I know exactly why I walk and talk like a machine (24327 words) by terminally_underwhelmed
Fandom: Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Graphic Depictions Of Violence
Relationships: Minor or Background Relationship(s), Pre-Harry/Draco - Relationship
Characaters: Draco Malfoy, Lucius Malfoy, Narcissa Black Malfoy, Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Blaise Zabini, Luna Lovegood, Arthur Weasley, Astoria Greengrass, more like ace-storia amirite, various OCs, Minor Characters
Additional Tags: Epilogue What Epilogue, War Aftermath, Emotional Growth, Bureaucracy, Pre-Slash, Friendship, headcanon dump
Series: Part 1 of Solitaire/Mercenary
They're together when the Dark Lord falls.
Draco is barely aware of his own senses, half-blind and exhausted from months upon months of corrosive fear, and whatever shred of reality is still allotted to him is in his father’s urgent grip on his shoulder and his mother’s hands around his and the way he leans on both of them.
Once we get back to the story of the murder itself, however, it turns out: IT'S BONKERS. The principals in the case are two pirate radio impresarios in 1966. Oliver Smedley, An Ardent Free-Trade Capitalist, was running a station called Radio Atlanta on a boat off the coast; Reggie Calvert, A Dance Hall Impresario, had taken over an entire abandoned British navy fort called Shivering Sands in the Thames Estuary and staffed it with a rotating encampment of youths running a station called Radio City. At one point Smedley and Calvert were going to have a merger, but then they had an ACRIMONIOUS BREAKUP spurred on in part by:
- the fact that Smedley was supposed to give Calvert a shiny new transmitter and instead provided an old one that never worked
- the fact that Smedley never paid all the bills he had promised Calvert that Radio Atlanta would pay
- the fact that Calvert got sick of all this and decided to merge with another station instead
The reason for all these pirate radio stations on boats and naval forts, by the way, is because in 1966 there was no legal pop radio in the UK (as explained, extensively, via the history of radio and Keynesian economic theory etc. that makes up the first half of the book). Because the pirates were technically outside of UK territory, on the other hand, they could technically get away with doing whatever they wanted, or at least the government like "it will be way too embarrassing to launch a huge naval raid against a bunch of youths on was a fort with a radio transmitter, so let's not."
HOWEVER, the fact that everything was happening outside of territorial waters where British laws and police had no jurisdiction BACKFIRED when:
- Ardent Free-Trade Capitalist Smedley decided he was so mad that Calvert had made a deal without him that he was going to MAKE SURE that the deal could never go through
- he was going to GET BACK HIS PROPERTY [the transmitter that had never worked]
- so he sent an ACTUAL OCCUPYING FORCE composed of out-of-work dockworkers to Shivering Sands, stole a bunch of key broadcasting equipment, took a bunch of it back to the mainland, and left a bunch of toughs to hold everybody who was on the station at that time hostage!!!
- (when they met the invading force, the hostage broadcasters were like 'welp' and made everybody tea)
- ("the vessel had to return briefly to pick up [the contractor who recruited the gang], who had been left behind drinking his tea")
- and then Smedley went to Calvert and his partner, an actual professional broadcaster, and was like 'I will not let you broadcast from there again or finish making your deal unless you pay me FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS'
Naturally, everyone involved was like 'wtf????' and refused to pay Smedley a dime; Calvert threatened to involve the police but the police were like 'ummmmmm technically we can't do anything for the same reasons we haven't been able to stop you from broadcasting;' Calvert then made a whole bunch of other even wilder threats; and all the hired dockworkers sat around cheerfully charging Smedley for hostaging operations which he was rapidly running out of money for.
Anyway, in the middle of all this, Calvert drove out to Smedley's house in the middle of the night and started screaming at him, and Smedley shot him and then claimed self-defense and that his HOSTILE OCCUPATION OF A POP RADIO STATION was just a little joke gone wrong! No harm no foul if only Calvert hadn't been so UPSET about it! It did help Smedley's self-defense case that Calvert happened to be carrying A FAKE PEN FULL OF NERVE GAS at the time, which apparently, according to his family, he always carried around just for safekeeping.
...so the author's point in writing about all this seems to be that a.) this incident was crucial in getting the pirate radio boats shut down and the formation of the current BBC radio system that includes actual pop radio, b.) that this is all a forerunner of later copyright battles and offshore data centers and so on, c.) pirate-radio-on-boats in the 1960s was a WILD TIME. About the latter, at least, he is most surely not mistaken.
(This has nothing to do with the main brunt of the book but I have to spare a mention for Radio City's chief engineer, who later was hired by the mob! to perform an assassination attempt!! using a spring-loaded hypodermic needle full of cyanide!!! in what it turns out was ACTUALLY a sting operation by the U.S. Treasury department who picked the hapless Radio City engineer to act as the assassin because "he needed the fee while being clearly incapable of killing anybody"!!!! This whole incident gets two pages in the book because it's somewhat irrelevant to the author's argument but seriously, where is this guy's movie?
For the record, the same mobsters then tried to intimidate Reggie Calvert's widow into selling them the remnants of the station and she was like 'lol no' and they were like '....well, when a lady knows her own mind, she knows her own mind! No hard feelings.')
So when such_heights and I got engaged in August 2014, I asked my BFF if she would, maybe, perhaps, make us a wedding quilt, too?
It’s now July 2017, the wedding quilt is finally finished, and OH MY FUCKING GOD IT IS THE MOST AMAZING THING IN ALL EXISTENCE COME LOOK HOW TALENTED MY BFF IS SHE’S THE GREATEST THIS IS THE GREATEST COME LOOK COME LOOK COME LOOK OMG!
( Many photos of the world's greatest quilt )
* I cannot finish your urgent project in a timely fashion if you keep interrupting me to ask when your project is going to be finished! Please stop!
* We have already done Thing based on all your requirements (and with your approval!) last quarter. We can just update it instead of spending so much time trying to come up with a new way to do it (only to come up with basically the exact same Thing). There is no need to spend hours reinventing the wheel!
* You have to decide whether you need a meeting to happen ASAP or if you need everyone involved present, because it's July coming up on August, and half the people you need will be out on vacation at any given moment and I have no control of that.
* I don't want healthy snacks in the vending machine. If I am driven to getting food from it, it's generally because I want Frito Lay corn chips or terrible plasticky cheap chocolate, not some sort of chip made from beans or some kind of granola bar! WTF?
Please Stop Comparing Cripping Up to Blackface
Analyzing the Gender Representation of 34,476 Comic Book Characters - interesting analysis on a few characteristics.
Spoiler warning for the new Doctor Who actorDoctor Who: We regret to inform you ...
Shout-out to the folks working at UCSF Mt. Zion -- they've all been both both friendly and competent medical professionals (the super-enthusiastic residents were THE BEST. One of them bounced little on his feet, holding the clipboard for consent signing out to me).
The Black Alliance for Just Immigration (www.blackalliance.org) is having two webinars on the State of Black Immigrants.
Part 1 is July 18, tomorrow, at 5pm;part 2 is July 25, both 5 pm EST.
I haven't spent much time going through and thinking in terms of which ones are most workable for me, but there are several I like. Chosen family is one of my favorite things; "huddle for warmth" is one of those reliable classic tropes that I don't think I've ever actually written; I like domestic things, so both curtain fic and food/cooking fit... We'll see.
Anyway, here's my card:
( under the cut )
--"Mermaid Hues: A Book of Mermaids" is a project by an artist whose work I enjoyed during Mermay, so I'm glad to see it's being made available for purchase!
--Sparkler Monthly just launched their Kickstarter for year 5: "Twelve more issues of women-oriented, LGBT+ friendly webcomics, light novels, and audio dramas in our digital magazine!" Their Kickstarter page includes a lot of info on the kind of work they do and publish, and links to a free downloadable Sparkler Starter Bundle.
(I do have to note that I'm friends with several of the founders/editors [and have proofread a few of their print volumes], but that means I can tell you with confidence that they bring a LOT of experience and passion to the table as long-term manga-industry professionals and as enthusiastic, thoughtful fans of female-gaze-focused Japanese and Japanese-style media.)
"10+ Times Corgis Mixed With Other Breeds, And The Result Was Absolutely Pawsome".
"Columbus Zoo And Aquarium Welcome A Squeaky Little Small-Clawed Otter Pup".
"22 Dogs That Prove We Don’t Deserve Dogs". [Buzzfeed]
naye posted June pics of her LaPerm kitties!
"I’ve Spent Years Photographing Rats To Break The Negative Image Of Rats By Taking Cute Pics Of Them".
Via erinptah, "Senior Cat Was So Grumpy — Until He Became ‘Grandpa’ To Kittens: “I was expecting him to hiss or growl or slink away. But then one of the ginger kittens started licking Mason’s ear, and Mason sort of leaned into it and closed his eyes like it was the most amazing thing ever.”".
"Sleeps With Monsters: Stop Erasing Women’s Presence in SFF". [Tor.com]
Aww, yay! Sarah Kurchak is Writer of the Week at The Establishment.
"The Myth of Drug Expiration Dates".
Via alexseanchai, a fascinating piece of poetry/meta and commentary about translation between languages where the speakers of one have oppressed the speakers of the other. It's remarkable.
Via tielan, "5 Easy To Make Homemade Air Conditioners".
"How Clergy Set the Standard for Abortion Care: Fifty years ago, a network of religious leaders helped thousands of women find safe, comfortable ways of having the procedure". 
"'Glow' Star Betty Gilpin: What It's Like to Have Pea-Sized Confidence With Watermelon-Sized Boobs", a piece about becoming comfortable in her body for the first time. (I'm not sure exactly what content notes to put on this; proceed carefully if you have issues tangled up with body image.)[Note: I have not seen Glow, although it's on the LIST OF DOOM.]
It depends a bit on the weather, but I’m mostly packed, I’ve cooked food that’s currently waiting in the freezer, and I have acquired the third Diane Mott Davidson book to read.
The plan is to leave work early, catch the train to the campground, camp overnight, and in the morning hike out to a different train station further down the line, about a seven-mile trek, to do a longer endurance test than last weekend’s. Then I’ll catch the train home around noon on Saturday.
If something goes wrong, I can catch an evening train home on Friday until eight o’clock, or starting in the morning at 5:30, with little to no exertion. It’s pretty low-risk and I’m well stocked. I don’t have a sleeping pad, but my backpack has a partial one built-in, and I have one arriving tomorrow (though it might be too bulky, we’ll see). And honestly in this heat, I might just sleep on top of my sleeping bag in any case.
Worst case scenario, the campground has heated, lockable shower cubicles with nice big floors. I’ve slept on worse.
Caaaaaaamping! *jazz hands*
from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2uB78KA
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I last read this book in 8th grade about 26 years ago. I remembered liking it and the general plot but not much else. Recently, a bunch of people on FFA were talking about how much they hated the book, so I thought I'd revisit it and see if my opinion had changed.
I still like it. :) I am a huge sucker for stories in which much of the narrative is ambiguous or imagined or a deliberate fantasy (see the Haunting of Hill House, which also shares a climax with this novel, or "The Last Man" episode of SGA). We don't actually know if the backstory the narrator of Ethan Frome has invented is true; he imagines the bulk of the story in the second before he crosses the threshold to Ethan's home. Conversations he has with Ethan and with other townspeople corroborate parts of his fantasy, but our unnamed narrator could be misreading the clues as badly as Lockwood does in the beginning of Wuthering Heights (although probably not; there's no textual evidence he's doing so).
The language here is so beautiful. It isn't spare though the scenes Wharton describes are often spare and stark. Here's an example: "A mournful peace hung on the fields, as though they felt the relaxing grasp of the cold and stretched themselves in their long winter sleep."
Overall, an enjoyable and quick read. If you're looking for a happy ending, this is not the novella for you. Everyone in this story is trapped and has very few choices if they have any at all. Poverty is a vise around Ethan and Mattie and Zeena that they can't dislodge. It's beautifully written, though, and a good look at the shape despair sometimes takes.
View all my reviews
Wednesday reading meme:
What I've just finished
Caliban's War by James S.A. Corey, which I enjoyed a lot, mainly because Avasarala is the best and also Bobbie! ♥ Holden still needs a lot of punching though. Ugh. Why is this guy the main character? Not only is he a dead bore, he's a ridiculously common dead bore!
I like TV!Prax better than book!Prax, I think, but I also think the show compresses the timeline in a way that means I don't get bored with a character having repetitive beats, the way I can, and do in this case, in a book.
What I'm reading now
Still, I picked up Abaddon's Gate and started it this morning, so I'm still entertained enough to continue.
What I'm reading next
The next book in this series, probably. I don't even know what the name of it is. *looks it up* Ah, Cibola Burn.
I also read two really long stories that both turned out to be in progress, which I probably should have noticed but didn't. I mean, when I see a thing is 175K words long, I figure it's done. I mean, who has that much to say in one story? But no. Sigh.
In my recent fanfic readings, I learned that I will nope out of a story if you kill off Wedge Antilles. Which was a surprise to me - how strongly my kneejerk NOPE was - but there you go. Do not want! (I mean, I don't care for any character death in my fic, and generally not in canon either! but I get that some AU premises require it. But like Bartleby the scrivener, I would prefer not to.)
I also learned that I don't really ship Bodhi with anyone but if I did it would have to be Jyn and Cassian. Gotta keep the Star Wars OT3 pattern going, I guess. I just don't find Jyn and Cassian all that compelling. *hands* I'd much rather read about Baze and Chirrut being the most married. (I think Rebels is the only place that doesn't have an OT3, but I am okay with that. I'm already bracing for Kanan and Hera to get an undeserved tragic ending.)
I also realized that in addition to believing that Luke Skywalker is asexual, I believe Anakin is demisexual, and both Leia and Padme are bisexual. Ahsoka is mostly into women except that I also ship her with Anakin (and Rex, a little), so there are exceptions? And Obi-Wan is pansexual and flirting his way across the galaxy at any given moment.
Which is probably more than anyone cared to know about my Star Wars head canons. *snerk*
So let's start with the essentials, which is
kuwdora, who makes amazing vids, is taking vid commissions to help pay for a career development opportunity.
...and it seems the other friend has reached their financial goal for the thing they needed, which I saw halfway through writing this entry, so. Please consider helping out kuwdora!
I'm busy planning London things (when I'm not busy doing other things). I've bought contact lenses for the first time in my life (putting them in and out is AWFUL but having them in is pretty wonderful). I finished watching "The Handmaid's Tale" and the "Game of Thrones" premiere and feel weirdly similarly about both.
Sunday was picking up my contacts and hunting for a birthday gift for a friend and getting stuff from the pharmacy and overall I got home from work around 8:30pm. Monday was pilates at 5pm, followed by my roommate's friends coming over at 9pm for Game of Thrones. Tuesday was going to buy new walking shoes (mine have holes in them and I need something for London), and because I needed a specialized store I yet again came home at like 9pm.
Today is going to be swimming (because my pilates class was canceled), followed by an optometrist appointment.
Basically just really, really long days. I've mostly been spending my weekends doing fuck all because of it, lol.
Anyway, I'm looking for ideas for what to do in London. So far I have the staples (places I've been and can always happily spend time in):
- british museum
- V & A
Potentially interesting but also maybe kind of boring (I have a friend who'd LOVE both of these but for me they're kind of "oh ok" sort of options):
- tour of parliament
- tour of buckingham palace
plays (I have to pick one):
- Matilda in the west end
- Much Ado About Nothing at the globe
- Queen Anne at heymarket (I do love Romola Garai)
Other than that I have: walking around various parks. LOL.
There's definitely loads more to do in London, but I feel like I've done the more obvious touristy stuff (Sherlock Holmes house, the eye, transport museum (LOL I know this is less obviously touristy, but I liked it)) and the less obvious stuff I'm not familiar with?
(I've always wanted to do the loo tour, ever since meeting the owner/tourguide at a party, but it seems every time I'm in London the times don't work out ;_;)
Anyway, suggestions for stuff to do are very welcome!
Sam Bourne: To Kill the President
It was to be expected: the first Donald Trump era thriller (that I've read). Which takes full advantage of the fact that when previously any critic worth their salt would have complained about the one dimensional characterisation of the villains and the lack of realism in the US voting someone like that into power and then the Republican Party falling in line, followed by no checks and balances from any institution after even the Supreme Court caves due to the stolen seat being filled by the new President's choice, now all this looks like, well, realism.
( Spoilers from an age where reality beggars caricature )
Philip Kerr: March Violets.
This is the first novel of a mystery series which I heard/read about via The New Yorker. The article in question was enthusiastic enought to overcome my instinctive squick at the premise, to wit: hard-boiled/noir detective novel set in the Third Reich. Basically, what if Philip Marlowe was German? Wandering those mean streets as a cynic with an ethical core takes a whole new meaning if the authories aren't just corrupt but a dictatorship preparing for war and genocide. Our hero is Bernie Gunther, former policeman who quit the force in 1933 for the obvious reason given that the novel positions he has ethics, and became a private investigator instead. Kerr serves up all the usual hard boiled/ noir tropes - untrustworthy millionaire clients, corrupt cops, shady dames -, complete with Chandleresque language, and he did his research - the novel's setting is Berlin in 1936, around the Olympic Games, and in addition to the well drawn Berlin geography, there are some great nods to Fritz Lang's movie M via some of the supporting cast, gangsters (given that Bernie Gunther originally gets hired to recover some diamonds, though of course it turns out it's far more complicated and what everyone is after is something else altogether. The brief appearances by historic figures (Göring and Heydrich, to be precise) are drawn credibly, which is to say their vileness comes across without Kerr employing sledge-hammery moustache twirling; in fact, he uses Göring's bonhommie manners to make him chilling.
As opposed to To Kill a President, this actually is a good novel. But. I still struggle somewhat with the basic premise. This is the first novel of what according ot the New Yorker article I'd read are twelve so far, and already I'm having to suspend disbelief about Bernie's continued survival. There's no reason why Heydrich at the end of this first novel shouldn't have gotten him killed, for example. And since we're in 1936, Bernie would still have the possibility to leave the country, and given what happens to him in this novel, it's hard to wonder why he doesn't, given he has no dependants who'd suffer for it. Yes, the decision to emigrate wasn't as easy as hindsight would have it if you weren't rich and didn't have friends abroad, but again, some truly harrowing things happen to Bernie in this novel which would serve as an incentive to get the hell out of Germany if ever there was one beyond the general situation of the country.
With this caveat, I'll keep reading.