silveradept: A kodama with a trombone. The trombone is playing music, even though it is held in a rest position (Default)
I welcome all of the following types of comments on ANY of my entries:
  • Single or two word comments, e.g. , woo!, yay, yes, no, please, thanks, absolutely, agreed, seconded, so much, no way, etc.
  • "+1" or Facebook style "like".
  • Otherwise brief comments, e.g. single sentences.
  • A comment that is a punctuation mark(s) to let me know you read, e.g. a period, an asterisk.
  • A comment that is a punctuation mark(s) to express your response, e.g. an exclamation mark or question mark.
  • A comment that is an emoticon(s) to express your response, e.g. \o/, <3, :), :(, :-D, :-P, etc.
  • Long, wordy comments. Rambling is totally okay.
  • Comments and links on related topics.
  • Comments on single links, entities, paragraphs, topics, or words in the entry. I throw out a lot of things each entry, and I don't expect anyone to have to come up with a coherent comment on each and every one of them to comment.
  • Sequential commentary. It's totally okay to comment about one thing as you read it, then another thing in a separate comment, then a third thing after you've chewed on it for a while and feel ready to talk about it.
  • Incoherent comments. It’s all good. I would rather have you here and showing interest,, even if it's just a *flail*, than for you to stay silent because you are afraid or unable to get the perfect comment out.
  • Talking amongst yourselves in the comments is fine. I like creating a place where people get to interact!

I also welcome:

  • Comments on older entries, access-locked or public.
  • Comments on VERY OLD entries, access-locked or public. I have many years of archives.
  • Comments from people who are not subscribed to me.
  • Comments from people who I’ve never met.
  • Comments from people who haven’t talked to me in awhile.
  • Comments from people who’ve never talked to me.
  • I like knowing the provenance of new commenters. If you're new, I'd love to know where you came from and what brought you here.

My great anxiety is that there's nobody out there and I'm shouting into the wind. If you’re feeling like you want to comment with something, feel free to comment with what feels good and comfortable to you, whether that’s leaving a !!! or an essay. If you don't have the spoons for any comment, that's okay, too. No pressure, no obligations.

How I reply to comments:
  • I mostly try to reply to comments.
  • I normally try to reply to comments as soon after they arrive as I can.
  • My comments will probably try to elicit more discussion and longer-form commentary. Part of it is my professional training, part of it is because I like discussions.
  • You are never obligated to reply to a reply, nor to write longer-form than you wish.
  • If you would like a response to a comment, I encourage you to let me know. “I would appreciate a response to this if possible,” etc. is totally fine with me.
  • Absentminded. If I have forgotten to reply to something you want a reply to, a poke is totally okay.

Linking to my entries:
  • If it’s public, it’s fair game.
  • It’s access-locked, ask me.
  • Please do not archive my work without asking me first.
  • If you do link to me elsewhere, it warms my heart if you tell me where you linked, but it's not a requirement.
  • If something I linked or wrote inspired you, it warms my heart if you link me to it. Also not a requirement.

Transformative works:

As of the time of the last edit to this post (02019-01-22), the content of my blog is licensed CC-BY-SA (4.0 Unported), which says that if you use my work for something, your work should attribute me (the user name and a link back to my blog is usually sufficient) and your work should also be licensed under a license similar to the Attribution-Sharealike license. The stuff I link to is not governed under this license and may have additional requirements for you to use.

Adding and access:

If you want to add me, go ahead! Please feel encouraged to do so.

I like new subscribers. I also respect access-locks - if something you created is That Awesome, I'll ask for permission before excerpting or posting elsewhere.

I may not add you back - I tend to evaluate based on what's available on your entries page. If you're mostly access only, it may take some comments or a conversation in a third space before I have an idea of whether I want to subscribe. If your journal is a repository for your fiction efforts, I may not add you back, because I do not have near enough time to properly read anyone's fiction as a part of my daily list crawl. I would probably enjoy it, if I had the time.

I don't give access, generally. For one, nearly everything posted is public, so you're not missing out on anything by not having that access. If I do post something under access-lock, it is probably something intensely personal, and so I'd be hand-selecting who I want to see it.

(This idea stolen and modified from [personal profile] trascendenza, who first broached it in their own journal when talking about commenting culture and their own anxieties.)
silveradept: A representation of the green 1up mushroom iconic to the Super Mario Brothers video game series. (One-up Mushroom!)
Greetings! Let's start with the ways that transformative works of the 20th and 21st centuries CE are close cousins to the style of writing practiced by Byzantium that made heavy use of quotes, tropes, and references to produce both authority of writer and to give the audience things to recognize and enjoy in the words themselves.

[personal profile] elf explains the nomination of the Archive Of Our Own for a Hugo award is both about the underlying code/infrastructure and the content that makes that underlying infrastructure deliver exactly what sort of transformative work someone is looking for when they search the Archive. If so desired, the full list of the 2019 Hugo finalists and the 1944 Retroactive Hugos is now published for your perusal.

And you can see even more inside... )

Last for tonight, Millions of Cats, the oldest picture book created in the United States that's still in print. Also, Nathan W. Pyle's Starnge Planet, a comic series about aliens looking at and doing common human practices with delight and curiosity. (ETA: We are informed that the creator of the comic is not a fan of bodily autonomy for women. Further information about the preferences of the creator and how much their belief is private versus public.)

And you know how difficult it is to find trans and enby rep in stock photography? (Exceedingly.) So the folks in a Vice Department created the Gender Spectrum Collection, a series of stock photographs of trans and enby people (and not just all white people, too) available to the public for use.)

Finally, A Twitter thread about things that are common knowledge in all sorts of industries but would otherwise be completely shocking to anyone outside of that industry. Some of which are very familiar. And many that involve the House of Mouse.
silveradept: A dragon librarian, wearing a floral print shirt and pince-nez glasses, carrying a book in the left paw. Red and white. (Dragon Librarian)
I thought it was a good idea to try and write my own profile that extols my virtues. It takes a while to think about them, and there's always going to be some part of this where it sounds pretentious and insufferable. Based on the things that inspired this challenge, though, pretentious and insufferable might be spot on for what we want.

Silver Adept is not the kind of writer that is going to show up on anyone's rec lists. They don't have a big series with hundreds of thousands of words on the Archive of Our Own (AO3). Going over their collection of finished works, there isn't even a work that crests the moderately low fanfiction bar of 10,000 words. For those who use the site to post transformative works that put familiar characters in novel situations or expound upon the canons started by other authors, pulling, pushing, and often times fixing the errors of representation, characterization, and plot produced by other canon works, Silver Adept is a bit of an odd duck.

If you looked at Silver Adept solely by their Archive of Our Own output, you might be convinced that they're a fannish dilettante, never staying too long in one place, writing small works here and there before zipping off in some other random direction, writing whatever strikes them and posting it. Until you notice how many of those works have a recipient as part of their description, made as gifts for the other members of the community.

"Exchanges," they point out, "are about taking the seed of an idea proposed by someone else and turning it into a work that you can gift back to them. You get at least one thing in return, too, from your own idea pool, and it's really neat to see how others take a small prompt and then make a full work out of it. While there are a lot of creators out there putting together masterpieces of hundreds of thousands of words, I'm more like a short-order cook, taking ideas and turning out tasty creations on a relatively quick deadline."

Diving into the statistics that AO3 provides for each user, the "short-order cook" form still results in a cumulative output of about 50,000 words for each year on the Archive. In 2018, they crested 60,000 words, and celebrated two milestones - one of their older works, The Many Proposals of Nick Burkhardt, reached more than 100 "kudos" (the Archive's version of a "like") and one of their shortest works, Marinette Special, was the fastest to obtain 50 kudos, taking only a few weeks after its posting to reach the half-century mark.

To some, the idea of writing someone else's ideas when there are so many of their own to get down on paper (or the eelctronic equivalent thereof) seems absurd. But there's a thriving community of prompt givers and writers on AO3 and other places, like Dreamwidth, where Silver Adept maintains a journal of "interesting things on the Web, mixed with flat-out rants and the occasional deep dive into a particular topic."

On Dreamwidth, the idea of Silver Adept as a dilettante disappears, as there are posts full of meta (discussions about character motivations, worldbuilding, or other aspects that aren't specifically about narrative stories) about various series, and several instances of the "December Days" and "Fandom Snowflake" sequences. For "December Days", Silver takes a single topic (a baseball-themed Tarot deck or various aspects of the craft of writing, for example) and writes a post a day about that topic for each day in December. "Fandom Snowflake" is a fifteen-day challenge that starts immediately after in the new year, asking questions about a person's fandom history, experiences, hopes, and wishes. "It's a pretty long sequence, but what comes out of it is usually pretty good, and I enjoy doing it," they said. "Plus, it's a way to invite comment and to get to know others in transformative works. It can feel isolating to think you're the only person with your ship, your headcanon, your idea about how everything works."

Putting Dreamwidth and AO3 together significantly raises the number of words that Silver Adept produces each year on fandom-related topics, and it's very difficult to capture how many of those words exist in other Dreamwidth journals and spaces as commentary, but that's still not a complete picture.

"I call it the Giving-of-Grief because there's just a lot to unpack, and I'm probably paying more attention to the things that didn't go well in the worldbuilding and characterization than the things that do," they say about their multi-year commentary series on Anne, Todd, and Gigi McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern. Each week, they post about a chunk of narrative in a Pern novel or short story, going in roughly chronological order of publication of each series of Pern. For those looking for a comparison work to go along with Mari Ness's reread of Pern for, or those impatient to skip ahead, Silver Adept provides an excellent read-along and commentary for modern audiences.

It is only when you consider all three of these places that you get an idea of the scope of output that Silver Adept quietly produces. The seemingly-diffuse spaces all add up together to a conclusion that Silver Adept is writing a lot more than anyone might guess, but only someone with as wide-ranging of interests as they have might see the complete picture. When asked, they said a "lowball estimate" of what they put out in a single year on fandom topics might be around 150,000 words. That it's not on a single work makes it seem easy to dismiss, but that's three novels' worth of production in what they call "easily counted things."

Silver Adept may never have an epic work to hang their hat on, although they hinted that something significantly more long-form was in the works, based on an "idea that refuses to get shaken off," but providing no further details. Not everyone wants to dine on long-form epics all the time. Sometimes what you want is comfort food. And Silver Adept serves that up in a lot of different fandoms, one exchange prompt at a time.

That sounds about right, if I were trying to write about myself in a way that is otherwise opposite to how I usually feel about my work. (Although I do get nice comments on those works that say that other people enjoy them, so it's not always a pit of nerves and worries about whether any given work resonated or worked well with the audience.)
silveradept: Salem, a woman with white skin and black veining over her body, sits at a table with her hands folded in front of her. Her expression is one of displeasure at what she is seeing or hearing. (Salem Is Displeased)
Cheers. Let's begin with [personal profile] melannen providing ways to make your Archive of Our Own searching more productive and less scrolling through terrible things.

Additionally, you can make visible how many comments any given post has through a quick trip to the modules section of your Dreamwidth theme settings. It's one tickybox getting un-tickied. Thank [personal profile] runpunkrun for being able to see your comment counts displayed instead of as a hover. Plus, it gives you a direct link to the comments themselves.

Also, ways of getting useful data out of Goodreads, as well.

Suzuki Ichiro is retiring from baseballl, having left behind a legacy that introduced us to the idea that Nippon baseball is just as big and produces just as good of players as anywhere else. And who was, at least for me, a refreshing alternative to the game that seemed to be heading more and more in the direction of the big swing. We may not have anyone quite as good as Ichiro at proving that slap-hitters can find a place in the major leagues, but Ichiro's name will likely live on for quite a while as the record holder for most base hits in a single season. It's the sort of statistic that the Non-Statistical Division enjoys greatly, and we tip our caps to Ichiro and his dedication to the craft of small ball. We hope his example of how to play the game is inspiring to others in all leagues to do the same.

When men write fanfic, it's "unauthorized novels" and "pastiche", and a shame they can't get it published, so clearly copyright laws have gone too far. When others do it, it's that icky fanfic. So, rather than let them tell us all about how second-class we are, take part in a challenge to write yourself the artist profile you deserve as a great creator of transformative works.

And if you're looking for Narnia recs, have a Twitter thread with lots of good Narnia fic.

Going forward from here )

Last for tonight, SFF with trans and nonbinary representation recommendations and an adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream that makes it a coffee shop AU induced by a burrito haze.

The reasons why cover art doesn't necessarily match up with the story contained within (contains uncovered breasts, which is not a thing that happened all that often in the source story that it's supposed to be illustrating.)

And also, a very long Twitter thread about the secrets of various industries and professions that are normal to those inside and potentially horrifying to those outside.
silveradept: The logo for the Dragon Illuminati from Ozy and Millie, modified to add a second horn on the dragon. (Dragon Bomb)
If you have a paid account, and you don't like seeing these things, you can exclude the "political links" tag from your reading list.

The United Kingdom intends to revoke the citizenship of a teenager who joined ISIL and has now left the organization. Their reasoning is that the teenager could become a citizen of another nation, and therefore they do not have to keep her citizenship. It's not entirely clear that the route is available to her, and it is a serious violation of human rights to make a person stateless. But, of course, we live in times where things that would otherwise be unheard of in liberal democracy keep happening and getting suggested. And, for an extra dose of hypocrisy, if you change the gender of the person wanting to return to male, suddenly he gets a lot more sympathetic treatment about his want to return. In case you wondered who is actually important in these stories. Since the original decision to revoke her citizenship, her baby has died in a refugee camp. So now there's been the death of a citizen in regard to this entire fiasco, one that could have easily been prevented had someone decided that reality was a better place to live than their woman-hating fantasy.

Brexit, the States, and More )
silveradept: Domo-kun, wearing glass and a blue suit with a white shirt and red tie, sitting at a table. (Domokun Anchor)
Greetings. Let's start with Javier Grillo-Marxuach on the reality of becoming a Fandom Ancient.

Netflix has decided to reboot the Baby-Sitters Club, and the Mary Sue is really hoping that we'll finally get a canonically queer Kristy. Given that we now know the creator of the series is gay herself, it seems like a good time to go forward with the idea, given that Kristy reads very much like a sporty and possibly a bit butch lesbian once you are old enough to have the vocabulary to understand and describe her that way, the various dating partners available to the Club aside.

And also, Fred Rogers has become the ultimate unicorn, after the Internet discovered (rediscovered?) that he made statements that are pretty unambiguous about being bisexual. So not only is he the winner of the Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny, he can also be a queer icon, admittedly posthumously, but since Fred Rogers built himself on the idea of being kind to your neighbors, and seeing everyone around you as your neighbors, it seems fitting that he has a strong tie to just about every marginalized group there is.

A thing I occasionally have to keep in mind so that I don't start sliding back into blaming myself for how terrible relationships ended - emotional intimacy also requires consent, and several of the tools used to foster communication between people having trouble in relationships forget this or weaponize someone's unwillingness to consent to make the problem about them.

And there's still more )

Last for tonight, A Hurt/Comfort plot generator, based on the delightful ways that various tags in a hurt/comfort exchange were accidentally lining up with each other. Probably equally usable for crack as for trying to write something serious.

Postmodern Jukebox does Pinky and the Brain. With the two actors for Pinky and the Brain as part of the song, playing bartenders.

Postmodern Jukebox is a lot of fun to watch and listen to, but I think they also represent a challenge or a dare to the idea that music-making is uniquely human in some way and that it can't be fully captured by algorithm or artificial intelligence.
silveradept: On a background of gold, the words "Cancer Hufflepuff: Anxieties Managed". The two phrases are split by a row of three hearts in blue. (Cancer Hufflepuff)
  • Atari Women is a project being run out of the University of Washington with the intent of foregeounding the contributions of women to games and gaming and telling their stories of what it is like to be developing and being awesome at games. (I've met the first woman eSports champion from that panel. She would then go on from being the Queen of Space Invaders to do things like be the lead developer on The Bard's Tale III. How cool is that?) I think this is a very worthwhile project and that people who have stories or know stories or work in game development should contribute, because this is history that needs preserving. (There's even a modified Pac-Man game to play on the website.)

  • Because of our shared taste in that panel, I got to reconnect with someone I had fallen out of contact with, which was great. Rebuilding friendships and getting back in contact with people after a long time in isolation is helpful.

  • Also in serendipity, one of the event staff turns out to have been one of my teens at the library who is now doing coursework in media at the local technical college.

  • I may have picked up a new podcast, if all of the episodes are like the live show that I listened to, but I'm going to listen to a few before making a final decision or recommendation on it.

  • It's telling that the answer to the question of "What sort of things can I read if my wish-fulfillment is to see more of the Batwang?" is "Find a good fanartist and make sure you have an AO3 account."

  • The author and artist of 100 Demon Dialogues personalizes books by putting the response to the question "What does your demon say to you?" in the front where there's a demon character ready to have a speech balloon added. For some people, they think about what their demon says to them and then come up with something.

    It probably says something about me that I already know, and that it has a few talking points to rotate through.

  • I got some new T-shirts from a Mystery Bag, all of which are quite good. When I first opened the first bag, one of the shirts was pink and I said "Well, if it's not my taste, then I'll pass it on." It turned it to be an adorable picture of Cat!Rose Quartz and Cat!Steven Universe nuzzling each other, and so it's mine just fine.

    I had a twinge of "is someone going to be an asshole if a masc-presenting person shows up at con in a pink shirt?", but it didn't happen. I got compliments on the shirt instead, and I have to say thank you to Steven Universe the show for helping make all colors available to all people again. And also I have Questions for society about why anyone should have to be worried about color choices and their presentation.

  • I have seen exactly one Smurfette at the convention.
silveradept: The emblem of Organization XIII from the Kingdom Hearts series of video games. (Organization XIII)
Stuff that should get out on bits, but otherwise has no rhyme or reason:

  • Into the Spider-Verse was very cool. Also, I find that I keep thinking that it's scored a lot more like The Matrix than many other movies. The score is there for specific set pieces, it has themes running through it, but otherwise it's just not there until it's needed. I liked it, and I think it's a really good score, but it reminded me a lot of the way the music for The Matrix went.

  • You know how the common word for fox in French is a euphemism because foxes are generally tricksters and its a bad idea to invoke them on yourself? I wonder how much the Miraculous Ladybug folks are consciously playing into this, given that we have two fox-based characters, one hero, one not. The character named after the Latin name for fox? Villain. The one named after the euphemism? Hero.

    Makes you think.

  • I think I've leveled up somewhere along the way, in that there's a proper chair and couch being put into my living room soon. We'll have to see how it rearranges the floor plan, but I feel like I've crossed a threshold somewhere, and it's a little scary.

  • I'm taking my own advice and working on a writing project that I don't really believe has much of an audience, but that I like the idea for and keep coming up with things that can go into it, and so we keep going.

  • It would be so much nicer if the people at work could pay better attention to the pronouns they use about and around people. I'm getting ever more caustic about people who have been around me long enough to read the name badge, or my email signature, and still persist in using the wrong set of address.

  • I'm beginning to come around to the idea that my technical prowess at work is entirely due to the fact that I was encouraged to experiment and provided the tools with which to do so at an early age, which let me subsequently learn how to interpret errors and make educated guesses about where in interfaces features and functions might lie. For other people, who seem to have been raised in the idea that the computer is an expensive black box that does things at random and caprice, the idea of the machine not working is closer to terror than "let's see what happens." Perhaps in some other generation, knowing how to fix your own vehicle would be the same sort of situation.

  • Teachers, stop using leveled reading systems as anything other than evaluative measures about works. Because even when I, and a caregiver, say that reading for enjoyment is more important than reading for level, the children absorb the message that they have to read at a narrow band around their level, and it stifles them in ways you do not see.
silveradept: A cartoon-stylized picture of Gamera, the giant turtle, in a fighting pose, with Japanese characters. (Gamera!)
Hi! Let's start with this: how do you envision books when you're reading them? As it turns out for me, the answer is "Not much, you?" Even though when I construct writing, I try to visually block and imagine the things that are happening, I don't actually do it when I'm reading other pieces of prose. At least, not consciously. Unless, perhaps, there's something about the prose that fires my brain, but many times, that's a result of confusion or a suspicion that the action doesn't actually play out as smoothly as the narrative wants to believe it does. My visual sense kicks in as a critical component, not as a fannish one, necessarily.

The use of the Mx. honorific is gathering acceptance (and backlash) about being used in education settings. And in other settings as well, where there's an expectation of gendered language as the norm.

A quick Twitter Thread about the idea of pursuing and recommending excellence instead of becoming obsessed with the best. Which is a much shorter form of the bit I posted earlier about corruptions of fannish experiences. Because if we're all pursuing and recommending excellence, there's room for all of us, but if we're going for "the best," at a certain point, that becomes finite. Witness a list that wants to be the best books of all time in the science fiction genre, but instead is actually a list that provides a good tour of the genre from its beginnings to the present day. There are several authors on there that I would dispute their inclusion for, but I don't doubt that they have importance as signposts of what the genre can do and is capable of. (And possibly even, as warnings of false starts and prejudices and other things that we eventually figure out don't belong.)

Many people who posit they are logical beings as a way of asserting their superiority are neither logical nor superior, but you'll have a hell of a time convincing them of that, because they've invested in their "logic" and "rationality" in the same way that they might sneer at your "beliefs" and "emotions" that supposedly make you inferior to them.

Perhaps a useful set of examples can be found here in fashion trends that men hate, which are captions of reasons that men supposedly hate various fashion trends accompanying pictures where that trend is done really well and looks good on the person wearing it. I personally am of the opinion that clothing and makeup that produces the effect that the wearer wants is correct, regardless of what an observer's opinion is on the matter.

And behind the cut, there's always more )

Last for tonight, there may need to be more world-building in your story than you think, because culture, social space, and anything that's not a shared default is worth mentioning, even if it's not a plot point. And you may need to put those pieces in if you want your reader to assume something other than their shared default. Or you may end up looking like A Cool Guy, who exists to perform their commitment to social justice, and is in it for the making it about themselves, rather than for the advancement of others, which is often a much less fanfare-laden (and sometimes, remarkably less difficult) activity.

And Buzzfeed pitted eight roast chicken recipes against each other, and it turns out the simplest one turned out best, at least in the department of "stands on its own without saucing or any additional flavors poured onto it or dipped in it."

And finally, nobody can figure out what the Nepalese flag is the way it is, but it does make the flag a standout among all the others in the world.
silveradept: A head shot of a  librarian in a floral print shirt wearing goggles with text squiggles on them, holding a pencil. (Librarian Goggles)
It appears that the spreadsheets of bids have gone up successfully, and there's a bidding form available, so if you have been browsing the Fandom Trumps Hate auctions, you can now begin to bid on fanworks that you would like to see happen. Minimum bids are $5 for most auctions, and some auctions are offering tiered amounts of work if the bids cross a certain threshold.

Check to see that the entity you are bidding on will accept a donation to the charity you would like to give to, if you are the high bidder.

And, also, this is both contact post and shameless self-promotion post for my auction, offering fanfiction for either Rooster Teeth's RWBY (all of the canon available on-line), Cartoon Network's Steven Universe (which just wrapped its fifth season not too long ago), or Avatar: The Legend of Korra (which The Dragon Prince inherited people from and is getting comparisons made to).

The bidding window is relatively short - it closes 8pm EST on 1 March 02019, so three days is all you have to mull over your choices and perhaps attempt to fight others for the fanwork of your choice. And also, if there is something that you really do want to win, you'll need to refresh the spreadsheet often, as there will be no notifications that you've been outbid by someone else.

(I'll be happy if someone bids on me, because Impostor Syndrome is a terrible beast.)

Also, if you are curious about what my writing style is, or what sorts of stories I have already put together as part of my prolific exchange writing career, you can visit [ profile] silveradept and browse.
silveradept: A head shot of a  librarian in a floral print shirt wearing goggles with text squiggles on them, holding a pencil. (Librarian Goggles)
If you are looking to support charitable work and also receive a fan-something as a thank you for your donation, the offerings community for the 2019 incarnation of Fandom Trumps Hate is live. There's many things in there to suit the tastes and tropes of all sorts of fans.

This is also a shameless self-promotion post, as I am also offering a fanwork on either RWBY, Steven Universe, or Avatar: The Legend of Korra in exchange for the highest donation made on my auction. The good news is that I'm offering some unique fandoms. The bad news is, I'm offering some unique fandoms.

Signal-boosting the thing itself is much appreciated. If you want to boost me specifically, I'm flattered.
silveradept: The emblem of Organization XIII from the Kingdom Hearts series of video games. (Organization XIII)
[personal profile] alisx posited three major branches of fandom - the consumptive, the curative, and the transformative. Reading the comments on the original post is worthwhile, in that there's further explanations and some differences and teasing out that sometimes we work with a language where the right word sometimes also has unintended meanings along with the one we wanted.

What I got out of the post, hough, was that it was a succinct way of describing the corrupting influences on those branches. Not that there's a Platonic form of these activities, free from things that can be corrupting, because humans participate in fandom, and humans have chemical feedback mechanisms that have us chasing things that feel good but might not actually be good.

In any case, the three branches are consumptive fandom, curative fandom, and creative (or transformative) fandom.

Let's get into the details )

We all get caught up in the chase here and there, because we want to get something out of our fandom. If there were such a thing as the Platonic Form of fandom, it would be that space where everybody gets the things they're looking for, has a space of their own to participate with, and none of those things have to be mediated or ranked in importance by outside corrupting factors. It would be a nice place to be, I think, where everyone could get what they liked, create what they liked, and not get bit by any of the bugs that demand "more" or "better" as a way of valuing yourself.

But that's just me. One data point in a vast place. I'm pretty sure all of you have different opinions on the matter, so let's have a conversation.
silveradept: A librarian wearing a futuristic-looking visor with text squiggles on them. (Librarian Techno-Visor)
To begin with, in another world where you can effortlessly teleport to the people you care about, school violence resolves with a lot less massacre and tears. [Updated with correct origin link, thanks [personal profile] alexseanchai.]

[personal profile] notasupervillain posted a request asking about what technologies directly lead to social justice outcomes.

Most things we think of as grammar rules are really the constructions of prescriptivists somewhere in the 18th or 19th centuries CE. So if someone takes the idea that fundamentally, writing is about making good sentences rather than obedience to arbitrary rules, then you might get a style guide that's about style, rather than grammar.

Suggestions on good practice for citing authors that may have changed their names, pronouns, or gender markers so as to avoid deadnaming or other offenses.

Adults need vaccination as well as children.

And then there's all the rest of what's in the post. )

To end with, A palliative care doctor talks about the things in our lives that help us accept the inevitability of our deaths, and some of the things she's learned in caring for the dying that might make that idea easier on the one dying and the ones who have to deal with the dying.

An iconic organ piece on harp instead.

And a further improvement to the bookmarklet for making posts with excerpts - it now uses the right user tags for sites that Dreamwidth understands how to find their user pictures for.
silveradept: Domo-kun, wearing glass and a blue suit with a white shirt and red tie, sitting at a table. (Domokun Anchor)
Hello again! Let's start with something that is easy to say and difficult to do: you do not have to be good to enjoy your hobby. The tricky part is that in our connected world, we quickly run into the taste-skill boundary because we have so many examples of our hobby around that are good and better than we are that the comparison game can get entrenched early. For that, I have Tenured Professor Rogers Talks About Impostor Syndrome.

The Doomsday Clock continues to be set at two minutes to midnight, a grim reminder that the current abnormality should not be seen as a good thing.

A significant amount of taxpayer money goes toward maintaining sites that promote the idea that the Confederacy was right, slavery was beneficial to the slaves, and the Civil War was about something other than abolition and the subjugation of black people.

Sentences that could use some extra commentary to clarify their meaning.

There's so much more inside! )

Last for tonight, what qualifies as "unparliamentary language" for any given body varies from time to time and place. The Parliament of New Zealand offers some of the more choice phrases uttered that were questioned, at least to the 1980s or so, and Strong Language takes a look at some choice Canadian varieties. Some of them are fairly familiar curses and ablist terms, but there are especially good turns of phrase mixed in with them as well.

And, because it is always useful to have a record that everything we think of as new was said by someone before, An ebook copy of a collection of articles about fanzines that span the last 70s and 80s. This will be a very entertaining 200 pages or so to go through, because there's not really any talking about the technical aspects, and more about the philosophical and ideological parts.

Angie's List takes a look at the layouts of the captain's quarters from each of the Federation vessels or stations that we've been able to see the inside of.

And one very nice story about a robot finding not just a good show to watch, but a nice bunch of fans to collaborate writing with.
silveradept: The logo for the Dragon Illuminati from Ozy and Millie, modified to add a second horn on the dragon. (Dragon Bomb)
He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.
Analysis and transcript links to follow. )

This post and all others of its type can be excluded, if you are a paid user, by excluding the "political links" tag.
silveradept: Domo-kun, wearing glass and a blue suit with a white shirt and red tie, sitting at a table. (Domokun Anchor)
Federation is definitely a topic trending across many discussions of "Where do we go from here?" in relation to Tumblr blowing up. [personal profile] muccamukk
got the ball rolling with some questions about how it's supposed to work, and some of the common scenarios that fandom-on-federation might run into and how those are supposed to get managed. (I have waded into some of the discussions on that post with my own limited understanding, and I'm not sure if I did it well or clumsily.) There's a lot of really useful discussion of both the questions and federation in general going on there, so if you like wading through deep comment threads, enjoy!

Afterwards, [personal profile] sciatrix zoomed in on one specific possible dealbreaker about federation - trust in the moderators and administrators of your chosen home. Because there's still the very real possibility that, unless you're running your own server/instance with your money and technical know-how behind it (which is a fucking huge barrier to participation in a lot of things), the person who is in charge of your space might make decisions that you find rephrehensiblie, or might up and disappear because they got bored or moved on with their life or they collected an evil ex and needed to disappear.

Going forth into the long-windyness now. )

The more I learn about fandom, though, the more I learn that trust is where a lot of fandom's scars are, both individually and collectively. Same as with marginalized communities interacting with the majority. A lot of people get into fandom because they're not seeing themselves in the stuff the majority puts out, and they want to push back against that erasure in whatever small way they can. They already don't trust that people in power are going to use it responsibly (because by and large, they haven't), and they sometimes can't even trust the people around them not to do something terrible or allow something terrible to happen to them. In that kind of environment, how can anyone flourish?

I guess that's what it comes down to, now that I've spent a lot of words on the topic. Trust mechanisms have to be exposed and made public such that people can get a sense of what they're joining. On the obverse of that, though, there has to be an easy mechanism for noping out and taking your stuff with you in case that trust is betrayed. Any service that can manage to do both of those things well, federated or not, is likely to get popular with fans and fandom and seem like a good place to hang out. (And then can, hopefully, build in the technical tools that fans will need to express themselves that aren't already present.)
silveradept: A librarian wearing a futuristic-looking visor with text squiggles on them. (Librarian Techno-Visor)
An interesting thing to start - an examination of what people actually say as their last words of life.

And also, The history of the previous generation trying to dunk on the new generation for their wild and reckless behavior. (Although there's even older stuff than what's on that list.)

Lindsay Ellis talks about Death of the Author and The Fault In Our Stars, which will set you back about a half-hour to watch, but it's almost worth it for the 1980s instructional video style before it gets into the meat of how The Fault In Our Stars turns out to be a lot more self-referential, even about author intent, than desired.

I'm going to go and make a blanket recommendation for the new community [community profile] thisweekmeta, because it has a lot of what I like about fandom and talking about fandom in regular packages, and if I don't endorse the community, I'm going to end up linking to just about everything they post, like why critical examination might mean you end up liking something more, rather than less, because you find the thing you liked in the first place, and it's still there, even if you are now more aware of the things that aren't so great about it. Or asking for marginalized voices to talk about their experiences with fandom. Or a certain amount of Fandom Olds being grumpy about the new kids coming in and not learning from those who have gone before and experienced what they are experiencing now. And also reminding people that what they think is new is not as new as they think, in this case, that Star Wars, for the Prequel Trilogy, was mostly women doing the bulk of fan-anything, and so people thinking that the sequel trilogy is bringing in all the new fans are...misguided on their history. Also, commentary that the idea of shipping being Problematic is an outcropping of the idea that individuals can successfully solve systematic problems on their own.

A Fanlore article linked about the "Three Laws" of Fandom, which is a set of suggestions that form a bedrock of common courtesy between fen. Basically, Don't Like, Don't Read, Your Kink Is Not My Kink, and Ship and Let Ship. Which are the sort of thing that you can sometimes be dismayed to learn that other people don't think of as so fundamental to fandom that they shouldn't have to be explicitly spelled out. And yet.

[personal profile] greywash talked about how Tumblr's tags stood in for the space that allowed someone to distinguish between what was said with the creator's voice and what was said without that voice.

[personal profile] sylvaine asked about whether meta should have a specific class of permissions for being pointed at, because popular meta has the potential to bring a lot of people to your doorway that you may or may not have wanted there. And [personal profile] muccamukk provided contextualization and an example in thisweekmeta, and made some suggestions about being aware when you want to talk about someone being Wrong On The Internet, because talking about someone being Wrong On The Internet has a high combustability factor, and depending on where you post it, there's a nonzero chance The Hounds will be summoned.

That's BAD, because The Hounds don't care who they hurt, even if some of them don't recognize that's what they're doing.

As you may well realize, there's more to discover underneath the cut )

Last for tonight, the unreality of the coffee shop AU, the ways in which ballet instruction has changed over time, and the idea of having designers create secular rituals for people to do, so as to avoid religious connotations they might not want to experience or don't believe in, without losing the sense of the sacred that ritual brings. (I think it's an idea, and if it's well-designed, why not? We have lots of rituals that are secular that we engage in and accord a certain amount of power to them about it all.)
silveradept: A librarian wearing a futuristic-looking visor with text squiggles on them. (Librarian Techno-Visor)
Right up front, I'm going to admit that I have no formal musical training, and so this is mostly a listening experience rather than someone being able to analyze a piece of music and figure out the same sorts of things that a lot of the Into The Spiderverse people.

Also, by the time I'm done, secret identities will have been spoiled pretty thoroughly, so if you don't already know where all the Miraculous are and who has them, the first part may be safe, but the second part definitely won't be.

Also, the links, being that they are related to material under copyright, may vanish at any time, and that's a thing that happens. I'll try to be descriptive, but this is aural, and it's often damn hard to find anyone who is willing to provide backing tracks without sound effect or dialogue put over them.

Onward to themes )

Anyway, that's my un-music-theoried thoughts about the use of licks and motifs in Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Chat Noir. The reality is probably very different than what I've laid out here. *shrug*
silveradept: A dragon librarian, wearing a floral print shirt and pince-nez glasses, carrying a book in the left paw. Red and white. (Dragon Librarian)
I...mostly need to document this, because it's such a rarity in my profession.

One of the regulars came up to me today while I was out at the help desk and said
You probably don't remember this, but 10 or 11 years ago, when you were at the temporary location, my grandson had just finished reading everything he felt he could about World War Two and felt he was ready to progress on to the Cold War. You were the librarian at the desk and you [laughs slightly] treated him like an adult and he got his books.

He just graduated from [local college] with a degree in international relations and has delayed admission into Tufts University to get a Masters in foreign relations. He'll have to serve a year deployed in the National Guard first, but after that, he'll get into the program.
I told this regular that I did remember the encounter, because it really was as described - a child with good knowledge of the Second Great War and who was ready to move to the next part of the history of the United States. I did what librarians do - a reference interview, and I got books in his hands to help him get started, and I wished him well in his pursuits. Nothing there was out of the ordinary, or required anything more than professionalism.

The regular joked that he was serious about it, perhaps having expected he would grow out of his interest and take up something else. I said I was glad to hear the graduate was well and hoped, perhaps, that he would join the diplomatic corps.

"And save the world," the regular quipped.

"We can hope," I replied.

And then I was rather glad to have some time to process this, because it closes the loop. One of the stories of my career actually has an end, and on the timescale that I often suspect it takes for a librarian story to come all the way to an end.

There are several senses of scale in library school, and they'll talk about the differences between big libraries and small in terms of budgets and orientations and what sort of programs they can do, but there isn't necessarily any talk in school about how the small things snowball. For good and for ill.

I learned this year how small a margin can be and still get something done. And hopefully we'll all learn from that scare how to stop it from happening ever again.

This year, though, I finally have proof of how something you did in the very earliest parts of your career validated an interest and helped someone continue on the path they wanted to go.

Congratulations, and well done, self.
silveradept: A head shot of a  librarian in a floral print shirt wearing goggles with text squiggles on them, holding a pencil. (Librarian Goggles)
[personal profile] cesperanza talked about the unease that exists between fandom and money, and how much promotion and marketing is too much, or which ways are more likely to step over a line between gifts and tips into guilt-based marketing. The comments are the liveliest part of the discussion and worth reading. In addition to that, [personal profile] fairestcat took issue with the entire premise, pointing out that people support work with money because they find the work valuable, or they want to help a creator not be homeless or bankrupted, not because they're guilted into it or through a bait-and-switch. When another person on my list pointed out in a locked post that there were parallels to open source software and its ethos, the gears got turning. [personal profile] azurelunatic reminded me of Ana Mardoll's thought experiment about how much money would be enough to be comfortable, even if you never made a dime in your life past that point, and how the numbers shifted radically (by at least a factor of ten) depending on how much of those expenses people were thinking about would be covered by a government that could provide for comfortable needs on a universal basis.

Which also brings me back to the prediction I made about fandom on Day 14 of Snowflake. Fandom and money always have an uneasy relationship with each other, because some people in fandom (as in open-source development) can afford to give their labor away for free for the idea of making a richer, better fandom. Some people are doing fandom just for themselves, and they don't particularly care about any monetary compensation about it, because it's something they do to satisfy their own urges and itches. And some people can participate in fandom only by getting compensated for the work they do, because they don't have a social safety net underneath them that will take care of things like housing, food, and medical care. They can't give their labor away to anyone.

As you might expect, this gets long. )

Ultimately, I can participate in fandom as a gift to fans, using spare time and resources that I have to craft narratives and then give them away, without expectation that my fic is going to be my gateway into a publishing contract or that I'm going to need three more subscribers to Patreon from this work. I have the privilege to do so.

I also want other people to be able to participate in this way, but I'm not going to tell someone who has to make their living from fandom that they have to stop and starve for my principles to feel satisfied. I don't get to use my privilege to dictate their lives. And frankly, I think the world of fandom is much poorer because of all the people who don't get to participate as much as they want, because they have to do other things for their survival.

Until things change structurally so that a person isn't forced to choose between what they love and what they need, people gotta do what they gotta do. If fandom requires a certain amount of privilege to participate, then only the privileged will be able to participate in fandom.

Fandom's history says it's not supposed to be a privileged-only space. Let's keep it that way.


silveradept: A kodama with a trombone. The trombone is playing music, even though it is held in a rest position (Default)
Silver Adept

April 2019

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