frandroid: YPG logo, Syrian Kurdish defense forces (ypg)
Three postcards, message-side, written un Turkish

Today I went to a letters-to-political-prisoners writing event.

In the years leading up to 2015, with the cease-fire between the Turkish government and the PKK, and some liberalization of Kurdish political activities, the Kurdish, progressive Democratic Regions Party (DBP) was created. It is the sister party to the lefty HDP, the latter which operates at the national level. The DBP managed to elect dozens and dozens of Kurdish co-mayors (they always run with a man and a woman as running mates and govern as co-mayors when elected) in many belediyesis (municipalities) of the South East, along with like-minded candidates from other minority groups (Alevis, Christians, etc). They also managed to get governors elected in some provinces. The end of the ceasefire in 2015 and the failed coup of 2016 signalled the end of political liberalization. Erdogan's government imprisoned most of the DBP mayors, along with Kurdish governors, replacing them with Ankara-friendly appointees under the emergency powers enacted in the post-coup period. Today most of these elected officials are still sitting in prison, facing falsified charges of either terrorism, incitment of terrorism, spreading of terrorism propaganda, etc, or having being condemned of these.

Leyla Güven is one of those political prisoners. 82 days ago now, when she appeared in court, having warned no one, she declared that she was engaging into an indefinite hunger strike to demand for the end of the total isolation Abdullah Öcalan, the leader of the PKK and of the Kurdish freedom movement, detained at Imrali prison island. Güven has been joined by many of her co-prisoners in this hunger strike, and some people internationally have also engaged in solidarity hunger strikes. Here in Toronto, Yusuf Iba is in the 15th day of his solidarity hunger strike.

At day 68 of Güven's strike, Öcalan was allowed to be visited by his brother. This was a great victory for the strike, since no one had seen Apo since the failed coup, and some even suspected that he was dead. But he is now back to being totally isolated, unable to receive any visitors, whether his family, his lawyers or others. So Güven continues her strike. This week she was released from prison, as the state weakly pleaded that it had all the evidence it needed to continue pursuing its criminal case against her. Clearly, they don't want Güven to die in detention, but she carries on in this struggle from home.

So today I went to write letters to many of the political prisoners who are part of Güven's cohort. The Turkish state doesn't allow any correspondance that isn't in Turkish, so I had to write my letters in English, and then a comrade translated the letter for me. I just wrote short postcard-length letters for now, since I know it takes a long time to translate anything and I wanted to get something out quickly. F. wrote a much longer and wide-ranging letter. A heval suggested that she send her letter to Öcalan himself instead of the other prisoners, a light-hearted reference to Apo's long-winded style.

Prof. Shahrzad shared a copy of Wall+Paper, an artist book by Évelyne Leblanc-Roberge. The project consists of the artist writing to prisoners to ask them to describe either the place where they are detained, or the place they would like to be in, or something else, and she would try to come up with pictures to illustrate what they describe. It works fairly well. Some of the takes are sweet, some are thoughtful, some are pretty funny. It's inspiring me to start a zine following a similar theme. I always have zine projects that I don't bring to fruition, but we'll see. I've seen a few prisoners' correspondance zines before and I connected with them a fair bit. I took a copy of the lists of prisoners to write to. We'll see what happens.

(Out of the blue, I got a text from a Kurdish friend who cut us out last year. Maybe a good sign?)

Afterwards, we went for dinner with the Kurdish hevals. It was nice. It's always joyful to hang out with them.

It was a good day. I want more days like this.


Dec. 4th, 2018 11:26 pm
frandroid: We are the Canadian Borg. Resistance would be impolite. Please wait to be assimilated. Pour l'assimilation en français.. (borg)
I know I've mentioned making a Dreamwidth app before and then not followed up. But now I'm actually thinking more seriously about it and it would be nice to have an app on my résumé, no matter how rudimentary it is. At the same time, I'm a committed procrastinator, and it costs US$100 a year to be in the iOS app store. So if I work on a prototype, it would be an Android app until it's actually a viable product. (I'd be writing the app in React Native so it would be trivial to transpile to both platforms, it's really just about the money bit during the beta period.)

Poll #20826 Dreamwidth mobile app
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: Access List, participants: 4

Would you use/help me test a rudimentary Android Dreamwidth posting app?

Yes please, make this site useable on mobile
1 (25.0%)

I would, but I have an iPhone
1 (25.0%)

No, I'm happy with desktop DW
0 (0.0%)

I would, but my mobile device runs a different OS
1 (25.0%)

I'm not interested until I can also use the app to read my friends' posts
1 (25.0%)

What would you like to see in a DW app? (Go wild, don't be limited to DW features)

Do you use other apps to regularly post your content online, and what are some of the highlights fo those apps?

Do you use other apps to regularly post your content online, and what are some of the frustrating parts of using these apps?

Write whatever you want in this box.

frandroid: (black sails)
So I rewatched the last few episodes of Black Sails, this time with a less sleep-addled mind, and I was able to really absorb the ending.

Then I decided to start again from the beginning. I think what I had forgotten by the end of the show is how many people had died either by Flint's hand, or through his plots, or referred to have died by such, already in Season 1.
frandroid: (black sails)
Am I the only one to notice that Eleanor Guthrie is recycling beer in her inn in Season 1?
frandroid: YPG logo, Syrian Kurdish defense forces (Default)
I hate it when someone reframes my argument and it takes me a while to realize I've been framed.


Sep. 8th, 2018 12:07 am
frandroid: (black sails)
"One day, you'll leave the account
Take a wife, father children.
Sea less and less of the sea
Until she becomes like a painting hanging on the wall,
static and irrelevant to your daily existence.

But she'll keep on calling you.

And when she does, you'll step into that painting
and feel the swell beneath your feet.
It'll add come back as if it were yesterday."

"Is that so?"

"I've watched you and yours handle the account since I and mine left it.
Accomplish things that no one I ever sailed with could dream of.
From what I've overheard, if you reach Skeleton Island might mean the end of the governor.
Might keep the account alive a little while longer.
Is that so?"

"That, and more."

"Then I will take you to it.
Hold on to this for as long as you can for all of us who once had it and walked away."


I've read Hakim Bey's T.A.Z. and then Pirate Utopias a very long time ago, but they have really stuck with me. Cherish the good, free, open spaces that you get, for they will not last forever, taken over by capitalism, tyranny, egotism, laziness, pettiness, or a combination thereof. When they are done, don't hang on, break away and make for the next TAZ.
frandroid: (black sails)
So huh, Toby Stephens is Maggie Smith's son. And Robert Stephens', who was apparently a big deal in British acting, but whom is unknown to me. (I'll check this film out to get acquainted with him, I think.) Anyway, born from acting nobility.

For her part, Clara Paget (Anne Bonny) is literally nobility, her father being a marquess. Which is pretty amusing.
frandroid: (black sails)
(Some spoilers)

So I finished watching Season 2 while on the plane to Italy... I was quite surprised by the ending, though they had started to telegraph it ahead of time. It was so anti-climatic! I understand that this was a prequel so you need the characters to survive :P I think the main thing is that I didn't buy is Flint going off with some random sailor to hide the treasure... And this business of regularizing Nassau was also bleh. I was pretty tired on the plane so I missed that Featherstone became the governor, just noticed that now. And of course I liked McGraw getting to shed Flint in the end, and find troo lurve again.

Anyway, I still adored the rest of the series, would watch again. And yes, the theme music has gotten to me now. :P
frandroid: A faroher, emblem of the Zoroastrian religion (faroher)
"I'd love to see more modern art museums"
"Okay, what's the name of the museum you were looking at earlier?"
"I don't recall, but if you show me the map I can find it."
*I hand the Google map over to her"
"It's this one, the MACRO"
*I go to its web page*
"Oh, Here it says it's closed till October"
"That's fine, I don't want to go to museums, I just want to hang out today"

@&$$$$&#&@#@#-)!! $@#&-
frandroid: The letter "L" followed by Mao's face, making the LMAO acronym. (mao)
My brother-in-law went from asking me (semi-trollingly, but still) if unions were obsolete in May, to organizing his workplace for the Teamsters in July, tired of being jerked around. Never underestimate who you can convince... :)


Jul. 20th, 2018 12:00 am
frandroid: camilo cienfuegos in a broad-rimmed hat (camilo)
I think it's impossible to get a barber to trim your beard but help you try to grow it. My beard trimmer has been dead for about two years, so instead of trimming my own beard in a way which let me grow it ( ), I've been to barbers once every few months. Every time (EVERY TIME), I've told them I want to grow the beard, so "just trim it but keep the length", yet every time I leave the barbershop, my beard is significantly shorter than that on this picture even if it was long when I walked in. I finally went online this week and tried to buy a trimmer so I can grow a long beard on my own, but I can't really tell the trimmers apart from their product pictures on the web. I'll have to go to an actually store when I get back from vacation.

I used to go to this irritating white hipster barbershop in the Market but finally a black barbershop opened there and the barbers are all sweet guys rather than annoying and dumb. There even was a guy mixing up hip hop tracks today and he was really good. My beard is still too short though.


Jul. 17th, 2018 02:07 am
frandroid: (pirates)
Black Sails is SO GOOD!! Just finished Season 3... Love the philosophizing between Silver and Flint so much. :)

I was perusing Wikipedia on Charles Vane, Woodes Rogers, Edward Teach, etc. today... So much of the actual or supposed history woven into the writing of the series, it's fun. (I must say I did not picture a bewigged Charles Vane though!! Zach McGowan has convinced me to grow my hair longer. Since I have a long beard, I'll have to decide whether I go Teach or Vane in the end... Maybe if I can make some slow-burning fuses??)

Now the only thing I'm asking is for in Season 4 is for Flint to get a little more gay, is that possible? Because Toby Stephens with that shaved head... UNF.

vocal fries

Jul. 7th, 2018 10:44 am
frandroid: camilo cienfuegos in a broad-rimmed hat (cuba)
If there are still men out there complaining about women and vocal fry, show them an episode of the triple-battered Black Sails and tell them to shove it...
frandroid: (pirates)
So upon [personal profile] sabotabby's repeated references, I started watching Black Sails, and it's the absolute bomb. I mean I can't really hide my weakness for pirates. (See my collection of political theory books about piracy, and my obsession with the Monkey Island games...)

So I kept thinking I had seen Toby Stephens before; he reminds me a fair bit of Hugh Grant, but I knew it wasn't simply that. Then this morning as I was ruminating over that in the bathroom, it came back; he was starring as Danton in the play Danton's Death, which F and I had seen at the National Theatre in London. Other than being a handsome fella (the real Danton was ugly as fuck), he delivered a pretty awesome performance. We were sitting high up in the rafters but his performance still reached us.

Max's character is awesome but I find Jessica Parker Kennedy's French accent to be such a porny stereotype as to be distracting.

Zach McGowan's face (Captain Vane) reminders me of a former boss I've had, who was entertaining but rather creepy towards women... and minus the abtastic body of course.

Yet another series to kill my sleep... Damn you!
frandroid: "End the lock-out" with a CBC logo shaped into a lock (cbc)
I spent a lot of time on the road in the last two weeks, so I listened to a lot of CBC Radio, and God (!) bless them, they're the only national non-native institution in this country taking Reconciliation seriously. On two different shows, I listened to strong indigenous women speak. One of them was Iskwe, who I believe is a musician, who also DJs a music show on the CBC. (Her tweets occasionally cross my timeline, even though I haven't followed her until now.) The other one, whose name I forget, was a PhD student (at McGill or maybe Concordia), formerly a homeless woman, talking on a panel about homeless youth. Both of these women had a vocal fry (no disparagement intended) which was not that far from that expressed by Cara Gee on the Expanse. It was a delightful parallel to find. So Sabotabby, there's more of that delightful accent out there, though none so intense as Drummer's. :)
frandroid: (sherlock)
WTF was that? This was the most unsatisfying story arc of the whole series. Suddenly Sherlock has a secret friend who's not introduced to us and never explained, until the end, with the most lazy excuse of all time. The whole plot with SBK ends up being convoluted and the resolution unsatisfying. This ain't no criminal mastermind.

I was enjoying this season and they just did this lazy writing. Just a little more set up would have been great, for starters.

This writer is more generous than me (full spoiler review), and sees some good in how this was put together. But humpppf.
frandroid: Stephen Colbert giving a thumbs up in from of the American Flag (Colbert)
...actually totally bombed. Her jokes had good kernels but she can't time a joke to save her life. That Sarah Sanders Huckabee line sounds good on paper but just didn't have the timing live. ("she lies!!" huh okay.) If the Republicans had ignored the speech, no one would be talking about it.

On the other hand, I'm sure Colbert had his entire writing room (20+ people!!) work on his WHCD speech for him, whereas Wolf probably worked mostly on her own? The benefits of running your own show...


frandroid: YPG logo, Syrian Kurdish defense forces (Default)

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