jennythereader: (Professor Cat *)
Do you think it would be valuable to have more political parties with a real chance at the presidential level? If you do, what would you change to make it happen?

In my opinion, third parties could make the biggest difference at the local level, but most of them don't really seem interested in local politics. I also think it would be a good thing for third parties to be taken more seriously at the national level.

One way to get voters to think more seriously about third parties would be to have their candidates participate in the debates with the Democratic and Republican candidates. Unfortunately, the way the rules are currently written a candidate has to be polling above 15% for a certain period before the debate. This pretty much means that no third party candidate is ever going to participate.

I think one change to the debate rules would help solve both of these problems. Instead of a polling threshold, use an officeholder threshold. The one I thought of is allow any political party that has constantly had a member in office at the state (state legislative bodies, Governor or other state-wide office, judge [if they're elected and declare a party affiliation]) or national level (House or Senate) for the last 5 years to participate in the presidential debates. I might even count mayor of one of the 10 biggest cities in the country. If that leads to an unwieldy number of people on stage, than either increase the number of officeholders or the amount of time required.

This would help with what I feel is the biggest problem, by giving the third parties a strong motivation for getting people elected to lower levels of office. It would also help with the secondary problem by making it more likely that a third party politician who doesn't have high name recognition would be visible in the presidential campaign.

(Edited to remove some the "I thinks." There were way too many...)
jennythereader: (Professor Cat *)
Do you think it would be valuable to have more political parties with a real chance at the presidential level? If you do, what would you change to make it happen?

In my opinion, third parties could make the biggest difference at the local level, but most of them don't really seem interested in local politics. I also think it would be a good thing for third parties to be taken more seriously at the national level.

One way to get voters to think more seriously about third parties would be to have their candidates participate in the debates with the Democratic and Republican candidates. Unfortunately, the way the rules are currently written a candidate has to be polling above 15% for a certain period before the debate. This pretty much means that no third party candidate is ever going to participate.

I think one change to the debate rules would help solve both of these problems. Instead of a polling threshold, use an officeholder threshold. The one I thought of is allow any political party that has constantly had a member in office at the state (state legislative bodies, Governor or other state-wide office, judge [if they're elected and declare a party affiliation]) or national level (House or Senate) for the last 5 years to participate in the presidential debates. I might even count mayor of one of the 10 biggest cities in the country. If that leads to an unwieldy number of people on stage, than either increase the number of officeholders or the amount of time required.

This would help with what I feel is the biggest problem, by giving the third parties a strong motivation for getting people elected to lower levels of office. It would also help with the secondary problem by making it more likely that a third party politician who doesn't have high name recognition would be visible in the presidential campaign.

(Edited to remove some the "I thinks." There were way too many...)
jennythereader: (Blue Fractal)
I was thinking about this the other day, and I realized that when it comes to TV and movies, I have a set of default assumptions I make unless something in the show contradicts it.

1) Movies are set around the year they come out. TV shows air (more or less) in real time. Obviously, this doesn't have to be explicitly contradicted. Clothing/technology/other background elements that are clearly from a different time period is enough.

2) Characters are pretty much the same age as the actor playing them.

3) Characters are the same ethnic background as the actor playing them. I think lots of people have this assumption, which is why casting white actors as non-white characters is problematic.

Those first three assumptions are fairly harmless most of the time, although the third leaves me vulnerable to stupid casting choices in productions adapted from other media. The next couple are not so harmless. I'm trying to pull them into the light and take a closer look at them.

4) Characters are straight. Given that a substantial minority (the last number I heard is 10%) of people are not straight, any show or movie with more than a dozen people should have at least one gay or bisexual character. The fact that I assume any character the writers don't come right out and say is LGBTQ (I think I got the order of the acronym wrong) is straight isn't good because it minimizes the presence of gay people in the world.

5) Characters are cis-gendered. This is a bad assumption because it minimizes the existence of trans people in the same way that assumption 4 minimizes gay people.

I could probably come up with a few others if I tried, but this seems like enough for now.
jennythereader: (Blue Fractal)
I was thinking about this the other day, and I realized that when it comes to TV and movies, I have a set of default assumptions I make unless something in the show contradicts it.

1) Movies are set around the year they come out. TV shows air (more or less) in real time. Obviously, this doesn't have to be explicitly contradicted. Clothing/technology/other background elements that are clearly from a different time period is enough.

2) Characters are pretty much the same age as the actor playing them.

3) Characters are the same ethnic background as the actor playing them. I think lots of people have this assumption, which is why casting white actors as non-white characters is problematic.

Those first three assumptions are fairly harmless most of the time, although the third leaves me vulnerable to stupid casting choices in productions adapted from other media. The next couple are not so harmless. I'm trying to pull them into the light and take a closer look at them.

4) Characters are straight. Given that a substantial minority (the last number I heard is 10%) of people are not straight, any show or movie with more than a dozen people should have at least one gay or bisexual character. The fact that I assume any character the writers don't come right out and say is LGBTQ (I think I got the order of the acronym wrong) is straight isn't good because it minimizes the presence of gay people in the world.

5) Characters are cis-gendered. This is a bad assumption because it minimizes the existence of trans people in the same way that assumption 4 minimizes gay people.

I could probably come up with a few others if I tried, but this seems like enough for now.
jennythereader: (Default)
Today is the 132 birthday of Helen Keller, one of my childhood heros. She overcame huge obstacles to become a public figure, advocating for people with disabilities and travelling the world to speak. Everyone admires her, right?

What's been left out of the popular perception of Helen Keller is her politics. No one seems to remember that she was a suffragette, a member of the Socialist Party, a supporter of birth control and family planning, a founder of the American Civil Liberties Union, and a member of the Wobblies. Having all of these political opinions doesn't negate the strength of character it took to overcome the challenges she faced, so why does this aspect of her life get ignored? My theory is that it has something to do with people wanting to protect children from controversial ideas.

Thinking about Helen Keller led me to another of my childhood heros, Mary McLeod Bethune. In 1904 she started a school with 6 students, and over the next 37 years built it up into a 4 year college, now Bethune-Cookman University. She was a personal friend of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, and an advisor to both of them. She was the first African-American female head of a federal agency (the Division of Negro Affairs, which was a subsection of the National Youth Administration.) She worked to integrate the Methodist Episcopal Church, one of the precursors to the United Methodist Church. She's been included in several different "most important women" and "most important African-American" lists, and has had a stamp issued in her honor. So why have I never met another person my age who's even heard of her? I have no theories about that. If anyone does, I'd love to hear them.
jennythereader: (Default)
Today is the 132 birthday of Helen Keller, one of my childhood heros. She overcame huge obstacles to become a public figure, advocating for people with disabilities and travelling the world to speak. Everyone admires her, right?

What's been left out of the popular perception of Helen Keller is her politics. No one seems to remember that she was a suffragette, a member of the Socialist Party, a supporter of birth control and family planning, a founder of the American Civil Liberties Union, and a member of the Wobblies. Having all of these political opinions doesn't negate the strength of character it took to overcome the challenges she faced, so why does this aspect of her life get ignored? My theory is that it has something to do with people wanting to protect children from controversial ideas.

Thinking about Helen Keller led me to another of my childhood heros, Mary McLeod Bethune. In 1904 she started a school with 6 students, and over the next 37 years built it up into a 4 year college, now Bethune-Cookman University. She was a personal friend of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, and an advisor to both of them. She was the first African-American female head of a federal agency (the Division of Negro Affairs, which was a subsection of the National Youth Administration.) She worked to integrate the Methodist Episcopal Church, one of the precursors to the United Methodist Church. She's been included in several different "most important women" and "most important African-American" lists, and has had a stamp issued in her honor. So why have I never met another person my age who's even heard of her? I have no theories about that. If anyone does, I'd love to hear them.
jennythereader: (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]

I think comprehensive sex ed in age-appropriate language and detail from both the schools and the parents should start several years before puberty (age 7 or so). It should start this early for the same reason you have fire drills and tornado drills and other emergency plans: because you want the safe behavior to be the automatic behavior, the behavior they fall back on when fear or excitement or hormones have them too mixed up to think properly. To my mind, abstinence only sex ed is the equivalent of trying to keep kids safe from fire by telling them not to play with matches. It's a good first step, but it won't keep them safe when there's smoke in air.

The schools should focus on it from a scientific/medical/basic mechanics angle, while the parents should focus on the emotional, moral, and ethical aspects. Not being either an educator or a parent, I don't know exactly what should be discussed (or in what words) at what age.

I do think that one specific element that should start early and be emphasized at all ages and to both genders is that you are always allowed to say "NO" to any sexual behavior (and conversely, that when someone says "NO," you listen to them and stop), and if someone doesn't stop when you tell them to, you should tell an authority figure. Obviously this should also get more nuanced as the kids get older, addressing things like people trying to use guilt, fear, chemicals, or other means to get sex without the other person having the opportunity to say yes or no.

I'm not sure how much sense this makes. I may be editing for clarity later on. If I do, I'll try to note what I changed.
jennythereader: (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]

I think comprehensive sex ed in age-appropriate language and detail from both the schools and the parents should start several years before puberty (age 7 or so). It should start this early for the same reason you have fire drills and tornado drills and other emergency plans: because you want the safe behavior to be the automatic behavior, the behavior they fall back on when fear or excitement or hormones have them too mixed up to think properly. To my mind, abstinence only sex ed is the equivalent of trying to keep kids safe from fire by telling them not to play with matches. It's a good first step, but it won't keep them safe when there's smoke in air.

The schools should focus on it from a scientific/medical/basic mechanics angle, while the parents should focus on the emotional, moral, and ethical aspects. Not being either an educator or a parent, I don't know exactly what should be discussed (or in what words) at what age.

I do think that one specific element that should start early and be emphasized at all ages and to both genders is that you are always allowed to say "NO" to any sexual behavior (and conversely, that when someone says "NO," you listen to them and stop), and if someone doesn't stop when you tell them to, you should tell an authority figure. Obviously this should also get more nuanced as the kids get older, addressing things like people trying to use guilt, fear, chemicals, or other means to get sex without the other person having the opportunity to say yes or no.

I'm not sure how much sense this makes. I may be editing for clarity later on. If I do, I'll try to note what I changed.
jennythereader: (Default)
I've seen a couple versions of this floating around, but this is the one I decided to do. It might take me a bit more than 10 days, because I'll probably only do it on weekdays.

Day One: Ten things you want to do some day.
Day Two: Nine things about yourself.
Day Three: Eight qualities you think are awesome in other people.
Day Four: Seven (semi)interesting things you've pondered or thought about recently.
Day Five: Six things you are glad you did.
Day Six: Five books/movies/tv series/etc that you'd recommend.
Day Seven: Four silly quirks
Day Eight: Three pet peeves
Day Nine: Two things for which you're proud of yourself.
Day Ten: One secret plan.

1. How would my life be different today if I'd been diagnosed with ADD back in middle school, when it first started to have a major impact on my life? I don't really want a different life than the one I have, but sometimes I have this urge to kick either the counselor Dad was sending me to back then or the adults at my school. Or both. Somebody should have spotted that there was more going on there than smart, stubborn, and lazy Jenny not wanting to do the work.

2. How can I contribute to the world? I want to find a place to donate my time and/or my money, but there are so many worthy causes out there. Should I pick one or two and give everything I can to them, or should I give a little bit to everything that seems like a good idea?

3. What else can I save money by making at home instead of buying? I've started doing the math and keeping track, and so far the laundry detergent is worth it but the barbecue sauce was not. That's with me valuing my time at the same rate I get paid at work. If I didn't do that, the laundry soap would be worth it by an amazing margin instead of just a noticeable one, and the BBQ sauce probably would have been a deal.

4. Why don't any of the musical icons of my generation speak to me? I'm not even sure who they are.

5. What will I do with myself while I'm at Pennsic? I haven't made it to many classes the last couple of years. Hopefully I'll do more this time.

6. Should I try to go back to school this fall? If I do, where? How many classes?

7. Why do I prefer the male POV so strongly in certain types of fiction? The theory I've come up with is that it has something to do with suspension of disbelief. That is, I know how that works for me, so if the female character's experience strays too far from my own I have a hard time believing in what's happening. Since I don't know what the male experience is like first-hand, there are fewer things to trip me up and throw me out of the story.

[OK. These are probably interesting only to me. But the meme doesn't say the answers have to be interesting to anybody else. :)]
jennythereader: (Default)
I've seen a couple versions of this floating around, but this is the one I decided to do. It might take me a bit more than 10 days, because I'll probably only do it on weekdays.

Day One: Ten things you want to do some day.
Day Two: Nine things about yourself.
Day Three: Eight qualities you think are awesome in other people.
Day Four: Seven (semi)interesting things you've pondered or thought about recently.
Day Five: Six things you are glad you did.
Day Six: Five books/movies/tv series/etc that you'd recommend.
Day Seven: Four silly quirks
Day Eight: Three pet peeves
Day Nine: Two things for which you're proud of yourself.
Day Ten: One secret plan.

1. How would my life be different today if I'd been diagnosed with ADD back in middle school, when it first started to have a major impact on my life? I don't really want a different life than the one I have, but sometimes I have this urge to kick either the counselor Dad was sending me to back then or the adults at my school. Or both. Somebody should have spotted that there was more going on there than smart, stubborn, and lazy Jenny not wanting to do the work.

2. How can I contribute to the world? I want to find a place to donate my time and/or my money, but there are so many worthy causes out there. Should I pick one or two and give everything I can to them, or should I give a little bit to everything that seems like a good idea?

3. What else can I save money by making at home instead of buying? I've started doing the math and keeping track, and so far the laundry detergent is worth it but the barbecue sauce was not. That's with me valuing my time at the same rate I get paid at work. If I didn't do that, the laundry soap would be worth it by an amazing margin instead of just a noticeable one, and the BBQ sauce probably would have been a deal.

4. Why don't any of the musical icons of my generation speak to me? I'm not even sure who they are.

5. What will I do with myself while I'm at Pennsic? I haven't made it to many classes the last couple of years. Hopefully I'll do more this time.

6. Should I try to go back to school this fall? If I do, where? How many classes?

7. Why do I prefer the male POV so strongly in certain types of fiction? The theory I've come up with is that it has something to do with suspension of disbelief. That is, I know how that works for me, so if the female character's experience strays too far from my own I have a hard time believing in what's happening. Since I don't know what the male experience is like first-hand, there are fewer things to trip me up and throw me out of the story.

[OK. These are probably interesting only to me. But the meme doesn't say the answers have to be interesting to anybody else. :)]
jennythereader: (Blue Fractal)
These are from [livejournal.com profile] dulcinbradbury. If you ask, I'll give you seven words to expound upon.

future
My vision of the future has always been oddly farsighted. I have a much clearer vision of what things could be like for the world as a whole 100 or 1000 years from now than what my own life will be like 5 or 10 or 15 years down the road. As I've learned more about Attention Deficit Disorder I've discovered that this inability to picture my own future is actually fairly common among people with the disorder, and that it frequently leads to the same sort of paralysis I experience. If you can't figure out what your end goal is, it's hard to figure out what path will take you there, and it's just easier to stay on the one you're already walking. I'm learning that the common advice to "figure out where you want to be, and work backwards from there" isn't very useful to me. What does seem to be working better (if slowly) is to try each day to take one action that will make it better than yesterday.

dressing
Clothing is something I think about a lot more than I think people would guess from looking at me. The way you dress is most people's first clue as to what sort of person you are. I like to think of myself as a fairly interesting person, but the way I generally dress doesn't reflect that at all. I'd like to dress more interestingly in my everyday life, but I'm nervous about how people would react (based on a long time pattern of bad reactions from people around me when I've gone quirky in the past). Right now I'm slowly going through the clothing I already own and getting rid of the stuff that I don't really like. Once I've done that I'll build my collection back up, mostly with things that are a better reflection of who I am at this point in my life.

apple
Apples are Gramma Beard. They're love and happiness and safety and acceptance. They're the pie and applesauce that she made everytime she visited because she knew how much the guys and I loved them. They're the "baked" apples she made in the microwave with cinnamon candies. The smell of apples cooking with spices is the most homelike smell in the world.

ice
I have a love/hate relationship with ice. It can be one of the most beautiful things imaginable, and I love looking at the world after an ice storm has changed it into crystal sculpture. But I hate how the cold makes me feel. The cold that goes along with ice feels like a physical presence holding me back and weighing me down.

spun
When I was a child I could spend what felt like hours on the merry-go-round at the playground, being spun around and around until I was so dizzy the world kept moving even when I wasn't. Sometimes I didn't even bother with the merry-go-round, instead I'd find a bit of floor or level ground that was clear of obsticals and spin until I staggered. My favorite rides at carnivals and amusement parks were and are the ones that spin in multiple directions at once. My body can't handle being spun quite as well as it could years ago, but it's still fun.

pepper
Pepper comes in so many different flavors. Most people only think of it as hot, but it can also be sharp, or sweet, or smokey, or tangy, or any combination. I don't like food that's so spicy all the other flavors get buried in the burn but as long as it's kept below that level pepper is one of my favorite flavoring agents. Ground red pepper or red pepper flakes are usually my first choice when a dish needs a little more zing, and paprika is a favorite if the red pepper isn't quite right.

honor
I had to remind myself of the exact definition before I could write about honor. Of all of the different meanings of the word, this is the one that matters most to me: 8a : a keen sense of ethical conduct : integrity ~a man of honor~. I have my own standards of honorable behavior that I try to live by.

- I don't make promises I'm not completely sure I'll be able to keep.
- I don't lie unless I truly feel that the pain caused by the lie being discovered would be less than the pain caused by telling the truth in the first place.
- I try not to gossip, although the line between talk and gossip moves so much that it's a hard one for me to stay on the right side of.
- I try to give people the benefit of the doubt. I've always liked the saying "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity," and usually add to it 'never attribute to stupidity that which is adequately explained by ignorance or thoughtlessness.'
- I try to live by the Golden Rule, in all of its variations. (See the sticky post at the top of my LJ.)
jennythereader: (Blue Fractal)
These are from [livejournal.com profile] dulcinbradbury. If you ask, I'll give you seven words to expound upon.

future
My vision of the future has always been oddly farsighted. I have a much clearer vision of what things could be like for the world as a whole 100 or 1000 years from now than what my own life will be like 5 or 10 or 15 years down the road. As I've learned more about Attention Deficit Disorder I've discovered that this inability to picture my own future is actually fairly common among people with the disorder, and that it frequently leads to the same sort of paralysis I experience. If you can't figure out what your end goal is, it's hard to figure out what path will take you there, and it's just easier to stay on the one you're already walking. I'm learning that the common advice to "figure out where you want to be, and work backwards from there" isn't very useful to me. What does seem to be working better (if slowly) is to try each day to take one action that will make it better than yesterday.

dressing
Clothing is something I think about a lot more than I think people would guess from looking at me. The way you dress is most people's first clue as to what sort of person you are. I like to think of myself as a fairly interesting person, but the way I generally dress doesn't reflect that at all. I'd like to dress more interestingly in my everyday life, but I'm nervous about how people would react (based on a long time pattern of bad reactions from people around me when I've gone quirky in the past). Right now I'm slowly going through the clothing I already own and getting rid of the stuff that I don't really like. Once I've done that I'll build my collection back up, mostly with things that are a better reflection of who I am at this point in my life.

apple
Apples are Gramma Beard. They're love and happiness and safety and acceptance. They're the pie and applesauce that she made everytime she visited because she knew how much the guys and I loved them. They're the "baked" apples she made in the microwave with cinnamon candies. The smell of apples cooking with spices is the most homelike smell in the world.

ice
I have a love/hate relationship with ice. It can be one of the most beautiful things imaginable, and I love looking at the world after an ice storm has changed it into crystal sculpture. But I hate how the cold makes me feel. The cold that goes along with ice feels like a physical presence holding me back and weighing me down.

spun
When I was a child I could spend what felt like hours on the merry-go-round at the playground, being spun around and around until I was so dizzy the world kept moving even when I wasn't. Sometimes I didn't even bother with the merry-go-round, instead I'd find a bit of floor or level ground that was clear of obsticals and spin until I staggered. My favorite rides at carnivals and amusement parks were and are the ones that spin in multiple directions at once. My body can't handle being spun quite as well as it could years ago, but it's still fun.

pepper
Pepper comes in so many different flavors. Most people only think of it as hot, but it can also be sharp, or sweet, or smokey, or tangy, or any combination. I don't like food that's so spicy all the other flavors get buried in the burn but as long as it's kept below that level pepper is one of my favorite flavoring agents. Ground red pepper or red pepper flakes are usually my first choice when a dish needs a little more zing, and paprika is a favorite if the red pepper isn't quite right.

honor
I had to remind myself of the exact definition before I could write about honor. Of all of the different meanings of the word, this is the one that matters most to me: 8a : a keen sense of ethical conduct : integrity ~a man of honor~. I have my own standards of honorable behavior that I try to live by.

- I don't make promises I'm not completely sure I'll be able to keep.
- I don't lie unless I truly feel that the pain caused by the lie being discovered would be less than the pain caused by telling the truth in the first place.
- I try not to gossip, although the line between talk and gossip moves so much that it's a hard one for me to stay on the right side of.
- I try to give people the benefit of the doubt. I've always liked the saying "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity," and usually add to it 'never attribute to stupidity that which is adequately explained by ignorance or thoughtlessness.'
- I try to live by the Golden Rule, in all of its variations. (See the sticky post at the top of my LJ.)
jennythereader: (Default)
Back here, I said I had a post brewing on this topic.

The way I see it, there are three major ways fan authors are depicting Captain America's adjustment to the strange new version of America he's found himself in.

1) He adapts with no problems at all, other than a tendency to not get pop culture references. This pretty much always includes an very modern attitude towards sexual behavior. At the most extreme, authors who take this route have Steve falling into bed with anybody who wiggles their eyebrows at him, and picking up new technology almost as easily as Stark.

I feel that short of changing him into a villain, this is about as far from Captain America's character as it's possible to be. Luckily most of the fandom seems to agree with me and it seems to be the least common depiction.

**********

2) He can't adapt at all. It's too new, too busy, too selfish and hedonistic for someone as straitlaced and moral as Steve Rogers. At the far extreme he can't deal with women or minorities in power, the idea of people being open about their homosexuality freaks him out (much less the idea of marriage equality), how comfortable people are with sexuality in general grosses him out, and he even loses it when people swear around him.

I feel that while the less extreme versions of this might hold true for "random 1940's guy dumped into the 2010's," in general it's only a slightly more accurate a depiction of Cap than the first one is. Helping the underdog is just too much a part of his personality for me to believe he would freak out when society starts to think that maybe there shouldn't be underdogs at all. The most extreme versions of this depiction are almost as rare as (1), but the milder versions are a lot more common, and bleed into (3).

This one seems to come from a combination of authors mistaking Steve's lack of first-hand sexual experience for prudery and a misunderstanding of the 1930's & 1940's. Just because the movies of the era that are still available are mostly pretty clean doesn't mean that everyone's behavior was all the time. As my grandmother said to me once, people are still people no matter when they live. All that changes is how public they're able to be about it.

**********

3) Steve is frequently surprised and confused, but once he wraps his mind around them he thinks most of the changes are for the better, or at least neutral. To me, this version is the most true to character and thankfully it seems to be the most common.

Captain America really is Captain Steve Rogers of the US Army, and I guarantee that even if he wasn't getting up to shenanigans himself, between his time with the USO and his time fighting in Europe he had plenty of opportunity to witness as much as he cared to and probably a bit more. He led an elite unit that was racially integrated and worked with/dated a woman officer who outranked him. As I said above, he stood up for the little guy every chance he had, even when he couldn't actually make a difference, and I just can't picture him disapproving of wider society catching up.

I'm never sure how much sense this sort of post will make to other people, so I might do some editing to clarify things. I'll try to note it if I do.
Edits: 6-7-12; 9:37am I made a few formatting and punctuation changes that hopefully will make this a little clearer.
jennythereader: (Default)
Back here, I said I had a post brewing on this topic.

The way I see it, there are three major ways fan authors are depicting Captain America's adjustment to the strange new version of America he's found himself in.

1) He adapts with no problems at all, other than a tendency to not get pop culture references. This pretty much always includes an very modern attitude towards sexual behavior. At the most extreme, authors who take this route have Steve falling into bed with anybody who wiggles their eyebrows at him, and picking up new technology almost as easily as Stark.

I feel that short of changing him into a villain, this is about as far from Captain America's character as it's possible to be. Luckily most of the fandom seems to agree with me and it seems to be the least common depiction.

**********

2) He can't adapt at all. It's too new, too busy, too selfish and hedonistic for someone as straitlaced and moral as Steve Rogers. At the far extreme he can't deal with women or minorities in power, the idea of people being open about their homosexuality freaks him out (much less the idea of marriage equality), how comfortable people are with sexuality in general grosses him out, and he even loses it when people swear around him.

I feel that while the less extreme versions of this might hold true for "random 1940's guy dumped into the 2010's," in general it's only a slightly more accurate a depiction of Cap than the first one is. Helping the underdog is just too much a part of his personality for me to believe he would freak out when society starts to think that maybe there shouldn't be underdogs at all. The most extreme versions of this depiction are almost as rare as (1), but the milder versions are a lot more common, and bleed into (3).

This one seems to come from a combination of authors mistaking Steve's lack of first-hand sexual experience for prudery and a misunderstanding of the 1930's & 1940's. Just because the movies of the era that are still available are mostly pretty clean doesn't mean that everyone's behavior was all the time. As my grandmother said to me once, people are still people no matter when they live. All that changes is how public they're able to be about it.

**********

3) Steve is frequently surprised and confused, but once he wraps his mind around them he thinks most of the changes are for the better, or at least neutral. To me, this version is the most true to character and thankfully it seems to be the most common.

Captain America really is Captain Steve Rogers of the US Army, and I guarantee that even if he wasn't getting up to shenanigans himself, between his time with the USO and his time fighting in Europe he had plenty of opportunity to witness as much as he cared to and probably a bit more. He led an elite unit that was racially integrated and worked with/dated a woman officer who outranked him. As I said above, he stood up for the little guy every chance he had, even when he couldn't actually make a difference, and I just can't picture him disapproving of wider society catching up.

I'm never sure how much sense this sort of post will make to other people, so I might do some editing to clarify things. I'll try to note it if I do.
Edits: 6-7-12; 9:37am I made a few formatting and punctuation changes that hopefully will make this a little clearer.
jennythereader: (* I Don't Want Your Morals: I Have My Ow)
Boy Scouts of America: Reinstate Cub Scout leader who was removed for being gay.

The Boy Scouts are generally a good organization. The lessons and skills my husband, my brothers, and many of my friends learned through scouting helped to make them the wonderful men they are today. I would love for my potential future sons to have the same opportunities.

But if I were considering signing a little boy up for an extracurricular activity today the Boy Scouts wouldn't be on the list. It would take some work to find a place (or more likely, multiple places) that would teach the same range of outdoors skills, day-to-day life skills, and good citizenship, but right now it would be worth the effort. The problem with the Scouts is that just as I wouldn't want my children fed a spoonful of poison along with a plateful of healthy food, I don't want them taught intolerance along with all the valuable lessons.

I wouldn't sign a child up for a program that barred people from participating because of their ethnicity, and I don't feel that discriminating against people because of their sexual orientation is any better.

(For now, I'm not worrying about the fact that it's a single gender organization. I'd prefer that the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts would merge into a single organization as has happened in some European countries, but I accept that there are also good arguments to be made for staying single gender. I'm also not worrying too much about the requirement that Boy Scouts be monotheistic. Again, I'd prefer more openness, but it seems like a battle for another day.)
jennythereader: (* I Don't Want Your Morals: I Have My Ow)
Boy Scouts of America: Reinstate Cub Scout leader who was removed for being gay.

The Boy Scouts are generally a good organization. The lessons and skills my husband, my brothers, and many of my friends learned through scouting helped to make them the wonderful men they are today. I would love for my potential future sons to have the same opportunities.

But if I were considering signing a little boy up for an extracurricular activity today the Boy Scouts wouldn't be on the list. It would take some work to find a place (or more likely, multiple places) that would teach the same range of outdoors skills, day-to-day life skills, and good citizenship, but right now it would be worth the effort. The problem with the Scouts is that just as I wouldn't want my children fed a spoonful of poison along with a plateful of healthy food, I don't want them taught intolerance along with all the valuable lessons.

I wouldn't sign a child up for a program that barred people from participating because of their ethnicity, and I don't feel that discriminating against people because of their sexual orientation is any better.

(For now, I'm not worrying about the fact that it's a single gender organization. I'd prefer that the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts would merge into a single organization as has happened in some European countries, but I accept that there are also good arguments to be made for staying single gender. I'm also not worrying too much about the requirement that Boy Scouts be monotheistic. Again, I'd prefer more openness, but it seems like a battle for another day.)
jennythereader: (* Who Can Tell What A Day Might Bring)
There's a lot of awful stuff going on in the world right now. I'm fighting really hard to not get cynical about it.

This particular recording of Pete Seeger's song "Well May The World Go" is being especially helpful. Lyrically any version of the song makes pretty good mental medicine, but this version also includes Pete himself talking about some of the wonderful things that have happened in his lifetime that no one ever expected. To me, that's magic.

If you can I strongly recommend buying it. If you really can't buy it right now let me know and I'll see what I can do for you.
jennythereader: (* Who Can Tell What A Day Might Bring)
There's a lot of awful stuff going on in the world right now. I'm fighting really hard to not get cynical about it.

This particular recording of Pete Seeger's song "Well May The World Go" is being especially helpful. Lyrically any version of the song makes pretty good mental medicine, but this version also includes Pete himself talking about some of the wonderful things that have happened in his lifetime that no one ever expected. To me, that's magic.

If you can I strongly recommend buying it. If you really can't buy it right now let me know and I'll see what I can do for you.
jennythereader: (Flying Owl w/Full Moon)
I've been listening to my friend Jaime's Pennsic Independent Podcast today, and it's got me thinking about what I want from the SCA and what I can offer to it.

Joy seems to be key. Doing things purely because they are fun in and of themselves or because they let someone else have fun. If I am doing something that I find to be fun, then I don't care if anyone else notices or not. If I'm doing something that makes an event more fun for others, than all I need is a simple "thanks" at the time.

The thing that sucks joy out of an event for me is politics. People doing things they hate just because it will get them noticed. People chasing awards. People telling me that if I ever want to get an award I'm going to need to change the way I play. People telling me that I need to befriend the "right people" and go to the "right events."

I'm not in the SCA because I need merit badges. I'm here because I love history, and making things, and learning how to do new things. And as long as I have the opportunity to do that and to hang out with other people who also care about that stuff I'll keep playing. Whether anybody notices or not.

This post isn't nearly as coherent as I want, but if I try to perfect it I'll probably end up deleting it. If I expand anything or make any major edits I'll note my changes.

added, 7:05pm 11-7-11: I realize most folks in the SCA don't have this attitude, and even most of the folks who are known for one reason or another don't have it. But it frequently seems like the small minority that does think this way has the loudest voice and drowns out everyone trying to do things differently.
jennythereader: (Flying Owl w/Full Moon)
I've been listening to my friend Jaime's Pennsic Independent Podcast today, and it's got me thinking about what I want from the SCA and what I can offer to it.

Joy seems to be key. Doing things purely because they are fun in and of themselves or because they let someone else have fun. If I am doing something that I find to be fun, then I don't care if anyone else notices or not. If I'm doing something that makes an event more fun for others, than all I need is a simple "thanks" at the time.

The thing that sucks joy out of an event for me is politics. People doing things they hate just because it will get them noticed. People chasing awards. People telling me that if I ever want to get an award I'm going to need to change the way I play. People telling me that I need to befriend the "right people" and go to the "right events."

I'm not in the SCA because I need merit badges. I'm here because I love history, and making things, and learning how to do new things. And as long as I have the opportunity to do that and to hang out with other people who also care about that stuff I'll keep playing. Whether anybody notices or not.

This post isn't nearly as coherent as I want, but if I try to perfect it I'll probably end up deleting it. If I expand anything or make any major edits I'll note my changes.

added, 7:05pm 11-7-11: I realize most folks in the SCA don't have this attitude, and even most of the folks who are known for one reason or another don't have it. But it frequently seems like the small minority that does think this way has the loudest voice and drowns out everyone trying to do things differently.

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