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The phone lines are blowing up, as well they should be. It took multiple tries to get through to Toomey and Casey.

They and all their white boy frat entitlement false Christian brethren need to weep in the ashes of the witches they could not burn.

I am so fucking tired. I am so fucking angry. Bees are going to start pouring out of my mouth, just like the meme.
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Cindy Otis

Today seems like the right time to do a thread I've been thinking about for a while on how to handle the seemingly never-ending deluge of depressing and disturbing news. My tips are based on my time as a CIA military analyst in which I dealt daily with disturbing content. (1/)
There are several risks to being overloaded with disturbing/negative content.

✔️ Complacency - becoming so used to the deluge that it all starts to seem normal.
✔️ Paralysis - that is, being so overwhelmed, you can't figure out what to do/how to move forward.

✔️ Crisis perspective - you get trapped in the Breaking News cycle where everything seems like a potentially world-ending crisis to you.
✔️ Depression/PTSD - you don't have to be on the frontline of a war have either/both. Disturbing content is absolutely a trigger.

There are also serious physical consequences to living a negative content overloaded life. I had a colleague who didn't know he had stage 4 brain cancer because the symptoms were the same as our very stressful careers--exhaustion, random fevers, stress, and dizziness. (4/)

So, what do you do? First, I strongly urge you not to ignore the news/current events. Ignorance is one reason we have this society. It won't make the problems go away & contributes nothing to their solving. Now that that's established, here's how to make it easier to handle: (5/)

1. TAKE ACTION. Volunteer for a food pantry, canvass for a political candidate, donate to a NGO, visit a sick friend. Seriously. Service of some kind in your community lets you be part of SOLUTIONS. You will see RESULTS when otherwise you'd feel helpless. (6/)

2. Conversely, for those who may take tip #1 to the extreme--know that you alone can't save the world. Accept your limits. You aren't a 7/11. You can't always be open. At the end of every day when I reached my limit, I silently told myself, "I've done what I can today." (7/)
(Note: Repeating that to myself did not stop me from feeling like I could have done more most days. But it was important to tell myself anyway because I am human. We are human. It's good we *feel* things.) (8/)

3. RESEARCH BEFORE PANICKING. Easier said than done, but everything will seem like crisis/earth-ending if you don’t know what has/hasn't happened before. If it has happened before, it's can be hugely comforting to know how it was resolved and/or what might happen next. (9/)

4. GET UP & MOVE. Put the phone away, turn off the TV, log out of Twitter. Go for a walk, sit outside, get some coffee, call a friend. CIA is full of ppl walking the building with a colleague/friend. There's a reason. Our brains & bodies need breaks from stressful content. (10/)

5. SET RULES. Because of my work at CIA, I had a rule--I only read fiction at home. I had enough reality at work. In the civilian world, I set blocks of time each day where I turn everything off--no news or social media. Let yourself recharge so you can keep fighting later. (11/)

6. AVOID DARK HOLES. (I'm sure there's a joke to be made about that.) It's easy to get sucked into the swirl of bad news. You watch a gruesome YouTube video and the next one is all queued up to play right after it. Focus on one issue at a time. Deal w/ it before moving on. (12/)

7. YOU NEED FUN. When there is suffering, war, despair, etc. around you, it's easy to feel guilty when you have fun, feel happy, have a good meal with friends. You NEED these things. You will be better able to do good in the world if you let yourself have these things. (13/)

8. TALK TO SOMEONE. Often, we curl inward socially when overwhelmed w/ negative content. It's a means of protection. One of the great things at CIA was that everyone else knew what you were going through. Whether it's therapy or talking to your person, talking helps. (14/)

None of this is easy. I got burned out a lot in my career & many days recently, I've felt overloaded by the barrage. I'm sure you have too. But you and I can't check out. We can't give up & we need to stay engaged, but we can't do that if we get overloaded. Keep going. (15/15)

Shout out to @Celeste_pewter who forces me to get out of the house when I start sounding especially doom and gloom!
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Got the ok from the bar owner to use their "last call" bell on Saturday.

Bought 4 yards of grey fabric (which I won't be able to wash beforehand), but whatever.

Have poster board and a red marker. If the marker bleeds through, I will run across the street and get another sheet of poster board, since I have 2 signs planned.

Oh, have to pick up some boxes of tissues today over lunch.

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BPAL limited edition, with profits funding the ACLU.

"FAKE NEWS: A scent of misdirection, of 140 frantic characters typed out in spite at 3am, and paranoia-clouded churlish accusations hurled at perceived enemies: crushed pink pepper pod, bitter white tobacco, gnarled patchouli, all covered in glinting, garish slashes of gold."
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You can roll your eyes about how Harry Potter is a book for children. You can be disgusted by adults talking about Harry Potter characters and Houses and suchlike as if they were real. But at it's heart, Rowling wrote a series about standing up to the Dark bravely, even when there looked to be no hope.

These days, with Donald's personal security detail, with the Republican Party attempting to remove their own Ethics Committee, with determination to destroy abortion rights, to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, to gouge every penny from Social Security and Medicaid, to encourage racial hate, to sell public lands to oil pipelines, these days more than ever we need to take our inspiration from wherever we can find it.

What the Seventh Years were doing while Harry, Ron and Hermione were looking for the Horcruxes. How young men and women stood up to threats, torture, propaganda, and fought a war against racists and elitists and liars in government.

We must stand. We must fight. We must have hope that our fellows will be beside us against tyranny and hatred. We must win against the Darkness.
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How make your Congressperson listen to you. The short version, call. The longer version, get to know the staff.

How to contact your Congressperson and Senator, including addresses.
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Dear Alt-Right or whatever you ignorant racists are calling yourself these days:

If you need surgery, I hope you get a businessman to perform the operation, instead of a surgeon and a nurse.

If you go out for a restaurant dinner, I hope you get a businessman to prepare the food, instead of a chef.

If you need a new pair of shoes, I hope a businessman glues them, instead of a cobbler.

If you need a new car, I hope it's welded and screwed together by a businessman, instead of assembled on the line.

If you need IT to fix your computer, I hope you call a businessman, instead of tech support.

If you need someone to administer assistance after you wreck your car, I hope you deal with a businessman, instead of EMS.

If you are mugged, I hope a businessman responds to your 911 call, instead of a uniformed officer.

If you get a burst pipe in your home, I hope a businessman shows up with a wrench and a bucket, instead of a plumber.

Because that is what just happened when you elected a so-called "businessman" as President of the United States of America.
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'Nasty Woman' perfume sends proceeds to Planned Parenthood and Emily's List

Gavia Baker-Whitelaw —
Oct 21 at 11:55AM | Last updated Oct 21 at 11:55AM

Donald Trump's "nasty woman" comment was one of the most memorable moments of the third presidential debate, inspiring people to stream Janet Jackson's "Nasty" in droves, create parody websites, and generally meme the heck out of that phrase.

And now, you can smell like a Nasty Woman as well.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, a company that makes limited edition perfumes inspired by cult movies and books like Hellboy and Sherlock Holmes, just announced a Nasty Woman perfume. Its scent is a combination of "black fig and patchouli, filthy bourbon vanilla, honeyed amber oud, and loukhoum."

Retailing at $24, the Nasty Woman perfume will split its proceeds between Planned Parenthood and the pro-choice campaign organization Emily's List.
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Fuck that Trump-voting twat of a neighbor across the street, right in the ear. Fuck her retarded adult football-playing gorilla of a son who parks like a three-legged tortise across multiple parking spaces. Fuck her husband who is the poster child for redneck fuckwits everywhere. Fuck the creepy dude who comes over and does something regularly in-house with their younger child, and who also parks like an insensitive cunt.

Fuck her attitude, she's not the damn mayor of the street, no matter what her personal opinion is. How dare she complain about my next door neighbor when he catches her pulling up his plants in front of his house because "they interfere with parking". And when I ask why why she is parking in front of his house, I get the standard entitled modern ameri-cunt tirade of "well let's see, it's a free country" among other things, and then get told to mind my own business.

Bitch did you just?

Girl, anyone who stands on the corner can hear you gossiping from inside your house. You never shut up, you have an opinion on every damn thing, and you tell ME to mind MY business?

Congratulations. Not only do the neighbors on either side of *us* despise you from across the street, and the neighbors with whom you share a wall (the poor bastards, who get to listen to you and your husband and your children scream at each other all the time, in addition to the noise of your daycare service) but when you lipped off to me and proclaimed that MY husband moves his vehicle for you because you deserve it for your mere fabulous existence on street cleaning days, I made sure that my husband heard all about your nonsense, and he will no longer be giving you the courtesy. He paid that karmic debt to you, you can choke on a cock.

Find somewhere else to park, go inconvenience someone else. Or better, how about you move your bench and potted plans from your covered onsite parking pad and use it for it's proper purpose, which would be a courtesy to ALL the neighbors on the street.

Don't use MY husband in an argument against Me, you cow.

Fuck off, go away. Please move. Like seriously, you and your entire family suck.
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So, You Must Talk to the Woman Who Is Wearing Headphones
Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day. She is the author of "A Field Guide to Awkward Silences."
Follow @petridishes

Some articles seem like they’re trying too hard to be parodied. Dan Bacon’s “How to Talk to a Woman Who is Wearing Headphones” on is one of them. It is a truth universally acknowledged that a woman in headphones is NOT in want of a conversation — least of all with the kind of guy tone-deaf enough to take his cue from an article called “How to Talk to a Woman Who is Wearing Headphones” from The Modern

When a fish swims up to you with a barrel and rifle already attached, sometimes it almost feels wrong to go out of your way to shoot it. Nonetheless:

So it has come to this.
You must speak to the woman who is wearing headphones.
I am so, so sorry.
You must pray that she is single and looking and will wish to hear your words.
It is not enough for her to be single
She must also be looking, or there is no hope for you.

But you already know this.
You have seen what happened to the other men who tried to speak.
The whole Panera is littered with what remains of the men who came before you.
They tried to speak to the Woman Who Is Wearing Headphones.
They failed.
Remember the training and you may yet survive.
Remember what they told you.
You must be confident, relaxed and easygoing.
You must show no fear.
If you show fear, she will strike.
Speak calmly, they said.
Show confidence.
Do not blink.
If you blink, she will know.
If you blink, she will move from 1 to 1.5 meters away to much closer, so close that you can hear the whisper of what is in her headphones.
That is much too close.

You have no choice.
These are your instructions.

You can talk to anyone, you tell yourself.
It is only a woman, you tell yourself.
But you know that it is not.
Women were something different.
Your comrade made the awful mistake of talking to the Woman Who Is Reading A Book On The Subway. You watched it happen.
He made her look up from the book and her basilisk eyes fell on him, unblinking, and he melted.
You still remember the screams.
They were so horrible that the city lay awake for days trying to forget them.
You do not know how it happened.
But the women who stood there politely and were receptacles for your words are gone.
They once smiled politely and they laughed even and sometimes they would make a spark with you.
But something changed in the air or perhaps the water and the women do not stand there and listen any longer.
The city is full of men who have been turned to stone.
You opened the door to your neighbor’s apartment and there was a startled deer standing inside wearing a college sweatshirt. You think it used to be your neighbor but you are not certain.
You have changed your route to work so that you do not have to pass the stone men with their open, screaming mouths.
Yesterday half your comrades were ordered to shout “Smile!” at the Woman Who Is Walking.
And the woman did. Too wide.
So wide that her mouth engulfed the street and became a vast cavern.
Six of your friends were devoured.
You could hear the unladylike slurping sounds from blocks away as you beat a hasty retreat between the Scylla of the Woman Who Has Put Her Bag Next To Her On A Bar Stool and the Charybdis of the Woman Who Is Just Jogging.
You did not attempt to speak to either of them.
They passed you.
You were left unscathed.

But that was before they came to your apartment and gave you the orders.

So here you are.
It has come to this.

You are about to talk to the Woman in Headphones.
My God, I pity you.
You are close now. Almost in range.
Before The Woman and behind her the ground is littered with shoes and hats and pick-up manuals and AXE body spray.
She sits patiently gnawing on a thigh bone.
You do not think she is single or looking.
You cannot make out the words she is listening to.

You know how this will go.
You know what the headphones mean.
You know what will happen when you ask her to remove the headphones.
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Is there additional emotional stress if you have insomnia that wakes you every two hours?

Or does the stress create the insomnia?

(I know it's both)
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In Defense of Villainesses
Sarah Gailey

She’s fabulous.

Her hair is done. Her makeup is flawless; her coat, luxurious. She’s single. She’s thin or she’s fat or she’s muscular or she’s old or she’s young but she’s never ever cute or soft or scared of you.

She’s hungry. She wants money, and she wants more luxurious coats, and she wants power. She wants to sit in the chair that is currently occupied by whoever’s in charge, and she doesn’t want to wait for the world to give her that throne. She doesn’t have time for that. She’s not going to wait. She’s going to take it.

She wants a voice. She wants your voice. She’ll use it to yell when she’s angry and to cry when she’s frustrated and to murmur poison into the ears of some nearsighted boy-king who doesn’t see what she sees. He can’t even begin to see the web she’s weaving, so she’ll wrap him up in a little cocoon of silk and she’ll set him aside, where he can’t ruin any of her plans.

She runs a business. She makes a thousand decisions every day and she never feels the need to justify any of them with a shrug or an “I don’t know, I just thought maybe we could…?” Woe betide the man who speaks over her in a meeting.

We love her and we hate her in equal measure. We feel that way because she revels in being all the things that we are told we aren’t allowed to be. She is confident, and she has wrinkles, and her nose isn’t a formless nonthreatening comma in the middle of an ill-defined wide-eyed face—it’s a knife, or an arrow, or a scythe. She frowns. Everyone in the audience and on the internet wants to talk about whether or not she’s sexy but they’re asking the wrong questions and she’s laughing at them for it. She wears bright colors, nonprimary colors that coordinate with her green skin or her purple eyeshadow. She’s too good for this game, too smart for her boss, tired of getting stepped on. She gets mad and she gets even.

Her lipstick is flawless and her eyebrows are the boss of you.

Why is it that female cartoon villains get to be all of these things, to have all of these things? Why do they get to have hairstyles—no, Hairstyles, with a capital Hair—while their protagonist counterparts are drawn small and soft and childlike? Why does Ursula get to have a beauty mark and the most impeccably waterproof makeup a sea witch could hope for, while Ariel gets the same wide-eyed small-jawed face as every other white Disney princess? Why does Maleficent get a headpiece that defines menacing elegance and dark grandeur, while Aurora gets generic late-fifties bangs? Why does Shego get to mouth off to Drakken and read magazines by the pool and decide what is and isn’t her job, while Kim Possible has to leap into action regardless of whether she’s tired or sad or sick or, heaven forbid, too busy?

Why is it that I can easily remember the faces and voices of female cartoon villains, but if asked about female cartoon heroes, all I can remember is the clothes?

Female cartoon villains define transgression. We look at thin-wristed shy-smiling nice-haired female protagonists and we see what’s expected of us: wait. Be patient. Be nice. Be happy with your lot, enjoy what you’re given, and don’t look for more. Make wishes, not plans. Have animal friends, never henchmen. No one should work for you, but everyone must love you. Look soft and small and breakable, and cry with your head flung into your arms so no one has to see your puffy eyes. Be afraid that no one will ever rescue you. Be afraid that you’ll have to live your whole life without adventure ever finding you.

We look at female cartoon villains and we see what’s forbidden: ferocity. Never laugh with your head thrown back. Never apply your eyeshadow as a cut-crease. Never draw in your brows or dye your hair. Don’t wear nice clothes (unless they’ve been sewn for you by people or animals who love you, or delivered to you by magic). Don’t look in mirrors. Don’t want things. Don’t get old or fat or tall. Don’t make demands. Hope, maybe, but never expect. No, not even if you’ve dedicated your life to a goal—even then, don’t you dare expect. Work hard, but don’t grind for years and years building an empire because if you do, then you’ll get taken down and the audience will cheer at your suffering. Don’t carve your face into a mountainside, because that territory is reserved and your name is not on the list.

We’re sold on the female protagonists, and I do mean sold. We admire their spunk and their tenacity, because it’s accessible—it’s rebellion in the form of wanting. It’s gazing at the stars at night after spending all day scrubbing the floors, and believing that wishing will be enough. But once they graduate to getting what they want? Once they’ve made real sacrifices in pursuit of their dreams? Once they’ve made it, or even once they’re almost there?

That’s when they become dangerous. That’s when they become the villainess. Somewhere in there, they stop caring about what other people think, and they get what they want, and they turn into cautionary tales: something bad is waiting for the woman who goes that way. We believe it. We repeat it. We look at women who are running things and we’re suspicious, because we’ve spent our whole lives looking at women with ambition and knowing that they can’t possibly be allowed to grasp whatever it is they’re reaching for.

Oh, sure. They do bad things. They’re petty and jealous and rude and they grab and they take and they hurt people. They’re not nice. They’re not role models.

But, then again, what if they were role models? Aren’t they the versions of ourselves that we wish we were bold enough to be? We fear them and we hate them and we envy them and we want to be them. What could we become, if we threw our heads back when we laughed? What could we become if we were willing to push aside everyone who stands in our way? What could we accomplish? What would happen to us, if we decided that we didn’t want to scrub floors during the day and wish on stars at night and wonder when the adventure is going to come find us?

How might you laugh if you’d burned every bridge that needed burning, and there was nothing standing in the way of your ambition? How might you look, if the only person you needed to please with your fashion choices was you? It’s delicious and frightening to think about becoming the type of woman that a Disney illustrator would light from below, surrounded by billowing smoke, with your henchmen cowering in the background and every opportunity spread before you. It’s thrilling to imagine a life where your only fear is mortality, and even that can be negotiated out of the way if you know the right people or brew the right potions. It’s wonderful and terrible to think about having that much power, because as we all know, that much power makes you a villainess.

And that’s a bad thing.


Sarah Gailey’s fiction has appeared in Mothership Zeta and Fireside Fiction; her nonfiction has been published by Mashable and Fantasy Literature Magazine. You can see pictures of her puppy and get updates on her work by clicking here. She tweets @gaileyfrey. Watch for her debut novella, River of Teeth, from in 2017.
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Proof that the Gods love us and want us to be happy






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