Jan. 8th, 2017

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My Dictaphone is stuck on record. It won’t stop recording things. So it’s just what you want lying around the White House Counsel’s Office, because there’s never been a problem with that before.
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when did tumblr collectively decide not to use punctuation like when did this happen why is this a thing

it just looks so smooth I mean look at this sentence flow like a jungle river


This is really exciting, linguistically speaking.

Because it’s not true that Tumblr never uses punctuation. But it is true that lack of punctuation has become, itself, a form of punctuation. On Tumblr the lack of punctuation in multisentence-long posts creates the function of rhetorical speech, or speech that is not intended to have an answer, usually in the form of a question. Consider the following two potential posts. Each individual line should be taken as a post:

ugh is there any particular reason people at work have to take these massive handfuls of sauce packets they know they’re not going to use like god put that back we have to pay for that stuff

Ugh. Is there any particular reason people at work have to take these massive handfuls of sauce packets they know they’re not going to use? Like god, put that back. We have to pay for that stuff.

In your head, those two potential posts sound totally different. In the first one I’m ranting about work, and this requires no answer. The second may actually engage you to give an answer about hoarding sauce packets. And if you answer the first post, you will likely do so in the same style. 

Here’s what makes this exciting: the English language has no actual punctuation for rhetorical speech–that is, there are no special marks that specifically indicate “this speech is in the abstract, and requires no answer.” Not only that, it never has. The first written record of English (actually proto-English, predating even Old English) dates to the 400s CE, so we’re talking about 1600 years of having absolutely no marker whatsoever for rhetorical speech.

A group of teens and young adults on a blogging website literally reshaped a deficit a millennium and a half old in our language to fit their language needs. More! This group has agreed on a more or less universal standard for these new rules, which fits the definition of “language.” Which is to say Tumblr English is its own actual, real, separate dialect of the English language, and because it is spoken by people worldwide who have introduced concepts from their own languages into it, it may qualify as a written form of pidgin. 

Tumblr English should literally be treated as its own language, because it does not follow the rules of any form of formal written English, and yet it does have its own consistent internal rules. If you don’t think that’s cool as fuck then I don’t even know what to tell you.

i love this post

That explains why it is SO ANNOYING when people on FB respond to my no-caps no punctuation posts with deadly seriousness and st least one “well, actually.”
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I wonder if in the years after the Battle of Yavin, and later after Endor, people in the galaxy start talking about the curse of the Death Star the way we talk about the curse of the Pharaohs, because everyone involved with it died.

The Death Star was originally a Separatist weapon developed for Count Dooku: Dooku died and the Separatists lost the Clone Wars.

The Geonosians built the Death Star: nearly the entire Geonosian species was wiped out and the planet sterilized.

Jedha provided the kyber crystals for the Death Star: the Holy City and a huge chunk of the planet’s population died.

Galen Erso and his team of scientists worked on the Death Star: they all died.

Orson Krennic was in charge of building the Death Star: he died (cause of death: Death Star).

Tarkin took control of the Death Star: he and everyone on the Death Star died.

Jyn and Cassian and company got their hands on the plans: they died, along with, presumably, most of the population of that hemisphere of Scarif.

Emperor Palpatine ordered the construction of the Death Star and later the Second Death Star: he died, along with, presumably, most of the people on the Second Death Star.

Darth Vader was on both Death Stars: he died.

Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewbacca were all on one or both of the Death Stars at some point in time: well, they might not have been responsible for the thing, but man, did their lives get fucked up, but props for surviving the CURSE OF THE DEATH STAR.  Er, mostly.  For longer than most people, anyway, sorry, Han.

Some people say it was the curse of a dying Geonosian queen, others the will of the Force in revenge for Jedha, others Saw Gerrera’s dying words, others some twisted dark magic of one of the Emperor’s defeated foes – or Dooku’s – or the Jedi’s – because curses don’t have to make sense, but damn, if the rumor doesn’t get around once some of the Death Star’s history starts to get out to the general public.
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As an occasional visitor to Star Wars fandom, here are some things I would like to see come out of Rogue One:

- the fic about the reactions of the Empire’s IT and records management departments when they learn that some trigger-happy general just literally blew up an entire unique archival repository of key bureaucratic data
- the comic about the first time some maintenance technician tries to repair something on the Death Star and the guy’s like, ‘where’s the documentation?’ and their boss is like ‘um, well, funny story about that….’
- the in-depth analysis about various mistakes the Empire makes in the original trilogy and how they operate in context of an organization that has just, I repeat, LITERALLY BLOWN UP ALL OF THEIR OWN BACKUP DATA. Of course it’s easy for any random hero to impersonate a Stormtrooper! THEY DESTROYED ALL THEIR OWN PERSONNEL FILES.

Rogue One, or, Why All The Empire’s Librarians and Archivists Joined the Rebellion

@earendils @butneverstoptrying

Rogue 2 plot summary: a bunch of Imperial waste management techs go AWOL and steal the Death Star plans back from the Rebels because how else are we supposed to get the dianoga out of the pipes when we have literally no idea where half of these ducts go or what they’re for

they complete their mission but in the end decide not to delete the plans from the main Alliance computers after they’ve made their copy because ehhhhh what if we never had to fix anything on that piece of shit again, what if that, it’s insured right?

This also explains why none of the bridges or giant pits in the floor have railings: literally no one knows if they’re supposed to be there or not, and once someone tried to drill into the floor to install some and destroyed the main air circulation wiring for half the station, now everyone just has to be real careful all the time

It also means that when they built the second Death Star in ROTJ they had to start entirely from scratch, yikes

in the end they decide not to delete plans from main Alliance computers because their heist crew contains one records manager who’s like ‘look, we’re SUPPOSED to have redundant data backups, this way we’re not even paying for the storage!’

Paging @fahye because PUBLIC SERVANTS

this post has made the rounds amazingly on my dash and now it’s LITERALLY CALLING MY NAME.
pour one out for that tfa fic I was writing about della calrissian, disgruntled member of the new republic capital electoral commission, just trying to do her job and not get involved with the rebellion AGAIN.
never doubt my commitment to space bureaucracy.


(Seriously, who’s up for a zine/anthology/cooperative AO3 series (group? tag? IDK) around the theme of various public servants sabotaged the Empire, joined the Rebellion, or avenged the besmirchment of their domains. #public servants of the empire, or the like.)

I love the way the glaring fucking design flaw that’s been pointed out since New Hope came out (your flying doom-planet that you’re going to use to subjugate the galaxy will explode entirely into so much space-dust after a love-tap from a single-pilot fighter if it’s in the right place? were you people high when you designed this?) just got shutupshutupohmygodshutuped away with Secret Rebels Sabotaging Things.

And it explains so much else, about everything, doesn’t it?

No guardrails over fucking bottomless pits? Some rebel sympathizer on the allocation committee line-itemed half the safety shit right out of the budget.

Helmets with no peripheral vision because fuck you, that’s why? The woman who designed them got conscripted into the job, and the only thing that makes her smile is watching those douchebag noncoms crash into each other in Y-intersection corridors.

Nobody notices there being extra stormtroopers running around? With the way Lieutenant Bob keeps dicking with the schedule, nobody can say for sure there shouldn’t be purple flying monkeys manning the security checkpoints.  He’s run three Emperor Inspection Drills in as many weeks, and just three days ago he put the entire unit on duty at once and left the overnight shift “TBA.” He’s doing more to tank morale than Vader’s temper.  Coincidentally, Lieutenant Bob’s homeworld got hit with a punitive tax hike six months ago, and people are literally starving in the streets.

The guy who checks itineraries and rosters for incoming shuttle flights believed the hype about joining up and seeing the Galaxy.  Turns out fuck literally every actual thing about this job, from officer infighting to civilian casualties to Vader’s last-minute order to have every surface in his on-board suite kitted out with fucking lava lamps, of all things.  Like, they’re in space.  He gets that, right?  They can’t just stop by SpaceMart and pick up stuff like that.  His boss is a dick and he was up all night making lava lamps out of cooking oil and food coloring, and you know what?  The last thing he wants to do right now is check the manifest on the next delivery of cooking oil.  He’s had enough with cooking oil.  He took five showers when he got back to his quarters, and he still smells like fucking canola.  The Wookie and the guy who hasn’t shaved in a month and the guy still picking half a tumbleweed out of his hair can blow up the entire fucking station for all he cares–he will help them plant the explosives, if it comes down to it–so long as they don’t make him talk about the cooking oil he’s signing off on as being delivered.

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Arthur is twelve years old the first time he drinks whisky from his grandfather’s hip flask. He takes one sip at his grandfather’s urging while his mother looks on in disapproval. His throat burns, but he doesn’t spit it out. His grandfather grins, slaps him on the back, and takes back the flask. Arthur decides he’s never going to drink that stuff again.

Arthur is eighteen when his grandfather dies. He sits straight-backed next to his mother during the funeral. The staccato crack of the Seven Gun Salute startles him, but he does not flinch. When they clean out his grandfather’s house the next day, Arthur takes the flask from the nightstand drawer and pockets it. He takes it with him back to Princeton. The invasion comes less than a month later.

Arthur carries his grandfather’s flask in the breast pocket of his fatigues the way some men carry the Holy Bible. The stainless steel has not rusted, but the surface is riddled with pockmarks from bullets and the cap is chipped. He keeps it filled with whiskey if he can get it, but in a crunch any alcohol will do, the stronger the better. He takes a swig for every comrade he sees slain. Some days, 16 ounces isn’t enough to cover everyone and he has to refill. Every once in a long while though, there comes a day when he doesn’t have to drink at all. Those are the days he lives for. On those days, he has hope.

By the end of the war, Arthur and his flask are all that remain of his unit. His army, once the mightiest military force the world had ever seen, no longer has the strength or the manpower to fight. Arthur scavenges the land, steals food wherever he can find it, and wages a one-man guerrilla campaign against the enemy that now rules over his homeland. In the aftermath of war whiskey has become a rare and precious commodity he rarely enjoys. He no longer drinks in sips for his comrades – he is the only one left. Now he drinks for himself in one long swallow to dull the pain. When he can’t get any, he fills his flask with anything he can find: stale beer, gin, wine, even water sometimes. He misses the deep burn of whiskey.

Arthur dies alone in the woods of a bullet wound to the guts in the first year of the Second Revolutionary War, nearly a decade before the rebels finally manage to drive out the invaders. His body rots and his ragged clothing disintegrates. In the end all that remain are his bones, his sidearm, and a WWII era stainless steel flask of crappy whiskey home brewed in a revolutionary’s bathroom clutched in his skeletal hand.
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can we just talk about the time that Lupin was recovering from a full moon and Snape taught the DADA class and made all the students write essays on how to kill werewolves for Lupin to read when he got back I hate Snape so much it’s not funny

Lupin gets back and he feels like crap and suddenly his best friend’s son is writing an essay about how to kill him like that is so fucked up

Bear in mind that an ex-Death Eater does this to someone who was in the Order, risked his life fighting against said Death Eaters and lost his best friends to the Death Eater’s genocidal leader, for the sole purpose of screwing him over, and as far as we know he experiences no consequences whatsoever for doing so.

And if that wasn’t enough, he made them write those essays hoping some of them would realize Lupin’s a werewolf. And one did, but Hermione is a fucking DECENT HUMAN BEING and said nothing. Apparently the ‘insufferable know-it-all' can keep her mouth closed, when it’s for something important. Just like Snape didn’t do at the end of the book.

I’m getting mad, so here’s something I’ve realized while reading The Order of the Phoenix again. (Please keep in mind that my books are in Italian and some concepts might be hard to explain, I apologize for my English mistakes)

In chapter 14, when The Trio talked with Sirius, he said that two years before Dolores Umbridge had written a law against werewolves that made it almost impossible for Lupin to find a job.

Now ask yourself this question. Why two years?

What had happened two years before? During Harry’s third year? Oh, right. The Magical World had discovered that one of Hogwarts’ teachers (someone who was in constant conctat with their children) was a werewolf. Does that ring any bell?

But that’s not all! If we take a look at chapter 15, in the Daily Prophet article we can see a familiar name: Remus Lupin. In a newspaper. Where everyone can read it. “The werewolf Remus Lupin”. No wonder he couldn’t find a job!
And it’s not the first time the Daily Prophet has written about him, as it’s stated in the article itself. There must have been a huge scandal when it had all come out.

So basically, when Snape decided he couldn’t bear not having what he wanted (for example, SIRIUS BLACK GETTING KISSED BY A DEMENTOR) and spilled the secret, he didn’t only tell the whole school. He didn’t only tell the kids’ parents. The told the whole Magical World.

He told the whole Magical World that a man who had kept his condition secret all his life was a werewolf.

And the Magical World responded with a law against werewolves.

So, basically, Snape didn’t only ruin Remus Lupin’s life. He ruined the life of every single werewolf in the UK.

But, you know. Bravest man I ever knew.

Snape is a trash monster.
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sirius black getting so drunk one night that he transformed into padfoot and ate everything that dogs cannot eat and he wakes up the next day and he’s like whAT THE HELL DID I dO and he’s on edge for the next couple of days crying ‘am i going to die’

 james has to remind him that he’s not really a dog but then remus is quiet for a second before going ‘but he ate it as a dog’ and they’re all like stumped for words until peter asks mcgonagall a ‘totally hypothetical’ question about eating things whilst in animagus form 

I bet all the Hogwarts teachers get an unreal amount of “totally hypothetical” questions from students.

“Hey Slughorn wtf’s a horcrux? Just for laughs”
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Abuse is Not the Answer: Shut Down the Judge Rotenberg Center
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Someone drew a swastika on the sign-box outside of Klau Library. Klau Library is on the campus of the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, the principle rabbinic and cantorial training arm of the Reform movement.

I’ve seen the picture of this desecration in post after post on Facebook. Almost every single post comes with the comment, “I am speechless; I have no words.”

I am not speechless. I have many, many words to offer. I am outraged and sickened and saddened. But I am not speechless.

I was not speechless when students at Warren Township High School in Gurnee, Illinois saw the same hateful scrawl of a swastika on their campus earlier in this school year.

I was not speechless several years ago, when a friend, also in Gurnee, posted her shock and rage on Facebook, telling us about something that had happened that night, when her doorbell rang around 10 p.m., and when her husband opened the door, there was a pile of pennies laid out in the shape of a swastika (read about that here).

I was not speechless when another friend shared with me the horrible story of her young, middle school daughter, who was tormented by some boys who called her out, sometimes daily: “Jew! Jew!” They threw pennies at her feet and yelled at her to pick them up. The onlookers only laughed at this. The incident repeated during registration, in front of parents and administrators, and the principal himself. Nothing was done.

I was not speechless when my son was bullied and teased, sometimes mercilessly, when he was in grade school. The bullies were the kids. The collaborators were the teachers and administrators, who remained silent in the face of their ignorance and hatred.

I wasn’t speechless when I was driving some staffers out to the field for community organizing, when one of them regaled us with the tale of how he had “jewed down” the street vendor on Maxwell Street to get a better price on some frippery or other.

I was not speechless when I walked into my synagogue one Sunday morning, when I was 18 and teaching for the very first time, and there were three huge swastikas spray painted on the walls, ugly black spiders against a backdrop of white.

I wasn’t speechless when my mother and I spied a bumper sticker on a car that whizzed by us on the Kennedy Expressway in 1973, the height of the gas crunch. The bumper sticker read, “Burn Jews not gas.”

I was not speechless for all these incidents, over all these decades. I am not speechless now. I am outraged and sickened and saddened by the continuing anti-Semitism that goes mostly unnoticed by most of the world. There are a few news stories that reference this latest crime of hate, that reference the Jewish community—as if we are a different community entirely, not part of the same community as everyone else, as if we are still all consigned to a shtetl away from the rest of the world. As if we are not quite as human as the rest of the human race.


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