theleaveswant: text; "those who can, do. those who can't, run this fucking place" (politics)
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PSA

( Oct. 26th, 2015 02:40 am)
I tried to write this in a comment on one of [personal profile] recessional's (otherwise totally on-point) posts on election day but I accidentally backpaged or something and firefox ate it, so trying again:


Do not spoil your ballot in a Canadian federal election.


Election rules change all the time so this may not always be the case, but under the current framework it is a futile action and accomplishes absolutely nothing. Trust me, I was a deputy returning officer on Monday and have been a DRO or a poll clerk in almost every federal or applicable provincial election since 2003 (Manitoba until '08, Ontario since): you're wasting your own time.


Elections Ontario at least has a category for declined ballots, which is when you receive your ballot and return it to the DRO saying "I do not want to vote for any of these weevils". I don't know how much weight that carries, I suspect "roughly equivalent to a flake of dandruff" unless they get a LOT of them in a single election, but there is a recognized place for protest voting (or protest not-voting). Elections Canada has no such provision.

A true spoiled ballot, per EC terminology, is a ballot that is returned to the DRO rather than being placed in the ballot box. EC, unlike EO, makes no distinction between ballots handed back in protest and those returned because the voter messed up and wants to take advantage of their one do-over. These all go into one envelope together and the total number is used to balance the number of ballots issued by the RO with the number of ballots, used and unused, found at the end of the day. That's it. The most recognition a real spoiled ballot will get is an entry with other "notable events of the day" in the poll book (log used to record new registrations, oaths administered, etc.).

Any ballot that makes it into the ballot box that is not clearly marked for a single recognized candidate gets rejected when votes are counted. This includes ballots deposited without marks and ballots with any kind of writing: no write-in candidates (Elections Canada doesn't recognize 'em), no editorial comments. Just like spoiled ballots, no distinction is made between deliberate protests and accidental screw-ups (even assuming the people conducting and observing the count can deduce the intentions of the person submitting a given ballot, which we often can't); rejected ballots go in one envelope and are used to reconcile ballots issued with ballots returned. The most acknowledgment a recognizable protest vote gets is a note on the sheet used for recording stuff like objections from scrutineers at the time of the count. These notes may or may not ever get read and if they do there isn't really anything anybody working for Elections Canada can do about them.



If you want to participate in the election process but don't like any of the candidates in your area? I hate to say it, but on election day at least you're kinda screwed. You have to pick the least of X number of evils, or your vote doesn't count.

In the longer term, if you want something to change (or to resist a suggested change), either take it up with whomever is in office (email, physical mail, phone, social media, showing up to public appearances--you have options) or support the person you want to replace them (or both; both is good). Make sure that you're sending your message to the person at the right level of government to deal with your issue (MP, MPP, city counsellor, etc.), and don't just dump your complaints on elections officials or campaign volunteers because we have no more ability to make stuff happen than you do.


(Also: if you're "strategic voting" or "voting against" a particular party or candidate, do some research on the electoral history of and current trends in your riding to figure out how high the risk of your anti-preference winning actually is and how much leeway you have to vote for who you most want, or least don't-want, vs. who is the safest bet to keep the enemy out. A strong second-place showing tells the party your riding is a smart place to invest resources so they'll have a better shot at taking it next time.)
Back in the fall when I was binging on horror movies, and again a little later on movies about unions, I kinda wanted to blog reviews/comments about them. I didn't do it then because I wasn't sure anyone would care and also I generate more than enough work for myself already, but now I'm watching masses of films about social justice and civil rights and labour conflicts and political activism again* and I'm just going to go ahead and do it.

If anybody does want to read these and wants me to be more pro-active warning for certain things or greying out spoilers (probably less relevant for these than for horror movies given how many of these are based on true stories) or triggers (probably very relevant for both), please let me know and I'll be happy to accommodate.

Selma (2014) )

Freedom Road (1979) )

Bloody Sunday (2002) )

*Largely for myself, out of interest and a desire to educate myself on histories political and pop-cultural, and also for Socialist Steve Rogers because I am determined to actually write that story, damnit.
Why I Don't Like Remembrance Day )

Not an especially subtle or nuanced playlist but neither is all that Canada Remembers propaganda.

row on row )
theleaveswant: white woman (Ellen Page as Bliss Cavender) shows her middle finger to the camera (the bird)
( Mar. 18th, 2012 06:35 pm)
This is what I like about fandom: [personal profile] thatyourefuse's response to a politician (Santorum) threatening to do away with pornography is to declare a Scandalize a Conservative! Make Porn! Multifandom Create-a-thon. Cheggidout?
I can't be the only person to think of this, but checking my reading and network pages hasn't turned up much quite like this, so. March 8th is International Women's Day (yes, what, why only one day and why not an International Nonbinary Gender Diversity Day and what about other kinds of oppression and intersection and multiple marginalization and kyriarchy etc., but damnit look at this mess we're in, we have to make the most of what we've got AND fight for more). To mark the occasion, I am declaring this post a commentparty. Post or request fanworks and recs about feminism and women being awesome, share anecdotes, bitch about oppression and whatever (but PLEASE be nice to any other commenters and potential readers--"boo hiss hegemony" is cool but "people who believe X are stupid" gets problematic), hug, have sex for your own pleasure and don't send the tapes to Rush Limbaugh, etc.
1. The breakingest news: As I learned via [personal profile] petra yesterday, Lucy Liu has been cast as Watson in the upcoming American remix of the BBC's contemporary remix of the already-been-remixed-umpteen-billion-times Sherlock Holmes franchise, and some fans are saying that's not acceptable. They're right, it's not acceptable--it's AWESOME. The folks with bees up their butts are trying to argue that making Watson female is somehow homophobic? And they have fragments of a point with the complaint that an opposite-gendered Holmes-Watson pair stand a greater chance of consummating any sexual tension on screen (if this version chooses to go that route, and I really really really hope it doesn't) than their preferred same-gendered pairs and that this is not fair (it's not), but people who whine that this is depriving them of gay television characters or, worse, "artificially" interfering with an otherwise perfect formula for "political purposes" are some unpleasant mix of oblivious and deluded and should recite the chorus to "As Cool as I Am" (thanks [personal profile] kore for posting this lovely recording) as mantra until they recognize that supporting the omission, sidelining, and fridging of female characters in favour of more bromances is active complicity in patriarchal oppression via popular culture.

2. Apparently there exists a movie called After Sex, which is like Young People Fucking in that it features a set of non-overlapping stories about sexual encounters, but different in that it a) has a larger cast (eight sets of participants instead of five), b) has a more diverse cast (including three same-sex participant sets, one set of older participants and one set of teenagers, and many more characters of colour), and c) tells the stories one after the other, like a slate of discrete short films each of which begins shortly following a sexual interaction, rather than weaving the stories together before, during, and after. I don't find it quite as funny, although it does have its moments, but it fits a similar niche of crudely thoughtful sex comedy. The best sequence, and the one that drew my attention to the film, is the one between Kat (Zoë Saldana) and Nikki (Mila Kunis) as college roommates, and (happy day) their full bit including Kat's amaaaazing monologue about her first time with another girl (bizarrely not included in the regular release of the film!) is available for watching right here:


3. I wrote a little Death Proof/The Losers crossover as a treat for the Ante Up Scramble and discovered in the process that it was the germ of a much bigger story that I did not have time to write then but still really want to. I signed up for [livejournal.com profile] crossbigbang as an incentive to finish it (although I might drop out of that and take the idea to the rumoured upcoming Losers Big Bang instead), but I'm blocked from getting started because I'm stumped on setting. Basically, I need a place (city/region) that provides a reason-for-being-there for both the gang from Death Proof (Kim, Zoë, Abernathy, and Lee--so, filming something) and the Losers (including Aisha and Roque, in this story neither dead nor treacherous, and their famblies--so, heistifying something), but I can't decide on where and what because I'm waffling on whether to set it more in the "real world", where Zoë Bell is Zoë Bell-muse-of-Quentin Tarantino, Clay smokes [some actual cigarette brand], and it becomes somehow relevant to the plot that Jensen resembles Chris Evans, or, as I'm leaning towards, in a sort of meta-fictional world that draws fake pop culture from various sources, where QT is perhaps manifested as Chester Rush, Clay smokes Red Apples, and it becomes somehow relevant to the plot that Jensen resembles Lucas Lee. The latter is inherently more hilarious and potentially a lot more fun and easter-eggy, but it's also more work for me because I have to decide not only how to weave together different fictional Hollywoods, etc., but also what "real world" pop culture icons to retain or fictionalize/satirize (for example, Pam Grier as Foxy Brown--keep or rename?). Either way I'm stuck deciding how closely I want Lee's career to mirror Mary Elizabeth Winstead's. I dunno. Any suggestions for filmable stories that require stunt women and driving that would help me narrow down shooting locations, as a starting place?
This was supposed to be my More Joy Day post and then my Day After More Joy Day + Snowflake Day 13 post but then I had a fever and the [community profile] ante_up_losers draft deadline jumped around and also Life Is Hard, so I'm only getting to it now. Anyway, here are some of my Opinions about various media objects, some fresh, some stored up, mostly positive, sometimes with caveats and lots of parentheses.

Books )

Documentary )

Feature Films A: Five Excellent Canadian Films That Not Enough People Talk About, Especially in C6D Fandom )

. . . and I'm actually gonna break it there for now (and probably never finish it, knowing me), because this entry is once again much too long, and I have to let it go and move on to Day 14 (ask for help): I need a beta or team thereof! Most urgently for a fic for the Losers exchange that does live on Friday (augh how did this get so long it was supposed to be simple porn and also the ending feels really awkward), and also for some other projects (mostly [community profile] kink_bingo fic and vids at various stages of completion).

At least I'm feeling pretty good about my C6DVD exchange project.
Really quite impressed (and pleased) with how successful this initiative (15 days of fanlove challenges) is so far! Yay Aka & Luce & Ande!

Day 1

In your own space, post a rec for at least three fanworks that you have created. It can be your favorite fanworks that you've created, or fanworks you feel no one ever saw, or fanworks you say would define you as a creator. Drop a link to your post in the comments.


blah blah blah why I don't cross-post much )
Anyway:
1. way more than three fics I am fond or proud of )

2. I am generally pretty smug about my playlist/mix-making skills, so every mix I've posted gets a self-rec, but my particular favourites-of-the-moment are the two most recent ones (If We're Not Horses [due South/Dollhouse] and No Two Snowflakes [BSG]) and General Issue (Life or Death We Want You) [The Losers], and I'm also very proud of parts of the lengthy meta for Empty Lots and Early Graves (Murder Ballad Mix), although I'm kicking myself for forgetting HorrorPops' "Highway" and The Creepshow's "Long Way Down" and "Undead Eyes" when I was making it (they'll have to go on the sequel, along with Die Mannequin's "Dead Honey").

3. I am genuinely disappointed not to have recieved any online feedback on Media Erotometrics, the multi-fandom video installation project I did for a conference in March 2011, so I do want to rec that as a plea for attention. I know it's a commitment to watch (an hour long) and the technical quality is not great (I do plan to produce an improved/updated version using better and more varied video source and better software at some point) but for an absurdly ambitious first vidding project I don't think it's too shabby, and I'm pretty pleased with some of the commentary I worked in (assuming that anyone else reads it the way that I hope they will, of course).


Promotional piggyback! Go offer and bid on stuff at [community profile] scarleteenfans auction raising money to support the sexual health education site. You are particularly welcome to bid on my offers (the usual fanmixes and custom knitting work--no bids yet so you can probably win them cheap cheap cheap) and to outbid me on the offers I've bid on, because I cannot really afford to win them all right now.
Oh, /o\ .

There are so many things I've wanted to post about but haven't allowed myself to sit down and write, and some of them may still get posted evenutally but today there is only one thing I can talk about, because today has gone like this:

*wake up*
*evict cat from comfy perch on my bladder*
*go to the bathroom and have a shower*
*turn on the computer and read about Jack Layton's passing*
*cry forever*

You guuuuuuys I am so sad and so scared and my heart is breaking for all of us but especially for Olivia and his family and then I read the goodbye letter he wrote two days ago and I can't, I just can't. The sun is beaming bright outside but it feels like a mockery. I never met him personally but I know a lot of people here in Ontario who did and who confidently attest that he walked the walk he talked. I'm going to the gathering at City Hall at 4pm if I can manage to stumble my way there through the blur of my tears, and put my hope in the axiom about shared pain etc.

As [personal profile] zingerella said earlier today in another forum, "I've said fairly often that the best friends are the ones who show you your better self--the parts of you that are stronger, braver, more honest, kinder, more generous--and help you to be that person all the time. By that metric, I think Jack Layton was a pretty good friend for a country to have."
We had a test in my copyediting class last week and at the time I thought I did pretty well, but the instructor posted an answer key today and I don't remember answering many of the questions in the way the key indicates . . . I have a tickling feeling that some of these are not the same questions I answered at all, like she posted the key to a slightly different version of the test or something? But I think that is unlikely. I will just have to wait until the end of class tonight to find out how I really did. ETA: tests have not been marked yet, so I still don't know how well I did, but it WAS the wrong answer key, so in that I feel vindicated.

Speaking of failure, the city of Toronto dropped the ball hard last night. According to the CBC, only 53.2% of potential voters actually voted (and that's up from 39% in 2006, ugh, how are so many people so apathetic?), and 47.1% of them voted for the florid windbag.

I shouldn't need to tell you, I'm pretty grievously bummed about this. I'm trying to take comfort in things like knowing that he's only got one vote on the council, and if he never passed a single motion in ten years as a councillor, how much better are his chances now? I'm not cheered up by the fat-bashing. First, the guy has so much going against him (racist, homophobic, anti-immigration, anti-environment, cyclist-hating, wife-beating, drunk-driving, mud-slinging, tantrum-throwing, wannabe–activist-murdering, shit-for-brains, goat-raping* NIMBY liar toad festering like an infected ingrown hair in the ass-crack of the city) . . . is "fat" really the worst thing you can think of to call him? Second, yes, he is fat, we can see that, incorporating it into any of the epithets we use to describe him is really unnecessary. THIRD AND MOST IMPORTANTLY: what does it matter if he is fat? "Fat" is not a moral condition; we should not ever mistake its presence or absence for evidence on which to build a moral judgment. The fact that he is a grotesque parody of a human being has nothing to do with the fact that he is fat. Even the people who say "well, he's fat, he'll probably have a heart attack and die before he gets the chance to do much damage"--I'm sorry, but fuck right off with that noise, size and cardiac health really do not correlate as smoothly as you'd like to imagine. He might be unhealthy, heartwise, and that could have as much or more to do with genetic predisposition or the fact that he is EVIL AND WHOLLY DEVOID OF COMPASSION as it does or doesn't have to do with his BMI.

I'm tentatively okay with names like "Mayor Quimby", "Mayor Double-down", "Mayor Farley" and "Mayor Cartman" because I've heard those all justified with reference to similarities of character beyond coincidences of shape. I have no intention of using any of them myself, but I won't automatically step in when others do. I am not okay with "Fat Fuck", because I don't want to associate two such lovely concepts as "fat" and "fucking" with that kind of reprehensible squawker.



(seriously though, Toronto. This guy? REALLY?)

*citation needed
theleaveswant: text "make something beautiful" on battered cardboard sign in red, black, and white (Default)
( Aug. 27th, 2010 08:15 pm)
This started as a footnote on my post about this year's Folk Fest, but it got too big and too tangential, so I shuffled the bits around and now it's over here.

Okay, where are all the songs about polyamory? Or other forms of/more general consensual non-monogamy? There are gazillions of songs about kink, whether explicitly about actual kink practices & practitioners (either laughing with or laughing at), appropriating kink imagery for "poetic" purposes, or just handily lending themselves to kinky readings (pervertibles for your ears! :D ) --c.f. the enormous Kink Bingo playlist and participants' further suggestions in the comments. There are songs about serial monogamy. There are songs about jealousy, and about "cheating", which mostly imply a very narrow understanding of "fidelity". But I don't know of many songs about multiple concurrent, low-conflict loves.

I'm thinking about this because Romi Mayes has a song called "Sweet Somethin' Steady". I didn't hear her play it this year, but I mentioned it to a couple of people while in Winnipeg because it is the most interesting thing she's done that I know of. I have mixed feelings about it. I feel like it could be nudging towards a consensual non-monogamy anthem, at least the first verse, but the songwriter had no such aspiration. Here's a video of her playing it live in Nederland; skip to ~3:45 for the song, ~2:00 for her not agreeing with me (with annoying gender normativity on top of the mono-normativity), or ~1:00 for her pestering Danny Michel into doing a Christopher Walken impression:

The part that tickles me is:
don't want no fancy diamonds, don't want your mother's pearls
I don't want you to tell me that I'm your only girl
just want [someone] to come on over, pick me up and take me for a ride
why can't you be my sweet somethin' steady on the side?

And then it kind of goes downhill (I guess it still works as far as empowering women to enjoy 'casual encounters', which is what Mayes seems to want from it, but it in a way so detached as to be potentially exploitative?), and I ask, is this the best we've got?

I thought about it briefly, and put together a handful of examples of could-be-poly-if-you-read-it-right songs. The download link is here (32mb zip), my notes on why each track is included are behind the cut.
who are we noisy fools who laugh and bend the rules )

Your turn now, dear readers; anything to add?
You know this meme:
1. Reply to this post and I'll assign you a letter.
2. List 5 songs that start with that letter.
3. Post them to your journal with these instructions.

[personal profile] curgoth gave me the letter "T"

I delayed a bit on posting this, given that apparently at least one of the people I didn't realize was still reading my journal(s) thinks I yammer about politics (or particular political issues) far too much. I am willing to have that conversation but not here and not now (yes, passive-aggressive statement is passive-aggressive). For now, this is my journal and I will post what I want and given the situation that I am living just blocks west of, I feel this is plenty appropriate. Here's the Three Times Too Long, Too Political playlist: )
I can figure out how to upload all files in a .zip, if there's a desire. zips ahoy! I hope. Somebody lemme know if that worked?
Will write about my totally shit weekend soon (filtered post); for now here are a bunch of links to 3W4DW-related funses I rounded up (mostly) last week:

what is 3W4DW, you ask? )

Stuff I've flagged to come back to (mostly fannish, mostly for my own reference): linkies )
AAAAARGH I had this thing like 3/4 written in the text box with my last post then decided to make it separate and public and cut it but didn't paste it somewhere else to save it and then I copied another URL and now it's gone, gone into the capricious aether. Dagnabbit. Time to start again.

It's an exciting time for reproductive justice (i.e. activism oriented toward sexual and reproductive rights, sexual and reproductive health and social justice) right now, particularly here in Canada; unfortunately the news is mostly grim.

Clusterfuck #1: Premier Dalton McGuinty's provincial government promising a lovely (in theory--practice depends on teachers) new sexual health education plan for the province, and then backing down under pressure from a coalition of shrill people (who, I conclude, must really love STIs, unintended teen pregnancies, hate crimes, stupidity or all of the above). More current word is that the curriculum is being "reworked". To express your support for the complete (i.e. sexual health and all) curriculum, please write to Minister of Education Leona Dombrowsky.

Clusterfuck #2: Harper's federal gubbermint cutting off funding to humanitarian projects that provide abortions to women in developing nations, claiming that "Canadians want to see their foreign aid money used for things that will help save the lives of women and children in ways that unite the Canadian people rather than divide them." I'm about ready to get smashy on these Conservative lunchboxes, I really am. You know what, Mr. Dead-eyes McMurdering Genocide-Denying Oilguzzler? I'm a Canadian, and I want to see my foreign aid money used for things that will actually help save the lives of women and children, including access to safe hassle-free abortions (but then I'm the kind of freaky radical who wouldn't vote for you for a bucket of diamonds and puppies, so I suppose my opinion doesn't count). For this one write to your MP and the BPM.

Without downplaying the seriously skeezy colonial implications of condemning in "less-developed nations" practices which are legal and even covered under provincial medical insurance here in Canada (not that I imagine the Tories are happy with this situation, but women here are possibly harder to push around), I want to remind readers that the fight for abortion access "at home" is far from over. For just a few examples, this excellent article covers obstacles to accessing abortion services in Canada, particularly the Maritime provinces, as well as documenting the struggles of reproductive justice activists protesting campus presentations by the headsplodingly noxious and evil anti-choice "Genocide Awareness Project" which uses giant billboards to "graphically compare the victims of abortion [i.e. fetuses, which must be kept alive until parturition but apparently no longer because in no place do they or many other anti-choice groups, so far as I can tell, advocate any kind of post-natal health care] to victims of other atrocities, such as Jews in the Holocaust" (WTF I don't even!) at Canadian universities. Yes, this is from 2010--22 years after the Canadian supreme court cut the law against abortion.

Clusterfuck #3, slightly less about reproductive justice and more about sexuality and education: Music teacher fired from Catholic school in Vancouver, apparently for being a lesbian. She took a short leave to spend time with her partner and their new baby and was prevented from returning to work, reportedly because of complaints from parents fearing she might "influence" their daughters. A-can I get a "*headdesk*"?

ETA: not a clusterfuck: my friend, writer and sex educator Andrea Zanin, is doing some research in preparation for a new workshop, and if you perform or receive cunnilingus (or analogous acts for men and women of trans experience--see survey) you can help by sharing your experience here.
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theleaveswant: text "make something beautiful" on battered cardboard sign in red, black, and white (Default)
roses, bruises, 'bout your shoulders

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