jump to navigation

“In consultation with the team of Illuminati, demons and robo-Hitlers who have been supervising Hillary Clinton’s progress…” October 22, 2016

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
Tags: , , , ,
add a comment

The Onion: “Saying he hoped the Republican nominee could clear up the matter for American voters, moderator Anderson Cooper reportedly began the second presidential debate Sunday night by giving Donald Trump the opportunity to explain exactly what the fuck is wrong with him.”

A secret history of the truth about Hillary Clinton. (1980: “In consultation with the team of Illuminati, demons and robo-Hitlers who have been supervising Hillary Clinton’s progress thus far, her robotic shell is replaced with another, different one that does not wear glasses and is blonder. The people of Arkansas consider this an improvement, although they complain about its inability to bake.”)

The best of #TrumpBookReport. (“It took Low Energy Harry Potter 7 books to defeat Voldermort. Sad! I would have beat him in the first book!”)

Meanwhile, in Real News That Sounds Like A Joke:

“On Wednesday, Congress was so determined to pass a law to sue Saudi Arabia that it overrode President Barack Obama’s veto. But possible backlash against America had top Republican leaders looking for someone else to blame [September 30]. And they appear to have settled on Obama.”

A Trump-vs-Clinton history matchup, comparing what the two were doing in various years.

Video after Pence’s showing at the VP debate: “Trump never said that” intercut with times when Trump said that.

Best of Hillary Clinton on SNL October 19, 2016

Posted by Erin Ptah in Recommendations.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

Some of the things I watched while waiting for tonight’s real-life final debate.

A Hillary Christmas: 2015!Hillary (Kate McKinnon) gets a time-and-space-crossing visit, as Amy Poehler and Tina Fey reprise their roles as 2008!Hillary and Sarah Palin.

Hillary Campaign Ad – HRC starts adapting Bernie’s policies…also his mannerisms, outfits, and hairstyle.

Hillary & Bernie Cold Open – towards the end of the primary contest, the candidates get drunk in a bar together, schmooze a bunch, and end up dancing.

Hillary Clinton Bar Talk – McKinnon!Hillary pours out her woes to a bartender…played by the actual HRC, who takes some ribbing with grace.

The Evolution of Hillary Clinton – NBC presents a montage of SNL’s portrayals of Clinton over the years.

Presidential Debate #1 – “He’s spent his life cheating middle-class laborers. Laborers like my own human father, who made, ah, I guess drapes, or printed drapes, or sold drapes, some’pm with drapes, and he was relatable, and I am, also, relatable!”

Presidential Debate #2 – “Get real. I’m made of steel; this is nothing. Hi, girls.”

I’ve watched that last one three times now. Already looking forward to how they’re going to salve the wounds this weekend.

Tuesday Works Roundup, 10/18/16 October 18, 2016

Posted by Erin Ptah in But I'm A Cat Person, Leif & Thorn, Works Roundup.
Tags: , , , , ,
add a comment

But I’m A Cat Person
Pumpkin Spice Beings (art | Cybele, Patrick, Reseda, Poe | worksafe)

Leif & Thorn
Fancy Peach (art | Peach | worksafe)
Sexy Waiters (sketch | Leif, Katya | NSFW-ish)
Fancy ???????? (art | Woman In Black | worksafe)
Weak…ankles? (art | Leif/Thorn | worksafe)

True Love’s Revolution (art | Aurora/Maleficent | worksafe)

My Little Pony
Your Future (art | Luna, Sunset Shimmer, Starlight Glimmer | worksafe)

Sailor Moon
Tairon Crystal’s Court (art | gem!Mistress 9, Kaorinite, Cenicienta, Eudial, Mimete, Tellu, Viluy, Cyprine, Ptilol | worksafe)

Steven Universe
101 Dalmatian Jaspers (art | Jasper, corrupted Jaspers | worksafe)

Voltron: Legendary Defender
Gives the best hugs (sketch | Shiro/Hunk | worksafe)
Right between the ears (sketch | Shiro/Sendak | worksafe)
So much for the height difference (sketch | Pidge/Hunk | worksafe)
The veteran and the hotshot (sketch | Shiro/Lance | worksafe)

This Week in But I’m A Cat Person:
Unexpected hiatus, then unexpected Bennett eyeing the door of his closet.

This Week in Leif & Thorn:
Thorn has some good therapy, and a healing chat with his sister.

Erin Reads: The Surprisingly Modern Gender Politics of Oz October 14, 2016

Posted by Erin Ptah in Erin Watches.

Gotta finish this Baum reread, because it’s Yuletide season and I may need the canon refreshment for my assignment and/or treats.

The Tin Woodman of Oz — book 12 — is a nice low-key novel, heavy on the backstory. Useful plot hook: another random Oz civilian, this time a Winkie boy named Woot, wanders to the Tin Woodman’s castle, where Nick Chopper and the Scarecrow treat him to food and backstory. When Woot hears that Nick used to be engaged to a fellow Munchkin before he was rebuilt without a heart, he declares that it’s Nick’s duty to fulfill his promise and marry the woman (thus making her Empress of the Winkies), even if he doesn’t love her.

Bonus: from his self-description, the Tin Woodman is what in modern terms we would call canon aromantic:

“She said she still loved me, but I found that I no longer loved her. My tin body contained no heart, and without a heart no one can love. […] [T]he Wizard’s stock of hearts was low, and he gave me a Kind Heart instead of a Loving Heart, so that I could not love Nimmie Amee any more than I did when I was heartless.”

The quest is front-loaded with boys…which is thoroughly plot-relevant, because a girl in the party would have stopped them and said “why are you assuming this woman is still pining after you? She hasn’t even seen you for decades. She’s probably moved on.”


Plenty of little continuity drops. Woot used to live near Oogaboo. The Scarecrow has learned poetry at the Woggle-Bug’s college. Woot gets lost and falls into a cavern full of dragons, which are clearly the same underground dragons we saw in book 4.

And there’s the castle of the Yoop, from book 7! In a mirror/foreshadowing of the characters’ main bad assumption, they assume that since the Yoop is locked up, his castle will be empty. Turned out that was only Mr. Yoop — the home is still occupied by Mrs. Yoop. And she’s hella powerful. Like “casually mentions she has Polychrome in a birdcage in her room” powerful.

Poly’s temporarily a canary, but she still has magic powers, she just has to do things like pick up a twig and wave it around in her beak.

She turns Nick into an owl. But he’s still made of tin! And the Scarecrow gets to be a little bear, stuffed with straw. It’s hilarious. (Woot: a green monkey.)

So much meditation on identity, and transformation, and what qualities make you yourself! Since Nick got all his original body parts replaced one at a time, is he really still the same person? If he keeps his memories and personality but happens to be shaped like an owl, does that make him unsuitable for marriage? How about if he’s shaped like a man, but only a few inches tall? The others get drawn into the theme with their unwilling transformations, and there’s a related sequence where the Scarecrow has to give up his stuffing, so Poly carries him in the form of a bundle of clothes for a while.

…also, a one-off scene with a guy named Tommy Quick-Step, who, after an unfortunate wish, has a really long torso and 20 legs. Insert your own human-centipede jokes here.


Our heroes continue walking/flying toward Winkie Country, but now they make a deliberate detour to Jinjur’s house. I love that she and the Scarecrow are buddies now.

Luckily, Ozma and Dorothy have been spying on the party via Magic Picture this whole time, so they rendezvous at Jinjur’s place to reverse the transformations and say hi. (Along with Toto. Still comfortably using human language, though it’s mostly to say things like “Leave me out of your magic, please!”)

Ozma appears “about 14 or 15,” and Dorothy “much younger.” (But only half a head shorter?) This is the book where Baum really doubles down on the “nobody ever ages, really, there are babies in this country who have been babies for thousands of years” version of continuity.

Sure enough, Dorothy: “Do you s’pose Nimmie Amee still loves you, after all these years?” Nick is totally convinced. Ozma says that, well, it can’t hurt to go visit her and ask.

Anyway, it turns out Nimmie Amee got a new boyfriend (a soldier, unsubtly named Captain Fyter) not long after Nick broke up with her. The witch tried the same limb-lopping-off trick, and Fyter did the same incremental replacement with tin prosthetics, aaaaaaaand that was what convinced Nimmie Amee to accept a marriage proposal. She has a thing for tin!

But Fyter conveniently got rusted in a rainstorm, so after Nick oils him and hears his backstory, they try to figure out which of them has a better claim to their one-time fiancée.

Woot: “If she’s into tin, you’re basically interchangeable.”
Scarecrow: “Why don’t you draw lots for her?”
Polychrome, currently the only girl in the party, eyerolling so hard you can probably see it from space: “No, you idiots, it’s up to her who she marries.”

Seriously, the gender politics of the whole thing feels way ahead of its time.


Massive body horror alert:

In trying to track Nimmie Amee down, the party goes to the tinsmith who made Nick’s and Fyter’s tin bodies…and find out that he still has their leftover meat parts. Still alive. Most of them in a barrel. Nick finds his own old severed head in a cupboard, and they have the most bizarre conversation.

On top of this, it turns out the tinsmith patched together a bunch of those parts to make a whole new Frankenstinian person. All the “what makes you yourself, anyway?” thematic questions are getting slammed, and hard.

The tin men finally find their old sweetheart living in the mountains. They still expect her to be actively crying over her lost love.

Nope. She’s married. The body-horror-chimera guy has been her husband for, like, decades now. And she’s not interested in either of the tin guys,

Good going, girl.

On the way home they stop in the Emerald City, and the tin men ask, kinda pathetically, what they should do about all this? Ozma sets them straight with an incredibly patient “look, your ex is happy, and it’s really none of your business.”

Fyter gets hired as a soldier by Ozma, while Nick and the Scarecrow return home, to get back to bro’ing it up for the next few decades. And the Tin Woodman soothes his ego with the idea that, eh, the Winkies probably didn’t want an empress anyway.

Some thoughtful personal identity reads. October 10, 2016

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
Tags: , , , ,
add a comment

Because after that debate I think we’re all thirsty for some substance.

“If you can distinctly recall the excitement of walking into your weekly computer lab session and seeing a room full of Apple 2Es displaying the start screen of Oregon Trail, you’re a member of this nameless generation, my friend.” (Calling myself a millennial is usually not a bad fit, but yeah, this is my subcategory.)

“Five months in, I can’t remember the last time a stranger read me as a woman, and my mask of manliness is melding into my being, becoming part of me. It’s becoming comfortable. I don’t have the same sudden clarity that came with top surgery, but every new difference – smaller hips, bigger shoulders, a thicker neck – removes another layer of noise. Changing my physical self and my social self didn’t have to change my identity, but I think it might have. I still call myself genderless, but I also lump myself in with trans guys without thinking. ”

“At first, I didn’t believe I had anything wrong with me. But after meeting my current therapist, Dr. Samoon Ahmad, I began to understand and accept my diagnosis — I was bipolar, and my nude jaunt was part of a manic episode. It wasn’t until I got out of Bellevue three weeks later that I saw the front page of The Post with the headline ‘Ball Drop in Times Square.'”

“I am dark enough to not live within the tent of whiteness, but I am light enough that many people experience significant confusion when trying to class what level of ‘not-white, maybe heading toward-Black, deficient’ I am. Depending on the year and location, I am a ‘dirty Arab/Muslim,’ a fellow Latina, a Mulatto, a Mizrahi Jew, a half-white person who suspiciously may not be down with Black folks.”

“I didn’t want some American sales clerk knowing I couldn’t understand simple, elementary-school English. We’d look for that Ziploc bag in another store. I wasn’t about to let anyone think we were Middle Eastern immigrants coming here to steal jobs from honest Americans. I would not be responsible for a surge in Islamophobia over a Ziploc bag.

Rounding up links while watching Madam Secretary October 5, 2016

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

I always forget how much the Vice Presidential debates are 90% about the VP candidates talking up their running mates.

The first question should’ve been “tell us why you’re proud to be running with [POTUS candidate].” Get all their talking points out of the way, then move on to “tell us why, if the president is incapacitated, you’re qualified to step in.”


Trump stuff:

“…if you worked at a Trump casino, you were nearly 40 percent more likely to lose your job than if you worked at one of the others. […] In head-to-head competition – with the same businesses in the same place and time, facing the same challenges – Trump’s casinos performed worse, on average, than their peers at creating sustainable jobs.”

Donald Trump spent more than a quarter-million dollars from his charitable foundation to settle lawsuits that involved the billionaire’s for-profit businesses, according to interviews and a review of legal documents.” Remind me why this isn’t disqualifying?

A company controlled by Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for president, secretly conducted business in Communist Cuba during Fidel Castro’s presidency despite strict American trade bans that made such undertakings illegal, according to interviews with former Trump executives, internal company records and court filings.” Or this?


Double standards:

If Republicans were truly concerned with transparency, strengthening FOIA, and preserving federal records, they would be attempting to recover Secretary Powell’s emails from AOL, but they have taken no steps to do so despite the fact that this period — including the run-up to the Iraq War — was critical to our nation’s history.”


Clinton stuff:

The hit count on that post with a roundup of HRC’s policy positions has reached Over Nine Thousand. Mostly on the strength of an early reblog by Diane Duane. I was mostly just hoping it would get through to a few people before getting lost in the general sea of political discourse, and then, yowza.

Clinton has traveled the world advocating a better life for women in places where that concept wasn’t even on the radar. She’s pushed for paternity leave here in the United States, and became a symbol of women’s rights and women’s progress everywhere. Looking at Secretary Clinton and reading about her accomplishments, it’s tough to think that it was just 100 years ago the U.S. elected the first woman to Congress. That 100 years later, she’s our first female candidate for president to win a primary.”

“In June 2010, as the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) notes, Secretary Clinton’s State Department began allowing transgender people to change passport gender markers with a physician’s certification that they had received ‘appropriate clinical treatment for gender transition.’ For the first time, sex reassignment surgery (SRS) was not required to make the correction.”

And I’ll let Bernie have the last word:

“I ran as a third-party candidate. I’m the longest-serving independent in the history of the United States Congress. I know more about third-party politics than anyone else in the Congress, okay? And if people want to run as third-party candidates, God bless them! Run for Congress. Run for governor. Run for state legislature. When we’re talking about president of the United States, in my own personal view, this is not time for a protest vote. This is time to elect Hillary Clinton and then work after the election to mobilize millions of people to make sure she can be the most progressive president she can be.”

Monday Works Roundup, 10/3/16 October 3, 2016

Posted by Erin Ptah in But I'm A Cat Person, Leif & Thorn, Works Roundup.
Tags: , , , , , , ,
add a comment

But I’m A Cat Person
Business Mom, Research Dad, and Shouty Big Brother (art | BICP ensemble | worksafe)
Sigils (wallpaper | magic symbols | art)

Leif & Thorn
…that sounds fake but ok (sketch | Thorn, Leif, Sigrún | worksafe)
Big Buff Quartzes, plus a Ruby (art | Sigrún, Peach, Juniper, Marula, Annie | worksafe)

Big Hero 6
Gonna kiss that gum right outta your mouth (sketch | Hiro/GoGo | worksafe)
Satisfied with your care (sketch | Hiro/Baymax | worksafe)

Fake News/Politics
Unconventional candidate (art | Hillary | worksafe)

Sailor Moon
Diamond Rage Face (art | Prince Demand | worksafe)

Steven Universe
My sassy lemon secretary (art | Yellow Diamond/Yellow Pearl | worksafe)

Voltron: Legendary Defender
Lighten up, soldier (sketch | Pidge/Lance | worksafe)

Anti logic (comic, T)

This Week in But I’m A Cat Person:
Cohen and Bianca both try to figure out what they’re doing with their lives.

This Week in Leif & Thorn:
President Romarin, a crack team of experts, and a mysterious shadowy figure gather to discuss the Thorn situation.

“but what are Hillary’s POLICIES?” #ImWithHer October 3, 2016

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
Tags: ,
add a comment

aka, a post I wrote for Tumblr and am cross-posting for reasons of multi-platform integration.

So I got tired of not seeing any news on HRC’s actual positions because every single media outlet is busy fact-checking Trump’s latest Twitter tantrum, and decided to look some up.

Also, tired of stories about 26-year-olds complaining that they can’t get behind Clinton because they don’t know what she stands for, and also have no idea who Ralph Nader is, even though these frickin’ kids are only two years younger than me and also Wikipedia exists

But anyway. Hillary Clinton! Actual positions!

Guys, there’s so much to love.

Monday Works Roundup, 9/26/16 September 26, 2016

Posted by Erin Ptah in Works Roundup.
add a comment

But I’m A Cat Person
Bonus Being Impressions (art | Poe, Walker, Cub, Jany, Blake | worksafe)
Bi Visibility 2016 (comic | Cohen/Jessica, Cohen/Bennett | G)

Leif & Thorn
Fancy Katya (art | Katya | worksafe)
Embassy Gem Flirting (art | Sven, Del, Iona, Ragnild | worksafe)
De-aging potion (sketches | Leif, Thorn | worksafe)

Hello From The Magic Tavern
The Wizards of Foon (art | Jyn’Leeviyah, Usidore, Spintax, Can, Jamillious, Aerobud, Telphys, Dark Lord, Blorth | worksafe)

Oz books
Ozma has a Type (art | Betsy/Ozma/Dorothy | worksafe)

Steven Universe
Homeworld Pearls (art | Pearl, misc Pearls | worksafe)
Bunny Garnets (art | Sapphire, Ruby, Garnet, Sardonyx | worksafe)
The Pearlrose Waltz (art | Pearl/Rose | worksafe)

Voltron: Legendary Defender
My metal arm brings all the geeks to the yard (sketch | Shiro/Pidge | worksafe)
Making out in a robot lion (sketch | Shiro/Keith | worksafe)
The Conspiracy Swing (sketch | Keith/Pidge | worksafe)

Virgil (reward chibi, worksafe)

This Week in But I’m A Cat Person:
Sparrow gets an unexpected visitor. Bennett is offensive, and for once he isn’t trying to be.

This Week in Leif & Thorn:
Leif finally realizes that he isn’t as unbiased and impartial towards Thorn as he’s supposed to be.

“On The Subject of Noncon Fanworks” September 25, 2016

Posted by Erin Ptah in Meta.
Tags: , ,
add a comment

An excellent essay about darkfic and sexuality (cw: author discusses her own trauma/abuse history). Centered on Sherlock fandom, though the general ideas apply no matter what characters you’re writing about.

I wanted to highlight this part:

If, instead of normalizing the existence of fics that portray noncon and underage, we make these themes taboo, if we pathologize them, if we require noncon works to be kept in a separate archive, if we insist that it be labeled with derogatory terms like “rapefic,” then what will happen is that writers who think that their work has “a bit of dubcon” in it will not tag it as such, in the hopes that it will fly under the radar and they won’t be banished to the leper colony with the filthy rapefic fans. This will have results that neither the responsible creators and consumers of noncon, nor the people who dislike it and categorically oppose it, want: that someone who doesn’t want to see noncon will see it.

I wrote the above paragraph close to a year ago, and my predictions are already coming true. I have seen noncon and underage fanworks being posted without appropriate tags and warnings. Some of these inadequately tagged fics are being posted by the same people who accused me and my fellow gender politics panelists of being rape apologists and pedophiles. The creators of these works defend them as being somehow different than the works the so-called rape apologists create, because they themselves were underage when they drew the fanart or wrote the fic, or because the work features the right” pairing, or the “right” kind of non-consensual situation, or because they don’t “eroticize” the noncon aspect, or because there’s a sufficient amount of comfort to offset the hurt, or for any number of other reasons.

It’s framed as a prediction, and maybe with respect to Sherlock fandom it is, but for fandom in general it’s nothing new. I remember wrestling with the same kind of cognitive dissonance more than a decade ago:

“Okay, I like stories where characters get hurt, but that’s a Bad Thing to enjoy. But I also like the emotional payoff when characters are rescued at the end! So when describing this, I should emphasize the rescue part. Imply that any scenes with pain and suffering are just a necessary evil on the way to the morally-acceptable payoff. Or, hey, maybe don’t mention the suffering at all.”

That mindset not only discourages people from warning for dark story elements, it stifles the general discussion about them, so that even if you want to warn, you can’t pick up the vocabulary to do it well.

I remember one fic of mine — it had a brief sex scene, and it was consensual, just incredibly unhealthy. Potentially very upsetting! And the only warning I put on it was a general sexual-content label. Partly because I was erring on the side of what looked more Morally Pure, but also because it was neither “non-con” nor “sex that is positive and affirming and healthy in every way” — and I didn’t have a handle on how to articulate the situations in between.

Fandom in general should be a place that helps people figure this stuff out, not a place where people get shamed and shouted down for trying.