ambrmerlinus: Portrait of a young white man with a flowing blond mohawk, in profile. (Default)
On the Lawrence King mistrial and why it's a fucking joke.

In which I give my opinion on things I should probably just quietly headdesk about, but whatevs.
ambrmerlinus: Portrait of a young white man with a flowing blond mohawk, in profile. (Default)
Chapter 90: Heads or Tails is a case study of English whaling law. It is exactly as thrilling as it sounds.

Short version: sometimes English lords take whalemen's whales just to be dicks.

The rest of this entry is somewhat more eventful. )

---

For more adventures in Moby-Dick, check out the Moby-Dick, or The Rant tag. Alternatively, you can start from the beginning.
ambrmerlinus: Portrait of a young white man with a flowing blond mohawk, in profile. (Default)
You know what that means...

Rainbow-Tinted Goggles!

AKA the queer-focused column I write for my school paper. It gets the most hatemail. :D

(Should I re-post the text here, or just link it every week?)
ambrmerlinus: Portrait of a young white man with a flowing blond mohawk, in profile. (Default)
Let me preface this rant by saying that these chapters were really, really hard to summarize/write about. There's plenty of stuff going on, but very little of the prose is quotable, which kind of ruins my (admittedly lazy) usual structure.

Can I even remember the plot? Let's find out! )

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For more adventures in Moby Dick, check out the Moby Dick, or The Rant tag. Alternatively, you can start from the beginning.
ambrmerlinus: Portrait of a young white man with a flowing blond mohawk, in profile. (Default)
Remember Jessica Verday?

If you don't know who she is, she's the author who was told by an editor for the "Wicked Pretty Things" anthology that she needed to make one of the characters in her boy/boy romance a girl. Her response to this request was, essentially, EFF THAT (she was more polite/verbose about it), which immediately endeared her to me and led me to buy The Hollow in the first place, a purchasing decision I sincerely wish I didn't regret.

Anyway, she pulled her story from the anthology and has published it on Amazon's Kindle: Flesh Which Is Not Flesh.

I want to read this story. I have wanted to read this story ever since the drama started, because I love drama and I have a weakness for queer fiction and another weakness for supernatural YA lit.

More importantly, I want to give Jessica Verday money for her story because I am thankful to her for standing up for queer characters and, by extension, for the visibility of queer characters in fiction.*

So we have her story, and we have my money. Kindle is the middleman. Therein lies my problem.

I do not own a Kindle. I do own a Mac, but it's running OS 10.4 Tiger, and the free "Kindle for Mac" program that Amazon offers is only for OS 10.5 Leopard and up. Ideally, I could buy the story and find some way to convert the file to a .pdf or something my computer could read, but Amazon won't even let me buy the story without having a Kindle program installed.

And now, we come to the point:

Does anyone have any ideas for a workaround that still lets me pay for the story legally?

---

*Why is this important? Short version: bigots find it harder to be bigots when the targets of their bigotry are humanized. Some queerphobes may never [knowingly] become acquainted with a queer person outside of fiction, ergo queer characters in fiction are an alternative way to let queerphobes know that 1) queer people exist and 2) they are not big scary monsters/weak pathetic sub-humans. Not all queer characters succeed on the second point, but still.
ambrmerlinus: Portrait of a young white man with a flowing blond mohawk, in profile. (Default)
The chapters in Moby Dick seem to follow a sort of pattern. Typically, three chapters of Ishmael babbling about science or history will go by before we get one chapter of plot that makes the whole thing worthwhile. If this ratio could be reversed, I would greatly appreciate it.

Essay, essay, essay... PLOT! )

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For more adventures in Moby Dick, check out the Moby Dick, or The Rant tag. Alternatively, you can start from the beginning.
ambrmerlinus: Portrait of a young white man with a flowing blond mohawk, in profile. (Default)
This particular update contains A PICTURE of a NAKED man wherein one can view his unobstructed, non-erect PENIS. Consider yourselves warned.

Best chapter? Best chapter. )

---

For more adventures in Moby Dick, check out the Moby Dick, or The Rant tag. Alternatively, you can start from the beginning.

lol life

Jul. 4th, 2011 05:42 pm
ambrmerlinus: Portrait of a young white man with a flowing blond mohawk, in profile. (Default)
THE BAD:

My laptop, Princess MacPrincess*, recently suffered a case of "everything works but the screen." The Mac Store's solution to this was to replace the logic board, which means I lost everything that wasn't in my Dropbox. So while my fiction and Moby Dick stuff were saved, I lost my music collection (over 5,000 songs carefully sorted into 20+ playlists), all the .psd files of my non-Moby Dick art, all the high-quality copies of every DILLIGAF strip ever made, my legal (!!!) copy of Photoshop, and several gigs worth of stock/reference images. This also cost me over $300. Whee!

Because of this, I've been offline for about a week and have WAY TOO MUCH SHIT to catch up on. Also, while I have been drawing on paper, I miss my Photoshop like burning. I would share the paper-drawings with you but 1) they are bad and 2) without PS I can't clean them up and resize them for internet posting.

THE GOOD:

I got a job! I work at an antique store now. Good times.

In addition, my friend Hannah is offering commissions! She's an incredibly hardworking and talented artist with a super cool style, and she's also a totally awesome person, so you should go check out what she's offering. (She is offering AMAZING DEALS.)

*So called because, much like a princess, she is expensive, high-maintenance, and weak in body thanks to inbreeding.

ART DUMP

Jun. 23rd, 2011 09:30 pm
ambrmerlinus: Portrait of a young white man with a flowing blond mohawk, in profile. (Default)
1x comic
3x Homestuck fanart
1x commission
1x OCs
1x genderbent mainstream superhero(ine)

no1curr )

Also, guess who still needs $$$ and is totally open for commissions? THIS KID!

*I call him Oedipus because I like to pretend I'm clever.
ambrmerlinus: Portrait of a young white man with a flowing blond mohawk, in profile. (Default)
I am giving serious consideration to cosplaying Tavros from the webcomic Homestuck, for a variety of reasons. One, Tavros is freakin' adorable. Two, he is incredibly insecure, much like myself.*

There are a few logistical problems (mainly, how am I going to make those horns? and get them to stick on my head?), but those can be overcome with time, hard work, and ingenuity. What is really bothering me are the ethical problems.

Tavros is a wheelchair user.

I am not a wheelchair user.

And I really, REALLY don't want to hurt or upset anyone with my cosplay.

Logistically, it is no problem. I have the wheelchair. It is sitting in my living room as we speak. I can reach out and touch it right now.** But still: ethics.

There are several ways I could circumvent this issue. I could portray Tavros from the pre-wheelchair-using point in his canon, but that's such a small slice of the story and it honestly feels like a cop-out. (As in, the only time he is shown in the webcomic as a non-wheelchair-user is when they are explaining how he became a wheelchair user in the first place. Very quick flashback, not really the character as he is best known.)

I could also be Tavros in his post-wheelchair-using incarnation. (He gets robotic legs. The process is a little messy and the ethics of it are questionable but he seems happy with them?) While I could conceivably make robotic legs with the magic of the aforementioned time+work+ingenuity equation, again, most of the webcomic deals with wheelchair-using Tavros, not pre-wheelchair-using or robo-legs Tavros.

Alternatively, one could argue that since cosplay is done for fun and not profit, I am not hurting anyone by pretending to be a character who uses a wheelchair. (Unlike, say, the Glee casting department, who went with a non-wheelchair-using actor for a wheelchair-using character and my God does it show in the choreography.) But this feels like misdirection to me, as in, "Okay I might be doing something objectionable but at least I'm not doing something worse like those guys!"

I am telling you all this in the hopes of sparking some conversation, getting some feedback from a variety of sources outside my own head, and perhaps talking to people who have confronted this issue in the past and may have some advice.

So... thoughts?

---

*This is basically the formula for my portrayal of fictional characters.

Step 1: Be incredibly insecure.
Step 2: Pretend to be fictional character who is also incredibly insecure.
Step 3: Get (undeserved) praise for being in-character.
Step 4: Feel less insecure for a bit.

It's fun! And probably unhealthy! But still fun!

**Why do I have a wheelchair on hand if I am not a wheelchair user? Short version: My roommate is the president of my school's theater company. The company puts on a production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show every year, and they own a wheelchair for that purpose. I borrowed the wheelchair to do some amateur accessibility testing on my campus... annnd I have yet to return it. They don't need it until September, I'm sure it will be fine.
ambrmerlinus: Portrait of a young white man with a flowing blond mohawk, in profile. (Default)
Short version: I am between jobs and would like to pay rent. JOB ACQUIRED! STILL OPEN!

My talents are as follows:

1) Assembling pre-made parts in warehouses.
2) Typing.
3) Drawing like a drawing thing.

This last talent is the most relevant one today. That's right, I am offering

~*~COMMISSIONS!~*~

like some kind of art kid or something idek.

DEETS )

In conclusion: COMMISSIONS, I AM OPEN FOR THEM!
ambrmerlinus: Portrait of a young white man with a flowing blond mohawk, in profile. (Default)
Gender Censorship in Online Art Communities
featuring deviantART
with special guest y!gallery


aka my final essay for 'censorship in art history' class )
ambrmerlinus: Portrait of a young white man with a flowing blond mohawk, in profile. (Default)
It's a comic strip! We haven't seen one of those in forever. )

tl;dr: Ishmael is basically this guy.

Remember when I did something with my life that wasn't Moby Dick? Me neither.
ambrmerlinus: Portrait of a young white man with a flowing blond mohawk, in profile. (Default)
D-Ray and I went to the New Bedford Whaling Museum, where I took way too many pictures and learned a whole bunch about whaling and also stumped the museum employees.

ME: Do you have any sword mats?
MUSEUM PEOPLE: What?
ME: Sword mat? Named for the wooden, vaguely sword-like implement used to weave them?
MUSEUM PEOPLE: S-W-O-R-D sword?
ME: Yup!
MUSEUM PEOPLE: [exchange confused glances]
ME: Moby Dick, Chapter 47: The Mat-Maker?
MUSEUM PEOPLE: Did you check the Herman Melville exhibit?
ME: Yup!
MUSEUM PEOPLE: Yeahhh, we have no clue. Try the research library?

For the record, Google doesn't know what a sword-mat looks like either. According to the museum people (who, by the way, were super polite and friendly and helpful and generally awesome in every aspect) there is an event at the yearly Moby Dick reading marathon* called "Stump the Scholar" which they think I will be able to win with my question of "what is a sword mat?"

So, yeah. Those were my museum adventures. Back to reading!

Will you stop <i>talking</i> about whales and go kill some already? )
---

Other adventures in Moby Dick include:
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven
Part Eight
Part Nine
Part Ten
Part Eleven
Part Twelve
Part Thirteen
Part Fourteen
Part Fifteen
Part Sixteen
Part Seventeen
Part Eighteen
Part Nineteen
Part Twenty
Part Twenty-One
Part Twenty-Two (You Are Here)

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February 2012

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