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flamingsword: Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not. (Seuss Activism)

How you can help OCCCUPY
(without camping)


Transfer Banks. The best and biggest thing you can do to send the message that you do not approve of unethical banking practices is to get a credit union or local bank. If you have a Chase, Citi, Wells-Fargo or Bank of America account, withdraw your funds and place them somewhere that you trust. Wall Street can't use your money to commit moral failings if they don't have your money. Since September 29th $4.5 billion has been transferred into credit unions. Every lost dollar is a vote of no confidence. Every dollar transferred is put back into your local community.

Return Credit Offers. When you get your mail, open the unwanted credit card offers. There will be a postage-paid envelope inside. You can fold the rest of your junk mail into the envelope and send it. If they're going to waste your time sending them every month, then you get to waste their money on postage while supporting your local post office.

Read. Educate yourself on the real messages of the Occupy movement: Accountability, Economic Justice, and Equal Protection under the law. The corporate-owned media feel too threatened to report the movement without bias, but the internet has both sides of the story. There are livestreams of the protests easily accessible, and live camera footage has no bias.

Write. Write to your mayor, your chief of police, your congressmen and representatives. Tell them that you support bank accountability and congressional reform to eliminate moral hazards. Ask that they support First Amendment rights and ethical treatment of non-violent protesters. Remind them of their roots in the community. Write to the news corporations and ask them to report the news more fairly - not just our story, but everyone's. Ask the media who you receive information from to stop burying stories under fluff, and to explain nuanced issues for better public awareness.

Call. If you do not receive an answer or receive only a form letter, call. If the signal is busy, do something else for a few minutes and call again. There's no protocol to stand on, and no need to yell, just talk to the staff or the person you're trying to reach as though they are your employee. In the case of civil servants, you pay their salary: they are respectfully obligated to listen to what you have to say. In the case of news organizations, your viewership can go elsewhere and if they are smart they know enough to be pleasant.

Discuss.  Calmly and without escalation, talk to your friends about your observations and the conclusions about our country that you have drawn from that knowledge. Discuss your concerns, your fears and hopes. Strengthen your friendships by sharing your feelings. If you have friends who think there's nothing wrong with 80 hour work weeks, or think that those who can't find jobs are not worth respect, or think that it is fair for banks to bet against people's ability to pay for their homes, please ask them how those things benefit America.

Assemble. Go to an Occupy camp. See the conditions on the ground for yourself. Talk to protesters, organizers, and police. Look with unbiased eyes at all sides of this conversation our nation is having and draw your own conclusions. Attend a General Assembly and participate in the consensus. If you feel inspired to reject the imbalance of powers in our system and wish to protest, hello and welcome.

Teach. If you like the movement but think there is something that could be done better, show some people how to do it. Teach-ins happen most days at all Occupy camps, and the more knowledge we share, the more we have.

Donate. If you have things that you don't use, please donate. If you have sleeping bags, tents, food, books, socks, scarves, coats and mittens, band-aids, collapsible shelves or portable storage bins, markers and poster-making supplies, a poster that you made but cannot stay around to wave, or if you are lucky enough to have money sitting around, we will gladly accept many things and try to put them to best use. Most Occupy camps have a presence on twitter where donations can be coordinated in an open forum.

FORGIVE. The rich and powerful did not mean for this to happen. The bankers and investors were short-sighted and they work in a high-risk field. They got used to taking risks and then more risks, and some of those risks were not theirs to take. They risked our homes and livelihoods. They were foolish. But foolish is not evil. The government was foolish to think that the state could let them take as many risks as they wanted. They were foolish and we supported them in their foolishness by being less critical than we should have been about ideas that proved unsound. But now we have no time to waste on foolishness or on the bitterness and blame it generates. Please forgive yourself and all of us, and let us move forward from this a more careful, more mutually respectful nation.

Please repost, print, share and distribute as much as you like, no credit is necessary.

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.

flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)

Our national rhetoric is suffering from a poverty of compassion. Our unspoken belief that one must earn the empathy of peers through financial accomplishment is deeply flawed. Mercy that comes at a price is not mercy at all.

We have been seeking to balance our need to care and be cared for within this flawed system by collectively overproducing and overconsuming. But money is a limited resource, and we map that system of scarcity onto respect and affection which are infinite. We have been mislead by our expectations for so long that we have become intellectually dishonest in order to compete with one another in the belief that we cannot all be cared for, but that brings us no closer to balance than our complicit silence in the face of imbalance.

When we, the 99%, deliberately put people we disagree with out of the bounds of our respect, we are making enemies of our opposition, making them defensive, entrenching them further in their view that compassion is not a necessary part of public life. We must meet their cynicism with sincerity and their anger with our honest grief at the injustice that we have all perpetuated by participating in this sham of fairness.

Respect the 1%. Most of them thought they were making good policies and intervening for the best. They honestly thought they could have our best interests at heart in the absence of understanding our lives and the compassion that  creates. Any action in advance of compassion is flawed, theirs or ours.

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.

flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
How much do you write fanfiction in your head? When you're reading a story or watching a movie, does your imagination fill in missing details and add depth to characters? Where does that skill come from?

We don't experience other people the way they are, and we know that. We experience them as characters in the story we're watching unfold. And even though we know that they're more complex than what we can see, we can only construct them in our heads from external signals that we interpret through our understanding of the world. And while our translation might be faithful to the events and reactions we watched, we know there's more to the story than what we're seeing. So we write possible scenarios for our acquaintances until one makes sense. And then we have a richer understanding of that person. Because we write fanfiction about real life.

I have a relationship with books that movies and tv shows can't live up to. My brain is just wired for books, i guess. And in the fanfiction community that's possibly the norm instead of the deviation. Bookworms write because we love the written word. But there are other kinds of fan, and all fanship is valid. So. Which do you prefer: the book or the movie?

Posted via LjBeetle
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
"Sometimes

Sometimes things don't go, after all,
from bad to worse. Some years, muscadel
faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don't fail,
sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.

A people sometimes step back from war;
elect an honest man; decide they care
enough, that they can't leave some stranger poor.
Some men become what they were born for.

Sometimes our best efforts do not go
amiss; sometimes we do as we meant to.
The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow
that seemed hard frozen: may it happen to you.



Just got back from the memorial service for Albert, saw many faces that I remember the beta version of. There were recitations of poems and a song, and a couple of laptops with a picture slideshow. I talked a little at a podium about what Al had meant to me, listened to others talk about him, too. Last entry there were the stories, but this time there is how Albert made me feel. )

Carolyn spent the night at my place last night, crashed out on the futon. We had port and told crazy stories and caught up. I got more in touch with the good-feelings side of the loss, but that just made the loss sharper today. I'll take the win for feeling my feelings, though.
flamingsword: None can take the stars who do not reach. (Take The Stars)
This post is about fighting fair, the uses of trust, how to act in good faith, how your shame hurts others' feelings, apologies and forgiveness, asking for what you want, the subtle insult of manipulation, and the balance of power between two people. It's got a lot to say, and it goes on a bit. And since some of you are pulling stupid human tricks in your relationships, I'm not cut-tagging it, and I have disabled comments.

When the relationship is more important than what you get out of it, you agree on rules and then abide by them because that is the foundation of the relationship. Anything less implies that you do not respect your partner's ability to act in good faith or a lack of empathy for their betrayed feelings. Fighting fair implies that while you disagree on something, the disagreement is less important than the relationship that it arises from, and prioritizes your connection over your moments of disconnect.

When you ask for what you need it implies that you trust in your partner's willingness to fulfill your needs as best they can. When you don't trust your partner then you don't ask, and you use indirect tactics to get your needs met through trickery. Eventually that message of distrust is received, and hurts the feelings of the distrusted party. This person is forced to constantly chase after you, trying to read your mind to fulfill your unspoken needs to avoid feeling manipulated, distrusted, and misunderstood. That is not fighting fair, and it does not work very well. Eventually most people will also retaliate, matching your aloofness so that you are forced to pay the same attention to them so that the balance of power is restored. Then you both alternately ignore and pursue one another, and the underlying weakness from the lack of mutual support means that when external stresses are applied then your relationship falters and breaks up when it would have lasted in a more trusting environment.

When you catch yourself doing something hurtful, even if you did not intend such, apologize. To do otherwise implies that it is acceptable to you to risk your partner's feelings. Seek to make amends until the hurt feelings are soothed. Find ways to avoid problems that have recurred. Negotiate boundaries and context differences with caution and respect. Carelessness and lack of consideration imply that you are not planning for your relationship to last. When your lover is sorry and makes the effort to heal the divide between you, let go of your bad feelings and express your forgiveness. To do otherwise implies that you are interested in what you can gain from your lover's guilt and bad feelings. That is establishing trust.

If you love someone, take care of them. Speak their needs to them aloud, as best you understand, so that they can get used to engaging in dialog, giving voice the unspoken parts of themselves. Do not make it unsafe for them to want things by using what you know in order to hold an advantage over them. Do not test how much you can get away with to see how far such privilege goes; life will give you many tests of the bounds and strength of your relationship with no help from you. Do not judge yourself a failure at the first sign that you cannot meet all of someone's current needs. Trust that if you are loved your partner will give you back the care you have given. That is acting in good faith.

We learn hatred by hating ourselves. Eventually, that shame and negativity is externalized and projected onto those around us, even the people we love. Pushing people away comes in many forms, and two of them are reciprocal: hurting someone's feelings and withholding forgiveness when your feelings are hurt. Both keep your partner at an emotional distance that feels safer than the thought of letting go of your self-hatred and the fear that surrounds all shame. It's a coping strategy to buy time, but when time runs out you have to pick which has primacy: your relationship or your desire to not challenge your insecurities. When we prioritize hatred above love it is a tragedy, each time and always.

Love is NOT all you need, no matter what songs or storybooks tell you. Please invest yourself in trusting others, in forgiving yourself and them for the weaknesses that we all have, and build your relationships to last.

I love and trust you all. Please stop hurting each other.
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
Hey, have I told you guys my "Alan Moore is living in quantum superposition as a fangirl" theory? No?

Recently I was reading this article on how scientists were trying to get a virus to exist in two quantum states simultaneously, and the difficulties doing it to larger organisms in the real world. To which I immediately scoffed, because there is an author/fangirl/chaos magician who does that all the time. He is Alan Moore, the author of Promethea, V for Vendetta, the Watchmen, and Lost Girls - a published femmeslash futurefic crossover/AU of the sexual adventures of Alice from Wonderland, Dorothy Gale, and Wendy Darling.

I hear that, statistically, it's pretty much just women who write slash, and that there's this perception that people who slash the characters from children's stories must be some sort of perverts. And yet many of the people who are supposed to subscribe to that theory would also have to be fans of perennially popular Moore. He seems to occupy a singularly multi-layered existence, much like that virus, because nobody even sees him for what he is. That passage in V for Vendetta where V is extemporaneously filking his life's story to the tune of Cabaret? Songfic, bb. Seriously.

Great. Big. Fangirl.

If you're wondering how is it that he can be in two places at once like that, be one thing and do another - well, he is a chaos magician. Messing with the normal order of the world is a spiritual tenet for more people than just the cracktastic slash fangirls on LiveJournal. ;) Love ya!

In other news, I have cyst pain+cramps again and my personal life is not doing me many favors. I need someone to write me a book, How to Comfort Distressed Humans: A GUIDEBOOK FOR THE CONFUSED VULCAN. Anybody up for the challenge? Or want to have coffee with me next Thursday at the Starbucks near my house?
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
As a person of pallor, I am concerned about what people are saying about race and class issues as displayed by the movie. And so I have decided to play devil's advocate over on io9's article about the racism inherent in Avatar's handling of the film's themes.

Spoilers, HO! )
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Sunshower)
* So I have now seen Episode 1 Season 1 of Leverage. Where can I get more of this?

* I have been thinking through the logistics of insanity, and how chaos theory applies to repeated iterations of the impossible. Perhaps something is not possible when you begin working towards it, but will be by the time you get there (re: our current president is black). In this way some kinds of insanity have real world applications as far as invention, scientific discovery, and social progress. Because the initial conditions of the repeated experiments are constantly changing, each repetition has different chances of success.

* Love's Baby Soft is pedophile-attractant perfume. I may have to make a frightening Loli outfit to celebrate finding this gem hiding out in my bathroom. There may be pigtails involved. You have been warned.

* Subculture is the proving ground for dominant-paradigm social policy in the same way that State courts are proving grounds for what becomes federal policy. We're beta-testing new behaviors and shaking the bugs out, so that the majority of our culture can keep to the stable, already-tried ways of relating. People can be as conservative as they like, but what is normal for us now will be a social norm in 50 years. Think back: Beatniks, rock n' roll, hippies: their radical new habits and practices have become our own. Deliberate minimalism, ecological awareness, activism as a lifestyle, the refusal of racism implied by listening to 'black' music: these things used to exist only in outcasts, not in people who swam in the mainstream.

*Some nights, especially when I can't sleep, I feel unstoppable. I feel like pain is just a condition like breathing and is equally invisible, like every action I take every day will echo through my entire life, like the shadows of what we have been are cast forward onto the future by the light of our former potential selves, obscuring the narrowing field of what we can become in the moving dimness. Only the choices we passed by are brightly lit, and in the gloom ahead lies our eventual fate.

*Why do I only get metaphorical when I hurt? Stupid stomach pain. Stupid insomnia.

ETA: Unfinished sentences are also what happens when I can't sleep. Fixed now.
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
So [livejournal.com profile] ultimate_bryan asked me how it was that I could now get away with telling people whack things about themselves with minimal upset. He was not there for my attaining 4th level and getting the Earn Forgiveness feat, so it's understandable that he's surprised. I am amazed myself sometimes. SOSHUL SKILLZ: I HAZ THEM! So I'm making up a conversation in which I impart wisdom to him for a change. :D Given an infinite timeline, all probabilities approach 1. It could eventually totally happen!

HEIDI: Hey, you know that thing a week ago with that person, where you had this particular response?
BRYAN: Yeah. What about it?
HEIDI: I was thinking it was like that thing a year ago, how a person did a similar thing and you responded by doing that. Do you remember it that way? Like, do we have a common context here?
BRYAN: Yeah.
HEIDI: Here are some other similarities about both situations, and why I think they both happenend that way. Witness the logic process that you used to interpret the situation. See how I totally get you and where you're coming from?
BRYAN: *is wary* I can see how the situations have things in common. You're going to say something critical now, aren't you?
HEIDI: Sorry, but yeah. Neither of those responses worked out very well for you, and I don't like seeing you get hurt. I get that you see these events from this perspective, and if I'd been through this thing your family did, then I'd think the same way. I identify with your miscommunication or other problem. I'm no better than you and do not pass judgement. But the other people in the situations don't know you like I do and they have an interpretation that goes like this and makes you look like a dick. The situation may not come up much, but maybe you could try something different next time? It's just a thought.
BRYAN: I don't have this problem with people who make sense, and I don't think I should have to change or justifying my actions.
HEIDI: Hey, you know you already have my approval, and while it can get painful to watch sometimes when you're upset over these things, you're also worth it. I'm not, like, invested in changing you, so if you don't want to change then don't. But if you want to talk about it and pick apart the logic, you can. I'm not going anywhere.
BRYAN: Oh. Is that it? I thought there was going to be judgement in there.
HEIDI: Nah. I left that habit behind at cleric lvl 3, mostly because someone pointed out my bullshit to me in a conversation just like this.

logic structures behind this conversation )
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
Bless LJs save draft function! I'm writing this from a computer at the public library, because the laptop is down, probably 'til this weekend. Most of you have my cell number, if you need me.

[saved lj post continues]
Now, since I couldn't read or sit up for longer than a half hour on Thursday, I had lots of time to think. Yes, I am only just getting to the typing it out part as I am easily distractable. Have a look at some of my thinky thoughts!

Some of you have this mistaken belief that you can take care of your social network without being taken care of. Let me draw up the charts and graphs that illustrate how very wrong you are! :D Pay no attention to my own history behind the curtain!

So first take this out of your own perspective and make it impersonal. Person A likes to help others but doesn't like to be helped, person B can do either and likes both reasonably well, and person C likes being helped more than helping. These three people are a tiny network of friends, a microcosm of interaction. If person C gets hit with a big life event and needs help, C will tell A and B, they will help, and everything is okay. If person B gets hit similarly, A will help. If person A gets hit, nobody will help unless A tells someone which may not happen. Now factor in the way that life works. If A is still staggering under the last hit when B needs help, C will have to step up despite not liking to do so.

That seems fair, right? We expect that friends go out of their way to help keep everyone taken care of, that C should have to do some sharing of the burden to make sure the situation works out better? If so, then A should suck it up, too, and tell the network of troubles and let them help. I don't care if you A people don't like my logic here. Your reticence is potentially just as damaging as C's unhelpfulness.

Further explanation of poor tactical planning is available here. )
So think of it like a finacial organization, what we have is revolving community credit. It's not that any one of us is accepting charity as it is that we're taking control of some of the excess capital until the next person needs it. We nurture the community nest egg, and then pass it along.

(And to those who don't trust their Cs: if you don't believe in them, why are they your friends?)
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
My brain does this thing when there are deep, important conversations that I'd rather avoid having with myself, where it distracts me with cool things that will keep me busy in contemplation for a while. I'm getting better at just noting them down for later and moving on to the more important stuff.

# People like me aren't dangerous because we're bad, we're dangerous because we defy classification. There can be no such thing as informed consent when dealing with the unquantifiable. That's why people are afraid of the unknown. It's a consent issue.

# We don't get to choose what we mean to other people, and what people mean to us is not what they are, no matter how much they mean to us. It's the first time I've been able to articulate that, but I've held the belief for a long time. Now I can back-figure for the reactions of people who don't believe that, and have a more accurate view of them.

# My spiritual practice involves dirt. I don't know how I keep forgetting that being in dirt and fixing my garden reconnects me to myself, but there it is.

# I realized that broadening my experiences would give me more, quantitatively, in common with other people, but that was after I was already doing it. I think I started because I was frustrated with what I would eventually learn to call re-contexting. I saw the same facts other people had, but I knew I didn't see them in the same way, and I was tired of being confused at the difference.
flamingsword: None can take the stars who do not reach. (Take The Stars)
The Watchmen movie was spectacularly well done, the few updates were brilliantly handled, and whether or not you have read the comic (which you should), you should see the movie. It's got me thinky.

Spoilers and meta behind the cut. )
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
I'm only religious in the "I hope there are gods so I can laugh at them, too" sense, but I have a fair number of beliefs that do not require the existence of a god of any kind.

I believe in the Wile E. Coyote Theory of Not Looking Down. Some people I know scoff at what they call the "fake it 'til you make it" approach to attaining one's desires. Logically, there is little you can do if you do not at least attempt things you are uncertain about succeeding at. Is it fake to try to be a different way than you are? Sometimes you find access to new pieces of yourself in the play, and how will you find all of what you are if you never test the bounds of what you are not? I believe in not reflecting on whether you can walk on air until you can feel the ground beneath your feet again. I believe in finding out.

I believe that life hurts, but that it's okay. It's not masochism, exactly: it's just that experience would be missing something without it, that I would be some shallow thing I did not like without it. I believe that pain is finite and that I am not. It's just pain, and I'm bigger than it is, will exist after it passes. You may not be the same way, but I think some people are.

I believe that things are only impossible until they're not.

I believe that Murphy's Law rules the world, unconquerable. That said, I'm willing to keep testing that belief by attempting to wrest control from regular disorder and establish my own disorder. Dammit.

Like pTerry, I believe in reasonably priced love and that there never was an apple that wasn't worth the trouble you got into for eating it.

I believe that regular contact with the inexplicable strengthens the cognitive dissonance load tolerance of the human mind. Being forced to deal with concepts you have no context for broadens your perspective and keeps you open to the possibility that you have things yet to learn that will make what you know now appear like life seen through a funhouse mirror.



What do you believe? What do you disbelieve?
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
I keep thinking that I'm going to wake up from the Capraesque dream of our country being under new management. But it keeps being real.

Can't sleep. It happens sometimes, and I don't know why. I need to pick a fight soon, spar with someone, get this restlessness out from under my skin.

It's good to periodically return to the parts of yourself you've been avoiding. I've always had more problems than I knew how to deal with and since I can't live in the shabby, brokedown parts of my head without getting horrible, I avoid that part of myself and go live in the intellectual and spiritual and occasionally physical parts of myself. I hold back my emotions and avoid them, while researching ways that other people deal and coming up with experimental solutions to test out the next time I'm here. And I'm here again; every once in a while I go on a mission to the Cambodia of my internal world, the Somalia and Nicaragua of my messy emotional poverty.

There are resources here. There are things worth having in the starving, untravelled parts of myself, and these resources are desperate to be used. But I don't want to strip mine myself or treat this like America treats a third world country. There's got to be some form of game theory that can be used as a blueprint for self-respect. There's got to be behavioral mapping from the external world that can guide me along the twisting mud tracks and dusty camel trails in my head. One world has to reflect the other, or what's a world for?

When my problems got worse than I knew how to cover for, bad things happened to me because nobody knew how to correctly interpret me. I'd been lying too much for too long. Eventually I learned to stop covering most of it up, and let people who were trying to get close to me know what they were really in for. Here's how that happened:

My peers gave me hell, unwanted gifts that I accepted because I didn't know how to refuse. A lot of kids that grew up the same way are concerned with paying their peers back for that treatment, which is not unusual for freaks in public schools. But I don't want to pay them back. I want to give them what they paid for, and let the buyer beware. That's my nature. I'm fair like that.

I transubstantiated that pain into something functional and beautiful and new. I made Hell part of myself and used its fire to forge the raw materials of myself into whatever I am now. And I want to share my smithied self with the world so the next generation of hell-givers and hell-takers will come to the table with a better understanding of the possibilities being offered there. Anger shows you what's important to you. Pain makes you grow. It's fertilizer, and like fertilizer it's pretty shitty. But if my peers had been better people then I wouldn't be one now. Thanks to the Tiffanies and Dominiques and Alexes of the world. I would say I owe you one, but I don't. :)

Gonna try to sleep now.
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Like You Mean It)
Except for this guy, we all like to use our brains, right? So one thing I've been trying to improve the functioning of my brain with lately is this assumption reversal technique.

My hypothetical problem: popular culture still perceives geeks as being 'weak' for their common lack of social involvement, thinking that it denotes poor socialization skills. I know that most geeks I've met are strong people. Could it be that geeks lack popularity because they are strong?

As adults, we have one primary format for decision making, the cost-benefit analysis. It sounds complicated, but means that we decide whether the cost of a course of action in time, effort, and emotional hardship is worth what benefits it will bring us. The problem with predicting each analysis is that since people have different values, they will weight decisions differently. If the cost of doing something you want to do is too high, you will probably avoid it. If you want something enough to tip the scales toward the 'benefit' side of the ratio, or if the cost to you can be negated by another factor, you are likely to do it.

What social people consider to be the cost in terms of peer disapproval for following unpopular interests may be higher than another, geekier person's cost who is less interested in peer approval. The geek would not need to be more interested in the subject, merely less invested in other people. And that's a trend that I can confirm from my own observations.

There are many skill sets in which I am weak due to never bothering to develop those skills because I didn't care enough to do so. Maybe that is true of all geeks, of all people: we focus on and develop the skill sets for the things we are most invested in. We try to minimize the costs to us or find ways to disregard the costs by learning not to care.

This runs in parallel with Bryan's theory that everyone is a geek of some sort, and that some people simply geek for social skills and baseball. Tell me what you think. :)
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
If not understanding people is scary then those who are different from us are our enemies, because we don't fear our friends, right? Fascism, such reasoning goes, is the obvious answer: if everyone's alike then we don't have misunderstandings with each other, and we have nothing to fear. :\

We look down on memes but still participate by taking them, posting them, and pimping them around. Do we recognize the truth in them: that no matter what we score, we're still included in the test's results? Do we feel empowered knowing that while our friends have different outcomes, they are different in ways that it's possible to quantify and understand? Do memes make interpersonal differences less threatening?

If so, then email questionnaires, website personality quizzes, and other memes are one more way the internet is breaking down the kind of thinking that leads to fascism. Strength in numbers used to mean excluding anyone that couldn't fit the most popular mold, but we've got a new paradigm going here on the web.

Accepting our differences together is its own kind of solidarity.
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
In moments of desolation or extreme self-destruction, you come across a part of yourself that you can't get rid of, fuck up, or break down any further than it is. That's your soul.

I love you all, and I never want you to be ashamed of being yourselves. )
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Default)
The next time I go to Club 2505 presents Panoptikon, I'm teaching a class on how to pick up girls in a club setting. This is not a comprehensive list, so feel free to add to the list in comments, for the good of the class.





Know your target audience
It's important to understand where on the dating spectrum the women in the club fall, so that you have a realistic idea of your chances and do not waste time being emotionally defeated when a girl has someone or is out to catch someone that isn't you.

Girl dating stages and their visual strategies:
Single and not looking
Looks good but not great, probably watching people dance or hanging around the bar, may not be appropriately dressed for that club, doesn't change expressions when contact is made: was probably dragged along with friends, will not be looking for romance. Buy her a sympathy drink to earn brownie points with her friends later if you're looking for an opening gambit with her pack.

Single and looking
Dressed elaborately, wearing too much jewelry, or hiding in dark, quiet corners being a wallflower- all warning signs for damaged or high-maintenance women. If you don't think you're interesting, one really poor tactic to bolster your confidence is to bling until you LOOK interesting. Only try your game if you feel secure and have a high degree of skill. Or if you just want to practice flirting with someone to make them feel better.
Large, single pieces of jewelry, accessorized to catch attention (without looking like a Christmas tree that has too many ornaments). Interesting outfit, hair and nails done, good looking shoes. Makes eye contact for longer than a second. This one is your winner. She's not trying too hard, but not hiding out either. Because she's in the middle of the spectrum she usually blends into the crowds, making your task that much more difficult. Still your best option.
Girl Herds - competitively ho'ed out, hive-minded, and usually loud. These travel in packs, and if you make contact they will pass you around to the one they think you fit best with. Let it happen. Sometimes it works out, but everything you do or say with one all will know of by tomorrow night.

New boyfriend stage and not looking
Lots of girls want to make sure their new boyfriend continues to have fun, and want a chance to both proove to him that she's as hot as anyone out there, and to observe him interacting with other females to make sure he hasn't got a short attention span for girlfriends.
Recognizeable signs: they're called 'fuck me' boots for a reason. Girls with boyfriends feel more secure showing off for him because they have a champion in case someone decides to be an ass. They will be even hotter than the girls who are single. Yes, life is unfair. Shirts printed with words right across the breasts, necklines so low you can hear the echo from her cleavage, and corsets or other boob-trays with a dangly necklace mean she's deliberately drawing attention there. Single girls usually do this at the desperate stage, so let's hope she's with a guy whose attention she wants to keep right where she directs it.
Makes eye contact mostly with ONE GUY, assorted others only occasionally- this girl may not be going out with him, but her attention is already taken up by someone not you. Be neighborly and point out her interest to him if he continues oblivious. Wouldn't you want someone to help you out if you weren't cluing in?

Steady boyfriend, not looking
Has on appropriate clothes but minimal accessorizing of jewelry, nail polish, makeup, and hairstyle. Will make eye contact but does not react to flirting. Probably just there to dance, drink, and socialize.




Know your technique

Once you have an idea of how she'll react to being approached, actually approach her. This is what courage and confidence are for.

React to her attention. Smile brighter AFTER you make eye contact, so she can see that she's the reason for the extra wattage.

Chat her up. Indirect advancement toward your goal of finding dateable prospects is good for showing that you have respect for your audience and allowing you to time to show off your game skills. Asking, "Who are you here with?" rather than, "Do you have a boyfriend?" displays more interest in her social situation than it does in whether she's interested in jumping your bones. It's an open-ended question, and allows her to tell you about her friends, herself, and her significant other if she has one. Talking to people is a time investment well worth spending, as it allows a gentler let-down and may include her hooking you up with her single friend if you have game.

Mnemonics. How much do you remember after talking to her for five minutes? What's her name, her friend's name? What did she say she was doing with her life ten minutes ago? How much attention you pay to her will show, and will cut you out above the crowd in her estimation. Men who pay attention are rare, and therefor precious.

Enjoy yourself - it's not called "game" for nothing. People desire fun, and they desire people who bring that fun with them. Play with your words, use moderate touches of flair or theatricality, tell your stories and jokes, ask her to dance or dance when she's nearby. Bring your A-game and share it with her. Failing that, buy her a drink (only one, as a social nicety, string free) so that your game seems better than it is. If you fear seeming pretentious, practice your flirting skills with your female friends until they think you're charming. It takes practice, so don't be discouraged by early mistakes.

Let her have her turn. You're not the only one with game. Let her bring hers, and share some of the fun she brought. Be fascinated, amused - show what you feel. If you're being respectful and your interest or honesty somehow offend her, then she's probably not the type you're going to get along with in a relationship. Wish her well and move on.

Know when to retreat. If you get any impression from a girl's body language or expression that there's an apparent lack of interest, then tell her you're interested in talking to her more if you see her later. Then go dance or something. Be sincere about respecting people's right to be uninterested in you, or to be absorbed in their own lives. It's usually not about you, so don't take it personally. People are who they are, and it's going to be difficult enough to find someone to fit into your life without carrying around a lot of unfounded blame for other people not fitting. It makes you bitter and cripples your enjoyment of an evening.




That's all I got right now. COMMENT, BITCHES! Help out.
flamingsword: Aziraphale, the flaming sword, and Crowley (Dark and Wrong)
According to predominantly Christianized Western beliefs, we have a silently suffering minority that has been overlooked for hundreds of years. These poor souls have been oppressed on the basis of their gender and been unable to voice any concerns without severe social backlash. But it's not who you think it is.

Women are not supposed to be sluts, and as such we are discriminated against for enjoying sex with men. Our culture has a lot of social pressures designed to reinforce our place as the withholders of sex. Gay men aren't even supposed to exist, being similarly vilified for liking cock. So, if it's not okay for women to like dick, and it's not okay for men to like it either, that leaves pretty much nobody to like what's in a man's pants.

Sorry, guys.

But, see, now it's on your shoulders, too. The reclaiming of women's right to be sexually forward is up to us all, and you stand to benefit as much from our freedom as we do. Feminism can only come so far without the help of masculism: the belief that the power of men and maleness is a cure for particular social ills of our culture. If feminism has made it okay for men to be more open, more intimate, then masculism can make it okay for women to be more promiscuous. And that can only help your chances, y'all.

So praise the sluts you know and treat them well. Be sex-positive and encourage this forward-thinking social change that gets us all laid. :D


[ETA: This is what happens when I'm sick. My brain starts working all funny and goes in strange directions and new ideas come out of it.]

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