Bathrooms at Maryland sheep and wool?

Apr. 29th, 2016 01:50 pm
lizcommotion: a hand drawn/colored happy cane (disability cane happy)
[personal profile] lizcommotion

I'm going (finally! hopefully!) to Maryland Sheep and Wool in a few weeks. I'm just wondering if any of you fine people have gone, and if so, if you know what the state of the bathrooms are? The friend I'm going with has Crohn's, so having a not-porta-potty is VERY important to our enjoyment of the festival. The fairground map looks like it has bathrooms, but I have no idea how many or if they are totally gross or if the lines are out of this world.

If the bathrooms are ridic at the fairgrounds, does anyone who has been know of a nearby-ish place with public-ish bathrooms that are non-icky? Say, a Starbucks or a McDonald's?


(and if you know someone who might know, feel free to DM me or send them a link to this)
jjhunter: neuron growing a dendritic branch to meet the reaching axon of another neuron in watercolor greys (neuron reaching out)
[personal profile] jjhunter
Let's take a breath for poetry. It is April, and as good a time as any for a collaborative poetry fest. Please find below a starting stanza or two of a brand new haikai (what's a haikai, you ask? Think extended haiku: alternating stanzas of 5-7-5 and 7-7). Comment with a following stanza to build on that seed. Someone (most likely me) will respond with another stanza, and so on and so forth throughout the day.

strong empathy risks
presuming your feelings shared
clogs understanding

I'm tired of being your poverty porn

Apr. 29th, 2016 01:28 am
marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

I've noticed one thing about people with money and that's that they like to hang onto it and rationalize away away those who can't:

"Oh, if only they'd worked harder."
"Oh, if only they'd gotten a better job."
"Oh, if only they'd educated themselves more."
"Oh, if only they'd work at more than one job, there are more than eight hours in a day, you know, so funny."
"Oh, if only they hadn't had so many kids."
"Oh, if only his wife wasn't so damn lazy, 'just' staying home to raise kids."
"Oh, if only she hadn't gotten up with that loser."
"Oh, if only her husband would work harder/get another job/ask for a raise/get retraining."
"Oh, if only their parents had tried harder than they obviously did."
"Oh, if only those poor folks ahead of us in line would knuckle down and not buy shrimp and steak, they'd have so much more money."
"Oh, if only they'd buy better clothes, maybe they'd have a better chance in life!"
"Oh, if only they would use better grammar, it could open so many doors to them."

There are more If Onlys, and if you happen to know another one you can add it to the comments, but basically, life for those with money drifts in the vein of commending themselves for their hard work, foresight, ability and finding excuses to explain away why the have-nots have not.

And I think to myself, why is it Not Alright to devolve into victim-blaming when people are, say raped or murdered, or denied opportunities because of our biggest social construct of all time, the one called race, yet it's Perfectly Alright, acceptable - encouraged, even - to blame the poor for being poor? When did that become OK?

To illustrate, say you're a civilized person in today's society. You would not walk up to a known rape victim and say, "Hey, I saw the skirt you were wearing last night - you deserved it." You wouldn't walk up to a known attempted murder victim and say, "Hey, I saw that dark road you walked down alone - you deserved it". The implications of these statements, just to be clear, are that a person who wears an article of clothing any observer deems rape-eligible and walking alone down a dark road are both pre-conditions for deserving whatever you get.

Yet we say "you deserve it" to our nation's poor with impunity, delight, condescension, contempt, and always in bored dismissal, and are so conditioned to do so it's a reflex by now. "Oh you're poor? So what, that's your own damn fault". We're conditioned to say it, think it, believe it, fume about it, even toss and turn at night in anger because of it. Because there ARE poor people out there, and how could that be? How could there exist a class of people who does this all to themselves?

Not only do we blame the poor, we add whining to the mix. "Thanks to you, my taxes are higher to support your little government programs because you're just too damn lazy to work!" (said to me while I was working).

"You wanting a $15 minimum wage means my salary won't look as high anymore! Pretty soon I'll be poorer than you!" (said to me by the same person, who claims to make anywhere from $20-40 an hour depending on how much he's had to drink and which way the wind's blowing).

"A higher minimum wage means less jobs to go around and laying off people like me to hire more people like you!" (again, said to me by the same person).

At the same time we subject the poor to the double whammy of hearing they're to blame for their condition and society's, they're increasingly denied everything society claims they get. Let's take it one free goodie at a time.

Housing? Well, waiting lists are 3-6 years long for most housing projects, which are mostly crumbling and gang-ridden so not exactly the highlife, and most are being torn down to make way for fancier neighborhoods the well-to-do prefer. Section 8 certificates, which society also grumbles about because those blacks "ruin our neighborhoods"? The same long waiting lists!

Food stamps? You can't get them if you don't work, and once you do work they're so greatly reduced in amount they're hardly worth the humiliation of using them. Oh, I'm wrong about that? OK, go look it up. Welfare cash benefits? Less than 2 million Americans still receive them, most are raising young children, and most families getting them must stop doing so after 2-3 years. Healthcare? Well, there's still Medicaid here and there, but not for most people, and there's no low cost health insurance in states that refuse to extend the ACA to the poor.

Disability benefits? Extremely small, subject to limitations, and even the most hopelessly and permanently disabled often won't get approved. Anything else? Is there anything else society wants to claim the poor get when, in reality, they're not getting what you think they are or else they're getting so little of it for such short periods of time that yes, you do honestly sound like Scrooge when you're bitching about it? Tell me. I'll be waiting to hear.

Poverty discrimination is the only form of socially acceptable discrimination in this country and don't get kid yourselves; it's a very, very acceptable form. It's always "in" to blame the poor for their hubris and the complete downfall of our entire country, which by society's general estimation should've toppled from the sheer weight of supporting the poor 15-20 years ago. Yes, it's all just a matter of time, folks, before they have us all living in the gutters along with them!

A vast majority of the 99% forgets that the 1% stages recessions only to accumulate more wealth, which they take not just from society but also from the poor, legislating them out of existence at every turn, wiping out everyone's wealth, savings, housing, educational, and employment prospects in one big crash. And they're getting ready to stage another recession now that they've built more wealth than they had before the last recession by simply taking wealth from everyone else who lost out big in 2008.

But rather than blame the 1% for the fact that yes, this country's about to go down and will do so entirely once another recession is staged for the 1%'s sole benefit, society blames the poor.

It's not the rich or the Koch Brothers or Wall St. or anyone with money, it's these people walking around with their hands out, ruining everything. The poor are not people so should not be treated as such. We all know that. We've even trained the poor to know that, so then, what about us?

The rich work hard at turning us against each other and force us to adjust to the fact that we will not benefit from the things we do to further themselves. Ultimately, the want to turn this country into one vast storehouse of nothing but poor who will do whatever they're asked without having to send jobs overseas because a ready, willing, and exhausted but humbled workforce will kneel at the ready to blindly and avidly follow their orders.

To those ends, the rich have been at work on all kinds of schemes - like our caste system, which uses government and media influence to turn the poor into scapegoats and scoundrels at every turn, our fake war on drugs, our school-to-prison pipeline, and the student loan debt many will never crawl out from under - which results in college-educated people who can't get jobs or afford homes but still have to pay for useless educations. We've got the working poor living in streets, overnight shelters, tents and cars and are still being told that if they'd just work harder or do better or try something else they could succeed. That it's their own fault.

Our society is quite simply delusional.

It's been eating out of the 1%'s hand for so long now in the mere hope of some financial gain for swallowing their lies and hatred wholesale that again, it's become society's reflex to respond in exactly the ways the 1% most desires, to the downfall of everyone but the 1%.

I called this "I'm tired of being your poverty porn" because I've noticed the more liberal side of media can do just one thing and one thing well, but I'm starting to think it's insincere: talk and talk and talk and talk about all that the poor are going through. I think no one reads any of these articles except their friends. I think anyone else reading does so only to skim and to leave the nastiest, most racist, victim-blaming comments possible.

And I'm tired of being your poverty porn.

I fall through the obviously stereotypical cracks, so no, most of the liberal media I'm talking about is not even targeted at nor intended for me. Which makes it doubly hard to be in my position: I'm constantly watching myself being written about and discussed amongst the liberal media, yet I'm treated like a curiosity or like I can't be poor just because I don't fit the liberal media's oh-so-carefully-constructed, entirely stereotypical and increasingly bullshit Poverty Mold. I pass for Better Off, because I'm white and smart and can speak and write and dress well when I feel like it, but I'm telling you, I'm not.

If it's bothering liberals so damn much that the poor en masse are suffering as much as they do then they should stop merely writing to their equally liberal friends about it, since they're the only ones reading those posts with any compassion, and actually do something.

No one's going to educate our country out of allowing its poor to languish nor educate it out of its deep hatred for the poor by posting one article nor even one whole mess of articles at a time. We need to change minds and laws, but so far all we're doing is neither. The media don't understand the complete brainwashing most sectors of society have been given. When no one has answers for that, they just wring their highly manicured hands, then wave them westward and proclaim, "Well, look at Denmark." OK, let's look! I'll take that literally - so are you buying the poor passports to actually look at Denmark? Because if not, then why are you even bringing it up? It's just rubbing salt in all the same wounds.

I'll give the only proof anyone needs that the liberal media - which thinks it's doing such a great job of educating everyone - has failed us entirely, and that's how we've got Hillary Clinton instead of Bernie Sanders in the #1 spot for the presidential nomination. Thanks a lot, liberals. Not.

Haikai Fest: "A change of views"

Apr. 28th, 2016 09:48 pm
jjhunter: silhouetted woman by winding black road; blank ink tinted with green-blue background (silhouetted JJ by winding road)
[personal profile] jjhunter
Let's take a breath for poetry. It is April, and as good a time as any for a collaborative poetry fest. Please find below a starting stanza or two of a brand new haikai (what's a haikai, you ask? Think extended haiku: alternating stanzas of 5-7-5 and 7-7). Comment with a following stanza to build on that seed. Someone (most likely me) will respond with another stanza, and so on and so forth throughout the day.

I've changed my route home
a steeper hill, less known streets
I walk it to heart
marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

So I put myself back on the Windows Insider Fast Ring last week. It was a particularly hectic time to do so as Microsoft has blown through two new builds (14316, 14328) this month with a third (14332) coming out tonight. Well, I didn't want 14332 because it's bullshit. This release is just, "Go on Quests and find bugs, ARRR!" (Yes, ARRRR! Linked source seems to confuse Australian with Viking speech, which kind of pisses me off, but I can't find a better vocabulary list right now.)

My computer was all set to restart in order to install this new build and I wanted to turn the laptop off and go read some news on my phone (which I'm still not doing; it's how I fall asleep each night) so I got a little panicky and googled how to stop the new build from installing. After adjusting search terms five times because Google just would not deliver, finally I hit upon someone's suggestion to turn off Windows Update. Which seems...stupid. I never turn that off.

They also suggested deleting the files associated with the Update Service and restarting the computer. I read through the thread and realized this was to restart a download of a new Windows build that would not finish downloading, not to stop a download of a new build from installing. But I was like, OK, I can work with this...

Pro-tip #1: Never turn off Windows Update. Here be dragons. ARRR.

So I opened Task Manager and went to the Services tab and before I could even find Windows Update to turn it off I saw there was a service running for Windows Insider. And I was like WAIT IT HAS A SERVICE. ARRRR. I never knew that before! So I turned it off. Then I turned off Windows Update.

Pro-tip #2: Never delete Windows Update Service files.

Actually, I did not do this. The fucking stupidity of telling anyone to delete those files is beyond me.

Pro-tip #3: Never disable the Windows Insider or Windows Update Services.

Then I disabled both services and restarted my computer.

This is where it got golden: not only did the computer seem to restart faster without these services running, but once I reached my desktop, I was greeted with a TOAST notification (the black fly-out you see where the settings icon sits in your system tray) which informed me that: "Updates were installed." Like hell they were, and I know they weren't because I was reading the desktop build watermark to make sure it still said 14328 when the flyout flew out at me.

So I went to Updates, under All Settings, just to make sure, and despite the TOAST notification, no updates were installed, so that's how I came to find out Windows has a bug wherein someone must have programmed it to say updates were installed when, in fact, they weren't. If I were a programmer, I guess I'd have some fancy way of advising them to check for update installation before showing the fucking TOAST notification saying updates were installed when in in fact, they weren't, but hey, that's not my jam.

But if I'd installed the next version that could have been my first Bug Quest or whatever they're calling it this week. Of course now I'd have to install the new version just to report the bug to get credit for completing a Quest. Which gets me what, exactly? A chance at their next Xbox or SurfacePro? Or just the glory of catching All The Bugs? ARRR.

I really, really, really like Build 14328, so no, for now I'm not changing it. Turning off the Insider Service and Update Service does seem to make not getting new builds possible, and while I'm glad for that, I'm probably going to see if I can get away with just keeping the Insider Service turned off, because turning off the Update Service really does seem kind of stupid.

ETA, next night: Upon turning the computer back on tonight with Windows Update and Insider services still disabled, the Insider menu found under All Settings told me, "Your Microsoft account requires attention to get Insider Preview builds" with a button under that labelled, "Fix me". Oh yeah, fix me, indeed. I'm torn between simply leaving the Insider program via the button provided for that (which I actually did last night in addition to the other steps I took above) and simply turning Windows Update back on and keeping the Insider service turned off after I rejoin the Insider program, just to see how that works out.

I want the flexibility of being able to pick which builds I install (which I decide by reading Gabe Aul's release notes obsessively) rather than being tied to a "delay" button which allows a max delay of just five days (on the Fast Ring, of course; on the Slow Ring builds arrive so much slower that I might want certain builds much faster than it might give them to me, or I might want builds that are deemed too "risky" to give to a Slow Ring Insider). OK, maybe I want five weeks, how's that? My licensed copy of Windows 10, which I'm fully entitled to as the owner of a legitimate OEM copy of Windows 7, should not entitle Microsoft to use my laptop as a petri dish whenever they feel like it. How about when *I* feel like it?

Sounds much more reasonable to me.

ETA2: OK, so since my last ETA I turned Windows Update and Insider services back on, rejoined the Insider program, put myself back on Fast Ring, then exited the Insider menu, disabled the Insider service, re-opened the Insider menu and got the same "requires attention" message and "Fix me" button as before. I'm going to leave Windows Update on and just keep watching for new builds, then turn the Insider service back on once I see I want one. I think this is how to install only the builds you want instead of whatever Microsoft sends to Slow and Fast rings. In other words, it should work until exactly the moment Microsoft changes things so it doesn't anymore.

Comcasted, again!

Apr. 27th, 2016 11:30 pm
marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

Urban Dictionary defines "Comcasted" as losing your internet connection at random, as in, "I was downloading music and got Comcasted!". And while yes, hardy har har, of course, I propose a better definition: Constantly being charged for services you don't want or get (better yet, let's change their name to AOL, since we all know what that means).

God how I miss not having Comcast! Then again, I had to deal with CenturyLink DSL for six months, which, if you've ever had it, you know is just like dial-up! another hell on Earth.

I've had Comcast again for just over two months and in that period of time I've probably spent two hours on the phone with them, blown through two TV boxes, two modems, and been overcharged $19.90, which took the last two months to fix, because I started requesting a refund the first time I was overcharged by $9.95 but didn't get it until a month after being overcharged again.

The package I have now is the same one I had up until fall of 2015, but for some reason this package includes a $9.95 a month charge for an HD signal, which I can't recall paying in the past. But none of our TVs can handle an HD signal, so I have no need to be charged $9.95 a month for Comcast technology that my technology can't process.

Getting the money back has been like pulling teeth.

Some reps have informed me there was no reason not to charge me for this technology, even if I can't use it; others would say I have to accept the charge because it's part of the package, still another told me I can count on being charged again next month because their auditors will not let it go that I'm dropping something from the package that allows me to have the package. At which point I told her they can count on seeing me in court because their auditors don't get to decide how my bill should look.

When I got my bill the other day I saw they'd finally rescinded all $19.90 in HD technology charges but to pay themselves back (!) they charged me $13.90 for no reason at all. I mean, right under the subtracted charge was an added charge of $13.90, meaning in reality I got credited less than $6. I was l-i-v-i-d.

We live not too far from a local Comcast office so we fucking drove there with the bill (and all the other bills) because long before it arrived our modem was taking a giant, month-long crap on our internet speed, so I figured we needed to discuss that, too.

Once there, we were greeted by someone who looked like she'd rather get a root canal than deal with another customer; we looked like we'd just been visited by the money-grubbing gangsters Comcast is comprised of, so of course no one was happy, but we got through it.

She managed to figure out that the $13.90 was an accumulated credit for Ecobill (paperless billing) that had been dropped from my account, resulting in a charge of the same amount (apparently the auditors had already gotten to me). "Do you have Ecobill?" she asked. "Well, I pay my bill online every month", I replied, but the truth is, they've been sending me paper bills from the start and I have no idea why as I thought I was signed up for Ecobill.

She pushed through a $13.90 credit, subject to approval, of course, and gave us a modem so big I practically needed both arms to carry it out. "What am I supposed to do with this?" I asked as she pushed it across the counter at me.

She was not entirely charming. "Use it to get online?" she said.

"OK, what I mean is..." then I paused in order to not lose it over her attitude..."I am getting online! It's like I said, the speed keeps dropping. But I'm getting online."

"Well," she said, nodding at the modem, "that will keep your speed from dropping."

I shook my head. "I don't get it."

"Comcast's been doing firmware updates on the smaller boxes. You have the smaller box at home, that's what you said. This bigger box might help your speed pick up again."

I managed not to say, "OK. Why couldn't you have just said that in the first place?" I was too tired to be full-on disgruntled.

Instead I thanked her for her time and carried the behemoth box out of the building. You could run Microsoft on this thing, I swear, it's so fucking big. But it works. So I guess until they overcharge me again next month for the HD signal my TVs can't get, we're all set for now.

jjhunter: pleased kitten with two massive peacock feathers in its mouth (kitten with peacock feathers)
[personal profile] jjhunter
Let's take a breath for poetry. It is April, and as good a time as any for a collaborative poetry fest. Please find below a starting stanza or two of a brand new haikai (what's a haikai, you ask? Think extended haiku: alternating stanzas of 5-7-5 and 7-7). Comment with a following stanza to build on that seed. Someone (most likely me) will respond with another stanza, and so on and so forth throughout the day.

living time capsules
cicadas from '99
will emerge next month

Zebrafish swimming in the courtyard.

Apr. 27th, 2016 12:40 am
ursamajor: people on the beach watching the ocean (Default)
[personal profile] ursamajor
Zebrafish swimming in the courtyard.

Haikai Fest: "Launched"

Apr. 26th, 2016 02:26 pm
jjhunter: multiple watercolor butterflies flying (butterfly flock)
[personal profile] jjhunter
Let's take a breath for poetry. It is April, and as good a time as any for a collaborative poetry fest. Please find below a starting stanza or two of a brand new haikai (what's a haikai, you ask? Think extended haiku: alternating stanzas of 5-7-5 and 7-7). Comment with a following stanza to build on that seed. Someone (most likely me) will respond with another stanza, and so on and so forth throughout the day.

I am not outpaced
by Spring at peak sprint of sproing
I bloom unreserved
marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

Benadryl reduces brain volume, memory recall and mimics early-stage Alzheimer's symptoms.

When I was 16 - not younger, not older, but 16 - I smoked a lot. I mean, I probably managed to jam a year's worth of it into a few months thanks to one of my boyfriends; it wasn't that he'd introduced me to pot so much as he smoked better weed than anyone else I knew.

Before that, I was mostly a drinker and pill popper (again, thanks to friends; I was able to produce none of this stuff on my own and never figured out how my friends got their hands on it, either) and because I was anorexic, I also got into diet pills.

I broke up with the boyfriend before I broke up with pot and without him it got a bit harder to get. By then I was not drinking, still on a multi-year break from it after a bad incident, or taking many diet pills, but having the addict's mind, I needed to do something. So one day I was reading labels in the drugstore on my lunch break trying to figure out what to do and decided to get a box of Benadryl. I think I liked all the warning labels on it.

I still cringe to recall the first - and only - time I did it in public; I was leaning against the storefront of the store I'd gotten the pills from talking to some friends and then I wasn't. I was still there but they were gone. I could not remember what felt like the last 20 minutes. I do remember checking my watch, completely mortified, and realizing they'd probably been gone 10-20 minutes based on what time the class I'd missed while standing there would have commenced.

No one believed me.

I told my mom but all I got was "Really?" and her "Yep, she's telling stories again" look coupled with the admonition that I don't have allergies so should not take Benadryl (I actually developed those just a few years later, but by then someone had thankfully invented Claritin). I spent my entire childhood not being believed about perfectly truthful things so this wasn't an unusual state of affairs, and I had no science to back me up, so it wasn't worth pressing the point.

I also told my friends. I don't remember if they laughed but I know they shrugged it off. That Benadryl could do anything except give one dry mouth and sleepiness was too implausible a stretch of the imagination to be worth considering.

Once school let out I took Benadryl all summer. I'd quit pot by then because it made me not eat and my weight had dropped to around 100 pounds and my mom, who refused to worry about the broken arm I had as a child - which made me exhausted from the pain of it which I went without a cast on for over two weeks because xrays don't lie (those certainly did*, but that's another story) was worried about me. (Yep, another time I got treated to so many "She's telling stories" looks I should have died from that alone, only to be proven right in the end. The leit motif of my childhood was being thought of as a great storyteller when unfortunately, I was telling the truth).

I've smoked since then - for a time when I was 30 with some new friends and again a few years ago - but the stuff they've come out with in the last 10 years, or the kind I was smoking, anyway, makes me dizzy and nauseous and super-paranoid, afraid to move for fear of falling.

But you know, there's always wine. Which I'm also (always) trying to back off of.

But Benadryl? Reading that the side effects are something akin to what it's like to have Alzheimer's is heartening because I was abusing it back in the day to sort of magnify that effect, and I can tell you that while I don't really know what tranquilizers are like as I'm suspicious of anything (besides the drugs I choose! That is sort of hypocritical, isn't it?) that alters brain state, Benadryl seemed to plug my need-to-calm-the-fuck-down hole just fine.

It made me feel like my brain was literally baking. I would never do it just to do it again (I have to keep it around in some form for venom stings, but to this day I still warn others that if they take it, it might mess them up) because overall the effect was very unpleasant. I went back to school that fall after the last time I ever took them just for kicks with major depression, which I blamed on myself when maybe that was also the stupid allergy medicine.

*Actually, I didn't know what had happened, I just knew my arm hurt. I had to break the left arm, of course, and by the end of each school day I was so tortured from writing with it I dreaded coming home, because my mom would immediately - as I walked in the door - quiz me about my pain, and when I told her it was still very bad she would say I was just telling stories to get attention. I was in tears most days after school because she honestly thought I was just an attention-seeking liar.

Well, two weeks later, I come home and she opens the door and as usual I back up before even walking in because I'm so dreading the raking over the coals I'm about to get for the questions she's about to ask and accusations she's about to hurl based upon the answers I would normally give if I were being perfectly honest. By then I was doing the thing where you put a good face on and pretend you're in less pain than you're in, which is where I might get my cat-like ability to hide pain from to this day - I'd become that afraid of my mom's...for lack of a better word...obsession with this.

She smiled and told me to come in and my mouth dropped open, because it was like hell, she never does that. Long story short, she'd just gotten off the phone with someone at the hospital, who called her because the radiology team - an entire team - had read my xray wrong. Fortunately the head of radiology looked my xray over that afternoon and found my arm was indeed, actually broken!

You'd probably think that experience taught my mom to believe me more. It didn't.

Linkspam in the springtime

Apr. 26th, 2016 01:21 am
lizcommotion: a forest filled with sunlight and small purple flowers (spring trees)
[personal profile] lizcommotion
Happy things:

US ex-Senator, 90, to remarry his male partner
Mr Wofford said his life was "a story of two great loves" - with his wife Clare, who died of leukaemia in 1996, and with Matthew Charlton, 40.

He wrote: " I don't categorise myself based on the gender of those I love. I had a half-century of marriage with a wonderful woman, and now am lucky for a second time to have found happiness."

LGBTQ books for middle grade readers

Thomas Jefferson Uptown Funk - from Hamilton by [personal profile] heresluck

In honor of Shakespeare's Deathiversary:

Secret lives of women who broke taboo to act in Shakespeare

Which Shakespearean play should you see? An illustrated flowchart


ETA to add: Prince Wrote About Women in a Way That Most Contemporary Male Artists Still Can't (via Captain Awkward's twitter)


Why knowing the history of history is vital for any writer drawing from the past

Signal boost for Beyond the Binary: help a UK magazine for non-Binary people continue running, pay its authors

Social Justice & Feminism:

Hermeneutical Injustice in Consent and Asexuality
Similarly, an asexual’s sense of self is formed by collective understandings of sexuality, leading to feelings of brokenness, abnormality, and isolation. When the collective hermeneutical resources construct sexuality as default, there is no way develop a healthy asexual selfhood. Moreover, asexuals are socially constituted as sexual where, particularly in intimate and physical relationships, it is against their interests to be seen as such. We see the harm in this played out again in issues of consent.

How Medicaid forces families like mine to stay poor
(note: might make you ALSO rage on Twitter. if you are looking for a good article to explain this dystopian system to people who don't have to deal with it, or you would like to better understand how messed up Medicaid is, then by all means.)

The secret rules of the internet: The murky history of moderation, and how it’s shaping the future of free speech
my conclusions: hire some damn anthropologists (and other social scientists) to work on moderation ethics. it is their jam.

Haikai Fest: "Seasonal Amusements"

Apr. 25th, 2016 10:22 pm
jjhunter: Watercolor sketch of sneaky corvid pulling phoenix tail feather from behind, phoenix rearing back in affronted surprise (corvid pulls phoenix tail)
[personal profile] jjhunter
Let's take a breath for poetry. It is April, and as good a time as any for a collaborative poetry fest. Please find below a starting stanza or two of a brand new haikai (what's a haikai, you ask? Think extended haiku: alternating stanzas of 5-7-5 and 7-7). Comment with a following stanza to build on that seed. Someone (most likely me) will respond with another stanza, and so on and so forth throughout the day.

my parents' hobby
noting holiday lighting
of utmost poor taste


Apr. 25th, 2016 01:32 am
marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

After David Bowie died I changed this blog's layout to add black stars in memoriam. I was going to keep it that way since it looked pretty good, but I made some design changes not long after and just never put them back.

Again, I'm thinking of changing background and link colors to some shade of purple for Prince, but it's a lot of work since I don't run changes through the Wizard like the rest of ya'll probably do I don't know if I will or not - purple tends to not display well online forget whatever Jakob Nielsen has ever said about anything and to not have a good high-contrast color besides yellow, so I don't know.

I just checked my other blog, but outside of one early mid-week blip, my stats are unusually hideous so I changed that layout back to customized Big Brother. It's awful but I think the way I customized the header is my brand, as in the thing people look at and go, 'Oh yeah, that's the Anti-AOL dude chick' (I'll always and forever be a dude, though; just ask almost anyone).

It's funny but as a woman, you can't have any middle ground with men when you go online. Lacking information such as a recognizably feminine name and whatever they think is a feminine writing style, you're a dude, end of story. Welcome to the club! Otherwise you're quite often...abused. Mocked. Made fun of. Bullied. Threatened. Doxed. Outed. Fired. Hidden. Afraid.

I only ever had one person do that - almost 10 years ago. I don't think he was fully convinced I wasn't a guy but he did seem to have this thing going where once it was put to him that way he got a lot mouthier and switched from solely commenting upon my blog to also commenting upon my looks. I can't say he threatened me. He was just an insidious creepy stalker-type with a bad mouth and worse attitude. Your typical troll, I guess...bad enough to Change Policy and begin screening comments, but I was always going to undo it.

I'm still getting around to undoing it, I promise. Except I probably never will.

I'm not sorry. I'm sure my blogs are quieter for the cowards who won't come out and play - maybe they're discouraged by my IP collecting before I even unscreen them; maybe they think I won't publish them so okay, why bother. I think it's hilarious because I'll publish almost anything but spam, even abuse - as long as it's not directed at anyone but me - but I won't keep publishing it if it simply goes on and on and on and yeah...this was that guy.

From the first abusive comment on, it is standard practice that everything involved might hit my big ol' delete fan once published - including the blog itself. I guess my I Give Up threshold's kind of low because seriously, why bother, it's just a fucking blog. So yes, I'll eventually delete your awful comment and the blog it's attached to and the fucking server it sits on before this is all over, so have fun.

I guess nothing says I Own This like simply making the fucking thing disappear. Whoops, what were you saying, I can't heeeeeaaaaaaar you...

So anyway, I run comments same as I always have. No changes except for the screening policy itself. It's commenters who changed in the wake of a screening policy, not I who changed in the wake of my commenters... *shrug*

Getting back to the whole shitty reality of being a woman online (you're either thought of as a guy or else get abused and those are your choices - apparently I'm still in the They Think I'm a Guy phase of that) I'm probably about to make a controversial statement (if it's too controversial the Unsubscribe Button is above and to the right of these words, in my usericon): I think the 80s and 90s were less sexist.

Women were more respected, valued, and given more of a place in society as ...women! We were told we could do anything and could actually do whatever we set our minds to. Even in the 90s the Internet was made up of many men and women and you know what the women did?

From what I saw and heard and was directly told by them, they had FUN.

Take a moment to imagine what that was like.

They enjoyed being online. Offline they made jokes about it, used insider talk in public and couldn't wait to do it again so, was not the nightmare it is now. They wrote JavaScript and built websites and programmed and did everything that gets women into the kind of Lucy, I'm Hooooome and You're In Troooouble! shit we get into by merely breathing within a 3-mile vicinity of any Internet-enabled device these days.

This is the part where I'd ask Internet Old Tymers to tell me what the heck they think the problem is, but the truth is that's a question of such magnitude and importance I wouldn't have the gall to ask any one of you. There's no coherent answer to how the Internet has come to be taken over by mean, nasty, small-minded, aggressive, violent people who want to smash any monitor with anyone remotely feminine on it, but regardless, here we are - and here they are.

The only reason you get to read as much as you do of Yours Truly anymore? The Internet probably still thinks she's a guy. Go me. And not to wear this out, but another thing...there's got to be ever-so-many women online who are considered by men to be...guys. Yes, go me. What I'd want to ask them is, is it better to be thought of as a guy online than it is to be abused because you're a woman?

I mean, personally I think it's better, but that's because I have no agenda - nor any real-life needs - to nudge me toward thinking: "I must present as feminine or as a woman." I just don't care!

I mean, I tried to be feminine by using what I thought was a feminine online handle, but hell if anyone even tries to figure that out, and as for appearance, I post pictures, far as I know, I'm still a guy when I go online; nothing's changed. And I can't say it bothers me - I get all the perks and none of the bullshit.

But what's missing, what I'd prefer to operate under - if I'm ever given the choice - is a middle ground full of natural respect for women, the same respect men want and seem to get. We had it in the 80s. Maybe if the Internet had become as popular then as it did later on women would be better off for it now. But as it stands, you can't be a woman most men want around when you go online, so you can be hated or you can be a guy (or as they say on 4chan: TOGTFO).

While I realize not every woman is under attack - that there are what I might call 'pockets of peace' scattered about even to this day - that's small comfort, and it certainly won't last, not at the rate things are going.

Haikai Fest: "Transformation"

Apr. 24th, 2016 09:50 pm
jjhunter: watercolor & ink blue bird raises its wings and opens its beak in joyous song (blue bird singing)
[personal profile] jjhunter
Let's take a breath for poetry. It is April, and as good a time as any for a collaborative poetry fest. Please find below a starting stanza or two of a brand new haikai (what's a haikai, you ask? Think extended haiku: alternating stanzas of 5-7-5 and 7-7). Comment with a following stanza to build on that seed. Someone (most likely me) will respond with another stanza, and so on and so forth throughout the day.

maple tree out back
overnight Sailor Moon spin
into green blossoms
ursamajor: people on the beach watching the ocean (Default)
[personal profile] ursamajor
When you realize you forgot the lamb shank for the #Seder plate, so you sub in your #Lego dinosaur skeleton. (And it happens to be the dinosaur skeleton from the Lego Women in Science set, so it can also count as your feminist orange on the Seder plate, too!)


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Celebrating Dreamwidth One Syllable At a Time

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