I knew pretty much immediately what it was about, since our nieces play Minecraft on our server... but I also had this brief *blink*blink* moment where my brain sort of balked at the sheer silliness of it all. Heh.
The creeper was taken care of BTW, and Rackham made sure there were enough torches around that it shouldn't happen again.
131. Parting from Wang Wei
Quietly, I've waited here so long,
Day after day; but now I must return.
Now I go to seek the fragrant grass,
But I grieve to part from my old friend.
Who is there who would help me on the road?
Understanding friends are few in life.
I should just observe my solitude,
And close again the gate of my old home.
(With apologies for posting early, but there's a good chance I'll be offline all weekend and wanted to get this one last poem in. Other poets from this week also wrote to one another -- I originally wanted to post an entire ring of addresses, but couldn't pull it off because some lived later than others.)
102. Seeing Off a Friend
Green hills above the northern wall,
White water winding east of the city.
On this spot our single act of parting,
The lonely tumbleweed journeys ten thousand li.
Drifting clouds echo the traveller's thoughts,
The setting sun reflects my old friend's feelings.
You wave your hand and set off from this place,
Your horse whinnies as it leaves.
(The author is also known under the Wade-Giles transliteration as Li Po. Translation found here.)
Characters/Pairing/Other Subject: Leela of the Sevateem
Content Notes/Warnings: n/a
Medium: digital art
Artist on DW/LJ: n/a
Artist Website/Gallery: rashomonchb
Why this piece is awesome: This is one of my favourite drawings of Leela. I love the how vibrant and alive she seems and how strong and fierce her movements are. The way her forward rush has her on the verge of breaking out of the picture. It's a wonderful celebration of the hunter and warrior she never stopped being.
The grass is spreading out across the plain,
Each year, it dies then flourishes again.
It's burnt but not destroyed by prairie fires,
When spring winds blow they bring it back to life.
Afar, its scent invades the ancient road,
Its emerald green overruns the ruined town.
Again I see my noble friend depart,
I find I'm crowded full of parting's feelings.
(Translation found here.)
The Home Affairs Select Committee have proposed that those arrested for sexual offences should be granted anonymity until charged. This risks undoing much of the significant progress we've made towards increasing the reporting and conviction of rape and other sexually violent crimes.
Nobody can be in any doubt about the suffering of a person falsely accused of rape. We know all about this, because this situation is commonplace in books and films. Men are much more likely to be raped than face a rape allegation*, and yet many men seem to regard false allegation as a more realistic prospect. The idea of being a victim of injustice, of malice or misunderstanding, and having the opportunity to defend oneself with language and reason, is obviously the far more palatable threat. It certainly is for the Coalition government, who have pretty much shut down investigations into prison rape, where men make up the majority of victims.
Anonymity for rape suspects would be an obstacle to justice. It would be a direct obstacle in that it would greatly reduce the chances of multiple victims coming forward - something that can be vital in securing a conviction for historic sexual abuse. We know that the majority of rapes and sexual abuse are carried out by men who do the same thing again and again, even though victims often imagine their experience to be unique. Out of the list of famous sex offenders prosecuted in recent years, it is very likely some or most of these men would be walking free (and still on our screens and airways) if it hadn't been for publicity surrounding their initial arrests.
Anonymity for rape suspects would get in the way of justice less directly by enforcing the belief that people are more likely to lie about rape than other crimes, though there is no shred of evidence that this is the case.
This isn't how the Home Affairs Select Committee have framed their proposals; the idea is that allegations of sexual offences have an unique power to damage a person's reputation. Yet, this simply doesn't stand up; those arrested in connection with a murder where no other suspect is found or those detained on suspicion of terrorist offences may well find their employment and relationship prospects similarly destroyed. The suspicion of a fairly minor offence in someone in a position of trust and authority can have a devastating effect.
Operation Yewtree has given us a short list of very famous men who were arrested and investigated, but not charged, under the scrutiny of the national press, yet these circumstances are extraordinary. Few arrests for sexual violence cases would even lead to a photograph in a local newspaper. Meanwhile, the lasting damage is impossible to quantify; Ched Evans' rape conviction is yet to end a very lucrative and public career.
Anonymity for rape suspects would also set up a state of false equivalence between victims and suspects.
Rape victims are not granted anonymity in order to protect their reputations, but to protect from further violence. People who have already been raped or sexually abused are much more likely to be victimised again, especially if they have already reported a crime which didn't lead to a conviction. Following fans' attempts to publish the name of the woman that Ched Evans raped, she has had to move home five times. This is not so that she can get on with her career and have normal relationships with people who didn't know of her infamous experience. This is so she isn't at an ever-present risk of physical attack.
There is no justification for granting anonymity to people suspected of any particular crime, and doing so would stop victims coming forward, as well as further undermining the position of victims of sexual violence within the criminal justice system and society at large.
If you are interested in doing so Everyday Victim Blaming have an e-mail template you can send to your MP and other relevant politicians, objecting to these proposals.
* Depending on definitions, between 1 in 6 and 1 in 33 men are subject to rape during their lifetimes.
[The image is a black silhouette on a white background of a person's head and shoulders. The figure has short hair and a thick neck. This image was made by Wikimedia user Lakeyboy and is in the public domain.]
I've ordered a set of 16 postcards. If you would like me to send one to you, please provide an address that will reach you, either by leaving it in the poll below or in a DM. Please note the following. First, I’m happy to send outside the UK as I have a stockpile of international postage. Second, if you provided your address in one of the previous postcard polls, you don’t need to leave it again. Just say, “Yes, please” or equivalent. If you need to check whether or not you've left me your address before, links to my previous postcard posts for "When Dragons Speak" and "Princesa" can be found by looking at the free stuff tag: DW and LJ.
It usually takes several days for a Redbubble order to reach me, so these will be going on over the next two to three weeks.
I would like an aswang postcard by Likhain. Please send it to this address:
Characters/Pairing/Other Subject: Captain Otter (aka Martin)
Content Notes/Warnings: none
Medium: digital painting
Artist on DW/LJ: n/a
Artist Website/Gallery: tillieke on DA on tumblr (sadly not tagged)
Why this piece is awesome: Because, otter! There's a CP episode that features otters and contains speculation about how many otters can fit on a plane - that's led to art as well. The notion of Martin as an otter captain is not part of canon, but it is delightful. And of course with his usual existential angst. Enlarge it for maximum otterness.
Link: Captain Otter
... i did impress the strangers, anyway, so there's that.
Sasha Garwood is our March guestblogger.
So, as I mentioned a few posts ago, I have a stepdaughter. She's a lovely kid, bright and charming and sweet, which is just as well because I haven't a maternal bone in my body (mutual adult caring is a DIFFERENT bone, okay?) and the fact that I genuinely appreciate her as a person means that our little odd semi-nuclear almost-family mostly ambles along quite happily. I only see her every other weekend, as she mostly lives with her mother on the other side of the country, and whilst she doesn't exactly see me as a proper adult (I'm 'like a teenager' because I'm 'too much fun', which I will totally take) we seem to get along pretty well. It's all good, mostly. The only apparent invertebrate in the overpriced facial unguent is the subsumed (or, sometimes, openly apparent, albeit mainly through the medium of passive aggressive texts to my fiancé) ideological clashes between my worldview and her mother's.
(I'm going to spend the rest of this blogpost studiously avoiding discussing my partner's perspective or his relationship with his ex, partly because Inappropriate and partly because there is an outside chance she might one day read this. Suffice it to say that he's kind, considerate, neurotic and predisposed to self-loathing, self-doubt and assuming his perspectives or decisions are of necessity wrong, and for various reasons of historical awfulness has not necessarily had much say in mutual decision-making about stepdaughter's ideological upbringing.)
Sometimes, this is fair enough. Or rather: I totally recognise someone's right to raise their child according to their values and preferences, and therefore am basically willing to follow the rules if I'm told what they are. This doesn't follow if said rules appear to be actively harmful, as in the recent 'Stop her from reading!' argument that had jaws dropping across my geeky and bookish social circles, but things like table manners and media consumption and hiding the news. The latter is pretty alien to me - my parents never edited, let alone curtailed, my reading or news consumption, and whilst I suspect it led to some pretty awkward conversations on their part and occasional upset and mystification on mine, it stood me in pretty good stead for living in the world. I also tended to self-limit - if I really didn't get something or found it upsetting, I'd leave well alone and/or come back to it later. But still, I (mostly) don't think it's appropriate for me to question or undermine stepdaughter's mother's authority or the stable-ish boundaries of her life and exposure to the world*.
Even with things like language, I mostly toe the line. Left to myself I swear frequently and fluently, as does her father, but I appreciate that for a 9-year-old at a C of E school perspectives like 'words have power, use them carefully, including the ones that shock or discomfort people' and 'if it's good enough for the Earl of Rochester, it's good enough for me' don't have much currency, and kids learn by example. I slip up occasionally, but it's basically okay**.
But. Rules or no rules, there are other aspects of life where my inability to communicate honestly bothers me. The facts of life, for example. As far as her dad knows, we're not meant to explain to her about sex, which has led to some particularly amusing* visits to farms and the like involving phrases like 'they're just playing/cuddling/fighting!' and some really awkward conversations about how or why I'm not going to have a baby. Stepdaughter hasn't hit puberty yet, so once again, I think it's not my place to interfere or undermine, but girls start menstruating pretty early these days, and I'm really hoping some day soon her mother feels it's time to have a quiet word.
Not unrelatedly: sexuality. I'm not allowed to be out as queer around her, for fear she mentions it to her mum and I'm suddenly deemed persona non grata. (Quite how this would play out given I'm marrying her father, I don't know, but I think it'd be horrendous for all parties. Needless to say, he hasn't discussed being bi with his daughter either!) I don't just mean I can't tell her I'm queer or initiate conversations on the subject - I wouldn't do that anyway. I mean I refrain from answering her questions honestly sometimes, from any mention of dating anyone who isn't male, the same way her father refrains from mentioning that he was briefly married very young before he met stepdaughter's mother. ('It's just not worth the hassle,' I quote.) Stepdaughter's a direct and curious child, she asks lots of questions, and I find it runs very much against the grain not to respond with similar directness.
I don't have any answers. I'm not even sure what the questions are. I do know that as stepdaughter grows up, and starts dealing with things like bodily changes and sexuality and all the cultural bullshit around adult femininity, I am going to be increasingly less inclined to accede to what feels to me like dishonesty. Not that I would ever force a topic or viewpoint on her. This isn't about my wanting to evangelise, even about things like consent culture I evangelise about pretty fiercely with adults. It's about me finding it really difficult to navigate between wanting to respect stepdaughter's mother's right to raise her child how she wants, my partner's right to have some significant emotional input into decisions made about his daughter's emotional and psychological wellbeing, and my desire to provide stepdaughter with support in the best way I know how - by being honest about the difficult things.
*Obviously enough, a lot of this has its roots in family norms. My family are expressive, argumentative, open, prone to discussing Big Things and not shying away from conflict. This does not equate to seeking it, by the way - I really don't like arguing with people, particularly in emotionally loaded situations, and my boyfriend and I deal with pretty much everything by discussion and explanation and requests to stop if one of us is getting upset, and that works as well as these things can. But I also know how to deal with conflict, and am accustomed to expressing myself under emotional pressure. Boyfriend's family have been very nice and very welcoming to me, but certainly don't discuss or communicate in the same way mine do, which is occasionally odd, as I ask questions as a matter of course without realising that it's actually quite a Big Deal to talk about things. Stepdaughter's mother's family - who seem very nice and friendly whenever I've encountered them - apparently adhere to strict and occasionally arcane rules, which is probably, and legitimately, where all this comes from.
** My perspective on swearing is another blogpost in itself - it's context-dependent, but I am generally all in favour of using words that are direct, expressive, multivalent and capable of making people pay attention. Often these are swearwords. I also think Stephen Fry - occasionally problematic as he is - has some pretty good points here. Worth mentioning that unlike the reading thing, my parents got very upset about 'bad language' when I was a child - we each take of our parents' lessons what we like and transform the rest, I suppose, which will make revisiting these subjects with stepdaughter as an adult very interesting.
The image above is of orange graffiti on a grey wall. The image is of a woman with octopus tentacles for hair and a triangle to represent her third eye. She is smiling pleasantly. Thanks Mara Patrick for the photo.
106. Spring View
The country is broken, though hills and rivers remain,
In the city in spring, grass and trees are thick.
Moved by the moment, a flower's splashed with tears,
Mourning parting, a bird startles the heart.
The beacon fires have joined for three months now,
Family letters are worth ten thousand pieces.
I scratch my head, its white hairs growing thinner,
And barely able now to hold a hairpin.
(My favorite Tang poet writing, as you can probably guess, in time of civil war -- specifically, while being held captive by the side that ultimately lost. Translation, with notes, from here.)
"I can eat this, y/y?"
( +1 )
Humuhumu is presently obsessed with the set of five Meg & Mog books that sister-out-law gave her for Christmas. I think they're from the seventies; both the bloke and sister-out-law remember them vividly from childhood. Meg is a witch, of the spellcasting-pointy-black-hat-and-cauldr
( Shirtless man with children behind the cut )
Photo: Keiki on Humuhumu on Daddy, reading Meg's Eggs, in which Meg magics up three big eggs for supper, but the shells can't be broken. In the night, the eggs hatch into dinosaurs, two of which are plant-eaters (Diplodocus and Stegosaurus). The third is a T. rex who wants to eat them all. Meg makes another spell and the dinosaurs are miniaturised to a non-threatening size. The End.
This one is second only to Meg's Veg in Humuhumu's view. Meg's Veg is her favourite because there is a page on which Meg fetches the muck for her garden. Which, of course, means we all get to shout, "POO!"
Chapter Twelve of Answering Prayers by velvetwhip.
Chapter Thirteen of Dreams and Mirrors by kikimay.
AtSverse icons by shameless666.
TheToast give us "Every Argument About BtVS on the Internet From 1998 Until Now".
MindyKaling talks about Buffy/Angel/Spike.
7x11 - Byzantium
( I feel like this is a job that will be replaced by robots someday. Someday soon. )
7x12 - Brown Shag Carpet
( He'll never tell you what he's up to, whatever he does you'll look like an idiot, and always keep your hand on your wallet. )
7x13 - White Orchids
( They found a minibar. They're like cavemen arguing over a dead antelope. )
I think we all agree that this could be either the best thing ever or a total disaster, but what do you actually wish that would happen in it (or not)? Because I just realised that since the death of the Lone Gunmen was apparently retconned in the comics, they could be back too! And obviously I'd be ecstatic if Doggett and Reyes made an appearance.
119. Replying to Subprefect Zhang
Now in old age, I know the value of silence,
The world's affairs no longer stir my heart.
Turning to myself, I have no greater plan,
All I can do is return to the forest of old.
Wind from the pine trees blows my sash undone,
The moon shines through the hills; I pluck the qin.
You ask me why the world must rise and fall.
Fishermen sing on the steep banks of the river.
(Translation from here)
Iona Sharma revels in the feminist joy of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries.
Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries is a lush confection: an Australian detective drama set in 1920s Melbourne, with meticulously envisaged period detail and glorious outfits.
It stars Essie Davis as the Honourable Phryne Fisher, "lady detective", together with an ensemble cast, including Miriam Margolyes, playing her self-assembled household and some long-suffering members of the Melbourne police force.
With their assistance, Phryne (rhymes with tiny) runs around the city, chasing criminals with a pearl-handled pistol. She is magnificently dressed at all times, even when pursuing murderers across rooftops or inspecting bodies in the morgue.
The resulting show is a delight; the murders themselves are solidly predictable affairs, taken seriously but not overly gritty or dark, while the dialogue is sharp and funny. Plus, there is a certain pleasure in taking in Phryne's fabulous lifestyle, making it perfectly possible to simply sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.
So why not just leave it there? Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries is lovely, easy-to-watch fun and, amid the bright colours and rollicking adventures in its 26 episodes across two seasons, I don't believe anyone ever uses the word 'feminist' or anything close to it. However, I would say this is still the most feminist television show I've seen in years, possibly even more so for its light, deceptively simple approach.
First of all, Miss Fisher's larger-than-life personality is a lot more complicated than it at first seems.
She grew up in poverty -- her current wealth and title arose as a result of most of her family being wiped out in the First World War -- and, overshadowing that difficult childhood is the fact her sister was abducted by a known kidnapper and murderer who continues to protest his innocence. (This is reminiscent of the backstories of protagonists like Batman and Fox Mulder -- the tragic past that is usually bestowed on male characters.)
Despite this, the show resists the temptation of taking Phryne's subsequent lifelong quest to find out what happened to her sister, along with her wartime experiences as a nurse on the front lines, and using it as the explanation for her worldview...
Miss Fisher leans on her arms on her front on a furry rug on a bed, holding up a golden pistol in her right hand. She wears 1920s get-up: a jewelled head band, red lipstick, thin white scarf, black dress and just visible black high heels (that can be seen from a backwards angle in the background, as her legs are bent at the knees).
This is adapted from the cover for the DVD for series one of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries and can also be seen on the cover of the accompanying CD soundtrack. Shared under fair dealing.
Comment with the title of one of my fics and a number (or more than one of either) and I'll witter egomanically about:
1) how I came up with the idea
2) something I deleted
3) my favorite bit
4) something I struggled to write
5) what the writing process was like
6) how I thought people would respond
7) how people actually responded
8) something I wish I’d done differently
9) something I think I did right
My fic is here or "The one where..." is fine.
* Avatar (mific)
* Criminal Minds (ceares)
* Naruto (sylvaine)
So while we already have some recs to look forward to in April, it would of course be awesome if we had more recs. There is still plenty of opportunity for you to jump in and volunteer to rec next month (or to convince your friends to do some reccing). And many cheers for all of our members who volunteer to rec, especially if you rec regularly. Your valiant repeat efforts keep the comm alive.
Looking even further ahead so far NO reccers have volunteered for May, so that month definitely still needs some love (and recs! *g*) too. So please consider reccing in a fandom of your choice, whether small or huge, and comment on the sign-up post and volunteer for April, May or even further ahead if you are so well organized, that you know your fannish interests and time commitments in advance. It's only four recs as a minimum, and you can rec any genre or rating. Or promote us to your friends or in your favorite communities so others do the work.
Open Rec Posting
The monthly open reccing period for all members starts now and lasts until the end of March. If you are looking for something to inspire you, the prompt for this week is "Green", but that's totally optional for the recs. However they do still have to conform to the usual rec format and follow the rules for what is allowed to be recced here.
(Comments here are disabled, because I want to bundle volunteering in the sign-up post so that nothing gets lost, and you can see the list of claimed slots there too.)
Characters/Pairing/Other Subject: Rock Lee
Content Notes/Warnings: none
Medium: digital art
Artist on DW/LJ: NA
Artist Website/Gallery: busy-matches (art tag)
Why this piece is awesome: This is such a happymaking picture - everything from the colours to the softness of the drawing to the big smile on Lee's face to his shining eyes makes me smile every time I see this picture.
Link: actual sunshine child on tumblr (if that link breaks, I have reblogged it here)
Characters/Pairing/Other Subject: The Fourth Doctor, Sarah Jane Smith, and Harry Sullivan
Content Notes/Warnings: n/a
Medium: pens & ink?
Artist on DW/LJ: n/a
Artist Website/Gallery: mystsaphyr
Why this piece is awesome: This is such a fun and cute drawing of the three of them. The slightly naivistic style with its rounded contours and soft shading gives it a very fitting 1970s feel. And I love the feeling of comradeship and closeness you get from their body language.
Link: Team TARDIS 1975
298. On a Rainy Night, to a Friend in the North
You ask me when I am coming. I do not know.
I dream of your mountains and autumn pools brimming all night with the rain.
Oh, when shall we be trimming wicks again, together in your western window?
When shall I be hearing your voice again, all night in the rain?
In other news, I'm enjoying a fun activity I call "parenting through peer pressure". It involves the kidlet sitting in his highchair with his plastic cutlery (no solids yet) while we eat dinner, and using his gumbrush while I use my toothbrush. The idea is that he thinks this is just What We Do, so that I can avoid having to introduce him to Scary New Things and instead just slide him effortlessly into our everyday lives. (Those of you who are parents, this is where you get to laugh hysterically at me using "effortlessly" in a sentence about parenting.)
So far, it's working well.
Hello and welcome to another weekly round-up and open thread. Please read, absorb and enjoy this collection of interesting links from the past week and feel free to discuss in the comments section, or add your own link suggestions.
Every article linked to is well worth a read but particular favourites of mine this week include the fascinating discussion piece on China File regarding the deplorable criminal detention of five feminist activists in China, as well as the lovely article on The Guardian about "godmother of rock'n'roll" Sister Rosetta Tharpe - I will definitely be setting aside some time to watch the BBC Four documentary about her life later on (and if you're interested, you'll find the link to it alongside the article below).
Please remember that linking does not automatically mean endorsement/agreement and some links may be triggering.
This App Makes Your Phone Buzz When You Approach Places Where Women Made History (GOOD Magazine)
Laura Bates: 'Anti-feminists don't get irony' (The Guardian)
From the article: "Society has an incredible knack for making people who face inequality feel alone. Women who speak up about sexism are told they need to get a sense of humour. Women who protest about workplace discrimination are accused of rocking the boat. Women who've been sexually assaulted are told they must have been asking for it. The past few years have shown me how many people experience injustice in silence, each made to feel they don't have the right to speak up. But the more women speak out and stand up, the harder it is to silence us."
'Schoolboys should tell girls their idea of a perfect woman,' says expert (The Telegraph)
You can read a response to this article by D H Kelly on The F-Word blog here.
How Do You Feel When You See Yourself in a Photo? (Bitch Magazine)
From the article: "For over 20 years, artist Jennifer Bermon has been getting women to look at themselves. Since 1993, Bermon has taken black-and-white photos of women and asked them to write about the way they look in the photo."
Dark Days for Women in China? (China File)
A response 'conversation' to China's recent criminal detention of five feminist activists.
How to be a bad girl (Hint: All you need is boobs) (Bust)
From the article: "In India victim blaming is often the norm, and a woman's behavior is frequently considered the cause of assaults against her. To defend against sex crimes, women have been encouraged by Indian politicians and religious leaders to avoid skirts, dating, porn, and talent shows."
Ashley Judd on the misogynistic harassment she received for tweeting about sports (Feministing)
From the article: "This past weekend, Ashley Judd, actress, feminist, and Kentucky basketball fan, made a comment on Twitter about how her team's opponent was "playing dirty & can kiss my team's free throw making a--." For this minor bit of shit-talking, hardly out of the norm within the craze of March Madness, she was - surprise, surprise - inundated with a barrage of misogynistic tweets."
Sister Rosetta Tharpe: the godmother of rock'n'roll (The Guardian)
From the article: "She could outplay Chuck. She could outsing Aretha. And she influenced everyone from Elvis to Rod." You can check out the BBC Four documentary The Godmother of Rock & Roll here.
Should Batgirl Be Cured? An in-depth look at how pop culture deals with disabilities - and how literature, comics, and film could definitely do better (Bitch Magazine)
As a Muslim woman, I see the veil as a rejection of progressive values (The Guardian CiF)
From the article: "This article will divide people. Women I respect and like wear hijabs and jilbabs to articulate their faith and identity. Others do so to follow their dreams, to go into higher education or jobs. And an increasing number are making a political statement. I am not assuming that the coverings all represent simple oppression. What I am saying is that many women who take up the veil, in any of its forms, do so without delving fully into its implications, significance or history."
The picture is by Romuald Bokej and is used under a creative commons licence. It depicts a black "stick figure" woman with long hair reaching towards a red sun. The sun is giving off beams which appear as red circles radiating out towards the woman's outstretched hand.
The Meaning of True fear , Giles/Anya; Mine , Giles/Ethan and Sparks in the Darkest of Caves , Spike/Buffy by dragonyphoenix.
Thinky thoughts on the Buffyverse by shapinglight.
Spike/Buffy banner by comlodge.
WhatCulture posts "33 Great Behind the Scenes Shots You Need to See". Definitely a blast from the past.
More news here and here from the Sunnydale Press.
( GIF EVIDENCE )
It's just a really terrible attempt at clearing the puck by Smith, and yet it's so wonderful. My favorite part is definitely Sutter turning around, seeing the puck in the net, and going, "Oh yay! Goal for us!" Him standing there flat-footed with his arms in the air: best.
Post-Gazette David Molinari was on the scene after the game, and he reports, Sutter, on Mike Smith's clearing attempt that hit his rear end and landed in the Arizona net: "That’s my touch around the net."
Or his tushy. Whichever.