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[sticky post] 6th Apr, 2013

Am I chasing rainbows, or am I killing time?

Semi-flocked. Just add -- I'll notice. (If your journal doesn't make it obvious that you are fannish, please comment tho.)

Oh Comely

Earlier this month at the My Life Story gig, their bassist tried to give away his bass to me at the end of the set. I thought that's surely as good as it gets.

 

But then Jeff Mangum happened. All of Elephant 6 happened, Scott Spillane, Julian Koster, ALL OF THEM. JEFFF MANGUMMM!!! Jeff.

 

I mean, it's pretty much like I walked with Jesus on the weekend you guys, do you understand that?!

 

God is a place where some holy spectacle lies

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Porto/Oporto/port-drinking


Greetings from five days in Portugal. Sucks to be back in London!

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8th Feb, 2012

Just gotta say.

The fact that one Mr Grimshaw tweeted 'Channel 4...shut up!' at the exact moment said Channel 4 was broadcasting one of its grating 4thought.tv spots, this one featuring a CoE minister complaining that 'marriage must not be redefined to suit the wants and desires of the homosexual community'...? Well, it warmed my jaded and resigned heart a little.

Aw :)

7th Feb, 2012


So apparently I ship John Watson/Sebastian Moran now, for a post-Reichenbach world...?

And I'm okay with that.

Clearly what I get for reading ACD for the first time and transmuting it all to the familiar hues of BBC-verse in my head.

(Honestly, no points for painting myself into a ridiculous rarepair corner [again] though...!)

Dear The Internet:

Uhh, no Sherlock vid(s) to Bloc Party's Positive Tension yet??

Honestly, what the hell are you wasting your time with?! It's been a week. Sort this out.

Yours,
Fan with cinematic imagination but no editing software.

This entry was originally posted at http://comeoutcomeout.dreamwidth.org/121660.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Solitude sometimes is

Och när du vaknat har vi kommit fram, fram till Köpenhamn :) Yes, flying out to Copenhagen tomorrow for orphans' Christmas, and visiting Malmö for my birthday wa-hey :D

--

Do you know what I genuinely like on Tumblr? Seeing people half my age realise for the first time that, yes, Stu being just a bit obsessed-cum-in-love with Billy is a relevant and important part of the character development in the original Scream, legit ;)



--

Are there any Manics fans on my flist? I just need to know you're out there sometimes, getting it. That we're a part of this big, special thing together, and always more of us than I expect. Beautiful, infuriating, old, eternal, incomprehensible, perfect thing. (A post to cement last weekend's National Treasures gig in my memory another time.)

--

Oh yeah, forgot.

Merry Christmas, freaks.

Fullaste flickan i värden

That awkward moment when you're using your second language, and you try to say you're living life to the fullest, but you actually say you're living life to the drunkest, because...bloody Norwegian homonymy!

 

Yeah. That. >_<

mɪdˈwɪfəri

So, we've been thinking a lot lately about ~the future~, and that it doesn't really look like it's going to entail living in Europe beyond probably a year or two -- maybe four at the absolute most.

We both just find the UK quite unrewarding. You work hard and earn pittance for it, you're taxed through the roof but the level of social provision and care is kinda abysmal. It's just...pointless. I could afford to do significantly more European travel each year while I was working in a sandwich bar in Australia than I can *now*, working a proper office job IN EUROPE! Not even kidding. Ridic... :\

I've made it through denial, anger, bargaining and depression, I think, with the fact that I'll never live in a Nordic country. At least not til I retire, maybe. I'm at the acceptance stage now. But I feel that if I give up on this UK Ancestry route to EU citizenship that I'm currently on, I won't feel comfortable until I have some other route up my sleeve for possible immigration. Y'know, just in case...

Which means, I need an education and a profession.

And so I started thinking.

Now I don't have the patience to be a teacher, or to study med or law, not clever enough for engineering, not interested in commerce, and we all know Arts degrees are generally useless (I've already dropped out of two!) I've hated essay-writing ever since high school, where I graduated with good grades in four sciences and the requisite bare minimum of one humanity, so that should have probably told me something long ago.

Hence I came up with the crazy idea of...midwifery!

(Honestly, it's even a fucking brilliant word! mɪdˈwɪfəri.)

Practical, sciencey, indulges my girly side with helping people and cute babies while catering to my queer side of not really fancying getting pregnant and birthing one of the little critters myself. Always in demand, pays sufficiently, though seems to be a chronically overworked and understaffed field in most countries.

There are a couple unis back home that do four year double degrees in Nursing & Midwifery, which seems the best option in terms of employability and transferability. Though you can do just plain Midwifery at some too.

But, HOW DO I FIND OUT IF I'M CUT OUT FOR A NURSING CAREER??

Pros
I has a science brain!
I'm a bit of a perfectionist/don't like being wrong -- which could be a con I s'pose, but would probably make me a diligent healthcare person in the end.
I'm totally okay with being yelled at by angry customers. (I work in insurance claims!)
I can handle everything depending on me, and when it all goes tits up anyway I can handle sorting it out. (Used to work in IT...)
I'm very patient with cross-cultural communication, and I like it, and I'm good at it.
No problem with blood, guts, pus or general gore. Mostly indifferent to piss and shit, I think.

Cons
I have a history of being terribly flightly when it comes to university... And I haven't studied in years, and these programs look full on.
I get impatient with stoopid people sometimes :(
I am kinda crap at being decisive. It stresses me out.
Old people make me a bit uncomfortable. Particularly sick ones. Not a big fan of ageing in general...
Not so sure about vomit, or gross smells.


So, tl;dr, put a dot in a circle for me.

Poll #1779086 Edumacation

Would I succeed at a BSc Nursing/BSc Midwifery double degree?

Yes, anything's possible
4(80.0%)
No, you'll be 30+ by the time you start this, grow up
0(0.0%)
You should only do the Nursing bit
0(0.0%)
You should only do the Midwifery bit
0(0.0%)
There's something else you should know, and I'mm'a tell you in a comment
1(20.0%)

1st Sep, 2011

Funny that I dump LJ for six weeks -- save for a drive-by sook where I just want to kill myself and take everyone with me -- and somehow manage to collect two charming reciprocal friendings, in the shape of the eloquent and interesting verbs_not_nouns and the irrepressibly awesome filamentmag.

So perhaps I ought to try to engage with this platform again?

I am home with crappy manflu today, as I was yesterday as well, and have been sick with ever since getting back from Sweden. I am calling this Gothenburg Syndrome, under the premise that whenever I am forced to remove myself from Gothenburg my body must decide life simply isn't worth living anywhere else *melodrama!swoon*... I do love Gothenburg tho. It's the actual most perfect place on the whole darn Earth. Almost all the best bands, canals, trams, the epic Museum of World Culture, Liseberg's awesome coasters, Film i Väst up the road...and with a healthy little dose of tragic small-town-ness that keeps you wanting and just a little bit restless.



Other than Ggb...

We saw Pulp last night. Again. I was so sick I actually fainted and collapsed before they'd even came on, so we ended up having to forsake our barrier spot, but we watched from the disable section, and fuck, how good are Pulp?!!! <3

And last week Jason Webley with Thomas Truax; it's reasons like them I came to London. Special, special gig indeed.

Oh and The Kominas. The Kominas should be one of those new bands on *everyone's* radar, not just mine. A post-9/11 Clash meets Dead Kennedys through a Bollywood filter. (Pakistan's history of rocknroll, who knew it was so long and illustrious?!)

...

My wifey's shop where she works was being renovated last week, and apparently they found a stash of old gay porn under the floorboards. HER BOSS SENT HOME A GENUINE TOM OF FINLAND COMIC BOOK TO ME! Early or mid 70s, we think. Completely amazing :D

...

We're gonna be home in Oz in three-and-a-half weeks, fffffffffffuuuuuuuuu :\ So stressful.

agnostostheos, you wanna go to Cellar Door some evening next week? Or whenever you're not in Spain? You're in Spain a lot...!

You're ALL in Spain a lot, actually!
Var på Sjømannskirken i går kveld.

Ikke egentlig religiøs, jeg, men...jeg visste ikke hvor jeg ellers skulle gå.

Satt og gråt. Tente et lys.

Så mye sorg. Og sinne.

Det som har skjedd er...ubegriplig. Helt ubegriplig.

Norge, dere har vært utrolig modige. Har vært ekstraordinære. Hele verden ser på blomsterhavene, rosetogene, og vi...finner ikke ord.

Vi har så mye å lære av dere.

Og så mer enn sorg, mer enn sinne, har jeg bare så så så uendelig mye kjærlighet for det norske folket.

Now and forever, som vi sier.



Bilde fra Sydney, Australia

17th Jul, 2011

Still can't believe how kinda exciting it is to be watching hackgate/omnigate/MURDOCHALYPSE unfold before our very eyes. You can imagine that as someone with an inner politics!nerd *and* a mass media!nerd I'm basically falling all over myself with the awesome of this one :)

Really, REALLY need to make a post about Nadine Dorries being a dangerous crazybitch soon, but...

...to be honest coming on LJ these days is just really difficult. Five weeks today since I last heard from her, and I feel that - as far as unexplained absences go - that's gotta be about the point where my excuses start wearing thin and I can only think that whatever's happened ain't great :\

Though it seems I am prone to having these surprise insta-friendships burn bright and fade fast (hello GC, hello JME), so I s'pose I should be used to it. What can you do, right?

(I'm sure I will be told shortly that entitlement isn't sexy and my overreacting was just daft...I'm sure...)

...

I just watched Four Lions. That's a fvcking dreadful film! A couple of stunning moments of dark black comedy that made my eyes sting with their bleakness, and then...98% eye-poppingly offensive hipster racism??! How the mighty have fallen, Chris Morris?? Seriously, wtf :\

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Dear Richard Dawkins

When I see a man approach and I cast down my eyes
I’m not laying down a hand, I’m not looking for a prize
It’s just a force of habit, this avoiding the male glance
Cos it isn’t worth the trouble and it isn’t worth the chance
Of them thinking that you’re actively ‘giving them the eye’
And not simply acknowledging a fellow passer-by
And no, I don’t know what they’re thinking, but I know what men have THOUGHT
And I live by my experiences and the lessons I’ve been taught
In a society where one such glance could put me in great danger
I’d rather look down at the floor than smile at a stranger
And in this tragedy of modern times where every man’s a threat
And every woman on her own is clearly ‘asking for it’
I fight and fight and fucking FIGHT to keep my head held high
So if I’m not catching your glances I’ll be looking at the SKY
And I’ve seen the way things could be and I’ve seen the way things are
And there’s nothing nice or wholesome about murder, rape, or war
And there’s absolutely nothing fair about the lack of equal pay
Or the fact that thousands of women are assaulted EVERY DAY
And that’s what’s running through my mind as I walk down the street
So don’t judge me if I look away...
And if our eyes SHOULD meet...
Just ask yourself how you would feel before you turn to shout
If you were always half-afraid of men when you went out
And ask yourself how you would feel if every single day
When you went to your wardrobe or you walked a certain way
You had to wonder what a judge would say about your skirt
And whether if you wear those heels you’re asking to get hurt
And whether you should have a drink or stick with lemonade
Because you know how many women every minute are betrayed
By someone they thought they could trust, or who they have just met
And whether you can go outside and smoke a cigarette
Without dealing with the ‘banter’ from the usual drunk lout
And whether you’ll need the alarm in the handbag you brought out
And whether you should call a friend to walk the journey home
Because you know you’re vulnerable when you’re walking alone
So if you see me in the street, don’t ask me for a smile
And don’t assume I dress for you or appreciate your vile
Assertion of ownership on a body that’s my own
When all I really want to do is make it safely home
Cos I’m already fighting to be here in the first place
Without having to worry about a smile upon my face
So don’t attempt to hit on me with chauvinistic bile
And before you comment on my shoes
TRY WALKING IN THEM FOR A MILE


http://slutmeansspeakup.org.uk/post/6485102993

'S fhada bho nach fhaca mi thu...



(Tell your friends and loved ones what they mean to you, everyone. I’m mostly off-LJ for the time being. There’s a noted absence that’s starting to scare me.)

Visst är livet underbart

Today: Tennant and Tate in Much Ado
Tomorrow: A fine ev'ning with agnostostheos
Friday: F'Lips
Saturday: Pride
Sunday: Pulp

Next week: Return to regular lamentations. We have to go home in three months - more dealing with the UKBA. We have to give up our flat - everything goes into storage. We had to get a bank loan. I'm gonna be retrenched in March.

Baby girls in India are undergoing surgical sex reassignment because greedy parents think it will get them out of having to offer a dowry with a daughter. People are SCUM.

And where the fuck did paintingfire go? :\

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.

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That's the universal truth of punk

New favourite Mountain Goats cover? Quite possibly, very definitely quite possibly.

Also, Mr Peter Hughes, rock that hot-ass beard more often!! XD


the Mountain Goats cover Boxcar by Jawbreaker


Turnin' that shit up and putting it on repeat, yessir. <33333

.

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Outsider outsiders

Got my copy of The Taqwacores book at the weekend.

I believe I asked in January to be reminded to come back and tell you all about The Taqwacores at some point, and what do you know? -- masha 'Allah -- here I am.

I saw the feature film of this story last October at LFF; still have the ticket stub in my wallet. I remember noting as we walked out that it was probably the best punk film there's been since about 1986. A true punk film, with all the accessibility of a brick wall, but that says something to you all the same, that nobody went into it expecting.


Basically a white American convert to Islam, Michael Muhammad Knight, wrote a novel about what a North American Muslim punk scene might be like, if one existed. He called his invented movement 'taqwacore', and made up a bunch of bands, and told a story about a Muslim sharehouse inhabited by riot grrrls, LA punks, Oi!s, straightedgers, pot smokers and tweakers, a host of passers-thru (cue your queers and cross-dressers, as well as your scary fundy skinheads...), all practising Muslims, and our narrator Yusef -- perhaps the stereotypical Muslim student, 'studying Engineering because his parents told him to' -- on a weird journey to discover what both punk *and* Islam might actually mean.

(The crazy thing that happened with this book is that, after the initial manuscript was 'published' [photocopied and spiral-bound] and distributed from the carpark of the author's local mosque, an *actual* taqwacore scene happened!


But that's a whole other story.)

Anyway, to the film, and to the book. Both are exceptional feats, seemingly too dense to penetrate when you start out (both are littered with Arabic phrases and Islamic customs [the book at least has a glossary!]), but you can't fight the fact that it draws you in regardless. The film is very adept at conveying *my* belief that punk music's only ever really existed for people who genuinely need it to exist -- at least as a white Western viewer, even with my strong punk affinity, I do feel like a confused outsider watching it, but that's kinda the point: it's not *for* me. But then in the end it is for me, very much so, coz I love these people for their humanity and their desperation and their fuck-ups, and I relate -- even if not to the Muslim specifics -- to the fact the sometimes shit just doesn't make any fucking sense, and sometimes you need to rail against that, but sometimes you just can't any more, and sometimes it doesn't matter anyway.

The characters are great because they're as confused and sad and alone at times as they are cocky and hilarious and endearing at others. They get up to an awful lot of narcissism, nihilism, and general shit-stirring [tis punk, after all], but it usually makes sense when you get to view it through another more-initiated character's eyes -- everyone's just bein' their own cleric really, reverent to the Sacred but fighting a handed-down conservatism they simply can't abide because the hypocrisy is just too great in the context of the way their modern world works. There's a fine line, but this tale manages to walk it just on the right side of 'purpose'.

I have a massive intellectual crush on Rabeya, the burqa-clad rad fem riotgrrrl, to be sure. She is honestly one of the coolest female characters I've seen in a long time.

Read more...Collapse )

And probably Jehangir too, the 'Punjabi Tim Armstrong'. (Also, fuckin' love his name! It's beautiful.)

Read more...Collapse )

And there's the minor character Lynn, a white American semi-lapsed-convert from a Catholic background, who pops up every now and then as a bit of a conduit for the non-Muslim readers/viewers, perhaps a reminder that it's okay -- even expected -- to really want to call some of the religious crap out at times, or just not get it... But as these kids innovate their religion to suit them and their time and place, you really do start to understand why they all still choose to persist.

Read more...Collapse )

INTERESTINGLY...all three of the above passages are censored in the UK 2007 edition of the book, which incidentally came out just after the Danish cartoons drama. Jehangir's rant is cut entirely, Lynn's riffing on the Prophet is gone, and quite a bit of what Rabeya comes out with through the whole thing is watered down. In fact, this page which lists most of the censored passages [no significant plot spoilers] perhaps says a lot about how intense and amazing -- and yes, how punk -- this story really is. Great blog post from the author about the censorship too, in particular the silencing of Rabeya.

For the record, the film leaves all three of the above scenes in, pretty much verbatim. They're pretty fucking important, tbh.

The film is kinda hard to come by, so drop a comment and I'll try to PM you a link if you're interested, because it's so very worth seeing.

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Problematic portrayals of innocence

This post is made in remembrance of Minotaur: God’s gift to curious slashers everywhere :)

Disclaimer: Don't feel too singled out if this sounds familiar to you. I wouldn't be meta-ing on it if it didn't happen in more fandoms than it should.


This is such a massive peeve with me; it makes me want to vomit a bit. And it has nothing to do with who people do and don't choose to write as 'innocent', because fandoms will always have their ukes. What it has everything to do with is the horrendous prejudices this kind of ill-considered, even ill-informed, writing is prone to reinforcing.

If you have a pairing, and you write one of them as in any way experienced in same-sex sex, they are understood as gay or bi without a history needing to be spelt out. This reading makes sense, because this is our cultural understanding of human sexual behaviour.

If you then write the other partner as virginal/highly inexperienced, it is in no way a significant leap to have this character understood as straight. Yes, this is a product of heteronormativity, but this is the world we live in, these are the values of the dominant culture, this is reality. Anyone without a personal history of sexual expression to demonstrate otherwise is 'straight until proven guilty', as it were.

This in itself is not ~so much of a problem, and this sort of 'awakening' trope is a staple of more first-time stories than you can shake a stick at.

The problem is when experienced = seducer = dominant = top. If you seduce someone who's cast as innocent, if you physically or emotionally dominate someone who's cast as younger/smaller/weaker or just probably not knowing any better, if you top someone who's a virgin and therefore almost certain to feel some level of pain, this can very easily make you look like a predator.* Experience becomes a predatory trait. In the most distilled terms, gay/bi people = predators.

This is bad enough, but let me spell it out a bit more, Daily Mail-stylee. Virginity is so tied up in cultural stereotypes that I shouldn't even need to name any, but play the word association game and see if you don't come up with mostly the same ones I do: virgin, innocent, child-like, fragile, pure, GOOD. I don't know how you feel about this, but when I read between the lines in some slash stories and effectively learn that queers prey on children, that queer sexualities are the enemy of the 'good'...? I want to punch things. Extremely hard.

No, it is not our fault that these sorts of shared cultural understandings exist, or that they are almost all highly patricentric and thus offensive by their very nature. But when we write, I believe we do have an obligation to be aware of the cultural context in which our stories will exist, and to do our best not to carelessly reinforce nasty prejudices.

If, as women of all sexualities, we are going to take the gay male [or female] experience and mould it to suit our needs in slash, I'm pretty sure we owe it back to the greater queer community to examine our own thought processes and look twice at what we're really saying sometimes. YMMV, but to me this is not an issue of a writer's freedom of expression, when that expression is used to marginalise and oppress any other living, breathing human beings we share this Earth with. No one is entitled to the freedom to do that.


* Because I'm not all about the negative, here is my potted guide to easy ways to not look like an eedjit when writing these kinds of situations:

Inexperience -- give the virgin a voice. It goes a long way to build and show trust in a relationship if you let the inexperienced character express openly any concerns, or indeed their bubbling excitement :D, or even have the experienced character take a moment to show some regard and understanding for whatever the virgin's situation may be. Or if you want, play a card from third wave feminism and replace a virgin's fears with straight-up shameless enthusiasm.

Submission -- give the sub some agency! Allow them to actively choose to fill this role [in the bedroom/in the relationship], and let them get some emotional pleasure or intellectual stimulation from it.

Bottoming -- in all non-rape contexts, but especially virginity, give the bottom some control. I can assure you that it is actually 99% standard for bottoms to be in control of anal intercourse because their risk of pain or serious injury is a lot greater. Setting the pace of the sex act does not mean you can't still be submissive within the whole sex scene, just fyi there. And you know what, a lot of gay sex newbies top before they bottom for the exact reason that topping is both safer and easier for them.**


** Also, Sexual Relationship Dynamics 101: Top/bottom/versatile is NOT commensurate with Dom/sub/switch. Don’t believe the hype.



(Peace out. I've got a date with Question Time. It's gonna be epic.)

I COULD REALLY USE THAT DRINK NOW.

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Because we've had enough

This. This so much.

Text of a fantastic speech by Jaclyn Friedman from the Boston SlutWalk, so fucking read it, okay?

Transcript under the cut for the link-averse...Collapse )

Victim-blaming is a fucked-up-beyond-belief culture, and slut-shaming is a most insidious prejudice, and even female-dominated spaces are too often crawling with these, and it's time for that shit to stop.

"Slut" or ally, check your local listings and join an event.

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