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There are so many flavors of racist stuff here it’s like a seven-layer racism cake. May 3, 2016

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
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People killed by police, 2016. 389 and counting.

Compare it with this time last year: “In May, the Washington Post analyzed the 385 fatal police shootings in the United States that had occurred so far in 2015. The Post noted its number, which came out to two officer-involved shooting deaths per day, was more than twice the rate that the government had recorded over the past decade.

[Video] Putting a fake cover on a Bible and reading verses, claiming they’re from the Quran. People react pretty much exactly as badly as you’d expect them to.

30% of GOP voters (and a full 19% of Democrats) are in favor of bombing. They don’t need to know anything about the people they’re proposing to bomb. As evidenced by the fact that you can give them the name of a made-up country, and they won’t notice or care.

So [on March 7] the president killed roughly 150 people in a country where the U.S. is not at war. The Pentagon issued a five-sentence boilerplate statement declaring them all “terrorists.” And that’s pretty much the end of that.” GDI.

“The weary F.B.I. agent replied: ‘Toby….Seriously. Get some sleep.‘” An American amateur tries to investigate a (fake) ISIS agent on Twitter, and ends up getting more than a year in prison for his enthusiasm.

“Garza testified that Santellana never threatened him nor did he feel that Santellana was a dangerous person. Yet that did not stop him from recklessly approaching the vehicle with a loaded weapon and firing when Santellana did not obey orders from this large man in gym shorts, who did not initially identify himself as an officer or show a badge.” No justice for Jonathen Santellana.

Mr. Pean had expected an apology after the shooting. Instead, during four days in intensive care, prosecutors charged him with two counts of felony assault on a police officer. They accused him of attacking with four “deadly weapons” — an unspecified piece of furniture, a wall fixture, a tray table and his hands.”

“Scott Collins, a spokesman for the Inglewood Police Department said that the couple refused to obey the officers’ commands to exit the vehicle. The officers then feared for their safety and opened fire on the car — killing the couple.” Here’s the kicker: the people in question were asleep. No justice for Kisha Michael or Marquintan Sandlin (or their now-orphaned children). Black people can be literally unconscious and cops will still profess to being too terrified to do anything but gun them down.

Well, here’s at least one case of the police being in legitimate danger…from each other. Cops raid wrong house, shoot and kill the dog, shoot the man who owns the house, then one of them shoots and kills another of the cops.

Monday Works Roundup, 4/25 April 25, 2016

Posted by Erin Ptah in But I'm A Cat Person, Leif & Thorn, Works Roundup.
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But I’m A Cat Person
Afghan Patrick (art | Patrick | worksafe)

Leif & Thorn
Sex tape (comic | Tiernan, Thorn | worksafe)
Character Height Chart II (art | ensemble | borderline NSFW)
‘Studying’ while the roommate is out (comic | Juniper/Delphinium | NSFW)
Fall fashion (art | Leif | worksafe)

Homestuck
Jasprosesprite^2 (art | meow meow motherf@#%ers | worksafe)

Oz books
Good Morning, Princess (art | Dorothy/Ozma | worksafe)

Steven Universe
Temple Fusion Chibi (art | Mystic Aura Quartz | worksafe)

This Week in But I’m A Cat Person:
Drama, rescue, callbacks, and Rocky Horror references.

This Week in Leif & Thorn:
Leif is hospitalized, and Thorn is left to stew in his fear.

Monday Works Roundup, 4/18 April 18, 2016

Posted by Erin Ptah in Leif & Thorn, Works Roundup.
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Leif & Thorn
Alternate definition of ‘chill’ (comic | Leif/Rowan | NSFW)
Bringing a Sword to an Axe Fight (art | D, Juniper | worksafe)
So much leather. (comic | Holly/Olive | NSFW-ish)
This cuddling got too intense, v2 (Olive/Geranium | worksafe)
April Footsie (wallpaper | Leif/Thorn | worksafe)
Don’t stop (comic | Plum/Clover | NSFW)

Fake News
Obama-kun and Hillary-chan 2016 (art | Yatterman!Obama & Hillary | worksafe)
Fake News Host Gems (art | Gem “Stephen”, Larry, Jon, Olivia, John, Trevor, Sam | worksafe)

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
We Will Be Adored (Adagio Dazzle, Aria Blaze, Sonata Dusk | worksafe)

Steven Universe
Terraforming Gems (art | Lapis, Desert Glass | worksafe)
Fluffy Centipeetle (art | Centipeetle, Steven | worksafe)

General/Miscellaneous
Tiled hexagon background (free tiled pattern, worksafe)
Aldern (reward chibi, worksafe)

This Week in But I’m A Cat Person:
Miranda’s got this. Meanwhile, Jany’s got…something.

This Week in Leif & Thorn:
Thorn bonds with his niece, over a newfound appreciation for anti-vampire protests.

New Sailor Moon Crystal arc3 transformations April 7, 2016

Posted by Erin Ptah in Erin Watches.
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I…like them?

They’re all hand-drawn/2D animation, under a new director. Little bits of CGI, but nothing too distracting. Character proportions look a lot less like anything’s going to snap off.

Lots of the choreography is recognizable from the classic series, which feels like a missed opportunity…but even with that, I think they’ve got the magic back. The moment Mars’s rings of fire snapped into position, I got chills.

Crystal was such a heartbreaking letdown (the cheap animation shortcuts! the continuity errors! the way our heroines got more screentime knocked-out than they did fighting!) that I stopped watching before the first arc finished. Didn’t figure Toei would ever bother to change it in a way that could win me back.

But this? This is a change. And it has my interest.

Guys, I’m gonna give arc 3 a chance.

Wednesday Multifandom Rec Post, 3/30 March 30, 2016

Posted by Erin Ptah in Recommendations.
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The Cat in the Hat | ensemble | G | Bad SF dystopia: Hats have been banned and the government controls cats.
http://fail-fandomanon.dreamwidth.org/183479.html?thread=997415607

The sun did not shine / There was no time for play / As we sat in the safehouse that cold, cold, wet day.
Akimbo Comics – Comics Everyone Can Hate
http://www.akimbocomics.com/?p=924

“Do you even know what we’re supposed to be doing? Stories are supposed to lift people up! They’re supposed to be bright and fun!”

[This gives me fresh chills every time I re-read it. So good.]

Steven Universe | Connie, OC, Gems | G | that which they defend
http://archiveofourown.org/works/4168281

You never really thought much of Connie Maheswaran. She was just that one shy, nerdy girl. Then, she comes back in seventh grade and it’s like she’s a completely different person. And this person has a sword.
Sailor Moon | Makoto, Inners | T | The Aerodynamics of Friendship
https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11782522/1/The-Aerodynamics-of-Friendship

When Mako faces a troubling school assignment, it’s up to her friends to come to the rescue! For some value of “rescue”.
Fake News FPF | “Stephen”/Sweetness, “Stephen”/Jon | M | Weapons of Misdirection
http://archiveofourown.org/collections/yuletide2015/works/5458844

A love story (or two) through the sights of a gun.
Narnia, Lord of the Rings | Susan, Eowyn, Ents | G | a home for every season
http://archiveofourown.org/works/5393945

Susan was across the battlefield when Eowyn faced down the lord of the Nazgul, Merry and his little dagger at her side. Susan was sending arrows into orcs and oliphaunt drivers, guiding her horse with her calves and heels and shifts of her weight.
Sailor Moon | Haruka/Michiru, Kunzite/Zoisite, senshi | T | Haruka and Zoisite Get Together :O
https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11749856/1/Haruka-and-Zoisite-Get-Together-O

Haruka’s sad because Michiru is too busy with Sailor business to play monopoly with her. Zoisite’s upset because Kunzite got fed up with opening jars of pickles for him. When the two meet up and start hanging out, what will this lead to? Will Michiru and Kunzite be able to get their partners back? Will Zoisite learn to open pickle jars? Will Michiru ever put some clothes on?
Jeeves & Wooster | Jeeves/Wooster, Madeline/Honoria | T | The Rummy Affair of the Brinkley Ball
http://archiveofourown.org/works/5465822

BERTIE STOP THE MOST DREADFUL THING STOP THERE IS TO BE A BALL AT BRINKLEY COURT STOP H AND I SURE TO BE DISCOVERED STOP CALL UPON YOUR HELP STOP SOME SUBTERFUGE WILL BE CALLED FOR STOP H SAYS NO USE ASKING YOU BUT PERHAPS JEEVES STOP
Galaxy Quest (1999) | Gwen/Jason, others | T | Touch the Sky
http://archiveofourown.org/works/5466935

Starships were meant to fly.
Better Off Ted | Veronica, Linda, Ted, Phil, Lem | G | In Lighter News
http://archiveofourown.org/works/5519276

“And in lighter news,” Veronica said, reading on, “despite the combined efforts of both the American and Chinese cyber-divisions, Jabberwocky has gained control of the stock exchange.”
Leverage | Parker/Hardison, Eliot | M | The Underwire Job
http://archiveofourown.org/works/3144

Parker recruits Eliot for a side job. Comedy and horror ensue.
Better Off Ted | Ted/Veronica/Linda, others | T | Rated B for Brillig
http://archiveofourown.org/works/5458985/

“I can’t believe your solution was to invent an imaginary project,” Linda said. “Isn’t that what got you into this Jabberwocky mess, having to come up with a new product?”
Cabin Pressure | Martin/Arthur | T | Contents May Have Shifted
http://archiveofourown.org/works/241089

Martin gets stuck in the flight deck locker with Arthur. More than once.
Dave the Barbarian | Dave, Candy, Fang, Chuckles | G | Meanwhile, In Udrogoth
http://archiveofourown.org/works/5479136

Everything was fine until the Yule bears invaded.
Cabin Pressure | Douglas/Martin, Arthur | M | A Very Good Place to Start
http://archiveofourown.org/works/3253451

“Believe it or not, Martin, there isn’t actually an SOP – updated or otherwise – for getting stuck in a foreign country due to a volcanic ash cloud, having to impersonate a married couple with your fellow pilot and then accidentally snogging them whilst watching Julie Andrews play the guitar.”
Hellsing | Heinkel/Yumiko | T | Dualität
http://archiveofourown.org/works/5307233

Yumiko has an important question for her partner.
Welcome to Night Vale, The Dresden Files | Carlos Ramirez/Cecil, Tamika, Harry, ensemble | T | Love is All You Need to Destroy Your Enemies
http://archiveofourown.org/works/2207475/chapters/4837680

There are a few things that Carlos may have neglected to tell Cecil. Like his last name. Or how he hasn’t actually dated anyone since his junior year of high school. Or that he’s a wizard of the White Council and the regional commander of Wardens in the western United States and not, in fact, a scientist.
Welcome to Night Vale | Carlos/Cecil, Dana, Kevin, ensemble | T | From the Ground Up
http://archiveofourown.org/works/1273615/chapters/2632999

Carlos is a loyal company employee, who has never been to any place called Night Vale and never met anyone named Cecil…which doesn’t explain the mysterious woman appearing in his lab, or these dreams he’s started having…
Cabin Pressure | Martin/Douglas, Martin/Gordon, ensemble | M | A Million By Tuesday
http://archiveofourown.org/works/878377/chapters/1689101

AU: Gordon Shappey’s disgruntled ex-employee, Douglas Richardson, seeks revenge by kidnapping Gordon’s trophy husband, Martin.
Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon | Usagi, Phobos, Deimos | G | Feathered Friends
http://archiveofourown.org/works/5091191

Usagi makes friends very easily.

Erin Listens: The Goon Show (a rec post. with downloads!) March 28, 2016

Posted by Erin Ptah in Erin Watches, Recommendations.
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Still at the job with the long days, still spending a lot of hours on headphones. I’ve run out of Blondie, soured on Gildersleeve, SAYER has wrapped up, and you can only listen to so many Yo, Is This Racist? episodes in a row…it was high time to splice in a Goon Show re-listen.

And to make notes on which episodes I should use to sell it to new listeners.

The Goon Show is a British radio comedy from the ’50s, spiritual predecessor to Monty Python. Great wordplay. Amazing absurdist humor. There’s no single premise, just a regular cast of a dozen distinct characters (played by three actors, plus a guest star here and there) in a different AU each episode. Today they’re doing a police drama! Last week one of them was Robin Hood! Next week they’ll be in World War II!

Unfortunately, this being the 1950s, the occasional non-white characters tend to be skeevy racist caricatures. There’s refreshingly little on the sexism front — it probably helps that there aren’t many women in the first place — and the one regular female character is very much a character rather than a Token Chick archetype, which is nice.

Earlier episodes tend to have more coherent plots. In the later years, the episodes have a way of collapsing into a scramble of catchphrases and self-referential jokes in the final act. (“We’ve written ourselves into a corner here, haven’t we, ladies and gentlemen?…well, good night.”) Still funny, just probably less accessible to new listeners.

With all that in mind: episode recs to woo you in! Featuring snappy humor, ridiculous characters, the most listenable storylines, and the least racial skeeviness.

1953-10-02 The Dreaded Piano Clubber — A mysterious criminal is going around London hitting people with pianos. Inspector Seagoon is on the case! (“Did you get the number of the instrument?” “No, he had his lights out.”) No one is safe — not the police, not Parliament, not even the show announcer.

1954-11-09 Lurgi Strikes Britain — A terrible contagion is sweeping Britain, and a couple of unsavory characters convince Neddie Seagoon to lead the fight against it. (“We must move fast.” “What do you suggest?” “South America?”) Can Neddie find a cure before catching the disease? Will it help if he spends much of the episode hiding in a trash bin?

1955-11-20 The Pevensey Bay Disaster — A snowstorm blocks the Pevensey Bay rail lines (The snow rose up from inches three / To inches three-foot-four”), and, as if that weren’t bad enough, saboteurs decide to use the disaster to take over the signal station. Our heroes must race to clear the snow and save the trains. (“The sound you are hearing is Neddie and Eccles driving a wall at speed. We thought you ought to know.”)

1956-03-13 Scradge — This week’s epidemic is mysterious boot explosions, which Moriarty attributes to the loss of Britain’s natural deposits of scradje. Time to replenish the supply with an Arctic expedition. (“Have we got any cases of frozen feet?” “We didn’t order any cases of frozen feet.” “What? We’ve got to eat, Seagoon!” “Okay, I’ll put him in the oven.”)

1956-12-26 Six Charlies In Search Of An Author — So meta I don’t know how to describe it. (A lot more satisfyingly meta than the play its title is a riff on….) The cast scrambles to outwit the author, and each other. There’s a lot of panicky use of typewriters.

Want more, you’re in luck: Archive.org has a ton for download. They’re hard to search for because some modern-day sports show with the same title dominates the results — you’ll want to skip straight to The Goon Show compilation part 1 and The Goon Show compilation part 2.

Monday Works Roundup, 3/28 March 28, 2016

Posted by Erin Ptah in But I'm A Cat Person, Leif & Thorn, Works Roundup.
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But I’m A Cat Person
Good With Kids (art | Josh, Maria, Dove, Lamb, Donkey, Cybele | worksafe)

Leif & Thorn
These costumes are tacky, but… (prompt comic | Stanczia/Imri | mild NSFW)
This was supposed to be hot (prompt comic | Leif/Thorn | mild NSFW)
The cuddling got too intense (prompt comic | Birch/Annie | NSFW)

Phineas and Ferb
Candace Crush (art | Candace/Vanessa | worksafe)

Puella Magi Madoka Magica(/various)
Floofy Teenage Goddess (sketch | MadoSaya | worksafe)
Variant Incubator Breeds (art | Luna, Diana, Ryo-Ohki, Chuchu, Mokona, Mickey, Pikachu, Keroberos, Patrick | worksafe)

Red Dwarf/Star Wars
Imperial Officer Rimmer (art | Rimmer, Vader | worksafe)

Steven Universe
One Eyed Pearl (art | Blue Pearl | worksafe)
Rose’s Other Pearl (art | Lion as Pink Pearl | worksafe)
La Petite Perle (art | Crystal Gem Pearl | worksafe)

This Week in But I’m A Cat Person:
It’s never a bad time for awkward middle-aged sexual tension, right?

This Week in Leif & Thorn:
The kids are okay, but Juniper is still in danger, and Thorn gets sidetracked while running to the rescue….

Whyyyyyyyyy. [queer women on TV edition] March 24, 2016

Posted by Erin Ptah in Meta.
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I would not have guessed there had been 147 lesbian/bi female characters on TV total, let alone 147 lesbian/bi female characters who got killed.

And that’s just TV! First thing I thought of was Cloudburst (2011), a film I was loving right up until ten minutes from the end, when one of the sweet old lesbians randomly drops dead. Why, movie? Why did you have to do that?

Couldn’t remember the title off the top of my head…so I found it by googling “old lesbian couple movie.” Not “old lesbian couple movie where one of them dies,” wasn’t necessary to get that specific, it was the top result anyway.

Someone ran stats for this year, going off of GLAAD’s stats for primetime broadcast programming. “In 2015 there were only 35 fictional wlw characters on television and 80 days into 2016 they’ve killed 8 of them. That is a fourth of them. In less than 3 full months of the year.”

Why, industry? Why did you have to do that?

Monday Works Roundup, 3/21 March 21, 2016

Posted by Erin Ptah in But I'm A Cat Person, Leif & Thorn, Works Roundup.
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But I’m A Cat Person
Us In The Spotlight (art | Sparrow, Miranda, Bianca, Patrick | worksafe)

Leif & Thorn
Handsome Knight (art | Thorn | worksafe)
Embassy Gem Fusion Redux (art | Leif, Thorn | worksafe)
Agent Delphinium (art | Del | worksafe)

The 100
Raven and Clarke (FF2016 sketch | Raven/Clarke | worksafe)

Cow and Chicken
Supercow and Chicken (art | humanized Cow, Chicken | worksafe)

Fake News
Omegaverse Babies (sketches | Jon/”Stephen”, kids | worksafe)
Pop Star Kids (art | “Stephen”, Jon, Olivia | worksafe)

Homestuck
Animated Vriska (art | Vriska | worksafe)

Steven Universe
Big Buff Tiger Mom (art | Jasper, Steven | worksafe)
Handful of Lapis (art | Lapis Lazuli | worksafe)

Street Fighter
Sakura and Ibuki (FF2016 sketch | Sakura/Ibuki | worksafe)

General/Miscellaneous
Mucha borders (art nouveau sketches, worksafe)
Nisa (reward chibi, worksafe)
Dogwood Studies (flower art, worksafe)

This Week in But I’m A Cat Person:
Miranda brings some actual expertise to bear on this missing-Sparrow situation.

This Week in Leif & Thorn:
Juniper tracks down the undercover vampire hunter, who turns out to be an old acquaintance…

Erin Rewatches Steven Universe, s02e23-s02e26 March 14, 2016

Posted by Erin Ptah in Erin Watches.
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And on this note, wham, we’re all caught up! Bring on the next Stevenbomb, because I am so ready.

s02e23 Steven’s Birthday

  • So Steven’s chronological age is 14, but he hasn’t physically grown since he was 8. Guessing him to be about 10 wasn’t too far off, then. (I love this development so much, by the way. Really digging into the sci-fi of Steven’s hybrid nature, and the complications that result.) (Fun fact: some real-world hybrids, particularly lion/tiger hybrids, don’t stop growing…because they don’t get the genetic code from either side that says “okay, puberty is over now.”)
  • Amethyst blowing up an angry-Peri-face balloon is cute.
  • Steven and Connie doing a “clink!” with juice boxes is adorable — like a mini Frank and Sadie.
  • “What should I do with this defibrillator?” Ahahah.
  • I’m surprised there aren’t any explicit callbacks to the last birthday-themed episode. Did the Gems even tell Greg about Steven’s whole rapid-aging problem? You would think, even though Steven’s “magical growth spurt” works okay for a while, he would be looking into the prospects of “can I become naturally taller by feeling older?” (And that, once he goes baby, someone would tell Greg “this happened before, he’ll probably be okay.”)
  • The way Connie obviously starts seeing Steven as potential crush material once he looks older is a good combination of cute and awkward.
  • “If I can just keep this up for the rest of my life, no one will suspect a thing!” Adulthood!

s02e24 It Could’ve Been Great

  • We’re goin’ to the moon!
  • An earlier episode mentioned that humans, too, have been to the moon…so this only heightens my burning curiosity to know how much they found, and what they thought of it. (And how the whole space-program thing played out, given that there couldn’t have been our world’s Cold War space race, given that Russia is a frickin’ crater. Never gonna be over that.)
  • The Gems’ forms auto-adjusting to best conquer whatever planetary body they’re on is a great detail.
  • All the murals are so gorgeous. Gotta think the ones from Serious Steven would have this much detail too, if we got to see them zoomed-in.

smirking-pearls02e25 Message Received

  • Peridot has so many issues. I love the dynamic where she takes her own inferiority for granted, and yet she’s arrogant-by-association based on her alignment with the important and wonderful Diamonds. (And then she’s so lost when her Diamond doesn’t respond to logic.)
  • The Diamond communicator from 5,500 years ago is still a functioning direct line? Who keeps the same number (not to mention, the same software) that long?
  • Yellow Pearl <3 <3 <3 (Her smug faaaaaaaaace.)
  • First sight of Yellow Diamond. Does not disappoint.
  • Whyyyyyyyy would the communicator have a remote-detonation function? Who builds that into a phone? (And the modern Gem tech has no problem sending a signal it can recognize, either.)

s02e26 Log Date 7152

  • I can’t decide if I like the placement of this episode last, or if I wish it had been #25. As-is, Peridot’s care for Earth seems out-of-nowhere until you get the flashback developing it, but if this had come before the big twist, it would’ve cut down on the surprise….
  • “Cleaning duty! Like I’m the Pearl!” Right, so Pearls don’t just stand around looking pretty, they do the housework too.
  • Steven continues his pattern of trying to replace Peridot’s lost physical augmentations. Good job, kid.
  • “Hour 78 of Camp Pining Hearts.” (“There’s more than one episode?”) (“You got all this from one episode?” “It’s subtext, Steven.” #fandom)
  • It didn’t occur to me until this episode, but Percy/Pierre is the first time the show has taken a stand on human same-sex attraction being a good and okay thing. There are some major romances and a bunch of romantic tension between Gems, but all the Gem-human attraction involves male humans (or female human/male hybrid, with Connie/Steven), and all the human-human romance has been m/f. You gotta wonder what kind of negotiation went into this, that not only are Percy and Pierre fictional in-universe, but even the in-universe TPTB haven’t been able to wrangle a canon m/m couple. So the Crewniverse did a double backflip through shipping to get this in.
  • On a more Watsonian note: does Gem society just…not have fiction? What about other art? We know they have visual art, and it’s not just photographic representation…but is it all historical? Peridot’s fascination with boxer shorts suggests they don’t have fashion. Do they have dancing, or did the Crystal Gems pick up their dance styles entirely from humans?
  • I can’t wait to see successful Peridot fusions. Her shy, awkward dancing with Garnet is darling.
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