13 November 2010

Brief post from me again (wow) but I just wanted to direct attention to this story:

HURRDURRHURRDURR, is essentially how I feel about these morons trying to hijack a legitimate week for those who aren't in a safe space regarding their sexual orientation. But hey, can't have the minority stealing attention the privileged have. No sireebob.

12 November 2010

Warning: weird rant ahead

This is going to turn into a rant of pretty personal things, so please feel free to ignore. I figure, I know two of you well enough to be comfortable about talking about this, and the others-you're across the pond so I won't see you to be uncomfortable about it.
Anyway, the last couple of weeks I've been faced with various attitudes, snarks and glorifying of eating disorders. With content that could be triggering for personal problems, there should always be a trigger warning. And such it is for many things. But, I don't know, I don't see the same courtesy for eating disorders. Which is fine, except whenever I see someone discussing weight, calories consumed, the cottage cheese on their thighs, the fatty fat fattys walking past, it ignites omething in me. Well, it ignites the self-loathing, unconfidence and hateful hateful voice that I, as many others do, like to call my best enemy Anna. My body hasn't been physically in danger for a long, long time now. But I don't know that I have ever recovered mentally, so when crap like..'lol, had 400 calories today, must be an anorexic now', I blow my rage hole. Teenagers who post comments on forums all 'lol, yeah, anorexia. I want to have it, I wish I were thin :(" Um. NO. NO. SORRY NO NO NO. NO-ONE PLANS TO BECOME SO MENTALLY OBSESSED WITH EVERY CALORIE THAT YOU WEIGH EVERYTHING YOU EAT. No one plans to become so obsessed with your weight that you have 30 minute arguments with your mother about whether or not she planted that chicken skin on your plate so she could fatten you up. No one plans to get so obsessive about everything that your skin turns blue, you're constantly cold, you can't remember feeling any kind of emotion and tiredness and no energy is such a common feeling that when, for once, you're not tired, you feel 500 million times better than you always would. I always remember that day when I went shopping for clothes and didn't yawn once. Because I felt so good, and I felt so free and even though it was a long way to go recovery wise, I had started to feel again. blah blah blah, whatever.
You know what else isn't helpful? Friends commenting on other people's weight freely, with no self-restraint. Judging what they put in their mouth, joking about their level of attractiveness. People on the internet, malicious and crap, talking about how 'haters are fat and ugly'. Screw. You. I don't know where you get off feeling morally superior to those who eat more/less than you, or those who weigh more/less than you, but please stop. For the love of all that is holy, stop it now. Orfearmywrathorsomething.

Jysk, 'eat a sandwich' isn't helpful. I didn't FEAR the sandwich, I was afraid of everything that came attached with the sandwich. Lol, and now I can't stop devouring chocolate. Will this cycle ever end? I don't know, but I DO know that laughing, mocking or judging people for their eating habits (which I'm sure you guys don't do by the way, this is a generic 'address the world' post) sits so far below cool I will consider ending the friendship. Or conversation. Whichever. Mental scars are still real, you just can't see them.

11 November 2010


So, I hopped on board the Nanowrimo train. Yup, I sure did. I stayed on the main carriage of that train for about three days with my "shiny new fantasy" idea. I don't usually do fantasy, I write Young Adult - but this was different, this was not caring and being laid back and just writing to WRITE.

Problem was, I stopped caring. I didn't have an end in sight, and I haven't read enough fantasies to properly spoof them - I didn't even have names for people. I had no patience with any of it. It wasn't fun.

So I turned around and took a hold of that old stuck-in-my-head YA plot - and I said "FINE I WILL WRITE YOU DAMMIT!"

but.... no excitement there either.

Probably the only REAL productive thing I wrote was some porn. Which I did between the two ideas (no, you can't read it) lots of excitement there.

So Now I'm officially OFF the Nanowrimo train, and when I first hopped off of it (er, fell) I was a little glum and kind of "OH SHIT if I can't write for Nano how can I ever hope to write anything ever and also WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE!?"

SO I had a little moment. or two. for a day or so.

and then I did an amazing thing: I forgave myself. I didn't beat myself up. I gave myself a little shrug, told myself it was ok, and tried to turn it around so I could find a little more good from the experience. For instance - I wrote that porn I mentioned earlier.

I'm writing this now, and I'm thinking maybe I'm going to try to write everyday, only I won't put limits on it. how many words, what piece, etc - maybe I just won't care.

So goodbye Nanowrimo - I do wish all the others on that train the best. I'll still enjoy my emailed pep talks. I hope next year we can work something out. In the meantime - I think this counts as my writing (woot!) so I'm on track for writing everyday. I think. I may have missed a day earlier. oh well.

(man, this forgiving yourself is really the way to go.)

09 November 2010

Spot the Misogyny Drinking Game

Okay, I do not have the energy for this myself, but I invite any of you, authors and readers, to play along and take a shot every time Keith Olbermann disses Michelle Bachmann on the grounds that she is a LADY.

I don't agree with any of the words that come out of Bachmann's mouth; I'm thinking of retiring the word "the" from my vocabulary simply because she uses it sometimes. But Olbermann using a fake whiny voice when he quotes her, and saying things like "oh, snap" as if they're having some sort of playground throwdown, is not really the most mature tactic, and smacks of "you can't really argue logically with CRAZY LADIEZ."

I dunno. As aforementioned, I just don't have the energy right now. Opinions? Maybe I'm going for the worst.


This is a sort of mini-post because I am a sleepy mermaid this evening. However, I just had to share a sense of amazement and wonder I am currently experiencing (semi-seriously) as I ponder human behaviour. Let me explain, the television is on in our living room as a sort of background noise. Generally I’m ignoring it as I pootle round sorting out general stuff – but my attention was caught by a rather remarkable programme: Extreme Fishing. I kid you not – a guy (who describes himself as an “extreme angler”) on a boat, wrestling with fish on a line, occasionally commenting (in a very ‘manly’ way) things like “this isn’t like any fishing I’ve ever experienced, and I’m wondering whether I can cope.” For an hour.

Now, you may have gathered that this isn’t my kind of show (very entertaining though it may be) but I was rather tickled by the whole concept. Obviously I’m aware of Extreme Sports, and heard of slightly tongue-in-cheek activities such as Extreme Ironing and Extreme Cello Playing (usually as a fundraising stunt). But this was serious. The whole thing seemed bizarre: let’s take a relaxing, therapeutic activity and make it EXTREME! We will WRESTLE BIG FISH and grit our teeth as we HOLD ON TO RODS VERY TIGHT!

What is it about us as a species that makes us continually want to ‘go one better’ than anyone else. Show that we’re better, “harder” than everyone else? Prove that we can push even the most innocent of activities to the very limit. Maybe it’s some left over urge to be the ‘alpha’ male or female - a need to show off for any potential mate. Or maybe just it’s the need to show off. I’m simplifying like mad here, but hey – any more scientific/philosophic insight is very much welcome!

To end this musing, I want to share with you my own favourite example of this bizarre urge to Man Up: Extreme Reading. One of my friends is a huge Jasper Fforde fan (as am I – and I urge any bookworm to check out his novels, as they are a surreal mixture of references/homages and rambling adventure) and has entered his annual competition to find the most Extreme Reader. Click here to learn about his death defying encounter with the Birmingham Bull for the sake of reading. Much harder than any poncy fishing expedition.

08 November 2010

Area Woman's Life "Not Perfect," Say Sources

Sources confirmed yesterday that area woman [redacted for privacy]'s life is not entirely ideal in every particular.

"This came as a shock to a lot of us," says one, rolling his eyes. "Wait, no it didn't. God, duhh."

In fact, the only person who seemed surprised by the news was the woman herself. "I should have expected this information when I realized my house doesn't look like a Pottery Barn catalogue and my life wasn't following the plot of a rom-com." Still, the ideas that life has hardships that must be met and faced, and that sometimes good intentions do not yield good results, that people occasionally disagree and even argue with their loved ones, and that hoping for things does not make them happen, were hard ones to accept.

"It's not faaaaaaaaiiiiiiir!" the woman was quoted as saying. "I haaaaaaaate it."

She was then shocked that whining like a two-year-old did not yield any measurable results. "Fine! I guess I'll just deal with this by writing spoof articles that aren't good enough for The Onion! That will show them!"

Just what it will show, and to whom, was not made clear.

07 November 2010

What I Want (from Stephen Fry)

I've been thinking a lot about this Stephen Fry debacle, and how it ties into having standards, and fitting in with Word's middle ground, and reconciling things he says with other things he does, etc., etc., etc. And the way that I can express my various thoughts is to spell out clearly the response I wish had come from him, (which, by the way, it's not too late for him to give).

I am presupposing that for some reason, he said things to a reporter like "women just have sex to trick men into a relationship," and that that leaked out. Obviously, we would all be happier if that had never happened, but that's not the point. Now, Stephen, play close attention here.

1) Stop complaining about how unfair all of this is to you. I am sure you have a different impression of what happened at that interview than the reporter does/did. I'm sure your what you think happened is NOT the version that is making the rounds of the interwebz. You know what I don't want to hear? How you were so misrepresented, and how it isn't fair, and they took advantage of you, and life is so hard when you're Stephen Fry. Everyone's life is hard, even when they're not Stephen Fry. Everyone gets misinterpreted, and misquoted, and misrepresented, and if you're famous, the odds are very good that you will be mis-somethinged on a massive scale. It comes with the territory. If you don't want that to happen to you anymore, be very clear in your interviews or live the life of J.D. Salinger. But whining about it makes you sound like a big baby.

2) Acknowledge that what you said sounds really misogynistic. Maybe you said it in a joking tone. Maybe you were being ironic. Maybe you were being serious but you had a whole bunch of background logical reasoning that alleviates the misogyny somehow, at least in your mind. (Not sure how that would work but: benefit of the doubt.) For whatever reason, we missed something that somehow vindicated you. But the thing is, without whatever that thing was, you sound like a total douche, and if you don't acknowledge that, it makes it look like you don't understand what you did wrong. A simple statement of, "wow, reading these remarks in the press, I really understand how women would assume that I am sexist," is what it takes so that I don't feel the need to kick you in the shins. Otherwise, I feel that I have to justify my own outrage. That is tiring, and often unproductive. You want back on my good side, you show me that you are different from all those douches who say something nasty and then go all big-eyed and "What are you so upset about? Crazy bitch."

3) Apologize. This is not difficult. If you were misconstrued, you may tack on the optional phrase, "that wasn't what I was trying to say," to the end of your "I'm sorry." Further elaboration is not necessary. Switching the order of your phrases, e.g. "I didn't mean that, I'm sorry" is acceptable but ill-advised. "I'm so sorry that I sounded like a douche" is what I want to hear from you.

4) Explain to me what you really think about this topic. Don't waste my time telling me that this person or that person fucked you over and that's why you came across sounding like you're a douche when you're really not. Do take a little time of your own to tell me that you think men's and women's sex drives are different, that you see things going on in gay dating that don't happen in straight dating, that you think culture fucks women over in these particular ways, that you think culture fucks over men in these particular ways, that you're a dude and so you understand this better and you don't date women but this confuses you, whatever. Whatever it is you wish that the reporter had expressed, whatever statement you think would not misrepresent your views, make it. Give me your reasoning in detail. You're a smart man, Stephen; that much is and has always been clear. If you want to get credit for your intelligence, you have to make intelligent statements.

And that? That is how to get out of whatever dog house you are in.

Everyone but everyone says misogynist crap sometimes. Just like everyone occasionally says racist crap and sizeist crap and heteronormative crap and pro-cis crap, and every other kind of crap. A lot of us fight the kyriarchy, and sometimes we lose. We lose in our own minds and in our own thoughts and without meaning to, and that's life. And getting sulky because "that's not what I meant!" is childish.

A couple of months ago, I was hanging out with Word and another friend, watching Veronica Mars. For some reason we got on the topic of Buffy -- yay, Buffy! And we started talking about the pilot that was first filmed but never aired, when the role of Willow was played by a different actress (Riff Regan). You can watch parts of it online, and I have. Regan is quite a bit taller than Sarah Michelle Gellar and the other female actresses on the show, and she's also rather heavier. They recast Willow after that pilot, and in the show she was played by Alyson Hannigan, who is about sixty pound soaking wet and spends the first two seasons looking like she's twelve.

We were talking about that, and I said, trying for irony "Of course they couldn't have a fat Willow," as in, wow, the producers have such a limited view of what women have to look like. Word gave me a Look.

That Look was an important thing. "Wow, I didn't mean that from my own point of view," I hastened to clarify. "I meant, that was what the producers were probably thinking." Word nodded, satisfied. Would it be appropriate for me to get pissed at her, because she should have known what I meant? Because she should have realized from my tone, or from her knowledge of me, or from some other superfluous piece of information, that I was joking and trying to point out hypocrisy in someone else? Of course not. I didn't mean to be playing into sizeist prejudices, but the fact remains that the words coming out of my mouth were exactly the same as the words that would come out of a sizeist bigot's mouth. And Word was absolutely right to call me on that, because if I had said that in a larger group? And someone hadn't gotten the irony, so clear in my mind, so unclear in my speech? There's me, justifying someone else's prejudice and labeling myself a problem.

You know what else? When I examined my thought processes, after that incident, I realized I have a hard time picturing Regan portraying Willow over the course of the series. Whatever, she didn't  portray Willow, it doesn't matter. But what does matter is that I can't quantify in my own mind how much of that difficulty I have, picturing this other actress playing this part, comes from a lack of imagination, how much comes from her being a very different type of actress and it being difficult to picture her responding to certain developments, how much from other innocent concerns -- and how much comes from my own sizeist prejudices, the ones I didn't think I had.

I didn't mean to send this post off on a tangent, but what I'm trying to say is that Stephen Fry making a mistake is not the problem. Okay, it's not ideal, but his mistake wouldn't have to stand alone and piss people (like for example me) off, if he had taken the mistake and used it as a way to educate himself and others. (You know who did that? Emma Thompson. She's a friend of Roman Polanski, and she signed the petition asking to get him off the charge. A group of students -- from my university, which is awesome -- were like, dude, Emma, you look like you're trying to defend child rape. She took her name off the petition when that was pointed out, and made a statement explaining why. That? Was an awesome response.)

It's not about never making a mistake. It's not about trying to over explain everything, so that you can never be misinterpreted. It's about how you react when someone points out to you that something you said sounds douchey. It's about how you express your frustration when you are misinterpreted. (Or hey, owning your remarks, if you weren't misinterpreted.) It's about having respect for the people who respect you.