With Such Words
if you aren't a hypocrite, your moral standards aren't high enough
Recent Entries 
18th-Dec-2037 12:29 am - Creative Commons permissions
talibusorabat: Creative Commons logo with the text "Creative Commoner" (Creative Commoner)
Everything in this blog is licensed under Creative Commons' Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license. You are free to distribute and remix for any purpose, so long as you retain attribution and a similar license for your own work.

This includes the right to use the characters and worlds in my fiction works for any purpose (stories, art, roleplay, etc). If you do, I would be flattered! Please let me know so I can admire and feel all the warm fuzzy feelings.
21st-Nov-2014 08:11 pm - weekend reading
talibusorabat: Rarely pure & never simple (DS9: Never simple)
As usual, I have no idea how to cut this list down. I feel like I should aim for themes or something sensible. Or read less. That could also work.

Links to read over the weekend )
14th-Nov-2014 09:46 am - weekend reading
talibusorabat: A cartoon man thinks "Deep thoughts" (Avatar: Deep thoughts)
Managed to cull this week's list down to 22 links, and I'm still crying a little over some of the ones I left out. (If you're an RSS addict like I am, you can subscribe to my Pinboard's RSS feed here and skip these entries entirely.)

I've realized that I'm currently in a phase where I'm consuming a lot of information but interacting with very few people. (I'm mostly on Plurk these days, but even there, I'm actually interacting with less than 5 people regularly.) That's something I'd like to work on changing, because why read cool things if you can't have meaningful conversations about them?

But for now —

Links to read over the weekend )
8th-Nov-2014 08:33 pm - analyzing "One Missed Call"
talibusorabat: A young cartoon woman gets ready to fight with fire (Avatar: Korra feel the fire)
One Missed Call. There is way more going on in this movie than I feel qualified to talk about. I've watched it twice now, I've read about it around the web, and yet the more I think about it, the more questions I have. I'm not sure if the film is intentially ambiguous, or if there are cultural references and translation problems that impede my understanding, but would make sense to a fluent speaker.

Regardless, it is a fascinating story.

Spoilers behind the cut )
7th-Nov-2014 09:48 pm - weekend reading
talibusorabat: Puppy with glasses "I am who I am. Your approval is not needed." (Default)
I started teaching myself Swift, Apple's new programming language, this week. Considering I've never learned a programming language before, it's been an interesting exercise to say the least, but it's been a fun challenge.

Also means I haven't been reading quite as much. But I still have a goodly collection of articles for you perusal.

Links to read over the weekend )
talibusorabat: A cartoon man thinks "Deep thoughts" (Avatar: Deep thoughts)
A few articles I've read this week have got me thinking about politics and polarization. The funny thing is, they were about two completely different topics. One was an article by John Lanchester about being a restaurant critic; the other was an article by Ezra Klein about the politics of #Gamergate. But they both hit upon basically the same point. (Emphasis added to make my own points.)

Not so long ago, food was food. (I’ve lost count of the number of conversations I’ve had with people in the industry, debating some point backward and forward, that end with someone shrugging and saying, “It’s just food.”) That’s not true anymore. Food is now politics and ethics as much as it is sustenance. People feel pressure to shop and eat responsibly, healthfully, sustainably. At least, that’s the impression you get from what’s written and said about food culture—that it’s a form of surrogate politics. To some, it’s not even surrogate politics; it’s the real deal, politics at its most urgent and consequential.


This isn't a world in which we should be surprised that video games have been politicized. This is a world in which it was only a matter of time until video games were politicized. This is a world in which, sooner or later, most everything will get politicized.


Both articles, without outright stating "and this is bad", indicate discomfort with how politically charged things outside of politics have become. Lanchester, while admitting that he himself does his best to shop ethically, questions whether it's actually an important political act or if we're setting our political sights too small. Klein talks about how a debate within the gaming community has been co-opted by outside political forces; video games are just a new battlefield for conservatives and liberals to duke it out.

And I just think: The personal is political.

It's a tenant of second wave feminism, popularized by Carol Hanisch. The original idea was that things like childcare, household division of labor, and abortion are not personal issues for individual women to address, but political problems that had to be dealt with on a collective level. The heart of the idea is recognizing the hidden, systemic forces of oppression.

Food has always been political. Video games, movies, any kind of entertainment have always been political. The environment, human rights, violence against women and ethics in journalism are all political issues which are inexorably linked to things we didn't used to think of as political.

I think Lanchester makes a great point when he says: "If these tiny acts of consumer choice are the most meaningful actions in our lives, perhaps we aren’t thinking and acting on a sufficiently big scale." Yet I also think about how the United States Supreme Court has ruled that money is speech, and since the days of Ronald Reagan we've been told to vote with our feet. In a country where our vote matters less and less, is it any wonder that we turn to things which are in our power, such as what we buy? And Klein's points about polarization are spot-on. But I don't think the problem is that "Once political identities are activated, these fights will spread far beyond their natural constituencies..." A discussion about ethics in video game journalism is relevant far beyond the gaming community — especially as so many news networks are owned by huge conglomerates. Let the fight spread. Let people draw connections and see patterns. Broader culture can learn from subcultures; BDSM culture has a lot to teach even the most vanilla about how to communicate during sex.

I think the real problem is a corollary to "the personal is political," which is: "the political is personal." In personal arguments, it's hard to listen to what the other person is saying. We get defensive; we spend our time thinking about how we can fight back instead of actually listening to what the other person is saying. Especially as our political identities become even more important to us, as Klein points out, the communication problems which we have in our personal lives are magnified on the political stage. While there are personal issues that can only be addressed in a political arena (such as harrassment and bullying), these fights will only be productive if individuals use personal skills like active listening. The tools & techniques good counselors teach people for dealing with conflict are the same ones we need for political discourse.

Maybe American society just needs a really good marriage counselor.
2nd-Nov-2014 10:05 am - one of my greatest regrets in life
talibusorabat: Crystal Kay smiling and wearing big blue headphones (Music: Crystal Kay with headphones)
Is that I played the violin instead of the cello in middle school/high school.

I really freaking love cellos.



31st-Oct-2014 09:34 pm - defining narrative compassion
talibusorabat: An older white man in a crown "So I've executed all the sorcerers...wait, there's Harry Potter." (Merlin: Harry Potter)
As promised, and in honor of Halloween, I'm launching a series of posts about narrative compassion in horror films.

This has been a research paper fantasy of mine for awhile now. But I'm not an academic, really, and I don't have the discipline to do a properly researched paper. I can, however, write blog posts (believe it or not).

so watch me write )
31st-Oct-2014 03:24 pm - for your weekend reading
talibusorabat: Rarely pure & never simple (DS9: Never simple)
Happy Halloween, everyone! Later on today I'll be launching a new little blog project in honor of the season, but first — this week's recommended reading! It turns out I save a ridiculous number of links over the course of a week — seriously, I had 50+ links in this list before I culled it down to about 22. You can find all the links I've saved on my Pinboard. But these are, I think, the truly must-reads.

Links to read over the weekend )
24th-Oct-2014 11:59 pm - for your weekend reading
talibusorabat: Interesting - engaging or oh god oh god we're all gonna die... (Quote: Interesting)
I still feel like I don't have a lot to write about, but I have been doing a lot of reading. (ReadKit has been, if you'll permit a little melodrama, an absolute lifechanger.) I have a Pinboard account where I save links I think would be interesting to people, but I thought: Hey, why not make a weekly links post like all the other cool kids on the net? If nothing else, it will give me something to post about. (It also gave me a great excuse to spend an hour messing around in Keyboard Maestro, creating the best macro for putting this post together. Few things make me happier these days than messing around with Keyboard Maestro macros.)

So, for your weekend reading, may I recommend:

This list of links )
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