srukle: (house tired)
[personal profile] srukle
I had this thought while watching a bunch of House M.D. today. What would it mean to call House a working class hero?

I first was introduced to the concept of the working class hero from a friend in one of my Computer Science classes. He said that all his heroes are working class heroes. It's actually a thing -- even Green Day has a song about the working class hero. Yet what does it mean to be a working class hero? The myth comes from the notion that one can achieve anything through hard work regardless of relations or personal ethical code. Greg House from House M.D. is the ideal model.

From one episode to the next, House topples obstacles with his sheer willpower and talent regardless how poorly he treats people, how disordered his life is, and how he constantly cuts corners and breaks rules. The writers depict a compelling character -- dependent on his prescriptions and his reputation, vulnerable to nothing other than perhaps an obsessive detective who reminds the literate of Victor Hugo's Inspector Javert. House is hardworking. We know this because that's all he does -- work. Few times the audience catch him lounging -- but this is a facade. He's actually thinking. Always thinking about his work. And it works. If it works -- we forgive House of all his vices.

But should we forgive? Well -- if he does well, why not, right? But if Wilson were to have such vices -- we'd find it off-putting, because Dr. Wilson doesn't get everything quite right as House does. Even when House is wrong -- he's normally right, if he's not detoxing. Because you see, House is just better, and he needs to be dependent on those prescriptions to do well.

Despite his "good" qualities -- of saving lives and what-not -- House needs space to glow and expand. Because if he weren't able to -- no one would save those poor people. But do we know that's the case?

What would happen if House didn't have his special department? He may have more patients, less time to dedicate so much time towards each individual, and would be punished for his dependency. He wouldn't have a team to run three different tests at once, and he'd be stuck picking one test and trying it. If he didn't pick the right test, he'd still have to do the two others before he could rule them out as he so often does. But let's say that not all doctors operate this way. Instead he just goes with a diagnosis and runs with it. Would his track record be worse?

Speculation makes us say, "Meh." It's good that our fictional economy allows us to loosely use our resources in a way that his department can exist. And it's good -- yes, that he is able to train more doctors to think outside the paradigm and develop interesting a diagnosis to interesting problems.

And so it's not really a question of if we should forgive House for his dependency and bad behavior -- it's that if we want to believe that the only way to cure the minority of incurable patients is to dedicate a special department of creative doctors and researchers who can, we MUST forgive House.

If we choose to not buy in -- we must come up with new ways of saving people. Perhaps better doctors? But who will teach these doctors? You say -- House! And yes, in this world, House should continue being himself and teaching the doctors of the future who will hopefully teach more doctors.

But perhaps it's not that we need doctors like House to teach our doctors but teachers like House to teach our students before they become doctors who need a leader like House to unlearn what they were systematically taught.
jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)
[personal profile] jewelfox

(Content note for these links and this essay: Racism, sexism, classism, transphobia, and xenophobia.)

I'd just like to take a moment to remind everyone, including my friends who are also transgender, that if you live in the first world everything that you have and enjoy is made possible through unthinkable violence and slavery. Of humans, to say nothing of nonhuman animals.

It's not a matter of how moral you are, or how much you consciously choose not to inflict violence on others. This is an inherent feature, of a world where some people are valued so much more than others. Because the purpose of inequality, inhospitality, and inhumane treatment is to make people broken and desperate.

The purpose of immigration restrictions, for instance, is to enable human trafficking, which means (among other things) being able to keep people in sheds they pay rent on and beat them if they don't wash your car just right. Meanwhile, the reason that the United States lacks the social safety net that other so-called "liberal democracies" have is because one of its political parties (we all know which one) used its "Southern Strategy," of convincing white voters that welfare payments would go to the wrong kind of people.

You know, the ones who are supposed to avert their eyes when they see you walk by, and who call you "sir" and shine your shoes for you.

Trans World Problems?

No. No, the new laws here in the States, that make it even more dangerous for trans people to use public restrooms, aren't a "First World Problems" thing. A "be grateful that you aren't a literal slave" thing. As though becoming a sex worker with no legal protections weren't something a lot of trans people have to turn to, and as though there are no trans people who are black, immigrant, or enslaved.

What this is, is a reminder that we (as trans people) aren't the first to suffer this indignity, and we won't be the last. Unless we can join our grasping appendages with others who are resisting things like it*, and turn the tables on our capitalist oppressors.

(It's redundant to call them that, but sometimes it just helps to hammer it home.)

* Or even others who are affected by it, despite not being trans. Don't forget; besides barring people who don't pass as cis from using the restroom, North Carolina's HB2 also banned local living wage laws, and made it harder for any worker to bring a discrimination suit against their employer. These aren't unrelated coincidences; these things are all part of systemic inequality and oppression.

(no subject)

Apr. 30th, 2016 11:25 am
skygiants: Chauvelin from the Scarlet Pimpernel looking enormously cranky (pissyface)
[personal profile] skygiants
I've talked about the brain-candy books I read and loved on my trip, so let's talk about one I didn't like so much: Shannon Hale's Austenland.

To be fair I was unfairly biased against Austenland from the beginning when the close-third narration made an offhand comment about loving all the books except Northanger Abbey which nobody likes like I was expected to agree and identify with it, when: how dare you, Northanger Abbey is a comic masterpiece and beautiful literary treasure.

Anyway, the basic premise of Austenland is: our heroine Jane has been Ruined for Real Love by the fact that no real humans can live up to her fantasies of Mr. Darcy, Ruined! So in her will her great-aunt leaves her an all-expenses-paid trip to a secret luxury Austen LARP where women can go to role-play out an Austen romance with hot paid actors in Regency costume.

Hypothetically, this premise could have been a pretty interesting exploration of the boundaries between fantasy and reality and the inherent weirdness and squickiness of role-playing out a romance with someone who's being paid to feign passionate suppressed Regency attraction, which ... is sort of what we get, except in the end it follows the same pattern of basically all prostitute romance: yes of course it's kind of gross for other people, but our protagonist, who is doing exactly the same thing as all the other women that she has withering contempt for that except we're in her head so we know that she's self-aware and ironical about it on the inside, manages to kindle TRUE LOVE in the heart of the jaded paid romance role-player! for the first time ever!! SHE'S DIFFERENT FROM ALL THE OTHERS, SHE MADE HIM BELIEVE.

OK, well, nice for you, but you definitely did not make me believe.

(Also, I wanted to take a drink every time the heroine is hanging out with the love interest, noticing his broodiness/sarcasm/lack of sociability/tendency to say condescending things, and thinking 'wow, so different from Mr. Darcy!' GIRL.)

Haikai Fest: "Full Rotation"

Apr. 30th, 2016 11:25 am
jjhunter: Serene person of color with shaved head against abstract background half blue half brown (scientific sage)
[personal profile] jjhunter
Let's take a breath for poetry. It is April, and as good a time as any for a collaborative poetry fest. Please find below a starting stanza or two of a brand new haikai (what's a haikai, you ask? Think extended haiku: alternating stanzas of 5-7-5 and 7-7). Comment with a following stanza to build on that seed. Someone (most likely me) will respond with another stanza, and so on and so forth throughout the day.

what lasts, that we build?
stones over our bones like stakes?
relations? stories?
laurashapiro: text only: there's nothing wrong with your vid, you're just freaking out (vidding: freaking out)
[personal profile] laurashapiro
What if Casey went to LA, and then came back?

I started this AU about three years ago, trying to make something simple with limited source, and very quickly got in over my head. I was trying to piece together a whole miserable life for Casey out of clips from Six Feet Under, promo material of Peter Krause, and found footage of Hollywood. And the vid kept getting bigger and bigger under my hands. The project soon revealed itself to be all about sourcing material (insert the usual vidder whine about the clipping process) as opposed to fun editing challenges, and I got bored very quickly.

If I'm honest with myself, I think that even though the vid was destined for a happy ending, it was also making me too sad.

This is very patchy, but hopefully the lyrics will help you fill in the gaps. I recommend sticking around for the line about 27 birds.

Coney Island
by Good Old War

I found a letter in the mailbox today
And I said, "thank you for your thoughts, but I'm done."
I said that I would never build this up right here
And he said, "that's why I can't work with you son."

But I can't let this go I'm on my way
You can only hold my diamond ring
But I'll go crawling back to the city I love
Cause it's already taken everything

I'm going to Coney Island have myself a dog
And reminisce why I still hate it here
It's all these people with their cotton candy eyes
It's so sweet, now put the train in gear

But I can't let this go I'm on my way
You can only hold my diamond ring
But I'll go crawling back to the city I love
Cause it's already taken everything

The ground is swallowing my options full release
And if it rains they might just disappear
I counted 27 birds up there today
I'm thinking that's why I still love it here
I'm thinking that's why I still love it here

But I can't let this go I'm on my way
You can only hold my diamond ring
But I'll go crawling back to the city I love
Cause it's already taken everything
Cause it's already taken everything

System Update

Apr. 29th, 2016 06:57 pm
jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)
[personal profile] jewelfox

And our system has, in fact, been updated! We're now using a refurb of last year's fanless, 12-inch MacBook, and it's the most beautiful thing we have ever owned. Everything works so elegantly and consistently, we've had fewer frustrations than ever, and OS X is amazing -- you can assign new keyboard shortcuts to any item in the menu.

(App recommendations: iA Writer, and Notes. Yes, the Notes app that comes with a Mac.)

We want to learn Swift, and AppleScript, and page layout / ePub formatting in Pages and iBooks Author, and you don't actually want to hear about any of this. ^^;

What's more important, at any rate, and had an even huger impact on our life, was being able to spend about two weeks with Alias. We love it so much <3 and we took lots of pictures, although we've only posted most of them in a private Facebook group, composed entirely of Alias' family and their significant others. (We're really camera-shy, and we assume that others are as well.)

We played a lot of minis games, though. ^^; And Final Fantasy XIII. Turns out the reason we haven't done much console gaming lately is because there's been no one to share it with >_>; So now we're starting to experiment with streaming games on Twitch, and considering getting a capture card for our old consoles which don't let us do that natively.

... is that something that anyone here would be interested in watching?

Anyway, we're trying to get back into a regular schedule and form some good habits, which is hard without external reinforcement. >_>; And we keep thinking of how to reformat this blog ... with like, index pages of our stories, essays, and games. And maybe a consistent theme, of self-acceptance and learning how to express yourself. It's what we've needed the most talking-through, and it's what we've been wanting to help people with since our old Become Your Fursona stories.

Which we still have, and are considering formatting some of them for ebook stores. Maybe.

We're also hoping to be able to visit Alias in person up in Canada, towards the end of the year. It's scary talking about building a life and a future together, but it's also exciting to feel like this is a thing that can actually happen.

No title for this one.

Apr. 29th, 2016 04:48 pm
alexandraerin: (Default)
[personal profile] alexandraerin

My grandmother passed away last night.

This was the end of a long decline, and it wasn’t wholly unexpected. My aunt, her primary caregiver in her sickness, had been keeping us updated about her entrance into hospice. Of course, you can know that something is coming any moment and still be caught off-guard by the particular moment when it does. Just about every horror movie out there relies on that premise.

I’m flying back to Nebraska tomorrow. Due to uncertainty in the timeline when we were making plans, I’m going to be gone five days, inclusive of the travel days. I haven’t decided if my laptop is coming with me or not, but either way I am apt to be spending more time with family than online during the interval.

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write. Please leave any comments there.

alias_sqbr: (happy dragon)
[personal profile] alias_sqbr

The Raven and the Reindeer by T Kingfisher aka Ursula Vernon: this is a very cute Gerta/Little Robber Girl retelling of The Snow Queen. It's in a light, fairytale style but has a bit more modern fantasy novel to it than the original 19th century children's short story. There also a bit more gore than I remember, of just the sort I like but other people may not. I haven't read the original in years so can't say how much is changed in general, but was attached to the Kay/Gerta friendship which is much more unhealthy here, I think it works really well as a new story but was still slightly sad to lose the old one. Also there's that undertone of slightly smug tweeness that tends to underlie all of Ursula Vernon's work, and it took me a while to get into it for some reason. Still, lots of well drawn, endearing, mostly female characters, and a cute fantasy story that hasn't lost the fairytale atmosphere, bittersweet bite and sense of place of the original.

(putting above the cut because "f/f fairytale" is relevant to a lot of my readers' interests :))

Aso, while I'm here: Steam is having a sale on anime themed games and I at least didn't get an email about some stuff on my wishlist which is discounted. So, check your wishlist!
More books and some tv )
jjhunter: neuron growing a dendritic branch to meet the reaching axon of another neuron in watercolor greys (neuron reaching out)
[personal profile] jjhunter
Let's take a breath for poetry. It is April, and as good a time as any for a collaborative poetry fest. Please find below a starting stanza or two of a brand new haikai (what's a haikai, you ask? Think extended haiku: alternating stanzas of 5-7-5 and 7-7). Comment with a following stanza to build on that seed. Someone (most likely me) will respond with another stanza, and so on and so forth throughout the day.

strong empathy risks
presuming your feelings shared
clogs understanding

really beautiful day

Apr. 29th, 2016 12:31 am
[personal profile] alexr_rwx
Some days, maaaaan.

Some days, it's Take Your Children To Work Day, and they need *somebody* to be the big green Android mascot and dance around and play with the kids and do silly things for photo ops. THIS JOB. THIS JOB MAKES USE OF BASICALLY EVERYTHING I'VE EVER LEARNED TO DO; HOW DID THIS HAPPEN.

Some days, you're working on software that meaningfully impacts millions of people's lives, and you're doing a thing that involves writing a bunch of code but it might make things dramatically better (and at the very least it's causing a nice refactoring).

Some days, at the end of the work day you get to hang out with a bunch of people from your company who *love* playing fighting games, and you strike up super-interesting conversations with a guy who helped develop Skullgirls and knows about a zillion different fairly esoteric games, and shares your love for the weird back-catalog of gaming and wants to help bring less-common games to the meetup. And you find out that the new guy at the meetup this week is also a Tekken enthusiast, and you play a long mirror-match set. (his name is Mo and he's got a pretty mean Jun!)

Tomorrow: off to Seattle to visit with Lisa and JD, then fight at Northwest Majors! \m/

linkspam is grateful it's Friday

Apr. 28th, 2016 11:02 pm
cofax7: Angel Dunnett Slashy (AtS - Seduce Men -- Infinitemonkeys)
[personal profile] cofax7
So, yet another delayed compilation.

Argh, yes, this a thousand times. When I picked up my last bicycle, the guy in the shop kept steering me towards the pink and purple helmets, and it was like pulling teeth to get a black one to try on.

Oh, yeah: 33 Things I hate about this Election. SO TRUE.

This is one of the most amazing/horrifying stories I've seen recently. I guess this is how conspiracy theorists get made?

This article about bassist Carol Kaye reminds me I need to watch that documentary about The Wrecking Crew (even if that wasn't really their name!).

OMG this looks like the best thing ever. Daveed Diggs as Hobbes! ::loves::

Chernobyl, 30 years later. Jeez.


In other news, I finally watched Steven Universe and OMG Peridot is basically Rodney McKay. ::facepalm:: Anyway, how long until the next season? I am totally hooked.

I also watched Over the Garden Wall last weekend, and that was lovely.

I'm also finally watching Man in the High Castle and it's pretty interesting, even if I can't quite tell what's going on half the time. I think a lot of spycraft is too subtle for me. (I would be a terrible espionage agent, I'm just saying.)

ok, and now to bed.

Haikai Fest: "A change of views"

Apr. 28th, 2016 09:48 pm
jjhunter: silhouetted woman by winding black road; blank ink tinted with green-blue background (silhouetted JJ by winding road)
[personal profile] jjhunter
Let's take a breath for poetry. It is April, and as good a time as any for a collaborative poetry fest. Please find below a starting stanza or two of a brand new haikai (what's a haikai, you ask? Think extended haiku: alternating stanzas of 5-7-5 and 7-7). Comment with a following stanza to build on that seed. Someone (most likely me) will respond with another stanza, and so on and so forth throughout the day.

I've changed my route home
a steeper hill, less known streets
I walk it to heart

Spoon Theory as a Deficit Model

Apr. 28th, 2016 03:20 pm
sasha_feather: Black, white, and red image of woman with futuristic helmet (Sci Fi Woman)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
Thanks to Gregg Beratan on Twitter for this idea.

Spoon Theory is useful to many people as a measure of energy and fatigue. It is difficult to wrap your head around what chronic pain, fatigue, and illness are actually like, and I say this as someone who has them. We all tend to normalize our experiences and we think that everyone around us must feel like we do-- and yet other people are somehow accomplishing more. So spoon theory is helpful in validating our fatigue and providing the phrase "out of spoons".

Yet a limitation of this theory is that it's a deficit model: It assumes that something is wrong with us, rather than something being wrong with society.

Instead of saying "I'm out of spoons," try saying "The world needs to give me more time to rest" or "Accommodations for my fatigue will help me accomplish this task."

The deficit model is the dominant narrative of illness. And it can be seductive: it feels like there is something wrong with me. But the social model of disability states that it is society that disables us-- that it is moral and normal to need more time and more support and more rest.
seekingferret: Photo of me with my 2012 Purim beard, with stripes shaven into it. (Default)
[personal profile] seekingferret
Let me know if you want more specific thoughts

Books I Recommend

The Just City by Jo Walton

The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow

C is for Corpse by Sue Grafton

Silas Marner by George Eliot

Books I Don't Recommend

Mars, Inc. by Ben Bova

This Is How I Leave You by Jonathan Trotter

Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman

Captain America: Civil War

Apr. 28th, 2016 07:31 pm
alias_sqbr: (train)
[personal profile] alias_sqbr
This was exactly what I expected from the trailer: a well made, entertaining superhero film with great fights, nice character moments and utterly repulsive political subtext. On the plus side it abandons it's pretense to ~realism about halfway through and becomes purely character/explosion driven, at which point I stopped thinking "bloody Americans" every five minutes and was actually able to enjoy it.

Spoilers for the basic premise and political subtext stuff, but not the rest of the plot or the ending )

Also for the sake of posterity

Apr. 28th, 2016 03:47 am
giandujakiss: (Default)
[personal profile] giandujakiss
It's hard to imagine there's anyone in the fandom who hasn't read this, but 100 years from now when archaeologists are poring over my journal, I don't want them to think I didn't recognize its brilliance:

Ain't No Grave (Can Keep My Body Down) (107093 words) by spitandvinegar
Chapters: 10/10
Fandom: Captain America - All Media Types, Marvel
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: James "Bucky" Barnes/Steve Rogers
Characters: Steve Rogers, James "Bucky" Barnes, Sam Wilson (Marvel), Natasha Romanov, Tony Stark, Clint Barton, Phil Coulson, Original Characters, Pepper Potts, Matt Murdock, Franklin "Foggy" Nelson, Claire Temple
Additional Tags: Post-Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - PTSD, Drug Abuse, Homelessness, Jewish Bucky Barnes, Catholic Steve Rogers, Religious Imagery & Symbolism, Artist Steve Rogers, Identity Issues, POV Alternating, Not Avengers: Age of Ultron (Movie) Compliant, because I am a desert pony that runs as wild and free as the wind, Period Typical Attitudes, Masturbation, Tupac - Freeform, Past Peggy Carter/Steve Rogers, Sam Wilson Is a Good Bro, original kid characters, original mean old Chinese lady character, a coupla goddamn kids, Pinkberry, Past Rape/Non-con
Series: Part 2 of Ain't No Grave

It's six in the morning, and Steve is heading out on a run when he nearly trips over a bouquet of sunflowers on the front steps of his brownstone.

For a second paranoia takes over, and he kicks the flowers a little, waiting for them to explode. They don't. They also came with a card, which he picks up. The front of the card has a tasteful picture of the Brooklyn bridge at sunset. It's very nice and sedate, like the kind of card you would buy to give to your boss. On the inside someone has written a short message in big, shaky block letters.


Steve sits down hard on the steps.

giandujakiss: (Default)
[personal profile] giandujakiss
As long as I'm thinking about it.

Follows On Like Clockwork (33206 words) by youabird
Chapters: 9/9
Fandom: Captain America (Movies), Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rating: Mature
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: James "Bucky" Barnes/Steve Rogers
Characters: James "Bucky" Barnes, Steve Rogers, Sam Wilson (Marvel), Natasha Romanov, Sharon Carter (Marvel), Peggy Carter, Tony Stark, Pepper Potts, Clint Barton
Additional Tags: Canon-Typical Violence, Implied/Referenced Torture, Minor Character Death, Recovered Memories, Identity Issues, Past Relationship(s), not avengers 2 compliant, somebody shoots the president, Very Mild Gore, Medical Procedures, Past Suicidal Thoughts

Steve would do anything for Bucky. He tore the world apart and chased HYDRA back into the shadows. He stepped back when Bucky turned himself in to the feds. Now that Bucky's broken himself out of custody in order to take down the corrupt agency that tried to use him again, Steve'll be damned if he doesn't stand by him. The only problem? The Winter Soldier swears he's not Bucky.

Or, genetically altered superheroes point guns at each other.

Laws of Thermodynamics (14651 words) by thisbluegirl
Chapters: 4/4
Fandom: Captain America (Movies), Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: James "Bucky" Barnes/Steve Rogers
Characters: James "Bucky" Barnes, Steve Rogers
Additional Tags: Recovery, PTSD, Mild Dissociation, Fluff and Angst, Tags Are Hard, Post-Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Let's Pretend Civil War Isn't Happening, Explicit Sexual Content, Angst and Fluff and Smut, Bucky is not okay, Steve is less emotionally constipated than we thought, Unrepentant Fluff, Unrepentant Metal Arm Kink, Emotional Hurt/Comfort, Consent Issues

He never had to relearn how to love Steve Rogers. It might be the one thing he never forgot.

(also on tumblr)
jjhunter: pleased kitten with two massive peacock feathers in its mouth (kitten with peacock feathers)
[personal profile] jjhunter
Let's take a breath for poetry. It is April, and as good a time as any for a collaborative poetry fest. Please find below a starting stanza or two of a brand new haikai (what's a haikai, you ask? Think extended haiku: alternating stanzas of 5-7-5 and 7-7). Comment with a following stanza to build on that seed. Someone (most likely me) will respond with another stanza, and so on and so forth throughout the day.

living time capsules
cicadas from '99
will emerge next month


brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)

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