Personal Blog - UNC Chapel Hill Student

Blog contains: Fandoms, Nerd culture, Video Games, Politics, Art, Social Justice, Music

Main Fandoms: Everything Whedon, Star Wars, Mass Effect, Supernatural

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The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly; the rich have always objected to being governed at all.
G. K. Chesterton, The Man Who Was Thursday (via bloodspatteredguitar)

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to forget that King’s family pursued a court case against the US in 1999 for assassinating MLK Jr. and WON. That’s a fact that is always conveniently left out of history books. Don’t let them turn him into their own personal puppet doll that says “I have a dream” when you pull the string, please. 

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Snake Eater - 15 x 22  Ink and Digital

Hid somethings referencing to different characters from the game. This hurt my hand to draw lol… So many lines.

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Original Illustration by R.T.

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dear internet, let me tell you some things about my public-school-in-georgia sex education.

pictured above is my abstinence til marriage card, given to me in my eighth grade health class. as you can see, i did not sign it, so it is non-binding. they were “optional” but the teacher placed the basket at the front of the class and stared us down. my 13-year-old self had a very brief dilemma between 1. making a stand and not getting one or 2. getting one because it’s fucking hilarious. i am very glad i chose the latter, because as i predicted, this is now something hilarious to show everyone.

that year in health we also learned “how to spot the identifying features of a crack baby” which is literally nothing but lies. we had a system of anonymous questions, and once someone asked “how do i know if i’m a lesbian?” our teacher looked disgusted and she replied “how would i know? i’m not a lesbian!”

EDIT i forgot to mention when she gave these to us she suggested we “cut up our cards together with our husbands on our wedding day” and i remember thinking, fuck if i marry someone from my middle school

the next time i had sex ed in high school it was taught by a dude gym coach who spent the whole time talking about his daughters. the book we were learning from listed “low self-esteem” “stunted social growth” and “depression,” among others, as consequences of premarital sex. at one point, it asked us to fill in the disadvantages of having an abortion. our teacher went, “well, i’m personally against abortion, so we’re just going to skip this section,” which confused me, because it was explicitly asking for an argument against abortion.

the last time i had sex ed it was pretty good and there were free condoms and we got little bottles of lube every time we answered questions, but i don’t think that counts cause it was in an intro to women’s studies class.

in my 8th grade health class we watched this video about abstinence and the slogan was “a condom can’t protect your heart”

Our school made us watch a video with some man talking about how virginity was like a flower and that whenever we had sex with someone we’d give a bit of that flower away. Then when we met someone we wanted to spend the rest of our lives with we’d just be left with a wilted stem and a couple of petals when we should be giving them a whole flower.

I really wish I was joking.

In church they used to tell us that we were like cupcakes and if we were physically intimate with our partners it was like getting the icing licked off, and therefore no one would want you afterwards because no one wants a licked cupcake. 

in my sex ed class we did this demonstration where they had this line of kids swish and spit out water and combine the nasty backwash to make this gross concoction as a metaphor for how sex before marriage makes you dirty and gross

fucking public education

I might as well add my church group.  We had to open a kiss candy, put it in our mouth, melt it a little bit and then put it back in the wrapper.  From their we had to hand it someone else and they explained, “this is what happens when you have sex before marriage.  You have to give those dirty leftovers to your spouse.”

In my grade 8 “sex ed” class we all listened to the song “I dreamed a dream” from Les Mis and then the teacher was like THIS IS WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO YOU IF YOU HAVE SEX and I really kind of wanted to do it just to see if I really would become a 19th century French prostitute with a beautiful singing voice

Every time I hear stories like these, I think what the fuck kind of a sex education did you American kids get omfg.


i am really angry. i am. seriously. this is awful and kids are getting these horrific ideas that self-esteem is tied to virginity, mostly girls, and it’s awful and will probably also make them really uncomfortable about sex ever and therefore not have happy good sex later on.

but man i can’t stop laughing at the idea of someone using les mIS AS THE EXAMPLE OMFG DYING

Jr high health class I had a male teacher who told us if we had more than one sexual partner, it makes you a “SLUT” (I distinctly remember him writing it on the board in big red letters)

10th grade or so, same school, female teacher— she explained how to find the g-spot and put condoms on bananas lol

Australian here. Fifth grade we’d put tampons in shot glasses and had a wooden dildo to put condoms on

American, but in a fairly liberal area. I remember they had gathered all us girls together to talk about periods in sixth grade. It was fairly mundane, but all of us girls were kind of mad because while we reheard stuff we had gotten the year before while the boys got to play dodgeball in the gym. And then one girl asks, “Wait, if girls get periods, what do boys get?” And another girl shrugged and said “Wet dreams” and we all snickered. Pretty sure our teacher was horrified we could make and understand that joke as a class.

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Power resides where men believe it resides. 

but he has a wolf head and i’m sorry but isn’t that a little on the nose?

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Since 9/11, and the subsequent militarization of the police by the Department of Homeland Security, about 5,000 Americans have been killed by US police officers. The civilian death rate is nearly equal to the number of US soldiers killed in Iraq. In fact, you are 8 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than by a terrorist.

Cops Kill 8 Times More Americans Than Terrorists Do | Activist Post

If the 4,489 American soldiers killed in combat in Iraq constitute a condition of war, why can United States police departments kill nearly 5,000 American citizens and not be viewed as agents of war against we the American people?

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Since 9/11… about 5,000 Americans have been killed by US police officers.

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And you KNOW a disproportionate number were people of color

I would bet that people with disabilities and trans people are disproportionately overrepresented too

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“Your name is Tasbeeh. Don’t let them call you by anything else.”

My mother speaks to me in Arabic; the command sounds more forceful in her mother tongue, a Libyan dialect that is all sharp edges and hard, guttural sounds. I am seven years old and it has never occurred to me to disobey my mother. Until twelve years old, I would believe God gave her the supernatural ability to tell when I’m lying.

“Don’t let them give you an English nickname,” my mother insists once again, “I didn’t raise amreekan.”

My mother spits out this last word with venom. Amreekan. Americans. It sounds like a curse coming out of her mouth. Eight years in this country and she’s still not convinced she lives here. She wears her headscarf tightly around her neck, wades across the school lawn in long, floor-skimming skirts. Eight years in this country and her tongue refuses to bend and soften for the English language. It embarrasses me, her heavy Arab tongue, wrapping itself so forcefully around the clumsy syllables of English, strangling them out of their meaning.

But she is fierce and fearless. I have never heard her apologize to anyone. She will hold up long grocery lines checking and double-checking the receipt in case they’re trying to cheat us. My humiliation is heavy enough for the both of us. My English is not. Sometimes I step away, so people don’t know we’re together but my dark hair and skin betray me as a member of her tribe.

On my first day of school, my mother presses a kiss to my cheek.

“Your name is Tasbeeh,” she says again, like I’ve forgotten. “Tasbeeh.”


Roll call is the worst part of my day. After a long list of Brittanys, Jonathans, Ashleys, and Yen-but-call-me-Jens, the teacher rests on my name in silence. She squints. She has never seen this combination of letters strung together in this order before. They are incomprehensible. What is this h doing at the end? Maybe it is a typo.


“Tasbeeh,” I mutter, with my hand half up in the air. “Tasbeeh.”

A pause.

“Do you go by anything else?”

“No,” I say. “Just Tasbeeh. Tas-beeh.”

“Tazbee. All right. Alex?”

She moves on before I can correct her. She said it wrong. She said it so wrong. I have never heard my name said so ugly before, like it’s a burden. Her entire face contorts as she says it, like she is expelling a distasteful thing from her mouth. She avoids saying it for the rest of the day, but she has already baptized me with this new name. It is the name everyone knows me by, now, for the next six years I am in elementary school. “Tazbee,” a name with no grace, no meaning, no history; it belongs in no language.

“Tazbee,” says one of the students on the playground, later. “Like Tazmanian Devil?” Everyone laughs. I laugh too. It is funny, if you think about it.


I do not correct anyone for years. One day, in third grade, a plane flies above our school.

“Your dad up there, Bin Laden?” The voice comes from behind. It is dripping in derision.

“My name is Tazbee,” I say. I said it in this heavy English accent, so he may know who I am. I am American. But when I turn around they are gone.


I go to middle school far, far away. It is a 30-minute drive from our house. It’s a beautiful set of buildings located a few blocks off the beach. I have never in my life seen so many blond people, so many colored irises. This is a school full of Ashtons and Penelopes, Patricks and Sophias. Beautiful names that belong to beautiful faces. The kind of names that promise a lifetime of social triumph.

I am one of two headscarved girls at this new school. We are assigned the same gym class. We are the only ones in sweatpants and long-sleeved undershirts. We are both dreading roll call. When the gym teacher pauses at my name, I am already red with humiliation.

“How do I say your name?” she asks.

“Tazbee,” I say.

“Can I just call you Tess?”

I want to say yes. Call me Tess. But my mother will know, somehow. She will see it written in my eyes. God will whisper it in her ear. Her disappointment will overwhelm me.

“No,” I say, “Please call me Tazbee.”

I don’t hear her say it for the rest of the year.


My history teacher calls me Tashbah for the entire year. It does not matter how often I correct her, she reverts to that misshapen sneeze of a word. It is the ugliest conglomeration of sounds I have ever heard.

When my mother comes to parents’ night, she corrects her angrily, “Tasbeeh. Her name is Tasbeeh.” My history teacher grimaces. I want the world to swallow me up.


My college professors don’t even bother. I will only know them for a few months of the year. They smother my name in their mouths. It is a hindrance for their tongues. They hand me papers silently. One of them mumbles it unintelligibly whenever he calls on my hand. Another just calls me “T.”

My name is a burden. My name is a burden. My name is a burden. I am a burden.


On the radio I hear a story about a tribe in some remote, rural place that has no name for the color blue. They do not know what the color blue is. It has no name so it does not exist. It does not exist because it has no name.


At the start of a new semester, I walk into a math class. My teacher is blond and blue-eyed. I don’t remember his name. When he comes to mine on the roll call, he takes the requisite pause. I hold my breath.

“How do I pronounce your name?” he asks.

I say, “Just call me Tess.”

“Is that how it’s pronounced?”

I say, “No one’s ever been able to pronounce it.”

“That’s probably because they didn’t want to try,” he said. “What is your name?”

When I say my name, it feels like redemption. I have never said it this way before. Tasbeeh. He repeats it back to me several times until he’s got it. It is difficult for his American tongue. His has none of the strength, none of the force of my mother’s. But he gets it, eventually, and it sounds beautiful. I have never heard it sound so beautiful. I have never felt so deserving of a name. My name feels like a crown.


“Thank you for my name, mama.”


When the barista asks me my name, sharpie poised above the coffee cup, I tell him: “My name is Tasbeeh. It’s a tough t clinging to a soft a, which melts into a silky ssss, which loosely hugs the b, and the rest of my name is a hard whisper — eeh. Tasbeeh. My name is Tasbeeh. Hold it in your mouth until it becomes a prayer. My name is a valuable undertaking. My name requires your rapt attention. Say my name in one swift note – Tasbeeeeeeeh – sand let the h heat your throat like cinnamon. Tasbeeh. My name is an endeavor. My name is a song. Tasbeeh. It means giving glory to God. Tasbeeh. Wrap your tongue around my name, unravel it with the music of your voice, and give God what he is due
Tasbeeh Herwees, The Names They Gave Me (via cat-phuong)

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Finally done(-ish)!! My contribution to andythelemon's Rule 63 Project (take a lead male protagonist and genderbend them as a female character), featuring Luke Skywalker from Star Wars! or Lucy Skywalker, perhaps? Luke is one of my absolute favourite protagonists, so I just couldn’t resist :D

In the end I couldn’t decide on what scene to draw, so ended up sketching out a couple of moments from each movie in the OT :) I’m sorry for the randomness of these… This was a really fun project and a great idea, thank you for organising it Andy!

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Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart are so drift compatible that they’ve probably been piloting a jaeger for years and we just don’t know about it.

The kaiju gave up trying to invade because every time they’d start, Mithrandir Frontier would kick the shit out of them before they were done emerging from the rift.

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Can we talk about this for a second? Because this is exactly how history in the US is taught. Since I went to college, I’ve learned dozens of “facts” I’d been taught about the US military and our wars were complete and utter falsehoods made to make us appear the heroes. Every time I watch ATLA I discover more and more statements about the world around us and I just love it.

I’ve watched a bit of ATLA and LoK and both series make fantastic comments on society and hegemonic ideas.  Adventure Time has great cultural commentary as well.  I’m really happy that these series are so popular with kids and will hopefully instill some traits that enable them to be more critical learners.

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I Want To Be A Monster

I… shit…

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