miss_s_b: (Self: Profile)
2010-05-21 12:17 am
Entry tags:

[sticky entry] Sticky: Introduction & Comment policy

Hello! There now follow some handy hints on how to make the most of your Reading My Blog experience:
  • If you don't like my colour scheme (I am aware that many people don't) add "?style=light" to the end of any url to get a different version.
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Comments Policy:
  • Anonymous commenting is enabled, although anon comments are screened before publication; please, if you comment anonymously, give yourself a name/pseudonym/some form of identifier. If you don't your comment will not be unscreened.
  • I don't censor comments from people I know unless pushed VERY hard. Red lines include racism, misogyny, homophobia, unjoking advocation of violence, and being horrible about (or to) people I love. Anons tend to get a lot less leeway and a lot less benefit of the doubt; sorry. My blog, my rules.
  • If you want to point out cock-ups I have made, please direct them to Pedants' Corner; likewise if you want to ask me something off the topic of the post please go to this entry - this saves readers' scrolling fingers.
miss_s_b: (Mood: Liberal)
2015-11-24 05:00 pm

When you look at the older generation and are counting the years till you turn into them

Me: "Just think: in thirty years I'm going to be Shutty."
Him: "Nahhhhh... in thirty years you'll be Mick Taylor. Ten years after THAT you'll be Shutty*."
This little snippet of conversation I had recently with a LibDem activist from a neighbouring local party has been preying on my mind today, along with the maxim "all it takes to go from Liberal to Conservative is thirty years without changing a single opinion".

Both of the names mentioned above are people I would class as proper, dyed-in-the-wool Liberals. I also think it's fair to say that both of them have never stopped engaging with the world around them, with both younger and older people, and people from cultures not their own. They don't fit with the maxim because neither Mick not Shutty has ever stopped learning, growing, and changing. Neither of them has ever stopped paying attention. I'm not saying I agree with either of them on All Things, part of the point of this is that I don't**, but I know that any opinion either of them advances has been reached by deliberation, not a jerking knee.

There are people in the party, though, who aren't like that***. They only ever listen to people from their own cohort, and when they talk to people of different cohorts they talk at them not to them, and they start to become like the person in the maxim. They sit in their own little echo chamber, and if any person who doesn't agree with them in any way happens to come to their attention, they get very confused, scared and angry.
  • They start telling people that they aren't proper Liberals because they aren't doing as they are told****
  • They tell people who don't agree with their outdated views on x or y thing that they aren't proper Liberals.
  • Their war cry is "shut up and go deliver some leaflets"***** because people not of their cohort shouldn't contribute ideas, they should just be cannon fodder.
It's desperately, desperately sad. It drives people away from the party, and it hampers our campaigning ability, and it doesn't make anyone any happier, least of all the people who are confused, scared and angry and screaming about how nobody these days is a proper Liberal like wot they are.

So I hope that in thirty years I do turn into Mick, and then possibly after that Shutty, because the alternative is too awful and depressing to contemplate. But given my hatred of false binaries I'm hoping there's a middle way: when I grow up I think I'd like to be Pauline Nash. Or maybe Jeanette Sunderland.

* Shutty being Lord Shutt of Greetland, who has the most encyclopaedic knowledge of what has happened in Calderdale and it's predecessor areas in the Lib Dems and Liberals for the last fifty years. Mick Taylor being slightly younger and slightly more firebrandy.
** I've had political disagreements with both Mick and Shutty. Mostly, it was fun having a discussion with a person who genuinely wanted to actually discuss things and get to the truth of a matter, rather than shout down an opponent. Sometimes one of us will persuade the other, sometimes we'll agree to disagree. We always listen to each other, though.
*** thankfully not in Calderdale
**** which half a second's rational thought would tell them is a contradiction in terms
***** delivering leaflets, not canvassing, because we wouldn't want the people not of the echo chamber to actually talk to voters.
miss_s_b: (Mood: Oh dear)
2015-11-23 02:18 pm

Mythbusting today's big media nowtrage: nobody has banned the Church of England #JustPray ad

The picture above is an excerpt from DCM's standard terms and conditions for accepting advertising. They have been this way for a year or so, when they were changed to remove "party" from before "political" after so many people in Scotland complained about the Yes and No referendum campaign adverts. You will note that the small change I mention happened before the CofE even thought about filming their advert.

I am sure you are all aware of the maxim that one doesn't talk about religion or politics in public because someone is bound to get upset? DCM have this policy for that reason: whatever religion (or lack thereof, you'll note) is mentioned, someone is bound to get upset, demand their money back from the cinema, start protests, whine on social media, etc, and it's just not worth it. From a commercial point of view, if the money you make from accepting an advert doesn't cover the cost of the trouble the advert will cause, why would you even bother? As Ian Dunt points out here, it's not like the British Humanist Association, among others, haven't fallen foul of the same policy*. How anyone can claim with a straight face that this is discrimination is beyond me.

So no:
  • the CofE are not being discriminated against: this policy applies to groups of all religions and none. As LegionsEagle put it earlier, it's a category-based exclusion, not a content-based one.

  • this is not a new policy, nor should it have been a surprise to the CofE, nor was it suddenly brought in for some nebulous reason to do with muslims (try not to let your naked islamophobia show there)

  • The church of England is not some persecuted minority. They have a reasonable percentage of the legislature of the country all to themselves

I've spent half the day telling all and sundry from BBC Radio Leeds to everyone on twitter that this is a big fuss about nothing, is being massively misrepresented by the church for whatever ends, and it annoys me that the media are falling for it like they did for the sodding Winterval Myth; and so now I have typed it all out in a blog post I can just C&P the link.

*it's a shame Ian doesn't make the intellectual leap to apply the same logic to the other frozen peaches he's been trying to stop from thawing recently, but I think Ian and I just fall on different sides of the fuzzy-like-peach-skin generational divide line so eloquently described by Andrew here
miss_s_b: (Default)
2015-11-21 11:40 am
Entry tags:

So @Muffinite asked for recs for feminist scifi and fantasy on twitter

And having reeled off a few names (Ursula K, Octavia B, three or four current ones) I thought it might also be useful to share a couple of the Goodreads Groups I lurk.

Feminist Science Fiction Fans is the more serious of the two, and they do a book-of-the-month thing which I've got into the habit of just buying. They are great for exploration of feminist ideas.

Girls, Guns and Grimoires is, as their name suggests, more on the funloving side. They're not explicitly feminist, but by Cthulhu they rec some awesome feminist books. They also have a book of the month thing, and you can vote on which book it should be.

I would genuinely recommend both these groups to a lot of you on my f-list, cos I know a lot of you have similar reading proclivities to me. Obviously this isn't going to feed all your reading urges, but it's nice to get pointers sometimes, and I have discovered some great new (to me) authors via these two groups.
miss_s_b: leela (feminist heroes: leela)
2015-11-20 08:20 am

Transgender Day of Remembrance #TDoR2015

Today is transgender day of remembrance. I'm a cis person, so (like Jemima) I feel like mostly my job today is signal-boosting actual trans people; a group of people who are routinely talked over and legislated against in every territory on earth, including the UK. If you don't know why a transgender day of remembrance is important, here is a good primer. I would love to have more stuff in here from trans men and genderqueer folks, and from transpeople of colour, especially because I know that some trans people of colour are unhappy about how TDoR is very white despite a lot of the people being remembered being folks of colour. Please feel free to leave links to stuff by those groups in the comments. These are the things I have found that I want to signal boost:
  1. Colorlines has some suggestions of how to participate. You can find official TDoR events listed here.

  2. There are some beautiful, moving posters made by trans artists here. I also very much liked this Free CeCe McDonald poster by Micah Bazant.

  3. Autostraddle has an interesting article about 10 transwomen pioneers they didn't tell you about in history class.
  4. The awesome Paris Lees has an excellent article in The Grauniad.

  5. Megan Key visits her old (all boys) school.

  6. Caitlyn Jenner also has a video message for TDoR.

I mourn that trans people suffer so monumentally:I pledge to do everything in my power to change as much of that as I can for the future. I'm glad that I'm a member of a political party which sees this as an important thing to do; now we have to persuade everyone else.
miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Cthulhu the Six!Fan)
2015-11-16 06:42 pm
Entry tags:

Answer to an AMA: My Perfect Episode of Doctor Who

[personal profile] staceyuk asked If you could have your perfect episode of Doctor Who, what would it be like?

I've written a lot of Doctor Who fic in my time, and there are certain things that are headcanon to me. Thus Doris is Benton, and the Used Car Salesman thing is just a cover, and Doris was there holding the Brig's hand when he died, and is with him in CyberBrig heaven. Mickey and Six had loads of adventures together when Mickey was in the alternate universe, because two unfairly maligned characters, etc etc. Also, at some point Six and River have had a massive, curl-shaking row. So any perfect episode wouldn't contradict any of that. I think we can categorise the elements that would make up my perfect episode of Who thusly:

The essential things, which are are all actually possible:

It'd have no plot holes.
It'd have good gender balance yet not make a big song and dance about it.
It'd have sparkling dialogue.
It'd have the right balance between funny and scary and tearjerking.
It'd have bits in to make old fans go squee that don't make new fans go "wut?".
It'd be just familiar enough to be Doctor Who but original enough to surprise me.

(all of the above have happened in this most recent series, but not consistently, and never all of them in the same episode)

The still technically possible but less likely things...

It'd have a bit on Gallifrey where Colin would have a speaking part as Maxil, who has lived for thousands and thousands of years, even as the Doctor who borrowed his face has gone through several regenerations. This would be all poignant.
It'd be directed by Graeme Harper.
The post-credit twist would be the revelation that the high priestess of the Sisterhood of Karn is a future incarnation of the Doctor.

And then the totally impossible things:

It'd be multi-doctor, and would have at least one lady Doctor, but preferably several (Joanna Lovely and Arabella Weir could return, but Helen Mirren would be ace). Helen Mirren Doctor and Colin Doctor would start off very huffy with each other but grudgingly respect each other by the end.
Colin would not be unfairly skated over in favour of Tom, and would be allowed to wear what he wanted.
It'd have all my favourite characters in - Suranne Jones!Tardis, Barbara, Jamie and Zoe, the Brig, Liz Shaw, Leela, Peri, The Inquisitor, Uncle Davros (but only if he's played by Terry Molloy), Morgaine, at least 3 incarnations of Missy/The Master, Omega (original, not fifth-era, at least as far as costume goes), Don Warrington!Rassilon - and some new ones that I can't even conceive of, but would be just as ace as those. It'd therefore have to be quite long, and you'd need the services of a good necromancer for some of those to appear.
Some of the awesome new characters would be played by Vincent Price, Cousin Di, Sheila Keith, Christopher Lee, Hedy Lamarr and Grace Kelly.
It'd be co-written by Mary Shelley and Sally Wainwright, and script edited by Douglas Adams and Bob Holmes.

And [personal profile] magister has just suggested a plotline which I thoroughly approve of:

All of the different incarnations of the Master (Delgado, Beevers Crispy-face, Diana Rigg, Ainley, Derek Jacobi, Sheila Keith, Sir Lee, Vinny P, Boris Karloff, Angelina Jolie, Charles Dance, Charles Grey, Beard-of-Evil Leonard Nimoy, etc.) gang up with each other to kill Simm!Master because he's an embarrassment and that's how we get Michelle Gomez who all the others declare to be perfectly suitable. The method of killing Simm!Master involves a great long chase through space and time and lots of doctors' stories, and a ridiculously overcomplicated plot... which would actually succeed.

You can tell that I'm a person who actually liked The Five Doctors, can't you? Oh yes, it'd have to have the Raston Warrior Robot in as well. Or even several of them. Anyway, I suspect that this is an episode of Doctor Who which would please me, and probably a few other people, but lots of others would hate it. And in the end, that would be what made it the perfect episode of Doctor Who; because no episode can be a perfect episode unless it completely divides fan opinion.

If you want to ask me anything, you can do so here
miss_s_b: (Mood: Facepalm)
2015-11-16 11:38 am
Entry tags:

If subtweeting is a thing, is subblogging? On defamation

In a comment in Another Place I have been accused of being anonymous by someone who misspells my name, not only in the same comment, but in the same sentence. I have also been accused of defamation.

On the subject in question, those who are on the opposite side to me tend to throw around words like slander, libel and defamation a lot.

Defamation and it's various subcategories are triggered when someone deliberately says something in public which is untrue, AND which causes someone to either lose money or standing.

Accurately reporting other people's views on a person? Not defamatory, especially when those views are entirely factually based. Even given the reversed burden of proof for defamation, it's unlikely that suing me for saying "lots of people think x" would succeed when I can produce a list of screencaps and what they say AND it's admitted as fact by the person who is the subject of the allegations in any case. I would also seek to argue that the person in question cannot have had his standing reduced by me reporting what other people think of him since his standing is demonstrated by my report of what other people think of him.

Still, I am aware that legal costs these days are quite extortionate, so if anyone wants to spud me a few quid towards possible legal expenses...


UPDATE: so I've got an anonymouse who is incapable of adhering to my comments policy. Again. He she they or it are up to their third comment of splain, so I have clarified a couple of sentences for their benefit.