marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

Kid yourselves not, this was hard to write, especially since a) it's personal and b) I wrote it as a speech (that I have not given, but oh boy, I could really work with this). I did it in one shot and by the time it was done I was so tired from a) writing and b) writing all week long, which is an unusual level of output for me, that I took the weekend off.

When I got back online I realized it wasn't edited properly and of course there were no links. Looking at the post now, though, I think it might be too overwhelming for anyone (myself included, if the tables were turned!) to read through the links I might add. So I'm taking the liberty of quoting from it here and attaching links as needed.

Any "If Onlys": The grotesque moral atrocity of blaming the poor for being poor

"[...] life for those with money drifts in the vein of commending themselves"... Why luck matters more than you might think

"[...] our biggest social construct of all time - the one called race"... Race and racial identity are social constructs

"Housing? Well, waiting lists are 3-6 years long" - nope, wrong: try more like over 10 years... HOUSING AGENCY WAITING LISTS AND THE DEMAND FOR HOUSING ASSISTANCE

"[...] most are being torn down"... The demolition of housing in public cities

"Section 8 certificates, which society also grumbles about because they blacks "ruin our neighborhoods"?"...How Housing Policy Is Failing America's Poor

"Same waiting list" - nope, wrong again; the wait can be much longer, though figures for all states don't seem to be in one place...Section 8 Shortfall Leaves Thousands Waiting

"Food stamps? You can't get them if you don't work"... More Than 500,000 Adults Will Lose SNAP Benefits in 2016 as Waivers Expire

Welfare cash benefits? Less than 2 million Americans still get them" - actually, I mis-worded and miscounted: only 1.6 million families receive TANF. Will be updating with correction. The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families(TANF) Block Grant: Responses to Frequently Asked Questions (March, 2016)

"Healthcare? Well, there's still Medicaid, but not for most people"... Medicaid Health Care Denied To Millions Of America’s Poorest

"[...] and there's no low cost health insurance in states that refuse to extend the ACA to the poor."... Uninsured Poor Adults in States that Do Not Expand Medicaid – An Update

"Disability benefits? Extremely small, subject to limitations, and even the most hopelessly and permanently disabled often won't get approved." ... working from the last claim in, It's easier to win a World Series than get Social Security disability, Which Factors Lead to Benefit Reductions?, and How Much Will I Get in SSI Disability Benefits?

"The poor are not people [...] we've even trained the poor to know that"... America's Poor: Blaming The Victims

"A vast majority of the 99% forgets - or does not know, nor care to learn - that the 1% stages recessions only to accumulate more wealth" - I guess I can file this under personal opinion, but while I'm busy trying to pull this theory together, have a link: Obama orchestrated a massive transfer of wealth to the 1 percent. "Too big to fail" is just another name for "set-up".

"We've got working poor living in the streets, overnight shelters, tents and cars still being told that if they'd just work harder or do better"... General Homelessness Facts and Homelessness Epidemic

"I'm tired of being your poverty porn"... 5 Reasons poverty porn empowers the wrong person

"[...] I don't fit the liberal media's oh-so-carefully-constructed, entirely stereotypical and increasingly bullshit Poverty Model"... Beliefs About the Poor Are Mired in Flawed Stereotypes. For instance, 41% of this nation's poor are white. (I know, white - race - here we go with our social construct again. If we didn't have it, how would that be worded? "100% of our poor are...people"?)

Was looking at job ads today...

May. 2nd, 2016 12:38 am
marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

When I came across one seeking candidates with "good annunciation". Fascinated by the requirement, I googled and came upon a definition. Surprised to learn customer service reps must announce the birth of Christ to each customer, I sent them an email.


I’m not normally one to correct wording errors but in this ad you indicated your organization seeks people with good annunciation. According to most dictionaries that means you want someone to do a good rendition of the announcement of the Incarnation by the angel Gabriel to Mary (Luke 1:26–38).

I think the word you’re looking for is enunciation.

Needless to say I defiantly! jk definitely did not apply. I can't work for people who think they're smarter than me when, in fact, they're not smarter than me. The irony is they think they're weeding out anyone who doesn't know what that fancy word means, when they don't even know how to spell it correctly.

lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
[personal profile] lea_hazel
This is a story of how Person of Interest worked three long seasons to earn its surveillance dystopia, when other shows of the genre failed to show their work.

This week, Person of Interest returns to the screens for its fifth and final season. After a four season emotional roller-coaster, fans are eager but understandably apprehensive about the conclusion. No one promised us a happy end. In fact, as the show wore on, it became clear that its premise, which initially relied on crime drama with a thin dusting of ambiguous sci-fi, had become radically transformed. Viewers entering the fourth season now knew that the show's world presents a freshly budding dystopia dominated by a conscious and independent artificial intelligence.

Read more... )

Crossposted to
ursamajor: people on the beach watching the ocean (Default)
[personal profile] ursamajor
The final haul from #BookstoreDay, thanks to @porter_square_books @onthedotbooks @papercutsjp @brooklinebooksmith @tridentbooks @harvardbookstore. Lucky to have you all. :) Support your local indies!
ursamajor: people on the beach watching the ocean (Default)
[personal profile] ursamajor
The 6th and final stop for me on #BookstoreDay: @harvardbookstore, where I joined the @litographs Alice in Wonderland temporary tattoo chain, and marveled that David Duchovny published a book called Bucky F*cking Dent.
ursamajor: people on the beach watching the ocean (Default)
[personal profile] ursamajor
#BookstoreDay stop 5: @tridentbooks! With a SCAVENGER HUNT!
ursamajor: people on the beach watching the ocean (Default)
[personal profile] ursamajor
#BookstoreDay stop 3: @papercutsjp! They have a section for "science, nature, cats." Also cupcakes and mimosas, fellow @silentbookclub peeps.
ursamajor: people on the beach watching the ocean (Default)
[personal profile] ursamajor
#BookstoreDay stop 5: @brooklinebooksmith #shelfie. My fave section there is sci-fi, natch! But the cookbook corner isn't far behind … :)
ursamajor: people on the beach watching the ocean (Default)
[personal profile] ursamajor
#BookstoreDay Stop 2: @onthedotbooks. Tucked into a nook inside a larger cafe, and the eggs have been recommended, along with the scifi :)
ursamajor: people on the beach watching the ocean (Default)
[personal profile] ursamajor
First stop for #BookstoreDay: @porter_square_books. I made my parents read me all the books!
ursamajor: people on the beach watching the ocean (Default)
[personal profile] ursamajor
Who's ready for #independentbookstoreday2016? MEEEEE.

Everything's better with kitties

Apr. 29th, 2016 09:49 am
yourlibrarian: Loki Smirk Half Crop (AVEN-LokiSmirkHalfCrop-famira.png)
[personal profile] yourlibrarian
1) I don't usually watch James Corden, but because Colbert was often pre-empted by football, we added an extra half hour to the DVR recording, just in case. So we've been watching his monologues and checking who guests are.

In the past week he had both Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston on. Read more... )

Lastly, if you've ever been inspired to climb Hiddleston like a tree, apparently this wee leopard cub decided to do just that.

2) Color me surprised -- I've started (slowly) going through my old meta and putting tidied versions up at AO3. I was amazed to find a notice in my email this morning of 5 kudos. Given their age and a general disinterest in meta, I really wasn't expecting anyone to see them (but I do want all of them in one easily found place).

3) I think this makes at least four fiction books about fanfic writers that I know of. Not its own genre yet but I'll bet it gets there someday.

4) Are they serious? First weddings, then proms and children's birthday parties -- it seems there's nothing free from this sort of commercialism and escalation when it comes to costs and personal competitiveness. My niece argued with me that a child's elaborate 1st birthday party made sense because it was the parents' celebration that they'd weathered a difficult time together. It seems to me that's what their anniversary is for.

5) This discussion of American Psycho as seen by Wall Streeters reminded me of an "On Point" segment last week. The guy who said it was a critique of capitalism came close but I thought he was still a bit off the mark. Read more... )

Speaking of On Point and being an American psycho, they were discussing Trump this morning and one supporter called in saying "This is a mean world, and we need a mean president." I guess that does explain a lot about why he's succeeding among Republicans. Apparently she felt the dog-eat-dog verse is upon us since 9/11 happened, though how Trump is supposed to be a solution for this, you've got me.

I'm tired of being your poverty porn

Apr. 29th, 2016 01:28 am
marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

ETA: I've added a link index.

I've noticed one thing about people with money and that's that they like to hang onto it and rationalize away those who don't:

"Oh, if only they'd worked harder."
"Oh, if only they'd gotten a better job."
"Oh, if only they'd educated themselves more."
"Oh, if only they'd work more than one job, there are more than eight hours in a day, you know, so funny."
"Oh, if only they hadn't had so many kids."
"Oh, if only his wife wasn't so damn lazy, 'just' staying home with the kids."
"Oh, if only she hadn't gotten up with that loser."
"Oh, if only her husband would work harder/get another job/ask for a raise/get retraining."
"Oh, if only their parents had tried harder than they obviously did."
"Oh, if only those poor folks ahead of us in line would knuckle down and not buy shrimp and steak, they'd have so much more money."
"Oh, if only they'd buy better clothes, maybe they'd have a better chance in life!"
"Oh, if only they would use better grammar, it could open so many doors to them."

There are more If Onlys, and if you happen to know another one you can add it to the comments, but basically, life for those with money drifts in the vein of commending themselves for their own hard work, foresight, and ability and finding excuses to explain away the have-nots having not.

And I think to myself, why is it Not Alright to devolve into victim-blaming when people are, say raped or murdered, or denied opportunities because of our biggest social construct of all time, the one called race, yet it's Perfectly Alright, acceptable - encouraged, even - to blame the poor for being poor? When did that become OK?

To illustrate, say you're a civilized person in today's society. You would not walk up to a known rape victim and say, "Hey, I saw the skirt you were wearing that night - you deserved it." You would not walk up to a known attempted murder victim and say, "Hey, I saw that dark road you walked down alone - you deserved it". The implications of these statements, just to be clear, are that a person who wears an article of clothing an observer deems rape-eligible and walking down a dark road alone are pre-conditions for deserving what you get.

Yet we say "you deserve it" to our nation's poor with impunity, delight, condescension, contempt, even in bored dismissal, and are so conditioned to do so it's a reflex by now. "Oh you're poor? That's your own damn fault". We're conditioned to say it, think it, believe it, fume about it, even toss and turn at night in anger because of it. Because there ARE poor people, and how could that be? How could there exist a class of people who does this all to themselves?

Not only do we blame the poor, we add whining to the mix: "Thanks to you, my taxes are higher to support your little government programs because you're just too damn lazy to work!" (said to me while I was working).

"You wanting a $15 minimum wage means my salary won't look as high anymore! Pretty soon I'll be poorer than you!" (said to me by the same person, who claims to make anywhere from $20-40 an hour depending on how much he's had to drink and which way the wind blows).

"A higher minimum wage means less jobs to go around and laying off people like me to hire more people like you!" (again, said to me by the same person).

At the same time we subject the poor to the double whammy of hearing they're to blame for their condition and society's, they're increasingly denied everything society claims they get. Let's take it one free goodie at a time.

Housing? Well, waiting lists are 3-6 years long for most housing projects, which are mostly crumbling and gang-ridden so not exactly the highlife, and most are being torn down to make way for the fancier neighborhoods the well-to-do prefer. Section 8 certificates, which society also grumbles about because they blacks "ruin our neighborhoods"? Same long waiting lists.

Food stamps? You can't get them if you don't work, and once you do work they're so greatly reduced in amount they're hardly worth the humiliation. Oh, I'm wrong about that? OK, go look it up.

Welfare cash benefits? Less than 2 1.6 million Americans American families (see link index for correction) still get them, most are raising young children, and most families getting them must stop doing so after 2-3 years.

Healthcare? Well, there's still Medicaid, but not for most people, and there's no low cost health insurance in states that refuse to extend the ACA to the poor.

Disability benefits? Extremely small, subject to limitations, and even the most hopelessly and permanently disabled often won't get approved. Anything else? Is there anything else society wants to claim the poor get when, in reality, they're not getting what you think they are or else getting so little of it for such short periods of time that yes, you do honestly sound like Scrooge by bitching about it? Tell me. I'll be waiting.

Poverty discrimination is the only socially acceptable form of discrimination left in this country and don't get kid yourselves; it's a very, very acceptable form. It's always "in" to blame the poor for their hubris and the complete downfall of our entire country, which by society's estimation should've toppled from the sheer weight of supporting them 15-20 years ago. Yes, it's all just a matter of time, folks, before they have us living in the gutters, too!

A vast majority of the 99% forgets - or does not know, nor care to learn - that the 1% stages recessions only to accumulate more wealth, which they take not just from society but from the poor, legislating them out of existence at every turn, while wiping out everyone's wealth, savings, housing, educational, and employment opportunities in one big crash. And they're getting ready to stage another recession now that they've built more wealth than they had before the last one by simply taking wealth from everyone else who lost out big in 2008.

But rather than blame the 1% for the fact that yes, this country's about to go down and will do so entirely once another recession is staged for the 1%'s sole benefit, society blames the poor.

It's not the rich or the Koch Brothers or Wall St. or anyone with money, it's these people walking around with their hands out, ruining everything. The poor are not people so should not be treated as such. We all know that! We've even trained the poor to know that, so then, what about us?

The rich work hard at turning us on each other (class warfare, anyone?) and at turning and keeping us against the poor, and force us to adjust to the fact that we can't benefit from any of the steps we take to further ourselves. Ultimately, they want to turn this country into one vast storehouse of nothing but the poor, who will do whatever they're asked without having to send jobs overseas because a ready, willing, and exhausted but humbled workforce will kneel at the ready to blindly and avidly follow orders.

To this end, the rich have been hard at work on their schemes - like our race and caste systems, which use government and media influence to turn minorities and the poor into scapegoats and scoundrels at every turn, our fake war on drugs, our school-to-prison pipeline, and the student loan debt many will never crawl out from - which results in college-educated people who can't get jobs or afford homes but still must pay for useless educations. We've got working poor living in the streets, overnight shelters, tents and cars still being told that if they'd just work harder or do better or try something else they could succeed. That it's their own fault.

Our society is quite simply delusional.

It's been eating out of the 1%'s hand for so long now in the mere hope of some financial gain in return for swallowing their lies and hatred that it's become society's reflex to respond in exactly the ways the 1% most desires, to the downfall of everyone but the 1%.

I called this "I'm tired of being your poverty porn" because I've noticed the more liberal side of media can do just one thing and one thing well, but I'm starting to think it's insincere: talk and talk and talk and talk about all the poor are going through. I think no one reads any of these articles except their friends. I think anyone else reading does so only to skim and to leave the nastiest, most racist, victim-blaming comments possible.

I'm tired of being your poverty porn.

I fall through all the obviously stereotypical cracks, so no, most of the liberal media I'm talking about is not targeted at nor intended for me. Which makes it doubly hard to be in my position: I'm constantly watching myself being written about and discussed in the liberal media, yet I'm treated like a curiosity or like I can't be poor just because I don't fit the liberal media's oh-so-carefully-constructed, entirely stereotypical and increasingly bullshit Poverty Model. I pass for Better Off, because I'm white and smart and can speak, write and dress well when I feel like it, but I'm telling you, I'm not.

If it's bothering liberals so damn much that the poor en masse are suffering as much as they do then they should stop merely writing to their equally liberal friends about it, since they're the only ones reading those posts with any compassion, and actually do something.

No one's going to educate our country out of allowing its poor to languish nor educate it out of its deep hatred for the poor by posting one article nor even one whole mess of articles at a time. We need to change minds and laws, but so far all we're doing is neither. The media don't understand the complete brainwashing most sectors of society have been given. When no one has answers for that, they just wring some highly manicured hands, then wave them westward and proclaim, "Well, look at Denmark." OK, let's look! I'll take that literally - so are you buying the poor passports to actually go look at Denmark? Because if not, then why are you even bringing it up? It's just rubbing salt in all the same wounds.

I'll give the only proof anyone needs that the liberal media - which thinks it's doing such a great job of educating everyone - has failed us entirely, and that's how we've got Hillary Clinton instead of Bernie Sanders in the #1 spot for the presidential nomination. Thanks a lot, liberals. Not.

lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
[personal profile] lea_hazel
Diversity and representation have been climbing up the public agenda of late. When it comes to writing disabled characters, there are a few recurring pitfalls that I’d like to address.

Be Specific

You want to write a disabled character. First, you need to know what their disability is. “In a wheelchair” is not a disability. A wheelchair is a mobility aid, one of several different kinds available to the mobility-impaired. That’s your character, by the way. Did you mean, perhaps, that your character is paraplegic? Paralysis due to traumatic spinal injury is, again, one of many conditions that require or warrant the use of a wheelchair. Are you certain that you want your character to be paraplegic? True, this is the thing that most abled people think about (or avoid thinking about) when conjuring the mental image of a wheelchair. However, it is far from the only reason for someone to use a wheelchair.

Read more... )

This essay is not an encyclopedia; it’s barely an introduction. I hope, however, that it has given its readers some food for thought, for engaging with their own writing as well as the media they consume.

Crossposted to
erika: (me: don't panic!)
[personal profile] erika
(subject line solely because Thom Yorke gives such a concise description of the torment inherent in human existence, no matter how limited and bland.)

More links! Again, I've done my best to have them from most recent to least. My reading list is all about our struggle to understand ourselves these days, y'all.

Apathy: the Curse, the Cure Psychology Today: that self-defeating attitude could derive either from early childhood programming, which led you to believe that no matter how conscientiously you applied yourself, you still couldn’t succeed...

New Procedure Allows Kidney Transplants from Any Donor NY Times

People with Anxiety May Be Hard-wired to See World Differently Reuters
Cautionary note: very small preliminary study!
On a basic level, the concept that people with anxiety overgeneralize fear-causing stimuli is fascinating. I wonder if that's why my anxiety levels only really dropped after I took up meditation and started taking care of myself—clearly a holistic issue even if Western mind-body duality keeps LYING to everyone. (Erika: outraged at the weirdest shit since 1985.)
Wonder what the limits of the brain's resiliency are, but really, no one knows and I'm (surprisingly to myself) comfortable with that uncertainty. BRAINS ARE SO COOOOOOOOOL.

11 Nutritionist Approved Midnight Snacks
for the Erika in your life who always gets hungry before bed! & with a headline like that, you know it's probs a listicle from Buzzfeed as is the next:

17 Expert Tips To Help Couples Actually Solve Rship Isuses
(Thanks to this article, I tried to nickname Travis. Do you know how hard it is to nickname the name Travis? Almost as hard as it is to nickname the name Erika! So instead I nicknamed the behavior, a particular type of snipe-y arguing I do, as "gremlin-ing." because you don't want to see what happens if you feed me after midnight.
For the record, it makes it wayyyyy easier to be called out when he uses that word, so yeah, thumbs up.)

Unconventional Productivity from Zen Habits, one of my favorite blogs
Once you’ve started to work with the discomfort, you’ll see that it’s No Big Deal. Nothing to worry about. It’s just a feeling, just energy. You’ll relax a little around it. Try to develop a friendly attitude toward it, instead of being harsh on yourself. Just notice, just smile, just breathe, just be gentle.

Why Speaking Up about Mental Illness Is A Privilege—some australian newspaper I don't know and am disinterested in learning more about, as I hoard spoons like a dragon, inclusive of firebreathing.
The only reason I'm able to share my experiences with mental illness is that I do so with little risk. I have a family who love and support me with full awareness of my illnesses. I'm self-employed in a dual-income household. I will not be out on the street, I will not be broke and I will not be ostracised by the people I love. I'm already ahead of the mental health game before I even start.

Ask Bear - I Don't Want to Spend 2016 Feeling Bad About My Looks | Bitch Magazine

whether you get picked up in bars may not be a good barometer of whether you’re attractive, it may just mean that you’re more of a slow burn than a quick hit.
Here, allow me to pause for a few words in praise of being the one who takes the initiative. It’s all very well and good to be noticed, but it’s totally possible that people are noticing and not acting—just as I imagine you have done on many previous occasions.

Sick Woman Theory Mask Magazine
I hope I've linked this before, but assuming I haven't, or you didn't read it the first time... enjoy this piece of genius.

I only wish to point out the presumptions upon which her horror relies: that our vulnerability should be seen and honored, and that we should all receive care, quickly and in a way that “respects the autonomy of the patient,” as the Four Principles of Biomedical Ethics puts it. Of course, these presumptions are what we all should have. But we must ask the question of who is allowed to have them. In whom does society substantiate such beliefs? And in whom does society enforce the opposite?

Healing the Shame of Childhood Abuse with Self Compassion Psychology Today again
"Self-criticism [will] trigger the fight-or-flight response—[...] mobilizing the strength and energy needed to confront or avoid the threat. Although this system was designed by evolution to deal with physical attacks, it is activated just as readily by emotional attacks—from ourselves and others. Over time, increased cortisol levels deplete neurotransmitters involved in the ability to experience pleasure, leading to depression."

the 36 questions that lead to love NY-Times
full PDF of study
"practical methodology for creating closeness in an experimental context"

The New Rules of Relationships Psychology Today
Because people's needs are fluid and change over time, and life's demands change too, good relationships are negotiated and renegotiated all the time.

Thinking about the internet... Nobody knows how to deal with an asshole disturbing others like a librarian, so why aren't they designing the comment systems? Has anyone in tech ever asked a bunch of librarians what they think about the problem of curating access to culture when we want as many people to enjoy the culture as possible?

Librarians are some of my favorite people. Yes, they were super nice to little girl Erika, but I'm not entirely speaking from my cronyism. It's their instinctual dislike of most people as well as the mandated desire for complete quiet that pleases me so greatly.


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