Today.

Nov. 9th, 2016 11:39 pm
kiki_eng: light purple lilacs with soft unfocused blue-purple background (lilacs)
I stayed up until just about the end, last night, around fifteen minutes before they called it, and so I have gone through the day with too much to do on too little sleep. I felt like I was going to a funeral, heading out this morning.

Today I have been frustrated and angry and sad. I feel threatened. I feel that we are beginning a very difficult time and that there is so much potential for evil - for greed, for oppression, for violence, for atrocities. I am wary of what will happen in the United States of America and what may spill over, and I think that is sort of where we need to be. Wary. Aware.

We need to be watching and I think that we need to be very aware of the past as we do that, and of the sort of things that have come to pass when this kind of rhetoric has been spoken. And we need to be ready to say "no" and "never again".

I think there are many different faces of resistance, and we have seen that, in history.

I think that pervasive fear and anger can be like gasoline and I think it can smother freedom and goodness.

I think that there is a place in all of this, for those of us that can manage it, for radical kindness, and to fight evil with good; I think that this is part of resistance.

I've been remembering today, Jack Layton's words of over five years ago:

"My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful, and optimistic. And we'll change the world."

I think we need some of those things, today. I think it is easy to forget they exist, today. (I've needed those words, today.)

I think that we need to prepare for the worst, but make the world we try to build not be shaped by fear, despair, and anger. We need to keep fighting.
kiki_eng: Lady Liberty kisses Lady Justice (it is a swept back and dramatic kiss) - Text: "Libery/Justice OTP" (Liberty/Justice: OTP)
I am so excited about the legalisation of same sex marriage in the United States. I almost cried at work; I have a lot of feelings about this. It's one of my countries and I watched states change their laws and I wouldn't really believe it when people would say that it had happened - I'd go and find a news source that I trusted and verify it with that. ...and it's happened now, and that's, like, completely amazing to me.

Like, it's not done, (The queers are not fully looked after by the American justice system. There are other laws that need to be changed.) but it's pretty nice all the same - marriage is legal in the USA now!

Ten years ago felt so incredibly bleak in terms of where things were politically in the States, and, you know, there is still a lot of shit going down, but this is really nice, and, like, when it happened in Canada in 2005 it was the fourth country in the world to legalise it and I haven't heard anyone listing the USA's number yet, and that's really awesome to me.

I am feeling reasonably optimistic today.

On Sunday I am planning on going to Pride in Toronto and going to watch the parade. I'm looking forward to it. I haven't been to a parade in five years and I know I've got glitter somewhere.
kiki_eng: Cameron Mitchell (SG-1) makes a face, text: "THE HELL?" (Cam says "the hell?")
Adobe Is All Up in Your Reading Business, And Other Links
In today's Holy Shit are you KIDDING? news comes a story first reported on Monday by Nate Hoffelder at The Digital Reader: Adobe Digital Editions v4 is gathering data on what you read and sending that information back to Adobe.
...and the details are somewhat impressively skeevier than you might think with that intro.

Candidates Announcement
The OTW announces that there is no election this year because they don't have enough election candidates, just three candidates for three spots. They also name this year's candidates.
(The last OTW contested election was in 2011.)

Volunteer
The OTW is currently looking for Support Staff and Tag Wranglers. Support Staff is a 4 hour weekly commitment, and tag wrangling is a 1 hour weekly commitment.
kiki_eng: Annie Monroe of The Like wearing sunglasses (bandom) (Annie wearing sunglasses)
There's this fic I've been slowly working on for the past six months or so- just occasionally pulling it out and adding in some detail. I'm still figuring out what story I want to tell. There's not even a proper draft yet - just notes, really - but it makes me really happy because I love the tropes in it. It's a story about growth and feelings and I'm not quite sure yet, but I like it. It's also, as of today, a story about vegetarianism.

That's something that I am: a vegetarian. I think this is the first time I've ever written about it, but I've been a vegetarian for longer than I've been in fandom, more than a decade. It's probably a big part of the reason I like bakery AUs better than chef AUs. I read a great fic last week that wasn't either of those things but was filled with all of these glorious descriptions of food, which I skimmed because none of the dishes were stuff that I'd eat. (I have very little interest in reading about someone cooking a turkey or whatever; that is really boring for me.)

Late last week I read a different fic, wherein confusion was expressed about what a vegan could eat for breakfast and I snorted. I'd had a piece of apple pie for breakfast that day, which, while not strict vegan, I hadn't used any eggs or milk to make. (It was delicious.)

Right now I've got two Teen Wolf stories open in my tabs and they both have a kind of vegetarian food is terrible; there should be meat line near the end. That's a coincidence and those lines feel pretty typical for Teen Wolf; real wolves eat a lot of meat and Sheriff Stilinski is seen despairing of his son's attempts to make him eat healthy on the show. I am sort of waiting for the fic where the werewolves express a preference for raw vegetables as well as raw meat, because that will amuse me.

The sort of recurring meme that vegetarian food is terrible I find less amusing, basically because there's this whole slew of anti-vegetarianism embedded in North American culture and I'm tired of it. I'm going to let you in on a little secret, though: when vegetarian food sucks it's for the same sorts of reasons that food with meat in it sometimes sucks. Often this reason is the cook doesn't really know what they're doing. I think that there are a lot of meat-eaters who aren't really incredible cooks and don't know how to compensate when they take the meat out of a dish and lose that fat and flavour; that's something that could contribute to that meme.

So essentially I hit a point today where there was a lot of glaring and grumbling and cursing and then I decided that I was going to write a fic where I described vegetarian food in loving detail because that is clearly the best sort of revenge, and, oh, isn't that character vegan; that is even better. I'm happy with this plan, basically - I like descriptions of food - I just really wish that there was less ridicule of vegetarianism in general but especially in fic; Fandom is my happy place.
kiki_eng: a woman makes an unimpressed face - text: "Original Cindy is not impressed." (Dark Angel) (Original Cindy is not impressed.)
So there's this word that I stopped using a while ago when I realised that it was hurtful.

I should say, there's this word that I stopped using within a certain context when I realised that that context was hurtful, when I realised that using that word to mean pathetic, pitiful, sad, boring, bad, inadequate is associating those words with people who are none of those things.

When I was in middle school I met someone who, whenever someone used the word "gay" as a slur, addressed it. When people spat it out like it was something dirty or used it casually to mean bad things they went Hey. That's not cool. I don't remember what they actually said; it probably changed a bit each time, but that was the message, and you know what? It got through to a lot of people.

That usage of the word "gay" is one that never entered my speech. I don't know that it would have, if I'd never met that person; I don't remember how I felt about that word before they started calling people on it. They are probably responsible for my being able to express, at an early age, why that usage is problematic.

I'm telling that story here because I think that people will relate to it, because I think that most of Fandom can go Yeah, no, using "gay" as a slur, that's not cool, and because "gay" is sometimes used interchangeably with "lame".

I've never used the word "gay" as a slur, but I have used "lame". I knew, when I used it, that it was a word that meant - and I am just going to use Merriam-Webster here - "having a body part and especially a limb so disabled as to impair freedom of movement" or "marked by stiffness and soreness <a lame shoulder>", but it somehow did not occur to me at the time that those other definitions - "inferior", "contemptible, nasty", etc. - stem from the first, that they are a way of saying that disabilities and by extension disabled persons are contemptible and nasty. So, yeah, using "lame" as a slur isn't cool.

That's not something that I connected on my own. I stumbled on a blog post that casually mentioned "lame" as ableist language before I went ...Right. and stopped using it.

This is a post that I've been thinking about making for a while, because it's something that I think needs to be said, and because it's something that's been relevant to my fannish experience lately.

I've gotten into bandom this past year. It's something that I'm really excited about. There are years and years worth of fic out there and some of it is kind of ridiculously awesome. There is fic out there that I pretty much love everything about, ever, except for its ableist language.

The thing is, these are fics that I would gleefully rec if they didn't use the word "lame" as a slur. They do, is the thing, and that significantly reduces my enjoyment of a work and how comfortable I feel recommending it to other people. It's frustrating, because there are so many other, better, words that these writers could be using and the one that they are using is hurtful.

This is a post that I'm writing today because there's discussion going on in bandom right now about using the word "faggot", and this, this? It's the same thing; it's a slur.
kiki_eng: light purple lilacs with soft unfocused blue-purple background (lilacs)
CBC Obituary

I don't really have any comment on this right now, it just feels significant and worth passing on.

ETA: The Star has a slide show of Layton.

I was thinking about trying to provide some context for this, especially for people who don't follow Canadian politics, so, here goes: This is a man who led the NDP (social-democrat/centre-left party) to the greatest number of seats that it has ever held federally. The election that happened in early May of this year, for all that the Prime Minister didn't change, was one that saw a huge change in the country's political landscape. This is an historically significant event in Canadian Politics. I got a phone call about this. I am making tea.

ETA2: [personal profile] merrily has written a post about Jack Layton that I recommend reading.

ETA3: Layton wrote a kind of goodbye letter on the 20th.

Marriage

Jun. 24th, 2011 11:13 pm
kiki_eng: actress, Billie Piper, wearing red glasses and laughing with her face scrunched up (Billie Piper is happy laughing joyful)
Expected to be legalised in New York following a 33-29 Senate vote.

ETA: ...and it goes into effect in 30 days. (Yay!)

Trek Recs

Mar. 25th, 2011 10:18 am
kiki_eng: Bones and Jim on the shuttle, text: "you had me at 'I may throw up on you'" (Star Trek 2009) (you had me at "I may throw up on you")
Mockingbird by [archiveofourown.org profile] waldorph
Rating: PG-13; 4,640 words; Focus: Number One
It starts "She is born Idri3." and is this really compelling character study coupled with some breathtaking world-building. [archiveofourown.org profile] waldorph sketches out the person Number One is, this strong and pragmatic individual, and frames it all in relation to her culture, its history and current political situation. Number One and her people are humanoid but not human, familiar but unfamiliar. The style of writing is very much in synch with the world it depicts. It's stark and beautiful, a fascinating story.

Sing Me the Ages by [livejournal.com profile] tassosss
Rating: PG; 6,200 words; Focus: Nyota Uhura
This is a story about music. It's an interesting exploration of Nyota and to some extent the Federation. I really like the discussion of language and music as they relate to culture in this. It chronicles the expansion of Nyota's language set and the summary does a really good job of setting up the story and being reflective of its tone - "Nyota Uhura fell in love with music, poetry, and language all at the same time." It's what I call a "quiet" story, sedate.

Graduate Vulcan for Fun and Profit by [livejournal.com profile] lazulisong
Rating: PG-13; 15,600 words; Focus: James T. Kirk
Jim accidentally becomes a graduate student in Vulcan Studies. There's this really awesome Vulcan original character who is rather dry and brilliant. There's exploration of Jim's role as George Kirk's son in relation to the survivors of the Kelvin and it has the secretly smart trope in it, though with Jim it's more a case of secret layers of smart. It's sweet, and a little sad, and funny. This is a story that I really ought not to read publicly - I grin and make gleefully amused noises. It's filled with wonderful details and is an excellent read.

(This post is for [personal profile] china_shop's Fandom Appreciation Challenge, which "is about giving feedback, reccing and interacting with other fen." - details here.)

(ETA: Unrelated: Vote of Non-Confidence - Canadian Federal Election Imminent)
kiki_eng: light purple lilacs with soft unfocused blue-purple background (lilacs)
So. I'm Canadian, which is something made pretty obvious with the occasional posts about Canada. I'm also fannish. (This is primarily a fannish journal.) My being Canadian and my being fannish intertwine in interesting ways.

I'm fannish about Canada, especially Canadian politics. I read newspaper articles and make odd squeaking noises sometimes, get into capslocky discussions and make up little not-stories about the photos and their captions. I often treat politics like theatre. I've gone to political talks with [personal profile] sinesofinsanity and afterward ended up talking about, along with actual political issues, the speakers' regionalisms and Sir John A./Louis Riel hatesex!fic. I've requested (and gotten!) Canadian Politics RPF for yuletide, drawn Ignatieff/female!Rae fanart, and talked about ficcing anthropomorphic provinces. I get excited about public television and radio, Canadian content and institutions, and Canadian art. I have feelings about Justin Bieber*. Canadian culture fascinates me and it's something I bring my fannishness to.

Likewise, my being Canadian is something that shows up in my fannishness. I realised recently that all save one of the fandoms I've written for** have been British. Writing in British fandoms has a lot of appeal for me; I don't have to spell things "wrong". The one ficlet I've posted for an American fandom I had to beat the Canadian accent out of my characters and then later I realised that I had accidentally set it in Toronto.

There's a lot of translation and self-editing that happens. Climate is something that I've had to stop and think about writing - I stopped myself writing snow into that ficlet, remembering that my climate was not their climate (and then, yeah, I accidentally set it in Toronto). Generic street names are different in different countries, so are institutional names and names in general. There is, indeed, a whole set of differences that have little to do with language.

The language ones are some of my favorite differences, mind. It took me a while, reading bandom femslash, before I realised that the character I had been thinking of as "Lyn-zed" would not, actually, be pronouncing that letter "zed", and then, upon this realisation and in a fit of Canadian nationalism I continued reading her name that way, because "zee" is icky. I also used Canadian spelling in that American Idol ficlet*** - it was commentfic that I posted at something like 2h and I think it's just one word that that applies to, but I'm also pretty sure that I ran it through the spellchecker, so I was either running on automatic or feeling pretty ornery that night. (So that's an issue.)

New bits of language are exciting, though. I got to look up some new-to-me British slang last month and I feel like I'm pretty constantly learning American brand and chain names and new things in general. It's a lot of fun and it's neat to see the external knowledge that people bring to their canon when they write, be it regional or something relating to their profession or other interests that they have. Fandom is gloriously educational; it's excellent.

*Gordon Pinsent Reads Bieber is an amusing video.
**I don't write a lot of fic. I've posted fic for four different fandoms: 1 fic for Freewheel; 1 ficlet for American Idol; 1 fic for Coupling; 7 ficlets and 10 drabbles for Harry Potter. It's a pretty steep divide between British and American comparing the number of works or word count. (While there's a goodly chunk of British media available most foreign English media in Canada is American.)
***which, clearly- the Toronto AU, and after the oh, fuck me-type reaction I started working on something

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