“English Disco Lovers” Takes On Racism
February 16, 2013
LGBT Related Updates For February 2013
February 18, 2013

Misc. Facebook Updates For February 2013


February 4

On Conspiracy Theories

Funnily enough I believe in several things people would consider to be “conspiracy theories” or at least tending in that direction… but I can’t seem to get into the whole um, conspiracy “scene”… it seems way too mired in negative energy, fear, paranoia etc… and some of the things they say are way too far out… and they do seem to attribute more power to the Forces of Evil (TM) than I would.

All these provisos made, I do actually think there may be some things I could learn from um, the conspiracy “scene”. I just don’t know how to sort the wheat from the chaff – info from misinformation, info that’s useless to me (I can’t act on it) from useful information, and the negative energy from the useful bits.

 

February 8

On The Personhood Of Animals

Do you consider animals to be people? If not, why not?

(See ensuing discussion).

 

February 10


Beautiful Things

Current trends in my “beautiful things” picture folder:1. Women
2. Pregnant women
3. Trees
4. Pregnant women with trees painted on their bellies (I think I have 3)

What do you find beautiful? 🙂

February 11

Maxim On Being Normal

“Normal” is when you’re too scared to embrace and accept your diversity.

Emotional Connection In Porn

(Talking about “adult” subjects below).I’ve started getting into Japanese manga porn. The website I’ve found tends to be all in the same format, short stories of 20 or so pages, of which 10 or 15 of those are sex.

What I like about these is that the stories are not just filler – without being tiresomely long (and we all know what we *really* came for) they set up the characters so that you really connect with them as the story plays out and feel what they’re feeling.

And even in the hot bits their personality is there. It adds a depth of humanness, of emotional connection I can’t find in normal porn.

The question is, why does normal porn try to hide people’s humanity? Why is it that it becomes about showcasing two pieces of meat? Don’t they understand that there is hotness in people’s personalities and in real emotional connection too?

(See discussion)
February 15

Dealing With Negative Emotions

I think “negative” emotions such as anger need to be validated sometimes, but it is almost always better not to act with the emotion as the direct motivator. I try to come to a place of inner peace before acting, even trying to carve out a tiny bit of peace in the middle of an angry moment just so I can have a good basis for immediate action.What such an emotion can do is act as a messenger. If you’re angry, it’s likely someone is overstepping your bounds. Quite possibly, you’re angry because this is happening and you don’t know how to be aware of it in any other way. So you can observe the anger, “ah, someone is messing with me”, and then find a place of non-reactivity so that whatever response you make to the person won’t escalate things.

(Continued in the comments:)
This is more like speculation now, but I’m thinking that when anger is suppressed (and we all know this is bad), it’s when someone doesn’t want to think that someone is messing with them or doesn’t have the self-respect to consider that a problem. Or they have learnt to be so scared of sticking up for themselves (because of abuse) that they don’t want to point out to themselves or others that there is a problem.

So the anger – which is pointing to the truth – is a problem for them, and they hide it from themselves.

Some say you should get the anger out then. But I think you don’t need to get the anger out if you just go straight to what the anger is pointing to – an understanding of what is wrong, of the need for more self respect or a change of situation.
February 16

On Modern Anti-Racist Literature

I’ve been reading up on anti-racist thought quite a lot recently. So far, I… have no idea. Some writers I don’t like, some ideas I flat out disagree with. Some – a few – ideas I resonate with or just seem obvious. But, perhaps the larger part of the things I’ve read, and the overall picture, I am not sure about.I mean, for sure I agree racism is bad. However a lot of the stuff in *anti-racist literature* as I’ve encountered it doesn’t resonate with me and I don’t know if that’s because I’m not “getting” it or because there’s nothing to get.

What would be great, if it were possible, is if I could live as an African-ethnic person (for example) for a while and see what it’s like from the inside. Living as a woman taught me more about feminism than anything before that.

I don’t think I’d try to do that. For one thing, I have no idea how I’d pass as an African-ethnic person. For another, I think it would be sure to offend a lot of people. And it would be an awful lot of effort when I’m already trying to pass as a woman.

I think the realistic way for me to learn more about racism would be to get closer to the people affected by it; maybe live or spend time in affected neighborhoods, talk more with people who are affected by it, etc.

I also think that if I can just imagine myself to be an affected person, I can gain some insights. I have already done so a little. It has definitely pointed out to me how much I take for granted as a person not discriminated against by race.

There are two things I am thinking though –

1. I definitely think the USA has a lot more structural racism than the places I’ve lived. Cambridge in particular was incredibly diverse and there was no separation of different ethnicities into different areas as far as I could see.

Maybe I didn’t see it even though it was there – I don’t know. But I am pretty sure that the USA is much worse than any place I’ve seen, from all that I’ve heard about it.

So I wonder how relevant the sort of anti-racist thought I’m reading is (all written by people living in the USA) to Europe.

2. There is an element of some branches of anti-racist thought that I definitely don’t agree with. It’s not so much the content as an overall energy of victimhood and blame. I’ve seen trans people showing this energy in their activism and I can’t stand it; I don’t want that to represent me.

I don’t know what most modern anti-racist literature would look like without that energy. Would there be anything left? What would it be?

Or to change the slant of the question a little, what can we all do to help people suffering under racial prejudice? How can we change a culture that encourages racial prejudice? And how can we do that in a way that ends negativity and separation rather than perpetuates it? (I think if we blame others, that’s a way we increase separation and perpetuate negative feelings).

The one bit of anti-racist literature I’ve read recently that feels very balanced and lucid to me is this one: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/05/22/957012/-White-Privilege-Diary-Series-1-White-Feminist-Privilege-in-Organizations

But I still find it hard to identify with the problems laid out here. I’m not in feminist organisations, I don’t have experience with cities that have black neighbourhoods, and the racial climate of the USA seems very different to Europe. I don’t know what to take away from this if anything.

February 17

On Wasting Your Life With Jobs You Hate

Those people who waste their lives working so they can do what they want later? I think the trouble is they don’t know what they want. Many occupations which you choose can earn you money; and many others, while they won’t earn you money, need less money than you think.There are lots of ways of earning money and having enough free time to do other things. You can work one year and live off savings the next. You can do geo-arbitrage (taking money from a wealthy country and living with it in a poorer country) to make your money go further. Or there are lots of other ways.

But people fall into the trap of spending all the money they earn. Then they feel trapped by their jobs and like they are being held back from being who they are.

If you really want to do something, work out your priorities and make it happen.

February 17

Polyamory Solves More Problems Than It Creates

Polyamory creates some problems, but I think it solves many more, supposing a person has a manageable level of jealousy or can work to achieve such a manageable level.

So many of the supposedly “impossible” problems of love – people in incompatible relationships, mismatched needs, mismatched libidos, being alone or frustrated when someone is travelling, the dry spells of one partner affecting the other – and even a lot of the pain of separation – could be solved with polyamory.

(See discussion)


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