Mar. 24th, 2017

Dude just found this while collecting his Apple IIe disks for a digitization project.


do you ever sit and think about your female ancestors and like how many of them endured forced marriages, sexual abuse, physical violence and complete deprivation of education and autonomy and suffered silently for literally centuries. going through pregnancies and child birth without modern medicine, having multiple children and watching most of them die before the age of five because that was just the way of life back then? and ultimately you are a product of their pain? i think about them a lot and then i think about how many women continue to share their reality in this current year 


I think about this a lot too.

And I also think about how it’s kind of a myth that in the Bad Old Days everything was Terrible. Like, not to downplay the suffering of people in the days before modern medicine and all, but I think it kind of– it absolves our society of some guilt, to give in to this fantasy of The Dark Times Before, kind of? Like, oh, modern medicine and modern times are this crazy luxury and we should all be grateful and everything used to always be terrible–

but that’s just not true. I’m extremely lucky to have access to a ton of my family’s genealogical data, and I went through at one point and wrote down the name of every female ancestor, her age at marriage, her age when first child born, and how old she was when she died. I had pretty comprehensive data back to the early 1600s or so (which is when my grandma stopped counting, as she was mostly doing this for American history purposes).

One woman was married at 19. All others were over 20. I mean every single one. In my entire sample size. I’m going back 11, 12 generations; that’s a lot of individuals.

Most of their children lived. Most of them had more than two or three children, sure, but not all did. (And, I mean. There were a ton of single ladies in the genealogies who didn’t get married ever or have kids, I’m just– I mean, obviously– not descended from them. They tend to disappear in the historical record for that reason, but they very much existed and were pretty common really. It has never been universally expected of women to marry. The nuclear family is a modern invention.)

 Of my ancestresses, most of them had the majority of their children survive to adulthood. Their children were, largely, well-spaced, indicating that they had some modicum of control of their own family planning, one way or another. (Family planning predates the Pill, for the record. The rest of human history was not all random chance.) And for the most part, these women lived to be quite old. 

(An example, Ann Borodell, born in Ireland 1618, was married circa 1648, had five children, four of whom survived to adulthood [one died at 12, no recorded infant mortalities and no long spacings suggesting such], and died at age 96 among her children and grandchildren. She was 30 when she married– and to a younger, poorer man at that, one who she apparently chose of her own accord and by all accounts out of personal preference. In the SEVENTEENTH CENTURY.)

What’s the deal? Oh, my people were white. And mostly middle-class. Farmers, at least; some merchants, mostly land-owners. Not wealthy, but never destitute. (Ann was a wealthy leather merchant’s favorite daughter.)

It’s a lie that life used to always, universally be terrible. No, if you were white and middle-class, life was pretty all right. (Circling back to my point: not to downplay the very real suffering of a lot of real people! But it was neither universal nor inevitable.) Just like now, luck played a big part– don’t get me wrong, there were awful things that people went through, and some of them weren’t so lucky, a great many of the menfolk died young of various causes, and a fair number of the women perished in childbirth-related incidents– but it’s a myth that everyone’s lot was misery. 

Absolutely, mourn the tragedies that befell those who came before. I’m sure there were plenty. But doesn’t it make the current bullshit all the more deplorable to realize that it’s not even precedented in history! They’re making up how bad things used to be, to make it seem like this is somehow acceptable. 

The horrors of the past were neither universal nor inevitable. The horrors of the current day, therefore, are likewise. We must resist where we can, and that means those of us who have inherited privilege must do all we can to extend it to others. 

SUDDENLY THE REBELLION IS REAL (Or, why I have a screaming case of The Feels about Cassian Andor)

It’s pretty common knowledge that filming for the Rebel Base in A New Hope took place in Tikal, which is why it’s so satisfying that Poe Dameron - played by Guatemalan-American Oscar Isaac - is canonically from Yavin 4.

There’s always been a thread of Cold War unease in Star Wars, given when it was filmed (start with the obvious nuclear parallels in the Death Star’s destructive power). Rogue One - literally, in the in-universe chronology, but also in its loving attention to nostalgic detail - takes us back to that time. And here’s what was happening in Guatemala in 1977:

Democratic elections during the Guatemalan Revolution in 1944 and 1951 had brought popular leftist governments to power, but a United States backed coup d'état in 1954 installed the military regime of Carlos Castillo Armas, who was followed by a series of conservative military dictators…in the 1970s continuing social discontent gave rise to an insurgency among the large populations of indigenous people and peasants, who traditionally bore the brunt of unequal land tenure. During the 1980s, the Guatemalan military assumed almost absolute government power for five years; it had successfully infiltrated and eliminated enemies in every socio-political institution of the nation, including the political, social, and intellectual classes. In the final stage of the civil war, the military developed a parallel, semi-visible, low profile but high-effect, control of Guatemala’s national life.As well as fighting between government forces and rebel groups, the conflict included, much more significantly, a large-scale, coordinated campaign of one-sided violence by the Guatemalan state against the civilian population from the mid-1960s onward. The military intelligence services (G2 or S2) and an affiliated intelligence organization known as La Regional or Archivo - headquartered in an annex of the presidential palace - were responsible for coordinating killings and “disappearances” of opponents of the state and suspected insurgents and those deemed by the intelligence services to be collaborators. The Guatemalan state was the first in Latin America to engage in widespread use of forced disappearances against its opposition with the number of disappeared estimated at between 40,000 and 50,000 from 1966 until the end of the war. In rural areas where the insurgency maintained its strongholds, the repression amounted to wholesale slaughter of the peasantry and massacres of entire villages; first in the departments of Izabal and Zacapa (1966–68) and later in the predominantly Mayan western highlands from 1978 onward. In the early 1980s, the killings are considered to have taken on the scale of genocide.

In Latin America, the Cold War was hot. The Guatemalan genocide went on well into the early nineties. Shortly after the release of ANH, the Sandinistas overthrew (U.S.-backed) dictator Somoza in Nicaragua; by the time the Empire struck back, Reagan had taken office and was funding counterrevolutionary activity by the Contras. Operation Condor was in full swing. Augusto Pinochet’s (U.S.-backed) regime was torturing and disappearing people in Chile. The (U.S.-backed) Argentinian government was drugging political prisoners, flying them several miles out over the ocean, and shoving them out the plane doors. The CIA was working with actual Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie to overthrow the government of Bolivia.

That is the historical context in which those shots in A New Hope were filmed. And that is the context in which Space Latino Cassian Andor wages a paramilitary war on imperial oppression from Rebel Alliance headquarters in the Mayan Massassi ruins on Guatemala Yavin 4. What was always there in the subtext becomes very, very explicit. You can no longer comfortably consume the Ragtag Rebels aesthetic without confronting what it means. “We don’t all have the luxury of deciding when and where we want to care about something,” Cassian snarls at Jyn. “Suddenly the Rebellion is real for you. Some of us live it.” In Rogue One - in the occupation of Jedha, in Bodhi Rook stumbling through the desert with a black bag over his head, in Cassian as the narrative face of the Rebel Alliance, in every Spanish-accented line of his dialogue - suddenly the Rebellion is real.

It’s always been real, and suddenly the audience has to face the fact that some people live it.

Really enjoying this new routine of waking up, checking twitter, screaming into the void…

I thought something WORSE had happened this morning. Looks like the same bullshit that was happening last night? Seriously though. Seriously. I feel like the void’s going to fill up with screams at some point. 

So I have two evenings in new york accounted for, but I should probably figure out what to do for the rest of the week.
My knowledge of the place amounts to ‘there is a park, it appears to be quite large’.
My initial reaction is that this is a Fan Activity and therefore I should try to accumulate 4+ people, designate a landmark in the park and a time and arrange for us to meet there for a picnic lunch and some fannish nattering, because that’s what I’d do in London, but I think there’s only three of us going that week and I know how to find lost people in London parks.
So anyway what are the must-see things in New York and what’s the best way to get around?

So. I lived near New York for a number of years, but it was some time ago, so I’m by no means an expert, but here’s a starting point.

#1 NYC has the best public transit in the US. It’s the MTA, and here is their website. They have comprehensive subway and bus service throughout the city. Fifteen years ago, when I lived there, you could just pick up a pamphlet called The Map from any subway station, and it had a route map of the entire city. I don’t know if you can still get it in print, but I’m sure it’s posted many places. Meanwhile, that website has route information for both subways and buses. I’ve taken a cab in NYC precisely once in my life, because I had luggage and it was 2 in the morning. Other than that, you get yourself a fare card from one of the machines, and you’re good to go. (They offer either flat-fee for the weekend kind of ones, or pay per trip ones; I’m sure there’s more info on the website. They’re incredibly easy to use but not as cool as Oyster cards.)

#2 if I were in NYC my jam is museums so I would probably hit the Museum of Natural History (because I love dinosaurs) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, both of which are located up near Central Park. There are also an unreal number of specialty museums that may be more tailored to your specific interests; I just made many pilgrimages to those two as a youngling, and am fond of their contents.  The other big thing I miss about NYC is food, but restaurants are ever-changing, so someone with more current knowledge will need to chime in.

#3 There are actually a shitload of parks in NYC, including many many on the island of Manhattan; Central Park is enormous and pretty and has stuff in it and many views you will recognize from movies, but in terms of meetups, you may actually want to pick something closer to the neighborhood you’d be in. (I know Hamlet is at the Public Theater, which is really close to Washington Square Park, which is a perfectly lovely meetup spot.) Or, you know, you want to get out, pick something cool to see, explore a little, that’s valid too. The Island of Manhattan is relatively small and arranged as a grid, so it’s incredibly easy to get around it and orient yourself. 

@bomberqueen17 replied to your photo “Mykonos - inspired by one of my all-time favourite fanvids, Mykonos by…”

i should watch that movie.

YESSSS I love The Eagle, it’s one of the tiny fandoms of my heart, I’ve even written a handful of fics. WATCH those Brokeback Romans, WATCH ITTTTTTTTT  <3

@bomberqueen17 replied to your photoset “a matching set for longer than the silence”

ohh these are beautiful! the flowers– I’m trying to get my feeble art skills together enough to do drawings of flowers so I can embroider them, this is very inspirational. LOL everyone else is probably going to be moved by Sam’s eyelashes, I’m such a loser, but that yarrow!!!!

eeeee You could tell it was yarrow! I AM SO HAPPY ABOUT THIS. You’re embroidering flowers too? <33 I’ve never been very patient with embroidery but I once did an embroidered floral pillow case, I should dig that out to show you. Please tag me if you do embroider!! I’d love to see <3

I haven’t started embroidering the flowers, I’m still procrastinating. But I’m trying to carve out more niches around the farm’s flower arranging stuff, and part of that is that I want to do prints and silkscreens and pressed flowers and embroideries. I would love to see what you’ve done! So far I’ve only taken photos.

I want to match flowers with their meanings, and so the ones I’m starting with are the ones, of course, with bad meanings. (Number one on my list is an embroidery of a red geranium with the caption “stupidity” under it.) 


the Arthur episode about chickenpox came out before the chickenpox vaccine was widely used in the US, so it’s not surprising that Arthur’s parents describe chickenpox as a normal childhood illness. the vaccine was introduced to the US in 1995, and the episode was being made the same year or early in 1996.

the interlude of the episode features children talking about how much it sucks to be sick, even if you might get to eat in bed or stay home from school—because you’re miserable the whole time.

I’m really glad i was lucky enough to have not had chickenpox in the time between birth and when I was offered the vaccine in 1999 because itching is sensory hell.

please vaccinate your children against this highly contagious illness that is sensory hell and can result in permanent scars. I’m really glad that our toddler has been vaccinated against it so she won’t have to suffer from it.

I had no idea the chickenpox vaccine was that recent, but looking back at my own immunization record (which I happen to have a copy of), I only got vaccinated for it in 1998, when I was eight years old. 

I was never offered this vaccine. My parents deliberately exposed me to chicken pox when my older sister caught it, which was standard practice in the 1980s; younger children had less severe symptoms, it was understood, so early exposure to the disease was encouraged. I had it when I was six or so , and have a small scar on my arm from one of the welts I itched too much. I only remember it dimly but I assure you, it sucked.

Rogue One Stars Answer the Web’s Most Searched Questions

a.k.a i just wanted an excuse to gif this


we were listening to that and I shrieked out loud and said “THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID” and then we all cried.



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