Friday, December 28, 2012

Whoops, Faux Pas

Been following the blog Love Live Grow for a while now. The author, Issa, posted some pictures of her little boy Dylan a few weeks ago.[1] Dylan's about a year and a half old. He's a heart-melting ball of cute with a beautiful baby-toothed smile and a rounded little tummy I'd love to zerbert all day.  But I thought it'd be corny and creepy to say all that so I settled for a remark that's worked for me in the past when complimenting someone's little boy:

BJ: Aw, he’s gonna be a ladykiller when he gets a little older. He’s gorgeous.
Issa: I’m having the urge to ban you . . . :-P

As you can see, Issa's reply wasn't of the Aw Shucks Thanks variety.

I was a little confused by her reaction -- I mean, I'm just being nice, right? Then I read into her blog a little bit. Specifically thoughts on pigeonholing kids into gender roles using very sexually charged terms.[2]  Another entry detailed her discomfort with the small talk that happens about and around babies.[3]

Not being a parent, my addition to the discourse on those subjects is limited. I do have thoughts on the culture's attitudes about sex and young children, but that's another entry. What I'm taking away from it as applied to this specific situation -- Issa was calling me out (in a teasing manner, she wasn't slapping me down or anything) over my use of standard-issue thoughtless mouth noise.

So Issa, if you're reading this, I'm sorry. I shouldn't make mindless, offhand remarks about Dylan. He deserves better than mindless and offhand.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Yay For Dickish Business Practises

And now it's time for the Shitty Ass Gaming Lifetime Achievement Award. This is given to the person, persons, companies, and/or fictional entities who've done the most to ruin the lives of video gamer players over the past calendar year.


And there's really only one nominee this year . . . Capcom! For selling retail copies of games with locked content on the disk that was later to be sold as "DLC."[1]

I see your eyes glazing over. Okay, here's what happened. Earlier this year, Capcom released Street Fighter X Tekken. As is often the case these days, consumers were told extra playable characters would be made available -- for a price -- via download later. However some eager beavers exploited a programming glitch and hacked a copy of the retail release. They found all the data for the extra characters already present on the disk, but locked so the data couldn't be used. That left consumers to conclude that the material Capcom was intending to sell as "extra" was in fact the unlock codes for content already in the buyer's possession. Nor is this an isolated incident; I've heard Resident Evil 6 was sold with locked content on the disk.

You remember that scene from Fargo when the bad guy's rooking the nice couple into paying extra for a car because it's got an anti-corrosion sealant the bad guy didn't tell them about when they were agreeing on a price?[2]

When asked about the situation, Capcom explained that releasing the disks with the extra content already on them was a way to make gamers lives easier later; it would cut down on multiplayer technical issues and so on.[3] Consumers aren't buying it. The scandal pissed people off so much they filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau, causing the BBB to downcheck Capcom's rating.[4]

Channel your inner ET -- ooouuuuch.


Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Scene Of Self-Image

Serious trigger warnings -- self-hate, self-mutilation, and (horror!) purple prose.  I'm going to make the text match the background.  Click and highlight to read.

A Scene of Self-Image

The space is a gray nothing, a cool stone floor and a place with no walls and a sky draped with lead-gray clouds.  I can see myself in a mirror, the defined reflection that looks back at me every day, plus the ghostly reflection of my back side.

There's a voices.  It has no person or gender or identity, it's just a voices -- many equalling one.  //Undress.//

I do.  Shirt and pants and shoes.  I like wearing hats, so of course I'm not wearing one here.  This is reality and reality is not about liking.

Off with my underthings, plain cotton, with a pad in the croch and a falsie where my left breast never grew.  The clothes disappear.  Here they have no use.

//What do you see?//

From head to toe, I quantify myself.  Dishwater blonde hair on a scalp that flakes.  A face boiling with fresh acne, brown spots showing where I've tried to dig it out and my ungrateful skin rebelled.  A short neck with a dark ring around the base no scrubbing will take off.  A hunched back, rounded shoulders.  One breast drooping, the other missing.  A double-keg of stomach.  It's a massive thing, this, and I describe it at some length.  It's the first and last thing anyone ever sees, it's the reason everyone knows me even if they don't.  An ass that starts above the small of my back.  Under the droop of my belly there's a shadow that might be a mons.  Legs falling down all over themselves in massive pouches.  Feet swollen and shiny with the fluid my heart's not strong enough to cycle on its own.

I hate it.  Every micrometer, every cell, every fiber.

//Then change it.//

There's a knife in my hand.  I don't know how, I tell the voices.

//We'll tell you,// the voices say, and shard into a noise of contradicting advice and instruction and encouragement.  Stab here, slice there, let this drain, pump that up.

It'll hurt.  I don't like hurting.

//There's no pain here.//

Oh.  So I go to work.  They're right, no pain.  If anything, it's all intellctually interesting, the way my body reacts to the knife.  The gray light makes everything stand out in especial detail.  Blood and fat and flesh.  It's slippery and disobedient to my will, like it's fighting me.  Why is it fighting me?  It must know this is all to make things okay.

And even if it doesn't work, at least I'll have scars to show that I tried.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Caveats, A Poem

I'm a gamer . . . well not really,
because I only own ten or so games,
because I don't play CoD or Halo,
because I'm a punchline to my peers.

I'm an artist . . . well not really,
because I only knit scarves,
because I don't sculp or paint or play,
because I can't write stories.

I'm a citizen . . . well not really,
because I can't stand up or sit down,
because I'm too weird to identify with,
because my experience is invalid.

I'm a woman . . . well not really,
because I've never been to bed with anyone,
because people can't touch me,
because I can't touch people.

I'm a sister and a daughter . . . well not really,
because my eyes are the wrong color,
because my expressions of love are wrong,
because I don't fit in my slot.

I'm a person . . . well not really,
because I am deviant,
because I am deficient,
because I am disgusting.

Because my skin is not clear.
Because my bosom is malformed.
Because my hair doesn't style itself.

Because my teeth are crooked.
Because my belly droops to my thighs.
Because my ass is a yard across.

Because there is nothing inside me but fat.
Because there is nothing inside me but need.
Because there is nothing inside me anyone wants.


Monday, December 3, 2012

It's Not Size Acceptance, It's People Acceptance

All applicable warning flags and disclaimers, I'm not a psychiatrist or a sociologist or an anything-ist, I've just lived through some interesting times, this opinion is strictly that of the opinionholder and does not reflect the viewpoint of anyone but them, et cetera et cetera et cetera . . .

You wanna know what the *real* force against Size Acceptance is?

A lot of people have hitched significant portions of their self-esteem to their image. Thin is both desireable and attainable, or so the culture says. People who are thin can therefore take pride and pleasure in that fact, and they reap all kinds of little rewards from an approving culture.

Now here come these upstarts who don't fit the standard, whom the culture judges as dirty and unworthy. These upstarts, these . . . these . . . *fat* people, suggest that body size isn't a sign of rigorous self care, adversity overcame, or the love of an approving God. That body size is as meaningless as having blue eyes and blond hair; attractive to many, symbolic of nothing.

That a keystone of your good and approving feelings about yourself and people you admire are a house of cards built on a Jello foundation.

That maybe you're not so awesome after all, because how else is awesomeness defined than by comparison to the *un*awesome? Can't have winners without a whole lot of losers.

That maybe exercise enthusiasts aren't entitled to more respect than any dedicated hobbyist -- I knit, but that doesn't give me the right to call all non-knitters unartistic time-squandering wastes of blood and organs.

It isn't that slender people have a fundamental character defect making them bigoted jackasses. It's that people aren't even aware of the little ways the world favors people for things that have nothing to do with their sterling qualities as people, and that, whether we're aware of it or not, we're all actively participating in someone else's oppression

That's a nastybitter pill to swallow. And in this era of political correctness overcorrection (another time, dears), no one likes to seem like they're too sensitive.