Category Archives: Stuff I found somwhere on an Internet.

Cosplaying: How Should I Feel?

As a person who’s actually tentatively planning a cosplay this year for LFCC – and as a person in the atheist community who’s been honestly fucking apalled by how stupid the whole “sex discrimination regulation” things have been at TAM! and such – then I feel like this has to be said:

“Cosplay is NOT Consent aims to educate the community by using the experiences of cosplayers, and convention staff to help put an end to unwanted harassment of convention attendees. We will work with convention owners to help bring comfort and safety back to fan events all around the world. “

All of this should also go without saying. So thank you for there actually being someone (well, a tumblr) saying so.

Hat tip to Jo, who wrote an article about Lolita culture. Go read it!

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My only post about Boston

God, what a horrible mess this is…

Look, I don’t want to talk about the bombings. I have nothing smart, clever or helpful to add to the discourse. It’s just a load of evil shit that I know OH SO VERY LITTLE ABOUT.

That said, I want to point you to my good friend Captain Raven, who has written what I thought was a very eloquent post on the criticisms some people have been making against the coverage of the Boston Marathon Bombings. Specifically, people who may have listened to Scroobius Pip – “Thou shalt give equal worth to tragedies that occur in non-english speaking countries as to those that occur in english speaking countries” – and have cried foul.

I’d urge you to read the post, which is short and well-reasoned, but to quote the man himself, here’s his own TL;DR:

“I think what I want to say with my ramblings here is this: If you have a problem with the media reporting about western problems only and you seek a more balanced news platform, learn to internet. I heard good things about http://www.aljazeera.com/ although I can’t comment about it personally. Never trust a single source, use your brain and compare different opinions. If you are religious, pray for all the people who suffer in this world. If you want to donate, donate for the cause that needs it the most and not the one that is mentioned on TV.

Don’t be a dick about how in other countries people have been suffering more than in Boston right now. Suffering can’t be counted in numbers. It is always the same amount of bad.”

 

Asking

Amanda Palmer makes me want to have a twitter account, just so I can see what she’s doing.

After watching this video, I looked at my last post – Claire Anne Carr, who was and is giving away something awesome, on bandcamp, a site which allows you to give what you want to artists who make stuff you like.

I also found a new email from the Humble Indie Bundle: an organization that allows you to pay what you want for dozens of games. You can give them a pittance, but loads of people choose to pay hundreds of pounds.

I can think of any number of fully funded kickstarters, and things that I want to give money to.* SMBC’s new space opera, and Anita Serkeesian’s “Tropes Vs Women In Games”. Ryan North’s “To Be Or Not To Be” got funded in about 24 hours! Most of these ended up so overfunded they had to completely change their business plan: I’m looking at you, Double Fine.

These sites aren’t really ways for me to pay, or save money. These are ways for me to give what little I have. They are also some of my favourite places on the internet. I think Amanda Palmer may have a point…

***

It’s possible that over the next few years, these things will all die down. Bandcamp, kickstarter, humble bundle, etc may all become less extraordinary. Not even go bankrupt, but get replaced by a more regulated and easily monetised system. Economists of the future, I beg you not to do this. Lets keep the internet as it is for a bit.

*Things that I will give money to, when I’m employed.

Covers = Important. Sexism = Bad.

Sorry I’ve been gone for so long. I need to get back into the swing of writing posts. However, I couldn’t not tell you about this. So enjoy!

The BBC has just put up possibly the most comprehensive and insightful article I think I’ve ever seen on their site – and that’s quite an achievement. It just happens to be about Feminism, Sexism and Sci-Fi/Fantasy novels. All of my favourite things!

Essentially, the article is about those ridiculously sexualised pictures on the covers of fantasy novels. (And Sci-Fi, although to my knowledge all modern Sci-Fi novels seem to have covers like this and this; landscapes and space-ships/vehicles with very few people, sexualised or otherwise, even present. A conversation for another day…)

And it mentions all the things that I would want to mention. Primarily, it talks about Jim Hines and Hawkeye. Now, though I find it very interesting that, in a post about feminism, the first person the writer strives to talk about is what some middle aged white bloke is doing, I suppose that is our purpose as allies. Sigh.

For the uninititated, Jim Hines is a fantasy writer with a lot of free time and good ideas; and the Hawkeye Initiative is a great idea by an artist with a lot of free time. And they both seem to have come up with the same idea at least semi-independently. Which is: Parody the Living Fuck out of Sexist covers.

Sexist covers like this.

And this.

And this.

The whole point is that if neither Jim Hines nor Hawkeye can look attractive or even comfortable imitating your cover, then there’s something wrong with it.

This is, of course, the perfect blend of “making laugh at an issue” and “making you aware of an issue” – the best way to get your point across. The point being that these covers are pointless and make us nerds look like complete assholes and sexually ignorant perverts. I’ve never bought a comic on the grounds of “PWITTY COVER WIV LADIEZ”*, and even I’d be embarassed about reading a book like that on the train.

Meanwhile, Tracy Hurley talks about why she thinks this happens, and I get to find out about her “Prismatic Art Collection”, a directory of artists who draw characters who are not just skinny white girls in bikinis and muscly white men with swords.

Since I am a lanky, weedy guy, I can’t really associate with muscley folks like Conan, and if my being catered to means that there are also more people drawing… you know, the entire rest of the gamut of skin tones, body shapes and levels of attractiveness that aren’t white, skinny and inhumanly attractive, then even better!

Rant over; you should go read the article, to congratulate and support the BBC for, like usual, taking the right stand on an issue, and making people aware of… well, the stuff in the article that you should be going to read.

***

Here are links to Jim Hines’ blog, where he regularly posts such pictures, and the tumblr of “The Hawkeye Initiative” are on the respective words back there.

And while you’re at it, check out Escher Girls, which is a site all about how these pictures are not just sexist, but bad art. Have fun!

(Thanks also to Pippa, aka Along This Line, who is awesome, and who linked me.)

* The closest I’ve perhaps come is “Empowered”, and I’d feel very embarassed reading that on the train.

Pale Blue Video in a Cold Night Sky

Hat tip to Pharyngula; this is one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen. Carl Sagan, break-ups, human loneliness and a really really weird barrista. And a GREAT cameo.

I’d stay and chat about it, but I have a german friend to say farewell to.

I can only love and tolerate so much…

[Trigger warning for a lot of stuff. Not here, but on some of the links. Mostly slurs and some rape jokes.]

Whilst browsing the blogs, I came across this post by Feminist Fiction, and it raised some similarities with recent developments in the skeptical community which I felt like sharing. But first, some background.

I am a brony. You all should know that. In fact, I am pleased to say that I am one of the guys mentioned in FF’s post as buying and proudly wearing my Twilight Sparkle and Rainbow Dash* badges. Because Twilight, Dash and the Mane Six all kick ass, and the brony/pegasister fandom is an awesome one – in my experience, it’s always been full of creativity, love, and care.

“Love”? On the internet hate-machine? What a novel idea!

So I was horrified to find out about the sort of abuse that went on at Everfree convention a while back. You really would think that this fandom should be free of misogyny. Transphobic slurs, molestation jokes and country matters prove otherwise.

Read the rest of this entry

Perspective is all

This is my favourite internet thing of the week. OK, OK – I know it hasn’t been much of a week, what with swimming and family taking priority over the internet and all, but I can also safely say that this will probably be my favourite thing next week.

Very few details are provided on the site, and the story is self contained, so I won’t say much. But here’s the gist: what if you got to listen to music for the first time, after being deaf all your life, only with terrible hearing aids for company? How would you react to the new beauty and wonder you had yet to experience?

“Obviously, I did the only sensible thing and went on a binge of music.”

Fuck yeah you did!

This is beautiful for many reasons – all of the experiences the writer has yet to enjoy, the social element he’d never experienced before, the wholeheartedness with which he has embraced music…

But the best thing for me is that moment when suddenly, music has gone from being a weird quirk of the hearing to being something he finally “got”.All art has beauty, but to see the beauty of art from the perspective of someone who up until recently couldn’t hear what all the fuss was about – from someone who was prevented from getting the whole picture; and to see it finally click? That is amazing.

I will be very curious to hear what he thinks, and will try to keep up with his findings/writings on the matter, and for the record, I think his plan to listen to music through the ages is ambitious and all the more brilliant for it.*

Oh, and I get to listen to the recommendations other people have posted. Yay!!

MUST. NOT. WAX. LYRICAL. ABOUT. MUSIC!

* And reminds me I should get back to my Dylan project.

The Hang of Music: Shady Business

Sorry for the terrible pun, but I had to use it. The voices in my head told me to.

Or something. Look; we’re about to get into some serious madness, because this week it is Eminem’s debut, “The Slim Shady LP”. Remember him, the guy with the chainsaw?

Is it even possible to get an uncensored version of this? Seems to defeat the point…

Read the rest of this entry

Feminist Frequency VS The World

Christ, I feel guilty for not commenting on this before. But I feel even guiltier that this has even ever fucking happened. My gender, and my culture of choice – geekery.

[Triggers for hate speech and threats of assorted kinds if you click on a couple of these links. But not right here, ‘cos I’m nice.]

I’m gonna open with this tweet from Caitlin Moran; reviewer, author, feminist icon and hilarious person. She is, in many ways, what I aspire to be.

 

Now on with the show! I have often talked to you about Feminist Frequency; and I have often talked to you about games. About a month ago, though, the two collided, and we’re only just now starting to get to see the full fallout.

Feminist Frequency’s Anita Sarkeesian, vlogger, writer, gamer and all round pop-culture nerd and awesome person, decided to make a kickstarter for a project that she’s working on – “Tropes vs Women in Video Games”. (Yes, she’s a troper too – is there anything she can’t do?)

Well guess who didn’t like that she was going to be talking about games? The underbelly of the internet; that’s who! That’s right, the same place that brought us MRAs brought us even more hate speech. Directed at Anita. What a joy. Read the rest of this entry

What I have read today…

While I am writing this week’s review – and while drunk, thanks to my boss’s “wine and book-club” club – I thought I would share with you some of the awesome things I have enjoyed today. I have been feeling of a particularly narrative bent, and so there seems to be a theme.

For example, after watching this week’s and last week’s Extra Credits, I was reminded of an old friend of mine. Well, less of an old friend, more like that guy you met at a party once, and really got on with, only to bump into him again at a particularly good pub a year later and properly bond.

It’s Film Crit Hulk, and this time they’re talking about “The Hero’s Journey”. And my do they* lay into it. And when I get a chance, I’ll be reading their similar treatment of the three act structure. Because why not?

Not this one. The other hulk on that site

On a similar note, I failed to comment when my friend and frequent commenter Rhiannon aka Feminist Fiction got reblogged around the place. I’m sorry, FF. But the main reason for that’s because the subject was my least favourite ASOIAF character, Sansa Stark. (Less unfavourited now, though.)

But an article about Brienne of Tarth’s knightly-ness? Hells yeah, I’m in! So yeah, read them both: but mainly the one about Brienne, though, because I’m announcing my biases.

Hey, both of those two people I linked are on WordPress – we’re like the WordPress crew! Unlike dan le sac, who’s recently left us in favour of an actual website and a solo album. Screw you, man, screw you! Also, buy dan le sac’s new album!

… Sorry, I don’t know what came over me…

* I’ve found it’s safer to not assume gender on the internet, and for good reason. (Especially tumblr, for the record.) If Film Crit Hulk offended by this, then smash you too!