ranuel: (Bite Me)

Text of an email I sent to Donor Services at the Paralized Veterans of America.

 
Rant ahead )
 

ranuel: (Default)
UPDATE!
$Spyed has announced that they WILL be changing the option effective today.

http://spyed.deviantart.com/journal/36047191/

Based on past encounters with TPTB at DA I totally did not expect this and I did not expect him to be so respectful about it. I hope those that work under him take his lead in the future.

ORIGINAL POST

Nokari a "Senior Member" has added his own hateful comments to the situation:
 
Read more... )
ranuel: (Default)
A while back, at least a year or so, KrisCynical posted a lovely picture to DeviantArt of a twenty something Inuyasha and Kagome snuggling in bed under the blankets. The last chapter of the manga had come out in which we see Kagome graduate from high school and return to the past to marry Inuyasha. This was one of the pictures Kris was inspired to do based on that.

It was deleted for being kiddie porn on the grounds that the characters had been underage for most of the series and that even with the final chapter of them as adults about to start a new life together they would always be considered underage by DA and any pictures of them as adults would violate the "aging up" rule against depicting child characters as adults in sexual situations.

There was a major stink that got nowhere with the mods and one mod in particular expressed his view that we are all perverts who were into children.

That nude bondage photos of girls who were at best barely legal regularly got featured on the front page didn't prevent this moralizing.

Now their skewed moral code has made itself apparent in a change in the profile settings. New users no longer have the option of not revealing their "sex" they must chose male or female. If you don't flag one or the other you cannot set up an account. A reasonable request by a user who does not fit either bucket has been met with the same lack of customer care and outright scorn that we did only this time it's a lot more personal and nasty.

http://transfinite.dreamwidth.org/215469.html?page=1&view=762797#comments


I haven't posted anything new to my account since the incident with Kris. I haven't closed it because I still follow a number of artists there but I don't spend a penny there and I highly recommend that if you go there you use adblock and check to see if you can buy prints from the artist directly instead of letting DA take their cut. If enough people stop giving them money they will have to either start listening to the users or shut down and make way for a site that will.



ranuel: (Default)
This is my answer to a meme started by Macavitykitsune. It will contain strong language and talk about nasty things that could be triggering to some and is not in the least funny. If you're here for links to cool fanfics, videos, or pictures of naked men come back tomorrow.
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Click for rant )So here I go. Christina posted the whole rant and made additions in red but the original post is available now (just click on Macavitykitsune's name above) so I'll just take out the bits of the list that don't apply to me. My stuff starts with the It's not okay list with a modification of Macavitykitsune's first line.

So here's something every woman hears in her life, over and over and fucking over again, until it's drilled into our heads and falls from our mouth as automatically as our eyelids blink. "I'm grateful; it could be worse." My entire fucking life, I've had this statement flung at me, been subjected to mental and emotional and sometimes physical violence until I parrot it faithfully for people to hear. And I am done being grateful for things that a reasonable human being would take, not merely for granted, with all the patronising permission of that bloody word, but for deserved, for being a thinking, feeling being.

Are there women out there who have had it worse than me? Of fucking course. I am not going to argue that for a moment. There are millions - billions - of women out there who have experienced horrors that I can only extrapolate my reactions to, from what little financial, mental, physical and sexual harassment I have had happen to me.

This should not, and will no longer, make me grateful to the men around me, and the society I live in, that these things have not happened to me. These are not things that should happen to anyone, and asking me to be grateful for them is a slap in the face to all the women who are working and have worked to ensure that it does not. It is a slap in the face to the best humanity can be, for saying that the default of every rational being on this planet is to rape and pillage and murder and spiritually crush each other in a bloody frenzy, all their lives. It is a slap in the face to the very concepts of equality and freedom and justice, by making them inaccessible privileges instead of inalienable rights. Being grateful for the fact that I've been spared these things is implicitly accepting that I probably deserved them. Thanking society for its gracious mercy for not subjecting me to horrors most men never have to contemplate in their lives, for sparing my worthless self the abuse I so clearly deserve for being female. And I am done perpetuating the existence of this outrageous and disgusting concept, even by a second.
I am not grateful that I have never been raped.
I am not grateful that I have never been abused by a partner.
I am not grateful that I have never been sexually abused.
I am not grateful that I have never been assaulted by groups.
I am not grateful that I have never been forced to marry against my will.
I am not grateful that I have never been forced to carry a foetus to term, or abort a foetus I wanted to keep.
I am not grateful that I have never been forcibly impregnated or sterilised.
I am not grateful that I have never been subjected to corrective rape/assault for my sexuality.
I am not grateful that I have never been threatened with having children taken away from me if I did not comply with the community's religious requirements.
I am not grateful that I have never been made to defer to men simply for being men.
I am not grateful that I have never been stripped of my rights as a human being in favour of according those rights to a man.
I am not grateful that I have never been forced into any profession - or out of one.
I am not grateful that I have never been forbidden from seeking employment.
I am not grateful that I have never been denied education.
I am not grateful that I have never been denied food, shelter, water, clothing.
I am not grateful that I have never been barred from appropriate and timely medical care on legal or religious grounds.
I am not grateful that I have never been denied freedom of movement.
I am not grateful that I have never been religiously coerced to abandon any of my basic morals.
I am not grateful that I have never been denied access to the outside world.

None of these things that have not happened to me make any of the things that have happened to me one bit less wrong, less twisted, less damaging. They are far less severe, less dehumanising than the things I listed above, but - and this is an important but - the fact that that is supposed to make these things okay strikes me as remarkably like an abuser saying "What's the matter, baby? I could have broken your arm instead of twisting it, you know." So here, have the flip side. These things are not all right, will not ever be all right, and I refuse to ever think of them as appropriate again. Not all of these are still happening - most aren't, in fact - but the fact remains that they have happened.

It is not all right that I have been beaten, slapped, pinched, bitten and hit in the head with hardcover books in school.
It is not all right that I was also spit on, called vulgar names, and had my things stolen or destroyed WHILE both myself and my tormentors were usually near one or more adults who were responsible for us
It is not all right that some of those adults actively participated in the bullying I endured while some just refused to take action to stop it.
It is not all right that I have been forbidden to see a relative who I was close to because of a feud between our mothers. I see her occasionally now that we're adults but the friendship we have isn't the same.
It is not all right that my school system considered calling all the 5th grade girls into a class where we watched a film strip on menstruation and were given starter packs of pads as adequate sex education and then did little to help those girls a few years later as far too many of them ended up pregnant and dropping out of high school.
It is not all right that an available spot in the then new gifted program went to the white doctor's son even though I had an IQ of 135 and scored in the 95th percentile for reading.
It is not all right that the school refused to give my mother my test scores when she asked and she had to risk her job several years later and pull the file when she was substituting there in order to find out what they were.
it is not all right that my sixth grade teacher, one of those who actively bullied me, refused to get me tested for a learning disability when I consistently failed spelling tests while getting those 95th percentile scores in reading comprehension. I was obviously just not doing the homework in order to spite her.
It's not right that I ended up diagnosing myself while taking college Developmental Psych classes after years of thinking that it was my fault somehow and years of internalized feelings of stupidity had helped take away my academic confidence.
It is not all right that, even after explaining to my boyfriend that I have occasional bouts of depression and that they usually didn't seem to have a real trigger, it was just screwed up brain chemistry, that he dumped me when I got depressed after a week of accusing me of being angry at him over something and just sulking and refusing to tell him what.
It is not all right that a long time "friend" cut me out of her life because I wasn't cooperating in her attempts to cheer me up even though I'd forgiven her for actively going after a guy that she knew I was in love with a few years earlier.
It is not all right that my father's alcoholism meant that almost all holidays after I was 12 or 13 ended with him getting drunk and getting into a screaming fight with my mother and I so that I still dread holidays even though he's been dead for several years.
It is not all right that one Christmas he won a TV and when he got home he told me I could have it to replace the black and white set in my room only to then declare that it was going into their room and he was just testing me to see if I only loved him when he gave me stuff. The fact that I was disappointed was "proof" that I didn't love him.
it is not all right that he once staged a suicide attempt in another test that might have really ended in his death if I hadn't walked in on him just as he finished taking the pills so we got him to the hospital in time to pump most of them out before they dissolved.
It is not all right that my father believed my cousin when he swore he was innocent of attempting to rape his step daughter even after my mother and I intercepted the court paperwork and read his confession.
It is not all right that my father let us know plainly that we were being unreasonable bitches to not allow my cousin to sleep in our spare room when the court ordered that he couldn't live at home while the step daughter was there after we read the papers.
It is not all right that years later my father thought I was being a heartless bitch for refusing to go to Puerto Rico with him to see the family once I found out that that cousin would be staying at the same small house.
It is not all right that I spent over a year with nearly daily migraines and joint pain without any doctor diagnosing the cause and only got relief when I figured out that I had a food sensitivity all on my own and eliminated the cause.
It is not all right that I once spent several weeks with clear symptoms of poisoning (from some pesticide that spilled) without any doctor diagnosing the cause and increasing hints that the burning and tingling in my hands that was so bad I couldn't sleep without taking something was all in my head.
It is not all right that doctors as a tribe tend to discount the things that women tell them even the women doctors.
It is not all right that once you have been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder they are even less likely to listen to you.
it is not all right that there are probably other things that have happened that are not all right but in order to get by I locked them down away from my daily thoughts so I could survive and now I can't pry them loose. It took several days to get this far.
It is not all right that I still almost didn't list some of them because I found myself thinking "Well, that's not all that bad in the grand scheme of things" before catching myself. The programing runs deep
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ranuel: (Default)
Got this link from [livejournal.com profile] cleolinda's twitter feed and it expresses everything I might want to say about the current discussion on bullying: 

http://kateharding.info/2010/10/06/on-good-kids-and-total-fucking-assholes/

Lots of use of the F word so not work safe.

ranuel: (Default)
Now, I'm not really part of this fandom (yet). I've only watched the first disk of season 1 and although I enjoyed it and plan to watch more I'm not camped out at the library waiting for the next disk to come in either. I was familiar enough with it that when my friends mentioned the new Avatar movie at dinner a few months ago I thought for a couple of confused minutes that they were talking about the Airbender movie not the James Cameron thing.

But this isn't about fandoms, this is about hurting kidsRead more... )
ranuel: (Keh!)
Okay, I've been hearing pretty much since July how that now that the series is over and they haven't announced plans to restart the anime adaptations that Inuyasha is a dying fandom. "Oh, woe!" the cry has gone out. We'll have to be less picky in our awards communities now so we won't drive away the few remaining authors willing to put effort into a thing of the past. Everyone is moving on.

Bollocks!

Read more... )
ranuel: (English Is)

This morning, to my horror, I discovered what I will hence forth refer to as Fangirl Southern. 

I will not name the fic or the author. The author has in fact written some very good stuff in a variety of fandoms (none of them IY) and I'd recommend several of them to anybody. 

However, the child writes one of the worst fake southern accents I've seen. It stirred thoughts of mayhem in my Cracker heart that the otherwise well plotted and original story could not quell. 

If you are not Southern and you decide that you must write about a Southern character then please, please, run it by someone who is Southern before you post. We're easy to find. To get you started in the right direction here are a few pointers. 

1. Y'all is plural. Always. It can be used when addressing a single individual but only when that person is being addressed as a representative of a group. Having a waitress tell a man who walks into her restaurant "Y'all sit down and I'll be right with you" is wrong. Having her tell the guy who's there to collect from the owner on a bill "I done told y'all he won't be here until after four" is right. Y'all in the second example does not refer to the bill collector but to the agency he represents.  Y'all is a contraction of "you all" the apostrophe therefore comes after the y. 

2. There is not one Southern accent. Some of us use a soft or absent R  sound  ("The wah is fah away") while others have a hard R and insert it into words that are not spelled with an R ("It'll all come out in the warsh"). The way we pronounce the pronoun "I" changes from region to region as well. We don't all use the "ah" sound. 

3. If you get 1 or 2 wrong you will immediately out yourself as a poser to any native of the South who reads your work.

4. All of this is available in articles online and in books on linguistics. Research dialects just like you would anything else you aren't familiar with. 

5. Just because some actor from New York or California talked a certain way when playing a Southerner does not mean HE did his research. Don't be lazy and get caught perpetuating a mistake. 

6. Avoid writing things in phonetic dialect as much as possible. It's annoying to a lot of people and gives you more rope to hang yourself with. 

ranuel: (Mini Me)

I love the world of Pern and it's characters. I have read almost all of the books and I also own the People of Pern art book. This is a truly amazing work with portraits of all the major and a lot of the minor characters from the series. The original of Master Harper Robinton was purchased by Anne McCaffrey and has a place of honor in her home. If you like Pern at all then you really should see if your local library has this and go drool.

I say local library and not a bookstore or Amazon because I don't think I'll be spending any money on anything Pern related anymore unless it's used and the money won't be going to the McCaffreys.

I say the McCaffreys and not Anne because, while I still like and admire the author, her son, who seems to be managing the business end of things now, is an ass and I really don't want to be contributing to his inheritance.

This link

http://www.studio360.org/yore/show080401.html

EDIT 9/7/16 Studio 360 reorganized their site so the above linnk is dead. Here is the new one:
http://www.wnyc.org/story/151040-fan-fiction/

Takes you to an episode of the radio program Studio 360 which you can listen to if you have a halfway decent connection. The Fan Fiction piece from this episode features his harassment of a fan artist for putting pictures of dragons up on the 'net.

Now, The People of Pern book that I love so much had it's start with an artist showing Anne her own fan work at a convention art show and Anne loving it so much that she not only bought one of the paintings but gave the artist a chance to be published professionally and yet, here we have her business manager son threatening legal action over work that isn't even directly derived from the series but was original work that the artist had done after being inspired to draw dragons by being active in the fandom.

He has a right to defend legitimate copyright infringement, and it's his duty as her manager, but as described this wasn't copyright infringement. He strikes me as a bully who is more interested in maximizing his own profit from something he didn't create than he is in his mother's own love of fostering creativity among her fans.

I figure Anne probably has enough to live on for the rest of her life at this point so not spending money on Pern won't hurt her, and if I'm wrong and I hear about her being in financial difficulty I'll change my mind and I'm sure anybody reading this would do the same. I might even, once my mad wears off, decide to continue to buy her stuff as long as she lives but not past that point.

It's a shame someone as nice as she is should have to deal with a son like that.


Edited to fix a typo and insert something I meant to and didn't.

ranuel: (Keh!)
My employer made a big donation to a local charity's fund raiser and so there were a few free tickets available for those who wanted them. It was an art show with live jazz so it sounded like a fun evening. If I'd have had to pay for my ticket it would have cost $35.

I realized that I hadn't been clothes shopping in over a year and my daily wardrobe is showing it and my dressier clothes are still in storage so I hit the mall and somehow between Pennys and Belks I lost my mind.

On the plus side I got two skirts, two belts, a blouse, three pairs of shoes, and a pair of tights for around $100 because EVERYBODY had clearance sales. On the negative side I spent $100 by being motivated to attend a FREE event. But then again all of it is stuff I can wear to work and I needed new work clothes so I guess it's okay. But still. Eep!

The event itself was a bit of a let down. The music was excellent but there was nowhere to sit down and listen and there is only so long I could stay on my feet in even 1 inch heels when I haven't worn any at all for nearly a year. The AC wasn't keeping up with the crowd so that added to the discomfort. There wasn't as much on display as I'd thought and it took me less than half an hour to see all the stuff. I went back and browsed through some of it again and killed another 15 minutes. There was an impressive buffet but most of it was things I either don't eat or can't eat. I did get a nice chocolate dipped strawberry though.

There was a mix of really good and really lame art but the thing that got me was the prices on all of it. Some of it was within my personal artistic ability to produce but I'd long since given up on painting because I didn't think I had any talent and if I had ever had the idea to produce decorative wall hangings from scavenged junk I wouldn't have had the balls to charge $150 for it.

There was a photographer there who had some pieces that weren't as good as some of my best who was selling large prints in cheap frames for $600.

One silversmith had some jewelry that wasn't nearly as good as stuff I've seen at SCA events and SF cons that was selling for astronomical prices.

Understand, I'm not heaping scorn on these people, I'm amazed that they had the guts to keep on with their art and charge those sorts of prices. Chutzpah really is more important than talent when it comes to being a professional artist.
ranuel: (Keh!)

Or I Take Another Stab at Explaining About Unfinished Fics.

 

I get a thrill when I get an email notice that the next chapter of a story I'm following has been posted. At last my curiosity about what happens next will be satisfied, if only temporarily.

I like knowing that comments posted to a work in progress are useful. While the work is still being created comments can give the author encouragement that he or she is on the right track and give them new things to think about.

And yet, I try to avoid reading unfinished stories as much as possible. Right now there are only a handful that I'm actively following.

 

Why?  )


ranuel: (Default)

A while back fans of Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea series got a slap in the face from Scifi channel and there was a storm of outrage that even I, who don't get cable, and never got beyond the first book in the series heard about.

Well, I call it a storm but as storms go it was more a sudden thunderstorm with hail over in the next county than even a category one hurricane. In fact it was pretty limited to a small corner of fandom and was promptly forgotten by just about everyone else.

I haven't seen the miniseries they made but I haven't read one review that was kind to it. Everyone pretty much agrees that they took good written fantasy and created standard made for TV dreck out of it. They apparently didn't even bother keeping to the plot of the books and they made major changes in the characters.

One of which was taking the hero, Ged, and making him White.

 

ranuel: (Default)

On March 22, 2004 Neil Gaiman posted a link  to a piece by a woman calling herself “Jane Austen” in his blog. I'll wait while you read his comments and her rather long whine. Oh! And don't fail to follow the link to the Bookslut comments too. You'll have to scroll down a bit to get to them but it's worth it.

Now, maybe I was prepared to be less than sympathetic going in based on the comments in Gaiman's blog but I really wanted to smack Jane and tell her to grow up.

The declaration “I want to be a professional writer” changes meaning depending on who is speaking, and where they are on their journey towards meeting that goal. For this woman I suspect that it meant that she wanted a life of artistic freedom where she would carefully craft prose that would resonate in the souls of her readers. It could be serious or silly by turns but it would speak to universal themes. In other words, she wanted to be an artist. It is certainly possible to create works of artistic merit and sell them and to do so while staying true to your inner muse without compromising your vision, but as she learned the hard way, don't give up your day job.

She frequently mentions the business aspects of publishing in her article but then proceeds to demonstrate that she has failed to comprehend what that means to her as a provider of products for that business. Instead she wails about how awful it is that it IS a business and how all they care about is sales instead of quality. Well..DUH!

When 9 editors tell you that your work isn't commercial enough you should believe them instead of trying to find a 10th who disagrees. Large publishing houses are in business to make money, not to offer patronage to deserving writers. If your work isn't commercial enough, that is, if it will not make them at least some profit, then there is no reason for them to buy your product. That's not cruel or unjust, that's just sound economics.

When this happens, if you want to be a professional writer – in this case meaning someone who derives the bulk of their income from writing – then you find out how you can change your manuscript so that it IS commercial enough or failing that write something else that will sell and market your artistic masterpiece to a small press for the pleasure of seeing it in print.

Shakespeare, that most lauded of literary heroes, wrote his work with an eye toward what would sell. He frequently included elements to appeal to the lowest common denominator (the groundlings), as well as things to stroke the egos of the nobles who might hire his troupe for private performances. You can produce good work that is also salable but you have to know your market.

If all you want is to write finely crafted books that are true to your artistic vision than go ahead and do it, but don't complain when a market that is geared toward what will sell at Wal-Mart and airport book shops doesn't buy it. You wouldn't try to sell hand-sewn, one-of-a-kind dresses to the buyer for JC Penney's, and this is the same sort of thing. Go to that funky little boutique near the university (a university press or other small literary publisher) and you'll both be happy.

There's also absolutely nothing wrong with writing for pure pleasure and posting your work on line for free. Of course you will still need to make a living doing something else, and it is unfair that people can't survive on genius alone, but that's life and it's something grownups accept and then get on with what they have to do to put food on the table and pay the rent.

If you do decide to try and make a profession of it then realize that it's a business, just like selling soap, just a lot more intellectually satisfying. Getting mad because reality failed to rearrange itself to fit your fantasy isn't going to change that.

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