Pinned toot

vegan asks, :boost_ok:​ 

TL;DR:

- CW animal products, including milk/honey/leather/wool/etc., including text

- no big deal but please avoid calling veganism a diet

- arguments about ecology are missing the point (also I didn’t invite arguments in the first place)

Those are the asks. I’ll just speak bluntly for the rest of this toot; please avoid reading it if the strident tone is not good for you.

---

CW is the big one. CW your food posts for food, for the sake of people with eating issues and the like. But also mark them as nonvegan, meat, milk or however you prefer to word it. CW text-only posts talking about those things.

including milk, please. especially milk, please. there’s a reason for the vegan saying ‘dairy is the cruelest of all’. being reminded of what’s being done to dairy cows and their babies as we speak can ruin my mood for the rest of the day. on a vulnerable day it can, and has, more than once, reduced me to a blubbering crying mess. just tag it.

(fellow vegans: it is useful to CW food posts as "vegan" because so many people fail to mark animal abuse that I usually avoid clicking "food" toots, unless I know the person to be vegan.)

please also CW selfies or photos with things made of animal bodies, or things taken from animals, like animal leather, wool, horn, honey, beeswax etc. and CW animals in conditions of exploitation, like farm animals.

I’m not triggered by those things. It’s not abuse done to _me_ after all, I hold the speciesist privilege like all of us. I’m not disgusted or squeamish either, that’s not how any of this works. When I look at a photo with an animal product, I’m not looking at a piece of animal tissue and going ‘ew, gooey’. I’m looking at a nightmare machine of entirely unnecessary exploitation and pain, at a powerful ideological system wrapped around it to normalise it. I’m thinking of what was done to a living, feeling, sensitive being to produce that thing, and then trying to multiply it in my head times 990 million cows or 23 billion chickens etc. I can't help myself from doing the algebra of integer times pain. I’m thinking of what happens to human workers in the animal industry. I can’t turn it _off_, once I learned to see processes I can’t unsee them. I’m looking at my own impotence to make this absurd situation just stop, stop, at my own guilt to just carry on with life as if this inconceivable maelstrom of gratuitous suffering didn’t matter.

So it’s a little bit depressing.

---

The other ones are just terminological quibbles and not super important or anything, I understand why people say that and I take it in stride, they just reflect common misconceptions.

• Not "vegan diet". It's not a diet. Plant-based is a diet. Veganism is an ethical position, holding that all beings capable of suffering are moral subjects. It’s no more a diet than ‘Kantian consequentialism’ or ‘Vedic nītiśāstra’. Reducing it to diet is already taken for granted the objectification of other animals which is just the point in question.

- Not "dietary restriction" either. If I don’t rob candy from a child I’m not restricting my diet, I’m trying to be a good person. Not eating honey robbed from bees is literally, exactly, exactly, the same.

- Not "you can/can’t eat this?" It’s not that I can’t eat a thing, it’s that I don’t want to.

- Not "but isn’t X is worse for global warming" (soy farming, palmtree industry etc.).

As it happens, the animal industry is terrible for the environment, and eating plants is a much more efficient use of resources (necessarily, because of trophic loss). If you think this or that form of animal exploitation is better for the environment chances are it’s capitalist propaganda and will turn out to be wrong upon examination. Even if we are thinking purely of saving humanity from the looming catastrophe, stopping animal exploitation is about the best measure we can make.

But this is just a happy coincidence. Even if it was the other way around and killing other animals could save millions, it would be still wrong. The self-interest of humans, however aligned to it, is not the reason why it’s wrong. (In this hypothetical scenario, if we _had_ to choose, then I wouldn’t blame people for choosing self-preservation. But then the task would be to find out ways to get the necessary resources without all the killing. In our reality, that step is already given, all we needed was to figure out B12 production and that's long been solved.)

I don’t argue vegan stuff and I don’t ask for arguments, but leaving that aside, to bring me ecological (or, even worse, nutritional) arguments is to miss the point.

> Stannis: I know the cost! […] If Joffrey should die... what is the life of one bastard boy against a kingdom?
> Davos: Everything.

(A Song of Ice and Fire)

tech grumbling, matrix 

why does synapse demands LC_CTYPE=C on the postgresql database

makes a girl feel ~icky~ ugh

if we're being spied on and logged all the time, why is it so hard to find again a post I saw 1 day ago >.>

fbi guy, you there? do you have like, a greppable list of all videos I've seen or s/t? can you send a link to the one where the hot woman is interpreting a song in sign, dominantly? I'll upload some nudes for your troubles

re: linguistics opinionated opinion, sign languages 

Instead of darned Latin and whatnot what I will put in a linguistics course when they finally elect me Linguistics Tsarina For Life:

- No "introduction to sign languages" subject. Instead, all normal subjects (phonetics, syntax etc.) use both voice and sign as examples. What is analogous, what is different?

- A course-long track on the most used sign language of the area.

- A course-long track on the nearest endangered/minority language. The fewer speakers, the more linguists should be learning _that_ rather than the Big 5 etc. Ideally a non-IE language, but if there's an endangered IE language/dialect nearby, the human interest trumps the scientific interest.

- Substitute "non-indo-european language I" by like two or three semesters on typology. Treat IE languages as no more no less than all other families in it. Creole languages should be studied as a category (and the problems with that) at some point, either inside the typology track or as distinct subjects.

- Writing systems as an optional subject is something I actually had and found tremendously enlightening. Beware Western prejudices on complex writing systems tho, these are still rampant in textbooks. Search non-Western authors in their own languages on the topic (collaborate with other depts for wider linguistic reach, don't live in the Anglosphere all the time).

Show thread

linguistics opinionated opinion, sign languages 

Since we’re bashing linguistics today:

The more I learn about linguistics the more baffled I become that "at least one sign language" isn't a mandatory subject for all linguists from, like, undergrad year 1, and all skill paths like phon/phon, morphology, prag etc. aren't studied from the start using both sign and voice as first-class objects of study for contrast and comparison.

I mean I maintain that
widespread acquisition of sign languages by children of the general population – the way Australian Aboriginal and other peoples did it – would have a ton of advantages not just for inclusion, which would already be worthy the effort ofc, but for everybody else too; but, come on, us linguists? There's 2 fundamental types of human language and we base all our models and conclusions on 1?

It's as if you're training chemists and on first semester somebody briefly flashes them a periodic table for a minute and says "yeah so there are 3 types of elements, metals, metalloids and nonmetals. From now on we're going to focus on metals." And most of them, for their whole career, never think about silicon or sulphur again. They try to learn everything about bonding and reactions and molecule structure etc. using metals as the sole subject 99% of the time. Sometimes somebody who took the 8th-semester optional subject "General Introduction to the Most Common Nonmetal In This Area I" (where they do a crash run over reactions, molecules etc. now with 1 single nonmetal added into the mix) will point out "oh, actually hydrogen does not behave like that", then everybody else gets annoyed at this arrogant interrupty person who keeps bringing these weird nonmetal complications into the stuff they're already finding it hard to follow with metals only.

Putting my effort where my mouth is and my hand will soon be: anybody wants to learn Deutsche Gebärdensprache with me please send a note, I'm serious o/ maybe we could start with fingerspelling over jitsi or s/t :)

continued immigrant feelings 

countries are crap.

cultures are not crap, but identitarian attachment to culture of origin is kind of a two-edged blade imo. I don’t think it’s Problematic by itself, but it easily devolves into nationalism-type feelings. I don’t have any theories or arguments here, just ambiguous feelings.

it’s pretty clear in retrospect that my self-affirmation as Brazilian, and moreover as Latina, has ramped up a lot in the past semester or so. I remember when I got the "Proud Latina" sticker for my notebook, silly little thing but I felt v self-conscious about it. all the trans pride and anarchist propaganda was right at home, but affirming my culture of origin? me, who never fit in there, in so many ways temperamentally incompatible with the tropics? it’s just a sticker, it’s just a keyword in my profile description, but that’s the kind of thing that identities are built from I guess.

I think a lot of immigrants in general share this boomerang trajectory, of first disavowing everything related to your first home, then slowly feeling an attachment to it grow back. I think we share a trait with all sorts of in-betweens, or rather bi-betweens, like biracial people, or translation/cultural studies people, where you simultaneously feel like you belong to place $1 and place $2 both, *and* to neither.

(Emmerich: 'There is no communication happening. Indeed, there is no transferal of a message from one language into another, because from the perspective of the translator at the precise moment she is translating, she is not between languages, and her languages are not separate. We might say, rather, that she is saturated with two languages--that she is a node for two languages. Both languages are living inside her, in the same place, at the same time, in constantly shifting concentrations and configurations. She is not a bridge; she is something like a ghost.')

but I think identity traits can crystalise defensively. I remember when I was still insecure about really being a woman, being exposed to terfs attacking that made me feel like "_fuck_ you I'm a woman and you're wrong".

in the same way, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I’m attracted to doing little Brazilian superstitions or taking up a Latina name etc. just as my immigration status is most at risk. fellow ascending-working-class ppl will know what I mean when I mention the feeling of things not being _for_ you even if you can now afford them, of doing something wrong or dangerous if you claim them, like it could all be taken away from you if you step overboard. the immigration equivalent is the feeling of constant evaluation, of being judged not just as an individual who is good or bad, but as a category/identity who deserves or not residence. "I'm too queer so they'll kick me out" "I'm too disabled so they'll kick me out" "I'm too loud/dirty/late/bad at German so they'll kick me out".

eventually you start feeling like the traits that mark your cultural origin are seen as flaws. that makes one’s feelings push back and want to reassert the previously disavowed identity.

one does not want to become (an imaginary average of) German to be allowed to immigrate. one wants to be oneself, and be allowed to immigrate. but the parts where one’'s behaviour match the (imaginary average of) German are never brought into question (even where maybe they should). it’s only on the foreign traits that one feel judged. and this is how I find myself storing pomegranate seeds for the new year's etc.

72 days of visa left.

vegan asks, :boost_ok:​ 

TL;DR:

- CW animal products, including milk/honey/leather/wool/etc., including text

- no big deal but please avoid calling veganism a diet

- arguments about ecology are missing the point (also I didn’t invite arguments in the first place)

Those are the asks. I’ll just speak bluntly for the rest of this toot; please avoid reading it if the strident tone is not good for you.

---

CW is the big one. CW your food posts for food, for the sake of people with eating issues and the like. But also mark them as nonvegan, meat, milk or however you prefer to word it. CW text-only posts talking about those things.

including milk, please. especially milk, please. there’s a reason for the vegan saying ‘dairy is the cruelest of all’. being reminded of what’s being done to dairy cows and their babies as we speak can ruin my mood for the rest of the day. on a vulnerable day it can, and has, more than once, reduced me to a blubbering crying mess. just tag it.

(fellow vegans: it is useful to CW food posts as "vegan" because so many people fail to mark animal abuse that I usually avoid clicking "food" toots, unless I know the person to be vegan.)

please also CW selfies or photos with things made of animal bodies, or things taken from animals, like animal leather, wool, horn, honey, beeswax etc. and CW animals in conditions of exploitation, like farm animals.

I’m not triggered by those things. It’s not abuse done to _me_ after all, I hold the speciesist privilege like all of us. I’m not disgusted or squeamish either, that’s not how any of this works. When I look at a photo with an animal product, I’m not looking at a piece of animal tissue and going ‘ew, gooey’. I’m looking at a nightmare machine of entirely unnecessary exploitation and pain, at a powerful ideological system wrapped around it to normalise it. I’m thinking of what was done to a living, feeling, sensitive being to produce that thing, and then trying to multiply it in my head times 990 million cows or 23 billion chickens etc. I can't help myself from doing the algebra of integer times pain. I’m thinking of what happens to human workers in the animal industry. I can’t turn it _off_, once I learned to see processes I can’t unsee them. I’m looking at my own impotence to make this absurd situation just stop, stop, at my own guilt to just carry on with life as if this inconceivable maelstrom of gratuitous suffering didn’t matter.

So it’s a little bit depressing.

---

The other ones are just terminological quibbles and not super important or anything, I understand why people say that and I take it in stride, they just reflect common misconceptions.

• Not "vegan diet". It's not a diet. Plant-based is a diet. Veganism is an ethical position, holding that all beings capable of suffering are moral subjects. It’s no more a diet than ‘Kantian consequentialism’ or ‘Vedic nītiśāstra’. Reducing it to diet is already taken for granted the objectification of other animals which is just the point in question.

- Not "dietary restriction" either. If I don’t rob candy from a child I’m not restricting my diet, I’m trying to be a good person. Not eating honey robbed from bees is literally, exactly, exactly, the same.

- Not "you can/can’t eat this?" It’s not that I can’t eat a thing, it’s that I don’t want to.

- Not "but isn’t X is worse for global warming" (soy farming, palmtree industry etc.).

As it happens, the animal industry is terrible for the environment, and eating plants is a much more efficient use of resources (necessarily, because of trophic loss). If you think this or that form of animal exploitation is better for the environment chances are it’s capitalist propaganda and will turn out to be wrong upon examination. Even if we are thinking purely of saving humanity from the looming catastrophe, stopping animal exploitation is about the best measure we can make.

But this is just a happy coincidence. Even if it was the other way around and killing other animals could save millions, it would be still wrong. The self-interest of humans, however aligned to it, is not the reason why it’s wrong. (In this hypothetical scenario, if we _had_ to choose, then I wouldn’t blame people for choosing self-preservation. But then the task would be to find out ways to get the necessary resources without all the killing. In our reality, that step is already given, all we needed was to figure out B12 production and that's long been solved.)

I don’t argue vegan stuff and I don’t ask for arguments, but leaving that aside, to bring me ecological (or, even worse, nutritional) arguments is to miss the point.

> Stannis: I know the cost! […] If Joffrey should die... what is the life of one bastard boy against a kingdom?
> Davos: Everything.

(A Song of Ice and Fire)

swerfs, OnlyFans, mh-, ranting to the void 

I have this pattern of reading news sites when I'm mh-. Old gf diagnosed this as selfharm years ago, therapists agree she was right, I agree she was right, still find myself doing it.

Take this panic piece about young Latin American girls ‘coming closer to’ prostitution via OnlyFans.

The article beats on the same two emotional notes repeatedly:

1. That the girls are young girls who are girls and young. (Whatever problems OnlyFans may have do not matter for other genders and ages, we must think of the girls. Only.)
2. Is this prostitution?

For point 1, many cherries are picked of girls who wanted to do something else, but the something else wasn't open to them, so they were forced to resort to prostitution. A perfectly reasonable point that, as usual in swerfy discussion, completely fails to address the actual problem, viz. the forcing, obligation to have a job in a post-scarcity world, and instead blame the one job they found to be less terrible. ‘It only brings five dollars, but five dollars is a lot of money there’. They acknowledge the injustice of colonialism, yet they want to remove the source of dollars (if you can earn in dollars in my country your income has increased 50% in 1 year without you doing anything, do you have any idea how lucky we consider those of us who can get their hands on dollars??) instead of abolishing borders.

Yes selling your body for food – not just food, nice clothes, iPhones, whatever dignity one can buy in this broken world – is humiliating and traumatising. Know what’s the standard job for poor, young Latinas? Maid. House slave, look it up, watch ‘The Second Mother’ (2015) great film, 100% how it is. Where I come from everybody with a stable job has a maid washing their bathroom for peanuts, and the daughter of the maid who’s learning to be a maid comes extra cheap. Do you think it’s naïvete that many girls would, taken the choice, prefer selling masturbation clips to gringos to servitude? To a boss on a power trip shouting on their ears as they serve tables? Selling your body for basic necessities is humiliating. That’s not a description of prostitution, that’s a description of capitalism. Sex work goes best when you have a young healthy body, no career prospects and the older you get the harder it is, including finding work in the first place. Unlike being cleaning staff to American fast-food companies?

And then they get sexually abused anyway, because the daughter of the maid, really? Who will stand for poor Latinas? Selling pictures online is risky, many men will try to track you, but it’s about the least risky job I can think of in their condition. This is awful, but the solution is to remove this choice? See how well FOSTA-SESTA went, and that’s in the rich country, that’s in a patriarchy not tinged in our ruthless flavour of everyday violence.

Then there’s the youth thing. Gosh does ageism rile me up. Much of the article is about how the girls came to OnlyFans cause they were ‘talked into’ by their friends, unlike us rational middle-age adults who never jump into a job we hate because it was the last bad option and our personal contacts told us their experiences with it. Young people can’t be trusted to make life decisions, we have pressure them, coax them, ideally remove the options altogether; or they will destroy themselves, this is the gateway into live prostitution, the marijuana of whoring. Surely no young woman would be smart enough to know what she’s getting into, to understand the risks of meeting men IRL behind closed doors, right? Which young Latina has ever experienced what men in patriarchy do.

Which connects to the question interwoven throughout the article, as if it were a profound dilemma: Does this count as prostitution? Never stated out loud but between every line: Is your daughter an online whore? The meaningless of this purely linguistic question, the sterility of terminology, does not ever occur to the writer, because obviously being a whore is very bad because ew. Better invest in that apron instead, these days the trappings of servitude are coming back into fashion among insecure middle-class madames.

How to help those girls? Instead of blaming OnlyFans for the scary p-word, can we blame them for stealing surplus value, like all capitalists do? All OF offers is webhosting and a business face. Provide the girls with distributed, collaborative hosting? Most of OnlyFans profits are from the top 1% creators, what if the cut doesn’t apply uniformly to all girls and end up as yacht money for the owner class, but instead is a progressive cut that feeds back into business costs plus higher paybacks for small creators, in a cöoperative system? ‘It’s hard to setup online cooperatives legally’ – then change *those* laws, instead of trying to ban online sex work and thereby drive online sex workers into worse options, including street-based sex work?

Why do I even read these things >.>

thoughts on lewding in Láadan, sexual/vulgar language, sapphic 

The uwu lang leaves everything else in the dust here, it’s a real work of beauty honestly docs.google.com/.../1ZV1U0S8qC

But I’m interested in Láadan evidence and emotional morphemes as a way to deal with mask-and-signal, to respect sensibilities, an incipient content-notice system: stop there and say no if this is uncomfortable, cause a girl is going to lewd at you.

Is there even a speech-act morpheme for ‘said in lewd’ tho? Bíihazh (azh=sexual love right now), can we extend the speech acts randomly like this? I think sapphic-lewd often goes hand-in-hand with romantic love (& with lovingkindness for that matter), but bíilihazh is a mouthful. I guess underspecifying it with standard bíili, ‘declared in love’, could work for a non-sexually-explicit flirt. Or bóoli requesting-love?

Upon further thought, I think I’d rather use béli, ‘said while promising love’; a flirt is fundamentally about signalling your availability to them, more than a request; it’s a biscuit conditional, ‘girl if you want this, door’s open’. Bélida woháya-lushimá wone wi,

(promise.act)-(+in.love)-(+in.jest)
(rel)-beautiful-sapphic
(rel)-you
(evidence.self-evident)

‘said as a mirthful promise of love: it is evident to everyone that you are pretty and lesbian’

‘playful flirt: u just plainly cute and gay’.

(How to say ‘cute’? áya has another vibe. aháya? I worry that ‘baby’ would be taken too literally, but ‘baby’ *is* a term of endearment in so many languages. Japanese ‘cute’ is derived from ‘pitiable’, in the sense of, you want to take care of them, cf. ‘the sweet one’ archetype in boy bands; wait wait naya-áya>nayáya, ooh this sounds good: Bélida wonayáya wone ✨)

Láadan has a lot of potential, I think—

— Báadazh lilahul liyóozh wo…

(question.act)-(+in.jest)-(+in.lewd)
female.sexual.act-(extreme.degree)
1st.honoured-(reflexive)-(paucal)
(evidence.fantasising)

“What if we good girls girlsex one another, hard… haha j/k…”

— Béli…?
(promise.act)-(+in.love)
“Unless…? <3”

(Taking a moment to appreciate that ‘lil’ is ‘to be wet’ and ‘lila’ is ‘to female sexual act’.)

incidentally @maffsie a few cute blobkitties we're missing at queer party if u want :blobcat:

blobcatcouple :blobcatcouple:
blobcatgiggle :blobcatgiggle:
blobcatlove :blobcatlove:

re: carework, kink silly, sex work, pol-adj, 

except avowed tradwives are usually submissives – I mean it, the way they speak of the satisfaction and glory of serving a person’s will, it sounds literally exactly the same way subs talk about you, only these rightwing couples don’t know how to flow between frames, negotiate, control the dynamic consciously – while I am exceedingly the other type of wifey :blobcoffee:

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carework, sex work, pol-adj, silly 

feels weird to realise that your dream profession is kinda basically 'communist tradwife' 🤔​

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re: my dream profession, sex work, carework, eutopias, sci-fi 

> The host chuckled as he set his scrib on the table. ‘Hey, if it’s any consolation, I don’t like my given name, either.’
‘You mean it’s not Sunny?’ Eyas said with a smirk.
The host winked. ‘So, I heard you’ve had a long day.’
Eyas raised her eyebrows. ‘Did you?’
‘That was Iana’s guess, at least. Did she get that wrong?’
Assuming Iana was the blue-haired woman, Eyas mentally gave her a few points for perception. ‘No. It has been a long day.’
Sunny held up the bottle. ‘Do you like sintalin?’

If you have no friends, this is a place where people will pay attention. It doesn’t matter that they never met you, they’ll care, really care. Some people are just like that. I know. I am.

> Sunny looked at her seriously. ‘Eyas, I’m here to give you a good night, and that can be whatever you need it to be. If you need to just talk, have some drinks, chill out – that’s fine. I’m happy with that.’
> Eyas was sure he’d said those words before, but she also got the sense that he meant them.

Sex worker, social worker, therapist, entertainer all into one – plus things we don’t have names for, easy friend u know is easy, publicly available caregiver.

> She studied his face. His lips looked soft. His beard was perfect, almost annoyingly so. ‘No,’ she said. She put her hand on his chest. She set her glass down, ran her palm up his throat, over his neck, into his hair. Stars, it felt good in her fingers. ‘If it’s okay by you,’ she said, as his hand greeted her thigh, ‘I’d rather not talk much at all.’

I know tons of sex workers already do this, tired husband crying his woes at the brothel is basically a cliché, but – encoded as such, recognised, a healthy respected part of a functioning community?

I’m thinking of the Japanese hostesses. Have any of you ever interacted with a host? Maybe seen them in anime, talked to a simulation in Ryū ga Gotoku/Yakuza? It has no comparison with the real thing, you can’t even imagine. The sheer warmth, the immediate intimacy. They are so good at this. Western media usually portrays them as some bizarre oddity of weird, broken Japan, a prostitute you can just talk to? What’s even the point of talking to women?? And they’re milking you for gifts, overpriced drinks, it’s true, capitalism ruins everything, always.

I’m enjoying conversation with my hostess, so much, I don’t think I ever felt or will feel so comfortable speaking Japanese to anyone, the bar is tiny and black, I’ve been dragged here by a bunch of soldiers I didn’t even know so they’re paying for everything, J men do that to you. I’m in boymode for fieldwork, both jealous and admiring of how perfect and fem she looked singing Cutie Honey on karaoke. She almost flirts but never quite, she’s so skilled at this, she probes me on my boring-ass research and listens, really _listens_, you can’t fake interest like that, one learns how to find anything interesting, wills oneself into it.

I can’t mask forever, I care too much, can’t resist the question: ‘your job, it must be hard’. Sad eyes, no reply. Resolution flashes in her face, this isn’t the place or time to talk about herself, she starts talking about Tōhoku life, dialects, things that will subtly, gently bring the conversation back to me, to uplifting topics.

Is she forced to this job? J people aren’t exactly starving, but that’s not how capitalism works, you always have to work and every job is bad, all of them, because you’re forced to do them to have your basic needs met, and anything that _has_ to be done _for_ another thing quickly becomes shackles. But personal work like this, it feels especially dehumanising somehow, to be forced to act nice. To sell your body, to sell your feelings.

I can’t imagine she has no taste for this whatsoever. She’s incredibly cute and has clearly worked hard at it, at being rewarding to be with, she’s Japanese so I bet she has read conversation manuals, body language guides, she has to be proud of how she looks on stage, she’s like an angel cos she made herself one. But then she has to sell it. If she didn’t have to sell anything, would she want to give?

Maybe absolutely not, I don’t know what the rest of her life is like, maybe she’d rather spend the days caring for plants than lonely people. I know I wish I could spend my days listening to lonely people, giving attention to ppl who want attention, sex for the horny, to cook for the too tired to cook, come to your place and help you order your room, tell you supportive things…

Carework, broadly, feels like so much more of a valuable contribution I could give than programming fucking computers. I don’t feel like there’s any space for me to do that, sex work is too limited, and anyway all jobs are bad. The only way we could be fulfilled at our jobs would be if they were decoupled from our needs, without the threat of poverty hanging over our heads. According to our abilities.

"To work in a club, you had to *really* like people."

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my dream profession, sex work, carework, eutopias, sci-fi 

The 3rd book of the Wayfares series, ‘Record of a Spaceborn Few’, describes a socialist spaceship community, fully moneyless, not bountiful but sustainable. It’s good sci-fi, has a lot of blind spots (like ‘adolescence’ is portrayed pretty much the way it is rn, as if it would exist without coercive power given to parents). But it’s rewarding as eutopian writing: discusses what a different society could be, without romanticising it, tries to investigate what problems, what conflicts it would have, how they could be addressed.

But ever since reading it, I can’t stop thinking of the tryst clubs.

> They provided a service, not goods, and their hosts fell into the same broad vocational category she did: ‘Health and Wellness’. The clubs were an old tradition, a part of the Fleet practically since launch, one of many ways to keep everybody sane during a lifelong voyage. Hosts took that tradition seriously, as seriously as Eyas did her own. Plus, they were often some of the loveliest folks she’d ever met. It went without saying that to work in a club, you had to *really* like people.

I see people talking online about this book and mentioning how nice it is that sex work is just another job, no stigma. But what’s being portrayed here goes so beyond pure sex.

> ‘All right. Are you looking to take a chance, or for a sure thing?’ This was the option always given at the entrance. Were you interested in meeting a fellow visiting stranger and seeing where the night took you, or …
> ‘The latter,’ Eyas said. Not that it was a _sure thing_. The host could decline service, for any reason, and she could leave at any time. Neither party was pressured to do anything, and mutual comfort was paramount. But being matched with another walk-in would’ve defeated the entire purpose of her being there.
> A polite nod, a bit of gesturing. > ‘Are you interested in a single partner, or multiples?’
> ‘Single.’
> ‘Any changes to your usual preferences?’
> ‘No.’
> ‘And how long of a visit would you like? Overnight, a few hours . . . ?’

In a socialist society, each person is given according to their needs. Needs for intimacy, sex, companionship, emotional support, touch, conversation, a drink and laughs and playing a game, weird kinky cravings – these are as important to human realisation as the need for meaningful work, for feeling safe and accepted. It’s very nice when you can meet those needs by interacting with your peers directly, by being sociable, helping them fulfil their own in happy exchange.

Some people aren’t sociable, can’t relate to others well. The hosts are there for everybody. No matter what kind of body or personality or sensitivities you have, you don’t have to be alone, any needs on that direction can be filled as easy as going to the food stores to get food. Some ppl visit the clubs occasion for a fun night, others make it a regular part of their lives.

Eyas is a ‘caretaker’: she handles the ceremonies that returns dead bodies to the closed ecosystem, comforts people in death, helps them find meaning in it. She enjoys intimate, loving sex; but, because of the unbalanced dynamics of her priest-like role, she much prefers to have it from the clubs, regularly, no strings attached (‘people get weird around caretakers’).

> She saw so many similarities between this kind of work and her own, polar opposites of the life experiences spectrum though they were. She, too, had strangers’ bodies placed in her care. They couldn’t speak, but they’d been assured their whole lives that when the time came, they’d be treated with gentleness and respect. Nobody would find them odd or ugly. Nobody would do anything unkind. They’d be handled by someone who understood what a body was, how important, how singular. Eyas undressed those bodies. She washed them. She saw their flaws, their folds, the spots they kept hidden. For the short time they had together, she gave them the whole of her training, the whole of her self. It was an intimate thing, preparing a body. An intimacy matched only by one other. So when she placed her own body in someone else’s hands, she wanted to know that her respect would be matched. You couldn’t make guarantees like that with a stranger at a bar. You couldn’t know from a bit of conversation and a drink or two whether they understood in their heart of hearts that bodies should always be left in a better way than when you found them. With a professional, you could.

You don’t have wealth, a prestige job, you’re middle-age, doesn’t matter, this place is here _for_ you—

> The tenday hadn’t been bad, but it had been long, and she’d grown weary of decisions. ‘Surprise me,’ she said. She paused in thought. ‘Whoever you think the nicest of them is.’
‘Ha! You’re going to get me in trouble.’ […] She gave Eyas an amused smile. ‘Do *not* tell him how I picked him, or I will never hear the end of it.’

Confessions of a bad immigrant 

The loneliness of this dead night gives me a perverse impulse to make Germans shiver:

I miss routinely hugging and kissing the cheek of every stranger I meet.
I miss touch being a routine thing not just among lovers.
I miss perfect strangers initiating conversations about what I'm reading, about my T-shirt, about the news or some football game I don't even care. I miss pretending I know the first thing about football, just to humour these strangers.
I miss perfect strangers telling me out of the blue, oh weren't you with a baby at shopping mall such-and-such last Saturday? Her dress was so cute.
I miss perfect strangers sensing sadness and telling me "have a beautiful day, a beautiful day".
I miss what would be like to travel in these 4-set train cabins where everybody face one another, if they were Brazilians, even thought we don't have trains like this and I never did that, but I miss what it would be like.
I miss, when I came back from my first trip to Japan, and I had to take two planes, and the first plane was full of Japanese people going somewhere, and the second full of Brazilians returning home, how much noisier was that second plane, its electricity, how full of life.

My poor country that so crushes its own people, the last slavers' colony to abolish it but it never did really, how early do we learn our first and greatest lesson, that life is made of suckers and cheaters and if you want to survive you better be the latter. We were calling ourselves a shithole centuries before that guy was even born. How terrified I am of ever being forced to return there, how violent it all makes us, to what extent we kill one another.

You can complain that we're noisy, cheating, dirty bastards with no respect for rules and order. That our country is a terrible, scary place full with death. And we'll be right there with you, bashing ourselves for the same reasons. But by the gods, none of you gringos will ever be able to tell us that we don't _live_.

I miss the manauara girl who approached me at the bus stop and in a matter of minutes was taking the bus with me to my room, because she liked how I did my nails, because she was attracted to me and it was mid-afternoon and why not? I never saw her again. I don't remember her name. I love her deeply.
I miss easy, zero-expectation hookups. Looking at a boy, smiling at one another, making out without saying a word.
I miss like three dozen sexual encounters of all kinds in every dark corner, and some not-so-dark corner, of that university. Lying down on grass with a stranger, with the peripheral awareness that other people were lying down together close by, in their own patches of grass.
I miss the college girl who was bored in classics class and out of the blue gave me a note that she thought my feet were pretty, and we hooked up for a couple weeks. I miss things like this being things that happen.

I miss "first-name basis" not being a thing, being the only way it is. I miss the way we took the T-V distinction from our colonizers (like German Sie/du) and happy crushed it under our uncaring feet, the way we put the "2nd" verb inflection on the "3rd" pronoun and use that rule-breaking combo for everything.

I miss everybody, everybody, people on streets, food vendors, teachers, friends of friends of friends, treating me with that kind of easy intimacy. The word you'll hear from Brazilian immigrants, again and again, the reason some of them give to go back despite everything, is "warmth". What Europeans, Americans, Japanese feel to be consideration, respect, goodwill, I feel as coldness. And Goddess, do I miss warmth.

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Confessions of a bad immigrant 

I think nobody will dispute it that, if you want to immigrate to another country, you should make an effort to be considerate of the local culture and sensibilities. It's a bit like a relationship: know what you're getting into before committing, be willing to respect their limits.

"Consideration" is such a slippery notion tho. I've been told to not gay kiss or poly kiss because it made people uncomfortable, it's a family environment, think of their feelings. I've seen Japanese homosexual ppl say they had to marry for procreation, for to do otherwise would be a tremendous lack of consideration to their parents, to whose tirelessl hard work they owe their bodies. I've been told not to wear makeup to work, because I had to be professional and respect German cultural norms. By a non-German. No German ever seemed bothered by early transition me wearing concealer, but somehow "being considerate of the local culture" seems to translate so easily to "don't make me uncomfortable by flaunting queerness".

In some countries, everyday cooking is full of spices, with a rich, appetising scent. When they immigrate, some locals will complain of that terrible greasy smell that gets everywhere. Maybe they'll refuse rent to ppl from those countries. In the country of origin the smell get everywhere too, but there it was just a fact of life, nobody paid any mind, nobody blamed their neighbours for it. In the host country, it's inconsiderate.

I imagine what it feels to those immigrants. Either resign yourself to eating what must feel like the most boring, cardboard nothing food every meal, day at day. Or fail to prove that you deserve to live in the rich country. Taint the reputation of all your countrypeople. Fail to show that you assimilated, get booted right back into whatever terrible conditions you were fleeing from. ("If it's so terrible there you can get by without the spices". Yes you can. But should you have to choose?)

I'm being roundabout, even here, afraid of being one of the bad ones. I'm lying, I don't have to imagine how they feel, I know. You _will_ be assimilated. When the choice is deportation or assimilation, well, resistance is futile.

But what really gets to me, what really gets to me, is not being allowed to express sadness about it. The taboo on criticising host country. "If you complain so much why do you want to live here."

I want to live here, and I want to complain so much, complain about things that make me sad about living here. Germany will be fine. I'm not going to change anything, I don't hold any power in our relationship, I have to be a model citizen or else. But I will grant myself the right to vent to the void how I really feel.

It's past 1am and I am crying, a lot. I'm crying about things that most Germans won't empathise with, things they'd frown upon on their neighbours. Things related to overwhelmingly negative opinions about third-world, non-EU immigrants in polls, looming under outwardly liberal attitudes and a generally respectful treatment. (Usually Most of the time.)

Hell, I want to cry about things that many Brazilians will see as our flaws and not empathise with, at least the upper classes, at least those who haven't spent a few years in the cold lands. I look at my poor, dirty, violent country, and I miss not a curated reel of the best parts, I miss the people, with all their very real issues.

I miss not being able to sleep at 2am, every week, because middle-aged ppl are singing painful love ballads on booze and an acoustic guitar in the specialty bar in front of my rented room. I'm not being facetious, I really miss it. Having my healthy sleep patterns disturbed by them made me smile. They were happy. They were _making happiness_ I had to work the next day, I woke worse, work was worse, fuck work, work doesn't matter, this is music, love, happiness, this matters. They understood that.

Music and love and happiness is holy, damn you all.

I miss not being able to sleep at 2am because my neighbours are having a loud party. I miss the knowledge that if I knocked on the door with a smile I'd be taken right in, a perfect stranger, even if I was too shy and dysphoric to act on that knowledge it comforted me.

I miss not being able to sleep at 2am because of the magnificent ppl coming down from the hills, the favelas, blasting downright pornographic earworms right to the face of polite middle-class society, hacked DIY sound systems shaking the security walls with maxxed-out bass. They are so right, polite middle class society is a grinding wheel running on blood, it more than deserves being blasted at 2am with cocks buried to the balls and dripping, all-consuming hungry pussies.

I curse this silence. I miss not being able to sleep at 2am because it's Carnaval and everybody is outside dancing and drinking and fucking one another for the pure, innocent shining reason of a body wanting another body.

And yes, I confess, I miss singing at 2am.

aSoIaF 

in general I'm very positive towards translator adaptations, when well-motivated, and of course fantasy names should be translated (Jon Snow isn't really called "Snow", his surname is an (unknown) word in the Common Tongue of the Andals that _means_ snow; the story isn't set in England and there's no reason to leave it English).

(But Moat Cailin shouldn't be Maidengraben; the Gaelic is translating some other tongue, prob the language of the First Men and the giants, and should either be left as-is or translated into another Earth tongue that stands to German as Celtic does to English. English:Celtic :: Andals:First Men :: German:x, and I guess for German in particular X would also solve to Celtic. Cp. all the English placenames in the Shire vs. "Bree".)

So I'm broadly sympathetic to Jörn Ingwersen's revised edition, with the German names.

It's funny though that the one change I just can't stomach isn't the polemic new names, but a simple preposition. "Der King des Nordens" can't stand in the same level as The King in the North, neither in feeling nor in sonority, and in my reading it basically ruins the catharsis of this cry.

Yoda/Count Dooku duel fixfic 

Through the thick smoke, emerges the heroic figure of YODA. He stops on the smoke-filled threshold, FOUR DROIDS lined up on either side of him, guns pointed.

Before the DROIDS can get off a shot, YODA raises his hand, and the DROIDS are flung against the far walls and crash to the floor in heaps of smoking metal.

Silence. COUNT DOOKU steps away from ANAKIN to face the Jedi Grand Master. His lightsaber whirls in a formal salute.

COUNT DOOKU
Master Yoda. At last we shall
know who is the most powerful.

YODA draws a miniature lightsaber out of his cane. He salutes formally.

YODA
Count Dooku. No interest in
contests, do I have.

COUNT DOOKU charges across the space at YODA. As he touches ground for the first blow, CLOSE on YODA's lightsaber moving calmly from its sideway position to an overhead instance. COUNT DOOKU stops his swing midair before contact, eyes widening as he realizes he'd have lost the fight then and there. After a beat, COUNT DOOKU steps back, and as he does so, YODA's small lightsaber simultaneously descends, pointing forwards towards COUNT DOOKU, as if tied to his movements by invisible strings.

Silence. COUNT DOOKU lifts his lightsaber in the same stance, master and disciple looking like symmetric figures as in a painting, except for their size difference. YODA nonetheless is impassive, while COUNT DOOKU looks increasingly nervous. He slides a foot forward and tilts his body menacingly, ready to spring, while bringing the lightsaber overhead. YODA again moves simultaneously, lowering the tip of his own lightsaber, now pointing downwards. Neither move further. A single drop of sweat runs down COUNT DOOKU's face.

Suddenly COUNT DOOKU breaks the silence with a yell, pulling his lightsaber to his side, vertically, in an aggressive posture. YODA accompanies the movement by bringing his own saberpoint down to the side, holding it casually in an empty stance, looking almost careless. COUNT DOOKU comes forward swirling his lightsaber in complex movements, feinting an upwards blow that YODA doesn't move to meet as it whirls half a centimetre from his face. The twirling lightsaber finally commits to a downwards diagonal strike that would cut right through YODA's body. SLOW MOTION. YODA steps with his small frame *into* the blow, bringing his saber up in a single strike that simultaneously deflects COUNT DOOKU's point to the side, slightly, just enough that it breezes by YODA's body, while his own saber continues forward to slash COUNT DOOKU's forearms, burning a black line on both.

COUNT DOOKU'S lightsaber drops from his hands, and bounces on the floor with a noise that dies off slowly in the silence. COUNT DOOKU staggers back, gasping and spent, against the control panel. YODA brings his lightsaber back into a forward stance, tip honed on the defenceless COUNT DOOKU.

YODA
(sliding a foot forward)
The end for you, Count, this is.

COUNT DOOKU
...Not yet...

(continues as in original script)

asoiaf 

I’ve complained before about how colourless is GoT TV compared to the books, but even the official- and fan artworks seem afraid of using as much colour as the text.

and not just the Loras and Illyrios of the story, but even the 'dark' characters are vivid, bursting out of the page with glittering, larger-than-life hues. Consider Theon’s outfit to meet his father: sleek black leather boots, soft silver-gray woolen pants, shiny silk black doublet with the kraken of his house embroidered large in gold thread, a necklace of fine gold, a bright white leather belt to hold sword and dagger, both sheated in gold and black stripes, and black silk gloves filigrained in spirals of gold.

I simply can't find Theon illustrations that dare to push it as far as this description does, and similarly for the other characters, castles, creatures. I think people in contemporary Western societies think of colour as childish and frivolous (cf. Batchelor’s book «Chromophobia» for a discussion of this prejudice), and ASoIaF is supposed to be all mature and realistic (→not really), so they go for sombre palettes in representations – losing one of the books’ greatest visual strengths: the way the splendour of nobility highlights, reinforces, the shock of what they do to the people. Far from softening the blow, the colour and pageantry of Loras’ flower armour only makes Gregor’s brutality feel even worse.

adhd meds review 

as previously discussed, the most perceptible effect lisdex has on me, by far, is calming me down. subjectively, it feels more like an anti-anxiety med than a stimulant. somebody used the metaphor "the snow globe settles down", and it's spot on. I'm taking breaks from the amphetamine on weekends, and when the brain goes back to thinking 20 things at the same time, I miss that settled mind. The peacefulness of it is quite pleasant, and a quality-of-life improvement for sure.

I don't feel much of a difference regarding resistance to distraction, planning, organisation, or memory. I tried doubling the dose to 60mg to see if the effect was more dramatic; instead the side effects got bad (no appetite, upset stomach) while the benefits seemed the same.

In any case, according to Additude mag, if the dose is just right you shouldn't feel unusual or euphoric; look at results to see if it's working. And it’s true that I’ve been working a lot more, though it’s hard to measure how much is due to the medicine; I was thrown in a very difficult situation at work atm, with intense pressure and scrutiny, which might have pushed me forward regardless of meds (tho the calming effect was _very_ useful when dealing with this). Still, housemate gf says that she noticed I can do more than 1 thing now. Like I'll wash dishes, then take out the trash, then shave my legs. Normally I'd do 1 thing then crash on the sofa nonfunctionally.

I feel like it’s still hard to start working, I still get sidetracked by the Internet or other stuff, I still forget events and appointments; but I can tell that when I start doing work, I seem more likely to continue doing it. I’m handling a particularly boring task right now (marking points in 90+ interview audios), and there were a number of times when I was feeling tired and bored and wanted to take a break, but somehow couldn’t bring myself to do it; I felt like, "just a few more %", "let's just stay until it reaches 17:00", as if it was a videogame or something else compelling. I wanted to see the completion bar done. Is this how non-ADHD ppl feel when they focus on things?

Even though I'm doing a lot more now than before, I'm not exactly happy or satisfied. I still feel like all of my energy and time is spent with work and household maintenance, leaving me too drained to do things for fun or pursue personal interests. I don’t know how to improve that in a safe way, but I guess I’ll keep looking for ways to build a daily life worth living.

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