August 2014

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sqbr: (mod hat)
Sunday, September 22nd, 2019 08:23 pm
This is my Serious Business journal. Are you perhaps looking for my fannish/personal journal [personal profile] alias_sqbr?

My comment policy.

Absolutely anyone is welcome to read/subscribe, and noone is under any obligation to give me access.

This is the stuff I assume you know about me.
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sqbr: I lay on the couch, suffering an out of spoons error (spoons)
Wednesday, August 6th, 2014 10:45 pm
Man I'm still never entirely sure what I think about ffa ([community profile] fail_fandomanon) I've been thinking about it recently after a friend of mine had to leave because the incredibly nasty things people say there about a group she's in were bringing her down. I wish there was somewhere I could go for active fannish conversations that was less likely to randomly dissolve into intense ableism/transphobia/whatever and that didn't assume anyone there was, by definition, "anti-sj". (I mean I am against "sjw"s by the definition of "bully or abuser who uses social justice terminology". Because I'm against all bullies and abusers! But there are plenty of people there who are against any serious attempt at social change, and/or whose definition of sjw includes me and many of my friends)

It took me a long time to learn to recognise the difference between trolls who don't represent the average views at all and more mainstream opinions. It's not fair to hold up the worst of the group as representative of the whole, and there's a pretty wide range of opinions even once you exclude the outliers. But (a)Knowing someone's a troll doesn't always remove the sting of what they've said and (b)The mainstream opinions can still be pretty awful. And that's just on abstract topics, once they start talking about individual fans it can get nasty, hypocritical and just WRONG (the reactions to my own meta haven't been too meansprited, but they tended to miss the point or focus on trivialities. Which admitedly can in part be blamed on my own lack of clarity)

Urg, I'm tired, I'm not expressing this very well. Guess I'm not up to much beyond reading ffa and feeling weird about it :/
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sqbr: (homestuck)
Saturday, July 19th, 2014 02:01 pm
As I encounter more reviews Snowpeircer has gone from "science fiction film I might enjoy" to "metaphorical film I might enjoy for the story" to "metaphorical film I won't enjoy the story of" to "metaphorical film I won't enjoy whose central metaphor will piss me off". I'm sure it's very good, and I admire the intent, but nope. I can see some people finding it cathartic, and that's cool for them. But I wouldn't, so the film has no appeal.

EDIT: I should add that I had already pretty much decided not to watch the movie anyway because it has lots of bad things happening to children which I find really upsetting.

This piece of meta intended to defend it was the final straw. Spoilers for the end, because it's the end that annoys me. tl;dr: implying that true revolution relies on the ~pure youth~ since everyone else is too tainted appeals to burned out old activists and optimistic young activists but is really annoying when you're the child of activists. And I think it betrays a real lack of imagination.

SPOILERS )
sqbr: (dw?)
Sunday, July 13th, 2014 11:03 pm
Let's see if I can remember what I wanted to say for any of them...

Jennifer Lawrence And The History Of Cool Girls. I had some further thoughts on tumblr (which I'd been pondering turning into a post here but tumblr got to me first) This ffa discussion of what people consider a feminist character touches on related points.

I've been thinking a lot about the moral obligations of adults towards the teenagers we encounter online, especially now I'm on tumblr which is FULL of teenagers. I deliberately seek out friends around my age and still have heaps of teen followers, some of them mutual because we genuinely have stuff in common.
How we were fooled into thinking sexual predators lurk everywhere argues that we need to look out and care for vulnerable teens more than worry about malicious adults (though that's important too) Here's a discussion on ffa of the issues around teens and adults and porn, something I don't have to worry about as much personally since everything I create tends to be at most PG rated anyway but still find disquieting, mostly when I encounter the porn my teen friends are into (I don't object to them being into it I JUST DON'T WANT TO KNOW). But that particular aspect aside I feel like...I have a responsibility to be a NON creepy adult rather than just avoiding younger people, or the only adults teenagers will meet are the creepy ones (and not just sexually creepy, they can take advantage emotionally or monetarily too)

Meditation Nation On the intense emotional upheaval meditiation can cause, and the difference between doing it for personal gain and religious insight.

Curbing Online Abuse Isn’t Impossible. Here’s Where We Start About constructing social networks that encourage good social norms.

The difference between cultural appropriation and cultural exchange

Inspiration Disinformation on the artists vs haters dichotomy.

Why Are Doctors Skeptical & Unhelpful about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Why I no longer engage the “Are aces queer?” question The important thing is respect and inclusion in general, eg if people who didn't see aces as queer didn't THEN divide the world into "straight vs queer" instead of "straight, queer, or asexual" there'd be much less of a problem.

The People vs the Political Class The gap between politics and what the people (of Australia, and in general) actually want.
sqbr: (up)
Friday, May 30th, 2014 12:46 am
While avoiding the usual negation/"irony" (blind but psychic, intellectually disabled with super strength, paraplegic with telekinesis etc) Here's what I've come up with:


  • CFS plus phasing through solid objects
  • Paraplegia plus super strength
  • Autism plus size changing
  • Blindness plus flight
  • Amputated arm plus precognition
  • Downs syndrome plus super speed
  • Anxiety plus laser eyes
  • Epilepsy plus the ability to control plants
  • Deaf with healing (they like being Deaf thank you very much ;))


What with it being midnight I probably haven't been as clever as I'd like and regardless a bad writer could still make them fit into the usual awful tropes. Still, it's fun to think about each superhero's adventures.

(if you want to poke at the concept yourself here's a list of disabilities and a list of superpowers)
sqbr: zuko with a fish on his head (avatar)
Thursday, March 6th, 2014 10:34 am
There's been some discussion on tumblr of the culturally ignorant and thoughtless way white feminists often talk about anime/manga:
the original post, with my transcript, some following discussion.

This is something I've been thinking about for a while, I'm really uncomfortable with the combination of fetishisation/othering and erasure that's applied to Japanese culture in most anime and manga discussions I encounter, and would like to do better. So here are some thoughts on that. (Yeah, I know, ANOTHER WHITE FEMINIST POV /o\)
Read more... )
sqbr: (existentialism)
Thursday, February 27th, 2014 07:36 pm
This is me trying to organise my thoughts after a very interesting twitter conversation got too convoluted for my cold addled brain. It's very important to note that my friend Helen who started the conversation and the people we're talking about/to are white Australians (mostly women) with similar politics, and we're discussing both things that affect us (like feminism) and those that don't (like refugee rights). This is NOT about people using anger as an excuse to denounce opinions or points of view they can't handle. (Which is a thing that happens a lot. A LOT. So don't do it here :P)

So! The question is: "Some people really aggressively tweet all the activism and outrage. But what good is this doing?".
Read more... )
sqbr: (homestuck)
Tuesday, January 21st, 2014 11:10 pm
Overall: very interesting, makes some good points, I didn't understand everything and didn't agree with everything I did understand but feel like I learned a lot.
More general reactions )

Now my rough notes on chapters 4-12, taken as I went, neatened up only a little. I may try for a more thoughtful response later. These are all his opinions, aside from some asides from me.
Thoughts on chapters 4-12 )
sqbr: (homestuck)
Saturday, January 18th, 2014 10:05 pm
I'm listening to the audiobook of "Debt, the first 5000 years" by David Graeber while I play video games and it's fantastic, exactly the modern left wing exporation of economics I've been wanting, and legally available for free.

My dodgy take on some interesting ideas so far (up to chapter 3):
Read more... )
sqbr: (up and down)
Sunday, December 8th, 2013 06:56 pm
This is a lot of unfinished thoughts.

I didn't agree with all of Cyberlibertarians’ Digital Deletion of the Left but it was throught provoking. It makes the valid point that many "benevolent" technological groups are quite libertarian in effect and motivation. Also any sort of digital utopianism is blatantly bunk, technology is at best value neutral, it's a tool not a complete solution. I am glad of the link to this essay comparing intellectual property to other sorts of property in terms of freedom/enclosure etc, though I've only read the preface. And the idea that "information should be free" is definitely leveraged by businesses like Google to invade the privacy of and profit from everyday people.

But I think it acts like you're either pro-government or pro-business, and there are plenty of people who are neither. Also I'm pretty sure the EFF aren't the unambiguously pro-big-business force for evil they're painted as, they seem to help defend the little guy from oppressive big business a moderate amount of the time, and I know the Chair of the Australian branch is a card carrying member of Labor (and also quite left wing ;))

And...ok, Jimmy Wiles is pro-business and there's lots of obnoxious hierarchies and biases in Wikipedia, but I'm hard pressed to see it as an overall Force for Capitalist Evil. Not that the article says it is, it just mentions Jimmy Wiles and moves on instead of examimining whether libertarian techno-utopian projects may do social good regardless of their founders' politics. Or am I missing something?

Anyway, it got me thinking about what it means for a non profit or anyone to be "left wing".
Read more... )
sqbr: (up)
Saturday, November 9th, 2013 01:18 pm
The first and most obvious reason is that it's terrifying. Cecil may be able to put a positive spin on massive death rates and repressive secret police but personally I'd rather stay in a town where the librarians don't try to eat you and steal your children. YMMV.

The second reason is that there are no ramps in Night Vale. The writers have gone to great efforts to create a world with no acceptance of homophobia, racism or sexism and have been rightfully applauded for doing so. Yet when it comes to disability the town doesn't do so well(*).
Read more... )
sqbr: (duty calls)
Saturday, November 2nd, 2013 07:23 am
I got into an argument on tumblr with someone about aromanticism and I don't feel like engaging with them any more but they are SO INFURIATING I feel the need to rant.

Note: I am not aromantic myself, I apologise if I misstep. You guys have enough crap to deal with.
Read more... )
sqbr: Hannelore: Worry hat! Bravery plus 10, charisma plus 5 (worry hat)
Saturday, September 7th, 2013 08:46 pm
These have been building up for a while (since May? Really??), in some cases I'm just taking a rough guess as to why I thought a link was worth saving.

Lotsa links! )
sqbr: Nepeta from Homestuck looking grumpy in front of the f/f parts of her shipping wall (grumpy)
Sunday, August 11th, 2013 08:24 pm
I've seen a lot of people talk about slash fandom as a queer space, but I'm not sure I've seen anyone talk about femslash fandom as one.

When I started out in online fanworks based fandom I identified as straight and had extreme difficulty finding femslash for anything I was interested in. Figuring out where the femslashers are at and figuring out my sexuality have to some extent gone hand in hand, and hanging out with other femslashers has been a hugely positive experience.
Read more... )
sqbr: Expressing my femininity with an axe (femininity)
Thursday, July 11th, 2013 09:02 pm
So: Internalised misogyny exists, and does harm to the woman herself and the women around her. All women have it to some extent and it's something we should be aware of and try to work against.

However. Pretty much every time I've seen fans in female dominated fannish spaces talk about other women's internalised misogyny the argument would have been much better without it.
Read more... )
sqbr: (happy dragon)
Sunday, June 23rd, 2013 11:05 am
The main character of Copper Rise (the game I'm working on) is from an Indian family and culturally (and to some extent religiously) Hindu and I've been trying to figure out how to write that properly, especially avoiding the trap of having any empowering experiences draw too much on my own very white-western-culturally-Protestant experience. Part of the challenge is that the game is set in an alternate 19th century where England never took over India, so most articles on specific modern Indian approaches to sexism/homophobia are hard to extrapolate.

Today I found an interesting looking paper on JSTOR: Hinduism and Feminism: Some Concerns. Just as I was about to sigh and close the tab I realised they have a new "read online free" beta! So I am taking notes for my future self and the other members of the team (who have less of a tolerance for academic papers :))

If you have any tolerance for academic papers yourself and don't mind signing up for an account it's a very readable and interesting article. My second hand notes really aren't the same. And don't worry Indian/Hindu readers, I will not take this one woman's POV as universal, but it's a useful place to start.
Read more... )
sqbr: (yay!)
Friday, June 21st, 2013 01:16 pm
Thank you! I really appreciate it!

I always feel really grateful and surprised when this sort of thing happens, and then am like "Does this mean I have minions I can get to buy me stuff? Am I somehow pressuring people to buy me stuff? AM I THE NEXT CASSANDRA CLAIRE??" But mostly I'm just happy :)
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sqbr: (racism)
Monday, June 3rd, 2013 03:05 pm
So! A few years ago I realised that not only did I pretty much only draw white people, but that I wasn't sure how to draw anything else. There is a long history of dark skinned people being made to look pale and POC being made to look white in order for them to be more palatable to pale white audiences. So there are ethical as well as artistic reasons to try not to screw this stuff up. I made a post poking at the problem, what have I learned since then?
Read more... )