Comments

  1. says

    Seven of Mine:

    \o/

    I really need to remember to check my pocketses first. I’m lucky I didn’t dry it.

  2. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I haven’t seen anybody mention this, but I think some diagnoses, like depression, probably have several possible underlying chemical causes, that manifest as depression. Same for some other psychiatric problems. So what you have with one diagnosis is a half a dozen possible causes, and without being able to biopsy the brain, or have blood tests for the problem, one has to keep trying various drugs until one works. And I think that is part of the problem in saying the drugs don’t work. They do with the right chemical cause. Not so much with other causes. My two cents.

  3. consciousness razor says

    Inaji:

    Flash memory is some good stuff. I checked wiki to see if there was anything about it and found this story about a camera being recovered from the bottom of the Atlantic, after apparently a couple of years, with pictures still intact. That’s a pretty long wash cycle.

  4. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Nerd, 502:

    That’s what we’ve been talking about when we’ve been talking about using symptom clusters as a description/definition of a disease. If all you know are the symptoms, but not how they came about, you can’t predict proper treatment. In practice, it’s the same with certain infections. Although there exist lab protocols to culture bacteria and type it, etc., the most effective way of diagnosing an infection is often to wait to see if it goes away after a relatively short natural life (viral) or is ongoing (bacterial). Then you use the most common anti-biotic if it turns out to be a persistent bacterial infection, but it’s possible that it’s a rarer pathogen or an antibiotic-resistant strain. Then you go to something else. You do this because although you **could** know the cause through lab procedures, certain infections are so common that the expenditure for culturing and typing would swamp the health benefit…especially since many will turn out to be viral and resolve on their own by the time the labs come back.

    In psych practice it’s different. It’s not practical considerations like money that cause a practitioner to diagnose based on symptomolgy only, it’s the fact that those hypothetical 6 mechanisms for causing depression? We don’t know any of them on a biochemical level specific enough to simply gain data on a specific “biomarker” (which could be level of a hormone, the existence of a gene, or what-have-you) and use that either for diagnostics or even, if it were new and still too expensive to do on each patient, as a specific target for drug/intervention research.

    Since out thoughts, emotions, and behaviors are products of our brains, which are physical, biological, and chemical, it is certain that there is something biochemical going on at the root of, say, the anxious inertia that makes it impossible/very difficult for many folk to get out of bed. But is it the same thing in each person? Is it pathological, or is it a healthy (or at least normal, common, and, in the right circumstance, adaptive) response to something environmental? We don’t know.

    SC and I aren’t at all ignorant of what you’re talking about. What you’re talking about is at the center of whether it is worthwhile (or ethical!) to define diseases symptomologically without knowing any etiology. SC clarified that if SC believed that psych practioners were honest about the nature of the categories, “we wouldn’t be having this discussion”. In SC’s opinion, the practitioners aren’t honest about it. In my opinion, some are dishonest, most are honest but lazy and/or reckless in how they use the language b/c they’re used to speaking about these issues to other people who know (or should) the background and they don’t feel like doing the cumbersome disclaimers every time they speak/write about such things…even though that means anyone without the background will get an entirely dishonest picture of what is being discussed. Then there are the scrupulous communicators – not more honest, but far more careful and attentive to the fact that their audience isn’t merely a busy, trained, professional crowd that wants to get to the heart of the new without rehashing familiar uncertainties in ever talk/article.

    In any case, you’re right, but the info isn’t new to the people who have been at the center of this.

  5. says

    CR:

    Flash memory is some good stuff. I checked wiki to see if there was anything about it and found this story about a camera being recovered from the bottom of the Atlantic, after apparently a couple of years, with pictures still intact. That’s a pretty long wash cycle.

    ! That’s amazing.

  6. says

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/ichthyosaur-graveyard-discovered-beneath-glacier/

    Dozens of nearly complete skeletons of prehistoric marine reptiles have been uncovered near a melting glacier in southern Chile.

    Scientists found 46 specimens from four different species of extinct ichthyosaurs. These creatures, whose Greek name means “fish lizards,” were a group of large, fast-swimming marine reptiles that lived during the Mesozoic Era, about 245 million to 90 million years ago.

    The newly discovered skeletons are from both embryos and adults. The creatures, likely killed during a series of catastrophic mudslides, were preserved in deep-sea sediments that were later exposed by the melting glacier, the researchers said in the study, published May 22 in the journal Geological Society of America Bulletin. [See Photos of the Ichthyosaur Graveyard Found in Chile]

    Ichthyosaurs had torpedo-shaped bodies with vertical flippers, and long snouts with teeth.

    “They look a lot like dolphins today,” said Wolfgang Stinnesbeck, a paleontologist at the University of Heidelberg in Germany and the leader of the study.

  7. says

    cr @ 499

    There is no measurement of anything. And that is not the only option we have: it is not the only way people could do anything like psychiatry. They could actually try measuring things when making diagnoses. That isn’t an unreasonable or incoherent or unscientific request. I don’t know how I could put it any more clearly than that.

    CD @ 504

    Since out thoughts, emotions, and behaviors are products of our brains, which are physical, biological, and chemical, it is certain that there is something biochemical going on at the root of, say, the anxious inertia that makes it impossible/very difficult for many folk to get out of bed.

    I think one of the main problems at the root of this is that it is very possible that a mental disorder isn’t caused at the biochemical level. The mind is an emergent property of the brain, but at the level of neuron connectivity. While something biochemically wrong can cause problems, there can also be problems at the connectivity levels. Though there are a lot of proposed biomarkers in the literature, there doesn’t seem to be a consensus (as for as I can tell, not my area). Short of having a complete connectome that can have its signalling mapped in real time, we might not be able to diagnose some disorders except by symptoms reported by patients. (If even then.)

    That current state of ignorance probably exacerbates problems across the medical field; profit driven pharmaceutical corps, doctor training & selection and money driven agendas. A lot of the complaints I’ve seen here and in the online articles SC provided mirror what I’ve seen in other areas as well.

    Finally, perhaps I’m misinformed, but I thought that there has been a drive to quantitate things for diagnosis of mental disorders. Still based on patient subjectivity, but I don’t think that should be grounds for dismissal.

  8. David Marjanović says

    A leucistic Grackle

    That’s interesting!

    And reminds me of myself. I have, for instance, 3 white and 3 black hairs on each wrist.

  9. says

    David:

    That’s interesting!

    It is! I did some poking about, and it seems leucism is becoming increasingly common in the Boat Grackle population, but it seems to be rare among the Common Grackle population.

    And reminds me of myself. I have, for instance, 3 white and 3 black hairs on each wrist.

    Hee. My head hair has never been one colour. When I was younger, I had dark red, black, blonde, and brown. Now I have mostly brown, black, some red, some blonde, and lotsa silver.

  10. says

    Hee. My head hair has never been one colour. When I was younger, I had dark red, black, blonde, and brown.

    My head hair is all dark brown, but my beard is tri-colored; blonde, reddish and black. Strange how it works out.

  11. David Marjanović says

    Presidential election in Syria! Yaaaaaaaay! Article in German, with a nice photo of the “campaign”.

    Unlike the last two times when al-Assad was elected for 7 years each, there are additional candidates this time. They’re thought to be strawmen, though; the opposition rejects the whole circus. Meanwhile, the body count is estimated to have passed 150,000. Just a few days ago a young American blew himself up near the city of Idlib and killed several members of the army… In September, there were 6.5 million refugees according to the UN.

  12. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    My head hair has never been one colour. When I was younger, I had dark red, black, blonde, and brown. Now I have mostly brown, black, some red, some blonde, and lotsa silver.

    Awesome.

    I’ve had a desire for Rogue’s hair since I was a kid. My dad’s hair went silver early (late 30s). I thought for sure by now I’d have silver hair and could dye most of it red (easier than bleaching my dark-brown hair silver) but, alas, still only speckled with grey.

    On the plus side…

  13. says

    CD:

    On the plus side…

    Oh, you don’t have to spend that much! Hit an art store for soft chalk pastels, Rembrandt or Senelier. Just make sure they aren’t oil pastels.

  14. says

    Aauuugh! In the June issue of Lightspeed, there’s a story by Gabrielle Stalker, In the Image of Man. It creeped me out no end, because it describes a future that would be absolute hell to me. Let’s just say it puts a new spin on the term ‘mall life’. It was also creepy because it was too easy to imagine people living in malls. So, I’m talking with Mister about it, and he tells me that a new mall is being built in Dickinson, with plans to incorporate 200 apartments.

    *runs away screaming*

  15. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Inaji:

    I would never buy that brand… I was just linking it for the concept and the cool hair pics on the front page.

    We got a set of hair chalk thingies for the kids (originally $30 for the set, but we got it for 10 somehow -ask Ms Crip Dyke- and since we were ordering it with something else of amazon, we got free shipping). It’ll take a while to get through it, I’m not using it very much, but I am having fun when I do use it!

  16. says

    @ Inaji

    It was also creepy because it was too easy to imagine people living in malls. So, I’m talking with Mister about it, and he tells me that a new mall is being built in Dickinson, with plans to incorporate 200 apartments.

    Aaah the Hong Kong lifestyle. Check out Elements in Kowloon. Also Union Square (the apartment blocks above). One can quite literally live one’s entire life there. It has a direct rail link to the airport, so one could visit other such developments around the world without ever leaving the mall/mtr /airport combo. It is about to be connected to China via high speed rail.

    Shenzhen is now using this model on several new mtr developments ( indeed, the MTR Corporation of Hong Kong is a major investor). A real “Rodent Utopia” for humans. (I have provided this link in a previous Thunderdome.)

  17. says

    Inaji
    I found that a very interesting story, too. The complete comercialisation of everything, including interpersonal realtionships. I found the end a bit weak, though.
    My favourite one so far has been hands down “Each to Each” So much in that story, especially since I had just been reading the “Cyborg Manifesto” for college

  18. says

    Theopontes:

    It has a direct rail link to the airport, so one could visit other such developments around the world without ever leaving the mall/mtr /airport combo. It is about to be connected to China via high speed rail.

    *shudders* Not my idea of a good life, let alone a utopia.

    Louis:

    Y U H8 AMERICA?

    Aaargh aargh. I don’t like textspeak, either. I’d never be able to cope with Coca-Cola Wine, so I suppose I do. :D

    Giliell:

    I found that a very interesting story, too. The complete comercialisation of everything, including interpersonal realtionships. I found the end a bit weak, though.

    Yes, the ending could have been better. Apparently that future is already here, just not quite so intense. Makes me love my rural haven all the more.

    My favourite one so far has been hands down “Each to Each” So much in that story, especially since I had just been reading the “Cyborg Manifesto” for college

    We couldn’t stop talking about Each to Each. I told Mister it wouldn’t even take 5 minutes for me to decide on modding and even less about deserting.

  19. says

    We couldn’t stop talking about Each to Each. I told Mister it wouldn’t even take 5 minutes for me to decide on modding and even less about deserting.

    I found it interesting that the original modding was framed as the ultimative comodification of female bodies, of men literally making women into what they wanted them to be, always with the heterosexual male gaze in mind (like they all got bigger boobs and like they wouldn’t give them blubber to keep them warm and provide energy because fat mermaids wouldn’t do). So I probably wouldn’t have opted for joining the Navy. And then this is taken and turned around.

  20. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Theophontes:

    In a sci-fi story I wrote but never published a major portion of the story takes place in Tokyo, Pacific City, California (a small town now, but a major metropolis in this story set a couple hundred years from now), and a floating metropolis. All are built along the lines of single-building neighborhoods, with both large-car vertical transport, stopping every 10 floors on a commercial floor using local elevators to access the other 9 floors from there, and cross-linked sky-walks. A single building houses about 500 people per 10 floor block, with 8-12k total people (16-24 blocks, 160-240 floors). Just walking between your building and the buildings immediately around yours (ones you can access directly without passing through any building other than the building from where you came), you get a minimum of 7*8k = 56k population to 9*12k = 108k population. On average, about 1/2 the space in a block is residential, one double-height floor is public-commercial-retail, 2 floors are essential services (schools, social services, medical offices, etc.), and 2 floors are business-zoned, providing office space for lawyers and architects and publishers, etc. You rarely have to leave your building cluster, but when you do, subway-rail quickly whisks you to another cluster or outside to the city to over-land rail and other cities. you can house a million people in a fairly tight space, leaving lots of agricultural land. Floating cities are actually encouraged as they are more energy efficient and they can use mesh/netting/etc to farm fish and ocean plants.

    I’m not saying everyone would love it, but the cities were subsidized so as to make sure land use was sustainable. Living outside the cities in rural areas was very expensive.

  21. says

    More generally, the concept of a ‘city in a box’ as it were, where people live, work, shop, etc. in the same building is called an Arcology. The term (and, as far as I know the concept) was coined by architect Paolo Soleri, who spent the rest of his life trying to build one in the Arizona desert. Some of his acolytes are still out there, wasting their time. It’s not that the concept itself is a no-go, it’s quite feasible, it’s just that there’s no reason to put a city in the middle of the Arizona desert (and Phoenix is included in this), and so no one wants to go there. It’s a much, much better plan to start installing them in existing urban areas, but Soleri was utterly opposed to doing this, hence why he wasted several decades in the desert.
    The earliest sci-fi story I know of involving one is Niven and Pournelle’s Oath of Fealty from 1981, which had one called Todos Santos being built in LA after a massive earthquake devastated a large part of the city.

  22. says

    Got the herb garden done, the itsy bitsy greenhouse up, and Mister is planting various lettuces now. I’m hot, sweaty, covered in dirt, and mosquito bit. Wouldn’t have it any other way, either.

  23. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    The article gets it right: this is about sexual assault.

    But the headline?

    SAN BERNARDINO: Ex-officer convicted in on-duty sex case

    Really? Just spent some paid time having orgasms and he’s taken to court? But why? Could it be that while in uniform he violently assaulted women and threatened to lie under oath to send them to jail? Could it be that these actions were undertaken specifically to overcome the refusal of these women to consent to sex with him? Could it be that that is rape?

    Okay, so legally it wasn’t rape, as he didn’t use his penis to penetrate anyone’s vagina. So I’d be okay if the headline shouted “sexual assault case” instead of “rape case”. But “on-duty sex case”?

    Worse: at the bottom, for whatever reason, they list a few other officers recently convicted in unrelated cases. One of them:

    NATHAN GASTINEAU: Ex-San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy convicted of having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl whom he met in the sheriff’s Explorer program.

    Oh, they had a sexual relationship, did they? That’s nice. What did he use departmental funds to buy the rosemary-essential-oil scented candles for their dinners? What could possibly be actionable about a “sexual relationship”?

    It reminds me of the Goldschmidt debacle in the Oregonian. Why-oh-why does the public underestimate the prevalence and seriousness of sexual assault? I just can’t come up with a reason – can you?

  24. says

    Okay, so legally it wasn’t rape, as he didn’t use his penis to penetrate anyone’s vagina. So I’d be okay if the headline shouted “sexual assault case” instead of “rape case”. But “on-duty sex case”?

    That’s what I really like about the German legal definition: Rape is any form of sexual penetration against the will of the victim regardless of who penetrates whom where and with what.

  25. samihawkins says

    Friendly discussion:

    If anyone is interested in sci-fi related to arcologies I have two recommendations:

    1. Isaac Asimov*’s Caves of Steel depicts an Earth that’s been completely taken over by arcologies, to the point that earthlings are terrified of being outside.

    2. Deus Ex: Invisible War, a woefully underrated videogame, lets you explore the arcologies of future-Seattle and future-Cairo. It also presents a disturbingly bleak view of what life is like for those left outside.

    *I recently learned he was an awful human being who sexually assaulted countless women, but like with HP Lovecraft I only feel slightly guilty reading his work since a corpse can’t really profit off it.

    Angry Rant:

    I apologize in advance if this has already been discussed on this site, but I need an outlet to vent my fury and lately my comments never seem to appear when I try to give my opinion on cis-dominated ‘LGBT’ websites. Having just read yet another story about one of my fellow transwomen being murdered in Baltimore my rage is at the point where I need to either scribble an angry rant or start smashing furniture and I’m too broke to afford replacement furniture so ranting it is.

    I wouldn’t be nearly as angry about the cis-gay male community, I have to regularly read the tiny amount of anti-slur articles written by cis-gay men to remind myself that not all of them are jackasses, defending a transhobic slur if it weren’t for two things:

    1. The hypocrisy. If any remotely famous person throws around words like ‘bundle of sticks’ or ‘rooster sucker’ they’re instantly and rightfully vilified. It doesn’t matter if they’re an ally, if they’re using it as a term of endearment, if they totally didn’t mean it in a negative way, or if they know gay people who are totally cool with those words. The majority of the gay community has decided that those slurs are offensive, they don’t want to hear them, and they sure as hell don’t want their use promoted on television. The entire reason organizations like GLAAD were founded is to be ‘word police’, but apparently it’s different when you’re throwing around slurs that don’t apply to them because, uh…. Well it just is!

    2. The bullshit way they’ve tried to paint it as a ‘fringe’ group of transpeople who oppose the use of transphobic slurs. I’ve already mentioned how my anti-slur comments never seem to actually get posted while a hundred “Shut up you whiny *slur I refuse to type*!’ comments make it through, but the articles themselves are even worse. If your only source of information about this subject were articles written by cis-people you’d never have the slightest clue that this letter exists:

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/zinniajones/2014/04/open-letter-100-trans-women-stand-against-calpernia-addams-and-andrea-james/

    You would be utterly ignorant to the fact that hundreds of transwomen have signed their names to a letter opposing the use of transphobic slurs. You would however be totally aware of the half-a-dozen or so ‘icons’ of the trans community, most of whom I’ve never heard of despite spending the last five years doing daily searches on google news for any remotely trans-related term, who support the use of transphobic slurs. They’re impossible to miss when practically every ‘LGBT’ outlet on the internet gives them a platform to lecture us about how we need to shut up and stop standing up for ourselves.

    The only comforting fact about this bullshit tactic is that it proves they really know they’re in the wrong. If they actually thought they in the right they wouldn’t be avoiding mention of that letter like it was fucking Voldemort. Their refusal to even acknowledge it just shows how little they actually believe in there excuses.

    Okay my angry rant is over and my urge to grab the nearest object and smash it against the wall has greatly diminished. Please resume your discussion.
    PS: How do I get the spaces between lines to work? This is the first time I’ve written a big enough comment for it to be an issue. While difficult to read at least the lack of spaces makes my rant look smaller.

  26. samihawkins says

    Well now I just look dumb asking how to get spaces to work in a comment full of spaces. Is it just in the previews that they aren’t there?

  27. says

    The preview function never quite gives the right representation. Links look completely borked, even if they come out alright once you post. It’s useful for catching missing tags, though.

  28. David Marjanović says

    That’s what I really like about the German legal definition: Rape is any form of sexual penetration against the will of the victim regardless of who penetrates whom where and with what.

    A definition that requires penetration still isn’t ideal, though.

  29. Xaivius (Formerly Robpowell, Acolyte of His Majesty Lord Niel DeGrasse Tyson I) says

    So, March 23, 2014, my Dad died. I normally don’t post much, but this is Thunderdome, and I feel the need to say some shit. Today would have been my Dad’s 61st birthday. He was an adamant atheist, and he always wanted to see people live according to reasoned thought, and not what some asshole in a funny hat said. He also, later in life, became more and more of a socialist.

    In short, I miss my dad.

  30. samihawkins says

    Your dad sounds like he was a good man and you have my sincere condolences.

  31. Xaivius (Formerly Robpowell, Acolyte of His Majesty Lord Niel DeGrasse Tyson I) says

    Chigau, Sami

    Thanks. It’s appreciated.

  32. Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive] says

    My condolences, Xaivius. Your father seems to have been a good man. Celebrate his memory.

  33. says

    Xaivius:

    In short, I miss my dad.

    You were lucky to have him. I hope sweet memories help to cope with your loss.

  34. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Xaivius:

    I’ll echo Inaji: I’m glad you had a loving relationship with your father, and I am sad with you at your loss.

  35. says

    Argh!
    Ruth Graham-Slate columnist-attempts to shame adults who enjoy Young Adult literature

    (excerpt)

    The largest group of buyers in that survey—accounting for a whopping 28 percent of all YA sales—are between ages 30 and 44. That’s my demographic, which might be why I wasn’t surprised to hear this news. I’m surrounded by YA-loving adults, both in real life and online. Today’s YA, we are constantly reminded, is worldly and adult-worthy. That has kept me bashful about expressing my own fuddy-duddy opinion: Adults should feel embarrassed about reading literature written for children.

    Reading the entire thing, the message seems clear: Ruth Graham thinks adults should be reading sophisticated/age appropriate material. She seems to think adults read books for the same reasons (or ought to); reasons that happen to fall in line with her tastes in literature. She fails to recognize that people read books for different reasons. The level of sophistication in the writing doesn’t deter some people from enjoying literature.

    Hell, I wonder what she’d say to know that this 38 year old enjoys reading comic books. I’ve seen plenty of shame thrown to adult comic book readers, and I don’t like it any more than I like her vacuous criticisms of adults reading YA books.

  36. says

    Adults should feel embarrassed about reading literature written for children.

    Oh, do fuck off Ms. Graham. A lot of people wouldn’t have the slightest idea that various books were YA, if they weren’t labeled that way.

    Even if a book is obviously YA, that doesn’t prevent it from being a good story. I’m 56, and I’ve read Riordan’s Olympus series, and will continue to do so.

  37. samihawkins says

    Ruth Graham thinks adults should be reading sophisticated/age appropriate material.

    Sami Hawkins thinks Ruth Graham is a snob and an idiot. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying ‘immature’ things. For example I have some childrens cartoons I enjoy watching. Not because I’m too dumb to grasp something made for adults, the vast majority of my TV watching is devoted to documentaries, but because watching the Eds run from the Kanker Sisters never ever stops being funny no matter how old I get.

    Someone who’d look down on me for that isn’t someone who’s opinion I’d give damn about. Apparently the commenters on that article agree with me because they’re ripping into her.

  38. cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming) says

    Over on the CD thread:

    http://www.xkcd.com/988/ – source for my quote about traditions

    Had Randall been British, that would have had a single peak, in 1973: Wizzard, and Slade.

    It’s only six months away. Too soon? ;-)

  39. Xaivius (Formerly Robpowell, Acolyte of His Majesty Lord Niel DeGrasse Tyson I) says

    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!@542

    Ruth Graham-Slate is a Pseudo-intellectual Fuckwit

    Ah yes, the lovely school of “The only literature that matters is that which I read/enjoy” and “Reading is to show how very intellegent and sophisticated one is.”

    Fuck these people. Judging someone’s choice of media consumption by arbitrarily defined target age is about as savvy as judging by publishing date, and we all know the uproar THAT causes.

    Let’s turn this on it’s head and see how it sounds: “Oh, you’re reading Dickens? Did you enjoy the “Black lung and Tuberculosis” period? Or did you just really dig child exploitation and gawking at the über-rich being slovenly, aristocratic shitlords?”

    Gee, sounds petty as hell. HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

  40. Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive] says

    See, here’s what gets me about that crap.

    She slams YA for relying on:
    (1) hackneyed cookie-cutter plots
    (2) Mary-Sue protagonists
    (3) characters who exist to prove Points™ and/or who have a single attribute
    and
    (4) over-reliance on improbably happy endings.

    She then suggests that everyone should read Dickens.

    Which just says to me that she doesn’t PAY ATTENTION when she reads Dickens!

  41. says

    And also that she’s got shitty taste in YA literature. I’ve read loads of it, and I haven’t found those criticisms to be accurate generalizations. Certainly there’s some out there, but it’s not like there isn’t a shitton of literature aimed at adults that doesn’t have every one of those faults.

  42. says

    *favorite author radar went off*

    Oh, I see we’re discussing the bullshit claim that “adults” aren’t supposed to read “YA” lit. Screw that. Seconding Tamora Pierce for awesomeness, and adding Gail Carriger to the recommendation pile.

  43. says

    This is the last sentence of an incredibly long piece of spam (about Fluoride!!1!11!) on one of my blogs:

    You are experiencing a subjective reality, and there are many others experiencing a subjective reality as well, but we are all the universe it’s self, and so we must not activate neural pain networks.

  44. Menyambal says

    Dickens did a Mary-Sue in one of his books. The characters were all at a polite dinner, and one of the characters, who was not an author, went off into a wild rant about author’s rights and copyrights, just out of the blue. I don’t care enough for Dickens to remember which book it was.

  45. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I’m not clear how the precise boundaries of the Mary Sue definition, but what about David Copperfield?

    Seriously, that thing was chock-a-block with “This is my story as I wish it would have been.” Idealized enough that it couldn’t possibly be non-fiction memoir, clinging closely enough to Dickens’ history that it is only too obvious that it’s the autobiography he wishes he could truthfully write.

  46. says

    Inaji:
    Can I haz translation please?

    ___

    Btw, you have multiple blogs?
    All this free time I have and I finally thought about starting a blog today, and noticed that some people choose to have separate blogs.

  47. says

    http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/jackson-responds-to-mississippis-religious-freedom-law-by-passing-non-discrimination-resolution/discrimination/2014/06/05/88633

    There is something unexpected happening in Mississippi. Even as the state legislature sinks deeper into unabashed homophobia, recently passing SB2681 – its infamous “Religious Freedom” Act that sanctions discrimination against gays – local city councils are passing their own non-discrimination ordinances, even though they do not comply with state law.

    […]

    One by one, in the face of the state lawmakers, other communities in Mississippi followed Starkville’s lead. Hattiesburg. Greenville. Magnolia. Bay St. Louis. Oxford, and most recently Waveland, a tiny community nicknamed the “Hospitality City”, in southern Mississippi on the Gulf of Mexico.

    […]

    Now Jackson, Mississippi’s largest city and the state’s capitol – the very place where the odious “Religious Freedom” law was spawned – has passed its own nondiscrimination resolution.

  48. says

    Tony:

    I’m sorry, I don’t have a translation. The incredibly long spam was apparently triggered by one very happy Robin havin’ a bath.

    Btw, you have multiple blogs?

    Yes. One, all purpose, one for the rats, one for bird photography, and one for an art piece.

  49. says

    Xaivius
    I’m sorry for your loss

    David
    Not ideal, but comparatively good. It should be mentioned that it’s actually a subset of “schwere sexuelle Nötigung”

    +++
    Ruth Graham can go and choke on Dickens

    +++
    I love Tamora Pierce.
    I’m currently re-reading her books because I need some light reading I can stop in mid-sentence before I fall asleep.

    +++
    Speaking of books
    Similar to the “Women Destroying Science-Fiction” there’s another anthology: http://longhidden.com/
    Speculative Fiction by non-white people. I haven’t managed to read more than the introduction yet, but I’m already willing to give it a shout-out.

    +++
    Mini-book-whine: I neeed TIME. There are at least 5 books on my tablet I already have bought and haven’t had time to read. There’s about a dozen excerpts I haven’t even read to decide whether I would like to read the full book or not and there are at least 5 where I totally know I want to read. Not to mention some books by Hines or Jemisin that are on my bucket list…

  50. says

    Giliell:

    http://longhidden.com/

    Awesome, thanks!

    Not to mention some books by Hines or Jemisin that are on my bucket list…

    As for Hines, Libriomancer and Codex Born are must reads. Each book, I wanted the next one, right. freaking. now. He left Codex Born on one hell of a cliffhanger. Jemisin is an automatic read now. I’ve added Max Gladstone to that auto-read, I loved Three Parts Dead.

  51. says

    @ All Legal Minds

    I have a quick question for the legally inclined Pharyngulites: Below is a part of a contract that looks a bit iffy. I was of the understanding that such a clause would generally not be allowed in most countries. It almost smacks of old fashioned indenture, and is probably quite open to abuse by the employer.

    Termination of Employment
    i. Before commence [sic] of the commence date of your employment:
    After having signed this contract but before commencing your employment with T.H.R.U.S.H you may only terminate this contract upon giving T.H.R.U.S.H two months’ written notice and payment of damages equivalent to two month’s salary specified hereinabove.

    (The name organisation in question has been changed, even as it retains its accuracy of description.)

    @ Inaji

    I loved teh birdy having a bath!

    @ CD

    [megacity dimensions] Another option is that, through genetic manipulation, we decrease the size of humans considerably. We can go on suffering from all the social ills of humanity, without incurring as much environmental damage. Tiny people are also more suited to our shared high-temperature future. I imagine we would also get those squeaky little voices like in the cartoons.

  52. says

    Giliell:
    Thanks for that link to longhidden!

    I appreciated this:

    Why tell stories from the margins of history?
    We want to take a step toward righting an injustice that goes back to the dawn of time: some types of people are deemed more worthy of protagonist roles than others. We believe that all people are the heroes of their own stories.
    We want to provide solidly grounded historical fiction to modern readers, who may have only encountered myths, fragments, or garbled notions of how marginalized people lived (and died) in past times—or may never have learned anything about those people at all.
    By foregrounding marginalized people from the past, we hope to amplify marginalized voices in the present. Every story will make a statement that these voices deserve to be heard, and these stories are worth telling and reading.

    Why make them speculative stories?
    We want to reclaim speculative literature. Science fiction, fantasy, and horror writers frequently spin tales of intrepid conquerors and feuding kingdoms that have their roots in real-world history of invasion and oppression. This perpetuates the idea that certain people are unfit for heroism, and leaves many speculative fiction fans longing for protagonists they can identify with and stories that recall their own personal and family histories. Those fans deserve a book like this.

  53. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Theophontes, 561:

    1. In what country was the contract accepted (finalized)?
    2. Was acceptance electronic? If yes, give the basic circumstances of where different aspects of the electronic negotiation, offer, and acceptance took place.
    3. In what country is THRUSH located?
    4. In what country does the employee live?
    5. In what country will the work be performed?
    6. From what country will the employee be supervised?
    7. To what country will the employee remit payment if payment is due?
    8. Does the contract have a specified end date that will terminate employment if neither party acts to renew employment or create a new contract? If so, can you give us the exact wording of that provision, please?
    9. Is the employee to be a regularized employee – directly on the payroll of THRUSH? Or will the employee be considered an independent contractor or an employee of another company hiring out the employee’s services to THRUSH?

    Finally, is THRUSH a government owned enterprise or an enterprise in a highly regulated area? In particular, security, national defense, and health care sectors can have more exceptions to labor laws and rights than others.

    Having such a clause doesn’t inherently violate say, the ICCPR. Specified damages and/or specified secondary obligations are not illegal per se. However, they come under greater scrutiny than primary contractual obligations. If lack of notice of termination doesn’t inflict damages on THRUSH, many courts will be unwilling to enforce the contract. That doesn’t mean that this portion of the contract is illegal. It would still, in certain scenarios, be completely legit for THRUSH to try to collect from the employee. But if the court did not believe that the specified damages were appropriate, THRUSH could not use the courts to aid in collection (for instance, by providing for wage garnishment or issuing an order which, if ignored, would expose the employee to sanctions for contempt – possibly even for criminal contempt).

    The questions above would be a good place to start, if you have those answers.

  54. says

    Hi Crip Dyke

    Thank you so much for your prompt response. The last portion of your reply is already of great help.

    I shall try and answer your questions:

    1, 3,4,5,6,7: In all cases Hong Kong.

    2. Acceptance signed by employee, chopped by employer (this is not unusual), on paper.

    8. “Your employment is from 18 August 2014 until 30 June 2015″ , also: “[Employer] will notify you four (4) months prior to the expiry of your current contract whether or not it wishes to extend / renew it.”

    9. Direct employee.

    As far as I can tell, there are really no costs involved on their part. If I was to ask them to prove such, I fail to see how they can provide an honest answer. We note however that this is the city of cage dwellings – everything is loaded in favour of the financially stronger party. I am intrigued though how other countries deal with such issues. As far as I understand, such terms would not be allowed in the first place. (What, for example would the consideration be? )

    I am sorry that I cannot go into too much detail for reasons of privacy and confidentiality. Your input is highly valued nevertheless, even if the discussion is abstracted thereby.

  55. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    ooops, you missed a question because I didn’t number it. The one beginning with “finally”:

    Finally, is THRUSH a government owned enterprise or an enterprise in a highly regulated area? In particular, security, national defense, and health care sectors can have more exceptions to labor laws and rights than others.

    I took one survey course on asian legal systems with 2 weeks on Chinese constitutional law and 2 weeks on Chinese business law (yes, “business” rather than labor – almost exclusively). In addition, the legal environment in HK is still complicated by both law and policy out of Beijing, where the government was eager to keep HK’s economic engine going while reluctant to allow it too much independence (or even anything remotely near the level of independence it had as a Brit colony…at least for certain values of “independence” easily recognized by a white USAlien like me). All that is to say you shouldn’t take anything I say as either a) authoritative, or b) expert advice.

    Nonetheless, knowing that this is all governed under the laws of a single jurisdiction is quite helpful. HK’s legal system has some legacy features from Brit rule making it slightly more intelligible to me (and thus my analysis goes from having a 0% chance of being useful to maybe a 5% chance of being useful – yay me! :-P), but being subject to Beijing could have any number of effects.

    Again, the biggest concern I have for whoever is the employee in this scenario is that THRUSH might be a government company, or worse a government company owned/run by the Ministry of Interior or the Ministry of Defense. In those cases, even knowing the law might not really be useful. It might be more important to know policy and to know government traditions around creating, revision, and enforcement of policy.

    There are international covenants that might be more useful if the employment had no end date, but specific term contracts are possible for courts to construe very differently. Unfortunately I don’t know how HK courts have done so…either before or after reunification or return or whatever it’s called.

    Note that the contract term you listed makes it clear that you can quit ***after*** the day you start without paying a penalty. It’s only quitting before your start date and after the signing of the contract that gets the employee in trouble.

    If I had to guess, I’d say that has a lot to do with some labor law right there. If they could cause the provision to be operative for the entire length of the contract, they probably would.

    As far as I can tell, there are really no costs involved on their part

    There are always costs. The question is whether the costs bear any resemblance to 2 months salary. Delaying the start of a project may delay the completion of a project. That, in turn, might mean not paying back a loan quite as quickly. If acquiring a new employee takes them 4 months, and the total number of employees is low enough that project completion was delayed at least a day by virtue of the delay in hiring for the position employee didn’t take, they could say that they delayed by a day their efforts to pay back a business loan financing R&D. What is 11% of 20 million pounds, divided by 365 compared to the monthly salary of the employee?

    If I was representing THRUSH I would certainly argue such seemingly trivial things are real costs if I thought for a moment that I could trace a proximate cause to employee’s breach.

    everything is loaded in favour of the financially stronger party. I am intrigued though how other countries deal with such issues. As far as I understand, such terms would not be allowed in the first place.

    The courts try very hard not to read terms out of a contract. Instead, they just find certain terms unenforceable (as above). You have a contract. You owe the money. You therefore can’t countersue to get them to leave you alone or to get them to stop reasonable efforts to collect the debt, but all the truly effective legal tools for collecting debts are taken out of the hands of the party that included an unjust term…but only for the purposes of the unjust term. If you owe under another provision of the contract that is not considered contrary to public interest or policy, the court will happily write the order garnishing your wage.

    So, you’re wrong: such terms would be allowed. They wouldn’t be enforced.

    What, for example would the consideration be?

    Good. You’ve got a handle on basic aspects of contract.

    At common law, consideration can be a promise. In fact, that’s the whole point of a contract – to provide security for promises. This is no less true when one side promises than when the other does. Most contracts contain promises relating to future actions for both parties.

    THRUSH is promising to employ for a certain time, to give 4 months notice of desire for renewal, etc. It’s certainly giving some good consideration. Employee is promising to actually show up for the first day of work. That’s good consideration.

    Superficially and without knowing any Chinese contract law, this has the appearance of a contract to me. It doesn’t look like something that would simply be void.

  56. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    Reading the entire thing, the message seems clear: Ruth Graham thinks adults should be reading sophisticated/age appropriate material. She seems to think adults read books for the same reasons (or ought to); reasons that happen to fall in line with her tastes in literature. She fails to recognize that people read books for different reasons. The level of sophistication in the writing doesn’t deter some people from enjoying literature.

    People like this irritate me to no end. It reeks of elitism and looking down on people who enjoy “pulp”.

    Look, I’ll be completely honest, since this is the TD and all: I don’t trust people who don’t read. I don’t care what they read, and obviously this doesn’t include people who are illiterate, but someone who doesn’t read, from what I’ve experienced, generally show a lack of empathy and inability to put themselves into any other mindset or see things from any other perspective other than their own.

    But come on, what does it matter that many of YA readers are older? So what if some people don’t like “proper” capital L Literature? Some of us read books to experience life through the pov of someone else, or whichever of the literally hundreds of reasons for people to read. Looking down on people because they don’t read Literatoor or whatever is really, really shallow. And more than a little pretentious.

  57. says

    @ Crip Dyke

    Finally, is THRUSH a government owned enterprise or an enterprise in a highly regulated area?

    No, not government. Also not highly regulated.

    If I had to guess, I’d say that has a lot to do with some labor law right there. If they could cause the provision to be operative for the entire length of the contract, they probably would.

    Indeed.
    Though, as I understood, there are countries, though, that would not permit such to be allowed prior to commencement either. It is not asif the post itself is technically special in any way. There is no degree needed (though experience certainly counts) the job is , in a word, ubiquitous … at least at this level.

    So, you’re wrong: such terms would be allowed. They wouldn’t be enforced.

    I stand corrected.

    .

    Many thanks for your patience. If I may ask two last things wrt my original excerpt:

    ” you may only terminate this contract upon giving T.H.R.U.S.H (1) two months’ written notice and (2) payment of damages …”

    If I am right, both items (1), and (2), must be met prior to the commencement date. If they are not, then the contract is still in force? What would constitute “written notice”?

  58. says

    GenFury

    Look, I’ll be completely honest, since this is the TD and all: I don’t trust people who don’t read. I don’t care what they read, and obviously this doesn’t include people who are illiterate, but someone who doesn’t read, from what I’ve experienced, generally show a lack of empathy and inability to put themselves into any other mindset or see things from any other perspective other than their own.

    I think that’s pretty classist and by extension racist.
    Whether someone grows up to be a reader has a lot to do with how someone grows up. Poor people have little money to spend on luxuries such as books, underserved communities don’t have nice libraries you can easily access. Not to mention that you need time and transport to get there and that you need time to actually read with your child.
    I recently read about an initiative in the USA that wants to make sure that every child has a book. Because quite often there isn’t a single book in the entire extended family. The pictures I saw of one of the hand outs were those of happy black kids who now had ONE book.

  59. says

    Gen:

    Look, I’ll be completely honest, since this is the TD and all: I don’t trust people who don’t read. I don’t care what they read, and obviously this doesn’t include people who are illiterate, but someone who doesn’t read, from what I’ve experienced, generally show a lack of empathy and inability to put themselves into any other mindset or see things from any other perspective other than their own.

    You don’t trust people who don’t read bc you think they lack empathy? I don’t follow. How does not reading=lack of empathy?

  60. says

    Seven of Mine:
    The knuckleheads at Greta’s are fucking annoying. The whole “There’s got to be something more to Elliot Rodgers’ actions than misogyny.” ” How do you know it really was misogyny?” makes me want to pull my hair out (and I’m freshly shaved).
    I really want to lay into them, but I have to adhere to Greta’s comment policy, so I think I’m done trying over there. I hope you have better success.

  61. says

    Hi Tony!

    #571, quoting Kagehi:

    1. Male. To the point that I don’t even play females in MMOs […]

    I was side-eyeing this at first, given that females is a pejorative meaning and there’s a perfectly good word to use instead… but I suppose in some MMOs you might not be playing a character that’s human.

    As for #572, there has to be a line capable of being drawn where those guys are no longer commenting in good faith, and then you can legitimately say “I’m done discussing this with you”. So frustrating.

  62. says

    I also meant to say re: 571, as to the quoted emphatic statement about not wanting to play a female character, I could imagine it being somewhat bewildering for the player in some of the more immersive and interactive games to be playing a character that is radically different to you, such as an alien or mythical creature of some kind. Women are half of the human species, so I wouldn’t have thought playing one for the sake of an MMO would be such an imposition or a challenge. (Ignoring factors such as abuse from other players that tends to be more frequently aimed at players who are known or suspected to be women.)

  63. Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive] says

    Yes, don’t play a character that is the same species but (unless it’s a dating sim) has a slightly different arrangement of body parts – play a character that’s a different species but might (if the clothes came off and the animators could be bothered) have a penis!

  64. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @theophontes:

    I’m requoting the whole section before getting to your final questions:

    Termination of Employment
    i. Before commence [sic] of the commence date of your employment:
    After having signed this contract but before commencing your employment with T.H.R.U.S.H you may only terminate this contract upon giving T.H.R.U.S.H two months’ written notice and payment of damages equivalent to two month’s salary specified herein above.

    About this, you asked:

    If I am right, both items (1), and (2), must be met prior to the commencement date. If they are not, then the contract is still in force? What would constitute “written notice”?

    The contract is not **completed** until both notice given and damages paid. But if you give notice and fail to pay you would be in breach of contract and the remedy at law would be to enforce the payment of damages.

    The contract clearly spells out an alternative to showing up on your first day of work. The courts are going to see that this is clearly spelled out. Failing to show up is logically to be interpreted as a breach of the notice provision, thus invoking damages.* [It is, however, not necessarily the **legal** interpretation.] if there is no legal precedent for constructing the contract differently, the damages are going to be seen as a secondary obligation – an obligation in lieu of performing the primary obligations of the contract. Secondary obligations exist in all contracts, though they are often simply the unstated, “or I’ll take you to court and the court will make you pay me what I deserve.”

    To the benefit of the employee [in this case, more generally the party in breach], the specified damages generally cannot be exceeded in jurisdictions like British Columbia or New South Wales. Don’t know if that applies in HK, but to the extent that common law still reigns over contract, it would. To the employee’s detriment, the employee has implicitly agreed that the specified damages are not unreasonable/unconscionable. At this point, it would be impossible, generally speaking, to get 10% shaved off. At common law the court would probably have to find that, contrary to what the employee would be expected to know, 2 months salary really was unconscionable – not inflated by 10%, but so high as to be unconscionable.

    So, the court -if acting like a common law court- would be likely to find in the event of breach of the notice provision that you simply owe the specified damages and, if you don’t find a way to make a payment plan with your creditor, would issue an order for seizure of property or garnishment of wages or something until the debt was paid.

    This is also the likely outcome in a common law dominated court if you give notice but refuse to pay (or simply don’t pay on time).

    So, I’m wondering what you mean by “in force”. Do you mean, “Could the employee be made to show up and perform work?” No. Almost certainly not in a common law dominated court.

    As for your second question, written notice would have to be actually in the hands of an employee of THRUSH or a legal representative of THRUSH, it would have to name the person and the company, it would have to reference the contract, and would likely have to specify “I will not come to work on the date my work was to commence”. Although dating it *might* be useful, and is always a good idea, the date for the purposes of 2 months notice will be almost certainly the date THRUSH has the notice in hand (even if they don’t read it on that date, or even if it takes an employee a while to get it in the hands of the right person to scratch that employee off the list of future employees…but only provided the person in breach didn’t knowingly manipulate THRUSH, for instance by providing the document to someone who couldn’t possibly be expected to know what to do with it)

    There are other times and ways that notice can be constructed, but it’s dangerous to rely on those provisions of contract law – their purpose is to protect someone who is actually trying to satisfy the full requirements of notice, not to give someone who wants to provide a lesser form of notice an easy way out. For instance, the postal rule may or may not apply. If it did, then leaving the letter with the post office would be sufficient to begin the 2 months. But does it? It might not with this contract even were it in England or Canada, and I certainly wouldn’t count on it in HK.

    Hope all that helps 

    *though, again, HK law could be vastly different…the good thing is that (1)internationally there’s been an attempt to make contract law more standardized and thus contracts more portable, and (2) HK has its brit history, making common law more relevant there than in the rest of China.

  65. Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive] says

    Trufax true story about Tamora Pierce:

    I met her at a con (she’s adorbs).

    During a Q/A, someone asked her about how at some point the LGBT themes of her writings increased quickly after a lengthy period of being subtle and blink-and-you-miss it.

    Her reply was that she’d written a book that included a one-off scene were the PoV character overhears two people chatting about how other-character is gay. PoV character’s reaction is, effectively, “Huh. Interesting. Oh well, [Character] is a good person, and anyone who says differently is stupid.”

    Pierce says that soon after this book landed, she went to a con/signing/reading/event-of-some-sort and she was greeted by a parade of fans who came to her clutching this (new, remember!) book, all dog-eared and falling-open to that page, thanking her with tears in their eyes. The basic message that these fans had gotten, apparently, was “Tammy Pierce doesn’t care that I’m gay!”

    She finished up this anecdote by saying, “I figured the least I could do was make the fact that I really don’t care, and that I think that homophobes suck, blatant.” (this last is paraphrased)

  66. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @esteleth:

    That’s a great story, a wonderful story about listening and about the power of our public writing.

    If I was blogging for myself, I’d probably have 20 unique visitors a month and so fuck it, I’d say things in whatever way seems best in the moment.

    But here, where there are so many readers, I try to not merely be honest about what I mean (though honesty doesn’t preclude sarcasm which is **superficially** possible to take as the opposite of my true position), but very intentional about how I say it. This is even more true as a regular.

    None of us are, of course, Tamora Pierce, but people do read us, and the feedback loop between writer and audience can be tenuous at best. As regulars, we should think of ourselves as writers, and as writers, we regulars should think about the audience and try to hear them as well as Pierce did those queer fans.

  67. Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive] says

    CD, this same con featured a lot of people my age (that is, Millennials) relating how, growing up queer and closeted in Small Town America, Pierce’s books were some of the only books available that had queer themes that weren’t outright condemnatory, and were treasured as a result. Pierce’s reaction to this was, effectively, “wow, I’m honored to have been able to be there for you.”

  68. says

    esteleth
    That is really cool. I noticed the increase in LGBT characters as well (did I mention that I only discovered her books like last year?) And I was thrilled to find a trans* character in the Beka Cooper books as well

  69. David Marjanović says

    Gender-role satire, but sweet.

    http://www.collegehumor.com/video/6972406/the-hottest-lesbian-kiss-ever

    *rubs eyes*

    A Robin has a bath. It’s a good day.

    :-) :-) :-)

    It should be mentioned that it’s actually a subset of “schwere sexuelle Nötigung”

    Ah, makes sense; that probably covers everything including rape by blackmail, so people don’t need to split etymological hairs about the Gewalt (violence) in Vergewaltigung (rape).

    1. Male. To the point that I don’t even play females in MMOs […]

    This bothers me (given the nature of the thread, I felt this would be the best place to bring this up).
    What’s wrong with playing female characters in MMOs? For that matter, what’s wrong with playing females in any game?

    Why “wrong”? It introduces an additional difference between the player and the character, requiring a bit more imagination and making it a bit more difficult to empathize, especially in social interactions. Not everybody is a natural actor.

  70. CJO says

    “YA” is a publishing category. Inclusion in the YA list is a marketing decision; over the last twenty years or so, a great many novels that would have been marketed as ordinary old literary fiction or genre fiction in whatever niche have been tagged YA. It’s ridiculous to fault people for what they’re reading based on such decisions made inside editorial offices about how to label a property… something about judging a book by its cover comes to mind.

  71. says

    Why “wrong”? It introduces an additional difference between the player and the character, requiring a bit more imagination and making it a bit more difficult to empathize, especially in social interactions. Not everybody is a natural actor.

    Probably because us women have had a lifetime of boys and men telling us “ieeeeeeee, I won’t play the girl” in a tone that suggested they’d been asked to eat their own excrements. After the first 20 years or so of that it just rubs you the wrong way. Especially when the person then goes on and plays a fuckin’ non-human species.

  72. Dhorvath, OM says

    Tony,

    What’s wrong with playing female characters in MMOs? For that matter, what’s wrong with playing females in any game?

    From Kagehi’s comment:

    not the same with stand alone games though

    So it seems clear the trouble is the audience, not the game. Kagehi wants to be read as a man.
    It’s troubling for me that on first pass I thought no deeper than that. I tend to prefer big toons because I am a big person, not just by default but in an embraced identity of bigness. It’s nice to play an exaggerated version of myself in game and so my first reaction was: How does that differ?

    But of course it does. Not only do people who want to be read as men choose male options, but people who fear being read otherwise for sundry reasons. The selection of a male avatar is no longer a choice, it’s a default, and a minority end up representing half of meatspace in online games. When I think of this, it’s hard for me to see how Kagehi’s statement strengthens his claim in any way. Of course you choose male toons, so do a lot of gamers.

  73. says

    David @581:

    Why “wrong”? It introduces an additional difference between the player and the character, requiring a bit more imagination and making it a bit more difficult to empathize, especially in social interactions. Not everybody is a natural actor.

    It reads to me like he’s saying “I consider myself so much of a guy that I wouldn’t even consider playing a female character”. I don’t get why playing a female characters is at odds with being a man.
    His comment stood out to me, bc for a long time I felt like there was something wrong with being a woman, or being a man with stereotypical ‘feminine’ traits. I realized a few years ago that my discomfort around drag queens or effeminate gay men stemmed from thinking that there was something wrong with being a woman or with men having feminine characteristics. If there’s nothing wrong with being a woman (which I believe) then there’s nothing wrong with a man who performs in drag, or a man who has feminine characteristics. I could be wrong about Kagehi, but his comments lead me to believe that he is someone who has a problem with being perceived as a woman or having feminine traits.

  74. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I hadn’t previously jumped in around the Kagehi comment.

    Let me first make clear that it’s entirely reasonable to feel uncomfortable with the statement. I felt uncomfortable with it on first reading as well. But I’m glad this is being discussed, as discomfort is a natural part of these difficult conversations.

    Let me ask you a question, Tony! Without for a moment insisting that you are wrong about the origin of Kagehi’s feelings, I’ve noticed that you are happy to concede that you *might* be wrong:

    I could be wrong about Kagehi, but …

    So, great. We’re all being open to difficult stuff in this convo. I want to focus on the last part of your conclusion:

    his comments lead me to believe that he is someone who has a problem with being perceived as a woman or having feminine traits.

    Even if this is true, is it misogyny on the part of Kagehi? Now, don’t get me wrong, I believe misogyny plays a viciously important role here.

    rather than just saying what I mean, let me ask a question and let you come to your own conclusions:

    Would you be uncomfortable with an MtF cross dresser who said:

    I identify as a man. I also enjoy cross dressing, even publicly. But I would never cross dress publicly if I thought there was a real chance of being perceived as a man in a dress.

    What about an FtM transsexual guy who said:

    I identify as a man. I love being a man. I also love many of the feminine traits I developed growing up, even if I hated the compulsory nature of gender socialization. But I would never want to be seen as feminine or be caught doing feminine things around the guys at work.

    Now apply your thinking to Kagehi.

    I am not asserting that I “know” Kagehi’s thoughts or emotions or the sources of same. But I do see a lack of discussion on certain aspects of masculinity. As your considering Kagehi’s statement, you should probably consider its whole context.

  75. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    arg.

    you’re.

    that is all.

  76. Jacob Schmidt says

    David

    Why “wrong”? It introduces an additional difference between the player and the character, requiring a bit more imagination and making it a bit more difficult to empathize, especially in social interactions. Not everybody is a natural actor.

    I don’t know which MMOs are being played here, but many of them feature non-human characters, in a setting with magic, demons, medieval societies, etc. If one finds themselves unable to play a female character in a video game, I think something has probably gone wrong. Otherwise, one would need to be at a very specific “imagination limit” where fantastic settings are fine but fantastic settings + femaleness is too much.

    CD

    Both those quotes, to me at least, indicate hesitance based on fear of reprisal for breaker gender norms. I can’t check Kagehi’s comment to be sure (as I do plan on participating in that thread; hopefully I will be able to find the time this weekend), but it doesn’t seem to indicate a similar fear of reprisal rather than personal distaste/discomfort.

  77. says

    [Hi, all. I’m just going to leave this one comment and take off.]

    Crip Dyke, well above:

    In SC’s opinion, the practitioners aren’t honest about it. In my opinion, some are dishonest, most are honest but lazy and/or reckless in how they use the language b/c they’re used to speaking about these issues to other people who know (or should) the background and they don’t feel like doing the cumbersome disclaimers every time they speak/write about such things…even though that means anyone without the background will get an entirely dishonest picture of what is being discussed. Then there are the scrupulous communicators – not more honest, but far more careful and attentive to the fact that their audience isn’t merely a busy, trained, professional crowd that wants to get to the heart of the new without rehashing familiar uncertainties in ever talk/article.

    This is not about individual practitioners. Here’s a new piece describing decades of self-serving psychiatric propaganda (which doesn’t even go into the decades of bullshit drug ads):

    http://www.madinamerica.com/2014/06/psychiatry-promote-chemical-imbalance-theory/

    It’s a red herring (in this context) to discuss how many individual practitioners spread these falsehoods, or speculate about the personal beliefs or motives of those who have. The point is that psychiatry as a profession has been spreading these lies for a very long time.

  78. says

    One of the comments after the Jezebel article:

    Awesome. It would be even better if she stabbed him to death. If there was a real risk of violent death for harassing a woman, it would disappear tomorrow. It should be legal to kill someone if you’re a woman and that someone is sexually harassing you.

  79. says

    Reading up on the latest gun-thread I come to the conclusion that since the “self-defense” people are papently unable to tell the difference between the Die Hard series and reality they should never ever be allowed to have a gun.
    Is there an internet law for this? You know, like every discussion about feminism proves the necessity of feminism, there is also one that shows that every discussion about gun access and ownership proves that those in favour should not be trusted with deadly weapons.

  80. says

    @ Crip Dyke

    I’m wondering what you mean by “in force”.

    The contract is in force —> that it still pertains, that it is still in effect.

    CD, your comments have been very helpful. They have helped me to understand the situation more clearly. Spawnphontes is now far less stressed, as we are finding a way forward. Thank you thank you thank you.

  81. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @theophontes, 597:

    I’m so glad that there’s less stress. I’m so glad that you understand the situation a little better. I’m very happy you’re finding a way forward. Good luck to you & fam.

  82. says

    Dhorvath @584:

    So it seems clear the trouble is the audience, not the game. Kagehi wants to be read as a man.

    I didn’t think about this. I don’t know why I didn’t read his comment with its full context, but I clearly didn’t and I apologize.

    ****

    Crip Dyke @586:

    WRT your examples, I think I see what you’re getting at and it’s the same as Dhorvath’s point @584. In each scenario, the concern each man has is about the reactions of other people to violations of gender roles.

    ****

    thanks to both of you

  83. David Marjanović says

    I don’t know which MMOs are being played here, but many of them feature non-human characters, in a setting with magic, demons, medieval societies, etc. If one finds themselves unable to play a female character in a video game, I think something has probably gone wrong. Otherwise, one would need to be at a very specific “imagination limit” where fantastic settings are fine but fantastic settings + femaleness is too much.

    CD

    Both those quotes, to me at least, indicate hesitance based on fear of reprisal for breaker gender norms. I can’t check Kagehi’s comment to be sure (as I do plan on participating in that thread; hopefully I will be able to find the time this weekend), but it doesn’t seem to indicate a similar fear of reprisal rather than personal distaste/discomfort.

    Oh, definitely something has gone wrong. I think it’s with society at large.

    Since I still haven’t read Kagehi’s comment (I’ve only progressed to comment 50 on that thread yet), I’ll make it all about me instead. :-þ

    I’m pretty sure I’ve said before that in some kinds of weather the only reasonable thing to wear is, as far as I can tell, a wide, not too long dress. Why don’t I wear such a thing? It wouldn’t be illegal or anything, and while it’s easy to overestimate how enlightened my corner of meatspace is, I don’t think I’d have to fear any violence.

    I’m read as male (beard and all), and I’ve never had a problem with that. And when, in the abovementioned kinds of weather but in the privacy of my home or my parents’ home (with parents and/or siblings present!), I do wear an XL T-shirt as a minidress (or not so mini-) by just not putting shorts on, I don’t feel “free at last” or any such thing – it’s purely practical, purely about physical comfort without any influence on psychological comfort, no trace of gender eu- or dysphoria that I notice. But at the same time, I’ve considered gender roles bullshit as far back as I can remember, and have never fit all stereotypes of masculinity my culture has. So why do I cave on this one in public?

    I remember wondering, probably sometime between the ages of 5 and 8, why women were socially allowed to were pants now (I knew that a few decades before they hadn’t been) while men still weren’t allowed to wear dresses; I think I asked my mom and didn’t get an answer. But at that time, as far as I remember, I had no desire whatsoever to actually wear such a thing; it was a purely theoretical question, just about principle. (Probably I hadn’t experienced that kind of hot weather yet. That’s global warming for you.) The answer I found on Pharyngula a few years ago immediately made perfect sense, but that’s another story.

    It’s obvious to me why I don’t wear anything dress-shaped in public: because I’d be misunderstood. Or rather, because there would be a misunderstanding. I have an enormous aversion to misunderstandings, no matter how grave they are, no matter who – if anybody – is misunderstood. This is closely related to SIWOTI syndrome (and greatly upsets people who imagine that “this is wrong” is always meant to convey a social message). People would see me and think I’m trans and/or trying to make a statement (see also: Wurst, Conchita), none of which would be the case; I’d feel compelled to explain all that to every single random stranger, and that would exhaust me very quickly. (Particularly in this culture where you don’t talk to random strangers if you don’t absolutely have to.)

    (…Sure, making such a statement would currently be a good thing; but, for better or worse, I’m not extroverted enough to do that… and I really wouldn’t want to be misunderstood as extroverted. That could never end well. *shudder*)

    I’ve never played an MMO. I can’t tell for sure if I’d try to play a female character at some point (all else being equal, and assuming a game with a gender binary, I’d play a male one the first time, but after that I don’t know). But I find it easy to imagine that Kagehi doesn’t for the reasons explained here.

    BTW, I remember seeing Kagehi around and not in the “the name rings a negative bell” way.

    :-) Kagehi has been around since at least 2006! Never a particularly frequent commenter, but never absent for a really long time either. Easy to recognize by his use of quotation marks for “emphasis” as well as as scare quotes and for real quotes, which can be confusing. Also uses asterisks for emphasis, often in the same comment.

    Awesome. It would be even better if she stabbed him to death. If there was a real risk of violent death for harassing a woman, it would disappear tomorrow. It should be legal to kill someone if you’re a woman and that someone is sexually harassing you.

    What could possibly go wrong!?!

  84. says

    David:

    So why do I cave on this one in public?

    You wouldn’t if you had been raised (or lived on) a Greek isle, where a long, white caftan is the norm for men. Or if you grew up in Alba, where wearing a kilt is the norm. It’s culture. Even if you don’t particularly fear reprisal if you wear a caftan, it’s been embedded in you that guys. just. don’t. do. that.

  85. chigau (your display name can be anything you want) says

    When I was in Fiji in 1980, there were plenty of men wearing skirts.
    They also wore flowers in their hair.

  86. says

    You wouldn’t if you had been raised (or lived on) a Greek isle

    Or most of North Africa and the Middle East, where similar garments are standard and pretty much always have been…

  87. David Marjanović says

    It’s culture. Even if you don’t particularly fear reprisal if you wear a caftan, it’s been embedded in you that guys. just. don’t. do. that.

    Yeah, except I haven’t internalized it; instead, I’m worrying about misunderstandings because I expect that everyone else has internalized it.

  88. says

    David @604:

    Yeah, except I haven’t internalized it; instead, I’m worrying about misunderstandings because I expect that everyone else has internalized it.

    How have you not internalized it and how do you know you haven’t?

  89. says

    I recently read a short story by Rick Riordan. I have felt a couple of times that Riordan has some issues in regard to racism, but there’s nothing blatant, just an undercurrent that I pick up now and again, which could just be me being overly sensitive. That said, in the short story, there’s this line (emphasis mine):

    His face was framed with long, nappy hair like Rastafarian dreadlocks.

    Okay, is my discomfort with the use of nappy valid? The word isn’t necessary to that sentence at all, and it smacks of racism to me. Is that just me, or is this a case of over-sensitivity?

  90. chigau (your display name can be anything you want) says

    Ináji #606
    “nappy” and “dreadlocks” are not the same thing, at all.
    But both are usually found on ColoredFolks™.
    So.
    Probably not just you.

  91. says

    Inaji:

    Okay, is my discomfort with the use of nappy valid? The word isn’t necessary to that sentence at all, and it smacks of racism to me. Is that just me, or is this a case of over-sensitivity?

    While dictionaries say ‘nappy’ isn’t necessarily offensive (though it often is), my limited experience with the word is definitely negative. I don’t know enough about how Riordan describes the character to know. If he tries to cast the character in an overall positive light, perhaps he meant the term in a descriptive way.

    BTW, I don’t think you’re oversensitive at all. I think your experiences with sexism, racism, and other bigotries enables you to perceive subtler forms of bigotry that might escape others. You may not always be right, but more often than not, you probably are.

    I don’t know if that was any help in retrospect.

  92. anteprepro says

    Yeah, “nappy” sets off alarm bells for me too.

    The dictionary might not agree, but wikipedia definitely seems to nudge in that direction.

  93. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @David Marjanović

    It’s obvious to me why I don’t wear anything dress-shaped in public: because I’d be misunderstood. Or rather, because there would be a misunderstanding. I have an enormous aversion to misunderstandings, no matter how grave they are, no matter who – if anybody – is misunderstood. This is closely related to SIWOTI syndrome (and greatly upsets people who imagine that “this is wrong” is always meant to convey a social message).

    David! My differently-gendered soul-mate!

    Though I didn’t come to this realization thinking about dresses (for any reason), this underlying aversion, it’s relationship to SIWOTI, and the social complications of being near-obsessed with preventing misunderstandings are all major factors in my life and in my communication.

    @Inaji:

    Oh, that sets off huge alarm bells for me. **None** of my afro-having friends use “nappy” for dreadlocks. It’s about **natural** hair. Moreover, although this isn’t quite as universal, at least among my Black friends nappy is used to indicate a short hairstyle, one that can be washed and left to dry into a naturally attractive shape. If you’re shaping your hair into locks of any kind, your hair may still be an authentically black hairstyle, but my Black friends wouldn’t call it nappy. Now, there are regional variations in English use, and there may be places where using nappy differently is common, but I’ve **never** heard it in relation to dreadlocks.

    Now it may be cultural incompetence and not malicious stereotyping that caused Riordan to come up with that word, but either way, I am *not* down. I would totally have twigged, and twigged hard, to that sentence.

    This twigging wouldn’t just be because of how consistent my friends are about use.

    I’ve had explicit discussions with some of them about this exact word after the national championship-winning Rutgers’ basketball team was called a bunch of “nappy-headed hos” by a big-time US radio personality. So, yeah. White folk misusing that word in incredibly racist, sexist, fucked up ways is definitely part of the cultural environment. I think twigging on it is entirely justified, even if there is some local area which legitimately uses nappy in a way that is somehow consistent with having dreads.

    @Tony! #605:

    yeah, I had the same thought. David Marjanović , I think you have “internalized it” in the sense that you are aware without thinking about it that this is something that society prohibits men, and that a man being seen to do this will face punishments. “Internalize” doesn’t necessarily mean “agree”.

    @Tony!, #599:

    WRT your examples, I think I see what you’re getting at and it’s the same as Dhorvath’s point @584. In each scenario, the concern each man has is about the reactions of other people to violations of gender roles.

    yes. And, further, while we have learned to be sensitive to the threats trans folk face, we too often forget that **all people face these threats**. What makes things more difficult for trans* folk is that the social transgressions that trigger violence are things that are very hard for us to avoid while remaining psychologically healthy.

    So non-trans men have the option of avoiding the more provocative of gender transgressions and maintaining mental health. But let’s not forget that while they **can** do so, that doesn’t mean that the omnipresent threats don’t have a huge effect of them, not least on their behavioral choices. There literally are some situations where doing the thing that merely affirms a rejection of sexism carries a serious threat of social (including intimate relationships and family relationships), economic, psychological, and/or physical consequences.

    I don’t think this gets men off the hook in terms of rejecting sexism, but if we’re trying to understand whether people are motivated by an endorsement of sexism, we certainly have to consider the possibility that they truly do not endorse sexism, but nonetheless capitulate (either consciously or unconsciously) to threat (explicit or implicit) in certain situations or contexts where such capitulation requires participating in – or at least refusing to condemn – sexist and sexism-reinforcing actions.

    Again, the behaviors are still problematic, but if I call you a jerk because someone literally has a gun to my head, I hope you would consider the possibility that I do not, actually, think you’re a jerk.

    The costs for men are almost always less than a bullet to the brain, and so the proportionate culpability and moral blameworthiness increases. Nonetheless, I think we’re wrong to forget to include the threat to cis* men when analyzing the **meanings and origins** of such behavior.

  94. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Crip Dyke:
    Will the second lesson be tomorrow? Or did I miss an update somewhere?

    The second lesson is partly written, and will be up in less than an hour, if everything goes to plan.

    However, with kid2’s bday party tomorrow and everything going every which way **except** according to plan earlier, I might need to help Ms Crip Dyke with party prep when she gets back from the store. That might delay the post a bit, but right now I expect it in less than an hour, and it will certainly be up within 3 or 4.

    At this point, we still have to go with in-thread updates/new exercises. I haven’t actually sent PZ an e-mail asking him about separate threads each lesson. I didn’t want to do it before the meet up yesterday because it might feel more awkward to him saying no in person than over e-mail, and then today totally got away from me. It’s really been a hellish pain day, and not for no reason: I had to move 2 couches because we couldn’t get enough help. One literally took 2.5 hours to get out of the apartment, into the elevator, out of the elevator, and into the rental van. It was horrendously huge and heavy and getting it into the elevator was the sticking point. This body with its messed up bones is soooooo overstressed right now.

    But I’m back to writing now, and I wrote part of the post earlier and I have all my notes about exactly what I want to do in the post intact…so, yeah. There’s no reason at this point why I can’t get it done quite soon…except my need to respond to simple questions with drawn-out whinging about my bones.

  95. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    borked a blockquote.

    The first 2 lines of 613 (my nym and then the 2 questions) are from Tony!

    The rest is mine.

  96. says

    CD, I was beginning to worry when midday passed with no post as expected, and am glad to hear it’s nearly done. I’m not glad to hear about your pain and having to move furniture is the worst. :( The Seattle meetup looked as though it couldn’t have been held in a more picturesque spot judging by Ophelia’s piccies.

    PZ should be able to update the OP to provide a link to the new comment in the thread each time you’ve prepared a new lesson, so if the formatting of the link helpfully says what day the new lesson was posted and what exercise number you should be up to before going on, that may assist with latecomers or people who for whatever reason can’t keep in touch with Pharyngula each day. WordPress is pretty easy to wrangle in that regard.

  97. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    SPOILER ALERT

    Agents of SHIELD

    SPOILER
    SPOILER

    Up to half of Season 1 Episode 9 -SPOILER
    .
    .
    .
    Ok, I think that was enough.

    Up until now, I don’t remember Melinda May and Sky being so much antagonistic to each other. But now I’m half into episode 9, incidentally the episode right after Melinda May and Ward have slept together and they make it obvious it’s a regular arrangement… and Sky and Melinda May are at each other’s throats?

    This doesn’t look like a coincidental setup. I don’t like it.

    END SPOILER ALERT

  98. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Oh, that wasn’t half the episode since we seem to be finding out more right about now…. Ok, I’ll just watch till the end and then consider complaining.

  99. says

    Coming back to Women Destroying Science Fiction:
    I’m nearly done with the stories now and I find one thing to be striking: About nobody seems to be able to imagine a human world beyond the concepts of US capitalism. Sure, for some stories it’s a defining part, but in many others the existence of a capitalist system is just treated as a given.

  100. says

    Tony, Anteprepro, and CD, thanks very much. Between the undercurrents of racism, and my unhappiness with how Riordan is handling one character being gay, I think I’m going to have to drop reading him.

  101. Nick Gotts says

    Or if you grew up in Alba, where wearing a kilt is the norm. – Inaji@601

    Not really, if you mean, as I suppose, present-day Scotland. There is a very small minority that wear a kilt every day – mostly street performers, hotel employees, and people making a political point. For most Scots men it’s dress-up for occasions such as weddings; many never wear one at all. But those who do wear one are generally very insistent that the kilt is not a pleated skirt, oh no, certainly not, no similarity whatsoever – which reinforces your main point!

  102. says

    submitted early:
    to study for, and I had a wicked hard day at work last night. And a letter to write to my professor requesting an I so I can get my homework done and turn it in after finals and still pass.

  103. says

    Busy with birds. Absolutely stunned that a female and male Hairy Woodpecker showed up at the feeding station today.

  104. says

    Here’s another:

    http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2014/05/henrique-oliveira-wood-tunnels/

    Brazilian artist Henrique Oliveira (previously) recently completed work on his largest installation to date titled Transarquitetônica at Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade in São Paulo. As with much of his earlier sculptural and installation work the enormous piece is built from tapumes, a kind of temporary siding made from inexpensive wood that is commonly used to obscure construction sites. Oliveira uses the repurposed wood pieces as a skin nailed to an organic framework that looks intentionally like a large root system. Because the space provided by the museum was so immense, the artist expanded the installation into a fully immersive environment where viewers are welcome to enter the artwork and explore the cavernous interior.

  105. chigau (your display name can be anything you want) says

    I like camping.
    But only if I can have a fire.

  106. says

    @ chigau

    ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
    Bacon ipsum dolor sit amet ribeye swine pancetta, spare ribs doner tail short ribs brisket strip steak prosciutto capicola bacon hamburger [sekrit]now that CD has been ‘made’, we should send out an invitation to join the Politburo. having our own fifth columnist so close to the nexus of power can only benefit our struggle [/sekrit] Biltong brisket shank tri-tip pork belly pig ham jerky beef ribs short loin kevin sausage shoulder pork. ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

    @ Inaji

    Rats shown to feel regret over bad decisions

    It suggests thoughts similar to regret can affect the future decisions rodents make and dispels the belief that regret is unique to humans.

    @ Tony!

    Nice linky! From that site, I found this:

    Con/struct: The Fictional Urban Architecture of Justin Plunkett

  107. chigau (your display name can be anything you want) says

    theophontes
    Re: CD
    |||Do we really have a choice?|||
    It ‘s a Good Day!
    :):):)

  108. says

    The story behind the current Google doodle:

    For our 7th annual Doodle 4 Google competition, we asked kids, grades K-12, to draw an invention that would make the world a better place. Out of more than 100,000 submissions, 250 state finalists, 50 state winners, and 5 national age group winners, we are excited to present the 2014 Doodle 4 Google winner: 11-year old Audrey Zhang of New York!

    […]

    “To make the world a better place, I invented a transformative water purifier. It takes in dirty and polluted water from rivers, lakes, and even oceans, then massively transforms the water into clean, safe and sanitary water, when humans and animals drink this water, they will live a healthier life.”
    https://www.google.com/doodles/doodle-4-google-2014-us-winner

  109. anteprepro says

    Christ. My aunt just shared this on facebook. Because Obama should totally be impeached hurr hurr hurr. Because reasons. She was completely silent about war under false pretenses and the war crimes of the previous administration though. Fancy that.

    And, of course, the comments pretty much are all “Ben and Jerry are filthy libruls who would never make this ice cream”. Because right-wing humor is an oxymoron. But the real focal point is this comment.

    If Barack suddenly started to pack on the pounds…Ben & Jerry’s would have the perfect name for that ice cream…

    You don’t have to travel too far to find blatant racism in the wingnutosphere.

  110. David Marjanović says

    How have you not internalized it and how do you know you haven’t?

    I’ve only internalized maybe half of my own culture in the first place. I still don’t understand basic politeness like greeting or saying please & thanks for every act of not being Chaotic Evil. There are plenty of social situations where I’m not at all sure how I’m expected to behave. – Hey, just a few years ago I was taught that I was supposed to greet people even when that meant interrupting their conversation; this continues to feel utterly bizarre to me.

    How do I know I haven’t? Because I’m aware of it without being reminded first. Trust me, there’s enough left that I have internalized, I’m not some kind of blank slate – this just isn’t one of those things.

    David! My differently-gendered soul-mate!

    *pounce* *hug* *squeeeeeeze* ^_^ ^_^ ^_^

    If Barack suddenly started to pack on the pounds…

    If he what? Gained weight?

  111. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Hairy Woodpecker

    I need to grow up.
     
    Sort of tangential to DMs position on cultural comfort: I don’t wear anything that I think might invite conversation from a stranger. I don’t wear shirts with words on them, even. Because I generally hate unsolicited discussion when out-and-about.

    I’ve only internalized maybe half of my own culture in the first place.

    Sadly true for me as well. I’ve traveled a bit, and I’ve learned little about cultures that I was visiting. This at first disappointed me. On reflection I came to realize how little I understood of my own culture. I’ve reached a point where I realize that its fun and productive to try to understand, but that maybe no real insight will come of it. And that’s going to have to be OK.

  112. anteprepro says

    Oh, David M, I probably shouldn’t have assumed that everyone knew what the racist joke was.

    Yes, pack on the pounds is to gain weight.

    The allusion is to one of Ben and Jerry’s more well known flavors: “Chunky Monkey”. Because if a black person got chunky, they’d be a chunky monkey. Because black people are monkeys. Har har har.

    I need to go lie down.

  113. David Marjanović says

    Sort of tangential to DMs position on cultural comfort: I don’t wear anything that I think might invite conversation from a stranger. I don’t wear shirts with words on them, even. Because I generally hate unsolicited discussion when out-and-about.

    I wear few such things, and the threshold for starting conversation with a stranger is higher here than in the US.

    “Chunky Monkey”

    Argh.

    Ben & Jerry’s has only recently become available over here, so I’m not familiar with most flavors.

  114. Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive] says

    Chunky Monkey is a real B&J flavor (banana with walnuts and fudge). It’s pretty tasty.

    Making fat jokes that are also racist? Not so nice.

  115. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Tony!

    Y’know, I was just looking at your ‘nym and thought of you commenting **only** when involved in vigorous physical activity. It’s a different take and, I’m 80% certain, an inaccurate one. Still, it was good for a laugh.

  116. says

    CD:
    Ha ha!
    Yeah, inaccurate, but funny nonetheless.
    I added ‘fucking’ a while back as a subtle jab at all the people who whine about coarse language.
    I’ve wanted to change it for a while, but given the problems I had last time I changed it (my comments getting sucked into spam everywhere but here), I’m reluctant.

  117. says

    CD:
    Did you include a note in the original Workshop thread about the new post? I just recalled your suggestions to people in that thread about how and where updates would occur, and I thought there may be confusion.

  118. carlie says

    Oh no, I got it wrong. It was why was loren afraid of ipsum. Sigh. Never mind.

  119. says

    Tony & AE:

    “Hairy Woodpeckers” took me straight to the gutter.

    It takes everyone there. If you want to get a fucktonne of hits on Hairy Woodpecker photos, just title it ‘Hairy Peckers’.

    Hairy Woodpeckers.

  120. carlie says

    Inaji – interesting. I’m tempted to say that he is probably using the term as a descriptor without knowing the racist connotation of it, but that’s entirely wishing he’s a good person on my part. I guess the test would be how he responds if someone points it out to him.

  121. says

    Re: Inaji#606
    I’m with others, especially CD’s 612. As I understand it, nappy hair isn’t necessarily short, but is also definitely not dreadlocks. Whether it’s pejorative or not varies by context, cultural and otherwise, but the short form is that white people should, at minimum, be a lot more careful using it than Riordan is. So yes, you’re right to twig.

  122. says

    Carlie @ 654, I seriously doubt someone Riordan’s age would be unaware of the connotations of nappy. His treatment of non-white, non-het characters has made me unhappy for a while, not that he’s much for non-white, non-het characters. Yeah, I know he’s brought in Leo, but he not only reads as a token hispanic, but the guy who has to be funny because he’s not tall and good lookin’, all that shit. Same with Frank Zhang, he comes across as a tokenized all purpose Asian, and Piper reads close to a caricature to me, an archetype of the mythical Cherokee princess. Reina can’t stand for anyone to know her heritage, and so on. As for how he’s handling his *only* non-het character, I don’t fucking like it, at all.

    Dalillama:

    the short form is that white people should, at minimum, be a lot more careful using it than Riordan is. So yes, you’re right to twig.

    Thanks.

  123. carlie says

    Inaji – you’re right; I consistently think of YA authors as being young themselves, for no good reason. I didn’t think about the fact that he’s old enough to know better.

  124. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Tony! #658:

    Done.

    and thanks very much for the notice…and for respecting my statement earlier about not engaging the trolls in the workshop thread.

  125. says

    @Fred Bloggs

    (tony just linked to the comment I see)

    Just another garden variety “Why are you TALKING about political things? Why aren’t you IGNORING them?” person. It makes me think these people don’t actually know what the motive or content of the conversation actually is. They seem so lost.

  126. chigau (your display name can be anything you want) says

    re: Fred Bloggs #30 on the Gender Workshop 2 thread
    Don’t you idiots see that life is much simpler than you propose? Treat every human being equally, and treat them as you would like to be treated. That’s all. No contortions about gender/cis/trans/intersectionality/rape/fairness/victimhood/feminism/patriarchy. Just be nice to people—end of subject.
    uuumm
    Anyone got a spare irony meter?

  127. says

    One Fred Bloggs:

    No contortions about gender/cis/trans/intersectionality/rape/fairness/victimhood/feminism/patriarchy. Just be nice to people—end of subject.

    Golly gee, I see it all now! The family member who raped me for six years, starting when I was three years old, why, he was not a nice person. And the man who beat, raped, and strangled me when I was 16 years old? Well, he just wasn’t taking the time to be nice.

    I suppose niceness would be the cure for my PTSD, too, as well as the way to stop all rape forever more!

  128. chigau (your display name can be anything you want) says

    Also, does anyone remember Fred Bloggs?
    Was it a memorable flounce?

  129. chigau (your display name can be anything you want) says

    Tony!
    Just the ticket.
    I’ll take a six-pack.

  130. Ichthyic says

    Anyone got a spare irony meter?

    that’s more the level where you start using irony divining rods instead.

  131. Ichthyic says

    I’ve got a delivery for chigau. Perhaps you should order more than one at a time.

    time for my daily inane quibble.

    that picture should show the needle bent the opposite direction, as it’s being forced past the screw by the tremendous irony forces.

    otherwise, it implies the irony force actually pushed on the needle itself, rather than being detected by the instrument.

    it would imply the force to be supernatural, and I don’t ken to that nonsense!

    ;)

  132. says

    Bloggs last posted here in august of 2013. There was no storming out, no horrible precipitating tantrum, he just stopped commenting.

    I think he can keep stopping commenting.