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Housewife highlights/Daily shit talk - October 24th, 2020

2020.10.24 14:22 readingrachelx Housewife highlights/Daily shit talk - October 24th, 2020

NEW YORK
"The “Real Housewives of New York City” are back to work after they were forced to take a break from filming after someone on set tested positive for COVID.
We’re told filming was severely cut back after the scary result two weeks ago — but spies tell Page Six that Ramona Singer, Leah McSweeney, Sonja Morgan and new cast member Eboni K. Williams were all filming together Thursday at American Beech in Greenport, NY. We’re told the group was cordial and kidding around.
A different spy told us they were also shooting at nearby Croteaux Vineyards, where Singer and McSweeney were loudly fighting over — appropriately enough — McSweeney’s recent tweets in which she criticized Singer for being careless about COVID. (McSweeney had tweeted in June — fairly obviously about Singer, “I am so disgusted by some of my castmates and their families who spent the entire f - - king quarantine in Florida, living it up, showing everyone how they’re living it up.”)
We’re told the group were supposed to be filming out East in early October, but it got pushed back and has only just got underway. We’re told the delay has created problems because producers had been hoping to make it appear as if the Hamptons scenes happened during the summer, which is trickier now that they’re shooting well into October."
“The Real Housewives of New York” are COVID-19 free despite a crew member testing positive for the virus.
Multiple sources confirmed to Page Six on Friday that Luann de Lesseps, Ramona Singer, Leah McSweeney, Sonja Morgan and newbie Eboni K. Williams are all healthy despite a Daily Mail report that one of the women tested positive two weeks ago.
An insider noted that production was “limited” and “not completely shut down” after the staffer tested positive, but everyone’s safety remained a priority.
Another insider previously told us that the network is taking extensive precautions to keep everyone safe and even requires the women to be tested before filming any scenes.
The ladies were just together in the Hamptons, where we’re sure more drama ensued.
ORANGE COUNTY
"Following the news that she and her husband, Sean Burke, have decided to live in separate homes for the time being, Braunwyn Windham-Burke opened up about what inspired the couple's new living arrangement.
Braunwyn shared during her October 21 appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen that she had been doing a lot of reflecting on her life amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. "Honestly, a lot of it happened during quarantine," Braunwyn explained in the above clip. "It had to do with Glennon [Doyle]'s book. When I say that Glennon's book changed my life, I don't mean it flippantly. I mean reading her book made me realize a lot of things about myself that I hadn't recognized before."
Though Doyle, who appeared as Braunwyn's fellow WWHL guest, is the author of multiple books, we imagine Braunwyn was referring to her latest, Untamed, which the OC Housewife has noted on social media she is a fan of.
Braunwyn went on to say on WWHL that she still loves Sean "dearly" and that they "get along great."
"We're getting along better than we ever had, but we are redefining our marriage right now," she said. "There's some things that I am going through that I'm giving myself the time and the space to acknowledge, and Sean's been very supportive in all of this."
"The Real Housewives of Orange County star, 42, shared a sweet snapshot of herself and her husband on Instagram on Monday, October 19. The pair, who tied the knot in 2000, were dressed to the nines and stared lovingly into each other’s eyes. Braunwyn captioned the photo with a simple red heart emoji.
Despite hundreds of celebratory comments, one negative remark stood out. “And he’s gay,” one Instagram user wrote. The Bravo star fired back with a coy response, replying, “No sweetie, that’s me. He’s straight.”
"Tamra Judge may not be featured on season 15 of The Real Housewives of Orange County, but she’s certainly still an important part of the story line.
During the Wednesday, October 21, episode of the Bravo series, Braunwyn Windham-Burke revealed Tamra, 53, spoke to her mother, Dr. Deb, on the phone. According to Braunwyn, 42, Dr. Deb told the CUT Fitness owner about her daughter’s substance abuse issues. As a result, Braunwyn felt like she had to share her battle with alcoholism on camera and she subsequently confided in Shannon Beador.
While Tamra wrote via Instagram that she hasn’t watched the episode, she heard she’s “getting blamed” for drama.
“The absolute truth is Dr. Deb sent me a DM (in Feb) on Instagram asking me how my ex husband was doing,” Tamra wrote, referring to her ex Simon Barney’s battle with cancer. “I told her that it’s hard but it’s brought our family back tighter. Then I asked how her and B were doing. She simply said better now that she isn’t drinking … that’s it!!!! First week of filming when Shannon and I were still kind [of] talking, Shannon called me and said she thinks B is pregnant and she’s gonna buy her a pregnancy test and give it to her on camera.”
During Wednesday’s episode, fans saw Shannon, 56, show up for a night out with Braunwyn, who shares seven kids with husband Sean Burke, with a pregnancy test.
“I told her don’t bother, I don’t think she’s pregnant, her mom told me that she isn’t drinking anymore,” Tamra continued. “Shannon then contacts production and makes this big deal out of it saying, ‘We are filming a reality show she needs to drink.’ … No Shannon, not everyone needs to drink!”
While Shannon has yet to publicly respond to Tamra’s claims, Braunwyn told Us Weekly earlier this month that Shannon is the only cast member that she’s currently on speaking terms with.
“Shannon did reach out to me [recently] and wrote something very, very sweet that I appreciated a lot because I did feel ostracized,” she told Us.
Braunwyn added that she misses having Tamra, who starred on RHOC from season 3 to 14, on the show.
“Tamra and I get along. We still talk, we went to lunch like a week ago. I miss Tamra. I think she’s a great Housewife,” Braunwyn explained. “I like having her in my life. She’s always been a good friend to me whenever I’ve needed her.”
Idiotsivan (aka Rick's ex wife, I assume commenting on her former stepdaughter's photo): "You may have a new stepmom but I'll forever tell people I had you as a teen. come back soon not_topanga (& will.i.stan)"
Kelly: "That's funny because not_topanga told me and Rick she hated you as a teenager tore your face our of every picture... too bad you didn't have your own."
DALLAS
"There's another little pumpkin joining Brandi Redmond's patch.
The Real Housewives of Dallas star seemingly announced she and husband Bryan Redmond are expecting baby No. 4 on Friday, Oct. 23. Brandi, 42, took to Instagram with a snapshot of three pumpkins painted with her kids' birth years, in addition to one more with "2021" across it.
"God works in mysterious ways and we are so thankful for his grace and glory," she shared. "You never know what his plan is but we know he's got us in the palm of his hand. We have much to be thankful for this holiday season and want to thank all of you for your prayers, love and out pouring support."
NEW JERSEY
"Maimonides Medical Center hosted its annual “Pink Runway” fashion show virtually on Oct. 21. It was privately filmed at New York City’s iconic 1 OAK dance club, then streamed onto the internet.
All proceeds from the event will benefit breast cancer awareness, treatment and research at the renowned Maimonides Breast Center – Brooklyn’s first free-standing, full-service, nationally-recognized breast care facility.
All of the models are patients of Maimonides Breast Center, walking the 2020 runway to tell women not to put their health on hold and that mammograms and check-ups can save lives.
The evening paid tribute to a distinguished slate of honorees including Dr. Donna-Marie Manasseh, director of Breast Surgery at Maimonides and recipient of the Pink Hope Award; Paul Walsh and the Walsh Family Charities, recipients of the Pink Warrior Award; and Dolores Catania, cast member of Bravo’s Real Housewives of New Jersey and this year’s recipient of the Pink Ambassador ofHope Award.
Special guest appearances included singer-songwriter Robin Thicke and actors Robert Davi and Chazz Palminteri."
POTOMAC
"Robyn Dixon discussed Michael’s antics during a recent interview with Heather McDonald for the Juicy Scoop With Heather McDonald podcast. "So. honestly, to me. that [talk of threesomes] felt like a deflection from the real topic. I didn’t see what one had to do with the other.”
“She’s saying they’ve had experiences together in the past. OK, but we’re not talking about the past? She was almost taking responsibility for his behavior and, you know, why.”
“Who knows if maybe she didn’t want to deal with it in front of cameras and she was doing her best to kind of make it go away. Or, you know, maybe she’s in denial or maybe she’s not ready to end her marriage. I don’t know.”
“I really don’t know the reasons for why she would kind of said what she said about their relationship. It just felt like an excuse for me. It was just making excuses for his behavior, which didn’t make it any better, in my opinion."
BEVERLY HILLS
"Delilah Belle Hamlin is considering making big moves. On October 23, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills daughter revealed that she is open to relocating to be closer to her London-based boyfriend, Eyal Booker.
"We definitely talk about it but I'm happy with how we do it now where I'm in [Los Angeles] half the time and London half the time," Delilah wrote in response to an Instagram user who asked if she would make a permanent move to the U.K. "But with everything going on in the world right now we're talking about it."
"I'm not sure," she continued. "[L.A.] is my home but so is Eyal."
As she has been temporarily living with Eyal in London recently, Delilah has been sharing peeks into their daily life, which seems to include her love whipping up impressive meals. "Date night," Delilah captioned a photo of a mouthwatering dinner. "[Eyal] is the perfect housewife and I'm here for it."
In a separate Story, Delilah shared that the couple has been together for "a year and a half" and her family approves of her beau. She proudly declared, "They LOVE him."
Back in L.A., Delilah recently moved into a new home with her sister, Amelia Gray Hamlin. The abode, which Amelia previously described as the "perfect lil house," boasts a chic kitchen, dreamy bedrooms, and private outdoor space.
As RHOBH viewers will remember, Amelia previously lived in a one-bedroom Los Angeles apartment that came with a $5,700 per month price tag. On a Season 10 episode of the show, Lisa Rinna reflected on the stark difference between Amelia's apartment and her own first apartment, explaining, "I was lucky to have an apartment with hand-me-down furniture and a door that locked."
ATLANTA
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2020.10.19 11:58 travel-notes-oliver Barbados

Barbados
Even in my childhood, I was an enthusiastic fan of movies, and it always seemed to be something beyond the excitement if one of the characters mentioned a “trip to Barbados.” Because my childhood took place in a country behind the iron curtain, I even could not imagine that someday I would be able to be in the place where the happy movie characters left during the happy ending. And finally, there was a significant event – on my birthday I received a wonderful gift, the best, of all that I ever had. A trip to Barbados.

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As usual, our trips “to the other end of the world” normally include a transit in a large city on the way to thedestination. Most often, these were trips to Southeast Asia and transits in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and other local big cities. When traveling to Barbados we decided to see London by making a stop there. As it was winter, the weather was so-so, cold, windy and rainy. But we were not upset with that, because to be in London for the day was a kind of little adventure, and all that we saw there, produced a “concentrated” impression. Big Ben, London Bridge, Ferris Wheel, Oxford Street and other iconic places made a lasting impression on us (enough to plan a more thorough trip in the future).

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Next was Barbados. Honestly, I had no fear to be disappointed amid high expectations, although I spent half my life in dreams about this island. Somehow I was sure that it wouldn’t disappoint me. And so it happened – all that we saw there was a “direct hit”, exactly as I imagined. To say that the azure colour of the local water is something beyond the limit – is to say nothing. We just could not take our eyes off the local waves. It feels like they hypnotize you . Barbados is a state located in the Lesser Antilles. With one side bordering the Caribbean sea, on the other – the Atlantic ocean. Our hotel Turtle Beach was chosen at 1001beach – the best hotels in Barabdos. It was located on the Atlantic shore, and the hotel beach had quite high waves. In the group that our hotel belonged to, there was another one on the same island, and we could visit the beach if we wanted. That beach was on the Caribbean Sea side, and there was a complete calm. Therefore, our beach holiday was very diverse – it was possible to jump on the waves, and to lie at the shore at full calm. But there was another “beach adventure”.

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Traveling around the island, we accidentally found a beautiful bay with a completely empty beach. There was not a single person on it, and we had a rare advantage on a crowded tourist island. Having spent half a day in this enchanting beautiful place, swimming enough in the coastal waves, we returned to the hotel and began to Google the name of the bay. Imagine our surprise when we learned that it was a Shark Bay. And then it became clear why on the crowded island, this beach was completely empty – “shark question” is not a joke in the Carribbean…

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Continuing to explore the island, we decided to go to the shore, which we didn’t see before. For this purpose, we took a rental car for a couple of days and followed the navigator. Maybe this island is not sufficiently studied by modern cartographers, but listening to the instructions of the navigator, we first moved from the paved road to the ground, then continued the movement on the high grass, and at the time of leaving a barely-viewed track in deep jungle, we still decided to check with the locals, whether we should continue to listen to the navigator. They were very surprised by our question, because, according to them, there was jungle ahead. So our credulity almost failed us.

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The island does not have a lot of attractions, but a tourist can always find entertainment. For example, we visited the local pride – Mount Gay Rum destillery. Because this green island is good for growing sugar cane, the production of rum has a long (and not always happy) history. To my shame, I did not study the details of the history of the region particularly well, and on the excursion to rum production was much surprised that centuries ago, in addition to slaves from Africa, the poor from Ireland were delivered to work on plantations here, and they had no rights either. Perhaps as a result of this barbaric policy the local population has acquired such an unusual bright appearance. We had a small incident with the local rum. We bought a bottle of dark Caribbean rum as a souvenir, but could not resist, and tasted it right on our room balcony before dinner at the hotel. While we were in a relaxed conversation, we finished almost half the bottle – it is so easy to drink, as if it was some kind of a light liquor (the excursion told about ancient filtering technologies for a reason). And at the moment when we decided to go out for dinner, we realized that we literally can not get up – the rum was only light to taste. Yo-ho-ho! But we managed 🙂

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The local zoo has its own peculiarity – you just walk through the park filled with animals in their natural habitat, and there are no boundaries between you and them . If you are lucky, you can cuddle someone you catch (although they’d scold you for that). They have seen how turtles love lives and how the lizards hunt. In general, it is interesting to wander between wild animals, seeing them so close that it is possible to touch.
I can not say anything special about culinary features of the island – all the different “seafood” and tropical fruits were the basis of our diet. But one thing I remember is the “banana bread”. It is very similar to our cake, however, the addition of bananas (it is necessary to think, there is a lot of them on the island) gives to it a special flavour. This bread is served everywhere as a dessert, and the locals treat it with some reverence. This can be understood by the fact that in the café one small piece of such bread can cost 2-5 dollars, and in the city it can be found in souvenir shops.

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We also visited the main city of Barbados – Bridgetown, where the main administrative institutions are located. The local Governor General is appointed by the English Queen, the English law applies, disputes in certain cases are subject to the English court – in general, the relationship with the UK is more than tight. It makes it easy for tourists to discover the island – you can speak English everywhere. Of course, we were not impressed by the city – There was a very noticeable contrast between luxury hotels on the coast and the housing of ordinary locals . And the yacht marina at the local port only reinforced this impression. By the way, speaking of the locals – the most famous islander to date is singer Rihanna, and here she is really a local pride. Every person with whom we spoke, felt obliged to remind us of this fact. Of course, we wanted to see the house where Rihanna spent her childhood – it is shown to tourists, as if it was an excursion.

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The island’s attractiveness on a global scale is not only measured by tourism (and alcohol 🙂 sector – Barbados is a well-known offshore zone and it also provides programs of simplified citizenship acquisition for investors, which requires investment in local real estate. This, in turn, stimulates the construction industry and associated service sector.
Overall, the trip to Barbados was for me, without exaggeration, a landmark in the field of travel. Not disappointing for a second, this island has left the brightest trace in the memory. After years of traveling many bright places are forgotten as quickly as they stirred the imagination, but Barbados is still remembered, as if I just came back from there . I hope that someday I will be able to go back there again. Although, of course, travelling such a long way (half a planet is no joke!), will be tempted to see the neighboring places – Curacao, Aruba or the Bahamas with the Caymans. But it is going to be an entirely different story 🙂
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2020.10.18 23:12 W0rmG0d Looking to join gay communities and meet guys during lockdown.

Hi there!
I'm a 21 year old, bisexual (prefer men a lot more), male.
I have been opening up about my sexuality in my public and private life over the last few months and I think I'm ready to join communities of like minded guys.
With lockdown, it's pretty difficult to get out there and meet guys face to face.
I was wondering if there were any gay online communities, preferably based in the UK, where I could meet other guys. I dont specifically mean dating apps, although I'm not complaining, if anyone has recommendations.
I'm not against communities irl and am open to recommendations for groups around the London/Cambridge area.
My interests include gaming, writing and cooking, if that helps narrow down the criteria at all.
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2020.10.17 09:39 lseactuary Fed Up, No Bf, Shall I Try And Move?

Been in London most of my life. Bloomed late (23yo was the first time ever, now 31yo) but once I got on the Grindr train it is pretty much been non-stop.
Covid got me thinking that actually I never had a bf / relationship / sex with the same person more than twice (and even twice is very rare: ~60% I don't really want to meet again tbh and/or are visiting and ~20% don't reply back / disappear and 10% chat chat and fizzle and 10% other random things).
I've spent a tonne of money on countless therapists, relationship coaches etc and have received 0 useful advice which actually provided positive change. I seem to still score really well on Grindr (and only Grindr, Scruff etc also doesn't work for me) but when I've invested time and effort on Tinder and 'proper' dating apps/websites, it goes nowhere (as in, they will express interest/likes, chat briefly or over time, but won't ever physically meet me for anything - but the same guy on Grindr will meet me for sex). One thing people said was (north) London can be transient so I moved to South London in an area full of local gays and I still experience the same issues (just the %'s above have swayed less to visitors). I also tried joining gay specific meetups/clubs but I'm just not attracted to anyone and this can't really be forced. Therapy confirmed I don't have particularly high standards or preconceptions about a relationship, no bad experienced 'blocking' me from moving on and generally seem ready. But my train in this department cannot take off without another person!
During my work I travelled to the US (NYC, SF mainly). The culture in the US seems completely different. I still score (probably more) well on Grindr there but the guys I have sex with actually chase me and make an effort to stay connected. Also, I tend to see they seem more open to dating you in general or at least hooking up again (as US guys seem to be more horny in general in my experience). I may be biased though as I was 'just visiting'.
I honestly don't know what else I can do to improve the situation other than use my workplace to just start over somewhere else entirely (US for example, this is an option next year is VISA's etc are allowed).
Or I just get a dog, shag anyone I like till I die, and be done with this search?
"A life without love is not a life worth living".... this phrase scares me a lot. On the flipside, love is not really possible unless someone gives you a shot also....
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2020.10.16 14:57 8rwg What was gay dating like before the internet?

I know older gay guys who were out and active in the 70s and 80s before the AIDs pandemic in Cali and London (U.K.)
From what I gathered from him is if you lived in a metropolitan city there were kinda set hang out spots, be it bars, bathhouses etc which AIDs then really killed.
But I’m wondering how this must’ve felt outside those areas? My small town now has a gay bar but doesn’t sound like what my friend described back in his youth. As opposed to just a normal pub where gays can go chill, flirt etc - it’s always having drag shows, DJ nights and that sort of thing. No hate if that’s your thing but it does seem to cater to that sect of the gay community.
Wondering if things like just chilled out bars have kinda died out, or what your opinion is on the merits of both gay dating in the 21st century as opposed to the decades before the internet.
Seems like while the internet makes it easier it’s also more superficial.
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2020.10.12 20:42 jonisantucho Oscar Watch - Post Venice/TIFF/NYFF Edition

Several months ago, right after the last Academy Awards, I posted a long, long, long list of possible contenders that had prospects to fight for the next Oscars. It was a time of hope, of looking forward, and of positivity.
Then, COVID-19 happened.
And now, we find ourselves in a year that may change the movie industry forever, with the lack of safety of theaters in times of a pandemic accelerating the switch of mainstream audiences to streaming and VOD. These are times where some people are beginning to wonder, even after they pushed the eligibility date for two more months, why the Academy doesn’t cancel next year’s Oscars. And in this rocky terrain, we lost many contenders. Fire up the Hunger Games cannons, because these are some casualties of the season (so far).
Launched to 2021: Annette, Benedetta, Deep Water, Dune, In the Heights, King Richard, Last Night in Soho, Memoria, Nightmare Alley, Passing, Red, White and Water, Raya and the Last Dragon, The Last Duel, The Power of the Dog, Tick, Tick… Boom!, West Side Story.
Unknown status / missing in action: After Yang, Blonde, Breaking News in Yuba County, C’mon C’mon, Next Goal Wins, Stillwater, The French Dispatch, The Humans, The Tragedy of Macbeth, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Those Who Wish Me Dead.
But even if this year isn’t as loaded with clear awards candidates, there are plenty of movies that are already drawing buzz for an Oscar season that started brewing a month ago, with the kickoff of the Venice Film Festival, and will go on for six and a half more months, when the Academy Awards take place on April 25, 2021. It’s gonna be a long, weird and rocky season, which is gonna be great to see in terms of the narratives that are coming up.
-Ammonite (trailer): When people were betting on the likelier contenders of this year, many people pointed in the direction of Francis Lee’s period drama, with previous Best Actress winner Kate Winslet and constant nominee Saoirse Ronan. Going into the premiere at Toronto, people had their eyes set in this queer romance between a paleontologist and a young wife in the coasts of England during the 19th century. But then, some things happened. First, Winslet started her promotion of the movie by talking about her regret for working with Woody Allen and Roman Polanski that sounded unconvincing to the ominous Film Twitter. Then, another queer period drama, Mona Fastvold’s The World to Come, started to take the attention away at Venice. And finally, the movie premiered. The reaction? Cold. Critics came out mixed with the movie, with many of them comparing it negatively to last year’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire, and saying that it’s too dull and alienating. Does that mean that all is lost? Not exactly. While the movie (which, considering the genre, really needs critics' support to get into the Best Picture category) has been dismissed, the acting by Winslet and Ronan has been received positively. Now that so many other contenders have been dropping out of the year, they might get some room to campaign from a (social) distance.
-Another Round (trailer): Speaking of TIFF premieres, a film that had a better time at the Canadian festival was the reunion between director Thomas Vinterberg and star Mads Mikkelsen, who reunited years after making the stirring drama The Hunt (not the one with Betty Gilpin carrying a bad political satire, the one about a Danish teacher wrongly accused of sexual abuse). This time, the material is lighter, being a dramedy about four teachers who decide to test out a theory about how people can live and work a little better if they increase the level of alcohol in their blood. Critics really liked the way the movie dealt with alcoholism, and Toronto audiences made it a runner up for the People’s Choice Award of the festival. In a year without so much exposure from other festivals, this Cannes 2020 selection could make a candidate for the Best International Film category.
-Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (trailer): Surprise, new Borat film! While Sacha Baron Cohen made headlines several times this year because of stunts that people assumed were about a second season of Who is America?, the Internet was shocked when, in early September, it was confirmed that it was actually a very niiiiice return from the journalist character that made him famous, shot during quarantine. In a matter of weeks after the reveal, the sequel got sold to Amazon Prime and got a release date for October 23. Why so soon? Well, apparently the movie, which got him in trouble with Rudy Giuliani and other people, is about Borat taking his daughter on a road trip to give her as a bride to VP Mike Pence. Even if this movie doesn’t manage to achieve the feats of the 2006 movie (which got a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination, let’s remember), it will help Baron Cohen’s image a lot, because it will come a week after his big Oscar play.
-Cherry: While everybody knows them mostly because of their contributions to the MCU, directors Joe and Anthony Russo and actor Tom Holland are trying to branch out together. Now Apple has bought into their efforts, paying more than 40 million dollars to acquire their new crime drama, about the life of former Army medic Nico Walker, who started robbing banks after his days in Iraq left him with PTSD and a pill addiction. Will Holland manage this time to escape from the shadow of “oh, jeez, Mr. Stark” Spider-Man before Chaos Walking or the Uncharted movie come out? That’s a question for another day.
-Da 5 Bloods (trailer): Talk about timing. Merely days after the country was mobilized by the police brutality that continues to divide the United States, Spike Lee premiered his new war drama on Netflix. In a vibrant, disjointed but passionate portrait of four African American veterans who return to Vietnam to search for their fallen leader and some treasure, Lee struck gold yet again with his usual fans, even though the moving of the Oscar ceremony threatened to make it harder to remind Academy voters about this movie. However, with an astounding performance from Delroy Lindo (who is confirmed to be campaigned in the Best Actor category) and a supporting turn from Chadwick Boseman which got reframed with the news of his bravery in life and death, this has what it takes to fight for a spot in the Best Picture lineup.
-Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (trailer): When it became clear that quarantine wasn’t gonna be a breeze, the first movie in consideration wise enough to move a little further ahead in the calendar was this adaptation of the hit West End production about a gay British teenager who dreams of becoming a drag queen and get his family and schoolmates to accept his sexuality. With a release date on February 26, 20th Century Studios (man, it’s weird to not use Fox in that name) hopes to strike gold, with a cast that mixes young unknowns, familiar names (Sharon Horgan, Sarah Lancashire and my boy Ralph Ineson) and the previously nominated legend that is Richard E. Grant (who is playing a former drag queen named Loco Chanelle), now taking advantage of the move of other musicals like Annette, In The Heights and West Side Story. I mean, this has at the very least some Golden Globes nods in the bag.
-French Exit: Before its premiere as the closing film of the NYFF, many pundits were expecting this surreal comedy to be somewhat of a comeback for past Best Actress nominee Michelle Pfeiffer, who here plays a close to penniless widow who moves to Paris with her son (Lucas Hedges) and cat, who also happens to be her reincarnated husband (Tracy Letts). However, the first reactions for the film adaptation of the Patrick deWitt novel were all over the place, with some people feeling cold by the execution of the weirdness and others being won over. Still, everybody had good things to say about Michelle Pfeiffer’s performance, but after the mixed reception to the rest of Azazel Jacobs’ film she really would need a lot of critics support to get anywhere near the Best Actress category. With a release date on February 12, it seems that Sony Pictures Classics is skipping the critics awards, and the distributor has a couple of big competitors above this one.
-Good Joe Bell: Every year, there are movies with big stars that go to festivals full of hope for praises and awards. Some of them work and go on, others don’t and get forgotten about. Mark Wahlberg tried to remind people that he occasionally is a good actor with a true life drama where he plays a father who decides to walk across America to raise awareness about bullying after his son, tormented for being gay, commits suicide. The film by Reinaldo Marcus Green premiered at TIFF, and the reaction was… not great. Some critics defended it, but most saw it as a flawed, baity product starring a man with a history of hate. Still, it got bought by a distributor: Solstice Studios, a new player in the game which just released its first movie, Unhinged (yup, the one about Russell Crowe road raging). While they paid 20 million dollars for Good Joe Bell, it’s clear that this won’t get near the Oscar telecast.
-Hillbilly Elegy: While many movies this year have some level of anticipation, Film Twitter is bracing for this movie in the “is this gonna be the next Green Book?” way. Ron Howard’s adaptation of J.D. Vance’s memoir about his low income life in a poor rural community in Ohio has many fearing about the overuse of tropes involving what’s called white trash porn, but rarely, Netflix has kept silent about this release. Even though it has Oscar bridesmaids Glenn Close (7 nominations) and Amy Adams (6 nominations), the streamer has not even released a photo of the movie, which supposedly will come out in November. And if you want another bad omen, take a look at the lower levels of this list by a familiar voice.
-I’m Thinking of Ending Things (trailer): Speaking of Netflix, did you know that there is a new Charlie Kaufman there, right now? While his adaptation of the dark novel by Iain Reid, seemingly about a woman (Jessie Buckley) who is taken by her boyfriend (Jesse Plemons) to meet his parents (Toni Collette and David Thewlis), got the usual reception of confusion and praise that follows his movies, the release was followed for what befalls most of the Netflix original movies: a couple of days in the Top 10, and then it fell into the void. While Buckley and Plemons deliver great work in this demented, melancholic story, it’s hard to see this movie getting anything else than a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination for Charlie. And that’s a long shot.
-I’m Your Woman: Following the little seen but critically acclaimed Miss Stevens and Fast Color, Julia Hart started 2020 with a Disney+ adaptation of the YA book Stargirl, and now she follows it with a drama for Amazon that will have its world premiere as the opening film of the AFI fest on October 15. In this movie, Rachel Brosnahan hopes to translate her TV success with The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel to the big screen, playing a woman in the ‘70s that has to go on the run with her kid due to her husband’s crimes.
-Judas and the Black Messiah (trailer): Even if this doesn’t end up winning any awards, it has a real shot at being the best trailer of 2020. Formerly titled Jesus Was My Homeboy, this biographical drama by Shaka King tells the tale of two men: Fred Hampton (Kaluuya), an activist and Black Panther leader, and William O’Neal (Stanfield), the FBI agent sent to infiltrate the party and arrest him. While the trailer for this movie promised a release “only in theaters”, we shall see if Warner Bros backs down from that fight.
-Let Them All Talk: While we’re on the subject of Warner Bros, we have to mention what’s happening with HBO Max. While the start of the streaming service hasn’t been good (I mean, there are still people confused about that name) and it lead to some people assume will cause many firings, it has begun to make some buzzed titles on TV, like Close Enough, Raised by Wolves and the remains of the DC Universe failed streaming service. Now, to make a mark in the movie business, the streamer has a new Steven Soderbergh movie, a comedy that stars Meryl Streep as a celebrated author that takes her friends (Candice Bergen, Dianne Wiest) and her nephew (Lucas Hedges) in a cruise to find fun and come to terms with the past, while he flirts with a literary agent (Gemma Chan). While it doesn’t have a date yet, it’s confirmed to release in 2020, and at least we know that it can’t be worse than The Laundromat.
-Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom: While the expectations for the next film adaptation of an August Wilson acclaimed play were already high, the tragic death of Chadwick Boseman made this Netflix release one of the most anticipated movies of the season, considering this is his final movie. While past Supporting Actress winner Viola Davis takes the lead playing blues singer Ma Rainey in this tale of a heated recording session with her bandmates, her agent and her producer in 1927, Chadwick Boseman has a turn as the trumpeter Levee that was already being considered for awards, and now has even more people waiting to see. The thing is that one of the biggest competitions for Boseman this year will be Boseman himself, for his already acclaimed supporting turn on Da 5 Bloods, also released by Netflix. While the streamer will have to decide which of Chadwick’s performances will get the bigger campaign, this film by director George C. Wolfe has a cushy date set for December 18, and Viola is gunning hard for this movie to win.
-Mank (trailer): As you may have noticed by now, Netflix has a lot of plates spinning around this season, and this is the big one. After befriending the service with House of Cards and Mindhunter, David Fincher is going black and white to tackle a script by his late father Jack, about the making of the classic of classics, Citizen Kane. More specifically, the making of the script, with previous Oscar winner Gary Oldman playing the lead role of screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz, while accompanied by Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins, Tuppence Middleton, Charles Dance and Tom Burke. After watching the first trailer of his satire of 1930’s Hollywood (that will release on streaming on December 4), it’s clear that this is gonna be catnip to old Academy voters, and it would be really hard for this to miss the Best Picture line up. Unless it’s a complete cinematic disaster, Mank is bank.
-Minari (trailer): While the last edition of Sundance took place in January, quarantine makes you feel like it took place two years ago. This year, the big winner of the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award in the US Dramatic Competition was a dramedy by Lee Isaac Chung, about a Korean family in the ‘80s who suddenly gets moved by their father (Steven Yeun) to Arkansas, to start a farm. Even though the reviews have been great, distributor A24 hasn’t really had a big, Oscar nominated hit for the last couple of years, and the COVID-19 crisis made them delay all their releases. But when we were ready to write this off, a new trailer for the movie came out, confirming that it’s in the game of this awards season. Maybe the pandemic will be of help to A24, considering that one of the reasons they haven’t had success is that they divided their attention into too many releases, and ended up getting not much. This time, they are betting all on Lee who, even if this doesn’t go anywhere, also has a new gig coming up as the director of the live action remake of Your Name.
-News of the World (sneak peek): So much of this year has felt like a game of chicken between a virus and movie studios. While many movies chose to skip this year altogether, Universal remains firm (for now) with its plans to open a wide movie on Christmas Day, with a Western that reunites Paul Greengrass and Tom Hanks in an enticing premise. In this drama based on Paulette Jiles’ novel, Hanks plays a traveling newsreader in the aftermath of the American Civil War, who is tasked with reuniting an orphaned girl with her living relatives. While the first sneak peek of the movie looks promising, the future is still in the air.
-Nomadland (trailer): While the world burns around Hollywood, Searchlight is betting big on Chloe Zhao’s new film. Using the strategy of taking the spotlight while the rest of the contenders is uncertain about how or when to be released, the indie drama began its journey at Venice, with critics raving about the story of a woman (two-time Oscar winner Frances McDormand) who, after losing everything in the Great Recession, embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a van-dwelling modern-day nomad. At the end of the fest, the movie won the coveted Golden Lion. To put that into perspective, the last three winners of the award were past Best Picture nominees The Shape of Water, Roma and Joker, with The Shape of Water (also distributed by Searchlight) also winning the big prize. After drawing critical acclaim following its virtual showing on TIFF and NYFF, Nomadland seems like the first lock in the Best Picture line up. Still, there are obstacles ahead. Will Zhao break the disappointment of the last few years, when deserving candidates for Best Director got blocked by the likes of Adam McKay and Todd Phillips? And will McDormand manage to get near a third Oscar, following a recent win for Three Billboards in Ebbing, Missouri? Time will tell.
-On the Rocks (trailer): While she hasn’t been near the Oscars for a while, Sofia Coppola is still a name that draws attention. This time, she opened the NYFF with a dramedy about a young mother (Rashida Jones) who reunites with her playboy father (Bill Murray, also reuniting with Sofia after Lost in Translation) on an adventure through New York to find out if her husband (Marlon Wayans) is cheating on her. The consensus seems to be that, while light and not near her best work, it’s still a fun and breezy movie, with a very good turn by Murray. While many would assume that this A24 production will disappear into the abyss when it releases on Apple TV+ on October 23, the dropping out of many candidates gives the movie a chance to, at least, fight for some Golden Globes.
-One Night in Miami (sneak peek): Following her recent Oscar and Emmy wins for If Beale Street Could Talk and Watchmen, Regina King is still striking hard, and this time, she’s doing it as a director. For her big screen debut as a filmmaker, she chose to adapt Kemp Powers’ play that dramatizes a real meeting on February 25, 1964, when Muhammad Ali (Eli Goree) followed an iconic win with a hangout session with Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir), Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.) and Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge). Opening at Venice, the film received glowing reviews, with many praising King (even though some said that the movie doesn’t fully translate the play to the film medium) and the actors’ performances, especially Ben-Adir and Odom Jr. (who, it should be said, also wrote an original song for the end credits of the movie, which could help his Oscar chances). Amazon Prime is hoping that this is their big contender this year, with plans of a theatrical release on Christmas and a streaming release on January 15. Judging by the praise this got at festival season, it has a chance to go a long way.
-Over the Moon (trailer): In a year with not that many contenders for Best Animated Feature, Netflix is betting on a musical adventure directed by the legendary Glen Keane, a classic Disney animator who recently won an Oscar for Best Animated Short for co-directing Dear Basketball. While our expectations were lowered by the first trailer for the movie, centered around a Chinese girl who builds a rocket ship and blasts off to the Moon in hopes of meeting a legendary Goddess, it’s still safe to assume that it has a shot at being nominated for something. Netflix also hopes that you like its big candidate for Best Original Song, which really, really sounds like a Disney ballad.
-Pieces of a Woman: While this year doesn’t have the amount of surprise contenders that a regular Oscar season usually has, we still have some movies that sneaked through festival season. The first one was the new, somber drama by Hungarian director Kornél Mundruczó, known for the doggy uprising pic White God, and the not-so-well-received sci-fi Jupiter’s Moon. This time, we follow a woman (Vanessa Kirby) whose life is torn apart after a home birth at the hands of a flustered midwife (Molly Parker) ends in tragedy, and then leads to a court battle that also makes her confront her husband (Shia LaBeouf) and her domineering mother (Ellen Burstyn). While the movie had mixed reactions, Kirby had plenty of raves in her direction, particularly concerning her performance during a 25-minute birth sequence that is said to be brutal. That brutality paid off, though, because Kirby ended up winning Best Actress at Venice, and Netflix bought the movie, which also has Martin Scorsese as an executive producer. If the Academy wants to crown a new face in the scene, Kirby is the one who will be targeted, following her acclaimed turn in The Crown and her supporting roles in blockbusters like Mission Impossible: Fallout and Hobbs & Shaw.
-Promising Young Woman (trailer): When theaters started to close because of the pandemic, Universal started the push of their movies going straight to VOD, with titles including Trolls World Tour and Never Rarely Sometimes Always. However, there was a title that was supposed to premiere in April, and then suddenly disappeared from existence. It was the directorial debut of actress Emerald Fennell, who wrote a black comedy with touches of a thriller, centered on a woman in her thirties (Carey Mulligan) whose bright future was derailed by a traumatic event, and who’s now looking for revenge. While the reaction to its premiere at Sundance wasn’t enough to consider a Best Picture run, the twisted performance by Mulligan earned her the best praise since the last time she was nominated for an Oscar, a decade ago for An Education. Now, Focus Features is planning to open the movie at Christmas, and are positioning Carey for a run at Best Actress.
-Rebecca (trailer): When the news came out saying that Ben Wheatley would adapt Daphne du Maurier’s psychological thriller novel for Netflix, many were shocked. Some people considered the chance that this was an awards play by the cult director, who is doing the same work that earned Alfred Hitchcock his only Best Picture win. But seeing the trailer for this new version, with Lily James playing the newly married young woman who finds herself battling the shadow of her husband's (Armie Hammer) dead first wife Rebecca, we have to wonder if there’s a point to the existence of this remake. We will find out if there’s any awards chances for this movie on October 21, when it releases on streaming. Let’s hope that Kristin Scott Thomas has something to play with as Mrs. Danvers.
-Respect (trailer): Every year, there’s one or two actors who announce to the world “I want an Oscar” and campaign like their lives depended on it. Last time, it was Taron Egerton (accompanied by Elton John, who actually ended up winning another Oscar). This year, it is the turn of Jennifer Hudson, who is playing Aretha Franklin in a biopic directed by first timer Liesl Tommy, and who’s hoping that this attempt at awards ends up more like Dreamgirls than like Cats. She has been doing announcement trailers (a year in advance), quarantine tributes, award show tributes, and every possible thing to get the industry to notice that she’s playing Aretha. Hey, Rami Malek and Renee Zellweger did it in the last few years, why can’t she. With a release date of January 15, Hudson wants that gold.
-Soul (trailer): Disney may be the studio that suffered the biggest hit because of the pandemic. Their parks are a loss, most of their big productions had to stop because of quarantine, and theaters in many parts of the world are closed. After the failure of Tenet for Warner Bros. and the experiment of the mouse house of charging people 30 dollars to see Mulan (which didn’t work at all), many wondered if Disney was gonna delay the new production by Pixar, written and directed by Pete Docter, who brought Oscar gold to his home with Up and Inside Out. The movie, which centers on a teacher (Jamie Foxx) who dreams of becoming a jazz musician and, just as he’s about to get his big break, ends up getting into an accident that separates his soul from his body, had a lot of promise, but the speculation of lost money was also a concern. Finally, Disney decided to release the movie on Christmas, but only on Disney Plus, causing another failure for theaters, but assuring that Disney at least can get more subscribers to its streaming service. And the movie? Well, it just premiered at the London Film Festival, and the critics are saying it’s Pixar at its best, with praises going from the look, to the script by co-director Kemp Powers (who also wrote the play of One Night in Miami, so he has many chances for a nod), to the score by Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Jon Batiste. That means that it’s already a top contender to win Best Animated Feature, and this may not be the only category in which the movie is gonna get nominated.
-Supernova (trailer): If there’s a theme this year in terms of Oscar contenders, it might be dementia. One of the examples of this is a small road movie directed by Hairy Macqueen, which premiered to good reviews at the San Sebastian festival. This drama centers on a trip taken by Sam (Colin Firth) and Tusker (Stanley Tucci), partners for 20 years, who travel across England reuniting with friends and family, because Tusker was diagnosed with early onset dementia. While usually the big awards role is usually the one of the person who suffers the illnesses, some reviewers are calling Firth’s work as the supporting companion some of the best of his career. With Bleecker Street buying the rights for a US release, this is a little film that could still make some moves.
-Tenet (trailer): For the first five months of quarantine, the big narrative in the world of film was “Christopher Nolan is gonna save cinemas”. But after postponing the release of the mind bending actioner for months on end, creating big demands and expectations to theater owners, and finally releasing as the sacrificial lamb of Hollywood, Warner Bros ended up seeing the opposite effect. Even though Tom Cruise loved to be back at the movies, critics didn’t share enough excitement to make a spy movie that goes backwards worth the possibility of dying of coronavirus. The audiences didn’t show up as much, and those who did attend, mostly complained about the sound mixing and the plot. After all the sacrifice, it’s highly unlikely that Tenet goes beyond technical awards. Let’s start the “Travis Scott for Best Original Song” campaign now, before it’s too late.
-The Boys in the Band (trailer): The Ryan Murphy blank check for Netflix has been interesting to follow. On the one hand, we have his new TV shows, which go from not existing (The Politician), to alternate movie history that doesn’t know how alternate history works (Hollywood), to a challenge of how much TV will you stomach if Sarah Paulson and other middle aged actresses are campy in it (Ratched). And now, we are seeing his producing hand over the movie side, which starts with the new film adaptation of the cult play from 1968, which was already a movie in 1970 and recently jumped to Broadway in 2018. The cast from the recent Broadway production (which includes Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, Matt Bomer and Andrew Rannells) stars in Joe Mantello’s movie, telling the story of a group of gay friends in pre-Stonewall New York who reunite for a birthday party and end up revealing a lot of open wounds. While this movie got good reviews from critics, it kinda disappeared without a sound after beginning to stream on Netflix at the end of September. Unless the service wants to campaign for Golden Globes, this film is lost in the algorithm.
-The Devil All the Time (trailer): Another September release on Netflix was the new psychological thriller by Antonio Campos (Simon Killer, Christine) who didn’t manage to continue his streak of intense and terrifying character dramas with his messy adaptation of the dark novel by Donald Ray Pollock. Wasting a cast that includes Tom Holland, Sebastian Stan, Robert Pattinson, Mia Wasikowska, Eliza Scanlen, Bill Skarsgard, Jason Clarke and Riley Keough, this twisted period piece managed to stay for a while in the Top 10, but the reactions from critics were mixed, and audiences were busy asking what was happening with Pattinson’s Southern accent (which with The King makes two years in a row, baby). The many prognosticators who had hopes for an awards play moved on a while ago.
-The Father (trailer): It’s safe to say at this point that Anthony Hopkins is a lock for a Best Actor nomination at the next Oscars. After its premiere in Sundance, every prognosticator pointed in his direction, and for the next few months he swept praise for his harrowing portrayal of an old man grappling with his age as he develops dementia, causing pain to his beleaguered daughter (recent winner Olivia Colman, who also got praised). Sony Pictures Classics will make Florian Zeller’s adaptation of his acclaimed play its big contender of the season, using Hopkins (who this year got a nom for The Two Popes) as a starter to also get Colman, Zeller and the movie nominated.
-The Human Voice (trailer): And speaking of Sony Pictures Classics, it’s almost safe to say that they have another Oscar in the bag this year. That’s because they just bought Pedro Almodóvar’s short film, his English-speaking debut that is an adaptation of the play by Jean Cocteau. In his version (that was acclaimed by critics after premiering in Venice), Tilda Swinton plays the woman waiting at the end of a phone, expecting to hear from his ex-lover who abandoned her. Considering how the competition for Best Live Action Short Film has become somewhat lacking in the last few years (I mean, have you seen Skin), this should be an easy award to win, especially considering how beloved Almodóvar is in the Academy, which nominated him this year for the great Pain and Glory.
-The Life Ahead: While we’re talking about legends, it’s time to talk about Sophia Loren. 16 years after her last leading role in a movie, the Italian icon returns with a drama that was bought by Netflix, who plans to campaign for her as Best Actress and for the movie in the Best International Film category. Directed by Edoardo Ponti (who is also Sophia’s son), this movie centers on a Holocaust survivor who takes in a 12-year-old boy who recently robbed her, in a contemporary adaptation of Romain Gary’s novel The Life Before Us. Netflix has set a date for November 13 to release this movie, and the campaign seems to be about the narrative of seeing Loren winning another Oscar 60 years after she won her first one for Two Women, by Vittorio De Sica.
-The Midnight Sky: Based on the novel Good Morning, Midnight, this collaboration between George Clooney and Netflix is once again making us ask one thing. Are we gonna get the director Clooney of Good Night and Good Luck, or are we gonna get the director Clooney of Leatherheads, The Ides of March, The Monuments Men and Suburbicon? Let’s hope he breaks his streak of blandness with this sci-fi story, which makes us think a little bit of Gravity: A lonely scientist in the Arctic (Clooney) races to stop a group of astronauts led by Felicity Jones from returning to a devastated Earth. With a release set for December, we have to hope that this is more than some Top 10 filler that will evaporate from existence in a week’s time.
-The Prom: In probably the biggest blank check of the Ryan Murphy deal with Netflix, this musical he’ll direct is based on the Tony-nominated show about a group of Broadway losers (Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Andrew Rannells and James “boo” Corden) who try to find a viral story to get back in the spotlight, and end up going to a town in Indiana to help a lesbian high school student who has been banned from bringing her girlfriend to the prom. While it’s clear that this December 11 release is gonna sweep the Golden Globes, the emptiness of this year compared to others could clear the way for some Oscar nominations, including Meryl and the obligatory original song added to a preexisting musical for easy clout.
-The Trial of the Chicago 7 (trailer): When it was announced that Paramount was selling Aaron Sorkin’s new movie to Netflix, some people saw it as a studio dumping a failed awards vehicle to be forgotten. However, the excuse that Sorkin wanted to release this movie before the US presidential elections seems to be true, because critics really enjoyed his old school courtroom drama, centered around the trial on counter cultural activists in the late ‘60s. Everybody praised uniformly the huge cast, that includes Sacha Baron Cohen, Eddie Redmayne, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jeremy Strong, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Frank Langella, William Hurt, Michael Keaton and Mark Rylance, which guarantees a SAG awards nomination (but makes it difficult to decide which actors will actually get nominated for Oscars). With a reaction that brings to mind the days of A Few Good Men and is the best reception he got since his Oscar winning script for The Social Network, the film faces a couple of hurdles. First of all, it got positioned as the frontrunner in the Best Picture race by some people, which instantly puts a target on its back. Then, we have to consider that the movie releases on Netflix this Friday, October 16, which makes it the first big contender this year to face the world, and which in these times of lockdown will probably make the reception to Marriage Story and The Irishman from last year look like a walk in the park. I mean, there are some people who aren’t swayed by Sorkin, and for good reason.
-The United States vs. Billie Holiday: While Paramount was quick to hand The Trial of the Chicago 7 to Netflix, there’s another movie that the studio kept to play in the upcoming awards season. This biographical drama follows the life of another famous musician, Billie Holiday (Andra Day), and we see the journey of her career in jazz as she is targeted by the Federal Department of Narcotics with an undercover sting operation led by Federal Agent Jimmy Fletcher (Trevante Rhodes), with whom she had a tumultuous affair. While the movie counts with a screenplay credit by Pulitzer winner Suzan-Lori Parks, the big question mark is the film’s director, Lee Daniels, who hit it big with Precious and then had results that were disastrous (The Paperboy) or financially successful, but not awards-wise (Lee Daniels’ The Butler). However, Paramount trusts in this movie, and with a release date on February 12, they want to make a splash.
-Wolfwalkers (trailer): While the attempts by Apple TV+ to establish themselves as a player in the TV world go from trainwrecks (See) to forgettable (The Morning Show) to eventually great (see Ted Lasso, everybody, this is not a joke), their plans to make a name in the film business have something to do with this year’s Oscars. While Cherry can come or go, they have a solid contender for the Best Feature Documentary with Boys State, but their big dog this year is the new movie by Cartoon Saloon, an Irish studio responsible for the acclaimed The Secret of Kells, The Song of the Sea, and The Breadwinner, all of which were nominated for Best Animated Feature. This time, Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart direct a story about a young apprentice hunter who journeys with her father to Ireland to help wipe out the last wolf pack. But everything changes when she befriends a free-spirited girl from a mysterious tribe rumored to transform into wolves by night. After getting critically acclaimed following its premiere at TIFF, this is a surefire contender for this year’s Best Animated Feature category, and Apple is gonna parade it before its streaming release on December 11. Also, while you watch that, you could watch a couple of episodes of Ted Lasso, too. It’s a really good show, it’s all I’m saying.
Anyways, that’s all the news from the last few months of festivals. No matter what happens next, this is gonna be a long, long, long race.
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2020.10.08 17:00 nstav13 Genocide, Crime, and Subterfuge in the 20th Century - Common Setting Discussions

A common trait Assassin’s Creed groups have is the constant theorizing about future settings, because historical tourism is one of the best parts of the series. This series of posts will act as a counter to my Mildly Obscure setting discussions, but rather than looking at a single point, I will be taking a broad setting that is popular and looking at several potential settings to explore within it. Today’s setting is the 20th century. References and spoilers for recent comics including Bloodstone are below.

World Wars
I want to start with the obvious setting of World War 1 and 2. Both could contain interesting lore for sure, but I don’t feel either would fit AC very well for a full title. Both wars took place all around Europe, Asia, and Africa, meaning we’d likely only experience a single theatre (Europe most likely), which has first of all been done a lot by other games like Call of Duty; and second of all the two big cities of Paris and London were shown just before the 20th century (and both games featured part of the 20th century). World War 1 is honestly inaccessible for the most part due to trench warfare. I don’t deny sneaking through the trenches to assassinate a German Templar leading the other side could be fun, but I think the best way to handle the game would be to just focus on a single city like Berlin. If we see Berlin, it’d obviously be during World War 2, and Nazi Architecture would be incredible to parkour on, but the city was almost completely destroyed by the Russians, and the brutality of both wars is on a scale that I don’t feel Ubisoft can truly represent. That’s also ignoring the bigger elephant of the holocaust, in which the Nazi party had ghettoized millions of Jews, transported them out of the country, and put them in death camps with all other undesirables including Slavs, gypsies, and gays. On the low end they killed 6 million people, and on the high end may have killed up to 17 million. Making a game in World War 2 Berlin cannot ignore this, but I honestly would fear seeing a modern open-world AC game in Germany and the lack of respect or tact for the holocaust. Like I’d half expect that we’re Kilroy, and all the concentration camps are PoI for us to clear and free the prisoners from. This setting should just be left to the expanded universe and the few rifts we already have had.

Russian Revolution
In the Russian Empire, Templars had been attempting to use the royal family for years. Notably, Rasputin was a Templar agent who stole a staff of Eden from Tsar Nicholas II which was mostly destroyed in the Tunguska Event at the hands of Nikolai Orlev and his accomplices. A single shard remained which Rasputin held onto, likely allowing him to survive several more assassination attempts until 1916 when he was finally killed by Felix Yusupov. In March of 1917 amidst the revolution calling for the Tsar to abdicate, Nikolai Orlev was searching for the staff, breaking into the Tsar’s home in Petrograd, confronting the Tsar, and leaving after breaking the staff despite a request from Vladimir Lenin to assassinate him. Nikolai eventually found Rasputin’s grave and the staff shard still on his body. Tsar Nicholas would abdicate a few days later.
Despite Lenin’s affiliations to the Assassins, Templars infiltrated his ranks and in November of 1917, he began the October Revolution with the intention of ending the provisional government and creating the Congress of Soviets for the Bolshevik Party. The armed insurrection began in Petrograd which split the assassins, and further split them as Templars executed Tsar Nicholas and his entire family save for Anastasia who was rescued by Nikolai Orlev who then fled to America. This was a major point that began the armed conflict between the Red Army of the Bolsheviks and the White Army of Supporters for the Russian Empire known as the Russian Civil War. During this, it appears the Assassins largely collapsed under the weight of the Templars that controlled both the Red and White army. In 1924, after Vladimir Lenin died of a sickness, Joseph Stalin rose to become the first Premier of the newly formed Soviet Union which during the course of the war conquered central Asia and Siberia. Personally, I’d rather see Imperial Russia like Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, or Catherine the Great, or Napoleon’s Invasion with a focus on Moscow(1)(7).jpg) and Petrograd (St Petersburg).

Prohibition US
Personally, this is my favored setting for an AC game in the 20th century. Women gained the right to vote in 1920 just after the prohibition of alcohol due to pressure from Feminist and Christian groups sparking the creation of Organized Crime throughout major cities and rumrunners smuggling alcohol. By 1925 New York City had over 10,000 speakeasies to illegal buy alcohol. The Creation of the mafias led to the US federal government responding with a 3000 man task force and later creation of the FBI. In this, we have the rise of notorious gangsters like Al Capone who orchestrated the St Valentine’s Day Massacre, Dutch Schultz, and Chester La Mare in Chicago, New York, and Detroit respectively. Las Vegas was just getting off its feet due to new laws relaxing the restrictions on Gambling creating new Crime bosses there. The Ohio Gang in Congress was at the heart of corruption in the Harding administration. The Pinkerton Detective Agency also continued and expanded to other countries in this time, being sent to investigate union disputes, during which Gangsters began taking control of unions for their racketeering schemes. I can’t deny that it’d be fun to be able to explore the Boroughs of New York/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/63839281/GettyImages_3089399.0.jpg), Chicago, Detroit, and Vegas at the heart of prohibition (though we’d need the rope launcher again), and maybe take contracts for the crime lords, or fight against them maybe as a detective part of the Pinkertons. It’d certainly be interesting to assassinate the most notorious crime lords in American history. It would likely take more of a 3rd person shooter vibe with Tommy Guns, Shotguns, Rifles, and pistols, but I can see cane swords and Hidden Blades being useful for combat too. I feel this game would be Syndicate-Esque with maybe Film-Noir vibes, and the occasional car chase. This setting was really popularized due to the “Jazz Age Junkies” in Unity in which a character in this setting was also in contact with Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Stein (famous American Writers).

The Summer of Love
In 1967 over 100,000 people entered the city of San Francisco to smoke pot, do psychedelic drugs, promote free love, and music as a form of protest against the Vietnam War and consumerism. I admit the era is fantastic in terms of lore potential. In 1963 JFK was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald a Templar sleeper agent, during which JFK's driver was under the influence of a PoE which also caused the illusion of a man on the hill creating the multiple shooter conspiracy theory. The Space Race was really a contest between Assassins and Templars to get to the apple on the moon first, as Assassins largely backed US presidents (Save for a few who were tied to Templars like FDR and Truman), while the USSR was largely controlled by Templars. The CIA began experimenting massively in attempts to defeat Russia, including looking at the effects of a LSD sex house in San Francisco during the Summer of Love, and even used LSD to attempt to facilitate psychic powers including the ability to kill someone by staring at them, which was tested on Goats in the Stargate Project which attempted to “Unlock the human potential for military applications”.
At this time during the cold war, conspiracies and alien sightings were pretty common leading to sightings of bigfoot and Mothman for example, the latter of which allegedly caused Men in Black to harass locals in West Virginia. Perhaps a lore explanation of these phenomena and mass hysteria was Templar or Assassin experimentation with PoE and psychedelics which they would then make disappear with the alleged Men in Black. The US did experiment with the potential for weather changing technology and biological warfare via dropping bacteria and chemicals from high altitude, which gave way to conspiracies about chemtrails. While chemtrails as the modern conspiracy isn't true, the US experimented A LOT with honestly really fucked up things like incendiary bats which destroyed a military base in New Mexico; or in 1967 they scrapped the Acoustic Kitty Project where the US government implanted listening devices in cats and tried to train them to follow people and listen to conversations. Spoiler Alert, the cats refused to be trained. Though this could be an interesting skill in an AC game in this era. It wasn’t just animals that were experimented on, as there were unethical human experimentations done on soldiers, criminally insane, and orphaned children across the US including testing radiation effects, injecting diseases, poor health standards, drug treatments, and of course rumors with no actual reports on attempts to create child soldiers. While this is thus far an unproven conspiracy theory, FOIA requests of FBI reports do show a potential CIA Human/ Sex Trafficking ring called the Finders from the late 80s and early 90s operating throughout the US which many conspiracy theorists were quick to point similarities to conspiracies about the current Government’s and Elites’ relation to pedophile rings including one at least partially operated by Jeffrey Epstein. Pair this with other real projects including MKUltra, Artichoke, and Bluebird which attempted to brainwash - sometimes with drugs and drug addiction to morphine - people to attempt assassinations and act as sleeper cells.
This era in the 60s and 70s was the birth of Abstergo and the Animus program which Vidic began testing on subjects in 1980. In 2000 Abstergo’s creation of a Sleeper Cell ala Daniel Cross, succeeded by having him assassinate the mentor and starting the Great Purge. Sleeper cells, spies, espionage, and subterfuge are nothing new in media and video games. Even the most recent Call of Duty game has been marketed with Yuri Bezmenov’s speeches on Russian Subversion tactics in relation to a sleeper cell in America.
This is to say nothing of the countless US interventions during the Cold War and later including a coup in Argentina and Chile the latter of which the US-supported Pinochet who subsequently executed thousands of political dissidents; firebombed Laos and Cambodia, supported Papa Doc who used death squads of the Tonton Macoutes in Haiti to enforce his rule, invaded the Bay of Pigs and had several attempts at assassinating Castro, and the US’s support for terrorists and dictators in the middle east including Afghanistan and Iraq leading the rise and creation of cells like Al Qaeda and ISIS.
I know the majority of this has been looking away from the Summer of Love, but I’m using all the conspiracies and actual projects mentioned here that actually happened during the cold war as a potential basis for what can be explored in a game in San Francisco or New York in 1967. While the game idea was only popularized due to a joke from the Simpsons later posted in AC4, the lore potential is very real.

21st Century and beyond
People have been asking for a modern-day Assassin’s Creed for years now, due in part to the original plan for AC3 being modern-day only or not having to use an animus to go to the past due to the bleeding effect. This luckily never came to fruition, which is good. Assassin’s Creed is meant to be a primarily historical game, and a large part of the draw is historical tourism. That said, I do like the modern-day in the series, and think we should see a time jump forward to like 2030 and have the series slowly work towards that date so we can have successive games like Desmond had, rather than the disjointed nature Layla’s Saga has had.
submitted by nstav13 to assassinscreed [link] [comments]


2020.10.08 10:50 AcademicMessage99 What is it with gay men over 40, marriage and heteronormativity?

Hello all,
First off, I want to thank everyone for the participation in my last post. I really appreciate it. So to those of you that participated, you rocked my socks!.
Anyway, I have been thinking lately about some recent experiences I've had with older men. I say older because they are at least 10+ years older than me, so to me that is a significant gap. We are talking 1977 or 1978 up to 1980s birth year here.
I don't normally consider that age gap to be something I am comfortable talking to beyond friendly conversation, but I have started to like older guys in that group the older I get, at least somewhat physically and sexually; however, dating or serious relationships is still a bit of a grey area for me. I know gay men and have met others with a much wider age gap then this, but it still makes me a bit uncomfortable.
I should probably post this to a different sub. Is there an askgaymenover40 sub?
Anyway,
my question is this: Why are so many gay men 40+ chasing after the heteronormative lifestyle?
To clarify this in case it is unclear: The heteronormative lifestyle I am talking about is them wanting a family, a husband, kids, white picket fence and all the other things we typically associate with a heteronormative lifestyle(and yes this means monogamous closed relationship one to one, come home every night to Suzie home-maker, Betty Croker bullshit for you mom).
Why is this? Every guy I've met 40+ wants this and they want it now! like they literally start interviewing me for a husband. And yes, for some of them not wanting kids is a deal breaker. One guy I spent some time with last month was literally trying to get me to start a serious relationship right away and fast track marriage. For some context, he's 43 and I'm 32.
He wants the typical american dream of kids, a house in the burbs, cars/minivans, school, sports or other extra-curricular activities, him the home maker, cook and me just go to work and make money(he works too, but my job would be more stable and secure because it's accounting once I finish my degree). He wants to be just me and him, but also have our own time by ourselves and with our friends/families individually.
I'm not commitment phobic, but I am not ready to make such a commitment, nor am I the personality type that wants kids or a busy schedule. I like my freedom, independence and alone time. I value that too much because I've never truly had it the way I wanted, especially at the age I am. I'm not young but not old but getting "older" I don't have time to fuck around or waste. Kids are HUGE commitment and cost a lot of money. I am a poor college student in debt. I can't afford kids right now if ever.
I'm also not a family oriented person and don't believe in family bonds because they are just as fake and useless to me as most friendhships. I love my family for who they are, but I don't want to be apart of someone else's family in that way, or have to bring my insufferable family around, or have to tell the other family why mine won't come around or accept them/me for being married to a guy. I am the only gay person in my family.
I am not ashamed of being gay. I've been out since 2006 right after I graduated high school. I just don't see the point in living this type of life. I prefer to travel, sleep in, save money, space and time and live a more comfortable stress free life without the hassle of living life in a heteronormative way. I feel that most gay men I meet in this age group want this and I can't understand it. No gay men in their 30s do, and I don't take anyone below 40 seriously about that because they romanticize it(taking care of siblings or extended family DOES NOT qualify). It's different when it's your own kids you can't return when you're done, tired, sick, wanna bang etc.
Another guy I am talking to said not wanting kids is a deal breaker and there's something wrong with "me" if I don't. He comes from a big family and I don't. My family all hate each other and my mother is the main reason why no one talks to us or rarely saw us(my sister and I) when we were younger. I am attachment-avoidant homosexual-greyromantic-demisexual anyway. I am probably a bit fearful of committing, but only because I take this kind of situation seriously. I understand that some people are very family oriented and want/need that, but I don't. I never had stable relationships modeled to me and have avoided so many crazy men in the past wanting to marry just because. Oh the horror. I'm glad I read the fine proverbial fine print there.
Anyone of any age is welcome to comment and share their thought/ideas, but I'd like to hear from the 40+ crowd out there why some of you guys in that cohort feel so strongly about finding a guy your age or younger(30s mostly), and trying so hard to court someone for a husband, kids and all that jazz.
Oh, the first guy I was mentioning, let's call him Joey(that may or may not be in name) was courting me so hard, wine and dining me, and literally trying to be chivalrous that I was melting(not in a good way). I literally froze in confusion as to why he's being like this, and why me? I found it very flattering, but playing 21 questions all day for 3 days really made me want to rip out every nose hair with a pair of pliers. I felt rushed and felt like he was being pushy with questions and details. He didn't tell me we went on a date the second day. The second day until after it happened! I thought it was just a fun day out getting away from the wildfire smoke at the time. I had no idea of this and felt a bit irritated that he didn't formally ask me out, first. I should also add he's got a lot of past baggage and damage from younger guys screwing him over and him taking a chance because he wears his heart on my sleeve. My heart is in the tower of fuckin London. Again, really sweet guy. Just not my style or type I guess. Type as in values and what we want out of life. He also bitched about his roommate a lot and I don't like gossip when I first meet someone--good way to never see me again.
For you astrology nerds out there, he's a Leo and I'm a capricorn. Our music tastes are not compatible--at least from my end. I hate romance and love songs. Iclk. I love depressing shit or music that's not love songs. I am not a big believer in Astrology, but my ex is a Leo and he reminds me too much of my only nicer and not as trashy.
I appreciate a good effort, but sometimes guys just go over the top.

Is this a generational thing for gay men or is it just the guys I meet?
Okay I'm done now. I apologize for the long post. Props to anyone who reads it or made it this far.
submitted by AcademicMessage99 to AskGayMen [link] [comments]


2020.09.30 17:33 Lucaisaweirdo I’m a Catfish (19F)

Hi, So i know what kind of responses I’m gonna get, and I just wanna say, they are all completely reasonable and valid. Second of all, I’m sorry for my English but I’m not a native speaker nor really good at it.
So my story starts when I went on trip to London, I was scrolling through Instagram feed and I decided to type my current location there. And I just saw this really attractive guy. So I messaged him and we just chatted for a while (I wasn’t interested) - but it was like few messages.
When I got home from London, having the identity issues I still have a decided to make a Facebook profile as the guy. I suddenly began to feel so much better, because I was thinking this is who I want to be.
Then I decided to log in to my local gay dating site as him. And then it all began. I regret it. But I feel like I’m a really bad person and can’t stop it. So I began to chat with guys and even tho I knew it wasn’t me I felt so comfortable “being male” and getting complimented as such.
I even started to develop relationships with some guys on the site. Some of course ended by me ghosting them. The times when I messaged them were the only times in my life that I was happy and kinda felt like myself. When I had to end those relationships I was devastated. Yeah I know you might not believe me, but I cried myself to sleep for weeks. I loved them. I really did. But I’m a liar.
Skipping to this time: I have a 2 year old “friendship” with a man on the site and a 5 month old relationship with a guy too (I’ll call him K).
Both are wonderful guys and I can’t stop thinking about what I did to them.
Skipping to K. We chatted, he’s a really intelligent and funny guy. Was really nice to “me”. From the beginning I didn’t want to begin the relationship, I knew I was only gonna break his heart. And yet, I stayed like a efing idiot. So now we chat and he told me how he was catfishes by a woman once, my 1st opportunity to tell him. I didn’t. He also told me, how had dreams about me being a woman in real life few times (I don’t think he was trying to tell me I’m catfish). He told me how he saw a woman in the dream and went home heartbroken and crying which is totally reasonable. I broke down
I know you don’t believe me that I feel bad. I know the only way I can proof that is by telling them. I was thinking about ghosting than but that is awful. I was thinking about vanishing and never coming back. But again, awful. The source of this are my problems, my lack of real identity and of course me being a bad person.
I would like to go to a therapist and talk about it with someone, but I’m so ashamed. I just don’t know what to do to stop
submitted by Lucaisaweirdo to catfish [link] [comments]


2020.09.25 23:59 orbitingmars71 At my wit's end regarding dating, what should I do?

I've been reading this sub for a while, but I finally decided to make my first post!😄
I know there are posts like this semi-often but they usually deviate a bit so I can't fully apply the advice to my personal situation.
I'm a 24 year old black guy living in London. I've never been in a relationship and have been out since about late 2017 and have more or less put myself been dating since, and I'm yet to have found someone that I've remotely gone anywhere with.
I'm more LTR orientated, but still had a limited number of sexual encounters while dating, but nothing meaningful has come of these. I'm also more bottom (like most guys I guess) which makes it a bit harder in finding your verse or big spoon bf, naturally.
I've tried a ton of different dating apps (Hinge, Tinder, Grindr etc.) And queer spaces, but it almost always ends with the other guy ghosting (one guy told me he never ghosts and then guess what he did?), them mistaking me for a top🙄 , (my position is always on my profile) or just a mutual lack of feelings.
However, recently I went on dates with some guys that turned out to be woefully self centred so I decided not to pursue anything with them. I don't know if what I've written has conveyed how unlucky I've been in finding someone 😅 even my friends are wondering how my luck is so bad.
I've taken a few breaks from dating, but once I start again, my luck ends up being the same. I consider myself fairly good looking (new gym lad here) and I'm told I'm nice.
Recently, the singleness has really started to get to me as I feel all my efforts are futile and it's never going to happen. Despite being surrounded by supportive friends and being quite happy in myself, I still would like to find someone special and to love/be loved.
I'm not really sure what to do, as clearly what I've been doing hasn't been working. Do I keep going on like this until I find "the one"? Or should I try something different? What do you guys think?
I'm concerned that this is the 'destiny' of so many gay bros and that I'm just a part of it.😔
Sorry if this ended up being another soppy post but like I said, I'm at my wit's end here.😅
submitted by orbitingmars71 to AskGayMen [link] [comments]


2020.09.25 14:36 VisibleConfusion69 Open Letter to Steve Huffman and the Board of Directors of Reddit, Inc- If you believe in standing up to hate and supporting black lives, you need to act

Open Letter to Steve Huffman and the Board of Directors of Reddit, Inc – If you believe in standing up to hate and supporting black lives, you need to act
Dear Steve,
On June 1, you shared a letter on Reddit’s blog “Remember the Human – Black Lives Matter”. In this letter, you claim “as Snoos, we do not tolerate hate, racism, and violence, and while we have work to do to fight these on our platform, our values are clear.”
As of today, neither you nor any other Reddit admins have shared this letter anywhere on reddit.com. However, the response to this message was swift on Twitter, where you were rightfully labeled as hypocritical based on your long and well-recorded history of defending racism and white supremacy on this site.
Among the many responses was this message from former CEO of Reddit, Ellen Pao.
I am obligated to call you out: You should have shut down the_donald instead of amplifying it and its hate, racism, and violence. So much of what is happening now lies at your feet. You don't get to say BLM when reddit nurtures and monetizes white supremacy and hate all day long
Many others shared links and screenshots of your past statements saying “Open racism and slurs are fine to post on Reddit”.
The problem of Reddit’s leadership supporting and providing a platform for racist users and hateful communities has long been an issue. Nearly six years ago, dozens of subreddits signed the original open letter to the Reddit admins calling for action. While the Reddit admins acknowledged the letter and said it was a high priority to address this issue, extremely little has been done in the intervening years.
On June 5, you shared this update on /Announcements, Upcoming changes to our content policy, our board, and where we’re going from here. In the post, you stated that there is a need for continued adjustments of Reddit’s content policy to address racism and that this remains a priority. These continued statements that you hear us, that this is a priority, or that you are working on it are not enough. It has been five years since your return as CEO and this still remains Reddit’s most glaring problem.
Steve, if you and Reddit genuinely care about the values of standing up to racism and hate, then you need to back it up with real action. As moderators on this website who have dedicated countless hours to keeping this site running, we call on Reddit to take the following steps:
At /AgainstHateSubreddits, we have laid out the many failures of Steve time and again to stand up to white supremacy on this site time and time and time again.
With a website with the impact of Reddit on the broader conversations being held in communities around the world, this website needs real leadership and real action.
We hope that Reddit will not just share empty platitudes — but will take a meaningful stand against hate, and take these recommendations to heart.
This letter is co-signed by more than 200 300 350 430 550 650 800 communities representing well over 200 hundreds of millions of subscribers:
If your subreddit is not listed and would like to sign on, please leave a comment below
/AgainstHateSubreddits
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/ShitRedditSays
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/Showerthoughts
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/supergirlTV
/SupermanAndLois
/survivor
/svihs/
/tangsoodo
/TerfsWritingTrans
/thanosdidnothingwrong
/thathappened
/thatsabooklight
/thatsthejoke
/TheArtifice
/theocho
/Tim
/timecrisis/
/ToiletPaperUSA
/traaaaaaannnnnnnnnns/
/trans
/TranscribersOfReddit
/transgender
/transgenderteens
/transpositive
/transspace
/transtimelines
/trashy
/TwinCities
/TwoXChromosomes
/Unexpected
/unitedkingdom
/unpopularkpopopinions
/unsentletters
/vaxxhappened
/vegancirclejerk
/VeganDE
/videos
/Volumeeating/
/voteBLUE
/voteDEM
/watchandlearn
/wearethemusicmakers
/weddingplanning/
/weightroom
/WeirdLit
/whiskey
/whitepeoplegifs
/wholesomeBPT
/wholesomecomics
/wholesomehaiku
/WitchesVsPatriarchy
/wnba
/women
/womenshealth
/WorldNews
/WWE/
/YesFap
/Yiddish/
/turtlefacts
Added as of 6:30 PM US Eastern, June 8, 2020
/EarthPorn
/assholedesign/
/DevUnion/
/ADHD/
/Swimming/
/OpenWaterSwimming/
/onionheadlines/
/dangerousdesign/
/behindthegifs/
/chelseafc/
/ITZY/
/straykids/
/red_velvet/
/GeschichtsMaimais/
/neoliberal/
/TrueCrime/
/TrueCrimeDiscussion/
/UnresolvedMysteries/
/serialkillers/
/DelphiMurders/
/RedditCrimeCommunity/
/nonmurdermysteries/
/mystery/
/FoxFiction/
/RepublicanValues/
/nasa/
/Breadit/
/HoustonF1/
/FairytaleasFuck/
/Instagramreality/
/Botchedsurgeries/
/Portland/
/freefolk/
/cheapguitarporn/
/Babylon5Gifs/
/Hijabis/
/Squidbillies/
/coronavirusAL/
/Aquariums/
/shittyaquariums/
/AquaSwap/
/Goldfish/
/Koi/
/AquariumMemes/
/MonsterFishKeepers/
/AquariumsTestSub/
/KnifeFish
/fishshaming/
/Awwquariums/
/Koi_Keepers/
/Bichirs/
/ContagiousLaughte
/AnarchoWave/
/Lima_Peru/
/Spiderman/
/MakingaMurdere
/TheQuibble
/Hogwarts
/ImSorryScout/
/UtahJazz/
/PublicFreakout/
/peloton/
/AmateurRoomPorn/
/RimWorldPorn/
/carolinekonstna
/breathwork/
/saltlakemetro/
/service_dogs/
/service_dogsofReddit/
/ShingekiNoKyojin/
/sounddesign/
/PromoteYourMusic/
/SpotifyPlaylists/
/musicproduction/
/WrestleWithThePackage/
/Austin/
/alcohol/
/RedditsMuseumofFilth/
/chickflixxx/
/Stellaris
/eu4
/paradoxplaza
/victoria2
/Imperator
/KillerQueen/
/TyrannyGame
/saltierthancrait
/kawoshin/
/SapphoAndHerFriend/
/falcons/
/anime_titties/
As of 1:00 PM US Eastern, June 9, 2020
/Jokes/
/skyrim/
/2meirl4meirl/
/MildlyVandalised/
/HolUp/
/Wreddit/
/SCJerk/
/cannabis/
/hearing/
/German/
/lfg/
/dndnext/
/BaldursGate3/
/SampleSize/
/FireEmblemHeroes/
/fireemblem/
/Splintercell/
/RadicalChristianity/
/RussiaLago/
/WormMemes/
/MHOC/
/GroupMovies/
/littlebritishcars/
/Iamnotracistbut/
/ClassicBabes/
/filk/
/ainbow/
/genderquee
/bisexual/
/PuppySmiles/
/lyftdrivers/
/beigeonly/
/Smithtown/
/boyslove/
/heat/
/Detroit/
/BodyAcceptance/
/ConspiracyII/
/ImpactWrestling/
/Splatoon_2/
/ARMS/
/Snek/
/Mario/
/casualnintendo/
/nintendo/
/cleanagers/
/TheMorningShow/
/borns/
/gwent/
/sleepnomore/
/Philippines/
/OneTrueGary/
/circlebroke2/
/circlebroke/
/SRDBroke/
/kflay/
/Musicthemetime/
/HouseChickens/
/poledancing/
/csharp/
/ESL_Teachers/
/GayTeensVerified
/PrincessesOfPowe
/collared/
/knitting/
/Adoption/
/Delaware/
/productivity/
/NewYorkIslanders/
/sewing/
/BlatantMisogyny/
/mendrawingwomen/
/legosaga/
/thewalkingdead/
/MuslimLounge/
/StressFreeSeason/
/ladybonersgonemild/
/wow/
/worldofpvp/
/Blizzard/
/woweconomy/
/ControlProblem/
/Cinemagraphs/
/angula
/Python/
/americandad/
/Anarchism/
/badeconomics/
/budtenders/
/FiftyFifty/
/mbti/
/mtf
/cdramas/
/nyjets/
/pureasoiaf/
/testoviron/
/spicypillows/
/Denve
/StarWarsCantina/
Update as of 1:30 PM US Eastern 6/8/2020
/science
/505Nerds/
/acturnips/
/ACTrade/
/ACVillage
/ACQ
/HogwartsWerewolves/
/AskEconomics/
/TURKS/
/egg_irl/
/blaulicht/
/AFD/
/Weltraum/
/Stormlight_Archive/
/brandonsanderson/
/Cosmere/
/Mistborn/
/MHOC/
/union/
/RedshirtsUnite/
/Judaism/
/DebateAnAtheist/
/FantasyPL/
/ASOUE/
/socialskills/
/Snowblowers/
/arabs/
/WormFanfic/
/cauldron/
/Barca/
/PeterExplainsTheJoke/
/carscirclejerk/
/begonias/
/antidiet/
/ultrachrist/
/thenewcoldwa
/PresidentialRaceMemes/
/NoahGundersen/
/bassnecta
/ColoradoAvalanche/
/LetsNotMeet/
/tattoo/
/MinusTheBea
/kansascity/
/FoodDiaries/
/belgium/
/belgiumgonewild/
/ik_ihe/
added as of 5:30 PM US Eastern June 9, 2020
/india
/AprilKnights
/dobro
/Ireland
/ptsd
/happyrelationships
/Utilitarianism
/wec
/USCR
/forza/
/portishead/
/azerbaijan
/talkingheads
/Umphreys
/ColdCaseUK
/ActiveMeasures
/skyrimrequiem
/freefolk
/Equestrian
/islam
/ColCraftOfficial/
/ElderGuardianRights/
/GenZ/
Added 10:00 AM US EDT 6/10/20
/BotanicalPorn
/WaterPorn
/SeaPorn
/SkyPorn
/FirePorn
/DesertPorn
/WinterPorn
/AutumnPorn
/WeatherPorn
/GeologyPorn
/SpacePorn
/BeachPorn
/MushroomPorn
/SpringPorn
/SummerPorn
/LavaPorn
/LakePorn
/CityPorn
/VillagePorn
/RuralPorn
/ArchitecturePorn
/HousePorn
/CabinPorn
/ChurchPorn
/AbandonedPorn
/CemeteryPorn
/InfrastructurePorn
/MachinePorn
/CarPorn
/F1Porn
/MotorcyclePorn
/MilitaryPorn
/GunPorn
/KnifePorn
/BoatPorn
/RidesPorn
/DestructionPorn
/ThingsCutInHalfPorn
/StarshipPorn
/ToolPorn
/TechnologyPorn
/BridgePorn
/SteamPorn
/RetailPorn
/SpaceFlightPorn
/roadporn
/drydockporn
/AnimalPorn
/HumanPorn
/EarthlingPorn
/AdrenalinePorn
/ClimbingPorn
/SportsPorn
/AgriculturePorn
/TeaPorn
/BonsaiPorn
/FoodPorn
/CulinaryPorn
/DessertPorn
/DesignPorn
/RoomPorn
/AlbumArtPorn
/MetalPorn
/MoviePosterPorn
/TelevisionPosterPorn
/ComicBookPorn
/StreetArtPorn
/AdPorn
/ArtPorn
/FractalPorn
/InstrumentPorn
/ExposurePorn
/MacroPorn
/MicroPorn
/GeekPorn
/MTGPorn
/GamerPorn
/PowerWashingPorn
/AerialPorn
/OrganizationPorn
/FashionPorn
/AVPorn
/ApocalypsePorn
/InfraredPorn
/ViewPorn
/HellscapePorn
/sculptureporn
/HistoryPorn
/UniformPorn
/BookPorn
/NewsPorn
/QuotesPorn
/FuturePorn
/FossilPorn
/MegalithPorn
/ArtefactPorn
/fuckpongkrell/
Deusex/
/80s/
/Enough_Sanders_Spam/
/YouFellForItFool/
/CanadaHunting/
/DogCare/
/Dogtraining/
/comicbooks/
/theflash/
/Bikeporn/
/cycling/
/cyberpunk_stories
/iiiiiiitttttttttttt/
/DystopiaToday/
/AreTheStraightsOK/
/clevelandcavs/
/AmItheAsshole/
/LiverpoolFC/
/DissociaDID/
/TripCaves/
/Wholesomecringe/
/blackfishing/
/scioly/
/doodles/
/ICanDrawThat/
/Welding/
/NintendoSwitch/
/socialism
/ElectricForest/
/GaySoundsShitposts/
/writing/
/femalefashionadvice/
/asianamerican/
/zelda
/KingdomDeath/
/criminalminds/
added 9:00 AM US Eastern 6/9/2020
/SkincareAddiction/
/trees/
/startups/
/Norway/
/Entrepreneurs/
/GooglePixel/
/TaylorSwift/
/namenerds/
/selfservice/
/BalloonFetish/
/looners/
/walterlore/
/dogelore/
/Rowing/
/BrawlStarsCompetitive/
/RowingMemes/
/Eevee/
/pokemonmaxraids/
/RunnerHub/
/Roman_Catholics
/ihadastroke
/soccercirclejerk/
Latest added
/AsianBeauty/
/pokemon/
/BreadTube/
/AOC/
/Ilhan/
/LeftWithoutEdge/
/UniversityofChicago/
/ABraThatFits
/bulletjournal
/beatles
/the1975
/TheKillers
/MichaelJackson/
/mumfordandsons/
/AgeGap/
/AgeGapRelationship/
/whatintarnation/
/startrekgifs/
AdviceAnimals
wholesomememes
kirby
/actuallesbians
/TransyTalk
/TraaButOnlyBees
submitted by VisibleConfusion69 to copypasta [link] [comments]


2020.09.24 22:17 pink_biretta A Must-read for Gay Ex-tradcats

A Must-read for Gay Ex-tradcats
A good number of us in this subreddit are refugees from Catholic homophobia. Just recently I have had the extraordinary good luck to have stumbled across the best article treating the current situation that I have ever read. I want to share it with you. Its length and quality are comparable to a very good university lecture. Once I started reading, I found it was difficult to put away until the next session – my appetite having been very much whetted to know what was coming next(!). (It presumes prior knowledge of the topic, but that all members of this subreddit will have.)
The article is not only highly topical and up to date, but it is also deeply historical. Don’t miss what is said about the Council of London in 1102 and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s intervention.
The classical Catholic moral theology of Aquinas, of course, takes its place in the article; but is critiqued. The article speaks about Aquinas’ then “new theology” of peccatum contra naturam. Aquinas never resolved this paradox. Neither has the church. (Although not directly mentioned in the article, this is because there is no consensus amongst moral theologians even now concerning the meaning of this theological term.)
One thing is for sure: If you do not deal honestly with your sexuality, it will deal with you.
The personal experiences of the priests written up in the course of the article are invaluable. Our subreddit is a support group rather than a debating society, and I make this post with that in mind.
https://nymag.com/intelligence2019/01/gay-priests-catholic-church.html?fbclid=IwAR023x2hvZ7f26MS_VOsnDaLe6XDHX-IYP5gysEf4RfwjoQM8-KRC1Xz5FY

Pope, as he then was, Benedict XVI looking very much in the pink.
submitted by pink_biretta to ExTraditionalCatholic [link] [comments]


2020.09.24 06:28 memesandcommunism LETTER TO REDDIT CEO

Open Letter to Steve Huffman and the Board of Directors of Reddit, Inc– If you believe in standing up to hate and supporting black lives, you need to act
Open Letter to Steve Huffman and the Board of Directors of Reddit, Inc – If you believe in standing up to hate and supporting black lives, you need to act
Dear Steve,
On June 1, you shared a letter on Reddit’s blog “Remember the Human – Black Lives Matter”. In this letter, you claim “as Snoos, we do not tolerate hate, racism, and violence, and while we have work to do to fight these on our platform, our values are clear.”
As of today, neither you nor any other Reddit admins have shared this letter anywhere on reddit.com. However, the response to this message was swift on Twitter, where you were rightfully labeled as hypocritical based on your long and well-recorded history of defending racism and white supremacy on this site.
Among the many responses was this message from former CEO of Reddit, Ellen Pao.
I am obligated to call you out: You should have shut down the_donald instead of amplifying it and its hate, racism, and violence. So much of what is happening now lies at your feet. You don't get to say BLM when reddit nurtures and monetizes white supremacy and hate all day long
Many others shared links and screenshots of your past statements saying “Open racism and slurs are fine to post on Reddit”.
The problem of Reddit’s leadership supporting and providing a platform for racist users and hateful communities has long been an issue. Nearly six years ago, dozens of subreddits signed the original open letter to the Reddit admins calling for action. While the Reddit admins acknowledged the letter and said it was a high priority to address this issue, extremely little has been done in the intervening years.
On June 5, you shared this update on /Announcements, Upcoming changes to our content policy, our board, and where we’re going from here. In the post, you stated that there is a need for continued adjustments of Reddit’s content policy to address racism and that this remains a priority. These continued statements that you hear us, that this is a priority, or that you are working on it are not enough. It has been five years since your return as CEO and this still remains Reddit’s most glaring problem.
Steve, if you and Reddit genuinely care about the values of standing up to racism and hate, then you need to back it up with real action. As moderators on this website who have dedicated countless hours to keeping this site running, we call on Reddit to take the following steps:
At /AgainstHateSubreddits, we have laid out the many failures of Steve time and again to stand up to white supremacy on this site time and time and time again.
With a website with the impact of Reddit on the broader conversations being held in communities around the world, this website needs real leadership and real action.
We hope that Reddit will not just share empty platitudes — but will take a meaningful stand against hate, and take these recommendations to heart.
This letter is co-signed by more than 200 300 350 430 550 650 800 communities representing well over 200 hundreds of millions of subscribers:
If your subreddit is not listed and would like to sign on, please leave a comment below
/AgainstHateSubreddits
/2cb/
/2mad4madlads
/3dsFCswap
/9M9H9E9/
/ABCDesis
/AbsoluteUnits
/AbyssRium/
/AccidentalBoobGrazes/
/AccidentalComedy
/AceAttorneyCirclejerk/
/ACNHGardening
/AfricanAmerican
/androiddev
/animalsbeingbros
/ANormalDayInAmerica/
/anormaldayinrussia
/AntifascistsofReddit/
/antifastonetoss
/arizona/
/arrow
/ArrowAndTheCanaries
/Art
/AsABlackMan
/Asexual/
/askaustin
/AskBibleScholars/
/AskHistorians
/AskMen
/AskMenOver30
/askphilosophy
/AskPhotography
/Asktransgender
/AskWomen
/askwomenadvice
/asoiaf
/atheism
/autism
/awwducational
/babybigcatgifs
/badUIbattles
/BAMEVoicesUK
/BatwomanTV
/BDS
/Beautevil/
/beautyguruchatter
/BestOfReports
/BethMidrash/
/BiggerThanYouThought
/biggerthenyouthought/
/BikiniBottomTwitter
/blackhair
/blackladies
/blacklesbians/
/BlackLightning
/blacklivesmatter
/blackmagicfuckery
/BlackPeopleGifs
/BlackPeopleTwitter
/Blerds
/bodegaboys
/books
/bootlegtoys/
/boottoobig/
/bostontrees
/brakebills
/BritishAirways
/brownbeauty
/BrownPeopleGifs
/BudgetExotics
/buycanadian
/California
/CallMeKevin
/cat
/catan
/CatInTheHatMemes
/Catslaps
/catswithdogs
/Charlotte
/cheese
/chicago
/Chonkers
/chvrches
/civbattleroyale/
/CK2GameOfthrones
/CocosClassics
/coldshowers
/ComedyBuddhism/
/Contrapoints
/copyright
/CoreCyberpunk/
/Corvids
/coys
/CPTSDmemes/
/CreateA/
/creepypms
/CrewsCrew
/cringe
/cringepics
/CritterFacts
/CrowBro
/Crystals/
/curlyhair
/cursedpipes
/Dachschaden
/dankmemes
/DarkJokes
/dataisbeautiful
/dating
/DatingHell/
/DCTV
/deals/
/DebateAVegan
/deerhunter
/democrats
/DenverProtests/
/DescriptionPlease
/didntknowiwantedthat
/digital_manipulation
/dixiequeer
/DIY
/DnDGreentext
/docproduction
/DogeMine
/DragRace_Canada
/DrawForMe/
/DynastyCW
/eagles
/elliegoulding
/EmulationOnAndroid
/entitledkids
/entitledparents
/entitledparentsmemes
/entitledpeople
/espressobin
/euphoria
/explainlikeimdog
/eyebleach
/facepalm
/fakealbumcovers
/Fantasy
/FastFood
/fatlogic
/Feminism
/Feminisme/
/feminisms
/femmesofdesoto
/FemmeThoughts
/Fitness
/fixtagram
/FlashTV
/Florida
/FloridaMan
/Food
/formula1
/fosterit
/foundthemobileuse
/FragileMaleRedditor
/FragileWhiteRedditor
/freecompliments
/FriendsofthePod
/ftm/
/FuckTheAltright
/gallifrey
/GamerGhazi/
/gaming
/gaming4gamers
/Gamingcirclejerk
/gaminggifs
/garlicbreadmemes
/gatekeeping
/GatekeepingYuri/
/gay
/geckos/
/GenderCynical/
/genderfluid_irl
/Girlsmirin
/GODZILLA
/goodseals
/GreenAndPleasant
/Gryffindor
/guitarlessons
/Gunners
/GunsAreCool
/Hair
/happy
/happycowgifs
/harrypotte
/Hasan_Pike
/Hindi/
/HipHopHeads
/hisdarkmaterials
/HisDarkMaterialsHBO
/HistamineIntolerance/
/HistoricalJesus/
/hitboxporn
/hockey
/HoldMyNip
/House
/Hufflepuff
/humansbeingbros
/humor
/iamatotalpieceofshit
/idontworkherelady
/im14andthisisdeep
/indianmuslims
/industrialengineering/
/insanepeoplefacebook
/instantkarma
/InternationalDev
/intersex
/ios13beta/
/IRLEasterEggs/
/isitbullshit
/jewellerymaking
/joebiden
/JohnCena/
/JUSTNOMIL
/JustNoSO
/Kashmiri
/KerbalSpaceProgram/
/KingkillerChronicle/
/kittens
/kpop
/kpoprants
/kpopthoughts
/LandlordLove
/leagueofmemes
/LeopardsAteMyFace
/Letterkenny
/LGBT
/LGBTnews
/LibDemMemes/
/librandu
/lifehacks
/LifeProTips
/London
/LosAngeles
/loseit/
/Louisville
/mademesmile
/madlads
/MakeMeSuffe
/MakeMoatsGreatAgain
/makeupaddiction
/malefashion
/malefashionadvice
/MarchAgainstNazis
/marchagainstrump
/marijuanaconcentrates
/MarkMyWords
/marvelsavengerproject
/mcdonalds
/MeditationPractice
/mediumformat/
/Menslib
/menwritingwomen
/mfa_irl
/mfacirclejerk
/Miami
/Michael
/Military
/mimirecipes
/minipainting/
/Minneapolis
/Minnesota
/MirrorForSale
/mississippi
/MLS
/ModelUSGov/
/MonstaX
/MUA3
/muacjdiscussion/
/Music
/MuslimMarriage
/NASCAR
/naturalhair
/NewOrleans
/NewPatriotism
/News
/Nextfuckinglevel
/NFL
/nicegirls
/NikeSB
/nj4nj
/NJmeetup
/NJr4r
/NMS_Zoology
/noburp
/NomSaying
/nonbinary
/nonmonogamy
/Nottheonion
/Nr2003
/nsfw_gifs
/NYCFC/
/NYCtrees
/Obama
/OCPoetry/
/OCPoetryCirclejerk/
/oddlymesmerizing
/Oddlyterrifying
/offmychest
/Offroad/
/OKState/
/Omaha
/OnGuardForThee
/orcas
/orlando
/Overseas_Pakistani
/PaidForWinRAR
/PanPorn
/paofacts
/partyparrot
/peoplefuckingdying
/Pete_Buttigieg/
/Phillylist
/philosophy
/phoenix/
/PlayingGuitar
/PledgeToImpeach
/PlusSizeFashion
/Poetry/
/poetry_critics
/popheads
/powerlifting
/pregnant
/progressive_islam
/progresspics/
/punchablefaces
/pupliftingnews
/queers
/racism
/rage
/rant
/rape
/rarepuppers
/ravenclaw
/ravens/
/RebelGalaxyOutlaw
/relationships
/relationship_advice
/rigtours/
/RoastMe
/roosterteeth/
/RPDR_UK
/ryangosling/
/rupaulsdragrace
/SandersForPresident
/ScienceFacts
/sciencegifs
/sciences
/Screenwriting
/self
/selfies
/sexpositive
/ShitRedditSays
/ShittyLifeProTips
/shittymoviedetails
/shouldercats
/Showerthoughts
/silhouWHAT
/skitswedditsager
/skyrimmods/
/skyrimvr
/slytherin
/soccer
/socialjustice
/software
/Solocampingandhiking
/spaghetti/
/SPLCenter
/SpoiledDragRace
/spotify/
/squaredcircle
/StargirlTV
/StayingAtHome
/streetwear
/Strongman
/supergirlTV
/SupermanAndLois
/survivor
/svihs/
/tangsoodo
/TerfsWritingTrans
/thanosdidnothingwrong
/thathappened
/thatsabooklight
/thatsthejoke
/TheArtifice
/theocho
/Tim
/timecrisis/
/ToiletPaperUSA
/traaaaaaannnnnnnnnns/
/trans
/TranscribersOfReddit
/transgender
/transgenderteens
/transpositive
/transspace
/transtimelines
/trashy
/TwinCities
/TwoXChromosomes
/Unexpected
/unitedkingdom
/unpopularkpopopinions
/unsentletters
/vaxxhappened
/vegancirclejerk
/VeganDE
/videos
/Volumeeating/
/voteBLUE
/voteDEM
/watchandlearn
/wearethemusicmakers
/weddingplanning/
/weightroom
/WeirdLit
/whiskey
/whitepeoplegifs
/wholesomeBPT
/wholesomecomics
/wholesomehaiku
/WitchesVsPatriarchy
/wnba
/women
/womenshealth
/WorldNews
/WWE/
/YesFap
/Yiddish/
/turtlefacts
Added as of 6:30 PM US Eastern, June 8, 2020
/EarthPorn
/assholedesign/
/DevUnion/
/ADHD/
/Swimming/
/OpenWaterSwimming/
/onionheadlines/
/dangerousdesign/
/behindthegifs/
/chelseafc/
/ITZY/
/straykids/
/red_velvet/
/GeschichtsMaimais/
/neoliberal/
/TrueCrime/
/TrueCrimeDiscussion/
/UnresolvedMysteries/
/serialkillers/
/DelphiMurders/
/RedditCrimeCommunity/
/nonmurdermysteries/
/mystery/
/FoxFiction/
/RepublicanValues/
/nasa/
/Breadit/
/HoustonF1/
/FairytaleasFuck/
/Instagramreality/
/Botchedsurgeries/
/Portland/
/freefolk/
/cheapguitarporn/
/Babylon5Gifs/
/Hijabis/
/Squidbillies/
/coronavirusAL/
/Aquariums/
/shittyaquariums/
/AquaSwap/
/Goldfish/
/Koi/
/AquariumMemes/
/MonsterFishKeepers/
/AquariumsTestSub/
/KnifeFish
/fishshaming/
/Awwquariums/
/Koi_Keepers/
/Bichirs/
/ContagiousLaughte
/AnarchoWave/
/Lima_Peru/
/Spiderman/
/MakingaMurdere
/TheQuibble
/Hogwarts
/ImSorryScout/
/UtahJazz/
/PublicFreakout/
/peloton/
/AmateurRoomPorn/
/RimWorldPorn/
/carolinekonstna
/breathwork/
/saltlakemetro/
/service_dogs/
/service_dogsofReddit/
/ShingekiNoKyojin/
/sounddesign/
/PromoteYourMusic/
/SpotifyPlaylists/
/musicproduction/
/WrestleWithThePackage/
/Austin/
/alcohol/
/RedditsMuseumofFilth/
/chickflixxx/
/Stellaris
/eu4
/paradoxplaza
/victoria2
/Imperator
/KillerQueen/
/TyrannyGame
/saltierthancrait
/kawoshin/
/SapphoAndHerFriend/
/falcons/
/anime_titties/
As of 1:00 PM US Eastern, June 9, 2020
/Jokes/
/skyrim/
/2meirl4meirl/
/MildlyVandalised/
/HolUp/
/Wreddit/
/SCJerk/
/cannabis/
/hearing/
/German/
/lfg/
/dndnext/
/BaldursGate3/
/SampleSize/
/FireEmblemHeroes/
/fireemblem/
/Splintercell/
/RadicalChristianity/
/RussiaLago/
/WormMemes/
/MHOC/
/GroupMovies/
/littlebritishcars/
/Iamnotracistbut/
/ClassicBabes/
/filk/
/ainbow/
/genderquee
/bisexual/
/PuppySmiles/
/lyftdrivers/
/beigeonly/
/Smithtown/
/boyslove/
/heat/
/Detroit/
/BodyAcceptance/
/ConspiracyII/
/ImpactWrestling/
/Splatoon_2/
/ARMS/
/Snek/
/Mario/
/casualnintendo/
/nintendo/
/cleanagers/
/TheMorningShow/
/borns/
/gwent/
/sleepnomore/
/Philippines/
/OneTrueGary/
/circlebroke2/
/circlebroke/
/SRDBroke/
/kflay/
/Musicthemetime/
/HouseChickens/
/poledancing/
/csharp/
/ESL_Teachers/
/GayTeensVerified
/PrincessesOfPowe
/collared/
/knitting/
/Adoption/
/Delaware/
/productivity/
/NewYorkIslanders/
/sewing/
/BlatantMisogyny/
/mendrawingwomen/
/legosaga/
/thewalkingdead/
/MuslimLounge/
/StressFreeSeason/
/ladybonersgonemild/
/wow/
/worldofpvp/
/Blizzard/
/woweconomy/
/ControlProblem/
/Cinemagraphs/
/angula
/Python/
/americandad/
/Anarchism/
/badeconomics/
/budtenders/
/FiftyFifty/
/mbti/
/mtf
/cdramas/
/nyjets/
/pureasoiaf/
/testoviron/
/spicypillows/
/Denve
/StarWarsCantina/
Update as of 1:30 PM US Eastern 6/8/2020
/science
/505Nerds/
/acturnips/
/ACTrade/
/ACVillage
/ACQ
/HogwartsWerewolves/
/AskEconomics/
/TURKS/
/egg_irl/
/blaulicht/
/AFD/
/Weltraum/
/Stormlight_Archive/
/brandonsanderson/
/Cosmere/
/Mistborn/
/MHOC/
/union/
/RedshirtsUnite/
/Judaism/
/DebateAnAtheist/
/FantasyPL/
/ASOUE/
/socialskills/
/Snowblowers/
/arabs/
/WormFanfic/
/cauldron/
/Barca/
/PeterExplainsTheJoke/
/carscirclejerk/
/begonias/
/antidiet/
/ultrachrist/
/thenewcoldwa
/PresidentialRaceMemes/
/NoahGundersen/
/bassnecta
/ColoradoAvalanche/
/LetsNotMeet/
/tattoo/
/MinusTheBea
/kansascity/
/FoodDiaries/
/belgium/
/belgiumgonewild/
/ik_ihe/
added as of 5:30 PM US Eastern June 9, 2020
/india
/AprilKnights
/dobro
/Ireland
/ptsd
/happyrelationships
/Utilitarianism
/wec
/USCR
/forza/
/portishead/
/azerbaijan
/talkingheads
/Umphreys
/ColdCaseUK
/ActiveMeasures
/skyrimrequiem
/freefolk
/Equestrian
/islam
/ColCraftOfficial/
/ElderGuardianRights/
/GenZ/
Added 10:00 AM US EDT 6/10/20
/BotanicalPorn
/WaterPorn
/SeaPorn
/SkyPorn
/FirePorn
/DesertPorn
/WinterPorn
/AutumnPorn
/WeatherPorn
/GeologyPorn
/SpacePorn
/BeachPorn
/MushroomPorn
/SpringPorn
/SummerPorn
/LavaPorn
/LakePorn
/CityPorn
/VillagePorn
/RuralPorn
/ArchitecturePorn
/HousePorn
/CabinPorn
/ChurchPorn
/AbandonedPorn
/CemeteryPorn
/InfrastructurePorn
/MachinePorn
/CarPorn
/F1Porn
/MotorcyclePorn
/MilitaryPorn
/GunPorn
/KnifePorn
/BoatPorn
/RidesPorn
/DestructionPorn
/ThingsCutInHalfPorn
/StarshipPorn
/ToolPorn
/TechnologyPorn
/BridgePorn
/SteamPorn
/RetailPorn
/SpaceFlightPorn
/roadporn
/drydockporn
/AnimalPorn
/HumanPorn
/EarthlingPorn
/AdrenalinePorn
/ClimbingPorn
/SportsPorn
/AgriculturePorn
/TeaPorn
/BonsaiPorn
/FoodPorn
/CulinaryPorn
/DessertPorn
/DesignPorn
/RoomPorn
/AlbumArtPorn
/MetalPorn
/MoviePosterPorn
/TelevisionPosterPorn
/ComicBookPorn
/StreetArtPorn
/AdPorn
/ArtPorn
/FractalPorn
/InstrumentPorn
/ExposurePorn
/MacroPorn
/MicroPorn
/GeekPorn
/MTGPorn
/GamerPorn
/PowerWashingPorn
/AerialPorn
/OrganizationPorn
/FashionPorn
/AVPorn
/ApocalypsePorn
/InfraredPorn
/ViewPorn
/HellscapePorn
/sculptureporn
/HistoryPorn
/UniformPorn
/BookPorn
/NewsPorn
/QuotesPorn
/FuturePorn
/FossilPorn
/MegalithPorn
/ArtefactPorn
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Deusex/
/80s/
/Enough_Sanders_Spam/
/YouFellForItFool/
/CanadaHunting/
/DogCare/
/Dogtraining/
/comicbooks/
/theflash/
/Bikeporn/
/cycling/
/cyberpunk_stories
/iiiiiiitttttttttttt/
/DystopiaToday/
/AreTheStraightsOK/
/clevelandcavs/
/AmItheAsshole/
/LiverpoolFC/
/DissociaDID/
/TripCaves/
/Wholesomecringe/
/blackfishing/
/scioly/
/doodles/
/ICanDrawThat/
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/NintendoSwitch/
/socialism
/ElectricForest/
/GaySoundsShitposts/
/writing/
/femalefashionadvice/
/asianamerican/
/zelda
/KingdomDeath/
/criminalminds/
added 9:00 AM US Eastern 6/9/2020
/SkincareAddiction/
/trees/
/startups/
/Norway/
/Entrepreneurs/
/GooglePixel/
/TaylorSwift/
/namenerds/
/selfservice/
/BalloonFetish/
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/walterlore/
/dogelore/
/Rowing/
/BrawlStarsCompetitive/
/RowingMemes/
/Eevee/
/pokemonmaxraids/
/RunnerHub/
/Roman_Catholics
/ihadastroke
/soccercirclejerk/
Latest added
/AsianBeauty/
/pokemon/
/BreadTube/
/AOC/
/Ilhan/
/LeftWithoutEdge/
/UniversityofChicago/
/ABraThatFits
/bulletjournal
/beatles
/the1975
/TheKillers
/MichaelJackson/
/mumfordandsons/
/AgeGap/
/AgeGapRelationship/
/whatintarnation/
/startrekgifs/
AdviceAnimals
wholesomememes
kirby
/actuallesbians
/TransyTalk
/TraaButOnlyBees
submitted by memesandcommunism to copypasta [link] [comments]


2020.09.15 04:34 IridescentBlack Any advice for someone (M21) who what’s to find love but also what’s to give up?

Just thought I’d preface this by saying I know I’m ‘young and have plenty of time to find someone’, but unfortunately it isn’t really helping me feel much better about the whole ordeal.
I’d like to think I’m perhaps at least a little bit of a catch. I’m fairly smart, super musical (I got a scholarship to a very well respected music institution), maybe slightly above average looks-wise 😅 and according to my ex i was a very good boyfriend.
I’ve had a number of matches, a few nice conversations (even with some people who i thought were way out of my league) and a relationship (only lasted a few months - he was the nicest guy but unfortunately we wanted different things). Most conversations though either fizzle out 2 messages in or, even worse, we’d chat everyday for 2 months, get on great, go on a couple dates, only for him to ghost me out of the blue - and I thought being gay meant not having to deal with c*nts! Despite the stoic exterior, I’m a gentle soul and it really hurts. I don’t know how long I can keep this up. But I also crave having that emotional closeness with someone.
My criteria’s hardly long, I just want to be with a guy who’s cute, within a few years of my age, kind, and compatible- you know, someone I could share life with. However, even living somewhere as big as London, it doesn’t seem to be something tinder is rife with...
If anyone of you have any pearls of wisdom for someone in my situation, I’d be super grateful to hear them!
submitted by IridescentBlack to AskGayMen [link] [comments]


2020.09.15 04:14 IridescentBlack Any advice for someone (M21) who what’s to find love but also what’s to give up?

Just thought I’d preface this by saying I know I’m ‘young and have plenty of time to find someone’, but unfortunately it isn’t really helping me feel much better about the whole ordeal.
I’d like to think I’m perhaps at least a little bit of a catch. I’m fairly smart, super musical (I got a scholarship to a very well respected music institution), maybe slightly above average looks-wise 😅 and according to my ex i was a very good boyfriend.
I’ve had a number of matches, a few nice conversations (even with some people who i thought were way out of my league) and a relationship (only lasted a few months - he was the nicest guy but unfortunately we wanted different things). Most conversations though either fizzle out 2 messages in or, even worse, we’d chat everyday for 2 months, get on great, go on a couple dates, only for him to ghost me out of the blue - and I thought being gay meant not having to deal with c*nts! Despite the stoic exterior, I’m a gentle soul and it really hurts. I don’t know how long I can keep this up. But I also crave having that emotional closeness with someone.
My criteria’s hardly long, I just want to be with a guy who’s cute, within a few years of my age, kind, and compatible- you know, someone I could share life with. However, even living somewhere as big as London, it doesn’t seem to be something tinder is rife with...
If anyone of you have any pearls of wisdom for someone in my situation, I’d be super grateful to hear them!
submitted by IridescentBlack to askgaybros [link] [comments]


2020.09.11 18:00 raicicle Popheads Featuring... Tom Aspaul

Tom Aspaul is an upcoming British pop artist who has written for the likes of Kylie Minogue, Celeste and AlunaGeorge. Popheads talked to Tom about the disco resurgence and switching from songwriter to artist as he geared up for the release of his debut album "Black Country Disco".

https://preview.redd.it/mw3zipy44jm51.png?width=1348&format=png&auto=webp&s=f39803d0272b45563b244df0d8bc9736b03b0a17
When we talk to Tom over Zoom, he’s sitting in one of those old English kitchens that you might see on a family cooking show. It felt like a natural backdrop to the conversation which seemed to centre around the idea of home, with Tom explaining beforehand that the day we were planning to chat to him was his mom’s 60th birthday and he had to schedule around a celebratory lunch they’d planned—as we find out while we talk, moving back to his hometown shaped the trajectory of his debut album too.
https://preview.redd.it/hnf0yrqa4jm51.jpg?width=1110&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=992380f3e5e386b57de05709f77d140ca177c15e
His debut album Black Country Disco is now tantalisingly close to release (September 14th) when we speak, which we got the chance to hear in advance—it’s an unadulterated romp through the sounds of disco clocking in just under 30 mins, with razor-sharp hooks and tight harmonies driven home by his distinctive falsetto. Single ‘Close 2 Me’ opens the album with a Bee Gees strut while elsewhere album cut ‘Dead Already (Save Yourself)’ fuses classic muted disco guitar with bossa nova rhythms and tropicália basslines. There’s also a tongue-in-cheek humor to the album, and an effervescent enthusiasm on even its most personal moments that makes it tempting to wonder if this is essentially what Carly Rae Jepsen’s scrapped disco record would have sounded like.
It’s a concept album too, tracking his move back from London to his hometown (in a Midlands region called the Black Country, giving the album its name; the album is scattered with numerous geographic references too) after a recent break-up with his then-boyfriend of 5 years. It’s a heartbreak record for sure (“I’m not reinventing the wheel, Adele can do heartbreak, anyone can,” he comments), but only so many heartbreak records are gay heartbreak records. Few albums commit to this level of camp, including visually with Tom bleaching his hair blonde and going for a full biker moustache look whose associations with gay culture can’t be ignored, even if you simply consider Village People and Glenn Hughe’s leather biker look.
“I’m doing everything myself, so I’m quite frantic,” Tom says, his bleach blonde hair still boldly visible against both the English gloom and video call noise. He’s been masterminding practically every aspect of his album campaign from running the label to sorting out the press and creating the merch. His work ethic is hugely admirable but he emphasises his music at the heart of it. “But, you know, I’m super excited because it’s been a year in the making and I’m really excited to have music out there.”
Tom has primarily been behind-the-scenes in previous years (although he has had some past solo music out). One of his biggest songwriting credits to date is on Kylie Minogue’s ‘Feel So Good’, a memorable album cut from her twelve studio album Kiss Me Once. Yet what some casual listeners may miss is that it’s actually a straight cover of one of Tom’s earliest tracks ‘Indiana’, that he made with MNEK. When his publisher at the time told him that Kylie wanted to record the track for her upcoming album, he initially had mixed feelings. He pulls a slight face and recalls, “I was like, I don’t know because it’s a cover.” He makes clear of his love for Kylie regardless, whose sound can be heard all over Tom’s own album, and notes that he relented realising a previous single ‘2 Hearts’ was in fact also a cover that made its way to her in a very similar way. “This was a very early on in my writing career as well, so in some ways, it was amazing because all of a sudden I was in the room with Little Mix and people like that.”
He does lament somewhat that the circumstances left him somewhat pigeonholed as a songwriter and not an artist. “From then until now with this record, it’s been really difficult for me balancing that and I’ve finally found the balance.” Kylie is serendipitously releasing an album called DISCO later this year as well, a sound she explored on albums like Light Years, which Tom had referenced earlier in our conversation. In a full-circle moment, one of the singles from Black Country Disco, ‘W.M’, a sort-of Chromeo moment about the local tram line (“So we’re gonna take a ride on the Midland Metro/Line 1, ‘cos there’s only one line”) even ended up on a Kylie-curated Spotify playlist of disco songs in the lead-up to her album.
\"...in some ways, it was amazing because all of a sudden I was in the room with Little Mix and people like that.\"
2020 has generally seen a huge disco resurgence, not just from Kylie, but from the likes of Dua Lipa, Doja Cat, Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga. Tom says he’s been surprised by so many huge artists going this route, but also adds, “What I’m hearing isn’t really disco sonically, but more the aesthetic they’re using. A lot of the music is almost 80s synthwave, synthpop...it encompasses such a wide range of sounds.” Black Country Disco’s relatively lean runtime relies more on classic disco sounds, with as much 70s influences as 80s synthwave aesthetics.
“One of my favourite albums of the year is Jessie Ware’s album,” referring to What’s Your Pleasure?, “I listened to a lot of that record before producing the final two songs.” Tom has been primarily working with a London-based producer Gil Lewis for his debut album, working remotely because of his move and the pandemic which he does say has been a logistical uphill battle. But, during lockdown, Tom took a month to learn to produce himself (“It’s a massive step forward for me, and gives me a bit more independence as an artist”) with the last two tracks recorded in June, ‘01902’ (named after the telephone area code where Tom resides) and the titular ‘Black Country Disco’ being the result of this work. They are, in Tom’s words, “a bit more sexy” than the rest of the record which focuses more on the heartbreak surrounding his breakup and the influence of Jessie Ware’s mature and self-confident take on disco is apparent. The emotional journey that he experienced during his breakup is something that he has tried to let the listeners experience too. He tells us that his ex actually got in touch with him to tell him he’s been listening to his most recent single ‘Tender’ but hasn’t heard the rest of the album yet “which is probably a good thing”.
The disco on Tom’s album is however contextualised within the West Midlands, an unassuming area in the middle of England that lies in stark difference to London; the Black Country refers to a particular region in the West Midlands. We ask if there’s a good way to explain the regional significance to people outside the UK. He compares it to the Rust Belt in the US. “They were all areas of manufacturing and industry in the 60s, then all of a sudden that gets taken away and there’s a lot of poverty and deprivation.” We talk about Cleveland and Detroit, two places inundated in this history but home to some of America’s richest musical scenes.
Tom lists some of the acts to come out of the West Midlands, like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Christine McVie from Fleetwood Mac, all noticeably rock musicians. How does a disco album fit into this context? He says it’s an act of subversion, going against the expected. Even the album cover plays reference to this idea, which he based on the logos of bands like Black Sabbath. “I thought it’s gonna be really funny if I’m going to put out a gay disco record and you have imagery associated with metal.”
\"If I could do anything different, I would just luxuriate in the music a bit more because that came from a sense of pressure to want to get playlisted and want people to play repeat.”
Despite having barely finished his debut album, Tom is already thinking about what he’s going to do next. Remixes for the album are coming out soon, mentioning that he’s recording new vocals for the remix in the vein of Mariah Carey. His desire for extended remixes comes from fears that dealing with streaming and playlisting changed his vision for the album. “All the songs on the album are really short, bar one. Looking back, if I could do anything different, I would just luxuriate in the music a bit more because that came from a sense of pressure to want to get playlisted and want people to play repeat.” Next week, Tom has a Becky Hill writing camp so he hasn’t stopped songwriting either. Some things inevitably have fallen to the wayside due to the pandemic, like performing the album live on tour and Pride events that got cancelled. Even that doesn’t seem to dampen his spirits too much, as he wants to spend the extra time anyway looking into performing with a live band rather than a DJ and a backing track.
He’s even planning his next album, which he has a clear idea for. Tom knows that he wants to move out of disco, and that he has another specific decade in mind for the sound of it, which he wants to finish in the next year (“I want to keep churning it out like Ariana Grande”). He has a feature in the works that will hopefully bridge the two projects too. He does however joke that he’s worried about what he’s going to write about, without a dramatic life event in tow like a breakup or moving across the country, but is excited for what the future holds.
Tom’s coming down to London for a few things, like a release party for the album, but it seems that for the time being, the West Midlands seem like the place to be for him and a vital part of his creative reinvigoration. The one thing back home he could probably do without though? “There’s like huge spiders coming down at the moment. I don’t know what to do, I’ve tried everything. I can’t.”
Surprise single ’01902’ is out today on streaming services. You can discuss the song here. Tom’s album Black Country Disco is out everywhere on Monday 14th September.
https://preview.redd.it/yh0j43h74jm51.png?width=1348&format=png&auto=webp&s=feb3c9202db3ad66c4e1c701b4a81699101416b9
Interview conducted via Zoom by u/raicicle and u/berober04 Written by Noel Z. (u/raicicle) Edited by u/berober04 and u/eklxtreme Images courtesy of Tom Aspaul (Credits: Kasia Clarke and Sam Taylor-Edwards) 
submitted by raicicle to popheads [link] [comments]


2020.09.08 02:40 MermaidRiotGrrrl Books To Read While We Wait for Season Two

Hey friends, how's the hiatus treating you? Hope you are all doing well and good. I saw someone on Tumblr share some shows and movies to watch while waiting for the next season of The Owl House and I thought I'd make some book recommendations.
Most of these can be found at your local library and through the Libby app (which you need a library card to access but its very worth it I promise)
If anyone would like to add books, please feel free to.
Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova - Bi latina witch mc, although she doesn't like having magic powers
These Witches Don't Burn by Isabel Sterling - Gay coven in modern Salem does witchcraft
We Set The Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia - Two women marry the same man, fall in love with each other
The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi - Six nerds on a heist/treasure hunt in 1880s Paris
Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan - Human girls hate the Demon King but love each other (warning there is sexual assault in this book)
Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst - Just an adorable wlw story about two princesses
When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore - A whimsical story about a girl who grows flowers from her wrists and a boy who paints the moon. I recomend checking out this author's other works too, she's a really good writer.
The Dark Tide by Alicia Janiska - A woman offers herself as sacrifice to the Witch Queen and they fall in love
Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz - This one comes out on October 6th and it's like How To Train Your Dragon if the dragons went to the olympics)
Lobizona by Romina Garber - A novel rich with Argentine folklore, werewolves and witches abound!
Spellbook of The Lost and Found by Moira Fowley-Doyle - If there's one thing Moira Fowley-Doyle does well it's curses, this book has a lot of them
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab - Magicians can travel between parallel Londons
Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde - Takes place at a con and follows three different characters through the con, a nice tribute to fandom
Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins - A normal girl goes to a boarding school in Scotland and her roommate is a princess
The Princess and The Fangirl by Ashley Poston - Another book set at a con, but this time a girl switches places with an actress to solve a mystery. It's a sequel but I didn't read the first book and I could follow this one.
Radio Silence by Alice Oseman - A heartwarming story about friendship and platonic love
Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee - The daughter of two heroes falls in love with the daughter of two villains
The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco - The planet stands still, one side always facing the sun, the other always in darkness. Really good world building and I also recommend reading other works by this author because they are an excellent writer.
The Falling In Love Montage by Ciara Smith - Two girls go on dates promising they will not fall in love with one another, guess what happens

I had more but this is enough for now.
Comment any other book recs you might have!
submitted by MermaidRiotGrrrl to TheOwlHouse [link] [comments]


2020.09.06 03:45 whyme1924 Sources to Counter Common Transphobia

Classification as a Mental Illness

Being trans is not classified as a mental illness by either the American Psychological Association or the World Health Organization. Gender dysphoria or incongruence is recognized by both as a medical condition, and transition is the only treatment recognized as effective and appropriate medical response to this condition. A trans person who has completed transition, and who no longer experiences distress because the conditions previously causing it have been corrected, is no longer diagnosed as having dypshoria or incongruence.
Transgender no longer recognised as 'disorder' by WHO

Citations for the Medical Basis of Gender Identity

Citations for the Medical Necessity of Transition

Citations for the Reduction in Suicide Rates

There are a lot of studies showing that transition improves mental health and quality of life while reducing dysphoria. Not to mention this 2010 meta-analysis of 28 different studies, which found that transition is extremely effective at reducing dysphoria and improving quality of life.

Countering That Swedish "Suicide Study"

the 40% suicide rate is a reference to this study by Dr. Dhejne. The claim that her study shows that transition does not reduce risk of suicide attempts while improving mental health and quality of life is a deliberate misrepresentation popularized by Paul McHugh, a religious extremist and leading member of an anti-gay and anti-trans hate group, who presents himself as a reputable source but publishes work without peer review. His claim to fame is having shut down the Johns Hopkins trans health program in the 70's, which he did not based on medical evidence but on his personal ideological opposition to transition. Johns Hopkins has resumed offering transition related medical care, including reconstructive surgery, and their faculty are finally disavowing him for his irresponsible and ideologically motivated misrepresentation of the current science of sex and gender.
That study's lead author Dr. Dhejne had emphatically denounced McHugh and his misuse of her work. If for those who don't trust the TransAdvocate article, she did so again in her Science AMA last year.
Edit: Details on Dr. Dhejne's often misrepresented study - it found only that trans people who transitioned prior to 1989had slightly higher risk of suicide attempts than the general public. The author attributed this higher risk to the vicious anti-trans discrimination people who transitioned 29+ years ago experienced. The study found no difference in the risk of suicide attempts among trans people who transitioned after 1989, vs the general public.
She is also the primary author the other study I posted below, An analysis of all applications for sex reassignment surgery in Sweden, 1960-2010: prevalence, incidence, and regrets, which found a "regret" rate of 2.2%

Countering Claims of Widespread Transition Regret

This 1% "regret" rate also includes a lot of people who are very happy they transitioned, and continue to live as a gender other than the one they were assigned at birth, but regret that medical error or shitty luck led to low quality surgical results.
This is a risk in any reconstructive surgery, and a success rate of about 99% is astonishingly good for any medical treatment. And "regret" rates have been going down for decades, as surgical methods improve.

Countering Claims that Puberty Blockers are Harmful

There is extensive research about long term use of puberty blockers, and they have overwhelmingly been shown to be very gentle and safe.
This treatment isn't just used for trans youth - it has been the standard treatment for kids with precocious puberty for decades. Most kids with precocious puberty don't have any underlying medical condition, their early development is just an extreme variation of normal development, but it would still cause serious psychological damage to start puberty at the age of, say, 6. This treatment has no long term side effects; it just puts puberty on hold. Stop treatment, and puberty picks up where it left off.

Countering Claims that Trans People Didn't Historically Exist

And while until recently there has been no place in modern US/European culture for people with gender identities and lives atypical to their sex at birth to exist publicly, that isn't true in other times and cultures. Throughout the middle east and Asia there have been Hijra visible in public life for hundreds or even thousands of years. The same is true of Kathoey in Thailand, Muxe in Zapotec culture in Mexico, various two-spirit identities found in indigenous American cultures, Māhū in traditional Hawaiian/Tahitian/Maohi cultures, the Fa'afafine of Samoa, Tongan Fakaleiti, the Sworn Virgins of the Balkans, the Galli of Ancient Rome, etc.
And of course, humans are not the only animals. While we can't interview animals, and gender identity is harder to identify visually in animals than something like same-gender sexual activity is, we sure as hell have observed a lot of animals displaying instinctive behavior typically associated with the other sex. And there very certainly is evidenceof congenital, neurologically based sexually specific behavior in animals.

Condemnations of "Conversion Therapy"

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2020.09.02 22:32 pauperhouse5 The Man in the Bobble Hat: was Keith Burgess’ killer seen leaving his flat?

Keith Burgess, 38, originally from Norfolk, had resided in the Clifton area of Bristol, UK for four years when he was savagely attacked in his own home. Despite a detailed description of a man police are “almost certain” is the killer, the case remains unsolved.
Keith was a steward for British Rail and an active member of his local church, often acting as a server during mass. He was well-liked and described as very social and outgoing, a familiar face in local pubs and gay clubs. Due to his outgoing nature and his work which took him all over the country, Keith had a large social circle with acquaintances across England. It is thought that if he had any confrontations, or if anyone had any ill feelings towards him, he would have confided in one of his friends, yet no one has come forward to suggest anything of this sort. It seems he was generally considered charming and easy to get along with, with a co-worker stating it was hard to imagine anyone would have a bad word to say about him.
On Sunday, December 17th, 1989, Keith had attended mass at All Saint’s Church, near his home. At around 12.15pm, he entered the Alma Tavern pub around the corner from the church for a quick drink, as he often did after mass. Keith didn’t stay there long; it is thought he left within half an hour of arriving. While no one at the pub actually remembers seeing him leave, Keith was spotted on the short (~4 minute) walk home towards his basement flat on Duchess Road at around 12.40.
It was around this time a BBC producer saw a man leaving the basement area of Keith’s building. Other witnesses later reported this man had been hanging around the building between 12.30 and 12.40. He was described as young (20s), thin and scruffy looking, between 5ft10 and 6ft tall, wearing distinctive dark rimmed glasses, a dark anorak, off-white colour trainers and a white and blue woollen knitted bobble hat. He had sunken cheeks and a pointed jaw, with a beard or stubble. The witness noted that the man’s behaviour was odd, as he appeared nervous and trying to hide his face. He was carrying two plastic bags. As he reached the end of Duchess Road, on the corner of All Saint’s Road, he stopped, appearing to be waiting for something. It has since been suggested the man may have been a “vagrant” from Swindon, a town 40-miles east of Bristol, although he has never been formally identified.
Soon after witnesses saw the ‘bobble hat man’ hanging around the building, Keith’s neighbour, Betty Taylor, who lived on the ground floor flat above his, was at home with a friend when she heard Keith arrive back at his flat. Betty had known Keith for ten years through the church and went downstairs that afternoon to give Keith some Christmas presents. She used an internal stairway which connected their flats, as she often did to look after Keith’s flat while he was away. While she was in Keith’s flat, there was a knock on his door. She asked if he was expecting anyone, to which he replied he wasn’t as he was just about to go to work. Keith had been on sick leave with a bout of flu the previous week, but was due to return to work that afternoon, stewarding on the 2pm train from Bristol to London. As Betty’s friend was still upstairs, and Keith was due to leave for work, she left the presents with him and returned to her flat. As she got to the staircase, she heard Keith invite someone in, but didn’t see who was at the door, although she got the impression it was someone Keith knew.
Around half an hour later, Betty heard Keith’s front door slam. She and her friend looked out the window, expecting to see Keith leaving for work, but instead saw the man in the blue and white bobble hat come up the stairs and walk off down the street.
At 4.30pm, Betty returned to Keith’s flat to feed his cat, as she often did while he was at work, once again using the internal connecting staircase. Upon entering Keith’s flat, she discovered a truly horrific scene; Keith was lying dead in a pool of blood on his living room floor, having been brutally bludgeoned with a ball-head hammer and stabbed in the back. Despite extensive searches, the murder weapons have never been recovered.
Robbery did not appear to be the motive, as the only missing items seemed to be a Filofax and a photo album which were known to have been in the flat two weeks prior, although it’s not certain the photo album belonged to Keith. These items have also never been found.
It is thought Keith received three phone calls in the week prior to his murder which may be significant. Police are confident they were made by the same person and have suggested the subject of the calls may have been an argument. The first of these calls took place on the early hours of the Tuesday before his murder, with the other two occurring between 6 and 9pm on the Wednesday. Despite efforts to identify the caller, it’s not known who Keith was on the phone to. On the Friday, two days before his murder, Keith was seen having lunch with someone in the Marble Arch area of London; this person has also never been identified.
Police do not necessarily believe Keith’s murder is linked to his sexuality, although this hasn’t been ruled out. It is noted that his local church, All Saints, had been the centre of a row the previous year after the Bishop of Bristol refused to ordain a deacon there because he was gay.
Despite receiving around 70 tips shortly after the murder regarding the identity of the man in the bobble hat, there have been no new leads on the case, although it does remain active. Asides from the identity of the killer, there are several mysterious aspects to Keith’s murder. What was the motive? Could it be linked to the missing items from Keith’s flat? What is the relevance, if any, of the prior phone calls and London lunch date? Police further note the use of two separate weapons as being rather unusual.
The case was covered on the UK show Crimewatch - that segment can be viewed here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9CcrZNROVs.
Selected sources:
https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/bristol-murder-hammer-stunned-gay-47550
http://www.unsolved-murders.co.uk/murder-content.php?key=650&termRef=Keith%20Burgess .
My write-up on another unsolved murder from the area of Clifton can be found here:
https://www.reddit.com/UnresolvedMysteries/comments/icvjaf/glenis_carruthers_is_murdered_next_to_bristol_zoo/
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2020.08.31 23:14 Jrubas My Friend's Bed Was Haunted by Sexual Energy

I was signing autographs in a downtown Richmond book boutique when Henry came in. I had been there for over four hours, sitting at a folding table scribbling my name on the inside covers of endless copies of Night Terrors, and was exhausted. My arm ached and my head throbbed. Meeting a perpetual flow of fans, many of them gushing, is hell to me. Don’t get me wrong, I love them dearly, but social situations tend to repel me, and actually engaging people I don’t know is an awkward near impossibility.
It was nearing one, dark and nasty without, and I was longing for a nice long nap in my hotel room when Henry’s turn came. I thought that the woman before him, a middle-aged blond in a brown leather jacket, would never leave. But thankfully Mr. Preston, the owner of the shop, ushered her away in his prissy manner.
I smiled at the man whom I did not recognize as Henry. He was tall and pale, his wavy black hair limp and lusterless, the flesh of his face tight and his eyes an unhealthy pink which bespoke sleepless nights. He smiled wearily yet warmly.
Without a word he passed me his copy of Night Terrors. “And how are you today?” I asked as I sat the book down, my blue Sharpie pen, the second one of the day, poised.
“Just peachy,” he croaked, and I at once knew the voice. I looked up, and Henry was still grinning as if through pain.
“Henry!” I cried happily, and extended my hand. He took it, and it was like a block of ice.
I and Henry were like brothers since time out of mind; our parents were high school friends who lived next to each other in the Pickett subdivision on Thomas Street, and from diapers we were always together, on play dates, camping trips, and backyard pool parties. We were inseparable all through our school years, and only parted, tearfully and grudgingly, when I left Picketts Meade to study at UVA in 1997. Since then, we had seen very little of each other, as I lived mostly in New York City and he in the house willed to him by his childless aunt and uncle.
“Hey, man,” he said, “what’s goin on?”
“Not much,” I said, “same old stuff. Working and all that. What about you?”
He shrugged. “Same here, pretty much. Listen, are you free this afternoon?”
“Sure, what’s up?”
“I got a ghost,” he said, as though the words were kidney stones.
“Sure, I’d be happy to come by.”
Henry smiled again. “Thanks. You know where my aunt’s old place is, right?”
“Ahhh, no, I forgot.”
“Okay, here.” Henry pulled out his wallet and opened it. In the translucent slot where preening fathers proudly put pictures of their children, there was a faded Polaroid of two boys, one tall and skinny, the other short and fat, at a lake on a summer day in 1988, mugging it up with their arms thrown around the other’s shoulder. I had the same one in my wallet.
Henry produced a small piece of creased paper and, with my pen, jotted down the directions.
“I’ll be there at around four or so,” I said, sticking the paper into my blazer’s breast pocket.
“Thanks a million, man, I can’t tell you the kinda shit I been goin through.”
“I can imagine.”
“Good book; is it number one?”
I snickered. “Ahead of Glenn Beck? I wish.”
Henry shrugged. “Still a classic. I can’t believe some of the shit. All of it’s real?”
“As you and I,” I replied. I jotted down my name and a small, personal message onto the inside cover, and handed it back to Henry.
“I’ll see you,” he said. “I’ll be there,” I responded with a smile.
***
Almost two hours later I left the bookstore by the back door, emerged into a narrow ally of grimy brick walls, and carefully crept toward busy 5thstreet. Above, the sky was malevolently silent.
Before leaving the relative safety of the alley, I looked both ways along the sidewalk, and found it empty save for several rushing, bundled forms. For a moment I was reminded of those old shots of The Beatles running from mad throngs of screaming women through the streets of London, and smiled.
I stepped into a freezing gust and hurried up the sidewalk, passing drab storefronts darkened by the gloomy afternoon light. A Ford Focus passed by on the street in a splash of puddled rain, its red taillights glowing satanically in the mist.
Ahead, a brave hotdog vendor, possibly a transplanted New Yorker, stood tensely behind his cart, ready to feed the world. He offered me a taste of his wares, and the almost desperate imploring of his voice touched me. Imagining poverty and mounting bills, I bought a small fountain Coke even though I wasn’t thirsty, and almost as soon as I was out of sight I cast the cup into a metal trash bin, the clanking ice cubes within having sapped the heat from my hand.
Slowly the scenery bled into one of the residential. Dirty Brownstone tenements marched dismally into the ashen day, their crumbling stoops guarded by rusted metal sentries overflowing with rank refuse.
I finally came to the small lot where I had left my Jeep in-between a pick-up truck and a hatchback. The latter was gone, replaced by a small red Beetle. I fished the keys from my pocket and opened the driver side door.
Behind the wheel, I started the engine and the radio came to life with one bland Taylor Swift song or another. Before leaving I slipped Krokus’ Change of Address into the CD player, and slowly cruised back the way I had come.
Several minutes later I took a sloping onramp and met the babbling interstate; before I joined the flow I waited for several large Mac trucks to scream by in their shrouds of water mist. The meager Richmond skyline stretched away to the east, interrupted only by the wide river which bisects the city. Maybe it was the mood and light of the afternoon, but the city seemed a deserted necropolis, the buildings bizarre Druid ruins rising black against the sky.
Once on the interstate I noticed that several idiots cars next to mine were busy blabbering into their cell-phones or texting. I’m not the kind of guy who wants to ban this and that, or the kind of asshole who preaches his opinion to everybody, but I know what can happen on a freeway when someone wants to whip out the old Droid and chat.
One girl, with wet black hair and dressed in a loose white t-shirt, flipped me off when I motioned hang up and drive.
Women, I thought with a grin, they taste good…but the heartburn!
I soon took rural Exit 154 and coasted into the parking lot of a small roadside gas station fed by a narrow hillside lane. I pulled under the gas-pump shelter and killed Marc Storace in the middle of Burning up the Night. I searched my hip pocket and checked the directions again. The name of the town was Fairfield, not too far north of the city.
I got out into the damp and filled the jeep up with juice, wincing at the price. With that done, I crossed the open space between the pumps and the store, my hair dampening, and entered.
After waiting for a white man in a mossy oak camo cap to buy a six pack of Bud Ice and a black woman to purchase a pack of condoms and tampons (an ungodly mix, if you ask me), it came my turn. The wispy old man behind the counter, wearing country regulation suspenders over his button up work shirt, studied me for a long moment.
“Hey, you’re that writer fella, aintcha?” he asked with a rough smile, revealing that his teeth were mostly black or tarnished gold.
Despite a swelling of pride in my chest, I wanted desperately to avoid an embarrassing scene.
“No.”
“Hm. You look a lot like ‘im. She loves all that damn ghost huntin’ garbage.”
I paid for the gas, and the old man wished me a good afternoon with a crooked grin.
Once back in my car, I again studied the directions, trying to absorb them so that I wouldn’t have to constantly consult them in transit.
Feeling confident that I could make it on my own, I started up the engine and followed the ascending byway toward Fairfield.
I soon left behind all urban pretense and found myself speeding through low hills and tiny hamlets made up of slanted wood structures decades past their prime. It had begun to rain more steadily. Crossing the murky Roman River, I saw that it had overflowed its banks.
The winding lane took me past yet more hilly farmland enclosed by strands of barbed wire, putting me slightly in mind of northern England. When I came to the outer limits of Fairfield, which sat across another, smaller, swollen river, I was greeted by a white board sign proclaiming it as The Nicest Town in America.
Main Street, lined with gray brick shops dating from the 1920s, sank down into the rest of the town, from which a white church spire rose into the air, and a blue water tower next to a tall brick schoolhouse loomed supernaturally forth from the thick valley mist. The sidewalk boasted fiery trees, the embers of which carpeted the wet concrete.
At the four-way intersection, the only cars that I met were a station wagon going to the east part of town, a minivan heading back the way I had come, and an SUV going down into the heart of the town, which lied spread before the hill like a fog enshrouded dream.
I took the left and followed the street for a time, passing a small doctor’s office and the police station. The big roll-top doors of the local volunteer fire department were open, and I glimpsed several men in the gloom lazily wiping down the sleeping green dragon within. A group of children struggled down the sidewalk with crammed backpacks dragging along the wet pavement. A boy on a ten-speed bike shot past them and hung a sharp right, taking a small dead-end road ending at the foot of the hill. In the rear view mirror a large yellow school grinded to a halt, the red lights on its mounted stop sign blinking rhythmically. Teenagers tumbled out and hurried across.
Lee Street was an odd mix of ranch and Victorian houses, all beautiful and tastefully enclosed by hedges or withering gardens. A few of the larger homes were sectioned off with low stone walls waist high to a man.
The last house on the left was tall and narrow, dating back at least to the latter half of the 1890s. With spires and gingerbread trim it affected a stately air.
I parked along the street and sat for a moment, memories washing over me. I and Henry had come here several summers during our childhood. Being unable to have children, Jo and Oscar doted on us so much it was almost cloying. They were rabid antique collectors, and spent thirty happy years hoarding history together before Flight 93 went down over Pennsylvania on the eleventh of September, 2001.
I killed the engine and got out into a brisk slap of wind. After waiting for a minivan to swoosh past, I crossed the street. The grass along the flagstone walk was encroachingly tall, and I wondered if Henry’s ghost had hidden his lawnmower.
I bounded up the porch and knocked on the door. I waited in the cold for a moment, a wind from the west raking my flesh. Finally, as I cocked my fist to knock again, the door opened, and was filled with Henry, dressed as he had been at the bookstore.
“Hey, man” he greeted and moved aside.
“Long time no see,” I smiled. Stepping across the threshold, I was immediately struck by the heaviness of the atmosphere, crushing down on me like the world upon Atlas’s shoulders. I staggered, and Henry at one grabbed my arm and helped steady me.
“Uh-oh,” he said, “I don’t like that.”
“I’m fine,” I lied, looking suspiciously about myself, “just tired.” I didn’t at once remember what such a black heft meant, but I did know that it wasn’t good. At all.
“Well, if you wanna go back…”
“Nah,” I dismissed, “I’m alright.”
“Okay,” Henry said and led me from the shadowy foyer and into a wide parlor. A large bay window, an ugly modern addition, sat across the room, uncurtained. Save for tall, dusty bookshelves along either wall, the only other furnishings in the room were a couch piled with tangled blankets and a pillow, and two armchairs.
Henry showed me to one of the chairs and took the one across from me.
“So, what’s up? How’s life treating you?”
I sighed. “Alright. I hate the touring, though. I can’t stand being on the road.”
“Ah,” he dismissed me with a wave of the hand, “you always were a little homebody. I love the open road. Nothing like it. You want a drink?”
I nodded.
“Coke,” he warned me.
“Better be.”
He laughed and moved off to the kitchen, leaving me alone in the room. The dark feeling pressed down on me harder than it had been, compressing my chest. I tried to take a deep breath, but was unable. It was like standing on a high butte overlooking a strange plain in a dark world, the air thin and sour.
Henry returned with two Cokes. He handed me one and sat back down. “Sorry they’re not cold. I just bought ‘em on the way back.”
“That’s fine,” I said, opening mine and taking a long drink. Henry sat his between his legs.
“I saw you on Ghost Hunters last month,” he said with something like pride, “I was over at my old girlfriend’s house and when your mug popped out, I about went crazy. “Hey, I know that guy!””
My appearance on the popular SYFY Channel show had been little more than a publicity stunt engineered by my agent. I was against it from the first, but ending up going on anyway. The target was a 13th Century castle on an Irish bluff overlooking the crashing sea. Supposedly, a family of werewolves had lived there in the sixteen hundreds.
“They’re a sham,” I said, glancing around as if expecting a hostile apparition to materialize. Maybe I was.
“Who?”
“Those attention whores,” I said, referring to the ‘ghost hunters’. “There weren’t any ghosts. It was all faked. The noises. The mist. All of it.
“I figured,” Henry said, “they usually are.”
“I guess,” I looked around.
“Yeah.” Henry finished off his Coke and sat the empty can at his foot.
“So, what have you been doing?” I asked, “just hanging out?”
“Yeah,” he said, “aunt Jo and uncle Oscar weren’t rich. They had money, but not much. The way the recession’s going, I’m probably gonna have to go back to work soon.”
“Sometimes I wish I could just stop writing and investigating and all that and just live off my books’ proceeds,” I confided, “live the life without doing the work.”
Henry chuckled. “You’re lucky; you got a kick-ass job. I’m most likely gonna end up at Food-Lion or something.”
“Gotta start somewhere,” I said. “Maybe we can write a novel together.”
Both of us had tried as children to write our own horror stories. Henry’s were mostly better than mine.
“Maybe,” he seemed to taste the idea.
I opened my mouth to reply, but a stiff gust of wind slammed into the house, and I jolted.
Henry laughed. “Scared?”
I shook my head. “No, not really. I just…well, what exactly are we dealing with, here?”
Henry sobered, his face darkening. “I…I been thinking how to word this for a while now.” He paused. “You ever hear that phrase La petite mort?”
I missed a beat. “What?”
“You know, that French metaphor? It refers to a state of euphoria after you “finish.””
“Yeah, I know.”
Henry sat grasping for a moment. “People believe that some kind of spiritual lifeforce is…expelled when you cum. Somehow that’s like dying or something.”
“Uh-huh,” I nodded awkwardly.
“And in Ghosts and Ghouls, you said that some people think a ghost is just…leftover human energy. Right?”
“The atheists and agnostics in the field, yes.”
“Do you think it’s possible that…that release of energy can leave a…a ghostly residue?”
I laughed. “Henry, that’s just a metaphor; it doesn’t mean anything.”
“Are you sure?”
I opened my mouth, but closed it again. I couldn’t honestly say that I was.
“What…what makes you ask that?”
“It’s my bed,” he replied darkly.
“Your bed?”
He nodded. “Remember Sarah Kerns?”
For a moment I drew a blank, and then an angular face framed in raven hair materialized before my mind’s eye.
“Sure,” I said, “your girlfriend in eighth grade. What about her?”
“Remember how she moved over the summer, before we started high school?”
I nodded. Her father was in some kind of business that forced him to relocate often. I can’t remember what it was, though.
“The night before she left, she came over to my house and we did it...”
“Alright,” I urged, and then it dawned on me. “You still have the same bed, don’t you?”
He shrugged. “Never saw a good reason to get rid of it.”
“And you’ve…done a lot in it, huh?”
“A lot,” he admitted.
“And now you think…what, all that combined energy has created a sort of ghost?”
“Look, I know it’s crazy, but just hear me out, okay?”
“Okay.”
Henry took a deep breath and began.
Several weeks before crying out to me for help, he told me, he had been lying awake in bed. It was a windy night and he was as far from sleep as a man can get, so, as he watched the darkened ceiling, he let his mind drift unfettered. He had always had a fertile imagination, and was entertaining himself with undisclosed fantasies when, all of a sudden, the foot of the bed lurched to one side, as though booted by an angry WWE star after an in-ring betrayal.
“Man, that scared the shit outta me,” Henry said. “I froze up and just laid there for a minute. Then it happened again, and this time I got knocked off.”
Frightened, Henry jumped up, fell in the sheets tangled at his feet, and flew down the stairs.
“I sat here in the living room for a little while. After a half hour or so, I decided it was a nightmare and went back up. In the room, I flipped on the light switch and…”
He was quiet for a long moment, looking down at his ashen hands. “And there was a fuckin dead girl spread out on the bed, covered in blood and shit.”
I gasped softly at this, my heart freezing in mid beat.
“You’re sure?” I asked incredulously.
He nodded without looking up. “Yeah. And she looked like Hanna Giles…you remember her, right?”
I did. She was a cheerleader during school, a tall drink of blond perfection. She and Henry spent much of the 11th grade getting hot and heavy together before he grew bored and found another conquest.
“And…and she…sat up, her fuckin eyes were black and she had these long Dracula fangs. She opened up her legs and…fucking blood gushed out.”
He stopped at my hiss of horror. “It looked like…you know, in The Shinning, when that elevator opens up in the beginning?”
I nodded, my mouth slightly agape.
“I saw that shit and lost my mind. I ran out the front door and down the street. Spent the rest of the night in a booth at the diner, too afraid to come home.”
In the morning, Henry stretched out in the parlor.
“I was having dinner the next day. A buffalo chicken Hungry Man. So, I was sitting at the kitchen table eating, when something above my head, in the room, crashed against the floor. And right after, I heard this long, high pitched laugh.”
Stiff with terror, Henry remained unmoving at the table for nearly an hour before packing up and going to a motel for a few days.
“I was starting to think it was a nightmare, but when that shit happened…”
Henry eventually returned, convinced that the “ghosts”, while frightening, were harmless.
“So, one night, I got brave and went back upstairs to see what would happen.”
After several uneventful hours, Henry was on the border of sleep when something, something cold and dry, wrapped around his throat.
“It felt like hands, little…you know, a woman’s hands.”
The world grayed as Henry clawned at the phantom hands to no avail. He nearly collapsed into death before they suddenly and inexplicably spared him.
“That was the other night. I was about to leave, go get a motel or something, but I heard you were coming down, so I thought I’d see if you could help me.”
For a long moment I sat in brooding silence.
In 1999, I left school to work for a noted regional paranormal researcher named John Haggis. I accompanied him on many outings, most of them busts. Only three confirmed cases of the genuinely supernatural came across our desk in the three years I worked with him, one of them being the demonic haunting of a bar in Headwaters, a tiny hamlet nestled in the Shenandoah foothills southwest of Harrisonburg.
I learned several things from our experience there. One: Demons despise the presence of a professional. Two: While ghosts can, on extremely rare occasions, possess human beings, only demons can shapeshift and actually harm someone without the use of a human agent.
“Have…have you ever smelled sulfur here?” I asked, my voice natural, at least to my own ears.
“Rotten eggs? No, why?”
“You’ve been left alone outside the room, right?”
“Yeah. What about the sulfur?” he seemed impatient.
I ignored him and looked from one shadowy corner to another, the house bathed in a sour, uneasy silence. I was shocked to find myself wanting to get as away from the house as I could.
“Henry,” I drew, my eyes darting apprehensively, “there…”
I stopped. How would he take hearing that a demon was in his house? But was it really a demon we were dealing with? I couldn’t be sure; I’m not, after all, a demonologist.
“What?” he asked, his tone low and worried.
If it was, then it appeared to be attached to the bed somehow, like a ghost to a favorite rocking chair…
“…I doubt that your ghost is made of girl goo.” I at length flashed a smile, hoping that it didn’t look too fake. “I’ve heard of similar cases, and they are relatively easy to deal with.”
“Really?” Henry’s face brightened for the first time all day, and his tone was one of a child in the presence of a shyster birthday-party magician.
“Yeah,” I said, “no problem. Tomorrow I’ll call some people and they’ll conduct…sort of an exorcism. It’ll be a breeze.”
Henry sighed, relieved. “Okay.”
I looked again from corner to corner. “Hey, you want to go and get some dinner, my treat?”
Henry smiled again, his dark eyes alight. “Sure.”
We took my car, and drove off into the thickening gloom. Main Street was busier than it had been when I entered town; it was past six, and people were returning home from work in droves.
“Take a left up here,” Henry said as we approached the four-way, “and go for about…five miles. Place called Ryan’s.”
I nodded, lost in thought. I would have to call Tom Youngblood, the only demonologist in the Richmond area, in the morning. And maybe I would have to call the Catholic Church in town, too. Then again, the church has tried in recent years to distance itself from the supernatural.
I took the left, and descended down into the heart of Fairfield. Queerly, about a mile of hillside between the upper and lower sections had been left undeveloped, and was currently a hopeless tangle of dead grass.
“Man, I feel like a weight’s been lifted,” Henry said as we passed the dark shops and rain sluiced sidewalks, empty save for the phantom trees along the edge. “You can really do all of this tomorrow?”
“Yeah,” I said confidently. I took a deep breath, and seemed to blow away all of the mounting worry crushing my chest. I only had to call Tom and a priest, and they would take it from there. They were experts. It might not be an easy break, but it would get done. Demons were actually weak in the presence of religious men; which is why I abandoned my former atheism.
“Good. I can’t wait to get this shit behind me. It’s been a living hell, you know?”
I nodded, and then realized that it was probably too dark for Henry to see. “Yeah, I bet it’ll feel really good.”
“Like a million bucks,” Henry said.
“And…get rid of the damn bed. I don’t think that what we’re dealing with is…what you thought, but just burn it. It’s possible that the ghost is attached to it for some reason.”
“Way ahead of you, man,” Henry said. “I’m gonna go down to Mattress Warehouse and get me a new one tomorrow.”
At the end of town, just before the beginning of the dark, wet woods, I slowed at the traffic light, pulling to a stop alongside a school bus; the small lights affixed to the ceiling within were on against the dark. I saw a few dark silhouettes through the rectangular windows, and ascertained from their distorted shapes that they belonged to the high school’s football team.
“And…don’t have all your fun in one place, okay?” I said as we got back underway, the bus falling behind in the darkness.
“I ain’t gonna have that kinda fun for a long time.”
“Yeah, bullshit,” I jested in hopes of further lightening the mood, “you can’t go a week without having sex with someone…or something.”
Henry chuckled. “Yeah? I once went a month without doin your mom.”
“She needed that long to stop laughing at your…handicap.”
Henry laughed. “Okay. Just wait till we get there; take you in the bathroom and show you what’s up.”
I snorted. “What’s limp.”
“It won’t be limp when I shove it down…”
The restaurant, a sparkling oasis cloaked in primal black, loomed so quickly from the darkness that I nearly missed the turn.
“Alright,” Henry said after I had slid us into a slanted parking spot facing the empty road, his penis forgotten, “let’s get some grub.”
“You look like a German Jew,” I said as we got out of the car, “you need a good meal.”
“Yeah, thanks, mom,” Henry said as we crossed the parking lot. Through the big front windows, we could see happy families sharing joyful meals in the warm brightness.
We came to the double doors, and both held them open for the shuffling passage of an elderly couple. “Thank you,” the old man rasped and nodded as he helped his wife past us and toward a silver Cadillac parked in one of the closest handicap spots. They were immediately followed by two teenage girls in gym shorts and pink tops.
“What is it with kids dressing like that when it’s cold?” I whispered as we entered the restaurant, assaulted at once by the good odors of many steaming, mingling foods.
“If you got it flaunt it,” Henry reckoned.
We walked up to the long lunch counter and took cups, silverware and plastic trays from a hotplate guarded from inconsiderate sneezers by smudged plastic. We waited behind a party of rowdy college students to pay the casher.
We paid the chipper blond behind the register and were shown by a young sleepy eyed man in a red t-shirt and black slacks to a booth along the far wall of the room, mercifully away from the main population. Henry was immediately off to fix himself a plate at the buffet.
I sat at the booth for a moment, looking around the brightly lit room. It was crowded with families, mostly, passing food and laughing over their tables.
After another moment of inventorying how many people I would have to pass to get to the drink machine, I got up and moved to the Coke island. Apart from the dispenser there sat a plain metal canister marked with the picture of a tall, frosty glass of chocolate milk looming forward like a favorite uncle. I considered for a moment, and finally decided to get the milk, the likes of which I haven’t tasted since I was a child.
As I drew the dark liquid into my clear cup, a beefy older man in a brown leather jacket walked unthinkingly up to the machine and filled his cup with Sprite, all the while gasping softly to himself about someone named Mony-Mony.
Sidestepping a yellow WET FLOOR sign at the head of a nasty spill, I went back to the booth where Henry sat, bent protectively over a plate of fried chicken and breaded shrimp. I took my plate and quickly filled it up with French fries, several times nearly colliding with a young boy in small glasses examining each bright pile of food as if he would die if he did not detect the poison on his choices. At the booth I splattered a liberal amount of Tabasco sauce on the golden potatoes and dug in, my chocolate milk standing dutifully by should I need its aid.
“Remember Donny West?” Henry asked around a mouthful of food. I nodded. Donny had been one of our friends as kids before his mother moved the family to West Virginia. A beefy kid with red hair and deep freckles.
“Yeah. How can I forget?”
“He died.”
“What?” I asked, a bit of fry falling from my mouth and landing on the plate.
Henry nodded and swallowed. “I talked to his sister on Facebook, and she said he was drinking and wrecked his car into a tree a couple years ago. Took two of his friends with him.”
“That’s horrible,” I said numbly. Though I had not seen Donny in years, to hear that a once close friend was dead broke my heart.
“You remember what he did on April Fool’s Day that one time?” I asked Henry after a long, respectful moment of silence.
Henry nodded. “He had balls to do that.”
Donny, much more a practical joker than even Henry, had run the Stars and Bars of the Confederacy up the flag pole before school started that day. What made it even funnier were the facts that no one even noticed until lunch, and that the school sat right on the main highway in Picketts Meade.
“Yeah,” I sighed, black, cancerous nostalgia flooding me. “The good old days.”
We then lapsed into a comfortable silence. After savagely stripping the meat from a chicken bone, Henry wandered off to treat himself to a cold dessert. I finished the last of my fries and polished off the chocolate milk, my burning mouth greedily absorbing the cool liquid.
After a return trip to the machine, meeting once again the boy who had been diligently studying for his buffet safety PhD (he wasn’t quiet as conscientious when it came to Coca-Cola), I placed myself in my seat and awaited Henry. He soon returned empty-handed.
“They all sucked,” he declared.
I did not reply, but suddenly realized that the ice cream machine was next to the soda and chocolate milk fountains.
Suddenly, from across the room, there came a loud racket, drawling the puzzled stares of patrons in the gulf between walls. From a door came a line of people dressed in red shirts and black pants. The person at the head of the rank, a rather fetching teen goth with long midnight hair and a generous bosom, held something in her hands, something aflame, for her strong angler face was awash in orange. The Ryan’s troops behind her were clapping.
With mortification I saw them making a B-line toward our table like a personified children’s show choo-choo. Now all of the bemused eaters were looking toward me and Henry.
“You bastard,” I said, turning to Henry. He was smiling and clapping flourishingly. I broke out in my own grin, my cheeks afire. “Oh you son of a bitch; real funny.”
The Ryan’s Birthday Army now surrounded my half of the booth, leering over me like grinning psychos and clapping madly. I hung my head in embarrassment as they sat a flaming birthday cake on the table before me. “Bastard,” I muttered, lowering my head, realizing that now all of the other patrons too were looking at me and clapping.
Then the singing started.
I could just imagine Henry going up to our hostess and stage whispering across the counter, his hand shielding his mouth from prying lip readers, Pissst; it’s his birthday, pointing in my direction.
Bastard.
***
Coming out of the Ryan’s parking lot nearly half an hour later, I took a right on the rain swept street and followed it back to town past several large comfortable southern homes boasting screened in front porches and spotlighted flags. Most of these were protected from the street by rusted chin link fences.
We were silent and content, our stomachs full.
Finally desirous of breaking the silence, but too stuffed with food and lazy to speak, I switched on the radio, picking up a station from southern Maryland. After a “local” newscast about a New York mobster choking to death in a King George pizza joint and the discovery of a well-known radical poet shot dead in a D.C. parking garage, Cyndi Lauper came on with Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.
“Your song,” Henry croaked from the passenger seat.
I changed the station. The Culture Club was singing about a Church of the Poisoned Mind.
“Damn, must be your night,” Henry snickered from the darkness.
“Shut up,” I replied, hitting the scan button; the radio settled for a station playing a Seether song.
Henry laughed. “I meant you like eighties music. I wasn’t trying to say you’re gay…not that there’s anything wrong with that.”
Pulling to the end of Henry’s street, I noticed that we had left none of the lights on when we departed; the thought of waltzing through the door into the pitch black slightly uneased me.
I thought of asking Henry to stay with me at the Marriot in Richmond rather than me staying with him, but quickly decided against it; we’d be safe in the parlor.
Putting down my own childish reluctance, I parked the car at the curb and killed the engine, shutting Kanye West off in mid-rant.
We entered the house and immediately repaired to the parlor, where Henry took care of stoking a warm fire into existence.
That done, he came back to his chair and sank with a pleasured sigh. “So, you gonna write about this?”
To be honest, the thought hadn’t crossed my mind. “Maybe,” I said. Of course I would. Would it make it into my next book? It had a better chance than some of the other cases I had. People love their supernatural when it’s really weird.
“Well…” Henry said, but was interrupted by a terrible crash from overhead, which shook the house and caused us to jerk in surprised fear.
“There it is,” he shivered.
Another long bang sounded upstairs, as if something had thumped to the floor.
I swallowed around a lump in my throat, and opened my mouth, but was forestalled by another loud crash, this one followed by a stomach-piercing moan.
“Maybe we should go,” I stammered, a sudden bubble of stark fear overwhelming my cool rationality.
Henry licked his lips and swallowed hard, his Adam’s apple bobbing.
I looked appraisingly up at the smooth ceiling above my head, partly hidden by the gloom. There was another thump that stopped my heart and froze my blood. A shower of fine plaster rained down upon me like hard snow, and I quickly averted my eyes to avoid it.
“Henry?” I panted breathlessly, wrestling with my own galloping fear.
“Fuck this,” Henry affirmed and moved to stand, “let’s…”
Henry had been whispering, as if worried about disturbing his inconsiderate guest, so I was able to hear the soft, terrible footfall. It was as if an electric shock ran through me, reducing my bones to jelly.
I heard it again, louder this time.
Henry’s eyes were wide. “Was that…?” he whispered superstitiously.
I gulped and nodded. “It sounded like it…
From the dark upstairs hall there came a soft, fugitive creak. Henry was now fully standing, his wiry body tense and rigid.
“Hennnryyyyyy!” drifted a thin and ghostly greeting.
“Jesus Christ!” I exclaimed, and bolted to my feet. I turned to the dark threshold into the rest of the hostile house, and saw nothing but playing shadows.
“Hennnryyyy, baaaabyyyyyyy!”
I spun on my heels. “We have to get the hell out of here!” I whispered incoherently, my mind reeling. There was no hope of using the front door. We would have to pass the stairs…
Henry stood slack in place, his eyes wide and seeming to vibrate with terror.
There was a more confident footfall from halfway down the staircase, and a definite swish like that of a passing priest’s cassock.
“Come on!” I screamed, my fear boiling over. I desperately regarded the window beyond Henry’s chair. It appeared wide enough for both of us to escape side-by-side.
I grabbed Henry’s wrist, but pulling him was like trying to move a wooden post set deeply in the ground.
“Come on, we gotta go, NOW!!” I screamed franticly, hearing the loud moan of the last step. Henry shook his head as if shaking away a dream and looked at me with frightened, pleading eyes. But before a word could pass between us he turned back to the threshold.
And screamed.
Hearing the horrible, damned-soul quality of his voice broke my resolve and nearly my mind. It was the high-pitched shriek of a child on finally seeing the thing under its bed and finding it far worse than imagined; it was the scream of a sinner being shown into his new abode in hell; it was the pitiful cry of a madman.
Fueled by mindless animal terror, I sprang for the window.
Forearms thrown protectively over my face, I crashed through with a cry, and sailed into the damp night in a shower of broken glass, my stomach throbbing in my throat. I hit the grassy ground with an umph and staggered to my feet, my knees watery and quivering.
Behind me, the laughter of madness turned into the orgasm of agony.
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