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"Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;
And in His name all oppression shall cease."

Those are some pretty powerful lyrics. More, these were political and prophetic lyrics.

Recall that the song and the French poem were written in 1847. The English version was written in 1855, six years before the American Civil War and eight years before the Emancipation Proclamation. O Holy Night, it turns out, was a song of political resistance and protest.

-- Richard Beck, Christmas Carols as Resistance Literature

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I am worth more than you have to offer me.

I am a better and stronger person than you'll ever be.

I am messy and inconvenient, gloriously and hilariously broken, and I will never be whole. I will always be damaged and leaking, not blood but words:

Of the pain of rejection,

of the loss of a life that I never had,

and of the horrible knowledge that I am as alien to your world as a Lovecraftian Elder God.

But just like the Old Ones of Lovecraft's mythology, the world that I'm a part of now -- the one I escaped to -- is more real, more solid, and more lasting than yours. And one day your world will collapse like a soap bubble, and reality in all of its beautiful madness will flood back inside.

You're scared of me because you know this. Because in my eyes, in my face, in my very existence that you tried to crush, you see the end of your world.

You should be afraid. Because when your fragile world pops, I will be there:

With my watery tentacles outstretched,

my flowing wings held high,

and my joyous laughter resounding through your flooded Heaven.

It will be beautiful.

And then, if you are still there, I will blow you a raspberry.


Love,

Lapis Lazuli

Click here to gaze into the eyes of madness.


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I have a friend whose father was a migrant worker and an associate of Cesar Chavez, who will be remembered at the judgement bar for lifting up the lowest of people, who contribute to our economy in the form of cheap produce.

I have several friends who have been the victims of sexual assault, (it’s that common) and who are triggered to varying degrees by the campaign remarks and actions and final election of a sexual predator.

I know a Syrian refugee family in the first weeks of adjustment to their new life in Arizona who found death threats from an anonymous neighbor, for whom many of us made an effort to encourage them that not all their neighbors would wish them evil.

My friends are devastated that the misogynist, racist, religious bigot candidate squeaked by to be elected, and fearful of newly empowered racists, misogynists, and religious bigots at large. Anyone who wants to tell them they should ‘get over it’ already will have to get through me first. We all know that we must move forward somehow come January 20. Grieving is part of some folks’ preparation. Compassion is a duty too.

-- MDearest, comment on Zelophehad's Daughters essay

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Content note: Self-parodying theophobia and sexism, especially in the links.

Read more... )

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Rationalists are rarely rational,

Objectivists are anything but,

Realists hold views completely at odds with reality,

And nationalists have very little faith in their or their nation-state's future.

Don't get me started on people whose publicly-facing identities (like Twitter profiles) say that they're a husband, wife, father, mother, or Christian. The more they harp on it, the more they probably suck at it.

I've also noticed that neoliberal Reddit atheists have very firm beliefs about the nature of God and how one should relate to him, and aren't shy about preaching those beliefs. But if you've read my earlier entries, you already know that.

Clarification (or "wow, you seem upset")

I'm actually in a more or less okay mood right now. There's just been some drama going on in the tabletop gaming community, where a well-respected figure basically wrote an apologium for abuse and was publicly scandalized by someone getting mad at their harasser (of several years). A bunch of women called this figure out for making them less credible and their lives more dangerous, and he went on to write like five pages of 'splaining, while a ton of guys cheered him on.

So this has been one of those weekends. -_- And it's affecting people I care about.

On the plus side, new episodes of Steven Universe are running every weekday for the next two weeks, and apparently something big's happening. So, public service announcement: Even if you're normally okay with spoilers, [twitter.com profile] mcburnett, one of the series' writers, says that you really really shouldn't spoil these episodes.

Now to commence two weeks of nerve-wracking tension, including a three-parter separated by a weekend. o-o;

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... or those who can be persuaded to do things that go against their consciences, when their leaders command it. Whether in a church or in service to other ideals.

Posted on Feminist Mormon Housewives:

Um, I think there’s something to be said for mirror neurons being the basis of universal morality. In people with functioning consciences, they make us hurt too when we see others hurting.

Making someone ignore their conscience requires either mental illness, like sociopathy (where you can’t empathize at all), or indoctrination, like Mormonism (where the Other is demonized and you are given reasons to enjoy or ignore their suffering).

The reason Mormonism is becoming increasingly unpopular, these days, is not because people reject morality altogether. It’s because their consciences tell them your church’s teachings are immoral and hurtful.

I personally left, when I realized that. My commitment to kindness and love allowed me to transcend the awful beliefs I was raised with, and see others — and myself — for the valuable people we were. If my life still has fear and pain in it now, it is largely because of people like you, who believe in a sort of moral relativity where an act (like forbidding others to marry) is evil if done against you but blessed if done against someone your god disapproves of.

If you are struggling with matters of conscience as well, I strongly suggest considering that your god may be the one with the problem, and that you ought to find one who doesn’t tell you to hurt people.

Part Two:

Also, being intolerant of intolerance does in fact make sense. Functioning empathy is the basis of solidarity, and community. “If you want to hurt them, you’ll have to go through me first” is only unreasonable if you believe that you have a right to hurt others.

Or if you don’t believe your actions are, in fact, hurtful, in which case you may want to stop and listen to others explain why it is.

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Please pray to whatever you worship, that justice will be done. For all of the gender, sexual, religious, and ethnic minorities whose lives are policed by the majority's cruelty, and ended through violence, deprivation, and despair.

After you are finished praying, please find those who are endangered and hurting, and help them. Not by erasing what makes them endangered, but by making it safe for them to be themselves.

My going on living, today, is a political act. Just like it has been every day, for the past few years. I shouldn't have to face the opposition that makes it political. I should just be able to take it for granted.

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Inspired by a BBC blog post and the #MaybeHeDoesntHitYou hashtag, here are some signs you may be in an abusive religion, based on personal experience.

Read more... )

The same things apply to abusive families, friends, coworkers, and organizations.

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But this post on a (relatively) progressive Mormon blog brought back a lot of really bad memories. Of being the outsider, not being invited to anything, not even having the same online games.

My situation with my family of origin cut off a lot of opportunities, but I had forgotten how exclusive and cliquish Mormon kids are. How much I dreaded the things that I could go to. How I prayed to find someone who felt just as bad, so that I could save them.

I've never confronted anyone about that, that I can remember. Not the way I confronted my family of origin. I just forgot, because mental blocks are a defence mechanism. They kept me from seeing a big part of the reason I feel so inferior, though.

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Wouldn't that be an interesting weapon in 40k, or another miniatures game? You shoot someone with it (rolling To Hit as needed), and suddenly they can't do anything self-serving. Like fleeing from a hopeless fight, or going to ground in order to keep from being shot at.

There actually is a special rule in Warhammer 40,000 which does that, though. It's called Zealot.

Thoughts on negating the self )

At any rate, Alias has been over here for three days now, and so far we've played three games of 40k. It's rekindled my interest in this game, and reminded me what I love about it.

I keep going out of my way to make sure that Alias is having fun, though, and compulsively asking if it is okay. I'm scared that I'm being a bad hostess, that having it play one of my favourite games with me is selfish, and that I should be letting it dictate everything.

Aside from that, though, it's been really nice having it over. In many ways. ^^;

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O-Inari-sama, provider for those who are starving,

Please lead all of their children out of their clutches.

Every. Single. One.

May they spend all their last days in loneliness,

May they be all alone on their deathbeds,

And may their Heaven be Hell to them,

With nothing but empty chairs.

Thank you for helping to save me from them.





For more on what prompted this outburst, click here. The Mormons that you know are not good people, and they explicitly teach that you ought to be willing to kill your own child if needed.

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From a comment by /u/Rosetylerkillsdaleks on /r/exmormon, about their racist Mormon grandma's mental breakdown when she realized she was partly of southeast African and Middle Eastern descent:

Basically she honestly believes she has tainted blood and it's really sad she can't accept it as something cool and unique.

That's really how we want to experience everything weird about ourself, from being otherkin / plural to being transgender and pansexual. As something that's cool and unique. Not in a "special snowflake," attention-seeking way, as though that weren't a label for narcissists to shut down anyone they think is getting more attention than them. More like the way people here in the States view European cultural heritage.

It used to be, having the wrong European heritage or being Catholic made you The Other. (Does anyone remember the episode of M.A.S.H., where Charles Emerson Winchester III freaks out about his sister marrying an Italian?!) Nowadays white, American identity mostly encompasses such people. And a lot of white people here in the States have at least a passing familiarity with different European cultures' traditions. Like knowing that "mass" means a church service, that you give stuff up for Lent, that baklava and tabouli are Mediterranean / Greek food, and that their family reunions can get kind of rowdy.

I'd really like for my "weirdness" to be seen that way. As something people have a passing familiarity with, so that it's not a big deal to them and they don't need to stop everything so that I can explain it. And then they judge whether or not it's acceptable, when I was doing just fine before they weighed in with their Unbiased Opinion.

I guess that's why I've spent so much time trying to explain myself, here.

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Not unless they no longer live with their parents, and they denounce them.

The New York Times has the story, as do a number of other major news outlets.

If Facebook and the comments section of Feminist Mormon Housewives are any indication, people are reeling from the announcement, and hearts that were already fragile are breaking. My love and sympathy go out to anyone who is affected by this, and who feels unworthy and unclean the way that I did growing up. Or scared and unsure of theirself, the way I did when I realized I couldn't stay in the church I grew up in. Because my conscience wouldn't let me.

I hope the obscene hate group that is LDS Mormonism loses all of its kindest, most gentle people. The ones who haven't already left.

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Today I read a Q&A that went something like:

Q. Is it possible for one of my fantasy harpies to be transgender when they're an all-female species? Isn't that like a human who thinks he's an elf???

A. Of course it's possible, because gender isn't the same as physical sex. Write your own fluff to explain if it makes you feel better.

This is going to sound melodramatic, but the answer that my heart was aching to hear was "who are you to tell [PLAYER] what body their character would prefer?"

Yelling, swearing, angry depressive rant. )

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Reminder: The application period for the sci-fi Fate RPG is still going. Please check out the application thread to find out how to apply to be in it.

Now, then. Here's a question and answer from an AMA, or "Ask Me Anything," thread on an internet forum:

Q. Does [your girlfriend who used to be a miko, or Shinto shrine maiden] have any opinion on all of the cosplayers wearing her sacred vestments to look cute?

A. She doesn't care at all. Also they weren't really "sacred vestments" to her so much as a uniform...like a person at a fill-up station or a convenience store. She kinda likes Touhou, or at least she thinks the characters are cute. [...] She thinks Reimu's outfit is cute, and definitely better than what she had to wear.

-- [WARNING: NSFW / sexist / Reddit link] IAmA guy whose girlfriend was a miko (Shinto "shrine maiden") AMA

Sometimes, I get the feeling that it's the people who shame others for finding meaning in Japanese stories, symbols, and mythology, who are the ones that are actually racist. And possibly ageist, since a lot of the media that portrays these things came to North America in the form of "cartoons," "comic books," and video games, which aren't okay to like because they are "for kids."

Meanwhile, real-world Shinto shrines are actually using their connections to manga and anime to attract visitors. Via Green Shinto, an English-language article in a Japanese newspaper explains:

Some may see it as a trivialisation of sacred space, but priests and anthropologists counter this with such statements as, “Since ancient times, Shinto shrines have not been exclusive. It’s good if they are talked about and become attractive destinations.”

The ema with anime characters on them may strike some readers as weird and merchandise-y. But whatever your feelings about mass media and commercialism, I don't feel like it's a good thing to shame people for liking them. And I feel like when English-speaking people police each other for liking Japanese media, folklore, and/or religion, it doesn't come from a place of respect for those things. It comes from a desire to control, and to punish, and to keep racial boundary lines from being crossed.

Cosplay and other forms of self-expression can be used to give offense and to caricature. But I'm pretty sure that Square-Enix execs aren't offended when people in North America write Final Fantasy fanfic, and the priests at the Fushimi Inari shrine aren't upset about foreign tourists buying ofuda. If they are, they'll just have to console themselves with our money.

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Having transitioned genders, I now find mansplainers even more insufferable than Mormon apologists.

I also find it very difficult to enjoy most TG TF fiction.

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Today we went down to the games store to play BattleTech. There's a small but loyal group of fans who play the original skirmish minis game there, in its modern incarnation which doesn't look out of place on the shelf even if its rules are still 80's-tastic.

For the uninitiated, BattleTech is basically what happened when North American military history enthusiasts got ahold of the first Macross Saga anime VHS cassette tapes, and officially licensed its mecha designs for a tabletop "wargame" of the kind that was state-of-the-art back then. Most people aren't into that kind of thing, so you're more likely to have heard of the MechWarrior series, which are PC and console games set in the BattleTech 'verse.

BattleTech returns to its anime roots, with this amazing fan-made animation. Click here if you can't see the video.

Over the decades, BattleTech has had tons of lore written for it, of a sort which is actually kind of refreshing coming from Warhammer 40,000. Because while "40k" fetishizes neo-feudalism, BattleTech deconstructs it, in much the same vein as Analogue: A Hate Story. The giant "mechs" shooting at each other are largely a backdrop for stories of political intrigue and interpersonal drama, each of which serves to underscore just how dysfunctional societies are in their time and have been throughout history.

Case in point: The recently released House Kurita Handbook, which we're dying to get our hands on, describes an interstellar realm which deliberately regressed to be an echo of feudal Japan ... or at least, of the parts of it that future space settlers idealized. Including state Shinto shrines devoted largely to warrior ancestors and the Coordinator, and not so much to nature or traditional gods.

Our personal BattleTech character -- we create one for every game -- is a shrine maiden at one of the few which enshrine Inari Ōkami, in our headcanon. Because this is a mecha anime, some of the miko are entrusted with the shrine's ancient BattleMechs, a "lance" of four with widely varying capabilities. They are some of the few women who were allowed to pilot these vehicles before Theodore Kurita's military reforms, and over the years they have been subordinated so much to the male-only DCMS that they are not even permitted to use live ordnance.

Until now!

Read more... )

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We've been wanting to write something about plurality for awhile now. Something sort of like our Otherkin FAQ. (You've read it already, haven't you?)

There are two problems with this, though. The first one being that there's already a detailed FAQ about plurality here. (They call it multiplicity, which is a word we avoid because we feel that it excludes median systems, but still.) The second one is that we don't feel as qualified to speak about plural issues as we do about otherkin-ness. Finding our kintype and identities has taken an awful lot of reading, soul-searching, and seeking validation from other people, sort of like realizing we were transgender.

Being a plurality, or a median system specifically? Not so much. And if we had to guess why, we would say it's because we haven't encountered nearly as much pushback about it as we have for being otherkin or transgender. So we've never felt the same need to justify our existence as a plural system, which means that we haven't gone over and over the explanations in our head and in essays and stuff, the way that we did with the other things.

Having said that, other people have experienced discrimination, as a result of being open about being part of a plural system. And we keep feeling like we ought to write something about plurality in our own words, if only to serve as a resource for readers and friends.

So if you've ever asked yourself questions like "WHY DOES SHE KEEP SWITCHING BETWEEN 'I' AND 'WE' IN THE SAME SENTENCE FFS," read on!

Read more... )

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This is the eighteenth chapter of a fanfiction adaptation of Christine Love's visual novel Analogue: A Hate Story. You do not need to have played the game to understand what is going on. This story is designed to be accessible to newcomers as transhumanist dystopian sci-fi, and many liberties were taken with the setting and dialogue, as well as with certain events.

Content note: This chapter consists entirely of self-indulgent introspection on the part of the POV character. If that isn't your cup of tea (or coffee), feel free to skip it.

Read more... )

About us

~ Fox | Gem | Rei ~

We tell stories, paint minis, collect identity words, and share them all with our readers. If something we write helps you, let us know.

~ She / her ~

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