( Spoilery thoughts for both eps )
( Spoilery thoughts for both eps )
It's possible that the departmental move may be delayed. I say this on account of my manager saying that we should have been notified by today at the outside if we're going this Friday. There are no emails, no letters, no
( Read more... )
Jack Krebel (1455 words) by spiderfire
Fandom: The Fugitive (1993), Les Misérables - All Media Types
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Sam Gerard/Noah Newman
Characters: Samuel Gerard, Noah Newman, Javert (Les Misérables)
Additional Tags: Getting to Know Each Other, Yuletide New Year's Resolutions Challenge, some day my fic will come, Les Mis Across History, Les Misérables References, Backstory
Summary: Noah Newman gets to know his new boss over a beer. This story takes place a few months before the events in The Fugitive.
As far as I can tell, this is also the first work posted for the Someday My Fic Will Come challenge. :)
Until assignments are sent out (approximately) for Yuletide 2014, the New Year's Resolution collection (2014 edition) will be open for writers to submit fics based on prompts from previous Yuletides.
Writers are especially encouraged to write stories for prompts that were not filled during the main Yuletide run.
2013 prompts on AO3
2013 prompts as a text file
2013 prompts in a table
2013 prompts from pinch hitters who weren't signed up
Prompts and description for the Some Day My Fic Will Come mini-challenge
Also I am drawing giant pink sparkly hearts around Matt Saracen. What else is new. *grin*
We are contemplating watching Fringe next. (Having done all of West Wing and new Who, both of which were known to kouredios, and now almost all of FNL, which was known to me.) I am kind of ridiculously excited at the prospect of rewatching Fringe. Because. I mean. Olivia Dunham. Made of awesome, Y/Y?
For now, though, I am all DILLON TEXAS and JULIE and MATT and VINCE and JESS and COACH and OH TAMI and OH SHOW. ♥
What are you currently reading?
Still rereading Scott Pilgrim. It's still great!
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you'll read next?
Well, I'm on the final volume of Scott Pilgrim, so I'll have to choose something soon, but I don't know what! I can almost guarantee it will be a manga, though. Oh wait, I do have two issues of Ms Marvel on my harddrive so I should probably read those.
Lynn Flewelling, Shards of Time: The end of the Nightrunner novels. It's... pretty much what I figured it was going to be, in terms of plot and style and so on. It's readable, but, well, it's certainly not as good as the first two books. Though if you've come this far, you should probably just finish the series already. (And if you haven't read the series but you like m/m fantasy, you should... probably just read the first two books.)
What I'm Reading Now
All the Avengers Steve/Tony fanfic in the entire world. In the entire world. *laughs weakly* No, really, not joking. Why am I so behind when it comes to fandoms? Also why do I apparently like the 616 fic better? I do not need a comics habit again. I don't even really want a comics habit. I certainly cannot afford a comics habit. I wouldn't even know what to try to catch up on. Also it's really hard to read digital comics on a 13" laptop screen. (You shut up, I did not just try reading Civil War: The Confession for the glorious angst and ~feels~.) Also, my surprise new favorite character from the fic seems to be Carol Danvers, which is kind of weird because the sum total of my knowledge about her is that I think Rogue stole her powers.
What I'm Reading Next
Actual books. Right. Um. Actual books. Let me think. I was going to read Tim Powers' The Stress of Her Regard (which I remember more than one of you recommending), but if it's a book that requires a lot of thinking or actual knowledge about the Romantics I might pass on it for the moment and read some random fantasy books that lysimache was recommending.
Because this continues to be really fun and cool. :D
The top ten list:
After last year's top ten having 5 different fandoms on it, we are back to monofandom domination. 9 out of 10 are in the same series, and the sole hold-out is a crossover fusion between Les Mis and Bond that's more on the Les Mis side than Bond. That crossover is notable for fecking dominating kudos and bookmarks: it has twice as many kudos as the second most kudos (454 to The Pornography Is For Science's 239); it frankly smashes everything away in terms of bookmarks (163 total, 131 of them public). The hit count to kudos ratio on this fic is just really flattering :P and based on the continuing kudos count and stuff, I'm guessing this will be a hit count climber. Which was *really not expected* when I was writing it.
It's going to be interesting to see which of the porn ones have staying power and which don't. I have no predictions for next year other than that I think the spy AU will keep doing well. I'm not sure how the porn ones will reshuffle themselves or fall off completely; some of that will probably depend on what I write in the next year.
Looking back on previous top-tenners, Barrayar Expects is at #12, with a hit count of 4406, which is a huge gain (1,424). I blame some of this for the fact that I promoted this to copperbadge on tumblr when he was talking about fandom AUs, and I think it was at ~3900 when I did that. I didn't get many kudos, so I honestly hadn't realized how much the hit count jumped up. I'm guessing people might have clicked on the link, but I don't know how many of them back-buttoned immediately and how many actually read it. :P
The highest Petyaverse is Lord Piotr, at #23. It has been passed by Five Things Matt Smith Didn't Do (#16), And All Shall Be Well (#17), Good Use (#18), and DEAR GOD WHY The Slashers' Guide to Return of the King (#19). [2003. I WROTE THIS FIC IN 2003. IT'S NOT AT ALL GOOD. NOBODY SHOULD READ THIS FIC.]
Anyway, since all of the fics were posted within the last 15 months, even though I do have this table going back to 2011... I'm only showing you 2013 and 2014. :P
|Rank (2014)||Fic with URL||post date with year||Hits (2014)||Rank (2013)||Hits (2013)||Hit Count Difference (2013 to 2014)|
|1||The Pornography Is For Science.||February 18, 2013 (1 years, 2 months, 5 days ago)||9682||1||4016||5666|
|2||You Get Me Closer To God.||May 1, 2013 (0 years, 11 months, 22 days ago)||8501||New to top 10||New to top 10||New to top 10|
|3||Handjobs and Hand Grenades.||February 28, 2013 (1 years, 1 months, 26 days ago)||8306||2||3221||5085|
|4||Make You Come Undone.||April 10, 2013 (1 years, 0 months, 13 days ago)||7466||New to top 10||New to top 10||New to top 10|
|5||Polish Your Boots.||May 14, 2013 (0 years, 11 months, 9 days ago)||7141||New to top 10||New to top 10||New to top 10|
|6||Let Them Eat Pancakes.||March 17, 2013 (1 years, 1 months, 6 days ago)||6844||4||2361||4483|
|7||I'm In The Details With The Devil.||June 30, 2013 (0 years, 9 months, 24 days ago)||4838||New to top 10||New to top 10||New to top 10|
|8||You Put The Spike In My Heart.||May 22, 2013 (0 years, 11 months, 1 days ago)||4815||New to top 10||New to top 10||New to top 10|
|9||Scenes From An Inconvenient Espionage Love Story.||June 17, 2013 (0 years, 10 months, 6 days ago)||4736||New to top 10||New to top 10||New to top 10|
|10||This Is Not An Epistolary Romance.||April 14, 2013 (1 years, 0 months, 9 days ago)||4665||New to top 10||New to top 10||New to top 10|
What I'm reading now: I'm listening to the audiobook of the 14th (!) book in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon, which delivers exactly what I expect from it (and from the excellent narrator, Lisette Lecat). The prose is predictable (there are acacia trees and geckos, and traditionally-built ladies who beam with pleasure, and of course a prominent mention of Mma Makutsi's 97% score) but it's comforting, like a cup of (red bush) tea.
What I'm reading next: Last time I posted this meme I mentioned I had something on hold at the library but had forgotten what it was. Well, it has arrived, and it is Ann Leckie's Ancillary Justice (which several of you have recommended) and I will crack it open tonight.
( long, minorly spoilery review )
On Tuesday night, there were brain-kittens, rumpusing around, knocking things over.
Last night I realised that my head is actually under renovation. Tiny tradespeople in overalls are knocking out walls and rewiring the synapses. There are power tools.
It's really hard to sleep in here.
I'd forgotten this about new fandoms. /tired but happy but sooo tiiiired
2. Today's Shakespeare's 450th birthday (observed -- it's his christening date, so he was likely 2 or 3 days old) and anniversary of his death. I had to mute some of the twitter accounts I follow because too much Shakes. I didn't know it was possible for me to hit Too Much Shakes, but I did.
( books: Sayers, Peters, Cowell x 2 )
I've spent the past week making a Fraser doll, which will hooooopefully be ready to post by tonight or tomorrow. I also started work on a project bag so I can carry WIPs with me. Yay incentive to leave the house? And I also started on a going away kitty. I could not find an affordable orange and white marl in worsted weight not-wool for the life of me so I went with a Lion Brand print. It is working well, though it's coming out a skoosh darker than I anticipated. It is weird having 3 active projects, but I think I've made better progress on all of them for having something to switch to when one got tiresome.
The bush beans are between 3 and 6 inches long, yay! I wonder when they're big enough to pick. The zucchini flowers are blooming, finally, although all of them appear to be male so far. Hmm. The tradescantia is making new incursions outside the planter ring (no surprise). The rattlesnake pole beans I planted indoors have come up and are climbing up the window. I may have to rig a net to hold them. I don't know if they'll do anything indoors, but it's an easy experiment and it doesn't cost anything to try. The epazote took a bad case of powdering mildew, but the new growth seems okay. The peppermint and thyme are going like gangbusters, so it appears that indoor windowbox herbs are a win.
I did the past week's comics post on Saturday, and I read some AWESOME stuff. <3 This week's post will go up sometime between Friday and Monday, knock wood.
One of my students, Denise Dietrich, discovered Dr. Juengst's work through a mutual friend, who had shared with her this video:
I reached out to Dr. Juengst to see whether he'd be willing to meet with us, to talk a bit more in-depth about his methods and allow the students to handle some of his work, to compare the weight difference between his metal armor and the pieces we make for the stage from materials like thermoplastics. Lucky for us, he was more than willing to set up a visit to his workshop!
Here are some photos from our trip:
Anvil-mounted metal cutters.
A display gauntlet from a suit of armor Dr. Juengst is in the process of refurbishing.
The refurbed gauntlet that matches. Nice!
A cool collaboration he did--a friend cast the boar on top!
A close-up of the chain mail on the above helmet--we loved how he used the lengths of brass chain in this!
Some hemets he made for pets. The tiny copper one in the middle foreground is for a hedgehog!
A full suit of brass armor he made.
Another suit on display.
The leg of a suit made entirely from repurposed woks.
Third-year Candy McClernan got to try on some of that suit.
"Sir Wok," on display at McIntyre's Books.
A stuffed toy models a suit of brass bulldog armor.
Such a cool trip, and it was really exciting to be able to see and handle so many cool pieces of metal armor!
I think I might have broken geeky co-worker #3 this morning. He asked me if I was excited about Spider-Man 2, and I was like, "More like really concerned." ( spoilers for a 40 year old comics arc )
*( spoiler for ASM2 )
SHIELD: "The Only Light in the Darkness"
( spoilers, not squee; also Cap 2 spoilers I guess )
So there's that.
Wednesday reading meme:
What I've just finished
The First World War by Hew Strachan, which is a good overview of WWI, if a bit drier in tone than the other books I've been reading. Its main flaw is the absence of maps. I don't understand how nobody said, "Hey, can we get some maps to illustrate all the things you're talking about?"
I also reread Wyrd Sisters, which was really enjoyable.
What I'm reading now
I've moved on to rereading Guards! Guards!, which I'm also enjoying.
I don't know? I might do another WWI history, or possibly a book about both wars and the inter-war period, and intersperse the heavy non-fiction with a Discworld reread. I also have a Star Wars tie-in novel I haven't read, and a bunch of comics to catch up on, so there could be that, too. *hands*
Keeping Things Whole
In a field
I am the absence
always the case.
Wherever I am
I am what is missing.
When I walk
I part the air
the air moves in
to fill the spaces
where my body's been.
We all have reasons
to keep things whole.
The OTW's Development & Membership Committee is working on a permanent OTW merchandise store. It’s our goal to give fans of the OTW and our projects (like AO3 and Fanlore) ways to show your love, give back to the organization, and get swag! When it’s ready, the merchandise store will be available online for anyone to buy without needing to become an OTW member.
So we need all of you to tell us what kinds of products you’d like to purchase! Would you wear a Fanlore t-shirt? Have you always wanted an AO3 kudos mug? What about an OTW umbrella or a poster with all our projects listed? Whether it's a product you want, or something you'd want on that item, the sky’s the limit!
You can leave comments here or, as always, drop us an email at devmem [at] transformativeworks.org.
Check out the OTW’s new donation premiums!
Although the merchandise store isn't up and running yet, you can already get OTW swag by making a donation of US$50 or above. Even though our membership drive is over, you can donate at any time of year. Here’s a few of the reasons there’s no better time to become a member of the Organization for Transformative Works — new premium rewards for you to select!
If you decide to become a recurring monthly contributor to the OTW, you can still get premiums! Email the Development & Membership committee and tell us which premium you want your recurring donations to count toward. When your monthly donations have reached the premium amount, we’ll send you cool stuff!
And thanks for supporting the OTW!
The US Supreme Court has just issued a rather odd ruling. A young woman called “Amy” in court papers was filmed being raped by her uncle at ages 8 and 9. Then the videos went viral on the internet amongst child pornography traffickers. Amy has asked for restitution under a law Congress passed in the […]
The radar imaging mission got underway in early April when the C-20A departed its base in Palmdale, Calif., to collect data over targets in the Gulf Coast area of the southeastern United States. The aircraft, a modified Gulfstream III, is carrying NASA's Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR) instrument in a specialized pod. Developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., UAVSAR measures ground deformation over large areas to a precision of 0.04 to 0.2 inches (0.1 to 0.5 centimeters).
The mission schedule calls for the aircraft to make stops in 10 international and U.S. locations, including the Gulf Coast. Research during the deployment is covering a variety of topics, including volcanoes, glaciers, forest structure, levees, and subsidence. It is also providing vegetation data sets for satellite algorithm development. The volcanoes of Central and South America are of interest because of the hazard they pose to nearby population centers. A majority of the research will focus on gathering volcano deformation measurements, with many flight lines being repeats from previous deployments. Surface deformation often precedes other signs of renewed volcanic activity.
> Read more
> Earth Right Now
Image Credit: NASA/Stu Broce
( very short snippet that amused me )
In other amusements, ( princess stuff )
In good news, my arm and shoulder seem to have completely recovered from yesterday's overactivity. The muscles are still a bit tired, but that'll take time to heal. And at least it's not hurting that badly (just a bit of muscle ache and some pain around my thumb from the tendonitis).
Anthropologist John Ziker decided to try to find out. Ziker recruited a non-random sample of 16 professors at Boise State University and scheduled interviews with them every other day for 14 days. In each interview, they reported how they spent their time the previous day. In total, he collected data for 166 days.
It’s a small, non-random sample at just one university, but here’s what he discovered.
All ranks worked over 40 hours a week (average of 61 hours/week) and all ranks put in a substantial number of hours over the weekends:
Professors, then, worked 51 hours during the official workweek and then, in addition, put in ten hours over the weekend.
What were they doing those days? Research, teaching, and service are the three pillars of an academic workload and they dominated professors’ time. They used weekends, in particular, to catch up on the first two. The suspension of the business of the university over the weekend gave them a chance to do the other two big parts of their job.
This chart breaks down the proportion of time they spend on different activities more clearly. Ziker is surprised by the amount of time faculty spend in meetings and I’m particularly impressed by the amount of time they spend on email. Most professors will probably note, with chagrin, the little bars for primary research and manuscript writing.
This was just a first phase, so we can look forward to more data in the future. In the meantime, I’ll add this data to my preferred answer when asked what I do all day:Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions, with Myra Marx Ferree. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
By Guest Contributor Scot Nakagawa, cross-posted from RaceFiles
It’s time to kill the Asian American model minority myth, and I mean really kill it.
That myth is one of the tenets of American racism, used repeatedly for decades to promote the idea that racism and structural racial disadvantage are either non-existent or at least entirely surmountable, while suggesting that some people of color, and Black people in particular, are just whiners unwilling to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. And that belief, that the black poor are just entitlement junkies, has negative consequences for all poor people because the tough “love” solutions this belief inspires, like cutting back on food stamps and other programs, see no color.
For Asian Americans, killing the myth requires destroying the veil of elevated expectations and assumptions that surround us to reveal the real face of our richly diverse communities and experiences. I call it model minority suicide. Need convincing?
Here are five reasons:
The idea that Black people are a “problem” minority is the flip side of the model minority myth. Problem minority stereotyping is one of the often cited justifications for resistance to programs like affirmative action (and still is) and for tough on crime policing of low-income black neighborhoods, including the war on drugs. The economic costs of the related prison build up, not to mention the human toll on targeted communities, is just too high. We pay for it in the tragic currency of broken families, impoverishment, and the measurable financial consequences to tax payers of policing, prosecuting, warehousing, and post-prison supervision of far too many people, among whom a not insignificant number did nothing more than pocket some marijuana.
While being idealized as a model of Americanism has a certain upside in the form of elevated societal expectations, we know all too well that all that idealizing wouldn’t stick if Asians weren’t too often regarded as inscrutable strangers in our own country. Only a group regarded as strangers could be so often found living side by side with middle class white Americans and yet be stereotyped as, in some regards, as very nearly an alien species. And strangers are easy targets when the going gets rough and scapegoating is on the agenda, as evidenced by the wholesale violation of the rights of those perceived to be Muslim in the U.S. in the wake of the 9/11 tragedy, and the continuing persecution of Muslim Americans 13 years later.
In spite of the fact that most Asian voters identify as liberals, we’ve become a tool of conservatives. This quote from Charles Murray, the author of that veritable ode to eugenics, The Bell Curve, appeared in The National Reviewimmediately after the 2012 election,
… somewhere in the vicinity of 70% of Asians voted for Barack Obama in the last presidential election.
Something’s wrong with this picture. It’s not just that the income, occupations, and marital status of Asians should push them toward the right. Everyday observation of Asians around the world reveal them to be conspicuously entrepreneurial, industrious, family-oriented, and self-reliant. If you’re looking for a natural Republican constituency, Asians should define ‘natural.’
More recently, former Florida governor Jeb Bush made this argument during a TV interview in order to make the case that Republicans are failing to win over their “natural” constituents,
… I mean, if you look at Asian Americans, for example, in general, they have higher income[sic] than the median of our country, more intact families, more entrepreneurship, higher levels of education. And they supported President Obama 75-24; higher margins than with Hispanics …
Now, I ask you, if being family-oriented, entrepreneurial, industrious, self-reliant, and better educated makes one “naturally” conservative, what are “natural” liberals? Takers? Entitlement junkies? Nanny-State weaklings? I’m guessing all of the above with a heaping helping of lazy on top.
The myth covers up some difficult realities, such as the fact that Asian groups such as the Vietnamese and Cambodians are among the poorest by ethnicity in the U.S., and 12.8% of Asian Americans lived below the poverty line in 2011. The very real service needs and challenges of these Asian Americans are obscured or minimized because of model minority stereotyping.
The model minority myth also adds some steel to the bamboo ceiling, that invisible yet all too consequential barrier between Asian Americans and top-level leadership. Apparently, in the corporate world, being perceived as quiet, passive, and hyper-industrious makes Asians seem more suitable for technical positions and unfit for leadership. And that, it seems, is why Asian Americans, lumped together as we are, are simultaneously the most highly educated racial group in the U.S. and the least likely to make it to the top tiers of the corporate ladder.
So, given these incentives, what are we to do about it? Here are five suggestions:
1. Don’t say things like, “we need to get beyond the black-white paradigm” because that paradigm is the foundation of white supremacy, and the injustice anti-black racism, both historical and contemporary, is not yet resolved (as evidenced by the continuing utility of the anti-black ideas at the root of concepts like the “entitlement junkie,” the “culture of poverty,” and the assumption that successful black people are undeserving affirmative action recipients).
2. Don’t call Asian American rights campaigns “the new Civil Rights Movement” as if the goals of the Civil Rights Movement were achieved, no longer matter, and/or only benefited black people. Asian Americans owe a great debt to the Black-led Civil Rights Movement, and our contemporary campaigns for civil rights reforms, at their best, aspire to move all people of color forward together into the new century.
3. Recognize that the “Asians suffer from racism too” response to the model minority myth is not enough. Side-stepping the damage that the myth has done to other people of color while raising the visibility of our own suffering actually reinforces the damaging “problem minority” flip side of the myth. We need to acknowledge that Asian Americans suffer from racism, but that white supremacy is perpetuated through an intersecting array of racist bigotries of which Orientalism is just one example.
4. Become an advocate for racial justice, not just for Asian Americans, but as a matter of pushing forward the unfinished business of winning democratic rights for everyone including women, LGBT people, undocumented immigrants, religious minorities, Native Americans, Native Hawaiians, and other people of color. And while raising a ruckus online is a fine way to get involved, joining a group in your community allows you to take concrete steps toward justice alongside those who suffer from racism and exclusion the most, including those on the other side of the digital divide.
5. Raise the visibility of Asian Americans’ political activism both of the past and in the present. We’ve been far from quiet throughout U.S. history and we’re making trouble and making noise today. Let’s turn up the volume.
The post Model Minority Suicide: Five Reasons, Five Ways appeared first on Racialicious - the intersection of race and pop culture.
Fandom: Captain America (Movies)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: James "Bucky" Barnes/Steve Rogers
Characters: Steve Rogers, James "Bucky" Barnes, Sam Wilson (Marvel), Natasha Romanov
Additional Tags: Emotional Hurt/Comfort, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - PTSD, Panic Attacks, Recovery, implied Natasha Romanov/Sam Wilson
In the absence of orders, the man wearing the face of Bucky Barnes must figure out who he will be. The answer, mostly, is "somebody Steve Rogers can love." Nothing so easy should ever take this much work.
Basically, about recovery. Awesome.
Now, there are circumstances in which I think trigger warnings would be a basic courtesy: if you are about to show a film with graphic content which students might not be expecting.
But from the standpoint of a historian I think that warnings for any given historical subject would basically approximate the warnings for human existence itself: racism, sexism, colonialism, slavery, religious bigotry, war, disease, child abuse, grinding poverty, exploitation, suffering, death, etc. However innocuous a subject you might be able to imagine - "Jane Austen's world," for instance, which included just about all of the above.
For that reason I found Oberlin's previous - now removed - policy on trigger warnings a little bit chilling:
• Remove triggering material when it does not contribute directly to the course learning goals.
• Sometimes a work is too important to avoid. For example, Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart is a triumph of literature that everyone in the world should read. However, it may trigger readers who have experienced racism, colonialism, religious persecution, violence, suicide, and more. Here are some steps you, as a professor, can take so that your class can examine this source in the most productive and safe manner possible:
• Issue a trigger warning. A trigger warning is a statement that warns people of a potential trigger, so that they can prepare for or choose to avoid the trigger. Issuing a trigger warning will also show students that you care about their safety...
• Tell students why you have chosen to include this material, even though you know it is triggering. For example:
“…We are reading this work in spite of the author’s racist frameworks because his work was foundational to establishing the field of anthropology, and because I think together we can challenge, deconstruct, and learn from his mistakes.”
“…This documentary challenges heterosexism in an important way. It is vital to discuss this issue. I think watching and discussing this documentary will help us become better at challenging heterosexism ourselves.”
• Strongly consider developing a policy to make triggering material optional or offering students an alterative assignment using different materials. When possible, help students avoid having to choose between their academic success and their own wellbeing.
Why is it worth studying history? That's a good question and well worth discussing with undergraduates. But I strongly refuse the idea that one should have to justify to students the reasons for not sweeping (tw: sexism) "man's inhumanity to man" under the carpet.
I wonder whether Oberlin's sweeping policy was a result of concerns about legal liability more than anything else? Or perhaps I'm being ungenerous.
By Tope Fadiran Charlton, Arturo R. García and Kendra James
After threatening to go out by blowing the president up, Scandal ended its third season by making him whimper, in an oddly melancholy episode that actually did seem to change everything for Olivia Pope and her associates — if not end them altogether.
Remember, the series has not been confirmed for renewal, even if signs suggest we’ll see a new season announced soon.
But do we even want to see the show return after a third season that was inconsistent at best? For this special edition, Arturo and Kendra were joined by friend of the blog Tope Fadiran Charlton, whose work can also be found at Are Women Human?
SPOILERS under the cut
So, what worked for you this season? Or was it a total write-off?
Tope: Rowan, definitely. He had the lion’s share of the best lines and the most memorable scenes. He’s the first character in a while that walks the line that Scandal at its best does so well: recognizably terrifying and thoroughly amoral, but still somehow a character that you (or at least, I) like and find yourself torn between rooting for and being appalled by. I especially love his unapologetic Blackness. I know I’m not the only Black viewer who found myself nodding along to his monologues about needing to be twice as good or how the white president is an entitled little boy. And nobody, not nobody, can tell someone about themselves like Rowan can. He must have been a dream for Shonda and the Scandal team to write, and so much fun to play for Joe Morton.
I have to confess I missed a few episodes in the second half of the season, so I didn’t get to see as much of Mama Pope. But what I did see of her had me a bit underwhelmed. She wasn’t as fleshed out or complex a villain as, say, Rowan or Cyrus.
Kendra: I have to agree with Tope. I’m still not onboard with the One Monologue Per Episode clause that’s clearly written into Joe Morton’s contract, but I found him to at least be one of the more consistent characters on the show this season. And he’s certainly the most intensely involved Black parent on television that I can think of since Sisko.
Tope: “Intensely involved” is a very diplomatic euphemism for Rowan’s parenting philosophy.
Kendra: Hah! As I said in one of the few recaps I wrote this season, I can at least believe that Rowan and Maya could have raised a child together. Neither of them misses an opportunity to remind Olivia that she’s made a career out of cleaning up after incompetent white men.
Other than Rowan’s (and Jake’s) character consistency I wasn’t overly enthralled with this as a cohesive season of television. Adnan, Maya, David, Harrison, and Abby all felt superfluous — like threads that weren’t properly woven in at the end. James’ death, while probably one of the better handled lines of the season, marked the departure of one of the few sympathetic characters left. Someone we’d actually been allowed to grow attached to through, amazingly, plot development, and screentime.
And finally: this marked a third season of dramatic tension overlayed with “Papa Was A Rolling Stone.” I love a show with a gimmick, but this has got to stop.
Tope: The music on the show, pardon the pun, is a little too one-note. Three seasons of funk is enough. Other music exists.
Arturo: I felt there were moments where various members of the ensemble did more with the material they were given than perhaps even the show desired. Kate Burton managed to take Sally’s descent into instability in a compelling direction before Sally was snapped out of it and shunted into the background; Khandi Alexander provided a stellar counterpoint to Joe Morton, with Maya and Rowan turning into this show’s agents of chaos and order, respectively. And against all odds, Tony Goldwyn and Kerry Washington managed to make it plausible seeing two people seemingly so wrong for each other continue to insist on giving it a go.
I’d still call “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” my favorite episode of the season, since it provided enough warmth to counter the encroaching darkness facing the Gladiators. But as I’ve mentioned throughout this home stretch, playing each of these elements against an election story blunted all of them too much for comfort.
We left Harrison in an open-ended situation, since, theoretically, he still had time to talk himself out of B613′s crosshairs. Obviously, this is more complicated when one factors in Columbus Short’s apparent issues. Your thoughts on how the show should approach this?
Arturo: I can’t say I support him continuing to be in the show in light of these multiple allegations of assault. At least not at the moment, and the show has ample opportunity here to write him out while a) these allegations are heard in court and b) Short gets the help he apparently seems to require.
Kendra: I think we should all mentally prepare ourselves for a Harrison v. 2.0 next fall.
Given that Harrison’s most developed character trait is, “I wear loud suspenders” the show isn’t going to lose anything when it’s revealed that he’s not emerging from that room next season (as I suspect is going to happen). Aside from Olivia and Huck* I find most of Pope and Associates to be pretty replaceable and his departure might even do the show some good. Even before his IRL issues, Harrison wasn’t getting that much screentime or plot. I’m still blurry as to the full nature of his relationship with Adnan and the other disposable woman they found dead at a bus stop a few episodes back.
*(And, to be perfectly fair, Huck isn’t earning any points either with this Huck/Quinn thing.)
Arturo: So Huck goes from not caring that Maya’s loose because he’s hooking up with Quinn to telling her off entirely because she told him about her family to going to his family after getting encouragement from Olivia. I get internal conflict and all, but maybe Charlie had the right idea packing up and ditching the whole situation (even if he was ultimately wrong about the result of giving Quinn the file).
Tope: I’m assuming Harrison’s number is up, and that the same goes for Columbus Short. Shonda Rhimes has to cut that sucker loose. I get the sense she has little patience for behind-the-scenes trouble with her actors since the controversy over Isaiah Washington’s use of homophobic slurs (have to note that he’s since been pretty visible as an ally) and then Katherine Heigl bad-mouthing the show while she was still on it … and none of that involved physical violence or being charged with a crime. Heigl and Washington were both let go and it’s likely Short will get the same treatment. Which is right and appropriate, in my opinion.
The episode also delivered — at least for now — on the thread that Olivia really would be better off away from the Grants, the White House and Washington. How long do you give it?
Arturo: You know what this episode reminded me of? The Buffy The Vampire Slayer finales where she left town, or the Angel Season 4 finale. It felt like a point of demarcation — like the show picked this point to end this story and I’m betting we’ll go back to something closer to a Case of the Week format if/when the show returns. Hopefully we’ll get through 2-3 episodes before Olivia’s inevitable return.
I will say, though, I was annoyed at Jake going from “I’m just gonna have a beer and collect my unemployment” to hitching a ride on Pope Air. Way to fight for your job there, Ballard.
Kendra: I was more confused that Jake would get into any plane chartered by Pope Sr. given, y’know, everything we know about Rowan and planes.
Tope: Jake has been pretty consistent about the whole wanting to be with Olivia thing. Then the opportunity presents itself for him to do that and not have Fitz around to compete with? I would have been surprised if he hadn’t asked Olivia if he could go with her. When it comes to “love” the man is nothing less than a glutton for punishment.
Kendra: Even with this season being shorter due to Kerry Washington’s pregnancy the serialized, season-long multi-episode arc didn’t work out too well. Something about the storyline wasn’t tight.
This felt like a series finale to me. It’s probably going to be renewed (even if all major players’ contracts are not), but it definitely seemed like it could stand on its own. And I think the show needs more episodes that stand on their own — maybe a few that focus specifically on character development for someone other than Mellie (or something that focuses on character development for Mellie that doesn’t center around her having a horrible life). Maybe a few episodes focusing solely on the relationships within the Pope family? Just something to pull the focus back in– not every episode needs to begin with a voiceover telling me I’m going to be on the edge of my seat during the last five minutes.
I think removing David, Abbie, and Quinn would help pacing a lot to be perfectly honest.
Tope: Oh god, the sooner RobiQuinndsay is off the show, the better.
I felt this episode could stand as a series finale. There isn’t a single major character—except maybe Cyrus—who doesn’t go through a huge game-changer or major transitional point in the finale, and it feels like resolution for most of them. And for all of the mayhem and violence in this episode, there’s something oddly hopeful about the end. Not just Olivia flying off into the sunset, but Huck going back to his family. Shonda basically hit a giant reset button for the show.
My favorite scene was Olivia and Cyrus’s conversation in the hospital. Finally Olivia realizes she’s not a white hat at all. That for her is the “price of a free and fair election,” letting go of her illusions of innocence. I hope that awareness is still there when she inevitably returns to OPA. Olivia’s conviction that she’s one of the “good guys” has been both increasingly annoying and one of the reasons why she’s worse and worse at her job.
Also: as much as the election part of this episode felt rushed (c’mon, saint Sally is television gold), I loved the arc from Fitz not being able to believe he was going to lose to getting the win he assumed he deserved at the cost of pretty much everything else. Now that is irony.
Arturo: It looked like the whole election story was set up just so we could see Fitz on his knees (again) when it was all said and done. Which, hey, nice shot and all, but now they’ve played themselves out of a solid story for whenever the show really is on its way out.
Kendra: Fitz ultimately losing the election would have piqued my interest a lot more. But Art, what I suspect they’ve played themselves into is the setup for an eventual impeachment plot. Defiance won’t stay silent in the second term.
Tope: I’m definitely ready for something different from Scandal, though, so maybe it’s for the best that they got this storyline wrapped up now.
Kendra: Removing Harrison from the cast would at least free up the money to bring Jasika Nicole in as a full time cast member. Anything to pull focus away from Huck/Quinn.
Arturo: I don’t see where they can really go with Huck/Quinn anymore; Huck’s apparently going to re-establish ties with his family, which is good. But Quinn’s in the wind again; we don’t know if she’s going to keep working for B613, and there’s little to no chance Abbie will hire her in this new incarnation of OPA. More crucially, though: Does anybody really care about Quinn?
Tope: That would be a no.
The Big Reveal, of course, was that Jerry Grant Jr.’s death was the key to Rowan’s plot to reclaim the mantle of Command. Your thoughts on how that played itself out?
Arturo: I thought the episode tipped its hand just a second too soon; when Rowan told Fitz he’d killed Maya, that’s when it came together for me. (Of course, it made sense for Fitz to believe that.) It also keeps the possibility of Eli and Maya teaming up open. Perhaps in time for the next sweeps period?
Kendra: Am I a horrible person for just not caring that Jerry died? It takes a lot more than what they gave us in that one episode (the Grant kids’ first introduction) to get me invested enough to care — especially given how detached that entire family is from one another. Fitz is already naming those two unborn kids he thinks he’s having with Olivia. I think they also had the unfortunate timing of airing less than a week after the other far more impactful death of child royalty over on HBO. Once again, I think it highlights the show’s weakness– the failure to cement emotional ties between the characters and the audience which comes back around to a lot of the characters being poorly developed.
That plot felt forced too — or perhaps it was just the staging and shooting of it. At first I assumed he’d been shot or stabbed, but finding out in the final few minutes that it was a rare strain of meningitis that they’d just found out was missing? That came out of nowhere.
Tope: We can be horrible people together, Kendra. The only thing that interested me about Jerry’s death was the total absence of Baby Grant. Where is the little rugrat? Mellie and Fitz should really look into getting some professional assistance with their disappearing children problem. Anyway, seeing Fitz grieve his son’s death was literally the first time in the entire series I’ve felt the tiniest bit sorry for him. But I was more torn up for Mellie—she’s just starting to deal with how she’d kept Jerry at a distance for fear that he wasn’t Fitz’s son, and then he dies. That’s especially tragic timing.
As for Rowan — I knew as soon as he said it that he hadn’t killed Maya. It was just too pat and tidy. But I totally did not see the Jerry reveal coming.
This will probably sound terrible…but it was kind of good to see Rowan back in top form? I never bought that Jake could take over as Command in a day. I loved the flashback montage of Rowan’s monologues, going back to the first time he tried to get Olivia on that plane. This is who Rowan has always been, the whole down-and-out act was just that, biding his time until he could make his move. Also worth pointing out: Jerry’s death is also a pretty ironclad way to keep Olivia and Fitz apart, which Rowan has wanted from the beginning. I wouldn’t put it past Fitz to leave his grieving wife, but that’s a line Olivia wouldn’t cross with him. And he uses it to catch Maya? It’s a win-win-win for Rowan. This is what happens when you underestimate Command.
I for one am SO THANKFUL that the trainwreck that is Olitz (please Jesus and Shonda) finally, finally over.
Kendra: Is it though? This is why I hate straight soap operas — this Olivia/Jake/Fitz love triangle has a good five seasons of “plot” left in it by soap standards whether there’s any meat left on the bones of the story or not. The show’s main relationship and the lack of likeable people is something I’m going to need see flipped around a bit if I’m going to consider tuning in next season. I know the antihero thing is very in right now and Scandal has them in spades– but they lack substance. This show is not going to be carried on Mellie’s shoulders alone.
Tope: I dunno, between Fitz’s guilt over Mellie suffering alone after being raped and burying one of their children … those are pretty considerable obstacles for illicit love. Maybe not for Fitz, but I think (I hope) definitely for Olivia. She’d have to be a truly horrible person to do that to a grieving mother. I also felt Mellie and Fitz’s reactions to Jerry’s collapse and death was reminiscent, in a kind of awful way, of how they came together when Mellie was in labor with Baby Grant. For the period that Mellie was in labor, they were a team again; it could be the same with the much lengthier process of coming to grips with the death of their child.
Kendra: I think all of that depends on the timing of when Season 4 dumps us back into the Scandalverse. If it’s a few days to even a few months later then they’ll get to spend the time they need dealing with the fall out. I just have the feeling that they’re going to pull another massive jump so they can deal with all of that in flashbacks and put most of their energy into the love triangle.
Tope: I’m putting together my prayer circle to rebuke that as we speak.
copperbadge: eruvadhril replied to your post:Answers About Kindereggs Hey, Sam, tell us about how...
eruvadhril replied to your post:Answers About Kindereggs
Hey, Sam, tell us about how you used to make bootleg hooch under your sink in college!
WELL I’LL TELL YOU, all you really need to make alcohol is yeast, sugar, and fruit juice. When I was doing some research in some old newspapers, I came across a recipe for “dorm wine” — you mix yeast and sugar in the bottom of a large jug, then add fruit juice concentrate and fill the jug with water (I used a 2-liter soda bottle). You tape a balloon over the mouth of the jug to prevent bugs and dust getting in but to allow for gas expansion as everything ferments, and after about two weeks, when the balloons have deflated, you have decent but nigh-undrinkable alcohol.
The key to making it drinkable is to age it in the fridge for at least a few weeks; the longer it ages the better it tastes. I made “apple jack” and “red wine” this way. It was pretty mellow, probably not any higher alcohol content than most beer, but if you’re 19 and can’t buy booze yet, a couple of bucks for a 2-L of beer isn’t bad.
If you’re concerned about someone noticing what you’re buying, get flour and stuff and pretend you’re going to try making bread with the yeast. (Get baking powder as well, and make pancakes.)
Fandom: Avatar: The Last Airbender
Relationships: Sokka/Suki (Avatar), Jee/Zuko (Avatar), Aang/Katara (Avatar), Katara/Zuko (Avatar), Mai/Zuko (Avatar)
Characters: Toph Bei Fong
Additional Tags: Work In Progress, Alternate Universe, Alternate Universe - BDSM
Summary: A number of scenes from the Avatar D/s universe next door.
I've finally gotten around to finishing Chapter 9, so have Chapters 8 and 9:
Chapter 8: Margins of Air. In which we meet MANY new characters and they have adventures.
Chapter 9: Margins of Earth. In which Jeong Jeong has a headache and everybody comes to Iroh's.
Sorry for the ridiculous wait on this one. I wanted to get chapter 9 finished before I posted chapter 8, which was probably a timing mistake... but I feel better about posting them together.
No explicit porn in either of these chapters, sorry! (Sorry?)
More eliding next time. Enjoy!
Qem: *restarts computer*
Qem: *discovers previous post was actually posted!"
Qem: *gets text*
Qem: "Why is my coworker texting me about goat simulators?"
Qem: *talking to hospital IT* So my client would very much like to have email on her phone and we've been able to receive emails but not send emails. I just wanted to check if it might be because the hospital is blocking the port that the outgoing email is going through.
Hospital IT: "..."
Hospital IT: "Sorry I only do tech support for phones and I thought this was an email issue. Ports are like wifi and that. Not part of my job."
Stopping 'Stop Tony Meow': how web plug-in caught the Department of Prime Minister's attention
Staff at the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet have used up more than 130 pages of correspondence talking about a web plug-in that replaces pictures of Tony Abbott with ‘‘cute kittens’’.
But after charging the program’s creator $700 for access to those pages, what they actually said is a mystery, for now.
Developers Dan Nolan and Ben Taylor made the "Stop Tony Meow" browser extension in January. Downloaded more than 50,000 times, it automatically swaps any picture of Mr Abbott encountered online with pictures of cats.
Curious as to what the Prime Minister and his staff thought of the extension, Mr Nolan submitted a Freedom of Information request to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet for any correspondence that mentioned the words "Stop Tony Meow".
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-polit
ics/political-news/stopping-stop-tony-me ow-how-web-plugin-caught-the-department-o f-prime-ministers-attention-20140422-zqx uu.html#ixzz2zhYCCXY4
Qem: "... I'm not sure what part of this artical I find most hilarious."
Qem: *reads article*
Qem: My god yahoo, any excuse to cover the fact that your security is shit and that you were hacked on at least three seperate occassions last year where your passwords and usernames were leaked. Yahoo spam the majority of time in my experience is coming from a GODDAMN YAHOO SERVER SCAN YOUR OUTGOING MAIL AND ALSO FUCKING PROTECT YOUR DATA BETTER.
Now the fun part is, I have done all the things here. I've written male and female characters. I've written around a dozen sex/gender identities. Usually I specify them. Occasionally I don't, and I have done that both deliberately and accidentally. I've written non-binary genders. I've even got one whose gender is explicitly identified as "I'm not telling." All of those things matter. But they don't matter to every story. It's okay to get through one and realize that you haven't tagged the character's gender. It's okay to specify something out of the ordinary, whether that affects the plot or is background parity. Just know what you're doing.
I popped by the desktop office with two briefcases full of ancient Latitude mumblety-something versions. Poor long-suffering Chip. Then I returned with a third briefcase, because there was really nowhere else to put it.
As part of this whole exercise, various things are being put out for salvage, such as the tablecloths of bad mojo, and a whole bunch of random swag. People from the team were coming up to me the whole day, asking whether I had any left. The vultures claimed it all, very quickly.
Transporting an array of coffee syrup bottles coherently is less fun than you might imagine. This is complicated by the need for everything to be in boxes -- if I thought I could get away with it, I would have left it intact and just carried it across and down myself. But probably not, no. So all the syrups went in one box. I top each box with my email address, just in case the external labeling fails and I have an orphaned box found somewhere.
So there was the matter of getting the syrup pumps out of the bottles. This involved unscrewing, draining, rinsing, and being careful about angles. I had a little more coffee than usual due to using up the drained syrup.
One of the bottles was the ill-favoured cherry-lime. I left that in the traditional free-stuff place.
I got the notice that I was accepted in to the transition pilot for the leap from Exchange 2007 to 2013. In the absence of my Overlady, I had to check her inbox to make sure she'd got the same message (because we go as a unit). In said inbox, I found a question from the PM on the other end of my block. So I hit the database again, and shook it until candy fell out, and this time I was careful to reply as myself and not as my Overlady. So another PM is learning where the information comes from.
One of the mover guys came past my cube and asked was I going to use all those boxes. Yes. Yes, I was.
The PM down the corner is not sure when she's moving, but she thinks it's soon. She is also going to be out of the state next week sometime. This may interact poorly. I bequeathed her two of my boxes -- when I run out, I can request more, but if she's going to be out of the office, she has a limited time window for packing.
The large metal rooster goes in the box before the lava lamp.
I saw JD checking in vaguely near where I was at, and called to ask if he needed a ride home. He allowed as how that might be good. Various communications later, I made my escape and headed in the direction of dinner. (Purple was delighted to learn of a place that did Mongolian beef in the general area, but was staying Somewhat Later.) I joined JD and his hiking buddy. Om nom nom beef.
When I headed out from work, the cherry-lime syrup bottle was still as I'd left it.
I had forgotten how very much I dislike driving and parking near Castro Street in Mountain View. It is not my favorite thing. Fortunately, parking garage. Fortunately, legs.
Then I drove JD home. Yay!
The Starbucks near my friendly neighborhood Trader Joe's is open hella late. I got a cookie. Then I came home and finished up my step count while detangling and re-braiding my hair.
Also: Sometimes I fret over some flaw or infelicity in my appearance, the kind of thing someone would notice only if they scrutinized me closely. And on Monday, I got a haircut and lost a foot of hair, so now my hair ends in a long bob that does the flippy thing framing my face an inch above my shoulders. No one in my life has commented on it. So this is a reminder to me when I get all super self-conscious: I notice these things way more than other people do.
(I do like my hair, tho. ^_^)
Oh hey, have I ever defined neg-stimming for people? That's, "negative self-stimulation" as in "deliberately going out and looking for things that will make you feel bad or upset." For example: I can't deal with gore and violent injury. And yet, every so often I go read about serial killers on Wikipedia with some kind of sick fascination, clicking more links even as I rock with disgusted revulsion. I also used to read things like anon memes where people were talking about how fans like me were totally horrible, which fed my fear that people in my life secretly hated me.
Neg-stimming is kind of like the traumatic repetition compulsion. "I will do the bad thing again, and this time I will do it right!" Which is how you wind up being sucked into yet another argument with someone you know is toxic, or volunteering for a situation which will provably push you past your limits. A lot of the time the idea is, "If I were only braver/stronger/tougher, this would work!" instead of just walking away and coming up on the problem later from a totally different angle.
Then there is also, of course, just the pleasure of brainweasels being able to croon, "Yesss. I was right. My overclocked worries were good worries. Look how validating this is. I are a smart weasel." It feels kind of satisfying and necessary, despite the big DON'T FEED THE BRAINWEASELS signs, and the fact that it is neither.
So I'm not saying neg-stimming is bad. One of my healthy, adaptive coping mechanisms has always been finding out just how bad my worst-case scenario would be, so it's not some great unknown. ("Okay, so, if I fail this course I won't get my tuition back, but I will be able to re-register and try again four more times...") It's just something to be aware of: "Am I neg-stimming, or does this serve a useful purpose?"
Then, without judging or blaming yourself, you can learn to disengage and go do something else that's less brain-killing, even if no more enlightening. I'm a fan of Candy Crush, myself.
Fandom: The Avengers
Characters: Phil Coulson, JARVIS, Clint Barton, Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanova, Bruce Banner.
Warnings: This story is mostly fluff, but it has some intense scenes in the middle. Highlight for details. These include dubious consent as Phil and JARVIS discuss what really happened when Agent Coulson hacked his way into Stark Tower, over which Phil has something between a flashback and a panic attack. They also discuss some of the bad things that have happened to Avengers in the past, including various flavors of abuse. If these are sensitive topics for you, please think carefully before deciding whether to read onward.
Summary: Uncle Phil needs to pick out pajamas for game night. He gets help from an unexpected direction.
Notes: Service. Shopping. Gifts. Artificial intelligence. Computers. Teamwork. Team as family. Friendship. Communication. Hope. Apologies. Forgiveness. Nonsexual ageplay. Nonsexual intimacy. Love. Tony Stark needs a hug. Bruce Banner needs a hug. #coulsonlives.
Begin with Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21, Part 22, Part 23, Part 24, Part 25, Part 26, Part 27.
( Read more... )
A funny, great film about an old lesbian couple that have been together for nearly 30 years. Stella and Dot live together in a New England house, but when Dot gets hurt, Dot's granddaughter tries to put Dot in a nursing home. Stella busts her out and decides to drive them to Canada to get married. They pick up a hitch hiker along the way and have some adventures. There is lots of fun banter because Stella has a dirty sense of humor and good chemistry with Dot. Dot is blind and it's so refreshing to see realistic disability representation.
Content notes (here be spoilers):
( notes )
Pit Stop, 2013
A sweet, slowly building film about getting over past relationships and moving on with life. It deals with the real complexity of gay relationships in a way that I loved, and dealt with working-class men in small-town Texas. I liked going into this movie not knowing who these people were and trying to figure out their relationships, so I don't want to give too much away. The movie's protagonists are Ernesto and Gabe, and each of them have pasts, attachments, and deep emotions that the viewer gets to see. Occasionally it looks a little low-budget in that the lighting and camera shots are bad, but overall it's well done. No content notes that I can think of.