[sticky entry] Sticky: Compendium

Aug. 9th, 2017 06:47 pm
amyvanhym: (Default)


===== Stranger Things =====
Beyond the Silver Rainbow | Mirrors: AO3 | FFN | WP
A search for Jonathan. Post-S1 canon divergence, most main characters appear, ~58,000 words
Fear wasn't all bad. A little fear could be good for you. Maybe it was sort of like medicine, like plant food for love.

===== Game of Thrones =====
A Very Empty Place | Mirrors: AO3 | FFN | DA
S7E3 canon-compliant Jon & Tyrion conversation, ~3000 words
Jon didn't like his new chambers at Dragonstone.


Dissecting Social Autopsy | Mirrors: Archive
My April 2016 analysis of Candace Owens' bullying tool "Social Autopsy," detailing the many alarming inconsistencies in Owens' promotion of the website, its great potential for abuse by bullies (indeed, its near inability to be used for anything but bullying), and Owens' refusal to take responsibility for potential harm. Owens reacted to my criticisms by demanding my legal identity, blocking me on twitter and lumping me in with her personal enemies in her generalization of criticism as an abusive conspiracy by her competitors.

amyvanhym: Matt Taylor is life (rockabillyscifi)
Update: Here's the KiA reddit thread for this entry. 100+ comments, most of them thoughtful. Turns out /r/KotakuinAction beats /r/RickandMorty for quality conversation about the show. Yay.]

"Pickle Rick" was a groundbreaker: it was the first episode of Rick and Morty written for fans of Rick and Morty who hate Rick and Morty. Or at least, it was the first episode written for fans who hate Rick and aren't interested in anyone else. Beth flipped wildly back and forth between being a deranged jerk and being absolutely right, the kids were mentally retarded, Rick was plain, and Jerry was absent. All to make way for...

the therapist

Behold this enormous sack of cringe, nope and word salad they've tried to pass off as a rhetorical crescendo. )
amyvanhym: Matt Taylor is life (rockabillyscifi)
Sometimes opponents in argument, especially opponents who adhere to some ideology or other, will deliberately blind themselves to your good faith. If someone says something like the following to you, either because they've learned of an affiliation you have (or are accused of having), or after you have tried to earnestly engage with them:

"Your hatred has become such a large part of you that it is now part of your identity. Appeals to reason and kindness will have no effect on you. There is nothing you can do to make me forget your true intentions."

It's no longer of use to you, or to your position, to continue to be friendly and forgiving with this person. What this cold, robotic and self-righteous projection really means:

"Hatred has become such a large part of how I view you that it is now part of the identity I ascribe to you. Your appeals to reason and kindness will have no effect on me, because the identity that I have ascribed to you precludes me interpreting your reasonableness and kindness as such. There is nothing you can do to erase my villification of you."

Such a person has revoked all willingness to grant you the benefit of the doubt. You may as well do the same, as all benefit you extend to the person will be taken advantage of, turned around and weaponized against you. This is why you should never apologize to an ideologue on a moral crusade if you intend to remain a free and independent agent. Zealots who smell weakness will not be satisfied until opponents are either destroyed or assimilated into the horde. This is especially true of the current climate's "Social Justice" Marxists, as their ideology denies the existence of altruism (when convenient), viewing all human interaction instead as purely a matter of power and authority. In other words, any compassion you extend is perceived by a Social Marxist as a power vacuum to take advantage of, which they will do if you fail to be sufficiently assertive.

Once you've realized you've been pigeonholed in such a way, it's about time to either back out of the conversation entirely, enact perfect robotic patience and deal exclusively in the facts, or lay the rhetorical smackdown. If you choose the latter, forget politeness. Mock and ridicule the person's unreasonable claims and standards. Get a bit mean. Bruise the opponent's ego. Reveal your disgust and disdain.

In other words, abandon the high ground in favor of the equal ground, and beat them there. You will win because you're free.

I felt like writing about this because of this hilarious clip: Middle-aged Man Triggered by MILO Poster at UC Berkeley.

The guys who were confronted by the man who tore their poster down didn't apologize or sympathize, didn't try to reason with him much and didn't get aggressive with him either. They just plain wouldn't take his shit and showed him that they found him ridiculous. They took the equal ground and laughed at him, and he downright shorted out.
amyvanhym: (intomadness)
Sargon has done a video, largely about PewDiePie, near the end of which he decries physically violent responses to racist cuss words. As a sane and reasonable individual, I agree with him. At 10:10 in the video (embedded below), after showing a violent clip, he said, "Did anyone feel good watching that? Did anyone feel good watching a black kid punching a white woman in the face because she said some words?"

It reminded me of a Philip DeFranco segment that I've been carrying with me since May. DeFranco tries to come off as a cool, chill, friendly, easygoing, conversational guy. That's the persona he projects to his 5.6 million YouTube subscribers. And I think that's what makes his open enjoyment of racially motivated violence so insidious and thus so memorable.

In May DeFranco featured a video of a black man and a white woman arguing heatedly on a bus which escalated to namecalling, which escalated to "nigger." The man waited for a chance to escape, slapped her extremely hard in the face, and ran away.

After showing the footage DeFranco said, "Violence is never an appropriate response to words, BUUUUUTT, I don't feel bad that it happened. Hitting that woman was wrong, it was illegal, it was technically assault, BUT, if I was that bus driver and that lady was like "Call 911! Call 911! Call the police!" I'd be like, "Okay... Oh no, I forgot how phones work! Oh no!"

Amateur Windowspaint infographic and video embeds under the cut. )


tl;dr fuck that guy

Edit: Oh hey, and look what happened within five minutes of my submitting this entry to /r/DeFranco, Philip DeFranco's official subreddit: )
amyvanhym: (queenslayer)
A day after watching S7E7 I scrawled out a long, overambitious and scatterbrained mountain of half-hatched and stupid reflections. Over the next however long, I'll try to break up my thoughts into relatively bite-sized (or at least snack-sized), saner parts. I've been dicking around on reddit the couple weeks since, arguing here and there about Thrones. I wish reddit wasn't the main conversation hub but there the conversation be, churning on and on in the land of minimal individual identity, low comment shelf life and voting-induced splitting.

The Bittersweet vs Tragic Pseudodebate

Some in the reddit Thronesphere have suggested that because George RR Martin said the series will have a "bittersweet" ending, one of more main beloved characters (Jon, Daenerys) is likely to die. The popular counterargument? REEEEE BITTERSWEET DOESN'T MEAN TRAGIC REEEEEEEE

Except it does. Tragedy is the bitter part of bittersweetness. The sweetness is the meaningful thing you build using the tragedy or in spite of the tragedy. An ending can't be bittersweet unless it's also tragic. TVTropes confirms: "Somewhere between the Happily Ever After and the Downer Ending, the Bittersweet Ending happens when victory came at a harsh price, when, for whatever reason, the heroes cannot fully enjoy the reward of their actions, when some irrevocable loss has happened during the course of the events, and nothing will ever be the same again."

TVTropes' fourth example of a bittersweet ending: "When the victory is only achieved at the sacrifice of people dear to the heroes (if not the heroes themselves)."

It's a non-debate. Death of a beloved character is an element of the bittersweet ending. Calling it 'bittersweet' absolutely does not preclude the death of one or more beloved characters. This should be especially obvious in Thrones.

But this point was largely ignored when I first made it, and when I made it again, so I made a top-level post. There's some branching conversation there that I might blab about later.

My deadpool money's on Dany (and Jaime). The self-inserting shipper tweens in /r/freefolk don't like that very much, as demonstrated by consistent downvoting, yet most mysteriously refrain from explaining why. And this is why voting sucks: if you can't explain your position, it has no value, and so you have no place influencing the conversation in any way. When voting affects comment visibility and makes an implicit appleal to popularity, as is constant on reddit, voting is cheating.
amyvanhym: (queenslayer)
Game of Thrones, Rick and Morty and Sargon of Akkad are a few of my favourite things.

And I'd rather they learned to get along. )
amyvanhym: (khaluckdragon)
I'll be in my bunk.
amyvanhym: Matt Taylor is life (rockabillyscifi)
Today I wandered around reddit for an hour and all I got was a sinking feeling that I was the only Graham Chapman style straight-man within a hundred mile radius. I won't go into the details, but I will say that discursive environments in which participants are invited to judge all content by a numerical approval rating are not conducive to competent thought.

I wonder if the Internet is killing humor via Poe's Law, extending the law to encompass not just parodies of extremism, but all parodies and jokes. If everyone gets a voice, the stupidest get a voice, and will use that voice to say the most hilarious things with a straight face. Knowing this means being more likely to take humorous comments as though they are serious despite all reasonableness suggesting that they are jokes, which means tending to rage when it's more appropriate to laugh; and, maybe, getting both dumber and more unhappy as a consquence of taking so many stupid things seriously.

I forgot to talk about my experience of the eclipse, the eclipse being that thing humanity has seen many times before and practically everyone experiences the same way. I live in partial-eclipse area. Did you know that by making a waffle grid with your fingers, you can project an eclipse onto the ground? I did not know this until eclipse day. Safe and easy method for viewing. At 75% the light outside turned coppery and fake, like the moon was casting a sepia photo filter on us. Slightly surreal. Neato.

For a petition to be addressed by the White House it needs to get 100,000 signatures in thirty days. The petition to formally recognize AntiFa as a terrorist organization has acquired 300,000 signatures in about ten days. Not bad.

Some people believe that typically-feminine body poses are degrading. I do not (NSFW link). I think being fat is degrading. Complaints of "sexualization" (a jargon term in which I do not believe) are merely an effort to strip women of responsibility for their own sexuality, and thus the power that comes paired with said responsibility. This is also degrading. Hit the gym, fat feminists. I am not oppressing you, and I am certainly not a tool the men are using to oppress you.

When is the phrase, "_____ is subjective" not used to justify being either anti-intellectual or just plain unintelligent about _____? "Ugh, it's so totally closed-minded of you to want to explore the merits, flaws and essential nature of _____. People don't have to conform to your delicate sensibilities and personal subjective tastes. Could you please just shut up about it already? God. Everybody doesn't have to be just like you, bigot."

So much of the current cultural climate interests me. I've got about twenty argumentative essays and link/evidence compilations on my back burner, sitting in this journal as private entries, and a ton of research to do, none of which I should be doing. All of my writing energy should be going into fiction. So that's why I might get quiet for a bit, and not reply to entries and comments. There's so much intellectual clutter, and physical clutter, and chores, and errands, and books to read, and I should be drawing once a week, and blah, I think I'll just avoid all that and inject another three hours into Stardew Valley while listening to YouTube...-ism. Fuck I am so disorganized. I haven't touched my day planner in months. Shame.
amyvanhym: (khaluckdragon)
Man, I do not have enough shovels to make a treasure hunting post every day (I'm supposed to be writing, not surfing). Nor are my treasure chests large enough to hold all my treasures in one. Nor do I like mixing political treasures in with art and fiction treasures.

Today's treasure hunting: Game of Thrones treasure only. Then a bunch of writing about the last episode.


On Statues

Aug. 20th, 2017 05:54 pm
amyvanhym: (goodnight)
Statues and monuments are works of art. In the war on free expression the first things to go are works of art, because art encourages free thought by being simultaneously beautiful, accessible, multifaceted and mysterious. Art draws the audience toward psychological freedom. Authoritarians, who peer at the world though an ideological lens of pure power, understand that psychological freedom is a threat to their desired monopoly. So, they misrepresent nuanced works of art as single-minded and offensive, as "against us" for refusing to be "with us," and destroy such art as an act of political conquest. Communists, Marxists, Nazis, Fascists, Islamists -- all are art-hating authoritarians. All seek to destroy the value and meaning in the freely organic cultures they invade in order to install their own. They destroy art and replace it with propaganda in service to their own hubris, their own greed, their own insatiable lust for control over others.

Monuments don't exist to be blindly worshipped. Those who wish to tear them down are simpleminded types who worship their own ideas, and are projecting that unhealthy degree of reverence onto their perceived enemies. These monuments exist, and remain, as historical bookmarks, inviting the common people to live among them contemplatively, remembering the long uphill journey of progress. If an ideological enemy does worship a monument, the only way to dispel the error is through discussion, as removal of the monument only further entrenches the misconception that historical monuments are equivalent to idols, erected and demolished as meaningful acts of psychological warfare in a black-and-white world.

Video embeds and more writing under the cut. )

(Posted to [community profile] free_speech, [community profile] freedom_of_expression and [personal profile] amyvanhym. Yeah, by the way, I made a new community: [community profile] freedom_of_expression. I'm the only one there right now! Must find ways to siphon new members from below Dreamwidth's dusty desert...)
amyvanhym: (lightheaded)
I love ambient nature audio, especially thunderstorms. I use ambient soundscapes for concentration, for relaxation, for adding some extra atmosphere to music; for drowning out environmental noises like computer fans, air conditioners and that damn incessant ice cream truck that's been rolling down my damn street playing the same damn earworm jingle for five damn summers in a row.

A while back I was addicted to naturesoundsfor.me, where users can mix a small array of audio tracks to create different soundscapes. I made about twenty of them. But I don't use the site anymore, because they have removed user credit from mixes and no longer offer users a way to link to their list of mixes -- essentially, they've kinda taken our mixing work and made it hard to share content.

What I do recommend is MyNoise.

The site offers exponentially more soundscapes, a ton of customization, and great quality. Most of the sounds are recorded by the site creator, yet most features are totally free to use. I sent $5 a few months ago and the site still rates my 'support level' at five stars rather than ask for any more money. Please check out this site. The content is excellent, and the creator is skilled and generous. Seriously, and I'm not being paid to say this, try MyNoise if you're stressed at all, whether by the political atmosphere, by other bad news, by life in general. Or even if you're not stressed. It's quite elevating. You can preview the sounds by hovering over the links on the front page.

If you like it, do send a few bucks. We can't keep expecting to get quality content online for free. That expectation is what creates media dependency on advertisers, which creates clickbait, which relies on creating alarm and distress for attention, which has had a hand in creating the current sociopolitical mess we're in. Speaking of that mess:


30,000 people (or more?) have gathered in Boston to protest against a free speech rally because they believe it is filled with Nazis and the alt-right. Here is a picture comparing the size of the free speech event to only a portion of the crowd protesting it. Here is a picture from inside the event. Here is a sign I really like. Here is a conservative free speech activist walking peacefully through a crowd of people who hate him. Here is a free speech supporter getting screamed at in a racist way and then suckerpunched very hard for trying to have a conversation with protesters. The futility of the guy saying "Jesus taught us to love each other" makes me want to laugh and cry at the same time. Here is the police doing their jobs despite intense hostility from some protesters. Here is a man foaming at the mouth. Here is the apparent current state of a large number of American minds.

Circlejerks are bad, mkay?

[Edit Aug 20: just bookmarking a video I intend to watch and a discussion I intend to read]
amyvanhym: (brainchild)
Game of Thrones S7E4/5, freedom of expression

amyvanhym: Jorah Mormont (goodandevil)
It is difficult to assess the motivations of someone simply by their decision to drive a car into a crowd of people when the relevant politics are not regularly associated with vehicle attacks. The driver could have been someone on the right retaliating against Antifa. Or, it could have been a driver scared or angered by aggressors who were attacking the car. It could have been a skilled driver hired as part of an organized scheme. It could have been someone thinking they were attacking Unite the Right rather than Antifa. This may have been a premeditated political strategy, or it may have been a mad moment of overwhelming frustration. At time of writing I don't know.

More important to public discourse is the atmosphere surrounding the crash. The way power was exercised by the people who have it -- that is, police, judges and politicians -- is what matters here. Once violence starts, it doesn't matter who has the right political ideas. What matters is minimizing violence first, and maximizing the freedom to express ideas in very close second, including the ideas we hate the most, so they can be defeated using better ideas. What interests me is whether politicians and police performed their duties well.

I've listened to several interviews with eyewitnesses... )
amyvanhym: (khaluckdragon)
Today's treasure: Game of Thrones, freedom of expression. I basically only care about two things lately aside from the glorified Dorian Gray fanfic, but I'm keeping that close.

Today's to-dos: Saturday! Clean the damn house top to bottom. Organize my damn temporary tattoo collection, which has been spread out all over my office floor for a week. Harvest & water. Give girlcat a break from the cone collar and a neck massage (her bro finally lost his patience with her routine pouncing and bit her last week; she's getting better). Self-manipedi. Catch up on this DW inbox which finally has stuff in it. Downtown drink date if I don't waste my afternoon.

amyvanhym: (khaluckdragon)
Today I'm coming to terms with what a consumer I am. Every morning (read: early afternoon, fuck) I'm chugging my coffee with my nose to the memeosphere. So I'll be honest with myself and collect the best of it. Today's topics: Game of Thrones, science & tech & business, freedom of expression



Jun. 6th, 2017 04:44 pm
amyvanhym: (cover)
William Faulkner on Ernest Hemingway: “He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.”

Ernest Hemingway on William Faulkner: “Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?”

Poor Hemingway.

I read the first two chapters of A Farewell to Arms today. The drivellingly passive circular paragraphs and embarrassing run-on sentences put my mind out of breath, so I put myself out of my misery by throwing the book across the room. What an empty load of nothing to say.
amyvanhym: (lightheaded)
"So [Jim Hopper]'s arc for season 2 in my mind becomes more about butting up against the places where his hero fantasy can't take him. The places where that hero complex may force him to make the wrong decisions. It's a satisfying, completely different journey in season 2."
- David Harbour

"Hero fantasy."

"Hero complex."

Huh? You mean his heroism? Hopper did objectively heroic things in ST season 1. Why call it a "fantasy" and a "complex," as if his heroism is some kind of unhinged delusion?

It's a little worrisome to see it talked about in this nihilistically subjectivist way, suggesting that Harbour believes the character's actual heroism is based not in altruism or a sense of justice as the show demonstrates, but rather in a hubristic self-centred egotism. Can Hopper do no right? It's as though Harbour feels duty-bound to personally degrade the character he plays. I would hope that a man playing a hero might also believe in heriosm -- and even extend that capacity to any type of character, including Straight White Males (TM).
amyvanhym: (lightheaded)
I am a woman who plays a lot of video games. I completed a survey on women in gaming for Ryerson last night. Because so many of the questions did not allow me to give my true answers, I typed out my true answers and emailed them to gamerstudy@psych.ryerson.ca. The survey has by now been taken down and the link to it no longer works, but here's a link to Sargon of Akkad's video on it, which I have not watched.

Before I share the email I sent, I have written an introduction:

The Survey as a Propaganda Tool, and my survey responses )
amyvanhym: (cover)
PitcherLifeDrawing.jpg JulianAssangePencilPortrait.jpg

There's a point in the early middle of every one of my drawings in which everything looks wrong, I can't see properly, I lose hope and I get very frustrated. The day I drew the pitcher was a gym day, so I was really tired -- tired enough to cry over it like a silly baby. I'm not proud of this, but I'm reminding myself of it so that the next time I feel that way I'll remember that it's not the catastrophe it looks like. Pitcher on DeviantArt.

I love the overall composition of the Assange portrait. The stark contrast at the bottom, the relative midtone-grey at the top, the circular shape. It didn't really happen on purpose -- my intentional mind was busy trying to get the facial structure and details right. I wish I had given it a little more detail. I also got myself into some trouble with the mouth: didn't realize 'til the end that I'd drawn it too far back in the face, so that he looked like his teeth were missing, and I had to move the whole thing forward. Assange on DeviantArt.


amyvanhym: (Default)
Amy VanHym

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