August 2012




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Jan. 6th, 2008

A Bit Miffed

You know I'm as good a sport as any really, but I'm slightly annoyed at the moment.

Nov. 3rd, 2007

Because Apparently Reality TV CAN Get Worse

Reality TV and one more way it's completely fucked up

To quote:
""There is no indication that she was unconscious at the time," said Joseph Hundah, an executive at M-Net.

However, viewers of the incident, which took place on Saturday afternoon after an extended drinking bout which ended in copious vomiting and apparent blackout for Molokwu, remain adamant about what they saw: Bezuidenhout lay down next to the comatose young woman and penetrated her vagina with his fingers. He carried on despite the pleas of another female housemate for him stop. Under the law in South Africa - where, on average, a woman is sexually assaulted every 40 seconds - such an act constitutes rape."

This article makes me completely sick. What kind of ASSHOLE is interested in fingering an drunk passed out woman and does so in a publicly broadcasted tv show while other REAL people are right there watching and telling him to stop?!

This guy is a scum bag. I just can't even begin to express how infuriating and unsettling this is to me. And what's worse is that this Bezuidenhout prick's response to any allegations is that "This is Africa". Sorry, I didn't realize that Africa was like a rape free zone.

Oct. 22nd, 2007

Now We'll Talk Sorority Gossip

The friending isn't even near done, but I covered the past eighty or so entries. I'm thinking it might be easier to attack this via the Google then it is to search it through ij. Most of it seems to be more tracked through lj than ij anyhow, which is a little odd, but I guess makes sense since the new lj owners are tracking all kinds of info, I bet it's easier to Google it.

Anyhow though on to the real post info. There is hazing going on in sororities. At my school there has always been a pretty strong amount of hazing going on for Greek Life and Sports life. Heck lacrosse isn't even a team sport, its a club with very few people on it and there are ton of myspace conversations going on about the hazing (found via Google not something I looked up on my own time). We're a small school I could list tons of inappropriate hazing stories plus all the first hand accounts of witnessing it in all of the organizations

The basic feeling of students here has always been that you choose to be part of said group and when you choose that you choose to go through whatever hazing they put in front of you. This has been the working theory for years, until more recently when a couple of girls from the Pi Upsilon Omega pledge class stepped forward with allegations of "hazing". To a certain degree I think particularly in the Greek life that hazing OBVIOUSLY goes on is a given. I mean what the fuck do you think "pledging" means. It certainly isn't "let's bond while eating cake". Do I think that the hazing has gone to far and been allowed to grow to be something that is "dangerous", hell yes, but it has been that way since I've been here and for years prior from what I can tell. What I'm saying is basically that it is very clear the hazing goes on and what happens.

Hazing charges have been brought up before and dismissed because there was no hard evidence. You can tell that this is again what most of the sorority and fraternity people hope will be the case again. On a personal note I'm not sure what I'm hoping for. I don't like the girls in Pi Upsilon Omega. They are the most mean spirited sorority on campus and they do go out of their way to be intentionally cruel. The hazing ritual they are getting busted on is one of what I consider to be their "tamest" rituals (smearing hot sauce in girls faces while screaming at them). Part of me would very much like to see criminal charges being pressed.

The flip side though is that the school has been unethical in the way they've pursued the case. The spent hours secluding and questioning girls who have even remotely been affiliated with any sorority activity without EVER telling them what (if anything) they were being accused of. They were repeatedly threated with contract termination if they did not cooperate, even though it is not in the school's rights to do so. They forced many of the girls parent to come up to a conference this past weekend without telling the parents what the conference was about at all. They refuse to press criminal charges on the girls officially but at the same time they won't take the threat off the table. Each school administrator and person of power has said something different or in conflict with what another official told them. I do feel a little bad for them and I do think that some of the girls (not all or even most of them) are falling victim to a school campaign to kick out all Greek life from my campus.

I don't know though the two article I found don't help to clear up the difference between gossip and fact much. I think the school would like to keep it that way.

CBS link
Local Berkshires Link

Sep. 25th, 2007

The Question of Race from the Writer's Perspective

I can't help but notice that race and how it is portrayed is currently a hot issue in the fandom. The discussions I've read pertain to reactions to the lack of race in shown in different shows, but I want to talk about race as a person who writes novels, screen plays (now apparently), plays (also new), and short stories.

I'm white and I come from white bread suburbia. I go to college in a predominately white college town. This isn't to say that I don't know anyone of another race, I just don't know many people. I do know that most of the time white is not the overwhelming majority and there are a large proportion of other races which should be represented.

Still, I was looking back and a lot of my own works lack diversity. Some of this is because the locations of these works don't lend themselves to race ( two of the main novels I'm working on now are located in mostly white places, in fact the kind of racism bred in the area as a result is one thing I'm addressing in one of the novels).

But some of it is just because I don't think about it. For example I have a series of shorts that take place across a made up continent and everyone in the continent whether they are native to the desert, jungle, mountain, or more mild area is white. I don't know why or how this made sense to me when I started writing these shorts. Looking back on them now, it seems stupid to have not have thought about ethnicities or what colors people's skin tones should be for a more natural flow.

Of course this series of shorts doesn't often actually provide descriptions for many of the characters. It is quite possible that when others read them, they make assumptions about the skin tones that I haven't necessarily added.

Part of my problem with adding race into a story is that I'm not 100% how to do it. I don't often use physical descriptions, and I hate being jarred out of a story by someone suddenly mentioning character X is black. I felt that way about how the Animorphs made Cassie black. She was just moving along doing her thing, and then out of no where someone mentions she's black. It didn't change how I felt about her in anyway, it just interrupted the flow of my story. I mean people don't often say anything if you're white and if all a character is doing is going “hey, this character is black by the way”, that isn't exactly a good way to throw that information in. In my young naivety I didn't realize that maybe it should have changed how other people treated her too. Not that people are run by completely racist mindsets, but even in my limited direct experience, I have seen discrimination. Even if the discrimination isn't overt there is a difference in tone, the way one person will stand, other things like that.

Plus, in Cassie's case she was a black person with predominately white friends and lived in what seemed like a mostly white town. Her parents worked as vets at Bush Gardens, and when I think back on it I think about what a plethora of experience and effects that could have had on her character. There are some basic shapings there, a dislike of violence and desire to help nurture (ideas that help foster the potential that maybe Cassie knows something about violence and what it makes you to use it in excess), but there is no backstory. There is nothing to connect the two beyond over active imaginations. I know the Animorphs is a kids series, one I adored, and I know that there was a primary fight between aliens and humans going on in it, but I feel like either you should incorporate race because it is part of life or if its too big to tackle you should leave it out completely. Half assed attempts to “diversify characters often leaves them being less believable. Even though at that time I couldn't figure out what was off in Cassie's character I realize that part of it is that her color is just painted over her skin. It is hard for me to think of good words to describe it, but when I read black or Asian or Hispanic characters in novels or see them on screen, I want that color to enhance the experience and not just be there to diversify. A lot of times I feel like the token person of color might as well be white for all the thoughts about different struggles, concerns, and experiences a writer has put in.

I mean whether or not I like it, each race has its own experiences and trials. You can't take a white acting character and suddenly make them Asian. Like it or not race plays into nuances of a story greatly. When I think about that sometimes its little wonder that I did just imagine everyone in my stories white.

I guess my questions to you f-list is to what extent should race affect a character? How do you sort of drop the race without jarring everyone from the story they are in? Should race be obvious based off of hints on how the character is treated and how they interact (or does this lead into too much stereo typing)? How do I and other authors avoid being racist when adding race or is this more of a trial and error sort of thing? Are authors justified in avoiding racism altogether by putting in limited people of color who function as well in the world as white people? Do you think that seeing these kind of token characters in works makes people less sensitive to the struggles we still face involving race?

I don't think avoiding race is not the way to handle these problems, but when I think about all the subtleties that need to be incorporated (without turning something into a racist work) and when I think about how the same character white would be fine but add color and now they are can be overwhelming. I can see why mainstream media might avoid adding more than the token black friend. There is a lot of room to accidentally or inadvertently anger people.

Now my third major work takes place is a slightly futuristic city. I know I'm going to have to deal with the issues involved with PoC if I want to make it even a little believable. It is part of why I am thinking so much about race in fictional works now instead of later. Currently the only character who's race I've defined is white. There are currently two other major characters and I'm trying to figure out what ethnicity I should give them that won't hit a stereo type. It's an interesting little challenge, especially because I know that I am not the most aware of what does or doesn't constitute as offensive or racist and well f-list, its just something I thought, with all the recent journal entries, that I would throw out to you as thoughts about what can make diversifying something difficult. Because of course we as writers should incorporate all the different issues we see in life, but just like there are problems dealing with it in the real world, there are problems dealing with it in a fictional one too.

Sep. 16th, 2007

List of a whole bunch of stuff I've been meaning to write

List because I like them and because sometimes life isn't easy to sum up

  1. Have a bunch of little things to post for my own collection will be sorry to clog the f-list list that but, meh, I can be that way sometimes.

  2. I have been paying attention to international peace month I just haven't had time to post prompts or really write myself. For those who want a prompt, though unfortunately I won't be able to respond myself, todays prompt is Tranquility. When have you found it? What does it mean to you? Where or how do you get it? Do you think it would get boring if there were too much of it? Is tranquility synonymous with static/homeostasis? Any thoughts of feelings you have or that come to mind with it. Again doesn't have to be about you. Can be a character or a poem or just a block of text.

  3. Must post in </a></a>[info]writers_cafe all these nifty new character creation prompts. They are really helpful and really neat and want to share.</strong>

  4. Straightened my hair for the first time in years, must show the sister the pics....must talk to the sister at all because I wonder about her from time to time.

  5. Should email the brother to encourage him again.

  6. Have to call parents sometime tonight *le sigh*

  7. Have lots and lots to do. Feel both overwhelmed and underwhelmed by the tasks. Am exicted and annoyed. Have been stalling and am not quite ready.

  8. School is over whelming. Not a good think or a bad thing, just a thing. I like my classes and still find them a chore. Got my first A/ first grade back. Am pleased about it and at the same time I wonder if its earned of if the teacher's an easy grader. I can't help but doubt, me good or they are just easy?

  9. Have been reading so much news and yet really nothing. Wanted to do a write up on the woman in West Virgina (or Virgina?) who was raped. But there is nothing to say, I mean, just wow. I'm surprised what happened isn't an auto hate crime, and I'm surprised about the victims bravery (she allowed her name and her mother's name to be printed). Don't know if that's ignorance or bravery. One thing to put your name there and say yes this happened to me yes I am not a faceless person and no I am not ashamed, why should I be ashamed. I was attacked, brutalized, and tortured. On the other side I feel like this woman might have allowed or been coerced to do something she wasn't ready to do or that wasn't in her best interest. I feel like the papers can be animals, especially towards people who aren't used to them. Everyone wants their gore. They aren't really interested in a story or in anything but increasing the human fascination with pain and destruction. But as much as I am sunshiny in person, I am very dark in my heart. Perhaps the papers had the best intentions, perhaps she hasn't put herself in danger through the information. Perhaps her whole life isn't about to be stripped bare and scrutinized within an inch of her life because she was abducted, held for a week, forced to each feces and drink toilet water, stabbed repetitively, raped, and strangled. People so easily lose sight of this to focus on something like “Well she wasn't living with her parents so...” or “well she did wear that...” or “well look at how many lovers she had” or even worse, “She was prone to abusive friends and relationships, maybe its time she really learned about abuse”. I get so angry when people say this, try to rationalize something that doesn't have rational. I know its a defense mechanism for some “She did these risky behaviors and I don't so I'm safe” or something to try to justify, but there is no justifying this. This was something she didn't want something that she didn't deserve.

  10. I want to talk about the 16yr old threatening to rape a 12 yr old, but I don't know what to say. The coaches of the track team want to stress how good the girls were, and how composed they were. They stayed together as a group while running, they took down the license and they called the police. The police want to stress how sorry the 16yr old is now that he realizes that the girl was upset....HE SHOULD NEVER HAVE FUCKING SAID THAT!!!! It is always inappropriate even if she wasn't upset, rape is serious, it isn't something to joke about or trivialize. One in four men would rape if they knew they wouldn't be caught, and this little stat makes me sick, but it also makes me prone to believe those “I'll rape you” jokes. Sure I know they won't rape me, I don't really ever give people the chance (never am alone, always have a locked door...blah blah you name it I'm doing it to avoid that) but that you would joke about it, that you would find it funny or harmless, to me that makes you the one of four who would rape if you knew you'd get out of it. Seems though now a days discussing rape isn't serious, and the kid, with a juvenile record already, who last month was shooting paint balls at the same track team, who at the very least has anger issues and DOES seem to prey on younger girls got a slap on the wrist. No actions taken...what does this say to those girls now track coaches? That you can do ALL the right things and STILL be threaten, humiliated, and scared. Police will do nothing.

  11. Southwest Airlines officially sucks. I mean come on. Neither of those women were wearing anything that is past the norm and you are hassling them for their outfit. I, like many others, can't help but notice that these women have large chests. As a buck some woman I can tell you that there is no pleasing people who accuse you of being provocative because of your chest. You wear a conservative button up shirt and everyone is whispering about how the buttons are straining. Where a turtle neck and people complain about how the fabric stretches. Wear a potatoe sack and you don't “care about you appearance” and are sloppy. What do you want any of us to do. I'll match the look that is appropriate but someone has to point it out first because there is no way I can help looking top heavy.

  12. Lots of story idea. For Lauren I have a scene in the pediatric office. For my hunter I have a scene with him confronting a pack, and with Lily there is a nice drinking scene and then one at thanksgiving.

  13. Got a poem too something about my desire to become one with the bed. “Desire to meld with the mattress” “Lying like a Log, Laziness in mind” “Desperate desire to escape into the oneness of a dead world” depressing I think might be the over all theme here though and I want funny or harsh or ironic or even a bit cruel. Don't want this sad self pitying lay down and disappear bullshit. I am worth more than that (really). There is something worth being here for (hopefully). I am not suffering (well not compared to other years, this one is really probably the best I've had since freshman year and in some ways its better). Its just that anger is easier to fuel me than a quiet desperation. Anger hurts and cuts but it pushes and demands. It numbs better that tender carefully guarded hope. Guess there isn't anything wrong but you know my own worries, concerns for things I am helpless to stop. I'm just waiting for it to fall in a few months. I hate being so completely pathetic. A year ago (sept 25) my friend wrote a poem for me, one that I still think applies (sadly). From my comments in lj that sadly don't carry over here:

    Jess, just:

    She wishes she were lesser
    and lesser, lesser still.
    She knows she could be so much more,
    The juxtoposition makes her ill.
    Impassioned, truly, for nothing...
    But yearns the unity passion suggests--
    She can fake it, oh she can fake it
    (But it's a heartache nonetheless.)

    Perhaps the restlessness will never leave?
    Inquisitive, objective...has a price.
    Life's a struggle, breathe just breathe...
    Tis a... comforting! No! Ineffective! Device...?

    Stop the analyzation.
    "But my saving grace would fall!"

    "No wait, but if, You see,
    A piece of you and them in me,
    Energy mine in those and this and of us all..."
    You shh, just shh, if shh
    Fuck it all///.

  14. I'm thinking a lot about individuals. My energy has been focused on Kim because I can't decide how to feel about her. No question she is nice enough I will always be friendly to her, but what do I think. On one side she is friendly,easy to talk to, and she makes people feel welcomed like they belong. She has this passion and energy and still she isn't doing anything. She “works” many jobs where she doesn't do anything but place hold. I really value work, and while she's got a lot of good points I can't help but wonder if the action bely the words. Is she really empty and trying to convince people she's full? Does she really deserve the awesome recommendations she will get even though she didn't do the work? Are people who do this for her helping her or hurting her in the long run, because really if you aren't working and if you aren't helpful, shouldn't someone tell you that? After all it isn't really entirely her fault if no one has ever stopped and told her. Though to be honest I'm not big on sparing people's feelings for the sake of “kindness”, I think its really a disservice to that person. They have a right to know the truth and even if they hate you for it later, at least they can grow and move on. This “kindness” bull crap is why we have so many terrible want to be artists. No one has the balls anymore to say, “Hey you should scrap that, its great it means something to you but it isn't marketable and will never be marketable”, “You don't seem to have the skills”, “IF you want this you should do this” and so on. Everyone is all fake “its nice”, “I like it”, “it shows you and how you're feeling and therefor is art”. Just no, art is to some degree in the eye of the beholder but being a recognizable artist or actor or whatever is some degree talent, some degree luck, some degree connections, but also some degree managing to make something that is MARKETABLE that OTHERS like and value. It has personal meaning, great, I'm the public and I'm telling you it sounds terrible.

  15. Thinking a lot of Ian too. He and eye are similar. He has more talent and he's crashed more than me, but we are the same. So much potential, so much smarts and talent and we are wasting it all. We probably piss the hell out of people. Ian just makes me sad because he is suffering and I know it. I know why, and in my secret heart of hearts I agree with what he feels. I feel it so deep in my own being, and it has cut me in the same way its broken him. He's better with wording it, but he caught on later than I did. This little dark cloud has been part of me, an idea forming since second grade. Couldn't name it then and I certainly can't really articulate it now, but for Ian its been all at once. Some time I'll have to quote him because I know that pain. It makes me sad that he sees it because it is a confirmation that I'm not crazy but that there is something wrong, and it makes me more sad because the realization is destroying him and he could give and be so very much. There's nothing I can do about that though, try to be there if he needs me I guess.

  16. Haven't seen AJ much and want to keep it that way. In small doses he can be colorful but large ones he is a depression. Plus I don't have to worry about him too much, he's doing well in school, he's always doing well in school.

  17. Saw Kevin Friday at a party. I was all dressed up and he looked right through me like I didn't exist. Of course I was giving my scared as hell deer caught in the head lights, hide behind or in the bf face. And honestly he does scare me. He is violent and I know that being with Pines could have only encouraged this. He is a drunk and I know he is a cruel one. He has hurt me in ways that I'm not sure will ever heal. Zac seems to sense these kind of things because his whole body posture changes. No matter how drunk or sober we are, he seems to recognize the threat this boy and the whole frat/sorority is in my head (possibly in real life there have been confrontations, but none of them have been so bad that they justify this throat closing sweat inducing terror). They don't confront me (haven't actually since early November of last year). They don't acknowledge me at all actually, and I don't acknowledge them. Sometimes this is sad because friendly acquaintances have joined this group after our break up and gone from willingly holding conversations with me to giving terse and hesitant nods. Sometimes I wonder what he says that does this to them. Sometimes I am afraid I know. Sometimes I wonder if I'm just being too sensitive. Though if I'm sensitive to this, my bf is more sensitive because once in a while (it is rare because I am such an observant paranoid person) he stiffens before I do. He pulls me close and his eyes get guarded. It's these times that I know he isn't reacting just to me and how I react but to the actual presence and stare of these people where I get most sad. It would be more tolerable if I could convince myself that its all in my head.

  18. Anyhow, we left Friday's party early. This is part from Pines, part because we had a friend who was new to the scene and wanted to leave (we'd have left with her just because she wanted to go, but it certainly helped that I wanted to get the hell out), we left because suddenly I didn't want to be in a crowded dark place drinking gross punch and pretending to be someone I'm just not. We left because the cigarette smoke was so thick in the air I thought I'd be sick. We left because Zac is a good boy and all I have to say is that I want to go and we should tell the others before taking off and he handles everything for me. He never questions the distress, just lets me babble happily with my friend while we walk home while I wonder what happened and why I got like that. Later when everyone is in bed he just holds me and lets be be comforted by his presence. So good not to push me to talk about things he wants to know, questions and insecurities I may have placed in his mind that he deserves better than.

  19. Lucky's b-day was significantly less emotional an affair. On Wednsday we went out and just had a good time at the bar. Played some games got the guitar to place “Sweet Caroline” and “Journey” because everyone's first night as 21 drinking should include these songs. Drank sex on the Beaches, two to be exact and was very much drunk. Had the boy finished the last one and we left. Asked Lucky to come back with us (lives with me) but she wasn't ready to go. Learned later we should have insisted. Knew she was drunk but thought she should take care of herself, make her own choices. She got back alone (not cool) and then was sick by herself (even less cool). If we'd taken her at midnight she could probably have avoided the sick and the walk home alone, even if it isn't a long one, is one no one should do late at night. Still it was nice to have the boy to myself. I like being places with him and sharing him but I love having him all to myself. I am such a sappy girl with the adoration of cuddling close and whispering little secrets and he seems to be satisfied with just that too. I've never dated a boy who's been so patient, who completely lacks a set of demands or an agenda. I really like it.

  20. Want to talk about Harry Potter some, but I'm still working on it </a></a>[info]the_willow has inspired it but its still all jumbled and senseless. Maybe I'll hit that in a list later.</strong>

  21. Saw the “unknown” works of Claude Monet. Some of these “unknowns” were really famous and well known even to me. Some of them were charicterures though and I thought those were pretty cool not only because it was early on in Monet's life but because some of them were copied from the paper, other were clearly inspired by a cartoonist and still others were just done for himself. It was interesting to see Monet's hand at cartoons. Was surprised by all the crayon drawings, I know they were just a tool before Crayola came along and stigmatized them, I really still adore crayon now, there are a couple neat things you can do with them (though I suppose that this isn't anything that would be “great” art. Also the Clark is really a place for rich people. I come to this conclusion because well there were so many really expensive cars. I recognized the BMWs and Mercades and the arrogance in the drivers.

  22. We talked about Porches, which is a hotel in town that is one of the top ten hotels in the world to stay at. It is weird to think about that because well, its in the least well off part of town. It is facing this worn dead mill and the houses in the surrounding area are run down and some of them are clearly running drug operations. I wouldn't walk alone on the streets there, and somehow this is a nice environment for a hotel....I don't know I mean I like to feel safe at the hotel and on hotel grounds and I want to see something pretty, Porches fails these. Though apparently rich people like this whole thing. They want to see squalor and I don't enjoy viewing from behind glass where they eat their gourmet breakfast, whatever, its weird.

Think that might be all I have right now though. Meh. There you are tons of words for you all to enjoy and possibly marvel at or not. Just some of the endless thoughts I didn't know how else to get out. Hope this takes the edge off me a bit.

Aug. 23rd, 2007

Orginally found by legless over at lj and posted in DC, but I wanted it here.

Aug. 20-27, 2007 issue - In one of history's more absurd acts of totalitarianism, China has banned Buddhist monks in Tibet from reincarnating without government permission. According to a statement issued by the State Administration for Religious Affairs, the law, which goes into effect next month and strictly stipulates the procedures by which one is to reincarnate, is "an important move to institutionalize management of reincarnation."

Now granted I know nothing about China's judiciary system, but I'm wondering how this works.  

I know that making such a law doesn't acknowledge that reincarnation exists, it only serves to punish people who claim to be reincarnations.  But my question is how do you prove this? 

I mean let's say that item X was stolen.  I go around town telling everyone that I stole it.  The cops get tipped off and I'm taken in for questioning.  Right at this point all I have to do is deny the claims.  They might be watching me after they release me.  They might search my house or do try to find evidence linking me, but in the end if they can't prove it, as long as I deny that I stole x to the cops or to a judge, it is the police and lawyer's job to find evidence.  

Let's apply this to reincarnation. The Dali Lama passes on and monks start looking for his reincarnation.  They go through a series of tests and find who they believe to be the Dali Lama.  Police swoop in.  Maybe this kid doesn't even believe he is the reincarnation and maybe he does, but either way when questioned he gives some sort of answer like "I don't know" or "no one can say for sure".  Now the police have to prove that he is a reincarnation.  Now they can reference the tests that the monks did to decide he was the Dali Lama, but without an actual admission or claim made by the person and not the public, how can the police act against him. 

On a similar thread, why doesn't all of Tibet resist by all of them claiming to be a reincarnation of X who reincarnated without permission.  I mean can China really throw all of them in jail?  

But those are just my thoughts on it.  Anyone else?