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well, I've now demonstrated that it's literal:

When someone responds to "let's decrease the hegemony of christian culture in this space" with "you're being intolerant of christians!" I am, in fact, speechless.

The attempt at turning my indignation into words is too much. I give up.
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My preschool-age daughter adores Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th grade. As I’ve been hunting for more age-appropriate titles with female superheroes for her, I’ve been disappointed with how little I’m finding.

What I have found is four pitched stories that my daughter would have loved, that have not been realized. We’re ready for Cosmic Adventures in the 9th Grade! Lois Lane, Girl Reporter! Wonder Woman: The Last Amazon! Barbara Gordon, Junior Detective! She’s already noted that the Super Friends comics have way more Batman and nowhere near enough Wonder Woman for her tastes.

Thanks to Comic-Con’s Batgirl and her pointed question we’re all hearing about women at DC. How about the girls? Or are you letting the next generation of comic-book-reading girls go read Marvel Her-oes instead?

(in retrospect, that last bit of snark was probably uncalled-for.)
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(continued from the previous post).

And with that, they move on to the next letter: Henry Clarkson writes because his wife, Claire, has been thrown into prison for stealing from her employer. The letter is sparse with setting details, so the players do a quick scene-setting: Claire's employer is "Death By Chocolate," a candy factory, and Dulac Penitentiary is made entirely of sweets.after arriving... )
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Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple is a slapstick fantasy storytelling game. Players each control a "pilgrim" with a particular talent for getting in trouble. The pilgrims travel across a silly universe, helping people who'd been desperate enough to write to the Flying Temple to ask for help. The gameplay results in an actual written story (though rather shorn of detail, as we played it), which I've transcribed here with varying degrees of fidelity.

Cast of Characters:

  • Pilgrim Dreamy Thumb (Laura), who gets into trouble by daydreaming, and helps people by causing plants to grow or follow her around.
  • Pilgrim Enthusiastic Spike (Cheryl), who gets into trouble by overdoing things, and helps people by speaking sharply.
  • Pilgrim Tender Breeze (Martin), who gets into trouble with her need to please everybody, and helps people by moving quite rapidly.
  • Pilgrim Warm Python (Dave), who gets into trouble by forming fast friendships with bad people, and helps people by holding tightly & never letting go.

The Pilgrims set out from the Temple to answer a plea for help sent by one Hazel Harrington, chief mechanic of an amusement park who's just contracted to become the universe's first "Cabbage-Friendly" park ... only to have the Coleslaw Front threaten retaliatory mayhem.
transcript follows. )
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This morning four-year-old Lila and I played two games of "Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple" with her imaginary friend, Salamander. (Salamander has been Lila's chief imaginary friend for several years, now; it's happy coincidence that her name was so appropriate for this game.)

For those of you unfamiliar with the game, it's "a slapstick fantasy storytelling game about helping people and getting into a universe of open, endless skies. Many tiny worlds orbit around the Flying Temple in the center of the universe." There's a detailed description of play here if you want an explanation of how we did what we ended up doing. We ran two ten-target-word stories (most of the stories have twice that many targets), and if the stories we created sound a lot like the sort of story a preschooler would tell...that may say more about the players than about the game. :)

I played "Pilgrim Muddy Squirrel," who gets into trouble by making messes, and helps people by collecting things. Lila played "Pilgrim Bopping Catcher," who gets into trouble by hitting things and helps people by catching things. Salamander played "Pilgrim Screaming Salamander," who gets into trouble by being too loud, and helps people by playing with fire. Lila picked her and Salamander's names with a little prompting from me -- mostly describing how she wanted them to work, and giving yea or nay to my suggestions as to the names.Read more... )
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Note: I've not seen any of the current season of Doctor Who. No spoilers, please! And, this post is minorly-spoilery for the whole of Tennant's run.

So, Tennant's Doctor. I know, I know, he's been old hat for awhile now and everybody's squeeing over Matt Smith, who's adorable and all, but since I don't have cable and do require captions I'm not *watching* MS's second season yet, so instead I'm chewing on how I feel about Tennant's Doctor. Again. Through the lens of the only Doctors I've watched in any quantity: Baker, Eccleston, Tennant, and Smith. This post is, as I said, 'chewing' -- no actual conclusions here. Nor organization, or for that matter much proofreading. Reader beware. )
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I'm looking for examples in the urban fantasy genre in which multiculturalism is done well -- neither appropriation nor whitewashing. Any recommendations?
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Originally posted by
[info]kythryne at internet powers, activate!
Okay, people. I need you to take this viral, and fast.

We know someone in upstate New York who needs a good custody lawyer ASAP. I'm not at liberty to go into details publicly, but this woman is very afraid that her abusive boyfriend is going to get sole custody of her young child.  She's presently being represented by a public defender who doesn't seem to care about the case, and she has very few resources left at this point. Her next hearing is on Thursday.

If you know a good lawyer in New York State who might be willing to take this case for a low fee or pro bono, or at least offer her advice or support, please let me know. If you don't know anyone, please repost this far and wide. As a mother and an abuse survivor, it makes me absolutely sick to my stomach to contemplate a child being left in the hands of an abuser.

I can be reached at if you have any leads or want to help.

The internet can work miracles. Let's go.

sev: (drawing)
omg. I have a board game in me. But I don't want to design a board game. That sounds like work!
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I canceled my subscription today. They asked why, and this is what I told them: )

After sending this, I read an interview with Marvel's new Editor-in-Chief in which he says, "it has to come organically. It’s not something you can force." Which sounds like weasel-words to me, ones that say, "even though this problem occurred because people fought for their right to discriminate, we won't fight for your right to be represented."

Fuck that noise. How about, "It has to come organically, from people who really believe it's the right thing to do"? Along with a commitment to fire the assholes who are standing in the way.
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Originally posted by [ profile] afro_dyte at what's going on with "tulpa" right now
Let all your LJ followers know that Tulpa, or Anne&Me will be debuting here in NYC at the Robert Moss Theater (440 Studios) on June 2 at 6pm, June 3 at 4pm, June 16 at 8pm, and June 19 at 8:15pm.

You can buy your tickets now by going to

Each show will be followed by a brief post-show discussion. Please come, watch, and share.

If you can’t make it to the show, consider supporting Tulpa by donating the price of a ticket ($18) to Crossroads Theatre Project by visiting or clicking on the Fractured Atlas button below:

Donate now!

Help spread the word! Repost and/or link this via LiveJournal, Dreamwidth, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, blog, and/or other social media.
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I hate that 'palestinian loss of land' image that's been going around. Let's erase all evidence of colonialism and then blame the colonized for the mess that's left behind!

Fuck that misleading propaganda. Why let the rest of us off the hook? In 1946, that area was under BRITISH control, and had been for decades. Churchill failed to fix the mess, (and US politicians stirred that pot, too) and his successor handed it over to the UN and asked them to fix it.

Let's not exacerbate the problem by trying to blame all that entire mess on the victims -- whether they be Israeli or Palestinian. Welcome to the aftermath of fucking colonialism, folks. If we're pointing fingers, point them inward. We did this.
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Ghost Stories is a cooperative boardgame. My copy arrived yesterday. Players work cooperatively as Taoist monks exorcising ghosts, spending and collecting Qi, collecting materials (bowl of sticky rice, silver bell, coins, stuff) and eventually facing Wu-Feng, Lord of the Nine Hells.

Unboxing: Pretty, pretty artwork! Solid tokens & boards. I love games with lots of tokens. Nine "village tiles," each with a glowing sense of place and a cartoon villager.

Manual: This manual is awfully short for me to be having this many "I can't find what I'm looking for!" moments. Also, players are always referred-to as "he," which I find very distracting. :( On the upside, good examples & calls out edge-cases when necessary.

Gameplay: I've played one solitaire game so far. It's like Arkham Horror crossed with whack-a-mole. Okay, sometimes Arkham is a lot like whack-a-mole, too. Another haunting, go exorcise it! And over there! Over there! I think that'll be less of an issue in the multiplayer game. Also, a little weird that the strong sense-of-place on the village tiles isn't matched by the player-boards, which are all game-mechanic and light on story (though they are also pretty).

I can see why this is so highly rated on
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Seriously, WotC? Your pregens for this year's Encounters season are all white but for the one drow? What, there are no nonwhite humans in your universe? Sheesh. You can have elves, dwarves, magic-users, titans, ogres, but add in people of color and suddenly people claim it's unrealistic/contrived/ruins their immersion/hurts their e-peens/whatever.

Hate it all today.  Screw you, mainstream gaming world.  I'm going to give more money to more indie game developers.
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I was a New Mutants fan in the late eighties, and I dipped my toes into the X-Men here and there. And then the franchise started to multiply and I got totally lost, and then I went off to college and read my way through other people's collections of other titles, and finally stopped trying to keep track of any of it and the New Mutants were over by then anyway, which made it harder for me to care.

Twenty years later, after the third time somebody gave me the hairy eyeball when I said my favorite Phoenix was named Rachel, I thought perhaps I should fill in the gaping holes in my experience. I've been reading the nine volumes of Essential X-Men reprints, which the seattle public library has. They're black-and-white reprints of X-Men & a couple of crossovers originally published 1975-1990 (the last one includes Uncanny X-Men #244-264 & Annual #13.)

snipped: long plea for help regarding untangling what's reprinted where, and in what order. )
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Been participating in a comment thread over on shakesville and the comments thread was closed while I was in the process of writing. Since my every word is precious (ahem!) I figured I'd put it here instead. This may turn out to make absolutely no sense out of context; sorry about that.

my snarkiness aside, regarding teachable moments:

It's my experience that when somebody puts their foot in it, it's mostly a teachable moment for the spectators. Many of whom we've seen here in the last two days: multiple commenters have spoken here for the first time & stuck around to learn things in public.

Personally, my own process tends to look like:
  • I screw up publicly
  • I get called on it
  • I get defensive
  • I retreat (or flounce off, if I've gotten *really* defensive)
  • I shut up and listen
  • I watch somebody else screw up in the same way
  • I watch yet somebody else screw up in much a similar way
  • eventually when somebody is in the process of screwing up like that, I can see it coming...
  • ...and then finally I can claim to have learned something from my initial screw-up.

At best, I can say that after 17 years of talking about social justice, I'm better about being quiet when I'm feeling defensive. As it turns out, there's a lot of dignity available, there.

A fable

Dec. 13th, 2010 11:24 am
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Once upon a time, there was a little school. This school was a place of learning, play, and love for many little people. Even though the little people were there for only a few hours a week, the little school loved them and wished to keep them happy and safe.

This is a fable, though it has more basis in fact than I'd like. As a fable, however, it is traditional to have a protagonist. Therefore, we meet a little girl -- let's call her Rachel -- who came to this school. Rachel is an imaginary little girl, because this is a fable. But being imaginary does not make her any less important. Later in the story, we'll talk a little about Rachel's friend Fred, but that comes later, after they've become friends.

Upon entering the school... )

But now the little school had to ask itself: are there a finite number of tokens one can use, to ask for tolerance or respect? Once a person is Different and once other people have agreed to respect or tolerate those differences, what happens when the Different person continues to need things?

At this point, Rachel was feeling too rejected to want to name things. Fred, however, felt it was important to give a name to what was happening, and he named it: "unfair." It is unfair, he said, to expect that just because someone has a Difference that they must somehow give up the right to be treated with respect and tolerance just like everybody else. Respect and tolerance are not things that are finite; there's plenty to go around.

(in case anyone wonders, Rachel is not Lila -- Lila is happy, respected, & thriving in her school. This is, as previously stated, a fable.)
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Letter to my senator, who is on the TSA Oversight Committee, which meets tomorrow. I'm sick (again) so I hope this was coherent... )
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I'm amused that I can get so much pleasure out of a completely contrived accomplishment in a video game.

My real-life task right now, decommissioning my mailserver, feels a little like a video game except I have to generate my own periodic accomplishments. For those with accounts on my mailserver: I'm migrating all its services very slowly to a hosting service. I'm working on the mailing lists right now; I'll be moving people's personal email and shell accounts later. I have to admit that "Hey, I migrated a mailing list today!" does give me a little thrill.


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