This week’s spotlight falls on @torn-and-frayed aka Steph. She reluctantly agreed to let me spotlight her, which I appreciate, because she totally deserves it. This woman can write! I “discovered” Steph last year after she messaged me and asked me to write a Dean x Donna fic based on something Briana Buckmaster said at a con (I partially blame her for being obsessed with them as a couple). I started following her and completely fell in love with her writing. Check out her master of one shots, series, etc., here and her Series Rewrite (which is phenomenal) here. To learn more about her, take a look at her Q & A below the cut.
I’ve tried to stay silent about politics, but I wanna take a second to explain who are the people that are saying “Never Hillary”. It’s not just the “Bernie Bros” that are butt hurt that their guy didn’t win. I’ve been marching in Philly for the past couple of days and I meet and heard a lot of people talk out about how Hillary and the neoliberal policies of the democrats have effected their lives.
I met mothers who continue to live in poverty because of the 1996 welfare reform act that decimated the welfare system, and then lost their sons and daughters to broken windows policing. I met people who remember when Philly democrats bombed a black liberation group in a residential neighborhood.
I met undocumented immigrants who had to flee their countries because of instability caused by the drug war or by military coups supported by the US while Hillary was Secretary of State, only to face the criminalization of border crossing, or else long interments in ICE prisons, and continued risk of violent, unannounced deportation during the night. ICE has increased under president Obama 3600%.
I meet people who were mysteriously deregistered upon getting to the polls, even though they had checked their registration online and had been voting for years. I meet statisticians who where studying ballot discrepancies between hand counted and machine counted ballots, in favor of Hillary, some by up to 10%. Those same statisticians where studying very curious statistical anomalies over the 20+ states they had studied so far. All of it points to wide spread voter fraud that favored Hillary.
The democrats are undoubtedly more progressive than the Republicans. But the system is so deeply broken that the tired call to “vote for the lesser of too evils” feels very hollow to those most hurt by the current democratic leaders. And the patronizing attitude towards people who “will let Trump win just to prove a point” will do nothing to change peoples minds. We can only hope that Democrats will understand what we have been trying to say when they see the consequences of their refusal to reform. We must have compassion for those who have been most hurt by our system. I don’t know who I’m going to vote for, and I certainly won’t tell anyone else how to vote. There are no good choices in this election. And to quote Ted Cruz, of all people, “We must vote with our conscience.”
another vote for a bible story, which one are you thinking of?
I am thinking of - and have indeed prepared - the story of Samson and Delilah!
There is a small disclaimer regarding the treatment of religious texts in modern society under the Read More, as well as some very brief discussions of comparative literature. One disclaimer here, though - comments about the religious authenticity or lack thereof of this text are not welcome. This story has been retold as a work of narrative fiction, as have all other retellings I’ve done. All stories are on the same level playing field in that respect, and I would appreciate it if people could refrain from insinuating otherwise. I don’t encourage Bible bashing in any sense. No belief system is above or below any other.
If you don’t want to read the poorly retold tale of a man with a perpetual bad hair day and an aversion to marriage counselling, press J on your keyboard to skip!
God Hates Hairdressers
So, this story starts with a dude named Manoah and his
barren wife. His wife doesn’t have a name, because the Bible isn’t really
interested in her role in the narrative beyond her empty womb, but I’m not down
with that, so let’s call her Jill. Anyway, one day, Jill is just sort of
chilling by herself while Manoah is doing important manly shit that doesn’t
involve wombs, when suddenly this angel just appears right next to her and the
angel is like “yo Jill, you know how you’re barren?” and Jill is like “yeah,
that’s a thing that I am” and the angel is like “and you know how you totally
can’t ever have kids?” and Jill sighs and says “is there a point to this or are
you just making a statement about women’s role within the society of Zorah” and
the angel chuckles and says “dude, next time you’re bemoaning women’s rights in
this shitty little valley, make sure you use the past tense, because BAM, you’re totally going to get all sprogged
up soon with the raddest baby ever and everything is going to be absolutely
fucking awesome” and Jill is like “wow, how rad on a scale of one to ten?” and
the angel is all “well, you know how the Philistines are arseholes?” and Jill
says “yes but why are we having this conversation entirely through the medium
of rhetorical questions?” and the angel is like “getting real for a sec, your
kid is going to be really instrumental in the freeing of the Israelites from
the Philistines, and God thinks that your womb is the only womb for the job.”
Jill, being something of an amateur historian, is like “but
didn’t God basically deliver the Israelites into the hands of the Philistines
to teach them a lesson about worshipping him properly?” and the angel waves his
hand airily and says “let bygones be bygones, Jill, and listen closely to my
advice, because this pregnancy isn’t something you can navigate by the weighty
tomes of My Baby Body and Me” and
Jill is like “you mean I can’t just eat ice cream for nine months and make my
husband give me foot massages?” and the angel is like “no, you can totally do
that, but you also have to abstain completely from drinking any wine” and Jill
is like “pretty sure that advice is in every baby textbook ever” and the angel
says “also your son must never drink wine or cut his hair, because them’s the
Nazirite rules” and Jill is like “OK, I totally hear you, but also I think I
should probably tell my husband” and the angel is like “good luck explaining
why your son’s hairstyle is going to be dictated by God forever” and fucks off.
When Jill tells Manoah about the day’s events, his first
reaction is basically “holy shit, have you been partaking of the fruits of the
vine because seriously, you sound like my uncle at a wedding” and Jill is like “fucking
Hell, fine, I’ll get the angel to come back and tell you himself” and Manoah
nods sagely and says “it’s for the best, Jill, I need to hear this news from
the lips of a man or it means nothing to me as a Biblical male figure” and Jill
gives him the middle finger and stomps off to mope in a field.
Eventually, the angel returns and Jill is like “for fuck’s
sake, I specifically asked that you went to speak to my husband. Men” and she goes
to find Manoah, and when Manoah gets there, he asks the angel what the frickety
frack paddlewhack is going on. The angel just sort of looks at Manoah and says “dude,
didn’t your wife tell you?” and Manoah looks really sheepish and he’s like “she
said some shit about having a baby and not drinking wine and also that maybe he
would ultimately save the Israelites from being enslaved by the Philistines,
but you know. Women” and the angel just nods sagely and says “women” and then
he high fives Manoah and Jill just sort of wonders why she’s even here at all,
apart from her womb. Then Manoah burns some meat and the angel disappears and everything is absolutely stellar.
So, Jill gives birth to her radical baby and she names him
Samson, and like a good Biblical mother, she does all the shit that she’s
supposed to do. She doesn’t let him drink wine, even when he’s like “but mum,
all my friends are drinking in the park and I don’t want to be that teetotal
loser at a party who can’t get any girls”, and she doesn’t cut his hair even
when he’s like “but mum, all my friends have got really cool hairstyles with,
like, shaved bits, and I look like Tarzan on a gap year” and everything is
fine. Samson drinks his milk and grows up to be big and strong.
Except he’s not just big and strong; he’s essentially like
Dwayne Johnson if Dwayne Johnson were allowed to grow wild and untamed, unrestrained by
the casting conventions of Hollywood. Dude can lift mountains. No, literally. He is
physically capable of lifting mountains. He really is that strong. He makes the
cast of The Expendables look like Jesse Eisenberg. I cannot exaggerate this
Many years pass, and honestly,
I don’t even have time to go into all the cool shit that Samson does in these
years. Those are rad stories for another time. But basically, all you need to
know is that after a few years spent absolutely bloody sticking it to the
proverbial Philistine Man through a series of incredibly macho events that
would make the RSPCA quiver with rage, such as tearing a lion apart with his
bare hands and eating honey from its corpse, killing 1,000 men with the jawbone
of a donkey, and setting 300 foxes on fire and destroying all the crops in
sight, Samson ends up right at the top of the Philistines’ carefully composed
list of ‘People We Don’t Like Very Much and Would Subsequently Quite Like to
Dispatch in a Series of Creative Ways, Possibly Involving Maiming and / or
Mutilation’. It’s a long list.
As well as being at the top of this list, Samson also finds
himself in the valley of Sorek, which just so happens to be the hometown of an
absolutely smokin’ lil piece named Delilah. Delilah, who happens to be the only
woman gifted with a name in this entire story, is basically the Biblical Marilyn
Monroe. She’s all curvaceous of bod and lustrous of hair, and her dimples do
this really alluring thing when she smiles at that joke you just told, the one about
your job that you always worried wasn’t actually that funny but Delilah seems
to find hilarious – and now she’s playing footsie with you under the table and
looking up at you from under her lashes and telling you that you should be a
comedian, and the next thing you know, you’re two condoms short of a packet and
your wallet’s missing, but you don’t even mind because you learnt things about
your body that you never knew.
Anyway, Samson meets Delilah at Sorek, and immediately he’s
just like “right, well, I know I have a history of making terrible choices with
women, and my last wife betrayed me to the Philistines and then married my best
friend and tried to convince me to marry her sister instead, but I have a
feeling that this woman is The One. I think it’s the heaving bosom that’s done
that, honestly” and Delilah just sort of flutters her eyelashes and says “you’re
so big and so strong, Samson, let us be wed immediately, and I promise you that
I definitely won’t ever make good on that really obvious foreshadowing, 100%
honest intentions up in here” and Samson just looks at the plush curve of her
cupid’s bow and says “I absolutely accept, let’s marry the fuck out of each
other” and they do.
After a few weeks of wedded bliss, Delilah is out doing her
weekly shoe shop when she’s approached by a gang of Philistines. She’s all “well,
I definitely did not see this coming, this is a complete surprise, I had no
idea that Samson was even affiliated with the Philistines in any way, shape or
form” and the leader of the Philistines just stares into the molten brown of her
eyes and says “we need you to do us a favour” and he does a stellar job of not
making any innuendos out of it whatsoever. Delilah puts down her bag of
Louboutins and she’s all “boys, I am not that kind of lady, and if you think I’m
going to do anything against my husband, then you will be sorely disappointed”
but she totally winks theatrically as she says it and the leader of the Philistines
is like “well, hypothetically, we definitely wouldn’t be willing to give you a
vast amount of money to find out the secret of your husband’s strength” and
Delilah is like “how vast a quantity of money would you hypothetically be unwilling to give?”
and he’s like “I don’t know, maybe eleven hundred pieces of silver?” and
Delilah is like “holy shit, that’s like four pairs of Louboutins, consider me
well and truly not at all in but also totally in on your entirely hypothetical plan” and she walks off and one
of the Philistines just says “what a woman” and another one hushes him.
When Delilah gets home, she goes up to Samson and she starts
playing with one of the seven locks of hair on his head, and she’s like “honey
bear, you know how you love me more than anything?” and Samson is like “I do
know that actually, what do you want?” and she’s all “well, if you really loved
me, you’d tell me what makes you so big and strong and handsome and broad in
the shoulder” and Samson is like “oh, well, I can’t really say, but let me just
tell you that it would sure be a party pooper if someone were to tie me up with
seven green willow branches that have never been dried. Boy, that would really
rain on my parade” and Delilah grins seductively and says “I hope no-one ever
does that to you, sugar muffin” and then they go to bed.
When Samson wakes up, he finds that he’s been tied to the
bed with seven green willow branches, and he’s like “what the fuck, Delilah”
and Delilah is like “the Philistines are totally gonna cream your ass now” and
Samson just flexes his impressive chest and the branches snap off, like some kind
of weird botanic strip tease, and he’s all “they’re going to have to do better
than that if they want any dairy related action to occur on these gluteal
muscles” and he goes to work.
Later that evening, Delilah sidles up to him and she’s
wearing her fanciest lingerie, the set with little bows on the thigh high
stockings, and she’s like “baby, if you loved me at all, you’d tell me the
truth about your strength” and Samson sighs and he’s all “are we still on this?”
and Delilah winks and says “you could be on me if you just told me how to make
you weak and puny, purely for trust reasons” and Samson rolls his eyes and says
“OK, I lied to you before. The truth is that if someone were to tie me up with
new ropes that have never been used, I’d instantly become pastier than Michael
Cera” and Delilah cocks her head and says “baby, we should try something new in
the bedroom tonight” and then she gets these brand new ropes and ties him up.
She’s all “I tricked you good and proper there, the Philistines are gonna have
your nuts for breakfast”, but Samson just unties the ropes and he’s like “I don’t
think I like bondage much, and you should tell the Philistines that a breakfast
with too much protein will unsettle their stomachs” and he goes to sleep.
The next morning, Delilah is like “can you seriously just
fucking tell me, because I’m your wife and I need to know your weakness so that
I can keep you safe” and Samson is like “but you’ve literally tried everything
that you thought would make me lose my strength” and she’s all “yeah, to see if
I could trust you, and clearly I can’t because your pecs are still rippling
like the goddamn ocean” and Samson is like “well, if I can trust you, then can
you promise not to tie my seven locks of hair together while I sleep?” and
Delilah is like “why, would that make you puny?” and Samson says “it certainly
wouldn’t help with my rigorous fitness regime” and Delilah is all “cross my
heart, I won’t tie your locks together”, and then she waits for him to fall
asleep and she weaves his hair together, because neither of them have learnt
that their marriage is built on nothing but raw sexual magnetism and they
should probably see a couples’ counsellor.
When Samson wakes up, he’s just like “goddamn it, Delilah”
and he lets his hair down and flexes his guns, and Delilah starts crying and
says “I can’t believe you lied to me again, how can we move past this marital
issue if you don’t trust me?” and Samson just throws his hands in the air and
says “how can I trust you when you keep doing shit like this?” and Delilah is
like “I bet you trusted your last wife” and Samson is all “yeah, and she
betrayed me to the Philistines” and Delilah blinks a few times and makes a tear
fall artfully down her cheekbone, and she says “I would never betray you to the
Philistines, baby, you have to remember that I’m not your ex-wife” and Samson
takes her sobbing frame in his powerful arms and murmurs “I know, baby” into
the crook of her neck, and as she cries, he just whispers “I trust you not to
cut my hair, and no jokes this time, this is me taking a leap of faith to save
our marriage” and Delilah hiccoughs tearfully and says “for real this time?”
and Samson nods and says “for really real” and Delilah manages to make herself
smile sadly and says “thank you for trusting me, honey, I promise I won’t cut
your hair off while you sleep tonight” and Samson is like “Awesome, I am so
glad that we have turned a new chapter in our marriage and I’m not going to
wake up bald.”
The next morning, Samson wakes up bald, and his room is full
of Philistines and Delilah is standing at the end of the bed with her arms
folded across her chest, grinning sardonically, and before he can shout
something about the marital bonds of trust having been broken, he’s been
captured by the Philistines, having broken his Nazirite oath and lost God’s
help, and he’s just like “I think we should try a trial separation, honey” and
then this Philistine comes up to him and he’s like “how would you like to try a
trial separation from your eyes?” and Samson is like “I’ve considered it thoroughly
and no, that is not something that I would be interested in trying” and the Philistine
looks back at his boss for instructions on what to do next and his boss just
sighs and he’s like “obviously he’s not going to agree, just give him the
ocular divorce anyway” and that is a thing that happens, unfortunately. Old
Testament is bloody as fuck.
A few years pass, during which Samson is forced to labour for
the Philistines, and basically he really regrets his haircut, even though he’s
always thought that his jaw would look more chiselled with short hair, which is
a hypothesis he is now unable to test due to being blind. One day, a Philistine
comes to collect him. He leads him to the temple, which is absolutely jammed
full of people, and Samson is like “where are we, because I have an important
millstone that needs turning regularly” and the Philistine is like “we’re at
the temple where we’re going to offer you to our god, Dagon, because he’s a rad
dude and he lets us cut our hair without sapping our strength like a bad
marriage” and Samson is like “by ‘offer’, do you mean you’re going to wrap me
up with a neat little bow or that you’re going to slaughter me horribly” and
the Philistine is like “probably a combination of both, if I’m honest” and
Samson is like “brilliant, that all sounds really great and I’d love to
participate to the best of my ability, but in order to do that, I think I’ll
need a little rest. Would you mind terribly if I just had a little lean against
the nearest pillar?” and the Philistine sighs and he’s like “just a small lean,
mind” and Samson agrees and he’s like “the tiniest of leans” and the Philistine
leads him over to the nearest structural pillar.
While he’s leaning against the pillar, Samson mutters “OK,
God, it’s been years and my hair is totally doing its Jason Momoa thing again,
so maybe you could cut me some slack on my accidentally breaking the Nazirite
oath and give me my strength back?” and God doesn’t say anything, because God
is the strong and silent type, but Samson immediately feels his strength flow
back into his body, and he turns his face up to the Heavens, towards the sky he
could have seen had he not been robbed of sight, and he cries out “let me die
with the Philistines!” and he pushes against the pillars with all his might,
and with a mighty crash the entire temple falls down and kills everyone inside,
including Samson, and Jill’s one-trick womb comes good in the end.
My other retellings can be found here; my dedicated mythology blog is here; and my Mythology Mondays Facebook page is here. The latter two links also allow you to follow my progress in writing a whole actual book. Thrilling.
Disclaimer: there is no proof that God looks any less kindly upon hairdressers whatsoever. Unless you’re a hairdresser who breaks the Nazirite oath, in which case, avoid Philistines.
Two days after Elvis packs all of his shit and fucks off back to mummy, Noel breaks the washing machine. Again. He’s not sure how he manages it — just knows that when he goes to pull his clothes out after a spin, there’s the scrappy remains of a limp feather boa tangled round the drum and everything sat in the wet and sorry pile on the floor looks a faint bit pink.
Like cat sick.
It takes him four weeks of alternating his last three pairs of (questionably clean) boxers and two weeks of going commando and getting his knob caught in his zip whenever he goes for a piss, to decide he needs to do something about it.
Not the washing machine. He doesn’t know how. Dom usually comes round to sort that.
(And right now, Noel’s pretty sure Dom would rather haul the washing machine at him like the Incredible Hulk, instead of fix it.)
And he’s too much of a cheapskate to pay for a repairman. He’s got better things he’d rather spend his Student Loan on. Like Smirnoff Ice. And Chicken and Mushroom Pot Noodles. And that pair of Kyle Minogue sunglasses he spotted last week in the window of Specsavers.
So it’s the three foot high pile of dirty clothes currently occupying what used to be Elvis’ room that needs to go.
To the laundrette. Specifically.
(Though he had entertained the idea of just tossing them all into the bin and buying or stealing himself some more.)
Luckily for Noel, there’s a laundrette just round the corner from the flat, and he doesn’t get too cold in just his swimming trunks and leopard print fur coat as he drags in the first of many overstuffed bin bags. Unluckily for Noel, however, there’s no free machines when he does get there and he has to resign himself to sitting in one of the wobbly plastic chairs while impatiently watching everyone else.
Until he realises the washing machine beside him has stopped. But there’s nobody coming to empty it.
And it takes all of three seconds for magpie instincts to kick in.
And a further thirty seconds for him to be found standing in a pile of someone else’s clean clothes, fighting with the ribbons of a backwards frilly pink corset, two sizes too small to accomodate his daily expanding beer gut.
Tytuł: Everything we dreamt of (Wszystko, o czym marzyliśmy) Autorki: Klaudia & Jill Parring: Louis Tomlinson x Harry Styles (Larry)
Opis: Ten szczególny tatuaż, pole do gry w kółko i krzyżyk, które dla postronnego obserwatora wydawało się bezsensowne, dla niego było bezcenne. Zapisana na nim została cała historia jego życia i Louis pamiętał, co oznaczał każdy znak umieszczony na jego ciele igłą. Krzyżyk na zwycięstwo, na pokonanie przeciwności losu. Kółko na porażkę, symbol tego, czego nie udało mu się zmienić. Dziewięć pól do wypełnienia. Dziewięć pragnień, tworzących życie Louisa Tomlinsona.