Call-out culture

In the interest of full disclosure, I do very much like the work of the artist whom I am discussing. I like to think this does not unduly influence me; we are fundamentally ideologically opposed in many areas, and I expressed dismay and, to a certain degree, withdrew support from Barack Obama (whom I adore) when I learnt of his drone strikes on civilians and Elizabeth Moon (ditto) when she posted her icky assimilationism; and I am still enthusiastic about James Blount as a person, or at least as a publicist's presentation, when his music leaves me cold.

On the Facebook of Archon (I don't have a Facebook page, and let me tell you, that con makes it damned hard to work with them if one doesn't), there is a call to boycott/ block/ unfriend/ disinvite to conventions filk artist Leslie Fish. (I also cannot see the original post without a Facebook page.) It seems she feels that the Charlottesville massacre shows signs of 'wag the dog"-style media manipulation/ fabrication. I don't agree with her, but she has the right to an opinion, and I do think it's important to examine narratives, while keeping in mind who is asking you to examine them and what their motives could be, especially those presented by the hegemony. I think truth gets stronger when examined and questioned. I don't think I am stretching to say that there are people out there who have been told that the "liberal media" lies to "us" to protect a (((selfish))) agenda and excuse me I gotta wash my hands after typing that but taking that assumption apart and autoclaving it with harsh light is better than letting it fester. Sometimes, you have to reach into the gunk-filled drain trap of human discourse or you can't wash your dishes and things start stinking.

On the other hand, there are people with skin in the game (I do consider myself directly affected by persons of color, but I am neither a person of color nor a person who thinks racism is a good thing--- I would say I am not a racist, but I am aware that this is something impossible for a human who has grown up in this or any society--- I just try to be vigilant against the "not-tribe=threat" instinct, because dude. We. Are. All. Tribe.) who are saying, "If you are a white person who believes white supremacists and bigots should be allowed to speak, you are yourself a white supremacist."

I don't know if I have the right to speak, here. Not because I am a white supremacist, but because holy shit, the voices of the oppressed get silenced way too often. That's part of oppression. And sometimes, you have to realize that you and your ancestors have spent at least four hundred drowning out the voices of these, y'know, people, and maybe you can just shut up for ten whole minutes and make an effort to listen, hm?

But silence is construed as consent, compliance, a lack of support... so. I add my voice to the cacophony, knowing that no-one asked, and that it is not mine to forgive or speak of. (However, I do feel I have some say in the out-and-out Nazis: I am a lesbian and learning-disabled. I stand to be carted off to the murder-oops-labor camps if these chaps win. So does my beautiful bisexual daughter and my sweet Jewish son-in-law. So do the last two people with whom I have had sexual congress, one "mixed-race," one Jewish. Also, liberal, fuck-up, blogger, poor, chronic disease, well-read. You know how those Reddit incels are hoping that attractive women in persistent vegetative states will be made available for their sexual pleasure? I'm, um, not attractive. I don't look forward to whatever assignment box they'll be ticking on my file.)

I will say, as someone who has said stupid things and been schooled: I don't delight in the experience. The memories make me cringe, and I am sure it felt much nastier to scold than to be scolded. And I am a grown woman: I should be able to police my behavior and scuttle my left-to-her-own-devices-with-a-lot-of-books-that-were-the-product-of-their-time upbringing on my own. But I sure am grateful that I did say the stupid things and that people cared--- about me, about the truth, about their own earpspace and headspace--- enough to correct me.

I have also survived, as target, of a couple of crimes. I am not being disingenuous here: I don't think that a couple of beatings or even rape are as bad as living with racism, day after day after dreary day. Maybe I'm talking out my ass, saying, "Yeah, I got a cut once. It needed stitches," to someone with a sucking chest wound. BUT rape was actually pretty bad. The thing is, it makes me cringe when I hear people say that my various assailants should be deprived of friendship, an education, a chance to earn a decent living, life, health, a voice, because of what they did to me. I think of the rapist's brilliant artistic potential and the writer's stories, which are worth telling, and the editing he's done, which makes other stories more readable.... I don't want them to live in silence, I just want to live in freedom. Well, at least freedom from being forced into sex or being beaten.

SO I'm in the position of the narrator of Ms. Fish's well-chorused song "Mount Tam": I can choose to direct my energy/ voice one way or the other, but no matter which way I go, my action will be actively evil (but nowhere near as evil as inaction.) So, for now, in the absence of other voices who will be on both on Team Justice AND Team Me (it's not so much that I have no black friends as I don't have ANY friends) (and yes, I will be reading Ta-Nehisi Coates, et aliae on the subject, I'm not completely snowblind/ willfully ignorant.) I just feel that one tack, defending the right of fools (and others) to make asses of themselves in public, has a better chance of eventually sorting out the problem.

Check me if I'm wrong.

Things I grumble about

...people who play the "That side lost," card about those who tout the Nazi and Confederate flags/ philosophies.

Because it's the "they were genocidal shitheads" is what I object to. And look, someday soon, people may be saying, "Those assholes lost," about our peace signs, too...

Because I am weak...

...and because I realize that even at my prettiest and slimmest, I am fat, vaguely British-looking in an unsexy way; I have huge, mannish feet, hands, and neck; and resemble nothing so much as Graham Chapman in bad drag... yesterday, I ordered a strawberry blonde clip-in fringe and an Iron Man gauntlet, and I dug out my Doctor Who-esque scarf. I am currently researching how to make an LED prosthetic a la the humans transforming into Daleks in the Doctor Who episode "Asylum of the Daleks"... I can dress up as a Pepper Potts pepperpot who is turning into a pepperpot.

This is the outfit I want to be cremated/ donated to science in, for the record.

(And you bet your bellwether I shall make and eat pepperpot soup in that outfit!)

Oh, Jesus...

... Charlottesville. What the fuck? What the actual fuck?

Not in my country, please.

ETA: It is 2017, and a woman has died defending America from Nazis.
  • Current Mood: angry angry

On the subject of books...

...last week's "self-help" selection was Tory Johnson, The Shift. Yes, I still kind of want to say "so there" to all the people who have called me fat loser. Suck it, I will say. Now I'm just a loser! Besides, I do want to feign normal conversation with mainstream people, and it was the most popular online book available at the time.

I did not like a lot of things about it:

-The weight-loss strategies, beyond tracking, outlined in it are not ones that work for my body. Seriously, that low-carb shit is a one-way ticket to the Wall for me;

-Constantly talking about size six as being "normal", size two and zero as being "gorgeous," and leaving the double-digits sizes implied or specifically called out as abnormal, gross, and even frightening. Dawg, there's nothing wrong with wanting to be better-than-average, but don't build lies into your language to make yourself and your audience feel shame (which mostly makes people gain weight, anyway). Average U.S. woman is size 16 these days. That's "normal" for you, if you like, and yes, I am skinnier than average if that somehow legitimizes my protests at you pointing a wagging finger at half your sex. Two percent of U.S. women are size 0-4. Two. Percent.

-Shaming and mocking someone whose loved ones died of eating disorders for showing concern for things that really do look like anorectic patterns. Framing that person's support and concern as "sabotage."

-Putting looking skinny ahead of once-in-a-lifetime bonding experiences with children and family. I get that she was putting career first, but I ached for the family members from whom she turned a closed face away, especially her children. (To be fair, she did eat with her daughter on vacation--- and spent a literal chapter beating herself up about it.)

Yeah, not for me, but if it worked for you, good for you.

Making it difficult

You know how I try (try) to read one fiction; one non-fiction; and one self-help book a week?

I am going to also try to do one author of color and one woman author per week.

Which profits THEM not; I have debt to get out of and possessions to pare down. I get my books from the library, unless they really, really rock my world, and will for at least the next couple of years. But... shrugs.

I have a little list...

What to do with day off? Carry-overs in bold. Big gray icosahedron, don't fail me now...

1. Write for bingo;
2. Pilates 1 2 3
3. Push-ups 1 2 3 4 5
4. Squats 1 2 3 4 5
5. Dishes
6. Shop/ grab quarters/ take stuff to UPS
7. Shower
8. Clean living room
9. Clean bedroom
10. Detail table/ desktop/ microwave cart
11. Finish audiobooks
12. Clean kitchen
13. Neckpiece
14. Clean bathroom
15. Language apps
16. Read comics
17. Netflix for language practice
18. Typing practice
19. Time in the sun
20. Select, order tutu/ fake blood/ dreads (which I shall coat in dyed chocolate) (CONTINGENT UPON 2, 3, 5, 13 BEING FINISHED)


About one-fifth through Jar of Life. I was expecting a Christian circle-jerk in the order of The Hiding Place. The first act is a little contrived and obviously dumbed-down and played up, but I am so far quite rapt at the second act, the actual story of heroic WWII baby thief Irena Sendler.

Personal and irrelevant behind tag.
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More and more, I worry about our society in collapse. I am starting to stockpile lightweight things of worth--- Lifestraws, first aid supplies, small solar panels---- and continue to stock up on such practical skills as my poor brain can handle.