So I’ve recently gotten into podcasts and I decided to make a list of all my favorites in order to spread the love.
Welcome to Night Vale: The first podcast everyone listens to. About a small desert community where strange and fantastical things occur on a daily basis. Comedic and introspective with horror elements. And a lot of positive POC, LGBT, and disabled representation (including a lesbian hijabi Muslim!!! A girl in a wheelchair who pulls off a heist!!! A sarcastic, British agender sheriff!!! A little African American girl who reads books and saves an entire town!!!!) 10/10 recommend.
EOS 10: A medical comedy set in in space. Amazing. It takes a few episodes to really get interesting, so if you listen I would suggest listening to at least the fourth episode. Nobody is straight, and it’s wonderful and I would die for each character. Also, Dr. Urvidian. Trust me.
Alice Isn’t Dead: By the some of the same people who did Night Vale. A creepy, haunting story about a woman driving trucks across the country to search for her missing wife. It’s incredibly set up, and so well-written. Warning: some gory imagery and description of murder. Also, WOC protagonist and pretty much all women.
Within the Wires: GUYS. This story was incredible. The format’s really unique: it’s set as a series of relaxation cassettes that slowly reveal the history between the narrator and the listener. It’s GREAT. Seriously, give this one a listen. It’s actually really relaxing between all the bombshells about the plot. It’s also by one of the guys that writes Welcome to Night Vale, so of course it’s gay.
The Penumbra Podcast: This is another one that’s hard to describe, but it’s a collection of stories, a different one every episode. Some are recurring, but some are stand-alone. SUCH amazing representation here, and funny/creepy storylines. There’s a nonbinary bisexual MOC, a Native American wlw BANDIT, a knight with a physical disability, women with actually good characterization, and a lot more. How often do we see that?
The Bright Sessions: Basically superheroes who go to therapy. Good acting, cool storylines, a cute romance. Again, lots of representation. And an asexual character!!!
Wolf 359: A story about the crew of a spaceship circling the Wolf 359 star. At first I thought this was a comedy, but it got dark pretty fast. The characterization is great. The story is comedic and gritty and fast-paced, and I would die for Isabelle Lovelace. If you like space shenanigans and found family, this one’s for you.
Kakos Industries: This podcast is hilarious. It takes the format of a corporation’s monthly shareholder announcements. Only this corporation, headed by the legendary Corin Deeth III, helps you “do evil better.” It might disturb you a bit though, so if you don’t like sex jokes, murder, and swearing, stay away from this one.
The Orbiting Human Circus of the Air: A weird little show by Night Vale Presents that’s really hard to describe, but it includes an absolutely wonderful narrator, the cutest protagonist, and amazing side characters. The format’s cool as well, so I recommend giving it a listen. (also the main character’s a mlm!)
-I heard a child’s voice shout, “Cowabunga!” They were not within my field of vision, so I cannot confirm the type of gnarly stunts that they have just pulled, but I am certain that they were suitably sick.
-Readers of these stories will know that I place a great deal of value in returning shopping carts to their rightful place post-purchase, but I would like now to add a stipulation to this rule. You are more than welcome to abandon motorized carts anywhere you may please. I will never complain about being paid to drive a go-kart through the store.
-A woman waved a Lego Batman backpack at me, asking if it was a good size for a four year-old. I was unsure whether she meant for one to carry or for carrying one. I nodded either way.
-A child demanded a toy despite his mother saying no and having to wrench it out of his hands. I placed it in a bin behind my register and continued the transaction, only to find the child behind the register with me, stealing the toy back. As his mother caught him, he threw himself to the floor and tried to crawl his way back to the toy, wailing and clawing as his mother held him by the ankle. His passion and perseverance will carry him far in life, and if he learns that shrieking and sneaking do not go hand in hand, and that he, more often than not, will lose in a battle of brawn with an opponent who can pick him up in one arm, nothing will be able to stop him.
-A three year old grew very concerned as I handed them a sticker, explaining that they weren’t sure if they could leave the store with it. Never has a face been filled with such a combination of ecstasy and disbelief as theirs when I told them that they could.
-A kind man purchases a few toys for his granddaughter. I slipped a handful of stickers into her bag as I handed it to her, and he slipped something to me in turn as I handed his receipt to him. It was not until they had already left that I looked down to see that if was an origami ring fashioned out of a dollar bill. I firmly believe this to be how all transactions should be carried out.
-My understanding of my luck has been reaffirmed today. Despite months of being perfectly cognizant and present for guests that will likely never give me a second thought, it was today that, in a state well beyond cold-induced delirium and incoherency, three readers recognized me and chatted with me for a while. I appreciate their kindness, but I hope their first impression is not one that will last.
Although she was not identified by name, MI6’s head of operational technology is a woman. This news came as part of a keynote speech that MI6’s chief, Alex Younger, gave to a group of women in technology, encouraging them to join the agency:
“If any of you would like to join us … the real-life Q is looking forward to meeting you and I’m pleased to report that the real-life Q is a woman.”
As if this show doesn’t blow our minds enough, ...
… watch it back, it’s actually Kala who knocks out the second guard whilst Lito and Riley hold guns on Will, having knocked out the first, to distract the second during the Whispers extraction scene, and it’s also Kala, a married-in-to-wealth upper-class demure Indian woman, who drives the getaway van to the meet-up with Sun, Nomanita, and Capheus, whom have Jonas, because the figure clad in a hazmat suit who does these two things has breasts and a ponytail bump. … Shit gets real when you mess with the man who she actually loves. #FreeWolfie
Dina Ali is a woman from KSA who fled the country despite strict travelling laws placed on women. She fled Saudi Arabia in hopes to have refuge in Australia away from her abusive family. However, upon landing in the Philippines, Dina was detained by airport officials who prevented her from travelling any further despite her desperately explaining to officials that her family will kill her the moment she returns to Saudi. PLEASE HELP SAVE DINA ALI BY SPREADING MORE AWARENESS. SHE MATTERS TOO.
There are millions of Saudi Arabian women who face injustice and oppression in their own country by the very people who are meant to protect them. The government and their families.
Women in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia cannot travel even outside their own homes without a male guardian. Women in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are barred from driving leaving them very dependent on male relatives. Among other basic human rights violations.
In July 2011, a woman from Jeddah was sentenced to ten lashes by whip for driving a car although the sentence was eventually overturned. Women are even being controlled at their workplaces, a woman’s work must also be deemed suitable for the female physique and mentality. Women are allowed to work only in capacities in which they can serve women exclusively; there must be no contact or interaction with the opposite gender.
Consequently in 2005, most Saudi women worked as nurses,doctors,teachers and at women’s banks. Jobs such as judges or other jobs in the high public office are forbidden to women.
Even in schools the quality of education is lower for females than males. Curricula and textbooks are updated less frequently, and teachers tend to be less qualified. At the higher levels, males have better research facilities.
- In 2008 Khamisa Mohammad Sawadi, a 75-year-old woman, was sentenced to 40 lashes and imprisonment for allowing a man to deliver bread to her directly in her home. Sawadi, a non-citizen, was deported
- 2013 was when the Kingdom registered its first female trainee lawyer. It’s first ever female lawyer to be granted an official license from its Ministry of Justice. 2013!!!
- “We all have to live in the borders of the boxes our dads or husbands draw for us.”
-Zahra, 25-year-old Saudi woman, April 7, 2016.
-“It can mess with your head and the way you look at yourself. How do you respect yourself or how [can] your family respect you, if he is your legal guardian”?
-Hayat, 44-year-old former school principal, December 7, 2015.
- In 2013 Saudi women were first allowed to ride bicycles, although only around parks and other “recreational areas”. They must also be dressed in full Islamic body coverings and be accompanied by a male relative.
- In 1991, Saudi women launched a campaign for more rights. 47 women drove illegally through Riyadh, in protest against the ban on driving. Activists presented a petition to King Fahd requesting “basic legal and social rights.” Subsequently, a feminist leader was arrested and tortured. members of the public demanded strict punishment of the women who had driven in protest, and denounced activists as “whores.” The mutaween enforced the dress code more aggressively.
- In 2013 the Saudi government sanctioned sports for girls in private schools.
Despite all of Saudi Arabia’s blatant human rights violations including the indiscriminate bombing of Yemeni civilians and the treatment of women in their own borders, they still get elected to the United Nation’s Human Rights Council.
High heels are the feminine equivalent to motorcycles, in that they are the more impractical (and even dangerous) alternative, turning a necessity into a flashy accessory, they exist for little purpose other than to make the owner look cooler/more powerful, and the noise they make going by is alone enough to make me turn my head and stare in a combination of low-key arousal and self loathing that I once again I fell for the trick.
On Sunday, Harkirat Singh, 25, was driving a woman and three men in their early 20s from near Madison Square Garden to the Bronx, when the drunk passengers began to physically assault him and rip off his turban.
The incident began when Singh took them to their requested destination, but was then told it was the wrong location.
The passengers then started shouting racial slurs and banging on the plastic window separating them from Singh.
“They’re using bad words, also. They said, ‘Ali Baba, f–k you,’” Singh told the New York Daily News.
Singh then pulled the cab over and told the belligerent passengers to pay their fare — $41.76 — and find another cab to take them to their final destination.
At first they refused, but after threatening to call the police, the female passenger paid for the cab.
Then one of the male passengers got back inside the cab, according to Singh, and tried to smash the meter and then punched Singh in the arm.
The passenger also tried to rip off Singh’s turban — a sign of disrespect for Sikhs — and steal his phone. Read more (4/18/18 12 PM)
-A woman knocked over a stack of brochures at the register. She attempted to fix it, but instead simply knocked it over to the other side. Thankfully, it is the thought that counts, so she and I can remain best friends.
-A wide-eyed man with wild hair and a two-pronged beard walked through the store looking like a cartoon depiction of Satan sticking a fork into a power outlet.
-I told a woman to have a good day, to which she angrily said, “Okay!” I nearly followed her to apologize and let her know that I will not force her to do anything against her will.
-An elderly man threw a twenty-dollar bill at my face. The next man handed me his cash as meekly as one could. I appreciate his existence and his natural drive to balance things out.
-I asked a woman how she was. She replied, “Forty dollars,” and pushed a gift card at me. She has been one of my more affable guests today.
-While I was stocking candy, a woman approached my lane. Once I got back to the register, the woman looked me in the eye, and left for the adjacent cashier.
-I was angrily called “Dora” after an elderly woman had a coupon denied. I have no follow-up commentary for this as I still have not entirely processed it myself.
-A woman announced, to nobody in particular, that she deserved a free pizza. I agree with you, ma'am, and I will stand by you until we all get the free pizzas we deserve.
-I was handed a box of tampons. Upon picking them up, I found the box to be unnaturally warm, almost hot to the touch. The only thing burning with more intensity than the box were the questions it left me with.
-A young mother found that she had perfect change. Her children gave her a standing ovation with neither hesitation nor prompting. I am unsettled at the lack of credits rolling after this, as I had been certain that this level of familial support did not exist outside of cheesy sitcoms.
It was August 20th, the first day of senior year. You were pretty excited, you honestly felt this was going to be a great year. You guess you were also happy this was the last year of high school. You got up and turned off your alarm. Your phone read, 7:15. You’d only lived a couple of minutes away from school, so you could afford to sleep in a little more.
You got up and grabbed your uniform out of your closet. Yet another reason to be excited about this school year, you only had to wear this god awful thing one more year. You got dressed and went to the bathroom, going through your morning routine. Once you were done and ready you grabbed your backpack and headed downstairs. You went into the kitchen and saw your mom and dad eating breakfast.
Your dad looked up from the paper, “Y/N, look at you. You’re up before noon, how does that feel,” his smile was contagious.
“Forced,” You smiled.
He laughed and went back to his paper. “Y/N,” your mom spoke.
She walked over to the table handing you two paper sacks. “Your and Yoongi’s lunch for today.”
You smiled and looked up at her, “Thanks Mom.”
“Sure,” she spoke as she sat down at the table. You’d started to eat some toast that was on the table when Yoogi rushed in.
“Sorry I’m late,” Yoongi shouted from the hallway as he came into the kitchen.
1: F*ck you
2: If you want to question my masculinity like a schoolyard circle of curses, like a swordfight with lightsabers save your breath. Because contrary to what you may believe, not every problem can be fixed by “growing a pair”. You cannot arm-wrestle you way out of chemical depression. The CEO off the company that just laid you off does not care how much you bench.
And I promise, there is no Lite Beer in the universe full-bodied enough to make you love yourself.
3: Man up? Oh, that’s that new superhero right? Mild-mannered supplement salesman Mark Manstrong says the words “MAN UP” and then transforms into THE FIVE O'CLOCK SHADOW; the massively-muscled, deep-voiced, leather-duster-wearing super-man who defends the world from… I don’t know, feelings.
4: Of course, why fight to remove our chains when we can simply compare their lengths? Why step outside the box when the box has badass flames decals on it?
We men are cigarettes: dangerous, and …poisonous, and stupid
5: You ever notice how nobody ever says “woman up”? They just imply it.
Because woman, and the women’s movement, figured out a long time ago that being explicitly ordered around by commercials, magazines and music is dehumanizing. When will men figure that out?
6: The phrase “man up” suggests that competence and perseverance are uniquely masculine traits. That woman - Not to mention any man that doesn’t eat steak, drive a big pick-up truck and have lots of sex with women - are nothing more than background characters, comic relief, props. More than anything, though, it suggests that to be yourself, whether you wear skinny jeans, rock a bit of eyeliner, drink another brand of beer, or write poetry - will cost you
7: How many boys have to kill themselves before this country acknowledges the problem? How many women have to be assaulted? How many trans people have to be murdered? We teach boys how to wear the skin of a man, but we also teach them how to raise that skin like a flag and draw blood for it.
8: Boy babies get blue socks. Girl babies get pink socks. What about purple? What about green? What about orange, yellow, chartreuse, cerulean, black, tie-dyed, buffalo plaid, rainbow?
9: I want to be free to express myself. Man up. I want to have a meaningful, emotional relationship with my brother. Man up.
I want to be weak sometimes. Man up.
I want to be strong in a way that isn’t about physical power or dominance. Man up.
I want to talk to my dad about something else than sports or economics. Man up
I want to be who I am. Man up
The small general store was quiet except for the sound of a young man’s broom sweeping across the floor and the faint echo of a radio playing from a backroom. The only customer was a tall man whom had been lurking a far aisle, his eyes scanning the various cans on the slightly dusty shelf while his left hand gripped his briefcase.
The sweeping ceased at the sound of the bell above the door. The young man stood by the counter and watched as the man walked through the aisles, pausing to smile and handle random cans with a laugh. His finger swiped a shelf and he inspected the dust with a disappointed face. He wore an all black suit. A blood red kerchief was tied around his neck and his hat tipped on his head just enough to look sinister.
“Go get your grandpa, kid,” he commanded and leaned an elbow on the shop counter while waiting, nodding once to the customer across the way.
The boy dropped the broom and scrambled to the backroom to retrieve the old man. His slumped frame, followed closely by his grandson, walked slowly to the other side of the counter.
“You don’t mind, right?” the man in black spoke it as more of a statement than a question. He reached over to a jar of suckers, unwrapping one and popping it in his mouth while flicking the wrapper onto the floor. “I’m very worried. I don’t see any money in your hands, and I gave you very clear instructions,” he explained.
The old man’s face remained calm, but his grandson’s fists were balled at his sides. For a moment all three stood there staring at one another with only the faint but familiar jazz tune from the radio filling the space.
“We are under the protection of Don V, we won’t be giving you any money,” the old man was stern, but he took an anxious breath to calm his nerves.
The man in black pulled the candy from his mouth and let out a comical laugh for a moment, then his face became quite serious.
“You’re making a big mistake, pops,” he pointed the sucker in the old mans face.
“Hey! You can’t threaten my gran-“ the boy started, but the old man placed a hand on the boys shoulder to stop him from talking.
“Whoah, whoah! Hey, it’s okay, kid…pops,” he nodded to them both, “I won’t be coming back. I get the message.”
The man reached over to pinch and smack the boys cheek, then with a smirk he straightened the old mans collar and brushed off his apron before patting him on the chest.
He tilted his hat to the customer before leaving. The man, after nodding back, set the briefcase on the shelf, making sure to click the lock before walking out empty-handed and entering the backseat of a black car that had been waiting for him.
“What a fool,” the blonde woman driving said when she heard him close the door of the car.
“Eh, place was a dump anyway,” the man in black said from the passengers seat with a sigh, “we’d never get any dough from that joint,” he sat back in the seat and lowered the hat over his eyes.
“That’s not the point, Saeran,” she snapped, smacking the hat from his head before hitting the gas.
“Hey, watch it,” he groaned and picked his hat back up, “I hate this city.”
“Well, get over it. We’ll be running it, soon,” she replied.
The man in the back turned to look out of the window as they drove away.
“Should be any moment now,” he spoke, but neither of them in the front payed any mind to what he was saying.
The explosion in the distance paired with the sound of shattering glass and rubble elicited screams from the people on the streets. They watched women, children, and men as they began to run in hopes of seeing what had happened.
“Look at them, flocking like vultures to see the carnage,” Saeran hissed in disgust.
“Let them look. I want them to see what happens when they don’t pay up,” she laughed.
“Yeah, yeah. Can we stop somewhere? I’m fuckin’ starving, here,” he replied.
“Christ,” Saeyoung’s face hardened as he heard the news.
“Frank is waiting at the scene,” one of the soldiers explained before being waved off.
He had been overseeing Jaehee’s team as they unloaded another shipment of bootleg into a warehouse. He leaned back on the car and pinched the bridge of his nose in silent thought and frustration.
“Lucky, Kitty!” he called out, sounding harsher than intended.
“Yes, boss?” Yoosung approached, winded but smiling, with you right beside him.
“Frank’s waiting down by first street. Don’t ask questions, just go meet him. Report back to me right after, got that?” he ruffled Yoosung’s cap.
“Got it!” he took off.
You began to follow but Saeyoung tugged at your arm and pulled you back, causing you to stumble a bit on the pavement.
“Lucky’s lucky, but, keep your eyes open…you’ll understand why when you get there. Be careful,” he warned.
“I’m always careful,” you insisted.
“Attagirl,” he let go, flashing a bit of a smile as you walked away.
Yoosung had waited for you to catch up, and as you walked you wondered who Frank could be. And what was going on. You were both oddly quiet. Normally, you couldn’t get Yoosung to shut up. He still had that smile on his face, but the whole way there he only spoke to point out puddles, so you wouldn’t step in them.
From far away, the damage seemed extensive. It only got worse as you approached, and anyone could see it was the work of a bomb. Aside from a few kids out to take a look at the wreckage, there weren’t many people in sight. Most had probably shut themselves at home in fear, you guessed.
Down a nearby alley you saw the figure of a man in uniform waiting. His face became familiar the closer you got. His large belly, bulbous nose and reddish stubble on his face more apparent with the closing distance. You paused, your heart racing and your palms sweating. Frank…
“Don’t worry! He’s on our payroll. That’s Lieutenant Frank,” Yoosung said when he noticed your hesitancy.
You knew very well who it was. But did he know you? Would he recognize your face? You had always thought this son of a bitch was crooked. Damn, who else from the force would you come in contact with…this was way deeper than you had anticipated. You couldn’t wait to expose him for the scum he was.
“Lucky! My boy, how’s the family?” he asked in a chipper tone.
“Mom’s doing a little better. She actually got out of bed yesterday, started pointing out all the things that needed cleaning,” Yoosung smiled.
“I bet your old man loved that,” he laughed, “glad to hear it. And…you seem familiar? When did we meet? I can’t quite remember your name,” his eyes narrowed in on you.
“I’m going to go ask around, see if anyone saw anything,” you said through a lump in your throat before running off.
You were careful of the glass that littered the street. It looked like they hadn’t been able to clean everything up yet. You kicked a few pieces of brick and wood shards, your heart sinking as you peeked into the empty space to survey the damage. It was littered with burned and exploded cans, a remnant of a broom close to your feet.
“Hey, you,” you grabbed a young boy by the collar as he came running passed you, “did you see what happened here?”
“Well, there was a car and-“
“Louie!” a window flew open a few stories up on an adjacent building and cut him off, “come home, now!” she waved her rag in anger at him as she scolded.
The boy ran home without another word and Yoosung appeared only a moment later, his face was white and his smile non-existent. For a moment you held your breath, waiting for him to say something. Say that he knew all about you, that he was going to tell the Mad Hatter.
“What is it, Yoosung?” you tried to hide the quiver in your tone, “what did he say?”
“He said they don’t know much about what happened. Everyone around here is too scared to talk. And…” he trailed off.
“And what?” you pressed him.
“Well. He doesn’t know who the guy is, but he says he is pretty sure. It’s really hushed over there and he is trying to find out more. He says…someone from the police force has worked their way into the family. He says we have a rat.”