Marxist-Leninist in Appalachia. I work in “tech,” have a deep passion for linguistics (BS in CSD) and games (video and tabletop), and have recently cultivated an interest in anti-imperialism and Western media criticism. I am currently pursuing an MA in media studies, aiming PhD long-term. DMs open!

  • 5 Posts
Joined 4M ago
Cake day: Apr 18, 2022


My workplace offers it alongside surrogacy and adoption support, and of course I feel compelled to stay long enough to utilize one of the three if it’s necessary despite dogshit treatment. I don’t know why this isn’t at the top of the average American’s list of priorities.

I’m probably not the best person to ask, as I hone in a lot more on scifi. I imagine it’s possible, and maybe looking at some science fantasy you could lump that in, but personally I’m not sure.

I get that. I think a lot of people see the “leftist space” description as a challenge, or worse yet, they don’t even read it. I inherently don’t have a problem with the grand majority of, I just know the problems I’ve seen with the influx and anarchists the last few weeks were tiring and reminiscent of my issues with Mastodon.

It’s actually kind of funny how mad some of the anarchists got in light of what you said elsewhere in the thread, because they acted like we needed to just stay in our space.

I don’t know if you do tabletops, but the Unofficial Elder Scrolls RPG is pretty fun. It’s rough around the edges and requires a patient and creative GM, but with some tweaks, it becomes very playable for folks who love the setting. The best part is, given the format, you can make the world play out in a better narrative and have it be more palatable.

I mean, Bethesda took a lot of cues from Tolkien-esque fantasy and amplified them because they started the Elder Scrolls in that era of “how do we change fantasy without changing fantasy at its core?,” like a reactionary attempt at "post-"fantasy. People mistake a depth of lore for quality too. I still love the games, but I have endless critiques of the setting, lore, writing, etc. Look at Warcraft. Started in the same era, similar amplified faults of reactionary "post-"fantasy.

There’s a lot more nuance in Morrowind to start. They were portrayed as good, bad, or neutral depending on who you engaged. You were allowed to form your own opinion on them, something Bethesda has always tried to cultivate even to the detriment of quality of writing down the road.

Keep in mind also that in the main story of Morrowind, it was the Emperor who sent you to fulfill the Nerevarine prophecies and you were ultimately working for the Blades. It’s equivalent to the role of Agent Ross in Black Panther, who fulfilled “white savior” a few times. You are a non-native foreigner in the game effectively working for the CIA. You can roleplay in your head a detachment from this after becoming the Nerevarine, but the game itself doesn’t give you the ability to, for instance, stage a playable and possibly canon insurrection to drive the invaders out of the Ashlander’s homeland. The best you get is killing all the Blades and Imperial agents for fun.

Sidenote: the Emperor even only pardoned you and sent you to Vvardenfell because his oracles and scholars told him that you might be the Nerevarine. It was all along a thing of “the West knows best.”

EDIT: Thinking deeper on the inability to stage an Ashlander insurrection, specifically two points:

  1. You get to participate in a civil war in Skyrim, but it is of course the racist ass ethnonationalist Stormcloaks. I can’t even look at Elder Scrolls memes anymore because that shit inspired endless fascism, alongside the way the ES community uses “n’wah” in place of the n-word (and mods in those spaces won’t do shit about it). The ES community is, at its core, racist, and Bethesda caters to that hardcore.

  2. Technically, the only reason the Empire is even in Morrowind is because the Tribunal was weakening and so they signed the Treaty of the Armistice with Tiber Septim to join the Empire. Great man bullshit handwaved an entire people’s destiny away, the Tribunal lying to the people and brutally criminalizing all dissent or investigation into the matter “because their literal faith in us is what keeps Morrowind safe so we must look powerful.” Vvardenfell was still restricted from Imperial trade and settlement until 13 years before the events of Morrowind, King Llethan having changed that, but he was himself a vassal to the Emperor. The decision was likely influenced by both parties to the Armistice yet again to the ire of the locals and natives, without giving them any information into the matter. The lore community even takes a perspective that the average character doesn’t know shit (re: “How much does the average person in Tamriel know about metaphysical lore concepts?”), namely “because that’s how it works in real life” (but they often lack any explanation or analysis of this beyond that and in fact mock it, as seen in the FAQ). It reinforces that it’s useless for them to be aware of the shit affecting their daily lives or have any agency at all.

The Ashlanders were ironically as hateful and regressive as the more traditionalist Nords, but they had a much better case for breaking ties violently.

  1. You know exactly who they’re talking about, you even reference it at the end with “vocal minority.” It’s not a minority though, I don’t know how you could jump on board with the concept without being enthusiastic about it. I don’t know a single person involved in crypto that isn’t singing its praises to a fault, online or offline, and “coincidentally” they all dislike when the “bad guys” get involved despite going on about endless use cases.

  2. I’m tired of seeing arguments that it’s just a tool/technology. Folks always claim it’s somehow being used incorrectly because the use case doesn’t match expectations. It’s more an ideology (borderline mysticism with some claims made about it) and always has been, which is why calling people a cryptobro even sprung up. Being defensive about it/staying in denial about that doesn’t improve the situation.

  3. Why does this just feel like a bad faith Reddit response? Like, to the point it got me and is now making me respond? Just scrolling through your comment history is a sea of negativity directed toward others here. I’m not talking civil disagreement and discussion, but constant disbelief and outrage at others in the community. Can we leave that stuff at the door when we come here?

Learned my lesson the first time with flagship instances on Mastodon. I can’t repeat it enough: flagships are for new users to federation until they find where they mesh. I don’t know that defederation is a great idea as a result, but I avoid the flagships at all costs myself to dodge the inevitable liberalism and other trash.

Feeling pretty good, want to share my good vibes with y'all for a moment
I registered for classes today (a research writing course where I've got to submit a paper to a journal by the end of the semester and a class on US foreign policy and its history, trying to convince my advisor I can do a third despite working "full time," I have an absurd amount of downtime in reality), paid the first installment of my tuition for the semester with money I earned from serving tables on the side, hooked up my desktop at my new apartment (even though a week without it did me good), moved some stuff to the proper place and cleaned a bit at the new place, applied to some GA positions (can't beat the tuition reimbursement, most are just dicking off on-call on campus for 10-20 hours/week, better than serving tables), and paid off a bunch of medical bills. I'm just so excited for school to start again, especially because I get access to free bus fare, free therapy, free basic doctor's visits, and a free gym membership. My partner and I walked to get lunch and it felt great outside and to be in the city I love again instead of the suburbs (now just to get a bike...). My paper shredder breaking didn't even touch this good mood shit. To top it off, we are going out of town for a few days next week to our other favorite place to celebrate all our achievements the last month and to get vacation mindset out of the way during the semester (my partner and I are both in school). Hope good things happen for the rest of you and that you feel good too!

I keep seeing random undeserved downvotes over here the last few days and it’s like a few on the flagship finally realized they can cross over and silently spread their incorrect opinion. Now it makes sense since others are seeing it too.

The official transcript on the Speaker’s website has sic brackets to say “Taiwan”:

Upvote for clarifying age of article. Wish that were more common for posts explicitly focusing on older materials.

I avoid the flagship for this reason, same as I did on Mastodon before I jumped ship there due to not feeling a good mesh with myself and the communities.

Sure is. Last time we went out, some woman dropped a water bottle down the side of a steep hill in front of a small waterfall and I scaled that shit to get it back to her. Full-on spider monkey. My friends don’t like doing it, so I end up feeling like I’m showing off, but it’s literally just so fun.

Donating a whole $1/figure sold, which comes out to less than $3.5k at the time of this writing. What an incredible marketing strategy and contribution to the war effort. 🤢

For just the cost of two days of Starbucks coffee, you too can have your very own “war criminal comedian Zeke.”

That cost is after insurance lmao. It truly sucks here.

It’s funny, because I socialize in other ways, so the most physically active thing I do is literally hike and climb…which isn’t exactly a social event lmao. It’s just what’s available in these woods and hills I’m surrounded by. Great if you can take other people though, although it can become very taxing physically.

That being said, a bunch of people locally made a kickball club where they drank a little and played. They seemed to have a blast. Most folks aren’t as fit as more hardcore athletic-oriented people, so these lower impact games will have more reach if you establish them yourself.

It’s also worth considering socializing by watching sports. I have gotten into a few positive encounters simply based on giving someone else’s favorite pastime a go. I tend to enjoy watching soccer (I played for years growing up) and MMA myself, but I will watch basketball. If someone has like a Super Bowl party, I will also still show up without caring so much for the game itself.

EDIT: I don’t know how you feel about the environment and drinking, but bars also have pool, darts, and cornhole often. Arcade bars have video games and board games, sometimes other things like large Jenga on patios. Casinos also have card games. None of these are as physically taxing but instill the same competitive nature, as well as being super conducive to conversation. Plus, they’re all massively social places in and of themselves by merit of being a bar/casino. Take this advice with a grain of salt, I’m both assuming the ultimate goal is community (and not just to mix socializing with physical activity) and I’m super extraverted and thrive in these places myself so YMMV.

That, and I think there’s a pretty fair chance a number of the red countries would be neutral/uninvolved past symbolic support. There is still a major uphill battle and a lot of them benefit from conflict between major powers. They basically have their pick because they’re being courted hard.

As much as I want to see Mexico on red side as well, there’s a pretty good chance they’re one of those above-mentioned.

If they wanted to find us, they would. There have been times I felt known by at least one agency (not law enforcement though) for inconveniencing and felt targeted, years ago though. Don’t feel like I got as much accomplished either trying to hide from it.

Short of living an extremely difficult and inefficient life and not being able to share our views publicly (antithetical to being a communist outside of obvious inapplicable settings), I don’t think there’s much we could or should do on that front outside of actually meaningful action (e.g., organizing parties). I believe there is this negatively correlated line that comprises of power/impact versus safety. Lemmygrad doesn’t have much of the former unfortunately. Might get targeted for symbolic action at most.

Advice for post-COVID cough
I got COVID for what I believe was the first time mid-July thanks to some assholes of coworkers in my second job. It lasted with me about a week, but hit me like a train. I've gotten better, my smell and taste are back, but I still have this damn cough. In the past, respiratory infections hit me hard but I only got them every year or two. A cough would linger for a few weeks then go away. This one has me hacking away uncontrollably at times though like a smoker, white to clear mucus, and it's been about three weeks now. Every breath tickles it, some just set it off. Has anyone else had a similar experience and successfully beat it? How so?

I have just fucked up so much today lol
I had a few wins with my landlord and getting on a new campaign at work (which ensures job security a little more), despite little sleep. Then my boss ruined my day by telling me I sucked out of nowhere, despite all evidence to the contrary. Unfortunately, everyone who could defend me has left the company recently. He walked back some of the shit he said after I confronted it, but it still made me feel weary about the future. After that, I missed a meeting with a contact who is helping out with my annual review because of the pissiness I felt and technological issues. I didn't get any other errands done and failed to call some folks I was supposed to (like checking up on imaging results from doctor). I kind of just stewed and reached out to people to complain and ask about jobs. I know the solution is to not let it get to me, but it just really caught me off guard because I've traditionally been praised at best, ignored at worst (read: most of the time) at work. I just need a new job, but I've been trying since April with no luck. Colleagues are getting jobs making double me and I don't know how because 95% of the time they're folks who leaned on me for basics. Good for them and all, but...why am I unemployable in comparison? Huge ass meh. I thought I had until next May for a cushion at least, doesn't seem so.

I feel kind of lost regarding local leftist circles
It is very likely a case of the area I specifically live in, but I've just about had it after waking up to a message earlier today that I'm letting live rent-free in my head. I admittedly go off on tangents and sometimes write a fuck ton if there is a means to do so (e.g., a Discord server). Most people I interact with on non-political levels, such as childhood friends I've maintained, do one of two things: they read it and respond, or they don't and let it fly. I've made peace with that, to the extent I even made a separate channel on our shared Discord server just for me to rant on shit that's not appropriate to other channels, and everyone is cool with that. I have no problem making friends everywhere I go and maintaining them. But every (and I shit you not **every**) political circle I get involved in locally does not entertain this. It almost seems like it irks them if I try to start up a discussion or get involved in one. Due to the nature of our getting together, it's political. Duh. Political discussions can run long, in time and content. It's actually kind of wild to me how a political circle **verbally** and rudely refuses to read more than a paragraph if they have total freedom to ignore it, or even just refuses to engage any of it at all most of the time past aphorisms or thought-terminating clichés. What is the point of having a group if you aren't going to discuss and build community in the off-hours? I think that is my point, and I've seen all (and I kid you not **all**) of the local groups fail prior because of this inability to build a community at core. It can individually be a fault of platform (not everyone uses one but joined it thinking they might start), time, stress/mental health, introversion, etc., and all of those are understandable, but seeing it happen on repeat seems to me to be more a symptom of something local. I'm the only person keeping some of these groups alive, until I'm not such as when I feel there's nothing left of beneficence to myself. COVID seemingly worsened it, reducing the lifespan on these groups from months to weeks and the frequency of their creation from several a year to one or less annually. Trust me, I've self-reflected on this. I saw therapists nearly my entire childhood due to Tourette syndrome, and so visiting them in adulthood was simple and something I've done often. It helped me come to terms with many quirks about who I am versus how others are, and I found ways to deal with it. What I cannot do is come to terms with how disappointed I am that people will talk about how politically left they are, then just share memes and talk in short sentence fragments about intense subjects when they do talk at all. There's a one-off person here and there that breaks the mold, and they all go on with their life because they're great people...which means moving away lol. Does anyone else have this problem? How do you solve it in person, if at all? I do have plans to leave the area in the next 1-3 years due to a variety of factors not related to this, but I really hate the idea of limiting my in-depth political interactions to online in the meantime. EDIT: Let me elaborate as well that I have sought feedback from loved ones alongside self-reflection and therapy in the past. Folks who could be intimately involved in the situation or at least aware of who I am on an interpersonal level. The conclusion arrived at tends to be of finger-pointing at others. That's well and all, but it doesn't provide me an opportunity to change anything in myself that may be a blocker nor does it help for community building. I view every failure to interact positively as a failure on my own part.

Good anti-imperialist/non-Western news sources?
Hello! This is my first post on Lemmygrad! I am excited to be here! I have recently created a Twitter bot with the intent to pull news from anti-imperialist/non-Western sources hourly, ideally to provide a different perspective for people to look into that may color their attitude toward Western media. At the least, it's a great resource for myself. I would love to have recommendations on sources to add and criticism of my current list. Current sources I am using: - Al Jazeera (Qatar) - South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) - MintPress News (US) - The Intercept (US) - Telesur English (Venezuela) - The Grayzone (US) - MR Online Newswire (US) - Asia Times (Hong Kong) - Press TV (Iran) - Granma (Cuba) - People's World (US) - Palestinian Chronicle (Palestine) - Nhân Dân (Vietnam) - Syrian Arab News Agency (Syria) - Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting / FAIR (US) - Xinhua News Agency (China) - Daily Nation (Kenya) - China Daily (China) - People’s Daily (China) Sources I am considering: - RT (Russia) - After obvious ordeal is over, too much coverage on it already - Sputnik (Russia) - After obvious ordeal is over, too much coverage on it already - Pyongyang Times (DPRK) - No RSS feed, have to make way to pull items manually - The Global Times (China) - Possibly too tabloid - Workers Today (Italy?) - Seems to have more explicit aim toward general Marxism-Leninism as opposed to coverage of anti-imperialist/non-Western affairs - Redfish (Germany) - See RT and Sputnik, given this source is related to Russian media - China News Service (China) - Afraid I may have too many sources from China - Democracy Now! (US) - Possibly too focused on domestic US affairs, but some good criticism appears so unsure I would love to find more sources covering Africa, South/Central America and the Caribbean, Austronesia, and Indigenous peoples. I have not linked the bot because I am not necessarily trying to self-promote, but would gladly share it if enough interest was shown.