fialleril: [a sword age, a wolf age] (wolf)
Yes, more Norse myth stuff.

I have started a series of short fics about each of Loki's three monster children, taking a metaphorical look at them and riffing on Tolkien's riddles from The Hobbit. It started with this one, when I realized that this riddle fit Fenrir quite well, and its answer gave me a whole new way of understanding the all-devouring wolf and his meaning and importance in the mythology.

There will eventually be a riddle fic for Jormungand and Hel as well, and most likely a bonus one for Loki too. (Go ahead, guess which riddle from The Hobbit he is. I think it's actually pretty easy.)

Title: this thing all things devours
Characters: Fenrir
Rating: PG
Word Count: 570
Summary: Fenrir remembers everything.
Warnings: references to canon torture
Notes: Yes, all the verb tenses are deliberate. This was loads of fun.

this thing all things devours )
fialleril: [a fire that will burn the world] (Sigyn and Loki)
So here is a fic that I actually posted on ff.net and AO3 quite a while ago, but now that I'm back to LJ I wanted to post here, too.

Title: the shining mead is brewed
Characters: Narvi, Vali, Hel
Rating: PG
Word Count: 910
Summary: Oh, thinks Narvi, and rubs at his stomach. When he pulls his hand back, there’s blood on his fingers and coated thick under his nails. I’ve had the strangest dream.
Warnings: character death, implied torture
Notes: This is a slightly surreal take on what happens to Loki and Sigyn's sons after they're killed when Loki is bound. I especially had fun fleshing out my view of Hel (both person and place).

the shining mead is brewed )
fialleril: [a fire that will burn the world] (Sigyn and Loki)
Talked myself into it after that last post. But wow it feels good to write something again.

Title: Faithful Sigyn
Characters: Sigyn, Loki, mention of Odin
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 961
Summary: Sigyn is a badass. A screw destiny take on the binding of Loki and the coming of Ragnarok.
Warnings: Since this takes place after the binding of Loki, reference is made to many of the horrible things that happened then. So, potential trigger warning for torture, murder, child abuse, and gore.
Notes: This probably won't make much sense without at least a cursory familiarity with the myths, but if you really want to read it anyway, I'd recommend checking out my last post here for background first.

Faithful Sigyn )
fialleril: [my favorite shapeshifting genderqueer trickster] (Loki)
So hey there internet! Uh...long time no see? Yeah, sorry about that.

Someday soon (really!) I will make a legit, f-locked tighter than Alcatraz post about the incredible hornet's nest of ridiculousness that has been my life in the last couple of months, but right now I do not have the emotional energy to do that, so we'll just say that the semester is over and graduation was yesterday and today and I gave the invocation at yesterday's ceremony so that was good.

Anyway there will be more later but for right now I want to talk to you about Thor.

I have not actually seen Thor yet. In fact I'm still unspoiled about it at this point, and my knowledge of the comics is pretty minimal, so. BUT. I am totally going to see it soon, and I am definitely going in with some expectations, because I love mythologies the most (THE MOST, OKAY), and I have so many feelings about mythology of all kinds, but especially Greek and Norse.

So this post is gonna be a rambling list of my expectations going into this movie, and all my feelings about Norse mythology. You can already tell the kind of rambling this is going to be, so I'm just gonna make a cut here and you can skip this nonsense if you want!

all kinds of feelings under here )
fialleril: [no weapon is easier to get or control than children] (Ahsoka)
Or, yes, I watched the Clone Wars episode "Children of the Force." The moment my muse returns, I'm sure there will be plenty of Nervous Conditions drabbles.

One of my favorite things about this show is how the villains are so often right, even when the show's creators clearly mean for them to be wrong. Slick may be the most obvious example of this, and you all know my thoughts on him.

In this episode, surprisingly, it was Cad Bane.

This was a little annoying to me, because I don't really like Cad Bane as a character; he reads too much like a Gary Stu to me, and I find his name cheesy even by Star Wars standards. Still, in this episode he had some interesting things to say.

More thoughts under here... )
fialleril: [Palo is everyone's favorite artist] (Palo)
I wrote this little drabble for [livejournal.com profile] starfoozle to cheer her up, and then thought I'd share it. Finally some genuine Palo/Riveth from me. It's about time, I know.

Link goes to my Anabasis LJ.

Title: Tongues of Men and Angels
Author: [livejournal.com profile] fialleril
Characters: Palo, Riveth (Palo/Riveth)
Setting: three years before Anabasis, directly after Poetry, in the Imperial prison on Tanaab
Summary: Palo and Riveth learn a new way of speaking.
Rating: PG

( Tongues of Men and Angels )
fialleril: [the fires and the black river of loss whose other side is salvation] (Ishmael Beah)
Yesterday the United States Senate voted 90-6 against closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. Because it would be a security hazard to shut it down.

Because obviously we can't hold people in the United States under legal conditions. The fact that we've been doing that for years before we decided to go the illegal detention route only proves how much it doesn't work.

And obviously we can't release all the people who were picked up at random by bounty hunters and turned in as terrorists for the reward. Because after five or six years of torture, well, they might possibly want some revenge. And besides, they're all evil soulless terrorists anyway.

And as for the kids who were thirteen and fourteen years old when they got rendered to Gitmo, well, they were already hardened criminals. And now they're even more so.

And when it comes to the international opinion of America, well, it doesn't take a genius to see that our detainment center at Guantanamo has made us much more popular with the rest of the world, thereby improving our national security! So clearly, shutting it down would be a bad idea.

Besides, we weren't using that Bill of Rights, anyway.

I'm so angry and broken up about this right now, I can't even think straight.

Pertinent Amnesty linkage is here. Spam the hell out of those bastards.
fialleril: [scooping up the dust and chanting, Live] (a way to be good again)
Yeah, I know I should be asleep. Don't judge me, okay.

Anyway, I decided I needed to post this segment about Cheney, Gitmo, and Darth Vader. Just in case any of y'all missed it.

video under the cut )
fialleril: [the fires and the black river of loss whose other side is salvation] (Ishmael Beah)
I have to run soon, but just in case there's anyone who hasn't heard today's great news yet:

Today President Obama signed an executive order that not only puts an end to CIA torture and abuse of "detainees," but also orders the closing of US secret prisons around the world and provides for Red Cross access to all US-held "detainees."

The executive order also creates a special task force which will review the Army Field Manual's interrogation guidelines and determine whether "different or additional guidance" is needed for the CIA.

Finally, sanity has returned!
fialleril: [the fires and the black river of loss whose other side is salvation] (Default)
Apologies for another long absence! (I swear I'm going to catch up on reading everyone's posts soon!)

Like the title says, I spent this last Friday-Sunday in Fort Benning, Georgia, protesting the School of the Americas (or as they like to call it now, the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation - WHINSEC). This is the second year I've gone to the protest, and it was once again an amazing experience.

A little background on the school: SOA / WHINSEC is a school run by the US military under the direction of the Department of Defense, whose mission is to train Latin American military personnel, police, and on occasion civilians in combat and counter-insurgency tactics. The school has taught the use of torture, extortion, disappearances, and executions as "counter-insurgency tactics," and many of the most notorious abusers of human rights in Latin America are graduates of SOA / WHINSEC. These include the dictators Manuel Noriega and Omar Torrijos of Panama, Leopoldo Galtieri and Roberto Viola of Argentina, Juan Velasco Alvarado of Peru, Guillermo Rodriguez of Ecuador, and Hugo Banzer Suarez of Bolivia. Graduates are also responsible for the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero and the six Jesuits, their co-worker Elba Ramos, and her daughter in El Salvador, as well as the infamous massacre at El Mozote, where 900 civilians - men, women and children - were murdered. (These 900 people were, of course, the "insurgents.")

Read more, and have some pictures... )
fialleril: [ofer middangeard monnum sended] (stars)
So I have a fic reading fest scheduled with [livejournal.com profile] haydens_angel81 tonight, but first I have to rant about the debate, just to get it off my chest. Then I can wind down with some good fic. :D

I should say that two good things actually emerged from this debate, although they were only mentioned by the candidates in passing. But at least they were mentioned.

1. Both candidates oppose any use of torture in US interrogations.
2. Both candidates want to shut down Guantánamo Bay.

The first one is much less cut and dry than it appears, however, because of course the Bush administration has continually denied that the practices it sanctions from the very highest levels in fact constitute torture. Personally, I would have liked to see the subject of torture treated at length and as its own question, and I would like the candidates to be very clear on what they define as torture. Do they follow the Geneva Conventions, or do they hold different definitions?

The context in which Senator McCain originally mentioned the issue of torture, and in which Senator Obama agreed with him, was that of the now infamous prison abuses at Abu Ghraib. But the Bush administration has been treating those abuses as aberrations, rather than as the natural result of a military system that authorizes the torture and abuse of prisoners (oops, I mean "detainees"), from the very highest levels of government on down. It's unclear whether Senators McCain and Obama were referring to this institutionalized torture, or whether they believe that torture in the context of interrogation actually occurs only in isolated incidents. If it's the latter, I doubt anything will actually change when we get a new president in January...

And speaking of which, there was one question, which both candidates kind of side-stepped around, about how the current economic crisis would affect their proposed spending plans. Senator Obama acknowledged briefly that next year's budget is likely to be tight. Senator McCain didn't even say that much. Well, Senators, here's some novel ideas about where you can find some extra funds!

- End the war in Iraq. That alone would save you over $340 million per day. There's a MasterCard commercial waiting to be made here, I'm sure.

- Shut down Guantánamo Bay prison. That will save you $90-$118 million per year. If you shut it down quickly enough to halt building the "expeditionary legal complex" for the military commissions, you'll save another $10-$12 million.

- Shut down the rest of America's secret prisons around the world. It's difficult to say how much this would save because...well, the prisons are secret. Their budgets aren't exactly in the public record. But it's a pretty safe guess that shutting them down would save at least several hundred million per year.

Just throwing those ideas out there, guys.
fialleril: [the fires and the black river of loss whose other side is salvation] (pro patria mori)
There are certain things the candidates are pretty well guaranteed to discuss: the failing economy, the war in Iraq, jobs, health care, Social Security, abortion, the environment, etc. In addition to all of those things, I'd really like to know the candidates' positions on the following. (And I even have links!)

- The global slave trade. There are 27 million people enslaved in the world today, and every year hundreds of thousands of people, mostly children and women, are trafficked into the United States from other countries. Thousands more are internally trafficked within our borders. I want to know what the candidates are planning and proposing to help end the global slave trade.

- The Millennium Development Goals. The United Nations has put forward a set of goals and a plan to significantly decrease poverty by 2015. I want to know what the candidates propose to do to further these goals.

- The ongoing genocide in Darfur, Sudan. "Unstinting resolve" is great. Now please tell us what you're actually planning to do about it!

- Guantánamo Bay and American secret prisons around the world. People are being tortured and held indefinitely in secret prisons around the world, as well as in the infamous Guantánamo Bay maximum security prison in Cuba. These things are being done in my name and paid for with my tax dollars. I want to know that these candidates propose to end these obscene abuses, and that a restitution will be made to all those who have been wrongfully imprisoned, tortured, and dehumanized.

- The 22 year long war in Northern Uganda, in which children continue to be stolen from their homes, taken into the bush, and forced to become soldiers and sex slaves. I want to know how these candidates intend to work towards an end to that conflict and toward the rehabilitation of the countless children affected.

But somehow, I doubt any of these issues will even come up in the debate. Come on, moderators, prove me wrong!
fialleril: [the fires and the black river of loss whose other side is salvation] (beautiful)
June is torture awareness month.

Some of you may know that torture is an issue that deeply concerns me, not least because my own country has a history of such human rights violations.

We often think of torture and other human rights violations as atrocities that only happen in so-called "Third World" countries or under oppressive, dictatorial regimes. This is, sadly, simply not true. The United States has a long history of both aiding oppressive regimes that practice torture (such as the military dictatorship of Chile's notorious General Pinochet) and of practicing torture ourselves. That certainly hasn't changed in the "war on terror." I'm sure you all remember the horrific images from Abu Ghraib in Iraq, and more reports of abuse are leaking out of Guantánamo Bay every day.

This is something people have to talk about. It's something that we have to denounce, and something that desperately needs to end.

The Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition Internationl (TASSC) is a good place to start if you're looking for ways to take action. Please also consider signing the petition to repeal the "Military Commissions Act of 2006," otherwise known as the "torture law."

recommended reading beneath the cut )
fialleril: [Hades and Persephone] (anabasis)
I've decided to write a series of one shots in the same universe as Anabasis, but set prior to that story. The series is called Katabasis, Greek for "going down" (often in the sense of going down to the underworld), and the vignettes will be in no particular order. Think of them as brief, perhaps misty glimpses into the underworld that is the past.

So, here's the first.

Title: Poetry
Characters: Riveth Giro, Palo Gvanish, random Imperial troopers
Timeframe: 3 years before Anabasis
Rating: Somewhere between PG-13 and R, depending on how you consider torture
Summary: Imperial prisoner Riveth Giro will not be silenced.
Notes: This fic contains mention and some description of torture, and is perhaps not recommended for those who are squeamish or very visual. You have been warned. :)

Don't remember who Riveth is? Find him in Anabasis Chapter 7.

a long way gone

Thursday, September 27th, 2007 12:26 pm
fialleril: [the fires and the black river of loss whose other side is salvation] (beautiful)
Book: A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
Author: Ishmael Beah

This is probably one of the most beautiful and terrible books I've ever read. Ishmael Beah recounts in a raw and very human way the realities of civil war in Sierra Leone: the disruption of community life, the mass movement of refugees and exiles, the spirit of both connection and terrible separation experienced between persons in crisis. His writing is very immediate and personal, with a lyrical quality that reads almost like the beauty of a classical elegy. He does not shy away from horrors and loss, nor from his own feelings, whether good or terrible.

The first half and more of the book is a memoir of Ishmael's life before the war and during the days in which, with a group of other boys, he ran from it. Ultimately, he was conscripted into the Sierra Leonean army. He was 14.

Although the chapters describing his time in the army are the shortest section of the book, they have perhaps the greatest impact. Ishmael describes the process of brainwashing, of emotional deadening to the horrors of war and atrocities which he experienced during his time in the army. Although a fundamentally gentle person, he found himself capable of committing unspeakable acts. And all the time he was a child, at least in body.

Ultimately, Ishmael was removed from the war and taken in by a group of human aid workers associated with the UN. This group existed to rehabilitate former child soldiers. The rest of the book deals, in heartbreaking clarity, with Ishmael's struggles to return to civilian life, to accept himself, and ultimately to forgive himself and reach beyond his own pain to help others.

Ishmael's story is a stark reminder of a practice which is still all too common in our world. It is also a call to rethink our perception of those who can commit such terrible acts. As Ishmael was being rehabilitated (at the age of 16), the workers continually said to the former child soldiers, "None of this is your fault." They were still children.

I believe this is one of the most important and poignant books published recently, and one which everyone should read.
fialleril: [the fires and the black river of loss whose other side is salvation] (fragile)
Something I've been thinking about lately, especially today, in light of the remembrance of Jesus' death. The suffering of Christ, and the suffering that's in our world.

One of my friends wrote a short meditation for Good Friday that is simply excellent. You can find it here: Good Friday on the Margins

And here's a little pictorial meditation I did, using pics from Iraq and Darfur. Please click for full view.






Hope that wasn't too morbid. Now I'm off to the Orthodox Lamentation service. Expect a fuller update soon. And sorry I've been gone so long! *hugs friends*

long time gone

Saturday, November 18th, 2006 11:15 pm
fialleril: [scooping up the dust and chanting, Live] (a way to be good again)
Wow, it's been almost a month since I posted! Sorry about that. I haven't fallen off the face of the earth, really. I've just been ridiculously busy.

For anyone who's really interested in everything that's happened to me since my last post, follow the cut. :D





Also, as the result of a bit of philosophical musing, I wrote up a short one-shot fic centered around Darth Vader and an anonymous prisoner. I posted it at ff.net, but I thought I'd post it here, too. :)

Only Love )

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