Bleh

Jun. 19th, 2017 10:43 pm
kiya: (jade)
[personal profile] kiya
It would be nice to work, but mostly I'm too depressed to do much more than listlessly flip through my Steam library and conclude that nothing is worth playing.

Fuck my defective brain chemistry.

(Also it is too hot and even if I weren't depressed I would be unfunctional.)
kiya: (writing)
[personal profile] kiya

Mirrored from Kiya Nicoll.

When I write out of sequence things don’t always come out right and a lot of it is wasted work, but this bit was in my head so hard I had to write it down. And it’s wee, so I might as well post it as a maybe-teaser or something.

“You can get away with one thing outside of the expected,” said Constance, and then amended, with a slightly narrowed-eyed look at Margaret’s face, “maybe two, if you are lucky, and very, very skilled.” When it seemed there would be no immediate response, she gestured with the hand that was not holding the teacup. “Take a woman as a lover. Become a scientist. Marry a poor man you love rather than a rich man with prospects.” She grinned. “Become a beaconmaster in your own right, your own name. But you must pick one.”

Margaret frowned slightly. “But why?”

“Because one thing makes you eccentric, makes you curious, makes you interesting. It will make people gossip about you at parties, it will make people seek you out for your particular expertise and insight about some things.”

“But why only one?”

“Because with two, you will become scandalous; three, unsavoury; four, perverted. The further away from the expected you go, the more perilous it is. Consider [name].”

Margaret stared into her tea for a long moment. “All right,” she said.

Constance raised her eyebrows. “He liked to… push at social expectation in his art. Satire, cutting wit, the pursuit of pleasures as an aesthete. Sometimes to the extent that it pushed the scandalous, rather than the merely interesting. His feminine manner went the rest of the way to scandal for most, and into unsavoury for some. His choice in lovers….”

“Unsavoury,” said Margaret, quietly, “and some would say perverted.”

“Precisely,” said Constance.

Margaret swallowed and changed the subject. “What do you get away with, then, if you can only choose one or two things?”

Constance waited for her to meet her gaze, and said, “Being black.”

Moving party this weekend!

Jun. 15th, 2017 12:38 am
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
In a much more leisurely manner, belovedest and the boxes and the cat get to re-trace their pilgrimage.

It's been a super interesting day, yup.

A Woman of Wonders

Jun. 14th, 2017 02:44 pm
azurelunatic: Scissors cutting film. NaNoWriMo 2004 (Home Movies from the Cutting-Room Floor)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
For my birthday, I had a lovely Afternoon Out with my metamour -- sushi, pedicures, pastries and coffee, wandering around the mall.

We were then joined by my primary partner, and we had a three-party date to see Wonder Woman, which was fantastic. So much fun, lots of awesome women, and Chris Pine makes a great sidekick.

I am coming to Wonder Woman very late. (There's a very sad story somewhere in there, of what I think was a movie book for some female superhero, which was on the book racks in my 4th grade classroom. It looked interesting, so I picked it up to read. It would have been at most a 45 minute time investment. Unfortunately, the movie itself was apparently deeply uncool, and reading the large-format with-pictures book of the movie was even more dorky. Which some young dickheads in my class promptly noticed, and mocked me for. Which ended my brief interest in the idea of comics at all.)

Lynda Carter, the original Wonder Woman, came to talk at Virtual Hammer one day. It was an amazing experience, and an honor to be in the same room. Of particular note was the engineer standing up, clutching her Wonder Woman lunchbox, and tearfully thanking her for being a successful woman who looked like her; Wonder Woman had given her the strength as a little girl to follow her passions. (Upon seeing that, a nearby male engineer who had drawn one of the golden tickets surrendered it: it would have been an interchangeable experience for him, but a lifelong dream realized for her.)

I kind of took the movie in as huge globs of thick awesome: the island! the women! the training! OMG THE OUTSIDER! and went from there.

My partner was sitting in the middle, and as such was getting fed treats from either side, and getting whispers from either side. At a certain point, after there had been screen time for a particular character, I had a thought, and whispered it. "I fear it would be too subtle for [a large loud comic book franchise movie] if [SPOILER] were really [SPOILER]." My partner threw their head back and laughed, and agreed: probably too subtle.

WELP.


It's also amazing to have a superhero storyline with such a nice balance of fire and kindness. Wonder Woman is going to straight-up stab people. But she's going to see what else works, first. That's her whole concept. It's lovely.

The Girls Interrupting podcast had a little episode on the movie, and they talked about a thing from one of their favorite comics. Read more... )

In my own life, I aspire to be more like Wonder Woman, to extend a hand before straight-up stabbing -- but not waste time when it's actually clear that extending your hand is going to get it sliced off. And I think I've been falling behind on self-examination. I need to make more moments where it's just me. No matter how honest I am with my trusted friends, there's always the temptation to try to make myself look better than I know in my heart that I actually am. I can help solve that by narrowing the audience. I can widen it later if I like. It's scary to write down some of the things, but if I write them down, that means there's more room in my head for the important things. Kindness. Truth. The willingness to straight-up stab Nazis.

The Evolutions Of Hell

Jun. 14th, 2017 06:27 pm
kiya: (watcher)
[personal profile] kiya

Mirrored from Suns In Her Branches | Kiya Nicoll.

Thiess the Livonian Werewolf had a very straightforward Hell to invade: a physically accessible place, located beyond a watery passage to the underworld (which seems likely to me to be a survival of something related to the Slavic myths of Veles, in which the chthonic cattle-lord god is ruler of the waters, and who, post-Christianisation, was partially recast as a Devil figure). It contained stolen things – field fertility, cattle blessings, and so on – which could be retrieved for the good of the community. (And indeed the earlier court conflict which made Thiess’s werewolfing more known in his village seems to have raised his status, possibly because people recognised him as someone who would go to great lengths for the common good.) For all that it was framed in Christian terms, it was not theologised in a Christian form – it was a thieves’ den staffed by the enemies of God, not otherwise made more complex with matters of sin, punishment, or even damnation. The nuances of orthodox theology were lost on Thiess, who claimed not to understand them.

It is less clear in what I know of this narrative what the Devil’s sorcerers got out of their end of the deal. Access to the food and resources stolen from the collective, perhaps, or magical powers inaccessible to ordinary folk – presaging, perhaps, the capitalist-imperial model in which certain forms of wealth and power render one immune to consequences. A guess might be that the sorcerers wished to be removed from the risks of community – when the collective status rose or fell, they did not wish to be bound to the same fate as others, and would make whatever deals it took to protect themselves and their families.

It is quite likely that they felt that those stored-up supplies were rightfully theirs – after all, they worked to bring the grain to harvest as well. Crop failure wasn’t fair, and wouldn’t anyone do what it takes to stave off starvation? “You wouldn’t want to see my children waste away, would you?” they might say. Security, certainty, the preservation of life itself, those were worth a deal with the Devil, who was, after all, only building a granary.

Perhaps the werewolves seemed to them the one on the Devil’s side. “I’ve done everything I can to protect my own, and here come these thieves in the night. They steal cattle and tear them apart to fund their burglary, they venture into the granary I helped build, they take the seed that I helped put there….” You can see it, right?

Here’s the interesting trick to it: regardless of whether or not I would place each of those people among the Devil’s partisans, all of them are opposed to this theological concept of Hell, this place into which the essentialities of life vanish and leave people bereft. For the most part, people have worked to close the gates of the Hell that they understand. Some may do it out of concern for whole communities, a more expansive care; others may do it to secure a better place for themselves, their families, because being able to provide for others gives them status and security, or whatever else. But the Devil’s party and those who steal back from them, whichever political faction one aligns with them, are agreed that their communities need food and there must be mechanisms to attain that end.

Hold that thought. (And I’m going to put a cut there, because this is going to get gigantic, I can already tell.)

Read the rest of this entry »

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