Whenever I get stuck while writing, I listen to one of my Black Spider Dumpling playlists and everything manages to just work itself out. There's one playlist that I'm particularly fond of-- both in the way it makes me feel, the writing boost it gives me, and in how awesome the music is. I decided to share that playlist with you, dear flist! Probably only a few people if anyone will be interested in this, but below the cut you can download the .zip file of crazy awesome goodness and read through some little bits from my story that correspond with each song.
Inside the house they were safe, tucked into bed by the aunts, fed honey and oatmeal every morning and fat red strawberries at night. They were protected from nightmares by a special blue candle the aunts burned between their beds, and they were protected from loneliness by having each other just within reach. The aunts had turned the attic into one great big bedroom for them, with paper stars dancing from the ceiling and colorful oriental rugs tossed down on the floor to brighten up the dark wood. On clear nights the moon cast pale blue light through the warped glass windows, and when it rained the boys huddled together in one bed, protecting each other from the storm.
( Baby, let your light shine on me when I'm lost on the road.Collapse )
Hey guys. I just voted Republican. Fucking anything is possible now.
GRAVITY COULD FAIL AT ANY MOMENT.
I hardly have to try anymore to view the world with my sociologist glasses on. I can't even watch a commercial without reflecting on what it says about our society. Sometimes it's harmless, but this past week there's been a pattern of observations that seem anything but harmless to me.
It started pretty small, with various lecherous men who made unwelcome comments that they apparently misguidedly meant to be flattering, but only made me deeply uncomfortable in just about every situation. These situations always leave me frazzled because if I say something then I'm a frigid bitch and if I just let them continue to make their comments, then I'm allowing them to sexualize me without my invitation. It's not that compliments on the physical are bad - everyone likes to be told they're attractive - but when a man speaks to me as if my body is public property and all it takes is him showing an interest/desiring it for it to become "his," I get pretty damn pissed off. This way of thinking was further demonstrated to me when a man in the library overheard my coworker and I discussing her upcoming tattoo appointment and how she isn't sure where to get it still. The man turned to us and said, "Get a tattoo on your lower back. Tramp stamp it. I love when girls have tattoos there, it's like a bulls eye. You know she's just asking for it."
Dear sir, unless I say "have sex with me" then I am not asking for it. No woman - no matter what she's wearing or what she has stamped on her body - is "asking for it." It set me off because that sort of jargon is used to blame victims of rape so often. "She wasn't wearing underwear, she was asking for it." "She was walking home alone, she was asking for it." "She was wearing a short skirt, she was asking for it." The implication is that a woman should constantly live in fear and encase herself in a bubble to keep from getting raped, that she is responsible for being victimized, not the men who do the deed. By not doing the exact right thing that would remove the temptation to rape her, she alone bears the blame.
And yet the fact that women are victims of extreme brutality is deeply ingrained in our psyches. Tonight I went to a Halloween corn maze, one of those labyrinths full of various obstacles and actors jumping out to scare you. It was fun, it was really well-made, I had a great time laughing at my sister (as she clung to my back like a human backpack) - but I couldn't help noticing something. Throughout the whole maze, in all of the attractions, the aggressors were all men. Women were the victims - an actor with her "guts" pulled out lying in a bath tub with a masked man over her, a woman screaming for help as a man put her into a wood chipper, a woman chained up in a meat locker as a man sharpened a blade. There were no masked women popping out of the maze, there were only female victims, little more than props. Why is this? Do we not find women scary? Or is this a reflection of what we see in life?
Out of boredom and a lull in library activity, I took the Mary Sue Litmus Test
for Lukie and Penny, who I often reckon are a bit Sue-ish. I'm not sure that the boys are so Sue-ish to the point where it's obnoxious, but they're probably skirting the edges of it.
Penny's score was a 31, "Fanfiction authors beware - Mary's on the loose. There's still a chance you can save this character with some TLC, though. Role-players and original fiction characters, you should also strongly consider giving your character a workover." Lukie's was a 23, "Some definite Sue-like tendancies here. A little polishing might be in order to put original fiction and RPG characters back into the balance, especially if Kirking is involved. Fanfiction characters should probably have some work done."
While I definitely think that being Mary Sue-ish (or, in Penny and Lukie's case, Gary Stu-ish...) needs to stay in check, sometimes I feel like fiction characters need to have a bit of a sprinkling of Sue-ness in order to be likable and interesting in character-driven fiction. That's not always
the rule, of course, but I'm a bit shallow. I like to read about and write characters who I find attractive and entertaining, and those two traits definitely contribute to Sueness. I just wouldn't want to read a story with a totally average and unremarkable main character, even if the plot was fantastic. I find that characters who strike me, charm me, and enthrall me are the reason why I read any book or watch any show or movie. Plot is important, but to me characters make the story.
Before anyone tries to reassure me, don't worry - I'm not bothered by or worried in the slightest about Lukie and Penny's scores, nor am I going to change a thing about them. I couldn't if I wanted to, they are who they are and I tend to feel I have little control over what they do and where their story goes. That's what makes it so fun for me.
In 2007, thousands of Roma in Italy were driven from their homes by mobs, their settlements were burned and many of the Rom were beaten and murdered, including women and children. Police didn't intervene because this massacre was government-sanctioned, part of a "cleansing process" to cut down on crime in Italy.
On November 1, 2007, President Giorgio Napolitano signed a decree providing for the expulsion of E.U. citizens "for reasons of public safety." The law, which was in violation of E.U. Directive 2004/38 /EC concerning the rights of E.U. internal migrants, appeared to be directed expressly at the Rom. On November 2, immediately after this decree was passed, there was an attack on several Rom squatting in a small camp set up in a parking lot. Up to eight men attacked three Rom with metal bars and knives, and one of the injured had deep stab wounds in his back. City authorities bulldozed another squatter camp in the area housing around fifty Rom on November 3, 2007.
On May 11, 2008, newly appointed Interior Minister Roberto Maroni declared that "all gypsy camps will have to be dismantled right away and the inhabitants will be either expelled or incarcerated." Later on that same day, attackers set fires within a Roma camp in Via Novara, Milan. On May 13, a mob threw stones and Molotov cocktails at two Roma squatter camps in the Ponticelli district of northern Naples, chasing out many of the inhabitants. On May 14, attackers returned, including scores of young men armed with iron bars and homemade explosives. They moved systematically through the area, burning the camp to the ground. According to press reports, local residents stood by applauding the arsonists and the police presence did not stop the attackers. Other arson attacks followed. On June 9, according to local monitors, "a settlement of approximately 100 Rom in Catania, Sicily, was attacked and burned to the ground by unknown perpetrators."
Although no arrests were reported for the arson attacks on the Rom, a series of mass roundups of Rom and suspected illegal immigrants was carried out in the same period, with nearly four hundred detained. In the aftermath of the violence, Interior Minister Maroni displayed an almost medieval level of ignorance by declaring, "This is what happens when gypsies steal babies."
After Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (who described the Rom as "an army of evil" in his campaign) was elected, he introduced a new "security package" that provided for dismantling Roma camps, appointing "special commissioners" for the "gypsy emergency" in Rome, Naples, and Milan, new border controls, and the deportation of immigrants "who cannot show they have a job or an adequate income." The security package provided for Roma encampments to be placed under a "state of emergency," opening way for police to arrest the residents, expel them, and destroy the camps.
On May 30, Prime Minister Berlusconi issued further executive orders for the implementation of special measures in the regions of Lazio (including Rome), Lombardia (Milan), and Campania (Naples). These include measures to identify, fingerprint, catalog, and expel all Roma people from the regions. In June 2008, the mayor of Rome, Gianni Alemanno, expelled the first group from a settlement that had been present in the city for decades. On June 8, Carlo Mosca, Rome's newly appointed Commissioner for Roma, reportedly declared that "Gypsies will be monitored, and a census will be carried out" and that "Gypsies will also be fingerprinted and photographed and this will allow the authorities to identify them."
In July 2008, Interior Minister Maroni indignantly rejected accusations from human rights organizations that "violent acts were perpetrated against Roma encampments without effective protection by the police forces," and that police carried out violent raids on settlements. Maroni added that "these are outright lies, the police have never committed any act of violence of this nature." A ministry note issued at the same time declared that the Council of Europe had been provided "all the data that show how the worries about the lack of human rights are completely groundless."
The attacks against the Rom in Italy continue, though a cumulative report of all the attacks is no longer available as the Italian government is downplaying violence against Roma in police reports while bolstering and broadcasting reports of crimes allegedly committed by the Rom. From the rest of the world there is silence, perhaps even more deafening than the silence that preceded the murder of Jews, Gypsies, and other "undesirables" during the Holocaust. This is how genocide begins, with a government naming a scapegoat and encouraging its people to remove the threat at all costs, including the lives of that "threat."
I wonder, where would it be more convenient for them to go? An Italy that claims to be so ashamed of their actions during the Holocaust should know better than to believe that any good can come of rounding up people of a certain race and sweeping them out of sight "for the betterment of the nation."
You are a RAVENCLAW!
As a Ravenclaw and as an NTJ, you are intellectual, independent, and value excellence in yourself and others. You are naturally curious, and can usually see many sides to the same argument or issue. You are driven to acquire knowledge and set very high standards for yourself and others. You excel at and enjoy strategizing, planning, and focusing on the big picture. You enjoy being challenged, and can accept constructive criticism without taking it personally. You are excellent at organizing yourself and others.
Take the quiz here
I'm never sure what house I would be in, actually. At the con I picked Gryffindor because Jill was in Gryffindor. Sometimes I think I'd be Slytherin because I've got that whole evil thing going for me, but I'm not charming or cool enough to be Slytherin. I'm not really studious enough to be Ravenclaw, either. I love to learn, but I hate structured learning and generally just decide to stop working in class because I'd rather work on my own. I always think that perhaps Hufflepuff is the place for people who don't entirely fit anywhere else, but Hufflepuffs are way too nice and I'm an asshole so I wouldn't fit there either. Basically the sorting hat would have a lot of trouble with me.
I regularly watch the news for articles of strange and potentially paranormal goings-on, and usually I just show these to my sister and then forget about them. I've decided to start posting these when I find articles of interest, mainly because I'd love to get other perspectives on these events and articles! So here's my batch for today:※ Doctors Baffled By Girl Who Doesn't Age
Brooke Greenberg looks and acts like a toddler, but she just turned sixteen years old. Frozen in time with no change to her physical or mental biology, Brooke is the first of her kind in recorded medical history. Her parents believe that she may hold the key to eternal youth for other people, too. When asked about how long Brooke will live, her doctor says, "That's kind of a crystal ball question. There's no way of knowing." Read the article and watch a video about Brooke here
at ABC news.
You can't help but wonder how long she will
live, and if she'll ever age at all. What if it's like dog years, only reversed? For every sixteen human years, Brooke ages one year? You never know. I'd like to see where this goes. Ten bucks says she's a vampire.( More weird news.Collapse )
• Post ten of any pictures currently on your hard drive that you think are self-expressive.( 'Cause to me every day is Halloween, I like to play in the dark and stay out of the light...Collapse )
• NO CAPTIONS!!! It must be like we're speaking with images and we have to interpret your visual language just like we have to interpret your words.
• They must ALREADY be on your hard drive - no Googling or Flickr! They have to have been saved to your folders sometime in the past. They must be something you've saved there because it resonated with you for some reason.
• You do NOT have to answer any questions about any of your pictures if you don't want to. You can make them as mysterious as you like. Or you can explain them away as much as you like.