November 25th, 2015

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Black Annie


So people are throwing a fit over this.

Me, I loved the remake, especially in terms of comparing it to the earlier movie with attention to what and how things had been updated.  I admired the "foster kid" remake including its song.  I adored the use of social media as the means of driving not just public opinion but several important plot points.  It was very astute.  And I think that choosing to tell this story with black protagonists spoke to multiple aspects of life that concern people of color -- being wanted, being unwanted, success, family of choice when birth families don't work out the way you want, etc.

People don't like it when somebody else gets a turn in the spotlight?  Wah wah, cry me a river.
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Stacking Blocks


I have been following with great interest the study of Tetris as a preventative treatment for PTSD and a way of reducing flashbacks.

So then I got to thinking, some people dislike video games or cannot play them.  But!  There are stacking-block games in real life too.  There are other pattern-matching games and puzzles.  I'm not into Tetris.  I love Bausack towers, and I also love tile sets that can be mixed around -- just handling the pieces and putting them into place is soothing.  I think that these would work for PTSD similar to Tetris because they use many of the same features.  You have to look at (or feel, if you're vision-impaired) the shape of the objects and the spaces to figure out what goes where.  As PTSD is fundamentally a sorting error in the brain, where you can't fit the file "EVENT.fck" into the "Past" folder, any kind of sorting activity should help facilitate that so it works better.  So having more options to explore for different ways to support that process should widen the pool of people who can be helped.
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Of Physics and Funerals


This is a good start.  For secular folks it really works and is beautiful as it stands. 

I've even done one on star stuff -- as stars live, they are very far apart and everything is quite ephemeral. When they die, their bones are blasted out through space to coalesce into and around new stars.  This process begets planets, which are the heaven of stars; and the life upon them, that's us, we are the angels.  We are what stars become after they die.  Why wouldn't we look up and think of them as home?

For me, life after death isn't faith, and it's not just memory either.  It's observation.  It's looking around the universe and seeing that everything exists within systems, within cycles.  Nothing is lost; everything is retained; it simply changes form.  Some of those changes are really exciting.  Just because we can't see the whole of a given cycle from the point we're standing in doesn't prevent us from mapping the part of it we can see, and that part tells us by its shape that it is incomplete and so there must be more which will only come into view after we have moved ahead some distance.  You can't see out of a womb when you're in it, either.

Faith is believing what you've been told.  Extrapolation is using what you already know to predict the parts you can't get at yet.

And funerals, well, they're for the community to patch up the hole that's left behind, and to make sure that the departed energy has in fact departed and isn't going to stick around loose to cause problems.  Do whatever works for you in that regard.
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On the Matter of Gifts

One thing holidays do is divide between people who love gift cards and people who hate them.

The rule is simple: when giving a gift, think of the recipient. If the person loves gift cards, then give that. You can 'customize' it by picking a favorite store; there are cards for department stores, book stores, clothing stores, most stores these days. If the person dislikes gift cards, give something else instead.

The same applies to handmade gifts: some people love homemade goodies, while others hate them. Give what the recipient likes; avoid what they don't.

And while we're on the topic, not everyone says "I love you" the same way. Here's an introduction to five popular love languages: words, service, gifts, time, touch. If you and your family share the same language(s) then great. If not, the most loving thing you can do is learn how to express love the way other people receive it.  They will be happy, and also if they notice how much work you're putting into it, they'll probably be impressed.  This means that not all people focus on the gift-giving part of the holidays.  A word-oriented person might prefer a long chatty letter or conversation about your year, a service-oriented person might favor being pampered, a time-oriented person generally likes doing things together, and a touch-oriented person might love snuggling by a fire.  You get the drift.

Picking on people what they like is obnoxious. Don't be a dick. Especially, don't be a dick over the holidays.

Happy Chrismahanakwanzikah to you. I'm posting this note ahead of Thanksgiving because the shopping season has sprawled out this early so yes, really, this advice is already needed. Not to mention arguments over who pays for the turkey supplies and how. Ah well. Try not to kill each other.
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Unsold Poetry from the November 3, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl

The following poems from the November 3, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl are currently available. Poems may be sponsored via PayPal -- there's a permanent donation button on my LiveJournal profile page -- or you can write to me and discuss other methods.

There are still verses left in the linkback poem "Learning to See."  Linking to this page will reveal new verses of that.



"All Other Things Being Equal"
Your prompt about pay inspired the free-verse poem "All Other Things Being Equal."  It's about history, discrimination, and the march into the future.
51 lines, Buy It Now = $20

"The Entrapment of Future Potential"
This contributed to the free-verse poem "The Entrapment of Future Potential."  It's a look at how modern conveniences ensnare people.
48 lines, Buy It Now = $20

"Like Jewels on a Ring"
This contributed to the ballad "Like Jewels on a Ring."  It's a little tour of the future in The Blueshift Troupers.
52 lines, Buy It Now = $20

"The Open Secret"
A Dreamwidth prompt about glimpsing the future inspired the free-verse poem "The Open Secret."  This is the backstory for The Time Towers series and how that technology developed.
96 lines, Buy It Now = $48 Posting in progress




The development of time travel
came not from a single, wild-haired genius
building a machine in his basement.

It came from a consortium of
government and research organizations,
because the requirements of energy
and infrastructure were too massive
for an individual to manage
.

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Good News

Good news includes all the things which make us happy or otherwise feel good. It can be personal or public. We never know when something wonderful will happen, and when it does, most people want to share it with someone. It's disappointing when nobody is there to appreciate it. Happily, blogging allows us to share our joys and pat each other on the back.

What good news have you had recently?
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Poetry Fishbowl on Tuesday, December 1

This is an advance announcement for the Tuesday, December 1, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. This time the theme will be "weather." I'll be soliciting ideas for weathermen, weathered heroes, desert crawlers, strangers blown in on a storm, rainmakers, sun princes, weather deities, Oyuki-san, empathic environment, preparing for bad weather, making predictions, controlling the weather, getting caught in a storm, praying for rain, weathering the storm, huddling against the cold, watching the world burn, rebuilding from the ashes, hostile terraforming, wastelands, any port in a storm, shipwrecks, snow caves, creepy buildings, sanctuaries, habitat foreclosurehostile weather, space weather, strange alien storms, bizarre seasons, personal raincloud, lightning revelation, demonic charcoal fog, redemption in the rain, first snow, the power of the sun, thunderbirds, and poetic forms in particular.

I have a linkback poem, "The Least of These" (11 verses, The Ocracies). 

If you're interested, mark the date on your calendar, and please hold actual prompts until the "Poetry Fishbowl Open" post next week.  (If you're not available that day, or you live in a time zone that makes it hard to reach me, you can leave advance prompts.  I am now.)  Meanwhile, if you want to help with promotion, please feel free to link back here or repost this on your blog. 

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