By Any Other Name
the tale of Willow

Willow
Date: 10:29PM | Thu, August 9th | 2012
Subject: Thought I Am Apparently Having Waaaay Too Late
Security: Public
Tags:thinky thoughts

So in Mass Effect 3, there is the potential opportunity to see Tali Vas Etc... - to see her face. And it is on her planet. That's not my point. My point is she takes off her faceplate cause her planet's safe for her - right? How the hell is it safe? Shepard has to have germs and bacteria on his armor, and I know the Reapers didn't sterilize before they went kicking it on the planet. And the Geth didn't have to worry about any of that. So... are her planet's germs supposed to PROTECT her from outsider germs? Or was there just not any thinking about how it might take say, maybe a year, before her planet's air was truly breathable for her?

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Willow
Date: 03:34PM | Thu, June 28th | 2012
Subject: Attempt To Discuss My Family Visit #2
Security: Public
Tags:clothing, health: physical, stuff, thinky thoughts

There were things bought when I was visiting my mom and sibs. I spent more money than I expected there and for the month (I bought games prepatory to to help me calm down to go). But I needed (and still need a few items) clothes. One would think, the way my mom wouldn't stop talking about my weight loss than she'd do the bunch of buying - but 1) not so much and 2) the bulk of things she held up for me when we did go shopping together? I didn't like or I found too big for me just looking at it.

It was kind of bizarre, how what I bought for myself, she kept telling me to get a smaller size. But things she picked up to show me, didn't work with either my style or my sense of my body shape.

Meanwhile I was trying to take deep breaths for every comment on my size, my waist, my health and energy levels, what I ate. That last bit is non ha ha funny. because unlike Thanksgiving there were several times there was nothing in the house for me to eat. Times when things got bought and brought to the house I couldn't eat. The odd circumstance of being in a car filled with people nomming on Burger King and I'm sipping water. And my mom's apologising to me for it and it's just awkward and I spent a lot of time wishing they'd just not make a big deal over the fact I couldn't eat what they did and also wishing they'd REMEMBER what I couldn't eat.

I had at least one allergic reaction and one meal I couldn't touch cause they forgot and added capsacin pepper.

Meanwhile my sister thinks I'm girly for wearing skirts. And I felt caught in a strange; I like what I like. I don't think of it as girly or not girly. I like certain fits and I like certain pretty things and maybe my tastes have been modified by what's been available in my previous size - I don't know. I'm focused on comfort these days and things that make me smile when I'm wearing them either and I don't necessarily note the smile inducing is associated with something 'boyish' or 'girlish'.

Among other things? We ended up 'The Walking Company'. Teal deer - my sister needs chiropractic adjustments to her back and arch support. I ended up picking up very expensive non podiatrist arch supports and now am pondering getting a referral TO an podiatrist, because the budget blowing purchase? Led to me standing up straighter, walking easier (in fact raising the height of my cane) and reducing hip pain by 53%. I was able to walk about in a MALL, with a summer storm on the horizon and the barometric pressure up the wahzoo at near NYC speeds. I almost felt like myself again, like I knew my body. So now I have all sorts of thinky pondering thoughts about alignment and foot problems etc... And the long ass search for a PCP.

Even before the supports - I was able to leave the house every day I was there to go out shopping and do stuff for hours. I know part of it is that if I felt ill, the car was RIGHT THERE. I had a private place to go sit down and not have to worry how to get home. But it's also boosted my spirits somewhat to know how much better I'm doing on my thyroid medications. That I have more spoons these days than I'd realized. More physical spoons at least. I needed yesterday to try and recover some emotional ones.

Meanwhile I might ponder cheaper shoe support/arch supports. It could mean less expensive shoes, balanced by something keeping me in alignment (that could be put in other shoes) and a spreading around of my funds. Which I'd appreciate.

And I'll be pondering the wardrobe my sister and mother claim is FAR TOO BIG - which I thought was only a 'little loose'.

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Willow
Date: 08:43PM | Mon, June 4th | 2012
Subject: Semi Random Thoughts I've Had For A While; Catapulted Forward Today
Security: Public
Tags:online: support network, thinky thoughts

Things I wish I could remember to day to others; but that I am training myself to understand (and have in fact been realizing) when it comes to weight, weight loss and body size.

"I'm so happy for you. I realize that you found something that worked for you and now you feel amazing. Like it's a brand new day. A brand new world. And you want to share it with everyone you think could be in the same situation you were in. But the truth is, different people have different bodies, different dietary needs, different levels of fitness, different health concerns. What worked for you, may not work for me; may in fact be detrimental. So please, say you feel better and you wish that I would find something that worked for me too. Focus on how I feel, not how I look, or how I look to you, or what some magazine says is healthy - that would be supporting me."

Version I tell myself:

"I'm happy for myself. I found something that works for me, and now, slowly, I have days where I feel amazing. Like it's a brand new day. A brand new world. And despite areas I'm still struggling with, I want to share it with everyone I think could be in the same situation I was in. But the truth is, different people have different bodies, different dietary needs, different levels of fitness, different health concerns. What worked for me, may not work for them; may in fact be detrimental. So I can say I feel better and I wish that they would find something that worked for them too. Focus on how they feel, not how they look, how they think they look, how other people tell them they look, or what some magazine says is healthy - that would be supporting them."

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Willow
Date: 11:08PM | Fri, June 1st | 2012
Subject: Having Some Thoughts On; Don't Like It Make Your Own
Security: Public
Tags:#race issues: visual media, thinky thoughts

And the trap that can be; art is a part of the creator. Aside from the false argument, strawman of the whole thing. Attempting it can mean attempting to create art, that isn't YOUR ART. Something that doesn't come from you, but is what you want to see. A if that's the only way it can be accomplished. And ending up frustrated and depressed and demoralized, potentially and thinking you can't make the art, so perhaps you have to accept what is, or hunt down someone else and try and get them to 'Make Their Own' but to fit you. Vicious cycle of psychic damage, that does fuck all of solving the problem of lack of representation and diversity.

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Willow
Date: 07:03PM | Sun, May 27th | 2012
Subject: Thinky Thoughts (Emotions + Exhaustion)
Security: Public
Tags:therapy: thoughts, thinky thoughts

Something I've been pondering all week - when my brain was my own - concerning my therapist's suggestion on me reading 'trashy books' / books I don't care about. I've been thinking of how as much as I love and adore some shows; I hesitate to buy them, because I've bought others (dvd sets) and then don't watch them. Watching them is too emotional.

I adore and love them, they are precious to me (oh LOTR unintentional joke) - but the thought of watching them again. I don't know. It's possible I break into tears because watching them, wouldn't just be watching them. It'd be like a smell or a taste triggering memories and everything I was feeling back then might come rushing back. Sometimes even thinking about rushing them I get overwhemled with feelings, to the point of tears.

They were important because they offered an escape; comfort; even a sense of safety in the moment. And it feels like some odd combination of not wanting to discover a lack in them, and ... and maybe they're part of the scars that have healed over those wounds. And rewatching them, tugs at those scars, even if that's not my intent.

I can only watch 1 Batman: The Animated Series episode in say a month, without it being too much. I steel myself to rewatch Batman Beyond (though, that's an easier one to deal with). The older I was when I watched something, the less of painful past there is associated with it. But, the younger I was, the more pained the time, perhaps the more I needed that soft, safe spot, that escape. And now I can't, somehow, separate the show I loved (or book I read) from that time.

My therapist brought up something else I think also applies; not wanting me to try and read something I love while depressed. Because I might become alarmed at finding myself having no emotional connection to it. And I think instinctively I've known that. I hold books to me, sometimes, but don't read them when I'm in a grey to dark mental place. I like knowing they're there. I like remembering how comforted I felt reading them. But actually reading them....

Two sides of the coin, too much emotional association, and the inability to connect at all - all connected to emotional coping. This past week? Two weeks? I've felt like I just don't understand 'ordinary people' - how do they cope with all this simultaneous feeling, processing and doing, all this STUFF at the same time. And yet again, though a sliver it's dawned on me the difference between being damaged and ... not. If you didn't have to take baby-steps to learn how to connect to your feelings, consciously, as an adult - it probably doesn't exhaust you to go through all those steps. Some people aren't self-aware to start with. Others, this is stuff they picked up, perhaps as children - it's like an unconscious subroutine, and years of experience has it using minimal power.

Not so much for me.

It's all, almost always so very, very, exhausting. And I'm still not simultaneous with everything.

Baby-steps, baby-steps, still.

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Willow
Date: 03:43PM | Thu, April 19th | 2012
Subject: Memory & Reality Hitting Me Hard
Security: Public
Tags:thinky thoughts

Been in my head today, about a time I told a white woman that her actions had made me feel unsafe. Her response was basically; OMG, HOW DARE YOU CLAIM THAT I AM UNSAFE. I AM ROCKED TO MY VERY CORE! Right now, I'm just pondering my instincts. A lot's happened since that time (in the world, in my life), and I am seriously effing amazed at my instincts, and my word choice. Especially because of certain situations with me, aspects of myself, and it being the younger ones shouting 'Unsafe'; being the loudest.

Recently I have seen so damn much talking about white ppl not having backs during racist situations. White ppl being in collusion, being silent, making excuses and all that contributing to an environment where PoC just. aren't. safe. Where unarmed PoC get shot, where PoC children get arrested in school for having a tantrum, where PoC woman are disappeared and killed damn near without any official comment or reaction, because the response isn't horror, but 'They must have been doing something wrong/They must have deserved it'.

But right now I'm thinking, oddly enough; big lie little lie, little lie big lie; little environment, small interpersonal interactions -> the wider reams of society; the wider realms of society -> one on one communications. Macroaggressions microaggresssions, microaggressions macroaggressions. Or y'know, the even more old school; what you do at home, you tend to do out the house, and what you do out the house you often bring home.

I'm thinking recently about comments that waiting for 'the old guard' to die off, won't ever work; Because the old guard keeps rotating in new soldiers in their anti-racist regime. I used to strongly believe it was possible to just, wait it out. I feel lucky to know some amazing parents with some amazing kids. But waiting out doesn't happen for everything, can't happen for everything (and for a very good reason) and while waiting, there's bullshit after bullshit, atrocity after atrocity. But it's sneaky, because you see; cis, het, cab, white men? They can be gay. And thus when the old racist, sexist, guard rotates in new members; some of those new members will be gay. And so, slowly, the old guard will change its thinking. But the Kyriarchy ain't ever going to rotate in PoC. Heck, they still haven't rotated in White Women; they had to go and form their own 'us only' club.

So there it is. There. it. is. And I'm feeling incredibly old school and my grandmother's generation, because all of a sudden there are dynamics and facets to; watch how they treat their family, watch how they treat their friends, watch how they are at home. Cause damn, that does say a lot more then any label a person wants to claim.

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Willow
Date: 11:10PM | Sun, March 18th | 2012
Subject: Medical QR codes intrigue me.
Security: Public
Mood:thinkyy thinkyy
Tags:health: physical, thinky thoughts

I wouldn't feel as if all this vulnerable making information was right there on display. It'd be easy enough to smack a busy body with a phone trying to take a snap. And a whole lot more information than can be crammed onto a piece of jewellery or even a wallet card can be included. Considering my long list of allergies? So much yay.

The problem to me, however, and this may be my lack of key point knowledge, is that it looks to mean businesses will be holding on to personal medical information. Even if it's just the amount you'd usually put on jewelry, in the medical short hand, etc. It'd still be an opportunity to potentially monetarize your profile for advertising, and/or who knows what, with that information in the hands of companies without any sort of ethical oversight.

It'd make more sense for doctor's offices, clinics and hospitals to offer it, and you pay maybe a yearly fee so they can maintain servers somewhere. But then again, hospitals and the like have already been outsourcing billing and records, which leaves one in that odd grey area again.

So what then? Considering I'm not sure how one would create a QR code / with what tech / under what circumstances, in order to perhaps host one's own 'Health Page', like the medical version of an old school 'Home Page'. Your personal presence on the 'Medical Net'.

More than likely, at least at the moment, branded w/ some 'advertising' at the bottom or incorporated somehow while the creation of the codes / the software remains not exactly every person accessible.

And yeah, I realize I'm not considering being in places in the world, where Emergency Response may not have a camera phone handy. In the same way that getting an alert bracelet in the language of your current home, may not always be helpful outside of it.

Random thoughts:

- That'd be some computer scanning and laser programming for etching on metallic jewelry, or silk screening and printing for that matter.

- I'm seeing notes of 'use our website for non commercial' use. So I'm actually pondering this, though it'd probably be only good enough for an extra card in the wallet - if I an think of a) information for it or b)a permanent web address leading to an html or scanned file.

- The thing that got me started on all of this, was looking up phone charms ->charms -> the most beautiful book form medical id pendant on a necklace I'd ever seen. Maybe because it's a book? And books calm me? Or that it could be 'closed' and thus private? I didn't feel like I'd be wearing a target on my back. Amazon's selling it right now. Though I did hunt down the website of the company selling it, and, I don't see anyway to request it come as just a pendant; though really how much does the 'chain' cost anyway. I also just tonight found a less, to me, pretty version, with less interior pages. This version, at StickyJ.Com comes as a keyring, but there's no peephole heart. On the other hand, immediate access to engraving, and whoa, so much money for that. Really does make me wish I could just have a page QR engraved. But how would you be thorough with the pattern at that small size?

Anyway, the 1st one comes with 'See Wallet' already engraved. So, I might put thoughts and savings towards it; once I figure out how I'd wear it. As a charm would be too dangly. And around my neck... I want to get into the habit of wearing it all the time. And I keep hearing my mother going 'Why you need that?! You inviting trouble! Why you marking yourself with illness!' and other things. And so the neck feels... wrong.

Hmm, I wonder if the pin could be removed, and another casped added so it could be hung like an id plate?

Ymm, maybe I need to consider more 'remove strap, see other side' stuff. Except.... such a LONG list of stuff. And wearing a flash drive? Ha, I say. Ha, me and my weirdo electric field.

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Willow
Date: 06:09PM | Wed, February 22nd | 2012
Subject: Some Stuff + Thoughts + Gaming + Articles
Security: Public
Tags:games: general, thinky thoughts, whoa

All the borderhouseblog stuff (newest: An Engagement w/ J. Hepler's Ideas) about Hepler making note of non twitchy combat, etc...etc... It's the 1st time I've felt... I don't know, emotional about stuff. People are talking about having to be twitchy to play the games. About getting bored w/ combat etc. Or being confused by the controls, etc. And why I figure I may get bored w/ stuff faster than some of those commenting, still - WHOA.

Cause yeah, the ME3 demo? The second part? To me that entire second part is a grind, and in my head it'd have been better with 1 set of soldiers, 1 bit of portable turrent, and 1 mecha. End. Done. Three waves, three different types of fighting. Instead... that's SO. Not. It. And while the fighting is supposedly 'easier' / takes less clicks in 'Storymode', the amount of 'waves' is the same.

And OMGosh, to see other people talking about the boredom of the same animations over and over again in combat. Again, not getting bored as quickly as I do, but mentioning the things that make me sigh and feel it's not worth it / not worth spending money on, etc...

And people talking about the lack of broader base development and awareness of evolving story engines, more complex branching algorithms or non branching but evolving story possibilities w/o distinct written or linear scripts. I did not know there were people who spent money on videogames who thought about this stuff (outside maybe 1 or 2). Who thought about how combat has become gameplay in the minds of some or in culture or perception or design.

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Willow
Date: 08:17PM | Sun, February 19th | 2012
Subject: More Katawa Shoujo
Security: Public
Mood:contemplative contemplative
Tags:games: general, thinky thoughts

As mentioned in my ETA: went back, and redid my last choice and discovered a branch that led somewhere. Next time I play the game, I'll rethink the phrasings being made- I think interpretation may have partially been my problem. So, had a non 'drunken falls to death' ending. And what I'm most surprised about? The physical handicaps/disabilities of the characters are spelled out, but I ended up feeling like the real disability one character was facing, was not her lack of arms, but she seemed somewhere on the autistic spectrum in her inability to understand certain things to do with human connection and communication. Yes, she has no arms, but that wasn't where the connection is made - to my mind - or where share growth happened, or where complications happened. I'm... pleasantly surprised about that.

Now I'm wondering at what secondary things might be involve in the game. Is the 'shy girl', dealing with PTSD? That's the 1st possibility that comes to mind.

So, yeah, I'm still WTF at the wording of some things, in terms of the character getting to take some time. But I'm much mollified by once in an arc, seeing the character explore depression, explore grieving, explore rebuilding life, explore thinking about the future.

And yeah, invisible disabilities as well as physical ones? I am very curious now; though pondering if that was even intentional. Might have to look it up.

ETA: Also, odd as this might be to say, given this is distinctly a romance game, and DAO for example (among others is not). I did like the fact that it wasn't a gift gift gift, tag tag tag - boom, sack time. It was awkward complicated courting - for a game. For something that started off infuriating me, I'm really, really pleased, and also sad. Cause I seriously doubt there's another game out there to give me the emotional satisfaction I originally thought I wasn't getting. Granted I have replay with at least 3 other characters I can stand. Still. Tiny sad.

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Willow
Date: 08:55PM | Wed, February 15th | 2012
Subject: So....
Security: Public
Mood:self-care self-care
Tags:fusion fan, media: mixed, thinky thoughts

Listening to Spill.com podcast. 'Let's Do This' for Feb 14th 2012. And they get to a point of answering questions. And one of the questions is; what movie property would you like to see crossed over with a tv property. And the person asking the question gives an example; Attack The Block + Misfits. I don't know much about Misfits really, but my first thought was an angle on unexpected heroes from likely gritty circumstances, and started wondering about Misfits, and how those individuals got their powers? Is there anything to say it couldn't be from intergalactic space dust etc...? Anyway.... What really struck me, is that the commentators think it's an interesting question, but also a hard question. And they start talking about how it's something that's never been done and it's hard to think of. And all I can think about is fandom, and fusion fandom.

I mean, fans crossed over The Sentinel with Highlands w/o blinking. The City of Cascade with 'Seacouver'; Twin Cities on the coast and who knows what else. I know people who've combined Nolanverse Batman w/ Comics Batman. Or Nolanverse Batman w/ Smallville. There are stories doing all sorts of things and it doesn't seem the least bit difficult or unusual or 'what a concept to me'. And I found myself wondering if the person asking the question is a fan and how that perspective on life might be so different than the commentators/personalities on Spill.com, even though both groups really like media, review it, are interested in good writing, good plot, good pacing, good meta and may share interest in cinematography and particular actors and even deeper technicalities.

The other thing I laughed about? Was that on a different podcast? They'd already done that; when discussing 'The Dark Knight Rises'. They discussed that when WB wants to pick up the franchise again, that they should make a 'Batman Beyond' and have Christian Bale show up in age makeup to 'pass the Torch'. So, right there; Batman Beyond (tv show) mixed with Nolanverse (movie).

It didn't seem a tricky or deep question, when it wasn't a question. When it was just them riffin and exploring their love of an icon and franchise. They'd even discussed the rumors about Tom Welling showing up as a young Clark Kent (thus being Nolanverse and Smallville).

Perspective. It's just such a tricky, tricky thing. Say 'fandom' and people have LOTS of varied impressions. Ask a 'fannish' question and it's so unusual. Ask it a different way, talk about 'exploring properties' a different way, and some people don't even blink.

Anyway, given how much I'm not watch tv these days, I've no idea what movie(verse) I'd cross over with a tv show (verse), that could possibly be as cool as the example of 'ATB + Misfits'.

Though... back when I could handle watching Dexter? A crossover of Dexter and the comic Hack/Slash.

**snickers** Mission Impossible / Resteraunt Impossible. (would make an awesome drinking game media).

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Willow
Date: 11:53PM | Sat, November 19th | 2011
Subject: Thought I Want To Explore Later In More Depth
Security: Public
Tags:games: cinematic interactives, thinky thoughts

I think the reason I love video games that have active thriving modding communities, is because for me, modding a game (both creation and utilization) feels like fanfiction. I get the same sense of taking the source and personalizing, making it your own, creating personal canon, fixing things or updating things or enhancing things. And there's so much involved, from accessibility in interface design, and increased font sizes in text, to adding colour (as in PoC) to an environment, or changing up the seasons, adding different bodyshapes for women, switching walking stance for men and women and more.

On one hand, it can feel like it says a lot about the community nad the fans; explaining my utter gutted emotions when confronted by mod after mod after mod of DA/DA2 Isabela, as a fair skinned blonde. What that was saying was awful. And at the same time, going through the modding situations, there were giving her pants, there was recognizing the out of character and extremly gendered non action gestures of Female!Hawke. There was mod that put PoC in Ferleldan. There's making certain costumes less belly baring as much as those who dude nude models and want extended sex scenes.

It was a shock for me to realize that the love scene I took for granted in DA; pillow talk, didn't happen in the original, and was instead done fully clothed, talking upright beside the campfire. I tend to mod from the start - and the first time I saw an unmodifed version of that scene, I suddenly realized how MUCH was brought in by the mod I'd downloaded (originally out of concern of wanting something to match up with my dwarf).

I think I look askance at games that don't feature engines that can offer modding (or easier modding and adaption). Thinking about the worlk arounds needed to play a same gender loving Commander Hawke, trips me out and seem infuriating.

Also sometimes I look at the mods and things seem so basic - like they should have automatically been included. But they weren't. And, unknowlegeable as I am about the gaming industry, as a consumer, I end up wondering if it was some kind of unthinking, inconsiderate, laziness, rush job that things didn't get included.

But yeah, modding - as personalization of the gaming experience and a chance to better tell/express the story in your head.

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Willow
Date: 08:41PM | Sun, October 30th | 2011
Subject: Oh!
Security: Public
Mood:pissed off pissed off
Tags:#social justice issues, games: mass effect, personal is political, thinky thoughts

So I was watching the story of Mass Effect (minus the fighting etc) and the playthrough was Paragon (by the looks of it) and it irritated me SO DAMN MUCH. In describing it to a friend I realized what it is that bothers me, what I see, possibly because I'm a WoC with many other ism intersections. In the Paragon Path, Shepard has to be 3, 4 times better than anyone else, has to win and save the day, while never being believed, always being questioned, and on that path, also saves the Council. But the ending, really rubbed it in for me. At the end Humanity gets accepted to and given a seat on the Intergalactic Governing Council. And there it is; the model minorityness of it all the myth that stepping and fetching and following the rules, living within stricture, will lead to accomplishment and meritocracy winning out over institutionalized isms.

It's the whole nobility and leadership is in the blood. Mandate from heaven. Show your mandate from heaven in your actions and it will be recognized and you will be let into the club and handed things due you because of your exemplary nature. But the things due are basic respect. Privilege creates a system, where the ability to NOT be seen within the constant frameworks of stereotypes of your class, ethnicity, species, race, gender, ability status, what have you and being taken as an individual is a thing to be EARNED IN THE EYES OF THOSE WITHHOLDING SAME FROM YOU.

Gah, no wonder I can't stand stories where some peasant farm hand is automatically the best and right king or ruler due to BLOOD and not knowledge of political and economic systems and a quick mind and many well trusted advisor.

But still, if someone has the answer to this bullshit, I want to know. Tell me. HOW DOES ONE EARN THEIR WAY OUT OF OPPRESSION? When having you under their foot, and in their control gives someone else power and benefit, how do you become so exemplary, nay, how do you prove your entire SECT to be so exemplary, that those individuals GIVE UP their power and benefit and treat you as an equal.

I maintain it's bloody impossible. That it's a logical fallacy.

All the system does is allow individuals to prove they are willing to put everyone else under their boot, and on THOSE MERITS, be given limited acceptance into the club holding the power. Which is not equality, not even an equality for one. It's totally buying into the system, agreeing with it and claiming that everyone who isn't in the club, deserves to be where they are, because they don't have the whatever to keep others under the boot.

ETA: Maybe the fact that the storytelling goes along these lines is the true demarcation of why Bioware's Dragon Age writers are attempting (though often not very well) to address social justice issues and why Mass Effect has a supposedly ambiguous but very white looking male as their canon lead. Because white, cis, hetero, able bodied males can always show their exemplary status. Yes? But that would be giving the DA writers too much credit, I think.

PPS: I also think it's __ something, that the meritocracy myth ends bare seconds after the Council gives humanity a seat. There should undoubtedly be a list of qualified applicants for such a role, it shouldn't just be Udina alone or Udina vs Anderson. Instead, one individual, gives a hand into the 'club' for another individual and I'm left rolling my eyes. While at the same time pndering what I'll see about how the Elcor and Volus treat and are treated by humans after such a leap, bump, skip.

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Willow
Date: 10:27AM | Sat, October 15th | 2011
Subject: "Hey, Yeloson?" (And all ye other gamers who occasionally read me)
Security: Public
Mood:crap twitch.tv isn't working crap twitch.tv isn't working
Tags:thinky thoughts

I'm reading http://cruiseelroy.net/2011/03/shades-of-grey/ and trying to parse why it is that I need so many mods to try and get through DAO (Dragon Age: Origins) and why the play throughs of DA2 (Dragon Age 2) really interest me (though I'll wait until prices go down and DLC is all in) and I'm really fascinated by the difference in game play perspectives. The OP talks about enjoying the fact the hero gets swept along in a tide of events and there's moral ambiguity everywhere (and I was linked to her via someone else dipping toes into similar thinking of expectations - http://whilenotfinished.theirisnetwork.org/series/dragon-age-2-2/). But one commenter in particular (so far - Anders Goodwin) hates everything the top OP likes and explains why.

I summed it up on my twitter as the difference between: "I like Bioware games because they make incredible worlds that revolve all around me!" vs "WTF Bioware? Why is all the drama not focused on me?!!!! ' or 'Sweet! Non Me Drama!'.

I'd thought my interest in DA2 was cause I think Fenris' storyline is amazing (for a game) and the nuance of friend or respected rival seemed really interesting. But I'm not going to buy a game just for one character (in particular, though Varric and Anders seem cool too - even Carver). But now I'm pondering if I got bored with DAO because it kept getting epic roadtrip quest in my 'against incredible odds we small few need to survive and shake/wake things up, despite the fact that no one can understand what we've been through, or what's really coming, but each other'.

I read complaints about all the cut scenes in DA2 and thought 'Good! Cookies for dealing with mechanical fighting boring stuff! Yay!' Though this time around the fighting seems more animated and character specific too with somewhat personalized animations and the like - as if the fights could tell a story.

But something pinging me, is the dual perspectives in relation to tabletop rpg, and essays and thoughts about open communication and making it clear what everyone wants out of the game. Because I've read about players being pissed at railroading and yet, well, it seems often to me as if they railroad themselves. There's a set script they want played out and to go against that is confusing and angering to them. It seriously makes me think about academic essays about the destruction of play, and how youngsters have begun to just emulate toy commercials or movie scenes instead of doing imaginative world building collaborations and what that means for their minds and their abilities to problem solve etc...

But the expectation of a particular type of structure flips my mind to how and why and who sets up that structure and what that structure is and how we get tales that implicitly state that such and such cannot be THE hero because they are; female, non white, non heteronamative gender binary accepting/performing, disabled or differently abled (physically or mentally). And then there's a trantrum for going 'off script' or undermining the structure'. Is it just me seeing it all as het identifying cis white males stomping their feet when a game doesn't cater to the fantasy that the world revolves around them and they CAN be the honkey who sweeps in and makes it all magically better?

Thoughts anyone?

PS: I considered posting this elsewhere, but I actually want conversation, not necessarily visibility (which tends to leads to trolls).

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Willow
Date: 04:38PM | Thu, September 1st | 2011
Subject: That Thing Where A Comment Ends Up A Mini Essay
Security: Public
Tags:#sexuality issues: orientation, about me, thinky thoughts

Comment:

I've become fairly jaded and bitter over the years when it comes to representation. And for one particular aspect of my identity, I prefer erasure because of how wrong and flamboyant and wrong they get it; it's not a plot point in a story, it's every day life. My everyday life. Several other people's everyday life.

But I had a therapy appointment on Tuesday where all I did was go 'There's a name for me!' Along with the realisation I'd been searching for one for YEARS and just feeling broken. So for the first time, I'm feeling the 'please sweet heavens, there's a word for that' and thinking a little differently, despite my bitterness, of having a reality broached in wider mediums.

It's one of the reasons I don't feel up to some broader discussions I've found. When people start debating the 'nature of oppression' or if oppression is worse than erasure, I think I might go off.

I'm sharply reminded of the circumstances, for some, in their later or even silver years, due to fear or hesitation or confusion or lack of freedom coming out as gay or queer. I find myself wondering at the age group in the discussions I've found. If there are people with an inkling of isolated communities, maybe some idea that there might be 'people like that' in 'big cities' somewhere. Maybe. And that's counting there were movies to hint at that. And with the knowledge such movies always implied such a 'lifestyle' was tragic and unhappy and horrible, but yeah, it/those people existed.

If they realize that there are people, older people, who in this day and age are still going "There's a word for that?!" Or 'That's what that word means? It's not something else?" Because who wants to identify with suicidal perverted depression wasted lives?

I keep wondering why they can't see the similarities or extrapolate to what it might be like to end up well past adolescence, even well past one's twenties when it seems most everyone else had their starting point and you with no clue you're not effed in the head.

Thinking of it that way, I think I can see why you got so excited at the thought of the word even being floated in a wider medium and possibly explored. So someone out there might go 'Wait, what? That's an option?!'

If definitions hadn't been floating around these last two to three years, I'd still be feeling like I was in a holding pattern to 'fix' myself. I realize my preferring erasure on that other part of me seems selfish given that, but it also falls under a possible 'to be fixed' label and the more outrageous representations could scare the stuffing out of someone managing a more or less regular life. There's no lesser evil there. But there might have been here, as you saw it.


This in reply to someone's post and the following conversation wherein they'd thought, for a moment, that DC was actually going to be mature in it's handling of it's teenager characters; specifically Tim Drake; specifically to do with asexuality. And then it turned out to all be a hoax.

Aside from the fact that I am now somewhat intrigued at the thought of Tim as asexual and more intrigued at an actual storyline about Kon exploring what it might mean to be Kryptonian and how being alien might affect things and how that meshes with living in a human society etc (and then I start to wonder if Tim would feel more at ease around alien teenagers than human teenagers who have certain societally implanted expectations) ... it sounds like something I'd have to look for in fanfiction, or write myself.

And there's the part where my lingering thoughts on the clashes of the various sexual minority visibility, knowledge and tolerance movements just spilled out over everything. I'd been trying to keep it contained, cause I still feel gestational. But I really, really, am struck with some similarities I'm surprised I haven't yet seen mentioned.

Maybe it's because my former therapist; Dr. Trust (yes, that's a good name for her) directed a silver/golden years group for gay seniors; specifically those now coming out. And she, on occasion, related instances/circumstances as applied to me then in my own sessions; I feel odd kinship to them. I'm not in my golden years, but I'm not a teenager, physically. I'm not even in my twenties anymore, biologically speaking (the very act of writing that down is kind of chest squeezy, because emotionally, that's right where I am and it's necessary I be there, so there's mental tension). But I'm very much relating to the only information available about oneself being information that qualifies you as dysfunctional, and broken. At having no clue you could be well adjusted and still not like the publicly shown mainstream.

Maybe I'm seeing things differently, because I can so easily see the harm that comes from being isolated in other areas, areas where people would think it wouldn't matter; like say race. Like perhaps being the only non-white family in an area and people thinking you act nothing like their conception of whichever non-white group stereotypes they assign to you so 'they don't think of you as not white' and 'you're not really non white' and 'you're practically white'. That does its own damage, to self, to community, to family, that causes alienation, isolation, judgements.

Heck, 'You're not like other girls / you're not like other boys' causes all sorts of pain and confusion and image issues. Erasure and ignorance and lack of information is part of what props up rigid roles; part of what props up the kyriarchy. People can't control you if you don't fit the mold they're been trained/prepped to control - among other things.

I just keep thinking of scenarios, ... )

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Willow
Date: 11:57AM | Mon, August 29th | 2011
Subject: Odd Reflections On Current Pop Culture Tends; How My Brain Works
Security: Public
Mood:contemplative contemplative
Tags:thinky thoughts

From Real Steel -> Rockem Sockem Robots: The Movie -> Nostalgia Reigning -> Watchmen (the purposeful manipulation of society's psyche by someone who 'knows better') -> Wondering at the sudden influx of paranormal threat shows and alien threat shows. Is it really easier to float the idea the true enemy is one of THEM /an outsider/out there/ something else, than to think the enemies might be among and within humanity; just plain selfish buggers?

**facepalm** Of course it is, it's how the world's kept going for so damn long already, isn't it.

Also, there's apparently a movie coming out (or maybe it was out already, I don't watch enough tv) with Justin Timberlake, where the economy is run by time; the rich have a lot of it, the poor drop dead? It's not really an analogy is it though? Not with overtime and second jobs and third jobs - where the rich have the time to enrich their lives in any number of ways (whether or not they actually do it, or just play who's got the biggest/most), and the poor live day to day, struggling to make ends meet, until they run themselves down. (Think the movie's name is : In Time)

Healthcare access likely has way more bite in such a universe. Not to mention agism, the (feels American driven) obsession with youthful appearance and the curve of ethics and morality into rules that serve those with the power to make them.

It's interesting to me, however, that when riches translate into time, suddenly (functional) immortality looks a LOT more like a supreme power made on the backs of others, in a system set up to give more to the rich, because some people need to die or resources will be in danger; that scarity politics philosophy again.

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Willow
Date: 02:13PM | Sun, August 28th | 2011
Subject: Weird Zombie Thought - Is It Really That Simple?
Security: Public
Mood:contemplative contemplative
Tags:thinky thoughts

A rag tag group of survivors, meet a single survivor in the midst of a melee. They all reach safety and the group notices the single survivor has a bandage on their arm.

"Oh noes!" They go.

"What? This?" Single survivior peels back bandage to show a bite mark maybe a week or so old and obviously healing.

"What?! But how?!"

"I cleaned it out with alcohol. Proper wound care, you know."

"Alcohol... just, alcohol?"

"Yeah?" A pause. The single survivor nods out towards the end of civilization. "You mean, they didn't? No one? Not a single..."

A member of the group interrupts. "But alcohol stings!"

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Willow
Date: 03:36PM | Wed, August 24th | 2011
Subject: Chewing On Thoughts
Security: Public
Mood:introspective introspective
Tags:thinky thoughts

Mostly inspired by a link via Kaz: Lavvyan: Sexuality It Doesn't Work That Way. This may seem like a fundamental and simple question. But well, reading some things I find myself confused and needing some input: What is Sexual Attraction?

I think I know what romantic attraction might be. Enough so I can stick a pin in it for now - given that having people writing about asexuality or talking about it in my general net vincinity for the past 5 or so years led to me going "Oh, sexuality and romance aren't/don't have to be linked."

Actually I think I have a two part question: What Is Sexual Attraction & How Is It Different From Sexual Arousal?

I'm guessing this is some 101 type stuff. But, I have read enough to know that trying to research that over the net could get me into some very scary, shaming, confused places. So... input would be nice. The more starting data I have, the more I can wrap my hands around the question, enough to try and hunt down an answer.

ETA: **head tilt** Is Sexual Attraction the piece that leads to objectification? Ok, I realize I can get this stuff theoretically. But more personally/locally - the whole lusting after the bare assess of various actors (m & f).

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Willow
Date: 03:01PM | Sun, July 10th | 2011
Subject: And Since I'm Up... (Other Gaming Thoughts)
Security: Public
Mood:uncomfortable uncomfortable
Tags:media: mass effect, thinky thoughts, writing: me

I would play the heck out of Mass Effect, if it were on a holodeck. There are more avenues for imagination in a holodeck (in holonovels as portayed in Star Trek. TNG & Voyager). I would have my brown Shepard, who could be gay, male or female, or transqueer for that matter. I could have it set up to my likes, so I wasn't stuck shooting things for effing ever (the parts I find really boring and not immersion and best played at a distance via a screen). I could have lovely lovely friendships and romances of myriad kinds; romantic and/or physical, not all this heterocentrist ingrained stuff with the big big MONOGAMY ONLY. It'd be like (non dairy, low cholesterol, very yummy) BUTTAH.

I'm feeling the story, I'm liking certain characters, I'm intrigued by the world building (lore) but also so frustrated by it. Why isn't the Saladarian Ambassador female? You're telling me being on the council is NOT political? That it's not one of the most political appointments helping to shape the face and form of the galaxy? Seriously? Where are the Taurian females? Where are the more androgynous looking Asari? Where are the butch Asari for that matter? A world where there isn't one body type end after end.

I think Mass Effect may make me feel fannish because there's so very, very much I want to damn well fix. I remember Zvi mentioning in an essay many years ago that it's a balance between intrigue and 'Oh I can make it better!' that can appeal strongly to fannish sensibilities. Which makes me laugh now, cause in my head I'm all 'I can bring it INFRASTRUCTURE!. Except...except I really would be in a fandom of one. Writing to please myself, not willing, I think, to share it with anyone. Not wanting to be known for it or my words in anyway. Because then someone will say something stupid and I just don't have the energy.

The thought of writing fic exhausts me. I have all this excitement and no where to put it. And I don't actually want to spend money on the games when I wouldn't enjoy playing them. When I can't modify various characters, when the heterocentrist nature is rubbed in my face every minute (I mean really? Opposite gender peril implies possible romance? Seriously?!).

There's something in me also that feels profound guilt at the thought of diversifying the monocultures of these aliens, at diversifying the alliance so it doesn't read like 'Everyone's white under their skin' (so much white people privilege everywhere, regardless of skin colour, now hidden under 'human supremacist ideology'). I know I'm shoulding all over myself. And inspiration is inspiration and if something gets me interested in creating again.... and yet, there's this LOCK, this FREEZE - what am I doing? Why am I not going towards 'original work', though a snarkier side of me thinks that the things I want to fix, changes I want to make, reality I'm seeing between the lines would in fact make this whole thing very very different. But it's not enough for the lock and squeeze and freeze and internal shouting about wasting my energies. As if, as if the things I've been through have pulled me away from writing because I enjoy it, into I must write, because someone has to and there are themes that MUST BE EXPLORED and I get tense and claustrophibic and it feels like sitting an exam, and you (I) MUST NOT FAIL! EVER!

And crap, my stomach and chest cramps up just thinking about it.

This credit to your race, shut up and deal, create your own shite, stop whining and bringing up inequalities, do your own shite and leave us alone stuff creates some seriously messed up head stuff - like. whoa. Like I'm going to single handledly write the great PoC Western Masterpiece that illumates everything. Or gives untold members of the unicorn herd a place to point at and....

I know it's not all on me. I wish my brain would get that. And let me write for enjoyment again instead of insta-locking me up that if I can't write what I'm supposed to write then I can't write anything.

Should should should. ALL over myself. Drippy eeewh.

And I can just about feel the enthusiasm slip away as I type right now. The more I think about it, the more involved I want to get, the more I focus on the parts that make me unhappy and what would make me happy.

Hmm, maybe that's why particular types of RP became ok - it was permission to enjoy myself. It was so obviously recreational and involved another person also having fun, and thus involved responsibility. I recently had a chance to re-read some cowritten/rp stuff and the depth of it, the broadness of it, the characters and scenarious, the research I did all amazes me. Especially when to me, that year is basically a blur. And yet I managed something creative when I gave myself the freedom to be (to not be perfect, to explore, to play? I don't know).

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Willow
Date: 11:39PM | Sat, July 9th | 2011
Subject: Confused Thoughts In My Brain
Security: Public
Mood:confused confused
Tags:#gender issues: complex & fluid, #sexuality issues: gender, thinky thoughts

Romance & sex are separate. But if someone doesn't think of things like that, do they/would they be alarmed at the possibility of individuals they think of as children (too young) feeling romantic love? Because they think it must, has to, will always go towards, etc... sex? I find myself pondering the possibility that children can feel romantic love without it having a damn thing to do with sex. They can be in love, fall in love, it being more than a crush (where did the term crush even come from, what's the official definition, does it have one? For that matter what's the definition of 'puppy love'?)

I'm currently being startled by the thought that the children I have known, who seemed very much capable of falling in love (a situation thought of as cute and chase but not really respected depending on age, or if age was higher the affection/inclination raised all sorts of alarms and worry) - might just have been wee little asexuals.In which case... And here my thoughts scatter and only pick up again in what feels like a side tangent of; I wonder which of them grew up convinced something was wrong with them, or that they were gay but not gay enough (thus something was wrong with them) or worse.

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Willow
Date: 10:10PM | Sun, July 3rd | 2011
Subject: 'Going Native' - 2
Security: Public
Tags:#privilege(s), #race issues: writing, #social justice issues, book series: foreigner, thinky thoughts

"Going native" is a colonizer's expression, right? It's about longing, but also about contempt; it's What These People Need Is A Honky, it's about being a better native than the natives, it's about "native" meaning "primitive," "erasable". And it's also about fear: the fear of the arrogant, that if they stop erecting boundaries, they'll dissolve into the Other. - 2009, CoffeeandInk @ Livejournal.

Someone else did explore the the thoughts I'd found bubbling up to think more on later and posted about at this early entry; about the concept of the term 'Gone Native/ Going Native'.

ASIDE:Seriously since last year, since the beginning of this year, it's been amazing to me how much I wasn't at my best in 2009 at all. How clearly I wasn't thinking. How I just wasn't making connections as fast as is probably normal for me. And to think I'm still dealing with exhaustion and depression, just not at quite so heavy a megaton of weight.


Another good quote from Coffeandink, same essay: " Cherryh, for example, isn't great at racial diversity -- lots of white and default white people in there. But the way she thinks about otherness and conflict and alien contact undercuts some of the manifest destiny/white man's burden implications of older sf."

This also explains why, as much as I near hunger for conversation on the Series (having read it twice now, 12 books, in the space of a 2 month period and seriously considering yet another re-read) - I can't last more than two mins tops skimming through boards that deal with the topic, or Cherryh's own blog hosted fan comments. It hits me right in the gut that these readers are all white and heavily unexamined in their privilege. Who they focus on, why they focus on them, the power and importance they want the white male human character to have or think he deserves, the little micro-aggressions showing that the Atevi are side-kicks in a story about the progression of their own homeworld. The very present hovering oppressive feel I get reading their words of 'What those aliens needed was a honkey. Yay!'

I feel I will lose everything that soothes me about these books, if I venture forth to dicuss them outside certain circles - subtle things like Caejeri as immigrant within his own culture.

PS: I don't read Mospherians as American AT ALL. They're space faring Canadian/Australians to me. With Ogun becoming, what I think, far too many Australians wish would happen to that land's continued Aboriginal Tribes People

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Willow
Date: 08:02AM | Sun, July 3rd | 2011
Subject: Well Phooey, DAO
Security: Public
Mood:confused confused
Tags:thinky thoughts

Ser Gilmore NPC Mod (Fully Voiced Version). First of all, the actor's timber seems right. The accent and voice pacing? Wrong. I just, I wish I had the words of a proper linquist or speech therapist or something to explain why the voice is just off. Best I can come up with is that the mod went for pseudo brit using the wrong localized british accent, with snooty overtones. And on top of that? I just figured out the other thing unnerving me. There's no acting. Gilmore's face goes from animated (origin involvment) to not (mod creation). And I guess, as someone who's been in love with CGI animation since Starship - no, since Reboot, no since War Planets; since a VERY long ass time, I notice when faces. don't. move. If the face is wrong, and the voice is wrong....

There are lovely clips on youtube with animation stills to match up little bits of dialogue. Those are the things that got me excited about DAO in the first place. I could hear the character. I could hear the personalities. Wise mocking older woman, dashing shy younger soldier, mocking snarky sarcastic wonderfully bitter enchantress type....

I love animation. I live CGI animation. I love well done voice acting... heh, sub vs dub, that's me alright. I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Except I in no way feel fannishly expert in it in the least. I've never thought I've enjoyed it so much to feel when things are off and wrong. It seems easier to know when they're right and amazing. And wow did you see what they did there; That delicate smirk, matched to body-movement, they made the pupils widen and the actor matched with voice hitch....

Is there a word for Imposter Syndrome, when you KNOW you're not an expert or skilled, particularly? Or... I don't feel I can count time spent in theatre. Crap. Life gets complicated when all you've got is life experience. Too many years being hyperviglent where voice and tone meant so much with everyone?

This is so weird too, cause I've spent several days this past week, coming to the relaization should I ever spend the money on the Mass Effect Series; provided they stop quacking about with same gender pairings, My Shep will be Female ALL THE WAY - cause the Male Voice sounds like Dead Eye Sociopath to me. Or, at my best spin, a highly sophisticated but still lacking artificial voice box (if I could get a little something the character wore around their neck ALL THE DAMN TIME....)

Distraction: And I didn't do my pain journal today. Forgot it even existed, spent time sneezing and coughing and aching and wondering why. Then heard Thunder.

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Willow
Date: 11:16PM | Thu, June 23rd | 2011
Subject: Note To Self: "Gone Native"
Security: Public
Tags:note to self, thinky thoughts

Inspired by comments (and some occasional thoughts of my own) revolving around the Foreigner series; somewhat triggered by 'The Sentinel' thoughts - about the privilege and ethnocentrism (does anyone use that instead of racism?) of the phrase. I'm left thinking that getting as close and inside a culture to understand as much as possible how the other side thinks IS possibly the best 'anthropology' - except as practiced by privileged old white guys for ages, that meant stepping down from a place of observational judgement against standards of one's own society making it truly impossible to evaluate another culture for itself. (More thoughts later, expand possibly? Hunt for links and sources - yes)

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Willow
Date: 11:46PM | Tue, June 14th | 2011
Subject: The Bible Says
Security: Public
Mood:pondering pondering
Tags:#sexuality issues: gender, #sexuality issues: general, thinky thoughts

Thou shall not sleep with a man, as with a woman.

I've always, always wondered at that bit, and at how lesbianism (the possibility of woman to woman sex) isn't mentioned at all and it has finally hit me; the misogyny of it all. To sleep with a man, as with a woman would be degrading and wrong. To treat a man as a woman, would be wrong. But that doesn't actually have to happen in order for there to be sex between men.

I wish I could find the key to see it differently. But the missing piece I've puzzled over for years, pondering the concept of respect and substitution, is misogyny. Call a man by terms usually said to a woman? Put a man in sexual positions, usually reserved for women? The modern (not so modern) leap from gay to gay sex to penetration to who becomes subservient/submissive - all about that 'but then someone is a woman'.

Which I guess is not at all news to a great many people who're queer, queer and spiritual and the rest of it. It' just that, I missed it. I completely missed how misogyny plays into it. I was caught up on it not being respectful to another man to be thinking of someone else while with him (just as it might not be respectful towards any sexual partner). And I missed it, completely missed the; power plays and inheritance issues, an the ability to protect oneself and one's family all tied into the presentation of masculinity and strength intertwined.....

And there it is, threaded into queer culture via the homophobia and misogyny and general assholishness we all have to live through; dehumanize and be disgusted by the one in positions/scenarios reflecting traditional dependence for life. Children's rights, women's rights, rights and freedoms and respect for the disabled - it's all tied in.

Not that I have a clue if there's a culture somewhere where what happens sexually between men is a manly thing between equals as long as who knows what requirements are satisfied.

And yet, I don't want to believe this as just a blanket generalized ahah; because I believe in the 'A husband should satisfy his wife, if not that's grounds for divorce'. There are shared facets of culture due to environment and geography between the religion and cultures of muslim/jewish, arab/persian/varied desert tribes & civilizations. Or was that bit, yet another way in which Jews were meant to be different than the societies surrounding them?

Then again, I'm never going to make sense of things following the paths as currently laid out - because I ponder stupid questions of; Well, theoretically it could have been Adam and 'Steve' (Or Lilith and Eve) until 'expulsion' and then the need to procreate. Why have breasts without children to suckle nourishment? Why assume in a religious depiction of the creation of mankind, within an age of innocence, that gender or genitalia would play any part? (I remember one case at least where the Greeks didn't).

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Willow
Date: 08:37PM | Mon, May 23rd | 2011
Subject: State of Me, State of Me + Reading, State of Me + Stuff
Security: Public
Tags:state of me, thinky thoughts

Something in my eyes have shifted, coenciding with the now healing injury and my getting the kindle. Mainly I can FEEL the eyestrain of using a CRT. - I'm squinting horribly to write this right now and I doubt it has more than 30% to do with my healing eye.

So, more money spending is in the offing - A new monitor. And this before memory which was my next planned 'techy' purchase.

In other news, Kindle has kept me from being too bored when I couldn't even watch television - because it DOESN'T flicker, and I can increase the text size, which can't be done with printed books. Re-emerged myself with CJ Cherryh's Forienger Series. Find I like it more than I did when I started several years ago. I steadfastly hope she's not said stupendously stupid things to make me have to give up on her the way I have MANY white female authors of speculative fiction. I could do with more to look forward to than Jim Butcher once a year (may he keep his mouth shut).

I miss writing out my thoughts SOOOO damn much. Ugh this eye hurty thing.

Trying not to think about my mother whate so ever for a little while. For the distance to 'recover' from the eye scare.

Back to books and yay and stuff, I'm wondering if it is a facet of just enjoying a particular world and particular characters. I attempted to see what was up with the next in the series, and peered at comments on Amazon. And find myself wondering, greatly about reader expectations and how a series can turn out to be not what you thought it was and the disappointment of that. Which is what I've felt reading the negative reviews. The very thing disappointing to others, intrigues me. My general intrigues added up to far more than my moments of wincing and going 'Really? Really??!' The concept of 'Other' in these books... Oh the layers.

Anyway, it is a thing I ponder. Reader expectations. I know I've had them, or, I know I've had viewer/audience expectations a lot with television and movies - despite my common sense- and end up dropping things like hot burning rocks when they swing along paths I find objectionable, patronizing or boring. Granted I have social justice issues tied up in that, it's not all personal taste. But it does leave me thinking... I wonder if I'd still be thinking along these lines if I could state at the screen long enough to check other reviews and criticisms of these particular fictional works.

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Willow
Date: 01:35AM | Sun, May 15th | 2011
Subject: Regarding The 'Genderfloomp Party'
Security: Public
Tags:#queer issues: q is for queer, #social justice issues, thinky thoughts

Had a conversation with a good friend who managed to put to words some of what I was feeling and helped me sort out a portion of my WTF. Appropriation doesn't seem at first glance like the right word, but it's about what is being appropriated. Appropriation has the impact I want. I am concerned about people getting to play dress up in regards to gender as if such an act is a free act and something to take for granted. And if it is 'club performance' that's some privileged shite right there, because there are many people who don't suddenly stop being transqueer or living lives on the border when they 'leave the party' and 'wipe off the makeup'.

I recognize that's likely not the intent or goal of the party. But many insensitive things in this world aren't intended to harm or oppress but they do. The fact that the people participating can't grasp the oppression doesn't make it any less real or mocking.

If it turns out to be a space where some folks feel free to express who they are, because they're hiding among 'revelers' and so technically 'they could be straight, cis, whatever' because 'it's a party' - I can't and won't begrudge them that; it's an odd broadening of the closet for a few hours. For me though, the very fact that it's a 'dress up party' - not a 'We're having a party and we've decided that prescribed gender roles can kiss our ass - dress how you want' - that disturbs me.

I recognize now, as well, how I saw it presented; that isn't it amazing that so and so has put their costume together and looks fabulous - that upset me too. Again the best phrase I have for it is that 'Someone's life shouldn't be your play space'. That's where the word appropriation feels most apt. That's where I start thinking about headdresses and culture and white folks dressing up as slaves and or confederate soldiers etc for a ball - because it's just for fun. Context? What context?

This isn't the same thing as drag - which is a distinct style of performance with distinct rules and roles. This is clearly a costume party and the theme is gender. And it freaks me out that it's this party version of the argument; all gender is performance and socialization and isn't real, therefore anyone can put on or take off anything. Which is often used as a tool of oppression.

And none of this even gets into the self appointed gate keepers in the world who demand certain dress to either prove or disprove a thing and the people who, for their own lives, can't dress as they would like. It was still appropriation for non NDN folks to dress up using certain feathers and certain designs even when it was illegal for NDNs to practice their traditional religions. It was still playing dress-up as if it had no context, no history, no pains.

Again, I'm sure the organizers will take care to gate keep the party and try to keep absuive elements from crashing the 'fun'. But that isn't the same thing as a safe space to me.

Someone in my comments talked about PoC feeling unsafe when everyone around them is being culturally appropriative. But what about someone who is trans, being surrounded by people treating gender and gender fluidity or androgyny etc as a costume for the night - thinking it's giving them great insight. Is that safe? Are you sure that other people deciding when it's a great idea to 'play with gender presentation' and when it's not, isn't oppression?

We already know that just because something is run by feminist white women, doesn't mean it's got intersectionality automatically in the bag.

ETA: To those of y'all who've met me - you know how I treat crap/abusive comments.

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Willow
Date: 01:56AM | Fri, May 13th | 2011
Subject: Ugh. Books: A Ramble
Security: Public
Mood:grumpy/ bitchy & other dwarves grumpy/ bitchy & other dwarves
Tags:books, looking for reading material, thinky thoughts

The devilishly handsome, the darkly charming, the blah blah blahing. I have an instant turn off button for romances. I don't want to hear about beautiful (often more than not) white people finding one another's arms. I want even less to hear about the one (white) woman, with the spunk, independence and determination to xyz, while winning the heart of abc Mc White Bread. That shite messes with your mind.

It's not the only reason I'm turned off, mind. But I can remember getting into situations I really, ordinarily would have thought twice of, and should have known better about. Except that it's fed into the minds of women and girls, especially those who sneak and read romances despite being told they're not old enough - and these days with teen romances everywhere who has to steak-. It's fed that you're lucky if you're the one woman some guy can stand; the one woman who's not related to him that he wants to be around. If you're that special woman, that once in a million woman who'll surprise him by having ideas, or understanding him or what the fuck ever. I bought into that mindsight and didn't even realize I was buying into it. I was so sure I was aware of my choices - but being aware and being able to take control are two different things. And I was flying in the stream of 'I'm special!' and not taking any control at all.

The shit you'll put up with to be 'special'.

And yeah, while the focus is on hetero relationships, the damage can cross-over. So I guess I've a huge ladder of chips on my shoulder for books describing themselves a certain way or dealing with relationships a certain way. And like I said, that's before I reach the point of rolling my eyes at all the spirited independent, just as good as a man maybe even better, uber white women roaming around fiction being spectacular and beautiful but not knowing it

Have I mentioned yet the bullshit it sets up for men? That somehow beautiful, intelligent, independent woman will somehow magically become submissive girlfriends and wives for just the RIGHT male? Suddenly his opinion will matter SO much, and his advice and if he's the right guy, she'll do near anything to please him? It's like... women are cats or something. And men are owners. And the right owner meets the right cat (undoubtedly while holding the right food/lure), and suddenly they're the only one who can pet the dangerous, sleek creature and get purrs. It is SO wtf.

Worse is when the 'Cat Owner' is a 1200 year old undead and is all 'OMG, I'm getting the nuzzling even though I'm not warm nor have I run through fish' and the woman as cat is all 'Hmmm, personal ice-pack. Catnip on the rocks.'. Really. WTF?

Huh, writing this all out? I never realized before my problem is because I think relationships aren't given any respect; They're formulas in books, where x input and y chemical should equal z reaction. And the writing often does whatever it can to get x + y = z. Even if they started out with a and 1.

I used to think of romances as women's power fantasies; but they're kind of dangerous power fantasies if the only power is in who one gives up power for. Or if power is one's body and sexuality.

Huh, guess this explains why I rolled my eyes while reading a sample, wherein there's this rule x can't ever fall in love with y - it's the LAW. And I'm all, how the hell do you criminalize emotional connection? How can you think you can control it? You can say x and y may not reproduce because of these circumstances etc... But the other way of phrasing it assumes love equals sex equals reproduction and just... There were problems with that even in real life, farless your fantasy made up universe. Arrrgh. Yeah, ok, lots of issues whenever I go to pick something up, because the world, that I can find, at least, if filled with cis, white, hetero, currently able bodied individuals - who even when the glove is ON FIRE, somehow must find the 'sanctuary of love' in one another's arms.

Geeze, no wonder I adore Claymore and have to hand wave certain bits.

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Willow
Date: 03:00PM | Fri, May 6th | 2011
Subject: Random THought
Security: Public
Tags:thinky thoughts

Has anyone else looked at the world and then rethought about or rewatched Star Trek: TNG? Occasionally it gives me hope that we come out the other side of frigging awful effed up doom, you see. Cause while we may not be in the era of coke sniffing state police wearing puffy black suits - we are trooping down the road to fascism in a land Big Pharma owns; pills to sleep, to wake up, to help constipation or deal with diarrhea, to make you less depressed, to bring you down from highs, to perk your sex drive/life, for this 'syndrome' or that syndrome to counter act the side effects of this drug, to counter act the side effects of another drug countering other side effects....

And the whole big corporations taking control over food production, and believing those who can't find work choose not to....

I mean, I never thought the world would take scifi fic as a bloody GUIDE and HOW TO to dysfunction, but maybe that means someone somewhere will take the more positive steps hovering around those dark roads and climb on out. Maybe.

Of course I still have my days of wanting a goodly amount of people on the planet to just drop dead or be snatched up by aliens or something.

Cause it's all hope for some other Generation, y'know. The people who live through the bad shit in the fictional universes aren't being hopeful their children's children will have it so much better, oh golly gee whiz. They're busy surviving.

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Willow
Date: 11:29PM | Fri, April 22nd | 2011
Subject: Pondering
Security: Public
Tags:researching a possible purchase, things cost money, thinky thoughts

I wanted to buy a 3 ring binder and create a recipe/food journal. Ideas for meals, notes on what didn't agree with me, etc. But I organize best using a computer and part of me wonders if an ereading device wouldn't be better somehow.

The nook seemed dark, when I saw it a few weeks back in B&N. I'm told the Kindle has contrast to be brighter, and thus easier to read. But of course all e-ink won't have the option to brighten the screen. The Kindle can apparently also (or at least the old one could) be used as a GPS/Google Maps/Find Your Way locator thingie. So, books, recipes, not getting lost...

Can one jot down thoughts on a Kindle (or other device), like a notepad?

(Yes, I know, I'm was/am still wary of the whole 'they control the horizontal and the vertical' re: taking books back etc and possibly nosing around in one's files. Am still having thinky thoughts, however - especially because the Battery Life is so long)

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Willow
Date: 11:45PM | Fri, April 15th | 2011
Subject: On Television
Security: Public
Tags:thinky thoughts, tv

I get punched in the face too much by tv. I treid to watch the Show I know Zvi had liked "Drop Dead Diva". There was a Marathon on. And gut punched in the face by a plotline revolving around DID - except while no one was a murderer who was faking it - it was about Integration as Death and Theraputic Abuse that wasn't framed as such at all. It was just... punch in the face.

Now I've just heard that All My Children and One Life To Live are being cancelled and it has me thinking a lot about what I got from soaps - aside from twisted ideas about white people, American society and the pursuit of facade perfection. I learned about rape; spousal rape, aquaintance rape, date rape, being roofied - having no one believe you. I learned about stalkers and the dangers. Spousal abuse. Child Abuse. Lupus, Breast Cancer, Other Cancers, AIDS.

Though I didn't realize it for years afterwards, I can look back now and see stories about familial pressure to conform to other people's expectations of you; for good and bad. I figured out what kind of woman I did NOT want to be, what kind of person I did not want to be. I learned that parents lie, and have their own wants and desires they sometimes don't even want to admit to themselves.

I think if my mother had any clue I had been watching (with my aunts, sometimes not with my aunts) or what I had been learning from them; the need to believe in yourself, and your own perceptiont of reality even when other people say things like 'That couldn't possibly have happened because so and so is just too nice, too much a strong upstanding member of the community and you are not...' - She would have had some strong words about it.

I learned secrets are dangerous. Liars do prosper. The world is unfair. And that no matter how story-book, commercial 'romantic' a courtship might be, no matter what grand gestures might be made, if two people aren't fundamentally compatible with the same outlook, the same understandings of hurts and healing, the same willingness to walk on the same path - then people would end up married and divorced a half dozen times.

I am seriously sad that they only just started having gay couples on Soaps. Soaps are so Mainstream America. And now... nope. And the thought of no more general people wishing for this guy to be with THAT GUY or this girl to be with THAT GIRL? That hurts. The thought of an audience no longer having, thinking of, wanting a gueer supercouple? That Seriously Seriously Hurts. Even if I hadn't watched in years and years.

The age of the daytime soap opera is dying. Or on serious lifesupport at the moment. And it is sad, because now I wonder at the loss, the lack of a Supercouple that includes someone trans. And now I wonder whatever happened to the Supercouple in Days of Our Lives that had included someone fat (and amazing).

I am going to spend a little time mourning the loss. Cause it is as if some remote beloved has just died. It is something I grew up with. I followed the actors to other things. I checked in once in a while to find out what happened to various characters; who got aged up, which character had their actor changed, are women to this day still fighting over that guy named Ridge?

And now two of the main ones I knew anything about - poof. Gone. Just like that. And I know it must be more crushing to far more serious fans - the ones who go to the conventions and wait in line for autographs and pictures.

I also can't help but think of all the camera people, lighting people, hair and make up people, set makers, prop folks, sound guys and gals, even any darn caterers, and the like, along with the actors, who no longer have a steady paycheck. I grew up being aware, being told that soap actors aren't the Hollywood types who get big lump sums, they're the working men and women of actordom - the office grind, as it were. And some of them, I'm not sure if they'll even get spots on stuff for the Hallmark Channel (which seems to glom Canadian actors) because they are some righteously older women.

It's all sad. And the pathetic is their replacement with reality shows. Ugh. I get keeping a thing for tradition's sake has serious bad in it most of the time. And perhaps even when it has some good, there's still significant loss. But I don't think The Real Wives Of Anything, is ever going to fill the niche - the... the apple pie niche of innovation and modernization that is these soaps.

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Willow
Date: 01:08AM | Thu, April 7th | 2011
Subject: Some Thoughts
Security: Public
Tags:a bundle of thoughts, about me, food, food as good living, food as medicine, thinky thoughts

I don't often talk about my diet, what I'm eating, not eating. It can trigger things for me, I know it definitely triggers things for other people. I've been writing about it a lot more here in my journal; dealing with health issues and gluten intolerance and the possibility of celiac disease. I picked up some books from the library today, recipes, eating, diabetes. And flipping through a few, one thing hit me immediately - I started putting more carbs b ack into my diet because I was so hungry all the time without them. And I need to write this out, in hopes I remember to bring it up with a nutritionist who might give a damn.

More Food Talk )

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turn the page
By Any Other Name
of Willow
January 2016