Sep. 2nd, 2017


Call for Boycott Against Tumblr on Neglectful Actions Regarding Harrassment and Suicide Notices

The call for Boycott Against Tumblr made by @lavahag is one I will be attending. But it also gave me a great idea of my own.

Before I mention my idea, here’s the original boycott call that spawned this little idea:

Now, my reason for this.

Last night, I stayed up the entire night because of good friend of mine had posted that she had become suicidal. This person lives overseas. A number of us stayed up trying to find a way to report the situation. During that search, we found out on the National Lifeline website that Tumblr no longer sees or responds to any reports of imminent self-harm, self harm, or imminent suicide. On top of that, there is absolutely no resource or recourse whatsoever for those that are in the United States, and trying to report a situation like this for someone that’s on the other side of the world.

On top of that, I have spoken to other Tumblr users and found out that the @staff similarly ignores any reports of harassment against its users.

This in its entirety, is absolutely unacceptable.

There are two things I want to see happen regarding Tumblr’s lack of care regarding harassment and suicides.

1) Tumblr needs to hire people to monitor harassment, as well as to connect those who are suicidal to professional help.

2) Regarding the second topic, they definitely need to be held accountable for their lack of support, and a network must be established so that US people can report suicides outside of the country. That way, this situation doesn’t happen again. We were lucky that the person made it though the night. It could have easily gone the other way, all because of a lack of support, resources, caring and manpower. (My thanks to @lukas-the-pk for bringing up this valid point.)

I call for a complete boycott against Tumblr, starting Friday September 1st, 2017, and Lasting until the morning of September 8th, 2017. That’s roughly seven days.

To let everyone know, I have spoken with the one who called for the original boycott, and this will be working in conjunction and cooperation with hers.

I definitely encourage filling up your queues beforehand, demanding changes of the staff on these issues, as well as the condoning of the white supremacy and hate speech.

I also strongly suggest getting a hold of the advertisers and letting them know that they are advertising on a website that not only condones Neo-Nazi, white supremacy speech, but also stand idly by while their own bloggers are in danger of suicide.

Get as much publicity as possible on both boycotts, and that includes going to the press.

Please reblog this, not just for signal-boosting, but also those of you that are going to attend.

I will be using the tags #boycott tumblr, #Stand against Hate, #Stand against Neglect and #Stand against Condoned murder.
Well, I’m back.

16,700ish notes on that post, but since it wasn’t a heartfelt personal text post or a piece of fic I’d sweated blood over, the only real effect is that I can’t see any of my notes on anything else.

A bunch of the reblogs were like “this is stupid and won’t do anything” but like, you… still… reblogged it. No, I don’t think anyone really thought that a boycott or strike or whatever would actually force Tumblr Staff to do anything. (Someone was like “this post only has 12k notes they won’t even notice it”, but like… this isn’t the only post dude.) There are million-note posts going around about this issue. And still, some others of the notes on mine were like ‘i didn’t know this was an issue’ and such. 

The point was awareness-raising, and more importantly, the point was to express solidarity. A lot of people will have seen that post, and others like it. Whether staff does or not doesn’t really matter as much as the users. Part of what the “alt-right” has been doing is using bots and automation to make it seem like there are huge numbers of them. That’s been crucial for their recruitment. It’s important for real people to occasionally speak up and point out that no, most of the real actual people you know are not involved with this, and don’t condone it. 

And, of course, for the targets of white supremacists, who I am aware have been feeling beset and alone, to see that a lot of people disagree and haven’t spoken out because they don’t know what to say. That’s why there was no “you’re scum if you don’t reblog this!” or “reblog this to show you care” kind of bullshit on that graphic, because that’s most of the reason why I haven’t reblogged stuff before. So many things are posts about things I have not experienced, and don’t feel comfortable Performing Allyship over… so that one was just meant to be a neutral informative thing that wasn’t aimed at anyone in particular and just expressed solidarity.

There’s a related boycott going on about staff’s terrible handling of harassment and suicidal users, which I don’t feel nearly as informed on, but I’ll find and reblog the post in a bit.

Anyway. It was weird being away for a whole day, but I also sort of felt like I wasn’t missing much, so I probably ought to go through and fix up some better filters. I am on this site for the people, and this site makes it damned hard to actually communicate with people. I missed y’all, but I didn’t miss Tumblr. 

To really sum up: Turns out that hilarious “New Zealand” troll (that has to have been a troll, no true Kiwi etc.) was the only hate I got over that whole post, so, honestly, in terms of solidarity movements, you could do worse. I’d expected at least one Nazi to get pissed off, but no; some of the reblogs mentioned “free speech” which was hilarious, but most of them were fairly neutral about it. 

Which really means that the Nazis didn’t see that post of mine as a threat at all, but. You take the bad with the good, I guess. 
Unrelated personal notes: I sweated bullets trying to get all my laundry done Thursday to hang outside yesterday since there was a 0% chance of rain on Friday. I wasn’t wrong, nothing got rained on– I had three loads of laundry out on the line, I have one of those clothes tree hangers and it’s the bomb (holy shit it’s $63 right now, I paid $115 on a lightning deal for it and figured that was a good deal!! I might buy a second one for my sister!!!) – but it was cold as shit all day even if it was sunny, so everything dried slowly and kind of crinkled. 

Today there was a 70% chance of rain, and… it’s sunny and… warmer… and argh. Oh well. I do have some things to hang up. I wanted an excuse to tumble dry them (towels and jeans are so much less stiff tumbled…) but the sun will do them good as well. 

Other cool thing– oh, I gotta go re-send my Instagram posts so they cross over here, but one of them was about how I found a sewing machine repair man who doesn’t send things out of town and also does housecalls. He’s in his 80s, his name is Wally, and he does sergers. He came and picked my serger up from work. His flat fee is $80 and it’s $17 to replace an upper serger blade and $14 to replace a lower. If he can’t fix it he doesn’t charge you. He only takes cash. He used to work at the big department store downtown in the 60s. Dave’s elderly aunt, who is an avid quilter, gave me his number like it was some kind of state secret. I’ll keep y’all posted. 

My brain chemistry is doing the seasonal affected thing, for sure. I’m getting indecisive and I have intrusive thoughts a whole lot. I hate that. I’m trying to sew the wall hangings to insulate the yurt for the fall, and I literally spent two hours pacing around my basement not able to decide what fabric to cut, which is so stupid, but there you have it. 

I think I have a Lost Kings update done. It’s so long since I published anything, but, hey. So, sometime this lovely holiday weekend, I’ll push that one. 
I got the North Park (that’s a small). He got the Black Sesame. It’s real good. (at Lake Effect Ice Cream, Hertel Avenue)
She literally chased him around the house yowling for an hour until he finally sat down, which was what she wanted. Look at that satisfied little mug. Chita is such a precious princess cat. She spent the whole night on my face, too, but I guess when the weather turns chilly like this there is a Constant Need For Snugs.
via replied to your post “Unrelated personal notes: I sweated bullets trying to get all my…”

Tangential, but you have no idea how amusing it is to watch Americans discover the rotary clothes line.

I grew up with one! But I haven’t been able to find one, and when I asked at my hometown hardware store, they said the market has lately been flooded with very inexpensive imported ones that don’t hold up at all, and so no one will buy any. I spent literally years trying to find one before Amazon ran a sale on that one and I snapped it up hoping it was reasonable. Because it wasn’t even that you could shop by price– the shitty ones were all over the place in price, because people wouldn’t buy the very cheap ones because they knew they were shitty… It’s been a mess. I’ve literally spent my whole adult life trying to get a decent rotary clothes line and am delighted to have finally found one. I’m seriously considering buying a second one for my sister because she has this elaborate thing made of lumber that is slowly sinking into the earth and the lines keep snapping. 
i guess i’m chatty today.

#1 it is freezing and i’m about to head back out to live in the yurt for another 3 weeks and i’m going to freeze my butt off so it’s Time to make the insulated wall hangings I meant to make last year but didn’t. I’m so paralyzed with indecision, but I do have a bunch of denim cut up, and Farmsister’s ridiculous mother in law brought her a garbage sack full of quilted pillow sham covers last year that Farmsister instantly tried to get rid of and I grabbed, so I basically have a bunch of quilts so I’m going to flatten those and make roof insulation out of them. I just have to do it. Meanwhile I’m pinteresting stupid jean quilts and being like but i could do a whole thing in gradations of blue and for real, fuck the fuck off, me, and just do a thing, Christ.

#2 Dude hates the commercial soaps he grew up using– Ivory and Irish Spring and such– and has been trying for literally years to find The Perfect Soap, which is inexpensive, not stinky, and not chemically. He has some decent olive oil soap he likes okay, but it’s expensiveish, and it also dissolves like, immediately. So he shopped around on amazon and bought this soap from India that looked just about perfect, but a review had said sort of obscurely was “not exactly developed for the export market” and long story short, he’s sitting across the room from me and it really smells like incense in here. I like it, a lot, but I don’t think Dude can handle it. We’ll see though, he bought ten bars of the soap. 

#3 I’m starting to understand my embroidery software but for the record, the only software on the market that runs native in OSX assumes that you have a two-button mouse installed on your computer and will not say anything about it, you just won’t be able to access the most basic functions of the software because you must right click and ctrl+click doesn’t work. COME THE FUCK ON it is 2017 and nobody has a real mouse anyway! What the fuck. 

#4 it’s a long weekend so I need to get off my ass and do something before I sink into a three-day funk about how I’m not getting anything done. So, uh. See ya.
via replied to your post “i guess i’m chatty today. #1 it is freezing and i’m about to head back…”

#2 - my dad exclusively uses pine tar soap and has forever, but the stinkiness is… debatable. as a sprog i once asked my mom why daddy used soap that made him smell worse than before his bath and she had to excuse herself to cackle

PINE TAR SOAP. I had never heard of this but I just looked it up on Amazon.

The reviews are HILARIOUS. Literally 50% of them are “I bought this to make my beard thicker and now i have an axe for a hand and my skin is plaid” and the other 50% are “I was recommended this to relieve my pregnancy rash and it does an amazing job”, and the first half are all the kind of fake review that are hilarious, and the second half are completely one thousand percent sincere. 
lieutenantbae replied to your post: Unrelated personal notes: I sweated bullets trying…

Gosh I want a yurt so bad! My neighbor has one. As a fellow New Englander, how comfortable are you in there in winter? (Also, S.A.D. suckssss)

Oh, my yurt isn’t a commercial one, it’s a homemade one that a friend designed to camp in. So it’s not designed to take a snow load at all. Rain, sure, and it’s survived the tail-ends of hurricanes and things, it’s pretty weatherproof, but– not winter. I take mine down in November and put it back up in– this year I didn’t get it up until May, but ideally April. 

Also– when people are like “wow you live in a yurt”, I feel obligated to point out, no, I sleep in a yurt. I have an outhouse, but I rarely use that either; I use my sister’s bathroom, cook in my sister’s kitchen, shower in my sister’s shower, all indoors, like a regular person. I do my laundry in my sister’s washer, and watch TV on my sister’s TV. My yurt isn’t my house, it’s just my bedroom, and it’s nicer than many bedrooms, but I’m also not really living rough in it, so much respect to those who do. 

Last year I did use it in some pretty cold weather. I think the coldest night I spent, it was 27F. I had a kerosene heater in it, but I won’t use it again, the heater was too big for the space and the fumes were gross if the thing ever went out. I couldn’t turn it down far enough, so i had to either sweat my ass off, open the door which seemed crazy, or douse the thing, hide under the blankets until the smoke cleared, and then light it again in three hours when I couldn’t feel my nose again. And then I had soot all over everything I owned, which was gross, so. I let my dad have the heater for the garage, and I’ll think of something else.

This year I’m going to do a better job at insulating it, for starters. Last year I did a half-assed job with Reflectix. You need radiant barrier insulation for a little thing like a yurt, and that’s what that is. I have more of the stuff this year and I’m going to for real get it set up properly. It’s a moisture and wind barrier, and then I’m going to put quilts on the inside, so we’ll see if I can get by with a tiny electric space heater {since I have an extension cord and one power strip, I looked up the amps and I can run the space heater if I don’t use anything else at the same time, and in fact I have used it a little bit, when I first moved in} and just real good insulation. I’m expecting temperatures in the 40s and 50s at night, though, so it should be not a big deal overall. 

It seems to me that even if they don’t do a very good job, insulated wall hangings will be nice to have and be a great way to use up a lot of the weird hoarded fabric I have, and then I’ll feel better about my terrible hoarding… I’ve just gone through and emptied out three huge boxes of old drapes and things I got from my mother and various well-meaning strangers, and a huge section of polarfleece I salvaged from work (it had been part of a photo backdrop for a defunct studio).
oh, weird, i just got five messages all in a row at 2pm on sept 2nd, so. sorry i didn’t see this.

It wasn’t my idea so I’m not sure what the original intention was. I figured all Tumblr cares about are page views, so I just closed the browser window, closed it on my phone too (I don’t use the app), and stayed off the site for the 24 hours. My queue posted one post during that time.

If there are going to be future boycotts it might be good for the organizers to explain what exactly they mean. I don’t know what kind of metrics Tumblr uses at all; I have adblock stuff installed so it’s not like their advertisers get hits from me anyway. But I figure, site traffic was the key thing, so I just– total abstinenced the entire site.

But how different people implemented it surely was different, and I’d love to see some kind of postmortem on that… I just don’t know if anyone that analytically gifted was actually paying attention. I don’t know how you’d even judge.
via replied to your post “Unrelated personal notes: I sweated bullets trying to get all my…”

Yay! more Lost Kings!

Bless you, dear. LK has descended into madness as an extremely long epic about extremely obscure characters totally unsuited to remaking as an original work of any kind and yet that i can’t really step away from or stop, so i appreciate every one of the people who is still reading, because really there aren’t many, but my god i can’t stop writing this thing. 

*gets my arm bitten off by a wolverine in the canadian wilderness and this billboard instantly teleports to my location, silently mocking me as i bleed to death*
via replied to your post “i guess i’m chatty today. #1 it is freezing and i’m about to head back…”

Dove sells a nice cucumber soap. It’s not girly-scented and works really well.

Dude has just found that the commercial soaps, whatever the ingredients are in them, make him stink like B.O. by like three pm, and it’s gross. He should figure out what the ingredient is, exactly. I can back this up, he used to be kind of a smelly dude in the evenings and I just sort of dealt with it, and he tried like a billion deodorants, but if he switched to natural soap– and by that, it turns out, all that means is Not Any Of The Big Commercial Ones (he tried Ivory, Dove, Irish Spring…)– he might know what the ingredient was that made him so stinky, but I know whatever it was, it definitely did it. So he uses Kiss My Face or Kirk’s Castile or whatever. Alas, Dr. Bronner’s makes his skin fall off. 

walburgablack replied to your post “i guess i’m chatty today. #1 it is freezing and i’m about to head back…”

can you buy soap from Khadi? they’re durable, natural(-scented), come in a bunch of fragrances, and should be cheap for US folk.

I looked them up and they’re about eight times the price of the “Chandrika” soap he just bought, so. [Whether that means they’re cheap or not in absolute terms, I couldn’t say! The Chandrika soap is really inexpensive.] They can go on the list but he likes to be real cheap I guess. 

The best part of all this is that I love the smell. Our whole bathroom smells like it (since it’s sitting unwrapped in the dish), and I keep getting wafts of it, and can’t tell if it’s him or the bathroom. I really really like the smell. He mostly can’t smell it, but he’s been distracted because I found a black walnut on the ground and brought it home and he’s been playing with that all day. The green husk on those things also smells great, kind of sharp and not-fruit-y and we both kind of wish you could get black walnut husk scented soap, but that doesn’t seem to be a thing. (They’d probably smell like the walnuts themselves anyway, which I don’t like– they’re sort of bitter– and not the husks, which are awesome and are also what you make walnut ink from.)
via Harbors of the Sun by Martha Wells:


Review of The Harbors of the Sun in Strange Horizons: A quick and dirty description of the series as a whole that I’ve seen Wells herself use is “bisexual, polyamorous, matriarchal, shapeshifting flying lizard people.” This is absolutely correct. However it’s also more of the “who” than the “what” of the series. The what of the Raksura books is more complicated and subtle. If you had asked me what the series was about before reading The Edge of Worlds and The Harbors of the Sun, I would have answered that it was about a young man finding a home and his people after being on his own for too long. I would have said it was about rediscovering family and learning to trust again. Those answers are all still true, but now I realize that this series is also very much about a community constantly under attack, how they deal with trauma and continue fighting to survive and find a safe space.Without giving away too much, Moon starts the series isolated and ignorant of his people because of an attack on his birthplace; and the results and reactions to this and other attacks that happen within the books affect every character deeply and in different ways. In between the exciting action scenes, characters are dealing with feelings of abandonment, PTSD, and the reverberations of sexual assault through whole families and communities. These heavy subjects are no less well depicted for the series’ being set in a secondary fantasy world. Wells handles them with subtlety and grace, so they slowly build almost within the background of the series, book by book. For example, there are a few characters in the series that are born as the result of sexual assault and while this is never ignored, it’s also not focused on too closely. However, in The Harbors of the Sun we, along with the characters, are forced to confront more directly what life would be like for those taken and forced to impregnate their captors and where they might find some consolation. (That sentence is a great call out to the book, so after you read it? Make sure to come back and marvel at my brilliance.) Wells never glosses over the pain and the after effects of terrible things; she treats these horrors with the respect they deserve unlike many other writers who linger over sexual assault and other violations to both eroticize the acts and use them to shock the reader.Another great aspect of the series is the casual queerness of the characters. What I mean by a casual queerness is that the world itself is queer, so sexuality is a non-issue most of the time and since most of the characters are bisexual there is no single queer character for the whole of a complex identity to be pinned upon. As mentioned above, the Raksura are polyamorous, and though Moon’s main relationship is with the queen, Jade, he also has a strong and loving relationship with the male mentor-turned-warrior Chime. Chime is explicitly described as Moon’s favorite multiple times in the books. None of this is a main focus of the books but it is wonderful to see a world where queer sexuality is so accepted that it need not necessitate any conversation or explanation. Though it is thankfully becoming more common, it is still thrilling to see a world where queerness doesn’t exist as a way to isolate a character or to give them a tortured past. While many of Wells’s characters do have dark pasts, none of these are the result of their sexuality.
New Lost Kings story: Fourteen. Kes POV, and it’s basically all one long unbroken scene of somewhat more graphic violence than I usually write.

Kes rubbed the mud across his cheekbones, thought of how his mother’s cousin Tati had always told the story the same way, and drew his knife. Nixi had kissed her children goodnight, and then she and her sister Buna had smeared their faces with their native soil, and had crept out into the woods to save their village.

Blasters made noise. Knives didn’t. And Stormtrooper armor was all made the same. Kes had never killed a man before, had never seriously contemplated it, but he was very good at cutting exactly what he aimed at with a knife.



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