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branchandroot: wings of fire (fire wings)
So, this morning, as is becoming increasingly common, I woke up, and spent five/ten minutes telling the immediate sense of existential dread to fuck off. I got up, showered, kicked clinging existential dread in the kneecaps a few times (which didn't make it go away but did mean I could get out of the shower) and hummed protest songs while doing my eye makeup.

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's "Ohio", in this case. I'm not a cheerful person in the morning.

The morning commute provided a small break from existential dread, its place being temporarily taken by only mildly homicidal exasperation at all the people who can't fucking drive. It snuck in again to cling to my coat collar while I was walking down the cold, dank stairwell.

And then I had a sudden thought.

You know that anime haircut that shows up a lot, usually on girls, that's kind of a bob, usually chin-length or so in front but really short in the back, more like a pixie cut? Like Sakura's hair when she cut it in the chuunin-exam arc? I suddenly have a name for that. It's a pixie-bob..

And that made me giggle all the way up the stairs to the door, and now I feel like I can breathe all the way down.

So, you know, yes put away money to run if necessary, yes clean out the spare room, yes rally and march and write and call if you can. But remember to laugh, too, because we have to be alive at the end of this to dance on those motherfuckers' goddamn graves.

*whispers* Pixie-bob.
branchandroot: wings of fire (fire wings)
My family doesn't have a tradition for this day (all the traditions are saved for New Year's Day, including huge pots of five-alarm chili and champagne cork shooting contests outside), so I've improvised. Today has consisted of nibbling on cubed Colby and summer sausage, onion crackers, and extremely expensive cherry tomatoes (worth it) while wandering the house finding places to put the cats' new toys and desultorily checking that I did, indeed, import all my LJ material five years ago before purging the personal journal.

The copious amounts of gay porn in my fic and RP journals shall remain in situ, as my personal gift to any agency, Russian or otherwise, who may now be peeking under journal locks on LJ. *raises her cranberry Mimosa* Cheers.

Looking back, this has been an extremely busy year for me, getting a foothold in a new life, new job, new home. I now feel like I have my feet well-set, which is a damn sight better than I felt a year ago, and 2016's efforts to burn down the world while I did it can blow me.

So, on this New Year's Eve Day, what I have to say for 2017 is this: BRING IT, MOTHERFUCKER.
branchandroot: a hand holding a star (star hand)
[community profile] underground_rail is a new community born from [personal profile] pocketnaomi's post Underground Rail:

[...] an organization of men and women who can donate a little money, a little time, the use of their car for a weekend, or anything else, for the specific purpose of functioning as a long-distance taxi service: taking women who want or need abortions from areas where there are no safe, legal clinics to the nearest one capable of meeting their needs and returning them safely home again afterwards.


Currently looking for volunteers, supporters, and people with organizing experience.
branchandroot: hand balancing a dagger (dagger hand)
A lot of things about these two acts alarm and disgust me, but they are also part of a larger, and in many cases far more subtle, narrative in which necessary and even beneficial changes in media industry and distribution models are targets of scare-mongering, labeled piracy, and legislated against.

I think [personal profile] foxinthestars put it most cogently, so go read her.

Indeed, "piracy" is a scare-label I think we need to question. How many of you have heard that that Western fansubbers/scanlators and their viewers/readers are what's destroying the anime/manga industry? That's a load of BS, and sites like Crunchyroll are busy proving it. If the US anime/manga industry cannot, in its current model, provide products that enough people wish to watch/read, at a price they are willing to pay, then that model needs to change. It does not need to be legislatively mandated.

A lot more models need to change, too. Indeed, many are changing already. But, as in other industries, like energy production, the companies that have made a lot of money off the old way don't want to give it up, and are happy to throw some of that money at legislators who haven't the tiniest clue about how the internet actually works--but do have a lot of sympathy for rich people.

Contact your representatives to give them an earful of what the rest of their constituents think.

Bingo!

Sep. 28th, 2009 08:43 pm
branchandroot: Hatsuharu looking pissed (Haru black)
*just kind of stares*

Okay, let's get something straight (Ha. Ha.). There is a small (quite small) portion of slash fiction that manages to overlap with queer fiction. But the vast majority of slash? Is not queer fiction.

No. No, it's not. No, shut up and quit making asses of yourselves while you demonstrate at length that yours is very probably not.

Queer fiction deals with queer people, emphasis on people. It does not deal with the paper-doll id-fic that constitutes the vast majority of slash, and against which I have nothing. Id-fic is a lovely thing; I write it myself. But it's not queer fiction. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the experience of queer people, of whom I suppose I should say I am one.

Given all this idiotic howling, I find the initial issue, which is the Lambda awards committee specifying that award candidate fiction must be written by people who identify themselves as queer, makes perfect sense. It becomes abundantly evident that there are plenty of clueless straight women (mostly) who are so willfully blind to the appropriation they perform that they will stampede right over a queer-affirming community space if measures are not taken to defend it.

As has been demonstrated.
branchandroot: Killua looking wry (Killua wry)
This is just a quick post for any Ohio voters hereabouts, on Issue 5, the payday lending issue.

This is the referendum on the law that would require payday lenders to only charge 28% interest instead of the 391% that appears to be more common.

Now, alert readers may well be thinking "Wait, don't we already have laws against that kind of thing? Isn't it called usury?" And they would be correct; we do and it is. However, at some point in the past, by some slight of lobbying hand, payday lenders got themselves specifically exempted from those laws.

So the law now in question would, in fact, just require them to abide by the anti-usury laws like everyone else.

I do not normally consider our governmental system capable of effectively regulating anything, including its own breathing, but this one seems like a bit of a no-brainer.
branchandroot: a hand holding a star (star hand)
Fellow Ohio voters: if you want to vote by mail in the upcoming election, you can find directions at the Secretary of State website, as well as an application. It's only half a page long, nothing alarming; check number 2, General Election, sign it and stuff it in the mail. You don't have to actually be absent to use this ballot.

I encourage voting by mail. It's easy, it's un-stressful, and if you come across an Issue you never heard of before looking at the ballot, why you can put it down and go Google that issue to find out what's up with it. Same for candidates, actually, not that I expect anyone possessed of a phone and a front door has been able to avoid knowing who all the candidates are.

Fellow non-Ohio voters can find similar forms by checking their own Secretary of State website.

This has been your public service announcement for the day. Go forth and vote for better health care!
branchandroot: wings of fire (fire wings)
*hands on hips* Okay, people, since when have we forgotten all of our political advances in the past fifty years?

When someone like Palin says "being gay is a choice" you say "maybe, what's your point?"

The point here is not whether it's predisposition or lifestyle choice. I think (I hope) we all know that, within the breadth of our community, it is and can be both. The point is not to surrender our definition and identity to the likes of her!

They are trying to invalidate all our choices of sexual expression, and it is not a good idea to go scurrying back to the 'safety' of "it's genetics/I can't help it/God made me this way". That may look like a good bastion, one that uses their own arguments against them, but what it really does is let them define us. It sacrifices any and all choices, allows them to say freely and without contradiction that our choices are invalid, because we have failed to defend them, even the theoretical ones, even the ones that some of us don't make.

Our choices are not invalid! Neither the ones made at the prompting of biological predisposition or the ones made on the basis of intellectual predisposition are invalid, stop letting our enemies say they are!

This is a wedge that I thought we'd recognized for what it is, and gotten over at least a little. It distresses me to see it cropping up again every time I turn around. Let's take back our political savvy, here, people.
branchandroot: oak against sky (Default)
Okay. Must rant now.

I am not exactly a union child, not for generations back or anything. But I was raised in a union household, in southern Michigan. It sticks.

And teachers' unions striking is a major problem for students. Just like a city transportation strike is a major problem for anyone who doesn't own their own car. Just like a materials transport strike is a major problem for anyone who needed the things being delivered.

THAT'S THE POINT.

A strike is not supposed to be some kind of empty, symbolic gesture, it's supposed to be an ACTION. If no one was inconvenienced by labor being witheld, a) there would be no leverage and b) the labor probably really wouldn't be worth all that much money. The fact that a whole shitload of people are wildly inconvenienced is the pressure point to lean on when the reps come to the table and say "Pay us what our work is worth".

And yeah, it totally sucks to be someone on the reciever's end. And yeah, it isn't really fair that the students, and office workers, and urban poor are the ones who get "inconvenienced" a hell of a lot harder than the fucking management in these cases. That sucks big, hairy goat balls.

Which means that the students etc. should STOP BLAMING THE STRIKERS FOR WANTING A LIVING WAGE and instead PUT PRESSURE ON THE ADMINISTRATION.

Put the blame where it damn well belongs. Yes, students should not be penalized because of a labor dispute. So go tell that to the people who make the policies! Refuse to pay for time when classes are not happening. If all the students did that, you damn bet the administration would bargain and bargain fast. That is what collective action is about.

The fact that none of this ever seems to occur to anyone who wasn't raised with it, that they all seem to think it's Not Their Problem, that they undermine the people they should be supporting...

... makes me dearly wish to see the little whiners living on a schoolteacher's or bus driver's salary for a few years, and see how they like it.

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