atlantic-books:

Last night JOSS WHEDON came into the Atlantic offices to chat to Natalie Haynes about her incredible book THE AMBER FURY, which we are publishing next week. (Video to follow!)

We have a signed (by both Natalie and Joss!) first edition up for grabs - for a chance to win, follow us and reblog this post! We’ll pick the winner at random at 4pm on Friday (28th February).

fozmeadows:

seananmcguire:

cumbersome-cucumber:

frightening-feminist:

blissy-leaves:

getoutofthewelfaretag:

thegodlessatheist:

Or a playstation or a flat screen TV or a newer car, etc and etc. I know people that work under the table for half their pay and get paid on the books for the rest and collect welfare. I know of drug dealers that collect for tax purposes even though they pull in thousands of untaxed money each month dealing. Tell me how I am not supposed to be upset with these people like I am with greedy corporate cronies? I’m not heartless. These people are selfish and unethical.

Except not everyone who has nice things is automatically cheating the system. People are given things as gifts. People buy things and THEN qualify for assistance. People save up for nice things.You can’t assume what someone’s situation is just by what they own.

We were eating only donated Panera bread, rice, and turnips. My father was sneaking to the various blood banks in town to sell his plasma at twice the rate they allow. My mother was dying due to not having her medicine, which cost well over $1,200 a month after insurance. My autistic baby brother wanted to do something nice for me. He worked for months making custom art pieces to sell. He worked up courage despite crippling social anxiety and speech problems to ask the neighbors if he could do chores for them to earn more money - raking the yard, helping clean their house, walking their dogs. For nine months he carefully hoarded his money in a jar in his bedroom. He counted it every single night and compared it to the cost of what he wanted to get for me for Christmas. Finally he had enough. He bought me a DS Lite and a pokemon game. He was so happy. Until one of our neighbors, a highly conservative jackass, saw me with it outside a couple weeks later. My brother was with me. The neighbor stormed up and became screaming at us, a pair of teenagers, over how we could be so selfish to spend money on “electronic shit” when we were a family on food stamps. Spittle flying from his lips, cuss words every other second, rage radiating off of him so violently that our father came running out of the house - at a limp, since his spine is broken, which causes him horrific daily pain beyond what I can imagine - to protect us. My brother was never the same again. There is no happy ending here. That episode in his life changed him permanently and for the past seven years he has almost never left his room and never gone to a friend’s house. He is terrified of the neighbors and believes he is a bad person. Because of fucking people like you OP. Because of fuckers who believe that they know what life is like for everyone and have a right to judge. So fuck you OP. If you know drug dealers, report them, go on and put your ass on the line then. But for fuck’s sake don’t you dare thing you understand what goes on in the life of the people who live in never-ending, grinding poverty. Because you have *no fucking clue* what goes on in the detailed lives of others. You want to talk selfish? Look in the fucking mirror.

This is an important post.

that time Bill O Reily was shocked and appalled that poor people could afford *gasp* A TV AND A FRIDGE IN THEIR APT? and went on a rant saying these ppl shouldn’t be on welfare because they have a plasma tv and fridge because obviously poor people need to not have tvs and fridge because poor ppl should be storing their food underground in holes and draw on walls with stones and sticks for entertainment.

When I was a child on welfare, eating rotten lunch meat, walking in shoes with cardboard in the bottoms to cover the holes, I had an extensive collection of My Little Ponies.  Not “one or two horses”; over three hundred, all told, and almost all the major playsets.  Maybe, oh, 10% of the total came from my mother, over the course of the eight years I spent collecting and living with her.  The rest were gifts from family members who didn’t know about our situation, but knew from Gramma’s chatty “everything is fine” letters that I loved My Little Pony.  They were from the charity groups that let you sign up and specify what your children wanted for Christmas.  They were from me saving every penny I found on the street.  They were from favorite teachers who knew how poor we were, who wanted me to have birthday happiness.  We’re talking thousands of dollars of plastic horses, almost none of which took a dime from Mom’s budget.  And the ones that did?  She was a mother trying not to break her daughter’s heart.
Every time someone yelled at us because poor people shouldn’t have nice things, we all died a little inside, and I clutched my horses even harder.  I needed something bright and beautiful in the world, to make up for the roaches in the walls and the mold growing on the butter.
Unless you’re someone’s accountant, you don’t know where they’re putting their money, and it’s not your place to judge.

I am right at my fucking limit for judgemental shitstainery today. I just. I fucking CANNOT with these assholes.
Firstly, POVERTY IS NOT A FUCKING BINARY STATE. You aren’t either “poor” or “not-poor”, with absolutely zero middle ground between. Ceasing to be poor isn’t like a fucking Pokemon evolution - you don’t just shed that shit like a snakeskin and turn into a whole new being in seconds. Ceasing to be poor, especially in the face of severe social and economic pressure, is hard fucking yakka, and it happens slowly, in increments, over time, without sudden lottery-style explosions of new money but frequently featuring disappointing setbacks, and that means small things can improve before the big things do - like, for instance, being able to afford a shiny new phone to replace the dying one you’ve been stuck with for the past two years before you can afford to go off welfare. This sort of logic also ignores the idea that you can BECOME poor and still have around you the trappings of previous better-offness, like quality appliances. As convenient as it would be for the kind of troglodyte who likes to judge by appearances, becoming poor doesn’t mean you have to go hand in all your cool shit at the pawnshop, not least because a lot of that stuff - like functioning fridges and dryers, for instance - will SAVE YOU MONEY when you really need it later.
Secondly, anyone who thinks that poor people are fundamentally undeserving of luxury or treats or pleasure-buying or anything else that might alleviate the enormous fucking strain of being poor - because any departure from subsistence-level living means you’re an Eebil Welfare Slobqueen! - can go FALL IN A WELL AND DIE. I am fucking serious: if you, financially secure douchebag, have EVER gone and bought yourself a treat in order to make yourself feel better after a shitty day - if you’ve picked up some feelgood chocolate, or a new game, or a pricey bag, or a toy, or even something as simple as a taxi ride rather than a bus ticket because it was raining and you couldn’t face the queue - then you can SHUT THE FUCK UP FOREVER about the immortality if feelgood purchasing by people with less money than you. Because what you’re saying, when you sit down and police what people can and cannot buy, and the circumstances under which they buy it - what you’re saying is that poor people ARE NOT ENTITLED TO EMOTIONAL SECURITY; ARE NOT ENTITLED TO COMFORT; ARE NOT ENTITLED TO JOY, because they should be too busy scraping by with every fucking penny they have to notice that scraping by is utterly fucking soul-destroying.
Thirdly, a lot of the things you’re deeming “luxury” items? ARE FUCKING NECESSARY FOR GETTING ONESELF OUT OF POVERTY. Let’s see you try to jobhunt without a working phone or internet access. Let’s see you try to grocery shop on a budget for a family of four with no car and a freezer that’s just big enough for a couple of ice cube trays. Let’s see you keep yourself looking professionally presentable and your children schoolready when you’re handwashing all your clothes in the bath and hanging them out to dry on the radiator you can’t afford to turn on half the time, because your tiny income means choosing between warmth and medication. 
What you’re doing, OP - you and other privileged assholes like you - is assuming that poverty is somehow EASY; that there’s no emotional, psychological toll to it that might ever need to be alleviated - not for adults, and especially not for children, because the children of poor people don’t deserve happy childhoods; presumably, they should just get jobs and work for their toys, as though this were Dickensian fucking England. You see objects, but not the sacrifice behind obtaining them; to you, objects have no context, no significance beyond their cost and status value, because THAT’S ALL THEY MEAN TO YOU. I used to work for a government department in Australia that provided free fridges and washing machines to people on welfare whose own had broken, and which they couldn’t afford to replace. I rang one woman to tell her that her fridge request had been approved, and she was literally fighting back tears of relief - not only had she been spending extra money she couldn’t afford buying groceries day to day, because all the food was spoiling without anywhere to keep it cool, but she’d been having to keep her young kids from realising just how bad things were, too - she’d told them they were having Ramadan early, fasting early, to explain why there was no food all of a sudden, and she didn’t know how much longer she could keep it up. I approved a washing machine for a single father who was struggling to keep his children out of foster homes after their mother, who had been their primary caregiver, was arrested; he needed one for the social workers to let him keep his kids, but was between jobs and didn’t have enough cash to replace the one that broke. 
tl;dr: THERE IS NO ‘RIGHT’ WAY TO BE POOR, BECAUSE THERE IS NOTHING RIGHT ABOUT POVERTY. STOP POLICING POVERTY WITH YOUR MADE-UP FUCKING CHECKLIST OF RULES, AS THOUGH IT’S SOME COVETED, ADVANTAGE-CONFERRING CLUB THAT LAZY PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO SNEAK INTO INSTEAD OF A DIFFICULT, HEARTBREAKING, LIFE-THREATENING SITUATION. YOU DUMBASS.

fozmeadows:

seananmcguire:

cumbersome-cucumber:

frightening-feminist:

blissy-leaves:

getoutofthewelfaretag:

thegodlessatheist:

Or a playstation or a flat screen TV or a newer car, etc and etc. I know people that work under the table for half their pay and get paid on the books for the rest and collect welfare. I know of drug dealers that collect for tax purposes even though they pull in thousands of untaxed money each month dealing. Tell me how I am not supposed to be upset with these people like I am with greedy corporate cronies? I’m not heartless. These people are selfish and unethical.

Except not everyone who has nice things is automatically cheating the system. People are given things as gifts. People buy things and THEN qualify for assistance. People save up for nice things.

You can’t assume what someone’s situation is just by what they own.

We were eating only donated Panera bread, rice, and turnips. My father was sneaking to the various blood banks in town to sell his plasma at twice the rate they allow. My mother was dying due to not having her medicine, which cost well over $1,200 a month after insurance.

My autistic baby brother wanted to do something nice for me.

He worked for months making custom art pieces to sell. He worked up courage despite crippling social anxiety and speech problems to ask the neighbors if he could do chores for them to earn more money - raking the yard, helping clean their house, walking their dogs.

For nine months he carefully hoarded his money in a jar in his bedroom. He counted it every single night and compared it to the cost of what he wanted to get for me for Christmas.

Finally he had enough. He bought me a DS Lite and a pokemon game.

He was so happy.

Until one of our neighbors, a highly conservative jackass, saw me with it outside a couple weeks later. My brother was with me.

The neighbor stormed up and became screaming at us, a pair of teenagers, over how we could be so selfish to spend money on “electronic shit” when we were a family on food stamps. Spittle flying from his lips, cuss words every other second, rage radiating off of him so violently that our father came running out of the house - at a limp, since his spine is broken, which causes him horrific daily pain beyond what I can imagine - to protect us.

My brother was never the same again. There is no happy ending here. That episode in his life changed him permanently and for the past seven years he has almost never left his room and never gone to a friend’s house. He is terrified of the neighbors and believes he is a bad person.

Because of fucking people like you OP.

Because of fuckers who believe that they know what life is like for everyone and have a right to judge.

So fuck you OP. If you know drug dealers, report them, go on and put your ass on the line then. But for fuck’s sake don’t you dare thing you understand what goes on in the life of the people who live in never-ending, grinding poverty. Because you have *no fucking clue* what goes on in the detailed lives of others.

You want to talk selfish? Look in the fucking mirror.

This is an important post.

that time Bill O Reily was shocked and appalled that poor people could afford *gasp* A TV AND A FRIDGE IN THEIR APT?
and went on a rant saying these ppl shouldn’t be on welfare because they have a plasma tv and fridge because obviously poor people need to not have tvs and fridge because poor ppl should be storing their food underground in holes and draw on walls with stones and sticks for entertainment.

When I was a child on welfare, eating rotten lunch meat, walking in shoes with cardboard in the bottoms to cover the holes, I had an extensive collection of My Little Ponies.  Not “one or two horses”; over three hundred, all told, and almost all the major playsets.  Maybe, oh, 10% of the total came from my mother, over the course of the eight years I spent collecting and living with her.  The rest were gifts from family members who didn’t know about our situation, but knew from Gramma’s chatty “everything is fine” letters that I loved My Little Pony.  They were from the charity groups that let you sign up and specify what your children wanted for Christmas.  They were from me saving every penny I found on the street.  They were from favorite teachers who knew how poor we were, who wanted me to have birthday happiness.  We’re talking thousands of dollars of plastic horses, almost none of which took a dime from Mom’s budget.  And the ones that did?  She was a mother trying not to break her daughter’s heart.

Every time someone yelled at us because poor people shouldn’t have nice things, we all died a little inside, and I clutched my horses even harder.  I needed something bright and beautiful in the world, to make up for the roaches in the walls and the mold growing on the butter.

Unless you’re someone’s accountant, you don’t know where they’re putting their money, and it’s not your place to judge.

I am right at my fucking limit for judgemental shitstainery today. I just. I fucking CANNOT with these assholes.

Firstly, POVERTY IS NOT A FUCKING BINARY STATE. You aren’t either “poor” or “not-poor”, with absolutely zero middle ground between. Ceasing to be poor isn’t like a fucking Pokemon evolution - you don’t just shed that shit like a snakeskin and turn into a whole new being in seconds. Ceasing to be poor, especially in the face of severe social and economic pressure, is hard fucking yakka, and it happens slowly, in increments, over time, without sudden lottery-style explosions of new money but frequently featuring disappointing setbacks, and that means small things can improve before the big things do - like, for instance, being able to afford a shiny new phone to replace the dying one you’ve been stuck with for the past two years before you can afford to go off welfare. This sort of logic also ignores the idea that you can BECOME poor and still have around you the trappings of previous better-offness, like quality appliances. As convenient as it would be for the kind of troglodyte who likes to judge by appearances, becoming poor doesn’t mean you have to go hand in all your cool shit at the pawnshop, not least because a lot of that stuff - like functioning fridges and dryers, for instance - will SAVE YOU MONEY when you really need it later.

Secondly, anyone who thinks that poor people are fundamentally undeserving of luxury or treats or pleasure-buying or anything else that might alleviate the enormous fucking strain of being poor - because any departure from subsistence-level living means you’re an Eebil Welfare Slobqueen! - can go FALL IN A WELL AND DIE. I am fucking serious: if you, financially secure douchebag, have EVER gone and bought yourself a treat in order to make yourself feel better after a shitty day - if you’ve picked up some feelgood chocolate, or a new game, or a pricey bag, or a toy, or even something as simple as a taxi ride rather than a bus ticket because it was raining and you couldn’t face the queue - then you can SHUT THE FUCK UP FOREVER about the immortality if feelgood purchasing by people with less money than you. Because what you’re saying, when you sit down and police what people can and cannot buy, and the circumstances under which they buy it - what you’re saying is that poor people ARE NOT ENTITLED TO EMOTIONAL SECURITY; ARE NOT ENTITLED TO COMFORT; ARE NOT ENTITLED TO JOY, because they should be too busy scraping by with every fucking penny they have to notice that scraping by is utterly fucking soul-destroying.

Thirdly, a lot of the things you’re deeming “luxury” items? ARE FUCKING NECESSARY FOR GETTING ONESELF OUT OF POVERTY. Let’s see you try to jobhunt without a working phone or internet access. Let’s see you try to grocery shop on a budget for a family of four with no car and a freezer that’s just big enough for a couple of ice cube trays. Let’s see you keep yourself looking professionally presentable and your children schoolready when you’re handwashing all your clothes in the bath and hanging them out to dry on the radiator you can’t afford to turn on half the time, because your tiny income means choosing between warmth and medication. 

What you’re doing, OP - you and other privileged assholes like you - is assuming that poverty is somehow EASY; that there’s no emotional, psychological toll to it that might ever need to be alleviated - not for adults, and especially not for children, because the children of poor people don’t deserve happy childhoods; presumably, they should just get jobs and work for their toys, as though this were Dickensian fucking England. You see objects, but not the sacrifice behind obtaining them; to you, objects have no context, no significance beyond their cost and status value, because THAT’S ALL THEY MEAN TO YOU. I used to work for a government department in Australia that provided free fridges and washing machines to people on welfare whose own had broken, and which they couldn’t afford to replace. I rang one woman to tell her that her fridge request had been approved, and she was literally fighting back tears of relief - not only had she been spending extra money she couldn’t afford buying groceries day to day, because all the food was spoiling without anywhere to keep it cool, but she’d been having to keep her young kids from realising just how bad things were, too - she’d told them they were having Ramadan early, fasting early, to explain why there was no food all of a sudden, and she didn’t know how much longer she could keep it up. I approved a washing machine for a single father who was struggling to keep his children out of foster homes after their mother, who had been their primary caregiver, was arrested; he needed one for the social workers to let him keep his kids, but was between jobs and didn’t have enough cash to replace the one that broke. 

tl;dr: THERE IS NO ‘RIGHT’ WAY TO BE POOR, BECAUSE THERE IS NOTHING RIGHT ABOUT POVERTY. STOP POLICING POVERTY WITH YOUR MADE-UP FUCKING CHECKLIST OF RULES, AS THOUGH IT’S SOME COVETED, ADVANTAGE-CONFERRING CLUB THAT LAZY PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO SNEAK INTO INSTEAD OF A DIFFICULT, HEARTBREAKING, LIFE-THREATENING SITUATION. YOU DUMBASS.

Speaking ill of the dead.

I’m sure some people will be shocked and even disgusted at the joy being shown at news of Margaret Thatcher’s death, at the lack of respect to our former prime minister. Even those at the top of the Tory party and the tory media, who will feign horror at the comments and posts celebrating her death cannot be insulated enough from the real world to be unaware of the hatred in which the woman was held by so many. I share in it, and do not feel guilty in the slightest. This is a woman who did an enormous amount of damage to this country, who provoked a war for political gain (and then went against expert military advice to send a ship, the HMS Sheffield, forward of the fleet and can be held directly responsible for its sinking and the deaths of those sailors and soldiers on board) and who, in being idolised by the political right in this country, has influenced political policy and rhetoric since - all of it harmful and divisive. While she has not been a part of public life for some years and her death actually changes nothing, I and many millions are glad to see the back of her.

However, it must be remembered that in her many years in office she probably did less harm to the UK - to the poor, to the working people, to everybody except the most wealthy - than Cameron, Gove et al have done in less than a single term of government. I know it is a forlorn hope that they will see the reactions of so many people, expressed in terms well argued or simply emotional, and fear at the reactions to their own demise. I try to believe that almost all politicians do, on some level, what they think is for the best, however wrongheaded and misguided, but I cannot look at the ruin that this government is making of our welfare state, at the divisions deliberately sown amongst those hardest hit by the changes while they line their own pockets and those of their rich friends, of the utter contempt they show to hardship and suffering and believe that they are anything short of evil.

Working late on Flickr.

Working late on Flickr.

Dusk across the fields on Flickr.
Via Flickr: I had a hike out the other evening over Wadsley and Loxley Commons under a fabulous sky. It was simply otherworldly. I took a few shots around sunset and then hung around and experimented with taking some long exposure photos s night deepened. While many are too grainy, the quality of the light was amazing for a good hour after the sun set.

Dusk across the fields on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
I had a hike out the other evening over Wadsley and Loxley Commons under a fabulous sky. It was simply otherworldly. I took a few shots around sunset and then hung around and experimented with taking some long exposure photos s night deepened. While many are too grainy, the quality of the light was amazing for a good hour after the sun set.

"You fail only if you stop writing."

Ray Bradbury  (via becauseilovetowrite)

I think I just found the Ray Bradbury quote for a tattoo. And here I thought it was going to be something from his books.

(via gothiccharmschool)

Damn, I must be in so many people’s dreams…

Damn, I must be in so many people’s dreams…