Fandom: The Avengers
Characters: Phil Coulson, Steve Rogers, Bucky Barnes, Natasha Romanova, Clint Barton, Bruce Banner, JARVIS, Tony Stark.
Warnings: Public surveillance (consensual on the part of the main characters). Mention of past trauma with lingering symptoms of PTSD. Current environment is safe. Shyness. Nausea. Imposter syndrome. Boundary issues. Negative coping skills. Communication issues. Anxiety. Depending on how you interpret it, Bruce's mistreatment of Hulk may count as domestic violence, sibling abuse, or self-harm. Tension among the team.
Summary: Steve coaxes Bruce and Bucky to go out running with him. Later on, there is Game Night.
Notes: Hurt/comfort. Family. Fluff and angst. Coping skills. Exercise. Healthy touch. Asking for help and getting it. Hope. Tony takes things apart. Dietary concerns and solutions. Comfort food. Positive coping skills. Talking. Self-control. Discouraging mistreatment. Facing fears. Nonsexual ageplay. Nonsexual intimacy. Caregiving. Competence. Toys and games. Gentleness. Trust. #coulsonlives
Begin with Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.
( Read more... )
We had always planned, once Ireland was part of the equation, to spend a week there and a week in England. We started looking at taking a ferry to Scotland, but between the car issue (you can take a car from GB to Ireland, but if you rent a car in the Republic you CANNOT take it off the island) and the cost of the ferries, it was just to prohibitive. So, we ended up booking a flight on Ryanair from Dublin to Edinburgh. (feochadn not only booked this, as well as handled all the other logistics, but also found this list of Top 10 Ways to Survive a Ryanair Flight, which proved to be very helpful.)
The flight itself was fine, though the return of the car (we were returning the car before the rental place was open, and the directions were less than helpful) and the actual attempt to get to the gate was certainly more fraught than I would have liked. When we got to Edinburgh, though, we had no problem picking up the car, then immediately hit the road towards England.
( Cut for Scottish coast and the Holy Island of Lindisfarne )
If you're planning a trip to England and think you're going to go to more than a couple of historical sites, I can't recommend enough getting the English Heritage Overseas Visitors Pass. We got the two person pass for 9 days for 50 pounds, which ended up being more than a bargain. Not only does that cover entrance fees for any EH sites, it offers discounts on some other sites operated by other programs (e.g., National Trust) as well as free parking at all EH sites AND other historic sites. Since pretty much every place that's a manned site has pay-to-park, that alone saved us a lot of money.
We unfortunately didn't get to stay at any of the cottages they maintain, but there's always the next trip. :-)
( Spoilers for season 2 )
What I most need help with is seeing if it needs cutting down. The deadline for final drafts is June 5, so it's a job for next week.
ETA: Beta found on tumblr!
The key points here are: keep icing, even though the shoulder is feeling quite a bit better; and if an exercise starts to feel like I could do sets of 12 instead of 10, increase the weight/resistance instead. (There are some practical issues here, to do with things like availability of free weights, but I can work around that.) Also, one thing they set up, I looked at and said "I could do that in my sleep" and asked for more resistance—the "I could do it in my sleep" reaction was a combination of familiar-looking activity and the amount of resistance. (I guessed right on that one, in that I did three sets of 10, and they were moderately difficult but not painful.)
I will need to poke at a calendar and see what the best way of scheduling sessions around my June travel is; ideally I won't either go to PT while half asleep, or go three weeks between sessions. (Two and a half weeks may be unavoidable, though.)
The Duggar family of Tontitown, Arkansas, are a large clan of fundamentalist Baptists who have gained celebrity due to the “reality” television program 19 Kids and Counting on basic cable’s TLC channel. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar are parents to 19 children — a result of their patriarchal, “Quiverfull” religion.
The TV show purportedly revealing the daily reality of this large family helped turn them into spokespeople for and mascots of the religious right — avatars of “family values” and a religiously motivated sexual righteousness. The Duggars have leveraged that fame to support various right-wing political causes — fighting to ban same-sex marriage, gay rights, antidiscrimination laws protecting LGBT people, access to contraception, and legal abortion. The family’s oldest son, Josh, went to work for the anti-gay religious right lobbying and fundraising group, the Family Research Council.
All of that blew to smithereens last week when celebrity-gossip rag In Touch magazine published police reports revealing that Josh Duggar sexually abused several children when he was a teenager, and that his parents waited for more than a year before notifying authorities.
This is not the first time that prominent religious right figures have been exposed as sexual predators and hypocrites after making a career out of demonizing LGBT people while celebrating their own sexual “purity” and moral superiority. Nor will it be the last.
Here’s a round-up of some insightful commentary and reflection in response to the Josh Duggar scandal.
“Jim Bob Duggar waited more than a year after his son, Josh, confessed to sexually molesting several female minors before contacting police … based on information contained in the official police report.”
“Sexual abuse should always always always be reported to the authorities immediately, even when the perpetrator is a minor.”
• Sarah Posner, “Josh Duggar and the Purity Lie”
“The Duggars are no ordinary spokespeople for the religious right; they are super-spokespeople. For years, they have been held up as exemplars of biblical living, of devotion to Christ, and of, especially, homespun honest living and sexual purity. It’s long been obvious to many that this is a product of marketing and packaging, not reality. But now no one can pretend anymore.”
• Sarah Pulliam Bailey and Michelle Boorstein, “How do evangelicals view the Duggars? It’s complicated.”
“When the Duggars first appeared on television in 2008, some evangelicals saw a fringe image of themselves, perhaps something like the experience of Mormons watching the reality show Sister Wives, about a polygamous family.”
• Melissa @ Permission to Live, “It’s Not Just The Duggars”
“What is truly horrifying, is that after setting their kids up for this to happen, Josh Duggar’s parents pushed it under the rug, kept things in house, and didn’t get help for either the molester or the children who were molested.”
• Katie Mulligan, “Child Sexual Assault”
“We have not figured out how to deal with child sexual assault.”
“How does one look at the cheery faces of Jim Bob and Michelle and not think about the degree of their complicity in keeping this ‘storyline’ — for that’s what all real events become in this TV genre — suppressed?”
“All I needed to know was that they followed Gothard’s teachings about sex and gender, and I knew that it was more likely than not that a sex scandal would surface sooner or later.”
“Turns out Josh Duggar is far more dangerous to children than the LGBT people he has demonized for so long.”
• David Clohessy, “Huckabee defends sex offender; SNAP responds”
“It’s painful when some misunderstand and misapply the notion of forgiveness in ways that lead to putting other innocent kids and vulnerable adults in harm’s way again, even in cases of proven, serial, predatory behavior by dangerous men.”
“‘Having met the Duggar family and been in their home, I have great admiration and appreciation for how Jim Bob and Michelle instilled Christian values in the lives of each of their children,’ … Evangelism Explosion International president John B. Sorensen said in a statement.”
“If this is the sort of morality Christians have — where the only thing preventing them from stealing or raping or committing any number of crimes is their fear of God — it tells you how fucked up their worldview is.”
“Michael Seewald penned a lengthy essay Sunday, quoting Scripture, and offering disturbing excuses.”
“Often we see in communities of faith that victims are admonished to be grace-like, offering instant forgiveness to their abuser as if it could be doled out like a trinket or candy. And when someone is pressured to ‘be like Jesus’ and forgive swiftly, often this pressure causes harm.”
• Kathryn Elizabeth, “Josh Duggar says he’s sorry. So what?”
“This isn’t penitence, it’s not repentance, it’s what child molesters do. Rewrite the narrative so that in the end the audience feels sorry for them and forgets about their victims.”
• Samantha Field, “How Josh Duggar is getting away with it”
“This is what purity culture does. More than anything else, it silences victims.”
• Boz Tchividjian, “A grand deception: The successful response of sex offenders”
“Sexual offenders have perfected a grand deception that sadly seems to work all too well inside faith communities.”
• Carmen Green, “Anna Duggar and the Silencing Power of Forgiveness”
“They are tapping into the belief that no sin is too terrible for God to forgive and the mandate that we must forgive our trespassers as God has forgiven us. Together, these beliefs force victims in this subculture to shut up, sit down, and ‘make peace’ with the people who have wronged them.”
• Libby Anne, “What Did Josh Duggar’s Counseling Look Like?”
“Bill Gothard was outed as a predator of teen girls last year and removed from his leadership position, but the Duggars continue to serve for speakers at ATI conferences. The Duggars’ connection to Gothard and ATI is not incidental or tangential.”
• Rebecca Schoenkopf, “How Not to Counsel Your Daughters When They’ve Been Molested by Josh Duggar”
“What we are going to talk about is what the Duggars’ religion — their freaky-deaky, Stepford-meets-Taliban, patriarchal, Quiverfull, homeschooled, isolated, culty, HARMFUL AND DAMAGING religion — teaches them about their girl babies. Because what it teaches is Some Bullshit, and it is Not Okay.”
“The teachings of the Quiverfull lifestyle are spread primarily through the Christian home school movement. Many of the publishing companies which cater to the curriculum needs of the Christian home school community also publish and promote materials which address lifestyle choices regarding biblical family structure, roles, and practices.”
• Vyckie Garrison, “5 demented evangelical teachings that enabled Josh Duggar’s sex crimes”
“My point here is to say that contemporary evangelical Christianity sets ‘biblical families’ up for this sort of disaster.”
• Libby Anne, “Josh Duggar and the Tale of Two Boxes”
“There seems to be an assumption among some social conservatives that because progressives do not see premarital sex as sinful and wrong, they aren’t in any position to criticize Josh Duggar’s actions.”
“I doubt that Fayetteville parents would stand for a law that would endanger their daughters or allow them to be traumatized by a man joining them in their private space.”
• Ahab @ Republic of Gilead, “Josh Duggar Backs Out of Teach Them Diligently Conference”
“I’m relieved that Duggar will not be speaking at the event. However, when I skimmed over the conference workshop schedule, I was disappointed that the topics reflected the unhealthy Christian homeschooling culture in which the Duggars live.”
You have to understand, the dishwasher is the one device standing between me and abject surrender to total household disarray. (As opposed to the merely ordinary household disarray which is the normal state of things around here.) So I was contemplating the unedifying possibility of having to hand-wash all the dishes, and I know from bitter experience how well that always works out for me, and I was feeling pretty much beaten about the head and shoulders by the universe.†
So I went from the kitchen into the office, and my face was as the face of despair.
"The dishwasher has stopped working," I said. "I have tried all of the electric outlets, and they are not the problem. Alas!"
"Let me take a look at it," said Himself, rising from his computer.
And lo, he did take a look at it, and caused it to resume its accustomed operations. And I did marvel thereat.
"The overflow shutoff was clogged," he explained. "All I needed to do was unclog it -- it was the first thing that I thought of."
"I love you," I said. "And not merely because you have unclogged the dishwasher."
So now the dishes are once again being made clean, and I am going to try to make pot stickers for dinner.
†Meaning, I hasten to say, no disrespect to anybody reading this who happens to have been actually, as opposed to merely metaphorically, beaten about the head and shoulders. Samuel Johnson said that it was bad manners to jest about rope in the house of a man who has been hanged . . . the difficulty these days is that thanks to the power of the internet, there's no telling whose house you may be in at any given moment.
As Texas’ top criminal court finally tosses out the convictions of Dan and Fran Keller after 22 years, Radley Balko looks back at the Satanic Panic of the 1980s, which “was pervasive enough to dupe our entire criminal justice system, as dozens of innocent people were sent to prison for crimes for which there was no evidence other than the coerced testimony of kids, and for which those same defendants would later be exonerated.”
The Kellers were finally released from decades of imprisonment, but Texas declined to declare them innocent. Balko shares an excerpt from Judge Cheryl Johnson’s argument for their innocence:
This was a witch hunt from the beginning. The allegations in the indictment were based on the testimony of a three-year-old child who, even before she sporadically attended the applicant’s day-care facility, was in therapy for numerous psychological and behavioral issues. In accusing applicant, she asserted that applicant had come to her house and had cut her dog’s vagina with a chainsaw until it bled, that she was taken to a cemetery, where, after a person dressed like a policeman threw a person in a hole, Daniel Keller shot the person who had been thrown into the hole and cut up the body with a chainsaw while all the children helped, and that she had been put into a swimming pool with sharks that ate babies. She also alleged that applicant served blood-laced Kool-Aid, forced the children to have videotaped sex with adults and other children, sometimes wore white robes and lit candles before hurting the children, and forced the children to watch or participate in the killing and dismemberment of cats, dogs, and a crying baby. According to the complainant, bodies were unearthed in cemeteries and new holes were dug to hide freshly killed animals, an adult passer-by was shot and dismembered with a chain saw, Frances Keller cut off the finger of a gorilla at Zilker Park, and applicant had performed a satanic bone-replacing ritual on one child. And the children were taken on several plane trips, including one to Mexico, where they were sexually abused by soldiers before returning to Austin in time to meet their parents at the day-care facility. In spite of such fantastical claims, which should have produced total incredulity in the police investigators and prosecutors, charges were filed.
Keep in mind, again, that there was no physical evidence to support any of these ridiculously imaginative claims. The Kellers were convicted and imprisoned for crimes that allegedly included dozens of victims who were never identified, never found, never reported missing by anyone anywhere.
How did that happen? Well, partly, as Balko notes, because the courts relied on “expert witnesses” such as Randy Noblitt — a guy who made a living recycling old Mike Warnke fantasies for credulous audiences, police departments, juries and culture-war “moral entrepreneurs.”
But it happened mainly because people wanted to believe in those fantasies. They preferred them to reality. Faced with the choice between living in this world — the real world — and the monster-haunted landscape Judge Johnson describes, millions of people chose the latter. It is, again, just like the imaginative “shared insanity” of fantasy role-playing games — but without the conscious recognition that you’re really just sitting around a folding table in the basement, eating chips and rolling dice.
This fantasy reinforced itself by feeding the same need to imagine that we’re heroic adventurers. Any challenge to the pretense of the “shared insanity” — any skeptical questions about the shark-filled swimming pools, the gorilla fingers, or the bloody Kool Aid would provoke a defensive response lest that heroic illusion should be dispelled.
Any skeptical questions about the reality of these alleged horrors was reinterpreted — and fiercely condemned — as a defense of those same horrors. Questions such as “How did they have time to fly the children to Mexico?” or “Why are there no records of such a flight?” wouldn’t be answered directly because answering them would threaten the fantasy. Instead, anyone asking such questions would be recast as a defender of Satanic ritual abuse by Mexican soldiers. The questions would be answered with a question: “Why are you protecting foreign soldiers who rape and murder American children?”
It’s an all-too-familiar pattern. Anyone who challenges the fantasy framework of heroic opposition to imaginary Satanic baby-killers is dismissed as a co-conspirator of the Satanic baby-killers. (Habeas corpus? What kind of sicko demands to see a dead body?)
Judge Johnson’s use of the phrase “witch hunt” is an important reminder that this moral panic of the 1980s wasn’t unprecedented. Nor has it lacked antecedents. We have always had witch-hunters, witch-finders, witch-sniffers and witch-burners, and the absence of witches has never lessened their fantasy of heroic self-importance.
(Regarding the Kellers and their case, see these earlier posts: “And all his works and pomps” and “Imaginary Satanic baby-killers, real people still in prison.”)
I left for WisCon 39 on Thursday morning, and stopped in Chicago to pick up Naamenblog on the way. He & I had amazing conversation all the way to Madison, as is our (sorta) custom. By the time I got to Madison I was a bit wonky from driving, but helped wrdnrd & the_andy to sticker over some errata on the pocket program book, and eventually we went to dinner with a pile of really good friends, and then more stickering
In some ways, this WisCon was often about stuff I was missing -- I had planned to go to Geekeoke after dinner on Thursday, but I was so zonked and feeling a little worn down & wanted to help with the PPB correcting, so I opted to go back to the hotel instead. It was probably the right decision, though I definitely was sad to miss out on the fun.
Friday I went to a couple panels and had some lobby-con and a great lunch with wild_irises & a wonderful dinner with were_duck, and a bunch of other stuff that just generally felt like perfect WisCon friendly togetherness & it was great. I also spent a lot of time this con with jinjurly, and had great conversations with way too many people to name. I had a panel on Saturday afternoon that went really well, and a second in spontaneous programming that led to great discussion.
( ..cat-related stress.. )
Saturday night was the vid party, and I had been SO STOKED for it, and I am really glad that I did. (The VidParty Playlist has been posted over at wiscon_vidparty -- you should go enjoy, because it was such a great slate!!) I had a lot of fun and I love vidding and vidders so much. I really want to start making vids and I think that, while I've resisted the temptation so far, I am going to succumb to it soon.
Unfortunately, right after this amazing Hunger Games vid that had me all up in my feels, I noticed that I had a missed call from N, so went back down to the room to call him back; he was having a really rough time, and so given that I made the decision to leave for home on Sunday morning. After that, I went back up to the VidParty to have too many feelings and singalong and be with friends (and cry a little), and then a bunch of us ended up back in our room for a room party that went waaaaaaay too late/not long enough.
I kind of just slipped out on Sunday morning -- I am really sorry to have missed so many people, and my Sunday panels. But I made the right decision, and I felt that then, too. The drive back was long & boring, and I was wicked tired & coming down with con crud, but when I got home on Sunday evening I was so, so glad to see N and Tengu and to be at home.
Tengu is gradually improving, and ( ..more details.. )
I've had all of this week off as scheduled vacation, and unfortunately I have spent a good deal of it being sick with a heinous cold. I taught class yesterday morning & have class tomorrow, but I'm trying to spend today & tomorrow otherwise feeling a little more like I'm on vacation. So this afternoon I took myself out to the new beer lounge in Dayton, and right now am sitting on a really cozy couch, staring out the window and having a good Ohio beer. I'll wring the enjoyment out of the rest of this vacation week however I can.
Rewatching Lois & Clark (three episodes in, still adorable. And Cat Grant and her terrible self is running up to my favourite character. She's so awfully written I'm perversely rooting for her) has put me in a yen for Mutant X, so I'm swinging through that again as well. Not a revelation: Superhero shows are really white.
Meanwhile, dipping my toe back into DC has ended up badly, again. Though I'm having a good time reading comics sites trying to explain what happened at the end of Convergence and what that means. I think the answer is: "Nobody knows." It may become more clear as the new comics roll out. Or not. I admit to being tempted by a few of the girl comics. It looks like they might actually be going with Diana/Teri over in JL 3001, though I can't quite tell from the preview. I'm getting increasingly sick of Asshole!Clark.
Bloody Jergens though. The latest Booster Gold was legitimately terrible. Granted, it was nice to see Ted and Booster on the same page again, but then ( spoilers ) And it was just... very much not good. Bah! The Blue Beetle comic with all the Charlton characters was cute anyway.
Not a Good Day for Pets
28 May 2004 [my first year going to college in town]
Brother called the shelter and the owners had come for the dog. So they were bummed. I was too, really. I have claimed for years that I am really a cat person. I am. Really. I have no desire to own a dog. It would have been nice to play with theirs though. They will go dog hunting again in a couple of weeks.
The really bad news came when Dad called. A Bear ate his beloved rabbit. Poor Mr. Kiwi Underfoot is no more. Dad was pretty broken up, so was Mom. I don’t feel too badly about it, only a little sad. We really shouldn’t have let him run loose, but he was always so happy out there. He did so love tormenting the chickens. Rest in peace, my love. Poor baby, at least it was quick.
I hadn't realised that I never told the full story of the demise of Mr. Kiwi Underfoot. This post makes it sounds like I was totally broken up or something, when I was mostly trying not to laugh (I remember saying very neutral "Oh, yeah?" a lot in that phone conversation). Poor bunny. And poor Dad, whose rabbit it was. But honestly!
For reference, this is Dad holding the rabbit in question. I think that's about as big as he got. ( picture of a rabbit )
So Dad had this ridiculous little pet rabbit, which he loved. I think it was the second one we had as a pet not as a garden animal, and I think we got it for him for Christmas or something. From the picture you can see that it's clearly an inside pet not a meat rabbit or anything. But it wasn't really happy running about the kitchen floor, so it was allowed, on nice days, to go outside and do whatever, and it would come back in on its own at night. We assumed it sort of hoped about the edges of the house or something. It was wee! How far could it go?
It was a busy spring day when about forty things were happening. No one had seen Kiwi in a while, but no one had been paying attention either. Then, my folks heard on the radio the ferry operator at the Narrows (about 13km up the coast) calling the resource conservation officers with, "I've got a really strange wildlife report." Which was the following:
Two people who were trying to run the trail in a day had stopped to sit on a bunch and rest. The bench was about four hundred metres down the trail from our station, and, as they were sitting there, this little brown obviously-domestic rabbit hopped by them down the boardwalk. They watched it go out of sight, baffled, then watched it run back towards them. Pursued by a black bear. Which then ate the rabbit right in front of the runners and kept on going.
The runners started up again, and reported the whole incident to the ferry operator, who knowing there are no rabbits native to the area, was totally floored. Which were the unlikely circumstances under which we learned the unlikely fate of Mr. Kiwi Underfoot.
Mom named the bench "Rabbit's Rest."
(My brother did eventually get a dog. Which his wife got in the divorce).
I'm definitely doing the song I mentioned last entry for Imperial Radch, and probably also The Complete Poetic Works of Basnaaid Elming, and possibly also the complete lyrics to My Heart Is A Fish, unless I find something more compelling when I re-read.
For Steven Universe, somebody else already nominated the spirit morph saga which is good, but I still have to narrow down the rest. :/ Here is a poll. You can answer it even if you have no idea what Steven Universe is. :P
Which SU canon(s) should we make real?
The No Home Boys (YA series)
Passions of Xanxor (Romance Novel)
Dogcopter (Movie Series)
Crying Breakfast Friends (TV show)
Space Train to the Cosmos (Album)
G.U.Y.S (merchandising franchise)
Lonely Blade (Movie Series)
Beyond that I don't know. :/ I guess I could throw in some of the ones from last year that nobody offered. Or... nominate fewer than the maximum possible fandoms....
2. Is anyone going to connexions_so? I was suddenly reminded that the other mid-atlantic multifandom slash con is actually happening again at long last, and am trying to decide if I should try to go.
3. So I bought my Sasquan membership two days ago and got a confirmation but there is no sign of my membership number or PIN yet. Other people who have done this, is that delay normal or should I be worried...?