jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

So apparently, if you log out while you're in your Free Company's estate in FFXIV -- even if you're in your private room at the estate -- when you wake up you're on the front doorstep.

I am imagining a housekeeper who goes around tipping everyone's beds out the window so they can clean under them.

Did I mention I found a new Free Company to hang out with in FFXIV? >_>b The Moogle Conspiracy on Balmung. They're LGBTQ-friendly and seem to be pretty helpful to newbies and stuff as well.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Read all about it. Er, I mean, read all about the dystopian nightmare that Utah has become:

Content note for implied sexual violence.

Read more... )

[personal profile] rev_yurodivy's response on Skype: "Shhh, keep it down, we can't let them know our plans for the future."

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

So, they had Persona 3 Portable on sale for $10 and I decided to pick it up, since [personal profile] rev_yurodivy's played the Persona series extensively and it looked awesome (we quote the Persona 4 comic to each other all the time). Plus, it seems to be the only game in the series to have a female main character. Unfortunately, after learning some stuff about the game's storyline and mechanics we aren't sure we want to play it anymore.

Content note: Spoilers for Persona 3 Portable.

Read more... )

So yeah, I think we're done for now.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (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 foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Apparently, the precedent the federal judge used to overturn Utah's same-sex marriage ban is the same one that was established with the overturn of Prop 8.‏

So if the Mormons hadn't fought so hard to destroy other people's marriages, this never would've happened in the first place.‏

Schadenfreude. I haz it.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

I think this happens when a given ideal becomes an end in itself, and not a means to an end. Suddenly people's lives are based around this ideal, instead of the other way around, and anything that threatens this ideal seems to threaten their lives by extension.

I think this applies to evangelicals going after gays, movement atheists going after theists, and free software zealots going after anything and everything in the world that might make computing and coding more accessible to women. The way things are, or were, or should be, is perfect. If you don't exist in that ideal world, then you shouldn't exist at all.

I think this sort of inhumane idealism is worse than simple inhumaneness of convenience, because it actively seeks out people to destroy them, whether by conversion or by making life as something different impossible. And I think that part of the reason it gets so vicious about it is because it's sublimating the energy that should have gone into questioning its own assumptions, and hearing other people's stories.

I know in my case I spent most of my life not just willing to throw myself away for an ideal, but actively trying to do so. I spent years hating myself for not being the perfect Mormon, and struggling with Linux to try to get it to do what I needed it to. And when I found out that my theritype was a carnivore, I felt sick and wanted to cease to exist, because I felt like every day that I lived was a tragedy.

It's taken a lot of work to try to reconstruct my morality based on what's right for people, including myself, because of how much I saw the very idea mocked. It's supposedly weak, selfish, and dishonest to not sacrifice yourself. But the more I see how dishonest and selfish people who want others to cease to exist are, and how hard it is to convince myself that I shouldn't just curl up and die when I'm asked to, I start to question that. I guess.

I think this is why we're so quick to back down, to infosuicide even, and why it takes forever for us to get to the point where we voice our concerns about something that's hurting us. Deep down, we agree with everyone who's said we don't deserve to exist, for every reason. We consider every request made of us to be reasonable, by default, and every request we make to be an unreasonable imposition.

So when someone tells us to get the hell off their Internet, we already agree with them that we shouldn't be there.

It takes a lot of work to construct the illusion that we deserve to exist, and it's easy for that illusion to vanish.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Think back on all the books, movies, and TV shows you've seen. Think of the families you've seen in them, that you thought were ideal; that you wouldn't mind being a part of; that you really feel there should be more like them in the world.

Now ask yourself: What does the word "family" mean?

  1. A group of people tied together by invisible bonds of love, who will support each other no matter what; try their best to understand and relate to each other no matter how much they change; and sacrifice for each other if necessary.

  2. A person with male-coded genitals and a person with female-coded genitals who get a license from God or the government to use said genitals to produce as many more people as possible, all under the unquestioned rule of the oldest male-coded person.

I always thought #1 was the right definition.

My parents of origin told me that. The church I was born into told me that. The mass media, in the country where I was born, told me that. Everything was love and acceptance and babies and children, and the latter didn't have to come out of the womb of a family member. Adopted children were always, always, true family members. And caring for them was ennobling because they were fragile and vulnerable.

Somehow, while I was growing up, things started to change. A group of people with power, money, and a political agenda tried to redefine marriage and family, to make them more like #2.

Suddenly, we couldn't let kids get adopted, because they deserved to have parents.

Suddenly, we couldn't let people get married, because marriage is super important.

Suddenly, those bonds of love meant nothing, because family is everything.

The worst part is that they don't really believe any of it. Because when they try to defend definition #2, they use #1 for all their examples.

But it's easy to prove that the two aren't the same. All you have to do is talk to one committed same-gender partner, one child with two same-gender parents, or one person who was abused and rejected by her "traditional" family. Because in order for it to be right, no one who doesn't fit in can exist. Everyone has to be faking, or lying. The same way that many of them lie to themselves, telling themselves that they have to get through another day of their miserable lives because this is the only right way, and if they try any other they'll really be miserable.

That was my life for twenty-odd years. That was the fear which kept me bound to it. And which kept me from seeing the real monsters trying to tear down my family of origin were not outside it.

Today is Mother's Day. As a holiday, I'm not sure I like it. I feel like it's another excuse to pretend #2 is the real definition, and to make women and girls feel inferior by giving them impossible role models. Maybe it isn't to everyone, but it's wrong to pretend no one's hurt by how we observe it and talk about it, or accuse them of spoiling things for speaking out.

Having said that, there's no one I'd rather spend it with than my real family. My partners, [personal profile] rev_yurodivy and [personal profile] aliaspseudonym; my sister, [personal profile] cfmv; and my mother especially, [personal profile] burning_ground.

She's been there for me for the last couple years, helping me talk through ideas and see what is really important. She's been nothing but supportive of me, through everything I've had to go through, and has provided material help when said materials were hard to come by. She's also great at creative writing and spiritual / theological musings.

In our personal belief system, feeding another person is an act of worship and gratitude, and a way to honour Inari. We're grateful to have been fed by [personal profile] burning_ground, in more ways than one. And whatever the future holds, we hope to make her proud of us.

(2015 Update Edit: Yuro is no longer partnered with us, and cfmv has cut us off after converting to a conservative religion. It hurt us to lose each of them. We hope to someday find new family members.)

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

"To be really concrete, 10 times as much content comes from the user base for TF2 as comes from us," [Valve CEO Gabe] Newell said. "So we think we're super productive and kind of badass at making TF2 content, but even at this early stage, we cannot compete with our own customers in the creation of content for this environment. The only company we've ever met that kind of kicks our ass is our customers. We'll go up against Bungie, or Blizzard, or anybody but we won't try to compete with our own user base, because we already know we're going to lose.

"Once we start building the interfaces for users to start selling their content to each other, we start to see some surprising things," Newell added.

http://www.polygon.com/2013/2/1/3941274/gabe-newell-steam-box-talk-ut (Trigger warning for ablism)

On the one hand, this is sort of inspiring because it's a corporate leader who Gets It about fanwork being valuable. Team Fortress 2 players are actually making money from their creations.

On the other hand, it's really not "democratic" so much as it's an entire market completely owned and controlled by one company, which exists at that company's whim. TF2 fans have no legally-recognized right to the title, or to sell their in-game hats for it.

EVE Online's players at least have a democratically-elected, officially-recognized council, with a say in what goes on in New Eden (and with representatives whose character can reflect that game's brutal playerbase (TW for suicide)). All that TF2 fans have is an unusual privilege.

Newell goes on to talk about how all of your MMO achievements are tied to one company:

The future of the Steam marketplace, Newell said, is to ensure that goods can be more permanent in a player's collection; that they can be transferrable and exchangeable between titles. He called to fault the MMO model of player progression: Characters level up, purchase new items, then when you play a new game, everything you worked for is gone. Game creators currently have a "whimsical notion" of player's property rights, Newell said.

"It's like, 'Hey, I'll sell you a house, and you can do a bunch of work, paint it and put furniture in it, and then, when you go to a new house, we're going to burn that one down,'" Newell said.

It's ironic that he should say that, though, because that's how the whole of Steam works. Buying games from Steam is like renting a game console at the store and leaving all of your purchases there with it, and losing access to them forever if your identity changes or you get banned somehow. I had to abandon several games because my account was forever tied to an old, pre-transition identity, and there wasn't a way to change that which I saw.

I'm glad that someone's thinking about how these things affect people, and taking their rights seriously instead of being classist and ageist. I'd feel a lot better if it wasn't a white cismale guy in charge of a corporation and trying to figure out how to make money from it, though.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Content note: Describes religious bigotry and homophobia.

So I was playing an RPG called Cthulhu Saves the World, where the titular squamous horror awakens only to be deprived of his powers. And now he has to go on a quest and become a "true hero," so he can get his powers back and destroy the world.

And it's funny. Not laugh-out-loud hilarious but cute. It helped distract me from the crisis I'm going through right now. Until I ran into this part in the "Hall of Heroes" where one of the characters is rattling off a list of "true heroes," and one of them is Alma the Younger.

Read more... )

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Note: This is the second part of a furry transformation story inspired by Demon: the Fallen. You can read the first part here. A prequel of sorts is here.

Content note: Trigger warning for implied previous rape, homophobia and internalized homophobia, and spiritual abuse. Contains non-explicit nudity and censored descriptions of sexual acts. Blasphemes Mormon beliefs shamelessly.

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Read more... )

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Summary: Another short writing experiment inspired by Demon: the Fallen. Continues the story of Glass and Fire, this time in the mortal world.

Content Note: Transformation, possession, non-explicit nudity.

Trigger Warning: Implied rape, internalized homophobia. Spiritual abuse.

Conservative Mormons will find this story extremely offensive. Members of other Abrahamic faiths may find it unsettling as well.

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Read more... )

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Summary: A short writing experiment inspired by Demon: the Fallen, the His Dark Materials trilogy, and bits and pieces of Mormon theology. Part one of a character backstory for a D:tF chronicle. Definitely neither GM-approved yet nor canon.

Content Note: Some violence (nothing graphic). Don't read if you belong to an Abrahamic faith and are sensitive about religious matters.

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Read more... )

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)
Content note: This essay will very briefly touch on Mormon religious concepts, as an illustration to a point. This is not just more ranting about stuff that I used to believe.

The concept in question is the idea of "eternal progress." I was taught that this was something which set my old church apart from the Brand X(-tian) churches out there, which all supposedly thought we'd be sitting on clouds in heaven and singing forever and ever. On top of that, we supposedly had "continuing revelation" even in this life, where God's living prophet would tell us new things which were tailored for our day and age.

I really believed all of this. And I believed that "heaven," for that matter, wasn't simply an unquestionably good place that believers were rewarded with. Rather, I believed that there were two kinds of people who didn't go to heaven: The unworthy who knew and regretted their unworthiness, and the unworthy who didn't see heaven as heaven because they'd been twisted around so much they didn't know up from down. They didn't want to go there, and if they could it wouldn't be heaven to them. They simply couldn't appreciate it.

(I may have mixed in some Planescape theology there.)

A couple years after I left my old church, it hit me that this was exactly right. Because back there, they were still teaching the same "Sunday School answers" to every problem, at least the ones they acknowledged existed. And God's living prophet was still telling the same old stories about widows and stuff. Even their new website about "Mormons and Gays" (trigger warning for homophobia) explicitly says "we don't know" why God doesn't want gays to get married. This is what it's come to, now that their old reasons have been disproven. And while the rest of the first world is moving towards marriage equality, they're having a hissy fit over women wearing pants to church.

It's progress, but it's glacially slow and decades behind. And most of their discourse is still the same-old.

Progressive software

Why do I bring all this up? Because I've been realizing how unhealthy it is for me to dwell on that garbage, and trying to find new things to occupy my time with. And while looking at different forums and blogs, I realized I felt more at home on Planet Ubuntu than most more traditional "Free Software" blogs, although Planet GNOME's a close second and I also like Máirín Duffy's blog. And I realized the reason why was the same as with the above: Because in my personal experience, Free Software zealots in the vein of the Free Software Foundation are fundamentalists, who are as anti-progressive as the ones in the church that I left.

So while GNOME is moving design radically forward, they're throwing fits about it. While Máirín's teaching Girl Scouts to use Inkscape, they're making fun of her and staging juvenile protests on Planet Fedora, against the idea of making it easier to use and get involved with. And while the Outreach Program for Women is bringing new writers and contributors into the fold, they're trolling our blogs and insisting we're making stuff up about harassment and other issues that they do not face.

(I realize "they" is amorphous here, so for the sake of discussion it means "the people who do these things." I associate "them" with the FSF because I see it as the least progressive, most fundamentalist arm of the Free Software movement, which I associate in my mind more with their boycotts and insistence on purity than anything -- like the GNU project, or the gcc compiler, or the GPL -- that they may have actually done or created at some point. I'm open to being proven wrong here; I'm aware that people and organizations change, and have been especially impressed with some of Microsoft's recent products. This is just an impression I have, based on who they call their enemy and why.)

I guess what I'm saying is I realized I like the culture in Ubuntu and GNOME, where the emphasis is on moving forward (albeit in different directions for different reasons), and on bringing this stuff that we have to as many people as possible, and even on changing it so as to be more useful and accessible. Whereas in other projects, and communities, and of course churches, I see more of an emphasis on preaching (or appearing to preach) the same fundamentals over and over again, to the point of insulting people it doesn't appeal to or help instead of asking them why.

Progressive gaming?

I realize it's slightly ironic that I'm saying all this when my favourite computer game ever was made about 10 years ago. >_> In FFXI's case, though, I really haven't seen anything better at doing what it does best, for me personally. Most MMOs these days tend to copy World of Warcraft, with its looting and button-mashing and information overload UI. And they don't even do a good job of it.

For me, FFXI isn't a game so much as a world, that I experience in a particular way. It has a minimalist interface that's designed to be played with a game controller. It's immersive, and sort of invites contemplation. Chatting's normally done by text instead of headset. And the pace is extremely different. The only games I know of which come close to how it feels (which I didn't describe very well) are PlayStation Home and FFXIV, both of which I either play or am hoping to play when it comes to the PS3.

I realize now that a lot of the things I lament about missing, that were around in the "good old days" of FFXI, are things that made the game hostile to newbies. I feel good about triumphing over them, but countless others got discouraged and left. I like seeing the game make some progress on this front, and I have high hopes for FFXIV: A Realm Reborn. I want to see this style of game that I like stay young, and bring in new players. I don't want to only be surrounded by people my age, and with my exact preferences. And I don't want all that we talk about to be how things aren't like what they used to be.

In conclusion

I guess there's not really a point to all this. I just figured I ought to write more Dreamwidth essays. Most of the realizations I've been having and progress I've been making, in the last few weeks, I've only been sharing on Skype. I figure I ought to change that, since people seem to like my writing.
jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)
Because I keep running into people I want to tell this to.
Every day that I read religious blogs, I see comments and posts by atheists that I think they would find offensive if they were aimed at them by religious conservatives.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not saying you don't have the right to be upset about how you've been treated. I've blasphemed my parents' religion all over the place, in profound and insightful ways and in more juvenile ones as well. I think the world needs more blasphemy. There are a lot of awful and inhumane teachings, that are ruining real people's lives and that not nearly enough people are challenging.

The thing is, atheists aren't in this alone. It's not a battle of "freethinkers versus religion." It's a battle of "oppressive conservative religion versus minority belief systems." Most atheists, Buddhists, druids, Wiccans, or neopagans wouldn't outlaw competing belief systems if they somehow got to be in charge. The petty tyrants who run conservative Christianity and Islam would.

So I realize it seems ironic to say this to atheists, but this is bigger than who's right about unprovable metaphysical stuff. Quakers, Unitarians, UCCers, people in the belief systems I just mentioned; few of them are your enemies, and all of them can be your allies.

You're not the only ones who are being oppressed, or who've had to face angry parents and family members who think you've been led astray by the devil. You're not the only ones who've read lists of logical fallacies, and applied them to the church you grew up in. And the fact that you feel you came to the "right" conclusions regarding God and the afterlife doesn't make you better than liberal believers. It just makes you a religious supremacist, the same as your conservative enemies.

If you don't like that idea, then here's some advice for you.

Read more... )
jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)
To recap for those who are just now reading Planet GNOME or who don't subscribe at all, today Michael Meeks wrote:
Fair enough getting aggressive against stalking, groping and such horrors; but encouraging censorship of "offensive" verbal comments related to sexual orientation, religion etc. looks like a persecutors charter in the making. What is offensive ? and to whom ? the fear being that -very- quickly such good aspirations slide from "applied common sense" into a militant denial of a basic right to reasonably critique others' world-views.
This was in response to a section of the GUADEC (a GNOME users' and developers' conference) attendees' policy which said:
Harassment includes offensive verbal comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, unauthorized or inappropriate photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.
Danielle Madeley has already written about this from the perspective of a woman who has experienced sexual harassment, and linked to the Geek Feminism wiki's conference anti-harassment policy resources.

If I understand Michael Meeks' comment correctly, it sounds like he's on board with rules forbidding sexual harassment. What he seems to be concerned with are rules forbidding "'offensive' verbal comments related to sexual orientation, religion etc." This is consistent with the time in March that he wrote in support of a Planet Mozilla blogger, Gervase Markham, who wrote a post to Planet Mozilla asking people to sign a petition against marriage equality for same-gender couples in the UK. Meeks wrote:
Unamused to see Gerv getting duffed up for being different; apparently 'diversity of opinion' is proving unexpectedly hard to embrace in some parts of Mozilla land.
I'd just like to say that I have some experience with getting duffed up for being different.

A few days ago, the driver of one of the city buses asked me and [personal profile] rev_yurodivy if we were married yet. After they said no, we weren't, the driver told us that if we weren't married we'd go to hell.

I let her know that I didn't personally care where we ended up, and that I was just grateful that we could get married in this state.

On the bus ride back home, we got treated to a fifteen-minute yelling rant about Jesus, and Hell, and salvation, and how the fires of Hell burn seven times hotter than something-or-other. I didn't catch all of it, because I was turning up the volume on my noise-canceling earbuds and waiting for it to be over. Because I'm poor, and I don't have a car, and I need the drivers' help to load our portable shopping cart using the wheelchair lift, and I'm afraid that they'll stop if they decide they don't like us. Because there's noplace else we can go.

"What is offensive ? and to whom ?"

GUADEC has already spelled out its answers to these questions. Michael Meeks objects on the grounds that he has the "basic right" to persecute people for their sexual orientation or religion. And he defends people like Gervais, who make participating in open-source projects like riding my town's buses for LGBT hackers.

Well, I'm an LGBT hacker. And if Michael Meeks attends the same conference as me, I don't expect that he'll beat me, call me a tranny, or yell at me about how I'm going to Hell. But I have no idea when the next time will be that he'll post something like this on Planet GNOME, which reminds me that people like me don't belong here. I have no idea if or when he's going to raise a stink about my using the women's room at a conference, or complain about my being here as part of the Outreach Program for Women, or complain that this post constitutes harrassment of him and have me removed from the Planet. Because I don't know what he or others consider "reasonable" critique of my opinion that I have the right to exist. I just know that they feel they have a "basic right" to express that critique, to the point of being able to mobilize people politically to enforce it. Anywhere, at any time.

That's why I was afraid to even post a hackergotchi head, in case I didn't look feminine enough. Or in case my family, which basically threw me away when I came out to them as transgender, ever recognized it.

That's what being persecuted is like. That's what being afraid of being persecuted is like. That's what it's like when you've had people attack you just for existing, and you've seen people in spaces you frequent attack others just for existing, or defend those who do. You start to hide, because you don't want it to happen to you. You just want to buy groceries or write developer docs, and forget about the politics that people are waging to try to get you to disappear.

But bringing those politics into hacker spaces isn't a "basic right." They are about denying basic rights to others.

Policies like GUADEC's aren't about preventing all criticism of any kind, to the point where we can't even decide what technologies to adopt without worrying about hurting somebody's feelings. They're about respecting diversity of opinion. Instead of making ironic statements about it, that show you don't understand why people are getting mad at and afraid of those who duff them up just for being different.

They're about taking a stand against harassment of any kind, and refusing to play politics when people's lives are at stake.

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~ 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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