-I went to MoCCA Festival today, which I was expecting to be quite boring but turned out to be fun. It's a small comics convention in NYC held by the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art. What's nice is that it wasn't full of big names, so all the indie comics and artists and writers who are just getting started got to showcase their work. So I picked up a bunch of cool stuff for cheap and had a good time. I hung out with one of my classmates from my comics scripting class while there. I'm proud of myself for trying to strike out and make some new friends. I haven't done that in a while.
-One of the really frustrating things about being so depressed for so long and having so many things on my mind to worry about is that I've stopped writing entirely. I used to write every single day without fail in high school and then I just stopped. But lately, mostly thanks to class assignments, I've been fairly productive, which makes me feel good about myself.
-Tomorrow I have to go to financial aid and tell them my dad lost his job and unless they help me I can't finish my last year of college. Hopefully I will not roll around on the floor begging them not to destroy my hopes and dreams. I realize this is not the way to get what you want from people. But it is tempting.
The basics: Egypt is a large, mostly Arab, mostly Muslim country. At around 80 million people, it has the largest population in the Middle East and the third-largest in Africa. Most of Egypt is in North Africa, although the part of the country that borders Israel, the Sinai peninsula, is in Asia. Its other neighbors are Sudan (to the South), Libya (to the West), and Saudi Arabia (across the Gulf of Aqaba to the East). It has been ruled by Hosni Mubarak since 1981.
What’s happening? Inspired by the recent protests that led to the fall of the Tunisian government and the ousting of longtime Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Egyptians have joined other protesters across the Arab world (in Algeria, notably) in protesting their autocratic governments, high levels of corruption, and grinding poverty. In Egypt, tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets. Here’s a photo of one of the protests in Cairo, the capital (via Twitter):
Why are Egyptians unhappy? They have basically no more freedom than Tunisians. Egypt is ranked 138th of 167 countries on The Economist’s Democracy index, a widely accepted measure of political freedom. That ranking puts Egypt just seven spots ahead of Tunisia. And Egyptians are significantly poorer than their cousins to the west.
How did this all start? This particular round of protests started with the protests in Tunisia. But like their Tunisian counterparts, Egyptian protesters have pointed to a specific incident as inspiration for the unrest. Many have cited the June 2010 beating death of Khaled Said (warning: graphic photos), allegedly at the hands of police, as motivation for their rage. But it’s also clear that the issues here are larger.
Why is this more complicated for the US than Tunisia was? The Tunisian regime was a key ally for the US in the fight against Al Qaeda. But the US government’s ties to Tunisia’s Ben Ali pale in comparison to American ties to Egypt. Shadi Hamid of the Brookings Institution, a centrist think tank, explains:
Predictions that a Tunisia-like uprising will soon topple Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak are premature—the Egyptian regime, with its well-paid military, is likely to be more unified and more ruthless than its Tunisian counterparts were… The U.S. is the primary benefactor of the Egyptian regime, which, in turn, has reliably supported American regional priorities. After Iraq, Afghanistan, and Israel, Egypt is the largest recipient of U.S. assistance, including $1.3 billion in annual military aid. In other words, if the army ever decides to shoot into a crowd of unarmed protestors, it will be shooting with hardware provided by the United States. As Steven Cook of the Council on Foreign Relations points out, the Egyptian military is “not there to project power, but to protect the regime.” [Emphasis added.]
What’s the latest?
UPDATE: This video of a “Tiananmen Square moment” is being widely circulated on Twitter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtTUsqra-
UPDATE 10, 11:45 a.m. EST Thursday: Lots of news to round up from today. The big takeaway, though, is that the protests continue. Tomorrow may be a major day of reckoning: protest organizers have called for huge demonstrations (expected to be the largest since Tuesday), and if protests happen as people leave Friday prayers at Egypt’s 90,000+ mosques, the regime could be in real trouble. Anyway, here’s some of what you should know about:
- In Yemen, thousands of protesters called for the ruler there to step down.
- With regards to Egypt, the BBC asks the question on everyone’s mind: Can Mubarak be toppled? (Sultan Al Qassemi says “#Yes.”)
- Protesters in Suez reportedly threw Molotov cocktails (improvised incendiary grenades) at police.
- The BBC reports that ex-IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei says he is “ready to lead the transition” in Egypt if Mubarak falls. (He made the comment as he was preparing to leave Vienna for Cairo.)
- Shadi Hamid notes that the US State Department is now using the #Jan25 hashtag embraced by Egypt’s protesters, and Bloomberg reports that President Barack Obama is “poised to intensify US criticism” of Mubarak, especially if the Egyptian regime’s crackdown on protesters becomes more violent. (Meanwhile, Al Jazeera is reporting that Egyptian authorities are trying to bury deceased protesters quietly so as to not turn their funerals into rallies.)
- The Egyptian Football Association has postponed all games until further notice.
- More than 1,000 people have been arrested so far.
- The Awl notes that “even the Cairo papers” are showing front-page photos of the protests.
- Egypt’s stock market has fallen dramatically and trading has been suspended.
- Tom Malinowski, the Washington director of Human Rights Watch, argues in Foreign Policy that WikiLeaks really was crucial to the Tunisian revolution. Here on our site, Evgeny Morozov argues that the internet does not weaken authoritarian power, and claims that Twitter and Facebook and WikiLeaks helped trigger protests across the Arab world are overblown. The Guardian and our own Kevin Drum also have good takes.
UPDATE 11, Thursday 6:15 p.m. EST: Arabist just posted a claim that Egypt has “shut off the internet” entirely. I don’t know how seriously to take this, but Arabist is a generally reliable site and a full shutdown is something that is theoretically possible. Arabist also notes the alleged shutdown happened “just after AP TV posted a video of a man being shot.” If the shutdown is real, it’s a huge sign that the regime is very, very worried about the protests scheduled for tomorrow (well, today Egyptian time). As Sultan Al Qassemi says, “the Egyptian regime seems willing to do anything to stay in power, including plunging Egypt back into the dark ages if necessary.” UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: Arabist notes that “it’s not everywhere,” and that a foreign journalist working at a hotel in Cairo has reported to them that he still has internet access.
UPDATE 12, Thursday 6:45 p.m. EST: The Arabist report that the internet is down throughout Egypt (see previous update) is looking increasingly well-founded. Alec Ross, a State Department spokesman, has tweeted in Arabic that the US “call[s] upon the Egyptian gov to allow unrestricted access to the internet & peaceful protests.” In addition, Arabist’s Issandr El Amrani (follow him! @arabist) has “confirmation from a person in a position to know at one Egypt’s mobile phone operators that the phone companies have been ordered by the authorities to shut down SMS services (which has been the case for at least an hour) and Blackberry Messenging in Cairo (and perhaps elsewhere in Egypt).”
UPDATE 13, Thursday 7:15 p.m. EST: Associated Press: “A major service provider for Egypt, Italy-based Seabone, reported early Friday that there was no Internet traffic going into or out of the country after 12:30 a.m. local time.” 12:30 a.m. in Egypt is 5:30 p.m. the day before EST, so that fits with our timeline and the Arabist report.
Original post by Tumblr user promotingpeace and can be found here.
So I am starting a project. I am compiling a list of Young Adult fiction (that includes picture books, middle grade, teen, and everything in between) that contains gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender/
So I need your help, internet. Do you know of any YA/children's books that contain queer themes or characters? Please tell me about them!
What I need from you: Title; Author; Genre (if you know it); Age Group (if you know it); Kind of Queer Content (if you know it).
Please pass this on. I haven't found any list that is comprehensive and accessible enough to be useful. Our youth need it. And I am sure that there are many of us who would find it useful.
The list so far:
The Privilege of the Sword by Ellen Kushner
Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan
Love is the Higher Law by David Levithan
Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn
Will Grayson & Will Grayson by David Levithan and John Greene
Cycler by Lauren McLaughlin
(Re)Cycler by Lauren McLaughlin
Ash by Melinda Lo
Runaways by Brian K. Vaughn
Tithe by Holly Black
Ironside by Holly Black
Luna by Julie Anne Peters
Rage by Julie Anne Peters
V for Vendetta by Alan Moore
Top Ten by Alan Moore
Will of the Empress by Tamora Pierce
Warchild by Karin Lowachee
Cagebird by Karin Lowachee
Am I Blue? Edited by Marion Dane Bauer (includes Jane Yolen and Bruce Coville)
The Year they Burned the Books by Nancy Garden
Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
Good Moon Rising by Nancy Garden
The holidays, they are approaching. I love sending cards. If you want me to send you a card, you should tell me.
Info you should leave me:
1. Name and address
2. If we don't know each other too well, something about what your fandoms/ships/interests are.
3. If there's any particular holiday you are celebrating. (General "it's winter time!" is fine too.)
- Take a shower
- Clean up the kitchen/run the dishwasher
Homework I need to do:
- Read Tom Sawyer
fiveseven pages of the comic script
- Read the
two eight oh fuck I don't even know how many articles behind I ama lot of articles for class and post a blog entry.
- Brainstorm for my children's lit paper
- Brainstorm for my queer theory paper
- Read Purgatorio (did I mention I wrote a response paper on Purgatorio last week without having actually read a word?)
- Create a map of purgatory
Things I need to do for work:
- Log a bunch of stuff
- Sort out a bunch of grants and responsd to a bunch of emails
- Read two books and write reader reports on them
What did I spend all of today doing? I slept until 3, stayed in bed until 4, and then read Harry Potter all day. Gah.
- More fiction from the ever impressive gomichan. Have some hilariously meta, gay henchmen.
- A filmmaker is looking for funding to finish a really fantastic looking animated film version of Neil Gaiman's story "The Price". At the very least watch the video and experience the awesome.
- ( The oddities of New England prep schools )
- Had an argument with my classmates today. They tried to tell me that it was perfectly okay to dress up as "an asian" for Halloween. ( Say what? ) Halloween is supposed to be about monsters! How do you miss the implications?
- WTF has Obama done so far?
- One of the awesome parts of my internship? They let me take home all the books I want. Our bookshelf has exceeded capacity...
Finish season 1 of Mad Men and watch seasons 2 and 3
Finish Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and read books 5, 6, and 7 before the Deathly Hallows movie.
Watch season 2 of White Collar
Watch seasons 1-4 of New!Who
Read volume 1 of Fables
Read my copious amount of Air
Read The Unwritten
- Judge Orders U.S. Military to Stop ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is in no way final, but it's a huge step!
- I saw Andrea Gibson perform today! She was intense and mind-blowing as per usual. Gah, she is so fucking awesome.
- Unsurprisingly, there was a heavy queer theme to the open mic that went before Andrea Gibson's performance. There was a lot of talk about the recent media attention to recent gay suicides and bashings. Several poems were dedicated to the dead. So I was feeling pretty down on the way home. But then, this news of DADT completely cheered me up. Hooray for progress that isn't marriage! (Which is not to say that gay marriage isn't an important civil rights issue, it's just far from the most important.)
- Have been talking to people about arranging a group cosplay for Boston Comic Con. Apparently I might be dressing up at Billy Kaplan?
-So many things to do! So many things to see! So little time! Mostly I wandered around with xturncoatxiii, iambickilometer, and eerisedda.
-I met Jim Cheung! He signed comics for me! I got mistaken for his wife which resulted in us going around all weekend saying "Jim Cheung's wife? A horse." (I am sure the real Mrs. Cheung is a wonderful lady, these comments are in no way representative of my feelings towards her.)
-Scott Snyder signed issue 1 of American Vampire for me. We chatted for a few minutes and he promised to get back to me about taking that course with him. (He taught me creative writing my freshman year of college before he broke into comics.)
-Rafael Albaquerque also signed American Vampire. Also he drew me Nightwing and it was awesome.
-I picked up a whole bunch of comics for very very cheap including the first volume of Fables, a gazillion issues of Air and The Unwritten, Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America, and an Iron Man omnibus.
-/Co/ meet-up that I tagged along with xturncoatxiii and iambickilometer to. Geekery was had by all.
-Oh. My. God. Bendis signed The Confession for me. And also Avengers Prime #3. We almost didn't get his signature, but he was nice enough to stay a little bit longer than his signing event was scheduled for.
-Jim Cheung drew me Patriot! Eli is secretly my favorite Young Avenger.
-Chris Giarrusso who draws Mini-Marvels drew me Hawkeye! ahdsljfs When HAWKEYE throws his mighty ARROW-- also he said next week he's putting up an animation to go along with that song on his website.
-Art Baltazar (of Tiny Titans) gave me a doodle of Guy Gardner! My only regret is that I didn't ask him to draw Star Sapphire!Guy.
-cap_ironman meet-up was fantastic and everybody was great. Also now I have new fandom friends I can watch cool stuff with! Brb rolling around clutching my face with glee.
-Down side: my camera lens broke and I have to take it in to get a quote for the repair and I really can't afford this right now. But it's a really nice camera and it would be stupid to just get rid of it so I might as well get it over with. /headdesk
I just picked up a shift tomorrow from 9am-6pm. Oh boy. Did I mention I have more homework than God to do for Tuesday? Um, yeah. Fuck.
And finally, I give you the following quote from iambickilometer who is crashing at our apartment for NYCC: "Oh, if you have to drunk tomorrow then you probably shouldn't get work."
- Sorry I haven't been sharing interesting things with everybody. It's been really crazy for me lately. But I have some goodies today.
- The We Got Your Back Project is "a project where LGBTQIA youth, straight allies, adults and others could share their stories to encourage and strengthen youth who may be getting bullied, harassed and otherwise mistreated for being who they are. This project will make sure that lgbtqia of color, bisexual and transgendered folks will not be left out of the work of telling their stories and having their voices heard.
Yes, I know some of you are thinking… but there’s already a similar project out there! Well, yes there is but whereisjoy and I wanted to be sure everyone’s voice is heard, that everyone is able to share their story in the hopes it would give strength to others who are dealing with coming out, being out and bullied as well just for being who they are.
This idea is just a wee idea, barely out of the box and we need your help to make sure it thrives. What we need help with is: ( Read more... )
- Some gorgeous or alternately disturbing photo manipulations. Am particularly fond of the first and fourth one. Every single one of these has a story to tell; they're like seeds. I love it.
- I don't know if you remember the photo essay on being trans that circulated this corner of the internet not too long ago, but the same person has a few other beautiful series of photos. The trans photo essay is there too if you miss it the first time around, or would like to save it.
- ellen_kushner has posted the Table of Contents for the new Bordertown anthology due out next spring. I am so fucking excited. I've probably mentioned this before, but the Bordertown books are the most important books I have ever read, not in their impact on the world but in their impact on me.
Ellen Kushner and blackholly have got a fantastic line-up of writers for this edition. If either of those two names mean anything to you and you're a fan, you'll probably like this book.
In South Dakota, anyone who has changed their name, which statistically ends up being married women, must bring proof of the name change. Namely a marriage license. They automatically ask married women to present their marriage license in order to obtain a driver's license. YOU READ THAT CORRECTLY.
My friend was threatened with suspension for "bullying" a fellow student, which actually entailed being assigned the liberal side in most debates in her Government class and repeatedly winning. The principal told her she could either get suspended, which would mean she would miss the AP exams, or she could read a book by Ann Coulter and writer a paper on it to learn about "the other side". She wrote a ten page paper ripping the book apart because she couldn't afford to miss the AP exams. Her principal said that she "obviously didn't learn anything from the book" after reading the paper-- i.e. his intention in having her read the book was to sway her to agree with it.
A cop pulled her over for having an Obama sticker on her back window under the pretense that it was obstructing her view. I'd say about half of all cars driven in the States have window stickers. It was so obviously targeting her for the content. She made him get into the driver's seat and asked him if it was actually obstructing his view. Reluctantly, the police officer had to admit that it wasn't.
By the time she was finished telling me crazy stories about South Dakota I wanted to rip my face off and roll around on the floor in horror.
Mashed potatoes and lemon & black pepper grilled chicken with a shredded cabbage and carrot salad marinated in lemon juice, olive oil, salt and sugar.
Spaghetti bolognese. (I have never made anything remotely resembling this dish before. I had to get the recipe off sythia's mother.)
Breakfast crepes. I make these at least once every two weeks on a weekend morning and every time I discover some new delicious topping for them. I think this weekend I finally got them to the perfect thinness.
And today I made cabbage pie, a sweet recipe for mashed sweet potatoes and pineapple chicken. The cabbage pie is a family recipe but the sweet potatoes and chicken I basically improvised and it turned out really good.
I keep on wanting to make some kind of home-made dessert but I'm always too tired by the time dinner is over. I'm thinking I should start making the dessert ahead of time.
- I've been complaining a lot lately. Let me tell you about how fantastic my classes are to change things up.
( Cut for tl;dr )
- Live Action Pokemon Movie Trailer. I have no idea if this is a hoax or not but I would watch the shit out of that.
- Lady Gaga campaigning to repeal DADT and encouraging others to call their senators. I love this woman.
- Okay New York, what do you do when you need to receive a package but don't have a doorman/mail room? I know some people in my building ask the dry cleaner's next door to hold their packages for them, but I'm not really a customer there so it would be douchey to ask. Another reason to use their wash and fold service?
- That storm in NYC you probably heard about? It was a tornado. Oh wait, was that singular? Sorry I meant two tornados.
- Watched Tin Man the other night and loved it. I'm sad it was only 3 episodes long (albeit they were 90 minutes each) but that's how long it took them to tell the whole story so I can't complain.
( Cut for spoilers )
- Classes have started, oh boy! I haven't even had all my classes yet. My creative writing workshop meets for the first time on Monday... then on Tuesday I have to drop off a form and pray that I get into a class I'm wait-listed for cuse if I don't I'm fucked for having enough credits. Also, I am in love with the class. I can buy my entire reading list at Books of Wonder, how ridiculously awesome is that?
- The lessons one father has learned from his transgender daughter. Vaguely self-indulgent, but there need to be more stories about parents being accepting.
- Beautiful pictures of space
- We celebrated sythia's birthday. Lots of shenanigans were had. Also we watched He-Man. And Starla and the Jewel Riders. And Kim Possible. You guys, Kim Possible was trolling so hard.
- First day at my second job tomorrow. Yeah, on a Sunday. Fml.
- Microsoft banned a user for displaying his hometown, which contains the word "gay", in his profile.
"Both peeved and puzzled, Fort Gay mayor David Thompson contacted X-Box Microsoft on the behalf of Josh and several other gamers. The Mayor was told the city's name doesn't matter, the word "gay" is inappropriate content in any context."
- Sonic screwdriver Wii remote. Um. DO WANT.
- I finally got my laptop battery in the mail today! It only took over six weeks.
- Google is doing a new thing. Real-time searching as you type. You know, in case the 0.51 second long wait was too much for you.
- I got a bunch of books for my queer theory class. I am excited to read them. I just got my first round of homework and it's still new enough that I'm excited about it. Check back in a week, I'll be suitably demoralized by then.
- The fucking laundry room for my building is shit. All of the washers but two are broken. The two remaining washers are broken in such a way that you can use them for free, which is nice I guess. Three of the dryers are broken. Of the two remaining ones, one squeaks infuriatingly and everybody in the entire building can hear it, and the other has a broken lint screen in that the lint never gets to it and remains trapped inside the machine so that even when I ran it twice on high heat my clothes remained utterly soaked.
I think it's time to use the wash and fold service next door. Grrr.
bifemmefatale's teenage daughter has run away from home. She is supposedly heading to Carbondale, IL from Chicago to attend Rainbow Gathering. If you live in that area or along the way or know people who do, please keep an eye out and spread the word.
Here are pictures and a detailed description of her appearance and her companions.
The following is a public service announcement:
I am not a girl. I am not a lesbian. I identify as queer, I accept gay, and my gender is "please don't ever call me female and the rest is too painful to talk about so don't try". The next person that I've already talked to about this and ignores it I am going to snap at and punch, and I'm not even the punching kind. Seriously, the gender part of my life is frustrating and demoralizing enough without your help.
If it wasn't for my family, I would have probably transitioned a while ago. As it is, I'm not even asking anybody to use male pronouns for me. I'm just asking not to get gendered as female. I know it's annoying and hard to avoid pronouns altogether because I've expressed my dislike for gender-neutral pronouns (for myself) and for "they". I am not going to deck you if you can't get your sentence to work without some pronoun, but make an effort. But for God's sake I am not a lady/lesbian/queen/aunt/any number of things I've been called recently. Just go for the male versions. Please.
This was a really hard entry for me to write. I hate having this conversation. So just. I don't want to have to write about this again.