metaphortunate: (Default)
In case you don’t know: [personal profile] tam_nonlinear is dead.
 
The last tumblr post she made, very characteristically, was an effort to make sure her cats were taken care of. The second to last was a request for someone to take over Tam Lin Balladry, the website she had maintained for as long as I’ve known her. I believe both cats and website are being cared for. Elizabeth Bear and Seanan McGuire are - were - friends of hers and seem to be taking care of it, which…thank you. There will also be a memorial gathering in Boston. I wish I were on the right coast to go.
 
This was one of those internet friendships that are hard to describe when people at work ask you if you’re okay. I never met Abigail. I never heard her voice. I hadn’t heard as much from her since the slow attrition of LiveJournal. But we were online friends for probably a decade. She was one of the most singular people I ever met. Well - we all know that online lives are curated. I’m sure there are hundreds of facets of her personality that I never knew. But I want to tell you about the Abigail that I knew online.
 
I am a better parent for having known her, and the way she wrote, so simply and beautifully, all about the slow, painstaking, patient work of loving wild things. I never knew anyone else whose love was so strongly given to the nonhuman world. To trees. To her garden. To wrens. To ferns. She noticed these tiny birds, these tiny leaves. Tiny changes in the park she took her walks in. And of course how she loved her cats. They were all ferals. It takes a lot of time and work and patience to earn the trust of a feral cat. It elevates respecting boundaries to an art form. I’ll never be as good at it as she was, but I’m better at it for having spent years reading regular updates on how patient, respectful, undemanding, constantly offered kindness opens up a space for trust and love. And about the responsibility that you take on when you get a wild thing to trust you. I remember when she had to take Portia to the vet to be put down. After years of slowly developing a relationship. The last gift she could give her was an easy death. And how she missed that cat. A cat that would rarely even come inside her house. She knew that Portia would never be able to come to her; so she went to Portia, she built their friendship on Portia’s turf. She held her so lightly. She knew how to love wild things. I often wondered how she learned it.
 
You know me, my view of life as a phenomenon is more or less that it’s a way for matter to have found a way to experience fear and suffering. Not a super great idea, in other words. But sometimes - I remember being in a planetarium once, and watching a show about all the different things in the galaxy, and all the galaxies in the universe, and how there is no life anywhere there, and it made me so sad, that there is so much beauty in the universe that will never be seen, by anyone. I wish it could be seen by someone like her. Someone who had the gift of really seeing. Someone who was a way for the universe to see itself, and know that it was beautiful.
 
And do you know what else she did? She did abortion clinic escorting. She fed possums, and she cared for wild cats, and she went to protests and Black Lives Matter rallies, and regularly, she went out and put herself between vulnerable women and people who want to scare and hurt them. She helped people. I admired her so much. I think I told her that. I hope I did.
 
She got laid off a couple of years ago, and she never was able to get another similar job after that. She was unemployed for a long time, and she had some retail and other part-time work, but I’m pretty sure it was nothing with insurance. And she had some serious long-term health issues. And then the election.
 
And she killed herself. I can’t even deal right now with people saying that we will survive Trump because ABBY IS ALREADY DEAD.
 
Tam Lin Balladry is her website of research, analysis, variations, and music for the ballad of Tam Lin. She maintained it for almost twenty years. It’s a complicated little story, that you can’t smooth a simple message out of. You have to contend with the rapey bit. There are so many ways to look at Janet. Is it a story about a girl looking for adventure? about women competing? Beauty and the Beast? making the best of what you’ve got? I’ve thought it about far more than I ever would have if I hadn’t known Abigail, and I’ll never know what exactly it was about that story that called to her so much, and motivated her to put so much work and care into it. But tonight I’m thinking about how hellishly seductive the idea is that we can save the things we love if we just hold on to them hard enough. I know it’s just a fairy tale, Abby. I will never blame you for letting go.
metaphortunate: (Default)
One thing about Ghostbusters’ Kevin: my friend C pointed out, Kevin is not a feminine character being played by a man, at all. All his obnoxiousnesses are masculine forms of obnoxiousness. He’s so comfortable in his own skin, he’s completely uninterested in any inconvenience his weird spaciness may be causing his female employers! He’s got total confidence in his graphic design skills! And he’s got no doubts that he’s qualified to be on the team and be a real Ghostbuster! He was born to be a Ghostbuster, and being born is all it takes!
metaphortunate: (Default)
Fic authors I have all the time in the world for: the ones who take your standard rigidly gendered canon and subvert the shit out of it.

Fic authors who can get in the fucking sea: the ones who keep the eighty-five male characters from their male-dominated canon male and turn the one and only female character genderqueer.

Oh, speaking of fic, not especially queered but wonderful anyway: I'll write you harmony in c by magneticwave. Because Mary Bennet was a woman tragically born out of her right time.
metaphortunate: (Default)
We saw Star Wars last night! It was:

95% = this extremely accurate and spoiler-free review

4% = a gutwrenching hook into the primal human fear that your kid will grow up to be a horrible person and you won't be able to do anything about it

1% = a brief but surprisingly nuanced glimpse of a complicated, either long-ended or on-again-off-again, nonmonogamous relationship between three people who clearly still care about each other a whole lot

We had fun!
metaphortunate: (Default)


It occurred to me the other day that Captain America would smoke like a freaking chimney.




(yes I have been keeping myself calm over the past week by drawing Captain America chain smoking)
(it's very soothing)
metaphortunate: (Default)
I know, I know, you wonder what FFA is even for, but I am here to tell you: for the Great Woobie-Off.

And best of all: [personal profile] skygiants informs us that the winner, the Woobiest of all the Woobies, is, of course:

Vanyel Ashkevron. Search your feelings: you know it to be true.

On a similar note, would you like to have your heart broken, and then fixed better than it was before with gay porn? Damn, son, [personal profile] cesperanza has still got it: "All the Angels and the Saints", Captain America/Bucky Barnes. Yeah, I know this is like a year old; this isn't even my fandom, I haven't been reading in it, I ran into this randomly, and whoa.

fire truck

Jul. 2nd, 2015 08:09 am
metaphortunate: (Junebug)
I hope all firefighters who ring the fire truck bell and wave at small children who just stand on the sidewalk and stare at them silently like tiny cows know that my kids are just too overwhelmed by the FIRE TRUCK and the eye contact and when the truck is about a block away they start waving madly. Check your rearview.
metaphortunate: (gryffindor pride)
You know, another thing about Fury Road:
The opposite of a fact is falsehood, but the opposite of one profound truth may very well be another profound truth.
- Niels Bohr
When Nux is discovered on the war rig, Furiosa roars with anger and lunges to shank him. But she can't; the Wives won't let her. They agreed, Splendid reminds her: no unnecessary killing! They throw him out of the rig instead. And Furiosa's not wrong. He was there to stab her in the back and return the Wives to a life of slavery and rape. They throw him out; and he goes back to Immortan Joe, helps his army find the war rig, and comes back re-armed to try again.

But the Wives aren't wrong, either. It would be quite easy for the movie to endorse the opinion that the Wives are being foolishly sentimental, wanting to avoid killing, because they're not hardened to the necessities of the post-apocalyptic land like Furiosa and the Vuvalini are. Furiosa says it: oh, you got shot, boo hoo, out here everything hurts. The Keeper of the Seeds cheerfully tells the Dag, "Killed everyone I ever met out here." And when the Dag says, "Thought somehow you girls were above all that," how much do I love the Keeper's wry smile, her head tilt that says silently and eloquently that if they were above all that they'd be six feet under all that by now. She doesn't have to say it. I can't get over this movie's parsimonious elegance; it's clear, no words wasted.

But what the characters say isn't necessarily what the movie says. And it's also clear that while the movie supports the Vuvalini in their casual murder; it also supports the Wives in their mercy, in their humanity, in their goal to be above all that. Because what the movie tells us is that the Wives were quite right to spare Nux. Nux is the one who gets the war rig unstuck out of the mud. Nux gives everything in the end to stop Joe's raging son and blow the rig and block pursuit and give them the chance to get home free. Generosity and mercy directly make our heroines' triumph possible.

Furiosa deals violence and death to rescue and protect the Wives. But then Angharad protects her with the physical fact of her vulnerability: she puts her body between Furiosa and a gun, she literally saves Furiosa with the power of life. The power of death and the power of life are explicitly opposed: the Dag says that Angharad used to call bullets "antiseed"; Cheedo explains, "Plant one and watch something die." So, Furiosa and Max plant bullets and watch the flowering of explosions. And without that, none of our heroines would survive. But the future is going to be the seeds planted by the Dag.

The Vuvalini, who live by violence, die by violence. The Keeper of the Seeds has never been able to successfully plant her seeds. The Dag, who rejects killing, is the one who can finally take the seeds to the place where they will grow. There is a generational thing going on here!
I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.
- John Adams
Furiosa's politics and war make it possible for the Wives to move forward with philosophy and agriculture. Neither of them are wrong. And how much do I love this movie about generations of women disagreeing with each other and caring for each other? My god, compare the way Charlize Theron's character feels about younger women in this movie vs. Snow White and the Huntsman. Why can't we see a million more stories like this one?

No, instead, of course, they made a comic book prequel and got rid of every single goddamn good thing about the movie. I knew they would. There's going to be a tie-in game and I bet there's no playable female characters in it. Let us never speak of these things again. Let's just enjoy every beautiful facet of the film itself.
metaphortunate: (Default)
I finally got a drawing app on my phone! It's called Procreate, because someone thinks they're funny. And I'm drawing more! Because I always have my phone with me, you know? And the challenge of learning to use this app is fun. Also basically learning to fingerpaint. It's funny the things that provide motivation. Anyway, I'm trying to take 15 minutes a day to do the @sketch_dailies prompts. I've started posting them at my public twitter and my tumblr. Dunno how long I'm going to keep it up, but I've got 3 so far!

sigh

Nov. 11th, 2014 09:42 pm
metaphortunate: (I'm tasty)
When you get a wild hair to look up old fave comfort fic in a pre-AOOO fandom



and everyone's deleted or locked

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metaphortunate son

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