capriuni: Text: If you want to be a Hero, be Good to the Storyteller. (Default)
ableism infographic

[Image description: a block of text, divided into four sections. The base of this box is bright yellow, with black text that reads: “Ableism: The belief that the value of a human life is best judged by a Measure of Ability.”

Above that, reading left to right, are three blocks titled “Racism:”, “Sexism:”, and “Homophobia:”.

The “Racism:” block is brick red, and reads (in white text): “Blacks are natural thugs because they’re not as smart as Whites, and they can’t control their emotions.” A yellow arrow points to this from the box defining “Ableism,” and yellow text reads: “That’s ABLEISM.”

The “Sexism:” block is dark teal, and reads (in white text): “Women are better off married to men, because they are weaker, and are less rational.” A yellow arrow points to this from the box defining “Ableism,” and yellow text reads: “and that’s ABLEISM, too.”

The “Homophobia:” box is lavender, and embedded in the upper right corner of the sexism block; it reads (in white text): “Gay men are corrupting our culture by being effeminate and undermining healthy Masculine Values.” An arrow with a teal point and yellow shaft points to this from the box defining “Ableism,” and text (in teal and yellow) reads: “That’s SEXISM, which is ABLEISM.”

Description ends.]

Created in response to this article, by Mel Baggs: There is Ableism Somewhere at the Heart of Your Oppression, no Matter What that Oppression Might Be (published May 1, 2016)

Now that I have working scanner/printer again, I want to illustrate it with something more organic and hand drawn; I'm thinking each of the -isms as trees, with their roots in in "Ableism" (maybe with homophobia growing as an epiphyte on a branch of sexism?).

And I really want to rewrite that definition of ableism, to echo, paraphrase, and draw on this definition from Jay Timothy Dolmage:

Ableism, on the other hand, positively values and makes compulsory able-bodiedness.

Disability Rhetoric, Syracuse University Press, first paperback edition 2016, page 22.

And I'm trying to decide where the balance lies between my ideas and my ability.
capriuni: Text: If you want to be a Hero, be Good to the Storyteller. (Default)
Thank you for your patience. It's taking longer to write each of these posts than I anticipated.

And this post is turning out to be longer than I expected, so I've decided to split it in two ...

[Boilerplate Intro]

This truly is my favorite Shakespeare play -- or, at least, it's tied for "favorite" with King Lear. I'd argue it is also the most underrated play in the Shakespeare Canon, going by the imbalance between the play's native merit and its fame (or lack thereof).

Therefore, consider this fair warning: I am going to be spamming you all with this topic. In order to restore the balance, I'm making several shorter posts instead of one massive one, with at least the following posts -- and possibly more, as the mood strikes:

Part One: Synopsis ("Once upon a time...").

[Note: I've corrected a detail of the plot since I first posted this, and I've also added a footnote with Shakespeare's character and place names]

Part Two: Major Themes and Context, with quotes (Conflict between personal conscience and the law, women as the keepers of moral authority, and questioning the limits of an hereditary, theocratic, monarchy).

Part Three: Secondary Themes (The relationship between parents and children, the passage of time, and watching children grow up).

Part Four: Plot and Character Crafting

Part Five: Links to other people's interpretations

Shakespeare is taught in school in the first place because he's held up as an example of High Culture[tm]. He got that reputation during the Restoration (before that, he was popular culture). And this play was, according to Wikipedia, ignored back then. So it's (largely) ignored today. Also, according to literary and pedagogical tradition, Shakespeare's final play was The Tempest, and this was 'only' his second-to-last.

So The Winter's Tale ends up being one of the siblings at a crowded table that can't get a word in edgewise. So this post is me, saying: "C'mon, Guys! You need to listen to this!"

[Note: I didn't realize until after I started this that all of the key scenes I'm talking about take place in the court of the City King (Leontes), in Sicilia. While the next post -- the secondary themes -- will more likely be split evenly between the two kingdoms (The other being Bohemia). But there you go...]

Thoughts (from an enthusiast, but not expert) )
capriuni: Text: If you want to be a Hero, be Good to the Storyteller. (Default)
This truly is my favorite Shakespeare play -- or, at least, it's tied for "favorite" with King Lear. I'd argue it is the most underappreciated play in the Shakespeare Canon, going by the imbalance between the play's native merit and its fame (or lack thereof).

Therefore, consider this fair warning: I am going to be spamming you all with this topic for the next several days -- maybe for the whole week; in order to restore the balance, I will be making several shorter posts instead of one massive one.

Part One: Synopsis ("Once upon a time...").

Part Two: Themes and context, with quotes (aka: Shakespeare drops the hammer on the patriarchy -- as far as he was able).

Part Three: More Quotes and subtle details (aka: How to create plot and character with words)

Part Four: Links and such that I could find.

Okay, first off: In Shakespeare's day, "Winter's Tale" was the name for a genre. Today, we call that genre a "Fairy Tale." So -- that's how I've rendered the synopsis. I've not bothered to record the most of the characters' specific names (except the name of the Fair, Lost, Princess), and instead, referred to each character by type, because that's how fairy tales are told (and it's fewer details to worry about).

Now. You ready? You all snuggled in and comfy? Good!

Once upon a time, there were two young princes who were fostered and educated together since nearly the day they were born, and they loved each other as brothers. And then, they grew up, and married, and took on the responsibilities of kings, in separate kingdoms far away from each other.

One king ruled a rich and cosmopolitan land, with bustling trade posts and sea ports where ships from around the world brought the finest foods, and wines and arts within his reach. The other king ruled a land of shepherds and wilderness, and his castle stood close by a rocky and nearly deserted sea coast, where vicious beasts would attack and devour the unwary traveler.

But even though the two kings now lived far apart from each other, and the realms in which they ruled were so very different, they nonetheless continued to love each other as brothers, and sent many gifts back and forth, and many letters. And it was as if they had never parted since the days of their childhood. Each king also had the joy of being father to a young prince.

And, furthermore, the wife of the City King would soon bear him a second child. So it seemed that the future of each kingdom would be as happy as its past.

And in this time of peace, the Country King came to stay at the court of the City King, and he stayed for nine whole months, when, at last, he decided he could stay no longer. But the City King did not want him to say “goodbye.” He begged and he begged the Country King to stay just one week longer. But the Country King still insisted he had to leave first thing, the very next day.

And so the City King asked his Queen, who had been listening, and saying nothing, to try her hand at convincing his friend to stay.Read more... )

[ETA] Footnote: the Proper names Shakespeare gave to the characters in this story )
capriuni: Text: If you want to be a Hero, be Good to the Storyteller. (Default)
Tir'd with all these, for restful death I cry,
As, to behold desert a beggar born,
And needy nothing trimm'd in jollity,
And purest faith unhappily forsworn,
And guilded honour shamefully misplaced,
And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted,
And right perfection wrongfully disgraced,
And strength by limping sway disabled,
And art made tongue-tied by authority,
And folly (doctor-like) controlling skill,
And simple truth miscall'd simplicity,
And captive good attending captain ill:
Tired with all these, from these would I be gone,
Save that, to die, I leave my love alone.

You know, as of today (17 January, 2017), the top three (American) Google auto-complete results for “Shakespeare Sonnet” are:

  • 116
  • (Let me not to the marriage of true minds),
  • 18
  • (Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?) and
  • 130
  • (My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun).

I predict this one will rise in the rankings over the next four years.
capriuni: Text: If you want to be a Hero, be Good to the Storyteller. (Default)
Thanks to the last of LiveJournal's servers being moved to Moscow, Russia, and to LiveJournal disabling its secure encryption (allowing Web Crawling bots to read all your private information), I am no longer cross-posting my entries from Dreamwidth. And, this blog as a whole will be deleted on Friday, January 6, 2017-- no later than 9:00 am Eastern Standard Time (2:00 PM, Greenwich Mean Time).

This blog is archived in its entirety at Dreamwidth, and you can still reach me there (And if you want a hand in setting up your own journal on that site, I can give some pointers). The link is here:

And I also have a Tumblr, here:

I'll see you on the other side.

This is not goodbye.
capriuni: Text: If you want to be a Hero, be Good to the Storyteller. (Default)
By the way: This is a different melody than the one you’re probably used to, but as I understand it, this is the tune that Burns had in mind when he wrote the words down in the eighteenth century (and in this performance, there are also a couple of verses sung in Gaelic. so if you all of a sudden don’t understand what they’re singing, don’t worry [probably]).

Lyrics behind here. )
capriuni: Text: If you want to be a Hero, be Good to the Storyteller. (Default)
And yet, after the Christmas Special, there's virtual silence?!

So I guess I'll have to start (if you want to get something done, be ready to do it yourself :::Rhubarb, Peas, and Carrots:::)

I want to squee!

I want to Grumble!

So this will be a Squumble!

Anyway, I'll get the grumble out of the way:

There were no closed captions on the Amazon Video Stream!

I'm privileged enough to be able to understand audio, but I've gotten so used to having closed captions that not being able to read and listen at the same time is as distracting to my brain as a vague itch between my shoulder blades that I cannot reach. So that actually subtracted from my enjoyment of the episode, and it's frustrating because I'm sure that all of the creative, talented people who actually had to work to create this story had nothing to do with it.

Also, the trailer had captions, so I had no reason to suspect that the actual episode would not. And I didn't find out the truth until after I had already bought it.

I suspect something sloppy and irrational, like not double-checking the copyright license (I'd come across the tidbit, somewhere, somewhen, that captions are licensed separately from the audio -- talk about Humbug!).

And that has me worried about all of Series 10...

Okay, now for the squee.

Warning: Spoilers Ahoy! )
capriuni: Text: Glad Yule; Image: A sprig of holly (yule)

(Consider this journal entry properly bedecked).

This "Christmas season" is hard on everyone -- even those who enjoy & celebrate it can find it exhausting. And for those of us who don't -- or can't -- celebrate it (for whatever reason) it can be especially isolating -- particularly for those of us whose primary social connections happen through these here Interwebs.


I'm posting this entry as an open discussion/chat thread, so that we have a place to chat and commune through the comment threads.

Come sip a warm (or cool, depending on your season) spiced beverage of your choosing, and grab a plate full of virtual goodies.

I'll be checking back in frequently over the next 72 hours or so.

Welcome! Welcome!

Edited to add:

I also can't forget (or, rather, I can, but should not) that today is also the first day of Hanukkah. So have a video that [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith posted a couple of years ago:

Because I also know many are over saturated with Christmas songs, by now...
capriuni: A a cartoon furry monster whistling a single note; text; One-Note Nellie (1-note Nellie.)
('Cause I know the TV story is different from Robert May's original book. But it's the TV story that most people know -- anyway -- it's the one that I know)

Okay, we all know that "Rudolph" is a terrible story, because it teaches the 'moral': "Difference will inevitably, and naturally be despised until it can be exploited, so that the resulting exploitation must be celebrated as a happy ending."


We know this? We are agreed?


So you know what else sticks in my craw?

The "happy ending" for the "Abominable Snowman" -- being turned from Mean/Evil to Kind/Nice by having all his teeth forcibly removed.

No. No. No. No. NO!!

It's not whether or not you have teeth that makes you "bad," but how you use them.

It makes me want to write a Christmas story out of spite, where the day is saved by a giant monster with 5,000 sharp teeth, and three dozen sharp horns, and black shaggy fur. And, furthermore, the way the monster saves the day has only a tangential relationship to those teeth and horns.

(Meaning: they don't save the day by biting through or cutting anything, but by being smart, and compassionate, and maybe understanding of [problem at hand] because they know what it's like to be feared and misunderstood)

Eta: something like this critter:

Christmas monster
capriuni: Text: If you want to be a Hero, be Good to the Storyteller. (Default)

So, I took part in my first NaNoWriMo in 2005, and crossed the 50K word line by a hair’s breadth just prior to the stroke of midnight, but in terms of storyline, barely squeaked past the first chapter -- I just sorta picked the resolution of a mid-plot conflict and chose that to be the point where I stuck "the end." And ever since then, my goal has been to:

Get the number of words written and actually get the entire plot written.

And that accomplishment still alludes me.

This year was actually a third attempt at the same story. And I still didn’t actually get to writing the final scene... Though I did get about 7/8th of the story written? or maybe 3/4ths?

And even that word count win is kinda-sorta, because maybe half to three quarters of what’s on the page is either: the same scene written multiple times (with different wording/p.o.v./voice), rambling as an author about what I want the scene to accomplish, rather than writing the actual scene, or multiple versions of author ramblings.

On the other other hand: a) after ten years of having this story in my head, I am still not sick of it, and want it to be a thing (and I vow that I will revise), and b) at least, even if I didn’t write the final scenes, I at made a list of them, so I have them on record.

And at least I made it past chapter two (yay?)

I’ve learned two things about myself, in the process, the first is neuro-cognitive, and the second is ... what’s the word?... philosophical? Or political?

First: This year, for the first time, I mostly wrote using the offline version of “Write or Die,” which keeps track of your typing speed, odometer style, and also requires you to set a timer for writing. Those two features together revealed that when I’m just writing words in the abstract (such as those bits I mentioned above, where I’m describing what I want a scene to accomplish) I can easily write 25 words per minute. But when I’m writing an actual scene, and visualizing it through my P.O.V character’s eyes, I struggle to reach half that speed. And, further, when I’m writing in a rambling way, I can keep going for 40 minutes without getting tired, but writing in-character wears me out at around 20 minutes -- and that’s even when I have the scene detailed clearly in my head, and I’ve been “rehearsing” it for days.

Who needs an fMRI machine to tell you that visualization and language production take place in different regions of the brain, and compete for resources?

:::Brain go FLOP!:::

Second: while "gentle fiction" may be my favorite thing to read, it turns out that writing it? Not so much. I mean, I love the gentle resolution, but in process of the getting there, my mind is drawn to the ugly guts of cruelty like a moth to the flame. Like opening up an alarm clock, scattering the gears and springs across the table, and then, sitting down and examining each gear in turn, admiring how the light glints off each cog... And that kinda makes me uncomfortable?

I tell myself it's 'cause I feel the need to plant flags all over evil, in order to make sure that no one can ignore it, ...but I dunno...

Can you kink shame yourself? Can you fiction kink shame yourself?

Final word count: 51,864 (by NaNoWriMo's counter). Probable word count after I revise it will probably be half that, but it could be double -- depends on whether "Backstory" stays in the back, or moves to center stage.
capriuni: Text: If you want to be a Hero, be Good to the Storyteller. (Default)
Inspired by the election results: A text tee-shirt that reads: "Optimistic out of SPITE"

This one is in color, gray, and transparent on a black field (transparent matches whatever color your shirt is -- it's available on a wide range of light colors).

I also plan on making a version that's all transparent on black, and all black on transparent.

You can find it here.
capriuni: Text: If you want to be a Hero, be Good to the Storyteller. (Default)

Okay, so I'm caught up so that I'm on par. I'll try to get a bit ahead later tonight.

Watch this space, this widget will fill up as the month goes on.
capriuni: Text: If you want to be a Hero, be Good to the Storyteller. (Default)
Hooray, hooray, hooray!

I was just faffing about, tweaking the book's description, and then, when I clicked "Next" I saw the button that said: Approve.

So I did!

(I do not know what changed. That button wasn't there this morning, and the second volume I was told I needed to purchase is still being printed... Not that I'm complaining).


If you want to buy it from Lulu, right now you can click this button:

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

I'm told it'll (probably) be available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Ingram in 6-8 weeks).

Also -- those of you who know this book, I'd really like some reviews.
capriuni: Text: If you want to be a Hero, be Good to the Storyteller. (Default)
Disability Pride Flag (concept)
[Image description: A black flag diagonally crossed from the top of the hoist to the bottom of the fly by a four-color "Lightning bolt" in stripes of blue, gold, green and red (three long sections running from hoist to fly, alternating with two short sections from fly to hoist), Description ends]

My “Artist’s Statement” about this Flag:

1) The black field:

Black has three significant meanings:

First: the color of mourning for all those disabled people who have been murdered in the name of “mercy.”

Second: the color of the pirates’ “Jolly Roger” flag, representing our determination to steal our lives back from those public (and private) ‘authorities,’ who use their power in an attempt keep us marginalized.

Third: A reference to the Nazi Black Triangle badge, which was used to identify those whom the Nazis considered “antisocial“ and which has been adopted in Britain to protest the government’s austerity measures against the Disabled.

2) The “Lightning Bolt” motif:

Diagonal lines have been traditionally used in the flags of former colonies, to represent breaking free from colonial powers (empire nations tend to have flags dominated by horizontal and vertical lines). And Disabled people’s lives have long been ‘colonized’ by the medical, religious, and educational establishments.

The zigzag shape represents how the Disabled people must continually navigate around the structural and attitudinal barriers erected throughout normate society, and also the creative, ‘lateral,’ thinking we have to use to solve problems each day.

3) The individual colors represent broad categories of disabilities:

Blue: mental illness disabilities

Yellow: Cognitive and intellectual disabilities

Green: Sensory perception disabilities

Red: Physical disabilities

So -- would you fly this flag? I really am curious.
capriuni: a vaguely dog-like beast, bristling, saying: grah! (GRAH)
The Progressive, SJW, side of Tumblr just loves to mock Trump for mocking “that Disabled Reporter.” We love to shake our fingers at the Drump, and wring our hands, and point out what a terrible bully he is, for “making fun of those less fortunate than he is.”

But we’re just as bad.

That “poor disabled reporter” has a name: Serge F. Kovaleski.

Use it.

That “poor disabled reporter” has credentials.

Check them out.

The way he’s been talked about, people would be forgiven for thinking he’d been released from the Group Home to go hear the Famous Man give a speech.

He so is not.

That “poor disabled reporter” had a point to make.

Remember it.

This, to me, proves that Donald J. Trump is anything but “crazy.” This incident happened on 24 November, last year -- back when there were still eleven candidates running for the G.O.P. nomination, back when this still could have been a race between Clinton and Kasich (or Sanders and Fiorina). But instead:

The Drump put on a very theatrical performance, telegraphing to a national audience (and, ultimately, a global audience) just how much of an Other Mr. Kovaleski is.

And we (yes, even those of us in the Disabled community) swallowed it whole.

Serge Kovaleski stopped being the Pulitzer Prize winning reporter for The New York Times, who called the Republican candidate out on a blatant, Islamophobic, lie, and became the “poor disabled guy that the bully made fun of -- what a mean, mean, bully!”

We swallowed Drump’s act like an Irish Setter that pulled the extra large garlic pizza off the counter. And it’s killing us.

This is Ableism. And this is why it matters to Everyone, even the Normates.

I have had it up to my eye teeth with the Disabled being stripped of our names, our voices, our dignity, value, and our lives.

I’m burning through my F_C_S so fast, two of the five letters are ashes already. The last of them will likely be gone by the end of week. I expect it will take at least five years to replenish my supply.
capriuni: Text: If you want to be a Hero, be Good to the Storyteller. (Default)
News article from the BBC (26 July, 2016 ~05:00, UCT) -- TRIGGER WARNINGS abound.

From what little I’ve seen (the largest mass killing in Japan since World War II, and I’ve seen a total of three print news stories about it), this is getting spun as yet another “lone killer with mental illness” story. ...


I am highly skeptical of any claim that all acts of hate must be “crazy” just because they are extreme. In fact, I think that assumption is exploited by bigots, who deliberately perform the expected symptoms of mental illness leading up to their (very rational, carefully planned) attacks, so that they can literally get away with murder.


Even if that were true in this case: The shape of an individual’s mental illness is strongly influenced by the dominant schema of the culture they’re living in.

Four hundred years ago, the fears people were obsessed with were witches, demons, and “fairies.”

Today, it’s germs, extraterrestrials, immigrants, women, people of color, and the disabled.

No way, no how, should anyone foist the responsibility for these horrors onto isolated loners, whose ‘crazy’ beliefs just pop, fully formed, into their minds.

It’s time to stop asking: “How can we fix those people?”
We need to ask: “What’s wrong with us? How can we change for the better?”
capriuni: Text: If you want to be a Hero, be Good to the Storyteller. (Default)
The Frog King, or Iron Heinrich (I've retold it in vignettes, in Monsters' Rhapsody, but not the whole thing)

The Six Swans (told as flashback by the youngest brother, who is not completely returned to human form)

The two brothers (can't quickly find a link to the story in English) -- this one is long and complicated enough to be a NaNoWriMo project.

The Iron Stove (ditto. First thought on reading this as a Freshman in college: A woman's story of surviving the patriarchy!)

How Six Men Got on in the world (ditto -- six fellows with outlandish superpowers that get in the way of their everyday lives, but when they meet and team up, they overthrow a corrupt king).

The Frog Prince -- not to be confused with "The Frog King," above -- in this the youngest of the three princesses shows some agency. And she keeps her promise because she made a promise, not because her daddy told her to ... interesting that this was a story the Grimm bros. decided to cut from their "family" collection).
capriuni: Text: If you want to be a Hero, be Good to the Storyteller. (Default)
beware of history

[Image description: vertically arranged word art, divided vertically slightly above the midpoint with the image of an open book, viewed on-end.

The top portion of the image has black and brick red text on a gold field, reading (quote): “Whenever a new regime comes to power, Historians are commissioned, to tell the world that All is Well. We know this. And we forget: the history that gets written is not just of the Battle most Recently Won, but of all the battles that have Ever Been Fought.” (unquote).

The bottom portion of the image has gold and white text on a brick red field, reading (quote): “Some will say your struggle is foolish, that your Oppression is ancient - a Law of Nature - and, therefore, Right. “Just look at History,” they’ll say. But that history was fashioned as a Weapon. So gird your mind with all the stories: the legends, jokes, and fairy tales - all the foolish stories they want you want you to Ignore.” (unquote) [description ends]

I guess there's a size image on embedded images... If you click through and zoom, you can read it scrolling. Might be excessive, but I felt like indulging in Pretty, after this last week. :-/


capriuni: Text: If you want to be a Hero, be Good to the Storyteller. (Default)

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