social-activism

Kallura has become a blessing for me

I know, the tittle sounds kind of dramatic, I won’t deny that, but I sincerely wanted to say something to the kallura side of the Voltron fandom. 

First a little bit of info here: I didn’t get into Voltron because I was a fan of the original, my introduction to it was really through Voltron Force (this was a time before I was active in social media so I never knew why people disliked it until now.) I was never that into it, and I mostly watched it because there was nothing else on. Honestly, I got into Voltron because my cousin sent me the link to the first trailer and said it was made by the same people who worked on Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra. One was my second childhood favorite show of all time (my first being Kim Possible) and with LoK…well, let’s just say we have a…complicated relationship and leave it at that for now, but I’m talking about Voltron here. 

In short, that is how I got into the show. Sincerely, after Korra had ended, I felt a craving for something Avatar related, and watching Voltron not only made me feel like I was watching Avatar all over again, but was also a fun, creative, interesting and just downright a lot of fun. I was never really into the whole giant robot genre, but Voltron was definitely a breath of fresh air for me. It wasn’t just all about the robots and such, but also about the characters, who might I add I love each one to bits! I’d even dare to say my love for the entire Voltron cast is almost as large as the love I have for the Mane Six from MLP:FiM, and I’ve been watching the show for as long as it’s been on the air!

Which brings me to one of the highlights (at least for me) since I started watching Voltron. And that, yes, is Kallura.

Before anyone goes throwing their tables, let me explain.

Yes, I know Voltron is not a romance show (Thank You! The love drama from LoK was one of my biggest pet peeves).

Yes, I know Voltron is not meant to be a spiritual “remake” of Korra, it’s more of a spiritual successor to Avatar more than anything, really.

And no, I don’t watch the show in hopes of seeing them together. It is one of the reasons but not the ONLY one.

Long story short, I was pretty saddened when my OPT from LoK didn’t become endgame (not even my second OTP!) of course, that is natural for any shipper to feel regardless of what you ship, and while I haven’t been directly “attacked” by anyone on the opposite end (Thank God), I have seen some pretty bad examples which, speaking as someone who used to get laughed at at school or I felt like I didn’t really belong with specific group, I really feel for these folks who have had worse luck than me. So you can imagine how infuriating it is for me to see the same thing happen in the Voltron fandom. I have no qualms over what others ship, heck I still ship two characters who cannon-wise were never interested in each other romantically, but I still like to think “what if” yet I accept what is cannon. I just find so much of the arguing pointless and I regret to admit at one point I was one of those people who posted angry stuff without thinking. Looking back, since I was still new to tumblr and social media at the time, I realize just how stupid that was. Every now and again I look back and delete those posts which I don’t even remember anymore to be honest. I was angry at the fandom but I winded up behaving no different from them, so I swore to stay away from that kind of conflict. While I still reblog images of my OTPs, I still don’t always feel confident in at least verbally saying why I love it unless they either ship it themselves, are neutral about it, or simply don’t care. It’s one of those scenarios where you slam on the break before you even turn the key because you keep imagining the worst possible outcome. I still remember when I was scared to post a Kallura fanfic idea post (which I am now writing) because I was scared of angry Klance shippers coming at me. Yes, I know they’re not all like that, I don’t like lumping everyone together either, and it sucks that the one who “shout the loudest” give the entire side a very bad reputation. 

In short, the aftermath of LoK wasn’t an easy experience for me, at least emotionally, but I’m sure it was probably a lot worse for others. But ever since I started watching Voltron and later on shipping Kallura I’ve actually felt the same joy I had when I first started LoK or Avatar. Sure, the fandom isn’t that great all the time, but that’s why I am grateful to have found the Kallura side. These people are so chill, sweet, understanding, open minded and I genuinely feel open and confident to ship what I love and still enjoy the show in my own way, without the fear of anybody telling me it’s right or wrong. We all have our own ways of enjoying the things we watch and we shouldn’t feel ashamed from doing so.

I love the fan arts, the fanfiction (which we seriously need more of by the way), and the analysis blogs about Keith and Allura’s dynamic and possibly future relationship. Of course, my past experiences have taught me to take these things with a grain of salt, so there is still a possibility for them to get together, just as there is a possibility that they won’t. Still, because of what is established, I feel that even if I do continue to ship it even if by chance it doesn’t become cannon, at least people can understand WHY I like it and the “what if” scenarios can in fact be plausible. Like how many fans still ship Zuatara despite Kataang being cannon, but I can legitimately see the logic in the former to be honest and wholeheartedly support anyone who ships them….and I’ve been shipping kataang for years!

There are so many reasons why I love Kallura, so similar reasons why i loved my other OTP. Both are very interesting characters on their own with their own stories and development, yet they are also just as interesting as a pair (wether it be romantic or platonic) and the dynamic itself can add something new to the table. I will admit, I’m a sucker for the whole “opposite attack” yet are still “birds of a feather” in their own unique way. They’re both skilled fighters, and I adore battle couples! Their cannon dynamic in of itself is interesting and can open a lot of doors for growth both together and apart. Also, and this is just a small bonus, they both physically resemble my previous ships, but that’s just a happy coincidence. 

In conclusion, while Voltron certainly has and continues to be a blast for me, Kallura feels like a real blessing. I feel so happy shipping these two and I hope to continue to freely enjoy shipping even long after the show is over without feeling ashamed. I really love being a part of this community, so thank you. Thank you all so much and you continue to stay beautiful, creative and kind. And forgive one another when we slip up.

Happy Sailing! 

I’m tired of feminists and social justice activists who are openly fatphobic and ableist,

I’m tired of feminists and social justice activists who make fatphobic and ableist jokes and comments,

I’m tired of feminists and social justice activists who regularly spout fatphobic and ableist rhetoric,

I’m tired of feminists and social justice activists who treat fatphobia and ableism like a joke,

I’m tired of feminists and social justice activists who see no problem with fatphobia and ableism,

I’m tired of feminists and social justice activists who think fatphobia and ableism aren’t serious,

I’m tired of feminists and social justice activists who use fatphobia and ableism to mock their opponents in conversation,

I’m tired of feminists and social justice activists who think anti-fatphobia and anti-ableism activism are “too much,” “pointless,” “a waste of time,” “unimportant,” “too extreme,” etc

I’m tired of feminists and social justice activists who get angry when you call them out for fatphobia and ableism,

I’m tired of feminists and social justice activists who don’t care about fat people, disabled people, and neurodivergent people,

I’m tired of feminists and social justice activists who think anti-fatphobia and anti-ableism activism are “silencing tactics” or are taking away from “real issues,”

I’m tired of feminists and social justices activists who don’t stand up against fatphobia or ableism,

I’m fucking tired.

You want to call yourself progressive and intersectional? Then learn to give a fuck about fatphobia and ableism.

from a comrade

Opinion:
The masses aren’t lazy or ignorant, they’re rationally apathetic. People will put hours upon hours of thought into which cell phone to buy but completely ignore politics because they’re observant enough to understand that the cell phone is the thing they can actually exert some sort of control over; when you remember that most people equate political engagement with voting, you can see that that’s a fundamentally rational decision. If you want to get people engaged, you gotta show ‘em what gets results.

with the times we live in now, i think it’s important to note that this: 

is entirely different from this: 

The first one is a religious symbol used in multiple religions such as Hinduism or Buddhism. 

The term “swastika” comes from the Sanskrit word “ स्वस्तिक” which is more accurately translated as “svastika.” It means a particularly lucky object. The symbol is as old as history:

The second picture is a symbol co-opted by the National Socialist German Workers’ Party - the Nazis. Hitler, choosing this symbol, stated, “As National Socialists, we see our program in our flag. In red, we see the social idea of the movement; in white, the nationalistic idea; in the swastika, the mission of the struggle for the victory of the Aryan man, and, by the same token, the victory of the idea of creative work.“

The main difference? The second one is tilted at a 45 degree angle and used in the common white circle on a red background. 

clarification: most swastikas in western society are probably used for neo-nazi purposes. however, it’d be unwise to dismiss the true origins of the swastika, which is one of peace. 

from a comrade

“Planning to hit the streets to raise some hell? I commend you. You’re doing the hard work we need right now. Just remember to buy yourself some face coverage.

A bandana is always fashionable, but a balaclava provides more coverage and a more secure fit should you need to run. Plus it’s a lot warmer, which is important for these winter protests. A keffiyeh is a classic look, and wrapped correctly provides good coverage as well. Avoid shit like the Guy Fawkes mask; poor visibility, and you look like a dweeb.

"But friend,” you might protest. “Why do I need a mask if I’m not planning on doing anything illegal?” Excellent question! There are several reasons:

1. You don’t know when an illegal tactic will play out around you. You don’t want to be caught on camera next to someone smashing bank windows.
2. If only the black bloc masks up, the police immediately know who to prioritize. Even if you don’t personally involve yourself in such tactics, it’s important to stand in solidarity with your more militant brethren. They are the stick to your carrot, and we need both to be functional.
3. As these protests go on and become more disruptive, the Nazis will take an interest in direct action of their own. They’re already putting out literal bounties on resisters. The peacefulness of your protest will not protect you from the hate machine if you happen to get doxxed in a protest photo.

Fight back. Fight hard, or soft, as it pleases you. Fight together. But please, please be safe. <3"

Things you can do at the same time!

Be excited about Beyoncé - and - Be horrified by current events

Care about homeless U.S. citizens - and - Care about refugees

Love your country - and -  Want it to be a more kind place

Illustration by Mari Andrew

2

take a vacation - the young veins

I’m just so terrified that my children will never be able to experience nature as it is with all the animals and diversity and plants and insects and forests and snow because this generation didn’t wake up.

From a comrade:

If you voted for Trump because you believe in fiscal conservatism, you should be furious that your tax dollars are going to build a wall that will have zero impact on the effects of immigration.

If you hate the left because of “Political Correctness,” you need to be asking yourself if you’re okay with the President censoring communications from MULTIPLE government organizations like the National Park Service, the EPA and more.

If you voted because you hated Secretary Clinton’s email server, I expect you to be calling your representatives to ask why Steve Bannon and others continue to use their unsecured personal emails and why your president is still using an unsecured Android device.

If you believe that fertilized eggs are people but refugee children are not, you need to stop acting like your concerns are religious.

If you voted because you believed they would better protect you against terrorists, you need to ask yourself why it’s okay that your president just took away $130 million in anti-terror funds from New York with his punishment of Sanctuary Cities.

If you are angry that your insurance is too expensive, you should ask why your senators are repealing ACA without a replacement, an action that will leave 20 million people without insurance at all.

If you believe the Clinton Initiative provided unequal treatment to countries that supported their foundation, you should be livid that your president has moved to block visas from Muslim countries like Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, but not places where he has business ties like Egypt, Qatar, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

This is an opportunity to prove that you voted for the reasons you told me you did. I am taking you seriously, I am taking you literally.

She had something to say about Betsy DeVos. So she sent her senator a pizza — with a message.

The special instructions section reads:

Please deliver to Orrin Hatch’s office, #8402 and attach the following note: “From a Salt Lake constituent in 84105. Please vote NO on Betsy Devos. She is an inappropriate choice to lead our public schools.

Julia Silge tried repeatedly to get in touch with her senator about the upcoming confirmation vote, but she was only able to leave one message before the answering machine had apparently been filled. It was then that she resorted to an unconventional way of reaching out.

Ultimately, the pizza was unable to be delivered as it could not make it past security, but this just goes to show the great lengths people are going through in order to have their voices be heard!

…the audience was being conditioned to get its information faster, in a way that was less nuanced and, of course, image-based. As my father pointed out, a written sentence has a level of verifiability to it: it is true or not true – or, at the very least, we can have a meaningful discussion over its truth. But an image? One never says a picture is true or false. It either captures your attention or it doesn’t.
— 

Andrew Postman [an introduction to his father’s study, Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business, published in 1985]

How do we fight back?

First: treat false allegations as an opportunity. Seek information as close to the source as possible. 

Second: don’t expect “the media” to do this job for you. Some of its practitioners do, brilliantly and at times heroically. But most of the media exists to sell you things.

Finally, and most importantly, it should be the responsibility of schools to make children aware of our information environments, which in many instances have become our entertainment environments, but there is little evidence that schools are equipped or care to do this. So someone has to.

We must teach our children, from a very young age, to be skeptics, to listen carefully, to assume everyone is lying about everything. (Well, maybe not everyone.) Check sources. Consider what wasn’t said. Ask questions. Understand that every storyteller has a bias – and so does every platform.