I read the Divergent series and wrote a review of it over at Goodreads!

It was okay. I decided to wait until I’d finished the series to review it, and I have to say that a lot of the confusion and questions that come up in other low reviews for this book are cleared up in the later books. That’s not to say that the premise isn’t still a bit far-fetched, but personally the unlikeliness of the situation didn’t really bother me much anyway. I was willing to suspend disbelief and take the world described at face-value, even if it is a bit fantastical, but what I can’t quite look past is the poor writing. Especially in the first book, I repeated ran into oddly structured sentences that made me double back to reread them to make sure I had read it correctly. Those were a little jarring, but worse was the overall detached feeling I had throughout the story. So much of it was told like a series of events and the order they occurred in. Many times the thoughts and emotions behind various actions were left out and I felt like I had to fill in the blanks on my own. This stood out the most in the romance, I remember reading how Tris was looking at the guy and it clicking in my head “Oh, the author’s trying to write her falling for him,” and it felt really constructed and emotionless. The kissing scenes, too, I was often wondering why they were kissing at that moment. Tris explains how “he presses his mouth to mine” (or she presses hers to his, mouths are “pressed” and “touched” a lot) and it would seem odd to me that that’s the action which is happening now, so I’d take a moment to think of why the stress or whatever they’d just been through would have led to that since it wasn’t clear in the text what they were feeling which led to them expressing themselves in that way.

It was entertaining enough overall that I read all three books, though. It helped that it was a quick, easy read, which was really what I was looking for when I started. It made some interesting points about people not being all good or all bad, and about governments controlling people through lies and deception, and how people can go along with oppressing others easily because of it, which isn’t exactly groundbreaking, but an important point of view that more people could benefit from being exposed to. Unfortunately, it decided to basically ignore most real world oppression dynamics to make its point using a made-up difference, which didn’t sit well with me. Especially because the difference sounded very similar to ableism directed toward mentally disabled and mentally ill people, but no people who had any of those real-world disabilities or illnesses existed anywhere in the books. In regards to other oppressions, the physically disabled were basically contained to people who were injured during the book and used wheelchairs after (at least temporarily). Homosexuality was mentioned once briefly, when one person in the third book implied they were in a same sex relationship but said to keep it a secret because it was discouraged, and it was never mentioned again and no one decided to start a revolution over that oppression. There were also women and children who suffered from domestic abuse, and a couple of scenes that included sexual assault of a girl, as well as general derision of femininity and throwing around “little girl” as an insult, but no one seemed to care about the treatment of women in this world, either. 

There was fairly diverse representation of different races, including several of the main characters. Tris is white, but Four is mixed race, her friend Christina is black, and Tori is Asian, to give an example of some important characters from the first book. PoC play both important and minor roles throughout the series and did not seem to be stereotyped into being in certain factions or anything. The negatives are that all cultural and historical difference among different racial groups have been erased, and that while the PoC characters have their racial features described, the white characters’ features are assumed as default. She also did this weird thing for a few characters, all PoC that I can remember, where she would describe them and then add a one-word sentence after the description like, “Pretty.” or “Handsome.” that stuck out as kind of odd to me.

Overall, the series was a quick, generally entertaining read that wasn’t completely thoughtless, but not terribly well written or insightful. It’s mostly an action story, although one with consequences. I wouldn’t discourage someone from reading it, but I wouldn’t recommend it, either. (2/5)

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Be kind to yourself. Stop telling yourself that whatever you are struggling with “should” be easy. If something is hard for you, it is hard for you. There are probably Reasons, though those may just be how you are wired. Acknowledge these things. When you finish something hard, be proud! Celebrate a little.

And really, just stop saying “should” to yourself about your thoughts and feelings in any context. You feel how you feel. The things in your head are the things in your head. You can’t change either directly through sheer force of will. You can only change what you do. Stop beating yourself up for who and what you are right now–it isn’t productive. Focus on moving forward.

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I had a dentist appointment today and the office I went to had this neat setup with TVs hung on the wall in front of the chair so patients can watch while waiting or during the exam or whatever. So, I sit down and the assistant turns on the TV and this was seriously the exact scene it turns on to, with creepy music and everything.

I looked up the movie when I got home and it’s from a 2008 made for TV movie called Princess: A Modern Fairytale, and most of the rest of the movie is about fairies or something. >_<

gossipseer:

witchlingfumbles:

soufflenatural:

ukulelerave:

such a needed campaign. i wish they’d have included native americans as well, though, as cultural appropriation of them in costumes is just as awfully common.

It’s that time of year again when these go around. And I will keep reblogging them. And if I see the joke ones I am likely to rip them apart with prejudice.

I will reblog this every year and unfollow anyone who posts joke fandom spinoffs of this very serious and important commentary.

iamroboteye:

Today is both Bisexuality Visibility Day and the Autumnal Equinox

I’m not saying bisexuals are the faerie folk of autumn who dance with fauns around sacred fires on cool fall nights, buuuuut let’s look at the facts here

Fancy Old Buildings

medievalpoc:

warpedellipsis:

medievalpoc:

Maybe I’m searching wrong, but I can’t find anything about fancy old buildings built in Africa, like giant churches and state buildings plastered everywhere from Europe. I tried looking for specific countries but still nothing. Surely they’re not all destroyed?
Well, if you’re searching for “Africa”…then yeah, you’re probably searching wrong? I mean, I’ll act like stating the obvious isn’t necessary…? Because…?
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This is so general, I don’t know quite how to answer you but I’ll do my best, I suppose.

You probably need to be much more specific. Basically you want the equivalent of European Medieval-y type castle buildings? They’re pretty much all over the place…
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Fasilides Palace in Ethiopia:

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For fancy Christian churches with painted interiors, try searching “Copt” or “Coptic” (these are Zagwe dynasty, I believe):

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Here’s Saint George’s Church in Addis Abeba:

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And Bete Giorgis in Lalibela, Ethiopia:

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I mean, there’s no order to this, I’m just throwing stuff out there at random. If you want, there’s a Wikipedia page for World Heritage Sites in Africa here. There’s another Wikipedia page for Architecture of Africa here.

Yes! This is what I was looking for. A starting point. When I typed “fancy buildings” into google, it gave me lots of European and American stuff, the traditional sightseeing landmarks and a bunch of modern stuff. Ditto for “fancy old buildings”. Same with “fancy old European buildings.” It refused to give me anything besides the pyramids when I tried that with the African continent and specific African countries. I didn’t know anything more narrow to try beyond specifying countries. When I try it with the Americas, it refuses to give me anything that’s older than European settlers. Looking up specific destroyed cities was as far as I could get there. Asia and its countries have a lot of results, but I don’t know that history well enough to know what I’m looking at.

I’d have explained better in the ask, and included that obvious pyramids are obvious, but it didn’t have the space and I’d rather not create hassle by splitting it over several messages.

I’m glad to hear this was helpful. A search for “Architecture of _____” is going to give you better results than “old buildings” or “fancy old buildings”.

Also: as a lot of people in the notes for this post pointed out, the last image is an example of Rock-cut architecture. It’s carved out of the solid rock there, rather than being built. Like, literally excavated from the roof down.

The Great Mosque of Djenné is the largest structure to have been built of earthen bricks, and was a great medieval center of learning. The  maintenance of the mosque’s exterior is actually part of an annual festival; it looks more or less the same as it did in 1910:

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There is so much to find out, and I’m glad to encourage people to do further research.

cishaming:

Your identity is valid. Your existence is valid. Your experiences are valid. Your feelings are valid.

You are valid.

Never let anyone convince you otherwise.

tagged → #validation #identity #reblog

maudelynn:

Vivien Leigh as Titania c.1937 

via http://vivandlarry.com

m-arkiplier:

Instead of insane, say unreal.

Instead of crazy, say unbelievable.

Instead of calling someone a psycho, call them an asshole.

Instead of stupid, say awful.

Instead of dumb, say bad.

Taking ableist language out of your vocabulary is simple and will help widen your vocabulary.

silly, ridiculous, absurd, bizarre and illogical are a few more I particularly like

Moebius: Empire Rising Review

I received Moebius: Empire Rising for backing the Pinkerton Road Kickstarter and just finally got around to finishing it. It wasn’t a terrible way to spend my time, but I wouldn’t describe it as a good game and I wouldn’t recommend it unless you really have nothing else you’d like to be playing. The feel of the game overall was very unpolished, and while I could forgive the aesthetics not being perfect, things like the animations were not only stiff and unrealistic, but they were very slow and you’d have to just sit watching the characters slowly and awkwardly move around while waiting for them to do what you told them too. In the instances when it was unclear exactly what you were supposed to be doing and I was having to repeat certain actions multiple times trying to get things right it got very frustrating.

They did try to do some interesting things with the point-and-click genre, for example, you couldn’t just pick up everything you’d eventually need right when you first encountered it if there was no reason for you to be carrying that thing around, so you’d often have to remember where you saw something useful and go back for it, and it seemed to work out pretty well most of the time. There was also the analyzing of people to learn more about them, which mimicked the BBC TV show, Sherlock. That was clever at first, but it mostly ended up with things either being obvious or else needing to guess randomly. They also relied a lot on stereotypes, and it got kind of insulting at times, especially towards women as it seemed like half the women were vain and out to get a man, often the protagonist, Malachi Rector. Malachi thinks pretty lowly of most people, but his generally insulting attitude combined with the use of negative stereotypes about beautiful women, various tropes like women getting fridged or damseled, and the women in the game almost all being puzzles or tools to use to solve a puzzle, including sometimes in a sexualized manner, was pretty disappointing. Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers wasn’t exactly great in its treatment of women, but there were more interesting and diverse female characters around, even if Gabriel himself was a bit of a womanizer, and I had hoped that Jane Jenson was capable of writing protagonists who didn’t objectify women so much and that this game would have been able to show better gender representation than a game from the 90s. And while I’m on representation, Malachi and David’s relationship borders dangerously on queer baiting.

Overall, there were some good moments in this game, and I didn’t hate it, but mostly I felt that it fell short and that there were elements that could use quite a bit of improvement in every aspect of the game. If a sequel were made I definitely wouldn’t get it right away, but I would see what people have to say about it and find out if they’ve made enough improvements to make it worthwhile.

I wrote this review on Steam yesterday and thought I’d cross-post it here for anyone interested! One thing I didn’t mention was that the racial representation was pretty spotty, too, partially because of the break I took in the middle of playing it so I didn’t remember a lot of the details from the earlier parts of the game. The main characters are basically all white men, though, and the bulk of characters of other races were bad guys. Malachi’s assistant, also white, is the only woman who plays any sort of role consistently throughout the game, but she doesn’t really play a role in the main story. MOGAI representation is basically just hints that David and/or Malachi might be interested in the other, but because Malachi sucks with people he can’t open up in that way or admit it and nothing is ever spelled out explicitly. Although there was a scene where maybe you could get slightly more information about this if you did it right?

Oh, another thing I forgot to mention is that Malachi does suffer from anxiety attacks, which on one hand is kind of some representation, but on the other hand they are magical panic attacks that give him powers, so…?

But yeah, kind of a disappointing game, and more so because there were brief glimpses of what could have been a good game throughout. :\