk trying to get my UK phone plan to works... note: that remains a work in progress) and wandered into an empty courtyard and meandered into another courtyard and randomly went into a doorway to another area where I saw an open door to something that looked like an office and went in... and there it was (there were a lot of other possibilities for where I could have gone, it was extremely lucky that I "zen navigated" my way to the right place... if nothing else, I would have asked anyone I found for help). I paid for my flat (in advance... thank goodness my Canadian bank card worked, it is supposed to work like Visa debit card and did) got the keys and fobs and set out to find the place, dragging my luggage behind me... it was walking distance, but further than I expected by a little bit. I got in (hauled everything up three flights of stairs). You walk in the door and there is a vestibule with a light switch and two doors leading off of it in opposite directions. In one direction is a living room with a chair, a small couch, a foldable dining table, wall shelving, a desk, a small cabinet, and what was a fireplace (now sealed up). Off the living room is another door that leads to a small kitchen with stove, small fridge, microwave, toaster, sink, cupboards above and below with plates, cookware, etc.. Going the other direction from the vestibule is the bedroom with a queen sized bed, bedside tables with lamps, and a little closet with an ironing board, iron, vacuum, etc.. From the bedroom is another door and a fairly large bathroom with toilet, sink, and shower. It is far from luxurious, but it is certainly more spacious than a hotel room (or hostel room, which is where I was originally supposed to be staying... there is a private hostel for visitors to the facilities in Harwell, but it was full so one of the physicists from Oxford was able to get me this flat I am in now).

It was late afternoon, and I went out for dinner. A lot of the places nearby that looked promising were actual British pubs, and by that I mean I could get beer, but not really anything in the way of food from what I could see (none of the customers had anything but pints). I ended up going to what looked like a chain restaurant (https://www.browns-restaurants.co.uk/) because they had what looked like decent food and had a menu out front. They were serving mid-afternoon tea with the trays of goodies and such, it was fun to see. Their regular menu was also available. I ordered what turned out to be a micro-brew IPA (my friend in China needs to come here and teach English... I can't understand a thing they're saying... seriously, and lol, they can't understand me one whit either!) that was very strong and bitter (I liked it, most people I know would not have) and their "Slow cooked salted pork belly" which was came with savoury apple pie, buttered green beans, mash, crackling, and red wine jus. It was better than I expected from a chain type restaurant (not a large chain, they have about two dozen locations, but still). They had a very European attitude toward bringing the bill (I had to flag my server down and make air-scribbling motions), but I was falling asleep at my table and had to get out. The good news again is that I was able to use my Canada Post prepaid Visa to pay for my meal (so that works too, which is good). I have some UK currency in my pocket, but my bank in Canada gave me 5 Pound notes that aren't accepted as currency here anymore, sigh, which is about 40% of the cash I had on me. I should be able to trade them in for valid UK currency, but will probably need some help with that because only banks will do it.

From there, I came back home (home is where I hang my hat) — via a convenience store where I bought vegetable samosas and an orange juice for a snack later — and pretty much fell asleep. I just got up am going to try to go back to sleep again soon (had a samosa, it was pretty good, and the juice) but will try to repair my shoe again with the glue I got (and brought), see if Virgin Mobile can fix the issue with my local phone plan in the UK which doesn't seem to be working, and maybe put my clothes away (and maybe even take a shower, which would be a public service at this point I'm sure).

If I wake up early enough, I might do the London hop on/hop off bus tour thing tomorrow but I'm not going to set an alarm. There is also the possibility of just doing a tour of Oxford (they have open topped double decker buses and lots to see here as well, it's quite the tourist town). I also need to figure out where to catch the private shuttle bus from Oxford to the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Monday morning (I need to be there by 9:30AM, which seems quite civilized). Two shuttle tickets were waiting for me at the Porter's Lodge that had been sent by mail by my contact. The address was "Phelonius Friar, c/o The College Porter, St. John's College, St. Giles, Oxford, OX1 3JP"... seriously, this place has no actual address... you either know where it is, or you don't! Fyi, I found a little medieval door to the street (short, and studded with iron things) that is the door the area where the Porter lurks, err works that I can go to in the future if I need to. It allows access to one of the courtyards I had wandered through earlier, and has a doorbell that will summon the porter 24/7 from what I was told. It is unlocked, I was also told, until 11PM. There is absolutely no indication on or anywhere near that door or the buzzer as to what might lie behind it or what it's purpose is. I am thinking I will have to leave quite early for the shuttle bus as well... they indicate a location, but I suspect it is also a "you know where it is or you don't" sort of thing... and I don't ;).

I imagine that this is the sort of thing that goes on inside these mysterious institutions in Oxford:

Posted by Marykate Jasper

Nicole Kelly, a former Miss America contestant who was born without a left forearm, has been putting her master’s degree in broadcasting to use by teaching others about her experience with a new “bionic hand.” Though Kelly rarely wore a prosthetic arm growing up, preferring to instead perform most tasks one-handed, she recently started using the Coapt Complete Control system, a robotic arm that “uses sensors in the arm that work with Kelly’s muscles” and “allows her to control the arm by thinking about what she wants to do.”

She’s decided to document her learning curve on YouTube, so that she can help to normalize the process. “I wanted to show my growth,” she said. “It doesn’t mean that I put on the arm and now magically I changed and I am like everyone else…I want to be able to educate you on my level of capability.”

Kelly previously competed in beauty pageants, eventually becoming Miss Iowa and competing in the 2014 Miss America contest. Though the pageant and its deeply problematic beauty standards have been around since 1921, Kelly was only the second women in its history to have a disability. She told Today, “That was the most attractive thing to me — I can wear a sparkly dress and talk about difference. That is why I did it.”

As awesome as it is that Kelly’s pushing back against ableist ideas of beauty, she undeniably fits conventional beauty standards in a number of ways. However, she certainly doesn’t fit the mainstream narrative about who’s “biohacking” and leading the way in the day-to-day of robotics research, so I’m excited to watch as she progresses.

Here’s Kelly trying to pick up a bottle of juice:

And here’s Kelly practicing brushing her teeth:

I certainly don’t want to downplay how frustrating and difficult it must be for Kelly to adjust to her new hand. It clearly requires tons of practice, and it’s crucial for the people in her life to accommodate her as she works with it, gets annoyed with it, and takes a longer time to complete tasks. It’s unrealistic to expect everyone dealing with an arm like this to be full of good humor all the time, and Kelly’s smiles and can-do attitude don’t make it any less crucial for our society to do a whole lot better by disabled people.

However, I have to appreciate the joy and normalcy in her videos, where she laughs, tries again, gets creative, and explains what makes using the prosthetic arm (or one hand, in her older videos) difficult. Her videos demonstrate how people with disabilities aren’t necessarily tragic or helpless figures, like we so often see in fiction. Instead, they’re going to discuss their bodies with the same infinite variety of approaches we see people use for every other bodied experience. Some of those stories will be tragic; some will be angry; some will be funny; some will be gross; and others – like Kelly’s videos – will be about the humor, struggle, and joy of experimentation and persistence.

(Via Today; image via screengrab)

Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site!

The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—

sovay: (Rotwang)
Happy autumn! Happy Bi Visibility Day! Happy centenary of the invention of Fluff, which explains why the first thing I ate today was a peanut butter and marshmallow fluff cookie: I spent the later part of my afternoon in Union Square with [personal profile] rushthatspeaks, [personal profile] gaudior, and Fox, who may or may not have liked their first taste of marshmallow but was really into a crunchy organic juice blend one of their parents was trying to drink. (Eventually they covered themselves in it. It was green. That's the first time I've seen a baby cosplay Howl's Moving Castle.) I am delighted to learn that plasmodial slime molds can share memories. I would definitely watch Dwayne Johnson as Plato. I am faceplantingly tired, but I have cats. It has not been terrible, being awake today.

150 autumn icons

Sep. 23rd, 2017 05:52 pm[personal profile] kalli posting in [community profile] pretty_pixels
kalli: (sway)
Happy Autumn! Lots of colorful autumn icons!

Save, comment & credit [community profile] pretty_pixels :)
(Numbers are above the icons. Feel free to add text if you like.)

samples:


...turning of the leaves... )

Posted by Marykate Jasper

While LGBT History Month isn’t until October in the U.S., or until February in the U.K., September 23 is International Celebrate Bisexuality Day/Bi Visibility Day! “What we asked people to do,” reads the initial summary of the day, “was find some time on this day to celebrate who they are. That could be lighting a candle, saying a prayer, buying a bi pride flag, getting together with other bisexuals for brunch, having incredible sex, march somewhere, whatever they desired.” Check out the #BiVisibilityDay tag for some A+ jokes, celebratory selfies, and knowledge dropping.

September was originally chosen because it’s Freddie Mercury’s birth month, so let’s also celebrate with this photo of Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury:

  • Yuri!!! On Ice is getting its own Funko Pop collection, including Yuri, Yurio, Victor, and Young Victor – flower crown included, obvi. (via Nerdist)
  • Pennywise is either the world’s greatest dancer or its worst, as his routine fits pretty much any song you can set it to. Check out this Twitter account which matches his dance sequence to a bunch of different tunes.
  • Boom! Studios will release a graphic novel that builds on the universe of The Expanse. It’ll be titled The Expanse: Origins and will “take a peek at who our beloved crew was before the Rocinante.” (via SYFY Wire)
  • Over at the AV Club, Clayton Purdom argues that “Rick And Morty’s worst fans don’t deserve Rick And Morty.” Couldn’t agree any more.
  • Things are pretty dire in Mexico City, which has been shaken by its second earthquake in less than a week. Jezebel has reports from the city itself, where it seems that volunteers are being blocked by the police, as well as links where you can donate.
  • Puerto Rico still isn’t receiving the aid it needs after its electricity system was decimated by hurricanes. Have you contacted your representatives yet to demand action and aid for them?

(Featured image via Shutterstock)

Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site!

The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—

In case you were wondering...

Sep. 23rd, 2017 07:16 pm[personal profile] kass
kass: white cat; "kass" (Default)
...the LEGO Ninjago movie is charming as hell. There's a delightfully meta frametale, plus Jackie Chan, plus bonus points for excellent use of a cat. I think I laughed as much as my kid did, and that's saying something. :-)
conuly: (Default)
I spent an inordinate amount of time arduously sewing together a Batman logo - only to find at the end that I'd miscentered it!

Welp, it's for a pre-k student, I'm not redoing it. He'll neither notice nor care.

****************


Leather, Grown in a Lab Without Cows

These hermit crabs shack up inside living coral instead of mere shells

The Split Pants That Are China’s Alternative to Diapers

Children of today are better at delaying gratification than previous generations

A Brainless Slime That Shares Memories by Fusing

Hot chicken was the Prince family legacy — then Nashville transformed it into an icon, and now everybody wants a piece

Ultra-light aluminum: Chemists report breakthrough in material design

'Family Matters' House Will Be Demolished, Replaced With Condos

How Books Designed for Soldiers’ Pockets Changed Publishing Forever

Why Did India Have Ten Million Fewer Childhood Deaths Than Predicted?

By ganging up, HIV antibodies may defeat the virus

Conversions From Islam in Europe and Beyond

Black, Jewish And Avoiding The Synagogue On The High Holy Days

Earthquakes are even harder to predict than we thought

Mexico City’s People Power

Broad swath of US deemed environmentally suitable for mosquitoes that transmit disease

Why Wages Aren’t Growing

Governments turn tables by suing public records requesters

4 Disabled People Dead in Another Week of Police Brutality

The Persistent, Wide Racial Gap in Attitudes Toward the Police

Federal government notifies 21 states of election hacking

Trump's 'election integrity' group is waging war on the right to vote

Puerto Rico Puts Its Prisons Near Flood Zones. After Hurricane Maria, thousands of families await news. (Seriously, look at that map!)

Failing dam creates new crisis on Puerto Rico amid flooding from Hurricane Maria

Puerto Rico's power system is "basically destroyed", the US Virgin Islands are under a 24 hour curfew

Why Do Border Deaths Persist When the Number of Border Crossings Is Falling?

Border Patrol Arrests Parents While Infant Awaits Serious Operation

The Economic Costs of Domestic Violence

Thousands rally in Philippines, warn of Duterte 'dictatorship'

For Decades, Nazis Have Been Germany's Shame. But Is That About To Change?

Southeast Asia's Rohingya Refugee Crisis Reaches a Terrible Peak (Photos)
siderea: (Default)
Canonical link: https://siderea.dreamwidth.org/1355110.html

[We interrupt the previously scheduled rant for another rant.]

At some point, if you are so lucky, you will be old. You may already be old. Somebody you love may already be old. Old people, being people, require medical care, and are often treated – because this is basically what primary care in our society consists of – with medications.

Thing is, old bodies handle medicine differently than young ones.

Take the liver... [3,340 Words] )

This post brought to you by the 137 readers who funded my writing it – thank you all so much! You can see who they are at my Patreon page. If you're not one of them, and would be willing to chip in so I can write more things like this, please do so there.

Please leave comments on the Comment Catcher comment, instead of the main body of the post – unless you are commenting to get a copy of the post sent to you in email through the notification system, then go ahead and comment on it directly. Thanks!
hollymath: (Default)
While [personal profile] mother_bones has been looking after Gary while we're away this weekend, she spotted he had a loose tooth. She took him to the vets (after calling me to check which one we use...and to make sure she wasn't overstepping in doing so) and assured me he's fine and she can help pay for the medical treatment he needs if we need to do so up front...I know I asked Andrew to sort out insurance for him so I'm sure it's been done but I couldn't remember the details and he's in Leeds so I couldn't easily ask him. [personal profile] mother_bones said the vet said this could have happened any time so probably happened just now and I don't need to worry that I've been a negligent owner or that he's been in pain, which was my main worry. He had fleas a little while ago and I never noticed them, it took Andrew to see them and I felt awful. If he was just my dog I never would know. I couldn't see them. Then I worried about the money because we don't have much right now but she said she could help with that too if need be. She's so kind but I feel like such a terrible pet owner.

Then Andrew, who's been in Leeds all day for a comic convention and will be again tomorrow, missed his last train back to Brighouse where I've been and where we're supposed to be staying. He can get back to Manchester but at greater expense and inconvenience. I mean, I have everything from his toothbrush to his CPAP machine! And I miss him and I want to talk to him about Gary.

It'll all be fine and I'm around good people but it's all unsettling.
laundrybaskets: laundry (Default)
You know the drill. If you exercised today, please comment and inspire the rest of us to get moving.

Have a great day!

Posted by Vrai Kaiser

Neo Yokio—an anime-style Netflix miniseries written by the lead singer of Vampire Weekend, steered by the executive producer who was also behind Metalocalypse and Superjail!, and starring Jaden Smith—was released this Thursday to great…well, there were a lot of tweets about it, anyway. The series revolves around Kaz Kaan, an exorcist and member of the “neo riche,” as he battles very relatable concerns like purchasing a tuxedo that’s slightly the wrong shade and having to clear out a dead relative’s house in the Hamptons. Some have defended the series as satire, some have embraced it as camp, and some have settled in to watch the garbage fire secondhand.

This was not a series to be watched alone, so I enlisted fandom academic and acerbic wit (and, full disclosure, my partner) Dorothy Kingswood to help me truck through all six episodes. The experience left us four hours closer to death; hopefully our discussion will shed some light on the baffling fumble of execution that is Neo Yokio.

Vrai Kaiser: Most people are, I think, flocking to watch this on the assumption that it’ll be good MST3K material–the trailer definitely gave off that kind of vibe. The horrible truth, though, is that Neo Yokio quickly stops being fun-stupid and moves right into being exhaustingly stupid.

 

Dorothy Kingswood: Yeah, I mean, when I turned on Netflix, I was certainly expecting a tamely silly piece of adolescent weeb power fantasy–and that’s said with love. There is nothing inherently wrong with wanting that kind of cheesy, popcorny entertainment. The problems, though, are many and rampant, starting from the Hanna-Barbera-as-Flash cheapo art and continuing on through concept and execution right up to its insistence on attempting to apply the language and theories of progressive thought in a careless and slapdash manner. It wants to make audiences really think, man, but instead wallows in a sea of superficiality, shallowness, and aesthetics that the creators can’t quite bring themselves to let go of, despite their moves towards interrogation.

VK: It’s ostensibly meant to be satire–that’s certainly in the headlines of plenty of reviews I’ve seen, and Ezra Koenig floated it as parody before he allegedly started “caring about the characters,” but it fails pretty crucially from the word “go.” If Jaden Smith’s character is supposed to be representative of the idle, idiotic rich, we should probably be exposed at some point to characters who aren’t the .01% or aiding and abetting same. I believe you called him “Bertie Wooster without the charm.”

 

DK: He is, he really is. They give him a mean bossy Aunt Agatha who makes him–horrors!–actually perform exorcisms. She’s a clear reference to Wodehouse’s works, but where the goodhearted Bertie essentially wanted to be left alone and allowed to enjoy himself, Kaz is intensely focused upon his externally-validated social standing. Which brings us, I guess, to one of the oddest conventions of Neo Yokio (the location): the Times Square Bachelor Board.

 

VK: Ah, yes–imagine if those “most eligible bachelor” lists leapt from the pages of magazines to be inexplicably emblazoned on the heart of Times Square. It exists entirely to set up a rivalry with the local blond asshole, but there’s never any real sense of urgency beyond the fact that Draco (not his real name) said a mean thing about Kaz once. The plotting for the series is lax beyond belief, as if Koenig grasped that long-running anime have early establishing shenanigans-based episodes but not that one shouldn’t apply that logic to a show with a six-episode maximum.

All of that is within the realm of camp, though–stupid plotting is a help to mockery if anything, and I’m sure some people will be drawn in by the low-quality animation and that Big Toblerone meme. Plus, it is nice to see animated series with racially diverse casts. It’s just such a shame about, y’know, the rest of it.

DK: The Mean Thing that not-Draco said about Kaz is implied to be a slur, in that the lax, sloppy worldbuilding includes a Hogwarts-lite sort of wave at Once Upon A Time Sorcerors Were an Oppressed Class, You Know, and “ratcatcher” is their “Mudblood.” Also all the magic people have pink, purple, or blue hair, but so does poor, poor Helena St. Tessoro, because something this obviously inspired by 90s anime cannot possibly abide a love interest with boring regular hair, worldbuilding be damned.

 

VK: Neither of us are really qualified to get too deep into the series’ approach to race, but the show does definitely choose to have an oppressed fantasy underclass rather than dealing with issues even tangentially related to real-world racism. Which might be an attempt to create an aspirational fantasy, but that’s not the vibe I get from the show. It seems to think it’s saying something. So…rather than say anything real, it makes up its own windmills to swing at. It lives in an absolutely wretched bubble, and its homages to anime sometimes cross into straight-up appropriating terms from Japanese culture it doesn’t get. Specifically hikikomori, a thing anime makes jokes about but is…y’know, an actual community of real people suffering from mental illness.

Certainly we CAN say that its approach to women isn’t great. There’s Helena, as you mentioned, who spends most of the series as a strawman and Freshman Who Just Read the Communist Manifesto.

DK: The ill-use of hikikomori goes hand-in-hand with the show’s decision to describe Kaz’s whining over girls breaking up with him as “depression.” Sure, he’s theoretically meant to be a flawed protagonist in a shallow fishbowl world, but that doesn’t really hold water when there are no stakes or consequences, and every realization of his asshattery results in no marked change in his behavior.

The show gives lip service to performative wokeness, but always in aid of getting away with doing the very things it calls out. It’s a sort of Hipster Racism as applied to every other type of oppression the writers have at some point read about. (Homophobia, misogyny, transphobia, classism.)

In anything else, Helena would be insufferable. In this, she is the best character in a bad bunch, simply because she actually modifies her actions and lifestyle in line with her changing beliefs. And that says a lot. (Also, given her later actions, that’s far from a ringing endorsement.)

I hope you weren’t expecting that subtitle to be examined at any future point

VK: A lot of it is easy to shrug off in isolation, I think, particularly the early going: the fact that the show is too dumb to understand the “anime” terms it appropriates, the fact that the protagonist is a bubble-headed rich idiot whose biggest problem in life is his very expensive suit being the wrong color, the fact that most of the female characters are totally unimportant–either they’re idiots, they’re evil, or they’re…whatever the writing was trying to do with Helena. But camp is found, not created, and it’s a lot harder to sink blissfully into the silliness when the show keeps tapping you on the shoulder to Say Something. And then it says things that are completely tone-deaf.

The anime references, for example; mostly they’re eye-rolling and pretty basic. “Hey, it’s the dream sequence from AKIRA!” “Hey, they said tuxedo mask!” But then they decide to parody Ranma ½ (one of Koenig’s favorite anime, apparently), and things go real sideways, real fast.

Now Ranma (a series about a boy who’s cursed to turn into a girl whenever he’s splashed with cold water) is a series that provided a kind of wish-fulfillment role among a certain age group of trans nerds, myself included. But it was hugely problematic in regards to gender essentialism when it was written in the 90s, and it’s only gotten more ugly with age. There is absolutely no way a cis creator could tango with that material in a tasteful way. And this is egregiously bad.

By introducing a shenanigansy plot wherein Kaz’s cis male friend is transformed into a woman, the show opens the door to twenty minutes of walking into horrible stereotypes about trans women, including having the female-identified, loudly male-identifying Lexy use his physical appearance to hit on a lesbian; or having Kaz tell Lexy not to talk because his voice “gives him away.” The latter plays on fears of trans women being subject to mockery or even violence if they can’t pass, and the former plays right into TERF ideology that trans women are “really” just men trying to get with lesbians.

DK: Don’t forget that it uses that male character, Lexy, as the speaker for nearly all of its “feminist” talking points–neatly keeping the voice located within the mouth of a Dude. In a better show, this would mean something, like that Kaz only listens to other men, but in this? He dismisses Lexy just as much as Helena, to no apparent ill effects for their friendship once the magic spell is reversed. (Ah, the good old reset button. Because the writers enjoy both gag-an-episode structures and ongoing arcs, and haven’t figured out where those things might be incompatible.)

VK: And then the episode has the gall to pretend it’s about Kaz being sexist to women and patronizingly tells the viewer that gender is a spectrum, not a binary. Fuck you, Neo Yokio.

….Actually that’s something of a distillation of the show’s problem. It knows how to parrot concepts but absolutely fails to grasp the contexts at play behind them. I mean, that classism.

DK: The classism is baked into the premise; only two people of a lower status are given speaking roles. One is a fawning Bergdorf’s employee whom Kaz calls “Salesclerk” to his face.

The other is a human being Kaz literally owns.

Getting into spoilers, here, but over the course of that same hi-lar-ious transphobia episode, Kaz spends an entire subplot denying a personal servant access to resources that they need in order to function, as they repeatedly plead for him to assist in sustaining their life, because they are unable to disobey his minor whims even for such a dire predicament. This is played for laughs.

 

VK: For a show that’s ostensibly about the corruption of society and the exploitation of the average person by the elite in the end (I think? It’s possible Eden of the East is one of the shows Neo Yokio would like us to know it has seen), it has absolutely no interest in showing us any kind of actual civil unrest. All the employees of the rich are pleased as punch with their roles (even the human being Kaz definitely owns, whom we have no indication has been paid ever); Helena is the only mouthpiece for anti-capitalist ideology, and she experiences it in an entirely theoretical way.

The show name-drops designer fashion brands endlessly, valorizes the nobility of shallowness, practically drowns the viewer in luxury- and food-porn it can’t actually afford to animate beguilingly, and then pretends like it’s commenting on the excesses of rampant capitalism via a character who is also a billionaire who has never known hardship. This is Reality Bites, 2017 edition.

DK: None of which sits well with the conceit of a demon-hunting show. Because, lest we forget, our hero is ostensibly a magical demon hunter who fights… definitely not season 1 Sailor Moon villains. At all.

That whole plotline sort of fades away after the exorcism of Literal Monster Taylor Swift, presumably at the behest of Spotify.

SAILOR PELLEGRINO CAN’T COME TO THE PHONE RIGHT NOW

Sharp satire there, folks.

The demons here seem to be in some way connected to greed or avarice, except that after the halfway point the focus shifts to the ills of Neo Yokio’s castle-in-the-clouds elite. The metaphor collapses in on itself.

And perhaps most uncomfortably of all, the creators choose to represent the destabilization of the social stratification through the elimination of its biggest, dumbest symbol: the Bachelor Board.

By bombing.

This is shown as a positive action.

While Smith was only 3 years old the last time Americans saw NYC landmarks burning and falling, Koenig doesn’t have the excuse of youthful thoughtlessness. Why did he, and everyone else on the production team, believe that mimicking 9/11 of all things was a good idea?

 

VK: I have no idea what this show thought, at any point. I’m unsure we can prove it did. It’s so breathtakingly stupid in ways that can’t possibly have been on purpose (SEE! Kaz lecturing young women about how Helena is no longer an acceptable role model for them. CRINGE! As Helena evolves into some kind of cis-swapped version of Christian Slater in Heathers. BAFFLE! As Kaz buys ANOTHER ROBOT that may house a human who will never be paid, we just don’t know).

There are probably people who can get down with that, toxically transphobic episode aside. But a show that’s supposedly parodying the wealthy by giving their entire lifestyle a lavish tongue bath really doesn’t work for me at a point where I’m worried about losing medical care and feeding my family. You?

 

DK: This was four hours of my life I spent, shouting and livetweeting in bursts between being periodically struck dumb by the sheer offensive incompetence of it all. It’s not The Room or Birdemic bad; it’s not even the toxically hopeful foolishness of Plan 9 From Outer Space.

Instead, Neo Yokio is the kind of bad you get sitting in a Gender Studies lecture hall, listening to a dude with a trust fund and a scarf explain Marxism to the professor.

But, you know, they’ve got pastel hair.

Dorothy Kingswood is a queer nerd with a Master’s degree in talking about fans. She’s a bartender by day and a writer by night, or maybe the other way around. Previously, she’s taught English, interned as a copy editor, and dug ditches in summer. You can hear more of her dulcet tones on her podcast, Trash & Treasures, or tweet her @dorothynotgale.

Vrai Kaiser is a queer author and pop culture blogger; they can’t. You can read more essays and find out about their fiction at Fashionable Tinfoil Accessories, listen to them podcasting on Soundcloud, support their work via Patreon or PayPal, or remind them of the existence of Tweets.

andrewducker: (Default)
I've been paying attention to the many attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)* and what's been really obvious in the last year is that the Republican majority don't actually want to repeal it.

There seem to be three different groups:
1) Republican Senators who can see that Obamacare is actually about as right-wing a way to have universal healthcare as you can get**, and don't actually want to get rid of it.
2) Republican Senators who may or may not be in favour of Obamacare, but can see that their constituents are now attached to their healthcare, will be furious if they lose it, and only have a slim majority which they are terrified of losing at the next election.
3) Republican Senators who really are against Obamacare.

The problem here is that all three groups need to pretend that they're in category (3), because they've spent the last decade telling their supporters how terrible Obamacare is, to the point where there are voters who support all of the individual parts of the bill, and even the "Affordable Care Act" but will be will be against Obamacare.

And the longer the ACA exists, and the more that voters understand about it (as is happening the more Republicans talk about it) the more popular it gets. To the point where a majority of the public are now in favour of it***. But the Republican Party now has a central point of belief that "Obamacare is bad".

Which means that in order to be against it, but not actually remove it, we're left with a few Republican Senators taking it in turns to vote against repeal, on various largely spurious grounds. Being very careful to say "Oh no, I hate Obamacare as much as the next person. But I can't vote to repeal it this time, because of a minor provision. Maybe next time." - and then the next time a _different_ Republican Senator can do exactly the same thing.

None of which means that Obamacare is safe. It's balanced on a bunch of senators believing that if they repeal it they'll lose their jobs. So every time a repeal bill is put forward they have to be persuaded _again_ that the public still cares. And I am very grateful for my US friends who are involved in getting people to phone their representatives every time it comes up.

But I am moderately hopeful that we'll make it through to the mid-terms without it being repealed. Because I don't think that a majority of the senate actually wants it to be.****


*There were over 50 of these between 2011 and 2014, goodness knows how many we're up to now
**Not surprising, as it's very similar to RomneyCare.
***But only 17% of registered Republicans. It's the swing voters who have moved.
****But don't trust me. This is just my impression from what I've read from, frankly, a long way away.

Out of F*cks Couscous

Sep. 23rd, 2017 04:05 pm[personal profile] lizcommotion posting in [community profile] cookability
lizcommotion: Lily and Chance squished in a cat pile-up on top of a cat tree (buff tabby, black cat with red collar) (Default)
I first made this couscous when I was more regularly going to pot-lucks and I wanted something that was quick, cheap, easy, could be served at room temperature, and was vegetarian. (So many pot lucks full of sad vegetarians eating carrot sticks and cookies.)

My disclaimer is that usually my (Arab) girlfriend doesn't eat it because it tastes nothing at all like her family's actually authentic Middle Eastern couscous.

However, the higher-energy version gets the spices closer to right.

Skills used (out of fucks version)
- knife (optional)
- opening a can
- boiling water
- opening containers
- stirring a bowl

Skills used (don't fuck with me version)
- knife (less optional, food processor might work as alternate)
- opening a can
- boiling water
- opening containers
- active cooking at stove

Out of Fucks Couscous

Read more... )

Don't Fuck with me Couscous

This is the version I prefer but it requires slightly more energy so I'm listing it here as an alternative. Also, maybe you prefer Out of Fucks Couscous. IDK! Maybe you will riff off these and invent your own!

Read more... )

Other variations I've been meaning to try that probably require more energy:
- Microwave a sweet potato and cube, add instead of tomatoes
- Add raisins to saute mixture?
- Some way to do this with quinoa so it's gluten free, but also doesn't take forever

Posted by Marykate Jasper

UPDATE: The Golden State Warriors, given Trump’s tweet, have announced that they will not visit the White House.

This weekend, Trump did his best to remind us that Jemele Hill’s criticism of him as a white supremacist was entirely accurate. I know we don’t cover a ton of sports here at The Mary Sue, but we do cover social justice – and Trump spent this week attacking a number of professional athletes because they’re black, successful, and opinionated. It’s racist as hell, and it echoes all his resentments of Obama.

First, on a Friday campaign rally in Alabama, Trump went after NFL player Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback who knelt during the national anthem to protest police brutality. Kaepernick inspired other athletes to adopt the same silent, powerful method of protest, and he is currently a free agent without a contract (likely because of all the right-wing backlash against his exercise of free speech).

Though Trump didn’t refer to Kaepernick by name, he asked the rally crowd, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now – He’s fired’?”

This is Trump, a man who waffled about condemning a KKK Grand Wizard and called the Charlottesville torch bearers “very fine people.” But Kaepernick? He’s apparently a “son of a bitch” for advocating for racial justice.

Trump also followed up with two tweets today:

Not a day after the rally, Trump went on his typical weekend tweetstorm, and among his many targets was NBA superstar Steph Curry. Curry, a superstar player on the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors, had said he would vote against the traditional team trip to the White House – emphasizing that it was still a group decision.

“That’s going to be my vote when I meet with the team, but it is a collective,” he said. “It’s not just about me, it’s not just about KD [Kevin Durant]. It’s about the whole team, and what we were able to accomplish as a team, and the opportunity that historically has been afforded to championship teams. So, we’ll have that conversation and we’ll do it as a group and we’ll have one voice.”

“Obviously,” he continued, “you don’t want to rush your decision on understanding the magnitude of what this means. We have an opportunity to send a statement that hopefully encourages unity, encourages us to just appreciate what it means to be American and stand for something. So, whatever your opinion is on either side … we want to take advantage of this opportunity.”

In response to that mature and thoughtful statement of principled personal opposition, Trump tweeted this:

Luckily, the civilized world went after Trump for his bullshit. Kaepernick’s mom let Trump know that she was fiercely proud of her son, snapping back with the following tweet:

She also gave an amazing interview with Deadspin, where she said, “There are a lot of racist people in that crowd [at his rallies], a lot of people that are just looking for something to get hyped about, and this is the kind of thing he does. It’s like a bully on a playground, I guess. It’s almost what I’ve come to expect from him…In Charlottesville, he would not call out the Nazis, not call out the white supremacists, but he’s calling out these guys who are peacefully kneeling and asking for their country to do better.”

Devin McCourty, a team captain for the New England Patriots, was one of several Patriots players who decided not to visit the White House this past April after they won the Super Bowl. He tweeted the below, and it really sums up both the Curry and Kaepernick situation:

Kaepernick is “disrespectful” for kneeling during the national anthem; Curry is “disrespectful” because he doesn’t want to visit the White House. But Trump calling any principled advocate of racial justice a “son of a bitch”? Weirdly, the “respect” crowd doesn’t seem to care about decency anymore. This is because those calls for “respect” were really calls for silence and deference from non-white athletes.

McCourty is only one of dozens of NFL athletes who’ve criticized Trump for his comments.

Meanwhile, LeBron James responded to Trump’s criticism of Curry with the aptest, most succinct rebuttal:

And of course, the Obamas’ White House photographer had a perfect image for the moment:

It’s heartening that so many people are speaking out against and – pardon the pun – dunking on Trump’s racist, vulgar attacks on these athletes’ free speech. Even the NFL Players’ Assocation, a union which routinely fails its members in troubling ways, issued strong statements in support of Kaepernick and other protesters, calling Trump’s statement “a slap in the face to the civil rights heroes of the past and present” and declaring “this union…will never back down when it comes to protecting the constitutional rights of our players as citizens.”

It’s important that we condemn these comments as the petty, disturbingly authoritarian responses to free speech that they are. A president who can bear no criticism is not a president who respects the Constitution or his constituents, and that needs to be pointed out and condemned.

However, it’s equally important that we call these comments out for what they are: part of a larger pattern of racist, white supremacist resentment that defines Trump’s approach to non-white Americans.

(Via GQ, HuffPost, ESPN, and USA Today; image via Shutterstock)

Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site!

The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—

Profile

iddewes: (Default)
iddewes

April 2017

S M T W T F S
      1
234 5678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30      

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 24th, 2017 01:22 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios