Passing the Torch

Sep. 26th, 2017 06:00 am
[syndicated profile] muslimahmedia_feed

Posted by Krista Riley

Six years ago, almost to the day, I became Editor-in-Chief of Muslimah Media Watch. I was nervous and excited to follow in the footsteps of MMW’s founder, Fatemeh Fakhraie. Being able to lead such an incredible team of women has been a huge privilege. I am so proud of the work that MMW does in challenging narratives about Muslim women and asking difficult questions about gender, religion, race, colonization, sexuality, and so many other issues.

Eren and Krista in Toronto last spring. Selfie taken by Eren, of course.

It is now time to pass on the title once more. I am thrilled to announce that Eren Cervantes-Altamirano will be taking over from me as Editor-in-Chief. Eren is one of the smartest and most critical writers I know, and she has been a dedicated member of the MMW team for many years. I am so excited to see where she takes the blog, and I hope you will all join me in welcoming her to this new position and wishing her all the best in her new role.

I’ll still be around doing some editing and hopefully some writing too, so you’ll still be hearing from me! Thank you so much to all of our writers and readers for your contributions and support over the last few years. I am so grateful to be part of this community.

All my best,


Star Trek Discovery

Sep. 25th, 2017 10:43 pm
muccamukk: B'Elanna standing in front of lines of code. (ST: Engineering)
[personal profile] muccamukk

Maybe it'll ... get better?


Sep. 25th, 2017 08:06 pm
mmegaera: (Default)
[personal profile] mmegaera
Well, apparently I can't get my blog to cross-post to DW tonight. So if you want to see my most recent post, you'll need to go to Sorry!

Guess who has two thumbs

Sep. 25th, 2017 10:07 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
And was in a vehicular mishap that got him to work two hours early?

The truth shall make ye fret

NSFW Sep. 25th, 2017 05:57 pm
petra: A cartoon cat holding up a large paw to the viewer (Neko-Sensei - Talk to the paw)
[personal profile] petra
( You're about to view content that the journal owner has advised should be viewed with discretion. )

A summer weekend at the cottage

Sep. 25th, 2017 03:53 pm
dagibbs: (Default)
[personal profile] dagibbs
Last weekend was a lovely summer weekend at the cottage. I know, I know, mid-September, it is now fall. But the weather didn't know that. Sunny, clear, mostly calm with highs both days in the mid-30s -- it felt like summer. And after a week+ of similar weather, the lake temperature felt like summer, too.

Sure, I did a bit of climbing on both Saturday and Sunday -- but it was a relaxed climbing agenda both days. With more important agendas of relaxing, swimming, canoeing, swimming, deep-water-solo, swimming, and probably some more swimming and relaxing. I don't expect September weekends to be climb-out-of-the-water-and-not-need-to-towel-off-it-is-so-warm weekends. It was lovely and relaxing.

Sadly, I had to come back to the city at the end of the weekend.

Remix revisited

Sep. 25th, 2017 08:38 pm
el_staplador: Three-quarters crop of Victor from the opening credits sequence of Yuri!!! on Ice (victor)
[personal profile] el_staplador
A very nice surprise this morning: a remix of my La Forza dell'Amore in which Victor and Yuuri and Yurio actually go to see the opera in question:

A Gala Performance (They're Playing Our Song Remix) (1577 words) by Gramarye
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Yuri!!! on Ice (Anime)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Katsuki Yuuri & Victor Nikiforov & Yuri Plisetsky, Katsuki Yuuri/Victor Nikiforov
Characters: Katsuki Yuuri, Victor Nikiforov, Yuri Plisetsky
Additional Tags: Operas, Post-Canon, Invisible fandom, Remix Revival

It's pure coincidence that the Mariinsky's current opera season happens to include Enrico Bruni's La Forza dell'Amore, with its well-known aria Stammi Vicino. It's anything but coincidence that Viktor Nikiforov has bought out an entire box for its opening night performance.

Fandom Giftbox!

Sep. 25th, 2017 11:21 am
muccamukk: Boromir and Faramir grinning and hugging. (LotR: Squee!)
[personal profile] muccamukk
I'm super excited about what I got this year, because Wonder Woman icons! Two sets!

And then I got a wonderful ficlet from an AU where Boromir didn't die and how Aragorn's coronation then went. (movie verse, and very sweet).

AND THEN I got Murderbot fic! About Murderbot's favourite show getting cancelled, and Murderbot doing what any fan would do. It's a sweet and funny little follow up to All Systems Red and I'm so pleased with it.

I wrote three fic:

Sunday Tea on Mars
Babylon 5, post series, Catherine/Jeff/Michael/Lise, 1,800 words, Teen.
Lise knows she's been with Michael too long when a presumed-dead Minbari prophet at the breakfast table is the least of her worries.

My Dreams Under Your Feet
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, post movie, Leia/Poe, 2,100 words, Explicit.
Poe isn't sure he has it in him to give Leia everything she needs after the Battle of Starkiller Base, but he knows he's going to try.

In Your Arms Tonight
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, post movie, Finn/Poe, 1,100 words, Teen.
When Finn gets back, he's taking that wilderness survival training Poe keeps telling him about.
[syndicated profile] sociological_images_feed

Posted by Paige Connell and Danielle Antoinette Hidalgo

Mild Spoiler Alert for Season 3 of House of Cards

Where is Rachel Posner?

Representations of sex workers on popular shows such as Game of Thrones, The Good Wife, and, of course, any version of CSI, are often stereotypical, completely incorrect, and infuriatingly dehumanizing. Like so many of these shows, House of Cards offers more of the same, but it uses a somewhat different narrative for a former sex worker and central character, Rachel Posner. Rachel experiences many moments of sudden empowerment that are just as quickly taken away. She is not entirely disempowered, often physically and emotionally resisting other characters and situations, but her humanization only lasts so long.  

The show follows Rachel for three full seasons, offering some hope to the viewer that her story would not end in her death, dehumanization, or any other number of sensational and tumultuous storylines. So, when she is murdered in the final episode of Season 3, viewers sensitive to her character’s role as a sex worker and invested in a new narrative for current and former sex worker characters on popular TV shows probably felt deeply let down. Her death inspired us to go back and analyze how her role in the series was both intensely invisible and visible.  

Early in the show, we learn that Rachel has information that could reveal murder and corrupt political strategizing orchestrated by the protagonist Frank Underwood.  She is the thread that weaves the entire series together. Despite this, most characters on the show do not value Rachel beyond worrying about how she could harm them. Other characters talk about her when she’s not present at all, often referring to her as “the prostitute” or “some hooker,” rather than by her name or anything else that describes who she is.

The show, too, devalues her. At the beginning of an episode, we watch Rachel making coffee one morning in her small apartment.  Yet, instead of watching her, we watch her body parts; the camera pans over her torso, her breasts in a lace bra, and then her legs before we finally see her entire body and face.  There is not one single scene even remotely like this for any other character on the show. Even the promotional material for Season 1 (pictured above) fails to include a photo of Rachel while including images of a number of other characters who were less central to the storyline and appeared in fewer episodes. Yet, whoever arranged the photoshoot didn’t think she was important enough to include.

Another major way that Rachel is marginalized in the context of the show is that she is not given many scenes or storylines that are about her—her private life, time spent with friends, or what’s important to her. This is in contrast to other characters with a similar status. For instance, the audience is made to feel sympathy for Gavin, a hacker, when an FBI agent threatens the life of his beloved guinea pig. In contrast, it is Rachel’s ninth episode before the audience sees her interact with a friend, and we never really learn what motivates her beyond fear and survival. In this sense, Rachel is almost entirely invisible in her own storyline. She only exists when people want something from her.

Rachel is also made invisible by the way she is represented or discussed in many scenes.  For instance, although she’s present, she has zero lines in her first couple scenes. After appearing (without lines) in Episodes 1 and 2, Rachel reappears in Episode 7, although she’s not really present; she re-emerges in the form of a handwritten note to Doug Stamper (Underwood’s indispensable assistant).  She writes: “I need more money.  And not in my mouth.” These are Rachel’s first two lines in the entire series; however, she’s not actually saying them, she’s asking for something and one of the lines draws attention to a sexualized body part and sexual act that she engaged in with Doug. Without judging the fact that she engaged in a sexual act with a client, what’s notable here is the fact that she isn’t given a voice or her own resources. She is constantly positioned in relation to other characters and often without the resources and ability to survive on her own.

This can clearly be seen in the way Rachel is easily pushed around by other characters in the show, who are able to force their will upon her. When viewers do finally see her in a friendship, one that blossoms into a romance, the meaning that Rachel gives the relationship is overshadowed by the reaction Doug Stamper has to it. Doug has more contact with Rachel than any other character on the show; in the beginning of the series, he acts as a sort of “protector” to Rachel, by finding her a safe place to stay, ensuring that she can work free from sexual harassment in her new job, and getting her an apartment of her own. However, all these actions highlight the fact that she does not have her own resources or connections to be able to function on her own, and they are used to manipulate her. Over Rachel’s growing objections, Doug is able to impose his wishes upon her fairly easily. The moment she is able to overpower him and escape, she disappears from the show for almost a whole season, only to reappear in the episode where she dies. In this episode, we finally see Rachel standing on her own two feet. It seems like a hard life, working lots of double shifts and living in a rundown boardinghouse, but we also see her enjoying herself with friends and building something new for herself. And yet, it is also in this episode where she has leveraged her competence into a new life that she also meets her demise. Unfortunately, after seeing this vision of Rachel on the road to empowerment, more than half of her scenes relate to her death, and in most of them she is begging Doug for her life, once again reduced to powerlessness. 

Every time we begin to see a new narrative for Rachel, one that allows her to begin a life that isn’t entirely tethered to Doug Stamper and her past, she is almost immediately drawn back into his web.  Ultimately, in this final episode, she can no longer grasp her new narrative and immediately loses hold of it.  In her final scenes, after kidnapping her, Doug temporarily lets her go.  She begins to walk in the opposite direction of his van before, only moments later, he flips the van around and heads back in her direction.  The next scene cuts suddenly to her lifeless body in a shallow grave.  The sudden shock of this scene is jarring, yet oddly expected, given how the show has treated Rachel’s character throughout the series.  It’s almost as if the show does not have any use for a sex worker character who can competently manage their own affairs.  Perhaps that idea didn’t even occur to the writers because of the place in our society in which sex workers are currently situated, perhaps it disrupts the fallen woman narrative, or perhaps for some reason, a death seems more “interesting” than a storyline where a sex worker has agency and takes an active role in shaping her own life and affecting those around her.  Whatever the reason, House of Cards ultimately fails Rachel and sex workers, in general.

Paige Connell is an undergraduate sociology student at Chico State University. Her areas of interest include intimate relationships, gender, and pop culture. 

Dr. Danielle Antoinette Hidalgo is an Assistant Professor in Sociology at California State University, Chico, specializing in theory, gender and sexuality, and embodiment studies.

(View original at

[syndicated profile] chinookjargon_feed

Posted by chinookjargon

File this under Believe It Or Not!

Perhaps THE most amazing case of synchronicity in our Chinook Jargon world: the, well, legendary Franz Boas (he founded the Department of Anthropology and indirectly the Department of Linguistics at my alma mater, Columbia University) meets the world’s hardest-working Chinook writer, Father Le Jeune.

This incident isn’t recorded anywhere else in the historical literature that I’ve scoured through for years, and it’s a doozy.

So sink your teeth into this chunk of Chinook:

Boas Chinuk pipa

(Image credit: University of Saskatchewan  “Our Legacy” Portal)

     <5o Dr. Franz Boaz> [SIC] Chi nsaika nanich kopa Nort Bind iht
5. Dr. Franz Boaz [sic].     We [ = Father J.M.R. Le Jeune] have just met at North Bend [BC] a 

man iaka nim doktor Frans Bos. Iaka mamuk cim kanawi Sawash lalan.g kopa
man called Doctor Franz Boas. He writes down all the Indian languages in 

ukuk ilihi; iaka iskom Chinuk pipa, pi iaka aiak chako komtaks [NULL]. Kopit iht
this country; he picked up a Chinook newspaper, and he quickly learned [how to read it]. For just one 

pulakli iaka nanich ukuk Kamlups Wawa pipa, pi iaka mamuk cim kopa
evening he read this “Kamloops Wawa” paper, and he wrote in 

Chinuk kopa tilikom kopa Nort Bind, pus klaska mamuk cim kopa pipa ankati
Chinuk Wawa to the [Indian] people at North Bend, for them to write on paper the old-time 

siisim, Kayuti iaka siisim ItS, pi iaka wawa pus alki iaka piii
stories, Coyote’s stories etc., and he said that he would pay 

klaska mokst tala iht pish kopa ukuk mamuk.
them two dollars a page for that work.

— Kamloops Wawa #123 (December 1894), page 200

I’ve always thought it would be splendid to find any shorthand Jargon stories that people may have sent Boas’s way!

They might be in North Bend’s Thompson Salish language, which a few people were good at writing.


(Image credit: BC Gold Rush Press)

More likely these would be in the Jargon. That was the language that was prototypically associated with literacy among the southern interior BC Native people of the time. Thus the name “Chinook writing” (Chinuk pipa) for Kamloops Wawa‘s shorthand alphabet.

Not to mention that Franz Boas put his solicitation into the Jargon. That alone would prime any respondents to compose their stories in the same language.

Boas is so, well, legendary at this point in history that whoever discovers any of the tales people may have sent him in response to this notice would be able to publish it in the scholarly journal of their choice.

Grad students: go!

No, really?

Sep. 25th, 2017 01:56 pm
oursin: The stylised map of the London Underground, overwritten with Tired of London? Tired of Life! (Tired of London? Tired of Life!)
[personal profile] oursin

Dept of, did you do any research?

That Uber vs TfL thing, with TfL refusing to renew their license - okay, I do not use Uber (I am probably not their target market) and everything I hear about it makes me deeply suspicious - but when I read various articles claiming that London black cab drivers are the trad white working class, I wonder how often, if ever, any of these people have ridden in a black cab. Because in my limited and anecdotal experience, finding a Trad London Cabbie who will give you his Salty Cockney Opinions whether you want him to or not, is not the default at all.

This article about Some Artist's exhibition on what he calls 'pseudo-Georgian architecture' in the UK and dates to the 1970s.

Marvel at a London Waitrose – “the pearl of Holloway Road”, according to Bronstein’s caption – with a cupola-crowned tower floating above its entrance. That oddly proportioned line of columns, running above the shopfront windows, suggest the architect once glimpsed a photograph of Vicenza, but not for long enough.
I know that Waitrose and shop there regularly and I am old enough to remember when it was Jones Brothers, by that time part of the John Lewis Partnership, but dating from an era when suburban department stores were built as retail palaces - as far as I can see, dates back to the 1890s.


Dept of, is that really the solution? PETA co-founder says we should stop wearing wool. I cannot help feeling that if there is no longer any economic reason for rearing, even if 'sheep are so gentle, they’re so dear!' they are likely to vanish from the face of the earth except in zoos (to which I imagine PETA are also opposed). Might not doing something about introducing legislation for more humane shearing practices be a better use of their time and energies?

little moments of alienness and not

Sep. 25th, 2017 09:10 am
brainwane: My smiling face, including a small gold bindi (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane
Years ago, when Leonard was writing Constellation Games, he named the various alien species after different human words for "alien" or "foreigner". So there are Aliens, Foreigners, Farang, Gaijin, Extraterrestrials, the Others, and so on. One species of them is the Auslanders; later a German-speaking friend told us the spelling of the plural ought to be Auslender.

Today I was rereading a little chunk of Lake Wobegon Days and came across Keillor referring to Ausländers, and was reminded of that moment years ago. And then just after that was the passage about Flag Day, and I was catapulted far further back, to fourth grade and the first time I read (or was read?) any of this book. I was in a Gifted and Talented class in an elementary school in the suburbs of St. Louis, Missouri, with that teacher who had a chunk of the Berlin Wall in her classroom. Did she read that to us or did I read it by myself?

Saturday I was on the 7 train back home from Maker Faire and I was sitting near some girls who -- as they happened to say aloud, in their conversation with each other -- were 12 or 13 years old. I am about three times their age. Yet I wanted them to look at me not as an alien grownup but as someone they might be like. They all have smartphones and evidently deal with boys sending them dick pics. And they act blasé about it; I don't know how they actually feel. The next day I talked about this with the people staffing the table next to mine. One of them suggested that boys have always done sort of body-part-display to girls less as a sexual come-on and more as a thrill-of-the-forbidden act, with dick pics as analogous to mooning. We joked about the dedication of an imaginary man from a previous century who worked in rotogravure or lithograph or woodcut. Or at least, like, Matthew Brady or someone using silver nitrate film.

cue "Ashokan Farewell"

My dearest Elizabeth. Tonight the Union Army rests. We know not what battle the general will order us to tomorrow. But know that my love for you is the wind that calls your name through the trees. Here's a dick pic. I had to sit for five hours for the army portrait painter boy to make this.

Sergeant Cowling was killed at the Battle of Bull Run.

I was laughing pretty hard by the end of this.

Maybe one reason I like laughing with others, and making others laugh, is because it is a kind of proof that we are not entirely aliens to each other.

Obsession of the day

Sep. 25th, 2017 08:58 am
ilanikhan: (Default)
[personal profile] ilanikhan

Actually, I've always loved wearing rings but the making rings is a little new.  One thing I have noticed about all these Iron Age - Anglo Saxon rings that have been found...they're BIG.  Like they'd fit me, big.  This is a nice change to the dainty little things in the shops.

Off to buy supplies :D

(no subject)

Sep. 25th, 2017 07:24 am
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways To Give:

Anon linked to a fundraiser for [ profile] onomatopathetically, a disabled woman trapped in an abusive and dangerous home situation. She's raising funds to relocate to somewhere safe where she can get a job; you can read more and support the fundraiser here.

[personal profile] pinesandmaples linked to a March of Dimes fundraiser being run by their friend Karen, who recently lost her infant son to a terminal birth defect. She is raising funds to help support research into infant birth defects in memory of her son. You can read more and support their walk here.

[ profile] rilee16 is struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and has a fundraiser running to cover living expenses, previous medical bills, and a recent rent increase. You can read more and help out here.

Buy Stuff, Help Out:

Recently I made a post about a new word I'd come up with to describe the gallows humor of Millennials, "Millennihilist", and [ profile] dr-kara asked if she could make it into a shirt; the result is on sale now, with all proceeds going to the Hispanic Federation to help with the crisis in Puerto Rico. You can read more, reblog, and find links to purchase here.


[personal profile] in_the_bottle is still looking for a roommate; they're looking to let a bedroom just off Fulham Palace Road in Fulham for a short-term from October to 19th November for £850 per month including utilities, negotiable (length of stay also negotiable). You can read more and get in touch here.

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.
[syndicated profile] muslimahmedia_feed

Posted by eren

Trigger warning: gender-based violence, spiritual abuse, victim-blaming, misogyny

On September 23, 2017, Omer M. Mozaffar published a Facebook post in which he wrote about “predatory behavior” on the part of Nouman Ali Khan, a Texas-based Muslim scholar and founder of Bayyinah Institute with millions of online followers. Since then, much of the Muslim internet has exploded with a wide range of reactions and discussions not only about Khan himself but also about other cases of abuse by people in positions of spiritual authority.


Fatin, Nicole, Sarabi, Shereen, Krista, and Eren try to unpack some of their thoughts here.

Nouman Ali Khan- via the Daily Pakistan.

Eren: I have never been into the “celebrity worship” type of thing (particularly when it comes to male religious figures), not only because it is flawed form of  belief, but because it also requires a level of misogyny. I am not surprised when I hear cases of abuse (of all types) from religious “leaders” (there are movies about it!), but it still hits me hard and angers me  that many Muslims, both men and women, are willing to accept that a man’s respectability and career are more important than his accountability in cases of abuse. Abuse and non-consensual interactions cannot be framed as  purely “inappropriate interactions,” or a “minor sin,” as is often the case when we react  to these situations.

Fatin: There is just so much to there’s so much to unpack here. Whether this man is guilty or not makes no difference. Over the course of the last 24 hours, in conversations with friends and family I have seen this burden of proof argument play out and it worries me. People who do not know Khan personally are willing to aggressively defend him.  Women asking whether these accusers “approached him?” or “do we know they’re telling the truth?” How do we support women? How do we change our vocabulary so we aren’t shaming the victim even as we are trying to investigate claims?

Nicole: I’m one of the older ladies in the MMW group and have been a convert for a minute (I converted in 2000).  The  behavior of men in leadership positions in various masajid in four different countries has honestly been a significant contributing factor in (among other reasons) why i am unmosqued. I can’t tell you how many imams, faith leaders, spokes*men* i have seen who, at best, collect harems, and at worst, are sexual harassers who commit gendered violence. So I don’t want to dogpile Nouman Ali Khan (NAK) here- he is a symptom of a much larger problem affecting Muslim men in leadership.  I have tea to spill for days, but that isn’t the point here, beyond saying that one of the reasons i don’t belong to a group any more is because I have been around too many male Muslim faith leaders who “collect women”.

At the same time, I also don’t want to be one of those people who demonizes Muslim men-  it isn’t a coincidence that the imam in what I consider my “home masjid,”  in Memphis, Tennessee, a place I haven’t lived in over a decade, is beyond reproach in terms of his interaction with the women who attend his congregation (myself included), so I am by no means saying this is a “Muslim man” problem or that all Muslim men in leadership do this. But he is one of the few who acts right, and my loyalty is there in consequence.  And I think this is why a lot of people don’t speak out, or are wary to speak out against these Muslim men who don’t act right and do very bad things- the non-Muslim media are more than happy to throw stones at Muslim men whenever they can, for religious or racial reasons.  But the reality is, these men are not misbehaving in a vacuum.  I commend what Omer Mozaffar did in a widely shared Facebook post where NAK was called out- one of my issues in the greater Muslim communities is that misbehavior by males is often swept under the rug, while the smallest slight by a woman is often amplified. I’m tired of the days where brothers who cheat on and beat their wives can go to jummah their heads held high while a woman who does something like “be divorced”  is banished for eternity.

Sarabi: Like Nicole, I’m appreciate Mozaffar posting the details online. Though many people in the comment section claim he is slandering NAK, Mozaffar’s post appears to be fair and balanced; it doesn’t seem to me that he wrote his post in haste.

I initially reacted to the news with hurt and sadness, but not surprise. Unfortunately, we live in an age where these scandals come out of the woodwork every now and then. So often, in fact, that I half-expect any prominent male celebrity to be guilty of indecent acts. I expect it, but I still don’t want it to be true. The Bill Cosby scandal is still fresh in my mind, and I grew up hearing stories of pedophilia and sexual indecency in Christian churches. The problem is not restricted to Muslim communities and I don’t think it is only an issue with male leaders. Regardless of when, where, and how it happens, I stand against it.

Krista: I also thought it was interesting to see the story come first from Omer Mozaffar. I have a lot of feelings. On one hand, I agree with Nicole that this is an important instance of men holding each other accountable and not just closing rank around a predator to protect him. I also think it’s important to see men stepping in to do the work of calling people out, work that often falls on the survivors themselves. That can be a powerful step to take as an ally.

On the other hand, part of me is admittedly resentful at the fact that a man speaking out about abuse is more likely to be believed or to be seen as “neutral” because he is less likely to have been on the receiving end of this kind of behaviour. In how many other cases have women been the ones to break the story and to find themselves immediately discredited? I couldn’t believe all the people calling for the women themselves to come forward to “prove” their experiences, as if those calling for them to come forward were ever going to be sufficiently satisfied with their narratives in order to believe them. And of course, as screenshots from conversations with survivors have come out, many people have jumped right on them to discredit them.

The other concern I had about Mozaffar’s post is that, although I appreciate his current public efforts to speak out as a way of protecting the community from further predatory behaviour on Khan’s part, he wrote about a longer private process of trying to hold Khan accountable before things were made public. I do have to wonder, were any efforts being taken during those earlier periods of private discussions to at least warn the women around him to be careful?

Eren: Absolutely! And the fact that people keep demanding the women to make public appearances, to provide “evidence” and to show who they are, really saddens me. Why do we think that we are entitled to violate the women’s safety for the sake of our questions? Why are we more willing to accept  a man calling out NAK, but not willing to accept  that there are survivors around who have not only been violated, shamed and perhaps even threatened, but also put in a position where where their boundaries and privacy has been pushed for a while? Why do men, particularly powerful men, have the right to be safe, to remain unaccountable and to keep their reputations even when multiple women accuse them of violence??? Do we understand the very basis of abuse? One cannot consent to one’s own abuse. That’s that. Abuse is never consensual.

Sarabi: I also worry that the US media will use this story as a means to demonize Islam, and I worry that the survivors of the sexual indecency will be harassed within and ostracized by their communities. People may be quick to jump to NAK’s defense and suggest that the woman should have been strong enough to resist the temptations, but this argument suggests that the women wanted to be abused, which is never the case. Nobody, desires to be taken advantage of.  Though I don’t know enough details to assume guilt on NAK’s part, I stand with the survivors and I believe their stories.

As for what to do with the information we’ve learned from his lectures…What he allegedly did was deplorable, but that doesn’t mean his teachings are invalid. I’ll probably have to take it upon myself to do further research, but that should always be the case anyway. We shouldn’t accept one person’s interpretation of Islam. I listen to other sheikhs alongside NAK, so I’ll parse through their lectures and continue to try to find English translations of Islamic books. We don’t have to throw away everything we’ve learned. Rather, we should take this as a warning not to worship people, no matter how charismatic, and remember to make sure our information is well-sourced.

Shereen: I have also read comments about people being disappointed with NAK since the allegations arose, as they converted because of his lectures and so forth. I think it is important to separate Islam from a Muslim man or leader, no matter how famous or popular they become. Having said that, if you assume a position of popularity, then you must be aware that your conduct will be up to scrutiny and I believe try even harder to ensure your conduct is of good character. How this is handled, like responding on Facebook in my opinion is not helpful. It almost opens up the space for others who have no knowledge of the situation to pass judgement and also means any potential victims may fear their identities being shared to the masses online.

Fatin: Deen is such a personal thing.  When you find that spiritual connection, you want to bottle it in a jar.  For so long, if you didn’t read or speak Arabic, Islam felt inaccessible. We couldn’t read the Quran. We couldn’t understand the lectures. Then suddenly, scholars started appearing on the scene who spoke English. And they were using pop culture references and it felt cool. So we turned those scholars into celebrities. We became groupies; swarming them at conventions and wanting selfies and pictures. We excuse or brush off problematic statements or rude behaviour. We put them on pedestals.  It is the lure of celebrity and power that seduces these figures. It is intoxicating.  And their followers become enamoured with the spiritual connection; believing these figures are making them feel this way; rather than knowledge that comes from them. These figures are only vehicles for the knowledge.

The Quran warns believers not to worship His Prophets:

Say, O [Muhammed], ‘I am only a man like you to whom it has been revealed that your god is but one God; so take a straight course to Him and seek His forgiveness.’ And woe to those who associate others with Allah.

Nicole: Another issue I have had as more news has spilled is the power imbalance. This guy isn’t some dude. It is hard to say no to someone in power, and that makes me think that while some of these interactions appear consensual, how consensual are they when a man is as powerful in the community? What happens if you tell him no? Just look at the women getting dragged for calling him out! I remember the Nuh Keller scandal way back in the day (how many of us are old enough to remember k town divorces?) -some people looked like they were playing along or agreeing when in reality they were trying to save their skins, their families, their livelihood. That is why I feel the way I feel about NAK- the power dynamics make this more problematic. If he wasn’t in a position of power it would be different. But he is and I can see a lot of girls having a hard time telling him no when they would easily tell a rando to to eat a bag of green weenies.

Fatin: When I was living in Syria, a similar scandal happened with a very famous Shaykh. He had his group of followers, people who had pledged an allegiance to follow him.  From the outside, it looks very much like a cult. You have the leader, his bodyguards, his inner circle. There are exclusive meetings and only those in the know are allowed to attend. It becomes less and less about the knowledge and more about the proximity to power.  Then came the accusations of inappropriate private meetings and secret marriages. It all played out the same. Accusations became public as the followers started to leave. Then the shaykh goes public with a statement of his own denying the claim and using his knowledge of Quran and hadith to pepper his statement with authority and spiritual gravitas. The public came to his defence and the accusers and those who believe them were ostracized treated like transgressors of sin.  

Shereen: This incident has made me think of a wider issue, why do we have so few female Islamic scholars and teachers? Ayesha (RA), the youngest wife of the Prophet (SA) was one of the most prolific female scholars in Islam and contributed to around 2000 ahadith, and yet now we find ourselves with few female islamic leaders to consult on Islam. I wonder with the victims of abuses of power, who are the victims going to, and who can they consult in these spaces?

Krista: I really appreciated a piece published a couple days ago by Sameera Qureshi on the HEARTfelt blog, which looks at issues around religion and sexuality. As the writer reminds us,

“As with everything on social media, this will all calm down within a few weeks, and the majority of our community will go back to living their own lives. Gender-based violence won’t matter or be a topic of importance anymore. Those working in the field will continue to fight for the rights of survivors and ways to hold perpetrators accountable. We’ll continue to stress over how many people attend training and awareness programs we’re hosting. It’s incredibly sad that methods of oppression only matter to the general public when people in the spotlight are involved.”

There have been a lot of statements in the last few days – including from this blog – about how we will always support and listen to survivors. But we need to be making those statements more regularly, perhaps especially when there’s nothing specific happening to make gender-based violence a “hot topic” in the community. To add to Shereen’s questions above, how can we make sure that we’re creating spaces where survivors always feel safe speaking out, where they always feel their concerns will be heard and valued?

Eren: And from all this, and as someone who does not only know a lot of survivors of spiritual and gendered violence, but who has also experienced sexual harassment from religious people, I can only say to those who have been abused, harassed or in any way wronged by  people they trusted with their own spirituality, I believe you. MMW believes you.

To those who have never experienced these situations, particularly cis-sexual men, you have to hold the people you trust in your communities accountable. It does not matter who the person is (in this case a pretty powerful dude). The burden of proof cannot rest on survivors. You are not entitled to that. But you are  entitled to ask religious leaders to be accountable for their advice, the way they profit from said advice (apparently NAK makes a lot of money from it), how they spread misogyny and patriarchal attitudes, and the instances when they are engaged in violence… particularly when that entails violence against Muslim women. Further, for those who believe NAK should be forgiven, it is totally cool if you can do so, but you are not entitled to ask survivors to do so. Similarly, forgiveness (from the relevant people) does not wash away the need for accountability, and that is our job as communities and as allies.

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[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

Maurice took a detour on his way to Mamzelle Bridgette’s in order to visit the curio shop that dealt in jade bracelets, so that he might commission one suitable to MacDonald’s purpose. He therefore arrived a little after his usual hour to discover that he had an unexpected visitor.

Why, Uncle Hector! I hope there is no trouble in the family?

No, all well, Euphemia sent you a few almond cakes – and she says these are just for you, sent a further parcel for the workroom.

'Tis very good of her. Tea?

Thank you, I will.

While the tea was coming, Maurice waved Hector into the more comfortable chair and sat down himself, mentioning that he had Lady Trembourne coming shortly.

Very early in the day for that lady!

Maurice gave a small grim smile. Does she desire to be dressed by me, at such short notice, she must take what time I may spare. Hector returned his smile. But was there some particular matter you desired to open to me?

Why, Sophy was thinking that though Sam wishes keep Thomasina at school a little longer, since they are in no necessity to send her into service or put her to an apprenticeship –

Maurice, whose investments included a share in Sam Jupp’s exceedingly profitable livery stables and carriage-hire business, nodded.

- when there was that notion that 'twould provide an excuse for visiting here that she desired find her a place, put the idea into her head that though she would not wish Thomasina to earn her living by her needle –

'Tis indeed a hard life –

- you might bring her on into the business more generally. Is a good clever girl, excellent fine reports from the schoolmistresses, an eye for fashion, already goes quiz her aunt Tibby on matters of style.

Maurice pondered a little. Indeed he had wondered about matters of succession. Why, I daresay I shall see somewhat of her during the family yuletide gatherings, and mayhap Sophy might bring her along some day.

Hector nodded and said he would convey this invitation to Sophy. Also, Her Ladyship becomes most concerned over the plight of needlewomen –

I have heard somewhat of that from Lady Pockinford –

- and I confide she would be well-advized to convoke with you upon the practicalities of any philanthropic enterprize she purposes.

Well, now she may come visit me for fittings again I daresay we shall have opportunity to speak upon the business.

Hector cleared his throat, sat back in his chair, crossed one leg over the other. She also, he said at length, takes some concern over Mr MacDonald.

Maurice raised his eyebrows.

She thinks it entire beneficial that he has become a member of this club of yours, where he may be with fellows of like kind. But she comes to some apprehension that has already been beguiled by some fellow, and hopes that 'tis some fellow that will not do him hurt, and wonders had you observed anything that might illuminate the question.

(Well, that answered the question in his mind of whether MacDonald went home and quite immediate recounted what he had been about to Lady Bexbury.)

Why, said Maurice with a little considering frown, indeed he becomes quite the favourite and there are fellows make up to him, but I cannot think of any one in particular that he shows favour to himself –

Only, Hector went on, she takes the thought that those years of mutual devotion that he had with the late Viscount, can have been little preparation for any matters of fickleness and deceit -

(Really, Maurice thought, it was entire unreasonable to feel quite sick with jealousy over a dead man.)

Well, he said, I will look out for any signs, and hoist storm warnings if necessary.

Her Ladyship would be most displeased did he come to any harm. And I hope you demonstrate proper gratitude for the services he has done you.

Quite entirely: but I am sensible that there is little that I can offer such a fellow as any kind of recompense. Sure I have made contributions to Lady Bexbury’s philanthropies –

Hector nodded. But you have ladies coming, I must be away.

Maurice found himself left in some confusion. Was this a very indirect warning? But he had no time to linger brooding upon the matter, for, although he did not expect the Countess of Trembourne to arrive precise to the minute, nonetheless he confided that she would arrive before an entire hour had elapsed. He tidied up the fitting-room, laid out some fashion plates and some samples of stuffs, and minded to put the almond cakes out of sight. There were clients he would have been happy to share this treat with, but she was not among them.

In due course Lady Trembourne, followed by Lady Sarah Channery, was ushered in to the fitting-room. They were very much of that same high-bred English lady look: that fine straight fair hair that must have been an immense trial to any that had to dress it; the pale aristocratic features; the tall and slender, even skinny, figure. Lady Trembourne’s face was marked with its habitual expression of discontent. Lady Sarah, however, looked less than usual like a nervous mouse keeping company with a cat: perchance having a lover had conveyed her some confidence in herself.

They sat down and tea was brought and Lady Trembourne produced some fashion-plates that had given her a notion of how she should like her gowns made. Maurice was most greatly tempted to accede to her demands, for he could see that the styles chosen would not set her off to any advantage, but he had the reputation of Mamzelle Bridgette to maintain and that would do it no favours, so he began the delicate task of persuading her into somewhat that would do credit to all parties.

By this time this had been decided, and measurements taken, and Lady Sarah’s requirements also taken into consideration, several hours had passed. But at last Lady Trembourne declared that she had another engagement and swept out. Lady Sarah lingered, looked nervously towards the door, and asked in low and tremulous tones whether the establishment had some discreet chamber?

Maurice conceded that it did, and the terms upon which a lady might avail herself of it.

Lady Sarah was, of course, considerably younger than Sir Stockwell, and indeed than Lady Trembourne: but she was still of an age that was not suited by an air as of a naughty schoolgirl that has slyly deceived the mistress.

After she had gone – looking remarkable complacent for one that had but lately had remuneration demanded of her in return for silence – Maurice sighed, smoothed back his hair, and decided that he would go lunch at the club.

(Of course he had not the slightest expectation that he might encounter MacDonald there.)

At such a time of day there were few enough present, but Sir Stockwell had managed to escape his duties, whatever they were, at the Admiralty. Allard! he lowered his voice. Any news?

Maurice lowered his own voice. Has asked me about the discreet chamber, but indeed I do not know if that might be for a particular purpose, or whether 'tis just to be informed in anticipation. (He did not somehow feel inclined to reveal that yes, Lady Sarah had a lover. Since it was some friend of MacDonald, let him be the one to disclose it.)

Well, let me know do you discover more.

He moved away.

As Maurice deliberated between the cold beef and the ham, up came Tom Tressillian, looking extreme self-conscious. Maurice! Pray, assure me that I have not offended you –

Offended me?

Why, I know that you and Linsleigh have been friends this long time, and he was paying me some attention t’other e’en at the viewing of his painting, and you left most precipitate –

La, my dear Tom, you are entire welcome to enjoy Basil’s favours, sure we have not sworn some oath such as he was telling us at such great length did the members of the Theban Band: and I daresay 'twill come to some exceeding pretty picture - perchance all in black, gazing upon a skull?

O, providing you do not mind - !

Not in the least. But, my dear, figure to yourself my astonishment to see young Orlando Richardson in the company – does he follow in his great-uncle’s footsteps?

Tressillian sighed. Alas, I confide not, except that shows already a pretty talent for comedy.

Alas. For though 'tis by no means a pretty fellow, there is a certain, as they say, piquancy, to his looks, that I daresay his uncle had before he took to drink.

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[personal profile] minoanmiss posting in [community profile] agonyaunt
Dear Carolyn: In my childhood, criticism from my parents was the constant theme. My grades were never good enough, my room was never clean enough, whatever. As a result, I feel little to no affection for my parents now that I’m an adult, and I don’t spend much time with them or talk to them much. I just don’t like them very much.

However, some people who know this say I’m going to regret distancing myself from them when they’re gone. Do you think that’s true? Should I make more of an effort to spend more time with them now so I don’t regret it later?

— Criticized

Criticized: Your friends would regret distancing themselves, if they were in your position. That doesn’t mean you will.

So, no, I don’t think that is universally true that distance equals regrets.

However, I do believe that seeing parents as people, instead of just as parents, is a more useful way to determine how to adapt your relationship with them over time.

What you describe of your parents is a child’s view of people who, apparently, thought that being a parent meant being strict and teachy all the time. I agree with you that it’s a cold way to go, and tough to forgive, but there are other aspects of parenthood that could provide a fuller and fairer picture. Were their parents that way with them? Was the culture around them one of “seen and not heard” and “spare the rod” orthodoxy? Did they tend not to question things about life in general, their parenting views among them? Was one of them softer but not strong enough to counteract the other?

And: What did they become after their active child-rearing years were over? Did they remain locked in a cold orthodoxy, or did they bloom a little when the weight of responsibility was removed? Are they trying to get to know you now, or are you still 12 to them?

Do you know them all that well as people, or did you distance yourself effectively enough that your last real impression of them was formed as you fled their home after high school?

I ask these questions entirely without judgment. People have their natural, even reflexive ways of looking out for their own health, and kids of unhappy childhoods can even have this need as their central motivation. It makes sense.

But when you get to the point where you’re asking whether this is the right way to go, my inclination is to suggest that you keep asking questions and see where your inquiry leads you. If you don’t feel up to digging all that out, that’s reasonable. Your prerogative. It might also make sense to spend a few sessions with a skilled therapist.

And it might be liberating just to try, once or twice, with no great expectations, to talk to your parents with a different image of them in mind as you do it.

They’re people. Possibly kind of stunted people who meant no harm but had no clue. People who might have interesting things to say if you asked them different questions, and/or with a different objective in mind. Not “I want them to say they’re sorry” or “I want just once for them to be warm and welcoming,” but maybe “I want to see them how their friends do,” or one of my favorite suggestions from a long-ago chatter, “I want to approach them as an anthropologist would and see what I find out.”
[syndicated profile] chinookjargon_feed

Posted by chinookjargon

Not too long ago, I read the Forty-Niner A[lonzo] Delano’s 1854 book:

“Life on the Plains and Among the Diggings; being Scenes and Adventures of an Overland Journey to California: with Particular Incidents of the Route, Mistakes and Sufferings of the Emigrants, the Indian Tribes, the Present and the Future of the Great West”

(Auburn: Miller, Orton & Mulligan.)

Life on the Plains

“Life on the Plains…”

(Image credit:

Although there’s some of that Northern California Pidgin Spanish/English in it that I’ve commented on time and again — and there’s really no Chinook Jargon! — language is not directly the use of this volume, for me.

Indirectly, it is.

Because this writer got me thinking about why there’s been such a longstanding notion — demonstrably untrue, but that doesn’t mean scholars and journalists will suddenly start verifying what their sources claim — that Chinook Jargon was spoken all the way eastward to the Rockies.

On page 116, Delano comments:

We were now in Oregon–the ridge of the Rocky Mountains being its eastern boundary–and fifteen hundred miles from our homes.

He says this in a tone that suggests to me that “everybody knows” the Oregon Country starts at the Rockies. Which was the geopolitical fact in 1849. I’m led to imagine that that same nugget of trivia persisted in the popular mind well after it ceased to be the case.

And for settlers and back-Easters alike, Chinuk Wawa certainly became a shibboleth, a cliché, of Oregon-ness before the Oregon Trail emigration was a generation old.

So maybe this was part of the reason why “Rocky Mts.” + “Oregon” + “Chinook” got to be so unquestionably bound up together.

I hasten to add that there’s one other potent reinforcement of that viral mental equation:

The Chinuk Wawa literature itself.

Look at some of the earliest book titles to bring the Jargon to America’s awareness!

  • “Adventures on the Columbia River, Including the Narrative of a Residence of Six Years on the Western Side of the Rocky Mountains” a.k.a. “The Columbia River; or, Scenes and Adventures during a Residence of Six Years on the Western Side of the Rocky Mountains“, by Ross Cox, 1831 and 1832.
  • “Journal of an Exploring Tour beyond the Rocky Mountains” by Samuel Parker, 1838.
  • “Journal of Travels over the Rocky Mountains” by Joel Palmer, 1847.
  • “Ten Years in Oregon: Travels and Adventures…West of the Rocky Mountains“, by Miss A.J. Allen, 1848.

Some of these were veritable bestsellers, going through many reprinted editions.

My conclusion is that it’s no great wonder people have equated Chinuk Wawa with the vague, broad western frontier.

But to paraphrase the Irish Rovers’ song, “There’s cats and rats and elephants, but sure as you’re born, past Idaho & Oregon you’ll find no Jargon” 🙂

I would have thought lawful

Sep. 24th, 2017 11:59 pm
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[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
I Am A: Chaotic Good Human Paladin/Sorcerer (4th/3rd Level)

Ability Scores:







Chaotic Good A chaotic good character acts as his conscience directs him with little regard for what others expect of him. He makes his own way, but he's kind and benevolent. He believes in goodness and right but has little use for laws and regulations. He hates it when people try to intimidate others and tell them what to do. He follows his own moral compass, which, although good, may not agree with that of society. Chaotic good is the best alignment you can be because it combines a good heart with a free spirit. However, chaotic good can be a dangerous alignment when it disrupts the order of society and punishes those who do well for themselves.

Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.

Primary Class:
Paladins take their adventures seriously, and even a mundane mission is, in the heart of the paladin, a personal test an opportunity to demonstrate bravery, to learn tactics, and to find ways to do good. Divine power protects these warriors of virtue, warding off harm, protecting from disease, healing, and guarding against fear. The paladin can also direct this power to help others, healing wounds or curing diseases, and also use it to destroy evil. Experienced paladins can smite evil foes and turn away undead. A paladin's Wisdom score should be high, as this determines the maximum spell level that they can cast. Many of the paladin's special abilities also benefit from a high Charisma score.

Secondary Class:
Sorcerers are arcane spellcasters who manipulate magic energy with imagination and talent rather than studious discipline. They have no books, no mentors, no theories just raw power that they direct at will. Sorcerers know fewer spells than wizards do and acquire them more slowly, but they can cast individual spells more often and have no need to prepare their incantations ahead of time. Also unlike wizards, sorcerers cannot specialize in a school of magic. Since sorcerers gain their powers without undergoing the years of rigorous study that wizards go through, they have more time to learn fighting skills and are proficient with simple weapons. Charisma is very important for sorcerers; the higher their value in this ability, the higher the spell level they can cast.

Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?, courtesy of Easydamus (e-mail)

Just Breathe

Sep. 24th, 2017 10:49 pm
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[personal profile] sasha_feather
The last few days we've had a record-setting heat wave, with temps in the high 80s and low 90s (right now it's 25 C/ 77 F AT NIGHT). My asthma is acting up and I have been feeling more sad than usual. I get this burning pain in my ribs and sternum and mouth. I've been napping during the day and staying up late, but I haven't been doing much with my time.

To get some good AC I went to the cheap seat movie theater tonight and saw "Step." This is a documentary about a Step dance team at a girls' high school in Baltimore. The film focuses entirely on black girls and women. Recommended.
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[personal profile] fairestcat
I've been doing less book bingeing and more reading of fic over the last month, which is probably, ultimately a happy balance for me.

Liberty and Other Stories (Prosperity, #2-4, 6) - Alexis Hall - ★ ★ ★ ★

A diverse series of stories expanding on the Prosperity universe, both before and after the events of Prosperity. read more )

The New Born Year - Kris Ripper ★ ★

I love this series, and I really liked getting to know Ally better, but I found this a difficult and unpleasant read. read more )

Full of Briars (October Daye, #9.3) - Seanan McGuire ★ ★ ★

I'm several books behind in this series, and figured this was a good way to dip back in. Because Quentin. Who is awesome. read more )

Gun To My Head - Dira Lewis ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Reread. First read April 5, 2017. Second read April 6, 2017. Third read now, by which you might infer that I really fucking love this book. read more )

The Mystic Marriage (Alpennia, #2) - Heather Rose Jones ★ ★ ★ ★

I continue to adore this series. This second installment continues to follow Barbara and Margerit's lives, while expanding the focus to two characters who played a supporting role in the first book. read more )

The Element of Fire (Ile-Rien, #1) - Martha Wells ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Reread. I think I first read this sometime in 2010.

This is a secondary-world fantasy set in the approximate equivalent of 17th Century France only with both sorcery and Fae more )

Point of Dreams (Astreiant, #2) - Melissa Scott & Lisa A. Barnett ★ ★ ★ ★

In some ways the murders are the least interesting part of this book. They matter, and they drive the plot, but it's the thematic stuff going on around and in cause of the murders that I found most interesting.

This is a book about relationships, and the ways they are seen and controlled by society and societal pressures. read more )

Seven Summer Nights - Harper Fox ★ ★ ★ ★

This was not the book I expected it to be, but I quite enjoyed the book it turned out to be.

This is, as the cover copy stated, a just-post-WWII historical romance between an archaeologist and a vicar, both of whom came back from the war changed. It's about two men trying to fit back into roles and ways of life they no longer fit. read more )

Bound to Be a Groom (Regency Reimagined, #1) - Megan Mulry


It's queer, kinky, poly, historical erotica. I'm pretty much THE target audience for this book. And I gave up at 13% read. read more )

Death by Silver (Julian Lynes and Ned Mathey, #1) - Melissa Scott & Amy Griswold ★ ★ ★ ★

This was a rougher read than I expected from the ad copy. Good, but at times decidedly difficult.

This is a queer, steampunk murder mystery, but that's not really what it's about.

What it actually is is a book about institutionally-sanctioned bullying and abuse and the different ways in which adult survivors of childhood trauma cope with their past. read more )
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[personal profile] fadedwings posting in [community profile] common_nature
I love these beautiful noisy birds. We have a few that come to the yard. It's hard to get pictures though because they're a bit shy. I had to take this between the railing on my porch.
Read more... )

the common or garden anti-semite

Sep. 24th, 2017 06:37 pm
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[personal profile] staranise
I'm rereading Gaudy Night by Dorothy L Sayers for the first time in maybe a year, since I just switched my Audible membership over to .ca instead of .com, and the Canadian website has the rights for the book when the American website has just been promising to have it for ages but never actually being able to sell it.

In that time I've read Hannah Arendt's The Origins of Totalitarianism, which very closely details the rise of anti-Semitism in Western Europe between the French Revolution and the Second World War. Sayers is an awkward novelist in that her writing in the 1920s and 30s is sparkling in many ways, but soured a few times a book by discordant notes whenever "those people" are mentioned--Sayers seems to think that she is being very liberal-minded by mentioning Jewish people at all, much less having her characters vaguely tolerate them and discuss how a Jew might be as moral as the next fellow. (She had an unhappy early affair with a Jewish writer that seems to have affected her strongly)

I can see no situation in which they might ever have met, but still, the whole thing solidifies mentally for me into a unified whole if I imagine them at some evening party full of urbane and witty literary people, drinking and smoking and sounding clever, where Sayers is holding forth and being pleased with herself and Hannah Arendt is smoking in silence and taking down extensive mental notes for an essay later. She smiles when Sayers passes her an ashtray, but she's already plotting her revenge.
megpie71: Photo of sign reading "Those who throw objects at the crocodiles will be asked to retrieve them." (Crocodiles)
[personal profile] megpie71
1) It's a non-teaching week this week, which means my alarm is turned most definitely off and I am catching up on sleep. It's also cold and wet and rainy, to the point where when I was starting to write up my journal this morning I inadvertently started entering the month as "June".

2) I have managed to complete the AV presentation which was driving me bats, and now I have to concentrate on getting my poetry portfolio done. Which means I have to settle down and actually get into a poetry mindspace, which is somewhat akin to having an unstructured dose of therapy. Poetry involves rummaging around in the subconscious, and the problem with doing this for me is I keep finding things in there I don't remember putting there. Like discovering the reason I'm so keen on Final Fantasy VII as a fandom is because I actually empathise strongly with Cloud Strife's memory problems (because they're rather akin to the ones I have as a result of chronic depression).

3) I've done my vote in the Marriage Equality survey, and I think Steve dropped both of them off in the post-box on Friday. I voted "yes", of course, because quite frankly I cannot for the life of me see how allowing people who aren't heterosexual to marry is going to "damage marriage". The arguments of the "No" campaign appear to be mainly based around "think of the children" (I don't have any myself, and I'm thinking of the non-heterosexual and non-gender-binary children who might want to get married when they grow up); "it's against our religion" (well, nobody's saying you have to go out and get married to anyone); "marriage is about having children" (oh, does that mean my infertile friend is damaging the institution of marriage? How about my mother, who's past the age of reproduction and still married to my father?) and so on. None of their arguments really appear to be based on anything sensible, because let's face it, we can't point to a sensible argument against extending marriage to non-heterosexual people.

(Also, on the whole "freeze peach" side of things: if anyone who is busy screaming about how it's going to result in priests being forced to perform gay weddings against their wills and against religious canon can actually point to a single case of this having occurred anywhere in the world where non-heterosexual marriage is already permitted, then I'll start paying attention to this particular argument. But until then... it's a stupid argument).

4) I have a bunch of seedlings from my mother that I picked up on Saturday - Mum buys a bunch of seedlings every year to plant out in her vegetable garden, but the vege patch isn't really all that big, so she's usually got some over. So now she's giving them to me, and I'm going to be planting them out in my vegetable garden space. If the rain ever lets up for long enough for me to get it done. I will also be surrounding them with enough snail bait to hopefully keep the troops of snails we currently have decimating everything in the garden well away for a while.

5) We have received an invitation to come over for dinner tonight from my parents. My brother, in a fit of enthusiasm (and in the grip of a high-protein diet) decided since today is a public holiday (and he thus doesn't have to go in to work) he was going to barbecue an entire beef brisket. So he went and bought himself what looks like half a cow - seriously, the thing occupied about half the width of my parents' chest freezer. So they've invited myself and Steve over to help consume the wretched thing. I may wind up being given some leftovers to take home with me, which means cottage pie for dinner some time this week.
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
R: [chess partner] lost one of my black bishops from the chess set last weekend.

Sam: You should go to the thrift store and find something cool to replace it with! That’s how you get a really unique chess set.

R: So you’re saying his mistake became….a mistakapportunity? 

Sam: Of the millions of words that I thought you might say when you paused, mistakapportunity didn’t even make the list.

from Tumblr

A leaf

Sep. 24th, 2017 04:57 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Taken from a couple of angles over about a minute.

Read more... )

I am taking care of someone's cats

Sep. 24th, 2017 04:45 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
As one does, I keep a log of my visits.

The cats expressed their appreciation for my record-keeping.

Read more... )


Sep. 24th, 2017 09:39 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

As our flight was not until after lunch, this morning after we'd packed and put our luggage in store we went to the Hipolit House: more historical domestic interiors, plus exhibition on the actress Antonina Hoffman and on theatre/acting more generally in C19th. Rather interesting.

Of the journey, not a great deal to be said except for the enormous distances walked within airports.

Anyway, ome agen.

Remix reveals

Sep. 24th, 2017 07:59 pm
el_staplador: A dragon carved in stone (fantasy)
[personal profile] el_staplador
I wrote this -

Down the Garden Path (and what Alice found there) (4517 words) by El Staplador
Chapters: 5/5
Fandom: Alice In Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Alice (Alice in Wonderland)
Additional Tags: Dreams and Nightmares, Dreams vs. Reality, Non-Linear Narrative, Board Games, Pastiche, Poetry, journeys, Nursery Rhymes, Werewolves

Alice throws a six, and finds herself on the square of the hypotenuse. But she's been here before, and she'll be here again, and perhaps she's already here...

- which I feel is rather obviously mine, though not in a fandom I'd previously attempted.

(Why do I not have an Alice icon?)
radiantfracture: (alan bates)
[personal profile] radiantfracture
The St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church not only has a beautiful interior, very like the hull of an overturned ship; it has the best bookshop in town, Churchmouse Books. The shop is a side room filled with gently used volumes released (certainly not discarded) by a congregation of serious readers. All books are obtainable by donation. The other weekend they had an open house and larger book sale, with books laid out all along each pew -- it felt sacred and profane all at once -- whence I fished out this small remarkable creature.

Cover )
Title Page (bit blurry, sorry, it tried to escape) )

It appears to be a teleplay by novelist Elizabeth Bowen about Anthony Trollope: Anthony Trollope: A New Judgement (OUP, 1946). As you can see, it's a beautiful little booklet, maybe A6 size, with a marbled cover, presented more like a monograph than a script.

AbeBooks adds this: "A play broadcast by the BBC in 1945." Hmm, BBC.

Adding "BBC" to the search produces The Wireless Past: Anglo-Irish Writers and the BBC, 1931-1968 via Google Books:

This warning against nostalgia and advocacy of the 'now' appears most clearly in Bowen’s final radio feature, "Anthony Trollope: A New Judgement", which was broadcast two days before VE day in May 1945. In this broadcast, Bowen continues the ghost-novelist conceit of her other radio features while also communicating more explicit messages about the relationship between print culture and nostalgia. The later broadcast was evidently popular—Oxford University Press published the script as a pamphlet in 1946. (100)

It strikes me that while this book may have been of the "now" in 1946, it has become an object of almost irresistible print culture nostalgia. Someone surely was thinking of that, even at the time. The deckle edge. The marbling. And printed right after the war, too, when paper might still have been scarce.

...actually, Wireless goes on to discuss the shortage -- apparently these broadcasts were "oriented towards publics that could not access books" (103). I'm not, via skimming, entirely clear why Bowen is anti-nostalgia, but then, she seems like someone who would be.

Any readers of Bowen? I've only read The Death of the Heart for a graduate course on the modernist novel.

There's no indication on the pamphlet itself that it is a screenplay or was ever broadcast or has anything to do with the BBC -- at first thumb-through, I thought it was a monograph in avant-garde format. Which I guess it is, or rather the record thereof.


Reading: Autumn

Sep. 24th, 2017 06:19 pm
white_hart: (Default)
[personal profile] white_hart
I bought a copy of Ali Smith's Autumn in the Oxfam bookshop in York last week, because they were playing Leonard Cohen and I ended up browsing the contemporary fiction section much more closely than I often do because I wanted to keep listening to it. It was the day the Booker shortlist had been announced so someone had been talking about the book on the radio as I was driving up; it sounded interesting so I thought I might as well buy it when I saw a copy there.

It's a strange book. Essentially, it's the story of a friendship between an elderly man and little girl, growing and developing across the space of years, but it's also a complicated web of allusions through which Smith considers questions of time, memory, love and art; key influences are Dickens (the opening sentence is "It was the worst of times, it was the worst of times") and Ovid's Metamorphoses although there are many others. Its time-hopping, non-linear format jumps between the aftermath of the Brexit vote (the novel was published last October and it was clearly written, fast, after the referendum), the 1990s, the Profumo scandal of the 1960s and World War 2 and the years immediately preceding it. It's funny and thought-provoking, melancholy and angry and also somehow hopeful. And the prose is beautiful and poetic. It's a short book, and a quick read, but I think it will stay with me.


Sep. 24th, 2017 11:41 am
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
[personal profile] thnidu
From Digg, 0:52

Here's A Bush Full Of Kittens Playing Peekaboo Because You Deserve To Feel Happiness


commodorified: a capital m, in fancy type, on a coloured background (Default)

July 2017


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