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.
theleaveswant: text "make something beautiful" on battered cardboard sign in red, black, and white (bad decision dinosaur)
( Jan. 10th, 2012 11:05 pm)
Ugh, last week. Don't even ask. (Seriously, don't.)

* Snowflake challenge, Days 3-10 )

* Stolen from [personal profile] commodorified, because fun.
Pick up the nearest book to you.
Turn to page 45.
The first sentence describes your sex life in 2012.

I am not unusually surrounded by bookpiles so grabbed either the topmost or the most protuberant of the three closest, which were:
Come, Thou Tortoise by Jennifer Grant: "Here is something to do if you are unslept and have a ponytail: Bring that ponytail around under your nose like a moustache."
Pretty in Punk: 25 Punk, Rock, and Goth Knitting Patterns by Alyce Benevides and Jaqueline Milles with photos by Rob Benevides: [full-page photograph of a young white woman with downcast eyes crouching gargoyle-fashion on what appears to be a rooftop in front of a background of industrial twilight (low sun, orange sky, tattered clouds, and shabby buildings) wearing a black leather aviator's cap with goggles, silver eye makeup, spiked collar with ring, black fabric bat wings, layered fishnets and ripped pantyhose, bikerish boots, and the featured knitting pattern, a "cobweb-inspired" "loose-knit tight-fit holey jumper" called "Goth Girl", over a black tank top]
The Slave by Laura Antoniou: "'Now,' he said, when she returned, 'you're in serious trouble.'"

* More Joy Day is coming up on Thursday. I have some ideas about what I'm going to do.

* Handmade meme people (you remember who you are?) who have not already PMed me with your addresses, please do so soon. I have or shortly will have stuff to mail you.
The deadline to submit proposals for the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association national conference in Boston April 11-14 2012 has been extended until next week, December 22, 2011. This means there's still time to get your proposals (usually just a rough sketch of about 100-300 words, depending on the Area you're submitting to) together and send them in, if you (like me) have not yet done so. (For those who may have forgotten and those just tuning in now, the PCA is the huge, awesome nerdfest con that I am currently involved in trying to organize a Kink Studies stream for, as I have previously mentioned at length here and here.) The list of Subject Areas, for those not submitting specifically to the Kink Studies pilot project co-sponsored by the Romance and by Gay, Lesbian, and Queer Studies chairs, is here. Tasty brainmeats ahoy!

Signal-boosting is greatly desired and appreciated and will be rewarded with *hugs* and possibly also ninjabread persons once I get the chance for a baking spree.
FINALLY following up on this post about the Popular Culture Association national conference coming up April 11-14, 2012, in Boston, which I ought to have done weeks ago even though it did take some time to get useful answers and a course of action for interested participants.

First of all, I owe the area master referred to in that post an apology: it turns out that his previous brush-off was a result of a misunderstanding more than a case of deliberate discrimination (the student who first contacted him inquired about organizing an area on "alternative sexualities" rather than saying outright kink/BDSM/fetish/whatever--a circumspect language choice I really don't understand, given the context and the fact that it would be quite obvious once submissions started coming in what we really meant, but she took the initiative to try to start things while I was off doing who knows what, so I shouldn't complain too much). In fact, after a discussion with Romance area chair Sarah Frantz, it appears that the area master does support the idea of a Kink or BDSM Studies subject area but needs to see evidence of demand for and sustainability of the area before he'll create one officially. In order to demonstrate demand, and because it is a thing worth doing, we're working this year on setting up an informal "Kink Studies caucus" in anticipation of turning it into an official area at the national meeting in 2013, and there are a few ways that you can help out or be a part of this:

First, you can present on kink/BDSM/fetish or related topics at the conference; to do this, please go to the PCA website (links in the CFP below) and submit your proposal for an individual paper or a complete panel or roundtable session to either "Romance" or "Gay, Lesbian, and Queer Studies" (the areas co-sponsoring the project this year) or to "New/Special Topics in Popular Culture", or to ANY other area that might suit your proposed topic before the deadline of December 15th (will update if an extension is granted; if you're submitting to an area other than Romance or GLQS I'd recommend also contacting me or Sarah to let us know where you submitted and that you want to be part of the kink caucus so that we can keep you involved in planning stuff closer to the date). If you have an idea for a kink panel or a roundtable session with a specific focus but can't get enough presenters (usually 3-5) together on your own, bring the idea to Sarah first and we'll try to make it happen. Once again, although this is an academic conference, you do not need to be an academic or a person involved professionally or personally with kink (beyond an interest in talking about it; self-disclosure beyond that point is entirely optional) to present.

Second, if you happen to have a full-time academic position with a contract (not adjunct) OR a full-time non-academic position related to the area field or are heading towards having one with greater speed and stability than I am AND you want to be extra awesome, you could volunteer to chair the area when/if it becomes official--just get in touch with Sarah, who has fabulously offered to act as interim chair and to mentor someone to take over from her next year (you do have to attend the 2012 meeting to be eligible).

Third, you can present at the PCA on any topic in any area (link to list above, same deadline for all), not related or restricted to kink, or attend without presenting (I think this is allowed, but I'm not sure what the registration fee would be--there is a "guest" option on the chart but that might be for guests of specific presenters? If you want to go this route lemme know and I'll sort something out--it's a big fun nerdgasm of a conference) and demonstrate interest by coming out to kink area sessions.

Fourth, you can support the initiative by getting the word out to anyone you think might possibly be interested, by linking them back to this post or by passing on the content, including Sarah's call for papers, as far and wide as possible.

Fifth, if you live in or have connections in Boston, you can help hook presenters and supporters coming in from out of town up with places to stay, transportation, food, information, or other money-saving/fun-boosting whatnot.

Call For Papers: BDSM/Kink Area of Special Interest, by Sarah Frantz, for open distribution )

I have also volunteered to coordinate the unofficial "area dinner or possibly lunch" for this group (and will be looking for suggestions of where to go and what to do in Boston once we have a clearer idea of numbers and scheduling restrictions), so if you'd like to come along for that, whether you're presenting in this area or not, it would be helpful for me to know and have some way to contact you to clear logistics.

Also possibly of interest to anyone reading this far:
Laura Antoniou, author of the Marketplace series among other accolades, is looking for submissions for a number of upcoming book anthologies including a new Leatherwomen collection, companion volumes celebrating butches and femmes respectively, and a collection of Marketplace fan fiction (!!!!!!); more information here. Get your kink porn published!

Girlzporn (website currently down?), a new multi-media sex-positive porn and information site for women, girls, ladies, and other female-identified people ONLY (seriously, it's in the "don't look at this website unless" statement--entirely honour-system, so far, but still) is holding a written erotica contest with cash prizes and paying (not super well, but better than nothing) for other written content including blog posts, articles, and toy reviews. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this project--thus far it seems to skew uncomfortably towards heteronormativity and Cosmo-style pulp but there's a potential there to make something interesting, I think, if we can get some different voices in there.

. . . I guess I should probably figure out what I'm presenting on this time, hey?
ETA: I'm now looking for co-presenters for a panel on either the experiences of people willing to self-identify as kinky with popular culture/media, or kink and/in fandom--if either of those themes sounds tempting, shoot me a message and let's brainstorm!
You may recall that my main excuse for going to the States in April was to present a paper at the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association national meeting in San Antonio and that I presented in the Romance area because one of the area chairs specifically recruited me because she's been looking for fellow kinky/kink scholars. I'm glad that I did because the trip was great overall (I haven't written up highlights because I've been too busy since then being broke and breaking up and I don't want to think about how much money I spent buying presents for a man who whined at me the entire time I was gone and for weeks leading up to cancel/come back/never leave again, and then spent a bunch of my money on alcohol and lied to my face about it) and all the people I met (mostly romance scholars) were marvellous, but presenting in that area was hella awkward because I don't know squat about romance genre or scholarship. I found out after submitting that there were other areas I that might have been a more "logical" fit, depending whose logic you use, like "Eros, Pornography, and Popular Culture" or "Gender and Sexual Identity", but after attending their panels I'm not sure that would have been a huge improvement.

After this year's conference, Sarah (Romance chair) suggested to me and another grad student I didn't meet in Texas that we put together a CFP and submit it to the area master, asking for a couple of kink/BDSM panels in the new "New and Special Interests" stream (a testing ground for nascent research areas, to save them for creating new areas that don't draw crowds or last more than a year). We haven't got as far as a CFP yet, because the other student contacted the area master to ask for timeline clarification and got summarily brushed off: "he pretty much flat out told me that kink/bdsm belongs in queer" ( = "Gay, Lesbian, and Queer Studies" area)--which is just fucking wrong. I know so many people on each side of the "kink = queer" equation who not only disprove it but who would be shocked and furious to hear it so stated (I happen to be both kinky and queer, the same way I happen to be both Canadian and mad--there's some correlation there, but it's not really as strong as some people claim).

I'm pretty incensed about this and want to do everything I can to push for a dedicated kink studies panel, as well as encouraging more kink-related presentations in other areas (Sarah wants enough presenters for a BDSM romance panel, for example, and the Gay, Lesbian, and Queer area chair is quite willing to take in strays as well) both in general and as a fall-back if we can't get a panel all for us (demonstrating demand by widespread infiltration!). I therefore humbly ask everyone reading this to consider presenting on kink (or on any other topic--I'm specifically fishing for kink presenters but it's a big fun geeky nerdfest/nerdy geekfest with dedicated streams for all sorts of media and popular culture interests) at the next PCA/ACA national meeting in Boston, Massachusetts, April 11-14, 2012 (actually a week earlier than usual, or at least than last year; the website is wrong), or pass the word along to people you think might be interested! The deadline for submissions won't be until December 15, 2011, and you do not need to be an academic formally studying whatever you're presenting on to present on it; scholars presenting on hobby projects/personal interests, professionals (especially writers), and "educated laypeople" were all thick on the ground in San Antonio. Boston! Nerds! Springtime! Activism! Kink! Fun!

I'll be back with a CFP for kink studies soon, I hope, or if not with links to other shiny and potentially relevant subject area calls. In the meantime, it would help if any of y'all who might be even just a little tempted could let me know so I can use that interest to leverage the area chair into reconsidering his misinformed flippancy.
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)
roses, bruises, 'bout your shoulders


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