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Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Don't look now... but your homophobia is showing


So this ever-so-gay friendly liberal mother would like us to know she’s totally not homophobic but objects to her children – HER CHILDREN! – seeing this billboard
Check the link. There’s the piccy

Now, what I see is 2 men who aren’t even touching leaning in for a kiss. They’re not even kissing – they’re leaning in for a kiss

The writer (gay friendly sex positive liberal mother! HONEST! SEE she even said she’s gay friendly and totally not a homophobe you guys!) describes that piccy as:

two seemingly nude guys in a liplock

*checks picture**checks description**checks picture again* I see 2 shirtless guys who are starting to kiss. Where’s this lip lock? And you can see kissing on any channel at any time of the day – whyfore is this offensive?

Oh, right, yeah the 2 men. (Totally not homophobic guys! She objects to straight people kissing as well! Yeah that’s not bullshit, that’s great steaming elephant turds)

She doesn’t know how she can possibly explain this to her children (hey, that’s what the religious right says about us being, well anywhere at all). What, this gay-friendly woman has trouble explaining why 2 men may kiss to her kids? Now why oh why oh why would that be? Does her 9 year old child not understand kissing? Has he never seen people kiss before?

But you see, this will cause her child’s “premature loss of innocence” (the almost-gay kissing will crush their little hearts!). She believes she’ll have to explain casual sex to her 9 year old!

Uh, why?

They are 2 men kissing. All you have to explain, if you’re so desperately uncomfortable, is that there are 2 men kissing. As a gazillion couples round the world do every single day as, no doubt, your child has seen on television, in books, in games and in innumerable straight advertising and billboards.
But let’s have a special prize for credential establishing: she’s gay-friendly, she’d never protest “homosexual billboards” she even mentions her gay friends and, of course, dismisses anyone who disagrees with her as being “PC”. While at the same time using the same “think of the children” rhetoric we see from the religious right.

I actually prefer the religious right to people like Kelly Cole here; at least they’re honest in their prejudice

The skies have opened

Well I got in then the clouds opened. Thankfully I could avoid what looked like the entire North Sea dropping on us, Beloved could not. And by the drowned rat look of him he had to spend some time out in it. Then he collapsed damply all over the new sofa (the sofa! NOOOO!)

There is only one solution to this. A frying pan. Bacon, eggs, black pudding, sausages, tomato gravy, mushrooms, onions, rostis, kidney - FRY 'EM ALL and serve with bread and proper butter!

finished off when he's sure he cannot eat one more greasey mouthful, with a great big vanilla treacle duff with lashings upon lashings of custard

Screw calories, this is food for the SOOOOOUL!


Readon: 8997896 why I am Winter's Child

It's like good advice....

You really didn't want.

This is a perennial problem with well meaning straight, cis people and, I rather think, privileged people over all marginalised people. Advice.

I often wonder why privileged people decide to give advice about being marginalised to marginalised people. It's kind of like watching a high school maths teacher correct Stephen Hawkings on his sums.

One of the recent crops of unsolicited advice we've been seeing is various people, especially in professional sports, encouraging their closeted GBLT teammates, colleagues et al to come out. And I sigh, I really do. We really really do not need advice on whether to come out or not, at least not from straight, cis people who really cannot understand what that means and the depth of the implications.

Lives are lost coming out. Literally. Families are lost. Friends are lost, careers are lost. And we can all say that those that matter will stand by you, and it's true, but reality is often harsher than such ideals and platitudes won't solve isolation, loneliness, betrayal – or protect you from violence and abandonment – or being fired for that matter. To say nothing of the very personal struggles that often precede coming out (and follow after it for that matter).

Don't get me wrong, coming out was one of the best things I ever did – but it was also one of the hardest things I ever did – and it still isn't easy and it never will be.

And it keeps happening. I think the latest is the president of the UFC (which is an extra load of foolishness, since this man is quite happy to throw around anti-gay slurs. So I suspect it's more an attempt at good PR than anything), but I've seen it multiple times in professional football, rugby, cricket and athletics. I've seen it for actors and politicians, musicians and businessmen, lawyers and doctors, police and firefighters and a million professions besides. The same tune “you should come out.”

Don't. Please.

Say “if you come out, I'll support you.”

Say “if you come out, I'll have your back”

Condemn prejudice.

But don't give us advice.

And it doesn't just apply to the closet. I've been “advised” on just about every aspect of being gay imaginable. How I should talk and act, what I should wear, when I should be silent, what I should laugh at, what I should accept, what I should be angered or upset by, what I should be offended by, what I should be hurt by. Advice advice advice, all well meaning, a lot of it wrong and all of it pretty unwelcome.

And I'm certain sure this isn't remotely limited to any one marginalisation.

Aside from anything else I can't really talk about unsolicited advice without also touching on those little pills (and not so little, seriously doc, do I look like a horse? Don't answer that) I have to take several times a day to keep things on an even keel at the advice of my nice-but-frustarting therapy guy. Oh the advice I get there. Setting aside the thrice weekly insistence that if I get with Jesus, turn straight, dump my husband then all my problems and issues will magically disappear; I still get quite a lot of unsolicited advice on how to cure myself (this is not, I hasten to add, the same as from good friends who have had similar experiences with mental illness and share their insights with me – that differs considerably from net strangers trying to write me a prescription pad).

Sunday, 27 November 2011

We have decorated - and of course something is Beloved's fault


We’ve just finished decorating the living room – we’ve been putting it off for a while but finally had to bite the bullet. I always dread talking interior decorating, I feel I am living the stereotype, alas.

We were putting it off but the sofa decided us. The previous sofa had its own agenda – and that agenda was clearly our own painful destruction. It has the amazing ability to recline and un-recline at the most inopportune times. Sometimes randomly. In fact, you can by sitting perfectly still on it and it will fold itself so many times you’ll get see sick (and concussion since it shifts position with explosive force). It has even been known to change when no-one’s sat on it – so if you’re walking past you can have the foot rest shoot up with knee shattering force.

I object to furniture that is trying to kill me. Also, the leather is so split the cat has started exploring the interior of the mechanism – meaning one of these random reclines has a chance of smooshing her.

Also, it’s leather. I hate leather furniture – you can’t lounge on it without sticking even when you’re not sticky (behave. And yes you were).

So it needed replacing and the living room redone with it since the whole room is very very tired.  And lo we have finished with surprisingly few dramas. No breakages, no spilled paint, no disasters, no migraines… I’m shocked really. It’s so unlike us.

And the living room is warm and soft and elegant and cozy; with warm light brown walls (I’m told the shade is latte. I loathe paint shop colours. They tried to sell me 6 different shades of white paint –WHITE paint – and 11 of magnolia. I hate magnolia and calling magnolia extra-bleached-arsehole-cream doesn’t mean it’s not magnolia), dark chocolate brown carpet, 2 tone chocolate and latte sofa (like this but the cloth is darker) with rich chocolate curtains with a coffee pattern. It’s cozy, restrained, elegant…

Restrained? Damn, someone stencil red Chinese dragons on every flat surface! I need 10 tins of emerald green paint and a large pot of gold. And some gold leaf! I need 200 yards or red velvet! RESTRAINED?! I don’t do restrained. I do terrifyingly courageous and outrageously awesome.
Beloved says it’s a sign I’m getting old. Once. Then he apologised. At length.

What is out of place in my warm and fuzzy living room (and it is fuzzy, the sofas are fuzzy, the curtains are fuzzy, the carpet is fuzzy) is the furniture Beloved perpetrated a few years ago which are not worn enough yet for me to justify throwing the hideous things out. The style is called “chunky oak” but I think is more properly described as nasty Ikea crap put together not by a carpenter but by some fool who though nailing together lumps of tree was a good idea. This nasty, blocky, pale-wood crap fits in my living room like a baby armadillo in a nest of kittens (but isn’t nearly as cute)

So, now begins the plot to destroy these horrible things with sufficient plausible deniability to replace them. Hmmmm...

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Why Fangs for the Fantasy?

It’s vaguely possibly you’ve noticed I’m involved in the running of Fangs for the Fantasy by my oh-so-subtle plugging. But yes I’m one of the ones behind it and I likes it I does. But there’s always the question of why, especially given how little time I have and how much time it takes.

Well, let me count the ways. I like Fangs, I like the reviews, I like an opportunity to snark, I like the new series its exposed me to and because it’s fun, lots of fun.

But also because I think it’s important. Especially analysing books from a social justice perspective. Yes, analysing fluffy, trashy, frequently silly Urban fantasy is important. Especially since it’s popular and, if anything, becoming more so and establishing itself very firmly as its own genre.

Our society is shaped by the media. In fact I think the media is one of the grand pillars of our culture. The media we consume reflects the stereotypes and tropes of society, reinforces them, encourages them and spreads them. We as a society, as a culture, as people are shaped by the books we read, the television we watch, the films we see and the games we play.

When we see the same type of people showcased front and centre, the same stereotypes paraded, the same groups erased, the same insults given, the same bad behaviour showcased, excused or justified and generally the same prejudiced, and –ism scented problems repeated again and again then yes it shapes us.

And I know there are people out there saying “but why urban fantasy? Who cares about sexist werewolves or homophobic vampires or racist witches?” there are many reasons – I can talk about how we tend NOT to analyse these types of books so the genre is even more unchallenged and just accepted. I can tell you it’s because I love the genre – I really do – and as such I want to be able to consume it without sporks and with more joy; as something I love, I want it to do better. But most of all, it’s because if we’re going to challenge any media, it has to be popular fiction that is consumed broadly for entertainment.

What do you think shapes culture more? A verbose, dense literary fiction artistic epic read by English literature professors in a university congratulating each other on how wonderfully dense and nigh incomprehensible it is, so full of metaphor and depth? Or Twilight? Or True Blood? A series that is read by thousands if not millions, turned into a TV series or a film and watched by yet more? Personally, I think it’s the latter that will have the greatest effect on our culture.

I also don’t think that you can truly change culture without addressing the media. Ultimately, no matter how many laws we pass saying that misogyny, homophobia, racism, transphobia, ableism et al are Not OK, no matter how much we fight, no matter how many bigots we vanquish, if everyone goes back home to books and TV full of hate speech and stereotypes and tropes and marginalised servants and villains or – and most commonly – to fictional worlds where we don’t even exist – then how much can you change? “Hearts and Minds” are the key here – and it’s in the pages of books and the light of the TV screen where we will reach them.

Yet if you turn round and say you’re going to analyse the dusty book of pretention everyone will nod and smile. Say you’re going to analyse True Blood and we get “it’s only fantasy! Don’t take it so seriously!” It’s a genre that seems to actively resist and deny analysis even more than most.

Do I claim I’m doing some massive cultural changing thing? Gods no. I snark too much for that :P. But it matters, it does matter.

Also, of course, I need to say the inevitable – we have yet to read/watch a perfect book/TV programme. We have always found something to criticise. That’s not because we’re joyless curmudgeons who hate everything – it’s because our society is so well and truly messed up that it’s nearly impossible to produce something lacking in problematic issues in a society that has saturated us with them. I say again, criticism does not mean “I loathe this book and all it stands for!” it means there are problematic elements that could be – need to be – better. For our opinion on the book, check the fang rating (and if it’s 0.5 fangs? Yes, I did loathe that book and all it stands for!). I will say that we’ll never just say “I hate it.” There’ll always be a why – so even on a negative review you can be a recommend – since you can see “oh Sparky hated this book because he loathes X, Y and Z. I actually quite like them so this book is worth reading”.

So, yes, Fangs. I like it.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Sandusky is not gay you bigots.

I knew I’d have to do this, because I have to do this every time.

Jerry Sandusky is a paedophile. You’ve probably seen the news, as a coach at Penn State university over there in the US he raped several young boys under his care, most of them marginalised and among the most vulnerable in society. There’s lots more to talk about as it gets increasingly sickening as just about everyone and his dog at the university seemed to know about this and decided to look the other way for years – allowing more boys to be preyed on. There’s a lot of disgust to mention here. A lot of outrage and you could spend endless words and not adequately cover the vileness of this – and in a culture that so often ignores this it’s important to talk about it.

And it certainly more useful to talk about this disgust than saying that Jerry Sandusky is gay.

Yes, of course they did. The minute we have anyone abusing children there’s always someone leaping up to blame the gays. And it’s not just established scum like like Rush Limbaugh declaring that Sandusky is gay (based on… well… based on nothing. But if there’s child abuse you have to blame the gays!) and many many many more of his ilk.

But we even have alleged liberals and “progressives” and even “allies” blaming this abuse on the closet. Yes, the closet – see this is what happen when you oppress us gays and force us into the closet – denied and oppressed we take the only sexual outlet we can apparently – little boys. Oh isn’t it terrible?

NO! A gay man is not a paedophile. Putting a gay man in the closet doesn’t warp us into paedophiles. Stop stop stop linking gay men and paedophilia. Gay men are not a threat to children. When a paedophile assaults children he is not a gay man in the closet. It is not the same, it is not even remotely the same – this is bigotry, it’s offensive and it is constantly used to demonise us. STOP.

Gods I am sick of this bigoted shit.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Reviews on Fangs for the Fantasy!

We have a new giveaway! Come, click, follow, find the details and get the shinies

And our weekly podcast is now up. As ever all of our podcasts are in our archives for much browsing.
Speaking of archives – all reviews can be found in our: Book Archive and Film/TV archive

Our Friday Discussions
Ableism in American Horror Story
Paranormal Romance: Engorged, throbbing and fainting. Oh my!
Cover Snark: Who needs clothes to be Badass?

Books
Black Magic Woman by Justin Gustianis, Book 1 of the Quincey Morris series4 Fangs
Lord of Misrule by Rachel Caine book 5 of the Morganville Vampire Series 2.5 Fangs
Blood Bound by Rachel Vincent, Book 1 of the Unbound Series 2.5 Fangs
Drink Deep by Chloe Neill, Book 5 of the Chicagoland Vampires Series 3.5 Fangs
Night Embrace by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Book 2 of the Dark Hunter Series 1.5 fangs
At Grave’s End by Jeaniene Frost, Book 3 in the Night Huntress Series 4 Fangs
Kitty Goes to Washington by Carrie Vaughn, Book 2 of the Kitty Norville Series 3.5 Fangs
Shadow Chase by Seressia Glass, Book 2 of the Shadow Chaser series 4 Fangs

TV
The Walking Dead: Season 1, Episode 5: Chupacabra
The Secret Circle: Season 1, Episode9: Balcoin 2.5 Fangs
Vampire Diaries, Season 3, Episode 9: Homecoming 4 Fangs
Grim: Season 1, Episode 4: Lonelyhearts
American Horror story : Season 1, Episode 7: Open House
Once Upon a Time: Season 1, Episode 4: The Price of Gold 4 Fangs
Lost Girl: Season 2, Episode 8: Death Didn’t Become Him 3 Fangs
The Fades: Season 1, Episode 3 4 Fangs
The Fades: Season 1, Episode 2 3.5 Fangs
The Fades: Season 1, Episode 1 4 Fangs
Twilight: Eclipse 2 Fangs

Saturday, 19 November 2011

All installed and set up!

Ah, that moment after you get a new computer when you finally have all the settings right. Installed your skype and talkshoe and got all your passwords remembered again and your favourites lists and installed skyrim and we're allll back to how it should be.

What?

Skyrim is so essential software. And no it doesn't break the 20th October rule. No no it does not.

Because I said so.

And since it doesn't there's absolutely no reason to tell Beloved.

Hmm still missing that 150gig partition, most annoying.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Not funny, not negligible, but often ignored.

If you’ve been plugged into the net you’ve probably seen the story of the 2 football players in Iran who are in trouble because one slapped the backside of the other during a goal celebration (on a related note, I am still vaguely waiting for footballs’ escalating goal celebrations to reach full on oral sex. Or maybe that’s just a fantasy hope, but I digress). The powers that be in Iran were Not Amused.
And most of the reporting on this has been on a slightly comedic slant. “Oh isn’t it silly!” “They’re going to get in trouble for that?!” with much chortling and snickering.

Those players have been suspended. They now face a massive fine and flogging. Less funny

Even less funny is that the homophobia this reaction stems from has gay people executed in Iran. Much much less funny


It reminds me a lot of how people spoke of Dubai in the wake of GBLT people speaking out against such a homophobic location being selected for the World Cup. Oh it didn’t matter. We were over-reacting. We were being silly and hysterical and drama queens.

And now? Cue the stories about how “modern” Dubai is – like being modern means that it isn’t homophobic with grossly homophobic laws? Beautiful . And to get us pesky pesky pesky GBLT people to shut up whining they talk about a “thriving underground gay movement” yeah – the key word here is underground, hidden, moving – because being gay is still illegal with penalties ranging from deportation to flogging. Ah, they protest, but it’s better than much of the rest of the Middle East and certainly the Arabian peninsula. Gah – “we’re not as homophobic as Saudi Arabia” is a really really really shoddy standard. Oh and then someone’s going to say “hey, they may deport and torture gay people but at least it isn’t enforced that often.” Do I even have to respond to that?

I say again and will continue to say, these countries are participating in the anti-GBLT genocide that is still ongoing and piling up bodies and ruining lives. It’s not funny. It’s not negligible

And I think it says again how little we are valued, how little our bodies are worth and how easily this genocide is being ignored.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

New giveaway on Fangs for the Fantasy

It's time for another giveaway on Fangs for the Fantasy where we continue to examine all things Urban fantasy in lots of detail, with occasional snark

No doubt you're aware that the new Twilight movie is quickly hoving into view. It being such a major part of urabn Fantasy, we could no more avoid it than the Titanic could avoid the iceberg. To this end we have posted reviews of the previous Twilight films - 1, 2 and 3 and this weekend we will have a revierw of the latest instalment.

And further our new giveaway is Twilight themed - a nice collection of shinies to commemorate the release. please click on the linky and follow the instructions carefully!

(No really, I know they're simple but you'd be absolutely AMAZED at the people who get it wrong every time)

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Courtney Love, Jessica Lowndes and utter hot mess

Well done Courtney, I thought there were few people screaming gay allydom who would annoy me more than Katy Perry (ye gods I cannot abide her or the people who fawn over her) but amazingly, you’ve done it

Apparently because she’s a gay icon, she can use the word f@g. No. No no no. First of all, I don’t recall getting my voter form electing her as anything. And since when do the straight people get to declare themselves icons or allies?

I say, yet again, if the slur can’t be used against you, it has no place passing your lips. And if you really value your self-proclaimed icondom (or whatever other super-straighty status you think magically removes your straight privilege or makes your arseholery non-arseholery), you’ll know not to say such things.

But that’s not all, she also demanded that the audience call the Foo Fighters’ gay or she wouldn’t return to the stage. Seriously, demanded the audience chant homophobia. How many times does this have to be said? If you’re using “gay” to be a pejorative then you are being homophobic. If you don’t see being gay as a bad thing, then you cannot use the word to insult or demean or criticise something. If you do use the word gay to mean that, then, yes, you think gay people are less and can collect your homophobe hat.


And speaking of hot messes, Jessica Lowndes has released a new song wherein she sings about how much she wishes she were gay.

Clearly someone else aiming for that oh-so-coveted “gay icon” status (I’m really beginning to loathe the term).

Right, the cluelessness levels have now reached epic levels. Why is this problematic? Because being gay is not a happy dappy fun joyful thing. Oh it’s great fun and I’m nothing but proud – but homophobia and the generally straight dominated world. Dancing around singing how much you’d want to be gay denies, ignores and otherwise closes the ever-so-privileged gaze to the difficulties we actually face.

Also, it’s part of that ridiculous fetishising, pedestal thing. It’s not supportive to decide that a marginalised body is just sooooo cool and awesome and you just want to be them because of some fictional idealist vision you have of them. And it’s oh so clear here – she wants to be gay because lesbians don’t cheat. Uh-huh, I know some lesbians who will tell you different in… vehement terms

Now Katy Perry needs to screw up again so she can go back to the top of my shit list

Monday, 14 November 2011

I have a new shiny

So, and to follow up on the comments from my last post, I informed Beloved that the Abacus could no longer be tolerated. It was no longer fit for purpose. I had to restart it 4 or 5 times just to make it work, half the links and menus were borked – it was giving me grey hairs every time I touched it. I use the computer far too much – for work, for blogging, for shopping, for gaming – to reasonably tolerate another 2 months with the computer in this condition. I’d actually find it easier to do without a phone - any phone – for 2 months than to do without a computer.

I actually had a huge long speech that didn’t seem to be getting anywhere (I think I have trained him to ignore eloquence because he usually loses). Eventually I resorted to grabbing him, chanting “please please please please” and not letting go until he agreed. Yes it’s not the most advanced or intelligent of debate methods but if it works I’m all for it. I also threatened not to feed him and promised various things that shall remain undisclosed.

Eventually Beloved relented on the (usually sensible) October 20th rule so he could play magnanimous lover rather than nagged and beaten loser. So we went out together and bought a shiny.

It’s official, I could never have kids now because all my love has been invested in this computer. I have none to spare for children. *drools all over the shiny* It works! It actually works. A computer that works. *hugs it pathetically*

Of course, all weekend was spent extracting as much of the data I could from the old wreck (poor Abacus, he served me well for many a year, but alas, its time is now over. It deserves a Viking funeral). Anticipating that this was going to be a fight and not nearly as simple as plugging in my terabit external drive I set aside all weekend for it (I did put things in holding mode though so hopefully there were no disasters).

And yes, there are problems. See, Abacus had a partitioned drive. I’m not sure why, I think it came that way or Beloved did it. So it had C:/ and D:/ (roughly equal sizes) and E:/ (recovery files). Now, I had a virus not long ago that masqueraded as a windows computer fixer. When I removed it it left me with a PC that was wrecked. The desktop was invisible – never again could I save a file to it. My start menu links all failed and half my program files just didn’t work any more. After that I did a system restore to fix another problem (the fact it kept freezing and looking for boot discs on start up) and then… D:/ disappeared. Just gone. The partition is gone, the letter assigned to the DVD drive and all the data lurking on D:/? Inaccessible.

This vexes me.

So, my old tower is sat next to me, taunting me “there is still info in here you neeeeed and you can’t get it! You can’t get it!” And it knows, it knows, that I’m going to have to plug it in again some time to try and get at that partition. *curses angrily*

Of course, I’ve also got to set up everything on the new computer which is taking a while. Not helped by the fact I don’t remember one single password so I’m having to reset them all. Oh and I just had to get through a captcha that used pi – the Greek letter pi. I have no idea how to type that. Also, yes dear websites, I realise that to have a strong password you should have caps and small letters and numbers that are non-sequential. I know, however I can’t be arsed and, frankly, if some of you are hacked I really really don’t care. Now quit wittering at me and let me enter my easily-remembered password that breaks all the rules.

But back to the shiny. It is shiny! And it works! And it gave me an excuse to use a new mouse with an actual wire (I hated that wireless mouse. Hated it hated it hated it) and a keyboard that isn’t all gungy (but the buttons are recessed which is cool and quieter typing but is taking some getting used to) and I looooves it I do.

Expect me to spend a few days getting used to everything and drooling over things. Soooo shiny. And it’s quiet! It makes so much less noise, the abacus sounded like a helicopter taking off!

Oh and I have like a gazillion emails. More. Ye gods 4 days away(ish) and my inbox explodes

Thursday, 10 November 2011

I need a new computer

This computer is dead. It's old, it's inefficient, it's broken. A Greek guy with an abacus has more computing power.

I've been putting it off for months, but this wreck is way past its useby date. I have a blank desktop and 101 broken start menu links, in fact broken files all over the shop, it keeps freezing on me, half the programmes don't work the other half are unreliable at best. It's a hold-your-breath-moment every time you turn it on because there's no guarantee it will actually start and you have to restart, system restore, hard reset, or hit it with hammers while cursing and pleasing to make it work. It is dying, well and truly dying. About the only thing that would maybe shoot some life back into it is a good full formatting – and even then, it's dying dying dead.

So I need a new computer

The problem? It's November. And the October 20th rule applies – which means no new things can be bought

The October 20th rule came because this is the time when a wonderful, thoughtful, attentive husband (that would be me) and a lucky, occasionally gets it right, makes good guesses husband (that would be Beloved) start looking out for Yule gifts. So that's when we hear “oh I need a new one of X” or “oh, that looks cool” and then sneak out, buy it and wrap it in shiny

The problem is that Beloved in particular (not me, of course *ahem*) is of the “see a shiny buy a shiny” mode of thought. And there have been times when I've heard “oh I'd love one of those” and I've gone out, tracked it down (through many arduous battles) brought it home (hauling it through the cruel wintry weather no less) and wrapped it (enduring the hideous scourge of paper cuts and sellotape that will NOT unravel) only to find that beloved has bought himself it the next day.

So the October 20th rule. Upon reaching October 20th, no new shinies may be bought. It's a rule and it prevents duplicates, spoiled shopping, ruined surprises and running around with receipts trying to get your money back.

But I need a new computer. And I can't wait until December! (And I'm not going to go through the stress and horror of a full format if I'm going to replace it). So I neeed it noooooooow. Which means I need a loophole in the October 20th rule!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Ok let me get some things clear here about the Nazis and GBLT people

So another bigoted arsehole has decided to open his mouth to defend poor oppressed Christians in the UK Who are being crushed under the “pink jackboot” and he needs to oppose the “Gaystapo”

Yes, Nazi analogies. I'm putting aside the malicious vileness of claiming GBLT people are oppressing Christians when Christianity is pushing so much homophobic and transphobic hatred because it's eclipsed by the sheer nauseating evil of comparing GBLT people to Nazis. And because he most certainly isn't the first Christian homophobe to use this comparison.

Firstly, and least importantly, Godwin's law exists for a reason. When you reach such levels of hyperbole, your point is utterly lost. Unless you are speaking about a fascist and oppressive government that brought war to much of the world while setting out to exterminate millions upon millions of people OR people who emulate and admire these vile people then it is not Nazi-like.

Secondly, and more grossly, GBLT people were targeted by the holocaust. The Nazis committed a ruthless, barbaric and sickeningly cruel genocide against GBLT people. One of many ongoing genocides I might add.

As one of the Nazi's victims (though oft denied and ignored), to conflate GBLT people and GBLT rights with the Nazis is above and beyond offensive. 60% of gay men detained by the Nazis died and were often treated with extreme cruelty. Many of them were beaten to death by their fellow prisoners. Many outside the camps were castrated.

And, guess what? When the camps were liberated, the liberating Allied powers often REARRESTED GBLT people because being gay was still seen as a crime by all the liberating powers. Naturally the reparations and state pensions that were given to other survivors were denied GBLT people

So enough. I literally cannot think of much out there that is as offensive as calling GBLT people Nazis, I really cannot. It is one of the worst things you could possibly say and shouldn't only torpedo any argument you're trying to make – but should equally shatter any claim you have to being anything close to a decent human being.

Learn what the bloody Pink Triangle actually means.

Learn some bloody history

And, most certainly, shut your bigoted mouth.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Reviews on Fangs for the Fantasy!

Our give away: Blood Work by Kim Harrison – one of our favourite authors – . Follow the instructions and remember to leave your contact details! Keep an eye on our Give away section to keep abreast of our latest give aways


Our weekly podcast is here. Our full archives can be found here.


Our Friday Discussion: The Race Problem on The Walking Dead
It is hardly surprising that the AMC series The Walking Dead is so incredibly popular given that comic series itself is popular. Going into this series the one thing this show had going for it was an absolutely solid fan base. Part of the problem with developing a television show from an already popular text is that you are given two choices, stick to the script with limited changes a la Harry Potter style, or slightly alter the script adding new elements, while enlarging, or eliminating characters altogether, which is the path chosen by Alan Ball on his work on True Blood. The Walking Dead has chosen to go with the latter which raises the question about whether or not the changes have been positive or negative.

One of the most glaring issues with race we see is the contrast between the original comics and the show. In the comics there were several characters of colour who were active members of the group and in fact, at times, were put into leadership positions. The same cannot be said of the television show, however, and this is evidenced by the absence of Tyreese.

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Rise of the Governor by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga
The Fangs for the Fantasy crew are all large fans of the graphic novels and AMC show The Walking Dead. We were thrilled when we learned about The Rise of the Governor and raced to read it. I must say from the very beginning that the novel did not disappoint though the fact that it was written in the first person did at times grate on the nerves.

We all know that when Rick, Michonne and Glenn arrive at Woodbury, after following the trail of a crashed helicopter and its survivors, the governor is very much in charge of the town. The governor is easily the most evil character in the series today. He tortures and rapes Michonne as well as takes the prison away from Rick's crew of survivors in vengeance. The question The Rise of the Governor seeks to answer is what could make a man lose touch with his humanity this way.

Read More 5 Fangs


Loved, by Morgan Rice, book 2 of the Vampire Journals
Caitlin and Caleb are on a quest to find a sword. The greatest sword in the vampire's arsenal, a sword that could end the war between the vampire races, a war that could ensure victory.

And victory is essential. The evil Dark Tide Coven is pursuing its war against the good vampires – and against humanity. They are ready to march and have already placed vast containers of modified plague underneath New York to wipe out humanity.

Of course, Cailtin an Caleb are not the only ones after the sword – another vampire, Samantha, has manipulated Caitlin's brother Sam to get her own claws on the blade – and Kyle, one of the oldest and most evil of the acktide Coven, also hunts the sword to get back into his masters good graces.

Read More 1.5 Fangs


Review of Evil Ways by Justin Gustainis Book 2 of Quincey Morris, Supernatural Investigation
Okay, I messed up and read the second book in this series which is Evil Ways first. That being said, I didn't find the story hard to follow at all. I loved every single minute I spent reading this book, and I cannot wait to go back and read the first book in this series.

The characters are rich and varied. I must report that we do have absolute erasure of GLBT, and disabled characters though. While the erasure is frustrating, it really has become par for the course as far as urban fantasy is involved. Gustainis did include a man of colour and I am happy to report that he is no side character and plays meaningful role in the plot. This is a rarity, because in most urban fantasy, people of colour are often reduced to side kicks whose sole role is to service the White protagonists.

Walpurgis Night is fast approaching and with it, the very high possibility that Satan will be unleashed upon the world at the behest of a very rich man who seeks to have his life extended. In preparation, someone is killing all of the white witches. Though the witches have all taken a vow to do no harm, that does not that they are completely defenceless. As you may have guessed, all the witches are women.

Read More 5 Fangs


Kitty and the Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn, book 1 of the Kitty Norville series
Kitty is a werewolf. Though she has worked hard to keep it hidden from her friends and family – and certainly from her work colleagues at the radio station she late night DJs for.

At least she did, until one show got out of hand and suddenly she is talking the supernatural all the time. Her ratings spike and she grows ever more popular reaching out to people who want to talk about the supernatural – as well as a huge number of vampires and werewolves who want someone to talk to, to advise them and who understands them

Now as an ever growing and ever more famous personality who is openly supernatural she faces a world that is rapidly changing as the supernatural is revealed and acknowledged. Further she faces her pack – and the local Vampire Family – who are less than pleased with her independence and her public revelations.

Read More 1.5 Fangs


Monster Hunter International by Larry Correia, book 1 of Monster Hunter Nation
Owen had an odd childhood. His father, convinced of various end of the world scenarios, brought him up to be a solver, a warrior and a fighter through and through. Owen had other plans. He wanted to be normal, to distance himself from all that – so he became an accountant. As normal as it was possible to be

And the plan worked. Until his boss turned into a werewolf and tried to eat him.

In the aftermath he was recruited by Monster Hunters Inc. A private company of dedicated hunters who go into the dark and blow it up. Then shoot it until it stops moving. Then shoot it some more. Then cut up the remains and burn them to ash. And they get to play with the best toys.

Read More 3.5 Fangs


Ghost Story by Jim Butcher, book 13 of the Dresden Files
This was a heavy book with a plot that tied itself in knots - and my mind with it

Harry is dead. Shot with a high powered rifle, his body falling into Lake Michigan. Dead and gone – and his friends have had to spend the last 6 months without him, grieving and dealing with the world.

And the world is not a happy place. The Red Court is dead, one of the most powerful forces in the supernatural world. The power vacuum begs to be filled and dark powers from across the world are rushing in to fill the void, to raise themselves up to be the next great power. In particular, the fomori are staging a massive come back, hitting talents across the US. And for Chicago, dark times are darker by the lack of Harry Dresden. As a Warden of the White Council, and as a wizard who had faced down some of the greatest and darkest powers of the world, his mere presence made sure Chicago was safe. Now he's dead – and the dark things are coming out to play.

Read More 4 Fangs


The Vampire Diaries: Season 3, Episode 8: Ordinary People
This episode was all about the original vampires, and may I say that it's about time that they started building this plot and letting us know who the big bad is on this show. It all begins when Alaric and Damon show Elena some carvings on the old Lockwood property carved by Rebekah. Apparently, the carvings have been there longer than Mystic Falls has been a town. Apparently, the original family are Vikings who settled in North America for a better life. Can we all agree that a Viking settlement in the middle of Georgia in the 980's, which btw is when the Vikings travelled to North America is ridiculous? I guess we are supposed to ignore the ridiculousness of this, the same way that we were expected to ignore the way that Katherine supposedly travelled across Eastern Europe to end up in the U.K. last season. The fact that they were all speaking English as well, I suppose is just another one of those happy occurrences.

Read More 3.5 Fangs


Lost Girl Season Two, Episode Seven: Fae Gone Wild
This is the first episode in quite some time that Bo has not needed to be saved by Kenzie or Dyson. I wish I could say that this made her less irritating this episode but alas that was not the case. Bo is hired by to find a stripper named Sherri. What she does not know is that Hale and Dyson are also looking for her because they believe her to be responsible for murder.

When they walk into a murder scene they run into Bo and she lies to them about her true intentions before slipping out saying that she does not want to ruin their crime scene. Hale and Dyson are both aware that she is lying but let her get away with it anyway. Aren't they the nicest cops evah? When they both show up at the strip bar looking for Sherri, they find Bo working there as a bartender

Read More 3.5 Fangs


The Walking Dead, Season 2, Episode 4: Cherokee Rose
Carl wakes up and asks if Sophia is okay, and the crew arrive from the highway. During Otis' funeral they ask Shane to speak for Otis and he says, "I'm not good at that," but his widow begs him to speak saying, "please I need to know that his death had meaning." He lies and says that Otis volunteered to take the rear and cover him. Clearly, the guilt is getting to him and really it should. What he did was despicable no matter how he tries to justify it to himself.

The crew gathers around the vehicle with Herschel to set up a plan to search for Sophia but Hershel tells them that Rick has given too much blood and that Shane's ankle isn't ready for that kind of pressure yet. Hershel tells them that he does not want them to carry guns on his property and Rick promises to respect his wishes, which does not make Shane happy. Shane asks what happens if we find her if she is bit and Rick responds, "you do what has to be done". Then Shane goes ahead and announces that Dale is going to keep watch, of course ignoring what Herschel just said he does not want guns on the property. Rick turns and smoothes it over by saying that "people would feel more comfortable with this situation". Where does Shane even have the gall to attempt to take a leadership position after what he just did?

Read More 4 Fangs


Grimm, Season 1, Episode 2: Bears will be Bears
A blonde and her boyfriend go and break into the Bear's house. Sadly, she doesn't get chewed on. A couple looking for kicks bite off more than they can chew – or have more bitten off.

I actually really like this new twist on urban fantasy. We're not looking at werewolves and vampires, we're looking at the old stories – the Big Bad Wolf and the 3 bears. And there's always the keys to these stories in them – the red coat for the Big Bad Wolf, the blonde hair for the 3 bears. It makes me want to hunt for more parallels

The break in is reported – but the boyfriend is still missing and, of course, Nick's Grim Vision sees the fuzziness of the couple's son.

Read More 4 Fangs


The Secret Circle, Season 1, Episode 8: Beneath
Full Scooby meeting! Well no. full Scooby meeting except... Melissa. Uh-huh, apparently her mother has been worried about her so took her out of town for a while. Ye gods, they're not even giving her screen time any more! But we do have Jake – who will now be known as Evil Scooby.

Mean Girl Faye decides to blame the kidnapping, demons et al on Cassie for... well, no apparent reason. Because she's Mean Girl What, we  need reasons now? This becomes a recurring theme in the episode with Faye blaming Cassie because Jake likes her.  Anyway, after lots of constant snapping and yipping, the Scoobies decide to go looking for Cassie's grandmother (who is missing after going to check on Faye's grandfather who was killed by Evil!Parent 1, Dawn, Faye's mother waaay back in episode 2)

Read More 1.5 Fangs


American Horror Story, Season one, Episode Five: Halloween Part 2
For the majority of this episode, it felt like the writers were channeling, the 1987 flick, Fatal Attraction. This episode was largely about Ben's chickens coming home to roost. When he gets home from the hospital with Vivien, Hayden shows up and he promptly slams the door in her face. I suppose one cannot have the little woman finding out about all the ways in which he has been naughty. When he runs into Terry later on the property while searching for Hayden, he accuses him of being a conspirator to Hayden's plans to which Terry laughs and responds with, "you don't even know what question to ask." Even though the Harmons have been haunted since their first day in the house they are not really aware of this fact. All they know is that their lives are falling apart and feel powerless to bring about and end to all of the pain.

Read More 3.5 Fangs


Bedlam
Our weekly catch up this week has been Bedlam – as usual we've reviewed several past episodes

Season 1, Episode 6: Burning Man 3.5 Fangs
Season 1, Episode 5: Committed 2.5 Fangs
Season 1, Episode 4: Hide and Seek 2.5 Fangs

Monday, 7 November 2011

*whines*

I had a lot planned today. I was going to be super-duper productive, I had a to-do list and everything. I was totally ready to be useful. I had plans! They were good plans!

And then, towards the end of the afternoon I get a blinding migraine (which means tomorrow I need to wend my way to work to pick up my car as well. Even earlier morning... grumble).

As if that isn't bad enough, it's one of those light migraines. You can sit in a darkened, silent room and after an hour it fades to being merely painful and you can get on with things - until you turn on a light then it's RED HOT KNITTING NEEDLE THROUGH THE OPTIC NERVE TO THE BRAAAAIN! So you turn of the light, whimpering, and it fades.

This means that, rather than laying on a bed whimpering in pain and agony, you lay on the bed, in discomfort and being bored rigid thinking of all the things you could be doing if you could move/turn on a light. And it's somehow worse (of course, it's only worse from the perspective of the bored and discomforted, turn on a light and I think I'd probably take the boredom, yes yes I would.)

Normally I don't get these damn things in winter, they're a summer blight with all that nasty excess sunshine following lack of decent sleep. Guess it's the sleep thing, again. Damn it, who has time to do this sleeping thing anyway?!

I am now in the latter stages. This involves it fading to discomfort and my being able to function in sorta-low light which means, of course, I will do silly things like read (and use a bright computer screen to blog and whine! Hi guys!) until it flares up again. Because I am SENSIBLE like that.

Belovd is, of course, only mildly sympathetic. He keeps saying blasphemous things like "wow, you mean four hours of sleep a night for several nights isn't good? Who would have thought?" and "coffee does not replace sleep" I mean, really. He's insulting the holy bean there, unacceptable! Unacceptable! There should be laws about being annoyingly reasonable during people's self-inflicted suffering

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Too irritated to be productive


Dear Bosses and work colleagues




If you're going to expect me to come in on a Sunday, at no notice and generally in complete disregard of any possibility of my having a life then ahev the common decency to be on time, damn it

Especially since I'm here because of your screw ups. This is arse saving mode and it's not my arse that's imperilled nor my fool head that fucked up.

There had better be grovelling. And if I'm kept waiting much longer something better be on freaking fire.

Thank the gods for kindles, flash drives and internet connections. Except now I'm too irritated to use any of them effectively


On using a marginalised pseudonym

There has been a drama in the m/m genre with a popular author using a male pseudonym and fake gay bio (quite an elaborate one at that) – and it turns out that (SHOCK HORROR) she is actually a woman. Several people have rightfully condemned said fraud. And others are shocked, SHOCKED that such deceptions have been practised.

I sometimes wonder if these people practice their shocked face in front of the mirror to maintain its authenticity – or whether they have problems with their memory because, really, at what point does a thing have to be repeated for you not to be shocked by this?

I was going to write a long long post about it, but, again, I remind myself that this is a shark tank I don't want to jump into and those who get it already do, those who don't will defend just about anything (though I will say I am vaguely amused by the people commenting in threads saying how terribad such behaviour is when they have done/defended such in the past) and, frankly, I don't want another migraine causing inbox full of privilege, entitlement and gross homophobia which I always get whenever the subject is touched on.

My general posts on m/m genre are still in my tags and I won't repeat them

I will say that using an identity like this is out of line. When you pretend to be a marginalised body you are claiming an experience you haven't had. At the most basic, this is like putting “Dr.” before your name when you don't have the qualifications to back it. But it's worse than that – because you're not only claiming an experience you don't have – but you're claiming a marginalisation you haven't experienced – your claiming an insight into a persecuted body that you do not have. You are exploiting our persecution for your own gain.

There is a monster in my kitchen

There is a monster in my kitchen and Beloved is afraid of it. Not only is he afraid of it, but I think he fears for my safety as well

There can be no other explanation to why he feels unable to allow either us to occupy the kitchen alone. Clearly, vanquishing this monster will require both of us, it's our own means of survival


Sparky: *is making tea and coffee*
Beloved: Aha! Now is the time for me to empty the dishwasher! Why yes it does involve barricading the kettle and coffee machine... what? I'm not in the way am I?

Sparky: *is baking bread*
Beloved: The fridge! I need to clean the fridge now!

Sparky: *making cheesecake*
Beloved: Just coming through to write a shopping list. Let me check everything in the cupboard and move things around

Sparky: *is cooking a meal for 5,000 people with exquisite skill and panache*
Beloved: That extractor fan that has never worked and we don't need anyway? I am going to try and fix it now. And even though it hasn't worked for years, it's vitally important I fix it now. Right now. No, it cannot wait

Sparky: *is making parcels and quiche*
Beloved: I am here to clean up! Let me move spoons and bowls before you've finished with them and put them away! Yes, every meal preperation is improved by co9ntsnatly looking for a damn knie

Sparky: *PLEASE LET ME COOK*
Beloved: I'm just checking how the tins are organised in the cupboard. It took me ages to find the tuna the other day


So, there's a monster. I don't know where it is but Beloved must and he is defending me. Why else would he leave the kitchen empty for hours on end and suddenly remember a dozen pointless tasks whenever I try to get something done? It's either a monster or he is deliberately trying to get in my way and annoy me. And I think he has a better sense of self-preservation than to do that

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Why we need a campaign against anti-GBLT bullying

So, Michigan has passed a “bullying is bad but bullying GBLT kids is a-ok, here's how to do it” bill (there's a vid at the source featuring Senator Gretchen Whitmer doing a splendid and emotional slap down of this fuckery).

Basically, it's a law against bullying – unless totally justified by religion! And that's not coded language at all, is it? Afterall, it's not the exact same excuse that bigots are using to undercut everything from marriage equality to discrimination laws, is it? But the religious have a right to hate! How can you possibly oppress their hatred!?

So, if you're a vicious little arsehole bullying GBLT kids until they kill themselves, this law won't stop you. And if, by the slightest possible chance, you do actually find a teacher who is willing to act against your vicious homophobia and transphobia, don't worry, just claim the Bible (or religious text of choice) says you can be a vile little bigotry and the law gives you an instant loophole! After all, the right of hateful religious types to drive us to our graves is far more important than the rights of GBLT youth to, y'know, live.

This is a classic example of straightness taking the reigns and how we're so quickly cast aside.

And this is exactly why we need to push for GBLT anti-bullying provisions. This is the very reason why GBLT people need our own bullying campaign and one that acknowledges that there are specific problems when dealing with anti-GBLT bullying – not least of which is the justification and excuses from organised religion, state and authority figures – and the outright banning of intervention from those who do care. From section 28, to Tennessee's “don't say gay” (do say, Takei, though) law, to Anonka-Hennepin's “neutrality” position to GSAs being banned in all Ottawa Catholic schools - there's a concerted effort to deny any possibility of help or positive reinforcement for bullied GBLT youth (or GBLT people in general)

When movements like the It Gets Better project (and other, similar, projects) started as well as the numerous tragic news stories of the straight, cis media finally paying attention to what we knew was constantly happening because of gross homophobia and transphobia; several privileged, homophobic, straight, cis folks lost their shit that the GBLT community had DARED to focus on a major problem affecting our community. In privilege, they screamed at something that wasn't about them and how we should instead be focused on all bullying (i.e. straight, cis victims) and never mind the specific problems that afflicts us, never mind that there were specific weapons being used against us that they knew (or cared) nothing about.

Rather than set up their own campaigns or push for more campaigns, they decided to lash out at GBLT people who dared to do something to try and protect our youth while the straight, cis world – THEIR world – actively hindered us (even now you get It Gets Better videos from people saying “hey, I'm not going to talk about GBLT people, but I'm going to use your campaign to talk about me and my issue instead! How dare you guys have something for GBLT people!”)

Well, this right here, is why we need to address anti-GBLT bullying specifically, why we need to look at the unique elements of GBLT bullying and why straight, cis people whining that we dare to look at this and fight this should not only check their privilege, but stuff their prejudice as well.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

My bank should provide headache pills

Not that I take the co-codamol my doc keeps pressing on me (it's starting to stack up, it'd be more than if I actually fillled the prescriptions he gives me. And he knows I hate pills. Methinks the doc's been kind of careless there).

But anyway, the bank should provide some for having to deal with them, because really, this is getting silly.

I am me. With a first name and a second name.
Beloved is him, with a first name and a second name.
No, we don't share a name in common
Yes we want both names on everything. Yes everything. Yes that too. And that. Yes the insurance. Yes the bank accounts. Yes everything. YES
Yes we are both men
Yes we are family
No, we are not related by blood

I swear, I feel like we've been having this battle with the bank for years, every time we get a document of any kind, something is screwed up.

Gah, it's not rocket science

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Time for a new giveaway at Fangs for the Fantasy!

Yes, a new month, a new giveaway (a list of all our shiny giveaways can be found here. Much more fun is a list of all Our book reviews and all of our TV reviews and our Podcasts

This month's giveaway is for Blood Work – a Hollows Graphic novel. As is well known I fandpoodle Kim Harrison muchly as one of my favourite authors and her Hollows as one of my favourite Urban Fantasy worlds

Click here to follow the instructions to enter. Please follow them carefully, in particular if you decide to go the Facebook route, please FOLLOW not “like” please please please. If you have trouble just use the Networked blogs widget, you can't go wrong


Remember that our weekly podcast is TONIGHT this week rather than it's usual Monday slot. We start at 10:00pm GMT and... Other Times elsewhere.