ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I found this analysis of gender in comics to be fascinating.  In many categories, I've written against the mainstream pattern, such as having females with super-strength and males with psychic powers.  In a few areas I may have replicated the pattern; with pheromone control and prehensile hair, I could only think of female characters, although I'm sure there are males with pheromones.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
While fringe media sites are iffy on details, this article would explain the ~2 hours of domestic violence that is Civil War and how one of the greatest anti-war novels of all time got turned into a pro-war trilogy with rabbits pulling a sled. 

Fortunately we have the internet to provide alternative entertainment with inconvenient truths about what happens to soldiers and the results of systemic corruption.  Tell ALL the stories.

Logorama

Jul. 4th, 2017 07:20 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
We watched Logorama over supper tonight.  It the most disturbing, hilariously apt depiction of America that I've seen in a long time. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here is a cartoon about different affect.

I am reminded of fairytales about the fey, who would cry at weddings and laugh at funerals -- and get hit for it, and go home to Underhill because the humans were so horrible. But there wasn't anything wrong  with the fey. They were just different.

So much of therapy is about forced affect. About training people to show what is expected, not who they really are. It doesn't help the way those therapists think it does.  Some people have the same feelings as everyone else, but not at the same times and they may not show it in the same way.  That's okay.  They have the same right to express themselves as everyone else does.
ysabetwordsmith: (moment of silence)
Adam West has passed away.  Among his more famous appearances, he played Batman on television. 

I HAS A SAD.  :'''(  And I'm trying to figure out how to lower the Batsignal to half-mast.

Somewhere between the dimensions, the egregore of the Joker is crying his eyes out.


EDIT 6/10/17: I got the news about Adam West's passing just minutes before we had to leave the house.  Now that I'm home and have had a few minutes to tune in, here is the elegy. 


"Velvet Messengers"
-- an elegy for Adam West, (September 19, 1928 – June 9, 2017)

There are no seraphim in
this escort, no solemn Uriel
to close his sooty feathers
around the deceased,

even though the wind
is heavy with wingbeats
and the messengers
silhouette themselves
against the full moon.

(Because of course
the moon was full.)

These angels,
when they come,
have wings of velvet

and voices too high to hear.

* * * 

Notes:

Uriel is the angel of death, who along with other angels is believed to escort the souls of the departed.  It has been the custom for some centuries to depict angels with feathered wings.  Uriel's are often, though not always, dark gray or black.

The Bat Signal appears as a bright disc with a dark bat shape in the center.  Similarly, Batman and his gear are often silhouetted against the full moon, in contexts ranging from serious to silly.

Angel voices are often described as too high for humans to hear, or barely within range as a shrill whine or squeak.  Bat voices are too high for most humans to hear.

ysabetwordsmith: (gold star)
We went to see Wonder Woman today.  It was totally awesome.  Definitely one of the best superhera movies ever.  \o/  Lots of athletic women running around kicking butt.  Also check out the fantastic merchandise.  If you look closely at the dolls, you see they match the actress surprisingly well: reasonable breasts, a little hip, a fairly thick muscular waist, and nice powerful legs.  :D  Also the Amazons mostly weren't willowy.  They were trim and muscular, or beefy.  I lost count of how many times someone said "You can't ..." to Diana, and in the next frame they were looking around for her while she ran off doing it anyhow.  And that's feminism for you.

I have to look pretty hard to find flaws.  I did noticed that Diana's mother was an idiot.  (You made a baby Amazon, not a dahlia.  How could you possibly think she'd be a pacifist?)  It was just generally brilliant.

If you like watching women kick ass, go see this movie.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's a cartoon about confirmation bias.  While it technically fits the definition, it's not about belief, but rather about greed -- or possibly survival.  In any case it's an example of how many things which are currently claimed as science are not actually science.  But when you call them that, people mistrust science, instead of mistrusting greed.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the May 2, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] alexseanchai plus conversations with [personal profile] alatefeline, [personal profile] chanter_greenie, [personal profile] stardreamer, and other fans. It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. This poem belongs to the Calliope thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem contains some intense topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. Calliope and Vagary are in a mess of a bond, which complicates their consent for anything involving each other. They're trying to make the best of it, and making some progress, but it's just not a great situation. So there is awkwardness, fumbling, social anxiety, tripping over all sorts of emotional baggage, Vagary's low self-esteem, Calliope's standoffishness, boundary issues, trust issues, reluctant touching, gender issues (one of the few things Vagary handles gracefully), physical tension, crappy dancing, telepathic spillover, bystander assumptions, trying not to cry in public, knowing when to give up, reference to bad therapists of the past, Vagary's perspective of their initial bonding, and other angst. They do make some good progress, though, and nobody gets punched in the face or groped in personal places. Special thanks to the several readers who realized that dancing was liable to be a disaster. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: (moment of silence)
Stanley Weston has passed away.  Among his accomplishments, he was a co-creator of the series Thundercats.  When he noticed that there were no dolls marketed to boys, he created G.I. Joe -- and thus the whole "action figure" genre.  Talk about leaving a big imprint.
ysabetwordsmith: Text -- three weeks for dreamwidth, in pink (three weeks for dreamwidth)
Climbing trees is a fun activity, but not everyone knows how to do it. The two no-gear methods of climbing are scrambling and shinnying. Scrambling means using your hands and feet to go up a tree with branches. Shinnying involves wrapping your arms and legs around a narrow tree without branches, and ratcheting your way up. Of the two, scrambling is much easier, thus generally the best way to start. Climbing with gear tempts people to ascend to great heights, and you have to understand your equipment. It is therefore best left until after you have mastered the basics of freehand climbing of small trees.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
We met my parents in Champaign today.  :D  Stopped to shop for spices, and I got the ones I was looking for.  Doug found a new brand of world spice blends that I looked at for 2 seconds and said, "If I start going through those, I will blow $50 and I've already got a sizable order here."  But I definitely plan to go back and do that in the future.

For supper we went to Olive Garden, which had a sample table with their two flavored lemonades: strawberry-passionfruit and kiwi-melon.  Both were utterly fabulous.  I got the strawberry-passionfruit, Doug got the kiwi-melon, and we shared.  :D Both flavors had a top, middle, and bottom note so I will definitely remember that for future reference in fruity lemonades.  It made a huge difference over just strawberry lemonade.

We watched Step Afrika at the Krannert center, which was also brilliant.  They did amazing things with dance, drums, and body music.  Very exuberant, whole-body motions.  The show told the story of the Great Migration from Africa to the South, and then the South to the North.  \o/

Meet Julia

Apr. 14th, 2017 12:28 pm
ysabetwordsmith: (gold star)
Sesame Street has introduced Julia, a Muppet with autism.  For a while now she has appeared in some of the background materials, but recently made her first appearance on the show proper.  Read about Julia and watch part of the first episode.

I think they did about as well as neurotypical people can do on a first attempt.  What I would really like to see is people sending in examples of what autism means for them, or how  they/their kids have interacted with autistic friends.  Using that to inspire Julia's character development and plot dynamics would help her authenticity.  But even in this first clip, I see a lot of things that I recognize.  :D 3q3q3q!!!
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Now I've been calling him that for a while, but this actually happened.  The Force really can  have a strong effect on the weak-minded!

Ladies and gentlebeings, start your memes!
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 [personal profile] technoshaman tipped me to these clinical-grade fidget spinners.  Multiple shapes, colors, and bearing options.  
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's a fascinating case where humans (dolls) and nonhumans (other toys) are taxed differently.  The argument was that, since the X-men are canonically not humans, but rather mutants, their action figures should be taxed as toys.  That worked, although the change was then applied to all  Marvel action figures whether mutant or not.

So let's compare ...

Marvel action figures are now legally considered not human (toys) instead of human (dolls), which makes the tax cheaper.

Another economic factor is dolls vs. action figures.  For years it was all but impossible to market human representations to boys, because they were called dolls.  Then some genius invented the term "action figures" and it became socially acceptable for boys to play with such toys.  Calling them "dolls" could have made them unmarketable.

Personhood is different; that's another category which may be considered both psychological and legal.  Divergences between the two have ghastly results, as both Marvelverse and local history have indicated.  Psychological personhood is sapience -- the presence of an intelligent mind, or soul if you prefer.  It's often thought of as pigeonholes, but in practice, is more of a spectrum, which is very awkward.  Legal personhood is supposed to match, but often does not.  Slaves weren't legal persons, for example, despite being quintessentially the same as free humans.  Marvel has very patchy standards regarding mutants; sometimes they are treated as legal persons, but very often they are not.  The most salient character who consistently objects this is ... Magneto.  Well, that's a bit embarrassing, isn't it?  

From an anthropological perspective, of course, the concept is much broader: a doll is any effigy of a creature, human or something else, played with or otherwise handled in a representational way.  It doesn't have to look  representational, though: if a child picks up a stick and declares it to be a baby, that counts as a doll.
ysabetwordsmith: (gold star)
Grand Prairie Friends has teamed up with Trails for Illinois to create new trails in our Warbler Woods land trust.  \o/   What we have now are a few deerpaths, parts of which are only marginally climbable for people without cloven hooves.

It's like a little piece of Terramagne.  :D  I am especially charmed to see someone else recognizing that in order for humans to value and protect something, they have to know it and love it.  That means getting them in contact with it.
ysabetwordsmith: (gold star)
Lego is releasing 5 new minifigs of NASA women.  Things I noticed: 1 has white hair, 1 is black, 3 out of 5 are wearing glasses, 4 out of 5 have short hair, and only 1 seems to be wearing lipstick.  Used to be, the only distinctions of feminine gender were the lipstick and ponytail features on minifigs.  Yay, progress!

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