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Afterland: Chapters 1-5

[Content Note: Transphobia, Child Sexual Abuse (CSA), Racism]

Kissmate is down for us to read Afterland and report on the handling of gender therein. My plan is to read one chapter a day unless my willpower breaks and I either have to quit or end up maranthoning the entire book just to get it over with. Why are we reading something we expect not to like and which may cause us pain? I don't want to upset anyone who likes the book and/or the author, but this sort of transphobic premise keeps being mishandled and we need to talk about it.

AFTERLAND. Chapter 1.

"Cole: Naming Rights"

Cole is the mother in our apocalypse scenario. She has blood on her shirt and is anxiously checking over her son, Miles, who has unspecified drugs in his system. Cole, a white woman, is worried about Miles being taken away from her by the government. "She’ll be arrested. Miles will be taken away. In America, they steal kids from their parents. This was true even before all this."

Cole is described based on her reflection in a mirror. "She looks old. Worse, she looks scared. Cole doesn’t want him to see that. Maybe that’s what superheroes are concealing behind the masks: not their secret identities, but the fact that they’re scared shitless." They're hiding out in a "looted gas station store". I'm a little surprised because I thought this was a relatively orderly apocalypse. Apparently not, okay.

Open Thread: Pony


This is not the first time Elliot here has appeared in an open thread.  I was so focused on making sure that the colors came out right that I completely missed his halter hanging off of him.  Apparently he doesn't like having it on his nose.  (I wouldn't either.)

Picture taken this morning.

-

We have special open threads set aside for discussing various movies, said discussions including plain text spoilers.  This is the only current one:
   ● Birds of Prey

You do not need a special open thread to discuss a movie.  Provided you encipher any spoilers (the standard method is by summoning Cthulhu) discussion of movies is quite welcome in the regular open threads.

The special threads are for cases where movie-talk might threaten to drown out other discussion, is expected to take place over multiple weeks, or both.  If you believe a given movie calls for one, simply say so.

-

Friday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us, so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Afterland: An Announcement

[Content Note: Transphobia]

AFTERLAND. The Announcement.

This book is being described as "a world without men" because...nearly everyone with a prostate dies. *deep breath* So most trans women are dead and...trans men just don't exist, I guess? Because it's a world "without men"? I'm especially hurt because I saw several cis authors praising the book earlier and they're people I thought were trans allies. But I guess we're an afterthought when those folks aren't on Twitter.

I can't get past "cosmetic beard stubble". Prescription testosterone is made from soybeans and yams and plants. Did they get wiped out by the prostate plague??? Folks could be growing their own beards, but instead they're using eyebrow pencils to dot one on?!?!

The problem with these Gender Plague books by cis people isn't that they aren't "inclusive enough" because of social justice! The problem is that their total ignorance about gender issues makes the world-building laughably bad. You can't solve the problem by wiping out trans women via protates or trans men via uteruses and be like "see? I love trans people enough to know they exist!" Like, first of all, don't do that. It's harmful. Second of all, you still need to research this stuff.

August Newsletter (2020)

August is here! I'd say welcome to the summer season but it's been 100 degrees fahrenheit almost every day here for what feels like weeks so the welcome would be remarkably late in coming at this point. Kissmate and I spent the morning trimming the willow tree in the backyard (a lovely monster that never stops growing and threatens to consume us all in its soft, susurrating embrace) and even though it was very early in the day we were still dripping with sweat by the end. It's hot out there and very humid. (At least by my standards.)

Kissmate and I are doing well! My allergic reaction to the surgery sutures is starting to calm down, which means the sutures are starting to dissolve as intended. We still can't lift our arms above our heads and mobility is somewhat limited (this, too, will fade with time) but the pain has become much more manageable for me and is entirely gone for Kissmate. Best of all, we both still love our new look! Dysphoria levels have gone way down and it just feels so amazing to not have breasts anymore. I don't even really remember what it was like to have them. I recall not enjoying the sensation, but it's like a memory of a dream: hazy and faraway and uncertain.

If I have any complaints at all, it's that I still have to sleep more than I would like and it's slowing down progress on all my projects. But that's getting better over time; this last week I stayed up late writing on three different nights and it was wonderful feeling the words flow. I haven't really been up to my old word counts since the 2016 election, and covid has not helped at all, so feeling the urge to write again has been fantastic.

I have some thoughts I want to put before you all about a book I'm planning, but that's another post.

Patreon News

All Patrons: We have some wonderful live-watches of bad movies scheduled for your reading pleasure this month. Suicide Squad, Birds of Prey, Eurovision Song Contest on Netflix (warning: I do not recommend this one if you have triggers around sexual assault), Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, and VelociPastor. Some of these are from Kissmate and some from me; he is really enjoying writing live-watches for you all and loves your comments.

$5+ Patrons: I'm working on another installment in Miriam and Emil's story but have fallen behind. I am almost done with--and hope to post this week--a lovely fanfic about Medusa and a blind trans boy who comes to her island. This one was inspired by the utterly dreadful 2010 Clash of the Titans movie. In other news, I'm working on a sequel to No Man of Woman Born but would like to get your opinions on some things. A post will be going up about that.

Older Links

My Ramblings Deconstructions: Here. A new one is going up soon about Afterland, yet another Gender Plague novel in the vein of Sleeping Beauties.

My YouTube Let's Plays: Here.

My Favorite Tumblr Funnies: Here.

@DivorceKittens: Here.

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Please continue to stay safe out there, and please wear a mask! I am so worried about all of you and have already lost a couple friends to covid. Please take care. I love you.

Index: Afterland


Afterland


Source: Afterland
Label: Deconstruction (Afterland)

» An Announcement
» Part 1, Chapters 1-5
» Part 1, Chapters 6-10

» Part 1, Chapter 11
» Part 1, Chapter 12
» Part 1, Chapter 13
» Part 1, Chapter 14
» Part 1, Chapter 15
» Part 1, Chapter 16
» Part 1, Chapter 17
» Part 1, Chapter 18
» Part 1, Chapter 19
» Part 1, Chapter 20
» Part 1, Chapter 21
» Part 1, Chapter 22
» Part 1, Chapter 23
» Part 1, Chapter 24
» Part 1, Chapter 25
» Part 1, Chapter 26
» Part 1, Chapter 27
» Part 1, Chapter 28
» Interlude, Chapter 29
» Interlude, Chapter 30
» Interlude, Chapter 31
» Part 2, Chapter 32
» Part 2, Chapter 33
» Part 2, Chapter 34
» Part 2, Chapter 35
» Part 2, Chapter 36
» Part 2, Chapter 37
» Part 2, Chapter 38
» Part 2, Chapter 39
» Part 2, Chapter 40
» Part 2, Chapter 41
» Part 2, Chapter 42
» Part 2, Chapter 43
» Part 2, Chapter 44
» Part 2, Chapter 45
» Part 2, Chapter 46
» Part 2, Chapter 47
» Part 2, Chapter 48
» Part 2, Chapter 49
» Part 2, Chapter 50
» Part 2, Chapter 51
» Part 2, Chapter 52
» Part 2, Chapter 53
» Part 2, Chapter 54
» Part 2, Chapter 55
» Part 2, Chapter 56
» Part 2, Chapter 57
» Part 2, Chapter 58
» Part 2, Chapter 59
» Part 2, Chapter 60
» Part 2, Chapter 61
» Part 2, Chapter 62
» Epilogue, Surfacing

Note: Last updated 8/1/2020.

Film Corner: Rise of Skywalker

Rise of Skywalker

(Ana) During quarantine, I found out that Kissmate had never seen the Star Wars prequels (which was a disappointment to him because he wanted to hate them properly) nor had he seen the "unaltered" original trilogy (noooo!) nor had he seen the newest Star Wars except The Force Awakens. I had the pleasure of conducting a 9-movie marathon with him, and there was much love and hate. Kissmate decide to live-tweet Rise of Skywalker to cheer folks up during a difficult week.

(Kissmate) Since we're in a hellscape right now, I figured a ragewatch of "The Rise of Skywalker" (2019) would be appropriate. I know this is a BAD one. "Ruined the franchise" kind of bad. "Pandered to the racist/extremist/fascist fanboys and no one else" brand of terrible. So I'm already prepared to hate the SHIT of this. A bit of background: We did a marathon of all the main 8 movies before this. All three SHITTY prequals, all three of the original cut of the original trilogy, and both newer Rey movies (which I ADORED!). I could not be more prepared for this.

Open Thread: Fibers


I may, possibly, be attempting a project that uses stuff meant for a violin bow.  On arrival, some of the hairs were tangled, and not all of them survived the untangling process.  These are the ones that didn't.  I think the the curves and whatnot here look cool, not sure if anyone else will.

Sorry this is late; really thought I was going to get two weeks in a row on time.

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We have special open threads set aside for discussing various movies, said discussions including plain text spoilers.  This is the only current one:
   ● Birds of Prey

You do not need a special open thread to discuss a movie.  Provided you encipher any spoilers (the standard method is by summoning Cthulhu) discussion of movies is quite welcome in the regular open threads.

The special threads are for cases where movie-talk might threaten to drown out other discussion, is expected to take place over multiple weeks, or both.  If you believe a given movie calls for one, simply say so.

-

Friday Saturday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us here, so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Open Thread: Fur


Picture of my cat, taken on May 13th.

The open thread is on time for once.  Woo!

-

We have special open threads set aside for discussing various movies, said discussions including plain text spoilers.  This is the only current one:
   ● Birds of Prey

You do not need a special open thread to discuss a movie.  Provided you encipher any spoilers (the standard method is by summoning Cthulhu) discussion of movies is quite welcome in the regular open threads.

The special threads are for cases where movie-talk might threaten to drown out other discussion, is expected to take place over multiple weeks, or both.  If you believe a given movie calls for one, simply say so.

-

Friday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us, so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Open Thread: Glass of Pencils


I have a great fondness for faceted glass, which is probably why I ended up with the set of faceted glasses that pencil-holding glass in the picture is a member of.

Sorry about the lack of open thread last week.  Sorry this is late.  Hope you like the picture.

-

We have special open threads set aside for discussing various movies, said discussions including plain text spoilers.  This is the only current one:
   ● Birds of Prey

You do not need a special open thread to discuss a movie.  Provided you encipher any spoilers (the standard method is by summoning Cthulhu) discussion of movies is quite welcome in the regular open threads.

The special threads are for cases where movie-talk might threaten to drown out other discussion, is expected to take place over multiple weeks, or both.  If you believe a given movie calls for one, simply say so.

-

Friday Sunday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us basically over, so but you can still give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Utena: Meet the Sex Car

[Utena Content Note: Abuse, Sexual Assault, Stalking]

Links: Froborr's excellent posts and color symbolism guide are here. I'm watching the subtitled episodes contained in the blu-ray collection here.

Revolutionary Girl Utena, Episode 25: "Their Eternal Apocalypse"

Third arc!!! Streetlights and a car. ["The car is sex," I tell Kissmate.] Touga and Akio ride together and Akio offers to let him take the wheel. At the Chairman's apartment, Wakaba arrives looking for Utena and ready to help: the girls are moving in. Akio says he wanted his sister to live with him but couldn't separate her from her friends. Wakaba falls all over herself demonstrating her friendship with Anthy in order to justify coming up to visit the pretty Akio. Anthy giggles and Akio stares at her in a worrying manner. [Kissmate: "That was horrifying."]

Student Council! Saionji is back... somehow! I mean, Mikage got him accepted back so either we go with my theory that the events still happened but the memories faded, or the events didn't happen and Saionji came back via a different route. He says he's through with the duels while baseball is played in the background. "Strike!" when he says he can't trust the letters from the End of the World, and Juri notes he was fooled by a false letter. Miki says he's verified the latest letter: he passed through the gate to the arena and found a gondola in the spiral staircase. Confetti appears when Saionji refuses to fight anymore just because someone tells him to. They're playing a game they don't understand and the only way to win is to stop?

Film Corner: Sleepy Hollow

Sleepy Hollow

Doing another round of #Kissmatewatches! For those who want to join, tonight's entertainment is "Sleepy Hollow" from 1999, directed by Tim Burton. I have seen this before, but not in YEARS, so this should feel new enough to me! We already owned the DVD from awhile back, so here's to seeing if it's worth staying on the shelf!

A will is signed and sealed. Old VanGarrett notices a spoopky pumpkin scarecrow. The driver of the carriage is beheaded, leaving Old VG to run through a cornfield, coming across the scarecrow again. Then is beheaded from behind. Already feels fun and campy!

NYC 1799. Ichabod Crane has found a body in the river. It seems Crane wants fair treatment of prisoners and autopsies of bodies and- CHRISTOPHER LEE! How did I get him twice?! And the way the wings in the background make him look like a dark angel just- *MWUA!* *ahem* The judge lets Crane take his fancy detective work to Sleepy Hollow so he can find the killer who has lopped off three heads in a fortnight. It's a test to see if science and logic is better than traditional cruelty. This trope feels... hollow. I guess I've seen the "lone genius" trope for so long that it no longer packs a punch, especially when there's nothing showing the good of the "traditional" side, just the bad. It's written so we're already on Crane's side before we know him. It's cheap.

Utena: Flashbacks Galore

[Utena Content Note: Abuse, Sexual Assault, Stalking]

Links: Froborr's excellent posts and color symbolism guide are here. I'm watching the subtitled episodes contained in the blu-ray collection here.

Revolutionary Girl Utena, Episode 24: "The Secret Nanami Diary"

Now that the entire arc has been undone, it's time for a recap episode...of sorts.

Tsuwabuki begins the day prepping Nanami for her day. She at least thanks him this time. A runaway horse lunges for her and Tsuwabuki pushes her out of the way. He tells us he has a secret nobody knows. In the hospital, Tsuwabuki watches the shadows of Utena, Nanami, and Anthy talk about him. (Anthy asks if he's dead and Kissmate loses his shit laughing.) The heartbeat monitor starts beating faster as the girls find his diary and begin reading it.

He's always watched over Nanami. We see a flashback of Keiko slapping Anthy for hurting Saionji. Nanami saves Anthy and we see Tsuwabuki recording the incident. He says he knows Nanami's image and her true face, recording how she "rules the school from the shadows". We see new information about the curry incident, and how the boys and the elephants ate the curry and... switched bodies before then spending the entire episode chasing Nanami and Tsuwabuki.

Film Corner: American Psycho (Redux)


American Psycho

[Guest Post by Kissmate. Previous live-watch by Ana is here.]

[Content Note: Racism. Murder. Stereotypical movie sociopathy. Misogyny.]

I'm attempting a live-tweet of American Psycho. First thread and first watch, so let's get a feel for it and get rolling with dead-eyed Christian Bale! All I know about this movie is nothing or everything is real, and it's up to the viewer to determine what is or isn't. I think.

Utena: Unreliable Memory

[Utena Content Note: Abuse, Sexual Assault]

Links: Froborr's excellent posts and color symbolism guide are here. I'm watching the subtitled episodes contained in the blu-ray collection here.

Revolutionary Girl Utena, Episode 22-23: "Nemuro Memorial Hall" and "The Terms of a Duelist"

We open with Dios and Akio again. Akio observes they're at the last of the black roses and questions whether Mikage will fight. While Anthy tends pastel pink, orange, and yellow roses, the council members researches who these new duelists are.

Juri notes that Nanami seems especially irritated after her brother was targeted. Symbolism returns in full force, with a railroad crossing flashing as Juri observes that she'd thought Rose Crests could only be possessed by those chosen by the End of the World. Miki suggests that perhaps this is still true and the EOTW is moving in shadows; behind him, the gate arm descends to block traffic. Nanami says it's obvious that the EOTW is backing the duelists as wind from the railroad almost completely blocks out her voice. [Kissmate: "She's so childish and ill-informed that her opinion adds nothing but wind?"] Miki adds over the wind that the instigator must be on campus. The wind stops, the gate arm rises, and Juri apologizes for being unable to hear them. Not entirely sure what to make of this one: something deadly is rushing by them?

Open Thread: Pink


Another picture from the cheap USB microscope.  I think this one was actually taken before the cookie picture.

This, from last week's open thread, is just as relevant this week: Surprising no one, this is late again and I'm sorry about that. As always, I hope you like the picture.

-

We have special open threads set aside for discussing various movies, said discussions including plain text spoilers.  These are the current ones:
   ● Birds of Prey
   ● Star Wars: Episode IX -- The Rise of Skywalker

You do not need a special open thread to discuss a movie.  Provided you encipher any spoilers (the standard method is by summoning Cthulhu) discussion of movies is quite welcome in the regular open threads.

The special threads are for cases where movie-talk might threaten to drown out other discussion, is expected to take place over multiple weeks, or both.  If you believe a given movie calls for one, simply say so.

-

Friday Sunday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us basically over, so but you can still give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Film Corner: The Wicker Man (1973)

The Wicker Man

[Guest Post by Kissmate]

Hey, guys! I figured I'd start a new tag, #Kissmatewatches, for live tweeting movies! Since I just finished Midsommar, I think a nice change of pace is due. Here's a shot at "The Wicker Man" from 1973! All I know of this is the premise and there's a burning man made of wicker with a man inside. That and this is NOT the Nick Cage one, so... no women-punching bears. Let's go take a look!

Utena: Roots of Hatred

[Utena Content Note: Abuse, Sexual Assault, Stalking]

Links: Froborr's excellent posts and color symbolism guide are here. I'm watching the subtitled episodes contained in the blu-ray collection here.

Revolutionary Girl Utena, Episode 21: "Vermin"

We open with Nanami walking in her dueling uniform. (I would love an analysis on when she wears her duelist uniform vs. her girl uniform with the skirt and tie.) Her cadre of three girlfriends appear behind her and walk in silence before effusively praising her. Kissmate points out that they're ten or even fifteen feet behind her while enthusing how happy they are to "be near" her; the juxtaposition between their words and their actions is noteworthy. Everyone else in the school gives her a wide berth--Kissmate notes that *no one* is close to her, not even the people who claim to be.

Open Thread: Cookie via Microscope


In the upper right corner you can see a bit of chocolate chip.  I got a cheap USB microscope for reasons, I had a cookie at the time.  What you see above is the result.

Surprising no one, this is late again and I'm sorry about that. As always, I hope you like the picture.

-

We have special open threads set aside for discussing various movies, said discussions including plain text spoilers.  These are the current ones:
   ● Birds of Prey
   ● Star Wars: Episode IX -- The Rise of Skywalker

You do not need a special open thread to discuss a movie.  Provided you encipher any spoilers (the standard method is by summoning Cthulhu) discussion of movies is quite welcome in the regular open threads.

The special threads are for cases where movie-talk might threaten to drown out other discussion, is expected to take place over multiple weeks, or both.  If you believe a given movie calls for one, simply say so.

-

Friday Sunday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us almost over, so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Film Corner: Midsommar

Midsommar

[Content Note: Self-harm. Gore. Ableism. Incest. Rape. Drugs. Pandemic.]

I haven't had a live-watch in a while. I was getting married to Kissmate (which was very distracting), but today we're sick from some delivered food that maybe wasn't reheated enough, and the point is we have time AND stomach pains. Let's do this. I've been wanting to do MIDSOMMAR for, like, forever now and also before it stops being on Amazon Prime. "An American couple, their relationship foundering, travel to a fabled Swedish midsummer festival where they become trapped in a sinister nightmare." This is obviously the best choice for something to watch while dealing with food poisoning, as we are right now! (I do want to say that covid has entirely fucked up how I watch movies now. A fictional governor ranted about "200 Americans dead" in a movie the other day and I was like "pffft, like you'd care" because I mean. *frantic gestures at covid count*)

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