Posts tagged a good read
Posts tagged a good read
a BRILLIANT read, and even more incentive for me to make my own wizards trope-defying and excellent.
God it’s fascinating to look at the timestamp on this one and then realize that Pratchett went on to write his Witches Series and Granny Weatherwax, who’s strong and fierce and brilliant and austere and so achingly, bitterly, intensely good. I think Granny Weatherwax would give Gandalf a hard look and Gandalf would remember he had a very urgent appointment three shires away and stroll off really fast.
Holy fuck, everybody go read this right now.
Pratchett is one of the people whose work is not only hilarious, but legitimately brilliant. I learned so much from reading his books. Even this talk is peppered with the kind of thing that makes you snort out loud and get stared at by coworkers:
No wonder witches were always portrayed as toothless — it was living in a 90,000 calorie house that did it. You’d hear a noise in the night and it’d be the local kids, eating the doorknob.
And he fucking nails the witch/wizard dichotomy. Wizards = wise, powerful, organized, educated; witches = crones who give you warts. The Tiffany Aching series addresses this directly, as do the regular Discworld books focusing on the Lancre witches. Like Roach says, Granny Weatherwax is achingly, bitterly, intensely good, and that’s partly because she’s constantly aware of how easy it would be to be bad. How someone has to do the mucky jobs and help the obnoxious and stupid and never, ever take credit for anything you didn’t do; how the hardest thing is to stay balanced just on the edge between extremes, maintain that equilibrium, do what needs to be done no matter how awful or difficult it may be. Wizards never have to think about this. They just forge straight ahead, eating big dinners and squabbling amongst themselves and taking their power for granted.
Someone linked this on Facebook, I thought I’d share.
These are pretty accurate, I think, though I don’t really care if you wanna wear something in sauna. It shouldn’t be such a big deal. And I couldn’t care less about hockey, really….
But I hate it when people can’t hold to the agreed schedule and don’t even bother to inform if they’re late or if there’s change of plans.
Also I agree on things mentioned in 1. and 6.
1. Make peace with your parents. Whether you finally recognize that they actually have your best interests in mind or you forgive them for being flawed human beings, you can’t happily enter adulthood with that familial brand of resentment.
2. Kiss someone you think is out of your league; kiss models and med students and entrepreneurs with part-time lives in Dubai and don’t worry about if they’re going to call you afterward.
3. Minimize your passivity.
4. Work a service job to gain some understanding of how tipping works, how to keep your cool around assholes, how a few kind words can change someone’s day.
5. Recognize freedom as a 5:30 a.m. trip to the diner with a bunch of strangers you’ve just met.
6. Try not to beat yourself up over having obtained a ‘useless’ Bachelor’s Degree. Debt is hell, and things didn’t pan out quite like you expected, but you did get to go to college, and having a degree isn’t the worst thing in the world to have. We will figure this mess out, I think, probably; the point is you’re not worth less just because there hasn’t been an immediate pay off for going to school. Be patient, work with what you have, and remember that a lot of us are in this together.
7. If you’re employed in any capacity, open a savings account. You never know when you might be unemployed or in desperate need of getting away for a few days. Even $10 a week is $520 more a year than you would’ve had otherwise.
8. Make a habit of going outside, enjoying the light, relearning your friends, forgetting the internet.
9. Go on a 4-day, brunch-fueled bender.
10. Start a relationship with your crush by telling them that you want them. Directly. Like, look them in the face and say it to them. Say, I want you. I want to be with you.
11. Learn to say ‘no’ — to yourself. Don’t keep wearing high heels if you hate them; don’t keep smoking if you’re disgusted by the way you smell the morning after; stop wasting entire days on your couch if you’re going to complain about missing the sun.
12. Take time to revisit the places that made you who you are: the apartment you grew up in, your middle school, your hometown. These places may or may not be here forever; you definitely won’t be.
13. Find a hobby that makes being alone feel lovely and empowering and like something to look forward to.
14. Think you know yourself until you meet someone better than you.
15. Forget who you are, what your priorities are, and how a person should be.
16. Identify your fears and instead of letting them dictate your every move, find and talk to people who have overcome them. Don’t settle for experiencing .000002% of what the world has to offer because you’re afraid of getting on a plane.
17. Make a habit of cleaning up and letting go. Just because it fit at one point doesn’t mean you need to keep it forever — whether ‘it’ is your favorite pair of pants or your ex.
18. Stop hating yourself.
19. Go out and watch that movie, read that book, listen to that band you already lied about watching, reading, listening to.
20. Take advantage of health insurance while you have it.
21. Make a habit of telling people how you feel, whether it means writing a gushing fan-girl email to someone whose work you love or telling your boss why you deserve a raise.
22. Date someone who says, “I love you” first.
23. Leave the country under the premise of “finding yourself.” This will be unsuccessful. Places do not change people. Instead, do a lot of solo drinking, read a lot of books, have sex in dirty hostels, and come home when you start to miss it.
24. Suck it up and buy a Macbook Pro.
25. Quit that job that’s making you miserable, end the relationship that makes you act like a lunatic, lose the friend whose sole purpose in life is making you feel like you’re perpetually on the verge of vomiting. You’re young, you’re resilient, there are other jobs and relationships and friends if you’re patient and open.
this list makes me feel sad, angry and like a huge failure all at the same time
Just writing my thoughts out about something I’ve seen recently.
For the record, I’ve never been one to complain about “style” that much. Style is so much more than just how you draw a certain animal for example, I’ve always thought that it’s like a person has a certain kind of handwriting - they always have their own “style” in what they do. It’s not just drawing one or two things in a certain way, it’s including your own ‘handprint’ in something you do. A much bigger picture so to speak.
I’d never go complain if I saw someone draw an eye or a paw of a wolf the same way I do. I think in general people are really sensitive about this kind of things - I know people are gathering influences from a lot of places, I’ve also been influenced by a lot of people and tried some little things I like about and brought them into my work. It’s about being inspired to try something. It doesn’t mean it’s copying anyone’s style if you gather influences and inspirations from a lot of places. We are even told to try out things that other people do at school. It doesn’t mean you have to try to be that person number 2, it’s about expanding/developing your own skills and ideas. Coincidences also happen.
When you do that, you eventually create your own way of doing things. No one is born with a distinctive drawing style, it’s something that forms over time and from the moment you put the pen on the paper for the first time I’m sure most people have some way of drawing what they’re going to draw based on what they’ve seen earlier - even at this point you might have a “collection” of your own ways of doing things.
At some point it might remind you (or other people) of something else if you’re heavily inspired by it, but again it evolves and you make it more and more your own. I mean, I wouldn’t even complain if someone tried using “my style” for fun! I used to try a replica of Wolf’s Rain-style in a few pictures/fan arts just for fun.
I wouldn’t say my style is anything super original, but I’ve been told the way I draw things, no matter what I might draw, there’s normally something that gives out that it was drawn by me (and I am always flattered to hear this, mind you). I’ve been working on this all my life (or during the time I’ve been drawing). Like I said, it’s not just simply the way I might do little certain details but the ‘entirety’ of the work so to speak.
That all said, I don’t understand it when people purposefully don’t go through this process and purposefully use all the things collected and created by someone else - all the development someone has gone through, the ‘thing’ that makes the work ‘yours’ even the little details that I mentioned too. (I understand that some people might start this way and it works for them though! Seen a few good examples of when you start with for example GNG style and after a while it doesn’t look like that anymore but again has the creator’s personal touch and mark to it. But speaking in general.).
I do get a bit sad when someone clearly uses what I’ve been working on, it feels like someone’s trying to use my handwriting/signature. Again, it’s not just because a work someone else has made reminds me of something or something I’ve drawn. It’s about looking at someone’s gallery and you can tell the person has been “studying” my/someone else’s work so much they use all the things that I’ve gathered over time. It’s not exactly that they’re taking influence or inspiration.
I’m grateful when people have been inspired by me and it feels amazing if someone tells me that.
But instead of inspiration it feels like I’ve been collecting some things for many years, and instead of starting their own collection someone takes mine.
It feels a bit bad sometimes, but I still never complain to them about it. Just seen a case of this again, and it made me feel a bit sad. :c I guess I just need to hope it’s a passing thing and they will ‘evolve’ too, but seen also people who keep it up for years and even mix us up.
Sorry about the unclear ramble, I know style is a difficult topic and like I said I’m not normally one to complain about this kind of things but I just thought I’d write how I feel about the extreme cases. I don’t want to appear overly possessive or stuck-up or anything but just wanted to write something about this topic because it was kinda personal too.
An 87 Year Old College Student Named Rose
The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn’t already know.
I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned round to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me
with a smile that lit up her entire being.
She said, “Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I’m eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?”
I laughed and enthusiastically responded, “Of course you may!” and she gave me a giant squeeze.
“Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?” I asked.
She jokingly replied, “I’m here to meet a rich husband, get married, and have a couple of kids…”
“No seriously,” I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age.
“I always dreamed of having a college education and now I’m getting one!” she told me.
After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake.We became instant friends. Every day for the
next three months, we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized listening to this “time machine”
as she shared her wisdom and experience with me.
Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and
she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.
At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I’ll never forget what she taught us. She was
introduced and stepped up to the podium.
As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor. Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said, “I’m sorry I’m so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I’ll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell
you what I know.”
As we laughed she cleared her throat and began, “We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop
playing. There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humor every day.
You’ve got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die.
We have so many people walking around who are dead and don’t even know it!There is a huge difference between growing
older and growing up.
If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don’t do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old.
If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight.
Anybody can grow older. That doesn’t take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change.
Have no regrets.
The elderly usually don’t have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those
She concluded her speech by courageously singing “The Rose.”
She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives.
At the year’s end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those years ago. One week after graduation Rose died
peacefully in her sleep.
Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it’s
never too late to be all you can possibly be .When you finish reading this, please send this peaceful word of advice to your friends and family, they’ll really enjoy it!
These words have been passed along in loving memory of ROSE.
REMEMBER, GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY. GROWING UP IS
We make a Living by what we get, We make a Life by what we give.
you know what annoys me a whole lot about tumblr
is that it glorifies and promotes this antisocial cynical attitude in young teenagers where refusing to relate or communicate with people is a POSITIVE thing
that staying at home on the internet constantly, isolating yourself completely and refusing to talk to people because they ‘dont understand you’ or your fandoms, because you’re a special snowflakye tumblr user who knows big words like ‘gender binary.’
newsflash that isnt healthy and you’re setting yourself up for a huge shock when you get to the real world and have to realise that you actually have to communicate well with people to get through university and jobs and a career, not bitch about how your class mates dont understand supernatural slash on tumblr or whatever
… how the hell is tumblr isolating yourself?
Currently, I communicate more on tumblr than anywhere else. The internet is the best tool of communication I have ever encountered and one of the best I can even imagine. I am a 24-year-old microbiology PhD student. I nearly wasn’t. I grew up in a small town with a subpar school and anti-intellectual parents who used to yell at me for getting A-B averages (B-C average was just fine for them and apparently more was showing off, I don’t know). When I first got the internet, I was a young teen who was just getting into fantasy novels, and through yahoo groups (oh god nostalgia), I was introduced to the world of online roleplay. I have never been great at communication, and it was online that I learned how to interact properly, how to share information concisely and how to absorb it from other players. I moved on to forum roleplays with stricter expectations on writing quality. I learned to write. I learned to put my passion in text and make information flow in ways that weren’t boring to read, and it was those skills that gave me A’s in English and that now go into my scientific papers. I was introduced to new writers, and to new people and new cultures from around the world. Through text, I learned to better understand spoken word. I learned to relate better to people in physical space. I used the internet to learn what my school couldn’t teach me and my parents didn’t want me to care about and I slowly accepted my love of science.
I met scientists online. Midway through high school, I was on forums sharing my love of scientists with 50-year-old biologists on the other side of the world. And they were my support network when home life was rough, they were my random advice-givers when I was missing ingredients for a recipe; I was there when their family members died or when they couldn’t find a certain scrap of information. They gave me the courage to go to university against my parents’ wishes. When I couldn’t find a place to stay they, from the other side of the world, found me one.
To keep in touch with my meatspace friends, I used Livejournal, then Facebook. (I resisted long enough to have missed Myspace entirely.) And through those I met new people to talk to and to share our lives and art. And then a friend got me onto Tumblr. I met people who have problems I could help with. I met people who had problems I couldn’t help with, but I knew someone who could. I met people who could help me. I learned about new things and new perspectives, I was introduced to new shows and books and new facts about the world and ways of looking at it. I wrote new fiction, and people read it, and it made their lives better in the same way that their art made mine better. I’d been put onto the DCAU through a roleplay forum and become interested in superheroes, particularly DC’s Earth-16; I found a twitter roleplay group and made new friends, great friends I could share things with — my first real experience with actual “fandom”.
You know what Tumblr is? Tumblr is the place where, last week, I met somebody confused and scared about their sexuality, and I made them feel better simply by sharing my own experience. Tumblr is where a girl in America I’ve never met makes me smile by simply drawing two fictional characters being cute together. Tumblr is what convinced me to read Homestuck, which turned out to be brilliant. Tumblr is where I taught five children how viruses work and what makes Herpes Simplex different from Chicken Pox. Tumblr is where I pretend to be an alien artificial intelligence and make people smile, and where I write fiction specifically to make my friends smile. Tumblr is where we band together to comfort and support a young woman who has just been diagnosed with cancer. Tumblr is where I can scroll randomly through a bunch of random pictures and statements and see somebody express a feeling or opinion or remark on a situation that I’ve experienced, and I thought I was alone, and for that one moment I’m reminded that I’m not. Tumblr is where I can be myself in ways I don’t dare to in front of people who physically live close enough to actually hurt me.
Those kids you were talking about? They communicate more than you ever did at their age. They read more than you ever did. That’s what they’re doing, here. This is their yahoo groups, their collection of forums, their email chain lists if you go back that far. And they do have meatspace friends. They make friends here that they’ll talk to offline too, even if they don’t know them in meatspace yet. This is where they learn to communicate eloquently in text such as in email, which is a vital survival skill these days, especially if they go into academia. This is where they learn concise, novel or interesting ways to express themselves. Don’t be fooled by the local lingo. The trailing sentences, lack of capitalisaion and punctuation, keyboard mashing, etc. is a perfectly consistent form of communication and is no more unusual or crude than any other local dialect. It doesn’t mean they can’t speak ‘properly’ — in fact it requires a good sense of language to sense and follow the structure correctly (and yes, there is structure). It is a word game. Young communicators are experimenting with their medium. That’s what kids (and most adults) do — experiment with stuff.
Teenagers have been drawing away from parents and friends claiming they “don’t understand them” SINCE THE DAWN OF TIME. It is the defining stereotypical trait of a teenager. It didn’t come into existence because they could type it on the internet, and it wouldn’t go away if they didn’t. When I didn’t have internet, I withdrew into books. Some withdraw into religion, or into a small group of 3 or 4 friends and refuse to talk to anyone else. It’s what teens DO. If anything, withdrawing into such a huge social circle is the opposite — it’s opening up to even more people. This site is not a shield against having a social circle. This is a part of their social circle. And there are a lot of things about it that are very stupid, but no more than there are in meatspace, or that there are in any other online tool.
So either get out of their face, or get the fuck off their lawn.
I think one of the most fundamental misapprehensions people have about the value of commissions is that no one really gets told how mass production defrays costs to the consumer. So, when they see the prices for custom artwork online, they expect the retail prices they see in stores, and it doesn’t work like that.
You go to the poster section at wal-mart. There’s an amazing poster there. It’s got dragons. It’s got wizards. It’s huge. It’s, what, 12 bucks? Awesome, good deal. You can afford that. It’s as much as three or four cheeseburgers, dang, that’s some serious amounts of art.
You go on the internet. Some asshole wants 12 bucks for a crappy sketch of one character sort of standing there. What the fuck? It looks like crap. It’s nothing compared to the poster you just bought from a store. If that dragon poster is worth 12 bucks, this dumbass sketch should be one buck. Maybe fifty cents. That’s if you’re being generous. You don’t even get a print, it’s just going to be a file on your computer, it’s not even actually real! What a rip off.
The thing is, that sketch took an hour, or two hours, or maybe even four hours. The artist drew it for a fraction of minimum wage. Drawing is hard. It took thousands of hours and a really special kind of dedicated self loathing to learn to do that. It might have taken thousands of bucks of tuition money, which means semesters, which means years of early mornings and late nights and maybe even some crying here and there.
Your dragon poster was not made by a guy who got paid 12 bucks. Your awesome dragon poster was made by a guy who got paid hundreds of bucks. Maybe thousands. Because a company paid him, and then turned around and made even more thousands of dollars off that artwork, by selling instances of it to multiple people, 12 bucks at a time. It’s called mass production, and it leaves the general public with no real clue as to the sheer amount of time and effort and skill that goes into every single thing they can buy for the price of a couple cheeseburgers.
Artists who work on commission don’t generally have the advantage of mass production. Every picture is made new and custom for each client. Instead of charging the hundreds of dollars an hour a professional artist could ask for from a company, we’re asking for just enough to get by, and sometimes a hell of a lot less than that. Because it’s what people will pay, because it’s what they think art is worth, because it’s what a lot of young, naive, desperate artists are willing to agree their art is worth, and because there’s always going to be some kid who thinks they’re being ripped off because they don’t really get what they’re being asked to pay for.
I should have some pithy and clever thing to say here to wrap it up but all I can think to say is basically the whole situation is sad and scary and I hope eventually we’ll all have a better way to deal with each other, and everyone will be a lot clearer on what it takes to do art and to get art.
I found this article really insightful, and it does a great job of summing up one of the most typical and frustrating responses to someone rightfully raising issue with an idea
“”Excuse me,” she asked. “Can I buy you a coffee?”
It was a nice surprise. Most people don’t buy me cups of coffee, and I was just sitting at the Starbucks trying to plot my novel. So it was kind of charming, to have a cute girl offer to buy me a free drink. I told her sure. She brought me a nice iced chai, and sat down next to me, and then asked, “So have you heard about Jesus?”
Now, as it turns out, I’m a Christian, so I’m not opposed to Jesus -– but it was a little disappointing to realize this drink wasn’t done out of niceness, but as a sort of recruiting tool. Maybe I’d have been into a religious discussion if she’d said, “Hey, let’s have a philosophical talk,” but as it was, I felt a little betrayed. So I said that I wasn’t interested, as politely as I could (for I was sipping a delicious drink), and returned to my plotting.
The next day, another girl: “Hey, can I buy you a coffee?”
This time, I was trying to work out a difficult programming solution in my mind, and she asked me at exactly the right moment to have all of my thoughts collapse like a house of cards. “Are you just going to ask me about Jesus?”
”Oh, no,” she said, reassuring me. “It’s just that I think you’re cute.” And she was kind of pretty.
“…all right,” I said, guardedly. She bought the coffee. Sat down at my table.
”But if you were wondering about Jesus…” she said earnestly, and I ejected her from my table. I kept the drink, though. It seemed cruel, but she had been stupid enough to buy it for me even though I didn’t want it.
Over the next week, it just got worse. Two or three times a day I’d be deep in thought, trying to focus on this tangled plotting that I needed to resolve, and some woman would tap me on the shoulder to offer me a cup of coffee. I couldn’t concentrate, because sometimes they were very insistent: “You sure you don’t want a coffee, sweetie?” they’d ask, sometimes lurking over me after I’d refused them, just in case I changed my mind. Sometimes they just bought the coffee for me anyway, without even asking me if I wanted it, plopping themselves across the table from me and yammering on about being saved.
It was affecting my concentration. I started to tense up at the Starbucks, waiting for the next Jesus freak’s interruption. If it was a regular thing, like an hourly interruption, then maybe I could have worked around it, but it was erratic. Some days, I’d have four or five at once, other days I’d be blissedly free of interruption. But I had to be continually braced for the next hand on my shoulder, knowing that no matter what I was doing they’d be bursting into my personal space. I wrote less, my programs were buggier.
My friends couldn’t understand my upset. “Dude,” they told me. “You never have to pay for coffee again in your life! You’ve got it made! Do you know how much money you’re saving?”
”But I don’t want to talk to these people,” I said.
”You’ve talked about God with us before,” they replied. “Sometimes, we’ll stay up until two, three in the morning discussing the nature of heaven and hell. You dig philosophy, Ferrett. If you like talking about that shit with us, then why not with them?”
”Because they’re just one-note and don’t really care what I have to say,” I said.
”Just try ‘em, man. Some of them are cute. Maybe some of them actually want to date you!”
”I guess,” I said. “But how do I know which ones are genuine without having to talk to a bunch of phonies?”
Eventually, it got to the point where I started bringing friends with me for cover, so I wouldn’t get interrupted. That didn’t work, either –- while it helped, the more aggressive proselytizers would interrupt me in mid-sentence to ask me if I wanted a drink. Suddenly, the Starbucks wasn’t fun anymore -– it wasn’t a place to hang out, but a place where I’d just constantly be bugged by attention I didn’t want. And the guys who weren’t getting free drinks were calling me stuck-up, jealous that I was getting all these free drinks and not even wanting them.
So I stopped going.
Okay. Clearly, that didn’t happen. But I’m trying to prove a point here.
One of the things that guys don’t get is why women don’t like to be hit on. As a guy, when you get hit on, even if it’s a clumsy attempt, it’s generally a very rare and remarkable event –- it puts a spring in your step, even if you’re not particularly attracted to the woman, because as an average-looking guy, scarcity of compliments is the norm. So if a girl catcalls you and goes, “Nice butt!” and appears to be serious, there’s often this sort of strange pride. Hey, that doesn’t happen often, she must really be into me.
So a lot of guys have this unspoken attitude of, “I wish I’d be harassed.” And they don’t get why women are so angry when hey, I was just trying to be nice, why you gotta be so mean?
Thing is, when it’s not scarce, then even the nicest act starts to get annoying. Because you don’t get to control when people are quote-unquote “nice” to you, and it happens all the time, and you know there’s always a hidden cost behind it. You start to question people’s niceness, because they’re not doing it to be kind, they’re doing it because they want something from you. And maybe, yes, that’s something you like to give to certain people, but definitely not to everyone, and almost certainly not to the kind of guy who’s certain you’re going to give it to him if he just bugs you enough.
Harassment isn’t once. Harassment comes from a lifetime of dealing with people constantly doing things to you, whether you wanted them or not, at random intervals. You learn not to trust people. And what might have been pleasant, once, as an isolated incident, starts to feel pretty oppressive when it’s something you deal with on a weekly basis. It changes you, and then guys call you bitchy when you don’t feel like playing along and pretending this is just about the coffee.
But I think most of ‘em would feel the same were the tables turned. So please. Think about what you’re spouting.”
Keeping in mind that no metaphor is ever a perfect 1:1, I’ve always loved this article by my friend Ferrett. It tackles a few specific types of harassment, and is a good starting point for understanding where a lot of women are coming from when it comes to being harassed in public, and why it’s not a compliment. It’s not meant to be a fully comprehensive explanation of all types of harassment and how women have to deal with each and every type (as some have criticized already).
This one type of harassment, seen by many to be not a “real” problem or not a big deal, is a big deal. It’s good to deconstruct not only violent and abusive acts, but those seemingly harmless acts that whittle away at our psyches until we snap, and get called overreactive. This will hopefully help those who have not experienced sexual harassment to understand at least some small part of it, and hopefully will inspire people to look more deeply at other areas of sexism as well.
Gotta hand it to him, the man writes a great analogy.