kutsuwamushi: (they see me rollin')
I am going to be crossposting to Dreamwidth and LiveJournal. If you're doing the same, let me know so I can drop you off my default filter on LiveJournal. I'd like to make this into my primary journal, so if you're active on both I'll follow you here instead.

EDIT: lololol bye LJ

About "grant access," since we're all probably going to have to get used to that being its own designation now:

I rarely post anything that I would be uncomfortable having strangers read, but sometimes I do lock things because I want to keep them off of search engines or make sure that real life friends, family, and coworkers don't see them.

If I've granted you access, and you don't know me, it's nothing personal and I won't be insulted if you choose not to add me back. But, I'm here to talk to people, so I'd be thrilled if you do.
kutsuwamushi: (feminism)
How much of a fucking clueless asshole do you have to be to think, "You know who we should interview about this Harvey Weinstein thing? WOODY ALLEN. I bet he has something to say!"

I won't link to the article because I don't want to give it hits. It was on the BBC yesterday, and I hope they get an avalanche of complaints. Now it's making the rounds more widely.

As a friend said, "The only way that's a good idea is if the interviewer asked, 'So, as another predator,...'"

What the fuck. Seriously. He complains about "witch hunts." And of course, because he's famous, because he's objectionable, he's now going to be one of the loudest voices in the media discussion of Weinstein. Not other women who have something to say about sexual abuse, not someone with anything helpful or insightful or educational to say ... fucking. woody. allen.
kutsuwamushi: from a Married to the Sea Comic (edumacation)
Today in class we were talking about making a claim that's falsifiable, and I gave the example of a personal preference. And then we got off topic--

ME: So, my argument that the polar bear is the best bear isn't falsifiable, since it's just based on what I like about polar bears.

STUDENT A: The teddy bear is the best bear anyway.

ME: Is a teddy bear even a bear?

STUDENT B: It's called a bear!

ME: Is a starfish a fish?

(in the background, a student goes "whaaaaat" like his mind is blown)

STUDENT A: Is a hot dog a sandwich?

ME: Is a pop tart a sandwich? Is cereal a soup?

(in the background, more students go "eww" at the idea that cereal is a soup)
kutsuwamushi: (FAIL)
This story is just...

So a (white) security guard at a college campus:
  • Brought his own gun to work because he decided that he should be armed
  • Accidentally shot himself with this gun
  • Made up a black male shooter to explain it

It's a small story, in the scheme of things - but doesn't it just encapsulate so many things that are wrong with the U.S. Also, I hope people point at laugh at his pathetic ass for years to come.
kutsuwamushi: from a Married to the Sea Comic (edumacation)
There's a pretty active linguistics community on Reddit, made up of a handful of graduate students and practicing linguists and a bunch of undergraduates and interested hobbyists.

Many of those who aren't actually linguists are still quite knowledgeable. Some of them would have pursued linguistics but for some bizarre reason chose a career where they had an actual chance of making money, instead. Some of them are into conlanging and have read widely about (descriptive) linguistic typology.

Anyway, the reason I'm taking pains to say nice things about them is because I have a complaint: It's so goddamn annoying when one of them decides to get onto their high horse about what is and isn't linguistics and they're wrong about it.

A frequent theme is WRITING ISN'T LINGUISTICS. It's easy to see where they're coming from. A lot of people, including freshmen who are just starting out in linguistics, believe that writing is the "true" form of language and spoken language is just a variant. It's of course the other way around, and they have to be corrected. We teach them that spoken language is primary, and that written language is just an encoding of it--and all those rules of "proper grammar" that they learn in school are not the kind of grammar we're talking about at all.

It's a pretty frequent problem in these communities that the nuances get lost. So "spoken language is primary" gets turned into "ANY AND ALL QUESTIONS ABOUT WRITING ARE TOTALLY IRRELEVANT." And "linguistics is descriptive, not prescriptive" gets turned into "DESCRIPTIVISM MEANS YOU CAN NEVER CRITICIZE SOMEONE'S LANGUAGE." I mean, when you're an undergraduate, you don't really get the same amount of exposure to the breadth of the type of work that linguists do, or the opinions that they have.

I've started responding to it a bit more, but I think my frustration is starting to bleed through and I'm becoming kind of a dick. I think maybe what I need to do is just create a macro - once - and repost it whenever it comes up.
kutsuwamushi: (feminism)
It always makes me sad an angry when I see a mother say "boys are less drama than girls."

It's so hurtful. No, they're not. You only think that they are because when boys transgress boundaries it's less likely to be labeled a negative behavior--an even less likely to be labeled "drama," which is used in a highly gendered way.

My boss called me dramatic after I asked not to be scheduled with a man who threatened to kill me--on the phone, to my boss, while I was listening. Who was actually full of drama: The man whose reaction to a woman not sucking his metaphorical dick was to descend into threats, or me, for trying to remove myself from the situation?

Who was actually full of drama: The boy playmate who suddenly and decisively decided to he didn't want to play anymore because I was a girl, or me, for being upset about it?

And then there's the fact that we systematically undercut their self-esteem by subjecting them to impossible standards of appearance and behavior. We set up an artificial scarcity around being valued by tokenizing them--there's one girl who's the prettiest, one girl who gets the boy, one woman who is on the team. We teach them that girls can't really be friends because they're always in competition, and then chide them if this fosters competitiveness.

And then we say they're full of drama. Fuckkkkkk yooooouuuuuuuuuu.

I was a well behaved, quiet child. As I get older I get less and less patient with this kind of nonsense and, ironically, want to get all dramatic. But I'm complaining about it here rather than actually engaging with the mothers saying this (mothers! TRAITORS!) because ....
kutsuwamushi: (they see me rollin')
Imagine that you're this guy:

This is your life:
"This potion master has been trying to teach shadow magic for five years... but the congregation keeps passing him over for less-experienced Serthis."
You're tired and frustrated. You just want someone to recognize your skills - but no matter what you do, no one wants you. When they passed you up for Bob, that asshole who wouldn't know shadow magic from his own shadow, you decided it was time to take some time for yourself. A small vacation, maybe.

So you slithered off to the Sandswept Delta. A couple of your buddies came along; you know your complaining annoys them after a while, but they're good friends and listen anyway. While you're relaxing with your tail in the water, telling them about how awful Bob is, some dragons show up. Goddammit.

You don't really have the choice of whether or not to fight them. Fighting is what you do. It's always been this way and no one knows why. This time, you're defeated, and one of the dragons takes you home as a prize. You're "wary" - but over time the dragon bonds with you. You even begin to lend the dragon your expertise. It's kind of nice to finally be appreciated.

But then one day your dragon goes out and comes back with another Serthis Potionmaster. A dragon can't have more than one familiar, and a dragon clan can't have more than one familiar of the same type. And what's more, the dragon finds it more rewarding to bond with you than to be bonded. She's in love with falling in love, not so much with maintaining that love. She no longer needs you.

She could sell you. Dragons love gold and gems and there is a thriving trade in sentient creatures. You tried not to think about it too much - but now the threat is very real.

But yours will be an even worse fate. She's an alchemist - she knows how to transmute matter into other forms. Sure, sometimes you cringed when she threw live fawns into her bubbling cauldron, but your friend Craig was also an alchemist, and you're kind of used to the panicked squeals. You never thought it would be you. But now it's you.

She picks you up. You see the cauldron. It pulses with malevolent green energy.

You scream.

You become muck.

kutsuwamushi: (they see me rollin')
I finally joined the dragon version of neopets - is anyone else a member? We should be friends. Here's me.

I'm always way too easily amused by the in-universe implications of game mechanics. As soon as I started playing, I had to find find my dragons food. Does Flight Rising avoid the uncomfortable truth that in order for your dragons to eat meat, animals have to die? No. It leans in. One of the first things I fed my dragons was an adorable pink owlet with big eyes.

And then there's transmutation. You can boil down anything into sludge: trinkets, raw materials, wildlife, familiars. The last one demands some thought. We know at many of the familiars are sentient, based on their flavor text. Do they scream as you throw them into the cauldron?

I'm not going to even address the fact that your dragons are directed to breed by an invisible hand, and their ugly children sold off to serve the gods.

I think the world of Flight Rising is a terrifying place.


Jul. 5th, 2017 05:14 pm
kutsuwamushi: (bloodthirsty)
I can rant all day about how Tumblr ruined fandom, but right now I'm annoyed at a specific thing:

People misusing tags to get attention for their stupid, uninteresting blogs.

I'm talking about when someone posts a vague "AU idea" or "imagine" that doesn't have anything to do with a particular fandom, and they tag it with every popular fandom and pairing they can think of to get the most views. For some tags I'm monitoring, there is more of this bullshit than actual relevant content.

And people like and reblog, validating the behavior. Meanwhile I'm sitting on my hands even though I just want to reply, "STOP DOING THIS, UGH YOU ARE THE WORST."

Tumblr incentivizes this bullshit because blogging on Tumblr, unless you already have a social circle, is like posting into a black hole. You have to catch the attention of people through tagging in order to build followers. And the social currency is likes and reblogs, not discussions. So you can understand why people do it.

This is one of the ways I think that the LJ model is much better. Sure, I don't have many active followers, and it's a lot slower than it was back in the glory days, but there are some people who will read this. Someone might even comment, and it will be a name I recognize, rather than an anonymous person who just like my post because it had a certain keyword in it. I don't need to collect huge numbers of notes in order to feel like I'm connecting with people.
kutsuwamushi: from a Married to the Sea Comic (edumacation)
I don't often recommend a Youtube channel but I'm gonna do it now.

I've been watching Lindsay Ellis and it's so worth it. She does, broadly, intelligent and snarky film criticism that's grounded in film studies (though not always academic in tone). Her introduction to film studies through the Transformers is both hilarious and educational. Sadly, it's only up to five parts (out of twelve) so I have to wait for the rest.

She also has a series called Loose Canon, which is about archetypes and famous characters in popular culture, and a collection of longer, one-off video essays. I particularly enjoyed her take on why Disney's Hercules was such a weak movie - because, while she's super-critical, she's coming at it as a Disney fan.

In general that is what is so satisfying about it: Even when she hates a movie, like RENT, she doesn't make a video full of hot takes and snark. She explains why, from an informed and critical perspective. The snark is the seasoning rather than the point.
kutsuwamushi: (*raises eyebrows*)
Fandom secret post: I finally saw Moana. It was AMAZING! I cried like four times. But...I think this was the WORST villain song of any Disney movie I have ever watched. It was weak as fuck (especially compared to the other music).

It was great, and even more so because it was Jemaine Clement doing David Bowie doing a crab.
kutsuwamushi: (gotta bail)
I learned about My Dad Wrote A Porno late - I've been catching up over the summer.

If you don't know about it, here's the basics: A guy's dad decides to write "erotic literature," after having never written anything else in his life. Instead of pretending it didn't happen, the guy grabs his two friends and reads it aloud to them on a weekly podcast.

It becomes a podcast sensation because it's super fucking funny.

What really charms me about the whole show is how innocent the three of them are. They're not prudish exactly - it's more that they're discovering the joy of terrible erotic literature for the first time*. Sometimes I just want to say, "Oh, bless them."

The novel itself is perfect. It's not really shocking - so far the most out-there fetish involves some unwise usage of spaghetti sauce. It's just really, really bad writing all-around, and sometimes makes you question what is going on in the author's head (if anything). My favorite WTF moments aren't even during the sex scenes - although those are also pretty WTF due to the author's terrible grasp of female anatomy.

* Oh my God, I just realized that it's basically an audio version of a fanfic MSTing. I just remember that fanfic MSTing was a thing! And that I did them!
kutsuwamushi: from a Married to the Sea Comic (edumacation)
I know I shouldn't, but I still get irritated when people use "popular" to describe things that are common but don't involve a preference or choice, e.g. "it's popular for languages to conjugate for person and number."

It seems that they're still mostly not using it for negative things - so it's still not synonymous with "common." But it's also not my meaning of popular, either.

I think I'm starting to understand what it feels like to be an old fogey afraid of language change. Help, the world is leaving me behind! I'm mortal and will die.
kutsuwamushi: (feminism)
So over on tumblr I subscribe to meninfantasyart, one of those ubiquitous art aggregators. And I've noticed something.

It goes like -
glowing demon something
wtf even is that
heavily armored bishounen

It's not supposed to be a cheesecake account, so while there are a few pretty men in there, the illustrations for the most part aren't about sex appeal; they're about how imposing, powerful, and intimidating these male characters are. The sex appeal, if there even is any, usually flows from that.

Meanwhile, I'm also subscribed to a few more general illustration aggregators. These also aren't cheesecake accounts. Women show up far more often than men, and they're always pretty, and usually presented in an non-threatening way.

So obvious of course. This won't surprise anyone. But it does get old.


Jun. 17th, 2017 09:29 pm
kutsuwamushi: (Default)
I finally watched Moana. It took a while - but I knew I'd be interested since I first heard about it, though.

I won't bother summarizing the movie much since everyone probably knows the basics: Moana has to voyage across the ocean to find Maui, a shapeshifting demigod, and make him restore the heart of the goddess Te Fiti - which he stole a thousand years ago, causing a growing darkness that now threatens to engulf her island.

I really enjoyed it. The animation is great, the story is entertaining, the performances are wonderful, and .

There are some things that I didn't like - but these are really dangers of the genre. I've never been a fan of musicals, and the earnestness is sometimes too much for me. Also, I felt like that parts of the beginning werea bit "Intro to Polynesian Culture 101", in an awkward way - but it probably makes sense when you consider that the primary audience is kids.

Did I mention that it is based on Polynesian stories? I didn't, because you probably already know. It's not just window-dressing, though, which is important.

There's another thing that just occurred to me, as I was writing this:

Moana is the daughter of the chief and from the beginning is assumed to be the next chief of the village. There is no mention at all of this being unusual. I'm so used to "girl power" storylines, where the girl has to triumph over prejudice by proving she's worthy. It was refreshing to see Moana's gender not matter at all - to see girls already accepted. It's not ignored, but it really doesn't have anything to do with the story. (Although it does make the ending more powerful.)

So, I think it's worth seeing, if you haven't yet. I don't know that I like it as much as I liked Mulan, but I liked it a lot. If you're the type of person who doesn't generally get excited about Disney, but likes a few of their movies, this one is worth checking out.

Here is a tumblr post I made about the landscapes. Columnar basalts!
kutsuwamushi: (Default)
Lot Type: Residential
Lot Size: 30x30
Lot Price: 12,704
Playtested: Incompletely

screenshot album

download link

So I tried -- and mostly failed -- to make a lot based on Chungking Mansions. It would simply be too large to be playable. So here is a scaled down building. It's still a large lot with a lot of objects but so far it's not lagging. I blocked off large areas as if they were under construction to conserve resources.

Read more... )
kutsuwamushi: (Default)
So, I have complained to [personal profile] sudaki on several occasions about how my stupid cat Ping is too stupid to understand how to bury his poop, which means that when he poops in the middle of the night, he goes through a 10-20 minute ritual of pawing at the litter box, sniffing his poop, pawing some more, moving around the mat in front of the litter box, sniffing, pawing -- and then finally giving up and leaving the poop unburied.

Lately he's been taking to pawing at any dirty laundry I leave on the floor as well, shuffling it towards the front of the litter box.

Today when I got up, I discovered a pair of my underwear in the litter box, almost but not quite covering his goddamn poop.


Hilarious, but gross.

I guess I'm going to have to stop leaving my dirty laundry on the floor.
kutsuwamushi: (they see me rollin')
Oh my god, y'all.

I finally got around to watching Legend of Korra. I was afraid to - I knew going in to it that it could never match up to the first series, and with only twelve episodes, there would be so little room for development.

And yeah, it had some issues, but nevertheless, I am a fan. Specifically, a fan of:

Mild spoilers )
kutsuwamushi: (music 2)
Yo dudes check out my music tumblr. Features exactly one song a day -- a mix of video and mp3. If it's working right you can stream the mp3s before downloading.

It's only two weeks old and it feels like I'm posting into a void, so like go check it out and stuff.

I'm also toying with the idea of a fannish tumblr but I'm not sure I like it yet.


kutsuwamushi: (Default)

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