lokifan: black Converse against a black background (Default)
Today I taught my advanced English class “police brutality”, and “suppression”, and “ballot box”, and “riot police”. I taught them the difference between “hit” and “beat”. My peacefully-protesting Catalan student was beaten by the police. The EU said this was an internal matter and a girl had every finger systematically broken by police. I’m sick with rage.
lokifan: "i'm so enlightened I glow in the dark" (enlightened)
I decided to take a tip from [personal profile] rozk and express my feelings on current events through poetry.

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Roses exceeded all expectations in the general election,

More comment to follow. (I have a crazy busy weekend ahead of me.)
lokifan: Close-up of Buffy standing up in "Chosen", text "HBIC" (Buffy: HBIC)

Day 14
Go forth and commit an act of kindness. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it, tell us about it if you’re comfortable doing so.

I thought I’d do one of the missing Snowflake Challenges, since the mods assure us there’s no hard deadline. And I’m going to count something I did today. I went to the anti-Trump Women’s March here in London. It was great: a really positive atmosphere, despite the angst of the thing and the fact that 15 000 to 25 000 people were expected to show up and it was actually 100 000.

On a personal note, I’m glad I did it because I immediately felt so much better than yesterday. Doing something helped a lot, as did the community aspect. Both my sisters and my mum were there, and I marched with the female cousin of mine who lives in London and two American friends of hers. YAY SISTERHOOD.

A Japanese tourist asked me what was happening. I said it was an anti-Trump women’s march, and he expressed confusion because “this is the UK” - and that’s the reason I’m counting this as an act of kindness, because I was able to explain it politely and also, thanks to my job, avoid using the English most native speakers don’t realise is difficult (i.e. phrasal verbs). It was helpful for me too, because I’m a measurable goals sort of person and this is the first demonstration I’ve been on that didn’t really have one? Not a shared one, anyway. Not least because while I know some disagree, I do not think Pence would be an improvement.

So I told him that it was in solidarity with American women, as well as brown & black & immigrant Americans. And that it was to express our public grief and anger. To push forward a little on myriad feminist & lefty causes closer to home - I saw Repeal The Eighth signs (re: the appalling lack of abortion rights for Irish & Northern Irish women) and tampon tax signs as well as anti-Brexit ones. To inflict what international pressure we can on Trump & Republicans, particularly given the British/American “Special Relationship” and Trump’s being a bit of an Anglophile. And that because Britain is significantly more left-wing than the US, the US has elected several presidents who kind of horrified Britons, most famously George W Bush. But this is on a new scale, and this is not normal. That was the most important reason, I realised as I was saying it. To show that This Is Not Normal.

the signs were epic - more details here, photos on Tumblr )

Love From England

Friday, 20 January 2017 06:53 pm
lokifan: Hero shot of Suki from AtLA smiling (Suki: hero)
My heart has been hurting all day. Tomorrow is the London Women’s March, in solidarity with my American sisters (and everyone else). In the meantime here’s a sonnet for America, from England. Or possibly for all my American siblings in the struggle from me.

Love From England )

Roz Kaveney, poet & author & activist, wrote a sequence called The Poet To Her Young Comrades a few years ago. I was rereading them today (here's the original post) and beg her indulgence in reposting this angry one, because I think you might find it helpful too.

The Poet To Her Young Comrades 3 )

Nine Eleven

Thursday, 17 November 2016 03:56 am
lokifan: black Converse against a black background (Default)
NB: in the UK, the ninth of November – the day we knew Trump had won – is written 9/11/16.

A cheap comparison to make, maybe;
No one died or jumped to escape the flames
They're live and whole in the... land of the free?
But it's a brave (bad) new world all the same.
(Live? I knew a woman who killed herself
Wednesday, before she could lose her healthcare.
Come January access to help and health
Would be considered more than her fair share.)
Americans say, how could it happen here?
Europeans say, we've seen this before.
And the Middle East holds its breath for fear
Of breathing the flames oxygen, of more.
Cheap comparison. But the date seems like kismet
Now we can only wait; the worst hasn't happened yet.

joomla visitor

lokifan: Superhero!Mai - running, speed lines behind her (Mai: superhero)
I’m still crushed. Heartbroken and furious and frightened. And it’s not only about having Trump as the US President. Clinton deserves to be the American president. She’s flawed, of course - as we all are, and certainly every president has been. I have plenty of friends who consider those flaws a bigger problem than I do and I truly do understand those concerns; particularly for the more doveish I see why you wished she weren’t the nominee, although I think the idea that Sanders (or Johnson or Stein, holy fuck) would be a better president in actual reality where compromise is necessary to be fairly ludicrous. Still it doesn't make me like anyone less. But I am crushed that she won't be president. She’s fiercely intelligent, works so hard, had so many great and detailed plans of how to improve people’s lives. She’s the reason American trans people can change their gender on their passports, did you know that? She and her team never publicised it at the time - or even in the campaign afaik - because of concerns about backlash.

And it’s not just that. Hillary Clinton, genius workaholic and half of a power couple to lead a superpower, with all the money and support and every newspaper endorsement, the most qualified candidate the US has ever had, running against the least. And it still wasn’t enough. She even got more votes! By a hair, and yet… never to be a President Rodham. I am so sad.

The first woman to be US president, the most powerful person in the world - is she even born yet? Am I going to be middle-aged before that happens? Am I going to be retired?

(That’s if I can retire. The US sneezes and Europe catches a cold; between Brexit and Trump’s mad protectionism I am truly afraid of the economic changes to come.)

You voted for a fascist? Are you that fucking scared of powerful women?

I mean. Wow there’s still a bunch more to talk about on that front. (I had the most depressing first date ever on Wednesday, which was drinks with a black guy from Oklahoma. I mean the date itself was pretty fun, but wow.) But I just had to have a sad about Clinton losing (as opposed to Trump winning). I was planning the post in the back of my mind. Various celebratory gifs; Buffy smiling at the end of Chosen; and a title. The second President Clinton (President Rodham if you’re nasty.)

joomla visitor

lokifan: black Converse against a black background (Default)
Today I went to see my grandpa in Sussex. I haven’t seen him since last Christmas, what with going to Italy for six months and all, so today my mum, Youngest Sister and I went. He’s very very deaf and getting much more tired; he’s in his late nineties, so it’s entirely natural, but rather sad. We did what we usually do: talked with him, went to this fucking amazing Indian place (the best I’ve ever found by far, and that includes some Brick Lane eateries), did some errands for him. Then Youngest Sister went to a feminist meeting I’m sad to be missing, about fighting the fucking ludicrous abortion ban in Northern Ireland - appallingly, in part of my own country, abortions are illegal unless the mother’s life is in danger. I came to work. My students haven’t shown up, so I’m doing the same thing I’ve been doing all day: a moment without a specific thing to think about, and I’m worrying about the American election.

I haven’t posted about Trump really )

Oh, and here’s something else I think is important that I haven’t seen talked about much. There’ve been a lot of Brexit comparisons drawn with Trump’s ascendancy. I think some of those parallels hold water, but some don’t - I won’t get into that here, although we can do it in comments. (Also, the polls DID predict Brexit. People were surprised because they ignored the margin of error and that London is its own world.) I think the possibly more instructive, and scarier, comparison is with the British general election last year.

The Conservatives were not predicted a majority. Professional politicians, party leaders, well-known pundits all predicted a minority government or hung parliament. When the exit polls came out at 10pm, showing a ten-seat Tory majority, Paddy Ashdown (former Lib Dem leader and eminence grisee) said he’d eat his hat if they were correct. They weren’t. The Tories had a majority of seventeen.

Why were the polls so wrong? ‘Shy Tories’. People were not willing to admit to pollsters that they were planning to vote Conservative. How much stronger must that effect be for Trump voters? They’re not idiots; they know what people think. And there’s a documented effect where people say they’ll vote for a woman (or POC) but in the booth? They don’t.

However far ahead Clinton looks now, I can’t believe it yet. I want to. But… last May I went to my friends’ flat to watch the election get called. We started with olives and wine, and then at 10pm the Tory victory was predicted and we switched to chocolate and gin. I fell asleep WhatsApping a friend on the 23rd of June and woke up just before seven am to see three crying emojis on my screen. Chills go through me at the thought of it happening again, and worse.

I was scared of Romney. I’m scared of Republicans in general: I have a lot of friends who are women, POC, LGBTQ+, or some combination, living in the USA and deserving full rights over their bodies and lives. But it was nothing like this.

joomla visitor

lokifan: black Converse against a black background (Default)
Hi guys! I’m sorry to have gone silent. I haven’t posted in seven weeks, wow - that’s a really long time for me. In that month I moved country and started a new job though, as well as a few other things.

I was going to do one post about being back in the UK and then a separate post about the EU referendum and everything related to it because WOW DEPRESSING POST THERE LOKI, but it turns out I can’t because it’s been so deeply embedded in everything since. A post about the Sardinian experience will appear later, but...

it’s honestly been a process of grieving )

Life in general is very busy - I’m doing evening work at least three nights a week, and still trying to find a job for September and finish all the admin of moving. But it’s mostly pretty good - am super-poor but that’ll be better in September and have had some great soshul tiems lately. New colleagues are nice and there’s so much happening in London in summer. Just need to not think about the wider world or the fandomy stuff I was hoping I’d be able to do.

Oh, and the busy meant I missed Erised sign-ups. Saaaad. :( Signing up to pinch-hit tho!

joomla visitor


Thursday, 23 June 2016 09:15 pm
lokifan: black Converse against a black background (Default)
Sorry, I know all my posts recently have been in the middle of the Venn diagram of ‘politics’ and ‘horribly, horribly depressing’. But guys I am FREAKING OUT about the EU referendum.

Thank God for living in Sardinia because I’ve been able to live in a state of more-or-less denial. Obviously Facebook and the papers have been full of it, but apparently posters in windows and leaflets and everything are ubiquitous right now in the UK.

I am TERRIFIED. I teach English as a foreign language, and when I was working in London, my students asked about it every so often and I assured them it wouldn’t happen. Because we’re not that stupid, and also having City boys and lefty liberals on the same side of the ball doesn’t often happen. So surely we would win?

And we won’t know anything for two hours yet because legally the exit polls stay secret until everyone’s voted, to stop them influencing the process.

If you don’t know much/anything about it I’m happy to give you the rundown, but this post isn’t about me venting all the many reasons, both idealistic and pragmatic, why staying in the EU is the best choice for the UK (and why everything I’ve heard from lefty Leave supporters is frankly ludicrous). It’s just about I AM SO SCARED )
lokifan: Katara glaring through drops of water - master waterbender (Katara: master)
MP Jo Cox, who campaigned tirelessly for refugees and against modern slavery, was murdered today by a man shouting “Britain First!”

I’m just in shock.

The guy stabbed her outside her constituency surgery. For those who don’t know what that means - she was a Member of Parliament, one of our elected representatives from the higher House, and she was doing one of the regular sessions MPs have where members of their constituency can meet them and ask for help.

a sad, shameful day for the UK )
lokifan: black Converse against a black background (Default)
So the letter read by the survivor of the Stanford assault case is all over my various social media feeds. Which it deserves to be; it’s important. (Although man, I cried when reading it and wince every time I see a link now; I hope the various survivors I know are tougher than me.) It sparked a couple of thoughts.

Because I’ve seen quite a few people talking about how he should be locked up forever. This reminded me of a realisation I had the last time I was talking about a shockingly lenient sentence given to a convicted rapist and athlete )
lokifan: "i'm so enlightened I glow in the dark" (enlightened)
I had a lovely Christmas! I will post about that soon. But right now I am going to give you A FACEFUL OF OPINIONS. As ever, differing opinions welcome but be prepared for my likely reply of LET ME TELL YOU WHY YOU’RE WRONG :P

So a news story at the moment here in the UK is that at Oxford University, there at students campaigning to have their statue of Cecil Rhodes pulled down. Cecil Rhodes, if you don’t know, was a famous nineteenth-century politician and philanthropist -- his estate funds the Rhodes scholarships.

Guess where he got the money. Go on, guess. Did you guess ‘stole it from South Africans as part of the imperial project’? Well, you should have, because where else did nineteenth-century shitheads get their wealth?

the past is a foreign country, but sadly one we cannot subjugate and loot )

Not even past

Saturday, 11 January 2014 01:45 pm
lokifan: OC and Max sharing an annoyed look (Max and OC: eyeroll)
I will catch up, I swear. But in the meantime, have this.

My mother amazes me sometimes. My parents are classic right-on middle-class bohemians, from fairly posh backgrounds (maternal grandfather was a Tory politician, Dad went to boarding school then Cambridge) who put up Labour flags every election then left over the Iraq war and ID cards respectively.

You would expect an appropriate degree of middle-class guilt over the Empire; my maternal grandmother's father was the governor of a province in Sudan. I mean straight-up colonial overlord. But my mum is like... well. This came up because at lunch we were talking about some of our ancestors and those of Middle Sister's boyfriend.

MUM: do you know what my mum's father did?

LOKIFAN: Colonial overlord. )
lokifan: black Converse against a black background (Default)
How is everybody so adorable? ARTHUR.

(In the midst of this random adorableness: HAHAHA BERLUSCONI LOST PARLIAMENTARY IMMUNITY.)

joomla visitor

lokifan: Kelly from Misfits (Kelly: misfits)
I believe in speaking ill of the dead.

I think this is an opportunity to discuss Thatcher's legacy. I think any discussion of her life, now that she has died, has to include all the damage she wrought and the way her decisions are still reverberating in the rates of homelessness and the lack of social housing and about a million other things. The way she changed what it means to be Prime Minister, both by being the first and only woman to hold that office and by enormously diminishing the power of the Cabinet.

But I am really upset by the posts I've seen on LJ and Facebook celebrating her death. It's depressing and horrible. I mean, I get catharsis, and she was both symbol and architect of policy that hurt a lot of people and brings up deserved rage. But... Thatcher's death does no one any good. Celebrating it bothers me on two levels: first, she was an old woman in decline and celebrating deaths always bothers me.

Secondly, I feel like there's this weird tinge of triumph to it. Haha, we are still here, and you with your bigoted union-busting fascist-defending bollocks, you're in the ground! Except she had no power left - this wasn't a dictator's death where some good might come out of it. Her legacy lives on regardless of whether she does.

I think it's particularly difficult with Thatcher; she was so much a giant among pygmies, with such iron control over her cabinet, with such a strong single personal voice. Distinguishing between the public icon with the attendant associations and the private woman is even more impossible than usual. Which is part of why this is an 'I wish you wouldn't', not a 'don't'. I don't think the celebrating is actively harmful, just upsetting to me.

People can and will say what they want, of course. I just wanted to distinguish between 'don't speak ill of the dead' and 'I wish you wouldn't post party gifs because someone died'.

And, of course, to mark the passing of a giant. Even if she was the kind of giant who eats your cattle and steals your princess.

joomla visitor

lokifan: Scrubs cast leaping and cheering (Yay! scrubs)



Read the news here!

Obviously more activism will be needed in coming days and weeks and months and years. But just look at that, guys, and enjoy!
lokifan: black Converse against a black background (Dark!Willow: that was rude)
Thanks so much for all the lovely, insightful, helpful and huggy comments on my last post. I was NOT expecting anything like so many or such lovely ones, which just goes to show that I should not underestimate my flist. ♥ In a swift move from gratitude to RAGEFACE, a little rant...

Fingers crossed for the Palestinian vote today. I am going to be sending some angry letters if Cameron abstains. It would be bloody ridiculous to give in to American pressure here, particularly there aren’t any British votes in saying No Palestine Doesn’t Deserve To Have Its Statehood Recognised What Are You On About.

I just... argh. As ever you are welcome to both discuss and debate with me in the comments and anon commenting is on, but I have so far found the arguments in favour of rejecting Palestine’s UN application for statehood to be factually incorrect/ambivalent (they want violence! Violence will inevitably be sparked!), idiotic/in bad faith (peace will come from negotiation not acting alone! Right, because statehood isn’t a necessary step in the process at all. Netanyahu, this should not be a barrier to negotiation), or morally repugnant. )


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