Firebee Dispatch #9: Does it make you happy you're so strange

date2014-10-18
9 min read

We’re back to our regularly scheduled program this week, but still late because things are still busy at work.

What I’m Up To

  • I deleted my public twitter account and quit the tech community. Read my post for more details.
  • I finally moved the rest of my sites off github pages, and moved the majority of my code off github. Better late than never.
  • I did yoga for the first time ever and did not hurt myself. I try to set the bar for success nice and low.
  • I started cooking again, and it makes me super happy. Note the new “Julie’s Cooking Corner” section of the dispatch.

Whatever the future becomes, the bottom line is we need to value being a decent human being a hell of a lot more than we do now. Our toleration of asshole behavior must end, and it’s such an integral part of nerd culture that nuking the entire thing from orbit is the only way to be sure.

Gamergate

Content notice: threats of violence and sexual assault, harassment).

I repeat again:
FUCK A CULTURE THAT SACRIFICES WOMEN ON THE ALTAR OF MEN’S HURT FEELINGS.

I have a lot of thoughts about this, but don’t have the energy to write them down right now. I recommend reading my piece about Abuse as DDoS. It’s incredibly relevant.

Below are some pieces from others that cover gamergate from a few different angles.

I am the Godzilla of bitches. I have a backbone of pure adamantium, and I’m sick of seeing them abuse my friends.

Co-opting the language and posture of grievance is how members of a privileged class express their belief that the way they live shouldn’t have to change, that their opponents are hypocrites and perhaps even the real oppressors.

If the goal of Gamergate is to wipe out corruption in games journalism—if the movement isn’t merely a bunch of loosely shaped sublimated qualms about feminism and minorities—it’s doing a shit job of identifying the actual, honest-to-god problems in games writing.

All culture wars strike these same chords, because all culture wars are at bottom about the same thing: the desperate efforts of the privileged, in an ever-pluralizing America, to cling by their nails to the perquisites of what they’d thought was once their exclusive domain.

What we have in Gamergate is a glimpse of how these skirmishes will unfold in the future—all the rhetorical weaponry and siegecraft of an internet comment section brought to bear on our culture, not just at the fringes but at the center.

By using it, someone with a vested interest in a harmful status quo can appear ‘moderate’ by positioning harassers and and people fighting harassment on the opposite sides of an imaginary spectrum, suggesting that somehow the ideal lies in the middle.

Like the Tea party, like climate deniers, the group will continue to thrive as long as it’s treated as a valid interlocutor in an important discussion.

In the News

Top universities turn out black and Hispanic computer science and computer engineering graduates at twice the rate that leading technology companies hire them, a USA TODAY analysis shows.

That’s the finding of new research that shows Hispanics earn $16,353 a year less on average than their colleagues who are not Hispanic. […] In the same high-skilled positions such as computer programmers and software developers, Asians make $8,146 less than whites and blacks $3,656 less than whites, according to the report from the American Institute for Economic Research.

Mass Media Musings

Film

In a World…

I have been meaning to see this indie film that is written by, directed, and starring Lake Bell for a while. It finally ended up on Netflix instant, so I gave it a go this weekend. It is far from a perfect film, but it has just the right mix of feminism, adorable awkwardness, and cute dialogue to please me.

As usual, here are some random bullet points. I don’t want to include too much because it would give away too many bits of the film.

  • Lake Bell is adorable, and I love her wardrobe that looks like it came from the 90s.
  • OMG Nick Offerman. Oh noes, he keeps wearing a trilby. Send help for Nick Offerman.
  • That dude from Party Down is so icky and groooooss.
  • Everyone in this film is so awkward, but I love it. It’s not annoying US Office style awkward. It’s more cute and endearing awkward.
  • One of my favorite exchanges in the film:

    • “I thought you don’t eat meat.”
    • “I don’t, but on game day you wanna taste some blood.”
  • Dear movie, you are adorable, and I like you.

Television

How to Get Away with Murder

This is a new show from Shondaland productions that I am enjoying so far. I recommend you give it a try if you like Scandal or similar shows. It suffers from some iffy writing and direction sometimes, but Viola Davis totally makes up for it. She is amazing, and I am so glad to see her getting so much screen time.

Gilmore Girls

I continue to work my way through the very nostalgic Gilmore Girls. I’m about halfway through season 2 now. The random comments continue. They include some spoilers.

  • Dean is seriously the worst. I know some people say he was ok early in the series, but I call bullshit. He’s awful from the very beginning. Being stalkery is gross. Breaking up with someone because they aren’t ready to say “I love you” when you are is gross. Being controlling is gross. Trying to get in fights with every dude who even looks sideways at your girlfriend who can clearly take care of herself is gross. Seriously, I cannot stand his character and can’t wait to get to the part where Rory leaves him.
  • Jess is kinda a douche, but I still ship him and Rory over Dean and Rory.
  • The best relationship pairing is Rory and Paris. I recommend The Toast’s take on this.
  • I kinda hate how much this show presents the image of skinny women who eat massive amounts of junk food and don’t eat vegetables or exercise.
  • The first Twin Peaks actress has arrived. Hi Shelly!

Julie’s Cooking Corner

It’s apple season, and that means it is time to make some homemade applesauce. I made some, and it was delicious. You should make some too!

homemade applesauce

Ingredients

  • A crapload of apples (I used ginger gold, but this should work with most apples)
  • A slow cooker (also known as a crock pot)
  • Water
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Spices you enjoy with apples (e.g. cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, the blood of your enemies)

Directions

  • Peel, core, and dice crapload of apples.
  • Throw crapload of diced apples and ~1 cup of water into a slow cooker.
  • Add a few cinnamon sticks and any other spices you like. I added a little ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
  • Turn the slow cooker on high for ~3 hours.
  • Remove cinnamon sticks.
  • Stir.
  • Eat the delicious applesauce.
  • Save some for later. I really like these jars (pictured above).

My Writing

There are two new posts in the Life and Times of a Tech Feminist Killjoy series.

As a reminder, I have written a bunch about allies, a relevant topic with the recent discussions about Grace Hopper Celebration. Consider reading and sharing my posts.

Without access to twitter, I no longer have a straightforward medium to share my writing. If you enjoy my stuff, I appreciate you helping get it out there by pointing people to it.

Miscellany

  • The Womansplainer. I love this idea of charging people for chatting about feminism. I think this is the only way you could get me to go back to twitter.
  • Y/N?: Binary for Humans with Haleigh Sheehan at Madison+ Ruby. This is an awesome talk I enjoyed at Madison+ Ruby this year about consent, boundaries, and tech. I highly recommend it.
  • Dispatch title from “The Beginning Is the End Is the Beginning” by The Smashing Pumpkins [youtube]

Cuteness

Kitties!

picture of my cats

Promotion

Things to Buy

Jessica Dillon’s amazing misandry slayer tees are back up on teespring. misandry slayer tee