fictional: (whiskey tango foxtrot)
via [ profile] rm: I found this delightful piece of nausea inducing vitriol from the mouth of author, John C. Wright. It's one of the most offensive things I've ever read. More so even than Orson Scott Card, which is saying something.

It's also really charming to see names I recognize from various fandoms (Star Wars being a particular offender) agreeing with this crap. I knew these folk wrote het, but I didn't realize it was from hate as opposed to "I just happen to ship this."

[ profile] faris_nallaneen: we were eying some of his books the other day in B&N. I think we can safely say avoid, yes?

If you too wish to express dismay with the power of your pocketbook, here's a list of all his works.
fictional: (palin master)
So... courtesy of [ profile] faris_nallaneen, I see that Sarah Palin has resigned??? I can see four possibilities, all of which are bad.

Possibility 1: Lots (okay, two. But still) of top Alaskan health officials resigned recently. Is Alaska about to experience some form of plague that will eventually take over the planet? Is swine flu really polar bear flu? (Plague = bad. ETA: At least it's an island. SON OF ETA: Er...No. I am just terminally stupid. And I know no geography. Hey, I'm from New York! Cut me some slack.)

Possibility 2: Some horrible sex/drugs/embezzlement scandal about to surface, and Palin thinks she will preemptively kill the story by resigning now. (If this works = MIGHT BE REALLY BAD, because we'll never hear what happened! Inquiring minds want to know!)

Possibility 3: THERE IS NO PLAN and her dipshittery just finally escaped all bonds. (If this is true, we'll never find out if it was really 1 or 2 = definitely really bad.)

Possibility 4: This is the beginning of what Fox News seems to think will be an unfettered run at the presidency - in which case, world: watch out. Swine flu may be as nothing compared to this.

Okay, I'm going back to this &*%$%#@ chapter now. Once it is done, perhaps I can come back to TRULY IMPORTANT STUFF like fic writing/reading, these radio plays that everyone is so excited for and NEW TORCHWOOD. Also talking to real live people. I miss you guys! Yay! And a review of the spectacular Coraline: the Musical.

I was really hoping I could retire this icon. Alas.
fictional: (Cowboy)
Best name for a group ever? Or best, best name for a group ever?

A Consortium of Pub-going, Loose and Forward Women is planning a protest against some wingnut right wing group which has been assaulting young women for going to pubs, and is planning on using V-day as an excuse to attack some more in their attempt to compensate for their small dicks effort to be the morals police.

Man, V-day so not my thing, but these ladies seem pretty awesome:

It does not matter that many of us have not thought about Valentine’s Day since we were 13. If ever. This year, let us send the Sri Ram Sena some love. Let us send them some PINK CHADDIS*. Look in your closet or buy them cheap. Dirt-cheap. Make sure they are PINK. Send them off to the Sena.


What happens after Valentine’s Day?

After Valentine’s Day we should get some of our elected leaders to agree that beating up women is ummm… AGAINST INDIAN CULTURE.

I feel proud!

*chaddis: colloquialism for underwear.
fictional: (full face)
If you know me in person, you know I am mostly on time for things. Not always, not every day, but I spend a lot of time on street corners, waiting for people to meet me.

The sad part about this is, of course, that it's made me think of myself as the Person Who Shows Up. (Corollary is, naturally, When Other People Don't.)

Perhaps you know the feeling? You're waiting by a predetermined location. It's cold. You eye the crowd, picking out a jacket color that looks familiar, or a certain way of walking. There they are, you think excitedly, this is them! But they come closer, resolve into focus and out of expectation and you realize it's not the person you're waiting for at all, wrong hat, wrong height, wrong face, wrong, wrong, wrong.

And then you wait some more, and do it again. Lather, rinse, repeat.

If I changed this around a little bit, tweaked the metaphor, it could be a description of my entire childhood and adolescence. Longing, waiting, expecting, and the inevitable rush of disappointment. Over and over and over: waiting to be met, perfected, chosen.

Never happened.

That's true. It never did.

Because the trouble is, of course, while you're waiting, you have tunnel vision. You miss a lot of stuff. In the background, over there. While I was waiting to become cool, to become a musical prodigy, to have some stupid boy fall in love with me -- things were happening. Ordinary things. I was being chosen, and not only did I not know it at the time, if I had, I probably wouldn't have cared.

In an elevator, I was about a year and a half old, a toddler, and going down to the laundry room with my mother. The woman who lived in the apartment above us was in the elevator too. Somehow, and I don't know why or how, she met my eyes -- and she must have fallen in love. That's what she says, anyway. Flash forward a little more than a decade, and she's taking me with her on a trip to Tennessee, and a little place called Highlander.

It's there that I meet Rosa Parks, who tells me that she thinks I'm stubborn & tenacious. And that means I'll do great things. It got her places, after all. I don't really care; I'm much more concerned about not getting that solo in chorus.

A few years later, I'm in high school. We're singing with Pete Seeger in some concert in Central Park. Sweet Honey in the Rock is there too, and out of the chorus rehearsal, Bernice Johnson Reagon picks me out of the line - (I'm in front because I am short.) She calls my name, says in that deep, rolling voice of hers: "How are you doing? Remember you used to sing for us in that apartment in DC? We talk about you all the time... Don't you waste your promise, child."

I didn't really care about that either; just an old lady I can barely remember from when I was a kid, nattering on. Not important. Much more concerned with an argument I'm having with my friends, and how lonely I feel all the time. No one sees me, I think. A few weeks after this, I perform a social experiment: I stop speaking except when absolutely necessary for three weeks, to see if anyone notices. No one seems to, and I feel humiliated. And vindicated in my humiliation.

There's so many of these encounters, I can't even tell you.

I met someone in an elevator -- not that I remember it, I've just been told -- and they fell in love. That had nothing to do with me, I was just a toddler. It was just grace. Luck. And because of it, I was a child who was known to so much of the civil rights movement -- heroes, REAL heroes -- and I didn't notice or care.

Today I heard that Odetta died.

I don't know what to say except that I wish I had appreciated being chosen to be a child in the presence of greatness like that.


Nov. 5th, 2008 02:27 pm
fictional: (full face)
I am sick today. Really, I have been for several weeks now, though I try not to talk about it in this forum. (Or really any forum; I tend to be ostrich-like as regards my health - if I ignore it, it'll go away; this system has been epically failing me now for fourteen years; you'd think I'd learn, but you'd be wrong.)

So last night, I stayed up to watch the election anyway. Because I had to. It was impossible to do otherwise.

I'm still feeling ill; my stomach bruised and sore, my skin grey when I look in the mirror. I'm tired. Very tired, even though I've been doing nothing much but sleep since I got back from Chicago. It is raining. It is November, an ugly month, here in New York. Dim. Overcast. Too crammed with too much to do, and not enough time or money to do it with.

And yet.

I think the thing about this election -- and indeed, the last two as well -- was that it was so personal. It's a truism that the personal is political, but it has seemed especially true of late.

In 2004, I remember saying that what frightened me the most was knowing that social issues trumped pragmatic ones. This year, it was different. This year, America said it was more important that people were out of work or were working under increasingly terrible conditions because who knew when another job could be found, that gas prices had risen to an alarming sum, that the dollar had plummeted into an international joke, that they couldn't afford to go to the doctor, or pay for the prescriptions that were issued if they even managed to get there. That they cared more, just a little more about their futures, their pocketbooks, their everyday, ordinary lives than they did about electing a black man to the highest office in the country. Not everyone, of course, but enough.

I am grateful. Not just because my candidate won but because this is a decision I can understand, a universe that makes sense. For I can understand hating me and mine. What I can't understand is robbing yourself in order to do it.

I am grateful too, for the moment when the election had been called, the moment when hair rose up on the backs of my arms, and I glimpsed for a second, the promise of magic that seduces so many children into the ideal of nationhood. I'd never seen or felt it before, but I did then, and for a brief space of time, I felt like I understood.

And then our next president, a man of whom I need not be ashamed, came forward and made his speech. In all its brilliance, it was small things about it that I treasured the most. The ordinariness of inclusion: "It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled -" or even the simple acknowledgement that "this victory alone is not the change we seek - it is only the chance for us to make that change."

Through the ugliness of hearing about Prop 8, about the other terrible anti-gay legislation that was passed last night, when with one hand, America voted with their own self-interest in this single national issue, but withheld the greater promise of civil rights with the other - these are the words I thought of, words that describe a world where we are not outsiders ('gay and lesbian brothers and sisters'), but where we are you.

What we won last night was not a victory; it was possibility. It was work. It was the chance to do better, to be our better selves.

Fiction is my life. It is my vocation and my avocation. So it is perhaps unsurprising that I am unable to look at these events without the lens of narrative. Our next president is a great story-teller. "A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination." What must we do to continue it? For this is a story that must be continued.

I am not sanguine about the road ahead. Far from it. I am not a patriot. I am not a nationalist. I do not trust government or politicians.

But I believe in the power of a great story, the ability of a spectacular narrative to inspire and create. We all heard one last night. I hope we can use it to tell our own.
fictional: (palin master)
Oh, Canada. I envy you. When y'all have debates, they actually, you know, appear to be debates. Like (more than two!) people sitting around talking. It sounds nice...

In addition, hello Sen. Biden. Just about the time you zinged Gov. Palin about the Road to Nowhere, I forgave you for the Rave Act. What's more, [ profile] hofnarr did too, and that's saying something. You were great. Also, see what I did there? What's wrong with Mr. Biden? Mr. McCain? Why must we remove all civility and etiquette from this process? WHY? This isn't a barn raising. It's a presidential election. (Granted, the distinction is becoming less and less clear, and thanks for that, Republicans!) I also notice that despite the plethora of "Baracks" and "Johns" and "Joes" - there remained not one single Sarah. What, she's a woman, so gets to retain the courtesy of her title? WTF?

I thought Biden did an excellent job. Much of the time, it seemed like Sarah Palin wasn't even there. He had bigger fish to fry, and I think he fried them. I thought the notes on gay marriage were powerful, and incidentally I loved that he slipped first and called it marriage, when he first said he was for it, and only later in the answer amended it. That slip actually gave me hope, much like the part where he said they supported nuclear energy. It's sad that Dems. can't win an election talking about nuclear energy, because environmentalists (naive ones) hear nuclear, and go crazy. Anyway, those two moments really gave me hope that underneath all the pacifying rhetoric, the Obama/Biden ticket might... for lack of a better term, be on the side of the angels. Which is nice. Biden's affect in the gay marriage moment was great too. "Marriage is between you and your religious leader. If your pastor/rabbi/priest/mullah/holy kumquat won't marry you, I'm sorry but it's none of my business. But there's a justice of the peace who will. WHY ARE WE STILL TALKING ABOUT THIS AGAIN?" And it's so nice to know that Mrs. Palin tolerates me. And some of her best friends are gay. Thanks. That and two dollars'll get me on the subway. Also so disingenously saying that she & McCain won't take away rights that haven't been granted yet. Fuck you. Incidentally, have read several newspaper accounts of the whole thing, and got several different versions: Sen. Biden unequivocally endorsed gay rights; Gov. Palin didn't, vs. neither Sen. Biden nor Gov. Palin support gay marriage and all the varying permutations in between.

I also thought Palin bringing up Biden's wife was one of the tackiest things I've ever seen. Really charming there. But his slam at the end about single fathers - yeah, you don't get to play that card with this guy, Mrs. Palin.

I wish however, that re: healthcare, the Obama/Biden side would stop giving so many numbers. I mean, I like the numbers, but I already know who I'm voting for. Is it so hard to say: in McCain's tax plan, he wants to tax medical benefits. He wants to tax you when you have go to the hospital. I think that would give people pause.

In the end, Palin had five answers memorized, and insisted on giving them over and over, when they had nothing to do with the questions. (Nice zing to Katie Couric by the way, Mrs. Palin. That's it, blame the interviewer for the filter of showing you looking like an uneducated yokel. Nice!) Some news sites are calling this a draw, because she didn't fall on her face. This particular gauge of success is so alarming to me, I don't even know what to say, except that it's humiliating for both my country and gender. On the other hand, you'd think I'd be used to that by now.
fictional: (Default)
Warning: Ahead you will find, whinging, ranting, angst-which-should-be-teen-but-sadly-isn't, fury, sadness and moments of tres gothique, and also talk of racism. Approach with caution. You have been warned.

Deep Breath and traditional disclaimer: If you are white as, oddly, the majority of my flist (and indeed the majority of my friends) are - please attempt not to be offended. This is not directed at you. I am not angry at you. I am just full of rage [read: envy, fury, general distress] at the world, the universe, this country, the system - you name a large group with undefined boundaries, and I am probably hacked off at it.

So today I was chatting with a very dear friend, and she was telling me, incidentally, an airport story. As usually happens with airport stories, it involved frustration, travelling angst, and in this particular case, a misplaced ID and some tears. Luckily, the ID was found, all was well, the airport personnel were, for once, civil, and there was some talk of allowing her on the plane anyway, even without it. This was great for my friend, and is really not the point of this post at all, aside from the fact that it made me think about this stuff.

Here's the point. I am furious. And hurt. I remember the last time I freaked out at an airport - because I was hungover, and upset to be leaving a lover, and in tears, and generally a mess. I was walking through security with him - this was pre-9/11, remember, and I kept not remembering what pockets I had stuff in, where I'd put my ticket etc. Did airport personnel hand me a tissue? Did they just avoid eye-contact till I'd gotten my shit together? No. They did not. They sent me over to where they go over your bags with the drug sniffing machines, and did an extra deep search of all my luggage, while I snivelled all over myself, bewilderedly, and my lover whispered at me emphatically at me to 'get it together, damn it, before they decide to do a cavity search'. And you better believe it, that's the last time I ever freaked out at an airport. Which is good, because now they don't just search your bags for drugs - now they don't let you fly, they harass you, they hold you for indefinite periods of time, they 'misplace' your ticket, they strip search you, etc etc. You've heard all the horror stories.

Unless you're a white girl, apparently. Then it's bring out the hankies.

And yes, this has happened before. I remember being in a greyhound station where I was asked to produce three forms of ID, while my friend breezed through the same agent [who was not white herself, I might add] with a nod and smile. I know these people don't necessarily mean it. They're ignorant, possibly, or frightened possibly, or careless possibly. Or they've imbibed the same lessons of privilege we all have, possibly, and are not to be blamed. You know what, I don't give a shit. I also know that it's not always about that, right? I mean, why always pull the race card? Maybe sometimes, I'm just not as good. I mean, it wasn't racist when the guy who I was heartbreakingly in love with from seventh to eleventh grade went out with every single one of my female friends, but not me - he just thought I was ugly. And that had nothing to do with the fact that they were all Asian, or white, right? Nothing to do with colour. Maybe it did, maybe it didn't. Maybe I just wasn't to his taste. That's no crime, right? I mean look at my social circles - not too many people of color there. Or maybe I've swallowed it all too; the party line, everything. Or maybe not, you like who you like, right?

I don't have any answers, I just know that I am so tired of all this. I'm tired of how it hurts, every time. It hurts to walk down the street with friends and have people look through you, like you're an alien, or less than human. It hurts when you go to a restaurant, and all your friends get served, and you don't. It hurts to sit on the bus, and realise that all your friends are white, and you are always and forever marked and different. You want to be marked maybe, you take pride in being different, but you want it to be for yourself, something you did, something you are - not just the wrapping paper you happened to come in that you can never take off. You can't take a day off, ever, and sometimes, not always, but sometimes, you just want to lay down the fucking burden, let someone else carry it for a change.

And then I feel like maybe I'm just making a big deal out of nothing, after all, other people have it so much harder, so much worse, and yet it eats away at me, like some sort of corrosive acid. To look at people and wonder, what do they see, what do they really see when they look at me, Why do they look through me, Am I imagining it, Surely I'm not that paranoid, because it happens all the time, and I ignore it and ignore it, and pretend I don't see it, and then something happens, and it all gushes out in this kind of burning, ugly burst. It's so hard to explain.

I feel like a stranger in my skin. I look down at myself and get surprised sometimes because it just doesn't seem like the colour it should. It's that ingrained. It's like a little death sometimes. I want to feel proud of my heritage. Sometimes I even do. I think other people with my background can be, and often are beautiful. It's just that it feels all wrong. I hate feeling trapped in this skin, that just fills me with envy for other people, and their ease in the world. I sit uncomfortably in the world for a lot of reasons, most of which are under my control. But this one just wells up and overpowers me. There's no defense. There's just pain. I will be the first to admit that I'm a jealous person. And this just fuels the fires. I hate the fact that it is unjust and inescapable. It gnaws at me, from underneath. I don't often admit it, but it does.

We're all guilty in this, we're all complicit. "Everyone's a little bit racist" - I accept that, Ave. Q, I do. But can't it just go away for a second? I know about pride, it's a choice. But this is nothing I chose, ever. And I don't want to make a religion out of it, just because I happened to be born this way. It doesn't define me, and yet sometimes I wish it did. I'd be surrounded by similar faces, maybe, I'd fit, maybe. And yet I can't do it. It just isn't in me. Maybe I commit the same crime that I've just spent these few paragraphs talking about. And yet it makes me so angry. It makes me want to kick and scream, and just get the fuck out. Out of where? I don't even know.

I love whom I love, I like what I like. And mostly, when you put us together, you can always do the kid's game..."which one of these is different, and does not belong" -

and it's usually me.


fictional: (Default)

August 2009

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