jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

So, I spent much of today reading comments and forum posts by Warhammer 40,000 players, for some reason. (This doesn't only apply to them, though; it has a lot to do with Pathfinder and video games as well.)

40k players spend an awful lot of time complaining online, it feels like. But what's interesting to me is what they choose to complain about. Roughly half of the forum-goers I saw were complaining about the company that makes the Warhammer models; how Games Workshop's latest rulebook ruined their fun, invalidated their strategies, and obsoleted their favourite models.

Some of their stories are really sad. "40K" players invest dozens or hundreds of hours in their cherished pastime, sometimes in just a single model, and it shows. Far from looking for an excuse to complain, the most upset players seemed more like betrayed lovers, who had given and given and given and were rewarded with Games Workshop's scorn.

The other half ... were complaining about the first half.

Read more... )

I don't know where I'm going with this. It's late, and I'm tired and rambly.

I just feel like, the less inequality there is between players and game publishers -- and between the players and each other -- the less fighting and arguing there seems to be, and the more creative freedom there is.

I like the Tau model collection I'm building, but I feel more at home with game players and companies which treat me with respect.

jewelfox: A portrait of Rei Ayanami from the Evangelion series as an anthropomorphic albino red fox, in a sleeveless lavender top. (rei)

There are two ways to get someone to contribute to society, for varying definitions of "contribute" and "society."

One is to require it of them, and to deprive them of their wants or even needs if they don't perform as demanded. The other is to give them such abundance that they cannot help but share.

Everything that I've seen suggests that the latter is much more effective, and that nearly everyone uses it whenever possible. They reserve the former method for people they don't like, or that they feel entitled to exploit because they do not see them as people.

Real-world examples

This site is hosted on Dreamwidth, fandom enclave extraordinaire, so let's talk about fandom to start with. "Pirated" shows, lovingly subtitled by their fans, helped turn anime from an art style into a major Japanese export. Fandom could not get enough, and paid generously both through buying official and licensed products (once they became available) and by creating fanwork such as cosplay.

I used to be a professional writer, before things went south for me in that department. My best work, both in "pageviews" and in self-perceived quality, was what I was most passionate about, because I wanted so much to share with people what I'd learned. Whether because I was excited about it, or because I was incensed and wanted to share my moral outrage, or raise awareness of an issue.

Sometimes I needed a deadline to get me to write. But when my work became all about deadlines, and the supervisors who had stood up for me mysteriously went absent, and new rules kept me from writing essays like the ones that had won me awards and made lots of money ... I actually shut down from stress. I couldn't do it anymore, not and deal with my sudden personal / family crises at the same time. It wasn't until I felt secure with my partner's financial support that I could coax myself into writing again, to help my partner with expenses and to reward myself with a few games and toys.

I contributed the most to free and open-source software when I felt the most valued by its community, especially when they paid my living expenses as part of the Outreach Program for Women. I was so grateful to my sponsors and mentor, and even though I was living with untreated major depression I pushed myself to work on GNOME. Not just to give back to my benefactors, but because I believed in GNOME's mission and I wanted underprivileged girls to have a free OS of their own.

When the cheques stopped, the program ended, and community interactions showed me how little the free software world valued both women and "women's work" outside of anomalies like the program, I was surprised to find out there was nothing to keep me devoted to them. And that I liked Windows 8 a lot more than free software OSes, and that Microsoft, even as a for-profit company, was sharing a lot more with people like me than the free software "community" was.

Share the wealth

Now I'm surrounded by toys and games in abundance, and the one thing I most want to do is make something worthy of them, and of the people who gave them to me. I want to use the talents that I seem to have, to make artwork like fanfic and models and RPG books, and share them with those who appreciate them.

I play single-player video games, and trim plastic models, and read books curled up in my den, and it makes me want to give back. Not because of duty or forced gratitude, but because it's a natural expression of how I feel. I have to write things that continue the story. I have to share screenshots and work-in-progress photos, and enthuse about things that excite me, and find people to be excited with.

I feel so inspired, I have to share and create.

I think that's how it is for most people.

I think people who don't, or won't, or can't, at least not in socially acceptable ways, don't deserve to starve or be homeless.

jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

Our team projected there would be about 110,000 voters on June 3 (out of 462,000 registered, or less than 25 percent). And here was the kicker: Fully half would be age 65 and older. Roughly three-quarters would be age 50 and older. Millennials were a rounding error. If you want to know why politicians pay only lip service to the outrageous cost of college, soaring student loan debt and the fact that degrees don’t translate into decent jobs anymore, here’s your answer, I thought. But there was no way to start some youth crusade in the time we had.

Truth is, by the end of the campaign, I wouldn’t stop to talk to young people at all—the odds that they would show up on June 3 were practically nil. Seniors—and the direct mail we would send them—were pretty much all that mattered. (This truth was driven home by the little old lady at a market who punctuated her list of to-dos for me with eerie intensity. “You’d better listen to me, young man,” she said. “We’re the ones who vote!”)

-- Matt Miller, "Mr. Miller Doesn't Go To Washington," Politico


I believe that this instinct to perpetuate useless work is, at bottom, simply fear of the mob. The mob (the thought runs) are such low animals that they would be dangerous if they had leisure; it is safer to keep them too busy to think.

-- George Orwell, "Down and Out"


jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

There is a stone monument in the park where we live, to the Spanish navigator that the English call Christopher Columbus. Viewed from behind, it looks like a gravestone. I doubt if that was the intent, but it's still a fitting monument to the person that [personal profile] rev_yurodivy called "America's first supervillain," and one of the few people to orchestrate genocide on such a large scale that comparisons between him and Hitler aren't hyperbolic.

Every now and then I think of dousing it with lamb's blood, just to make it clear to the people who don't read history books. I don't think anyone else needs to die in his name, though.

Happy Columbus Day.

jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

From Stuff Fundies Like. Content note for the link and this post: Religious and employer abuse.

So the formula goes like this:

Isolated employees + A Heavenly Mission + Declining Revenue + Renewable Workforce + Lies = Starvation Wages.

Darrell left out the fact that the laws in the US allow independent fundamentalist Baptist churches to treat their workers differently from if they were considered the businesses that they are. But all the things that he mentions compound the problem.

The situation with Mormon volunteer workers is different, and in some ways more efficient. I'm not sure I want to get into explaining how right now, though.

jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

I don't remember a whole lot about Jon Huntsman except that he's Mormon, he was campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, and he didn't make it because he's not a climate change denier or young earth creationist.

He also apparently supports same-sex marriage now, and oh, his dad's kind of awesome:

Jon Huntsman Sr. has given away about $1.5 billion to worthy causes – about 80% of his total wealth. He is also spending $200 million building Huntsman Springs, a golf resort and nature reserve in Idaho that will donate all proceeds of real estate sold to his family’s charitable foundation. But neither of these totals include his strict tithing to the Mormon church of 10% of everything he has ever earned.

“My philanthropy is not borne out of my faith,” he says. “They require 10% tithing. I don’t consider that to be philanthropy and I don’t consider it to be part of my philanthropic giving. I consider it as club dues.

“People who put money in the church basket and people who go to church and pay the pastor: that isn’t real philanthropy, that’s just like you belong to a country club. You pay your dues to belong to that church so you pay your tithing or whatever it is. I’ve never added that into my philanthropy in any way because I just think it’s a part of a person’s life.”

This is especially true when you're donating to a "church" corporation that builds shopping malls. >_> But seriously, whatever happened to rich people being philanthropists? Why aren't they all signing on with Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, pledging to give away half of their wealth? It's not like they can use it all or anything.

I mean, I know it's because of Ayn Rand and bad preachers and crap, plus racism here in the States. But still.

Maybe it should surprise me less that a handful of people break out of this mold, and more that nobody holds the others accountable. When effort and reward are as badly decoupled as they are in this society, a high net worth is a bug, not a feature.

jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

In the United States, there is no one state religion which people are taxed to support, the way there is in some European countries. Instead, pretty much any religious organization is treated like a nonprofit. They are not required to pay taxes, and they are exempt from a ton of laws, such as nondiscrimination ordinances and laws about fair treatment of employees.

(I am not a lawyer, but this is my understanding of how things work.)

To me, this is very obviously not okay. It has created a lot of small, personal kingdoms, where preachers and "prophets" can make their own rules and abuse people however they like. Stuff Fundies Like has a lot of examples, of the consequences of the way the States privilege petty tyrants.

If any religion is to be privileged here in the States, with things like free money (tax exemptions) and stuff, it should be ones like Unitarian Universalism, with their financial transparency and commitment to plurality. Money-making scams like Scientology and Mormonism should not be recognized as legitimate religious organizations, when that just lets them make even more cash and exploit free (or nearly free) volunteer labour. And churches where people preach hate speech, and exclude disadvantaged groups from their ordinances or their priesthood, should likewise not be considered legitimate by law or society.

Hate speech is not free speech. Bigotry does not deserve subsidy. Children should not be in positions where unaccountable adults, like Mormon bishops, can take advantage of them. And if no one in their churches has the back of exploited "volunteer" missionaries or "Sea Org" members, especially underage ones, then society at large should stand up for them, by mandating fair wages and humane working conditions.

jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

That's the most commonly rendered version of Google's motto, which most people invoke ironically these days as they point out the latest evil thing Google did. But you can do a lot of evil stuff without ever seeing yourself as evil. And if you're measuring how good you are by how evil someone else is, you get to be one of those people who wants a cookie for not being as terrible as someone else.

I personally feel that if you are alive, then you deserve to be alive, by default and until proven otherwise. I believe that "kindness is goodness;" that you are a good person just for being the kind of person you are, and that if anyone says otherwise or tries to prevent you from being yourself then they are being unkind to you.

I believe that some people are damaged, disabled, marginalized, or ill. I believe they deserve to exist, and to participate fully in society. I think it is the responsibility of abled people to accommodate them. I believe in solidarity with these people, and in giving up privilege or inconveniencing myself in order to keep them from having to do without things that they need or that I take for granted. I believe this is best done not through individual acts, but as a society, so that the responsibility is spread out and so that they do not need to beg.

I believe that some people are dangerous, including (but not limited to) carnivores, narcissists, and white European Americans. I don't believe that being dangerous means that a person is evil or must be destroyed. I believe there are ways to coexist, that do not have to involve harming innocents. But I believe that the burden is on the most dangerous people to find those ways, not on their victims. And I sympathize with those who resist them.

I believe that Chaotic Neutral is the best D&D alignment, because I feel it encompasses (or can encompass) all of the above. I believe you don't have to be "good" to be kind to others and empathize with them. I believe that the concept of "good" is overrated, and is often used to cover for dangerous people's actions, or to condemn those who resist them as "evil."

If "good" exists objectively, it is willing self-sacrifice on behalf of another. I don't feel that it's needed in order to be kind to others, because I feel that most people are naturally kind (or at least not dangerous) so long as their needs are met. But I do feel that kindness -- both in the sense of being yourself, and respecting the rights of others to do the same -- is a prerequisite for the kind of self-sacrifice that is helpful.

Otherwise, you end up seeing self-sacrifice as good in and of itself. You don't trust people who don't give up enough of themselves for "the greater good." And you give your all for other people, who you then expect to do the same for others, until there's no kindness left in the universe because everyone's trying so hard to be "good."

Or at least, to appear good. Which is much easier.

jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

I shouldn't have to say this, but the following is a parody, that I found on another forum.

Content note: If you know any out-there homophobic conspiracy theorists, this is probably what they've told you they're afraid of!

It's been a week since the Judge's ruling in Utah made gay marriage legal and I'm sorry to report that the entire state of Utah is a desolate wasteland.

The first thing that happened was all heterosexual couples marriages became invalid in the entire state. So right away my wife and I ran to the court house to update our nuptials and the court house was in utter chaos. The line of gay couples went out the door and there was no separate but equal heterosexual lines for the normal couples. After waiting hours in line a clerical error occurred, probably because the County Clerk was a Democrat, and I was married to a gay man and my wife was married into a polygamist family. We are now both required by federal law to live out the rest of out lives in this manner.

Next, all Christian churches and Mormon temples were forced to preform gay marriages. Not only this, but all churches were forced by federal law to change their doctrine on gay marriage. Last Sunday my husband and I even learned in Sunday School that all mention of homosexuality through out the Bible have been removed and in fact were really never there to begin with. There is even rumors that soon only black gay men will be the only ones allowed to have the priesthood in the future.

Even Christmas Day was found unconstitutional and now it's to be called Holiday Day, any mention of Christ will be an automatic fine.

Finally, crime, prostitution and drugs have taken over the state. Since the state and it's people became completely morally bankrupt last week, now all other sins are on the rise. We can't even protect ourselves from the new waves of criminals since the 2nd Amendment was also found unconstitutional by the same Socialist activist judge. My new husband and I are now locked up in our apartment waiting for the end of the world. Our only hope is to run to the border of Idaho. We plan in leaving at sun down, wish us luck.

-- howardcord on Reddit

My favourite part is Holiday Day. Although [personal profile] rev_yurodivy read "automatic fine" as "automatic fire."

jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

They'd be about as appalled by ads for technology that lets parents lock down children's internet use as we would be by overtly sexist ads from the 50's, that take it for granted a hetero husband needs to control his wife's spending, not let her anywhere near the car, and administer corporal punishment to her.

They'd be as nonplussed by the use of "human" to mean "person" and "human beings" or "humankind" to mean "people" as many of us are by "man" and "mankind" being used to mean those things.

They wouldn't even bother to engage pretty much any of today's conservative or neoliberal talking points, since it'd be obvious to them that these are just excuses for why large groups of people don't deserve life or dignity. Because of this, they'd be accused of derailing or "playing the race card" or "making everything about your gender" if they actually tried to talk about this stuff.

They'd find modern cities about as frightening and unpleasant as we would a medieval town, with its rivers of sewage and excrement thrown from windows.

Their minds would be blown by the almost-complete lack of atheist churches and firebrand atheist preachers, and how Christianity seems to be serving that role instead.

They'd think our computers are hilarious and adorable.

Finally, they'd be very chilly, and need to find clothes to wear that aren't suited for swimming.

About us

~ Fox | Gem | Rei ~

We tell stories, paint minis, collect identity words, and share them all with our readers. If something we write helps you, let us know.

~ She / her ~

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