nenena: (Default)
I will go to bed early tonight and be sober for the UK/Louisville game tomorrow. I will go to bed early tonight and be sober for the UK/Louisville game tomorrow. I will go to bed early tonight and be sober for the UK/Louisville game tomorrow DAMMIT.

So here is some nerdy linkspam!

[personal profile] terajk is hosting a People with Disabilities Being Awesome commentfic fest!

[personal profile] sqbr has some recommendations for fanworks about disabled characters.

Apropos of nothing and because (tragically!) it did not make [personal profile] sqbr's list, "Clothes We Abandoned in the Closet" is a beautiful Tavros/Vriska fic. It's humanstuck!AU but don't let that put you off because it is awesome.

Speaking of disability and sex and love and all that stuff! Random Curiousity has a pretty thorough review of Katawa Shoujo that I mostly agree with. But I do wish that Zaniba hadn't been so quick to declare that "this is not a visual novel for those with a fetish," as that is definitely how it began, and the reaction all over the internet has shown that those with a certain set of particular fetishes are flocking to the game. And yet despite that, the game itself has grown into something so much better that has so much more to offer to such a wider audience than just the disability fetishists. This is a visual novel for those with a fetish, and it's pretty disingenuous to claim that it's not, but it's also a visual novel for the rest of us as well.

Completely unrelated! I am ridiculously excited for the Lupin III ALL FUJIKO ALL THE TIME TV series that starts next week, even if I'm still not entirely sold on the hyper-stylized animation and character designs. Oh well. It's Lupin III and it's Fujiko and there's no way that this can be anything but awesome.

Also, this week I finally caved in and bought myself a gorgeous 27" Dell monitor, which is something that I've wanted for a looooong time, and I'm still feeling a little bit of leftover happiness buzz from being able to finally write the check for the darn thing. YAY! And it has a maximum resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels so y'all can look forward to some insanely high-resolution Soul Eater screensaver rips coming next week.
nenena: (Tink - Cheers!)
Hasbro edited that horrible, horrible scene from "The Last Roundup" and just made it a thousand percent better:



Of course the internet has been exploding today with bronies pissing themselves with rage over the fact that Hasbro "killed" Derpy. And sending death threats to Yamino and other fans who spoke out against the original version, etc.

Jesus pony-collecting Christ, the grossness of this fandom sometimes. If this had been the original scene in the first place you know the bronies would have been creaming themselves over how much they loved it. Does changing the voice and removing one mention of her fandom nickname from the scene really "ruin" it in any way?! The new voice is way cuter and who the fuck cares if your (arguably quite offensive) fandom nickname is mentioned in the show or not. This edit is probably the best possible way that Hasbro could have fixed the problem - it barely changes anything about the scene at all, but still makes it way more adorable and way less ableist, so hooray because EVERYBODY WINS - yet the bronies are really determined to throw an internet temper tantrum over this, aren't they.

Oh well. Hasbro is great, this show is pretty great, but the fandom has gotten horrible over the past year, news at eleven.
nenena: (W.I.T.C.H. - Irma rocks)
I swear to God I will get back to posting actual content (like the Not! recap, hopefully?) soon. In the meantime, here, have some linkspam.

It's "Three Weeks for Dreamdwith" time over at Dreamdwith, and there is a lot of pretty awesome disability-related content being produced that might be Relevant to Some of Your Interests:

The People with Disabilities Being Awesome Commentfic Fest

Mental Illness: Frequently (or not so frequently) Asked Questions

Disability History: Frequently (or not so frequently) Asked Questions


And finally, some lighter fare: Sad Baby Monsters



Also, my flist is full of wonderful and awesomesauce and I love each and every one of you. ^___^ Thank you so much for the support yesterday and today. It really means a lot to me.
nenena: (Haruhi - To the Haruhimobile!)
Signal-boosting from access_fandom:

Call for Papers
DISABILITY & POPULAR CULTURE
Midwest Popular Culture Association (MPCA)
2011 Conference
http://www.mpcaaca.org

October 14-16, 2011
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Hilton Milwaukee City Center

Deadline for Paper Submissions: April 30, 2011

The Disability & Popular Culture area of the MPCA invites proposals (or abstracts) for papers on any aspect of the intersection of disability and popular culture. All topics, approaches, and perspectives related to disability and popular culture are welcome. Interdisciplinary perspectives are encouraged, as are discussions of new directions in disability studies and popular culture studies.

Proposals should be 250-300 words in length, and must be received by April 30, 2010.

More information available here:
http://www.mpcaaca.org/conference/
Information about travel grants for graduate students:
http://mpcaaca.org/about/grants.html

Proposals and inquiries should be sent by e-mail to the Disability & Popular Culture area chair

Asim Ali
aali@umd.edu
nenena: (Default)
I'm sticking the SE Moment of Zen behind a cut because it's a couple of images this time. )

In other news.... Well, it took them a good five months after they originally promised to do so, but GanGan Online comics are now accesible for iPhone/iPad devices. And they finally have their own app instead of using the godawful Actibook app to deliver their content, too!

Unfortunately, I took the app for a test drive today, and sadly it is not very good. The way that the app works is rather convoluted: You have to visit the GGO website with Safari, click on the "iPhone/iPad" links to open up the comics in the app interface, and then read things that way. The good news is that the comics that I read appear to be downloaded to my iPad, so maybe they won't disappear after a month the way that the chapters normally do on the GGO website. The bad news is that the app is incredibly non-user-friendly and counter-intuitive: it takes four buttons to get to your "library" page, the menu often freezes or just plain doesn't show up when you click on the bottom of comic pages, and the "bookmark" feature didn't actually work the first three times that I tried it.

But at least Umineko looks completely fabulous in my iPad. All of the comics do. They just look LIGHTYEARS better on the iPad than they do on the Flash interface that GGO has been using until now.

All of the other content on GGO is still Flash-based and inaccessible, though. And there is, of course, still absolutely no hint of making any of Squeenix's print magazines digitally available any time within the forseeable future. Why so twentieth century, Squeenix? We're more than a decade into the twenty-first century now and it's about time you got with the program!



Speaking of manga-ish things... Flist, may I ask for your expertise? I have a seventh-grade student who asked me if I could recommend any books for learning to draw anime and manga. That is not my area of interest so I had nothing to recommend for him, but maybe one of you guys might have a good book rec or two? Any help would be very much appreciated!



And finally, I'm going to go ahead and link to this post on sf_drama (it's a locked post but the comm has open membership) because the comments are a collective beautiful smackdown of that horrible stereotype about how medication for mental illnesses stifles creativity. That's definitely ranking up there among Nena's Least Favorite Offensive Stereotypes About Mental Illness EVER and seeing it get the takedown that it deserves made my day.
nenena: (Default)
A certain person should probably remove me from her flist if she doesn't want me to see her locked entries martyring herself for having to endure such horrors as a person with a disability pointing out to her that a single word that she used in a warning line for her fanfic is still used as a hurtful slur against people with disabilities and requesting if she could please change that single word. Just sayin'.

And, for anybody sitting at home thinking well *I've* never heard the word "spaz" used as a slur before, therefore it clearly isn't used that way anymore! here is some stuff that you might want to be aware of:

* http://www.bbc.co.uk/ouch/play/worst-words-vote.shtml "Spaz" is ranked second in a poll of most offensive disability-related words, right behind "retard."

* When Tiger Woods used the word "spaz" in a CBS interview after the 2006 Master's Tournament, it was considered so offensive that the LA Times changed the word to "wreck" in a subsequent printing of the interview, while the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Boston Globe eliminated that sentence from his interview quotes entirely. Meanwhile, there was a firestorm of coverage about Woods using the word "spaz" in the UK press, led by the BBC, the Telegraph, the Independent, and the Scotsman. Woods eventually issued a public apology.

* Similary, Simon Tiffin, who was the editor Esquire magazine back in 2003, issued an editorial apology the issue after Esquire printed an interview in which Sandra Bullock was quoted saying "I'm such a spaz."

* http://disabledfeminists.com/2009/12/04/ableist-word-profile-spazspak/ The money quote: Both 'spaz' and 'spak' have clear ableist roots because they’re shortened versions of an actual diagnostic term. They shouldn’t be used to refer to spasticity at all (unless, of course, as self identification by someone with spasticity) and they’re definitely not appropriate as slang terms to refer to people without spasticity.

* http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/ian-birrell-mind-your-language-words-can-cause-terrible-damage-1815641.html Warning for vile Oppression Olympics, but linked here anyway for the money quote: "We are giving people permission to say and do hateful things," said John Knight, director of policy and campaigns at Leonard Cheshire Disability, who himself had to endure screams of "spastic" from two aggressive men in the street just a fortnight ago. "And it's getting worse. If we don't address low-level abuse, we let people think it's acceptable, allowing it to proliferate and become mainstream."

* http://theinterroblog.blogspot.com/2006/04/it-aint-insult.html The money quote: How the hell did 'spastic' become so much of a pejorative that some people aren't even aware that it's a legitimate medical term?! How did that happen? More importantly, how can we stop it? I'd really like my descriptor back from the forces of bigotry and semantic pollution, thank you.

* http://www.pixeldiva.co.uk/thinks/spaz-is-an-unacceptable-term/ The money quote: By equating spasticism with looking stupid it not only perpetuates the stereotype that those with physical disabilities are automatically lacking in intelligence, but puts a clear separation between those with and without a physical disability of that type, something which the individual has no more control over than the colour of their skin or eyes and seems to indicate that they are less.

* http://disabledfeminists.com/2009/10/16/what-we-talk-about-when-we-talk-about-language/ Money quote: I loathe “well, it’s a value neutral term.” No, it’s not. If it was value neutral, it would not be in use as a pejorative. I loathe “no one really means that anymore.” Yes, they do, because if they didn’t, they would use a different word. Just like no one calls a “train” an “iron horse” anymore.

* I have some some very, very icky memories of being called a "spaz" in middle and elementary school because of this thing I used to do when I would flail my hands whenever I was having obsessive thoughts, particularly during one hellish week at sixth grade camp when a group of girls in my cabin decided to bully me so relentlessly that I had a nervous breakdown and cried so hard that a teacher thought I was having an asthma attack. And I'm an American. I grew up in Iowa. But oh wait I guess "spaz" totally isn't used that way in the Good Ol' US of A or whatever the fuck.

* I've worked most of my adult life as a teacher. I can't tell you how many times I've heard students use the word "spaz" to bully any of their classmates who are being socially inept or "different." But oh wait that totally doesn't happen in AMERICA.

Or maybe it's just that there isn't as much high-profile campaigning against the word "spaz" in the United States the same way that there is in the UK, which is why so many American English speakers feel that they're right to argue "But it doesn't meaaaaaaaan that over here!" Except for how, er, it sometimes does. If "spaz" were never considered an offensive term in the United States, then why would four major national American news outlets all independently decide that it was necessary to either edit or delete the word "spaz" out of a statement given by Tiger Woods?





Do words have multiple meanings? Yes.

Do many US English speakers use the word spaz simply to mean "silliness" or "excited flailing"? Yes. Does that change the fact that other US English speakers use the word spaz as a slur against people with physical and mental disabilities? No.

As long as the word is still being used by some as a hateful word, then it is a word with the power to hurt. As long as it is a word with the power to hurt, then it is a word that it would behoove anybody with decency or empathy for the fellow human being to think twice before using.

Besides, when you want to say that somebody looks silly or is acting like a dork or is full of failure or whatever, why not just say that they're "silly" or "acting like a dork" or "full of failure" or whatever? No matter what concept it may be that you're trying to convey, the English language is happy to provide dozens of colorful and creative substitutes for the word "spaz" that come without the nasty bonus of associating having a disability with being inherently undesirable or failtastic.

And that's all I have to say about that.

ETA: No, that's not all that I have to say about that. We've got some anons showing up in this post who apparently need some Language 101 remedial lessons. The very first person to comment on this post is an anon whining about me "condemning" and "accusing" people of being prejudiced when really they were using the word "spaz" in a totally innocent context. No. I'm aware that plenty of people use the word "spaz" without having any idea that it's still used as a slur or that it had bigoted origins, and they clearly don't intend anything hurtful when they use the word.

But even though you may not intend to hurt anybody when you use a certain word, you can still end up hurting a lot of people, regardless of your intent.

To anybody who has ever had it pointed out to them they they were using an offensive word that they weren't aware was offensive, whether because they read it in a blog post or actually had it pointed out by somebody in person or on the internet: Accidentally using a bigoted word without being aware that the word is still widely used with a harmful meaning is kind of like stepping on somebody's toe by accident. In real life, when somebody says "Ouch, you're standing on my toe!" do you take it as a personal insult or an accusation against you? No, because the person whose toe you're standing on knows that you aren't doing it intentionally - but they're still going to say something, because ouch that hurts and they want you to remove your foot! And since you know that they know that you didn't do it on purpose, you just remove your foot and move on with life, right? You wouldn't keep standing on the person's toe and tell them "Well since I didn't know that your toe was there and it was an accident, I don't have to remove my foot." Right? So when somebody points out to you, "Hey, I know that you probably weren't aware of this but that word is still used as a bigoted slur," it's the linguistic equivalent of saying "Um, you're standing on my toe." It's not an accusation against you, it's nothing to feel embarrassed or defensive about, but it IS something that you correct with a simple gesture - like substituting one word for another, the same as moving your foot an inch backward - and it's never a big deal unless you decide to make it a big deal by throwing a tantrum about it.
nenena: (W.I.T.C.H. - Irma rocks)
DOING IT RIGHT: Batwoman: Elegy. Holy shit, you guys. This book. THIS BOOK. Greg Rucka + J.H. Williams III + hardcover deluxe edition with an introduction from Rachel Maddow + the authors doing ACTUAL RESEARCH to get the srs bzns details right = pure, pure win.

DOING IT KINDA-SORTA WRONG: The new New Mutants series. On the one hand, hooray, all of my childhood dreams have been fulfilled now that Doug Ramsey is officially back among the living. On the other hand, WTF is up with all of these other characters suddenly saying that Doug is autistic? When and how did that particular meme get started? Doug's mutation literally makes him the exact opposite of autistic. The exact. opposite. What the hell, Marvel?

One link.

Jul. 26th, 2010 07:51 pm
nenena: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] rachelmanija has a very interesting post and discussion about toxic tropes regarding disabilities in YA fiction.

It's depressing how many of these books have won and continue to win awards, too. :(
nenena: (Soul Eater - FUCK YEAH)
Festibility Banner: Toph from Avatar, Kerry Weaver from ER, Oracle from Comics, Parker from Leverage, River Tam from Firefly


Festibility is a fandom festival accepting all kinds of fanworks (fic, meta, art, icons, podfic, vids, recs, picspams, drabble sets etc) about disabled characters. Works can focus on canonically disabled characters or canonically able-bodied characters that you reimagine as disabled. Pieces can be as long or short as you like.

On the prompt post, the very first prompt offered is this: "Canonically able-bodied character has OCD or major depression to an extent that significantly affects hir everyday life, but ze saves the world/universe/someone, regardless."

This person is basically asking for excellent DtK fic, whether they know it or not. ;)

Flist, I challenge you! It would be great if somebody could write a DtK fic that fulfills the parameters of the prompt: that is, he must be dealing with OCD and doing something heroic at the same time. The fic should also be accessible to people outside the Soul Eater fandom (and yes THIS WILL BE A CHALLENGE, but remember that the powers of the Captain Exposition Hat and the Colonel Inner Monologue Hat can judiciously be used for good, not evil). Finally, it would be nice if said fic doesn't regurgitate any annoying stereotypes about OCD at the same time. Considering that the Soul Eater canon already takes care of two out of three of those requirements for y'all, however, this isn't a terribly impossible task. Stick to the canon depiction of Kid's disorder and you're already 80% of the way there.

OR if somebody could come up with some recs for DtK fics that fulfill all of the above requirements - dealing with OCD and being heroic at the same time, accessible to people outside the fandom, not drowning in obnoxious tropes about mental illness - that would be awesome, too. (And before anybody comments about this, no, none of my own fics would fit the bill, I don't think.)

I'm going to try to challenge myself to do the fic part. Dunno if I'm going to pull it off in time, but I'll try. Unfortunately, I am woefully bad at remembering other people's fics and I haven't had time to read any fanfic at all since The Semester from Hell started, so I won't be much help on the recs side of things. Any help from anybody would be appreciated in that regard.

Now hark ye, good youth, wilt thou join me and write DtK fic for GREAT SOCIAL JUSTICE?

Or if Soul Eater isn't your thing, there are seven other pages of delicious prompts, too.
nenena: (Default)
Moar linkspam!

SF and ablism (or: a not-as-such brief thought)

It seems as though when science fiction envisions a better, or at least more advanced, version of humanity it is one without disability, and thus one without disabled people. When you imagine a future without disability, it is a future in which you imagine that there are no disabled people.

so fucking special: mental illness panel ftw.

We never see a 'functional' person with mental illness. This is possibly because producers feel mental illnesses must be shown explicitly. There are people who are functional in their societies but not in a normative way.

Including Samuel

Samuel has cerebral palsy. Samuel is going to be an astronaut. Fuck anybody who says otherwise. Plus: Bonus awesome from Keith Jones, including videos and pictures from his wedding ceremony, which was made of pure awesome.

If only, oh if only

I have never mourned the existence of someone the first time I met them. (Or after that for that matter.) I have never grieved that someone was not the normal person I expected and hoped for. Not even for a little bit. Not ever. I have never “had to come to terms with” the fact that someone I knew was born different. I have never had any urge to commiserate with anyone else over these sorts of things. I do not look at a person and divide them artificially into the “normal” parts of them that I find tolerable and the “abnormal” parts that I find unbearable and tragic. I do not look at my friends, compare them to other people their own age, and think how horrible it is that I don’t have the good fortune of experiencing my friends hitting all the ‘typical’ milestones for their age group, there is no sense of loss here. These ways of thinking are just utterly and beautifully absent. It’s right that they’re absent. It’s wrong when they’re present. I keep hearing we have to allow for the fact that it’s only natural for people (you know, real people, which I’m not) to grieve this part of our existence. How it’s just wrong, downright insensitive, to want more from people.

Towards an Accessible Future: SF Story Contest

What does a world, or space station, or whatever look like when it has been designed to be accessible to everyone and how would people live together there?

ETA after the fact: Disability and the curing thereof

Because, I'm realising, what I want to see is ambivalence, mixed feelings. If you're going to go there, if you're going to cure a character, I want to see them have to struggle with what that means for them afterwards. Because disability isn't objectively always bad, and lack of disability isn't objectively always good, especially when we're talking about a character who has been disabled for a long time suddenly losing that. There are two things I really want to see a formerly-disabled character wrestle with: change and, related to that, identity.
nenena: (Default)
An excellent post about ablist language. The comments, that is. Not the post itself.

(The post isn't bad, per se. The OP asked an honest question and got many thoughtful, polite responses. Then for some reason the OP decided to strike out hir entire post and tell everyone to "forget it" even though there is still a meaty discussion going on in the comments. Er, no. That's not how [livejournal.com profile] linguaphiles rolls.)

ETA: [livejournal.com profile] furikku has an excellent post on -isms and insults, and there's a new post on linguaphiles collecting -ism free insults.
nenena: (Devi versus Bala)
Crappy media portrayals of delusion, hallucinations, and psychosis.

Money quote: They’re portrayals based in stigma and really bad information. And people think this is what it is actually like because they don’t know anyone who will talk about what it’s like for them; these portrayals are all the information they have.

Edited to add, because coincidentally it just showed up on my flist: Don't be like [livejournal.com profile] pisces_sock and don't be like Skins. Comments here explain why.
nenena: (Soul Eater - Blair kitty)
SRS BZNS

Hat-tip to [livejournal.com profile] furikku: The Americanization of Mental Illness. Very good article, and definitely worth reading all the way through (especially the meaty stuff on pages 3 and 4). Warning: There are some potentially triggering passages about eating disorders.

NOT SRS BZNS

Soul Eater fandom, Noah is disappoint. Dante's Inferno =/= the traditional "seven deadly sins" of Christian pop culture. The levels of hell in Inferno are:

1. Limbo
2. Lust
3. Gluttony
4. Avarice and Prodigality (AKA hoarding and squandering)
5. Wrath and Sullenness
6. Heresy
7. Violence
8. Fraud
9. Betrayal

Now I dunno if Ohkubo is going to stick strictly to Dante or not, but given what we've already seen of Noah's Inferno (Introductory level = limbo, followed by seven chapters, the first of which is Lust, arranged in a spiral going downward, and ending with the special unreachable eighth chapter in which Lucifer Gooberkins is chillaxing at the bottom of Hell and generally being a douchebag who is rather heavily invested in betraying God), it seems likely that Ohkubo is going more for Dante's levels of hell than not.

Then again, Ohkubo generally does Whatever the Hell He Wants with this series, so we'll see.