piranha: red origami crane (Default)
peter watts, canadian science fiction writer, was beaten and jailed at a US border crossing, according to him without provocation or reason.

peter's blog entry does not shed any more light on what exactly happened.

dear US of fucking A:

occasionally friends of mine in the US wonder why i no longer travel there. and when i explain, i am sure -- even though nobody has said it out loud -- that they think i'm probably a little paranoid.

i'm not. your damn country is a loose cannon. crossing your borders is not safe for foreigners. yes, thousands cross without incident. but the incidents are many more now than they used to be, and the guards are more petty and vindictive, and more filled with righteous POWER because hey, there's terr'ists out there.

no way am i visiting the US again while this sort of shit goes on. i had great hopes for the obama administration, but obama clearly isn't willing to fix many of the problems introduced by the abominable shrub.

my canadian dollars won't go into your tourist industry. they'll go to a legal defense fund for peter watts.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] ogi_ogas on September 3rd, 6:24


We wish to apologize for any offense caused by our survey, which was certainly never our intention. We can clearly understand how strong feelings were evoked by the specific nature of our interactions. We deeply regret this. We appreciate tremendously the invaluable feedback we've received, and certainly hope to improve our work and grow as people as a result of this experience.

this is what we who think deeply about language, its usage, and the thoughts between the lines know as a "fauxpology" or "nopology":

  1. the nature of the offense isn't named -- not a word about the sexism, homophobia, transphobia, shoddy science, lies by omission (about the book deal, about university association), not protecting minors from the invasive personal questions in the craptastic survey, manipulating the moderators of fandom communities. did i forget anything?
  2. the offended party isn't named -- ~2000 people who took the survey, many individuals who at first tried to engage with the speakers positively, then tried to show them the error of their ways, only to be patronized.
  3. the offended party (once removed) is cast in the passive voice, while the speakers are in the active:

    • offense was caused, feelings were evoked.
    • the speakers apologize, understand, appreciate, hope, grow.

  4. the speakers take no actual responsibility for the offense -- it was the poor survey that caused it all. bad, survey, no biscuit.
  5. no offense was ever intended -- and without naming it, who knows whether it ever really was an offense. maybe those feelings were, you know, overly sensitive.
  6. those feelings that were invoked -- not scientific objections, no, "feelings". we all know what that's code for, don't we? yeah -- irrational women.
  7. it's all about "we, we, we", what "we" got out of it. an apology should focus on the wronged party, not on the personal growth of the perpetrators thanks to walking all over the wronged party. what i want to hear from the speakers is what "we" won't do again.

bah, humbug. yeah, i'd like to see some personal growth here. any day now would be fine, "drs" ogas and gaddam.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
twisted glass dangle in the sunlight against the sky

much prettier than when purported neuroscientists who used to work for homeland security in anti-terrorism try to make money off fanficcers by "researching" their kinks.

you should have stuck with game shows, "dr" ogas.

if anyone doesn't know yet what this is about, linkspam as usual is the place to go.

is 2009 just a spectacularly faily year when it comes to sexism or racism, or are we all just getting fed up enough to climb the barricades?
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
and will never do so, no matter how spiffy they make them.

i don't want amazon deleting my copies because they've decided "there is a problem". that business model reeks to high heaven.

the whole idea that ebooks are licensed displeases me to begin with, but the big-brother approach amazon takes scared me off their product from the very start.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
among other things, she yaps about matthew shepard:

Although I am a supporter of the death penalty in extreme cases, I think there were ambiguities here: The aimless hooligans who beat Shepard and tied him to a fence perhaps didn't necessarily mean to kill him. Despite my abhorrence of the crime, I was a dissenter about the sanctification of Shepard, a charming young man with a troubled family background who had faced many difficulties in life because of his frailty and lack of conventional masculinity.

Only a week before, Shepard had expressed fears about being killed. Given that apprehension, it is still inexplicable -- if the case is examined only through a political lens -- why Shepard would leave a public place in the company of such blatant thugs.

what the fucking fuck? nevermind her complete lack of understanding of hate crime legislation. what has me really upset here is how she is blaming the victim. sanctification? sanctification is not required! all it takes is the recognition that regular folks do not deserve to be brutally killed ('regular' as in, they didn't physically threaten or attack you). perhaps the attackers didn't MEAN it? they PLOTTED it. they PISTOL-WHIPPED him. when your actions kill somebody, and not accidentally because they ran out into the street in front of you, but because you're robbed them and beat the shit out of them, i don't give a fuck whether you MEANT it. why the victim came with you doesn't matter. even if the victim did something stupid. acting carelessly does NOT excuse or justify being robbed and beaten and left to die.

it's especially poignant, because in her little diatribe against hate crime legislation she's showing us right here WHY we need that legislation, because she thinks it's even remotely justified, this inquisition into WHY this gay man did anything "suspicious". i don't often read her column because she's such a pretentious, kettle-calls-pot-black twit, but this one takes the cake. i am writing to salon after i come down from mt fury.

dear salon. i am not going to threaten you with letting my subscription lapse, because you generally offer me good value. but can you not find somebody less patronizingly offensive and more intellectually rigourous in her place? look, the NYT let bill kristol go! surely it's time to cut her loose, because listening to too much talk radio has rotted her brain.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
joely skye feral 67883 words $5.50
joely skye beautiful monster 20235 words $13.50

at that bottom price, i am not buying. the book is a third of the length of the first. what is samhain (the publisher) thinking? there are no ratings on fictionwise more than a week after its release, which means hardly anyone is buying it.

which is a crying shame, because i like joely skye's writing. but i am not paying those amounts for an e-book. and i no longer buy print if i can at all help it (not much room for books on the boat).
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
i have alas no chance to boycott bacardi because i so rarely drink alcohol, and bacardi isn't on my list for those times. but if i did, oh man, i'd throw out even unopened bottles now.

i'm mostly used to misogyny in ads directed at men, but this one is directed at women: all you need is an ugly girlfriend. bonus: it comes with a fat phobia chaser.

and of course, my idea of ugly doesn't match bacardi's at all. WTF is wrong with these people? i mean, i know what's wrong, actually, but how come THEY don't see it?

[ETA: the online ad was produced by israeli agency mccann digital. apparently the site has since been pulled, because bermudan-HQed bacardi isn't happy with its israeli affiliate. but, you know? not good enough, if you wait with the pulling until the shit hits the blogosphere.]
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
especially for the wimmins, or at least the skinny ones with long hair. the reg makes all the feminist commentary necessary, so i don't have to.

via azz on #dw.

dear dell. do make sure all the laptops have flowery pastel designs.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
and i'm moving away from it because otherwise it will eat my life. i made a comment on tor.com (even though i dislike even going there now); and a couple of posts elsewhere, about why i consider the thirteenth child's premise and world-building a failure. and that's that; i don't need to see more white SFF writers splatter themselves with defensive manure -- they might not be ashamed to hang their hairy white butts out in public, but i am ashamed for them.

juls -- well done. even if LMB didn't seem to get it. jo also rocks, for realizing when she has set foot in a quagmire and instantly shifting to listening and thinking about what she hears instead of lecturing the directly affected people about interrogating the text from the correct perspective.

and here's one post by [livejournal.com profile] rushthatspeaks white folks should read, about history in america, and what has been lost, and how creepily disconcerting that is even if one just likes to read a good escapist story. it's a slightly offset mirror from my own impressions when i arrived in north america and felt ungrounded, something i wrote about in my private journal. i never found the right words for it, because at the time i knew even less than i know now about first nations, but rushthatspeaks gives me the words. thank you.


May. 9th, 2009 16:07
piranha: toothy open mouth of piranha (pissed)
i really, REALLY hate it when i ask for a task, am given one, and then casually find out somebody else has taken it too, but nobody talks to me about it. i'm right there! in the room! and they're talking as if i weren't there, and had nothing to do with it. and nobody tells me to stop working on it. and when i make a suggestion to improve something, that too isn't acknowledged. WTF? if you two wanted to work on this happily together, why even task me with it?! i didn't rush in and grab it!

makes me feel like i am being snubbed. especially since this one person already always treats me like i am a little slow and stupid. which doesn't play well with my depression. and also? i am NOT slow and stupid when it comes to this stuff. i am fast and smart. so fuck you if you can't see that. godverdomme.

maybe today would be a good day for me to work in the garden. no drama. appreciate 3 good things about my life.

ETA: *gnrg*, why am i so fucking emo today? anyway, nobody please worry about this. i am just out of balance, and unhappy, and apparently the slightest little thing can push me over the edge. a couple of hours in the garden and i'll be fine. ESPECIALLY don't worry about it if you are my partner. :) you did nothing wrong.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
the "national organization for marriage" usually makes me sick, but today it became -- inadvertantly, of course -- the prime hilarity of my day.

a few weeks ago i heard that they were planning to either change their name, or start a major campaign as "two million for marriage". a title/slogan that acronymizes to "2M4M" -- which sounds like an ad on a kinky gay sex site to us perverts. that's almost right up there with "teabagging".

i thought after this came to their ears, they might change their mind about the name. but no, they went right ahead. what they didn't go right ahead with, however, was the acquisition of the appropriate domains.

enter 2m4m.org.

via [personal profile] sara.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
so a "glitch" is responsible? say what? since when do glitches send customer service letters signed with "ashley d"?

exactly what kind of glitch? you didn't answer the LA times when they asked. i dunno about you, but when i wrote for a large company with many, many clients, this was the process a software change went through:

- a proposal for change is thought up and presented.
- several someones up the management chain have to approve it.
- money has to be budgeted.
- code has to be spec'ed and written.
- the code has to be tested on a development system.
- bugs are fixed and retested.
- finally the change is rolled out into production.

in between are often some rounds of "what about this?", "ah, you're right, we gotta change that too".

so, what exactly here is the glitch? what did amazon _mean_ to do?

and how is it that it wasn't detected earlier? don't tell me amazon's programmers just let any old code loose on the production servers on the day before easter weekend. i know complexity is a complex thing, but that would just be lousy practice, and any internet company should know better.

also, whoever designed this craptacular way of using sales rankings to keep adult books out of certain searches, should be sent to reeducation bootcamp. there is absolutely no reason per se why it has to be done that way; it's profoundly inelegant. furthermore, what i do and don't get to see in searches should be up to _me_, and only me -- if i want to see cock, that should be my damn choice. i need no protection. well, maybe from twilight, but let me guess, that didn't get unranked.

amazon's latest statement.

and this theory seems to me the most plausible to date: former amazon employee talks about arcane bits of the editing system. i mean, everyone who works on LJ code can conceive of this, right? *wry grin*.

so, no more editing on live systems, hm, amazon? also, an apology would be nice.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
by now i imagine everyone has seen the republican budget plan, and i don't think there is anything new i can say. besides, i am still sorta speechless.

but i decided it needed some presentational pizazz to make it more appropriate, a bit more dazzle to cover up the bullshit; a more suitable font, for one, and...

maybe i should throw in a vampire?
piranha: toothy open mouth of piranha (pissed)
now they're using the DMCA to restrict where you can buy e-books.

i didn't buy a kindle because a) i don't like DRM, and b) i don't like being tied to an overlord (even if benign) for my reading pleasure.

this isn't going to change my mind, rather it's moving me back towards not even buying paper books from amazon again, because this isn't "benign" by any stretch of the imagination.

no kindle in my future now, definitely.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
to make opera the default browser in mac OSX, you have to follow these steps down incongruity road:

1. open safari (the browser that comes with the OS).
2. navigate to safari -> preferences -> general.
3. in the drop-down menu, pick opera.
4. close safari.

WTF, apple and opera? you both are idiots here. every other browser has an option in its own preferences to make it the default, why doesn't opera? don't you realize this makes using your browser suboptimal? and apple doesn't mention this anywhere in its help either; i had to take to google to find out how other people had solved this. *sniff*sniff* -- that's microsoft-like behaviour; surely we couldn't want any other default browser than safari? get with it!

yes, i am alive. but i am monomaniacal about sketchup, so i usually forget about LJ until it's time to sleep :). sketchup has gotten majorly awesome since i last played with it.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
and here i thought there would be a little political peace on the north american home front.

then came blagojevich's press conference.

imagine a huge ASCII-art OMG here.

have you seen this? you must. this marries chutzpah with incompetence in a rarely seen display, and for good measure it comes with some nutty prayer sprinkled on top. for all i know burris is innocent as the white-driven snow, but he made himself look corrupt just by the way he handled this press conference, and completely avoided legitimate questions.

part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBStRU2QRqo
part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFFJwwQx5Z0

and wow, congressman rush. that wasn't just the race card, that was an entire race deck.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
ok, i've been trying very hard to avoid anything about palin since the election, but this one blindsided me, and i can't keep myself from helping it go viral -- i laughed so hard i was truly almost rolling on the floor.

be warned, slaughter of turkeys and of the english language happens simultaneously. i am not kidding about the turkeys. (i am also not kidding about the language, but people are less likely to be grossed out by that.)

surreal. i adore the cameraperson.

(via huffpo.)
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
satirists would be out of work.

the "masked avengers", a well-known montréal comedy duo, prank sarah palin by posing as french president nicolas sarkozy. she never catches on, not even when "sarkozy's" statements become quite outrageous (though she clearly does not feel entirely comfortable when he talks about the porn video).

read the transcript.

i don't blame her for not knowing french, or even the name of the premier of québec (jean charest), but not knowing the name of the prime minister (stephen harper)? of the country bordering her state rather more than russia?

did you notice how the fauxsy accent was completely not in evidence? and what's with that giddy schoolgirl tone? is that what makes her so "likeable" to her supporters? *shudder*.


piranha: red origami crane (Default)
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