Link roundup: July 2020

Only two links this month, I guess I just didn’t spend as much time collecting them.

Bo Ruberg | Keywords in Play (Podcast, 22 min) – An interview with Bo Ruberg, author of Video Games Have Always Been Queer and The Queer Games Avant-Garde.  She talks about the queer theory perspective on video games, degamification, regamification, speed running, and walking sims.

As I share this podcast, I’m thinking back to my own initial reaction, when I started hearing about queer theory in relation to video games back in 2013.  I initially found it offputting how little relation it had to conventional discussions of queer media, spending very little time on queer characters, and much more time on whatever they considered to be queer themes, the queerness of which is often quite tenuous.  Well, the discussion has grown upon me a bit.  The more I read and talk about queer representation, the more I desire different perspectives on what that even means.

OTF (One True Fandom) | osteophage – Coyote discusses a certain view of fandom, which emphasizes transformative works, especially fanfiction, as uniquely progressive and the most essential expression of fandom.

While I have been a fan of many things, I rarely participate in fandoms because that just seems like an awful lot of commitment to one thing.  Nonetheless, I’m presently part of two fandoms: for the card game Dominion, and for xenharmonic music.  Neither of these lend themselves to fanfiction at all, which suits me just fine.  In my few interactions with more prototypical fandoms, I’ve definitely encountered many of the attitudes Coyote describes, and it’s such a narrow understanding of fanning.

Link roundup: June 2020

Welcome to my monthly link roundup, where I share and comment links to interesting articles I’ve found in the last month.  Additionally, I will share links to my own writing that appeared elsewhere.

My writing

Carnival of Aces: Quarantine – This is a blogging carnival I hosted last month, which prompted ace writers to talk about their experiences during the pandemic.  While this was an event for ace bloggers, not all the articles have to do with asexuality.  There’s a pretty wide range of personal experiences here, if you’re interested.

græ tells painfully familiar stories– I did something unusual and wrote a lyrical analysis of Moses Sumney’s album græ.

Ace Day was Incompetently Organized – I engage in activist drama.  Probably not of interest to most people.

Interesting articles

How South Korea’s Nightclub Outbreak Is Shining an Unwelcome Spotlight on the LGBTQ Community | Time – In South Korea there was an outbreak associated with a gay nightclub.  This causes problems with their contact tracing strategy because people didn’t want to publicly out themselves.  It sounds devastating.  By the way, this story is from early May, but I haven’t really seen any updates in English news so I don’t know what happened.

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Link roundup: May 2020

Success!  I created a link roundup without COVID-19.  Well, the last one is tangentially related, but not really.

In defense of Carole Baskin | Overthinking TV – I heard about this Tiger King documentary on Netflix, but rather than watching it, I found it much more enjoyable to just read the Wikipedia summary and listen to commentators like Quinton (video).  I was really surprised when the commentators noted that the guy who hired a hitman was the sympathetic character, and his victim was unsympathetic.  That really didn’t come across in the Wikipedia summary.  Anyway, this article explains some relevant cognitive biases.

Benedetti’s Puzzle | Adam Neely (video) – Adam Neely talks about comma pumps, an aspect of music theory that I only learned when I became obsessed with xenharmonic music.  There’s also a more technical introduction on the Xenharmonic Alliance.  Depending on your tuning system, different comma pumps are available.

BiNet USA Falls Apart | Tris Mamone on Splice Today – In the drama category, we have a bisexual organization trying to claim copyright on the bisexual flag.  Several days later, BiNet USA released a statement that sure strings some words together, but I can’t tell if they’re backing off or not.  I had also collected some links on my pillowfort.

What Can We Learn From Female World Leaders? | Rebecca Watson – Rebecca points out the problems with putting female world leaders on pedestals, and praising their womanly virtues.

Link Roundup: April 2020

I tried to make so that not all my links were COVID-19-related… so I have one thing.  Yeah, the problem with virus links is not just that we’re tired of them, it’s that they get out of date too quickly for a monthly link roundup.

Why Avatar has the Most Ironic Soundtrack of All Time | Sideways (video) – Avatar was a thing, I guess it must have had a soundtrack?  Apparently the director wanted the aliens to have totally alien music, blending all sorts of traditions, like nothing we’ve ever heard before.  So the composer consulted with an ethnomusicologist, and they made what was requested.  But the director rejected it over and over, and the movie got a bland soundtrack that I for one cannot remember.  The guy who made this video though, he’s just so unreasonably optimistic about this rejected soundtrack.  Does he think that if they made a soundtrack unlike anything anyone’s heard and put it in a blockbuster film, people would like it?  It was a fool’s quest from the start.  Gosh, I’m sure I would like it, but I also like pop songs where the vocals are a half-step out of key.

For those who don’t like video, the story is also in an article written by the ethnomusicologist.

The rest are coronavirus.

I Can’t Stop Watching Contagion | Folding Ideas (video) – Content warning: anxiety-inducing.  Dan Olson talks about a 2011 film about a pandemic, sort of like how I wrote earlier about Doomsday Book, but he does it better.

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Link Roundup: March 2020

This month’s link roundup is late, and to be honest I hadn’t collected any links until the past week.  And yep, it’s all COVID-19 related.  I see that Skepchick also collected a bunch of links on COVID-19, so I’d check that out too.

Between Panic and Indifference | Red Beard – Red Beard lives near Seattle, right by one of the outbreaks of COVID-19, and gives a personal account of what it’s like.  This article is dated to March 5th, and was a preview of what a lot of us are starting to go through, or will go through.

Why I’m Just So Worried About Our Students | Skepchick – Isis discusses problems faced by university students in the face of school closures.

The Fed’s $1.5 trillion intervention, explained | The Week – My reaction to the federal $1.5 trillion injection was “How much even is that?  Is it like a million?”  I checked xkcd’s money chart and–holy shit!  My husband shared this article, which is a bit too technical for me to understand.  But the key points, if I understand correctly: a) this is a no-brainer to prevent collapse, b) yes it unfairly favors the rich and wealthy, c) but that’s the tool that the Federal Reserve has available to it, d) a fairer way to rescue the economy it would have needed to come from the Trump administration and Congress.

In personal news, I have a job and am now moneyed.  I don’t even know what to do with all this money.  Charity recommendations welcome in the comments.

Link roundup: February 2020

Just a few links this month.  Enjoy.

[On the word “pedophile”] | Osteophage – Coyote discusses how the word “pedophile” refers specifically to the internal state or intent of perpetrators.  This runs counter to my usual philosophy about sexual violence: it’s the action and consequences that matter, not the perpetrator’s motivations.  Focusing on motivations is a bad idea because it gives people a way to excuse sexual violence by making unverifiable and irrelevant claims about perpetrators’ motivations AND it raises the potentially derailing question of whether sexual inclinations alone can be morally wrong.

If you’re wondering what words to use instead, the gold standard among researchers and activist organizations is child sexual abuse or CSA.  A perpetrator of CSA could be called a child sexual abuser.  A couple years ago I wrote a guide to sexual violence terminology, which was mostly based on researchers and activists, and I have to say that “pedophile” wasn’t even on my radar because nobody uses it.

Do not try to understand me | Pervert Justice – Crip Dyke talks about how trying to understand trans experiences can be a hangup for cis people, and isn’t really necessary to begin with.  I have to say, that being an ace activist/commentator, at least trying to understand the full range of ace experiences is part of the role.  But there are just so many different experiences, some quite far off from my own, that it’s foolhardy for even a dedicated activist to try to understand it all.  It’s more important to understand concerns and goals than personal experiences.

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Link Roundup: January 2020

I’m back from break, and I bring you links.

Christmas With The Kranks Is A Movie About Cults | Jack Saint (video) – Christmas with the Kranks is a Christmas comedy about a couple that decides to take a vacation on Christmas, but then the village gets wind of them and turns against them.  I’m pretty sure the movie is just taking the side of the creepy village, but Jack Saint ignores this interpretation for humorous effect, and explains a different reading.  I was thinking about this when PZ showed a real letter he received citing him for Christmas violations.

Music for Grocery Stores | Tris Mamone – Tris proposes that we should play more ambient music in public spaces.  I enjoyed this because it felt like a synthesis of two things I have written about: the ethical question of music in public spaces, and the appeal of drone music.  I think there’s a case to be made here–ambient music is the one thing in my library that my husband can stand despite having no appreciation for it.  Although, one thing that has developed out of my interest in ambient music is an ability to actively dislike some of the stuff, so even if everyone else shrugged off the mild piano of Music For Airports, I have to say it might offend my own sensibilities!

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