south neighborhood

“I usually get stopped in the U.K. before I board a plane. What’s funny is that Heathrow is in a heavily South Asian neighborhood, and the kids working at the airport are fans of mine. So while they’re swabbing me for explosives, they’re asking me for selfies. While they’re going through my underwear, they’re quoting my raps back at me. It’s quite a surreal experience that speaks to the insider/outsider status I’ve felt all my life.”


Police shooting of Justine Damond leaves Minneapolis Black Lives Matters activists conflicted

  • Chauntyll Allen wasn’t sure how to feel on Monday when she traveled to Justine Damond’s memorial site in the affluent South Minneapolis neighborhood known as Fulton.
  • The 43-year-old leader of a Black Lives Matter group in St. Paul, Minnesota, stood near Xerxes Avenue and 51st St. by the late Damond’s home, watching the mostly white residents share remarks about police brutalityand the need for police reform.
  • Many of those same people, she recalled, were nowhere to be found when Allen and her fellow activists were out marching for justice for black police-shooting victims like Philando Castile and Jamar Clark.
  • “Some white people don’t feel the tragedy until one of them is murdered,” Allen told Mic on Wednesday. Read more (7/20/17)

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Proposed: Thedas is not a ‘medieval’ setting

I don’t know about you, but when I was first considering the overall state of Thedas, mostly for worldbuilding purposes, I was semi-consciously thinking of it as a fairly typical pseudo-medieval-Europe.  And that’s natural enough, because in Origins, Ferelden really did look like that.  Thatching, half-timbering, nobles in fortified castles, a fairly monolithic church around which much of society was built.

The further you go into the franchise, though, the more problems you encounter with this.  Kirkwall as a city doesn’t give off a particularly medieval vibe, nor does its government.  You have sailing ships that are more advanced than Europe saw in the middle ages, you have the Qunari with their mind-altering drugs and poison gases and explosives, you have a popular novelist.  A popular novelist requires printing presses, paper manufacture, relatively widespread literacy, and fairly complex shipping systems to exist.  The first European novels were published after the medieval period.  Come Inquisition, we have the almost Baroque Orlesians, broadsheet newspapers, and a lot of things most people probably didn’t notice, like cast iron cookstoves and Bianca Davri’s steam-powered thresher.

Here’s the thing.  Okay here’s a lot of things.  I once had pages of notes trying to work this out, and I’ve tried a dozen times to make a post about it, but it’s too much.  I give up being organized.  So here’s some of the things:

  • Ferelden is a poor backwater.  I know, I’m a rabid Fereldan too, but to the rest of Thedas, it is canonically the arse end of nowhere.  It is no more a good example of the overall technological state of Thedas than the hills of my Appalachian home (where people lived without power or indoor plumbing well into the 20th century) in the 19th century were a good indication of the state of things in 19th century Boston, even though they were only a few days’ ride apart.
  • Thedas’ history and development is in no way like the real world.  It’s a place where the world faces a potentially fatal apocalypse ever few hundred years.  Again, the first game is pretty misleading in this regard, because we neatly wrapped up that Blight in, supposedly, a year, without it ever escaping the borders of one country.  The First Blight lasted over a hundred years and ranged across all of Thedas.  Far and away the shortest Blight besides the fifth still lasted 12 years and destroyed entire kingdoms.  That’s five huge periods of world war and cultural destruction.
  • Magic.  I mean, obviously.  Now, the tangible existence of magic and demons in the Dragon Age arguably has a lot to do with the strength of the Chantry, which has set itself up as a protector from these evils, thus providing an excellent excuse to accumulate military power and suppress dissent.  It doesn’t really effect everyday life much for anyone but mages in the Dragon Age–most people have never seen a mage, and only the wealthy can afford enchanted items.  But of the five empires Thedas has seen, only two (dwarves and Qunari) put any emphasis on technology, and the earliest two (Elvhenan and Tevinter) relied very heavily on magic, and thus presumably had very little incentive to develop technology.
  • The Qunari deliberately suppress at least some technological innovations in the south.  Remember your friendly neighborhood dwarf who liked to blow shit up from Awakening?  His name is Dworkin Glavonak.  You meet his cousin Temmerin in DA2 during the Finding Nathaniel questline, and he tells you that Dworkin’s been driven into hiding by the Qunari. (video)  Certainly sheds new light on why no one outside of dwarves seems to have explosives or gunpowder in the south.  Orzammar dwarves may be the exception here because a) they use lyrium in their explosives, thus making them self-limiting due to the restricted access to lyrium, and b) since Orzammar is a closed society and you cannot come in from the outside, the Qun could not easily place spies in Orzammar society anyway.

So let’s look again, not starting from Origins but look back from Inquisition.  And this time when we look, we find a world that

  • has steam technology, albeit very new–steam-powered threshers were invented around the 1850′s
  • has cast iron stoves such as were not invented in our world until the 1850′s
  • has a canonical reason for lacking gunpowder–which, in turn, completely changes the nature of warfare (or more accurately, doesn’t change it, since it’s guns and cannons that put an end to armor and swords and siege weapons)
  • clearly has printing presses, even if we don’t see them, because there are popular, cheaply printed novels and broadsheet publications and banned book lists

And it’s not quite all from later games, either.  Branka was made a paragon for the invention of ‘smokeless coal’–which isn’t actually a thing in itself but rather a process which removes the impurities from the coal so that it then burns cleaner.  Which, as far as I can ascertain, is a process that was developed during, you guessed it, the 1800′s.

Now, I’m not trying to excuse all the inconsistencies in technology or claim that the devs did a good job of following through on all the implications of things they stuck into Thedas.  Frankly, I think it’s a weak point in their worldbuilding.  BUT it’s really going to keep not making any sense if you try to insist that the setting is more-or-less-medieval-Europe.  In fact, I think it’s futile to try to match Thedas up to any period of real-world development, partly because Thedas’ history is just too wildly different, and partly because a lot of the worldbuilding is done by sticking a bunch of cultures into a blender and picking out what they like.  But if you start thinking about it as a place where technology has continued to develop in places to something roughly congruent to the western world in the 1850′s, but with none of the socioeconomic conditions that created the Industrial Revolution, you might be a bit closer.

Riz Ahmed on W Magazine | August 2017

“I usually get stopped in the U.K. before I board a plane. What’s funny is that Heathrow is in a heavily South Asian neighborhood, and the kids working at the airport are fans of mine. So while they’re swabbing me for explosives, they’re asking me for selfies. While they’re going through my underwear, they’re quoting my raps back at me. It’s quite a surreal experience that speaks to the insider/outsider status I’ve felt all my life.”

Fog In The City - Portland, Oregon.  This is a time lapse of fog moving through the South Waterfront neighborhood of Portland.

I NEED to start blogging again, I miss it so much 😢 it really helped me recharge my creative energies and become more in tune with myself. I only quit because I had become so busy, but since so much has changed in my life, I have more time now!
1) I’m totally and completely sober. No alcohol, and especially no pills. I started the suboxone maintenance program last month and I have never been more grateful for a chemical. I’m not here to hear your judgments on it either, it’s a miracle tool that has helped me gain my life back when nothing else has.
2) I quit bartending at my neighborhood south side Indy bar to take a better job downtown at the oldest, most well-known, and haunted bar in Indiana. Not only is it a better opportunity, I’m not longer running a bar by myself 12 hours a day, five days a week. Less stress, more time for art 😋
3) oh, I got married to the love of my life at the beginning of May. Yup, I’m married now. No one in my life knows except for my mother, we’re waiting until we have the ceremony to announce that we’re actually already married, so keep quit. I’ve never been happier.
Say hi to me!!


Led Zeppelin performing at the Boston Tea Party, May 1969.  © Steven C. Borack.

The Boston Tea Party was a small concert venue located at 53 Berkeley Street in the South End neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. It operated from 1967 to early 1971. As Part of their first North American tour for their three-night engagement on it (27/28/29) the band was paid $4,000.

The setlist was: Train Kept a Rollin’, I Can’t Quit You Baby, Dazed and Confused, As Long As I Have You, Killing Floor, White Summer / Black Mountainside, Babe I’m Gonna Leave You, You Shook Me, How Many More Times, Communication Breakdown, Pat’s Delight.


“Prince lived on the North Side, but he’s also from the Central neighborhood in South Minneapolis. He went to Central High School, he went to Bryant Junior High. He went to Park Avenue Methodist Church. And I grew up in that neighborhood. So I’ve always felt like he came from us, and that he was a champion of us. He embodied all of our greatness. And even as a rock star, he was loyal to us.

I remember as a kid being conscious of where Minneapolis fell in the list of cities in the United States by population, or by sports team’s success. And there was this cable tv show called Night Flight. I remember they did this whole thing on the ‘Minneapolis Sound.’ And so much of it was driven by him. He took it to that international level. The fact that there were people around the world who were thinking about Minneapolis as a music center was inspiring and gratifying.

He pushed boundaries around sex and race. I remember when I was a little kid and I first saw his Dirty Mind poster where he’s got his bikini briefs on. I was kind of scared, but also intrigued. I was like ‘What the fuck is this?’

I don’t know if there’s another fan base like it that crosses those lines like it did, and was so important to so many people. Gay cats love Prince, black folks love Prince, and so many white people love Prince. It’s like Minneapolis at it’s best.”


it’s like a Thelma&Louise AU with Kenny and Butters ?? Except it’s not as dramatic and I just wanted them to do a road trip togetheeerr, like Butters is stuck in an unhappy relationship with his husband/wife (why not Cartman) and Kenny’s like “let’s go camping just both of us, fuck your husband” and they do and it’s the best week-end of their life.

The number of people who have both a black and Mexican parent in that Los Angeles started ballooning in the 1980s and ‘90s, when Mexican immigrants began moving into South LA’s black neighborhoods in large numbers, and people started getting together and creating families.

Like Melissa Adams and Alex Tillman, many have struggled to explain their racial identity to the outside world, and sometimes even to understand it themselves.

Much of this has to do with the fact that biracial identity in the United States has often been understood in terms of black and white. And to the extent that labels are helpful for quickly self-identifying, they don’t always exist for the diversity of racial possibilities that mixed Americans increasingly want to see recognized. When it comes to mixed-race in America, Mexican-American author Richard Rodriguez has written, we rely on an “old vocabulary — black, white,” but, “we are no longer a black-white nation.”

This may be why in LA, many young people who are both black and Mexican are turning to a handy word to describe themselves: “Blaxican.”

An Emerging Entry In America’s Multiracial Vocabulary: 'Blaxican’

Photo: Courtesy of Walter Thompson-Hernandez
Caption: A selection of participants who identify as black and Mexican in Walter Thompson-Hernandez’s Instagram project, Blaxicans of L.A.