VID POST: DC Catwoman

Jul. 20th, 2017 09:21 pm
chantefable: ([fisher] train of thought)
[personal profile] chantefable
A purrfect selection of Catwoman tributes - 50% live action, 50% animation. 100% cat.

Something Wild by AndrewShearer (Julie Newmar, Adam West Batman)
What's New, Pussycat? by klassicalmuzik (Eartha Kitt, Adam West Batman)
She's Always a Woman by DamianOswald (Michelle Pfeiffer, Tim Burton Batman)
Close to You by gss42x (Anne Hathaway, Chistopher Nolan Batman)
Go For Their Eyes by Basia3597 (Camren Bicondova, Gotham)
Who's In Control by MariusSvensen (Halle Berry, Catwoman)
If I Have to Fall Then It Won't Be in Your Line by SanctuaryMyst (Batman Telltale)
Guaranteed I Can Blow Your Mind by SanctuaryMyst (Batman Telltale)
Who Wants to Sleep in a City That Never Wakes Up by SanctuaryMyst (Batman Telltale)
Is This Love? by shakeluver4 (DC Animated)
Killer Queen by JessieH (DC Animated)
She's Always a Woman to Me by glitterz (DC Animated)

DC DC vids (misc), DC vids (TV & EU), Wonder Woman (DCEU), Batman (DCEU), Supergirl (TV), Arrow (TV), Justice League & Suicide Squad (DCEU), Justice League (DCEU), White Canary & Black Siren (Arrow), Female Characters (Arrow), Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow (DC CW TV), Gotham (TV), DC Superheroes 1966-2016 (TV), DC Animated Series, Wonder Woman & Steve Trevor (DCEU), Wonder Woman (DCEU), Preacher, Lucifer, Constantine
[syndicated profile] phd_comics_feed
Piled Higher & Deeper by Jorge Cham
www.phdcomics.com
Click on the title below to read the comic
title: "The Mysteries of SPACE" - originally published 7/19/2017

For the latest news in PHD Comics, CLICK HERE!

REC POST: NBC Hannibal

Jul. 19th, 2017 11:40 pm

Wednesday Reading Meme

Jul. 19th, 2017 04:10 pm
sineala: Detail of Harry Wilson Watrous, "Just a Couple of Girls" (reading)
[personal profile] sineala
What I Just Finished Reading

Marko Kloos, Fields of Fire: Sometimes you just want some mil-SF where people shoot giant bug-eyed aliens with big guns. There was a chapter at the beginning devoted to the main character and his wife yelling at her parents who didn't believe in guns or the military that was really kind of lousy, but thankfully most of the book was then about shooting aliens with big guns.

Ben Aaronovitch, The Furthest Station: A novella in the Rivers of London series in which Peter et al. investigate ghost sightings on the London Underground. Like the rest of the series, it's a fun and engaging read. I have no memory of any of the supporting characters, which is probably not ideal, but this book is A+ worth it for Nightingale's comment to Peter about how it is now time for him to learn Greek.

Rick Beyer & Elizabeth Sayles, The Ghost Army of World War II: How One Top-Secret Unit Deceived the Enemy with Inflatable Tanks, Sound Effects, and Other Audacious Fakery: It seems like "inflatable tanks" are something no one would really have done, but apparently that was what the Ghost Army was for. This is an interesting read; it's not as wordy as I usually like my non-fiction to be, but it makes up for it with all the images. I hadn't realized that so many of the Ghost Army soldiers were actual artists, and apparently they just kept drawing the war as it happened, so there are a lot of really nice sketches.

What I'm Reading Now

Comics Wednesday!

Doctor Strange #23, Invincible Iron Man #9, Ms. Marvel #20, Secret Empire #6, Secret Empire Brave New World #4, US Avengers #8, Ultimates 2 #9, X-Men Gold #8 )

What I'm Reading Next

No idea.

Wednesday Reading Meme

Jul. 19th, 2017 08:18 am
osprey_archer: (books)
[personal profile] osprey_archer
What I’ve Just Finished Reading

Pierrepont Noyes’ My Father’s House: An Oneida Childhood, which I liked very much; although of course I would, being fond of a) childhood memoirs (I tend to agree with C. S. Lewis that “I never read an autobiography in which the parts devoted to the earlier years were not far the most interesting”), b) memoirs about cults (really anything about cults), and c) the nineteenth century.

But even if you are interested in only one of those things, this is an engaging book; much recommended. The one thing it will not give you is a clear description of the Oneida Community’s collapse: Noyes was ten at the time and found the whole thing ominous but fuzzy.

I also finished rereading A Wrinkle in Time. I’m glad I reread it because I no longer feel that vague gnawing sense that I just didn’t get it - but at the same time, it’s a bit sad to reread it and realize that I’m just never going to love that book the way that some people do.

What I’m Reading Now

Kidnapped! I only intended to begin it, but somehow I ended up halfway through the book already. It’s such a cracking good adventure yarn, it’s very hard to put down!

I have begun Jane Langton’s The Astonishing Stereoscope! It’s early days yet, but I have high hopes that it will live up to the other books in the series - or at least the early books in the series; I hold a real grudge against Time Bike for being so dreadful that it stopped my exploration of the Hall Family Chronicles, even though I adored both The Diamond in the Window and The Fledgling. But fortunately the good books in the series are the kind that are just as good if you read them first as an adult.

What I Plan to Read Next

The Railway Children, which I also intended to read next last week, but I bought Noyes’ memoir at the museum and it simply had to take precedence, so… But this week I am quite determined! Railway Children or bust! Unless I find something simply irresistible in Amherst.
sineala: (Avengers: Welcome to NY)
[personal profile] sineala
Icebreaker (5404 words) by Sineala
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Marvel (Comics), Marvel Noir, Bullet Points (Comics)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Steve Rogers/Tony Stark
Characters: Steve Rogers, Tony Stark
Additional Tags: Canonical Character Death, Grief/Mourning, Hero Worship, Multiverse, Angst, Community: cap_ironman, Cap-Ironman Bingo
Summary: Months after Tony is murdered on a strange, starless world, a world almost no one remembers, Steve plummets from a drone plane into the cold waters of the North Atlantic. He's fully expecting not to survive -- but instead he wakes up on another new world, where he meets a very familiar stranger. And it turns out the two of them have a lot in common.

For Cap-IM Bingo; the square is "automat," which I would just like to say is very tricky to use if you're not writing Agent Carter fic.

Twelve days left to finish my last Bingo square! And then five more days to write my Steve/Tony anniversary zine story basically from scratch because I am lousy at doing things in advance.

I wish my faves were less obscure

Jul. 18th, 2017 07:22 pm
sineala: (Avengers: Carol: In flight)
[personal profile] sineala
I have been stalking them for a year and regretting not buying them when they had them, and in case you also care, the Warbird and Wasp shirts are back in stock at ThinkGeek. (They also still have a Squirrel Girl one but it's not available in all sizes. Also if I had to pick, I like Carol and Jan better.)

(I know, Carol is not an obscure fave, what with the upcoming movie, but Warbird is my favorite Carol and there is almost no Warbird merch. I have a 3.5" figure Lysimache got me -- technically Ms. Marvel but the outfit is the same -- and I have a messenger bag from WeLoveFine but that's it.)

Herb Garden

Jul. 18th, 2017 04:41 pm
osprey_archer: (nature)
[personal profile] osprey_archer
Micky and I swept through Cornell today, first to the art museum, where we spent most of our time on the top floor with the Asian Art - they go all across Asia, which naturally takes up quite a bit of space and time, so we were tired out by the end and didn't stop long in the rest of the museum. Well, except for a beautiful display of Tiffany glass on the landing between the second & third floors.

And then we went to the Cornell Botanical Gardens today, although it was rather hot, and had an absolutely splendid time walking around their herb garden - which was separated into themed plots, "Culinary Herbs," "Herbs for Tea," "Healing Herbs," "Herbs from Literature," and so on and so forth. (Many of the herbs were of course in more than one plot.)

I had a brief but intense interest in healing herbs when I was a kid, so it was nice to be able to see all those herbs that I'd read about in the flesh, if you will.

And also to sniff the leaves of many, many different kinds of mint, and try to pick up the non-mint undertones that are supposed to be there - apple mint, chocolate mint (yes, that's it's own plant!), mint sage... But really they all smelled like mint to me.

***

After that, being rather hot and tired, we repaired to an ice cream shop and thence to Micky's house (where I have been TRYING to do my laundry, but I fear I have become the Bane of Washing Machines - I broke the one in my apartment not too long ago, did I tell you? Well, I don't think I did anything to break it, it just broke while I was using it, but still...

In any case I have been having trouble getting the machine to work. Nothing seems to be working this afternoon: I also attempted to write a bit more of the Adventures of Harriet and Troy and alas have come up against the rocky shoals of Peter Wimsey's inimitable voice. He never sounds like himself when I write him. i suppose I could just cut him out entirely and have Troy meet Harriet all on her own, but then Wimsey can't discomfit Alleyn by calling him by his old Eton nickname (which, I have decided, should be "Allers,"), which would be too bad...

Oh well, dear. This is all lots of fun to brainstorm about, but I really can't do Peter's voice justice, and on the whole it's really more ambitious than I think I want to write. Perhaps it's just better to accept that the brainstorming will be the final product - as tormenting as that may be. Surely it's better than having nothing at all?

***

On the bright side, Micky has introduced me to The Great British Bake-Off. In fact she is at least the third friend to recommend this to me, but the first one to take the necessary step of forcing me to sit down and watch an episode, and it is just as charming and delightful as everyone has always promised.

Wonder Woman Love

Jul. 18th, 2017 11:00 pm
chantefable: ([mood] cheerful)
[personal profile] chantefable
My thoughts on Wonder Woman, for posterity: I thought it was LOVELY and the director & screenplay writer SHOULD BE VERY PROUD. It is now my favourite superhero comics film.

([personal profile] vaysh11, comparing to Captain America: Winter Soldier, I'm not sure comparisons can be made because they are apples and oranges, when it comes to the story & filmy stuff, they are only linked by the whole metahuman/demigod dimension. While I love the Pakula vibe and the total control thriller thing CA:WS does, I thought WW was on top of the game in terms of its story & structure, and photography/CGI, and concept. And I LIKE and LOVE WW better.)

Things that I pay attention to and thought were very well done: lighting, photography, fight choreography. I cannot believe nobody spoiled me for the fact that spoiler ) Loved all the Amazons, their settlement aesthetic, routine, Florence Kasumba as senator, Doutzen Kroes as high-ranking amazon-in-waiting to Diana's mum, I guess, Diana's mum as amazing queen, everything. The gaze and the POV were great throughout, I felt involved and never sidelined (as a woman). The diverse, international team - very good, very good lines establishing characters, very good visuals, very solid, that was what I kept wanting and I got it. The John Buchan-style military shenanigans. The no man's land sequence - thank you, Patty Jenkins, for fighting to keep it, very moving, I began to cry when Diana started climbing the ladder.

Chris Pine (once accompanied by almost-lens-flare) as Steve who does such typically male-gaze-on-woman things like frolic in a bath naked. But also spoiler ) and spoiler ), all in all, great.

I also loved the source of Diana's power bit, where spoiler ); I also liked the bit about Ares spoiler ), the entire Ares plot arc had a solid mythological vibe. Diana's character growth was lovely.

The framing device used, the whole trip down memory lane, was very neat and beautiful. Nothing here looked dumb, even when it was something tried & true / done a hundred times before. Because it was done cohesively & coherently. Very much appreciated.

tl;dr SO MUCH WONDER WOMAN LOVE.

drabblemania! And other festathons!

Jul. 17th, 2017 11:50 am
isis: Write what you're told! (micah wright)
[personal profile] isis
The second annual Multifandom Drabble Exchange ([community profile] multifandomdrabble) went live yesterday, and I received a gift and a treat:

Summer turns towards Autumn by [archiveofourown.org profile] weakinteraction - The Man in the High Castle (TV), Tagomi and Juliana post-S2. I do wonder what is going to happen in S3 when they eventually meet again, and this is a lovely teaser!

The Visitor by [archiveofourown.org profile] Alona - The Divine Cities series by Robert Jackson Bennett, Mulaghesh gen. I prompted "accidental kitten acquisition" and this made me smile because it's so in character.

I was assigned to write for [archiveofourown.org profile] st_aurafina:

A New Hobby - Lord John series by Diana Gabaldon, Lord John/Stephan von Namtzen (okay, it's really gen, but) in a stealth fusion with an undisclosed fandom. Lord John Grey visits Waldesruh again, and learns about Stephan von Namtzen's latest obsession.

I also wrote a bunch of treats (all G-rated):

Saucy Wench - Hot Sauces (Anthropomorphic), Cholula/ Tapatío - There's a new girl on the shelf.

My Sin - due South (TV), Frannie Vecchio/Maggie McKenzie - Licking the evidence runs in the family.

Fire - Frontier Wolf by Rosemary Sutcliff, Teleri(/Connla) - Everyone in the village said they should wed, with their matching crowns of fiery hair.

The Bicycle Rule - The Giver by Lois Lowry, The Receiver gen - It was one of the few rules that was not taken very seriously and was almost always broken. (The Giver, chapter 2.)

One More Earthly Pleasure - The Witcher 3 videogame (actually for the DLC Hearts of Stone), Shani and Vlodimir - In which Gaunter O'Dimm doesn't banish Vlodimir at midnight.

Aboard the Psi-Ship Foxway - The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater, gen - 300 Fox Way IN SPAAACE.

Here are links to the main collection and the treats - a lot of tasty bite-sized fandom bits to sample. My favorite so far unfortunately points up the problem with drabbles - that they are so tiny and can only tell a very limited story - because it's a drabble sequence and therefore encompasses a lot more story than a single 100-word chunk can tell. But it's really amazing:

Forward/Back (500 words) by lalalalalawhy
Fandom: Original Work
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Time Traveler/Time Traveler
Characters: Time traveling OCs, Original Female Character(s)
Additional Tags: Time Travel, Drabble, Drabble Sequence
Summary:
I skip through time like a flat stone on a still lake, spending days here, a few hours there, always moving forward. My love is the same, but reverse. Her lake is a mirror of mine. She only ever goes back.
A love story in five drabbles.

In other festathon news, I'm planning on signing up for both [community profile] crossovering and [community profile] remixrevival, which are both open for sign-ups now! Check 'em out!
chantefable: ([x-men] i love you)
[personal profile] chantefable
Finally decided to post a fic from 2012, because it's a nice one.

Title: Copy [on AO3]
Fandom: X-Men (Alternate Timeline Movies)
Relationship: Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto)/Charles Xavier (Professor X)
Story notes: Alternate Universe, Robots & Androids, Suspense, Resurrection, Unreliable Narrator, Artificial Intelligence, Pygmalion, Memory Loss, Robot/Human Relationships, Self-Harm, Deception, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Summary: Charles wakes up without his memory. His sole caretaker, Erik, claims to be his husband, and tells him he's recovering from a car accident on their honeymoon. Slowly falling for Erik again, Charles begins to regain his memories. He starts to notice strange things about his body, Erik, and their secluded mansion.
tl;dr Charles dies, Erik uses technology to bring him back to life, against Charles' will. Over and over and over.
Notes: Ancient meme fill. Basically a Hitchock-style hermetic thriller with A.I. & robots.

Ithaca

Jul. 16th, 2017 11:00 pm
osprey_archer: (shoes)
[personal profile] osprey_archer
I am arrived in Ithaca! The one in New York, not the Greek island, although the Greek island would also be a splendid place to visit someday.

We had a splendid dinner at a restaurant called Rulloff's, which is named after a famous nineteenth century Ithaca murderer (or famous at the time, at least; I had not heard of him until I read his famous last words written up on a chalkboard on the wall in the restaurant), and possessed of excellent food. We had crepes for dessert - or at least, we ordered crepes; I am not sure the chef understood that crepes are in fact supposed to be thinner than ordinary pancakes. However, as the pancakes were topped with raspberry compote and Nutella creamed into mascarpone, of course we forgave them their trespasses and ate them up entire.

***

And I had another thought about Oneida, which I forgot to put in my post yesterday.

Our guide mentioned that over the years in Oneida, the community voted to stop using tobacco, alcohol, and caffeine. Now on the one hand, these are all pretty normal nineteenth-century candidates for reform (the Mormons also banned, and IIRC still ban, all three).

But at the same time, hearing about this reminded me of the Rat Park experiments, which were studies in morphine addiction that took place back in the seventies. Rats in ordinary lab rat cages swiftly get addicted to morphine when they're offered the opportunity to take morphine-laced water. However, Bruce Alexander discovered that rats who lived in a less restricted environment - in a structure he called Rat Park, where they had toys and (more importantly) other rats to play with - barely used the morphine water at all.

And what occurred to me is that, for all its problems - which were after all severe enough to eventually break the community apart - Oneida was basically Human Park. Here you've got all these people hanging out together all the time, even doing a lot of their work in bees (think quilting bee, not spelling bee) so it will be more social and fun, constantly putting on entertainments for each other and playing croquet together and, of course, having lots of sex. Who needs cigarettes or beer or even tea when they've got infinite croquet?

...I mean, you'd still have to pull my tea out of my cold dead hands. But then I'm not living in Oneida, now am I.

***

Although it's also worth noting that living for five years in Oneida failed to dent future presidential assassin Charles Guiteau's delusions of grandeur even slightly, so clearly all the togetherness in the world is not a panacea.
[syndicated profile] phd_comics_feed
Piled Higher & Deeper by Jorge Cham
www.phdcomics.com
Click on the title below to read the comic
title: "The Path to Enlightenment" - originally published 7/14/2017

For the latest news in PHD Comics, CLICK HERE!

sineala: (Avengers: Tony: Tentacle)
[personal profile] sineala
One and Every Way (21844 words) by Sineala
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Marvel (Comics), Marvel 616, Avengers (Comics)
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Steve Rogers/Tony Stark
Characters: Steve Rogers, Tony Stark
Additional Tags: 5 Things, Tentacles, Tentacle Sex, Dubious Consentacles, Consentacles, Bondage, Humiliation, Dirty Talk, Consent Play, Subdrop, Dildos, Porn Watching, Phone Sex, Dreamsharing, Telepathy, Past Alcohol Abuse/Alcoholism, Extremis, Double Penetration, Additional Warnings In Author's Note, Avengers Vol. 1 (1963), Avengers Vol. 3 (1998), New Avengers Vol. 1 (2004)
Series: Part 2 of This Mortal Part of Mine
Summary: Five ways Steve and Tony have attempted to incorporate tentacles into their relationship.

Apparently after every RBB I write in this fandom, I think to myself, "That was nice but it needed a porny epilogue," because so far I have done the Cap-IM RBB three times and every time I have decided to write some kind of PWP sequel. And this one is five PWP sequels in one story because I just could not pick what kind of tentacle PWP I wanted. So I wrote all of them. For [personal profile] phoenixmetaphor's birthday, because she did the (excellent) original tentacle art for which I wrote This Mortal Part of Mine. You will probably want to read that one first.

I think maybe that now I will write stories that are not about tentacles. For a bit, at least. That was kind of a lot of tentacles all at once. (Three more stories to go this month!)

17776

Jul. 15th, 2017 08:27 pm
sineala: (Avatar: Appa and Toph)
[personal profile] sineala
17776 has concluded as of today, and you should all read it. I had seen people talking about it over the past few days and I thought, "Meh, why would I want to read a story about football?" (I do have occasional positive feelings about football but not enough to sustain an entire story.) It's... not so much about football as it is about why humans play games. You don't need to like or in fact know anything about American football, I promise. (It would probably help if you had positive feelings about space exploration, though.)

It's... it's hard to explain what it is without spoiling too much of it. It's set in the future when the game of football is very different and so is everything else. It's kind of like Homestuck in that it's told through a combination of text, images, gifs, and video. (You do need to watch the video -- I can't find transcripts, sorry -- but you don't need the sound on; one of the intermission videos has background audio of a football game but everything else is just music.)

Anyway, I don't want to say too much, but you should read it.

(It would probably be a good Yuletide fandom.)

REC POST: Everybody loves Batman

Jul. 16th, 2017 02:00 am
chantefable: ([x-men] i love you)
[personal profile] chantefable
That's it. Bruce Wayne and miscellaneous Gothamites, associates, Gotham city sirens, Justice League co-workers...

Go Your Own Way by tkp (lettered) (Jim Gordon/Bruce Wayne: Gordon takes Wayne around to diners with sticky tables where they serve shitty coffee, and to his postage stamp apartment with its single spring bed, and Wayne wears Gordon's cheap t-shirts and sweats and worn out boxers, and Gordon makes eggs and eats noodles out of a pan, and goes for jogs in ratty sneakers to pick up cheap cigarettes and Wayne can't get the smell out of his $5,000 suit for a week. Oh, and it turns Bruce on.)
Two For Flinching by FabulaRasa (Jim Gordon/Bruce Wayne: Jim Gordon thinks he knows everything there is to know about the Batman. Finding out he was wrong teaches him everything he needed to know about Jim Gordon.)
Integrity by thedevilchicken (Alfred Pennyworth/Bruce Wayne: He didn't learn to sew because of Bruce.)
Softer Memories by linndechir (Alfred Pennyworth/Bruce Wayne: Alfred had been watching Bruce go down darker and darker paths over decades. He'd long given up the hope that he could stop him, but the least he could do was to remind Bruce of his own needs every now and then.)
Unmasked by Unpretty (Selina Kyle/Bruce Wayne: Catwoman is Selina Kyle, and Bruce has always known it. Batman is Bruce Wayne, but Selina just found that out. Shockingly, it turns out the dude has issues.)
You Can't Deny (The Facts of Life) by DoreyG (Harley Quinn/Bruce Wayne: It was an accident - or at least that’s what Harley swears later, when asked.)
Kiss by PoisonKisses (Poison Ivy/Bruce Wayne: Batman makes it look easy, because he can't afford to lose himself, or give in.)
Broken by FabulaRasa (Barbara Gordon/Bruce Wayne: Batman is seriously injured, broken and re-made in ways that Barbara alone can understand.)
Trouble by theLiterator (Hal Jordan/Bruce Wayne: Hal sleeps with Bruce Wayne, and then he falls in love with Batman.)
Ends Against the Middle by forthegreatergood (Of all the obstacles Bruce expected when he decided to make a move on Hal, Oliver's attempt to speed things along wasn't one of them.)

More DC BATMAN: Batman (DCEU), Gotham (TV), Superman & Batman (misc) , Superman & Batman: secret identity trope (misc), Superman & Batman (misc), Superman & Batman: Novelty AUs (misc), Superman & Batman: deluxe trope mix (misc), Grayson/Batman, Batman/Green Lantern

Oneida Community

Jul. 15th, 2017 05:23 pm
osprey_archer: (shoes)
[personal profile] osprey_archer
I discovered, FAR TOO LATE, that it is actually possible to stay in the old Oneida Community building: they have converted part of it into a hotel (and an even larger part of it into apartments). IF ONLY! But they seem to get booked up far in advance, so probably even if I had popped over to their website when the idea of a road trip first occurred to me in June, I still couldn't have stayed there.

Still. MAYBE SOMEDAY. Upstate New York is so beautiful - I've never been here before, but I love the mountains - and so full of history: I just happened to stumble upon L. Frank Baum's hometown today. They have an Oz museum, which I did not visit, but if I come back...

Mostly I spent the day visiting the Oneida Community Mansion House, where the three hundred odd members of the community lived from the 1860s to 1880, when the community broke up. (They were in the area since 1848, but it took them some time to gather the resources to build that stately brick house.) I took the guided tour, which was really wonderful - we had a thoughtful and well-informed docent, a former English teacher, who not only knew everything about the house but had read most of the books in the gift shop and helped me decide which one to buy. (I ended up with Pierrepont B. Noyes' memoir of his childhood at Oneida, which is delightful so far.)

The Oneida Community was a Christian perfectionist cult - perfectionist in the sense of "We can achieve sinless grace on earth!", not its modern meaning. They practiced:

1. Bible communism. Everyone in the community holds all goods in common; the community takes care of everyone and everyone does work for the community, and all kinds of work are held to be holy.

2. Complex marriage. All the men and women in the community are heterosexually married to each other. People at the time often figured that there was a constant orgy going on in the mansion, but in fact sexual contact had to be carefully negotiated, usually through an intermediary, and anyone had the right to say no. (Charles Guiteau, who later assassinated President Garfield, lived in the Oneida Community for five years and could not get laid.) You'd think women would be getting pregnant all the time, except the community also practiced

3. Male continence. Men were not to ejaculate during sex. This apparently worked really well - there were only forty pregnancies in the group's first twenty years of existence - possibly because incorrect ejaculation would come up during Mutual Criticism, which would be totally mortifying and also limit one's future sex partners.

4. Which brings us neatly to Mutual Criticism, during which people were allowed - nay, encouraged! - to tell you all your faults so you could try to correct them and thus approach nearer to spiritual perfection. This sounds excruciating, but Pierrepont Noyes, in his memoir, comments that "because members had the opportunity to criticize each other openly, Community life was singularly free from backbiting and scandalmongering," so perhaps it's a case of ripping off the bandaid all in one go rather than taking it up millimeter by excruciating millimeter.

And also everyone except John Humphrey Noyes, the founder, underwent Mutual Criticism, so any impulse toward harshness much have been tempered by the knowledge that the criticizer might soon by the criticized.

I have no idea if the Community owned this many portraits of Noyes when it was active, but now they are everywhere. It reminded me a bit of the omnipresent Lenins in the Soviet Union, although this comparison is unfair to Noyes: he seems to have been about as benevolent a patriarch as it is possible for any human being to be, spoken of with love and respect even after the community fell apart.

Although I do think the comparison does serve to show the limits of the Oneida community, as enticing as certain aspects of the experiment seem. (I for one like the idea of living in a mansion full of like-minded people with a well-stocked reading room and an endless round of entertainments: the Oneidans, no ascetics, played croquet, put on plays, read novels aloud to each other, and fielded a full orchestra.) Communes seem to need a charismatic leader to succeed - hence the mayfly nature of most nineteenth-century commune experiments - and there's no guarantee you'll get a benevolent Noyes rather than someone voraciously power-mad.

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Motetus, Mammoth Rider

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