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: Apologises for the terrible prose it's probably accompanied by, reads an e e cummings poem (Default)
Saturday, March 2nd, 2013 02:10 pm
Crime Against Nature Kids book about same sex and other "unnatural" relationships in nature. Not sue it works as a kids book but still interesting! Couldn't get it to download though.

When Depression is Contagious Captain Awkward post about how to draw boundaries and look after your own emotional well being when in a relationship with a depressed person.

Say hello to The Old Republic's gay planet All the same sex content in Bioware's Star Wars: The Old Republic MMMORPG is on one planet. Uh huh.

AMAZINGLY OFFENSIVE: On Stephen Hawking, Vader and Being More Machine Than Human Inspired me to make a More machine than man shirt because screw you, self obsessed technophiles.

Why I play violent video games Not the same reasons as me, but still an interesting read from another woman who likes violent video games (and no, not despite the violence)

The secret life of them: What it takes to shift class in Australia Quite different to my experience as an upwardly mobile child of downwardly mobile ex-middle class white people, but that's what you'd expect.

the positive side of socialism

Health Panics in Historical Perspective

“Oh, You Sexy Geek!”: “Geek Girls” and the Problem of Self-Objectification

I've been reading through Pervocracy, I particularly liked
Using my vagina about the validity of having unsexy sex if that's genuinely what you want.

From a different POV, You Need Help: Let's Talk About (Having More) Sex

Conservatives can be persuaded to care more about the environment, study finds

Multiple Sclerosis, Kepral’s Syndrome, and Why I’m Glad Thane Dies The importance of illness narratives with no magical cure.
sqbr: (existentialism)
Monday, October 1st, 2012 12:07 pm
Bullying & Goodreads I found this interesting because it's such a blatant example of people using "bullying" (aka criticism) as an excuse to be actual bullies.

On being considered a Fake Geek Girl I like this in particular (as opposed to various other similar essays by geekier women, which make different but equally valid points) because she really ISN'T a "real" geek by some definitions, but that doesn't mean she's fake. She's just who she is, with the interests she has (which are kind of geeky and kind of not), and she can't help it if people insist on a false Geek/Mundane dichotomy and then complain when she doesn't fit.

In general I've been thinking about "real fans". And as much as part of me kicks and screams that they are Not Real Fans and Don't Love Canon Like It Deserves, I think I have to accept that people who are only into (a)Jane Austen through the adaptations or (b)That Popular Thing I Love (Homestuck, for example) for the generic slash are totally justified in their tastes. Especially since there are plenty of books I'm only into from the adaptations, and canons where I vastly prefer the OOC schmoopy fanfic (sometimes even the juggernaut slash pairing! I find fanon John/Rodney way more entertaining than Stargate Atlantis the actual show, for example. YES, I KNOW, I AM PART OF THE PROBLEM) How the different forms of fannishness can coexist without stomping all over each other quite so much I am less sure.

The golden age Interesting take on how to head towards a truly equal society. I think that even if we ignore global warming and other similar practical hurdles, it glosses over how and why public attitudes have changed worldwide, it's not ALL The Capitalist Conspiracy brainwashing us with Fox News etc, and also seems focused on the abstract instead of looking at various approaches to social democracy worldwide (OUTSIDE EUROPE/THE US EVEN OMG). He does update with, for example, an acknowledgement that childcare is work too, but I think a more thorough analysis of disability theory etc would greatly benefit the analysis. One thing I've heard is that a more heterogeneous society erodes public support for egalitarianism, because people think "I'm ok supporting people like me, but not people like them" Not sure how to combat that, beyond trying to fight racism etc (which are obviously good goals regardless :)) Still, becoming disabled has really made me notice and question the emphasis on "being productive".
sqbr: Asterix-like magnifying glass over Perth, Western Australia (australia 2)
Friday, October 28th, 2011 09:11 am
Barred CHOGM protestor 'not a threat' The Queen is visiting, better lock up the environmentalists! On the plus side even commercial FM radio news was talking about it.

Rio Tinto accused over Bougainville 'genocide'

Housos: a tv show making fun of disabled people living in public housing. As a disabled person who grew up in public housing around a lot of disabled people my response was nostalgia coated in a heavy layer of "Fuck you"(*). Here's the first episode of Housos, I only got three minutes in, maybe it suddenly becomes SUPER AMAZING after that but somehow I doubt it.

(*)Given that my childhood involved a lot of people swearing and resentment towards middle class(**) wankers who thought they were better than us I guess it's appropriate.
(**)I tried to look up about the guy who made this, but once I hit "He won the Tropfest award…although he had submitted the film under the pseudonym Laura Feinstein in order to appeal to the sensitivities of the judges" I decided I'd hit my loathing limit for the day.
sqbr: (homestuck)
Sunday, October 23rd, 2011 03:28 pm
I'm currently reading "The Making of the English Working Class" by E. P. Thompson. I'm almost certainly not going to finish it all 800+ pages before I have to return it to the library, but what I've read has been interesting. I keep finding parallels with the current situation. Reading #OccupyOz captures the mood, but its critics are too busy demanding the possible to be realistic and Occupy Australia and the Antipodean “bubble”, which criticise criticisms from the Left of the Occupy movement within Australia, there is a common paradox: that the most effective way for those outside the ruling class to effect change is to join the ruling class, and that this is used a carrot to get people to focus on being upwardly mobile and just trust that those in power have their best interests at heart.

Reading 17th century politicians arguing that property owners are the only people sufficiently invested in the country to be able to vote responsibly reminds me rather of certain modern Republicans :/

Two half finished thoughts:
Read more... )
sqbr: (homestuck)
Friday, August 19th, 2011 12:45 pm
Maliciousness in memes: #boganmovies and #tightsarenotpants

I always feel a bit self conscious ranting about class, since the more I think about it the more I realise that for all their left wing ideals my parents are basically middle class bohemians slumming it because they find the rat race too stressful. I never entirely fit in to the working class culture I grew up in, and have few connections to it now. Plus being a "working class" Australian in the suburbs in the 80s was in some ways less difficult than, say, what a lot of ostensibly lower middle class Americans are experiencing now.

Then again, I guess the fact that despite these cushioning effects I've still experienced enough classism to feel pretty angry about it is testament to how totally not class free Australia is.

Anyway, yes. The cheerful way that ostensibly left wing middle class people mock and belittle the working class and people from rural areas is gross. (And I wish this went without saying, but I don't want to see any of it in my comments)
sqbr: (homestuck)
Wednesday, August 17th, 2011 11:57 am
Evicting rioters' families from their homes? There's a horrible logic to it

I hate this pattern of punishing people for behaviours associated with poverty by making them more poor. I'm not saying the rioters were blameless political dissidents fighting for freedom or whatever, but the economic situation was obviously related to them feeling like rioting was a reasonable action (Although David Cameron disagrees), and I can't see how pushing their entire family onto the street is going to help matters. See also the the Australian government's tendency to cut people off welfare for sneezing in the wrong direction.
sqbr: (happy dragon)
Thursday, July 28th, 2011 02:33 pm
When this first arrived from the library I thought "Wait, Newberry Award Honor Book? Am I reading young adult fantasy? Crap.". But then it quickly grew on me. It flowed very nicely and I liked the characters and story (no female characters, but that made sense in context), and the Greece inspired worldbuilding was understated but effective. It felt like a real country, I can't think of any other fantasy I've read with a convincing Mediterranean climate(*). Also the protagonist Gen is quite dark and no big deal is made about it. But apart from the fact that I liked Gen more when I thought he was a teenager rather than an immature twenty something (EDIT: oh, ok, he is a teenager), there was one thing that I predicted early on and knew would retrospectively really annoy me if it happened, and it did.

Major spoilers )

(*)Though this did mean that I kept imagining the mountains they crossed as the Darling Ranges
sqbr: Expressing my femininity with an axe (femininity)
Friday, June 10th, 2011 02:33 pm
Cleaning out my "ready to post" folder, I wrote this ages ago but I can see it being useful to link to at some point.

I just saw Pretty Woman for the first time. MY GOD SO CREEPY. It's one long male power fantasy of having enough money to make a pretty, sweet natured lower class girl fall in love with you, and do and be whatever you want without once having to make a commitment or say "I love you" (seriously, never. Not even at the end). Because you see she's a sex worker, so her standards are so low that not being a complete douchebag all the time is more than she would ever expect! You don't need to show her respect or care about her feelings, as long as you give her enough gifts and say the odd nice thing from time to time she will be blissfully happy.
Read more... )
sqbr: (torchwood spoilers)
Friday, June 10th, 2011 09:40 am
I just inhaled all seven episodes of the period drama Downton Abbey, set in an English country estate in around 1913. One the one hand, it was very engaging and I got quite attached to the characters. On the other hand, the only way I got through it was by stopping every now and then to be irritated and work on this post, which is serious business enough to be posted here instead of [personal profile] alias_sqbr.

It's that irritatingly common form of modern period drama, which says "Yes, the olden days were unjust, but they had a sort of charming simplicity, and the way things were made better was with politeness and determination and not rocking the boat too hard, and anyone who complained too much was a selfish uppity thug or tragic monster".
Read more... )
sqbr: (dagna)
Thursday, February 10th, 2011 05:17 pm
One of the characters in the upcoming Dragon Age game has been significantly lightened in promotional material. On the plus side all the comments last I checked were angry about it, yay for a fandom I'm in not being angrymaking :) (Also, totally shallow, but I am SO impatient for DA2 to come out, and am glad the companions seem slightly more diverse this time, even if the PR department disagrees)


After my post about class in speculative fic I've been pondering more lefty fantasy, and today remembered Maid Marian and her Merry Men, a humourous 80s/90s kids show written by Tony Robinson which retold the Robin Hood legend with Maid Marian in the lead as a working class freedom fighter. It's sometimes painfully dorky and not always exactly deep, but it was fun for what it was and had some clever social commentary every now and then.
sqbr: (homestuck)
Wednesday, January 26th, 2011 01:37 pm
I just read this post: Oops, she's dead". Once more with no feeling:
I'm fed up with stories (and Buffy S8 isn't the worst example of it out there, I can also point to Torchwood, many superhero comics, and, quite overwhelmingly, Heroes) with central characters who treat protecting other people's lives as self-expression, who make no attempt to practice and improve their skills or to truly form a team that works like a well-oiled system, who demand that they be given the respect due to those who protect society but who fuck up and fuck up and have hecatombs happen on their watch and then expect us to sympathise with them afterwards because it was just so horrible for them, even tough they're usually still alive and walking at the end of it, unlike hundreds of others who weren't in the opening credits.


...and was reminded that I had a locked brainstormy post about class in speculative fiction I never got around to tidying up. Thus, a summary of the main ideas and some links since I have a follow on post I'd like to make (eventually)
Read more... )
sqbr: I lay on the couch, suffering an out of spoons error (spoons)
Thursday, August 19th, 2010 11:43 am
I have actual coherent thought I was hoping to make into a post but whenever I try I fall asleep. So! Links.

On generous listening I have linked to my reply which has some of my thoughts on the topic. (And when I am less sleepy, I will reply to her reply!)

Dirty Girls and Bad Feminists: A Few Thoughts on “I Love Dick”

This is an old post but it connects with some stuff I've been thinking about. I've been thinking about which criticisms of social justice activism etc I find helpful, and I think saying "What I/we should do.." rather than "What they should do.." is a big part of it.

On note of Classism trumping Racism A nice rebuttal to a point of view one encounters in various places.

Why Accuracy in Historical M/M Romance Matters This is similar to my approach to historical f/f and m/f etc. I have a niggling feeling that I'd disagree with some of it if I was more awake, though.
sqbr: Expressing my femininity with an axe (femininity)
Monday, May 31st, 2010 05:30 pm
Disadvantaged kids dream big but fail

CHILDREN living in disadvantage are unaware of the harsh realities awaiting them, with a new poll indicating all students share the same ambitions and dreams.


Those silly children! Wanting to be doctors when they should realistically be aiming no higher than McDonald's manager! Clearly this is terrible, we should educate them on how they are doomed to lives of drudgery and despair, that way they'll be saved the disappointment later.

WHAT.

I grew up in a working class area. It's arguable that I was never entirely disadvantaged since my parents may have been poor but I got a lot more educational opportunities and general middle class...stuff than most kids in my class. But I was still ensconced in the culture. And let me tell you: those children's souls were already plenty crushed, their dreams sufficiently small, their hopes and aspirations sufficiently modest. We all "knew" we were going nowhere. God how we knew. Just sometimes we had hopes and dreams. How horribly ignorant of us.
sqbr: (happy dragon)
Saturday, February 20th, 2010 07:38 pm
I was going to try and do an indepth thinky post about Dragon Age:Origins(*) but then I'd feel obliged to research it and I think I'd rather not learn so much about the setting that I can see all the cracks. So here's just lots of misc non-spoilery thoughts (I can't think about anything as solidly as I have this game and not poke it wrt bias etc).

On the whole I think it's pretty awesome as a game, but some aspects are problematic to a greater and lesser extent.
Read more... )
sqbr: (existentialism)
Wednesday, January 20th, 2010 09:56 am
My last post and related discussions have got me thinking about the ways in which fic in general, and my fic in particular, pokes at social justice issues, as well as what it is about f/f romance that pings for me in a particular way other types of stories don't.

And I've realised that what I really like reading is stories that not only highlight the inequalities in society, and show people from marginalised groups being awesome, but show them working together to overcome those inequalities.

Note: the rest of this post is self indulgent introspection. But I am curious to know if anyone else seeks out stories like this. I know people see it as a trope that SHOULD be written for sensible socially conscious reasons, but for me it's also a very strong entirely selfish personal preference, akin to my love of schmoopy m/f romance.
Read more... )
sqbr: (bookdragon)
Sunday, December 20th, 2009 10:20 am
When Will White People Stop Making Movies Like "Avatar"? does a good job of going through why the "White person helps lead Oppressed Native People to freedom" plot is at it's heart all about white supremacy. (But don't read the comments)

But I've been thinking about how a lot of ostensibly anti-oppression narratives take this form.


  • You have the aristocrat who leads the working classes to freedom, as in the stories described in the beginning of "Historical AUs and race" (which inspired this one a bit)
  • The able-bodied person who saves the poor disabled people eg "Children of a Lesser God".
  • The man who saves the poor victimised women eg a lot of Dollhouse.
  • I'm having trouble thinking of any to do with sexuality but I'm sure they exist. EDIT: "I now pronounce you Chuck and Larry"?


And not all of these stories are bad individually. After all, history does have a lot of people who did good works helping those they had privilege over, and their stories are as worth telling as anyone else's.

But what's a problem is
a) that this is seen as the only sort of story worth telling
b) The way this story is generally told

If your intention is to fight an oppression, surely you should act contrary to that oppression, not to reinforce it's biases. The Kyriarchy says that white straight able-bodied upper/middle class men are natural leaders and better than everyone at everything. So having a story where such a character joins a group of non-white/GLBT/disabled/lower class etc characters and immediately proves himself better than them all at everything and their natural leader, not to mention having their POV the only one worth seeing the story through..is not so anti-oppressive a message in my book.

See also why Glee only seems anti-racist if you only identify with the white charcaters.

EDIT: Please note that comments to this post are screened, though so far at worst I've delayed unscreening a comment until I can come up with a good explanation of why I think it's problematic.