The next steps to fighting PIPA and SOPA: Show them that they can't stop the signal

Originally posted by box_in_the_box at The next steps to fighting PIPA and SOPA: Show them that they can't stop the signal
Just last week, there were only five U.S. Senators publicly opposing the Protect IP Act.

In the wake of the widespread Internet blackout day on Wednesday, Jan. 18, there are now 36.

It would take only 41 "no" votes to permanently stall PIPA and the Stop Online Piracy Act in the Senate.

But we can't get complacent, because the multinational media corporations that are throwing their weight behind PIPA and SOPA will not stop pushing for these bills to pass, and the Senate is expected to vote on PIPA on Tuesday, Jan. 24.

Members of Congress know PIPA and SOPA are unpopular, but they don't necessarily understand why, so they could be duped by superficial changes to those bills, which the forces behind PIPA and SOPA are sure to make to gain the votes to pass those bills.

Here's what you can do, in the real world, to fight back against the forces that would end the freedom of the Internet:

1. Call your Senators' offices every day, from now through the day of the PIPA vote on Tuesday, Jan. 24, until you know they'll vote "no" on cloture. If your site participated in the Internet blackout day, consider running a "Call the Senate" link during those days as well.

2. Visit your Senators' district offices (use Google or your local phonebook to find the addresses) to tell them that you oppose PIPA and urge them to vote "no" on cloture. Stopping by to talk to them in person makes the online protests more tangible and credible to them.

You can check the Protect IP Act Senate whip count for continuous updates on everyone in the Senate who supports or opposes PIPA, as well as those who are still undeclared or have yet to be contacted. Phone numbers are listed for all the Senators' district and D.C. offices, next to direct links to their Congressional email addresses, along with tips on how to talk and write to them persuasively.


Just Finished Reading Hollowstone

It was very good. I'm going to post a more detailed review here....well mostly just characters and plot points I liked, some criticisms and a few questions I have. Though since I don't read many novels and am just an 18 year old internet blogger, don't expect anything that is detailed and blows you away.

Right now, I'm tired from having stayed up all night to read from Chapter 5 to the end. O_O I just wanted to say; my god was this bleak. Neo, you were absolutely justified when you said that you wanted to make Emphyrea all about sunshines and rainbows. lol

All in all, it was a pretty good novel. I'm going to go recommend it to my friend now.

Why Fangs for the Fantasy?

Originally posted by sparkindarkness at Why Fangs for the Fantasy?
It’s vaguely possibly you’ve noticed I’m involved in the running of Fangs for the Fantasy by my oh-so-subtle plugging. But yes I’m one of the ones behind it and I likes it I does. But there’s always the question of why, especially given how little time I have and how much time it takes.

Well, let me count the ways. I like Fangs, I like the reviews, I like an opportunity to snark, I like the new series its exposed me to and because it’s fun, lots of fun.

But also because I think it’s important. Especially analysing books from a social justice perspective. Yes, analysing fluffy, trashy, frequently silly Urban fantasy is important. Especially since it’s popular and, if anything, becoming more so and establishing itself very firmly as its own genre.

Our society is shaped by the media. In fact I think the media is one of the grand pillars of our culture. The media we consume reflects the stereotypes and tropes of society, reinforces them, encourages them and spreads them. We as a society, as a culture, as people are shaped by the books we read, the television we watch, the films we see and the games we play.

When we see the same type of people showcased front and centre, the same stereotypes paraded, the same groups erased, the same insults given, the same bad behaviour showcased, excused or justified and generally the same prejudiced, and –ism scented problems repeated again and again then yes it shapes us.

And I know there are people out there saying “but why urban fantasy? Who cares about sexist werewolves or homophobic vampires or racist witches?” there are many reasons – I can talk about how we tend NOT to analyse these types of books so the genre is even more unchallenged and just accepted. I can tell you it’s because I love the genre – I really do – and as such I want to be able to consume it without sporks and with more joy; as something I love, I want it to do better. But most of all, it’s because if we’re going to challenge any media, it has to be popular fiction that is consumed broadly for entertainment.

What do you think shapes culture more? A verbose, dense literary fiction artistic epic read by English literature professors in a university congratulating each other on how wonderfully dense and nigh incomprehensible it is, so full of metaphor and depth? Or Twilight? Or True Blood? A series that is read by thousands if not millions, turned into a TV series or a film and watched by yet more? Personally, I think it’s the latter that will have the greatest effect on our culture.

I also don’t think that you can truly change culture without addressing the media. Ultimately, no matter how many laws we pass saying that misogyny, homophobia, racism, transphobia, ableism et al are Not OK, no matter how much we fight, no matter how many bigots we vanquish, if everyone goes back home to books and TV full of hate speech and stereotypes and tropes and marginalised servants and villains or – and most commonly – to fictional worlds where we don’t even exist – then how much can you change? “Hearts and Minds” are the key here – and it’s in the pages of books and the light of the TV screen where we will reach them.

Yet if you turn round and say you’re going to analyse the dusty book of pretention everyone will nod and smile. Say you’re going to analyse True Blood and we get “it’s only fantasy! Don’t take it so seriously!” It’s a genre that seems to actively resist and deny analysis even more than most.

Do I claim I’m doing some massive cultural changing thing? Gods no. I snark too much for that :P. But it matters, it does matter.

Also, of course, I need to say the inevitable – we have yet to read/watch a perfect book/TV programme. We have always found something to criticise. That’s not because we’re joyless curmudgeons who hate everything – it’s because our society is so well and truly messed up that it’s nearly impossible to produce something lacking in problematic issues in a society that has saturated us with them. I say again, criticism does not mean “I loathe this book and all it stands for!” it means there are problematic elements that could be – need to be – better. For our opinion on the book, check the fang rating (and if it’s 0.5 fangs? Yes, I did loathe that book and all it stands for!). I will say that we’ll never just say “I hate it.” There’ll always be a why – so even on a negative review you can be a recommend – since you can see “oh Sparky hated this book because he loathes X, Y and Z. I actually quite like them so this book is worth reading”.

So, yes, Fangs. I like it.

Comic Book Resources poll: Show your support for bringing back the Spider-Marriage!

Originally posted by box_in_the_box at Comic Book Resources poll: Show your support for bringing back the Spider-Marriage!
Comics Should Be Good: Do you prefer Spider-Man being single?
We're coming up on the four-year anniversary of Spider-Man's "Brand New Day."

So, what do you think, four years in — are you happier with Spider-Man being single or not?

Do you prefer the current single Spider-Man?
Just say "no," and let them know we want Mary Jane Watson-Parker back.

Will you contribute $50 to support theatre by and for queer Black women?

Originally posted by afro_dyte at Will you contribute $50 to support theatre by and for queer Black women?
“When I dare to be powerful - to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid” 
— Audre Lorde

Earlier this year, I wrote and produced a play called Tulpa, or Anne&Me that debuted at the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity.

Since that first production, I’ve often been asked about what’s next for Tulpa, or Anne&Me. This is a great sign because it means that the play has touched people in some deep places and led to powerful moments of growth and healing for many. I feel a real responsibility to make this piece the best I can make it and bring it to as many places as I can where people want and need to see it.

Right now, I’m talking with someone who can offer me an opportunity for more performances in mid- to late April. Despite the fact that I’m based in NYC, there are still only a few plays by and about queer Black women being made. Although the world we live in wants me to be comfortable with feeling insignificant, I no longer have the luxury to deceive myself into believing that my work and my voice are not important.

I am raising $3,000 for the 2012 production of Tulpa, or Anne&Me. If only 60 people contribute just $50 each, I can reach that goal. If only 60 people contribute just $50 each, my work will have another chance to do what it’s meant to do — pave the way for healing and transformation in our lives, relationships, and communities. If only 60 people contribute just $50 each, they will be doing more than putting a story on stage, but creating a vibrant opportunity to honor those of us who are Black and woman and queer.

Will you contribute $50 to be part of that process?

WWE Super Star Sheamus On Bullying

Sheamus: Let the bully know that it's wrong. Not in a violent way but in a vocal way.

I remember being a kid and being bullied. A lot of the kids are afraid to speak up or share with someone because they think talking to someone is like a 'no-no' or it's a cowardly thing to do. The thing is, it's not. Talking to someone is the right thing to do. It's important to know that if you're being bullied then you need to talk to someone you trust: an adult or a school teacher. You need to let people know what's going on. If they are aware what's happening then they can stop this from progressing to other kids.

Regardless of a person's sexual orientation, their weight, how they look, their race, where they're from, or religion, that person should not be bullied because these are the things that make a person special.


I couldn't pick out which part I wanted to bold more, so I did the whole thing.

Given my history with bullying, this one just rang so true for me.

O_o... Wow

Following in 90scartoonman's lead:

You are The Hermit

Prudence, Caution, Deliberation.

The Hermit points to all things hidden, such as knowledge and inspiration,hidden enemies. The illumination is from within, and retirement from participation in current events.

The Hermit is a card of introspection, analysis and, well, virginity. You do not desire to socialize; the card indicates, instead, a desire for peace and solitude. You prefer to take the time to think, organize, ruminate, take stock. There may be feelings of frustration and discontent but these feelings eventually lead to enlightenment, illumination, clarity.

The Hermit represents a wise, inspirational person, friend, teacher, therapist. This a person who can shine a light on things that were previously mysterious and confusing.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Save for the last two sentences, why does this make so much sense? O_o

Also yeah, I haven't updated in a while but suffice to say that I have been in a good mood these last few days. Holiday's are awesome like that. After the last three weeks of tests, it's nice to have finally moved out of that tunnel vision that I developed.