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Christina Talbott-Clark
Hyper gremlin nightmare woman (ht to Seanan McGuire)
Hyper gremlin nightmare woman (ht to Seanan McGuire)

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Happy New Year, my fellow Plussers

Copperbadge is my favorite blogger for a damn good reason.

May you, too, find a silly angel in the new year.

It’s not really a secret, but it’s not really well-known and I don’t really talk about it, the fact that I play Captain America in an online shitposting roleplay game.

My side of it could generally be described as “deeply unserious” – there’s not much plot and almost zero real continuity on my part. But that doesn’t mean I don’t put effort into how I think of Captain America within the parameters of the game.

I chose to play Steve as the nicest, most well-mannered fratbro you’ll ever meet – an adrenaline junkie who has a deeply-rooted ethical code, an impulsive twentysomething who also considers his actions and words so as not to hurt anyone, someone who loves life even though he’s been severely damaged by it, an antifascist who makes a point to be kind and understanding and to still have fun.

And the thing is, I think that playing Steve has done for me something similar to what he did for Chris Evans (who was a decent person to start with if reports are anything to go by). You can’t play a person who gives so much of a damn for everyone without being impacted by their ethos – you can’t spend years of your life inside the head of Steve Rogers and come away unchanged. I’ve said before that the ultimate authority on Steve Rogers at this point really is Chris Evans, because he has spent literal years interpreting his canon and creating his subtext for millions. But I think it’s an example of “the thought becomes the word becomes the deed” – that constantly inquiring into how a truly good person would react to the world leads you closer to that ideal.

I see in myself, in my blog posts lately, the kind of upbeat, doing-his-best spirit that pervades my work with Cap. It’s something a little beyond hopepunk – even when someone is an asshole to me, I find that it’s very satisfying to respond with aggressive good cheer. It’s not something I think should be policy in all things, but for run of the mill jerks it’s quite successful. I’ve never been big on self-hate but I think I’ve been a markedly better person in the past year and change because I’ve been playing a better person in a frivolous shitposting roleplay. And this isn’t to brag that I’m some kind of pinnacle of perfection, I’m not, but…

It’s a proof of concept, isn’t it? That if you want to be a better person, the trick is to fake it till you make it, to find someone you think is better than you are and continually ask yourself how they would behave, until it solidifies into habit. I think I’m better and happier than I was because I’ve spent so much time modeling Captain America in a low-stakes, low-impact roleplay that his mannerisms have become mine. I love our roleplay, but I also know that it’s just a game, and that low-stress attitude somehow imprinted deeply on my psyche.

What I’m trying to say is that I hope you all love yourselves, but that’s hard shit. So if you can’t find it in yourself to love you as you are, find someone in fiction or even in real life that you do love, and maybe make a dumb blog, and give yourself a year where you are that kind of person if only part time, and you will see how quickly you absorb the traits you wish you had. Be shamelessly someone else, someone you wish you were, just part time, without giving too much of a shit about it, and see how it bleeds over into being full-time yourself.

Dumb, impulsive, loyal, parachute-hating, jello-loving, kitten-cuddling, family-finding, Depression-surviving, lefty commie freak activist Steve Rogers and I both hope in the new year you all have a silly angel on your shoulder helping you to like yourself more than you did.
Si Creabis, Fit Redunda.
Si Creabis, Fit Redunda.
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Anthem for Doomed Youth

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?

      — Only the monstrous anger of the guns.

      Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle

Can patter out their hasty orisons.

No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells; 

      Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,—

The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;

      And bugles calling for them from sad shires.

What candles may be held to speed them all?

      Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes

Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.

      The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;

Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,

And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.

- Wilfred Owen
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Fellow USAians, tomorrow is an election day! Remember to get out there and vote! It's your right and your duty.

* You can find your polling place here:

* You can view a sample ballot for your area here:

* At least half the states have laws requiring employers to give you time off work to cast your ballots - many of them paid time off - so go check this list if you aren't sure about your state's laws:

* If pollworkers can't find you on the list at your polling place, ask them to look under alternate spellings in case of data entry mistakes or similar problems. If they still can't find you, tell them you want to cast a provisional ballot.

* Some areas with touch-screen voting have reported problems with accuracy. Vote for individuals instead of choosing a "straight ticket" option, and double-check your choices before final submission of votes. If possible, get a paper receipt to confirm your vote.

Now go vote! It's what Alexander Hamilton would want you to do <3 (warning for autoplay at link and no captions).
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There is an important message here for people who have children, and for people who used to be children. (That's everyone.) Please click through and read it.

Thanks to +Bridget Spitznagel for sharing this.
If we want to stop bullying and mob attacks we have to encourage children to choose to leave uncomfortable situations. We must support their bucking of peer pressure.

Fred and I were talking about the rumour that Dr. Ford's father would not support her by saying he believed she had been a survivor of sexual assault because it would jeopardize his standing at his golf club. Fred just could not believe a father would not support a child even if he didn't support the adult. I said that's why she didn't report it as a teen but just dealt with it. He flat out said parents don't treat their children like that.

We've both never been without parental support. I was drawn to Fred's family just because they were so clearly supportive. I had a much more contentious relationship with my parents in my teens, but in the end, they were always there for me regardless of how much they disapproved of what I was doing. I've seen what happens when parents don't. I guess Fred hasn't.
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This video is utterly delightful. Do yourself a favor today and watch Angel Blue talk to some kids about opera.

Thanks to +Katherine Phelps for bringing this video to my attention.
This is sooooo QUTE! I bust a gut laughing!
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Rise up

We don't sing in our protests much anymore. We should change that.

This song isn't necessarily the catchiest, but it's a well-known hymn tune to many ("O sacred head, now wounded") and its message is clear.

Brothers and sisters, it's time to rise up singing.
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+Tshaka Armstrong has got some important things to say about the crime of Existing While Black.

Particularly relevant is his last paragraph. I've heard a lot of talk about Black people needing to "do better" or "lift themselves up" or "fix their communities/culture". But as Tshaka points out, Black people can't fix racism, for the same reason women can't fix sexism.

This is on us, white people. And we have a lot of work to do.
"YOUR. DISCOMFORT. WITH ME. IS. NOT. MY. PROBLEM. Google is free. Stop listening to people who spout GOP/DIXIECRAT era fallacies, lies and fear tactics and educate yourselves about America.

Black people are not Klingons.

We aren’t some warring race, to be feared throughout the galaxy. Enough already."
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Courtesy of +Jeanne Devon, local political blogger, an introduction to the insanity that is Alaskan politics. They are reviewing the ballot for our largest city's mayoral election.

Here it is:

Kid1 and I got to vote together in my living room the other day, testing out the new vote by mail system.

Kid1: I'm not familiar with some of these mayoral candidates. Who's this guy?

Me: That's the hydrogen guy who thinks it all went to Hell when women were allowed to work outside the home.

Kid1: What about this one?

Me: She's basically an oil shill. I've gotten into a couple altercations on Twitter with her.

Kid1: And this guy?

Me: Oh! He's the alternative energy/Nazi who wears weird goggly yellow eyewear.

Kid1: Wait, an "alternative energy Nazi?"

Me: No, like an actual Nazi who also believes in alternative energy. He used to have a website with a collage of pictures of wind turbines, and solar panels, and Hitler, and rainbows, and the SS.

Kid1: Okayyy... Anyone else I should know about?

Me: Well, that's the pro-labor, anti-choice, anti-fluoride guy who thinks the economy of Anchorage can be saved by installing a zip line downtown.

Kid1: Is he the guy who painted his own signs... With the smiley face?

Me: Yep.

Kid1: ...

Me: Yeah. I'm voting for the current mayor.

Kid1: Sounds like a plan.
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A blog post wherein I discuss the "Walk Up, Not Out" response to school protests against gun violence, and how it relates to a very individualistic approach to modern activism that actually prevents us from making real change.
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