fierynotes: Picture of Destruction, from the Sandman series, reading a book and slinging a guitar. (Default)
This is my front page. If you want me to add you, drop me a line here. Or, add me. Either way, I'll check you out. You can also drop me a line here if, for instance, you don't have my email address. All comments here are screened.

This post also includes every tag I have -- this is because my current LJ style doesn't include a tag index. (At least half of my participation on LJ is on my phone. I chose this style because, as bare-bones as it is, it loads quickly and it's still readable on a small screen.)

I'd tell you more about myself, but that's what my profile -- and the rest of my LJ -- is for.
fierynotes: Picture of Tarvek, from Girl Genius, facepalming. (facepalm)
I will not write slashfic starring Melissa McEwan and Paul Elam.
I will not write slashfic starring Melissa McEwan and Paul Elam.
I will not write slashfic starring Melissa McEwan and Paul Elam.

(Sits on hands.)

...I will not write slashfic starring Melissa McEwan and Paul Elam.
I will not write slashfic starring Melissa McEwan and Paul Elam.
I will not write slashfic starring Melissa McEwan and Paul Elam.
I will not write slashfic starring Melissa McEwan and Paul Elam.
I will not write slashfic starring Melissa McEwan and Paul Elam.
I will not write slashfic starring Melissa McEwan and Paul Elam.
I will not write slashfic starring Melissa McEwan and Paul Elam.

(Twitches nervously.)

Dammit, I don't have time to write it. I mean, yes, I could easily the dirty talk between them, as they try to one-up each other in how much "donation" money they can get from their suckers. Paul would brag about getting money from some guy on unemployment, Lis would brag about getting money from someone who's down to $5 of child support money...


I will not write slashfic starring Melissa McEwan and Paul Elam.
I will not write slashfic starring Melissa McEwan and Paul Elam.
I will not write slashfic starring Melissa McEwan and Paul Elam.
I will not write slashfic starring Melissa McEwan and Paul Elam.
I will not write slashfic...
fierynotes: Picture of Daimon, from Marvel comics, without a shirt.  'Look at me, I have muscles!' (flirty)
As part of my research for an upcoming project, I bought Thor v.1: The God Butcher. I'd like to quote the captions from the first page. (Keep in mind that in comics, word placement is kinda important, and that's going to make the punctuation look odd when the words are laid out in plain old text. Don't fault the grammar... there's plenty to fault in the content.)

"The frost giant had terrorized these people for weeks. It had eaten three goats, four dogs, and two children. The mothers of the village prayed for help from the gods. And help they did receive.

"I led a group of twenty men, tracking the giant to its den in the highlands. It battled us for hours, swinging trees and hurling boulders. Many vikings found their way to Valhalla. Until my axe hacked its guts to bloody slush and lopped off its head.

"That was four days ago. Since then I have eaten more goats than the frost giant, drank enough mead to drown a dozen sailors, and made love to half the women in the village.

"I am Thor Odinson. God of thunder. Prince of Asgard. Heir to the throne of the realm eternal. I love my life."

I'll be going to a convention in a little over a month, and no doubt the subject of comics will come up. If I hear anyone talk about how sure, comics have lots of top-heavy minimally-dressed anatomically-impossible women for horny teenage boys to look like, but hey, look, Thor looks impressive as hell without a shirt, and he's also anatomically impossible and he's for women, I intend to point to the quote above and laugh at them. Because seriously, he's the most fearsome warrior ever, parties like a fratboy, and taps every chick in the house. That's to-o-otally what women want. To-o-o-o-o-o-otally not a male power fantasy of any kind.

(I'm being unfair to the writer here. The story is actually quite good, and the villain, though horrifying, is engaging and believable... at least as believable as is possible given that we're dealing with gods here. For all the mystery around the villain -- we only learn about the villain a little at a time -- he's better-fleshed-out than Thor is, so the writer is clearly capable. So, it's not that he couldn't. He just didn't.)

Other writers treat Thor better. I remember seeing a frame online in which Thor grills a whole bunch of meat for his comrades... including hot dogs, though he disapproves of them and isn't shy about what he thinks of the quality of meat in them. "I attempted a lobster as well, but the beast defeated me." And honestly, I liked the hell out of the movies -- there was character growth, humor, and scenes that made it clear that the writers want to get women into the audience.

(I'm totally going to be accused of being a fake geek-boy in about five weeks! It should be fun.)
fierynotes: Picture of Discord. (discord)
This filk is dedicated to a certain group of sad, bitter, hateful, misogynist assholes who think that they're owed pussy, and they're angry that the world doesn't just hand it to them, and they rail and gnash about how they're doomed -- DOOMED! -- to eternal involuntary celibacy (because all women are superficial cunts who can't see what great guys they are). Oddly, many such neckbeards are apparently Rush fans... so filking a Rush song seems especially appropriate.

(I should add that I have sixteen of Rush's CDs on my computer myself. Not all of us are neckbeards, I promise!)


On certain sites
if your log-in is right
You will find the creepy and desperate.

They're so dismayed
that they'll never get laid.
Must be 'cos all women are against them.

Loveshy -- they sleep alone tonight.
Women just ignore the loveshy.
Loveshy -- all females out of reach.
Scaring them away, it's loveshy.

You could sympathize
With all these poor guys.
They are sad and badly damaged.

But save your tears,
When a lady appears,
They say "bitch, make me a sammich."

Loveshy -- they sleep alone tonight.
Women just ignore the loveshy.
Loveshy -- their dicks are in their hands.
Wanking's all they get, it's loveshy.

They're so afraid,
They will never get laid
Without some form of payment.

They're bitter jerks,
Typing bitter words
From their parents' basements.

Loveshy -- their dicks are in their hands.
Wanking's all they get, it's loveshy.
Loveshy -- all females out of reach.
Women just avoid the loveshy.
Women just avoid the loveshy.
fierynotes: Picture of Tarvek, from Girl Genius, facepalming. (facepalm)
I've been dipping too much into the deep end of the so-called Manosphere again. Perhaps it's because I'm in a much happier place lately (a new job I like a lot more than my last one will do that), but it doesn't anger me as much as it once did. But whatever, I'm feeling magnanimous enough to give them advice. Not that they'll ever take it, but here goes...

Guys? There's this thing called No True Scotsman. It's a fallacy, but you should use it anyway. Whenever one of the people on your side says something horrible (which is often), say "we're not all like that." As evidenced by the number of people who use it in reference to Christian lunatics, bullies, and other assholes, despite being a fallacy, it often does work.

If you're going to claim that rationality is a uniquely male trait, try not to look like a raving lunatic. Not that it will help, since even if you're rational, most of your cohorts are raving lunatics. See my previous paragraph. Whenever one of them says horrible and irrational things like "the idea of fucking your shit up gives me an erection" with respect to feminists (which is often), just say "we're not all like that."

If you're going to claim that self-awareness is a uniquely male trait, show some of it. Speaking as a man who is more self-aware than most, my self-awareness is reflected in my words and deeds. I am aware that my actions have effects on my fellow human beings, and I try to judge my actions accordingly... sometimes, to the point that I have to break myself out of a a certain kind of over-cautious paralysis. If you behave like a typical thoughtless clod, you either lack this self-awareness you claim women lack, or you have it and you just do whatever the hell you feel like anyway because you're self-aware and that's how nature made you... which makes you a rationalizing animal, not a rational one.

If you're going to claim that women have been conditioned to demand weddings that cost tens of thousands of dollars... well, true, women don't need an expensive wedding. People don't "need" expensive cellphones either. (My cellphone was less than a hundred, with no contract. Apple's iPhone 5 and Samsung's Note II are both over six, unless you're in the US and you're okay with a cellphone company owning your soul for two years.) People don't "need" expensive cars. People don't "need" high-end computers. (I'm typing this screed up on a three-hundred-dollar netbook. The MacBook Pro starts at four times that. There are people who actually need high-powered computers, but if your primary use of your computer is typing up anti-woman rants on the internet, you're probably not one of them.) Your complaint here isn't with women. It's with the force of (un)nature known as Marketing, and it affects all of us. Any "rational" person would see that, rather than cherry-picking one example and blaming women for it.

If you're going to claim that men invented civilization and that women are just not capable of doing anything important but they can sure hate men while using all the tools men gave them, make sure you're not composing your sexist rants while using wifi (which Hedy Lamar helped develop, since she invented frequency hopping), nor software (which Grace Hopper helped develop, since she invented the compiler), nor hardware (Lady Ada Lovelace). I feel safe in suggesting that the printing press is probably free of feminine influence¹. Try using that. Otherwise, you'll be condemning the people who gave you the gifts you take for granted... sorta like you accuse women of doing.

If you're going to claim that teh ebil feminists are painting all men with an overly broad brush, be very careful when discussing hypergamy. If you're claiming men are all misjudged one moment and spouting off shit that sounds like "all women are gold-digging cunts because science" the next, you're gonna look like a ginormous hypocrite. Actually, you should be very careful when discussing women generally, period.

If you're going to claim that women are all lying bitches when it comes to rape and that rape is a really rare thing, you should try to silence the evo-psych preachers in your own ranks who speak about "rape as a historically viable reproductive strategy," and the MRAs who try to excuse rape by suggesting that men can't help themselves because they're "drunk on feminine beauty." Failing that, just say "we're not all like that." No, that really won't help, now that I think about it. Best to just drop the "lying bitches" line altogether.

If you're going to claim that rape is really no big deal and that women are just making a mountain out of a molehill, you shouldn't make a big deal out of it when rape happens to men, too (TW). Doing this makes it look like you're okay with rape as long as it only happens to women, which is a morally reprehensible position.

If you actually care about stopping rape from happening to men, start your own discussions for it. It's a serious subject, one that intersects with masculine expectations as well as humane treatment of prisoners, and it deserves its own space. If you do all this, you'll find many feminists that agree with you -- the whole idea that rape is acceptable when committed against certain people is one of those things feminism is against. As it is, if you barge into a discussion of rape as it happens to women and demanding that the subject change to men, that cheapens both subjects. It makes it clear that you think stopping rape from happening to men is more important than stopping it from happening to women, and it takes the serious subject of rape against men and reduces it to a tool for silencing discussion.

If you're going to claim that women have it easy, and that (for instance) all the bad shit in wars is happening to men and not women, try to do it in a crowd that's not smart enough to google for war crimes while adding terms like "vitriolage," "rape camp," or "fistula" (TW). Also, try to make sure they're not smart enough to understand that tactics like siege, terrorism, and insect warfare aren't exactly gender-discriminate. This means never make this claim in front of any feminist, or even any budding feminist over the age of twelve. Save that for the Voice for Men and MGTOW fora, where they'll actually believe that shit.

And finally, if you're going to claim that "equality" means that you can now hit women for being annoying, because women don't need special protection anymore, consider how many times you've hit other men. Chances are, this is a very low number. Now, consider all the people who want to hit you for being annoying, but refrain from doing so because we're civilized. Women aren't asking for a special privilege, here. They're asking for the same freedom from being hit that you already have.

    1. I should add, since most of the Manosphere claims that all progress is made by alpha and beta males working to support wives and offspring, that while the printing press might be safe and hypocrisy-free to use, paper isn't. I don't know what Greek letter they put in front of "male" to refer to eunuchs, but I feel safe in guessing it's not alpha or beta.
fierynotes: Picture of Discord. (discord)
Have you seen this video?

The video is hidden under a cut because the preview image is a pair of tits. Aside from bordering on NSFW, it's not exactly a clear representation of the subject of the guy speaking in the video. )

It's a character named Dan Cardamon, who is a complete MRA, PUA, EP, and DB. He's a character created to mock certain attitudes that are common in those groups, and the actor playing him ought to be applauded: from the disdain in every word, to the fedora, his performance is pitch-perfect. It's hilarious... and kinda depressing.

I don't normally recommend looking in YouTube comments, but the comments in this video are full of lolz and butthurt, and no doubt the lolz and butthurt are growing by the hour. I haven't seen this level of butthurt in response to obvious humor since Paul Elam over at AVfM decided that the tweet "kill all men hail satan" was hate speech against men!

...but feminists are the ones who don't have a sense of humor, amirite?
fierynotes: Picture of Hotstreak, from the cartoon Static Shock.  He looks annoyed. (annoyed)
So, I hear Angelina Jolie has had some surgery.

I would love to get all unrighteously indignant and shit, but... I can't be arsed. Y'see I have this shocking and controversial belief that each person's body belongs to them, and to them alone. It's why I'm pro-choice with respect to abortion. It's why I object to laws against drugs like marijuana. It's why I feel people shouldn't feel pressured to get things like botox or face lifts, and it's also why I support anyone who actually does. It's why I feel I shouldn't have to justify my gym habits to anyone, and paradoxically, it's also why I don't think fat people should have to justify their lack of gym habits to anyone. Aaaand, it's why I'm not getting all upset over Angelina Jolie's surgery.

Getting truly upset about it is really only possible if you're a douchebro who thinks that Angelina Jolie had an obligation to keep her breast tissue to you, the red-blooded male cinema going public, and that this obligation trumps any health risks she may have faced if she kept it. Don't be that douchebro.
fierynotes: Picture of a black sockpuppet. (footsie)
So, there's this study that's making the rounds about women prefering larger penises. And the article alludes to past studies that show women have preferences with respect to male body shape as well (tall and trapezoidal). Good news for guys who are tall, hung, and trapezoidal, right?

First, I'd like to get into the limitations of that study. Forgetting for a moment the limitations of any study with only 105 subjects... all it did was have women looking at images. "Women enjoy looking at larger penises" is a reasonable conclusion from that. "Women have greater initial attraction to men with larger penises" is also a reasonable conclusion. "Women enjoy sex more when the man has a larger penis" can be sorta kinda inferred from this study, but any scientist with a brain would want to do a separate study¹ rather than cite this one before making that conclusion. All we really have from this experiment is "women like looking at big ones" -- and considering what we already know about sexual selection in humans, this ain't a new revelation. (We seriously outclass all other primates with respect to penis size, and we probably don't stack up too badly against horses, either, if you account for the huge body weight difference².) One might wonder why this study needed to be done at all.

Or at least, that's what I thought until I read the comments. Wow, this article brought out the assholes. In fact, I think that the real experiment was to publish this study in a widely-read forum, and then count and categorize the responses.

To the guy who referred to this study as "junk science"? That was a bad pun and you should feel bad. I hate you for thinking of it before I did.

To all you guys who are complaining that women look at things and judge you unfairly on purely physical features? If you have ever watched a porno, you can shut the hell up. Women have been complaining about this for years, and you've been ignoring it. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, you start whining?

To all you guys who are yelling about how a man's bank account is the variable that scientists should be looking at? I did a years-long experiment of my own, with a single test subject who is tall (constant), hung (constant)³, trapezoidal (varies over t)... and frequently broke. While there are obviously problems with a study using a sample size of one... my anecdata experimental data does not support your conclusions. But hey, as long as you get to shout some more about how women are gold-diggers by nature...!

And finally, to the commenter named Velvet? Assuming you're for real, and not either a very subtle troll, or a social scientist trying to gauge commenter responses to certain stimuli... you're being far too nice. Especially since some of the replies you're getting have been really rude, and you're still being nice. You're never going to get their approval. And more to the point, you don't need their approval.

    1. And can you imagine what that study would look like? I have several ideas of what that kind of study would look like, and most of them would result in a laboratory looking like a porno set. Using human men of various sizes is problematic, because the bigger guys are going to go into the experiment with more confidence that the smaller ones, and that variable is going to be hard to isolate. Using machines with replaceable heads of various sizes has problems as well, since there's a human element to sex that just isn't there if you're using custom jackhammers. The easiest way to do that would be to make a bunch of Gigolo Joes, from the movie AI, and equip them all differently but leave the programming identical... but obviously, our technology isn't there yet.

      While I'm sure a lot of scientists would think a study like this would be a really interesting way to spent grant money, doing a credible study on this would be a lot of hard work. And not "hard" in any of the fun ways.

    2. To verify this, one could take the penile volume of the average human and the average horse (remembering, of course, that a cylinder's volume is its length times its width squared times π/4), and divide them each by the weight of the average human and the average horse, respectively. If you are okay with having questions like "how big is a horse's penis" in your search history, I encourage you to crunch those numbers yourself.

    3. Usual disclaimer that when a guy claims he has a big dick on the internet, he should not expect to be taken at his word.

fierynotes: Picture of Arsenal, from DC comics, looking very pissed off. (violent)
So, if you haven't heard -- and holy crap, will some of you be hearing more about this! -- a promising football player was falsely accused of rape, spent five years locked away, spent five more years with an electronic bracelet being told "I'm sorry, the position's already been filled" after job interviews (if his job applications even got that far -- most of them probably did not) and was recently exonerated. During this time, the alleged rape victim's family sued the school where it happened, on the grounds that there would have been no rape if the school had taken steps to ensure the safety of its students, and won a seven-figure settlement.

You can't see it, but I'm groaning already, because I know what's going to happen next.

In certain circles, a bunch of people (mostly angry bitter men) will start howling for this woman's blood. They will take a moment to pretend to have some compassion for the football player, and then move on to their real targets: the accuser and her mom. They're going to wax lyrical about how all successful societies put harsh restrictions on female sexuality and how we're failing as a society because women are free to fuck whoever they want. Then they're going to claim that this case is a perfect example of bitches being unable to take responsibility for their own actions and would rather ruin an innocent man's life than admit to consensual sex and risk facing consequences for it. (Note that it takes no small feat of mental gymnastics to be capable of making both of these claims at once. Don't try it yourself unless you're already an accomplished bullshit gymnast -- you'll sprain something.)

After having spent years complaining that women are out to take the occasional rape as evidence that all men are rapists, and how unfair it is to judge all men based on the actions of a few... they'll claim that this one case is a reflection on all women. (Again, don't try this feat of mental gymnastics on your own.) They'll claim that nearly all rape accusations are fabrications. They'll point at the $1.5 million settlement and claim that all women are money-grubbing whores because hypergamy hypergamy hypergamy¹, and no doubt they'll shriek with alarm that women have figured out how to make tons of money ruining a man's life without even having to marry him!

Turning away from those assholes for a moment... a human being was falsely accused of a felony. His life was overturned by it, and several years of his life were stolen from him. I am not arguing that he wasn't the victim of a serious injustice -- he very clearly was. We, as a society, owe him for that, and there are conversations worth having about that. But these conversations would be just as important if the human being in question were imprisoned over false murder accusations, or a bank robbery he didn't commit. And certain denizens of certain slime pits aren't interested in having those conversations, except when it's rape.

Grr. Don't mind me. I'm partly pissed because one of my favorite online haunts has been remarkably free of slime-pitters until very recently.

    1. Hypergamy refers to a women marrying above her own station. When real scientists use the term, it's often in reference to cultures or groups in which marriage is arranged, and can be fairly applied to, say, women marrying into greater privilege under India's caste system, or a marquess marrying a duke (which usually has political implications far beyond the coupling).

      When the term comes up in slime pits, it's shorthand for "women are wired by evolution to look for good providers for their future children, ergo it's a scientific fact that all women are money-grubbing gold-digging cunts."

fierynotes: Picture of Destruction, from the Sandman series, reading a book and slinging a guitar. (creative)
A while ago (here on LJ, here on DW), I wrote a short post attacking the idea that women are intrinsically incapable of making substantial contributions to science, and offered five examples as proof that they were. I didn't know, per se, that it was International Women's Day at the time, but considering that I do spend time on the internet and the internet did know it, I'm not surprised by the timing of my post.

Over on Pharyngula, PZ Myers offers a much bigger list. Also, read the comments -- yet more names appear there. (PZ confined himself to women who won Nobels, or should have, and thus didn't mention Grace Hopper, for instance. Commenters did not. The only name on my list that didn't get mentioned over there was Wetterhahn, and that's likely because metal toxicology is a rather obscure and specialized field compared to computer science.)

(On a more personal note... my grandfather worked in computers, and had clearances up the wazoo. My dad knows relatively little about what his pop did because there was so little of it he could talk about, and not talking about work at all was easier than trying to decide what he could and couldn't. Still, from what little information I have, it seems it's possible that my grandfather knew Amazing Grace, and maybe even worked with her. Sadly, I doubt I'll ever know for sure.)
fierynotes: Picture of Hotstreak, from the cartoon Static Shock.  He looks annoyed. (annoyed)
I've been reading various fonts of evo-spy online again. Let's not go into the reasons.

The people preaching Evolutionary Psychology have been known to spew lots of just-so stories, blatant overgeneralizations, and out-and-out lies¹, but there's one I've now seen a few times that I'd like to point out. Apparently, men invented civilization. Every advance humanity has ever made has been made by humans with penises. Women are simply not capable of doing the kind of work necessary to bring humanity down out of the trees, let alone forward into the future.

Now, I don't want to take away from those advances that were made by men, but this claim is utter bullshit. Well, historically, it has some basis in fact... if you're keeping women out of Higher Education, they're obviously not going to be able to contribute much in academia, which is where a lot of scientific development happens, and they're not going to be able to contribute much in business if business only hires people with degrees, where is where the rest of development happens. Why give women a chance at degrees when their job is staying home with the kids, right? So, yes. Many of history's scientific achievements were in fact made by men.

As for the belief that women are incapable (which is then used to justify the belief that women should just give up on being fully functional human beings and go home and have kids and keep house and fuck their husbands, as this is all they're fit for)... there are many counterexamples. What follows are a few of my favorites.

Lise Meitner: One of the pioneers in physics. She helped discover nuclear fission. She was offered a job in the Manhattan Project, and refused for moral reasons. (Please note that whether she took the job or not, she was clearly qualified, or it would never have been offered to her.) Her colleague at the time won a Nobel, and had the world been a fair place, she would have shared it with him. She currently enjoys an abstract form of immortality filling in space 109 on the Periodic Table, but since she helped fill in space 91 in life, she'd probably be pleased by that.

Grace Hopper: One of the pioneers in computer science. She wrote the first compiler, and trust me, if you want to write programs in something more than two steps above raw numbers, compilers are vital. She helped develop the idea of machine-independent code, which is wonderful if you want to just copy your program from one machine to a different one instead of rewriting it from scratch. She lectured regularly on the need for computers to be user-friendly, which is great if you want to use computers without being a computer scientist.

Hedy Lamarr: If you've studied cinematic history, you may be aware that Hedy Lamarr was stunningly beautiful. What doesn't get mentioned as often is her skills in math. She helped invent frequency hopping, which is wonderful if you use bluetooth devices, cellphones, or wi-fi.

Karen Wetterhahn: A towering figure in chemistry, specializing in metal toxicology. We humans owe her for a lot of knowledge regarding toxic metals, though sadly her best-known contribution is the one that killed her. Dimethylmercury, aside from being one of the most toxic materials on Earth, travels through latex gloves very easily. When she died, everyone who'd ever worked with the stuff immediately thought "oh, fuck, that could easily have been me!" Many safety regulations were revised in the wake of her death.

Rosalind Franklin: The name that doesn't get mentioned regularly with Watson and Crick... but should. She was as instrumental to discovering the structure of DNA as they were. Her field was X-ray crystallography, which is what makes it possible for us to know what a lot of molecules look like.

There are more. As I said, these are just a few of my favorites. And in the future, there will be more. And considering how rough the future might get if we bald apes don't pull our heads out of our asses, we're going to need all the brains we can get -- we can't afford to just casually reject half of our potential for stupid reasons.

    1. The actual scientists studying Evolutionary Psychology may be saying very different things. I'm not sure. I'd like to believe that the field itself is solid, and an altogether worthy field of study, and it's just been overrun by assholes with their own prejudices who are looking at the field as a convenient way to justify their prejudices.

fierynotes: Picture of Hotstreak, from the cartoon Static Shock.  He looks annoyed. (annoyed)
I'm not a true geek. I'm a poser, a Johnny-come-lately, a fake.

My first Doctor was Ten. To this day, I've only gone back to Nine. Beyond nine forward, I think I've only seen one Doctor Who episode, and I had fits because "hemovore" isn't a word. (Mixing Greek and Latin roots is a no-no. Someone should tell that to the polyamory crowd...) It was only by pointing out why "hemophage" or "sanguivore" would be better words that I escaped being outed as a non-geek. I made up for my lack of fan geekery with a show of language geekery, if you will.

My first space opera was Star Wars. I'd never even heard of the Lensmen until I was in college. (One of my friends lent me two of the books. Then, after I was hooked, the rotten bitch informed me that there were four more she didn't have, and oh, by the way, they're out of print. That was hours of time spend in used bookstores I'll never get back...)

I'm only barely familiar with the backstories of some of the DC and Marvel characters -- others, I don't know at all. And to be honest, I really don't care. I know that true geeks would carve out the free time to get familiar with hundreds of back issues' worth of story, but myself, I can't be arsed.

I dismissed My Little Pony as sugary girly crap until the second season of Friendship is Magic came along. To this day, my love of the franchise only extends to Friendship is Magic.

In high school, I was just a metalhead. I didn't really get into classical music until years later, and even now, my knowledge of the subject is far from complete. I specialize in the last century and a half of Russians. Meanwhile, my knowledge of popular music is so lacking that when a true geek pointed out sexist content in Beatles and Stones songs a while back, I had to look them up. No matter how solid my grasp of Music Theory, this is just shameful -- especially in one who calls himself a music geek!

I sometimes dress up at cons. Or, to put it less charitably, I sometimes indulge my inner attention whore and swan around in a pirate shirt that says "look at my shoulders" and pants that say "look at my ass." Apparently, I'm "con-hot," though, so I've gotten away with it... so far.

So, you all know my secret. I'm not as true a geek as I should be if I'm going to call myself a geek...

...oh, wait, I have a cock. I'm not one of those icky girls trying to claim membership into the oh-so-exclusive geek clubhouse, so none of that matters. And it shouldn't matter for girls either, except that every now and then some resentful toad whines about it. So... since so many people have by now said it far better than I can, I'll just end this post by pointing out what a disgusting toad Tony Harris is. Just in case, you know, you haven't reached that conclusion from having seen those posts before I did.
fierynotes: Picture of Daimon, from Marvel comics, without a shirt.  'Look at me, I have muscles!' (flirty)
The higher-ups of the breastaurant chain Hooters are a little dismayed that women, as a group, aren't willing to spend money at their establishments. This is a little understandable, if not necessarily great: every company around wants people to spend lots of money for what they offer (and indeed, many of them seem quite resentful that they have to offer something of value in exchange for said money). The less understandable part is that they are apparently clueless as to why women, as a group, seem disinclined to give them money.

The fine folks over at Consumerist are much less clueless, and some of them are funny. Even the one clueless comment I saw over there illustrates perfectly the perception that Hooters is the food service equivalent of a man-cave, complete with a badly-penned "NO GIЯLZ ALLOWƐD" sign on the door, and seriously, how many women out there would pay to eat in a place like that? Apparently, not many.

(In all fairness, I should add that I've never been to a Hooters. For all I know, the food is okay, but my current regular eating habits exclude it (as they exclude most restaurants). As for my irregular eating habits... from what I've heard so far, the food at Hooters doesn't rate a Fuzzy Pink Law¹ exception for me to eat it even occasionally. Besides, I see plenty of tits already, and those tits belong to people who want to show them to me, as opposed to people who are probably not getting paid anywhere near enough to semi-display them for drooling idiots.)

    1. Fuzzy Pink's Law is named after Fuzzy Pink, Larry Niven's wife. It can be summed up as "don't waste calories." In a little more detail, for me at least, it's a concession that some food isn't really good for my boyish figure, and if I'm going to eat anything that's bad for my boyish figure, I'm going to damn well enjoy it. For instance, I'll have to do the same amount of extra cardio to burn off either a Hershey bar or a chunk of good chocolate, so if I eat chocolate at all, it's going to be the good stuff.

fierynotes: Picture of Hotstreak, from the cartoon Static Shock.  He looks annoyed. (annoyed)
Dear guys who play video games,

Do you bristle against the reputation you have as sexually obsessed losers? Do you resent the constant implications that you'd spend all day in your basement playing games and jerking off if the real world would let you? Do you happen to be one of those people who talks until you're blue in the face about how it's just a few bad eggs giving you all a bad name?

Well, you still have a lot of work to do. A bit more lately, matter of fact.

[ profile] fierynotes
fierynotes: Picture of Hotstreak, from the cartoon Static Shock.  He looks annoyed. (annoyed)
Well, not really. Apparently, Craigslist is considering taking down the post in question, so this may only work as a short-term announcement... but the internet preserves everything. It's like formaldehyde that way.

Short version: guy takes over three thousand wards to explain how he gets married to Ms. Jeckyl and finds Ms. Hyde in his honeymoon suite. Ms. Hyde doesn't feel like putting out, ever, so he bangs a foreign girl during the honeymoon (followed eventually by banging 29 more women over the course of a three-year-marriage), and justifies himself as following his own biological needs, which of course must be met, inside of marriage or not. Meanwhile, Ms. Hyde sits around the house, does no housework, gest fat (oh noes!), and spends all his money. So this poor bastard is getting a divorce, and posting on Craigslist as a warning to all those dumb bitches out there that he's a hot mess they need to put out for their man or else he'll stray, because it's not like they have anything else to offer him in a relationship. Seriously, it's like the show Married With Children, except there's no children and in this latter it's the wife (instead of the husband) who never wants sex.

Wow. With all that contempt for women as a whole in that letter, I need to ask -- have you considered fucking dudes instead? No, forget I said that -- gay men have enough problems in this culture without including jerks like you in their ranks.

Now, assuming that there's a grain of truth here and there in this open letter, the lady seems to be as much of an asshole as the gentleman... but there are hints that this isn't the case. "You grudgingly gave it up once a week for a while. Still, you had become rather critical. You called it 'coaching me,' or 'teaching you what I like'." Sure, this could be a critical sex-hating ball-busting harpy... but couldn't this also be the lady saying something like "slow down, it doesn't feel good being jackhammered" or "gimme a week to recover from the last time you ignored me when I said I didn't like being jackhammered"?

But then, all the women I've had have actually enjoyed sex with me... even if the rest of the relationship was crap. Clearly my privilege is showing.

I have a couple of theories about this guy. One of them starts with the idea that we create our own misery, and he subconsciously chose the most horrible woman he could find, because he wants to be proven right about how horrible women are more than he wants to be happy. Therefore, he's telling the truth about this particular woman, and in doing so he's bragging about how he succeeded in proving himself right. If this is the case, he should never marry again.

My other theory is that he's the awful person, and she put up with him the best she could, becoming a bit more assertive when they said "I do" because she'd committed to the guy and wanted him to be less of a shlub. Perhaps she stopped doing dishes to see how long it would take for him to rinse a damn plate, for instance. If this is the case, he should never marry again. (For now, I'll skip the speculation into why she'd marry him in the first place. Perhaps she'll post her own letter about him on Craigslist later. I'll attempt it then.)
fierynotes: Picture of Arsenal, from DC comics, looking very pissed off. (angry)
In 2008, in keeping with its own policies regarding sexual harassment, ReaderCon kicked out one Аɑɾση Αɡαѕѕι¹. For life, because he we skeeving on a woman and ReaderCon had a policy stating that there would be no tolerance for that kind of shit. And not a tear was shed, except by Αɡαѕѕι himself. In fact, many parties were no doubt held in the honor of his permanent absense.

This year, in defiance of those same policies regarding sexual harassment, ReaderCon kicked out one Rene Walling. For two years, because he said he was vewwy sowwy. When I was first directed to this post by the woman he harassed, I figured that either Rene was a BNF or possibly SMOF², or that the previous harasser was a special case. Then I read one of the posts she linked in her post about Rene and discovered that the first harasser was the infamous Аɑɾση Αɡαѕѕι, above. It made me wonder if the No Tolerance rule on sexual harassment was a reaction specifically to him³.

Then I read that Walling had co-chaired a WorldCon. Yeah, that explains a bit.


For what little it's worth, I'd like to add my admittedly tiny voice to the already-huge chorus of voices condemning ReaderCon's Board of Directors. I would say that this was a bad decision akin to Lincoln deciding to go see a play, but that metaphor would only work if Lincoln had been warned ahead of time that John Wilkes Booth would be at the theater with a gun and decided he still wanted to see the play.

One: at the risk of stating the obvious, rules only work if they're enforced consistently. At best, some other would-be harasser will probably be emboldened by the fact that Walling got off easy. At worst, they've given Аɑɾση Αɡαѕѕι ammunition to appeal their previous decision.

Two: this particular rule was intended to make people -- women in particular -- feel safe. Again, applying it inconsistently sends a message. In this case, the message is "hey ladies, we'll keep you safe from creepy nobodies, but if someone with clout decides to get in your face, follow you around, or pinch your ass, rank has its privileges. Surely you understand."

Three: if you've ever wondered why so many sections of fandom seem dominated by men who are wondering why women don't come to conventions? Wonder no more. (The answer, of course, is that women aren't going to those conventions. I went to BasCon once. That convention was attended by several hundred people -- and I was one of three men there. And believe me, if one of us had been less than a gentleman, we would have been lucky to be merely arrested.)

Four: Walling was apparently very persuasive when he apologized. Have you ever caught a six-year-old doing something they damn well know they shouldn't do, and threatened them with consequences for their actions? They can be very persuasive, too, for all the same reasons.

In closing... to paraphrase Heinlein: they shot an error into the air, and it's still falling everywhere. This decision is the shot being heard around the world, at least in fandom. This is where ReaderCon has to decide which direction it's going to go. And it needs to decide soon, because a whole bunch of people are deciding that if they're not made to feel safe at this convention, they might as well stay home.

    1. A few words about Аɑɾση Αɡαѕѕι, here: he is a tenth-level creeper in a five-level reality. I first ran into him on GAFF because he's about as bad as Nicky the Wondergoth at writing, where he discovered our website in his his referrer logs and proceeded to tell us all how misinformed we were and that his work was brilliant. While other people were commenting on how bloody awful his writing was, I was attacking his source code. He insisted that this was also a bold artistic decision... because when you have a site devoted to your written prose, what you really need is several large non-transparent images with high z-index properties. (For those of you who don't do style sheets, read this as "large images obscuring blocks of text.)

      Of course, we were all just having fun making fun of the pretentious twit with delusions of competence. It wasn't until later that I discovered that he regularly gets kicked out of cons, usually for being a creeper. Y'see, he thinks he's a hypnotist. He thinks that if he stares at a woman long enough, her eyes will go all spirally, and soon thereafter she'll do all of those fun things with his dick that he no doubt sees in porn. If a lady leaves, he'll follow her. If she finds security and gets him ejected, he'll claim there's a conspiracy against him to keep him from staring at a woman long enough for his hypnotism to work, and maybe leaflet the con with bizarre incoherent pamphlets claiming that he's being discriminated against. People have tried to convince him that hypnosis doesn't work that way. They had no more luck than I did when I was trying to explain elements of bad web design.

      In short, he is the clueless loser dork stereotype made real and dialed up to eleven, down to his appearance. I won't attack him for being fat, which he can't exactly help... but I'm sure he could learn basic grooming, basic hygiene, how to do laundry, and how not to look like he smells of year-old fun-yun and cheeto crumbs.

      One last thing: I've rendered his name, above, with a combination of Greek, Cyrillic, and IPA characters that resemble the letters in his name. This is because I do not want him here -- if he comes here explaining that he's not a harasser because he stares at women seductively and not creepily, I may spontaneously develop cockpunch-over-internet-protocol powers, and I'm not entirely sure I can be trusted with that kind of power. If you comment in my post, please do not link to his site, and if you must refer to him at all, use "AA" or "that creep." Or copy and paste his name from my post.

    2. BNF -- Big Name Fan. SMOF -- Secret Master Of Fandom. The movers and shakers. Walling is clearly one of these. But, I should add, the author he harassed is one as well. So... I guess that means that he who has the penis wins?

    3. Cons in general don't like rules much, and many rules exist as reactions to specific events that made them necessary. The six-second rule, the no-peanut-butter rule, the no-substances-in-the-pool rule, the no-costume-is-no-costume rule, and no doubt many others, all exist because of a certain kind of behavior they were written to stop.

fierynotes: Picture of Arsenal, from DC comics, looking very pissed off. (violent)
Hey! Wouldn't be funny if Daniel Tosh fell into a septic tank and drowned? Seriously, wouldn't it be just hilarious? I mean really, septic tanks are never not funny!

(Context. Warning for rape triggers.)
fierynotes: Picture of Daimon, from Marvel comics, without a shirt.  'Look at me, I have muscles!' (flirty)
So, Revolver has this thing they do called "Hottest Chicks in Metal."

Normally, I wouldn't bother mentioning it. There are some good-looking women in metal, sure. Some of them are taken seriously as musicians, for instance Christina Scabbia, Anneka Van Giersbergen, and Sarah Jezebel Deva¹, and I'd like to hope that I'm perfectly capable of appreciating their talents and noticing their looks without one detracting from the other. Some women in metal... well, aren't taken seriously as musicians, and their role in the band is more or less ornamental. Typically, I'd just notice that Revolver's doing that thing again, groan a little, and move on.

This, year, however, I'm rooting for Mina Caputo. The reason for this: she was born "Keith." Whether I necessarily think she's hot is irrelevant -- I really want to see her win². Partly because coming out as transgendered takes brass anywhere, but even more so in the metal community. Partly because I want to believe that the metal community would accept her, and this is a hell of a way to show it. (We have a spotty track record on this. We've embraced Rob Halford, certainly, but some of us throw words like "fag" around way too casually.)

But mostly, my inner troll can't help noticing that there are a lot of people in metal who'd get seriously angry over "some dude who thinks he's a chick" winning something as trivial as the metal equivalent of a beauty pageant. And honestly, if you're one of those people, you deserve to have the world go out of its way to piss you off... and it would be my honor to take a small part in helping the world piss you off.

(And next year, Revolver should do "hot men in metal," as well. Partly because there are women who like metal and they deserve eye candy too. Partly, because if you're a guy drooling over Christina Scabbia's tits, but you're threatened by the fact that Teemu Mäntysaari is prettier than you or Greg Puciato³ has bigger muscles than you, this is something you deserve to have rubbed in your face. But hey, if Revolver isn't up to the task, this site will pick up the slack.)

    1. Yes, Ms. Deva is a fat woman. Yes, I think she's beautiful. Pleeeeease let this not turn into fat wank.

    2. Please note that I'm using feminine pronouns. This is because, whatever her current anatomical status (or natal anatomical status), she identifies as female, and I'm a fuckin' gentleman.

      Please also note that I'm not speculating as to her current anatomical status, nor intimating that she has any particular obligation to share it with us. Again, this is because I'm a fuckin' gentleman.

    3. I'd like to hope that Mr. Puciato would agree. He's certainly not above rubbing people's insecurities in their faces; I've read that he's been known to wear Britney Spears T-shirts onstage, and that he has stated that if he thinks a lot of homophobes will be at a DEP show, he'll wear a T-shirt depicting two men having oral sex.

fierynotes: Picture of Gilgamesh Wulfenbach, from Girl Genius.  He looks tired. (tired)
This needs to be said. And in spite of my awareness that it needs to be said, I could never say it in a million years, and if I tried, I couldn't approach the job that Jean Kilbourne has done on it.

(Most of the focus is on women. Still, it's starting to get aimed at men too, and yes, she addresses this.)


fierynotes: Picture of Destruction, from the Sandman series, reading a book and slinging a guitar. (Default)


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