Someone who moves like you

Television has a huge impact on how we view the world and, perhaps more interestingly, how we view ourselves.  When Joe Biden said that Will & Grace had done more for gay marriage than anything else, it probably seemed like hyperbole, but the normalization of the Other often comes first in the form of simple inclusion.

Now, I want you to go read this essay about a woman who is autistic and discovered Abed Nadir.

And stories are a scary and messy business, full of magic and demons, taunting possibilities and rules-that-aren’t, things we can’t have and altogether far too many opportunities for a sad little girl’s heart to be ripped out of her chest, and Julia kept watching, every week. And you must understand that asking Julia to pick one Abed moment is like asking Abed to pick one reference.

You must understand that one story is infinitely bigger than zero, and it may still be very small and nowhere near enough, but it’s something.

If you don’t know who Abed is… your life is sad and you need to fix that by watching Community.

 

Dear White People: Watch This Trailer

Can we get a movie with, you know, characters in ‘em instead of stereotypes wrapped up in Christian dogma?

I realize that there is a huge fundraising effort going on here for the SSA, and I strongly encourage you to participate, but I would like to bring your attention to something else.  I am, admittedly, quite biased in favor of helping people get good scripts turned into films — because it’s good to help the arts and, more selfishly, in the hopes that this will somehow lead to someone making *my* atheist script into a film.  There are major minority representation issues in film and independent productions are often the only way to combat this.

It has been a long time since I’ve seen a trailer that managed to grab me as much as this one did, the actors are superb, and there are a couple very funny jokes.  Impressive for a film that hasn’t even been shot yet.

Remember when Black movies didn’t neccesarily star a dude in a fat suit and a wig? Or have major plot twists timed to Gospel numbers for no apparent reason? No? Damn…

Well believe it or not there was a time when “Black Art-House” was a thing. When movies like Do The Right ThingHollywood Shuffle, and Boyz In Da Hood were breaking box office records as well as making us laugh, cry, and think in ways movies hadn’t before.

The humble producers of DEAR WHITE PEOPLE, a satire about being a black face in a white place, long to bring those days back. But we can’t do it without you!

They also have a very funny tumblr, twitter feed, and facebook page.

And, if you’ll allow a brief indulgence, can we talk about how pretty this is?  This is a trailer shot specifically to be a trailer, which is to say, this is not cut from a larger movie — they shot this, probably on a very low budget, to sell the idea of the film.  With that low budget they’ve gotten a talented cast who all manage to come across as complex, even in a short trailer, and got a cinematographer, editor, and production designer who made almost every shot look professional.  Film is tricky when it comes to representation, it relies on stereotypes and visual shortcuts to tell stories efficiently and effectively.  It’s a shallow medium.  So can I just say that I now have a crush on basically every single cast-member who has a line in the trailer?

Facebook Rumors: Paying to reach fans

In my other life, I write for a social media news blog, and I recently wrote about the current rumor going around about pages/celebrities having to pay to reach their fans.  Unfortunately, my tiny blog post didn’t reach George Takei so I imagine the level of hysteria over this is just going to continue ratcheting up.  I’m sure you will all be surprised by this, but misinformation really gets under my skin.  Here’s the relevant information from Facebook itself:

Nothing has changed about how your posts are shared with the people who like your Page.

A lot of activity happens on Facebook and most people only see some of it in their news feeds. They may miss things when they’re not on Facebook, or they may have a lot of friends and Pages, which results in too much activity to show all of it in their news feed.

If you don’t promote your post, many of the people connected to your Page may still see it. However, by promoting a post, you’re increasing its potential reach so an even larger percentage of your Page audience and the friends of those interacting with your post will see it.

Nothing has changed, Facebook is just now offering the opportunity to advertize specific posts to the people most likely to be interested: casual fans who don’t interact with the page often and friends of fans.  If you have a problem with EdgeRank, the system that sorts your Newsfeed in Facebook, that’s a different issue entirely that impacts every post from every person, not just pages.

My Life is Exploding & Boba Fett Ukulele

June14-June24

First and foremost, go give the SSA money.  They are the best, they deserve at least five of your earth dollars.

The timing of my getting a blog here is not totally ideal — I’ve had to abandon my house and move in with my mother because I’m allergic to it, I have to be out entirely and into a new house by the end of the month, I’m coming up against the final deadline for a class, I’m leaving Thursday for 10 days of traveling, and I’m about to start another class.  I don’t know if you’ve ever been massively sick with allergies, but I can tell you that it’s not good for productivity or creating a will to live.

How I've felt for 3 weeks

So, this spot may just end up hosting various and sundry not terribly deep things for the next two weeks, including pretty travel pictures, links to interesting things, and perhaps a few things I dig up from the vault.  I scheduled this post ahead of time to prevent myself from blogging at all today so that I will get some work done.  We’ll see how that goes.

Backyard Biology: Dead Squirrels

Do squirrels not do well in the rain?  I only ask because I’ve never seen a dead squirrel anywhere but the middle of the road after being hit by a car, and I’ve seen two today in my yard.

Death Abstract

UMM QUICK HERE’S A BABY SEA TURTLE!

45 years since the summer of Loving

Today is the 45th anniversary of the decision in Loving v Virginia, which legalized interracial marriage in the US.  With Perry v Schwarzenegger (Prop 8.) and DOMA heading to SCOTUS this year, let us hope we will soon have marriage equality for all.  Even though the cases don’t have the perfect name Loving did.

Best of Before Freethought Blogs

From Miley Cyrus' Occupy Video

If you’re interested in learning more about what I do, I recommend you click on the speaking tab above, it includes most of the speeches and media by/about/including me.

The following are the most popular posts from my blog:

Ron Paul

Last December, I wrote a post in which I spoke about Ron Paul in less than glowing terms.  This earned me a lot of hate.  And a lot of views.

The Original Post

The Collection of Hate Commentary
(Warning: Violence, Rape, “Cunts”)

Best of Hate Commentary as read by a Hippo

My Song about Ron Paul:

Sarah Palin and Gabby Giffords

When Gabby Giffords got shot, I wrote about how the violent rhetoric of politics, particularly from the right, is bad for America. Post here.

Sexual Harassment and TAM

I have weighed in on this several times — I was harassed at TAM last year, and the problem was addressed very quickly, but I still have problems with the way DJ talks about the issue.

TAM 8: Slut Shaming

The Sexist Speaker Problem

TAM9: How I was harassed and how DJ dealt with it. My main takeaways of the online discussion, my angry fact-correction of DJ, and Why Women Don’t Report Harassment.

Eddie Kritzer: The Scam Artist

A “manager” or “agent” or “disgusting troll who used my business contact to actually call me to talk about having sex with me”, depending on who you ask. Advice: if someone asks you for a fee upfront to read your screenplay, they are not legit.  Further advice: If you want to hate someone, I highly recommend reading the disgusting e-mails he sent to me.  Warning: Graphic.

Blog Posts in chronological order: 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14

Some of my favorites:

Why Miley Cyrus is Cooler Than You Think

Boobaversary: In Defense of Plastic Surgery

How SCOTUS will vote on Prop 8 and Scalia in Lawrence v Texas

Tron: Legacy’s lack of women and the sad state of women in film

The Dangers of Personhood Amendments

Prop 8 Comics Presents: Too Gay for the Bench

Prop 8: All About the Accidental Pregnancies (on Salon)

What’s Up?

I cannot tell you how excited I am to be joining Freethought Blogs.  Interestingly enough, I was asked to join FtB exactly 2 years after I started blogging about skepticism and atheism.  I am a relatively new voice in this atheist/skeptic/oh-my-god-don’t-conflate-the-two blogosphere, though I have been blogging for 14 years.

Many of you know me, but some of you do not.  So hello!  I’m Ashley, there’s a bio over there that basically says I know too much about movies and talk a lot.  The thing that most people seem to find shocking about me is that I worked on Toddlers & Tiaras.  What else?  They should be bringing my archives over eventually, but my old site is http://ashleyfmiller.wordpress.com

Here is a list of things I love:

  • The World Cup
  • Karaoke
  • Baby Sea Turtles
  • Rainbows, Sparkles, Sparkly Rainbows, Rainbow Sparkles
  • Drag queens
  • Otters
  • Alan Rickman
  • Great White Sharks

Here is a list of things I hate:

  • Perfume
  • Allergies
  • Ron Paulians
  • The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
  • Everything
  • Dark Harbor
  • Kevin Costner

In summation:

 

Aren’t you making it up? – Why women don’t report harassment

There has been a lot of discussion about why women don’t report sexual harassment (Ophelia Benson, Greta Christina) and what they’re up against when they do, including hyper-skepticism over claims that are routine, mundane, and unsurprising.

I would like to present to you a comment I got today, which you can go find if you want, but I have no intention of linking to it or encouraging people to respond to it.  I want you to read it and keep in mind a few things:

  1. Unlike most cases of sexual harassment, I had several witnesses
  2. Many witnesses were willing to make public statements
  3. Although the report was incomplete, it was made as the harassment was ongoing, not afterwards
  4. It was not a complaint about a named person, no one is on the defensive
  5. It was not a complaint about a well-known speaker
  6. Many people in the community know and respect me, I am not unknown
  7. I have a public platform from which to speak

These things are not always true for a woman who is being or has been harassed and the following is a response I got with all of those things on my side.  Take away one or two or all of these and tell me what kind of response the average woman might expect to get.  And then tell me whether you’d find it worth it to make a report when you can expect this treatment from many other people.

Miss Miller, is there any actual evidence that the alleged harassment took place? Is there any actual evidence that “some other women” were harassed? Did you submit a written report of the alleged harassment to the conference organizers? Did the alleged “other women” submit written reports? Did any of you report the alleged harassment directly to “DJ”?

If the guy was so obnoxious for so long, why didn’t you ask someone for help? Why didn’t you ask for help right away if you were so repulsed by and uncomfortable with the guy’s alleged behavior? You say that someone from TAM’s staff eventually (but “so quickly”) intervened but you don’t say whether you asked for help or if someone just happened to come along and deal with the alleged situation.

You say that someone from TAM “made it stop” and that someone kicked the guy out but you don’t say exactly who it was who first intervened and how they knew you were being harassed. You say that you were told that “DJ himself” kicked the guy out but you don’t say who told you that.

You obviously think that TAM should consider what you did as a “report of harassment” but you don’t actually say what you did, exactly who intervened, whether you asked for help, who you talked to (either to ask for help or otherwise), and there are a lot of other missing, important details.

Another thing you said is that you were ultimately impressed with and proud of TAM’s staff for so quickly intervening. If they intervened so quickly, how could the guy have harassed you from room to room for so long?

You also make it sound as though “DJ” must have known about the alleged situation at the time but you don’t actually know that he did because you didn’t actually talk to him about it at the time, did you?

Exactly how would it make TAM “look bad” if you had gone “into explicit detail of exactly how gross the guy had been to” you? Who exactly would you have gone into explicit detail to about how gross the guy was to you that would have made TAM look bad? If you had gone into explicit detail with TAM’s staff, how would that make TAM look bad? If you didn’t go into explicit detail with someone on TAM’s staff at the time, then why did they intervene and kick the guy out? How would they know for sure what they were intervening with?

And another question: Do you expect the TAM staff or “DJ” to be psychic and to know what’s happening to you and/or other people at the conferences at all times, and to know what has allegedly happened to you or other people even though you and/or those other people don’t properly report it to the people in charge?

According to your own words TAM’s staff  took care of the alleged situation “so quickly” and effectively. That speaks well of TAM’s staff, which should demonstrate to you and all others that TAM’s staff deals with problems quickly and effectively as soon as they know about them. TAM’s staff can’t reasonably be expected to be psychic or to personally babysit every woman (or man) at their conferences. It’s unreasonable for you to blame TAM or “DJ” for something that you could have ended a lot faster if you had asked for help quickly and had properly reported it to the people in charge.

Is it wrong for ‘skeptics’ to be skeptical of non-evidential claims that don’t add up, and that weren’t properly reported to the people in charge of the conference?

Are you making up the whole thing?

On its own, it might just seem like a bad apple not worthy of notice, but I’ve gotten dozens of other comments here, on other blogs, on Facebook, and in e-mails that reflect the same sentiment.  And I knew I would get them.  Every woman knows she will get them.  Every time she speaks up.  Every time.  And sometimes it’s just exhausting.  It hurts a little, having to relive it and be called names and a liar, but ultimately it just makes you tired, completely bone-weary, and a little heartbroken.

Ukulele Video Time! Adele

I have so much work to catch up so I’m just going to give you a ukulele video instead of real deep thoughtlike thoughts. I’m too loud for my microphone… to be fair, it’s for my Playstation 2. //ENDDORK