Today was a good writing day and I have completed the first draft of my femslashex assignment pretty much on schedule. I'm pleased with it right now but let's see how I feel about it in two-three days when I reread it.
My wordpress blog is now linked from the sidebar, alongside my AO3 and Tumblr.
I do still intend to blog about things of a bit more substance, but as it's getting rather late and I haven't yet had dinner, that will have to wait for later this week.
I don't know if it's the fault of White America for making blacks feel less than human (and if it is, I'm white, so let me apologize for our entire, ongoing, twisted culture that might make anyone feel that way) but I've become troubled recently by blacks depersonalizing themselves in describing how White America treats them because I think they hurt themselves by making it an issue they cannot speak about with any emotion. As though they're still human. Which I think they very much still are.
I won't quote anyone directly - as in, word-for-word - but you can read almost anything Ta-Nehisi Coates has written on police brutality this summer to get a feeling for what I mean. It boils down to a line something like this to summarize hundreds of years of abuse, neglect, mistreatment, humiliation, and tiredness at the hands of whites treating them as The Other:
They are abusing our bodies. Disrespecting our bodies. Showing little regard for black bodies.
Whenever I see it put this way, I feel like I'm reading about people who are already dead.
This is like Munchhausen Syndrome by Proxy. When treated like an other long enough, perhaps unwittingly one can completely disconnect the soul from, you guessed it...the body. I want to fucking get out a red pencil every time I see it. And it's not just TNC. He's been the primary offender (not that I find it "offensive"; I see it speaks to the deeply troubled, utterly bone-chilling, oft-times depressing realities of black life, so it's more that the words punch me as hard as they do because they come without a hint of emotion. 'Our bodies are disrespected.' It's like your soul wasn't tormented out of you first to make you feel that way - yet that's exactly what these words seem to prove).
I don't know if this is a case of some black writers too-readily relinquishing their souls or proof that a good writer can simply make you feel as if they already have, but what sticks with me is exactly what they write, that their bodies are vulnerable. Bodies are by nature vulnerable. But what about the soul? It's an outrage when someone hurts, abuses, or disrespects any of the life within your body, but sometimes I think what our society does is to inflict the one wound that can't ever heal - the one that lacerates and permanently scars your heart.
I began thinking about this recently in tandem with a different topic, that of rape. Intersectionality abounds. To me one can draw a line directly from blacks writing of the mistreatment of their bodies straight to anyone who's ever been raped saying the same thing. How is anyone reading a rape described along such parallels supposed to react? What is the author's hoped-for takeaway?
The rapist disrespects the body. Rapists disrespect our bodies. All rapists disrespect bodies.
Then I try to put those words into the context of being raped. So it's my body that really matters, if I'm to follow the TNC example of explaining what's wrong with the rapist's brutality. I should be unemotionally complaining about the disrespect visited upon my body. Yes, it makes for very good, quite chilling, utterly succinct rose. The raped body has been grossly violated. And depending upon the severity of what happened during that violation it either will recover or will not, will be OK again or will suffer and die from the injuries and disease visited upon it. That is a horror and tragedy. But the heck with my body for a second - what about my mind?
What has the rapist taken away from my trust, sanity, perceived safety, sense of peace, prosperity, health and hope for the future that can never be replaced nor recovered, that cannot be healed from within or without? Ultimately a body is something we can and ultimately will have to dispense with. Our minds, on the other hand, are not going anywhere - ever. I'd rather we talk about that.
I don't normally post short Twitter-like status updates but this thought will not leave, though it's a tad too long for a Twitter-like blurb. I've seen it come up repeatedly where some male yoo-ha, after a rape performed by him or his buddy, or both, tells them or the rape victim: "Why press charges/take me to court/testify/have me/us prosecuted? I/they can't unrape you/her."
It's bothered me. I first saw it by someone quoted online, a typical sophomoric college dude who was being OH SO ENLIGHTENED in saying so. Then I saw it used in pretty much the same context by someone else oh so proud not only of his rapework, but of the humor and clarity he was bringing to it by pronouncing the victim unrape-able (yeah, I know, in this context being unrape-able is obviously not what the normal person might expect).
Finally, in trying to drift off to sleep the other night, the perfect answer came to me. People can't be unraped? Fine. They also can't be unkilled, so the same cops, judges and buddies who chortle along as you laugh about the unfixableness of the victim's situation better keep chortling should anyone finally get you back for it. Laws? Why, we've got those for rape, too, but if using the law can't unrape someone then how silly we're all being, lol.
ETA: After posting this, it occurred to me I shouldn't be so shocked by the rapist's POV as to begin advocating for a more anarchic solution, as this post at least jokingly seems to suggest, because if someone was callous, heartless and disrespectful enough to rape someone to begin with, then of course they're going to be callous, heartless and disrespectful enough to joke around and make totally light of it afterward. Sometimes I need to just grow a thicker skin, I guess. I guess?
And, (here comes my de riguer 'No one's being excluded intentionally' disclaimer) just to be clear, I'm not trying to ignore that men also get raped nor that women also sometimes are the rapists. I'm only speaking to the exact context in which I saw these comments made, which was men joking about their about-to-be-tried cases of having already raped women.
Castle Panic is a collaborative board game for 1-6 players. Rather than have the players against each other, players work together to try to beat the game itself.
The game is divided into three arcs: a blue arc, a red arc, and a green arc. Each arc is further divided by three zones, which are targeted by swordsmen, knights, or archers. The bad guys are trolls, orcs, and goblins which come out of the forest and attack the castle in the middle of the board.
Every turn, the active player will draw cards, and then trade a card with another person to better their chances of fighting off the bad guys. Each monster has a set amount of hit points. Attacking a monster knocks down the hit points by one. This is shown by turning the monster's piece so that the current number of hit points is pointing towards the castle. A card can only attack a monster in its specific color arc and zone. For example, a red archer can only attack monsters who are in the red archer zone. Hero cards can attack monsters in any of the three zones in their color. At the end of the turn, the monsters are advanced one zone, and two new monster tokens are placed on the board. A die is rolled to determine which zone the new monsters start out in.
Not all monster tokens contain monsters. Some instruct you to discard cards, draw more monster tokens, or move the monster tokens on the board. There are also four boss tokens which have special powers. For example, a Healer token makes all monster tokens on the board regain 1 hit point.
There are also a variety of cards including the knights, archers, swordsmen and heroes. Some cards let you draw more cards from the deck, or scavenge the discard pile. A Tar card will stop a monster from advancing for 1 turn.
The castle is surrounded by walls, which can kill off monsters with 1 hit point remaining. The wall is removed from the board afterwards. Players can rebuild a wall by playing both a brick card and a mortar card.
The game is won if at least one tower is left standing at the end of the game.
Castle Panic was featured on Tabletop. You can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpuTGWF
Mom was playing the Symphonic Suite at dinner the other night, and asked if there's any concerts coming up. So I checked after dinner, and sure enough, Distant Worlds is coming back to Chicago on December 26th. So we'll be going, yay!
I also made a CD of Final Fantasy songs with lyrics in them. It is SO GOOD and I've listened to it a bunch already. Here are the songs, with YouTube links:
1) The Prelude. I don't know the lyrics to this one, but I wanted something to represent FF1 & 2, and this fits! Plus, it's pretty.
2) The Breeze, from Final Fantasy III.
3) Tsuki no Akari, from Final Fantasy IV DS.
4) Home, Sweet Home from Final Fantasy V
5) Maria & Draco from Final Fantasy VI. I would love to know who decided there should be an opera in the middle of the game. It works pretty darn well with the plot, plus it's so epic, even in its digitized voices. This version is from the Distant Worlds CD.
6) Why, from Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII. I could have chosen One-Winged Angel instead, but (a) I'm rather sick of that song, and (b) "Why" fits in better with the rest of the tracks.
7) Eyes on Me, from Final Fantasy VIII. Frankly, I'm getting a little tired of this one, too, but it's still a lovely song, and deserved a place on the list.
8) Melodies of Life, from Final Fantasy IX. It was a no-brainer to choose the English version of the song, because I love it.
9) Suteki da Ne, from Final Fantasy X. I was torn between the English and Japanese versions. If I had room on the disc, I'd have both. But I only had room for one. Although I don't like some of the phrasing on the English version, I eventually went with it because I know the lyrics better than the Japanese version.
10) Memoria de la Stono/Distant Worlds from Final Fantasy XI
11) Kiss Me Goodbye, from Final Fantasy XII. I love this song. I hadn't heard it in a while, and got chills when listening to it. I don't know why; it's certainly not profound or anything. It's a simple song. But it's SO GOOD.
12) Kimi ga Irukara, from Final Fantasy XIII. I don't like "My Hands" (the ending song in the English game) very much, so I went with the ending song from the Japanese game instead.
13) Answers, from Final Fantasy XIV. It's such a powerful song.
(Victoria Winters and Angelique are out, as neither appeared in the film.)
I don't have a lot of bad dreams. When I do, I don't usually write about them. But this one sort of freaked me out.
This morning I dreampt I was sitting in a large station wagon with two bench seats as well as a driver and a passenger seat. I was on the back bench to the right of the driver's seat looking out the window over a parking lot onto an overcast midday scene such as you might see in front of any typical mall. Apparently I was waiting for someone to return to the vehicle (which, btw, I have never seen or sat inside of before; I didn't recognize the mall-like parking lot I was absently studying, either).
Suddenly the station wagon was moving. It was parked nose-out and made a quick right out of the space it was in down into the parking lot toward the store closest to where it was parked. For a few seconds nothing registered; the wagon was moving, as it should be, and that was all. Then it hit me: the engine's not running, but this vehicle's hauling ass. I looked out the front windshield and there was a lady, in her youngish twenties, with dark hair and a grey cardigan, walking toward it, completely oblivious to the fact that the station wagon I was in was about to hit and possibly kill her. The keys were not in the vehicle (they must have been with the person in the mall).
The station wagon - with me inside helplessly flailing about for any clue on how to make it stop - continued to barrel toward her at, I'd say, at least 30 miles per hour. The engine still wasn't running (a fact I could not believe) so the only thing I could hear was wheels turning and gravel. So I panicked, ran across the vehicle, grabbed the wheel, and still standing up, bent over it, cut it to the left as hard and fast as I could, but it moved freely and began plunging into a huge shiny black SUV that was parked to the immediate left of the lady approaching me. I missed hitting her by no more than five feet. If I got killed trying to save her by driving the wagon into the SUV I'll never know, because that's when I woke up.
I don't know why it bothers me so much. On a scale of 1-Just Fuck Me, with Just Fuck Me the nightmare that makes me want to stab my eyes out with little pointy things, it was no more than a 4. Not to mention it made me suddenly appreciate how real life vehicles don't normally go all Christine on us, how they normally need (human-enabled) engine power to charge out of their own parking spots, steer like automatic transmission is already engaged, and so on. Maybe I'm really just afraid of self-driving cars.
Of course, it never occurred to me to simply hit the brake...our hero, indeed!
About four years and three months ago, I posted an article to Anti-AOL titled Wow, Internet: hi. Yes indeed: AOL’s Classic home page is gone again. You'd think from this title that one could at least gather: something went missing and some two-bit blogger like me thought enough of the missing thing to write about it. If the title wasn't enough of a clue, there are also these words I wrote in extra-big fonts under the title that form thoughts like these:
If you know where the damn page is this time, let us know – leave a comment!
Missing in action: an entire AOL home page. Whoops!
These bigger words negate the need to even read the littler words to gather more clues because the bigger words explain the problem. But as it turns out, either I did not explain it clearly enough or else someone has a major case of OCD and is ignoring the fact that I long ago explained it clearly enough, all in her overwhelming desire to hunt down the missing thing.
The missing thing, to be clear, in case all the big and little words I wrote over four years and three months ago did not explain it clearly enough, is that an entire AOL home page design (not the page itself; just the design) is missing. And is probably never coming back.
But don't tell Barbara! Barbara believes; there is nothing can stand between her and the idea that she'll find something that literally no longer exists except in the dreams of her and 32 other lost souls who looked for the motherfreaking Classic AOL home page just today (yet another reason I try not to look too hard at my stats).
Yes, for the last four years and three months I've been plagued by people like Barabara overrunning my blog to find a single lost design for a single home page belonging to a single web company that no one but these people seems to give a flying crap about anymore. Welcome to my world! Again.
Take a break, Barbara. Seriously. It's been over four years. Just chill, for Christ's sake.