--Bernie Magica: exactly what it sounds like.
Bernie was shocked. "Trump made a contract with you too?"
"Yes," said Kyubey. "When I asked him, his answer came immediately. He wished for a small loan of a million dollars."
Fandom good things:
More Madoka is on the way! No idea what I'm going to think of the plot, but it's going to be lovely. And lend itself beautifully to Princess Tutu crossovers.
Empowered is coming up online! (Legally, even.) The whole first volume is up -- and for those of us who have already gotten nine or ten volumes into the hard-copy version, there's long-winded author commentary as a rereading bonus.
"We invited the translators of the [Ancillary Justice] into Bulgarian, German, Hebrew, Hungarian and Japanese to discuss the process, with particular interest in the translation of gender. What emerges is an insight into the work of translators and the rigidity and versatility of grammatical gender in the face of non-standard demands. Where necessary, translators turned to innovative and even inventive ways to write their languages."
Nonfictional good things:
"Why do so many ex-cons end up back in prison? Maybe they don’t—a provocative new study says recidivism rates are drastically lower than we think."
Thanks, Obama: "Between 2007 and January of 2015, overall homelessness fell by 11%, and chronic homelessness declined by 31%. [...] Homelessness among veterans declined by 35%, and over a shorter span of time — between 2009 and 2015. The number of unsheltered homeless veterans across the nation has plummeted by 50% in the past four years."
"In the days following the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, a coalition of Muslim-led groups in Southern California and elsewhere around the nation has committed to raising $100,000 for the families of the shooting victims." And they were at $97K when that article was posted.
"Your drunk uncle posting 'Homeless Servicemen Should Come Before Any Refugee' memes on Facebook is utterly full of it. Lancaster County is doing both. It has ended homelessness among veterans in the county and it is welcoming and assisting desperate refugees fleeing ISIS’s brutality in Syria."
Best for last: "Given the cowardly, inhospitable opposition to Syrian refugees that all of these candidates have decided to make an issue, it’s safe to say that not a one of them knows anything about the person that gave Elkader, Iowa its name."
His name was Abdelkader El Djezairi, and when there were riots and a planned massacre of Christians in 19th-century Damascus, he mounted an incredibly hardcore armed defense/rescue/refugee-smuggling operation. Had people crowded in his own house, paid reward money out of his own pocket to get other Christians there, organized his own small army to escort groups of them safely out of the city.
"At least 3,000 Christians were killed before it was all over. Abd el-Kader was credited with saving upwards of 10,000 Christians, including the entire European diplomatic corps."This guy is amazing. Where's his big-budget action movie? (Apparently Oliver Stone is working on a biopic, but it isn't finished, and we could really do with people going to see it on-screen already.)
And now it's kinda turning into a Rose Quartz song too.
I don't know what it is about Steven Universe, but I've had two really vivid dreams about it. First was an AU in which only Rose ever came to Earth. Many years later, a young-adult Steven builds a spaceship, goes to the Gem homeworld, and gets involved in the war...and crosses paths with ragtag team of rebels Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl.
Suspicious confrontation leads to the dramatic reveal of his gem. Pearl: "Rose...?" Steven: "Well, actually...."
And then they learn the whole thing for the first time, from him.
Someone should write that fic. (Maybe I'll take a shot at it when I actually finish watching the series. That dream happened before I even started, purely from being saturated with spoilers online.)
Second involved me running three different SU character tumblrs, and struggling to find and coordinate content for all of them. Which is also the first Extremely Mundane Details About Using Tumblr dream I've had. (I didn't say they were both interesting, just vivid.)
whose own fanbase is trying to drum her off the Internet for drawing pictures of a fictional sexy 19-year-old eating fruit.
Seriously, fandom, what is going on with you these days? We keep getting these “any dealings with sexuality beyond what I am personally comfortable with are gross and disgusting and should be shunned” outbursts, not from conservative Family Values(TM) adults, but from social-justice-savvy teenagers.
Look, eight years ago, Livejournal tried to go after the accounts of people in Harry Potter fandom who drew sexy teenagers. The pan-fandom backlash was immense. Dreamwidth and the AO3 were both kickstarted by the widespread desire for fandom-friendly websites that would not freeze anyone’s accounts based on their treatment of fictional teenagers.
And teenage me, who had been drawing [atrocious attempts at] sexy pinups of Sailor Moon characters for several years by that point, felt empowered and supported by the idea that fandom-at-large didn’t think I was weird or sick.
Tween me, btw, did encounter things in fandom that I would shrug off (or enjoy!) now, but that were, at the time, shockingly sexual. So I used the back button! I closed the window! (This was before tabbed browsing was a thing. You know, the dark days.) Never would’ve considered approaching the creator and going “this is offensive, take it off the Internet.”
But for the past couple of years we’re getting that. From within fandom. Paired with this stony refusal to consider the fact that people age, people change, people grow. A character is 15 at the current point of the story in Ava’s Demon, therefore you can’t possibly think forward and draw her as a sexy 19-year-old. A character is 11 when she’s introduced in Madoka Magica, therefore you're disgusting if you ship her with any of the 15-year-olds -- what do you mean, you imagine them getting together when she’s older than 11? Don’t you understand that anyone who was 11 at any point in time must remain pure and nonsexual forever and ever?
To say nothing of the depiction-must-equal-endorsement crowd. If you write a story involving child abuse, whoo boy, that can’t be a serious treatment of a real-life issue that some survivors find therapeutic and validating to read -- it must mean you’re a Danger To Real Children, and if you get near Welcome to Night Vale fandom they will doxx you for great justice. (Welcome to Night Vale, like PMMM and Ava’s Demon, is of course a series in which only sweet and uplifting things happen to minors, and they certainly don’t die horribly on a regular basis.)
Look, if you’re uncomfortable with a sexual thing, that’s okay! You have a right to determine your own comfort level. You have a right to boundaries.
But consider that, perhaps, the thing is not Wrong or Bad or Disgusting. This is not an invalidation of your feelings or your boundaries. It could mean that maybe, just maybe, the thing is simply Not Your Thing.
Especially if other people with your issues are saying the thing was helpful. The person next to you in class may be using the same work that’s making you uncomfortable as a valid way of coming to terms with their queerness, and/or their past abuse, and/or their sexuality in general. This indicates that it’s a Thing For Them, and not a Thing For You, and that is okay.
(It doesn’t mean you’re obligated to be one of the people shouting on the battlements to defend it, either. Solidarity is great from those who are willing and able to provide, but if it isn’t Your Thing, it may not be Your Fight.)
Maybe, over the next ten years, it will become a Thing For You. This happens! Some of the adults who are telling teenagers to chill out over this issue are probably adults who have experienced it firsthand.
Or maybe it will never be a Thing For You. That’s okay too. Not everything has to be for everyone. Enforce your boundaries without judgment. Close the tab, delete the bookmark, unfollow the artists, set up your blacklist...without judgment. Step back, and recognize that humanity is a great big beautiful spectrum of contradictory feelings and reactions which do not invalidate each other by existing in different people, and go revel in the things that are within your own personal comfort zone for a while.
All the other Rimmer boys had volunteered, but not Arnie J., no sirree. There were plenty of young people in Two just chafing at the bit to be tributes; let one of those poor saps jump at the chance. And if by some stroke of terrible luck nobody did, well, that was just too bad for the chumps who get reaped, wasn't it?
Getting some pop out of the fridge and pouring it into a glass doesn't seem that fascinating, but Carlos watches like it's as complicated as one of his seismology lectures. Well, maybe it is, if you're muddled enough to not be sure how stop signs work.
Madoka is moonlight in comparison, subtle and ethereal. To Homura's eyes, the pale yellow on the front of her dress is the only touch of color in a silver-and-white ensemble, tied off with ink-black ribbons. She's a ghost. She's calligraphy.
The good news is:
1) it's under warranty, so replacement hard drives are a free thing
2) the computer was still operating enough to back everything up (it just wouldn't run half of its programs anymore...I've got my Firefox settings, but not my Photoshop ones)
2) I was able to keep up with reading on the Internet, using Previous Laptop, in the meantime.
(Previous Laptop is...serviceable. All the programs run. It just bluescreens once every couple of weeks, and the frame is literally held together with duct tape.)
I'm typing this from the new laptop with the even-newer hard drive. All my data is back in place; still working on reinstalling programs. At this point the number of installs-from-scratch this purchase has gone through is as follows:
1) New machine, first installation
2) New machine has bizarre sound/freezing error, hard drive replaced
3) Bizarre error returns three months later, hard drive replaced as part of a sequence of trying to replace basically all the parts
4) Tech support gives up, sends a whole new machine with new hard drive
5) New hard drive gives up the ghost a few days ago, is replaced
...At the beginning of the installation process, Windows asks you to give the computer a name, which is used to identify it on things like your wireless network.
This computer is now dubbed HOMURA.
Last couple of links from old LJ posts:
Discrimination-flip stories: what makes a good one? Or, "how to explore alternate and reversed power distribution without falling into Save The Pearls territory?" (Apart from "don't suck as much as that book did.")
The perennial "yes, Virginia, there is bullying and abuse committed in the name of social justice" thread. Lots of links and sources.
And on to DW!
"Describe your canon in the most unappealing way possible." And its follow-up: "Describe your OTP in the most unappealing way possible." Some of them don't really hit the mark (in that they sound intriguing anyway), but it's a fun guessing game the whole way through.
"Hey meme, what do you call your grandparents?" Regional variations, lingustic and cultural variations, variants that reflect the history of that specific family, and a few out-of-nowhere improvisations.
Related: advice for naming characters from different cultures. Language-specific advice from anons who are Finnish, Russian, German, and more.
"Run a quote through the N+7 machine." Tony Stark: gentlewoman, billionaire, playpen, phone. (Also, T.S. Eliot: "I will show you federation in a handlebar of dustsheet.")
Favorites of the Doctors Who. For a lot of people it's "whichever one I'm watching at the moment."
Madoka Magica: Rebellion Story discussion. (Separately, I posted some long and detailed Rebellion Story reactions over on frillsofjustice.)
On a nice feel-good end-note: ways in which FFA has made your life better. Heartwarming and thoughtful by turns.
My parents both registered -- their second time as attendees -- not as fans, exactly, more as baffled-but-amused fan-parents. I talked my dad into getting the Free! badge design out of solidarity; he was disappointed that they weren't showing it at the con. Mom went for the Wolf Children design, caught the screening on Saturday, and reported liking it.
Caught the first episode of A Certain Scientific Railgun, which was cute and looked like a fun action series, except for some unfortunate fanservice (of the "young teen girls sexually harass each other and it's treated as harmless mischief" variety).
After an incident where one character feels up her companion in the post-gym showers, a guy behind me said, "So, uh..." Female friend of his replies, "That never actually happens." Him: "Well, obviously not now, but at any point...?" Her: "No. Never happens."
And later on I watched the pilot of A Certain Magical Index, which I tried to watch once before but couldn't get into. Turns out it's a lot more accessible once you've seen a bit of Railgun, so you've had a more well-rounded introduction to the setting, and so that the random characters jumping in and out of the plot are familiar cameos from Railgun (and you can learn about the new characters by how they interact with the ones they already know) rather than random strangers with no clear motive (which only makes things harder to track).
Which is why it's really weird that Railgun is apparently the spinoff, the series that came second.
Point is, I'm putting Index back on my to-watch list, but this time after Railgun.
On a bus heading for dinner, a woman was explaining the crowd in costumes to a baffled guy in a construction vest: "Some people are fans of baseball, some are fans of football, these people are fans of cartoons. Everybody's gotta be a fan of something."
Sounds about right.
I didn't do any serious cosplay, but I wore a big-floppy-eared Kyuubei hat. It got some appreciation. One guy wanted to know where I'd gotten it. For the record: the Internet. Try Etsy.
It makes me so mad when people on magical girl panels say really dumb things.
Extended rant about that here (frillsofjustice). It got a bit long.
On a happier note, saw Evangelion 3! On the big screen, in the big theater with the big subwoofers, which means we got the full impact of the opening "there's an enemy in orbit, so we're sending a couple of Eva up using booster rockets" sequence.
It was mostly an excellent movie. Gorgeous animation. Eerie plot that unfolded at a good pace. The audience cheered when a mid-battle Asuka impatiently yanked off her helmet, and aww'd basically every time Kaworu and Shinji talked. (Understandable, given the dialogue: actual lines include "We make beautiful music together, don't we?" and "I wanted to look at the stars with you.")
Without spoiling anything too specific, my one complaint is that the big climax depended on Shinji abruptly grabbing the Idiot Ball. In defiance of a lot of his characterization up until that point, no less.
On the plus side, the plot was mostly comprehensible! Which is a remarkable point, when you're Eva.
One afternoon on the elevator at the hotel, a guy actually turned to the rest of us on the way up and said, "I bet you're all wondering why I gathered you here today..."
The last thing I watched was This Boy Has Caught A Merman, which was a little disappointing -- shorter than expected, with a thin plot -- but came with really trippy, visually distinct animation. Plus, the merman hanging out in the kiddie pool in our hero's living room was cute.
And the last panel I went to was "Anime After the Quake", which in theory was going to talk about how the effects of the 2011 earthquake were expressed through anime and manga. Turned out the panelist's approach was more like "This put the country in a post-disaster mindset, and the whole origin of anime grew out of another post-disaster mindset, so let me spend the next half hour talking about Tezuka and Astro Boy."
We did get some post-quake reflection, but not what I had hoped for.
Had to resist a ton of Sailor Moon and/or Madoka merchandise in the dealers' room. ("Next year," I told myself. "There will be even more Sailor Moon stuff next year. No rush.")
I did walk away with a Madoka keychain. Trying to be moderate, here, not abstinent.
Dead tired by this point. Which is usually the mark of a good con.
My favorite part is this scene where Homura -- in spite of her cool appearance -- is still totally failtastic at
Although the one where Sayaka reveals herself and Kyousuke turns out to be a mahou shoujo fanboy is pretty great too:
There's another user doing uploads of entire routes, but with no translation. Madoka's route and Mami's route are currently up in full.
Less urgently: Nebula NGC 6357 bears a striking resemblance to a certain god-tier Madoka. Someone started up a petition for the IAU to change its official name in her honor.
Come check it out and discuss :)
Loved the "history of Lupin III" panel, and enjoyed the Madoka staff Q&As. Was intrigued by the first few episodes of Fractale. Enjoyed many many cosplayers, though I did not stop for many many pictures. Oh, and I got a free Sailor Chibi-Moon poster at the Kodansha panel! Not the first senshi I would have gone for, but definitely not the last, either.
There were a lot of Sailor Moon and Madoka panels, sometimes stacked up against each other. Tough decisions...
I have one of the new SM T-shirts, the pseudo-collar-and-bow one, and paired that with a blue pleated skirt and stuffed Luna one day in lieu of the full Integra Hellsing With Hellhound getup. (Not that I have the hair for either outfit right now...and I'm too cheap to get a wig. Heh.)
On the third day I just hung around in the Kyuubey hat -- also with the Luna. Someone should write fic about those two together. Either as archenemies, or deeply distrustful colleagues in the Magical Girl Sidekicks Union.
Walked away with a Homura figurine for politicette and a stack of nonconsecutive volumes of Her Majesty's Dog for self. I had reread several of them in the manga library, loved them just as much as the first time around, and figured, screw it, I might as well at least start buying them. It took visiting almost all the manga vendors in the Dealer's Room to find anybody who stocked it, so it's probably a good thing I didn't put it off any longer.
Also sampled in the library: +Anima (didn't care for it; cute but not that interesting), some forgettable fashion manga (picked because the title sounded neat; turned out to be a letdown), and the start of Cromartie High (the classic parody of Tough High School Delinquent manga; as always, charming in its ridiculousness). Also something that was advertised in the back of HMD and turned out to have a similar "powerful human young woman in control of cranky male demon, with bonus cute animal form" dynamic...but was really badly developed and only two volumes long. Sigh.
Drew a bunch of stuff along the way, much of which xuanwu ended up with, as part of our "I will do commissions to pay my share of the hotel bill" deal. So you may or may not ever see that, depending on if/when he feels like scanning them. The ones I kept have mostly already been posted (I spent a lot of the con working on the updated Xyll Saga portraits).
I am so looking forward to the new SM anime, you guys. Also, the Madoka movies. The only way this could be more magical is if the Hellsing OVA and its translations were coming out in a speedy and quality manner. And maybe if there were an anime for HMD.
Just want to put it on-record that politicette was bawling by about halfway through episode 10, and more or less stayed that way through the finale.
To all the people in my circle who haven't watched this show: y'all should watch this show.
We've watched the first four episodes, after which of course I had to get her theories.
( And here they are! )
I'm simultaneously surprised/pleased, and really hoping the momentum lasts.
Fake news fandom is so amazingly quiet lately. The latest Moments of Zen contest has extended the deadline once (that's normal) but still only has one entry on the day before the new deadline (that's not). Maybe the theme didn't grab people this time around? IDK.
Olivia's appearance on Ellen is filling up her tag on Tumblr. This is excellent for multiple reasons :D
Now can she just be back on TDS a bit, please? Also, can The Newsroom please be awesome?
Got Aasif Mandvi's Today's Special out of the library; watched it this evening with stellar_dust. (Both of us reeeeally hoping it would be good, heh.)
I thought it was fantastic. The plot follows a standard arc (Westernized professional learns that what he really needs to do is get back in touch with his cultural roots, in this case with Indian cooking), but you're not watching for a revolutionary storyline. You're watching because it's funny. Packed with great lines and amazing little character moments -- even the background characters with only one or two jokes aren't just spouting off generic snark, they have personality and the humor grows out of it. A couple of serious scenes make it in too, the kind that make you realize, "Hang on. Aasif Mandvi can act."
And then there is this cooking sketch with one of his co-stars, in which he's in full TDS!Aasif mode and I desperately want a Produce Pete crossover.
I have iffy feelings about the dub based on the trailer. Too much fake-high-voices. We will see if that holds up as the episode goes on.
Fifteen minutes to go. Visitor count: 8,903.
Ten minutes to go. 10,819. "Would you give your laifu for your waifu?" / earnest debate over whether Homura is Anthy or Utena / now there's Rickrolling / someone keeps C&Ping "GIRLS CAN'T LOVE GIRLS" / "DO NOT THROW SOULS" / someone says this is the Director's Cut, will have to see if I can spot it / "Spoiler: Jesus is a magical girl."
( Cutting from this point on, because there will be spoilers. )