Your Words: An interview with a Tucson Browncoat

This week's CSTS Supporter interview comes from a fantastic Browncoat in Tucson, Arizona:

1. When was your first CSTS? It was shortly after I discovered there were "Browncoats" in the Tucson area after I caught "Firefly" on the Science Fiction Channel.

2. How many times have you seen Serenity? On the big screen: maybe 7 times or more; depends on if I made both the Tucson and the Phoenix showings (I was sick last year and couldn't make either). On DVD: difficult to say, I purchased two just in case I wore one out.

3. Who’s your favorite Firefly character and why? Captain Mal Reynolds: a man with an attitude and authority with a bit of humor thrown in for contrast. Also like Jayne Cob and his firearms, something I also enjoy! Any chance there's a replica of Vera out there? I'd prefer a real, "working model" though.

4. What does being a Browncoat mean to you? "Independence!" I'm probably the oldest Browncoat in the Verse at 65 and I love it!

5. Why do you support CSTS and Equality Now? CSTS brings people together for a worthy cause: Equality Now and local charities. Plus, it's just fun, especially when there are new people in the audience and you hear that collective "GASP!"

If you’d like to share your responses to these questions, just email them to info@cantstoptheserenity.com!

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Check out the fabulous 2012 CSTS logo!

We're extremely excited to announce the winner of the 2012 Art Contest, and share with you the design which will be at the forefront of next year's events.

We're delighted at the level of participation and interest in this year's contest, with over 1,000 wonderful Browncoats voting for their choice of art from our amazingly creative Browncoat artists. It was a close call, with two entries vying for the top votes. But after all was said and done, one piece of artwork stood ahead of the rest.

Congratulations to.... Melanie Fischer from Toronto, Canada! Melanie's artwork will become very familiar to you as we move into the 2012 Can't Stop the Serenity season, and we'll be getting lots of promo banners, icons and more ready for you to help spread the signal!

Thank you to all of our artists, and to everyone who got the word out and voted!

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Your Words: Interview with Mary, CSTS Supporter

This week's CSTS Supporter comes from Mary in Raleigh, North Carolina....

1. When was your first CSTS? 2007. Loved it so much when the 2008 rolled around, I ended up helping the local coordinator. And then got the coordinator's job when she stepped down. I did my town's 2009 CSTS, so I can say that I've seen the event from both sides. It was fun and exhilerating either way.

2. How many times have you seen Serenity? Twice a year on the big screen since 2008. Raleigh has some dedicated Browncoats who work in the movie theatre business and twice a year we get to see it on the big screen. Once at our annual CSTS event and once in December as part of a cult classic series. ^_^ So ... that makes it roughly 6 times on the big screen since 2008. However, the first three years of Raleigh's CSTS were two night events, showing the BDM twice. So the number goes up to 8. Plus travelling to Charlotte to see it there, once. 9. And that's not counting the times I saw it in 2005 during its theatrical release (3) and on DVD (20+).

So, um. Yeah. Lots and lots of times. ^_^

3. Who's your favorite Firefly character and why? Mal. He's had his innocence destroyed, his faith crushed, his home burned to a cinder. He's been shot, stabbed, drugged, cheated, and betrayed. He's had every reason to let that turn him into a bitter and cynical man, twisted and broken. Yet despite everything he's been through and lost, he still has his humanity. He's still capable of love and loyalty and sacrifice. He still has his wits, his indomitable will, and the fortitude to act on them. He will never say die. He will never surrender. There's a lot to admire in that and in him.

4. What does being a Browncoat mean to you? Oooh, tough question. It means a lot of things. It's a fannish love (or obsession) of the show Firefly and the movie Serenity. It's about admiring and adopting the themes of the show and the movie--self-reliance, vigilance against tyranny, chosing to fight the good fight when the opportunity presents itself, the triumph of the human spirit against overwhelming odds, making mistakes and learning from them, forgiveness and redemption, life, love, and loyalty. The works, really. As Browncoats we celebrate all of that and try to spread it around. It's an outlook on the world. It's a willingness to change things for the better. It's finding a cause to support and believe in. It's a community of people who think and feel and act on those things. And it's also a fairly geek-intensive science fiction/western genre that likes to mix things up and have fun. Being a Browncoat means all these things because as human beings, we can encompass all these things at once.

5. Why do you support CSTS and Equality Now? I'm sure that women's rights mean different things to different women and men, depending on where they are from and what their culture fosters or suppresses. I can only speak for myself and my upbringing and my culture (middle class, caucasian/mix, American). I support CSTS because I'm a Browncoat and a fan of all things Firefly/Serenity. I support CSTS and Equality Now because I do believe in the things Equality Now hopes to change for women around the world less fortunate than I. Because at base, men and women work best when they can work together. All humanity benefits when women are given the same scope to explore their individual freedoms and talents as the men they live beside. To chain one half of the human race in poverty, ignorance, and servitude diminishes the entirety of humanity, not just those so mistreated. It's heartbreaking to know that women and children are singled out for such horrific abuse due to custom, greed, and power--it's staggering, really. If EN can educate everyone, men and women, in alternatives to abuse and help them achieve a real and positive solution, the potential for improvement, for good, increases. Everyone benefits.

Hmm. Reading the above, it sounds like corporate BS. So I'll just say it and to hell with Political Correctness: To mutilate a woman's body for the sake of male vanity with regards to virginity is WRONG. To sequester women upon pain of death if they venture outside their homes without male escort is WRONG. To marry a woman so as to extort her family of money until they are bankrupt and killing the bride to leave you free to marry AGAIN, is WRONG. To sell women and children into slavery, oftentimes sexual slavery, is WRONG. To justify such actions as being in the best interests of its victims or because of their social class or economic worth is WRONG. These aren't merely customs or traditions, these are crimes against humanity. (Sorry for the all-caps, but truly, some things are simply outrageous and cannot be expressed any other way.)

It will take a lot of education and viable alternatives to replace such customs and traditions as FGM, dowry murders, honor killings, sex slavery, and everything else EN is fighting to change. Such practices did not become entrenched overnight and their eradication will likewise require time to accomplish. Ultimately, the power structures that rely on such practices will not change unless people refuse to practice them. People must have faith in making the change, in standing up for the alternatives, in believing that their actions have meaning and will last beyond the moment. Again, education and viable alternatives are key. Also, governments need to follow the rule of law and law enforcement needs to be honest ... but that 's a separate, though interconnected, social ill. Suffice to say, governmental/legal corruption allows human abuses to flourish, because crimes go unpunished and justice is applied unequally to abuse victims. Something else EN is fighting, btw.

If I had to narrow my response down to a single sentence I think it would be this: Once you're aware this abuse is going on and you have a chance to do something about it, no matter how small your contribution, how can you not and still consider yourself human and civilized?

In case you're wondering, I live in Raleigh, North Carolina (USA) and have been a Browncoat since August 2005. Thank you for sending me this survey and giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts and enthusiasm for CSTS, EN, and the Browncoat community.

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Your Words: Interview with Stephanie, CSTS Supporter

This week's CSTS Supporter interview comes from Stephanie...

1. When was your first CSTS? This year. The four people nearest me were all first years also. Watch, there will be many more next year. New Browncoats are being born every day. Many that I have talked to did not hear about CSTS in time to go to their closest one this year.

2. How many times have you seen Serenity? 5, I own it on DVD. I only discovered it last year.

3. Who's your favorite Firefly character and why? Malcolm Reynolds. He is MY Captain. An honorable man, loyal, independent, brave, oh and sexy! I would follow him anywhere.

4. What does being a Browncoat mean to you? Browncoats are good people. Big hearts, loyal. We share a passion, a dream, a love for a crew of misfits that fit together and make Serenity a home.

5. Why do you support CSTS and Equality Now? A noble cause. Browncoats support many noble causes. They gather and do good. Obviously we also wish to honor Joss Whedon for the gift he has given us. He makes it clear that it is important to him. I have quoted him before, "People ask me why do you do this? I ask them why aren't YOU."

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Stephanie - Equality Now is definitely a noble cause, and we're so glad you're travelling on this journey with us all.

If you’d like to share your responses to these questions, just email them to info@cantstoptheserenity.com!

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The auctions have begun!

Our Global Auctions for Equality Now have begun! This is your chance to get your hands on some amazing Whedonverse collectables and more, while helping a wonderful cause.

Among the over 30 auction lots are an incredible Evil Willow print and a gorgeous Willow entwined print, each signed by Joss Whedon, Jo Chen & Alison Hannigan.

The auctions are now live, and will end on 5 November 2011.

Click here to go to the auctions.

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We’re having an auction! Starting 26 October!

As the CSTS 2011 season comes to a close, we've got one last piece of awesome to share with you. Thanks to a whole host of fantastic Browncoats, we're excited to announce the 2011 Can't Stop the Serenity Global Auction! Here's a sneak peek at some of the items up for grabs...

  • Screen-used Reaver Throwing Razor ball weapon - This is an actual prop from the filming of Serenity, and comes with a certificate of authenticity from Prop Store of London
  • MF-813 Flying Mule Studio Scale Replica from QMX - thisis an exact studio-scale replica of the Flying Mule as seen in the movie Serenity. Measuring 14.5" x 10.75" x 4.5", the Mule is a highly-detailed model, hand painted to match the movie vehicle right down to the emblems and decals, and is part of a limited edition of 1000.
  • Jayne Cobb Pin-up Girl Quilt - If Jayne's mom sewed, this is surely the quilt she'd make for him! Twelve pin-up girls float above a starry sky in this quilt: a space babe, Sheena with a big knife that Jayne would love, a girl on a motorcycle, and others, none exactly alike.
  • Autographed program from CSTS Los Angeles signed by Adam Baldwin (Jayne), Jewel Staite (Kaylee) and Melinda Clarke (Nandi).
  • Signed Alliance Bank Note - This officially licensed Serenity Alliance bank note has been signed by Ron Glass (Shepherd Book), Jonathan Woodward (Tracy), Nectar Rose (Lenore, the love bot), Sonny Rhodes (singer of the Firefly theme song) and Michael Fairman (Niska).
And that's just a small taste of the huge range of items generously donated by Can't Stop the Serenity supporters! The auctions will begin on Wednesday 26 October, and end on Saturday 5 November, and are proudly hosted by Fanporium Auctions. Proceeds will be donated to Equality Now.

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