sqbr: (mod hat)
2019-09-22 08:23 pm
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[sticky entry] Sticky: Things you should know

This is my Serious Business journal. Are you perhaps looking for my fannish/personal journal [personal profile] alias_sqbr?

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This is the stuff I assume you know about me.
sqbr: Apologises for the terrible prose it's probably accompanied by, reads an e e cummings poem (Default)
2014-11-10 09:54 pm
Entry tags:

So this is embarassing

This morning I had a moment of perfect clarity. I felt a strength of purpose and certainty in the importance of speaking publically on a complex issue that I haven't felt much in the last few years.

And then this evening I had a second moment of perfect clarity. That thought was "this is fucked up." And realised that the state I'm in now, and haven't been in for several years, is unmedicated.

GUESS WHO'S RINGING A THERAPIST TOMORROW.

My apologies to anyone who was hurt by the now locked post, which I am going to ignore for a while until I feel able to approach it with at least a modicum of rationality. Also apologies for blarging my personal issues on you all, but I felt like an explanation was neccesary and couldn't think of a less mortifying way to explain things. Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to go play computer games for a while and try not to die of /o\
sqbr: Apologises for the terrible prose it's probably accompanied by, reads an e e cummings poem (Default)
2014-10-28 01:41 pm

The long view on gamergate

If my (flawed and shallow) understanding of the history of novels (specifically scifi and YA), comics, and films is any guide, in 20 years:

Video games will be taken more seriously as an art.
There will be room in the marketplace for lots of healthy subgenres appealing to people from all walks of life.
There will still be heaps of cheesy AAA shooters because people like that sort of thing, but there'll also be cross pollination between genres to the betterment of all.
There will specifically be a thriving Indie Game subculture, Indie Game Makers who are taken seriously in mainstream culture and can make a comfortable living etc.
People will remember Gamergate, if they do at all, as a bunch of regressive moustache twirling Luddites who were too hidebound to accept progress and True Art etc.

And the heroes of this new movement, and of the history as people remember it, will be white dudes. They'll make a movie starring John Scalzi as the Brave Male Feminist and Zoe Quinn and Anita Sarkesian as the thankful oppressed victims. Brianna Wu will have a cameo played by Dakota Fanning.
There'll be Best MOGAI Games Of 2034 Humble Bundle or whatever, but the Indie Game Artform will for the most part still be a bunch of stories about grizzled white dudes, just...artistically written ones. Maybe some tragic lesbians every now and then, and the Great Classics as taught will include a careful tokenistic sprinkling of games about and by POC, disabled people etc.

Genres outside the Indie Game Artform will be looked down on as Not Real Art, and this condescension will as it happens fall most severely on any genres which just happen to be more popular with women (AAA action games will alosbe dismissed, and middle aged gamergaters will mutter about how they warned everyone this was going to happen and how AAA action games these days lack the masculine energy of the old days. Female fans of AAA action games will mutter someting quite different). Dating sims, for example, will continue to be as looked down on as romance novels.
Independent games which care more about representing neglected POVs and being entertaining than hitting the current Art buttons will be vaguely respected but not paid much attention.

And we'll all keep making and playing the games we like regardless.

(I do actually consider this to be a mostly much better situation than what we have now. But I had a Vision Of The Future and felt like sharing it. Also, yeah, massive generalisations etc, I hope my basic point comes across)
sqbr: Apologises for the terrible prose it's probably accompanied by, reads an e e cummings poem (Default)
2014-10-19 11:30 pm

More links omg

Make no mistake: Gamergate condones harassment, of Zoe Quinn, and of others. And the thing is, Gamergate is not the first time people supporting a good cause have found themselevs associated with awful people. But usually what happens is people go "Wow that is AWFUL I really don't want to be associated with them" and they make a really clear strong break. Like, cis feminists who don't hate trans women pointedly and publically cutting ties with TERFS.

I reblogged and commented on a post about politisization which then led me to to I can tolerate anything but the outgroup. As he admits at the end, this purports to be an objective skewering of partisanship while deep down actually being incredibly partisan propoganda for centrism. And he is far less self aware about the MASSIVE CLASS ETC BIAS of his POV, even aside from the fact thast is US focused I'm pretty sure red vs blue looks pretty different to a disabled trans black street kid or even, like, Barack Obama. THAT SAID it still made some good points and made me think.

Like, the thing he's criticising is the way people turn every complex specific situation into "proof" that their pov is better, and that the other "side" are a bunch of selfish ignorant harmful losers. But of course his moral often ends up being "not-being-too-political is the best pov, and overly political people are a bunch of selfish ignorant harmful losers" which is EXACTLY WHAT HE'S CRITICISING. It is not inherently bad to have strong, specific, and possibly extreme opinions on the world which mostly align with some existing politcal movement. That is not actually the problem. The problem is how you deal with people whose opinions of the world differ to yours.

I had more thoughts but they got incoherent. Maybe later.
sqbr: zuko with a fish on his head (avatar)
2014-10-19 09:49 pm

Avatar's Obsession With Hereditary Heirs

So I've been hoping someone with a decent understanding of history (and specifically early 20th century Asian history) would make this post for me, but noone has, so I'm going to do my best and apologise up front for my shallow understanding of history.

Anyway: A subtext which bugged me about Avatar: The Last Airbender which has just gotten worse in The Legend of Korra is the idea that there Rightful Heirs to Power, False Heirs, and Common People. It is Heirs who become world leaders and world changers, on behalf of the Common People who deserve love and compassion but who are cheerleaders at best and a mindless mob working for the False Heirs at worst. Anyone who is born Common and tries to become Important is doomed to become a False Heir. Children of False Heirs can become True Heirs.

Major Spoilers )
sqbr: Apologises for the terrible prose it's probably accompanied by, reads an e e cummings poem (Default)
2014-10-17 10:51 pm

Two random links

Of Gamers, Gates, and Disco Demolition: The Roots of Reactionary Rage Felt a little overly optimistic but that's a nice change in these dark times, and was an interesting read.

This really irritated me. Ursula K. Le Guin on Being a Man, a snarky essay riffing on the ~hilarious~ idea that she is a "poor imitation or substitute man" with no mention of the fact that, you know, she could actually identify as male if she wanted. This is a thing afab people do sometimes, and they are not "poor imitations" of men. I mean I haven't read the full essay being quoted, maybe she really does identify as male to some extent, and the article is glossing over that. But either way, it annoyed me as presented, and Le Guin should know better. She could very easily have made the same point without erasing trans people.

Strips and Pieces, a really good comic (with transcript!) about men's resentment of sex workers.
sqbr: I lay on the couch, suffering an out of spoons error (spoons)
2014-08-06 10:45 pm
Entry tags:

Rambling about ffa

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 :/
sqbr: (homestuck)
2014-07-19 02:01 pm

Revolutionary Babies: In which I am persuaded not to see Snowpiercer

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?)
2014-07-13 11:03 pm

Liiiiiiiiinks

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)
2014-05-30 12:46 am

Awake at midnight thinking about disabled superheroes

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)
2014-03-06 10:34 am

On being a white feminist anime/manga fan

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)
2014-02-27 07:36 pm

Some thoughts about anger within activist(ish) spaces

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)
2014-01-21 11:10 pm

Rough thoughts on the rest of "Debt, the first 5000 years"

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)
2014-01-18 10:05 pm

Notes on "Debt, the first 5000 years"

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)
2013-12-08 06:56 pm

Politics, computers and charity

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)
2013-11-09 01:18 pm

Why I don't want to live in Night Vale

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)
2013-11-02 07:23 am

Somone is wrong on the internet about aromanticism

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)
2013-09-07 08:46 pm

Linkspam wants to be distracted from Australian politics

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)
2013-08-11 08:24 pm

Personal Experiences of Femslash Fandom as a Queer Space

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... )