So many characters in 1960s sitcoms had a Terrible Secret which, if uncovered and made public, would have Disastrous Consequences: loss of livelihood, loss of position, loss of acceptance in society.

Fortunately, no 1960s sitcom character was actually a card-carrying Communist. No, the secret was something less political: a witch, a genie, a martian, a talking horse, an angel, a ghost, a talking car, a robot. etc.

Above: Ray Walston in a publicity photo for My Favorite Martian (CBS, 1963-1966).

i’ve been reading this novel that was written in the ’80s and takes place in the ’70s and the main character is about my age which is about the same age both my mom and the author were then. and it’s been fascinating because the main character and i are eerily alike in a lot of ways and i relate to her intensely and find myself completely forgetting that it’s not set in the present until she mentions her girlfriend’s mccarthy-era childhood or refers to “the disco hits of last summer” or whatever, and it’s just completely laid bare my ignorance in imagining, as one can’t help but subconsciously imagine, that my generation is somehow fundamentally new and different and older generations incomprehensible, because to acknowledge that older people are fully people and were once just like you is to face the fact that you, too, will be old (if you’re lucky) and one day die, not just in theory but in reality. it’s helped me understand my mom better and gain a lot more perspective on life but it also means i have a lot less patience for generalizations about generations because sure, there are very real differences in the worlds we’ve grown up in but we’re a lot more alike than we think. i feel that deeply now but i can tell it’s only going to get clearer with time.

On shipping and subtext: Why the question of “canon” is not always black and white

Well, it’s been a long time since my last long meta, but this one’s been niggling at me for a while. Basically, I want to clarify a few things… so I’m taking advantage of my recently acquired degree in media studies to discuss the importance of recognizing multiple levels of subtext.

I ship Kirk/Spock. It is a prestigious, if controversial, pairing. They are the Grandfathers of Slash, the couple that launched the first thousand fanfics, and I don’t just ship them in the tongue-in-cheek, wouldn’t-it-be-nice way I ship, say, Drarry or Mollstrade; I believe there is definite homoerotic subtext there, in the original source material. This kind of assertion tends to provoke a lot of genuine outrage from certain Trekkies who insist that Kirk and Spock are “just friends” (though I would argue that even if their relationship is purely platonic, Kirk and Spock are certainly not “just” anything!). These people will often roll their eyes and launch into tirades about how we pesky slashers are forcing spurious sexual interpretations onto the most innocent of friendships in service of our own fantasies.

And even though I find the anger and dogmatism with which some Trekkies shout “NO HOMO” to be both unreasonable and revealing, I’m not actually insisting that Kirk and Spock’s relationship is canonically sexual. In fact, I think some of these naysayers are missing the point re: what subtext actually means.

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I’ve been asked for quite a few ~*~themed~*~ book recs recently, and I thought rather than expending the energy of answering a billion (four) different messages I’d just answer them all in one post and everyone can steal each other’s recs! yay!!

summery reads for swanky beach holiday: 

  • CALL ME BY YOUR NAME BY ANDRÉ ACIMAN – if one of those trashy, sizzling, whirlwind summer romance books you can buy at the airport had a lovechild with nuanced introspective literary fiction then it would be this, the best, book.
  • THE BEACH BY ALEX GARLAND – possibly an obvious one, but reading about the eventual ruination and collapse of a secluded hipster beach utopia in the 1990s is what every beach holiday needs. 
  • THE GOLDFINCH BY DONNA TARTT – this book is pure summer to me, possibly because a) I read it in summer, some of it on a beach, and b) a big slice of it is set in Nevada. fantastic beach book because it’s BIG! THRILLING! UNPUTDOWNABLE! but also heartrending in the best way.

gateway drug books/YA primers:

  • THE RAVEN CYCLE BY MAGGIE STIEFVATER – I honestly think this is the best YA SF/F series out there right now. it has absolutely everything: magical realism, magical magic, intense and realistic friendship, romance, Ronan Lynch, robotic bees. show me a more iconic quartet. I’ll wait. 
  • THE ALEX CROW BY ANDREW SMITH – I love absolutely everything Andrew Smith writes. his books are weird and wonderful and, I genuinely think, really important for Teen Boys. I know generally Teen Boys are The Worst, but these books are gonna help them be Not The Worst. 
  • BONE GAP BY LAURA RUBY – love that magical realism life. plus, Bone Gap was a National Book Award finalist for YA and won the Michael L. Printz Award, which… damn. 
  • THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN BY HOLLY BLACK – I get the feeling everyone looks at me funny when I rec this book, but I’m serious. it’s a new take on old tropes, breathes life (lol) into vampires again, and stars an incredible female protagonist, her bisexual ex-boyfriend, a bunch of nutcase vampires and a trans babe. it’s Everything. 
  • BOO BY NEIL SMITH – so many middle grade/YA books have ~messages~ that smack you around the face all the way through, but this isn’t one of them. it has some Quite Obvious messages, and it sounds like The Most Trite And Predictable Thing In The World, but it is unbearably wonderful and subtle and absolutely stunning. 

funny, sweet, generally feel-goods: 

  • GRASSHOPPER JUNGLE BY ANDREW SMITH – this is my favourite book. I always fall back on my original one-sentence synopsis to sell it: ‘half bonkers McCarthy era sci-fi b-movie, half high literary introspection, narrated by a bisexual teenage boy who talks like The Perks of Being a Wallflower written by Stephen King.’ [ETA: the group chat dragged me for including GJ in this section, so YMMV…]
  • THE REST OF US JUST LIVE HERE BY PATRICK NESS – this one is packed to the brim with overdone, predictable YA SF/F tropes, except it’s about all the normal kids on the fringes who aren’t Chosen Ones and don’t have magical powers but do have anxiety disorders and shitty burger jobs. it’s HILARIOUS and absolutely lovely. 
  • A HERO AT THE END OF THE WORLD BY ERIN CLAIBORNE – imagine Harry Potter having a panic attack at the last second and Ron Weasley saving the world instead. this is that, except a thousand times more diverse and also hysterical. 
  • THE WATCHMAKER OF FILIGREE STREET BY NATASHA PULLEY – this is the single most gentle book I have ever read. it’s a sweet, loving caress of a book. there’s also explosions and science and clockwork and civil war era Japan, but trust me. it’s a soft embrace. 

A/W collection reads: 

  • WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE BY SHIRLEY JACKSON – apparently I was the only person in the world who didn’t already know why the villagers hated the Blackwoods. I was completely in the dark until the book revealed it and yo. yo. if you haven’t been spoiled for this book, then run don’t walk to your nearest bookshop IMMEDIATELY. 
  • UPROOTED BY NAOMI NOVIK – this is a classic high fantasy ~girl stolen away to a far-off tower~ thing except it’s SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT and also LIT. low key Beauty and the Beast/high key Koschei the Deathless and Marya Morevna vibes, except with less Stockholm Syndrome and less murder.
  • THE CIRCLE BY MATS STRANDBERG – this book is about a bunch of normal yet very different girls from the same school in small-town Sweden finding out that they’re witches, and it is absolutely amazing. I haven’t read the other books in the trilogy because I’m trying to drag it out as long as humanly possible. it’s that good. 
  • THE GRAVEYARD BOOK BY NEIL GAIMAN – baby toddles into a graveyard; baby is raised to young adulthood by an entire graveyard’s worth of ghosts and one lone vampire. ultimate nice Halloween read. 
  • THE SECRET HISTORY BY DONNA TARTT – I’m always torn between ‘this book is an absolute masterpiece and deserves to be lauded among the classics’ and ‘a bunch of hipster fucking idiots murder a douchebag’. it’s probably somewhere in between. the first time I read it I was on a deckchair in Spain, and yet it’s still the most A/W book I have ever read. 
  • STATION ELEVEN BY EMILY ST JOHN MANDEL – the human race slowly being wiped out by a not-at-all-sci-fi superflu, juxtaposed with a post-everyone-dying-of-the-superflu band of nomadic actors putting on Shakespeare plays for small villages of survivors and contemplating the universe. made me feel very small and irrelevant and human. 
Anastasia at the Broadhurst | Review

Maybe this season’s most overlooked show. Which is odd because it’s been two decades in the making.

Anastasia is not a perfect show. It’s not political enough (especially for this particular historical moment) and the stakes are a bit low and the direction is just serviceable but I’ll be damned if it isn’t one of my favourite new scores of the season with five fabulous performances at its centre.

I am an Ahrens and Flaherty fangirl, but I think it’s fair to say their mostly new score keeps pace with the classic ‘Journey to the Past’ and ‘Once Upon A December’ and they have chosen exactly the right moments to musicalise. 'Journey to the Past’ becomes the Act One closer which is the right place for it to not overshadow the rest of the show, and Christy Altomare nails it to the back wall of the intimate Broadhurst. Every solo she gets is a revelation; she plays an Anya who may be suffering from PTSD, quick to lash out, quick to panic, but always tender, always headstrong, a princess before even she realises it. The show wisely ages Anya up to a more sensible, world-weary, mid-twenties and the show benefits from a less naive Anya than the film.

Derek Klena is perfect prince material as Dmitry, his 'My Petersburg’ is driving and 'Everything to Win’ is such a wonderful choice, to focus on Dmitry’s mental state as the scene that the whole plot hinges on occurs offstage. John Bolton and Caroline O'Connor sparkle as the secondary couple and they wring every ounce of available comedy out of their fairly standard numbers. Bolton is especially tender is his relationship with Altomare’s Anya. The trio numbers, 'Learn to Do It’ and 'We’ll Go From There’ are some of the show’s most intoxicating moments. Mary Beth Peil is a beautifully dignified Dowager Empress until she isn’t, and the transformation is heartbreaking.

Now the missing link. The show’s new villain (mercifully replacing the film’s out of left field Rasputin) Gleb, played by a tortured Ramin Karimloo, has improved slightly since the Hartford run but not enough to bring up the overall quality of the show. Throughout, the stakes are too low, does anyone really ever think he’s going to kill Anya? The show suffers mightily from its unwillingness to confront Gleb’s politics in juxtaposition to that of the Dowager Empress’; a street urchin like Anya would almost certainly be slightly better off under a socialist system than the old imperial system and yet she never questions why someone like the Dowager should have so much while she has so little. The communists in the play are McCarthy-era cartoons, not fleshed out people who think their system is flawed but better. If we saw a Gleb who tried to win over Anya on that account and perhaps their having a more fleshed out flirtation, I think that could fix the show’s central problems.

The other main issue is the only serviceable direction and the sometimes ugly sets. There’s nothing innovative here, and with the Russian Great Comet dominating this season, it’s easy to see how lush without being naturalistic works wonderfully but this just ends up looking cheap. Maybe there is a classy way to do projections, I just don’t really think this is it. The staging does suffer from the static set. On the other hand, the costumes are worth the price of admission.

It must be noted that I’m always happy to see female-led musicals but the casting of this could have used some more diversity. It’s not as white as Bandstand, but that’s a very low bar. All in all, it’s worth seeing for a killer new Broadway score and some killer, unrewarded performances. I’m sure it’ll have a long life on Broadway, touring, and eventually in communities that I feel will be able to innovate on this almost-gem of a show.

The fear and hysteria of imagined racial and sexist “mircoaggressions” is similar to the people in the Soviet Union had in during the purges and Americans had during the McCarthy era.  A delusions shared by two or more.

Racism and sexism are real but there now arising incidents where a problem has been completed fabricated in the minds of the individuals themselves making real cases of discrimination go unheard or altogether ignored.  Colleges are the best examples of where these delusions and hysteria come from because the insular nature of those communities.

A community feeding and reproducing fear. 

On This Day: June 15
  • 1215: King John of England puts his seal to the Magna Carta.
  • 1381: One of the leaders of the Peasants’ Revolt, Wat Tyler, is killed by Lord Mayor of London.
  • 1865: Anarchist Bernard Lazare born in Nîmes, France. He was an author, journalist, defender of Dreyfus. Collaborated on the journals Les entretiens politiques et littéraires and Temps nouveaux.
  • 1913: United States troops end Moro Uprising against US colonization in the Philippines, massacring 500.
  • 1917: The United States government arrested Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman. Charged with conspiring against the draft, they were convicted and sentenced to two years in prison with the possibility of deportation at the end of their term.
  • 1920: Three black circus workers lynched in Duluth, Minnesota after incorrect rumors they had raped a girl.
  • 1923: Kurt Gustav Wilckens dies in Buenos Aires. He was a militant German anarchist, known in Argentina for having avenged the massacre of hundreds of workers on strike in the repression unleashed by the Argentine government.
  • 1943: Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) founded in Chicago. Inspired by Gandhi, their goal full civil rights for African Americans.
  • 1944: In Saskatchewan the CCF, led by Tommy Douglas, wins landslide election to become North America’s first socialist government.
  • 1947: CIO expels Fur and Leather Workers & American Communications Assn for “communist” activities during McCarthy era.
  • 1962: The SDS completes the Port Huron Statement.
  • 1966: James Meredith’s March Against Fear (against racism) arrives in Granada, Mississippi.
  • 1970: The US Supreme Court confirms conscientious objector protection on moral grounds.
  • 1975: Anti-fascist Kevin Gately killed during a protest against the National Front in Red Lion Square, London.
  • 1976: Soweto Uprising begins as school students lead protests against introduction of Afrikaans. Up to 700 are killed.
  • 1984: During the UK Miners’ Strike Joe Green crushed to death by a lorry on picket duty in West Yorkshire.
  • 2000: The Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) staged a large demonstration on the lawn at Queen’s Park in Toronto, during which violent altercations took place between the demonstrators and security officials, police officers, and police horses.
  • 2001: Riots in Gothenburg, Sweden at EU Summit; three protestors shot by police, 1,130 arrests.
  • 2002: Jacky Toublet dies in Bobigny, France. He was an anarcho-syndicalist, militant, son of Julien Toublet, and director of the weekly Le Monde Libertaire.

anonymous asked:

If you headcanon Susie is a lesbian, it makes sense that Sammy doesn't understand? I mean, it's the 20s after all. She probably gets bothered all the time for it.

Okay, true. Lets work on this HC for a moment, okay?

Susie Campbell was born in 1906, her father served as a doctor during ww1, where he was killed. She came out as a lesbian to her parents, whom, even though they didn’t understand it all that much, still accepted her and loved her, as well as her girlfriends (however, they told her to keep it a tight secret, in fear of how people would treat her).

Susie was good at drawing from a young age, and had interest in animation. After the was, she tried to get a job at Disney, but was rejected, where she would then head off to Sillyvision Studios, a low budget animation studio. Whilst she did not get a job as an animator, they hired her as a voice actor ( she also worked on screenplay).

Eventually, Henry saw her do a doodle of Alice, and thought it was wonderful, and presented it to Joey, whom also approved of it and turned her into a character.

Alice becomes popular enough to join the main cast of characters. At the height of her popularity, Susie suggested for Alice to be a love interest for Bendy (she shipped them hard, and even had fan art of them). Some of her coworkers asked “why not make her a lesbian too?”, so she decided to make Alice pan-sexual.

Around this point, Joey creates the ink machine, bringing the character to life. Susie was so happy (as well as shocked) to see Alice in real life. She was even happier to see how Alice and Bendy interacted in real life. She hung out with the trio often, almost as much as Henry or Joey.

Later on, Susie introduced her long time girlfriend (whom had just arrived from out of town to live with her), and Bendy offered to bind them in marriage. How could anyone say no?

After the war, things became bad for Sillyvision, as their popularity has dropped, and not to mention it was the beginning McCarthy Era. She, along with her wife, were persecuted, had their citizenship revoked, and lived the rest of their life in exile (like Charlie Chaplin, Paul Robeson, and many more). When they left, the left Joey in charge of the now closed studio, as well as the many characters and friends they left behind.

Ended on a sad note, didn’t it? I know i didn’t really mention Sammy, but i wanted to build up Susie a bit. So, what do you think? ~Admin Comrade

June is Pride Month!
Celebrate with Notable Queer Folk from History

Gladys Bentley was an accomplished jazz and blues singer of the Harlem Renaissance. An open and proud butch-lesbian, she performed at notorious queer speakeasies such as Harry Hansberry’s Clam House with a backing chorus in full drag. Her deep sensual voice, cross-dressing and open flirtations with women made her quite the popular act. “America’s Greatest Sepia Piano Player” was openly condemned and harassed in McCarthy Era America, and later underwent hormone treatment to “cure” her homosexuality. Despite this, Gladys remains pivotal as a queer icon, especially in the African American community, lauded by Langston Hughes and Cary Grant alike. (Source: Wiki)


Hazel Dorothy Scott (June 11, 1920 – October 2, 1981) was an internationally known, American jazz and classical pianist and singer; she also performed as herself in several films. She was prominent as a jazz singer throughout the 1930s and 1940s. In 1950, she became the first woman of color to have her own TV show, The Hazel Scott Show, featuring a variety of entertainment. To evade the political persecution of artists in the McCarthy era, Scott moved to Paris in the late 1950s and performed in France, not returning to the United States until 1967.

Born in Port of Spain, Hazel was taken at the age of four by her mother to New York. Recognized early as a musical prodigy, Scott was given scholarships from the age of eight to study at the Juilliard School. She began performing in a jazz band in her teens and was performing on radio at age 16.

Host Segment 1 (S02E05)

Crow: Boy, that phantom sure did creep… at a slow pace. Well, Rocket Attack USA should be exciting! The overlords said it was a war film.
Joel: Uh, actually, I think it’s a Cold War film.
Servo: Cold War… now, what the heck was the Cold War, anyway, Joel?
Joel: Well, the Cold War was a rich, fertile time of paranoia, virulent conservatism, rampant jingoism…
Crow: Oh, the Reagan era!
Joel: Well, uh, actually, I think it was the McCarthy era, in the fifties.
Crow: Oh, the Charlie McCarthy era!
Joel: Well, yeah, you’re right, exactly… 
Crow: I am?

Joel: …it was the McCarthy era. Yeah, these are some artist renderings. You wanna bring it in, Cambot, just a little bit? Uhh, you see… I have here these artist renderings. You see, one day Charlie McCarthy looked at Howdy Doody’s hair and saw red.

Joel: After that, Charlie formed the McCarthy Hearings on Un-American Activities. Howdy turned informant and named names. 

Joel: Gumby, Pokey, Kukla, and Ollie were all implicated on Howdy’s damning testimony. Turns out, Gumby and Pokey were in bed with the Chinese. Their arrest started out the whole “Free Art Clokey” Movement. Kukla and Ollie had worked on left-leaning Clifford Odets’ playhouse manuscript, but they were cleared of all charges. One of the era’s biggest informants…

Servo: Oh no, not the duck from You Bet Your Life!
Joel: He was a good friend of arch-conservative Marx Brother writer Morrie Ryskind, and as far as he was concerned, the secret word was ‘subversive.’

Joel: After that duck’s devastating testimony, neither Jerry Mahoney, Knucklehead Smiff, or Farfel worked for years. Arthur Miller took it upon himself to write an emotionally gut-wrenching commentary on the Cold War era called Topo Gigio goes to the Circus. Topo, by the way, used his earnings from The Ed Sullivan Show to fund the attempted assassination of Fidel Castro. 
Servo: Joel, after this, nothing will ever shock me again. 
Joel: Oh yeah? Brace yourself, ‘cause the most sinister friendly witness brought up in front of the committee was none other than…

Joel: Lambchop!
Crow: Oh, wow, big surprise!
Servo: I always hated her, anyway.
Crow: Yeah.
Joel: She was the one who put the finger on…

Joel: Davey and Goliath!
Servo: Oh, no…
Crow: Not Davey and Goliath!
Servo: Say it ain’t so, Joel, say it ain’t so!
Joel: Davey, being a god-fearing American, was more than happy to cooperate. Goliath named names, too: [as Goliath] “Uhh, let’s see, uh, there was Dalton Trumbo, Ring Lardner Jr., Albert Maltz, and Bertolt Brecht.” [as Joel] Unfortunately, all the committee heard was “Arf arf. Arf arf, arf.” Goliath was convicted of contempt of Congress and sent to the pound.

Servo: Well, at least we know an era like that will never happen again…
Joel: That’s right, my little friends.
Crow: Yeah. I’m sure glad I’m not a puppet!
Servo: Me too!
Joel: Yeah, me neither… [to the viewer] Who pulls your strings?
[Commercial Sign]

Today in history: February 23, 1868 – W.E.B DuBois born.

DuBois was an intellectual leader and activist in the Black liberation movement and anti-colonial movement for decades. He was a life-long fighter for full equality for Black people in the U.S., co-founding the NAACP, active in struggles against lynching, Jim Crow laws and discrimination in education and employment. DuBois was an internationalist, organizing several Pan-African Congresses supporting the national liberation movements in Africa. He was a prolific author, writing many important articles and books including a key book for understanding U.S. history, Black Reconstruction in America.

DuBois believed that capitalism was a primary cause of racism, and was generally sympathetic to socialist causes throughout his life. Though he conflicted with the Communist Party for many years, at age 93 he finally joined the Communist Party. He traveled throughout the world and was friends with leaders of liberation movements in Africa and Asia (pictured, DuBois with Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong).

DuBois faced serious repression during the McCarthy era, having his passport revoked for 8 years. He died at age 95 in Ghana, while there working with Nkrumah’s government on an Encyclopedia of the African Diaspora.

Via Freedom Socialist Organization (Fight Back!)

Paul Leroy Robeson (April 9, 1898 – January 23, 1976) was an American singer and actor who became involved with the Civil Rights Movement. At Rutgers College, he was an outstanding football player, then had an international career in singing, as well as acting in theater and movies. He became politically involved in response to the Spanish Civil War, fascism, and social injustices. His advocacy of anti-imperialism, affiliation with communism, and criticism of the United States government caused him to be blacklisted during the McCarthy era. Ill health forced him into retirement from his career. He remained until his death an advocate of the political stances he took.

(Source: Wikipedia)


Saturday’s Hero being picketed due to perceived communist ties, RKO Theatre, Los Angeles, 1951 

GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend: Meta

In the wake of the #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend tag, I’m pretty cheesed, as a fan of both Captain America the character and the Captain America fandom writ large. I would love to tell you precisely why I am so annoyed.

Unlike many other comic book characters with sidekicks, Steve Rogers (Captain America) and Bucky Barnes (Bucky) were introduced at precisely the same time, and, putting aside retroactive continuity (here after: retcon), there has never been a moment in Steve Rogers’ canon when Bucky Barnes was not the most important person in his life.

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