political novels

Some Creative Dystopian Ideas

You start off with freedom, but one by one slowly and subtly certain things are taken away.

When you once could go to a doctor and have that covered now you must pay the entire fee. And some people aren’t even allowed to go.

Families who were once supported are now living in boxes on the streets, as food is no longer supplied and they are evicted.

When you once could believe in whatever higher being you wanted, now you are forced into a single category and registered if you do not worship it.

When you once could love who you wanted, marriage is only allowed for certain people.

You must dress according to a small scrap of paper given to you at birth. You are immediately judged and categorized according to this. Anyone who disobeys is socially executed and banned from society.

Criminals once went to Prison, but now they are filled with minor offenses regarding medication that is needed and possessing minor recreation drugs. Rapists walk free.

Police do not uphold the law, they attack when and wherever they please… they are given tanks and weapons to attack the common people.

Basic necessities are limited to the wealthy few while fresh water is slowly consumed. What remains is poisoned by oil and toxic waste.

Forests and nature are slowly allowed to be destroyed as those who wanted to protect them are silenced.

The media stops reporting the news and instead reports false information. In fact subtle brainwashing is used. Anyone who objects is arrested.

The leader is a puppet for a shadow government.

Did I forget to mention that this is the United States of America? Yup. America has become the basis of a dystopian novel.

In regard to propaganda the early advocates of universal literacy and a free press envisaged only two possibilities: the propaganda might be true, or it might be false. They did not foresee what in fact has happened, above all in our Western capitalist democracies—the development of a vast mass communications industry, concerned in the main neither with the true nor the false, but with the unreal, the more or less totally irrelevant. In a word, they failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distraction.
—  Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited
Stop constructing “lanes.” We can and should criticize sexism worldwide.

As usual, this post is primarily addressed to Western liberal feminists. I have noticed that one of your favorite lines that you smugly try and pass for discourse is “stay in your lane.” Men somewhere in the world are oppressing women somewhere in the world and when another person starts to criticize, you try to silence her with this “lane” nonsense.

Here’s the thing: Sexism and patriarchy don’t have a lane. They don’t have a culture. They are part of every culture, every place, and every system worldwide.

My oppression as a woman in Iraq has the same material problem as oppression of women in the United States, France, Argentina, China, Uganda, any society on this earth: male violence. The root of our problems is the same root and we will not solve any of these problems without pulling up that root.

You act like you’re some kind of progressive by silencing other Western women who talk about other cultures’ issues, but really you’re denying that all of our issues are rooted in the same oppression, and that is Western exceptionalism. You’re saying that your issues are worth public criticism but ours must be framed in ways that appeal to your moral senses or they should be silenced.

Global patriarchy is every woman’s “lane” because it’s literally global. I am allowed to criticize male violence anywhere in the world because I see a different manifestation of the same problems in my own life.

Sexism doesn’t have a culture. (Nor does racism, classism, homophobia, etc.) It exists in every culture in the world. For this reason, we cannot equate criticisms of sexism to criticisms of cultures because criticizing sexism criticizes every culture. (Or one global culture that we all share.) If you honestly believe that sexism is definitely wrong (which I do) then why are you silencing criticism of sexism?

Ask yourselves: Why are you so afraid of offending somebody’s “culture” by criticizing patriarchy? There can really only be one reason. Your feminism just appeals to men.

If our cultures can’t stand on their own without sexism, then what even are they? I love my culture. I love speaking Arabic and Assyrian. I love our folk music. I love our political novels and films. And I could still love all of this without sexism in our culture. Culture doesn’t exist in a snow globe. It is meant to change.

So are you actually going to let people defend sexism with “it’s our culture”? It’s everyone’s culture! And if we recognize that it’s wrong, we should criticize it! Just like we should criticize racism, classism, and homophobia wherever we find them. If you prioritize “protecting culture” over criticizing sexism, then you prioritize the feelings of men over the actual lives of women. And you aren’t a feminist.

I know I talk about listening to Middle Eastern women too, and I stand by that. You can and should listen to our stories, our thoughts, and our criticisms. And you can and should amplify our voices and offer your own criticisms of sexism, because sexism affects you too.

Issues with more attention usually get more support. People can’t support women in developing countries if they don’t know our struggles, and we cannot spread awareness if other women who discuss these issues are silenced. Western voices and media outlets have the most influence worldwide, so why are you stopping people from using them?

There is a difference between talking over someone and empathizing with her experience and offering meaningful criticisms. Talking over someone is a silencing tactic because you’re telling a woman not to talk about her lived experiences because you must know better. Listening to us, having a dialogue, and criticizing sexism together is productive and it’s the exact opposite of silencing. Stop trying to conflate the two.

You have an extremely low opinion of women from developing countries if you believe that criticizing how sexism manifests in our cultures is patronizing us. Do you think we don’t know what sexism is? Do you think we don’t also have indigenous feminist movements? Do you think we haven’t been trying to bring attention to these issues? 

It’s true that sometimes Westerners use sexism and homophobia in places like the Middle East as justifications for their own bigotry against Middle Eastern people. Again, if you honestly believe that racism, xenophobia, or imperialism are wrong, then you don’t need to dance around cultural sensitivities to make your point. The thing about inalienable human rights is that you don’t have to earn them.

Half of people in developing countries are women and you can advocate for our liberation in all countries of the world at the same time. Wow! There’s a massive difference between acknowledging how sexism manifests in some cultures and saying we’re savages who should be confined to dangerous war zones.

Stop dividing women. We are in this together. Sexism is wrong in every context and every culture and we are allowed to criticize it wherever and whenever we find it.

i finished Thrawn so have two of my favourite passages beautifully illustrating Core-centrism:

1) the description of the Republic’s “Unknown Alien protocols” 

“a relic from the glory days of the Republic, when a new species was being discovered every other week and the Senate wanted every one of them contacted and studied. The modern Imperial Navy had no business handling such chores, and even less interest in doing so, and the High Command had repeatedly said so.

Rumor at the Academy was that Emperor Palpatine was working to revoke the protocols. But for the moment they were still standard orders, and far too many of the senators supported them.“ (Chapter 1)

When they say new species that means sentient species. Also interesting real world parallel. 

2) The really good bit:

Eli winced. For a moment he’d forgotten how Thrawn had arrived in the Empire in the first place. “Well, officially we’re not allowed to disrespect aliens, either,” he went on hurriedly. “I say officially, because that’s what the General Orders say we’re supposed to do. But that’s not always what we really do.”

“You dislike nonhumans?”

Eli hesitated. How was he supposed to answer that? “There were a lot of different nonhuman groups in the Separatist movement,” he said, choosing his words carefully. “The Clone Wars killed a lot of people and devastated whole worlds. There’s still a lot of resentment about that, especially among humans.”

“But were not other nonhuman groups allied with the Republic?”

“Sure,” Eli said. “And most of them did all right. But humans still carried most of the weight.” He considered. “Well, that’s the perception, anyway. I don’t know if it’s actually true.”

Thrawn nodded, either agreement or simple acknowledgment. “Either way, would it not be more reasonable to resent only those nonhuman groups that opposed you?”

“Probably,” Eli said. “Well, okay—definitely. And it probably started that way. But sometimes that sort of thing seeps down to other groups.” He hesitated. “On top of that, there’s a lot of contempt in the Core Worlds toward the people anywhere past the Mid Rim, humans and nonhumans alike. And with me from Wild Space and you from the Unknown Regions, we’re about as far into the Sneer Zone as you can get.” (Chapter 3)

That’s the first time I see some actual thought given to the context that helped Imperial speciesism grow - preexisting prejudice is one thing, but there’s always causes behind its spread. that’s not to say it justifies it in any way; but the best propaganda distorts facts rather than invents them. and *the Empire is evil* only works as an explanation insofar as we are willing to forget the people that make it up are those that made up the Republic before. The cherry on top being the link with good ole Core-centrism prejudice.

5thfiddlergirl  asked:

*SMASHES THROUGH WINDOW* HEARD YOU WERE WRITING A BOOK OH PLEAAAAASSE TELL ME MORE *0* !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ahh! It’s essentially an enemies to lovers forced marriage plot, with a seems-like-a-fuckboy prince, a bitter princess, and a brother that @adothoe and I are both in love with. I’m really shitty at summaries, but that’s the very very basic premise.

Me starting Hunger Pangs in early 2016: lol what even is this, okay, so there’s a vampire and a werewolf who fall in love and hilarity ensues, maybe have something in there about overcoming prejudices or something, throw in a war or cultural divide idk PUNS so many puns this is going to be the fluffiest piece of feel good shit ever.

Me reviewing final draft of Hunger Pangs in 2017:


“He promised us,” the vampire wailed as blood streamed from his nose, shrinking in on himself as Nathan stepped toward him again, “I didn’t think it’d come to this, I didn’t think—”

“You didn’t think,” Vlad interjected coolly, “that a megalomaniac with an insatiable lust for control over death, wouldn’t try to control vampires, a part of the undead race, and use them to open up a portal to the Underworld? Are you mad?! He’s been using zombies for centuries!”

“But we’re—”

“Melville, I swear if you say ‘better than them’ I will personally twist your head off and sew it on backwards.”

“He promised us freedom!”

“Freedom from what?!” Vlad shouted, and Ursula took a prudent step back. She could feel the electric charge in the air, thrumming between her teeth. “We’re a race of immortal parasites sitting on top of centuries of wealth and privilege, founded on war and slavery, what could you possibly need to be liberated from?!”

“Elizabeth was right,” Melville spat, still trying to avoid Nathan even as he sneered at Vlad, fangs on show, “You’re weak. You let this dog and his,” his black eyes darted to Ursula, “bitch get into your head. But then again you always were a human lover. Anyone could see it, the way you doted on that half-breed sister of yours. She’ll be the first up against the wall, her and her little pet huma—”

Lightning flashed.

Nathan reached up, tentatively checking to see if he still had eyebrows. “I didn’t know you could do that.”

Vlad, staring wide eyed at the blackened spot where Melville had been, doubled over and threw up.

“There, there,” Ursula soothed, patting him lightly on the shoulder. “Most people don’t know their own strength until they have to use it. You did very well though,” she smiled as he looked incredulously up at her, ”keep it up and we might just win.”


……..I did not intend for this…

kickstarter.com
Women of Xal - A Political Visual Novel
You've been given a chance to inherit a luxurious all-male brothel in a matriarchal society - but can you handle what that truly means?

>>>>48 HOURS LEFT! (KICKSTARTER LINK HERE!)<<<<

Will we be able to make our stretch goal for voice acting? Only time will tell! So here’s to the final two days of visual novel “Women of Xal” hype! (We’ve already been Greenlit by Steam!)

>>>>>>“What IS ‘Women of Xal?!’” Post Here!<<<<<<

9 Great Young Adult Novels For Politically Engaged Readers

“These stories are important precisely because they’re challenged; the more unheard perspectives are released by publishers, shared by gatekeepers and connected with readers, the less they’ll seem like dangerous anomalies to the people doing the challenging.

And, there’s a long way to go before equal representation among published authors and characters in published books becomes a reality. “

This list of YA for politically engaged readers on Huffington Post is A++.

mitzvahmelting  asked:

i just read an amazing book called "Too Like The Lightning" by Ada Palmer. It's a masterwork sci-fi/philosophy/18th-century-politics/gender-queer novel. I really want other people to read it and build a fandom for it, and you're a Big Name Fan who has great taste, so I really want to recommend it to you in the hopes that you will read it or mention it to your followers? it's just amazing and i want more people to read it and discuss it with me. It also has a really good audiobook adaptation.

omg the thought of being a bnf has me REELING, hahahaha

but ANYWAY i was going to wait to publish this until i read it (because it seems like something i want to read), but then i realized it had already been a month and if i did that it would take twenty years because i suck, and then! most importantly! i discovered that you can read the first chapters on Tor! which means anyone who is interested can check it out (at least to start) without paying a dime or having to take anyone’s word for it. :3

Thank you for the rec!!

‘River on the Rise’ by Debra Blake for Vegetarian Times, March 1988 (Part II, final)

How the family took their vision to Hollywood dates back 10 years ago, to their final days in Venezuela. The family had little money when they left the religious community and River, along with his sister Rainbow, often took to the streets, restaurants, and even airport waiting areas to sing to people, entertaining them while trying to earn a dollar. River had been playing guitar since before he was 5 years old, and his talent became increasingly apparent to Arlyn and John. Back in the States, the family headed straight for Los Angeles, where Arlyn took a job at a broadcasting company to get the family’s collective foot in Hollywood’s door.

“We weren’t going for the glamour or the fame of it all,” Arlyn says. “We were going to take the kids’ talent-which was so obvious-to us-and turn it into something and help make change at the same time. That’s why we went.”

Weren’t they afraid that the kids wouldn’t share their vision, or perhaps lose sight of it as the endless glittery parties began to welcome them, threatening to turn them into Hollywood brats?

“No,” says Arlyn. “I knew they wouldn’t get into the Hollywood scene. We had our own business to attend to, and it wasn’t Hollywood. It was making change in the world.”

River’s business is making change, too. He’s clear on that score. “If I didn’t think I could be a part of a movement that could influence,” he says, “and be a part of helping and change, if I couldn’t help that through what I’m doing, I wouldn’t do this. But I’m seeing that through this position-in this career, and where I have these magazine interviews- I can be an example, and I think that’s important. In all the interviews I do, I say something about my being vegan. I don’t want to come off as if I’m a savior. I’m only a very small part of anything, but I think it’s important to be involved. I’m interested in meditation and finding spiritual fulfillment. But for me to just go off and devote my life to monkhood in the jungle would be ultimately abandoning the world, and the consciousness would be on a selfish level. I think I can do a lot more good for this planet if I am out there.”


River is still young. Does he share his mother’s confidence that he’ll be able to withstand the pressures that Hollywood places on young people-pressures that make them grow up quickly, losing their dreams and ideals in the process?

“Being out there,” River says slowly, looking around at the giant oak trees on the lawn, “you can go astray, and everything can be destroyed. I’m aware of that, but I don’t think I’ll get into that. Maybe I’m lucky; I’m not really attracted to all of that now. I think I’ll be strong enough, but I do see there’s that chance.

"You can’t really make any plans about things like this, though. You go with the flow but still against the grain, not for the ego of it but for the belief of it. The only thing I have to show is how I live. The vegan thing is one of the main things. I’m a peaceful person; I think that’s manifested through how I live. I don’t start trouble. But time will tell.”

River has moved around a lot over the years. He was born in Oregon, went with the family to South America as a young child, and has lived in countless California towns. He’s traveled-sometimes with only part of the family-to different countries to film on location. Just before last Thanksgiving the whole family moved to Florida, where they now reside. They wanted to leave the Hollywood scene and revive ideals about living in the country.

Florida winter afternoons are warm, and River spends hours in the garage, hunched over his new 12-string guitar. His hands are square and strong, and after so many years they’re used to playing the chords that sound good to him. He has the guitar plugged into an amplifier, and the rock rhythms echo out in the yard. He’s not in school (he was privately tutored for most of his life), and he says he’s not interested in working until the summer. These days he’s mostly hanging around, traveling a bit, hoping a bass guitarist will read the signs he placed around the University of Florida campus. “Needed,” the signs read. “Bass guitarist with young blood who’s into progressive rock and roll, jazz. For demo recordings.” River is looking for a buddy to jam with.

If he didn’t have his acting career, River thinks he could be a musician. He’s driven to it. “I love music,” he says. “It’s so much a part of me.” The roster of his favorite musicians is long and eclectic; he’s especially into early Squeeze and U2. But the rest of his list reads like the playlist of an early ‘70s FM station. “I like jazz, folk music, Bob Dylan. Older Bowie and old Roxy Music to fall asleep to. I like old Steely Dan music and some Pink Floyd. Old Led Zeppelin, too. The Beatles are my Bible; that goes without saying. And I like classical music.”

Modern music disappoints River, and he doesn’t like much of what’s commercially produced. His tastes in books and movies also show that River has one foot in a different age. He sounds a little frustrated by that, and says things like “movies nowadays. ..books nowadays. .. music nowadays.”

He doesn’t see too many new movies, preferring witty, intelligent classic comedies, and he likes the great slapsticks. But his idealism comes through even here. “I haven’t seen Cry Freedom [about Steven Biko, a martyred black South African], but it’s top on my list for a real conscious movie. And I liked Brazil. I like intense movies. Did you ever see Brother Sun, Sister Moon? It’s about St. Francis. I felt a rebirth after I saw that.”

He doesn’t find much time for reading, though he’d like to, but somehow he’s picked up a lot of information on health and political issues. The novels he’s read, or would like to read, are those that kids grew up on 15 and 20 years ago: Catcher in the Rye and Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger, Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha, Richard Bach’s Illusions, Ray Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

As for his own movies, he’s hot enough to be selective about the scripts he accepts, and he’s been pretty happy with the results. “I feel no need to invest in a movie unless I have an incredible passion for it,” he says. “And one that will not only be good for me but one I can be proud of-one that’s a benefit to society. I always hope the movie will, if nothing else, be a part of good art and influence people in a good way.”

Up to now, there’s been no compromising in River’s work, and he’s not planning on changing his record. Even as a child, no commercials he ever made endorsed white bread, and when he was in Seven Brides, the family made sure he wouldn’t have to go fishing or wear a coonskin cap.

River still chooses carefully, hoping the ideals he lives by will be reflected in the characters he plays. He liked his character of Chris Chambers in Stand by Me, directed by Rob Reiner. “Chris came off as a victim of the mentality of his town, but he was a good person. He was a great friend, he was loyal and he wasn’t an idiot-not just a big dumb l2-year-old. He was a real sweet guy, smart and intelligent. A good character.”

The last movie he worked on was Sidney Lumet’s Running on Empty. (Lumet directed Dustin Hoffman in the Academy Award-winner Tootsie.) River plays the son of parents whose antimilitary activities have kept them on the run for years. River likes the character but sees him as a victim, too.

“In dramas, kids usually are victims, either to their parents or to society:’ River explains. "I want to get away from that. It would be wonderful to see someone already in a clear-minded reality take it from there and maybe go beyond that, show what can happen.”

He can’t say precisely what kinds of films he’d like to do or what kind of work will draw him next. Theater would be interesting, perhaps, and possibly directing at some point. Unlike many actors, he’s not even thinking about who he’d like to work with. “I would like to work with Rob Reiner again,” he says, “Maybe just a cameo role in one of his movies. But for the most part I don’t think like that. I figure that time will tell, and if it’s right, I’ll meet the right people and work with them at some point.” Outwardly, River has few doubts about himself, as an individual and as a Phoenix family member. “I’m definitely an individual,” he said. “I feel very secure as an individual. And I’m proud of my family and what we’ve done together. I’m a product of my family, just like everybody else. These are my roots.

"I just want to live my life. Acting is what I love to do, and it’s worked out this way. I don’t know if it’s God’s perfect plan or whatever, but for me, not only do I love it and get great satisfaction out of it, but also I can work my beliefs in. I’m free to believe in what I do, and I can share those beliefs with others. Not in a preaching way, not telling others, but just by what I do. I find that very fulfilling.”

After lunch-tabouli, nori, blue corn chips, tofu omelet, tahini dressing-River and Rainbow, like older brother and sister in any family, take the family jeep to pick up the other kids from school. Back home, River runs into the yard to swing on the rope hung from one of the oaks. “Hey, look at this!” he yells. While Rainbow watches, River laughs, jumps high and grabs hold. 

A Phoenix on the rise.

Women of Xal is a sophisticated visual novel that kept me hooked from the minute the music began at the start screen to the closing credits of the demo. The world that is created is so interesting and complex-but not so complex that even me of all people couldn’t understand it. I enjoyed each and every character, but particularly Velvet and mc. I want to romance Velvet so much… Anyway, each character is so interesting that i found myself wanting to know more about each one, what drives them and how they ended up at Xuna’s place. I want to see how my choices effect the trajectory of the game and what ending I will decide based on my choices. (If i can win the heart of Velvet i’ll be happy.) The music, the art, the voice acting-everything was extremely well done and beautiful. I will definitely play the full game if when the game reaches its goal on kickstarter. 

Please back Women of Xal on kickstarter! It’s amazing and deserves the world- 

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/projecttrinity/women-of-xal-a-political-visual-novel?ref=user_menu

I’ve been thinking a lot about Health At Every Size lately, and why it’s so crucial to me, especially as someone with a chronic illness that causes my weight to fluctuate a lot. 

First of, I think I’ve come to find that my take on HAES is very different than what the anti-HAES people seem to think it is. 

My simple take on the movement: Focusing on living a healthy lifestyle without the main goal being weight loss. Meaning eating responsibly, and as healthily as possible while being accountable for what I put in my body. Being as physically active as is safe for me at the time, and pushing my limits when I’m able to. Using exercise and physical activity to help with mental health as well. A good ballet class is far more effective than any therapy session in my book. 

It is absolutely not anti weight loss. Over the past year and a half I managed to lose 50 pounds, but now that I’m having heart issues gain, I’m having issues with fluid retention. Before anyone chimes in saying my problems are from clogged arteries from a crappy diet, I’m so sorry to disappoint but my latest cardiac work up showed no blockages, no calcifications, no plaque, no coronary artery disease whatsoever. It’s all arrhythmia problems from autonomic nervous system dysfunction. (and believe me, cardiologists do not sugar coat ANYTHING, as it should be.)

In the past two months I’ve probably gained and lost 15 pounds 3-4 times. Somehow my overall weight trend is down, but daily, even weekly it’s all over the place. I *have* to weigh myself daily to keep track of it. And damn if it doesn’t drive me crazy. And while I know it’s physically impossible to gain 5 pounds of fat overnight, I’d be lying if I said it didn’t mess with me. If I could walk away from the scale forever I would, but I know it’s necessary to keep track of things. It’s enough to make me want to give up some times.

But I can’t. I know I can’t. If I gave up on trying to be as healthy as possible, it would be a death sentence. I’m completely convinced that the reason I’ve managed to tolerate my heart issues as well as I have is because I’ve done my best to be as physically active as I have. 

If the *only* measure of success I used to measure my habits was weight loss, I would have given up a long time ago. 

You cannot give up on healthy habits just because you’re not losing the weight quickly.You cannot give up because you gain a few pounds. You cannot give up because your body is not acting the way you think it should. 

This idea of treating weight loss as the ultimate reward for being healthy is one that has to change. A healthy lifestyle is its own reward, nothing more, nothing less. The benefits of attempting to be as healthy as possible still show in your body whether or not you lose weight. 

That’s not to say that you won’t lose weight or that losing weight is bad, but it should absolutely not be the penultimate measure of one’s health. 

The tldr version: My version of Health At Every Size simply means attempting to live as healthy a lifestyle of possible without using weight loss as the sole measure of health. 

It really is as simple as that.