beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
 A Youtube spiral lead me to Jennifer Lopez and Lin-Manuel Miranda's live performance of Love Make The World Go Round on the Today Show in response to the Orlando shooting.  It's a great song:


But as I was watching it, I thought to myself, "Self, that outfit she's wearing looks awfully familiar."

A quick google later, and yup, I was right.  The "white bra+skintight white pants" look was originated by Selena.  It was one of her iconic looks:
Selena Quintanilla wearing a whit bra and white pants while performing

For those of you who don't know, Selena was one of the biggest Mexican-American stars of the 80s and 90s, possibly of the entire 20th Century.  She was an innovative musician who took traditional Tejano music, mixed it with mainstream pop elements, and sang the fuck out of it.  And became a HUGE star.  Mostly known in the Latinx community, but she was starting to break out more into the mainstream US market when she was murdered at age 23 in 1995.  I'm not Latina, but I went to a school with a large Latina presence, and she was HUGE.  She was also a fashion designer.

And, oh, by the way: JLo's first starting role?  The first thing that got her noticed and on the road to her own stardom?  Was playing Selena in the biopic.  For YEARS, Jennifer Lopez was "that girl who played Selena" to me.

Some thoughts:

I'm thrilled at the homage, and saddened because there are a fuckton of people (probably even some younger Latinx people) who completely missed it.

I can't believe it's been over twenty years since Selena died, and I wonder (again, as I always do when I think of her) what she might have become had she not been murdered so young.  She had talent, drive, intelligence, and star quality.  She came so far in such a short time, and I have no doubt she would have continued to climb.

I leave you with two things: Selena singing one of her most popular songs, and a scene from JLo playing her in the biopic.

This is how big she was:


beatrice_otter: Dali's Christ of St. John of the Cross (St. John of the Cross)
As a Christian, I regularly get infuriated how many people make a show of "gimme that ol' time religion" while forgetting the fourth verse:

Makes me love ev'ry body,
Makes me love ev'ry body,
Makes me love ev'ry body,
It's good enough for me.
beatrice_otter: Luna Lovegood, Hermione Granger, Cho Chang (Girls of Potter)
I was reading [archiveofourown.org profile] LullabyKnell's Harry Potter notfic/meta collection (and wishing someone would actually really WRITE some of these ideas, or expand what she's got, because some of them deserve EPIC fic treatments), and came across this bit of meta on Delphi from the Cursed Child. Fair warning, my knowledge of Cursed Child is entirely fandom osmosis and not much of that. (Let's be real. 95.5% of my HP knowledge comes from fandom osmosis--I've never read the books and I know I saw some of the movies in the theater but can't remember which ones, I'm really only in it for the fanfic.)

Anyway! [archiveofourown.org profile] LullabyKnell was reacting to an apparent trend in CC fanfic to make Delphi not actually Voldemort's kid, because someone polyjuiced into him to have sex with Bellatrix, and whoever that was is really Delphi's father. Delphi notes that:
if Delphi was conceived after Bellatrix’s breakout from Azkaban and born before the Battle of Hogwarts, then that means the biological component from Voldemort would have been from his second body. The resurrected-in-the-graveyard one that we only know to be made of a) MAGIC, b) Tom Riddle Senior, b) Peter Pettigrew, and c) Harry Potter. So is Delphi even biologically the original Tom Riddle Junior’s kid? Wasn’t that body destroyed?
Zie then goes on to speculate as to what would happen if, somewhere along the line, Harry and co. figured this out and realized that she was biologically his daughter?

My thoughts turned in a different direction.

The bones of that resurrection potion of Voldemort's came from his despised Muggle father.  And blood is made in bones, so while Harry's blood was a necessary part of the potion and no doubt provided a symbolic link, Voldemort's actual blood, once he'd been alive again for a while, all came from his bones ... which came from his father.  He is no longer a halfblood; on a biological level, he is now a muggle-born.  He has no blood connection with the Gaunts, and hence Salazar Slytherin, any longer.  (If he had realized the implications, he would have found a different way.)  There are some parts of him that come from Pettigrew, but they were mostly fuel and scaffolding.  The genetic bits came from Tom Riddle, Sr.

So he and Bellatrix have a kid.  Except that what neither of them realize is that, biologically, Bellatrix and Tom Riddle Sr have a kid.  (Really, Voldemort should consider himself fortunate that dear Bella never figured it out.  There is not much that could break Bella's loyalty to him, but causing her to bear a half-blood bastard would do it.)

But this is Bella and Voldie, here.  Not really parent-of-the-year material, and anyway, while Voldemort wanted an heir to show off, he doesn't care about them until they get old enough to get molded into what he wants.  Bella, meanwhile, even if she wanted to be a mother to the kid, is in a bit of a delicate spot with her husband, who is slightly less devoted to Voldie than she is.  So the kid gets dumped with a house elf for a nanny, while Bella and Voldemort are off fighting.  There'll be plenty of time later, right, once they've killed all those dirty mudbloods and blood traitors.

So, in the aftermath of the battle, there's a lot of mopping up to do--death eaters to chase down, DE strongholds to clear out, people to put on trial, etc.  The Trio pitch in, but Shacklebolt gives them the assignments least likely to lead to violence.  (He knows they can fight.  But he also knows they're kids and, now that the prophecy is over, they shouldn't have to.)  So that's how they're the ones clearing a DE safehouse when they come across a toddler and a house elf.

The house elf knows its master and mistress are dead, and its loyalties are free.  The house elf isn't a Black elf, so he has no loyalty to Bella that isn't compelled by its binding to her, and Voldemort's never had a house to have house elves for.  The elf's true masters were killed by Death Eaters, so he is perfectly willing--ecstatic, even!--to hand over his charge to Harry Potter, thank him for freeing him, and go off to see if he can find any relatives of his true masters.  Before he goes, he tells them everything he knows.

Harry and Ron, hearing that this kid's parents are Bellatrix Black and Voldemort himself, get grossed out.  Hermione, who knows a bit more about genetics and inheritance than the boys, gets a weird look on her face and starts doing tests.  (She has quite a strong interest in genetics and inheritance.  She has a whole lovely lecture pointing out just how WRONG and STUPID the whole pureblood notion of inheritance and blood purity is, to be used in response to a slur about mudbloods, which she's never gotten to actually use because what's the point in lecturing someone who won't understand how WRONG they are even after you tell them?)

The thing she's most worried about is that the baby might be Harry's, genetically.  That possibility would be the hardest to deal with, because of the personal implications.  But it is quickly ruled out.

A Pettigrew connection might be the best-case scenario, and it's easy to find his body, get a sample, and compare it.  That, too, is ruled out.

Hermione and Ron go back to the graveyard where Cedric was murdered without Harry.  Someone needs to watch little Delly, after all.  They get what they need.  It's a match.  Delly is, biologically, the daughter of the muggle Tom Rilddle, Sr, and thus the half-sister of Voldemort.

It's almost a good thing there are so many war orphans; Delly Riddle is very easy to slip in among them.  The story they give is completely true.  It's just missing a few details.  Delly Riddle, they say, is a muggleborn whose parents were killed by Death Eaters.  Delly Riddle, they say, was found by a witch and given over to a house elf to raise and keep safe.  That witch, they say, died in the war.  Delly Riddle, they say, has no living muggle relatives, so now she needs a new wizarding foster or adoptive family.

No eyebrows are raised.  It's a believable story, and more than they know about a couple of other very young war orphans.

(The irony is, a few years later, that one of those other war orphans with a mysterious past gets fingered as a possible Heir of Voldemort.  Nobody quite knows how the rumor starts, but once it does, people get hysterical.  The Trio watch with helpless fury, seeing what it does to that poor kid.  They do their best to dispel the rumors, frustrated that they can't prove how they know.  After all, they can't say "We know Melody Legato isn't Voldemort's kid because Delly Riddle is.")

beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
For those of you fortunate enough to not know what they are, TERFs are trans-exclusionary radical feminists.  There are a wide variety of them (and some sound reasonable at first blush), but those few "man-hating feminists" who actually exist are all pretty much TERFs.  And part of what their extremist response to men ends up as is a denial that transwomen are women.  (Hence "trans-exclusionary.")  Feminism isn't about equality for all people, to a TERF; it's about advancement for biological females.  These are also the people behind "queer is a slur which can't be reclaimed!"  Because queer is an umbrella category, see, which makes it a lot harder to police who is a "real" LGBT+ person than any other term.  And if you can push some people--aces, genderqueer, transpeople, bi/pan people, and others out or at least to the fringes--you can much more easily separate out who the "real" women are, and who "deserves" support, from those who "don't".

Anyway, I was listening to the On Being podcast today.  (On Being, for those of you who don't know, is an EXCELLENT radio show/podcast which "opens up the animating questions at the center of human life: What does it mean to be human, and how do we want to live?"  It often addresses issues of religion and spirituality from a broad range of traditions.)  This week's show is a conversation with Joy Ladin, an Orthodox Jewish transwoman who is a professor at Stern College for Women of Yeshiva University.  And I was excited.  Queer representation!  Religious queer representation!  I'm not trans, and I'm not Jewish, but I am asexual and aromantic and there isn't much out there sympathetic to the intersection of queerness and religion, and most of what there is focuses on Evangelical/Fundamentalist/Conservative Christianity (which I am not) and homosexuality, no nuance or anything (and I'm also not homosexual).

cut for TERF bullshit )

beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
I call at least one politician every work day, using 5calls.org to get a rundown of an issue, a script, and the appropriate phone numbers.  For people like my Senators and Representative, I vary which office I call (DC and the two nearest my house) to spread out my impact a bit.  They don't have to get my address any more, I just give them my name and the know me.  I am polite, and when I get audibly angry about a subject, I make sure to say "I am not mad at you, it's not your fault, thank you for answering the phones."

When closing the call today, the receptionist ended the call with "talk to you soon."

beatrice_otter: SG-1--Walter in his seat, sparks flying. (Walter)
Ever since I got my new (to me) laptop, Firefox has been really buggy.  Crashing regularly freezing up SO OFTEN, really slow.  It was the only program experiencing problems, so it had to be Firefox and not the laptop.  So I refreshed Firefox last night (that thing you can do where it keeps your bookmarks, passwords, add-ons, and history, but sets everything else back to factory settings.  So far, it seems to be good.  Here's hoping it fixed the problem.
beatrice_otter: Cameron Mitchell, bored with a stack of files (Schoolwork)
Join us at [community profile] wipbigbang Sign up March 24-April 7 and Finish Your Sh**! This is a Big Bang with one goal in mind: to clean out your drafts folder. These are stories that were unfinished for whatever reason, that authors returned to and completed, and the art that goes with them! All fandoms welcome!




Last year I finished my Criminal Minds/Stargate crossover, The Genetics Factory.  Should I sign up again?  If so, which of my many WIPs should I work on?
beatrice_otter: Babylon 5--Vir waving (Vir's wave)
My parents are visiting.  And my house is, as usual, a bit of a mess.  I did clean up some things (scrub the tub and toilets, things like that) but not others, because, look.

My Dad and I are a lot alike.  Our idea of a nice, relaxing vacation is to sit around reading and chatting a bit, occasionally doing stuff.

My Mom HATES sitting still.  She is one of those people who always needs to be DOING something.  Or she either goes nuts or falls asleep.

We're going out to do stuff in the afternoon, but just spending a quiet morning in.  So far, while Dad and I have spent time chatting, reading, and the like, Mom has:
  • Cooked breakfast (despite the general agreement being that we're on our own for all meals but dinner)
  • cleaned the kitchen
  • dusted all the knicknacks in the dining room
And yesterday she dusted all my bookshelves and the living room.  It's like having a house-elf.
beatrice_otter: Peggy Carter handcuffed to a table (Peggy Carter)
It was a lot of fun last year, so if you love Peggy Carter and the supporting characters of her world and can write, draw, or vid, head on over!  FAQ is here, signups here.

Schedule:
• March 1-12: Nominations.
• March 15-25: Signups.
• March 28 or 29: Assignments go out.
• May 1: No-fault dropout deadline.
• June 1: Fanworks due.
• June 8: Archive goes live.
• June 15: Reveals.

beatrice_otter: Peggy Carter handcuffed to a table (Peggy Carter)
[archiveofourown.org profile] ssr_confidential_2017 is a fanfic exchange for Agent Carter, with fic, vids, and art being exchanged.

DON'T PANIC.

This is a very long letter with lots of stuff, but please don't let that intimidate you.  I'm actually fairly easy to please; I am very rarely disappointed with a ficathon story.  I write long and detailed Dear Author letters because I find such things helpful when I'm writing for other people; if you are like me, here you go!  If your style is different and a detailed letter makes you feel hemmed-in, feel free to do what works for you.

The most important thing for me in a fic is that the characters are well-written and recognizably themselves.  Even when I don't like a character, I don't go in for character-bashing.  If nothing else, if the rest of this letter is too much or my kinks just don't fit yours, just concentrate on writing a good story with everyone in character and good spelling and grammar and I will almost certainly love what you come up with.

General likes/dislikes )
 

Specifics! )
beatrice_otter: Elrond and a line of Elves, ready for battle (Elven warriors)
A few years ago I read (but neglected to bookmark) a Boromir fic that I haven't been able to find since.  It takes place with him as a younger man, and ends just as he's being sent off to Rivendell.  Middle Earth is homophobic and heteronormative, and Boromir was queer of some sort (bi? gay? don't remember).  He starts a relationship with a fellow-soldier, a guy who was older than he was but (I think) below him in rank.  They were happy together for a while, Faramir figured it out and was a bit disgusted by it but still accepted his brother.  Then Denethor figured it out, severely punished Boromir's lover, and sent Boromir off to Rivendell as a way of permanently separating them.

Anybody know this?  Can anybody point me in the right direction?
beatrice_otter: WWII soldier holding a mug with the caption "How about a nice cup of RESEARCH?" (Research)
Re-reading Whispers Underground, on page 3 Peter thinks " ... including me and Abigail.  Or, as Nightingale insists it should be, Abigail and I."

Except "me and Abigail" is actually correct.  Boo, Nightingale, for not explaining the rule.  The easiest way of figuring it out is, if you strip out the other people, should it be "me" or "I"?  So, since "including I" would be wrong, it should be "including me."

Now, the reason that Nightingale really should have explained this (and why I suspect this shows he is a terrible language teacher) is that he's teaching Peter Latin, right?  Whenever one is teaching a foreign language, it REALLY REALLY HELPS to learn a big more ENGLISH grammar at the same time--not just "what's right" but "why is it right" because if you can figure out the grammar patterns and structure in your own language, it's a lot easier to figure out the grammar patterns and structure in a different language.  I don't think it matters to everyday usage whether Peter uses the right or wrong pronoun in situations like this--everybody's going to know what he means, which is the main point of communicating, after all.  But it might matter to how easy it is for him to figure out the Latin he's getting his head stuffed with.  So insisting on the "correct" form is just snobbishness, not genuine language teaching.

I mean, I'm not blaming him for being a bad teacher!  He never got any training, and languages are hard to teach as well as to learn!  But while nobody but him could teach the magic stuff, they might have been better off hiring a language tutor or something for the Latin.

beatrice_otter: Cover of Janelle Monae's Archandroid album (Archandroid)
I got the first three books for Christmas, devoured them, got the rest of the series, and am on my second read-through.  I have some questions.

First, what was Faceless Man #2 doing between the incapacitation of the first one and the Covent Garden riot?  Was he just living the life of a posh Londoner doing a bit of magic on the side?  Given later events, this seems ASTONISHGINGLY unlikely, but that is all the evidence we have.  Was he continuing on with the Strip Club of Doctor Moreau, and if so, why didn't whats-his-face, the burlesque owner who gets killed by the Pale Lady in Moon Over Soho (and the guy who tipped them off about the club's existence), know the club was still in operation?

Second, what does Faceless Man #2 reappearance on the scene of the London Underworld have to do with the Covent Garden Riot?  Quite aside from Peter's guess that he's interested in Leslie because of something leftover from her time as Pretty Polly, the burlesque owner pins his reappearance on the scene as connected with the Covent Garden riot.  Was he stirring up things, and is that what gave Punch his boost and set him on his way, besides the one-night revival of the play Pyke was in?  Or was his reappearance a reaction to that huge event?  Did it spur him on, or provide something he needed, or deprive him of something he wanted?

I know there were other questions I was going to put in this post, but I can't remember them.
beatrice_otter: This looks like a good day for World Domination (World Domination)
Need a good bit of political news?  Democrats in Delaware stood firm and kept the state blue in a special election to fill a State Senate seat that could have given a majority to Republicans if things had gone the other way.  This doesn't have as big a national impact as a US Senate election does, but it still has some impact ... and it has a potentially HUGE impact on Delaware itself.  Thank you to everyone who volunteered their time or donated money to help it happen.  And THANK YOU ESPECIALLY to all those who took the time to go vote for a special election.

Let's do it again!

The next state-level special elections are in Connecticut (February 28), Pennsylvania (March 21), and Louisiana (March 25).  There are others further out than that.  (Including Georgia 6 on April 18, which is historically Republican but which Hillary almost won.)

On the national level, the next special elections to the US House of Representatives are California district 34 (April 4), Kansas 4 (April 11), Georgia 6 (April 18), South Carolina 5 (June 20), and Montana At-Large (TBD).

Please CHECK THE LIST of upcoming special elections at Ballotpedia (general US politics encyclopedia) and Flippable (Progressive website designed to target seats that can be flipped to Democrat) and mark your calendars if you have a special election coming up.  They traditionally have low turnout, so even a small bump to one side or the other can make a difference.  Also, even if the Democrats don't win a particular election, other state politicians will be watching.  If something unusual happens--a district that has been reliably red only staying red by a much smaller margin of error than is traditional--they'll take note of it.  It will show them that the people calling them and showing up at town hall meetings aren't an isolated, small group of crackpots, nor people who are going to get burned out and stop caring, but an actual shift in the politics of their district that they're going to have to take into account if they want to keep their seats.
beatrice_otter: Ah, arrogance and stupidity all in the same package.  How efficient of you! (Arrogance and Stupidity)
PM I just received from the Pit of Voles*:

I was wondering if you would like to write a Beauty And The Beast fic request for me to celebrate the upcoming the live action Disney film being released in movie theaters next month.
Wow.  Going up to a perfect stranger and asking them to write your fic prompt.  And just a bare request.  From someone who hasn't even bothered to review or comment on the one fic in that fandom I've written.  Wouldn't you know it, it was a guy?


*fanfiction.net, for all you baby!fen out there, so named because of the relatively low ratio of good fic to badly-written fic, and the high number of jerks who comment.  While I don't read there unless a fic is specifically recced, because there's so much crap to wade through and very little way to narrow it down, I am a big believer in redundancy.  I want all my fic in as many places as possible so that if one archive goes down, it isn't lost--I've had too many favorite stories go the way of the dodo bird for that very reason.
beatrice_otter: Jedi fighting against a blue background (blue Jedi)
Mostly what I need is someone to tell me if everyone is in character and if it hangs together on a meta level.
beatrice_otter: Dali's Christ of St. John of the Cross (St. John of the Cross)
For those of you who don't know, The Shack is a best-selling book about Christian faith, and particularly how we deal with loss and grief, and lots of Christians love it and some Christians hate it and it just got made into a movie, and I wanted to know if I should take my youth group to see it.  Having never read the book, I asked my fellow pastors in an online forum.  Most said it was great, not perfect but with some really great things to discuss, and one was vehement that it was a horrible, destructive, and misleading theology and view of God.  So I asked him why he thought that, since everyone else thought it was great.  His key arguments:
  1. It uses feminine imagery for God, which contradicts Scripture.
  2. God is only loved in the book, never feared, and in Scripture he is always feared.
But, uh, dude,
  1. The Bible uses feminine imagery for God in several places, and particularly maternal--Jesus describes himself as "a mother hen" who wants to gather his chicks into his wings, in the Hebrew Scriptures God describes Godself as a nursing mother a couple of times ... yeah, God-as-woman is a small part of Scripture but it's woven throughout.  Denying the maternal and feminine aspects of God are the thing that truly contradicts Scripture.
  2. The greatest commandment as given by Jesus is to LOVE the Lord your God.  Not fear, LOVE.  And you know what?  He got that from the Hebrew Scriptures, he's quoting there.  So while the idea of fearing God is in Scripture, so is the idea of loving God.  Also, Biblical ideas of what it means to "fear" God are not what we talk about when we talk about fear.  It's a sort of awe-filled respect and awareness of vulnerability that we don't really get in English.
So his two major arguments against it are COMPLETELY bogus.  And wrong.  And, actually, make me more inclined to take the kids to see it, not less.  He notes other problems that (if he's right about them) are definitely issues, but ones that I think we would benefit from discussing, so again, a reason to take them to see it, not to avoid it.
beatrice_otter: WWII soldier holding a mug with the caption "How about a nice cup of RESEARCH?" (Research)
Lost recordings made just after World War II of Holocaust survivors singing songs have been rediscovered at the University of Akron. These recordings were part of a project by Dr. David Boder, a Latvian Jewish psychologist who had settled in the United States in the 1920s and quickly made a name for himself in academia and as a clinician. He became an American citizen in 1932, but he traveled regularly to Europe and kept in touch with his family until the war disrupted movement and communications.

In May of 1945, just days after the Allies accepted Germany’s unconditional surrender, Boder got the idea to interview displaced persons, Holocaust survivors, victims of the dislocations and horrors of World War II. His aim was first to get a record of victims’ experiences while it was all still painfully fresh.
Some of the recordings were lost, some they just didn't have a way to listen to anymore, but they are now all safely digitized.  You can read more here.
beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
Want to bug your Congresscritters in person?  Here's a handy list of where they'll be in the next year!  Town Halls, office hours, etc.

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beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
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