harumph: Cartoon of a Weeping Angel from Doctor Who with the caption "Not the comfy chair!" (who :: tardis is sparkly)
So I just needed somewhere to go WTF for a moment. spoilers abound for Doctor Who 6.07 (A Good Man Goes To War) )

Maybe I should've waited until I watch the episode tomorrow with Andrew to post about this, but I just needed to let my head 'splode somewhere without spoiling people who haven't seen the episode yet.
harumph: Cartoon of a Weeping Angel from Doctor Who with the caption "Not the comfy chair!" (who :: 11 :: nighties in space)
While I'm super glad they're airing this series of Doctor Who on BBCA concurrently with the regular BBC, it doesn't change anything for me because we don't have anything beyond basic cable. :-/ So I watched the episode on Sunday instead. First time around, I wasn't particularly impressed. I suppose I'll have to reserve judgement until Day of the Moon, since hopefully things will be explained by then. In the meantime, on my second watch, have some spoilery (and not-so-spoilery) thoughts re: The Impossible Astronaut )
harumph: Cartoon of a Weeping Angel from Doctor Who with the caption "Not the comfy chair!" (Default)
This is a basic gobblydegook entry to see how certain layouts will look. Even if I barely (er, never) use this thing, I'd still like it to look pretty!

Lorem ipsum and all that...
harumph: Cartoon of a Weeping Angel from Doctor Who with the caption "Not the comfy chair!" (people :: izzard :: quoi?)
Because I don't want to spam facebook/twitter/what-have-you, I'm compiling a list o' links here of all the awesome things I've stumbled upon over the last few days. Because you NEED TO KNOW.

Kick-Ass, Made of Win People

Amusing &/Or Nifty Time Wasters
  • Adorable sleeping puppies to give you a happy when you has a grumpy/sad/&c. If you're more of a kitteh person, you weren't forgotten.
  • If you (like me) wound up watching the VMAs against your better judgment on Sunday night & thus know about Kanye being a douche and interrupting Taylor Swift's acceptance speech, I bring you imaletyoufinish.com. When you combine unrelated images with Kanye's ego, hilarity ensues! (Well, most of the time)
  • The 50 States Project, which assigns a particular theme (landscape, residence, people, etc.) and 1 photographer from each of the 50 US states submits a photo "representing," as it were, their state. Some of them are really awesome, and some are lame. I must admit my current fave is from Oklahoma (because the buffalo American Bison is looking at the jackrabbit as if to say "... quoi?")

Earlier this week the Smart Bitches held a contest for Twilight-izing the covers of any romance (or really any book), as inspired by the new covers for Wuthering Heights, Pride & Prejudice, and Romeo & Juliet. The actual post, however, seems to have disappeared and I cannot find it, nor do I know why it was taken down because it was HILARIOUS. I'm emailing/tweeting Sarah to find out what the deal is, but in the meantime you can get the general idea by checking out these Twilight-ized covers a cool cat posted in sparklefield.

EDITED TO ADD: Aaaaaand the entry is live again! Check out the Twilight-ized book covers in all their majestic glory. I have to say I voted for the dictionary, too, although it might have been more apropos to use a thesaurus. Just sayin'. :D Goodnight Moon is definitely a close second (if only because I can only ever hear it in my mind with Christopher Walken reading it, lol).
harumph: Cartoon of a Weeping Angel from Doctor Who with the caption "Not the comfy chair!" (across the universe :: i want you)
Declaration of Independence by John Trumbull


The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
harumph: (random :: i support love)
There's a new phrase in town: Amazon rank.

In case you haven't heard, recently Amazon.com (and apparently Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.ca) has taken to removing the sales rankings for GLBT books, claiming that they fall under the category of "adult" content. This is in spite of the fact that many of the books with rankings removed have no sexual/explicit content and are apparently only being removed because of their GLBT theme. Somehow books by Playboy and Penthouse don't fall under this "adult" category, but Lady Chatterly's Lover and The Well of Loneliness do. Strange, yes?

HOWEVER! Never fear, the Smart Bitches are here! They have started a Google Bombing campaign, and I for one hope you decide to join in. Just make sure to link back to their definition with the anchor text Amazon rank. Simple, yes?

It's time to let people know just how rank this Amazon rank bullshit really is.

(See also the #amazonfail hashtag on Twitter, if you are on too many social networking services like me have an account)


Jun. 27th, 2007 04:21 pm
harumph: Cartoon of a Weeping Angel from Doctor Who with the caption "Not the comfy chair!" (Default)
The obligatory (and easier for me to organize than putting in the userinfo) resources post )
harumph: Cartoon of a Weeping Angel from Doctor Who with the caption "Not the comfy chair!" (White Christmas // Count Your Blessings)
Here's a quickie to entice you to do your good deed for the day (I'm basically cutting and pasting this from the community I found it in):

For anyone who doesn't whose never heard of it (which would be most of the planet), Children in Need is an annual fundraiser for assorted kid's charities.

Someone, bless their cotton socks, is donating 10p per comment on this post. Anyone can post, multiple times in fact - if you happen to have more than one LJ.

So far it looks like £150, but the post is open until midnight tomorrow (Friday, November 17) (GMT).

Thus far I've commented 4 times with various journals I've collected over the years (omg I wonder if I still even have the password for [livejournal.com profile] thegreatvoodini! anyone else remember that one? ;)) so it's awfully easy and for a good cause. So, what are you waiting for? ;)

Anyway, if doing a good deed has put you in the holiday spirit and you haven't given me your address to receive a holiday card yet, you can do so here. :D Wouldn't recommend doing it on this post, as it's public to entice as many random people as possible to comment for charity!
harumph: Cartoon of a Weeping Angel from Doctor Who with the caption "Not the comfy chair!" (Green Day // Mike: WTF?)
There are a few things I forgot to mention yesterday that might put things in perspective in terms of the decisions the owners of the Rescue Mission have made. Their reasoning for charging people to live in the mission are as follows:

1. Because of the hurricane, most of their donor base has been displaced. Therefore, they're in need of funds. However, they don't want to apply for federal aid because then they would have to get rid of certain aspects of the way they run the shelter (i.e. making people attend a church service before being allowed to receive a meal, which is standard in Rescue Mission organizations). However, if you take a look at the city demographically, the majority of the people remaining in the city are affluent and white. While obviously these people were temporarily displaced due to the flooding, for the most part their houses were unharmed (the natural levees on Lake Pontchartrain held, the Garden District was relatively unharmed, and so the rich people were saved, lucky them) and so it seems like they might be able to find some sort of donor base in the city, even if it isn't to the extent of the pre-Katrina base. There are other ways, I'm positive.

2. The population they served pre-Katrina is gone, so they need to change with the times. The former population being drug addicts, prostitutes, and so forth, who all came to the mission to go through a year-long Christian-based rehabilitation program and try to find a job. Now they are focusing on transitional housing for people who already have full-time jobs and have no place to live. Not a worthless goal by any means, but it is NOT serving the proportion of the population that actually needs it the most. While understandably they don't have the capacity to provide a rigorous rehab program that requires psychologists and 24-hour surveillance and so forth, it doesn't mean that they should focus solely on a minute percentage of the populace. While staying in the shelter, we had to turn away people asking for food or a place to stay every day. We gave them what clothes and toiletries we could find, but unless they could pay up front (owners stated this specifically) then we had to turn them away. So I agree that the population has changed, but by providing housing to people who need to find a job and desparately want to return to the city, you would be helping so many more people. Everyone who owns a home in the 9th ward wants to come home; most of them have lived in New Orleans for generations. What's wrong with providing them with a place to live and the ability to find a job so they can move back and rebuild? Oh right, they're poor and black.

This is the main rationale for their decision to charge $150/week per resident. Now I believe that if the American population at large knew how much damage still exists in New Orleans, how many people are displaced and how many of those people want to come home, I think the mission would have no problem finding donors around the country. They would have to donate online or over the phone because the mail service is spotty at best unless you have a PO Box and mail things directly at the post office. Their cook isn't a paid employee, but rather cooks in exchange for room and board. Her husband has a similar arrangement with the mission. If they had several more people using the same arrangement, they would have a staff large enough to accomodate serving meals en masse and then actually make use of the ridiculous amount of food they took from the Food Bank.

Anyway, I just thought I should state that the owners of the Mission did have reasons for what they did... it's just that, to my mind, they weren't as legitimate as I think necessary. Or at least the way they've acted upon them isn't.

ETA: FUCK YES! This is definitely a step in the right direction!
harumph: Cartoon of a Weeping Angel from Doctor Who with the caption "Not the comfy chair!" (Hornblower // Jack is worried)
It's amazing how over the course of the week I've gone from crying every time someone mentions our trip to being able to say "Things were absolutely corrupt and it's amazing how little has been done" in an almost nonchalant tone. I suppose I should tell you all why I was in a bitchtastic mood on Sunday. Let me start off by saying that our group leaders had no idea that the organization we worked and lived with would turn out to be as corrupt and heartless as it was, so I can't really blame them. They investigated as best they could, I suppose.

Anyway, we lived in and worked with the New Orleans Rescue Mission )

Now, for a Christian humanitarian organization, that sounds pretty fucking immoral, doesn't it? Also, the shelter is going to be knocked over and redone by Extreme Makeover in the next 2 years, so how much did our work actually help? I couldn't say. We ended up undoing a task a previous group had done (moving filing cabinets OUT of the storage room the former group had put them INTO and placing them in the exact spot they had been in before the first group moved them).

However, all was not a complete waste. )

So basically it was the biggest moral dilemma of my life to date. Not to mention that on Wednesday we took an educational tour of the city, including multiple trips to the now-infamous 9th Ward, the neighborhood completely devastated not by the hurricane, but by the break of poorly constructed levees. It was heartwrenching to see people's homes wrapped around telephone poles or slammed 3 or 4 into each other. Dan, an associate professor at Tulane (I wish I knew his last name, Brooke has his info and I need to get it) took us on our tour and showed us the levees, told us which ones broke and what damage they caused. The damage to the city was done by levee breakage, not by the hurricane, and the levees didn't break because of the hurricane, they broke because they were built poorly.

Thus I had an emotional breakdown on Wednesday and ranted at everyone about how I felt like my time was being wasted, that I felt like I was in a summer camp rather than doing the work I was meant to do, and I still feel that way. So while I can feel good about one or two isolated events during the trip, overall it was unproductive in the sense that I didn't do much of anything for the actual people affected. However, it was definitely eye-opening as well as infuriating. The government is so corrupt... I just can't even describe it. There are no FEMA trailers in the 9th Ward. No-one wants to rebuild there except the people who live there. That neighborhood had the highest percentage of African-American home ownership in the country, and now they're scattered. 2/3 of the population, mostly the African-Americans, is still displaced, and yet the city wants to hold elections for the mayor and other major city offices. What does it matter, really? They're getting what they wanted. "The element" is being forcibly removed from the city.

People can deny that this is a racial issue as much as they want, but the fact is it's as much a racial issue as an economic or political issue. Race is inseparable from it all. The blacks are the majority of the population, and they are also overwhelmingly impoverished. Race and ecomonics, hand in hand. If these elections proceed as planned, without any action taken to allow displaced citizens to vote, the city could very well have its first white mayor in 30 years. Whether that would be good or bad is anyone's guess, but it would certainly prove that the demography of the city is tremendously altered.

So, now you know: it isn't over down there. In some ways it feels like it's barely begun. There is so much work left to be done, and the government on all levels seems to be incapable of handling it. The hurricane might have hit 7 months ago, but if you visited the city you would think it had hit yesterday. The flood waters have gone down, but the damage remains. I've been investigating places like levees.org and Common Ground to find out what I can do while I'm at school, and how I can help when I get back down there. Hopefully I can go back sometime soon and actually do something productive. I don't care if people think the 9th will be flattened and not rebuilt; I'd rather gut a family's home and save them $10,000 and give them hope, even if in the end it comes to naught, than do anything like what I did last week. I've never felt so angry and useless in my life. Not useless, but misused. Wasted. I never want to feel like that again. So please, remember that just because the media thinks of Katrina as old news doesn't mean everything is all better now.
harumph: Cartoon of a Weeping Angel from Doctor Who with the caption "Not the comfy chair!" (Default)

To save us all some hassle, I thought I'd give you a brief run-down on who I am, and what you can expect from my journal.

clicketh )

June 2011

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