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October 07 2017



Okay so here’s one of those rare gems of moments where retail is actually kind of okay. 

I’m gonna start by revealing the well-kept secret that I live in Ohio… in case all the buckeye references flew by you. And Ohio… is obsessed with space travel. I mean- it makes sense. We’ve got a couple astronauts in our history, there’s the National Aeronautics and Space Museum in Dayton, and on those quiet summer nights, where the sky is clear and the stars are twinkling in the distance, it is hard to not look up at the darkness and wonder if there is intelligent life out there. (Not here.)

Anyhow, all the fourth graders have a big space-related project around this time of year and this means that we, as craft retailers, have to be problem solvers. The number one problem is ‘oh gods, please tell me that you’re going to put a primer down on that styrofoam before you spray paint it.’

Because- you guessed it- everyone is making a damn solar system model. 

That is to say… their parents are making the solar system model. 

I was just finishing up explaining the use of a styrofoam primer and which spray paints are safe to use with styro to the mother of one ten-year-old when the mother of another ten-year-old rounds the corner looking desperate. 

“Is this a good paint for cardboard?”

It’s not. So I round her back to where her son and daughter are waiting and explain them what will work. She needs green, and there are three different kinds of greens. The mom holds them up and has her daughter choose. 

“Which one do you want for your face?”

I freeze because putting acrylic on your skin is a great way to get a rash. “Hold on, you’re not putting this on your skin, are you?”

“No, gosh no. We’re painting a box and putting the box on her head.”

Okay, I’m curious. “Can you explain what you’re making?”

The daughter chimes in. “We have to do a project for school and I’m gonna dress up like a alien!”

Instantly, I love this child. Not just because she considers dressing up as an alien to be an acceptable school project, but because she’s not leaving it to her mom to do all the work. 

So we talk for a minute about project stuff and she tells me that her brother is going to be the first man on Mars. Her brother is five. Her brother concurs- he is going to be the first man on Mars. Their mom tells me about the Neil Armstrong museum nearby. Like… this is a family of people excited about the future of space travel.

“Did you hear about those new planets,” I asked. 

The little girl starts jumping up and down. “Yes! Yes! Yes!”

Mom: “Can you remember what they said about the new planets?”

“They said…. they said that they can… uhhh… sustain life! There might be aliens!”

Mom: “Now, they said they can sustain life, but I think they also said that it isn’t very advanced life.”

The little girl looks off into space- contemplating this new information. She is formulating a very important thought. 

Very softly: “We get to be the aliens this time.”

This is adorable - and so, so important.

Small children first develop a sense of self, mostly by noticing that the world is not perfect. They’re too hot, too cold, too hungry, to wet, and obviously they’re not in charge because if they were, none of these things would be happening. So they notice: the world is full of not-me.

And then: hey, there’s a “me” in the middle of all that.

If they’ve got a halfway decent family and no particular circumstances or disabilities that would change this, they’ll realize “If I hate X, the not-mes probably hate X too.” So they understand, no biting; no hitting; no locking your brother in a closet; no yelling during the movie, and so on. Treat others like you want to be treated.

Later, if they get practice with imagination, if they are encouraged to try different perspectives, if their brain chemistry doesn’t have blockages, they hit the realization, “I’m someone else’s not-me!”

And that’s a crucial point in the development of adult empathy, of empathy that extends beyond “you wouldn’t like to be treated that way so don’t do it to someone else.” They realize that not-me doesn’t mean “just like me, only somewhere else, in a different body.”

Not-me means different. Means alien. Means having different preferences, wanting something else out of life. It means “what I like/want” is not always the best way to treat others.

Watching a child hit that realization is magic. (Watching an adult hit it is heart-wrenching; they generally have enough perspective to look back on their choices in horror as they realize how many people they’ve hurt.)

If we had a way to give tests for adulthood, this would be it: can you be aware that you are only the center of your own life, and that everyone else is their own center? Can you shift your awareness away from your own center in a way that lets you make fair and ethical decisions that involve those others?

The little girl in the story above may have a career in politics. She’s on her way to being able to treat others with consideration and compassion and take joy in whatever’s important to them, while not losing her own interest in exploration and helping others.

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Breaking The Male Code: After Steubenville, A Call To Action

 (Left to Right): Peter Buffett, Jimmie Briggs, Joe Ehrmann, Tony Porter,
 Dave Zirin and Moderator Eve Ensler.


Reposted byCarridwenrandoom



also me:


If anyone ever tries to tell you that slavery never existed in Canada, they’re lying to your face and are perpetuating myths of Canadian benevolence and US-Canada contrasts. They’re ignoring over 200 years of enslavement, and the recorded 2,683 Indigenous slaves, mainly from the Pawnee Nation, and the recorded 1,443 Black slaves that occupied New France ALONE before the Conquest by the British. By the way, the entire population of New France back then was apx. 60,000, and the enslaved population made up 4,200 of those.

(So if French Canadians tell you that slavery appeared with the British Conquest, in actuality the British took steps to make it easier for people to own slaves through Article XLVII of the Articles of Capitulation, that many French settlers at that time took advantage of.)

Slaves were held by fur trading post officers, colonial officials, members of the military, Jesuits, Roman Catholic Churches, Baptist Churches, 50% of the later Quebec Parliament, and the common people who often went into debt to have the status symbol of owning a slave.

In 1781, the island of St. John (now P.E.I) passed a law that legalized slavery and paid a 40 shilling bonus for every Black slave brought into the province. In 1790, the Imperial Statute allowed British Loyalists from the states to bring in slaves to the whole country without tax. The same went for the cutlery, furniture, and farm tools they brought with them.

People will try to tell you that Indigenous people owned slaves as well. They kept prisoners of war and exchanged people to pay off debts and replace war-dead, but they were never dehumanized like slaves under European slavery. The two systems are not the same and aren’t even remotely interchangeable.

Slaves weren’t treated like members of the family or like well-loved butlers. They were subject to the same treatment endured by slaves in the 13 colonies. Ownership was justified in similar ways as well: using the Labour Supply argument, where white workers were “too costly” to hire and Black slaves were sometimes said to be “too expensive to import from the French Caribbean.” (They were sold here anyways.) This explains the higher amount of Indigenous slaves.

It also means that Black people have been in Canada for as long as whites; the first recorded slave in Canada showed up in 1629. He was from either Madagascar or Guinea.

People will cite Canada’s lack of a Code Noir as proof of a lack of slavery. Just because we didn’t have a specific document to regulate it doesn’t mean it didn’t exist. It did. There are newspaper advertisements in such papers as the Montreal Gazette for runaway slaves and slaves that were up for sale.

The life expectancy of a slave in Canada was 17 years old. The 1790 Act to Limit Slavery pushed by John Simcoe said that slaves born after 1790 would be freed at age 25. See how that doesn’t work?

But most importantly, people will try to tell you that slaves didn’t resist. They did. They launched legal protests and challenges, but were opposed by Judicial members who owned slaves themselves.

Well-known Canadian figures who owned slaves include but aren’t limited to:

James McGill of McGill University fame, Joseph Brant, Sir John Johnson, and William Jarvis.

Modern historians and scholars have tried to deny this. A historian who tried to tell the true story was Professor Marcel Trudel, who wrote “Canada’s Forgotten Slaves: 200 Years of Bondage” in the 1960’s. He was shunned by the academic community, relocated to Ottawa University from his previous chair, and was personally asked by Quebec politicians to stay quiet about the matter because he revealed that slavery existed in New France before the British - destroying the idea of French Canadian moral superiority in that regard. He died in 2011, and his book which so many tried to discredit but so many never could, was only translated into English in 2013.

Slavery existed in Canada. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.

October 06 2017

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Stay close to me, don’t go away, I’m afraid of losing you
Your hands, your legs, my hands, my legs,
and our heartbeats are blending together
Let’s leave together, I’m ready now

Jordan Peele Producing Nazi Hunters Drama Series For Sonar Entertainment



“Written by David Weil (Moonfall) and inspired by true events, The Hunt follows a diverse band of Nazi hunters in 1970s America as they set out on a quest for revenge and justice — tracking and killing hundreds of Nazis who, with the unconscionable help of the U.S. government, escaped justice and embedded themselves in American society.” 

October 05 2017








it’s infinitely more accurate to characterize a trans woman as a woman pretending to be a man than it is to say she’s a man pretending to be a woman

This is such an important point, and it hits at the crucial problem that even when cis people do genuinely try to wrap their brains around trans people, they tend to have trans men and trans women entirely reversed.

When a cis man tries to imagine what it would be like to be trans, invariably that man imagines what it would be like if he “wanted to be woman,” because that’s what many people think trans women are.

Instead, he should be trying to empathize with trans men. He should be thinking about his own childhood and relationship to manhood, and then asking himself how it would have felt if he’d grown up being told he was a girl, forced to wear dresses, never recognized by other boys as a boy, and then experienced the horror of going through the wrong puberty and becoming a giant estrogen factory.

Many cis women, particularly in LGBT spaces, will fall all over themselves trying to empathize and identify with trans men, because the same transmisogyny that tells them that trans women and cis men are connected tells them that cis women and trans men are connected.

Instead, cis women should be asking themselves what it would have been like if they had never been allowed to have their womanhood acknowledged. How would it have felt to grow up being told you were a boy, not allowed to deviate from male stereotypes (often with violent repercussions if you did), always viewed by other women as an icky boy or predatory male, exposed to the utter horror that is being a woman in male spaces where they think no women are around, and had testosterone distort your body irreparably only to have everyone around you use your anatomy and appearance to forever deny your womanhood and where your best possible outcome is to transition and live your life in abject poverty fighting loneliness and dysphoria and surrounded by people who think you’re a disgusting, subhuman monster who should be locked away or put down?

If you want to worry about men pretending to be women, pay more attention to trans men. They are men who are forced to pretend to be women, and while that is immensely fucked up for them to go through, it doesn’t change the fact that they are MEN in WOMEN’S spaces, and many of them take advantage of transmisogynist ideas about gender to stay in those spaces even after coming out and transitioning. Just look at all the trans men at women’s colleges – schools that in most cases will not allow trans women.

Trans women have always been women. Trans women have always been female.

Trans men have always been men. Trans men have always been male.

A trans woman cannot be a “man pretending to be a woman” because by definition we aren’t men and never were.

Needed to hear this today.

If you wanna have a clue what being a transgender person is all about, read this.

exposed to the utter horror that is being a woman in male spaces where they think no women are around

So many people have no idea how true this is.  Almost no statement I have ever read has resonated with me more than this.

One of the arguments certain people (mostly terfs, but dishearteningly often well-meaning feminists who have accidentally been corrupted by terf rhetoric) make about trans women is that we experience “male privilege.”  This is a muddy topic, because there are certainly some situations where being socially read as male is a convenience (it is much easier to apply for jobs pre-transition and then transition while employed than it is to apply for jobs during or after the more awkward and difficult parts of transition, as an example).

There can be benefits, here and there.  But to call it privilege, especially with the term “male” attached to it, is horribly misleading.

Trans women can, in the earlier parts of our lives, EXIST in male spaces.  That does not mean we belong in them.  Or feel comfortable anywhere near them.  Even if you look outwardly male, being in male spaces is terrifying.  Even being in NEUTRAL spaces is terrifying.  You are in a constant state of panic around men.  And you fear rejection and ostracization from other women – the people you most empathize with and understand, whose personalities and ways of thinking most closely match your own, whose communities you desperately crave to be a part of because that’s where you belong – almost as much as you fear breathing the same air as any man you aren’t comfortably out to, including friends and family.  We NEVER feel safe.  And we are firsthand witnesses to all the reasons we SHOULDN’T feel safe around men.  They’re horrifying.  What was so frustrating about the “Locker Room Talk” scandal during the 2016 election, as a trans woman, is that you know from personal experience that it was “anywhere and everywhere outside the earshot of a woman” talk.  Dozens of sports teams came forward and said no, we don’t talk like this, we would never say things like this, we would never disrespect women like this.  I have never been an athlete.  My only experience with locker rooms was required as a high school credit, and made me extraordinarily uncomfortable.  I ASSURE you, I have heard talk like this OUTSIDE of the hypermasculine world of sports.  The level of total disregard that men have for women’s most basic humanity is STAGGERING.  Men don’t see women as less than human.  They see women as less than ALIVE, nothing more than usable, disposable objects.  

Trans women’s great “privilege” of existing “safely” in male spaces is being exposed to this world and these people up close, alone, (if in a locker room, without most of your clothes, and with all the added shame about your body that comes from that) in a state of absolute terror that ANYTHING about your personality, your mannerisms, your body language, the way you don’t quite fit in with the way they talk, will tip them off that you’re not one of them.  Your LIFE depends on whether they notice.  That’s not safety.  That’s Russian Roulette where you don’t get the option to stop playing, and not only do you not know if or when you might get the bullet, you don’t even know how many bullets are loaded in the first place.  Every single interaction with another human being is a trigger being pulled in slow motion, in overwhelming, agonizing detail as you can only wait to find out if you drew a blank.

We spend our lives pretending, often badly, to fit in with these people.  Not because we have or want any god damn thing on this earth in common with them, but because the alternative – that they will know we aren’t – fills us constantly with a paralyzing, spine-chilling terror that is almost impossible to describe.  Even when real benefits that do come from being read as male (again, this is usually socioeconomic factors), we are constantly, inescapably aware that all of these things come at the expense of our own authenticity.  We have to lie to get them.  We live in unbearable discomfort with the fact that everything good that happens to us is because other people are making these massively incorrect assumptions or judgments about the kinds of people we are.  We live with the fact that everything good could be taken away the second anyone finds out we’re not what they wanted based on our appearance, because often it’s the only way we can survive at all.

Let me rephrase that last part for emphasis, because it’s integral to understanding the core of this issue, and the core of the argument that OP (and the excellent addition) wanted to make.  If your takeaway is just ONE part of my addition to this post, let it be this:

Every single interaction we have with another human being is based solely on the value assigned to us based on our physical appearance, and how well we can conform to those expectations, which leaves us feeling suffocatingly, deeply uncomfortable and often terrified for our personal safety and livelihood.  

Think about that before you put the words “male privilege” anywhere in a conversation about trans women.

For parts of our lives, we can exist in male spaces.  But even in them, we are still always, at our core, women.  Everything else is social.  Everything else is acting.  Trans women pretend to be men until we just can’t take it anymore, and we either live as the women we always were, or one way or another, we die.  We can never really be anything other than female.

Womanhood is not the thing trans women have to fake.

Cis folks, read this.

Reading this has changed the way I think about trans folks and their needs. Thanks for writing this, and I hope I can be a better ally in the future.

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Just imagine a world full of beautiful stained glass windows which also generate electricity…

[Oxford Photovoltaics]

Excerpted from “The Me-Driven Life: A Narcissist’s Guide to Helping Others Understand It Is All About You,” by John Barron.

Reprinted without permission.

Chapter 12, “Coping with Natural and Man-Made Disasters,” pp 269-277

Natural disasters and their man-made counterparts (mass shootings, terrorist attacks) pose an obvious challenge for those living the Me-Driven Life. These events are frustrating, and inconvenient, because they tend to cause those people to think about their own problems: their injuries, the loss of loved ones, their hunger, thirst, discomfort, life-threatening cholera, what have you.

The sad fact is, when a disaster causes somebody to dwell on his or her pain or loss, they are not capable of fulfilling their obligation to you. They must be jolted back to reality. Tell them what they are going through is not a “real catastrophe.” Tell them the death count is low, or say their disaster doesn’t measure up to other disasters. Telling them to “have a good time” and letting them know “you don’t need” emergency supplies will help them realize their catastrophe is not as central to them as you are. To the extent they believe they are suffering, you need to convince them that this is only because they are not helping YOU. Say, “They have to give us more help,” or, “They want everything to be done for them.”

A Narcissist’s Guide to Helping Others Understand It Is All About You

Brilliant and savage. Read the whole thing.

(via wilwheaton)

Who Owns The World?




(Continue Reading)



“But capitalism is about rewarding the biggest contributors with the greatest wealth!”

No it isn’t. It’s demonstrably about rewarding those who have an ownership stake in capital and those who are able to enclose the commons. Intellectual property is a veritable example of that – the logic of capital accumulation and enclosures taken to its natural conclusion, to the point where immaterial stories and ideas indefinitely belong to elites to profit from. Those capitalists who do oppose IP only do so because they’re embarrassed about the implications – in the same way that Elon Musk types will be embarrassed by the privatization of the atmosphere when it inevitably happens in late capitalism’s “golden age” of neoliberalism, again the logic of capital accumulation and enclosures taken to their natural conclusion.

This is no way to run a just society. We can do so, so much better than this. Open-source the commons today!

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Calvin and Hobbes still relevant 25 years later.

Thank you Bill Watterson

Isn’t that the comic where he invents vaporwave?

Still Unresolved! Legendary Fanfic My Immortal's Authorship Remains a Mystery After the Cancellation of Rose Christo's Memoir • r/UnresolvedMysteries


Buzz began circulating around Rose Christo’s forthcoming memoir from St. Martin’s Press. There seemed to be a lot of genuine excitement about the book as My Immortal is a well loved internet phenomenon, and the book was promoted as detailing Christo’s strange and tumultuous upbringing during the writing of My Immortal. In multiple outlets, it was claimed that Christo wrote the fanfic hoping to capture the attention of enough people online to eventually aid in the search for her missing brother. The problem with this story? Her missing brother surfaced online to announce that he was never missing, Christo has fabricated her entire dramatic backstory, and she was likely never involved with My Immortal at all. St. Martin’s Press has now dropped the book due to Christo failing a round of routine fact checking.

Her brother happens to be a member of this very forum (@DawnDusk ), and his side of the story paints a different picture, not that she lost communication with him while being shuffled through the system, but that she just doesn’t contact him and never was in foster care. He began poking holes in her claims in this thread; https://kiwifarms.net/threads/author-of-my-immortal-possibly-found.33996/

On her Tumblr, she also frequently blogs about the struggle of being Native American/Indian. Problem with that is she’s actually white.

6864 bed2


Katharine Hepburn in The Lion in Winter (1968)


you ever just wake up in a cold sweat suddenly totally aware of the full unbridled horror of a world where women’s humanity is tied to their ability to conform to nearly-arbitrary and mostly-unreachable standards of presentation, where every bus and billboard is emblazoned with the promises of some product that will fix you and make you a person again, where the company’s selling these products have the nerve to act like the good guys offering a solution to this problem and not the problem themselves, that for the most part these standards go unquestioned, treated as innate, and some biologist tries to explain them away “scientifically.”  like its literally just evil evil evil




I almost feel like the concept of empowerment……is just a way to make women believe that they enjoy their own submission.

The word “empowerment” has been so misappropriated by corporations people now think it’s a synonym for “making u feel and look super fuckable to dudes”

“Make you look and feel super fucksble to dudes but u won’t give it to them bc you’re performing a ridiculous amount of femininity just for you, babe! It’s all for you!”

Want to Know How the Cops Actually Trace a Gun?



Oh. My. God.

Did you know that when a gun is used in a crime and cops want to trace it, people have to look through microfilm to find the owner, because it’s illegal to have a searchable database of that information?

Seriously. The NRA managed to get a law passed that makes it illegal. These people have to search by hand. 1,200 traces a day. By hand.

Cops assume they just type it into a search engine, because, like, obviously? We have all this technology that puts information at our finger tips. But not who owns the gun that killed that little girl. That you have to search through microfilm or boxes of files for.

I feel sick.

If you’re American and could ever possibly one day vote, please take the time to read this and understand how absurd it it. I cannot for a moment believe this is what reasonable Americans would choose if they understood what it actually is.

And, whoever you are, please share this, so it gets in front of more eyeballs.

As someone who works at a store that sells firearms, I want to make something really clear here:  It isn’t just that they’re looking through microfilm.  It’s that the microfilm is being made from something called an acquisition/disposition log, which is the store’s record of all guns arriving at the store and where all of those guns go.  Depending on the store and who owns it, whether they’re corporate or independent, those A/D logs may be immaculate – entered into a computer, all information typed in with care, every “i” dotted and every “t” crossed.  They may be messy, hand-written, hodge-podged affairs.  They may be somewhere in between.  All guns are supposed to be logged in and logged out promptly, but I can say from experience that not every store does it every time.  If a manager isn’t sure how to do it and/or doesn’t feel like going to the hassle (and it’s a fucking hassle, let me tell you), a gun might exist in legal limbo for a few days, still technically ours but already in someone else’s hands.

And the ATF only gets their hands on our A/D logs when we go out of business.  Until then, all gun traces for guns sold at my store are relying on me and my wall of three-ring binders.  If something happened to my store – State of Michigan requires handgun registration, but every shotgun, every rifle, even the AK-styles and the AR-styles with the big fuckoff banana clips that shoot 30 rounds of .308, all of those records would be gone like that.

And all the record-keeping I do?  It’s not for shit if the buyer then proceeds to sell their gun to a friend.  Or their new best friend from Craigslist.  Or the sketchy dude in the Big Boy parking lot.  All of which is still legal.  No background checks.  Nada.  The gun is now out of the system.

Did I mention that we’re assuming a store that is trying to follow the law?  And not a store run by someone who is (and plenty are) still bitter about this whole 4473 form thing, and this whole background check thing, and government can’t tell me how to run my store?

Do you know how many times I’ve seen an ATF audit in the ten years that I’ve worked for my company?  That they’ve come and actually checked on my books to make sure I’m doing shit right?


I’ve never seen it.  I mean, we do everything we can to keep our forms 100% spot-on, but for all ATF knows, I’m wiping my ass with them, because they don’t have the manpower to come check.

We need better gun laws.  I say this not as a representative of the store that I work for (which I will not name for obvious reasons) but for myself as a human being and as a human being who periodically does find herself selling firearms (and/or refusing to sell firearms, which is a whole other ballgame but that’s another story).  We especially need better gun laws as pertains to the keeping of firearm records.  We literally have the most inconvenient method possible that does not involve engraving on a stone slab.

I have a wall of binders.  Sometimes, that’s enough.  But don’t you still think there should be more than that, for the times that it’s not?


rainbow by kesha

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Happy First Anniversary, Yuri on Ice!!!

Also on Twitter!

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