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Tumblr has a problem with diverse media.


Turn the Page, Tumblr has a problem with diverse media..

This is an excellent article on diversity in media.  Especially how Tumblr users handle it.

I am a minority creator myself (biracial, mentally ill) and I’ll be the first to admit that hanging around tumblr has been helpful in learning how to examine my programming and how it shows up in my work. However, I possess a confidence— and arrogance— in my work that others do not, which allows me to press forward even when my inbox accuses my queer characters being “lip service” because they don’t have romantic arcs.

Is deep-sj tumblr happy with this model? Are we content to batter aspiring socially-conscious creators into abandoning the idea of creating altogether, while scores of white boys skim past your open condemnation of Urbance with a scoff, if they even read it at all?

Let’s talk about Urbance. Before I get right into it I have a related anecdote.

Some time ago, I recommended The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula LeGuin to a user seeking books with gender-nonbinary characters (the work in question contains characters who are, quite explicitly and viscerally, genderfluid). They immediately discarded the idea after reading its summary on goodreads. They didn’t want to read a book about “some white guys from Earth having to ~learn to accept~ gender noncomforming aliens and that being the entire arc of the story”.

Anyone who’s actually read Left Hand knows this is ludicrous, but for your benefit, the main character is black, and he is the only Earthborn human in the story; the Gethenians are described as ‘Inuit brown’ and are humanoid in every respect besides their unique sexual physiology. The core themes of the book are actually about exploring a society which doesn’t have a masculinity construct. Where everyone is both male and female. No time is spent by the (BLACK) protag being disgusted or crudely fascinated by the Gethenians; only with examining how his two-gendered social programming has led him to frequently prejudge and misunderstand them.

No, that wasn’t good enough. These barriers need to not exist, because we want diverse stories where LGBT and people of color don’t face prejudice, right?

Read the rest at the link.

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2015 in Life, randomness

 

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GamerGate strikes again


I used to go to a certain website because it happened to have a few funny videos and had some discussion on video games.  That site was the Escapist Magazine.  I eventually went from watching funny flash cartoons and video game based web series (from a pair of Australians) to watching Zero Punctuation, then Loading Ready Run, the Unksippable, then Escape to the Movies, The Big Picture, and finally Jim Sterling’s Jimquisition and Loading Ready Run’s Feed Dump (there was also the Escapist News Network, run by Loading Ready Run, but that moved over to Ctrl Alt Del or Penny Arcade, can’t remember which, been a while since I watched it).

About a month or so ago, Jim Sterling’s show, along with a show he did with Yatzhee (Zero Punctuation) was cancelled.  This past week, Escape to the Movies was axed and the week before, The Big Picture.

And there is an indication that pro-GamerGate supporters are behind this.  Those same individuals will decry that MovieBob and Jim Sterling were dumping all over the primary audience of the Escapist, but those same individuals must also have forgotten that they aren’t the majority.  Video games and the audience is changing.

But GamerGate got rid of MovieBob from the Escapist.  Sure, Bob said some problematic things (we all do at some point in time, we just have to recognize that).  I’ll agree to that as long as GamerGaters also admit something.  Their movement began as an attack against a woman because she had sex.  A whiny pissbaby of an ex-boyfriend got bent out of shape over it, and it became a movement of the most asinine.  But GamerGate, now thanks to the Escapist Magazine ditching Jim Sterling and MovieBob, has taken on a new hat (fedora or trilby).

The fascist aspect of censorship.  That’s right, GamerGate has now got censorship under it’s belt.  No freedom of speech for anyone unless it’s the type they like.  Nothing like adding that to your already ugly list of things GamerGaters don’t like.  Hell, they already have racism and sexism on their side.  May as well tag them with the big F for fascism now.  They’ve covered censorship, after all.

And you know what.  I really don’t give a shit if Jim Sterling has said some really awful things in the past.  Sterling can be pretty in your face, and sometimes I don’t agree with him.  I also don’t agree with Rush Limbaugh or Don Cherry and think they’re pretty horrible, but I don’t cry out that their shows should be pulled from the air.  GamerGate wants integrity in video game journalism, but only if it agrees with them.

Agree or disagree with Bob Chipman or Jim Sterling, doesn’t matter.  GamerGate got them pulled, which means they’ve achieved fascist standards of censorship.  No free speech for Bob or Jim, because they aren’t saying what we want them to say, would be something GamerGate would probably say just not in public.  Or hell, they probably would, considering that’s what a bunch of whiny pissbaby’s do.

To think, this began as one guy who got bent out of shape because his ex had sex.  And yes, I know she had sex with a guy who wrote game reviews.  That’s not the fuckin’ point.  He got bent out of shape because she had sex.  And now, GamerGate has become filled with censorship, scaring off newcomers into the gaming world, and basically setting back standards for gaming into the 1970s.

But I don’t expect GamerGate to change, because the supporters and the organization itself has it’s head firmly shoved up it’s ass.  Congratulations.  You wanted integrity.  But you went overboard and did what any authoritarian dictator does with those who don’t agree with them.  You censored them.  You silenced them.

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2015 in randomness

 

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87th Academy Awards


The Oscars have come and gone, just as they always have for me.  Not realizing it until it was all done.

But I’m able to catch up, thanks to Twitter and Tumblr.  The takeaways: American Sniper didn’t win shit, because it was a shitty movie, and white people still manage to stick it to minorities while attempting to sound like they’re sticking it to white people.

The evening began with Neil Patrick Harris’ little joke of “welcome to the best and the whitest… or rather brightest”.  Most will take that as a joke that the Academy’s are really racist and run by old white dudes.  Or, in reality, it could be taken as the Academy is aware of it’s racism but just doesn’t care.  Will this mean the end for NPH as host?  Probably not, because NPH still manages to check off the diversity box because he’s gay while still being incredibly white and also not a gay stereotype which most homophobes still view as the typical gay person.

The Awards weren’t totally white, however, as Alejandro G. Iñárritu picked up two awards.  One for Original Screenplay and one for Best Director.  And he was still made the butt of a joke identifying him as Mexican.  We can’t walk away from garbage like that, can we.  We just can’t celebrate someone’s triumph without ripping it down to make a stereotype out of someone.

Are the Academy Awards relevant anymore?  They stopped being relevant for me years ago.  At one time, it was a point of pride to have that “Nominated For Best Picture” or “Best Picture” sticker on the video box, displayed proudly as if to see “you need to see this movie”.  Now, social media does so much better at showcasing what’s good (Selma, Birdman, Foxcatcher, Big Hero 6) and what’s shit (50 Shades of Grey, American Sniper).

There was one good thing about the Awards (aside from Alejandro G. Iñárritu picking up two).  Women interviewed on the red carpet aren’t being subdued anymore with the vapid questions that red carpet interviewers are asking.  They showed they would rather be talking about what they’re working on instead of what they’re wearing.  They’ve been doing it for a while, but now it’s becoming a lot more vocal.

In the end, the Oscars are one big disappointment, sort of like meeting your family for some holiday meal and finding out they invited that one really racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic uncle that you can’t stand and always questions your career choices.  The one your really want to tell to go fuck themselves but you can’t without starting some massive fight.

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2015 in randomness

 

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Have we become more or less racist?


It’s a question of how society views racial minorities (and even women).

Let’s take a look at history.  It’s been relatively recent in history that the Civil Rights Movement took place.  When African Americans were given rights to own land, live where they want, look for work where they want and to even vote.  During the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, there was even a decent amount of representation regarding people of colour on television.  Movies was a bit different (but that’s something which has been this way for some time and even today).

It seems now that we’re dealing with an extremely higher degree of racism today than we were 30 years ago.  Or are we?  Are we just living in a world where social media allows us to see these things at break neck speed?  I’m not so sure about that, but we are given a closer glimpse into people’s lives and their attitudes with regard to race.  During the 80’s if you said something horribly racist it was often said among close friends in the privacy of your own home.  But today, those feelings can be addressed online without a second thought (and often is the case where those who say things like that don’t stop and think about the consequences).  All too often, those who say these incredibly racist things will back out of it with equal speed, either deleting a tweet (and failing to remember that the internet is forever) or claiming their twitter account or facebook feed was hacked (I’m sure that there have been legitimate hacks, but that excuse has been used once too often by a lot of different people on a wide range of subjects).

So the question becomes, are we more racist now than we were during the 70’s and 80’s, or is it that we just see these things more thanks to social media?  It’s apparent after 9-11 the number of racist attacks (both verbal and physical) against followers of Islam increased.  And that spike hit again when American Sniper came out, gaining some twisted Jaws Effect (the Jaws Effect was so named for the movie Jaws in 1975, before the movie sharks were not seen as a problem but after the movie shark hunts began and in many cases to the point of near extinction).  Are we just seeing what’s been there all along thanks to social media?  Is it merely nothing new or are we dealing with an increase of racism the likes of which we haven’t seen in decades?

One thing I do know, we are getting this news faster and more accurately thanks to social media.  Twitter, tumblr and facebook were the first places I heard of the execution of three young Muslim Americans.  It’s obvious it was a hate crime and not a parking dispute.  I find it extreme why someone would use a gun in a parking dispute (which there alone should indicate how much of a psychotic Hicks was).  Even worse is the number of media outlets lining up to say that yes indeed it was a parking dispute, adding only more fuel to the fire that America doesn’t want to be seen as a hate filled nation.

But the rest of the world is watching, and from where I, and a lot of others stand, it is pretty hate filled.

 
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Posted by on February 19, 2015 in Life, randomness

 

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Sunday Morning Snow


Because I can’t post photos on Tumblr for some reason (seriously, I spent 40 minutes waiting for the post button not to be grey), I’m posting this on WordPress.  So to my tumblr followers, there’s a link below.  Click it.

It snowed all day yesterday.  Well, for a good portion of it.  I’m thinking I’m going to have to shovel in my driveway behind my car.

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One thing was really great, though.  The sun poking through the trees.  Looked awesome this morning.

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Posted by on February 15, 2015 in Fun, Life, photos, randomness

 

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North Carolina shootings


This week three young people are dead after an extremist murdered them in their own home in an execution style killing.  Craig Hicks, described as a militant atheist, stands accused of three counts of first degree murder in the terrorist style executions of three Chapel Hill residents, 23-year-old Deah Shaddy Barakat, his wife, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21, and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19.  Reports say that the married couple lived next door to Hicks, and felt very threatened with him.  Other reports are saying that Hicks went mad over a parking incident.

But lets ignore the fact that Hicks also had a healthy dose of Islamaphobia.  He is reported to have created Anti-Muslim memes, wrote Anti-Muslim posts online.  Oh yeah, the three murder victims; they were all followers of Islam.

Please, please defend this shooting.  I’d really love to see how the right wing defends it.  How they defend the lack of news coverage for ten fuckin’ hours.  That there was nothing about this outrageous murder.  If the roles were reversed, if it was a Muslim man who killed three white Christian people, then the news networks would have been all over it.  The suspect wouldn’t be a suspect, he would have been guilty of murder before a trail.  In Hicks’ case, he is still being labeled with “allegedly”.  That he allegedly killed the three in execution style with one bullet through the head.

And please, let me know how he was in fact a long gunman, a lone wolf with a troubled past.  How there’s no way the incredible amounts of Islamaphobia on Fox News or propaganda movies like American Sniper in no way affected him to take the step and murder three people.  Media affects us all.  Movies affect us all.  Books affect us all.  Don’t hand me a bullshit line that they don’t.

Three people are dead.  I would hope beyond hope that Craig Hicks rots in prison for this murderous crime.  For the rest of his life.  And then he can rot in hell.

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2015 in Life, randomness

 

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Random Friday


Today is Friday the 13th!  What better way to celebrate the day before Valentine’s Day than with a slasher film fest.  Make your Valentine smile by presenting him or her with the entire Friday the 13th series!  Here’s a roundup of crap I posted originally on tumblr.  And wait for it, because later today there’s gonna be a rant about crappy things that happened this week (namely, in North Carolina).

Also…

On the news today

Sun News Media, otherwise known as Fox News North, the extremely right wing cable news network in Canada, is now going off the air.

The cable news company, owned by Quebecor and also part of the Sun Newspaper Group, has been looking for buyers to purchase the struggling hews network for sometime.

Naturally, supporters of the network blamed the CRTC for not granting the news channel the same access to subscribers as similar news networks for CBC and CTV.  But while Sun News was available to 5.1 million Canadians, the network only attracted 8,000 viewers at any given time.

Sun News Network official went off the air this morning at 5:00 am ET.

Source

And…

Weird dreams make for odd story ideas

Yes, I’m going to describe a dream… sort of nightmare… which became rather comical.

Last night I dreamed my house was haunted.  Not just little spooks that say “boo”, I’m talking blood dripping from the walls, girl crawling out of my TV nightmarish stuff.

Except, at some point in the nightmare I realized it was a nightmare.  And to the girl crawling from my TV (which I don’t own one, it just was in my dream) I actually said at one point “if you’re gonna stay here, then you’re pulling your weight and paying rent”.

So, I suddenly came up with an idea for a story whereby three ghost haunt a house, but the guy who owns it ends up becoming sort of okay with that fact.  And the four of them live together as … kind of creepy roommates.

And I really have one scene in my head, a description of the outside of the house and everything’s quite.  Then suddenly there’s a muffled shout of “stop making the walls bleed, do you realize how hard that is to get out of the carpet”.

You know what’s great about waking up at 5:00 am on a Friday morning before a long weekend?

Not much, to be honest.  Coffee, maybe.

Looks at these adorable fennec foxes!

Because it’s Friday, and we need something adorable to look at!

That’s it!  If you’re in Canada, and especially Saskatchewan, enjoy the holiday Family Day long weekend.

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2015 in Fun, Life, randomness

 

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