Open Thread: Purple


Seen while I was walking down a street, I think.

Generally my camera is very bad with purple I think it did a pretty good job here, though.

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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!

Political season reminder: please take any stuff on the election to the politics space on The Slacktiverse.

Narnia: Be Swift, Secret, and Fortunate

[Narnia Content Note: Racism, Violence, Forced Marriage, Misogyny]

Narnia Recap: Aravis and Lasaraleen end up hiding in a room with the Tisroc. Obligatory note about racism, intent, and Lewis is here.

The Horse and His Boy, Chapter 8: In The House Of The Tisroc

If you'll recall, Aravis and Lasaraleen are hidden in a room and overhearing a conversation between the Tisroc, his son the crown prince Rabadash (and Susan's suitor), and the vizier Ahoshta (who is Aravis' suitor).

Spelling all that out has made me realize we have a lot of suitors in the room. Too many, in my opinion, especially if they aren't going to dovetail at all. It's almost a Chekov's gun that goes un-fired: Susan is fleeing from an unwanted marriage and Aravis is fleeing from an unwanted marriage. Both Rabadash and Ahosta have very recently and very publicly been jilted and humiliated.

How is there never a comparison or commiseration drawn between these two nearly-identical situations? Aravis and Susan never meet in this book, not even from a distance; it's Shasta who overhears the Narnians, and when Aravis arrives in Archenland it will be Lucy who takes her in hand to become friends and talk about dresses. Susan disappears from the pages, no longer needed once she's served her purpose as Helen of Troy and no longer wanted by the author who seems always to have held her in poor esteem.

Deconstruction: Last of Us (Again)

[Content Note: Children in danger. Murderous guardians. Death and violence. Medical malfeasance. Zombie Apocalypses and *everything* bad that goes with them. Everything. Also, all the spoilers from The Last of Us, including the final scene of the game.]

I know I already talked about this game before, but I keep getting into this with Dudes on Twitter so I made a little Storify.

Deconstruction: Ana Watches Avatar

I don't have a Narnia this week (at least not yet) and for this I am sorry--my laptop broke last week and it's made life exponentially harder because it was what I used from bed when my back was acting up (which is "most of the time" now).

I do, however, have a live-watch of Avatar: The Last Airbender which may entertain some of you. My short review is that Season 1 was fine, if a little rushed in parts (particularly over the self-sacrifice of a girl who is miserable in her misogynistic culture--her sacrifice is covered in literally two lines of dialogue, which... just... ugh.); Season 2 was one of the best things I've ever experienced and had an amazing disabled character with hopes and dreams and challenges and a world-outlook I knew as intimately as my own; and Season 3 showed the rift of a major creator shakeup (I'm told various people left the show) and is in my personal subjective opinion ableist garbage that stabbed me deeper than I could have imagined and over which I still quietly bleed.

All of which makes the show utterly impossible to rate as a single contained unit, of course, because "best thing ever" and "worst thing ever" don't average out cleanly. People have asked whether I recommend watching it and I never know how to answer the question. "Don't watch Season 3" would mean skipping the episode in Season 3 with the old lady and I did like her. "Don't watch Season 3 except for that one episode with the old lady" would be my recommendation, I guess.

To be clear before anyone leaps in to tell me my opinion is wrong, my gripe isn't just with the ableism of the stereotypical messy-haired, disheveled-clothes, cackling-descent-into-crazy villain. Awful as that is, I'm used to that by now. No, what hurt the most was watching how the Season 3 writers just didn't care about the disabled girl Toph, to the point of actually making her established trauma into a literal punchline. That hurt me, because it wasn't just benign neglect or careless invisibility--it showed people actually understanding how and in what ways someone like me is human but then laughing at the idea that anyone would ever care because, c'mon.

Why would you care about Toph getting a resolution of her parental arc? Why would you care about her receiving closure on the letter she sent to them pleading her case one more time and asking for a reconciliation on terms that respected her as a person and not a pet? (A letter she asked for help writing because she can't write!) Why would you care that she was shuffled off the show so everyone else could have a one-on-one episode with the Brooding Angsty Boy, a fact that was lampshaded with a scene where she tries to confide in him anyway about her problems with her parents, only to be brushed off because he doesn't care. Why would you care about a disabled girl, or the latter scene in the "recap" episode where she explicitly points out that everyone else has a character arc but she's just a cannon for them to point at problems so the plot can continue. (And of course she's okay with that because, like a good Disabled Character, she's just happy to be here helping.)

I cared. I cared. And it hurt to see that care mocked and belittled.

So.

Anyway!

Enjoy the Storify if you're into that sort of thing. There are exactly 1,000 tweets, which is Storify's upper limit, I learned. I've placed an embedded Storify reader under the cut, though it might crash your web browser if you try to view it all here on Blogger. Direct link to a non-embedded view is here: Anatar.

Writings: This War of Mine

[Trigger Warning: War, Violence (implied, but in a graphic manner), Children living in a war area (but she's okay, nothing bad happens to her), Mild Language.]

I've been playing This War of Mine for my YouTube channel, and then kept playing after my YouTube playthrough ended because I like the game so much. I bought the expansion pack with children, ran through a scenario, and then had feels I had to flash fiction out (at midnight, when I was supposed to be sleeping. On a work night.). Kristy said I had to upload it here because if she had to cry, so did someone else. This fic is based on a true event that happened in game.

Characters: 
Franko (trader who comes to the house)
Katia (survivor whose talent is bargaining)
Marko (survivor whose talent is scavenging at night)
Kalina (child survivor)
Roman (survivor who deserted from the army)

Here's a picture of almost everyone's faces, and a picture of the general layout of their house just so you have an image. At the end of the post I'll put the YouTube series (although, again, this event happened in a non-recorded game).

Open Thread: Orange


If memory serves, this was grown by Lonespark and co.

(This is, at least, the second orange open thread this year --plus the orange dragon-- because I am original.)

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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!

Political season reminder: please take any stuff on the election to the politics space on The Slacktiverse.

Open Thread: Rainbow


So... there was a very distinct full arc (horizon to horizon) rainbow with the secondary rainbow also visible.  I totally forgot that I could take a picture.  I never did remember.  By the time I was reminded that I could take a picture, this was basically all that was left.

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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!

Political season reminder: please take any stuff on the election to the politics space on The Slacktiverse.

Open Thread: Park Sculpture


This can be found in Lincoln Park in Portland, Maine.  Apparently it was put there at the beginning of June.  It is called, "The American Dream," and credit goes to Judith Hoffman, but as near as I can tell it was a team effort.  I'm just not quite clear on how many people were on the team.

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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!

Political season reminder: please take any stuff on the election to the politics space on The Slacktiverse.

Narnia: Things Commonly Reported

[Narnia Content Note: Racism, Violence, Misogyny, Sexual Violence]

Narnia Recap: Aravis and Lasaraleen end up hiding in a room with the Tisroc. Obligatory note about racism, intent, and Lewis is here.

The Horse and His Boy, Chapter 8: In the House of the Tisroc

I missed something in Chapter 7 that I want to go back to for a moment.

  Then came an old man, very fat, wearing a curious pointed cap by which she immediately knew that he was the Tisroc. The least of the jewels with which he was covered was worth more than all the clothes and weapons of the Narnian lords put together: but he was so fat and such a mass of frills and pleats and bobbles and buttons and tassels and talismans that Aravis couldn’t help thinking the Narnian fashions (at any rate for men) looked nicer.

Several of the commenters pointed out that this makes no sense--one doesn't think the Tisroc looks odd in his clothes any more than Catholics think that about the Pope (thank you Anton Mates)--but I skimmed over the bit where Aravis finds the Tisroc's clothes distinctly feminine. This is of course a well known racist trope about eastern cultures and fits with the sinful decadence tropes that Lewis is already rolling around in. The Tisroc looks silly not just because he is fat and opulent, but because he is opulent in a feminine way. So once again we have a feminized villain, just in the form of a man of color.

With that said, let's look at Chapter 8.