gaudior: (Default)
(This is a post originally posted on my tumblr, but I bet it gets better comments here!)

Here is an example from my life.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show and its associated audience callbacks is, arguably, homophobic, transphobic, slut-shaming (in that the audience yells “Slut!” whenever the female lead says or does anything), rape-apologistic, probably classist, has almost no representation of characters of color, and so forth. The end of the film very firmly reinstates the monogamous, patriarchal norm: the queer characters are dead and the leads are shown crawling through desolate ruins singing the take-away message that “all I know is/deep down inside I’m bleeding.”

I’m pretty sure that if it had not had all those elements to reassure the mainstream viewer, it would not have been popular enough to be shown to high-school kids in Wisconsin in 1995.

Because in addition to those things, Rocky was also the first time I had ever seen on-screen:

two women kissing
two men being sexually intimate
a “man” dressed in “women’s” clothes who was portrayed as sexy rather than as a joke
a same-sex wedding-type-thing
a female character talking about sex as something she enjoyed for her own fulfillment rather than to look attractive to a guy

And it was also the first environment I was ever in that encouraged me to play with sexuality and gender.

We’re doing better now than we were twenty years ago, and that’s awesome. The internet creates amazing spaces where we can connect to each other without needing to go through something that’s making a profit for someone who will be worried about being too controversial. I’m delighted about that. And I think it’s great that we’re being thoughtful about our fiction, taking it seriously enough to critique it.

I just also think it’s really important to notice the multiple, multi-layered personal meanings that we as individuals associate with works of fiction. Because when I was a little queer in Shorewood, Wisconsin in the 90s, if I hadn’t had Rocky and Dan Savage (then called “Hey, Faggot”) and Buffy and The Birdcage, I wouldn’t have had much of anything. The problematic stuff was what got through the gate-keepers, I think in no small part because its problematicness made it less threatening to them.

But it was still enough to get me thinking about the world outside those gates.
gaudior: (Karkat)
al Theories (what do you mean, the title of my entry is too long?)


Client: The lightbulb is burned out.
Psychodynamic Therapist: Hmm. How do you feel about that?
C: Um, I don't know, annoyed?
PT: Is this feeling of annoyance familiar? When's the last time you felt this way?
C: ... probably the last time a lightbulb burned out?
PT: Interesting! What sorts of things do you associate with a burned-out lightbulb?
C: Darkness. Look, could we just change the lightbulb?
PT: Huh. I mean, yes, we could, but it seems like you're feeling a lot of resistance to talking about your annoyance about lightbulbs. I wonder whether there's something more complicated going on here? Let's explore it!
C: ...

Client: I'm mortal, and I'm going to die.
CBT Therapist: All right, let's look at this logically. What are some challenges to that thought?
C: ... there is no challenge. It's a fact. I'm gonna die.
CBTT: So the automatic negative cognition that comes is "I'm gonna die."
C: ...yes?
CBTT: So let's look at some ways that we can interrupt that automatic thought. Here, take this worksheet, and write down a detailed description of what's happening before you have that thought. And then take this worksheet and write down some challenges to the thought, like "I'm not dead right now," and "I've never died before, so why would I assume I'm going to die later?"
C: That sounds completely pointless.
CBTT: Okay, I know this is hard work, but we can't do much unless you do it. What are some things getting in the way of your being able to do the worksheet?
C: ... I mean, nothing. I can do the worksheet. It's just dumb. Because I am mortal, and I am going to die.
CBT: All right, well, give it a try and see what happens!
C: ...

gaudior: (I must write!)
Hey, does anyone know any really, really readable (like, relatively fast-moving, more stories-about-people than theory-driven, fun) books about New York/Brooklyn in the 1930s and 40s, and/or about World War II?

Asking for a friend.

(Who is writing an Avengers fanfic.)

(And is me.)

(I'm aware that the world does not have a dearth of Avengers fanfic, but-- I'm having fun. I haven't had this kind of enjoyment and enthusiasm for writing for over a year. Most of the past year, I've either not written at all, or felt like I was dredging words out of my brain with a fork, and they weren't even very good words. But this-- I'm writing every time I've got a spare minute, and I'm finding more of them than I thought I had. I have about 15.5k words so far, and I like the words I've got. And if this fic is nothing but fun for me and food for my id-- well, those are still good things! So I am writing it. And book recommendations would be really helpful-- I have a hard time getting through a lot of nonfiction, especially if it's dense, but I trust you guys to have some good ideas!)

gaudior: (Default)
Is there more snow? Since thou dost give me pains,
Let me remember thee what thou hast promised,
Which is not yet performed me.

I mean, seriously, dude.


Reading: Hostage, Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith
gaudior: (reassurance)
A few years ago, I wrote an entry called Advice to a Young Therapist. I've learned some things since then, so it seemed like a good time for another one.

In looking these over, they seem a lot more grim than the last set I wrote. The odd thing is, I think I'm happier and calmer and less in danger of burn-out than I was when I wrote the last one by a factor of about a million. I think that's because I really, really believe #10. So maybe skip to that one, if this is depressing?

Your client sees you through the same lens they see everyone else in their lives. )

Your goal is not for you to be the most important person in your clients' life; it's for them to learn to build other relationships that they can rely on instead of you. )

3. Know your frame. )

4. Also, pay attention to what the frame means to the client. )

5. One of the hardest things about recovering from/leaving abusive relationships is that they are relationships. )

6. Your client getting better at being in therapy is not the same as your client getting better. )

7. Learn the difference between anxiety and fear, and stay safe. )

8. No, seriously, self-care. )

9. You are a conduit for wisdom to flow from one survivor to another. )

You don't have all of the power or none of the power. You have some of the power. )


*This point was driven home by reading The Flock: The Autobiography of a Multiple Personality by Joan Frances Casey, featuring the journal of her therapist, Lynn Wilson. In this memoir, Casey describes how her therapist, and her therapist's husband, became substitute parents for her to replace her abusive ones, complete with hugs, cuddling, trips to their lake house, etc. Casey finds this treatment wonderfully restorative until the point where Wilson, pretty abruptly, decides that this is too much for her, and suddenly places boundaries. For a while, she and Casey continue to work together, but then Wilson and her husband die suddenly in a boating accident. After that, Casey declares that she is suddenly completely integrated! And totally fine! And living a perfectly good life! Well, except for the alcoholism and depression. But basically fine!

So, like, don't try to be everything to your clients. Because what if you die in a boating accident?

** There are some therapists who think that the client should start talking at the beginning of the hour, so that they talk about what's important to them, not just what they think the therapist wants them to say. That's all well and good, but you need to for the love of all the gods TELL THE CLIENT THAT. They can't telepathically divine your intentions, they haven't read the same books you have, and they have no flippin' clue why you're just sitting there staring at them. So they will come up with an explanation for it-- that you're putting them in a stressful situation to see how crazy they are, that you're a creep, that you're too uninterested in them as a person to bother simple politeness like "good morning"-- etc. This is not conducive to good therapeutic rapport!
gaudior: (Default)
The secret of eternal youth is to keep trying new things. You can experience that pure, youthful feeling of "AAAAAGH I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THE FUCK I'M DOING HEEEELLLLLLP!!!!" over and over again, your whole life long.


Reading: The Coyote Kings of the Space-Age Bachelor Pad, Minister Faust.
gaudior: (Default)
Happy birthday, [personal profile] jinian! May you have a year of love and friendship and interesting genes in interesting plants and cheerful-colored hair and better weather and health to you and all you love and purring cats and good books and music and movies and cool crafts projects and fun and play and good days and tasty food and interesting cooking and general cheer!

gaudior: (Karkat)
Wherein A Hemoanomalous Mutant Summons A Group of Misfits, Including Crippled Cullbait, a Sopor-Addict, An Unfit and Politically Incorrect Heiress, A Feral Lowblood, and Various Other Disreputable Sorts, to Join A Plot Which Will Destroy Alternia and Wipe Out the Troll Empire, Allying Themselves With Enemy Aliens, and Rampaging Across the Universe Until Her Imperious Condescension Herself Battles Them One on One and Defeats Them. Featuring Scenes of Graphic Conciliation, In-Depth Descriptions of Two Major Heresies, Interspecies Relationships in Multiple Quadrants, An Unspeakably Large Cast More Than Half of Whom Are Aliens, Too Many Deaths and Resurrections to Count, An Unreasonably Casual Approach to Metaphysics, and A Lot of Swearing.

(Homestuck would SO be banned for half of its characters...)


Reading: Steven Brust, Iorich. Carla Speed McNeil, Third World. Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples, Saga.
gaudior: (gaudior)
Snow snow SNOW snow SNOW snow snow snow SNOW!!!!


That is all.


Reading: Stranger, by Rachel Manija Brown & Sherwood Smith.
gaudior: (Karkat)
Copied from my tumblr. Mercifully cut-tagged for those who don't care! Also, for anyone who has managed to remain unspoiled!

Dave. )

Hussie and meta. )
gaudior: (Default)
Oh, hey, look, it is an opportunity to explain how people look to me!

As I've mentioned before, I have prosopagnosia, or face-blindness. I think it's hard for people who don't have it to understand what that means. I mean, Hannibal had a character who had it, and tried to replicate the effect by always blurring everyone's faces whenever they appeared from that character's point of view, which is entirely wrong. "Face-blindness" doesn't mean I can't see faces, I can see faces just fine. They just don't make more of an impression on me than anything else I see-- trees, furniture, hands, etc. I think that most people with a functioning fusiform gyrus don't realize when you're using it, don't realize that you perceive faces differently from how you perceive everything else.

But here is an incredibly useful visual aid. This artist, Sandro Miller, has recreated iconic portraits with John Malkovich as the subject.

So: I can tell that John Malkovich is not Che Guevara (I think because the photo quality is too good) or Marilyn Monroe, or probably Arbus' identical twins, though I don't know the original photo. But the rest of them, I would instantly identify as whoever they're labeled as. They have all the right cues-- hair, clothing, facial expression, background-- that would tell me who they are, plus their names are helpfully at the bottom of the photo. So I would have no reason to think that they are John Malkovich. They don't look like John Malkovich.

I'm curious-- can other people identify him from these pictures?


On villains

Sep. 6th, 2014 10:46 am
gaudior: (Default)
So, I am very much enjoying my new tumblr, but there are two problems with it as a medium for conversation. One is caused by my choices, the other by the nature of tumblr.

The first is that, well, my tumblr is themed: it's called Things-That-Are-Great, and that's what I post. There's plenty of politics in there, but it's all uplifting-- "look what these awesome queer women of color are doing!"-- and goes along with art and photography and kittens and humor and such. So when there's something I'm mad or sad about, it's just not the right place to put it.

The second is the nature of tumblr itself; you can't comment on a post (except to "like" it) without posting it yourself. So to have a conversation with someone, you need to post the same thing over and over again for each thing either of you says. And if someone else says something interesting, you have to also post that to get the whole conversation, and that's... well, I like it better here, I'm just saying.

So here is where I'm commenting on this tumblr post.

Commentary! Talking about abuse dynamics! Also, some mild spoilers! )
gaudior: (Default)
Cuz I don't want to lose track of this insight:

Some problems are impossible to see clearly and completely if you're focusing only on how YOU personally can fix them.
gaudior: (Default)
Wherein I have acquired a tumble-blog!

It is here:

It is not a replacement for DW or LJ in any way, as it is exactly what it says on the tin: a collection of things that are cheering, lovely, powerful, funny, and otherwise great. I've maintained it for a week to make sure that it keeps being a good idea, and thus far, it has seemed to be, so there it is.

It's also a way for me to follow the tumblr's of other excellent people. So if that's you, and I don't know what your tumblr is, I would really like to hear it so I can follow it!

Cuz, like, pictures of things are cool, you know?


Reading: Steven Brust, Dzur.
gaudior: (Default)
I don't normally do these, but I am reading books again! So perhaps I will mention some things.

Read Steven Brust's Issola, and it is nice to know what kind of Dragaeran I would be. I would so totally be an Issola, there is no question. I would have thought an Athyra just based on the kind of work they do, but their attitude is so terrible.

Also, I particularly recommend Lia Silver's Prisoner to anyone who liked Laura's Wolf despite it being a romance novel. Like, if you are like me, and you're like "romance novels are a perfectly good genre, I guess, but I rarely find one that doesn't hit me over the head with gender roles and heteronormativity, so I don't read them much, but I really liked how Laura's Wolf countered those things!" Prisoner's got the same sort of excellently well-worked relationship, but adds in a lot more sfnal/comics elements, and they're great. Characters I relate to more on a sf/fantasy metaphor/emotional/id level, as opposed to the characters in Laura's Wolf with whom I identified because their lives shared tangible aspects of mine. Good stuff!

gaudior: (Karkat)
We do not live by Homestuck fic alone. Or, at least, we probably shouldn't. I mean, some of it isn't very good.

So... could you all help me find stuff that isn't Homestuck fic, but has the qualities it has that have kept me reading it for the past year and a half? I've narrowed them down to five:

1) Loads of queer characters.
2) Loads of interesting female characters.
3) Interesting multiperson relationships (I should note, interesting functional multiperson relationships, none of this "love triangle" bullshit.)
4) Interesting, complicated worldbuilding.
5) A snarky, irreverent sense of humor which works well with genuinely emotionally involving stories.

Having all of these would be best, but I could do with something that has most of them. I've been enjoying Steven Brust's Dragaeran series, which really only has three out of five, but I think three is the minimum.

Because my favorite Homestuck fic authors write fast (looking at you, Asuka!), but I read faster. So therefore.



Reading: Steven Brust, Issola.
gaudior: (Default)
This is a problematic holiday. It’s problematic for people who don’t have fathers; it’s problematic for people who don’t get along with their fathers, it’s problematic in that it reinscribes the idea of the nuclear family and negates, say, mine. And when I say “problematic” what I mean is “really fucking depressing,” because if you’re in any of the above categories, the last thing you want is a zillion pictures of square-jawed, wholesome, usually-white guys in polo shirts being hugged by winsome little girls with a caption saying something along the lines of “you were always there for me.”

I don’t think it has to be like that, though. Because the thing is, we don’t all have “a man who sired us, raised us, and is still an important and loving part of our lives.” But what if we adjust the definition of father? Read more... )
gaudior: (utena/anthy)
So, I had this awesome dream last night which was a Homestuck/Utena crossover. There were, like, four different versions of all the Utena characters from slightly different universes, and their interactions with each other were great, and it was the coolest.

It made me wake up, though, and think about color correspondences, and these are, many of them, the worst thing. Yet, sometimes, strangely apropos.

Utena-- Feferi or Roxy
Anthy-- Gamzee (!!!)
Wakaba-- Tavros
Touga-- Dave
Saionji-- Kanaya (!?!?)
Jury-- Dirk (well, the queerness remains...)
Miki-- John?
Kozue-- Vriska
Ruka-- Equius (???)
Nanami-- Sollux (snerk)
Akio-- Rose (!!!!!!!)

Shiori and Mikage are pretty much matchless, which is just as well.

Creepy and charming rainbow fandoms are creepy and charming!

gaudior: (Default)
Here, in alphabetical order, are some authors I'd suggest you just go to A03 and read all their stuff-- or at least, whatever seems interesting. I can't promise that every story by them will be great, but a high enough percentage that they're worth checking out. Read more... )
Page generated Sep. 24th, 2017 02:08 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios