xenologer: (Ravenna)
Check them out on Tumblr here.

For a long time I assumed I was a Gryffindor because I went and did things rather than sort of... just passively accepting the decision framework I saw around me. It's a really good thing that fan communities put more thought into this kind of thing than we see in the canon pieces Rowlings showed.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality convinced me that, okay, fine. Slytherin. I'd hate everybody else in that house, but it's where I would go (especially if I were sorted at age 11).

But SortingHatChats... this is a level of wonderful detail that appeals to me as part of the generation that grew up with Quizilla shit like "which color is your soul" and "what is the shape of your anime hair fringe" or whatever the hell ways to categorize ourselves we found through bullshit internet quizzes. So I'm gonna go for a little while about the SHC considerations. It's a level of nuance I am finding helpful.

Read more... )


Mar. 11th, 2015 12:30 am
xenologer: (one)
I have a friend who writes amazing poetry. I am linking some of it here because it means Things to me.

Janus Lady -- One

Womandroid, for obvious reasons. Related not-poetry thing: The Android Collections -- File: Journal Entries Weekly Report alpha3

So good.

So much good.
xenologer: (bye bye)
I am bothered by people who insist that because their gaslighting attempts are unsuccessful, a higher-level brainwashing force must have gotten to me first. Is the notion of DECISIONS so foreign to some people? I am not an empty vessel to be filled with pre-conditioned allegiances according to the first programmer to get hold of me. I am an independent creature. Maybe if these sad failures grew a little initiative they'd realize they always were, too.
xenologer: (one)
Narrowing down my effective social circle for a while. The number of instances of people treating me like I am invulnerable because I won't collapse if they treat me like a mere human? It has reached a certain threshold. Beyond this threshold, I start removing these well-meaning fumbling moral infants so that their mistakes don't continue coming out of my hide.

Don't break commitments to me without doing me the basic courtesy of letting me know when those commitments are becoming burdensome to you BEFOREHAND. Don't use the fact that I keep my commitments against me. Don't use the fact that I have standards for my behavior to sacrifice me for the personal growth of your pieces of shit for friends and family. I am not your meatshield and I am not their scratching post.

I'm hesitant to assert my humanity because I don't identify particularly well with it, but please at least try to recall that I am a fellow sapient organism and have enough respect for yourself to apply the same standards of care and consideration to me that you apply to the delicate flailing baby glass flowers you call friends and family. It's been years since I treated myself as obligated to endure shitty treatment just because I can, so you can catch up to that or you can get the fuck out forever and lock yourself in a tiny box until you have learned how to be a member of a socially-oriented species.
xenologer: (bye bye)
I am queen of guilt deflection. I explained in a very value-neutral "conflicting access needs" way why I unfriended someone, and when they said, "that hurts" in reply I said "Okay. That's a risk I took knowingly."

I basically came up through the gaslighting and guilt Weapon X Program, so no. Nobody is going to get me with those things.

xenologer: (do not even)
Why is it that the people who most hate conflict are the ones who end up escalating conflict into apocalyptic fucking nightmares by FREAKING OUT whenever they aren't being treated like they're made of glass? This self-fulfilling thing is tiresome to watch.

Seriously, the more nervous someone is about conflict, the more nervous I am learning to be about them, because it's not the brash and overtly dickish cold motherfuckers who can get close enough to do really serious damage with their flailing. It's the weak. It's always the weak.

I get so tired of them.
xenologer: (cocky Kamina)
Tumblr brought me a thing. I am not bitchy enough to actually use this as a signature on RPG-Directory, but I thought about it and smiled.

As far as roleplaying settings are concerned, The Mysterious Orient is populated entirely by samurai and ninja. All women are courtesan-assassins and all men are blushing stammering uke.

There might be an option for player characters from the Generic Dark People Country, but nobody will play one because it might require learning to tell POC apart well enough to select a PB.

You might see an Arab character now and again, but they will all be played by Italians.

great poem

Jan. 9th, 2013 08:03 pm
xenologer: (angel/11)
"mississippi drowning" by saeed jones

I’ve lined my throat
with the river bottom’s best
allowed my fingers to shrivel
and be taken for crawfish.

I’ve laced my eyelashes with algae.

I blink emerald.
I blink sea glass green.

I am whatever gleams
just under the surface.

Scoop at my sparkle. I’ll give you nothing
but disturbed reflection.

Bring your ear to the water
and I’ll sing you

down into my arms.

Let me show you how

to make your lungs
a home for minnows, how

to let them flicker

like silver

in and out of your mouth
like last words,

like air.
xenologer: (ooh!)
Stolen from [livejournal.com profile] popfiend

Top Commenters on [livejournal.com profile] virginia_fell's LiveJournal
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4[livejournal.com profile] archmage_brian225 225
5[livejournal.com profile] kingofdoma202 202
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11-100 )
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Total Comments: 6795

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xenologer: (ooh!)
Stolen from [profile] popfiend

Top Commenters on [profile] virginia_fell's LiveJournal
(Self and anonymous comments excluded from rankings)
1[profile] kaisharga288 288
2[personal profile] arctangent285 285
3[profile] admnaismith266 266
4[profile] archmage_brian225 225
5[profile] kingofdoma202 202
6[profile] _jeremiad185 185
7[personal profile] crysthewolf181 181
8[profile] mothwentbad173 173
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Total Commenters: 219 (119 not shown)
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xenologer: (always shine)
Trigger warning for discussion of suicide and self harm. Even so, I think it's important to keep in mind how often we give people the choice of being invincible or being nothing, and what we're really asking them to do with those options, and what they're likely to think of them.

suicidal ideation 2.0, queer community leadership, and staying alive anyway: part one of a work in progress
xenologer: (ooh!)
PSA: Your Default Narrative Settings Are Not Apolitical

Which leads me back to the issue of prejudice: specifically, to the claim that including such characters in SFF stories, by dint of contradicting the model of straight, white, male homogeneity laid down by Tolkien and taken as gospel ever since, is an inherently political – and therefore suspect – act. To which I say: what on Earth makes you think that the classic SWM default is apolitical? If it can reasonably argued that a character’s gender, race and sexual orientation have political implications, then why should that verdict only apply to characters who differ from both yourself and your expectations? Isn’t the assertion that straight white men are narratively neutral itself a political statement, one which seeks to marginalise as exceptional or abnormal the experiences of every other possible type of person on the planet despite the fact that straight white men are themselves a global minority? And even if a particular character was deliberately written to make a political point, why should that threaten you? Why should it matter that people with different beliefs and backgrounds are using fiction to write inspirational wish-fulfillment characters for themselves, but from whose struggle and empowerment you feel personally estranged? That’s not bad writing, and as we’ve established by now, it’s certainly not bad history – and particularly not when you remember (as so many people seem to forget) that fictional cultures are under no obligation whatsoever to conform to historical mores. It just means that someone has managed to write a successful story that doesn’t consider you to be its primary audience – and if the prospect of not being wholly, overwhelmingly catered to is something you find disturbing, threatening, wrong? Then yeah: I’m going to call you a bigot, and I probably won’t be wrong.

I want to enter into a committed long-term relationship with this article.

This is one reason I have a hard time finding fantasy settings that I really click with. Too many writers, worldbuilders, and roleplayers either A: don't want "politics" (read: minorities) in their pretendy funtime games, or B: really think that the only people who've ever led narratively interesting lives were straight white cisgender people, and that for the sake of realism they can have wizards and fairies but cannot have more than a couple token POC in their setting.

I console myself by reminding myself that if that's the level of thought they put into their writing and worldbuilding, they're probably pretty mediocre at both. Odds are I'm not missing much.

It's also worth adding that Tolkien didn't want to create the enormously racially-screwy and gender-backward narrative that he did with Lord of the Rings. When it was pointed out to him (by which I mean, sometime around when the Nazis wrote to him and said, "Dude we love you!"), he went, "Oh no, look what I did," and decided to use his future writings to undermine that a great deal and do better. Sadly, he died before he got to finish that, but the Silmarillion helps and he evidently had more improvement plans in his notes.

So I am kinda both saying I want worldbuilders to be less like Tolkien in how they worldbuild, and more like Tolkien in how they respond to criticism about their worldbuilding. Not all stories have to be about magical straight white people. Frankly, there are only so many stories to be told in identically-"medieval" whitewashed patriarchal fantasy settings.
xenologer: (objection!)
Pteryxx on the AtheismPlus board provides my quote of the day on people who walk into big kid discussions with Privilege101 questions that they demand be addressed RIGHT NOW no matter the opportunity cost.

The post itself lives here.

I assume you haven't yet discovered this, but newcomers who SAY they're here in good faith but persistently ask "why are there still monkeys" level questions? Generally are not here in good faith. In my experience (going on two years now) they're greater than 95% trolls. In the first year past Elevatorgate, on Pharyngula, the regulars dealt with *hundreds* of these good-faith trolls and I only saw six that ever said "I see what you mean now / I didn't know that, and I'll reconsider." SIX. Maybe one every two months. (On A+ so far? I've seen four. The ratio's still roughly 20:1.)

This "potential allies" argument elides the cost TO THE EDUCATORS and the silencing effect on the community. Innocent-looking questioning is a tactic used to derail productive conversation, sap the educators' time, resources, and trust while forcing them to constantly defend their own validity and personhood, and to obscure the few truly honest questioners. It is NOT productive to suggest that more and more effort and good faith should be expended across the board for a tiny gain in capture among supposed Goldilocks allies. The vast majority of newcomers who show themselves to be willing to learn, do so by their own actions with hardly any extra expenditure of effort from the regulars.

The primary purpose of this space is to foster *advanced* discussion, not to provide volunteer remedial education to the general public. 101-level education is a side effect and should not be allowed to detract from discussion beyond the core concepts. Heck, there are discussions I'd LOVE to have about sexuality, rape culture and navigating consent that can't possibly happen because of floods of Just Askers misrepresenting the extremely basic concept of Schroedinger's Rapist. Arguing over the fundamentals can and does happen in every other place on the Internet. It serves no purpose HERE.

I should think this phenomenon of flooding the field with basic misapprehensions long since addressed would be familiar to anyone fighting woo or creationism. Maybe other skeptics see their core purpose as debunking the same myths over and over and over again, but here we have better things to do.

This is why I feel so good about this place. I can read threads and not feel like I have to post, because there are lots and lots of people who already have this shit under control. For once there is a corner of the internet where I can read some person's arseness without any pressure, because there are so many people available to deal intelligently with arseness that the pressure on each of us to do so is minimized.

Also so far the mods have demonstrated themselves to be trustworthy, which is not an evaluation I make lightly.

Overall it has been a good place for me to find, and even though I don't post a whole lot... it's a relief not to feel like I need to.

Being Nice

Aug. 31st, 2012 01:05 am
xenologer: (snail cuddle)
Long (by my standards) but very worthy video that not only fits my experience as a skeptic talking both to other skeptics and to believers who are pretty sure atheists are empty vessels for their apologism, but also as a feminist talking to people who are pretty sure they don't talk to feminists, and as a liberal talking to people who are pretty sure they don't talk to liberals.

"Carrie Poppy, Director of Communications at the James Randi Educational Foundation and co-host of the popular "Oh No, Ross and Carrie!" podcast, discusses the importance of using inclusive language while doing outreach. Combining communication strategy and a spirit of friendly investigation, Carrie suggests that skeptical activists mirror themselves after a group she investigated and joined... the Mormon church."

Sorry I couldn't find a transcript of this talk. I would love one for accessibility reasons and for easy citation, but there doesn't seem to be one.

I think this is a great thing for people to consider. We have to be willing to draw boundaries, but it's also just plain tactically wiser to be kind to people up until the point when they make it absolutely clear that they'll repay it with dickery.

This is why when a friend of mine was finding that he cared more about truth than he did about what the truth could take from him, I explicitly told him not to chew his still-Christian wife's ankles off. I have been the still-identifying-as-theist partner of an atheist, and the best wisdom I had to pass on was that he should not get so excited about what he's figured out that he starts using his wife for target practice.

He took this under advisement. I was pleased. I didn't like the woman, but I felt I had done the right thing anyway, because what she deserved as a fellow human being and what would be most tactically effective for him happened to be the same option: be nice, even when someone is being ridiculous.

(It didn't work, but it was still the right thing to do!)

Now, this approach is exhausting and time-consuming to the point that not everybody can be required or even expected to do it. Additionally, an activist movement needs more than friendly and relateable people willing to connect on an individual level with every single goddamn person we encounter, which means we cannot all be diplomats. We cannot all be ambassadors. If we are all busy welcoming everybody, there's nobody left over to draw boundaries or do guiding work.

However, this kind of ambassadorial work--in my experience--is only effective if you do it the way Poppy describes.

Concede everything possible. Apologize whenever possible. Speak about personal experience only whenever possible. Rather than talking about how someone's unsubstantiated and potentially toxic dogma pisses you off (even though if you give a crap about your fellow humans, it probably does piss you off), speak from a position of sadness and hurt whenever you feel resilient enough to do so.

I cannot understate how important that latter one is. So many people who hold and act on toxic beliefs do so because they don't see the people they're affecting as real. This is true of people who think that atheists are heartless fun-ruining psychopaths just like it's true of people who think feminists are shrieking hysterical castrating harpies who want all babies born with penises to be pre-emptively convicted for rape at birth.

This is not a value judgement; it's a tactical decision. People are armored against outrage almost universally. Not everyone is susceptible to the "listen I am a person like you and I know you care whether you hurt people and this hurts me" approach, but far fewer people are armored against hurt compared to anger. For one example of how I have gotten back to this approach and the results I am having, check out my Obligatory Chick-Fil-A Post, an entry I wrote after all that bullshit with Chick-Fil-A shredded a lot of my peace and patience and I had to climb back up to the point that I was able to do what I know is most effective for me.

I am sure there are people somewhere who can make more progress by saying, "You are an entire bag of dicks and everyone who ever loved you was wrong," because there are lots of persuasive motherfuckers in the world and everybody's got a different approach. I know there is someone on the planet with a Charisma score of like 50 who could say those precise words and have people around them go, "Well I'll be goshderned. Am I a bag of dicks? I should work on that."

I am not that person, though. Here is what works for me.

Granted, it's vulnerable. It requires a lot of courage on my part because it means not pre-emptively striking at people I think are likely to be dickbags, and continuing to work through things this way even though lots of those people *gasp!* turn out to be dickbags after all.

But they won't all turn out to be dickbags, and the people who seem like dickbags but aren't (and instead just have no fucking clue how not to seem like dickbags) are the best candidates for outreach we'll ever get. They are the low-hanging fruit, people. Go get them.

When I have the energy for this exhausting but highly effective approach, I consider it one of the best things I can do for any movement I am a part of, not least because I know how few people have the energy to do a lot of it. The more I do, the better a contribution I feel like I am making, and so I wanted to pass this on in the hopes that others who could be good at the in-group empathy-based ambassadorial approach will take from this entry the motivation they need to give it a try.

The more ambassadors go out and pick up the easy converts, the fewer people our beautiful and precious firebrands will have to go stomp on. That's good for everyone!
xenologer: (happy!)
I am not currently playing with the vast majority of you, therefore I come bearing mutants and magic and MAD SCIENCE!

Metro City is here for excellently tongue-in-cheek superhero shenanigans for all your modern kitchen-sink supernatural roleplaying needs. We care about having comedy with our drama and diversity among our characters. I know that for me, a lot of boards can get so bogged down in being gritty and dark that the impact is lost because there's no dynamic contrast. If there's a little comedy (or a lot) thrown in, those dramatic notes stand out a lot more and it's easier to appreciate them, in my opinion. I know that I've learned a lot about comedic writing from being on this board.

Part of the comedy around Metro City is that we like to lampshade comic tropes. We actually factor in "trope coverage" to some plot decisions, because if we're going to be a superhero setting well naturally we'll eventually need to have twins who both have complimentary powers (check) and a teen hero team (teen swarm check) and a villain/hero romance (check) and Obligatory Clone Plot and Obligatory Alien Plot (check) and Obligatory Power Loss Plot (we have not done all of these yet but we keep them in mind as options because we respect our heritage).

We're writing in a comic book style setting, which means occasionally that we have to poke fun at our roots a little, just to make it clear that we know when they deserve it. We also try to improve on our roots by having characters of all races, genders, orientations, and ages, which is not something the big comic publishers have historically been terribly great at.

Now here is the Obligatory Ad Posting.

Daring, virtuous heroes.

Despicable, vile villains.

Dark, unknowable renegades.

Which one are YOU?

Three hundred years ago, Metro City was built around an ancient meteor impact site that emitted a strange radiation signature. Only within the last few decades was it discovered that this energy was tied to the emergence of superpowers in the world. Nowadays, heroes, villains, and renegades battle it out for control of the city's fate.

Metro City is eager for new storytellers. Come on down and see what we're about!

Details about the game are found here. Contact an admin here.
xenologer: (vagina)
Great quote from my corner of the internet today! Kyle Brodzky has been dropping some truth about the Chick-Fil-A crap which is generalizable to far more than that. Someone brought it to the discussion table that we ought to just never be angry and never dislike anybody so that we can all get along because the alternative is to be EXTREMISTS and extremists are all equally destructive and wrong.

I've always just been raised believing that moderation is where true justice lies, free from bias or anger. I'm annoyed that sitting on poles is so popular, and even moreso by the fact that those wronged by zealotry, ignorance, and bigotry tend toward the same extreme black-and-white mentality. And maybe it is the fault of those who wronged them, but that doesn't make it any less tragic.

Also he called us extremists, because the Golden Mean fallacy is never out of style.

Brodzky was not having it.

I totally get that (name redacted), that you see that people who are wronged can easily fall into the same polarized thinking. It's sort of offensive that you'd have that prejudice, and use it to try to throw cold water on a very cut and dried social justice issue.

But I think that by stating outright that you automatically think that the wronged party here are already caught up in that is sort of offensive. No one's dragging fry cooks behind their trucks on gravel roads. No one's saying their marriages are invalid. No one's saying fry cooks are literally causing a god to make earthquakes happen and kill people for their sins.

When there is a situation where it is clear who is wrong, and who is right, being 'moderate' is indefensible.

There's no honor or valor or ethical highground or medal or trophy for 'not getting involved' when there's very real, abject, and ugly human suffering going on. Sometimes the conscious, willful act of not choosing a side actually makes you a bad person. Not as evil as the people perpetrating heinous acts against your fellow people, but apathy, well, apathy means you're not opposed to the violation of people's lives. It means you don't have the desire to do what a good person would do. It means you are content to rationalize a total disregard for people around you who are in pain, and rationalize it as a virtue.

And when you do that, when you make that apathy a virtue, you are making it harder for people who do care to make progress.

It's literally unethical to go through life acting as if every issue is as important as "Chunky or Smooth." There are times when you are actively hindering the creation of a better, more sane world, when you act as if these issues don't affect you, or they aren't worth getting upset about, or feeling anger or hatred about. If you view something as absolutely important as human rights, in the here and now, as a peanut butter issue not worth thinking about, or getting mad about, or really even spending any time on at all, then you are absolutely dragging down those around you.

If you think the world's problems are dissolvable down to peanut butter issues you can feel smug about ignoring, then I really don't know what to say. This is in part, truly, because you're simply not a person worth talking to.


This is definitely linkable, but share this link instead, please and thank you!

Being Human

Jun. 4th, 2012 11:22 pm
xenologer: (vagina)
Skip This Portion if You've Read About Privilege Before

We all have privileges in our lives. We all have things that make things just a little easier for us, or nearly all of us do. Nearly all of us also have ways in which we've got it harder, obstacles that aren't always even going to be seen by those who aren't facing them. Privileged and marginalized are not mutually exclusive categories--most of us are in both, and we shift from one column to the other depending on our position relative to specific individual problems, systems, organizations, whatever.

So basically, what I am trying to say is that nobody is the bad guy and nobody is nothing but a victim. There are very few people who could ever be pointed at and accused of benefiting from oppression without being oppressed in any way themselves, which means that even if we were trying to make someone feel guilty, it'd be pretty fuckin' hard to figure out who that should be, don't you think?

For people who haven't had these discussions a whole lot, here is a breakdown on some of the basic theories banging around in my head that not everybody has banging around in theirs. The other thing worth mentioning before I get into this is that people who are--in the context of a particular conversation--the person speaking from privilege? Nobody is saying you've got nothing to say.

What is important for you to be aware of, though, is that being the one in a position of privilege means that in the broader culture it's easier for your voice to get heard as a rule. Consequently, it is a really nice thing for you to do to say, "You never get to talk, and we all know it. So... why don't you go first? Let's hear from you and I'll chime in later." Here is some information on how to make your good intentions clear, so that you don't blend in with the assholes. It doesn't require you to approach these conversations any differently than any other interaction, but a lot of people think that discussing marginalization and privilege is different.

I think these people are wrong.

Some of these people are dear allies in the interconnected fights against prejudice and marginalization, and even though I value their contributions and still have all kinds of love for them and would certainly not want them to shut up, I think they are explaining these issues incorrectly. Even I have been failing to make what might be the most important point of all when it comes to treating people who are speaking from marginalization with decency.

Being Decent About Privilege is Exactly Like Being Decent Everywhere Else

I am going to argue that speaking from a position of privilege--both in avoiding being a jerk and dealing with the consequences of inevitable jerkery--is exactly like every other social situation. The rules are the same. I can see you side-eyeing me through your screen, thinking, No way these are really sensitive hot-button issues that are very different from all other topics of conversation.


No Exceptions

I get really emotional in conversations about privilege, particularly if there is a person involved who is not taking seriously the other people around who are saying, "This thing you did/said is not cool because of (name your marginalization)." I get angry when people don't extend the same social courtesies that we are taught are necessary to basic interaction and being a good friend to experiences of marginalization. To me, hearing "this thing you are doing hurts me" should be treated exactly the same whether I said or did some non-privileged nasty thing as with a privileged thing, and I get really really angry when people treat areas where they have privilege like they get a different and relaxed standard that means they can call people friends without caring how much they hurt them.

One thing that people like to bring up as a reason to treat conversations of privilege and marginalization like they're a separate breed from all others is that people speaking from privilege typically cannot really fully comprehend in a deep and personal way what it's like to live without that privilege, which means they just can't understand. I think this is a bullshit excuse and here is why.

I shouldn't have to be able to identify with a friend's hurt in order to give it significance in my life just because they are my friend, or even if they're not just because they are human.

I shouldn't need to fully grok their pain. What I need to know is that someone I have a social connection with is hurting because of an action I took or didn't take, and that makes it my business because of our connection and/or because their hurt is due to a thing I did.

I feel like a great definition of privilege is that having a particular privilege means that when it comes to people who don't have that privilege, the normal rules of personal responsibility for one's own behavior no longer apply because hurt from that source is invalid. Even in the odd case where we have to say it's valid, the person with the privilege is never ever responsible for their part in that pain, because the normal rules of basic human decency have been suspended.

Just makes me angry. It doesn't require new skills to be reasonable about one's own privilege. It just requires that you not draw a line around certain people and say, "I can be a worse friend to you and you don't get to complain. Be grateful for what little you get, and I'll stand over here and be smug over my generosity."

If you're even capable of that, you are an asshole. You really are.

I mean, someone who even has the capacity to do that... nobody else should be friends with them, either, because apparently just because they're a good friend to someone else doesn't mean they see the consistent application of that standard as having anything to do with their own integrity, which means I don't think anyone should trust them.

Privileged Friends: Not an Oxymoron

I'm not saying that privileged people make bad friends. Almost everyone has privilege and privilege makes people do and say dumb and hurtful shit. Law of the universe! But part of being a person among people is accepting that you will hurt people sometimes, and deciding that you have a standard for yourself for what is a good enough response to having hurt someone. Everybody's gonna fuck up with someone in some kind of way. Everyone. What divides the assholes from the trustworthy is how they respond to the awareness of having done so.

And people who make exceptions to their own standards of human decency? That says something about them, about their integrity. I get angry at the implication that this is normal and expected and I am asking too much of them to simply expect that they not decide some people are unworthy of decent integrity, because fuck that forever.

If you can be a good friend to people who aren't bringing their marginalization-flavored hurt to you, you can be a good friend to the people who are. If you can't be a good friend to people bringing their marginalization-flavored hurt to you, though, you might want to think about what kind of friend that really makes you overall.

Sharing this is welcome, but if you do, please share the public version hosted here. I have anonymity concerns, but I also want to be useful. Your consideration allows me to be both safe and helpful, which is super great.
xenologer: (bye bye)
It is hard. Getting it? Hard.

Getting it is especially hard if you're like me have a lot of friends who are mentally ill or elsewise having problems that really should be the purview of an actual mental health professional. I have thought more than once in the last week that if mental health care were more widely accessible, my social circle would be cut in half.

I am feeling a little rantypants about it.

Seems like every social circle has at least one person who is the cheap substitute for a therapist for everybody else. There are several problems with being this person. The first is that people pretty much only talk to you when they want something.

They know that you won't offer advice unless they ask, so they will talk to you about everything because nobody else they know learned the trick to just listening. They also know that if you do offer advice, it'll be geared toward figuring out what they really want and not necessarily a specific thing that they should do because you want it. You are fairly reasonably familiar (even if not always from personal experience) with diverse relationship structures, and supportive of the innumerable array of orientations and gender identities, and so they'll never hear, "Well have you ever tried not being who you are?"

You see that, though? Those aren't the qualities of a friend. That is a résumé.

Read more... )
xenologer: (I have arrived)
I have become sort of well-known for my walls of text in conversations of privilege and marginalization, and one of the reasons I post them is because simply telling people to educate themselves doesn't work. I mean, realistically, we are all grown adults who know how to use The Google. Given sufficient interest in not hurting each other's feelings, a person so motivated could just... go find one of the many many places on the internet where this has been explained and just learn how on their own.

Realistically, though, people are kinda lazy... particularly when the only thing at stake is someone else's feelings.

Consequently, while these insufficiently-motivated people are not entitled to any more expended energy on behalf of others than they're willing to give, I actually happen to care about what's going to happen the next time they run and act a fool and hurt somebody, and right now I have the spoons to... well, spoonfeed some people.

Read more... )
xenologer: (everybody's aunt)
There is another problem with PayPal. They are censoring ebook retailers because they don't want their service being used for certain kinds of erotica.

PayPal is huge, and the revenue streams for thousands of independent artists and authors get funneled through it. If they start telling us what we can and cannot put out there to sell, what we can and cannot buy, well . . . if you can't see there's a huge problem there, I honestly don't know if I can help you, and you might want to just go lie down for a while and hope the denseness passes. (...)

This is not just about incestuous underage dog-rape porn, okay? Who the hell would rally to protect that? Nobody. Which is the problem, here. People glance at the issue and they see indefensible garbage, and they move on.

That is a smokescreen! This is not about that crap. This is about people with no familiarity with genre fiction, with erotica, with the outer boundaries of sexual fantasy, being allowed to dictate how we express ourselves. This is about those people deciding where the line gets drawn between okay and not okay. This is not a new thing, though this crackdown is new, a new push against "obscene" content that previously nobody gave a shit about. They've already proven that they decide where the line is and that they can move it anytime they like; that they are doing this represents a shifting of that line. This is about being told what we can and cannot publish, and can and cannot buy. It affects everyone. And that should scare the shit out of you.

And while we're at it, let's discuss that indefensible incestuous underage dog-rape porn. It's sick, and I don't write it, and I don't want to read it, and if a given indie self-pub outlet wants to say "we will not allow people to publish that through us" I suppose I am very grudgingly okay with that. But if a bank – and that is really how PayPal works, as a bank for e-commerce – wants to tell me that I cannot buy that stuff, THAT IS NOT OKAY. I will spend my money any goddamned fucking way I see fit. They have crossed the line. We need to unfuck this situation.

A lot of the erotica described here is not my cup of tea, but Indiana Members' Credit Union doesn't tell me I can't subscribe to online porn or buy bondage tape, so I am not sure why PayPal should get any more leeway without any complaint from customers.

April 2016

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