Good night, Carrie Fisher

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This one hurts.

I’ll admit, I’m only a new Carrie Fisher fan. When the hype burned strong for Star Wars recently, I had the fortune of being surrounded by some intense and amazing fans. I’m talking watchers, readers, writers, etc. Having only seen the first three movies as a child and not particularly caring for them, my friends were eager to immerse me into the story and the lore and then I was hooked and ever so excited for the next few years. I haven’t gotten to all of the literature that exists yet but it’s only a matter of time for me. The princess and general Leia Organa was a fascinatingly written character that I’m glad wasn’t immobilized in a book by George Lucas.

But that’s not why I adored Carrie Fisher.

I flipped through the bios and interviews and started to read about her because the moment someone tries to convince me some actress didn’t age well I go check them out so I have a few real arguments while I’m scoffing at how unnecessary comments like those are. Of course, Ms. Fisher was and always has been, beautiful, and her writing and producing and honesty has far outstripped her, anyone’s, physical beauty. So I wrote off those comments as words from people who don’t understand how time works.

But that’s not why I adored Carrie Fisher.

I heard she hated her slave outfit.

I heard she told Daisy Ridley to fight artistic choices like that before The Force Awakens if that’s not who she wants to be. And then I read her saying it.

I heard she has bipolar and openly talks about her mental illness and her drug abuse. And then I watched her talk about it.

I heard her dog was Instagram famous. I follow him, though I’m not sure if I’ll be able to follow the feed for a while.

There’s a sort of rough humor people seem to stumble out of the fire with if the fire made them stronger. I’ve heard it in voices of men and women who’ve been in the forge once or twice. Some of their armor trembles or sounds ready to crumble if you tap it too hard. That’s the character we most see on screen too: inwardly scared and uncomfortable underneath their plate metal, hoping only to achieve enough happiness to sweep away and forget why they had the armor on in the first place.

Some people seem to want angels out of their role models. They want the right about of vulnerability to toughness, and they don’t want them talking about their struggle too much. I think that’s fucking stupid.

Carrie Fisher stepped out in general’s boots into the moonlight and died drowning in it, strangled by her own bra.

Barcelona Day 2

Finally got to sit down and finish these up! Cut a bit into my sleep time, but a Friday night bar or club would have cut in just as much and I’m not particularly tired. Mr. Chokkattu is fast asleep beside me, on the other hand, and has been for hours now. (While he’s sleeping, make sure to click the link and see his photos! He has a much nicer camera and training, so those photos will be much less lackluster than mine.)

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Gay Gaming Characters

The PBS Youtube shows are just so good! I don’t even play that many video games and this channel is incredibly intriguing.

This isn’t an issue I’ve ever even thought about, and now I’m  a little upset because it’s  obviously such an overlooked problem. I’ve only vaguely read about the social issues within the gaming world as it is, and part of that is that I’m not a gamer. It’s interesting, but it follows the pattern: nerds are really insular. Even now, when nerding is a big trend, there are people that try to keep themselves encapsulated: the backlash against “fake cosplayers” and “gamer girls”, brony culture, “filthy casuals”, haha. I can see the big patches of people who put up the red tape, whether or not they realize it or not. I mean, the whole stereotype of the gamer in their mom’s basement eating junk food and lacking a job is based on the notion that gamers don’t like social change/”growing up.”

The lack of acceptance top-down? Makes sense business-wise. It’s risky. The community is loud when it wants to be.

Just Unlike Me


When an older, continuing-ed student, so shy she typically blushes when she has to talk, says that she really liked the parts of Persepolis where Marjane was a confident loudmouth who spoke out against the post-war Iranian regime. When a Floridian frat guy says he likes “ghetto-nerd” Oscar Wao and understands how hard it is to not be the person everyone expects you to be. When the orthodox Jewish boy who hadn’t participated all semester was the only one who didn’t think “For Esmé With Love and Squalor” was about a pedophile and defended it to the class by saying: “They’re trying to save each others’ lives.” When the young African-American guy in the nursing school who was only in my class because it was required came to life during our unit on August: Osage County and demanded to read the part of Violet, the cruel Okie-mother. When a kid named Frankie performed the greatest Lear I’ve ever seen in the trailer under the West Side highway that was our classroom with an umbrella for a scepter because it was raining that day…these are the times that I remember why I write and why I teach.

And this is why I want to become a teacher. Unfortunately, I don’t believe I have quite the temperament for it, at least for now. (I sorely lack patience, and as one personality test put it “hypocritically intolerant of those who don’t manage a task the first time, or the second time after guidance.”)

But I digress; the article is about the characters that resonate with us that do not reflect our own images back at us. Mine include one Mr. Holden Caulfield, a young man who frustrated the crap out of me for never considering the consequences of his self-centered actions, the money he wastes failing out of school after school, the impact of his decisions on his little sister, the pointless social discomfort he places on many of the people throughout the book. Bumbling, I thought, annoying; he seriously needs to grow up. But he’s also allowed me to understand that the wishes of one person and the wishes of another do not always tie up succinctly, and that seeking comfort even for something as important as the victimization of a child is difficult, incredibly difficult, when it’s difficult to tell who is or isn’t a “phony.”