Sade Smols

I always scoffed at the local legend about the tiny people who lived in our town. That’s what the adults talked about when we were growing up - the little helpers who lived in the cracks and crevices of homes who scared away bugs and cleaned up crumbs. I never saw one. No one I knew did. But still, people talked about them as if they were there, like modern fairies.

This morning, I woke up to one sitting on my pillow, deftly cleaning a puddle of drool off my pillowcase.

He seemed as startled as I was.

“It’s okay,” he assured me.

I was surprised how loud and clear his voice was, as he was only four inches tall.

“I’m Sade Smols,” he said. “I’ve been cleaning here for the last six months.”

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3:50 pm

Every Friday at exactly 3:50 pm Draco makes sure to kiss Harry.

Every Friday. He hasn’t been late once either. Because Draco always drops everything he’s doing, no matter what he’s doing, to go and look for Harry. It’s not that easy sometimes. Harry has a job that, unlike Draco’s, requires him to actually leave the house. Whenever Draco shows up at his workplace, Harry’s face lightens up. He has never complained about Draco interrupting his work. Not once.

Even when they’re fighting and they’re both in a bad mood, they briefly forget about it when it’s 3:50 on a Friday. Like right now. They had an argument last night about Harry getting a motorcycle. Draco just doesn’t get why Harry would want to spend that much money on something that will probably kill him. They both fell asleep with a scowl on their face and they didn’t talk while eating breakfast. Harry left the house while Draco was reading the paper.

But now, as Draco stands in front of him, Harry is smiling at him fondly. Merlin, Draco just never tires of that smile. Even after all these years.

He glances at the clock and sees it’s 3:49. His eyes find Harry’s and they hold so much love, it makes Draco shudder. He takes Harry’s hands in his and pulls him closer. When his lips brush Harry’s, a familiar feeling washes over him. It’s warm and invigorating, reassuring and exhilarating. Kissing Harry will never fail to consume and mesmerize Draco.

Harry leans away again and brushes his thumb over Draco’s cheek.

“I still have a bit of work to do, but I’ll try to be home early, okay?”

“Okay,” Draco whispers, his eyes still closed.

He feels Harry kiss the tip of his nose and can’t help but grin. He pulls Harry back into a tight embrace and relishes the feeling of Harry’s body shaking against his, as Harry laughs out loud.

“I love our Friday afternoon kisses,” Harry murmurs.

“I love them, too.”

Draco really does. Because it was 3:50 pm on a Friday afternoon when Harry Potter said “I do” and kissed Draco for the first time as his husband.

I heard somewhere that on Tumblr at least, support for Sense8 has gone down. I know that people are tired and depleted, but I urge you NOT to give in. We still have work to do before admitting defeat. And if you are still tempted to give in, consider this:

Fight for truth. Netflix has lied. Its time for them to be held accountable to that.

Fight for justice. This cast did not even get the consideration of a phone call when the plug was pulled on a show they poured their heart and soul into. Fight for them! Fight for Lilly and Lana, who spent a decade putting this story together. Fight for them!

Fight for love. Netflix simply cannot understand the vast amount of global love this show has generated. To them, it boils down to numbers, but to us, this show is about peace and love, acceptance, and diversity. Fight for that!

Fight for the conclusion to this beautiful story that we deserve to have, and our cast deserves to tell. Netflix owes us this when they did not even have the decency to give proper warning to the creators before letting them film a season finale with an open ending. Fight for that!

And we are still fighting on Facebook and Twitter and also Instagram. You can’t look at a post of theirs without seeing Sense8 comments first and foremost. We are still a dedicated bunch, and we aren’t ready to give up.

Our new Global Cluster account on Twitter (and now Tumblr), has already done projects to raise awareness to our cause. Plus, we are nominated for a major poll we are currently winning in! Emmy nominations have been sent out, and Sense8 is on the ballot!

So please, do not give up! No matter what microscopic chance there is, I’ll take it because this show is too important to let die like this.

on this date in 1981, the new york times printed an article with the headline “rare cancer seen in 41 homosexuals.” this headline is historic because it is the first mention of what would become the hiv epidemic. at this time, on this date in 1981, the epidemic didn’t have a name. 

even after 36, it is still chilling to read this headline because it is a sobering reminder of all that the world didn’t know about hiv. what caused it? how to treat it? we didn’t know shit! it took three years to identify HIV. three years to find out that it wasn’t cancer. however, in those three years, stigma, blame, and shame didn’t need a name to thrive. many died not even knowing the name of the disease that robbed them of breath and humanity. 

this headline is historic because it is the first mention of what would become the hiv epidemic. 

36 years later we know so much. we have survived so much. we now have life-saving meds. we now even have PrEP - the pill that helps to prevent hiv infection. this is huge because, in 1981, treatment for any virus was rare, yet alone a virus that was virtually unknown. 

we still have work to do. we still have to shift culture and we still have to fight health care and access. we still have to fight to live. but we know so much more now than we did on july 3, 1981.

The Things We Fear

This was a lot gayer than I thought it would be. I owe the outline of the first part to @thesickficsideblog, but I kinda ran away with it at the end. I swear, it wasn’t supposed to be Klance, but my hand slipped. I’ll put it on ao3 later.

Summar: Lance gets trapped in a room full of fear gas, and the team can’t do anything but watch.

Implied/referenced torture

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Despite all the incredible previews, I’ll admit I was a little wary going into Moo Moo, only because racial profiling is a really heavy topic to cover in ~22 minutes, especially in a comedy. I spent a lot of time thinking about how the conflict between Terry and Holt might play out. My fear was either the episode would slip into “after school special” territory and ultimately present a superficial, overly simplistic depiction of the issue, or veer all the off to the other end and give us a dark, bleak ending devoid of that hope and optimism that makes B99 so special. Nothing against B99 – I’ve just been burned by many a show before, and this is a topic that could be an absolute disaster in the wrong hands. 

But then there’s this? A show that is thoughtful and nuanced while showing us the horrors of racial profiling and the complexities of reporting it, that doesn’t shy away from the fact that we still have a lot of work to do but also allows Terry and Holt to have their own personal victory? That covered a super serious subject, including a conversation where two beautiful young black girls asked questions they should never have to ask, but still allowed for moments of joy and laughter that felt genuine? And that did it all in about twenty minutes, wrapping up on a beautifully bittersweet note that was just the right tone for an episode of this level of importance?

I’m just in awe. And I feel really, really lucky that we have so many incredible people involved with this show who share it with us. 

We as a Jewish community really need to work on the Islamophobia in our midst for real. G-d willing that we can get into hard conversations and do what we need to support the Muslim community. It’s a matter of justice and we can’t keep ignoring this issue. As long as there are Islamophobic Jews in our midst we still have plenty of work to do in our community.

anonymous asked:

How can you be anti-capitalist and in support of decentralization? Seems pretty backward if you ask me

Well the first assumption that needs to be dissected in your ask is the assumption that capitalism is inherently decentralized in setup.

Capitalism is defined, both theoretically and realistically, by private ownership over the means of production and sustenance. Workplaces, apartments, natural commons – they’re all controlled in top-down fashion by property-owners who determine the use of them based on their own self-interest. “Top-down” is the key phrase there, because it is qualitatively important to include the individuals who aren’t lucky enough to own property under capitalism (most people) if you want a full picture of the system, something ideological text pieces celebrating capitalism deliberately leave out; it’s always empty praise about how the “decentralized market transactions” of job-creators and consumers lead to the best state of affairs. But the situation I described – top-down control of necessary, collectively-operated resources by property-owners – is a situation where power is heavily concentrated. By definition, class stratification is centralized power, a scenario where a ruling class commands infinitely more power than the working class by virtue of controlling the stuff necessary to reproduce society. You can call it “decentralized” because there are a bunch of competing property-owners rather than one hyper-centralized center of power in a state apparatus, but the point remains that you merely end up with a small handful of power concentrations in practice instead. 

The great majority of people under capitalism – the people who are not lucky enough to own capital – have no choice but to assume a subordinate role beneath the aforementioned property-owners. At work? No say in the decisions, forced to hand over their labor product to those at the top, with a tiny siphoned-off chunk of their total energies given back to them in the form of a paycheck. In living arrangements? Forking over large chunks of their already-slim paychecks to the landlords, landlords who do nothing other than own a piece of paper declaring the property theirs, living in other locations trying to maximize their gains at the expense of the actual tenants. You can argue that they can always “just go to another property-owner that treats them better,” but you’re still ultimately arguing within the confines of a system that irrationally hopes for the benevolent deeds of its most powerful class. The same argument could be expanded to include states – “if a nation is treating its citizens poorly, then they should just leave.” Most people are born into situations where they have very limited mobility to better those situations, because they are, again, locked into those situations of subordination beneath property-owners – forced to sell their time and energies to the centralized powers that be. These class relationships make up the majority of our lives; a lack of democracy in this realm of existence carries far more weight than an empty spectacle of democracy every two to four years, where we essentially just ratify decisions that have already been made and pick from a pre-arranged set of out-of-touch elites from the political class. (And it’s worth mentioning that these politicians have every incentive to prolong the aforementioned class relationships – the state acts in the long-term interests of capital accumulation when the disparate competing of capitalists leads to economic crisis and civil unrest. Far from being the antagonist to “free-market capitalism,” the state and capitalism actually have an intensely symbiotic relationship – concentrated power fuels more concentrated power.)

This leads us to the second assumption to unpack: that the alternative to capitalism must be inherently centralized. 

On the contrary, the only effective counter to capitalism must be a decentralized system, where power is distributed to all individuals in the community, based around a system of broader direct democracy at work and in the structuring of society. Collective operations ought to be controlled by their collective participants, democratically arriving at conclusions that benefit all and each. Living quarters ought to be managed by the actual tenants, not by some absentee owner with an incentive to privatize gains and socialize losses. This is how you decentralize power, this is how you reconcile the creative freedom of the individual with the collective justice of the community. 

The material conditions are already demanding a system change anyway:

  • Automation of menial work is a terrifying phenomena under capitalism because it means millions of people losing jobs and therefore access to livelihood; under a libertarian socialist system of production for use, there are essentially no downsides to it because it means that so much work can be automated away and communities can then divvy up the otherwise necessary work that can’t be automated, which would result in incredibly short shifts for people. More leisure time means more freedom to pursue what you want to pursue on your own terms, something capitalism fetishizes but never fulfills for the majority of people. Seriously, the libertarian socialist way of organizing things is both more efficient and more rational, two things capitalism loves to claim it has a monopoly on. Democratize the automation.
  • The rise of digital post-scarcity and its parallel capitalist development of intellectual property laws create a major contradiction that has been central to capitalism since its beginning: the forcing of scarcity onto resources that are otherwise not scarce. Scarcity is beneficial to property-owners because it means greater ability to milk profits out of workers and consumers. This can be seen with physical resources when sellers lock up dumpsters to prevent people from getting to thrown out goods and when they intentionally destroy excess goods in order to desaturate markets, rather than give the goods away according to community needs. We have recently started seeing that trend applied to immaterial information patterns, things that can be endlessly duplicated and shared, things that scream “communist open-sourcing potential.” Intellectual property law is capital’s attempt to make scarce and commodify digital patterns that defy traditional notions of scarcity. With the bureaucratic enforcement of intellectual property law abolished, this vast pool of information can be made accessible to all people, a beautiful digital parallel to communism’s aims of physical post-scarcity.
  • Global climate change exacerbated by infinite capital accumulation on a planet of finite resources is setting us on a dangerous path towards ecological collapse and widespread species extinctions. The logic of infinite market growth – the logic of a cancerous tumor – must be called into question and cast aside in favor of a new system that generates goods on a stable-state basis for human need and use, rather than on some conception of unlimited expansion for a small elite’s profits. We’d still probably have some work to do under a new system of libertarian socialism, but we could more readily tackle the problems without having to cross our fingers and hope “green capitalism” is graciously passed down to us by our benevolent job-creators. Climate change can only be dealt with through more democracy and participation, not through band-aid government regulations in an otherwise capitalist economy. 

TLDR: Libertarian socialism is the viable alternative to capitalism. It ought to be readily embraced for its expansion of freedom, equality, and solidarity; for its ability to more effectively deal with the contradictions laid out by capitalism; and of course for its decentralized/horizontal organizational structure. Capitalism is a highly centralized economic/political system both in theory and in practice, and the only way around its concentration of power is to disperse power down to the individual through a more robust system of direct consensus democracy and worker self-management. Democratize workplaces, democratize living arrangements, democratize the infrastructure. Our choices are socialism or more barbarism at this point. 


We still have a lot of work to do together, my body and I. I never knew I could look at myself and feel love – but man if i didn’t stare at my body fondly, unapologetically, and gratefully today. I feel so at ease.