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I continue to enjoy this Jun. 28th, 2017 @ 08:44 pm
Final Fantasy XIV features:

- a misogynistic jerk with a very high opinion of himself who is going down in flames every time he tries to interact with a woman, because none of them are having any of his shit

- another guy quite a few female characters seem genuinely to be hot for, but sadly for them while he's super-nice and all he doesn't appear to notice their interest (but he did find some scantily-clad male warriors very distracting)

- a tribal group with unusual views on death and reincarnation that result in an interesting perspective on gender e.g. "She happens to be a woman at the moment, but she was a great man like three times already, so she's still the man in charge" and "yes, I do have a woman's name, I was born into a male body but I am in fact a heroic woman so what's your problem exactly?"

As far as I can tell they either determine "real" gender by what someone usually is or first was, or else by kind of a personal preference thing bordering on not actually caring that much, beyond encouraging people to take lovers who are reproductively compatible because they're kinda super-fighty and have a mild population crisis going. Like, they seem to use pronouns aligned to people's potential reproductive status because they need more babies and beyond that point they could not be persuaded to care less.

(Their take on life is this: that when one of their people dies, it's not a big deal, because that person will be reborn in a forthcoming baby, and identified by what familiar spirit they recognise behind the baby's eyes. Whereupon that baby will be given the person's name, and taught about their previous lives, and raised as that person. They are, therefore, undying warriors, whose souls burn brightest in battle.)

- Another group features all-male warriors who cannot stand interacting with women pretty much at all; a friend was surprised at herself for how belatedly she realised that they are also, of course, extremely gay.

Seriously, FF14? Jun. 28th, 2017 @ 11:04 am
NPC just made a comment that amounts, more-or-less, to a snarky comment about how everyone in Kugane is short and has black hair.

1) Bro, I am a Lalafell, don't step to me with short jokes

2) I didn't even know how many Japanese stereotypes I was vaguely aware existed until Stormblood started hitting every single one of them oh my God I'm starting to feel racist just for noticing. If I thought Japanese people cared more about what other people thought of them, I'd start to wonder if Yoshi-P was going to be in trouble when he went home to Hokkaido.

An observation Jun. 23rd, 2017 @ 11:31 am
Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood features new areas which, so far, are heavily fantasy-mediaeval-Japan in theme.

The aesthetic is super Japanese, the names are Japanese, and also, I have to say, there are here and there some stereotypes and portrayals that would, to me, seem really kind of offensive and racist if it weren't for the part where Final Fantasy XIV is made by a Japanese company under the direction of Naoki Yoshida.

I feel like I can't really object to portrayals of Japanese culture as authorised by Square Enix and Yoshi-P.

So I shall just have fun tooling around Kugane and make plans to buy a house in Shirogane and go NOPE MUST BE FINE NOT EVEN GONNA THINK ABOUT IT, because, really, a Japanese company making a game in Japan can do whatever the hell they want with Japanese cultural and historical everything.

It's just kind of weird to keep tripping over things I'd find kind of skeevy if it was made by non-Japanese people.

Huh Jun. 5th, 2017 @ 09:00 am
I just made a memory connection that maybe explains some things:

When I was a kid, until puberty really hit, strangers assumed I was a boy. Consistently. I at least once got sideways looks for wearing a dress consistently.

Maybe this is why despite my actual cisgenderness I am so angrily definite about accepting people's gender identity as they claim it.

I know how it feels when people wrongly assume your gender (and sometimes don't believe you when you correct them) and it's annoying, varying levels of insulting, and just really really tiresome to keep correcting them even when your family, friends, and birth certificate all back you up.

on gender and words Jun. 4th, 2017 @ 06:20 pm
1) We need a better word than "cisgendered", it's awkward and cumbersome and "cis" sounds weird on its own

2) Pronouns are stupid and possibly unfixable

They're just so fundamental to language, it's kinda hard to introduce new ones that don't sound unnaturalbadwrong.

And I've been trying, in my head, to come up with constructions for basically any kind of setup where one can use "it" to refer to a person and not have it sound really offensively awful, to try and see if I can see a route to using our existing ungendered pronoun for unspecified/non-binary people, and so far, I have yet to succeed within the confines of my own head.

If I can't get there in my own mind, when I know my intentions, and stuff? It's not going to work for the real world.

Imagine a world where nobody assumes they know the gender identity of strangers. Reconsider what it really means to assume you know someone's gender identity, especially if you're assuming that's the same as the physical configuration of their bodies. You're implicitly declaring your convictions about their genitals the moment you say it.

Meanwhile there are so few situations where that's actually information you need.

So imagine a world where everyone dresses however they're physically or psychologically comfortable, and we all agree that assumptions about gender are super-rude.

I can imagine that. I quite like the idea.

And yet: "I was talking to one of my coworkers, and it told me that blah blah" UGH NO

I feel like I can explain every binary gender thing in a way that certain prejudices May. 28th, 2017 @ 09:45 am
It goes like this:

One of the native truths about Being A Woman is that a woman's body is, at times, a thing of hateful betrayal.

It just is.

For most of us, that betrayal is made manifest at or after puberty.

For some women, that betrayal is made manifest in utero with the production of unnecessary dicks, but it still basically fits the pattern.

Meanwhile, trans men are caught in a different form of the same trap, in that the default configuration of the human body is female. If the surge of testosterone to trigger the alternate development comes after the hateful betrayal happens, then the gentleman in question doesn't get the alternate configuration.

Too bad, so sad, should've been born... not a mammal? Possibly vertebrate? I'm not sure how widespread the default-development-configuration-is-female thing.


Transgender people are a result of the female body's natural tendency to hateful betrayal.

All women should understand this and accept trans women as our sisters in suffering.

All men should understand this and be terrified to question it, because smart men do not question the issue of women's bodies and their treachery.

And accept trans men as their brothers in suffering, because most men have been Brung Low by a woman at some point.

and now I need to stop typing, because I accidentally overstrained my wrist a couple of days ago.

Hmm May. 25th, 2017 @ 01:35 pm
I may have missed some posts in the last few days. DW had logged me out and I didn't notice because my wrist has been playing up and I have very limited typing ability so I wasn't trying to post or comment on anything...

I hadn't known this was a thing for me May. 11th, 2017 @ 09:23 pm
So, a discussion recently about race-stuff attached to Stargate: Atlantis made me realise something.

See, there's a thing, where certain people - usually awful people - claim they "don't see colour".

Because apparently they are stupid, and believe that it shows how totally not racist they are if they claim that they lack the ability to distinguish wavelengths of light. Or that they don't look at anyone who isn't in a mirror, and therefore do not in fact notice what other people look like. Or something.

I, being possessed of reasonably functional eyes, do see colour.

However, what I don't have is visual memory. I do not have the ability to visualise things in my head, to call forth images in my mind. (The name this is acquiring is aphantasia, because it's apparently quite new that we all found out It's Not Just Us.)

Consequently, I discovered, for background extras who don't get lines, who I don't look at enough to note things about their appearance?

I don't remember colour.

I have this vague sense that I think the Athosians are sort of generally mixed in terms of racial makeup, but all I can actually remember about them is that they exist.

This is a weird feeling. The set of impressions I mentally catalogue about a person usually includes things like that. I'm terrible at remembering faces, because I can't call the image of someone to my mind. Skin tone is one of the few distinctive features about a person I can readily catalogue. (Skin tone, hair colour, hair style, build - these are the things I can tell you about someone I've met a few times. I can't draw a portrait without a picture or model, though, no matter how well I know someone. I can tell it looks wrong, but I can't tell what would be right.)

In which, not for the first time, the true problem is academia-speak and prissiness May. 8th, 2017 @ 12:32 pm
Cut because I use a word that starts with P and ends with S several times. )

Birds, man. Birds.

May. 6th, 2017 @ 08:21 am
It can be quite distressing how much of the lives and everything of people you can miss when you spend a year with a high fever.

May. 2nd, 2017 @ 08:53 pm
dr for scan results tmrw

so my posts-think-backlog is growing Apr. 24th, 2017 @ 06:37 pm
My wrist is still borked. Typing is painful and probably a bad idea (and really annoying one-handed.)

Ultrasound and bone scan this week.

On the new Monkey [Magic] Apr. 21st, 2017 @ 04:19 pm
Have now seen a picture of the cast of the new version of Monkey/Journey to the West.


1) Pigsy looks good. Looks "right" for a Pigsy character while still being definitely and clearly different.

2) Tripitaka could go either way, depending on performance. Am vaguely disapproving of visible hair, somehow.

3) Presumably-Sandy looks... well, we'll see, I'm very much withholding judgement.


4a) He looks too smouldering.

4b) He looks too tall.

4c) He doesn't look like a monkey.

The original Monkey looked very monkey-like, and frankly, a lot of that was in the hair and makeup and I am very disapproving that new Monkey looks more like Antonio Banderas than a monkey. He also looks all smouldering and serious, and the nature of Monkey was irrepressible!


how to know you are a jerk Apr. 19th, 2017 @ 11:44 am
Gentleman just stopped by our door with a petition about stronger reinforcement of the parking regulations in our area.

(We live in an inner suburb with lots of shops, cafes, restaurants, bars, and a stadium, and parking, unsurprisingly, sucks, because parking here would pretty much suck no matter how much parking there was.)

Apparently on his street it's fairly common that people even park across his driveway.

Seriously, people parking where they shouldn't is already pretty annoying around here, but that's just not okay anywhere ever.

We've once or twice had someone *half*-block ours, which was also super-annoying, but iirc we could sort of get around them because our driveway and next door's driveway form a sort of double-driveway that let us get around - narrowly - as the people next door were, at that precise time, out.

When my family lived a couple of doors down from the guy who won the Christmas lights competition (which creates massive, massive traffic snarls in the vicinity at Christmas-time and is also rather annoying) we once had someone park across our driveway, but at least we could go find the thoughtless individual who'd done it in the crowd and ask them oh-so-politely to move.

I am reminded that people change Apr. 17th, 2017 @ 12:04 pm
Just glanced at my bio on this very site. Observations:

1) it still said I was in my late twenties, which hasn't been true for a while

2) it kind of generally doesn't read like something I would write now, even if I don't find any of it offensively disagreeable or anything.

I was just looking over the news intro thing. My brain kind of fell in a hole the last couple of years so I'm really behind and out of touch with everything and everyone, and the discussion of seed accounts and why they try not to sell more of them etc made me realise that not only do I make rather light use of the paid features I get with my seed account, I no longer have any real idea of what they are.

I'm pretty sure I have more icons than a free account?

Also, I've been using DW - with some substantial gaps that one day I will probably regret - for almost eight years.

and now I demand those points Apr. 16th, 2017 @ 01:28 pm
I think a wound, even a little scratch on your finger (that still bled a lot) deserves bonus points if it was inflicted by a baby herbivore.

In very much related news, am back from going down south for the weekend. I did a number of interesting things, but the one that left a mark was helping feed a calf who is bucket-fed but very much wishes she wasn't. In her earnest yearning to suck on my fingers in the apparent conviction that they would be more satisfying than the bucket of milk I was holding for her, she managed to make a divot in my left ring finger with her baby herbivore grindy teeth.

Also, we went to see puppies. There is a labrador who, very very recently, had puppies.

Ten puppies.

They are tiny and snuffly and their eyes haven't opened yet and they make little squeaky squealy noises and one of them kept trying to wriggle elsewhere in the pile and getting it wrong and flipping over a sibling and rolling several inches away and having to try and snuffle his way back to the pile.

They are, unsurprisingly, aggressively cute.

so tiny so snuffly and squeaky and just a pile of so many puppies

an idle note Apr. 9th, 2017 @ 10:38 am
You know, I can accept the notion that it is pretty much guaranteed that there will be further terrorist attacks in the future.

I would really, really like to reverse the trend of this century so far and have the world at large consider maybe, just for a change, not letting the terrorists win.

The objective of terrorism is, as the name suggests, to provoke terror. The objective is to cause people to freak out and panic and lose their shit in exactly the way that people keep doing, and seriously, World, could we not?

I'm looking at the media, here, especially.

As far as I'm concerned these should be the rules:

- If some idiot drives a truck into a crowd, he should not be called a terrorist, he should be called a bad driver, or a truck thief, or, you know, an idiot.

- If ISIS claim credit for something, they should be ignored. They want attention. Stop giving it to them. A couple of weeks ago I fell over and hit my head and sprained my wrist, and if I was globally important and they could find a pretext, ISIS would totally claim credit for that.

- For that matter? If there's a terrorist attack, and some idiots claim they were totally behind that, stop reporting that as "claiming credit". Report that they "acknowledged blame".

This keeps happening because it keeps working. Any time there's anything remotely resembling a terrorist attack, the reaction needs to follow these steps:

1) assess what the terrorists wanted out of this

2) make sure they don't get it

They want people to freak out? Don't. They want to ramp up ethno-religious tensions? Make a point of stepping up friendly inclusion. They want to be talked about? Don't use their names, dismiss any organisations wanting to be associated with it out of hand.

So some idiot killed four people in Sweden with a truck? Well, that's bad drivers for you. Apply necessary criminal penalties to his actions and don't give him any more reaction than that. Some creeps with a pretentious name somewhere want to say they were totally behind that? Them and, like, six others. Hush now, grownups are talking.

Because, seriously, this doesn't stop if it always works.

I'm ready to run a country now Mar. 31st, 2017 @ 06:11 pm
nobody knew having a concussion and a sprained wrist would be this annoying

(am mostly fine)

Mar. 24th, 2017 @ 09:26 pm
Is there any greater demonstration of love for your friend than agreeing to play an aggressively terrible movie in the living room because she's not feeling well?

It can happen! Mar. 24th, 2017 @ 05:20 pm
I had an interesting discussion today. I was talking to a person who loves and respects me, and the subject of the Federal Government wanting to make changes to section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act came up.

And this person was of the view that it totally needed changing, and among the examples of ridiculous things they brought up was an incident where many people were offended by a political cartoon that depicted indigenous Australian fathers as absent/uncaring/terrible.

A discussion ensued. I argued that that was offensive; I reviewed the notion of punching down and its applicability to satire, and pointed out that while there are real problems with child neglect in some parts of the indigenous community, a) they know that and don't need some white guy to tell them, b) reinforcing negative stereotypes to the broader white community isn't helping, and c) most importantly, it's inappropriate for a white Australian cartoonist to treat that subject cavalierly, considering the incredible damage done to indigenous families by having two to three generations of stolen children rupturing the bonds of family and community, even apart from the effects of all the other racist structural damage of the last two hundred years.

The conversation concluded with: "... Okay. Yes. Good point."

I was... surprised.

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