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)

That was the email heading, for the notice the site I used to write for sent me a few days ago. They're closing up shop, and everything I've ever published there will disappear.

Thus ends 2-3 years' worth of gaslighting, suddenly changing requirements, sidelining me more and more, and making me dread getting emails from them. I'm glad I'd already stopped taking them seriously, but this last email just reminded me how much it hurt and how much I used to have, and used to rely on them for hope and purpose and a belief that my life was worth something.

Hundreds of thousands of people read my exposes of Mormonism, and/or governmental injustice. None of that matters anymore, and it's as though they'd never existed.

I feel like that sums up everything else I've created. My stories are gone from the internet. My identity's still stuck in limbo, since I can't bring myself to go out presenting as female and can't afford the hormones I'd need. None of my RPGs have gone anywhere. Almost all of the friendships I used to have are gone.

If I died tomorrow, how many people would notice? Of those, how many would regret it?

It's morbid, but I keep coming back to that. And my suicide plans are getting more and more well-thought-out.

I'm not writing this because I'm in immediate danger. I'm writing this because I just slept off another depressive episode, and don't want to forget that I did or the reasons I had it. Like I usually do.

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

Incoherent rambling here, sorry about that. But as shiny as technology is, I'm not sure I really want to make a career of it anymore. Whether in writing about it or for it.

Partly because the opportunities are so limited. Not opportunities to be paid to write code (albeit in a probably-misogynist environment), but opportunities to be paid to write interesting code ... which, for me, is code to tell stories. Dozens of people work on AAA games, but only a handful get to use them to tell stories, subject to market pressures.

Even at best, in the "indie game" scene, you still spend a lot more time writing code and drawing animations than you do actually telling a story.

I personally think that the optimum feedback loop, for me, is writing the "code" for a tabletop roleplaying game, which is meant to be "compiled" by players and storytellers. I don't have to provide the art assets. I don't have to explicitly build in options for people's characters -- or if I like, I can do nothing but write options for characters. And I think part of the reason that it's more rewarding is because the debugging cycles are so long, so I have a long time to anticipate how people will react to something.

I still want to tell fiction stories ... and I still want to write a few games and apps. But the ones that I want to make, right now, are aids in GMing a game, or automations of "life sim" aspects of roleplaying games like Pathfinder that most people don't want to play at the table with five other people. Procedural stuff, like Ultimate Campaign's hexmap exploration system, or the Babylon 5 RPG's space trading system, that work best when one person's imagination fills in blanks around a series of random prompts.

I'm not sure I need to learn "programming" to be able to make those. There are things like Project Siena and the Windows App Studio that basically let you write stuff in Excel macros, or automatically generate code. The kinds of things no self-respecting developer would use to make The Next Big Thing, but that let domain experts create basic apps for their own field without special training.

I'm not sure when or if I'll do something like that, but I'm feeling depressed right now realizing software development as a career does not appeal to me. And that I'm old enough I should already have a career but don't, even though I used to. I'm trying to tell a new story, and give myself something to look forward to.

Maybe I should have been selling ebooks all this time, like people have been telling me for ten years or so now.

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

[...] if in a single miraculous instant, every mismatch of geography, skill-set and pay-scale were met and every job opening were filled at once, then two-thirds of our unemployed would remain unemployed. And at that point there would be no reason for any of them to send out résumés, brush up on their interview skills, or do any of that other victim-blaming make-work we expect them to do, unpaid, until such time as someone deigns to allow them to earn a living again.

- Fred Clark (emphasis ours)

If the point of capitalism is to connect supply with demand, it's failing miserably. An entire generation is being sacrificed so that wealthy and comfortable people don't have to question their way of life.

Not that this is anything new; it's just that now it's affecting white people in the first world. So I guess more people are taking notice.

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

Reading about Bitcoin, it occurred to me that these people are in many ways the same as the ones who started the financial crisis. Their lives are devoted to making value from nothing, which is really taking value from the rest of society without giving back anything in return. They're "cheating the system," so to speak.

I keep thinking about how I should be focused on doing the same, because that's what so much of the advice I get says. You do what you have to do, they say, in order to make a living. But realizing that this is what they're doing -- and that the system I'm cheating has women, minors, otherkin, and people of colour in it, and they are the ones who will be hurt the most by my cheating -- gives me pause.

I think I want to make sure that I'm giving fair value to them. Not to an employer; international capitalism can kiss my tailfeathers. Not to a deity; Inari asks only that I be myself. To the people (human and nonhuman alike) and environments which are affected by my attempts at making money, "making a living," or simply surviving, none of which are the same thing.

I feel like I do my best work -- and therefore maximize my chances of doing all the above -- if I act as though there's no consideration besides making things that ought to exist, for people who ought to have them. I feel like this isn't the only reason Apple is taking over, but it's one of the big ones, that they're so idealistic about who will be using their products and what they'll be doing with them.


Click here if you cannot see this video.


This is what I tried to explain to my family of origin, years ago, when I said why I wanted to work on the Internet doing things that I cared about instead of frantically applying for jobs, any jobs. And though I ended up writing for a content farm, I feel like I mostly preserved my integrity, by writing about things I felt people ought to know. Even though I now disagree with much of what I wrote, and even though I sometimes wrote paid advertorials for big companies, and even though ads for people I disagreed with often appeared next to my writing, I tried my best to at least be entertaining. To make the world at least a little better and more humane for my having been in it.

Not because of a corporate mandate, or a divine imperative in the traditional sense, but because that's the kind of person I am.

Inari, to me, is all-encompassing love. She hears everyone's prayers which are directed to her, and even many that aren't, like in my case. If she can't answer them all, or answer them all in the way that we'd want her to, she at least does what she can. Not because anyone's making her, but because that's the kind of person she is.

For me as Taryn, as one of Inari's tails / foxes / selves / avatars, being like her isn't an act of self-sacrifice, but one of self-actualization. And if my idealism led me to be blind to how my efforts were just enriching people who didn't deserve it, that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with being idealistic so much as being too credulous, of people who don't deserve it. And putting abstract principles, like "the truthfulness of the Gospel" or "the Free Software movement," over everyone and everything else, including the people that they are supposed to help.

Including myself.

The fact that I was betrayed isn't my fault, and it isn't a flaw with the entire world that makes the whole thing irredeemable. It's because I was raised to lack a self, and to find it only in being subsumed in rich people's interests. Whether they run Google, Red Hat, the Mozilla Corporation, or the Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The answer isn't to become completely selfish and self-serving, as though it were possible for me (or Rei or Claire) to shut off my empathy.

The answer is to make better friends, and call better people my family.

The answer is to get excited about things I like, and not things others tell me to get excited about.

The answer is to trust myself to do what's right, what comes naturally from being passionate about people and things that I love, while listening to them and empathizing with them and respecting them for who and what they are. Instead of constantly having to check my passion with concerns imposed on me by self-serving, powerful people, about money or others' ideals. Which isn't to say those will never come up, but that insofar as is possible I should be living my life, with the people I care about, instead of living the life global capitalism and its religious and pseudo-religious leaders want me to live.

I am, was, and will be a part of a goddess of wealth and abundance. I want everyone to have what they need and long for, and even some of their frivolous wants. And while I've learned that I have to start with myself, I can't end there. I can't even get started at all if I know in advance that I'll be ending there.

EDIT: And while I tie this into my otherkin identity, I don't feel that I'm unique in being like this.

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

I think this is a phrase which means

"[...] was fairly and consistently rewarded for their efforts."

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

That's how [personal profile] rev_yurodivy describes their political leanings, which are somewhere left of everyone except perhaps Ammon Hennacy.

I personally see myself as somewhere in that neighbourhood also. >_> With that in mind, here's some stuff curated from my readings today, about why Capitalism Sucks Hard and We Need Way More Socialism. Especially where creative professions are concerned.

Content note for incoherent rambling, but leaving unfiltered in case someone wants to commiserate or offer comfort or suggestions.

Read more... )

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

(We have been depressive the last few days, but this is not in response to anything anyone close to us has done and it is not meant to indicate that we are currently feeling suicidal.)

It is always a bad idea to tell someone how unacceptable the choice to kill theirself is. Or to tell others, post-mortem, how unacceptable a suicide victim's choice was.

Because it's not really a choice. It can be a cry for help, it can be a last-ditch escape, but it's never a rational choice in the same way that, say, participating in Nanowrimo is. It's a self-centred choice, but you're never quite so self-centred as when you've become convinced that you shouldn't or don't deserve to exist.

You don't wake up and decide "I want to be really mean to my friends and loved ones today," not any more than a feral fox decides "I'm going to murder a rabbit today." What's necessary for you has suddenly become incompatible with what is convenient, or even necessary, for others. So it doesn't matter how socially, personally, professionally, or even legally unacceptable talking about wanting to kill yourself is, and all that forbidding it does is turn "person at risk of suicide" into an out-caste.

Which, in turn, makes suicides more likely, because it places a lot more pressure on these people and makes them less likely to talk about it.

If you personally can't deal with a suicidal person, because of triggers or prejudice or just plain not knowing how to help, it is not your fault for not helping them, because you can't to begin with. You can try to learn to relate, and to educate yourself about the reasons why people feel this way (mostly economic, political, or medical) and what you can do about them. But heroes are called that because they're exceptional, and no one should blame themselves for not being one.

Going on living when you're suicidal is also a heroic act, though. Asking that of someone you care about is understandable, but demanding it of them is wrong. And mocking or threatening them -- like the person at The Major News Site who basically said she would call the police if I didn't tell her I wasn't going to kill myself after a despairing post I made on their forum the day that I lost my job, or a jerk I read about who got banned from FA for trolling a dead furry's suicide note -- is not only wrong wrong wrong, it also makes things worse for everyone going through this.

It places the burden for dealing with suicidal people onto said people themselves. Which doesn't help anyone, least of all the ones who will have to deal with their loss. And if you are one of those people, those supposed friends and loved ones, it sends the message that their being at risk of dying is a problem for you and you expect them to fix it.

Which is more self-centred than wanting to kill yourself in the first place.

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

Today I wrote the last article I'll ever write for the Major News Site. I will continue to write some material for their lesser-known sites, until that spigot, too, is turned off.

I have a lot of thoughts about this, many of which come from Linds Redding's A Short Lesson in Perspective:

Read more... )

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

A slide deck by Garaan Means that neatly and elegantly destroys much of geek culture, by showing how utterly self-defeating it is to police others based on superficial identity markers while allowing yourself to be exploited by the capitalist nonworking class.

Also by stating the obvious.

I'm not going to try and convince you not to have bacon on your sandwich, but I think the results when we portray ourselves as a group of people who uniformly place great value on cured pork and little value on our lives outside our work are results worth examining.

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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