IP yip yip

Look at me, all brave. Stealing the IP of Kenan Malik. Or is this the property of the New York Times? Gosh, it’s so hard to tell who owns what these days. Anyway, below is a defence of cultural appropriation typed by Kenan Malik. By the time I’m done, my blood pressure will be up twenty points and I’ll look like an idiot in public, but I suspect I’ll look less idiotic than Kenan Malik. For this witless motherfucker has done the classic, classic, classic bait and switch on the topic. He says we’re all richer for cultural mixing. He’s wrong. Having your cultural markers stolen for profit makes somebody richer, and wanting to prevent that is not gatekeeping, it’s survival. He says that all cultural practices are up for grabs because anything else may prevent the privileged from having compassion for the underprivileged, which is a narrow case of special pleading aka bullshit. And he skates by colonialism as if it isn’t the SINGLE BIGGEST ISSUE facing all content creators these days; it’s the issue that palimpsest-wise underlies his argument, and he avoids it the way a cab driver just doesn’t see you when he’s booking off shift.

LONDON — It is just as well that I’m a writer, not an editor. Were I editing a newspaper or magazine, I might soon be out of a job. For this is an essay in defense of cultural appropriation.

yeah, well fuck you. You start out from a position of privilege and you want more.

In Canada last month, three editors lost their jobs after making such a defense.

yeah, well fuck you. They were unprofessional, racist and FUCKING STUPID <<<<<<—– the way elites never get how fragile their blessed state is ——-> and gloriosky, they lost their jobs.

The controversy began when Hal Niedzviecki,

A man with a history of racism and stiffing writers, oh yes. …. gosh, is this a trend? A trans woman of colour told me he stiffed her for solicited writing. It wasn’t much money, but honey, when a first nations content creator thinks she’s selling me something I FUCKING PAY FOR IT. SO … right off the top, a racist asshole with holes in his pockets is represented as being ‘besieged’ ‘beleaguered’ and ‘besmirched’ for having a problematic opinion in public. Will Robinson is getting the danger page from his puckering butthole at this point, at least in the universe I inhabit.

editor of Write, the magazine of the Canadian Writers’ Union, penned an editorial defending the right of white authors to create characters from minority or indigenous backgrounds. Within days, a social media backlash forced him to resign. The Writers’ Union issued an apology for an article that its Equity Task Force claimed “re-entrenches the deeply racist assumptions” held about art.

OKAY LET’S JUST STOP RIGHT HERE. What Mr. Malik, administering his homeopathically weak smackdown of this ‘defence of racist writers for getting shit wrong’ aka ‘horrible censorship event’ fails to mention is ANYTHING LIKE CONTEXT. THE WRITE ISSUE WAS SPECIFICALLY AN ISSUE ABOUT INDIGENOUS WRITING. Okay, let’s go again. THE WRITE ISSUE WAS SPECIFICALLY AN ISSUE ABOUT INDIGENOUS WRITING. He could have put his feelings in his blog. He could have penned it for another publication. That would have been gruesome, but in the era of Doubledown Douchenozzledom, Racist Edition, he used a position of privilege to kick the living snot out of the people who were being represented in the mag. Gosh, folks, you should have seen my twitter feed when this all went down. Indigenous activists and writers were foaming, and justifiably so. Niedzviecki knew up front he was going to get shit, and for the first little while he laughed at the shit he got. Then he went OH SHIT, which is what you do when that college kid “just for a lark” smirk gets wiped off your face by real life.

Another editor, Jonathan Kay, of The Walrus magazine,

A man who, ha ha, is well known as being a Joseph Boyden supporter (another riproaring case of mighty whitey, writing himself into native history with his very well reviewed (by whites) book “Orenda”). He only writes about native issues to talk about how racist natives are, let’s just skip all the decolonializing reasons Mohawk peoples might want to get white people off their land on Canada’s dime. Here’s the link. http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/jonathan-kay-the-one-place-in-canada-where-racism-is-still-tolerated-native-reserves. Now that’s not inflammatory at all. He could be talking about any kind of racism that happens in Canada. He could talk about how the city of Thunder Bay has more racially motivated hate crimes per capita than any other place in Canada; the hate crimes are overwhelmingly committed by white people on FN people. But the most racist place in Canada is a reserve. No hon, the most racist places in Canada are not reserves. They’re prisons. But I’ll stick the ‘and in conclusion, fuck you’ pin in that for the time being. WHY IN THE EVERLOVING FUCK would we want to take this asshole seriously about race issues, SPECIFICALLY about First Nations. The multiple appropriations of land, language, people, culture have no emotional content for him; FN are just getting upset because they’re special snowflakes. No hon, you’re the special snowflake, thinking Canada is 150 years old and that makes the First Nations 150 years old too. This kind of racism I call “Measuring the universe with a tapeline the same size and shape as you.” It’s another example of “I’m not racist but we should talk about how all injuns are alcoholic jailbirds,” but tidier… prettier… publishable by the Capitalist Choir of Discordant Twaddle responsible for the National Post.

was also compelled to step down after tweeting his support for Mr. Niedzviecki. Meanwhile, the broadcaster CBC moved Steve Ladurantaye, managing editor of its flagship news program The National, to a different post, similarly for an “unacceptable tweet” about the controversy.

I don’t suppose you’d care to guess what format this unacceptable tweetstorm took. A whole bunch of well-known, well-connected, mostly white writers and journalists, gathered ’round their beleaguered fellow lickspittle to mock the people who took offence and to pledge money for a “Cultural appropriation” writer’s prize. Steve was up for giving $500 but one thing I know about these folks is that they’re faster to pledge cash than cough it up, so I can well believe the fucker was kidding and I’ll give him my brightest and shiniest hall pass for that.

It’s not just editors who have to tread carefully. Last year, the novelist Lionel Shriver generated a worldwide storm after defending cultural appropriation in an address to the Brisbane Writers Festival.

Mr. Malik fails to provide the context, again. Shriver played the clueless and hectoring old white guy (surprise, she’s an American woman) in front of a group of people who mostly thought she was right on. Strangely, indigenous people and people of colour in the audience were horrified, oh puhleez. Them coloured folks and their identity politics, getting all mad about sombreros and such. They didn’t find her arguments about how white people should have unfettered access to all cultural traditions (so they can get the last word in, steer the narrative, drown out indigenous voices and get the fat stacks) convincing, mostly because saying that you mean well when you’re handing out the cultural equivalent of smallpox blankets just doesn’t go down as smoothly as it did two hundred years ago, who knew. Of course fiction is ‘fake’ Shriver but that doesn’t meant it isn’t real, and representation matters if the people being represented are being lied to and about

even more than when you get it right.

Earlier this year, controversy erupted when New York’s Whitney Museum picked for its Biennial Exhibition Dana Schutz’s painting of the mutilated corpse of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African-American murdered by two white men in Mississippi in 1955. Many objected to a white painter like Ms. Schutz depicting such a traumatic moment in black history. The British artist Hannah Black organized a petition to have the work destroyed.

I would have been happy with the painting not being publicly displayed, but I’ve read Hannah’s letter and I understand where she’s coming from.

Other works of art have been destroyed. The sculptor Sam Durant’s piece “Scaffold,” honoring 38 Native Americans executed in 1862 in Minneapolis, was recently being assembled in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. But after protests from indigenous activists that Mr. Durant was appropriating their history, the artist dismantled his own work, and made its wood available to be burned in a Dakota Sioux ceremony.

Which is a fine response. Works of art are destroyed by their creators all the time. I’ve torched my own shit, and why not, it was shit and it was mine.

What is cultural appropriation, and why is it so controversial? Susan Scafidi, a law professor at Fordham University, defines it as “taking intellectual property, traditional knowledge, cultural expressions, or artifacts from someone else’s culture without permission.” This can include the “unauthorized use of another culture’s dance, dress, music, language, folklore, cuisine, traditional medicine, religious symbols, etc.”

It’s not just the permission. It’s the context. It’s the taking as if the act of taking ‘makes you native’ or ‘makes you black’ or ‘honours the traditions’ when it patently, replicably and reliably does not.

Appropriation suggests theft, and a process analogous to the seizure of land or artifacts. In the case of culture, however, what is called appropriation is not theft but messy interaction. Writers and artists necessarily engage with the experiences of others. Nobody owns a culture, but everyone inhabits one, and in inhabiting a culture, one finds the tools for reaching out to other cultures.

But the messy interaction is one-sided. Members of the dominant culture, with law, language, media and custom on their side, interact with the traditions of indigenous and creolized and ancient cultures from a mixture of fear, hatred, stark envy and jealousy, and call it art. Sure art’s theft; but it should also be thought made visible, and the thinking that’s made visible is DOMINANT CULTURE CAN STEAL ANYTHING IT LIKES AND IF YOU COMPLAIN you’re WHINY LITTLE BASTARDS WHO DON’T UNDERSTAND THE BROAD SWEEP OF 2500 YEARS OF COLONIAL HISTORY. Urk.

Critics of cultural appropriation insist that they are opposed not to cultural engagement, but to racism. They want to protect marginalized cultures and ensure that such cultures speak for themselves, not simply be seen through the eyes of more privileged groups.

The tone here is like Saruman chiding Gandalf in The Two Towers. To be chastised is one thing. To be told that your feelings are going to go in a big stew of rhetoric and come out normalized and standardized… part of the dominant culture, acceptable…. yeesh.

Certainly, cultural engagement does not take place on a level playing field. Racism and inequality shape the ways in which people imagine others. Yet it is difficult to see how creating gated cultures helps promote social justice.

Everything is mine to steal and my theft promotes social justice. Fucking breathtaking, isn’t it? Nobody creates a gated culture to start out with, but it may end up that way if anything you leave lying around gets stolen by white assholes – who tell you they’re doing you a favour by popularizing your cultural ideals, and then laugh in your face when you want to get paid. He wrote more, but since I don’t want to quote any more from this masterwork of spineless sucking up to thieves and monsters, I’ll just take my blood pressure off someplace else now. Okay, last questions. Why do members of the dominant culture have so little going on in their own minds that they must appropriate someone else’s marginalized culture in the first place? What failure of imagination is this, and why does Malik get so exercised in its defence?

today’s non-events

Got into a beatdown with a bunch of one of the most self-righteous pot activists (like there’s another fucking kind) on twitter today.

Come ON I smoke, but I don’t smoke and blow smoke in the faces of the allergic and the elderly, and they’re announcing it’s their RIGHT, because this is VANCOUVER, home of TOLERANCE. Yeah I’ll believe that when Canada gives back the unceded lands, you unregenerate failure of logic. I’m like a homophobe for harshing their mellow. Srsly. Got accused of equivalency to homophobia for objecting to people dousing the entire west end in pot smoke for their stupid fucking 420 festival (which leaves heaps of trash mounded everywhere and they’re all cryface because they didn’t get a fucking permit.) F*ck me!

I realized that when you put asterisks in f*cking swearwords you’re putting a leedle asshole right in the meedle of the word and since when you’re swearing there’s usually an asshole involved, it’s mesmerizingly poifect.

I love Buster, he’s an amazing cat. And he loves me too, I know it. I don’t think Miss Margot cares if I live or die, but Buster does.

My latest piece of fanfic smut has more than five hundred likes (it’s cute and hot, so there)

I’ve written a BDSM scene in the same ‘verse but I’m not happy with it yet. I had to put in about 200 words about how the scene is ‘necessary but non-consensual’ which kinda blows (or not!) since scenes need consent if they’re to resonate with me writing, at all. So it’s like “We’ve talked about this – I hate it when you want me (and need me) to top you but I’m s’posed to read your mind – and topping when you’re angry at your partner is a bad bad bad idea” followed by “Do what ya gotta, man, just hit me really hard.” Oh, and there are minor children in the house while this sh*t’s going down, just to make it even more like real life, and our heroes must deal with the domestic consequences of Daddies fighting. I LOVE A CHALLENGE. After all, continuing to have interesting sex after kids *is* a continuing challenge in real life. People want carefree smut? they can look elsewhere; to me smut always has a cost. Who bears it depends on who’s being responsible, or not.

Not that anybody wants to know, but I’m really not into any of those behaviours in real life. Nagging at volume is sort of where I max out, ask any of my exes.

Continuing to have the poly life discussion with someone. It’s painful. Really painful. I feel like I have my nose up again a particularly interesting window. I can smell bread baking. But no. G*ddamned heteronormative uncommunicative bushwah (on their end, not mine.) But at the same time there’s NO F*CKING POINT to becoming an elder if you don’t understand that real life takes time, opportunities for growth don’t wait, and if you don’t consider who’s going to be impacted by your decisions, your years, your grey hairs and and your learning means squat. I am still 22 in some corner of my persona, for my enthusiasms still have all the joy of my youth; I just can’t write everyone affected by my behaviour out of the script any more. I do from time to time, but not all the time.

Fortunately, since I’m pushing 60 with a broom, I can contemplate my greed like the gorram caged bear that it is. Still here, but not running the show.

Katie is still having a rough time and she and Alex are both sick again.

I am not having a rough time. I feel pretty good, all things considered. I have another two weeks of full time work. If that changes, I’ll deal with it. I actually have a plan to deal with it that I think will make almost everyone happy, at least temporarily.

Rogue One is a fucking fantastic movie. Getting eaten by Disney was the best thing that ever happened to the franchise.

Now to check if my money transfer has come through.

Malcolm Gladwell quote

People are so insecure and neurotic about their ‘material.’ It’s not your material. You got it from a thousand places, the person who uses it is going to take it in a thousand directions. Everyone should just chill out. I thought that Jonah Lehrer was sloppy and made mistakes and all that, but the real question is: Did you read his books and learn something from it? If you did, who cares whether the Dylan quote had that precise wording or had a slightly different wording? I don’t know, I just don’t have the strength and patience for these kinds of intramural arguments that writers have about whether this precise use of words matched this precise use of words. I’d just much rather answer the question of whether something is being learned, or something interesting is happening.



Colonialism rant

The crowning achievement of colonialism is how it has tapped into the human genome to recycle itself. The finely woven threads, the self-repairing structures of racism and sexism, fear of the other, the urge to destroy that which is experienced as diseased and loathsome, they all belong to colonialism, which I am now going to conflate with the human tendency to devalue other human beings based on feelings of disgust rather than facts. Now science brings us the truth behind the experience of conservatism, that it is based in physical disgust.

This disgust results in things as various as the relentless offering of young men to death in warfare, and old men fighting against young women guarding their fertility as they see fit in consequence. Generation after generation of old powerful men, in whatever culture and of whatever colour, offer young men into the maw of war and conquest, having dragged them from their parents’ arms and essentially from the mother’s womb. Kind people on the sidelines weep with loss as this happens generation after generation.

I have been struggling all my life with this fundamental flaw in human nature, the place where the sociability of human beings, which is quite remarkable, breaks down. Now I see it. It is in the rock-crusher of our capacity to feel deep, emotional, physical disgust that we are broken into pieces and fed into colonialism. It seems circular, and it is. There is a constant value, circulating in the human genome, of persons who feel disgust more readily, inbuilt and coiled in every cell. They will, being of a certain neurotype, congregate, and then they will amass resources and make of their disgust a common, noble reason to make war on anybody on the outside of the group.

Jesus God.

Unsettled arguments

Porn has permanently altered the relationship between men and women in North America.

Jeff is under the impression that research (most of this is non scientific precis) here, here, here, here, here, (showing how public health problems arise from porn familiarization) here, and here, (part of this research is more about how young women are affected by partners’ porn use) and cultural commentary like this is of no consequence.  My observation that men are experiencing sexual dysfunction in eyebrow raising numbers and women are being forced to emulate porn stars just to keep the interest of their partners is dismissed by Jeff as anecdotal.

If it wasn’t for porn, why have stats on word frequency for certain sex acts skyrocketed in the last thirty years?  If it wasn’t for porn, why would Brazilians be so popular?  If it wasn’t for porn why would women and men my kids’ age tell me about how porn and hookup culture have come winnowing through their lives like tornados, leaving busted relationships, shame, sexual dysfunction and very bad vibes in their wakes?  And let’s not forget the contribution of porn to misogyny.  Some poor schmucks watched their way through a lot of contemporary porn, and 90% of the sex acts depicted had the men verbally or physically or sexually abusing the women while the women either stayed blank or appeared to enjoy it.  Young men are often (and yes, anecdotally) surprised when the women they have sex with object to having their faces ejaculated on, or don’t want to have unprotected anal on the first date.  You can say this is poor socialization.  I think it’s porn. Porn changes behaviour.  Monkey see, monkey do.  Monkey do, monkey think.

Let’s get our feet under us, shall we?

I am a pro porn feminist.  I like and consume some forms of porn, and have publicly discussed my porn preferences on this blog, although it was a while back.  There is evidence to suggest that porn availability has dropped the rape stats; that legalization of child pornography decreases child sexual abuse; that pornography can be liberating, enjoyable and a perfectly fun part of whatever the hell it is that passes for a normal sex life in these parlous times.

I do think there is enough evidence to suggest that the inescapability of porn is harming the brains and manners of young people, and that an activity that’s really designed for adult brains is injuring young ones.  I’m not going to try to ban it or bag at the people who make it.  I am going to say that we are, as a culture, participating in a large scale uncontrolled social experiment about the effects of porn, and I predict the long term results for the sexual health of a hefty percentage of Canadians is going to be really, really shitty.

Jeff, given that your contention that porn isn’t a problem for men’s sexual health, would you care to provide the evidence that supports this?

22 ways rapists hurt men

  1. They reduce the number of women interested in sex.  Then they blame women for not being available.  They drag you along for that ride.
  2. They damage women physically and sometimes give them long term health problems which your taxes help pay to ameliorate.
  3. They spread diseases.
  4. They make men who don’t rape look bad by association.
  5. They use men who don’t rape as camouflage.
  6. They can sometimes leave psychological damage resulting in some women have a hard time being open and honest about their sexuality.  Some women vomit, cry or go limp during consensual sex because they’ve been raped.  If they won’t tell you why, it can leave you devastated about your own sexuality.
  7. They are convinced that women deserve to be raped, and con younger men who look up to them into believing the same thing. That younger man could be you, your brother, your son.
  8. They mess with your reality, your life, your future and your trust by raping women you love and continuing to be your ‘friend’. THIS HAPPENS WAY MORE THAN MEN REALIZE.
  9. They are the men who invented the friendzone, and try to convince you that the way out of the friendzone is rape.
  10. They tell women you love that no-one will believe them as they rape them, with the end result that the women you love will lie to you about what’s happened to them, by omission.
  11. They hurt people and spread the blame across all men.
  12. They expect you to stick up for them if they are caught.
  13. They trick you into agreeing if they say she deserved it, so you can be reduced to their level of selfishness.
  14. They gloss over how much of rape is rape PLUS child abuse PLUS mental cruelty PLUS messing over the reproductive futures of the women they rape, and possibly, as a consequence, you.
  15. They honestly believe that what they are doing is merely ‘having sex’, ‘getting laid’; their inability to feel remorse or consequences mars the relationships between and among men.
  16. They prop up the notion that sex is something women have that men want, rather than sex being a continuum of desire / consent / ability / availability.
  17. They misuse science to prop up their belief systems and turn up the volume when they are repeatedly proven wrong, to the point that any evidence that rape is not a ‘natural state of affairs’ gets shouted down.
  18. They turn men who don’t rape into faceless villains.  It’s hard to be the hero in your own life when you’re the bad guy in literally thousands of other lives.
  19. They kill the ability to be sexually spontaneous in some women, one of whom may end up being your partner.
  20. They rape your sisters, daughters, mothers and friends.
  21. They kill discourse by threatening rape to women who say things that irritate or refute them.
  22. They make it possible for human trafficking for sexual slavery to occur by making rape part of the breaking in process, hurting every close family member of the victim.

Well, it’s not my novel, but it’s writing

So, there’s an essay competition.  I wrote it, and now I think why the hell would I submit it even if I thought I could win…?  I have my own bully pulpit, thx.  The essay prize was a thousand dollars, but when I realized that all my good portraits of myself died with the last hard drive, that fixed it.  And so….


Why me? Why Vancouver?

For almost ten years, my husband’s request to be transferred to Vancouver by his employer sat in some HR equivalent of development hell.  Nothing happened, and given the desirability of the posting and Paul’s place in the line, nothing was expected to.  Then, three weeks after our family followed his employment from Montréal to Toronto, he got word to report for work in Vancouver in 72 hours’ time.

And he smiled.  He’d applied for three weeks of vacation at exactly the same time, and couldn’t be forced to start work until it was finished. Thus began our family’s transition.

We put everything we owned in a truck trailer – including the vintage motorcycle and sidecar that Paul later sold so we could buy a house – and sent it on its way. We grabbed the kids and the cat and flew to Victoria and dropped the kids off with the grandparents, and then we spent two weeks lining up a car, a place to live and schooling and drivers licences,

We laboured in that little golden slot of weather that we get sometimes in late October, when the days are deliciously crisp and cool, the air smells wonderful, and the sun on the mountains makes you think you’re living in a fantasy novel.

We wondered why there was a bird we could only hear at intersections.  We said Gag-lard-ee and Anna-kiss and locals choked on polite laughter. We found a house (after consulting an earthquake map for the safest locales) and got the kids settled, and began a love affair with Vancouver that continues to this day.

I can’t speak for the rest of my family, since time has kept us in the same city but no longer under one roof, but the shape and texture and beauty of the city has come to mean home as no other place ever has.  Memories bubble up.

The turbaned Sikhs teasing the waitress to bring them chopsticks in the Chinese restaurant, “What are we, uncivilized?” The silent explosion of flowering shrubs each spring, the lilacs, the rhodos and the cherries. The way people leave their Diwali lights up until Christmas. The Babel of accents and voices on the transit; the kindnesses I have experienced on the two occasions I’ve had car trouble and strangers appeared out of nowhere with cell phones. The ‘four o’clock stripe’ at sunset in the winter, just about the only time you can reliably see the sun. The hundreds of kilometres of lovely places to walk and ride; the hills that nearly gut you in the summer and cause articulated buses to splay out like drunks in the winter.

Watching my son do Winter Karate Training on Jericho Beach, marching in his gi into the water; paddling among the herons on the Pitt River, and then nearly dying of the effort required to get back to the dock when the tide was making.  Sunsets and sunrises of transfixing beauty.  Dealing with raccoons, skunks, coyotes, deer and bears, and once, the authorities had to tranquilize a cougar, mere blocks from the house.  Running into herons in every part of the city.  Once I startled one as I came around a corner on my bicycle and nearly fell off as a six food wingspan abruptly flung wide in front of me. The stairs at Wreck Beach and the 60’s vibe that greets you at the bottom.  Sadness at the ancient trees wrecked by a storm in Stanley Park; joy to see the statue of Lord Stanley the first time and read the beautiful words inscribed on it.  Asking Headwater to come play on the back deck for my brother’s birthday, and what an amazing concert that was.


There are things I’ve learned to dislike about Vancouver, but complaints are cheap.  I’ve learned to love my splendid city, to want to know more about her and the people who were here before the settlers came.  It was a happy accident that brought me here, and I’ll be staying here as long as I can.  Vancouver has given me a church community I cherish, co-workers whom I now consider my closest friends, and music and love and really phenomenal craft beer in abundance.


It seems strange to have been born on one coast only to find my heart’s home on the other, but Vancouver is a place that has taught me to respect the playful grip coincidence has on any human life.

An open letter to J.

who wants all the kinksters to stop promoting BDSM on the UU poly feed.  Best of British luck with that, darlin’.


letter begins…

I guess it all depends on whether you consider the uu-poly group to be a place to talk about kink.  I do, but it’s for the moderators to decide, if we aren’t a democracy.

I used to take what I thought was a moral stance on the subject of other people’s wacky sex practices, in line with how I was raised, of course, but once I figured out that what ‘paraphilias’ are, is a normal human response to various kinds of stress, plus wiring, plus repetition, I quit thinking it was necessarily a bad thing.  The moral issue is not whether it’s healthy by a narrow definition, but whether there is genuine consent.  Human beings of their nature have long childhoods and are incredibly social, and so experimentation with hierarchy in terms of dominance and submission is not just normal, it’s inevitable. And along with inevitable, we will get extreme. 

Paraphilias have been defined as a trifecta of sexuality that is extreme and dangerous and abnormal.  Funny thing; I think of rape the same way and yet we have a large constituency of people, both men and women, who think rape is part of the normal course of events – and a desirable one too, as it allows rapists to provide tools of social control for the society at large.
If we want to travel down the path of having our sexuality defined by those who will profit by othering us, then we’re getting off the UU train entirely.

In that regard the kink community has been leading the way for a number of years with an emphasis on consent for scenes. Humans contain a multitude of sexual possibilities and as long as all parties are able to give and obtain agreement for activities my opinion on whether those activities are harmful is just wind.
Paraphilias concerning those who cannot by nature give consent (children, animals, unconscious and disabled, as examples) need a better class of scientists and therapists to figure out what’s going on so it can be controlled for the benefit of all, because the people who came up with the DSM have harmed our culture almost irreparably; each successive iteration has been an object lesson in legitimized othering. I could start raving about the drug companies too and how long it took to get queerness out of the DSM but that rant’s been done better elsewhere.
Paraphilias involving consenting adults who play in safe spaces and in a fashion that isn’t a menace to public health are not my concern. Which is why I choose to call THOSE paraphilias kink, and will use the freighted medical term for people who get off forcing their violent imaginations and lust on those weaker than themselves.  Solitary paraphiliacs I just feel sorry for but I always was a softie.
I don’t want to other people.  Draw the circle wide, friends. We all need love and acceptance, and we have to model it, whether we feel like punching each other out occasionally or not, or want the (pick a minority group) – oops, I meant kinksters – to leave the room while we’re talking about our serious matters.
Letter ends
At least I didn’t say tone troll, evoke Hitler or tell her to go fuck herself, so there’s that.  I didn’t have permission to quote her letter, which was a masterpiece of liberal uptightness, srsly.

They warned me

They told me what would happen.  I started following racism eradication activists on twitter, and they told me, down to the last squeak of privilege and bleat of illogic and roar of cognitive bias and growl of hatred and whine of misdirection and concussive threat of personal violence and siren of tone policing, exactly what would happen to me when I started confronting racist speech in others, in public.  In a three round conversation, I got it all but the threat of violence, including how the other person’s spelling and grammar devolved as (I assume from the name) he completely lost his shit.

I’ve spent a lifetime avoiding conflict and trying to talk pretty; this is going to make the friendships I have with people who want to help me with the work even more important.  It already IS ugly.  Up until this point I’ve had no skin in the game.  That’s what privilege does.  Now I want to have skin in the game without getting my feelings hurt, and that’s just not going to happen, and I have to get over it, and I’m scared.

One of the things that is helping is learning about the Japanese-American and African-American troops as they served their country fighting in the Second World War.  They wanted to prove two things, their patriotism and their worth. Many made the ultimate sacrifice to demonstrate both.  As they fought in their campaigns, they encountered the worst of what human beings can do to each other, and helped destroy the engines of fascism and racism, although they could not eradicate those ideologies.  With their sacrifice in mind, I will get off my ass; I will quit whining; I will do the work.

An open letter to the Canadian Legion

Dear Canadian Legion:

In 1948 by Act of Parliament, the Canadian Legion came to own the Poppy as a trademark for marketing, advertising and fundraising activities.

These days, we encounter the poppy around the middle of October, usually outside a liquor store.

But I hate the thing. If I had a dime for every time I’ve stuck myself with a poppy pin, I could recover all the money I donated to the Legion to acquire one, usually once a year because they fall off.  It’s like they are designed to fall off and inflict pain, which certainly encourages remembrance, but I’m not sure it’s the right kind.

Since they are identical every year, cheapskates I know (including a member of my tribe) reuse them every year. I don’t, but I know people who do.

Please redesign your trademark so that you put the year on the center green bit, to encourage people to buy new ones.

PLEASE fix the fastener OR start making enamelled versions of the poppy.  It would be an effective year round fundraiser, especially if sold with branch numbers so local members could support their local with pride.  And instead of being, effectively, somewhat hazardous trash, once no longer worn, it would be beautiful jewelry.

With love and thanks to Canada’s veterans, and sincere appreciation for the work of the Legion,

AR Sloman