gen_is_gone: two one way arrows pointing in opposite directions (Default)
So hey, I'm Megan, I'm a student. I have ups and downs and a surprising amount of existential anxiety. I'm a writer, and hopefully one day I can make money from that. I like fandoms and all that jazz. I'm still not sure why I have this, given my inability to share my feelings to myself, let alone the outside world. So maybe lets think of this as an experiment in online diary keeping. Sure. Why not.
gen_is_gone: clip art of a slice of cake (equivalent of a shrug)
Having a very NeuroatypicalTM moment at work, babbling about my con books on visual semiotics in Discworld and participitory fan culture in Harry Potter. Have had two grown adult career librarians stare at me in confusion while my rambling petered off into awkward mumbling in mild humiliation. I really need to remember not to talk to people about things I care about.
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Having just finished ‘The Golf War’ in my rewatch leading up to ‘A Tale of Two Stans’, some thoughts on bully culture and narrative influence:

First off, let’s just get this out of the way: Pacifica Northwest is a bully. She actively seeks out and torments a girl, an age peer, and derives entertainment and satisfaction from seeing her suffer. Now let’s get another thing out of the way: Pacifica never apologizes for this, in universe or through the narrative.

One of the problems I continually find with Gravity Falls but can usually work around is its lack of actual adult role models. No, Stan doesn’t count here. Neither does Soos. Wendy is a teenager, and behaves as such, and is definitely not an adult. TvTropes has a term for this, Adults Are Useless. Now, Stan, for instance, has plenty of good moments, and is more or less a decent guardian, and is reasonably supportive of the twelve year olds he’s watching except when he’s not* (but that’s another post altogether). But Stan has been proven, over and over, to not be a reasonable, mature caretaker. “This seems like something a responsible parent would disapprove of. Good thing I’m an uncle!” “Remember, when there’s no cops around, anything’s legal!”

It’s funny, and given the age demographic the show is shooting for, understood and accepted as humorous statements, rather than object lessons. But it sets up a paradigm within the show that the adult with whom the twins are closest isn’t someone to turn to for help in a situation that requires reasoned, measured thinking. Stan’s first reaction to seeing Pacifica insulting Mabel to her face in ‘The Golf War’ is to threaten to punch her, and while I’m sure everyone was pleased at his anger on Mabel’s behalf, it’s obviously not the solution to the problem. This feeds into the much larger problem I have with the power of narrative influence, in this episode in particular and with regards to Pacifica’s treatment of Mabel as a whole.

‘The Golf War’ is framed around rivalry, and its message is focused on how rivalries are silly and mean and pointless. Problem is, Mabel and Pacifica aren’t playing out a story about rivalry, they’re victim and victimizer in a larger story about bullying. At the end of this episode, Mabel apologizes to Pacifica for cheating, and by doing so, inadvertently endangering her, and the story ends with the two of them parting on something of a high note. When ‘Northwest Mansion Mystery’ brings Pacifica back for her second outing in season two, her antagonism towards Mabel is ignored as she interacts almost completely with Dipper. Particularly after NMM, the fandom rallied around Pacifica as the victim of parental emotional abuse, and reframed her relationship with both twins as friendly or romantic. Pacifica moved forward a hero in the fandom’s collective consciousness, and so fandom has largely elected to ignore her behavior in every episode prior.

Just so we’re clear, ‘The Golf War’ infuriates me. After having been bullied for two months, after Pacifica insulted her looks, her clothes, her friends and her family to her face, Mabel apologizes for cheating. The object lesson focuses on the pettiness and ridiculousness of the Lilliputtians’ rivalry and presents Pacifica’s antagonism as a mutual hatred, rather than a one-sided attack. The episode ignores every time Mabel turned the other cheek and forwent revenge and laughed off Pacifica’s attacks, and all because Mabel made one mistake. The moral of the story becomes “The root of your uncharacteristic misbehavior doesn’t matter, because you misbehaved. The fact that you spent all summer forgiving and attempting to placate the person bullying you is irrelevant because you cheated once. It’s only in the nature of bullies to be cruel, but one mistake made by a “good girl” matters more than anything they do and must be punished because you are supposed to be nice.” Calling Mabel and Pacifica’s relationship a rivalry is a retcon and a lie. The point of the episode (or so I’ve heard) was in part to add depth to Pacifica’s character, as many people felt she came across as an unrealistic mean girl stereotype, but in my experience, immature children picking someone to attack is perfectly realistic; there are plenty of kids whose sense of empathy hasn’t developed and whose parents don’t discourage bad behavior.

When NMM reveals the extent of her parents’ emotional abuse and neglect, it seemed to lay to rest all of Pacifica’s cruelty in one go. I would absolutely love a longer storyline with Pacifica defying her parents, running away, and yes, sure, even laying out a sleeping bag in the Mystery Shack’s attic with the twins, but only if and after she apologizes to Mabel. Her own history of abuse contextualizes her reasons to bully, but it doesn’t excuse or overwrite it. Much though I disagree with most of AA’s rhetoric, the concept of owning up to past mistakes, making amends with no expectation or demand of forgiveness, is important. Pacifica needs to be rescued, but Mabel owes her nothing. Befriending her brother doesn’t count toward that apology, and Dipper doesn’t speak for Mabel, much though he staunchly defends her. The only way to stop cyclical abuse is to recognize the pattern and choose act differently than the people who hurt you, to stop lashing out at external targets.

Frustratingly, I highly doubt this is where the show is going. It would be difficult, though by no means impossible, to pull off a nuanced and frank discussion about abusive cycles and the reasons kids bully in a twenty minute episode of an action adventure series, but given the show’s history of tone-deafness when it comes to addressing kids’ phobias, anxieties and insecurities in a sensitive and mature fashion**, I have little hope. Nevertheless, as I rather enjoy Gravity Falls and would like it to continue to improve, I thought I’d add my voice, in hopes of starting a slightly less anemic dialogue about this character and her arc.


*hi ‘Dipper vs Manliness’, ‘Little Dipper’, ‘Boss Mabel’ and every instance of Stan mocking a child for, essentially, not being an adult (and a hypermasculine and aggressive adult, at that).

**you could make a fascinating and compelling case for the ways in which Stan’s blatant favoritism of Mabel speak to a Boomer mentality caused by growing up in an aggressively masculine and probably single-parent household, and how that informs Stan’s “toughening up” Dipper by being harder on him and less willing to stand up for him, but this is a kids’ show and I don’t think one should have to write a dissertation to get to that conclusion.

#gravity falls #mabel pines #pacifica northwest #northwest mansion mystery #bully culture #emotional abuse

Oh My Show

Apr. 3rd, 2015 11:14 am
gen_is_gone: criminal minds team standing in an elevator (team and family)
I’ve been rewatching Criminal Minds with Roommate, and I tricked her into watching four episodes tonight. We were on ‘Amplification’; the ep right after that is ‘To Hell…And Back’ and rather nasty, aaand it ends on a horrible fucking cliff-hanger.

So of course we had to watch ‘Faceless, Nameless’ and I had to cry my way through it. On the list of CM episodes that should’ve been nommed for Emmies and weren’t, this one ranks especially high.

Oh Emily, my badass fictional big sister. Oh Spencer, self-sacrificing love of my life. Oh Penelope, forced to wait for her family and hope, and hope that they’ll come home. Oh Hotch. Just, oh Hotch. Aaron, I may name a child after you someday.

I get incredibly, pathetically emotional about Criminal Minds, can you tell? My Show, I show it to you.
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How torture-fic, the Omegaverse, slasher movies, penetration horror, vagina dentata, and yaoi dynamics contribute to the subjugation of women by women in fan culture.
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If you guessed Jupiter Ascending you'd be right. It absolutely more than lived up to its tumblr hype. I adore it. Aside from the pure joy-squee of formerly-winged space-werewolf bodyguards with rocket boots and the most glorious ballgowns imaginable, it's incredibly subtly-crafted tone&message-wise, with a really impressive eugenics metaphor in how the Abrasax family stays youthful and immortal. I want to do a better write-up than this, but I feel like [personal profile] staranise has doen a much better job on tumblr than I ever could. Essentially, don't listen to anyone who says this movie is "so bad it's good" or good in spite of itself. It's, truly, genuinely a pleasure, a smart, woman-dominated, woman-oriented film that manages to be fantastic and joyously genre while simultaneously being clever and powerful. It's so much fun, and so, so thoughtful. And pretty.
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My comp professor wants to use an essay of mine on the rhetorical stance of of a book called Dead Man Walking as an example paper for later classes and the only response I have to that is a resounding why!? This is a paper I wrote in a panicked, half-asleep haze at three in the morning and edited five hours later with just as much sleep. It's disjointed as hell, redundant, riddled with fucking typos and (I think) kind of irritating, tonally. It's not a paper I'm proud of, and I have no fucking clue why the hell she wants to use it, other than as an example of what not to do. Obviously, that isn't the case, but I really can't bring myself to believe her telling me it's exemplary. Fuck. And now I sound like an asshole.
gen_is_gone: Anji, the Doctor, and Fitz from the Eighth Doctor Adventures; credit goes to red sharlach (danger&excitement our constant companion)
I’ve been thinking of identity as the EDAs’ most important and lasting motif for a while, and particularly today in the context of Anji, and how she’s both a part of the pattern of loss of identity and defies it.

Trix is a chameleon to begin with, a consummate liar who claims amorality and who fills her own voids with immediate gratification and a Trickster mentality that’s at least a little bit of mask.

Sam is split in two, into a kind of sick yin/yang or even Madonna/Whore division of someone who would be average, if not for the separation of her extremes. Her supposedly “darker” half is punished for not being exceptional, for not being pure, for not being (supposedly, again) someone the Doctor could love.

Fitz’s soul doesn’t reside in the body he was born in, and he loathes himself for being the fake, while Fitz 1.0 is tortured, corrupted, and filled with hate for the person he believes is at fault, the Doctor he used to love, and he can’t stand to see his double because Mark II is still Fitz in the way Father Kreiner can’t be ever be.

Compassion is changed physically and mentally to the point that she’s unrecognizable long before she even meets the Doctor, and just as she’s found a stable person to be, he becomes the catalyst for her to be destroyed utterly and remade into an entity beyond comprehension, and she keeps only the barest surfaces of her looks and personality to spite the Doctor, and as a sort of ironic nostalgia.

The Doctor himself embodies the disintegration of the self more than anyone else, so much so that his constant amnesia is the joke he’s most famous for. Each time it happens the loss is worse, is harder to recover from, and the more he picks up pieces of the man he used to be, the more horrified he is at the result.

Anji is the only one to start and end her time with the Doctor fully human and with her identity intact. She changes a great deal over the course of her travels, but subtly, and rather than being split in two or torn apart or washed away or obliterated, she grows. Anji, by the time she leaves the TARDIS for good, is braver, more observant, and more compassionate for the people around her. She’s scarred, she’s lost people, she’s lost the memory of four years of a settled life, but she’s maybe the only one of them who walks away with an even firmer sense of self than what she started with.

She tries to use Trix’s time-traveling to cheat on stock market trends and finds that she doesn’t need the help; she leaves the TARDIS and is happy with her partner and her adopted eldritch daughter and phase-jumping dog. She doesn’t need the thrills of the Doctor’s lifestyle to be happy, even after coming to admit to herself that having alien adventures does make her happy. She’s perhaps the least emotionally dependent of any of Eight’s companions; even Compassion’s angry, uncompromising push backs against him came from an awareness that it would be too, too easy to love him unquestioningly.

Anji doesn’t take the Doctor’s omnicompetence for granted, and while “doesn’t take shit from the White Male Lead” is such a fallback generic positive statement about secondary female characters (especially women of color) who aren’t granted the space to do anything except be angry with the Hero that it’s become its own stereotype, Anji, when written by people who treat her with dignity, is more than that stereotype as well. She’s weirder than she thinks, and she really has absorbed more of Dave’s love of science fiction and the unexplained than she’d care to admit. For that matter, she really did, and does, genuinely love Dave, for all of their differences and inequalities and arguments, and she’s allowed to grieve for him. She does love the Doctor, and she does love Fitz, but her love for them doesn’t blind her to their flaws, which in Fitz’s case make him annoying and incautious, and in the Doctor’s case can mean the deaths of millions from his pride or misplaced pity or unfair favoritism. She can stand up to his overwhelming presence and tell him that he’s not a god, and judging other people as one makes him so reprehensible as to become a stranger in her eyes.

Anji’s sense of self is so strong she can be taken into space against her will, decide for herself that she wants to stay even after the Doctor is finally capable of getting her home again, and then, in her own time, choose to leave and be able to keep to that decision even after the Doctor shows up in her life again.

Anji Kapoor alone of the protagonists of The Eighth Doctor Adventures grows into herself, rather than losing herself.
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So, here it is: the fanvid that's been eating my brain since June. This is the vid that finally drove me over the edge into properly learning how, and I'm both incredibly proud of it and incredibly defensive. Thrice's song 'Blood Clots and Black Holes' had one line that jumped out at me immediately ("to be at peace/would be a sin/and surely un-american") and it was that line that got me to really listen to the rest of the song and then be sort of hit over the head with visuals and other lyric/footage parallels.

I hope I'm able to get across at least some of the motifs that caught my eye, because the song works insanely well as a rumination on fame, duty, human worth, and how all of these things can be manipulated or outright corrupted in the act of serving a higher purpose, as well as something of a compare/contrast in Steve and Bucky's treatment at the hands of people using these concepts to get what they want.

I think the vid comes across as maybe too harsh on Fury and Erskine and their use of Steve by appealing to his martyrdom and lowered self-worth, but it's also meant as a contrast; while they weren't entirely honest to Steve and both were comfortable abusing his ideals, he did give an informed and enthusiastic consent to be physically remade and then put to use; Bucky was never given a choice.

And yes, I am totally stealing the first line of a famous untitled poem of e.e. cummings and I am totally doing it as a response to the best fanfiction anyone is ever going to write for this 'verse, which uses a modification of the second to last line of the same. It fucking fits, and it's my damn vid, and I'll do what I want. And if you haven't yet read Lalaietha's your blue-eyed boys and related works, you haven't properly experienced the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a fandom. Her fictional writings as well as her meta on the boys is incredible and has been invaluable to me as a fannish participant. As such, this is informally dedicated to her.

Thanks also go to my good friend Trevor Samora on Youtube for all of his technical help in my many times of need, and my ever so patient roommate mygoddesstonks for putting up with a tremendous amount of whining.

Lyrics )
gen_is_gone: two one way arrows pointing in opposite directions (Default)
So the motherfucking vid I've been working on since fucking June is theoretically done, and on Youtube. It's slow to play, and I have no idea whether that's the video, Youtube, or just my internet and I'm so completely scared of this not turning out perfectly. Yes, I should have uploaded probably anything else just to test things, but when have I ever utilized common sense and long-term planning? Oh fuck, I'll figure it out.
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Moonbeam and I broke up half an hour before Abq rang in the New Year. It's perhaps more of a relief than something to be sad about, and we both seem to want to remain close as friends, if not romantic partners. So that's how my year started. Really, this is a good thing rather than a bad.
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I just went to see Annie with my parents, having forgone our trip to see the California relatives because on fucking Christmas I caught a fucking cold, and miserably slept most of the day. Whatever. It ended up being a good idea not to go, as my uncle is imuno-compromised and really shouldn't be around even remotely sick people. Anyway, we saw Annie.

That was one of the best movies I've ever seen.

I um, started pathetically crying in the first five minutes and it only occasionally abated from there. This movie is *for* millennials, and it's beautiful. It's just so smart, and so utterly self-aware. Not to spoil everything (though the general shape of the story is pretty well-known) but the first image the audiences sees is a little white girl with red hair and a red sweater, giving an essay presentation on William Henry Harrison. She does a little tap dance and the entire class sighs, then she's sent back to her seat as Annie B., our Hero, goes up to give her presentation. Hers is on FDR, and she explains the Depression as 'just like now, but without internet'.

The girls sing 'It's a Hard Knock Life' while cleaning up their foster home, remembering the right bins for trash, recycling and compost. Mr. Stacks doesn't have an army of servants, but he does have a Smart House that knows Annie's every want before she does. There's a scene where Stacks, taking Annie on a helicopter tour of New York, sings about how he worked hard for success and achieved it, and Annie asks him why his helicopter never flies past 97th street. There's the surface self-aware moments, like when Isabella asks what a Hard Knock Life even means, and then there's this. Stacks grew up poor and a person of color in Queens, but came of age probably in the late eighties or more likely the nineties, when the tech boom had only just begun and it was easier to get rich from nothing. He talks about how hard he worked to get where he is (and where he is is so disconnected from the reality of everyone else around him that his mayoral campaign is a joke) to a little Black girl growing up in an abusive foster home, and he talks about playing your cards right and she says, 'what if you don't have any?'.

This movie is brilliant, so much of a win, of a Yes, of an acknowledgement of the world we live in now, where a wealth gap that exceeds the Depression exists alongside technology our parents couldn't have dreamed of, and I cried my way through it and saw myself in pieces of it. I am not Black, and I did not grow up in the foster system or New York or even a working class household. But I know the cynicism, the intelligence and lack of interest in nostalgia, the suspicion and the hurt and the strange, broken hope. Annie's precocious bubbliness isn't blithe unconcern, but nor is it entirely fake. She smiles because she refuses to let people see her cry, but she returns to the restaurant where her parents promised in a note to meet her one day because she does still have that stepped-on hope. She really does believe (despite the not the bad hand she's been dealt, but the fact that she doesn't have cards) that things will get better. She trusts Tomorrow, the Tomorrow she can make by herself, and with her chosen family, and that's the most millennial theme of all.
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La. Music.

Eivor
FKA
Girlpool
Swingin' Utters
Hafez Nazeri
Deathwish
This Will Destroy You
Jasmine Thompson
Mariachi El Bronx
Fugazi

'Self Portraits'
'Pet'
"the only way to be..."
gen_is_gone: highly saturated image of stark tower with most of the letters blown away, leaving the ostentatious A (some assembly required)
The one thing that continually hits me as the film's most egregious waste however, is that Harley, the kid Tony finds himself 'connected' to, is a little white boy. I'm always struck, while rewatching it, by how the one thing that holds it back from completely taking apart the myriad problems with the Mandarin (and yes, that twist is the reason I love this movie the way I do, fuck you) is the lack of representation elsewhere in the cast. I think if Harley had been Chinese-American, and had got to explicitly point out exactly what fucking ugly caricatures the Mandarin has in the past and continues to embody, and use, it could have closed that last bit of difference between the movie and a lot, if not most, of its critics. Obviously, racists are racist, and will continue to be racist regardless of whether someone tells them they're racist, but they utterly lose any leg they have to stand on when the text itself calls them out. Or at any rate, it makes them out themselves as assholes for complaining about it. This is what stands between Iron Man 3 and perfection.

Another, entirely unrelated, thing that hit me here was just how horrifying some parts of this movie are. Obviously, in an action piece, there's a great deal of stylized violence, but so much of the violence in Iron Man 3 stands out because it isn't. Pepper and Maya don't get to look nearly as beat up, as is mostly to be expected, but Tony spends the latter half with blood and bruises crusting his face, is held captive not by high-tech torture devices, but zip-tied to a bed frame. Maya's shot in front of him and it's ugly, and Tony reacts as one not trained to encompass that. He has, by this point, seen a hell of a lot of death, and in often worse ways, but Maya threatens to kill herself to save Tony in vain, and Killian simply shoots her, to give Tony 'desperation'. Pepper, who's also seen more than her share of violence, is visibly traumatized, is visible in suffering, and (testament to both the writers and RDJ and Paltrow) their reunion is fragile, and barely not hysterical.

So much time is spent on the aftermath of trauma, the morning after the huge climatic battle, and how difficult it is to move on from it, how much easier it is in the heat of the moment to ignore blind panic and focus on a clear objective (stop the bad guys), vs the horror of then reliving that moment, primed and ready for a battle that doesn't exist anymore. It's pretty telling that Tony's still able to function, to fight and make quips when Pepper falls and he thinks she's dead, while earlier when watching her being tortured he shuts down completely, tries and fails to look away and looks completely catatonic. Tony's perfectly capable of doing the mental equivalent of shoving your guts back into your skin and burning the wound closed--it's having the time to process that's poison. It's fitting then, that this is the film that immediately follows The Avengers. Tony's the one to hold off the act of processing the Chitauri invasion in favor of going out for shwarma, and this is where the reality of the last two years all starts to hit him, and with him his viewers as well.

Aside from that, Rhodey has my continued undying love; stripped down, Mission Impossible Tony remains the most delightful thing; and my favorite line is still

Pepper: Got you.
Tony: I got you first.

Love.
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“Sorry I’m late, babe,” ‘Drea calls as Lindsay hears the door open and shut from the other room. She wanders out to see ‘Drea kicking off her boots and pulling her braids out of the bun on top of her head as she heads to the fridge for a beer.

She gives Lindsay an absentminded kiss on the cheek on her way. “Got blocked on the way through Times Square. It was weird,” she adds. It’s obviously a story she wants to tell, and Lindsay takes the hint. “How so?”

“You know that SHIELD guy, What’s-his-face, on the news a few months back over that thing at the Stark Expo? Fury something? With the eyepatch?”

“Yeah. Looked like something out a comicbook.” Director Nicholas Fury was kind of difficult to forget.

“Yeah, him. So like, there was this big blocked off chunk of the street, black sedans and black suits, and Fury was talking to some guy. Just talking, but it seemed like, end-of-the-world super important. It was like some government conspiracy shit, you know?” She pulls out a Michelob from the very back of the fridge and makes a face.

“This is the only alcoholic beverage in the entire apartment, isn’t it?” she asks, and groans when Lindsay nods.

“Fuck, sorry,” she says. “Meant to hit Costco Tuesday, but then Daniella called in sick, remember? I texted you? There’s not any meat left either. Sorry.” ‘Drea rolls her eyes.

“Whatever. I’ll go with you tonight if you want, just let me sit here for a bit.” She pads back out of the tiny kitchen and tips her whole body over one arm of the couch, dangling the unopened bottle from the ends of her fingers. Lindsay doesn’t think she’s going to drink it. ‘Drea scoots over on her side and pulls her feet up, pats the cushion beside her.

“So anyway,” she continues like there hadn’t been a break in conversation, as Lindsay comes to lean on her on the couch and steal her shitty beer, “I’m like a block away from the subway entrance, about to cross the street, when three,” and here she holds up her hands to emphasize her mock seriousness, “Top Secret Vans filled with Top Secret Agents pull up and they all just converge on this guy. Really tall white guy, that’s about all I could see because then the suits all get out of their cars exactly like the movies and then What’s-his-fuck gets out, as all these agents are like, threatening to fucking confiscate phones if people take pictures, and he talks to the guy for like maybe five minutes and then he disappears him into a car and the rest of them all get back in their own dark sedans and leave.”

Lindsay was sort of hoping there’d be more to the story than that, but her girlfriend’s pretty excited so she tries to sound interested.

“Woah. That’s totally weird,” she murmurs, playing with the fingers of one of ‘Drea’s hands. ‘Drea nods. The Michelob is slowly warming on the floor beside the couch.

“Yeah, I know it sounds way less cool when I say it, but it was almost creepy at the time.” She snorts, and tips her head back onto the arm of the couch. “I was just thinking on the way back, ‘he’s probably some alien SHIELD’s been keeping locked up since the Forties’. The whole thing reminds me of that tin-hatter site Gilbert trolls with stupid stories about SHIELD agents staging 9/11 or something.”

Lindsay smirks. “And they’re gene-splicing babies with spider DNA and putting hallucinogens in Lake Eerie.”

“Exactly, and doing medical experiments on political prisoners and shit,” ‘Drea combs the fingers of her other hand through Lindsay’s hair, and she settles happily in response. “I think that one’s probably true though,” she yawns.

‘Drea makes an irritated noise. “Yeah, probably.”

“Least they’re better than the CIA,” Lindsay says, and they both laugh, a little.
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Not reading porn in class. Nope. Not at all.
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I just spent the better part of an hour making a works page on TvTropes for a shitty romcom I liked when I was fourteen, in lieu of doing productive things, like Christmas decorating, or homework.

I went to my uncle's for Thanksgiving, where surprisingly, my parents didn't have relationship sniping matches with each other, which was really very pleasant. On the other hand, my uncle and his wife, my cousin and her girlfriend, and another cousin and her fiance all were, which was not.

Aside from that, it's been a reasonably nice Thanksgiving, though smaller by an order of magnitude than some of the previous years, given that with Grandma and Grandpa both now gone, most of my aunts, uncles and cousins don't feel an obligation to squeeze into one person's house to visit, and have gone off to do their own thing, while That One Uncle and That One Aunt are presumably no longer invited to family gatherings (or at least gatherings that include my mother).

So nice, I guess.
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AMC is having a Gone With the Wind marathon throughout Thanksgiving weekend. My mom is watching as I type this and occasionally bursts out in some praise or another of Scarlett because when she was young, Ms. O’Hara was viewed as some sort of role model, I suppose. No matter that it’s grossly inappropriate to have this of all movies on a loop in light of our most recent and most publicized miscarriage of justice, because Mom doesn’t seem to realize the irony of lecturing me on pride for my heritage one day and watching this nauseous sludge the next, though it could be worse. Birth of A Nation is still taught as canonical in every Film 101 class in America. We live in a country where lynching is still an acceptable fucking practice as long is it’s done by men in uniform*, and my Hispanic, raised-Catholic-in-the-fifties mother sits and watches Gone With the Wind and praises the fucking cinematography.

I have any number of reasons to take umbrage with this movie, starting with the profound racism, moving through the misogyny, and ending with the fact Scarlett O’Hara is weak, a coward, and a vicious petty ingrate, but the second and last of these are nothing compared to the fact that this movie that treats Reconstruction as a terrible ordeal for Southern gentry and acts as through Black slaves stayed with their white oppressors out of love and loyalty rather than terror of the devil they didn’t know is on TV and garnering praise from a woman whose opinions on race I usually respect two days after Darren Wilson was acquitted of murder, and it makes me want to throw things.

*Lynching here having the technical definition of taking the law into one’s own hands in a violent and usually racially charged manner, before anyone wants to argue. Shooting an unarmed young man with his hands raised in surrender is most definitely a perversion of the law, by my book.
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It's fall break. I get a week off, over Thanksgiving, and I'm home again.

Maybe I shouldn't have had the coffee on the drive over, but between a meeting with a professor being more than lenient and helpful about the things I could do to not fail her class, the unfortunately-becoming-habitual pre-travel panic attack and then coming home and finding out that my dad had a rather worrisome fall yesterday after donating blood, I was about ready to sprint right out of my childhood home to gods know where to escape the pressure of fucking everything.

I really thought coming home would help. I've been here maybe four hours and I want to run away, and I'm realizing that this has been my feeling about both home and school since at least the middle of last semester. Every time I'm about to leave one place for the other, I get to a point where I can't stand physically being there at all, and then when I leave the itch sets in in the new place almost immediately after. I...do in fact know what all of this probably means, but have no clue what to do about it other than complain into cyberspace and hope nobody actually hears me.

...Wow this post was maudlin. Jesus.

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