I’m Just Not Impressed

Am I supposed to be?

Posts Tagged ‘quick takes

Things that are pissing me off this morning.

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So, here’s the deal – I’m 34 weeks pregnant, I feel like a whale, my back hurts and I really really really don’t want to end up with preeclampsia and on bed rest in the next three – six weeks, so I’m trying to keep my stress levels down. Evidently, part of what this means is that instead of engaging in controversial discussions in my usual online haunts, I’m going to get it all out here and hope my annoyance dissipates in the act of more general ranting.

So, lucky you, my handful of readers, or something like that. Anyway, without further ado:

1. So, the esteemed Governor of Virginia has decided that it’s not only appropriate to issue a proclamation about Confederate History Month (April Fools? Please?), but to do so in a way that erases all references to slavery as being essential to “the Confederate way of life”, but to tie it into Civil War tourism. How family friendly…for certain values of family that are somewhat more limited than my preferred definition. And how proud am I as a VA resident of more than a decade.

2. Amanda Palmer. I suppose to be over her, I’d have to first be into her, and the main reason she’s even on my radar screen is because of Neil Gaiman and various associations therefrom. But really. Her public statements have started to read like a checklist from Stuff White People Do:
-Misuse of the term “irony” to justify comparing product placement to giving money to the KKK? Check.
-Appropriation of voices of oppression?
-Veiled allusions to economic slavery?
-Appropriation of artforms giving voice to non-privileged people?
-All of the above wrapped in a bundle of “people are so over sensitive and just don’t get me”? Check, check and check.

There’s a whole ‘nother post bubbling there about artists and the current culture of immediate access and how that changes the way that we interact with the people who make the things that we enjoy and effects how we are even able to enjoy them (which I started exploring here, actually). But that will have to wait.

Written by emandink

April 7, 2010 at 9:17 am

Real pain is being a woman…

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…not, you know, actual inflicted violence.

Been a while since I’ve written anything, but I stumbled upon this while perusing Andrew Sullivan’s “The Daily Dish” and I just can’t let it go.

Now, first I think it is wonderful and admirable that Britain’s National Centre for Domestic Violence is making an issue of domestic violence against men. And I understand that they are trying to get at the very real issue of men fearing being “viewed as less of a man” for admitting to being a victim (the implication is .

But is it really necessary to show a male victim of domestic violence as being made into a woman (or read alternatively, being completely un-sexed)? Not only does the accompanying image completely reinforces the very concepts of masculinity that the ad purports to be trying to counter by portraying  being a woman or woman-like as bad or inferior and something to be considered  shaming, but it is also completely cis-centric, ignoring the very real problem of domestic and other violence against transfolk of any identification.

Written by emandink

April 1, 2010 at 9:05 am

And the SMTP* award goes to…

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Today’s award for Spectacularly Missing the Point goes to House Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) for the following dazzling brilliance during a debate about whether to grant same-sex partners of federal employees the same benefits that married (opposite sex, natch) patners may receive:

“Doesn’t it discriminate in terms by giving same-sex couples greater federal benefits than opposite sex couples who may not be married?”

To which, I can really, only say, “Wha? What part of the fact that SAME SEX COUPLES CANNOT GET MARRIED IN MOST STATES DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND, DUMBASS?!?!?!?!”

Thankfully, Virginia Democrat Gerry Connolly was slightly more eloquent:

“The screaming contradiction of that question is that marriage is available to people in that situation and it is not in all but a handful of states to those of same-sex partnerships so that’s why you have to look at other ways of trying to address the issue.”

Really, why is this so hard to understand?

* No, not those.

Written by emandink

July 9, 2009 at 9:57 am

Posted in Gay Rights, Law, Politics

Tagged with , , ,

Anger is an energy.

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(Originally titled “I think you owe me a great big apology” – a quote from the NIN song “Terrible Lie”. He has sort of apologized for the “plump” remark, to be fair.)

So, Trent Reznor has decided to hang up his twitter hat. That’s nice. Not something I’d even really notice, since I’ve not been a big Nine Inch Nails fan for 15 years or so, if not for the acquaintance who pointed out this charming paragraph:

Looks like the Metal Sludge contingency has discover Twitter! Finally! For those of you that don’t know what this is, please let me explain. Metal Sludge is the home of the absolutely worst people I’ve ever come across. It’s populated mainly by unattractive plump females who publicly fantasize about having sex with guys in bands. Kind of like a role-playing game where people NOBODY will fuck make up stories about their incredible sexual encounters with people they WISH they could fuck. It would be kind of funny in a sad and pathetic way except the fun doesn’t stop there – hate and good old-fashioned outright blatant racism are also encouraged to spice things up and remind you how truly ugly these scourges are. TRULY ugly on the inside (the outside is obvious).

Ugly on the inside, indeed. Now, I know next to nothing about Metal Sludge and the Wiki is less than helpful. Nor do I really care. And maybe the majority of the people posting behind that fabulous page requiring an affirmation of the First Amendment are truly abhorrent, unpleasant people who no one really would want to wile away an hour or three with. I have not a clue (if they are truly obsessed with any band or celebrity to the point of sending death threats and hate mail and blatant racism, then, really, I wouldn’t want to invite them to a party).

But, if that’s the case, then why, pray tell, is is necessary to comment on their physical appearance? Why the fat-hating nastiness about the inherent unattractiveness of “plump” women. If they are truly such abhorrent specimens of humanity, it shouldn’t matter whether they are supermodels or, well, not supermodels. Making nasty claims about people’s appearance and supposed lack of sex life is pretty damn ugly too. I don’t care who you are.

EDITED TO ADD:
Apparently Reznor did clarify his remarks here:

Just glanced at this stuff. May I clarify:
I have no issue with PLUMP people and I apologize if some of you incorrectly inferred I was equating being overweight to being unworthy. I used that term for two reasons: one – these cunts on MS portray themselves as in a very inaccurate way, because they can. It’s their one place they can wield a little power and escape their pathetic lives. Two – I knew it would hurt them and it most definitely has.
Place my comments in context. If you haven’t seen the type of comments we’ve been getting and the sheer level of ignorance, you have no reference in which to comment on this.

I know MOST of you are not a part of this and I didn’t mean to offend you – this situation has angered and saddened me.

And THAT is it from me on this topic. 

So, these folks actively misrepresent themselves (something which is clearly extremely rare on these here internets). I do not begrudge Reznor his anger. I do not begrudge him the loathing he has for people who send racist tirades about his fiancee or who send death threats or who are by all evidence rude, unpleasant, horrible people.

 I do, however, hold him to the same standard I would hold anyone – that mocking of appearance and sexual attractiveness, while easy and appealing – is still problematic, no matter how abhorrent the subject of the mockery.

Written by emandink

June 17, 2009 at 2:40 pm

The third sign of the simacrulum.

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Or: meta, within meta, within meta. Or:in which I blog about blogging.

I think every blogger, deep down, must wish to actually develop a following – a community of people who care about what they write and who not only view the blogger as helping them learn something but who, through their participation help the writer learn as well.

Note the shift in terms there, since I’m not at all sure it’s limited to blogging. Here, in 2009, anyone who has access to the internet can grab a soapbox. It may be tiny, it may be huge, it may be one voice pitching into the void, or it may be a community.

Maintaining community is hard. I know this as a moderator in forums where I have no direct responsibility for providing content, but “merely” keep my eyes open for trolls or unsafe comments or inappropriate posts.

Maintaining a blog – at least one that is more than a personal journal – with thoughtful, researched content and original ideas and supporting links – is also hard work. Really, I had no idea what it would take to regularly post here – and clearly I do not. I constantly have ideas in my head for posts I want to make; I have a whole series about my trip to India, for example, that I’ve wanted to write about for almost three months. Just this past week, I’ve thought about at least half a dozen things that would make interesting posts, but I just don’t have the time or the energy or the focus.

This is not my life. It is not what I do. I spend hours every day working at a job that I enjoy and that pays me well and I am immensely thankful for that.

This also means that I am immensely thankful for those people who do have the time to build and maintain the communities that give me hope and inspiration and the feeling that this all might be worth something. I’m thinking mostly right now of Shakesville, and the gigantic effort that Melissa and her contributors must put into making that place what it is. And it is a place. It may be virtual, but it is still real.

And the same goes for at least a dozen other sites where I pop in from time to time and my tweeps and readers and, hell, I have to get to the “real” job, so if you think this is about you, then it probably is. But I want you to know, this is no less “real” to me and I don’t think it ever could be again.

Thank you.

Written by emandink

June 10, 2009 at 8:05 am

Further to my last…

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There’s an interesting conversation going on about the Fairey case over here at Larry Lessig’s blog.  Larry has a very specific perspective on this, to be sure, but the conversation itself – and the legal tactics under consideration – is still pretty diverse.

Written by emandink

February 18, 2009 at 1:35 pm

Posted in Art, Law

Tagged with , ,

Things I love the sound of:

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President Barack Hussein Obama.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Shivers, I tell you.

Written by emandink

January 22, 2009 at 9:24 am