american-nothing

England, and from what I hear, Europe, is undergoing a heatwave.

Temperatures in the UK are around 30°C. Where I am it’s gonna hit 32°C in the next couple of hours.

To you Americans, you Australians, that’s nothing. It’s a mild day, we’re weak, whatever, I’ve heard it all, the thing is, WE AREN’T EQUIPPED TO DEAL WITH THIS.

The average temperature in the UK in July is 17°C. It is in the 30’s today. We simply are not used to it. We are used to rain and sleet and hail and wind, not heat. And our heat is a damp heat. A humid heat.

Because of all the sea around us we have an extremely humid climate if it gets warm. The air literally feels heavy right now. I am struggling to cool down because the humidity is fucking with my sweat, and as a trans man, the high amounts of water in the air, combined with my binder make it difficult to breathe, and I assume a lot of asthmatic people have a similar problem.

When temperatures in the UK are like this, people die. Don’t laugh about it. It is serious. It may not seem like much to you, it may not seem warm to you, but in a similar heatwave in 2013, 760 people died.

Our infrastructure is not built to cope with this. The house I live in, for instance, was built when the Thames still used to freeze over. It was built to be warm. The walls are thick, the windows are small, some rooms don’t even have windows that open, it was built with no though to air circulation, and this is one of the most common types of home in the UK. The UK government subsidises insulation. People fill every gap in their home with stuff that will keep the heat in. And nobody - literally nobody - has aircon. A lot of businesses don’t even have it. We have no use for it 99.9% of the time. Hell, I don’t even own a desk fan or even a hand held fan.

It is very different here to where you are. And we are used to and equipped for very different things. Instead of laughing, teach us how to stay cool. Instead of making jokes or quips, make info posts, and things that will help us.

Remember, this may be an average day to you, but to us it’s a heatwave. We cannot cope. And for some, particularly children and the elderly, it’s literally a matter of life and death.

i think andrew hussie is a master class case study in author anonymity

like, who even gives a shit about death of the author when the author barely exists metatextually anyway? his public friends are all people associated with or who worked at one point on homestuck, his social media reveals nothing about him personally, and the only pieces of personal information he discloses are pieces of disjointed, unrelated, or “is he joking?” type material. i know he’s a sagittarius but i don’t know if he has parents. i know he has a giant blue horse dildo somewhere in his home, but i don’t know which state he lives in. 

nobody within the past 500-600 years of literature has managed to write something as big as homestuck and remain as secretive as he has. most authors are tempted by the fame offered to them via their work and immediately flood their audience with personal disclosure, try to make themselves celebrities. not hussie. hussie wrote one of the biggest pieces of internet literature in history and stayed completely off the map for all of it.

4

A NEW FACE AT MACUSA

“Credence Barebone’s rise to national acclaim in the American wizarding world is nothing short of a miracle. Deprived of any magical schooling until his adult years, the young auror has proven himself to be a remarkable new talent amongst the forces at MACUSA, flourishing under the dual mentorship of Chief Inspector Porpentina Goldstein and Director of Magical Security Percival Graves.

However, perhaps the most miraculous detail of all is that Barebone is a fully-developed Obscurial as a result of his oppressive childhood years. He has contradicted all documented accounts of past Obscurials, not only by surviving past the age of ten and well into adulthood, but by harnessing the Obscurus–previously assumed to be an uncontrollable, parasitical mass of corrupted magic–and utilizing it at will. The full breadth of his abilities are as of yet undisclosed…

Despite the fact that Barebone has contributed definitively to the safety of the American wizarding world through his work as an auror, many are conflicted as to whether his mere existence is a security concern in and of itself. The catastrophic events of late November 1926, when his uncontrolled rampage across New York City resulted in massive security breach and an ensuing city-wide Obliviation, have earned him an inevitable loose-canon reputation that will be difficult to overcome.

Both Graves and Goldstein have issued public statements concerning their accountability for Barebone’s actions, claiming that they would not have him in the field if they were not assured of his capability to control the Obscurus. Barebone himself could not be reached for comment.”

– The New York Ghost, March 1933

Flip the script. Remake American classics with nothing but POC in them. Do a shot for shot remake of Gone With The Wind with Lucy Liu and Idris Elba. Casablanca with Will Smith. Singing in the rain with Mike Colter (I can’t think of any actors who sing really good atm but whatever.) Bonnie and Clyde with Simone Missick and Ken Watanabe. Don’t even let there be a white background character.

youtube

Nearly 60 percent of Americans admit knowing nothing at all about Sikhs. That lack of knowledge comes at a deadly cost. In the wake of recent incidents from the 2012 Oak Creek Massacre to a shooting of a Sikh man in Washington this March, the Sikh community is taking a more vocal stand against hate.

This month, the National Sikh Campaign, an advocacy group led by former political strategists, launched a $1.3 million awareness campaign, “We are Sikhs.” Funded entirely by grass-roots donations, the campaign’s ads will air nationally on CNN and Fox News as well as on TV channels in central California — home to nearly 50 percent of the Sikh American population — and online.

The ad, which aims to tackle misperceptions of Sikhism, shows Sikh men and women speaking about how values of their faith — tolerance, religious freedom and gender equality — align with American values. According to Gurwin Singh Ahuja, the executive director of the National Sikh Campaign, “These are core values of the United States, yet we’re often perceived as anti-American or as religious extremists. Our community is hurt by bigotry and ignorance, which is, in many ways, compounded by our own silence. To change these perceptions, I felt we had an obligation to share our stories with our neighbors.”

Why American Sikhs Think They Need A Publicity Campaign

African American culture exists.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve seen people being very demeaning or hostile toward African Americans, in regards to what culture we have or who we are as a people, and I’m sick of it. I’m sick of people acting like we as African Americans are nothing but “slaves”, I’m sick of people acting like we’re “inferior to real Africans”, I’m sick of white people telling us we have no culture while trying to take effort for what we’ve made for ourselves. I’m sick of negativity toward African Americans by both the black community, and white society.

So I just want to make a point that we as African Americans have our own culture that no one else on this world has.

It’s a culture of hardships, struggle yet at the same time triumph. It’s the culture of forging traditions and customs from ourselves from what we have lost, and making that into something bigger than ourselves.

Our culture is music, hip hop, R&B, rap, blues, soul, rock (yes rock), gospel, etc…etc… Our culture is dance, praise dance, hip hop dance, street dance, etc…etc.. Our culture is the religion/faith we’ve made that got us this far, it’s the food we eat that is only unique to us!  It’s even the lingo/slang we use. It’s the way we dress, wear our hair because that in itself is a political statement and a testament to our culture. The natural hair movement started in the African American community, that is ours.

All that I’ve listed above and MORE is ours, and if someone tries to tell you that you don’t have a culture, then don’t fret because you do. they’re just to ignorant to see it or understand it.

If someone tries to tell you that you don’t belong in their culture, then don’t be upset, because you have your own culture that shows just not how strong you are as a race, but as a person.

Don’t be ashamed of being African American. Don’t be ashamed of not finding your roots, because you have your roots, you know your roots and culture. It is the culture we as a people have made for ourselves that shows our true testament of survival and no one can take that away from us, no one can claim that, no one can claim that we don’t have it because we do.

That is our culture, as African American people…don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

And this isn’t an attack on anyone, but it’s a way to uplift African American people, especially African American women because we are always trying to connect back to our roots. I just want all of us to know that we, as a race do have a culture and we should be proud by how we’ve constructed it! It isn’t slavery either, it’s what we’ve crafted from then to now.

Moments like This

Pairing: Steve Rogers x Reader
Featuring: Cooper, Lila, and Nathaniel Barton
Rating: Teens and Up
Summary: Reader and Steve find a quiet moment together while they babysit Clint’s children.
Word Count: 1.2k
Genre: Fluff!
Warnings: Steve being a dork and it’s set before Captain America: Civil War.
A massive thank you to @punkrockhippiefromthefourties for helping me.

Ah, Clint’s homestead. Something every superhero alive in this world would love to have. A stable home. A real home, with your own bed that wasn’t going to crack under another attack. A real home where you could have a nice warm shower that wouldn’t be interrupted because you were needed to save lives again. Feeling free, no duties and just a happy family to live with, that was what you aspired to get once in your lifetime.

Babysitting the kids was another story. Your friend Laura had asked you to watch after her three children while she would enjoy a date with her husband in town. You couldn’t say no, Clint was away most of the time in the year and you knew they needed romantic moments together because you felt yourself living the same story with your boyfriend Steve.

Steve. Watching after two kids and a baby wasn’t an easy task for the super soldier. Even if he was a great tactician in the field, changing a diaper or feeding Cooper, Lila and Nathaniel wasn’t the same thing and had been ridiculously difficult for him.

Keep reading

American Gods 1x04: There’s Something About Laura

I was looking at this title and thinking it could equally apply to the Twin Peaks regroups I will be doing, but unlike the vague sense of existential angst I feel when watching that show, American Gods brings me nothing but joy. This show continues to improve and surprise with every episode, and this weeks dive into the life and times of Laura Moon was the best outing so far. Last week I talked about how successful this show has been in it’s ability to tell stories that are able to stand on their own, a particularly difficult feat for a show that also boasts an extensive fantasy universe. This episode was the perfect example of the strength of American Gods storytelling. While Laura’s story is another thread in the richer tapestry of the show, this episode also worked on it’s own simply as a story about a woman struggling to find meaning in her life. This episode also marked the first real divergence in terms of faithfulness to the source material as well, and it’s a testament to how well the show has been able to grasp Gaiman’s original vision that this episode felt seamless. The first three episodes have been almost rote in their following of the original novel’s first act and the major events therein. But Laura, although important to the larger plot, is a character that is never really flushed out in a meaningful way in the novel. The show’s choice to spotlight her in an episode highlights one of my favorite things about Bryan Fuller as a show runner which are his efforts to expand/create roles for women and POC (most notably in Hannibal).

In episode four we jump back in time (many years) to follow Laura’s life from the time she first met future husband and protagonist Shadow, to the the surprise reunion with him that ended episode 3. Laura is a complex character, and there are many potential pitfalls in her portrayal. Up until this point all we really know about Laura is via other people’s perceptions of her. To Shadow she was a perfect wife, beautiful and serene. To Audrey (Betty Gilpin), Laura was a cheating whore. We know Shadow loved her, and that she had betrayed that love by having an affair with his best friend Robbie (Dane Cook), an affair that would lead to both adulterers untimely deaths. It would be easy to make Laura a villain, she did after all break the heart of the handsome hero we have spent three prior hours getting to love. Conversely it would be just as easy to make her overly sympathetic, someone to be pitied or condescended to. But to Fuller, Green, and Emily Browning’s credit, Laura falls into neither trap. She is simply an unhappy person who does not ask for or need your deeper understanding. As she tells Anubis, “I lived my life, good and bad, definitely not light as a feather.”

In a story that is about celebrating the power and possibility of belief, Laura is a character who (at least in life) believed in nothing outside of what she could see. She struggled with finding contentment in her life, even when on paper she should have been happy, and she often sought dangerous alternatives in an effort to feel emotional connection. As someone who often struggles with depressive thoughts, Laura’s struggles were all too familiar. Although she loved Shadow, she was not able to pin her happiness on him the way he had on her. No matter her feelings, life was never going to be more than the reality of living.

So being transported to a magical afterlife after her violent death comes as somewhat of a shock to Laura. When the curtain is pulled back revealing that there WAS something more to life all the time, and Laura will still be receiving only the darkness she expected, she can’t help but feel cheated. Luckily Shadow tries to save her from herself one last time and throws Mad Sweeney’s lucky coin into her grave returning her earthly soul back into what’s left of her body. Zombie Laura now perceives Shadow as a bright beacon of light against an otherwise colorless world, and she resolutely sets out to help him in any way she can, now finally able to return the consuming and singular love he felt for her all these years. Who needs true love’s kiss when you can have true love’s Droog massacre. In a revisit to the lynching scene from episode one, we now see it was Zombie Laura who cut down Shadow and dispatched of his attackers in SPECTACULAR fashion. You go zombie girl, you punch out that guys skeleton.

However during all that ass kicking Laura’s arm is torn off (despite her super strength, she is still just a corpse), and she pragmatically attempts to fix it via her friend Audrey’s scrapbooking room. I would like to take this moment to talk about the performances in this episode. American Gods has boasted great acting, but this episode had some standouts and a real MVP. I’ll start by confessing that I have never been a real fan of Emily Browning or Dane Cook. I found the former pretty but bland, and the latter deeply unlikable in every possible way. As meathead adulterer Robbie, Cook exceeded my expectations by playing him with a surprising vulnerability instead as a stereotypical asshole bro. And I will concede with Browning the roles she has played previous as a “pretty girl” often do not hold much in the way of material. But I was also pleasantly surprised by her as well, as discussed earlier Laura is a difficult character and Browning clearly grasps her complexities. She is putting in the work and (theme of American Gods) really going for it, which I always respect. I am looking forward to seeing where she will take Laura, especially as the character sets off into uncharted waters.

That being said the standout performance of this episode was unquestionably Betty Gilpin’s Audrey. Holy shit. Gilpin’s performance of  Audrey, a widow grieving both her best friend and husband while wrestling with their combined betrayal, and then discovering said friend as a zombie in her house… is just beyond. Even though her previously described situation is completely ludicrous, Audrey’s pain remains tangible and serves to ground scenes that could have easily spiraled into lunacy. But even though Gilpin is able to keep Audrey’s sadness and anger central, she is also poignantly funny. I don’t know about y'all but I will be yelling “Get out of my house you zombie whore,” at friends and family for years to come. The scene in Audrey’s bathroom where Laura attempts to reconcile the relationship she may have irreparably destroyed with her best friend, while also passing embalming fluid through every orifice and being, you know, a zombie, is one of the best scenes I have ever seen on television. It is a female friendship that is pitch perfect in terms of complexity, pain and love. It is also a woman dealing with a shitting zombie cheater in her house. To sum up, if this show just turned into an Audrey/Laura road trip that would be a-okay with me.

So Laura is picked up by Ibis and Anubis, or Mr Jacquel and Mr. Ibis if ya nasty, and brought back to their funeral parlor. Ibis is a character we have seen briefly penning the Coming to America sections, and is also an old god by way of Egyptian mythology. You also may have noticed they have a cat ;). The two Egyptian gods patch up Laura properly, although she is still a corpse prone to decomposition and loss of limb, and she sets back out in pursuit of Shadow, the now literal light of her life. We then meet back up with the ending of the previous episode, with Shadow being brought face to face with his undead bride.

What could happen next week!!! I don’t know, but I am DYING to find out. Get it? Zombie joke. What if I’ve been a zombie this whole time? You don’t know I’m not. Okay I haven’t eaten in a while. Love ya.

XO MD

PS. Oh yeah this episode had an original song with Shirley Manson! Like as if it hasn’t rained enough gifts down upon us. You can listen here: “Queen of the Bored”

Bonus gifs:

medium.com
Your mockery of White People Food is Wrong and Classist
EDIT: So it seems that this story is rapidly spreading around the internet, with 60,000 views in the last day alone. A lot of people have…
By Hillel Wayne

Basically, White People Food (WPF) is a joke cuisine, not even a cuisine, just stuff that Americans make because they don’t know what ‘real food’ is. Maybe this is widely represented in the progressive, ultraliberal bubbles I run in, maybe I just have a unique set of friends. But whatever it is, it seems that most of the millennial, urbanite, oppose-gentrification-but-still-eat-froyo people I know look down on WPF.

Which is a good excuse for me to get irrationally angry. Because I love food, and by discarding an entire class of foods we lose whatever interesting ideas they have. And because I remember a lot of these WPF foods growing up, and I remember exactly why we ate them: because they’re cheap as fuck. I compiled a list of every single specific food people sent me, and each one could feed a family of six for like five dollars. And they all were easy to make, too, because you really don’t want to spend a lot of time cooking (or washing a billion dishes after) when you’re trying to wrangle four kids and two dogs. So really, when you’re saying “WPF food is dumb and bad”, you’re indirectly saying “Poor people food is dumb and bad”. Which, well, doesn’t at all make you a bad person, any more than my latent homophobia and misogyny makes me a bad person. It’s just a thing to recognize, explore, and counteract.

Also, by thinking of WPF as dumb and bad, we don’t explore why we don’t like it, and therefore how to make it something we like. So I’m gonna rant about a few WPFs, specifically why they’re secretly awesome and how to make them more obviously awesome.

(cont.)

The gag is…

…this guy’s argument immediately defeats itself.  He  wants to define our hatred of White People Food among classist lines of “this is what poor white people eat” when soul food – the only great American cuisine – is based on scraps given to slaves who had to work to make food taste good. White People Food, by definition, must not be Black People Food, yes?  But Black People Food *slash* Soul Food is poor people food and it’s one of the few culinary traditions that actually exists in this country.  I’m sorry none of y'all’s white ancestors took the time to make cheap ingredients into a culinary tradition that has spread around the globe, but it has nothing to do with class or access to better foods. 

Honestly…I don’t actually know why white people can’t cook.  (We already know that’s a generalization.  I don’t need you to send me your Grandma Susan’s recipe for Red Velvet Cake to combat it.)  But what I do know is this isn’t strictly an American issue and has nothing to do with class.  I don’t want to eat at your white friend’s house in the UK either – the food is too bland.  If you give me the choice between a French restaurant with a menu priced at X amount and an Indian restaurant with a menu priced at X amount, I’m going to choose the Indian restaurant.  Brown people make cheap food taste great.  You have to really come out of your wallet before you actually hit a quality level of French cuisine or English cuisine or German cuisine.

So basically, white folks’ ancestors don’t have good culinary traditions for the average person (the Italians and the Greeks come closest, but there’s not a lot of variation in the ingredients).  The rest of us do.  So find another reason to cry about your unseasoned chicken breast.

Message to non-Latinx people:

- Our identity is not yours to police.

- There is no such thing as “looking Latinx”: some of us have European features, some of us are black, some of us or indigenous, some of us are Asian, some of us are mixed. We all look different and we are all still Latinx.

- There is no Latinx name. My first name is Scottish and my last name is Italian, but I’m still Latinx. I know Latinxs with the names Gomez, Hernandez, Hausmann, Patel, Chang, etc.

- We are so diverse.

- Our voices are relevant.

- Not all of us speak Spanish (e.g. Brazilians speak Portuguese). Some of us are only monolingual in English. We are still Latinx.

- Your voice should not be louder than ours when speaking on Latinx issues.

- We are here and here to stay. Don’t tell us to go home, because we already are.

- All of us are Latinx if we are descended from Latin Americans. Nothing can take that away from us. Your stereotypical and rude expectations of us will not make us less Latinx.

There’s a hut on campus, down by the Mechanical Engineering building. It backs onto the forest, so of course, it’s entirely out of bounds now. It’s old, clearly, but it doesn’t seem to be falling apart in any major way, just crumbled at the edges, although it seems like it’s always been that way.

It’s got stone walls, but a wooden porch, the planks and railing bleached by the sun. Hanging from the rafters are different wind chimes, made of strange, warped pieces of metal. Some of them shine, as though they were polished yesterday, whilst others are brown with rust. When the wind blows, sometimes they clatter loudly, as though they are warning bells, and sure enough, within a day or so, a storm will hit campus, or someone will go missing, one of the cats is found dead, hanging from a doorway, or lamppost.

When the chimes start to clatter and clang, everyone listens. There’s a scrambled for iron jewellery, salt crunches under your feet, people wear clothes inside out, milk and chocolate are outside every door, and everyone is inside before ten, and anyone who isn’t, is gone for the rest of the year.

Sometimes, the wind won’t even have to blow, and the chimes will ring and clang and clatter. It’s only happened twice. The first time, a professor died. Her body was found crumpled at the foot of the staircase leading up to the astronomy classes. She didn’t even teach astronomy. Apparently, the students were told she had been drunk, and had fallen.

However the boy who found her said that her ribs were splayed open, there was blood on the floor, most of her insides missing, her lips drawn back in a snarling smile. There was no blood on the staircase.

The second time, a student was found dead in the boys bathroom on the seventh floor of the physics block. It was by a teacher, so there was no eyewitness account, but the first students to walk into the lab directly below the bathroom on the sixth floor said that there had been blood dripping down slowly from the light fixtures.

No one goes to the bathroom on the seventh floor, and no one stays in the lab on sixth after dark.

When the chimes ring soft and sweet, almost musical, but not quite, the cats flock to the small hut with the bleached porch, and students smile. Money is found in hoodie pockets, lost socks return, and blown light bulbs are replaced. Students and professors alike seem less tired, and tests seem easier.

When the chimes ring, good times come, when they clang, people run.

That was the unofficial motto that was whispered across campus.

The hut also has a garden, a beautiful garden. There’s lavender, and rosemary, parsley, sage and thyme. There are roses, orange, pink, yellow, white, and various shades in between. The stone pathways is made up of smooth white rocks from the river, and they’re always slightly warm to the touch.

There are other plants too. Plants with no names. Plants that glow during the full moon, plants that snake across the lawns at night, and slither home during the day. There’s a plant that mirrors the creepers strangling the library, with four seasons smeared across its leaves. There’s a plant that smells like coffee and chocolate and marshmallows and rainy days. Another that smells burnt, but the nice kind of burnt, like toast.

There are lots of stories about the hut, but only one that everyone talks about. Everyone talks about it, but when you ask someone about it, they forget. Maybe everyone is just in on the joke, but then again, this is Elsewhere University.

Keep reading