Guest Post: North America News

Jul. 27th, 2017 02:45 pm
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[personal profile] stardreamer
The following was originally posted by Daniel on Slacktivist, and is being reproduced here by permission.

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North America

The North American country of the United States of America (USA) was shocked yesterday by the announcement by the President, Donald Trump, a colorful and outspoken reality television star and business-tycoon manqué, that he would strip the right to serve in the nation's armed services from its transgender citizens.

The country, sandwiched between Canada and Mexico and famous as the birthplace of KerPlunk, has for many years been under the influence of a religious sect opposed to modern science, preferring its own superstitious interpretations of gender and sexuality and the military to facts. Among their beliefs is the conviction that electricity, a gift from their God, can be used to permanently alter the sexuality of individuals subject to ritual shocks. While Trump is not himself a member of this sect, many of his supporters and cabinet are - the Vice President, Mike Pence, believes that electrocution and denial of civil rights can "cure" people of their sexual and/or gender identity, for instance, and has been known to conduct rituals seeking to influence the behaviors of his people and indeed entire nations through supernatural means. He is also reported to believe his own "sexual magic" is so strong that to be left alone with a woman he is not married to would lead to inevitable intercourse. Experts speculate this is because in the culture of the sect his silver hair is seen as a sign of divine favor. It is hard to think that in the twenty-first century such beliefs could exist, but this country - still dealing with the consequences of a bitter and bloody civil war and struggling to shed the influence of more than a century of colonialism - is steeped in such superstition.

The President, who has a history of vocal support for wars and the people that fight them - amongst whose numbers he has never been included due to a debilitating recurrent foot complaint - is thought to have made this decision to pander to this sect to receive funding for his own passion project, a great wall separating his increasingly isolated country from Mexico. Though he promised to make the Mexican government pay for it, this was seen in Mexico City as merely bombastic boasting and was met with diplomatic derision. It has now become clear that this was an accurate assessment, and Trump has gone cap in hand to sectarian members of the governing Republican Party to beg for funds for his grandiose white elephant.

While it is characteristic of the regime, which rose to power on a wave of populist resentment and tribal grievance, to not know how policies announced by their President will be effected, it appears not to be troubling his inner circle; in the so-called "White House", or presidential residence, where Trump himself is seen as something like a demi-god, his name cast in enormous gold letters on various sacred sites across the country is deemed to be a powerful influencer of the spirits of wealth and "class" - a peculiar concept something akin to the more familiar machismo though coupled with a deep seated anti-intellectualism and contempt for internal monologue. Indeed, it is thought that simply by saying things Trump is able to make them physically real, and the less proof his followers demand the greater they consider themselves blessed by him.

What is also not clear at this moment is how it will effect the members of the armed services who are currently serving and who are transgender. As there appears to be a reliance on the metaphysical abilities of Trump to alter reality with 140 characters at a time - an extension of the sect's peculiar faith in the power of electricity - and nothing more, it is not certain if the people targeted by his declaration will be fired, or forced back into the closet, or subject to other and worse discrimination. What is certain though is that through his influence and the influence of his cult, the President will have sent a message that the god a significant proportion of the people believe in wants them to discriminate against their fellow citizens.

In a statement today the organization Democracy Within Borders responded:

"It is tempting to look on this benighted and atavistic society governed by an exotic death cult, determined to harm its own people in celebration of their idol, a man cast in gold whom they revere as both its product and its source, with the prurient interest we use for other ex-colonial nations, as a setting for our horror films and travel writing. We should not. The majority of the citizens do not belong to the tribe of their leaders, a fact reflected in the election, in which his opponent received a higher number of votes than he did, that secured the Presidency for Trump."


The peculiar formulation of democracy in the country - a reaction to the government of its former colonizers - means that now in power Trump has called for the arrest and imprisonment of his opponent, for crimes he cannot name nor explain. It is not clear if this is the result of a taboo or géis, or of his paranoia that the legal system of the country might do its job correctly. It appears he believes millions of phantoms cast votes for his opponent, though without being able to ensure her victory. The statement continued:

"It is hoped that the two advanced nations bordering the USA will intervene to try and help those harmed by this decision. In this day and age a nation proclaiming itself great cannot treat its citizens in this way based on crude self-interest and superstition."


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Wednesday Yardening

Jul. 26th, 2017 11:59 pm
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[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today was sweltering.  We picked up two piles of grass, but that's all I had energy for.  It's raining now. 
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
The July 4, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl made its $200 goal, so you get a free epic. Everyone is eligible to vote in this poll. I'll keep it open until at least Thursday night. If there's a clear answer then, I'll close it. Otherwise I may keep it open longer.

The following poems are available:

"Big Brother and the Cyberbully"
Summary: When a cyberbully does grievous damage, a supervillain makes a calculated counterattack.
106 lines, $53

"The Things That Money Can't Buy"
Summary: A tycoon with an excess of money and an absence of sense or compassion can cut a wide swath through life.
94 lines, $47

"No Power Like the Power of Youth"
Summary: When racist protesters try to invade a largely black neighborhood, they meet with some serious opposition.
142 lines, $71

Poll #18615 Free Epic for July 4, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 20


Which of these should be the free epic?

View Answers

"Big Brother and the Cyberbully"
9 (45.0%)

"The Things That Money Can't Buy"
2 (10.0%)

"No Power Like the Power of Youth"
9 (45.0%)

Poem: "This Hazardous Business"

Jul. 26th, 2017 09:53 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the July 4, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by [personal profile] ng_moonmoth. It also fills the "secret allies" square in my 6-16-17 card for the [community profile] hc_bingo fest. This poem belongs to the Kraken thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem contains some intense and controversial topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It touches on passing, bisexuality, multiracial heritage, activism, homophobia, transphobia, mistaken identity, prejudice against people with superpowers, a cat girl, prostitution, a dog boy, homelessness, and other angst. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

Read more... )

Birthday greetings and felicitations

Jul. 26th, 2017 08:47 am
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[personal profile] onyxlynx
 to [personal profile] el_staplador !  A day of beauty and joy!
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Thanks to an audience poll for the general fund and [personal profile] ng_moonmoth chipping in the remainder, "A Hope and a Promise" is now complete.  Aidan and Saraphina explore the roof garden.

Good News

Jul. 26th, 2017 12:27 am
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[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Good news includes all the things which make us happy or otherwise feel good. It can be personal or public. We never know when something wonderful will happen, and when it does, most people want to share it with someone. It's disappointing when nobody is there to appreciate it. Happily, blogging allows us to share our joys and pat each other on the back.

What good news have you had recently? Are you anticipating any more?

Tuesday Yardening

Jul. 25th, 2017 05:31 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today is sunny and mild.  I went out and picked a few blackberries.  My partner Doug mowed grass, and I walked around to see where it was done. 

EDIT 7/25/17: We went out and picked up a pile of grass.  Then I did some weeding in the septic garden.

EDIT 7/25/17: I finished weeding the septic garden.  *goflopnow*

Poetry Fishbowl on Tuesday, August 1

Jul. 25th, 2017 02:47 pm
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[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This is an advance announcement for the Tuesday, August 1, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. This time the theme will be "rites / rights." I'll be soliciting ideas for adolescents, parents, heroes, villains, fools, clergy and other officiants, explorers, travelers, ordinary people, outcasts, facing thresholds, questioning, debating labels, traveling, accepting the call, refusing the call, getting lost, losing everything, hiding in the closet, coming out, finding your power, speaking truth to power, telling your own story, discovering new places, bedrooms, classrooms, counseling offices, churches, government buildings, the wilderness, cliffs, trails, self-discovery, self-awareness, birth, puberty, getting a job, marriage, sex, parenthood, death, rebirth, radical transformation, the hero's journey, birth control, reproductive freedom, alien transitions, self-sacrifice, disruptions, adventures, legal rights, famous geographic passageways, and poetic forms in particular.

I have a linkback poem, "Rewriting the Narrative" (9 verses, standalone). 

If you're interested, mark the date on your calendar, and please hold actual prompts until the "Poetry Fishbowl Open" post next week.  (If you're not available that day, or you live in a time zone that makes it hard to reach me, you can leave advance prompts.  I am now.)  Meanwhile, if you want to help with promotion, please feel free to link back here or repost this on your blog. 

New to the fishbowl? Read all about it! )

Poetry Fishbowl Themes for Late 2017

Jul. 25th, 2017 02:13 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
The poll has concluded. These are the upcoming themes:

August 1
Rites / rights of passage

September 5
Families of Choice

October 3
Otherkin and Other-nesses

November 7
Outlandish Occupations

December 5
Hearth and Home

January 2, 2018
Do you believe in magic?

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
The general fund currently contains $85. Everyone is eligible to vote in this poll. I will keep it open at least until Tuesday night. If there's a clear answer then, I'll close it. Otherwise I may leave it open a little longer.

Read and vote! )

Monday Yardening

Jul. 24th, 2017 07:42 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today we picked up three piles of grass and some sticks.  It is pleasantly cool this evening, but there are sweat bees everywhere.  >_<  I do not enjoy being licked by insects. 

September 2015

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