Saturday, October 22, 2016

Personal Digest Saturday: October 15 – October 21

Life news this week: 
  • Saturday I kinda did the minumum activity to not actually turn into a bump on a log. I recorded a new ukulele song, did a book review, and packed a bag for the early trip I'd be taking the next day. Ehh.
  • Sunday was awesome--it was my friend Victor's birthday party out at the Thai Temple, and almost everyone he invited came! My bus ride was almost a disaster but not quite--I almost missed the bus because my coffee mug turned out to be inappropriate at the last minute and I couldn't find a lid for the substitute! But I figured it out and ran for the stop, and made it with a minute to spare. Once at the Temple I got to see my friends Jeaux, Joy, Yasmin, Anita, and Eric. We ate good food and hung out for a long time, and I got some drawing done too! And then Joy was nice enough to drive me home so I didn't have to take three buses. I took a nap and spent the rest of the day chilling and doing laundry.
  • Monday was a long work day and was okay except a) my heels had blisters and b) I was hungry all day for some reason. I got computer stuff done, did grocery shopping after work, talked to my mom on the phone, played my ukulele, and got a bunch of dishes done--plus I decided to try the absurd Snack Sushi recipe I saw on a Steven Universe short (avocado sushi with . . . cheese puffs in it . . . yeah I don't know either). I took some weird pictures of it that are in the photos section.
  • Tuesday work was longer than expected because I stayed to finish a project but someone else wasn't done with their part so I didn't really need to stay. Then I met up with my mom and we ate at Burger Monger for the first time. She said her burger was good. I liked my grilled cheese! Then I showed my mom some ukulele songs. After she left I read and slept.
  • Wednesday I ordered pizza for the office and we had a spelling bee. It sounds weird, but we are a weird office. I didn't win it if you can believe that. Then I met Jeaux for Panera where I literally ate a cinnamon roll for dinner. We listened to Night Vale and didn't do much else, and after he left I also didn't do much else.
  • Thursday I woke up early for some reason and still didn't do anything important. I helped at work with a presentation and went home and read a book. Then I talked to Victor on the phone and played with some new toys that came in the mail. :)
  • Friday everyone at the office was out at a meeting except me and Jessica. It was a low-key day. Then I went home and did my webcomics and actually got some pretty important stuff done, like making a shopping list, buying a birthday gift, and making plans for my next webcomic storyboard. Also, I voted by mail.

New reviews of my book:
  • None.
      Interviews, Features, Mentions:
      • Nothing I wanna talk about. 
      Reading progress:
        New singing performances:

        This week's performance was "Love Don't Live Here Anymore" by Madonna.

        New drawings:

        I did some new Steven Universe drawings, one colored and one not.

        Messy pencil sketch of younger Steven
        learning ukulele.
        And the colors are off but this is my group Gem Hug. :)

        And then the usual webcomic stuff.

        Webcomic So You Write Issue 65: "Five Times."

        Webcomic Negative One Issue 0597: "In Our Hearts."

        New videos:

        I decided to start uploading my ukulele videos to a hidden list on YouTube, so here's the latest: Linger by the Cranberries. I know this isn't very good but I'm getting better at it, really.


        New photos:

        Victor making a weird face for our selfie at Thai Temple.
        Jeaux exists, though some don't believe it.
        Eric is a pretty princess.
        Joy is enjoying the noms and the sun.
        Eric and Jeaux.
        More Eric and Jeaux. I couldn't tell what I was photographing because it was bright.
        Jeaux and Anita.
        Making my Snack Sushi.
        Completed sushi rolls.
        Gonna feed some to my Lion like in the cartoons.
        Here's the cheese puff sushi up close. It's way good.
        Voted by mail!

        And the haircut comparison photos:

        Front, February 2014
        Front, October 2016
        Back, February 2014
        Back, October 2016

        Social Media counts:
        YouTube subscribers: 5,336 for swankivy (no change), 605 for JulieSondra (4 new). Twitter followers: 847 for swankivy (1 new), 1,304 for JulieSondra (lost 6). Facebook: 294 friends (no change) and 203 followers (1 new) for swankivy, 644 likes for JulieSondra (1 new), 56 likes for Negative One (no change), 125 likes for So You Write (lost 1). Tumblr followers: 2,467 (lost 1). Instagram followers: 87 (no change).

        Wednesday, October 19, 2016

        Wednesday Factoid: Introvert vs. Extrovert

        Today's Wednesday Factoid is: Are you more introverted or extroverted?

        Introvert, definitely.

        "Introvert" is frequently misinterpreted as a synonym for "shy." It's also frequently treated by extroverts as a problem to "get past," as if introverts are having less fun or limiting their opportunities or suffering from fear if they admit to being introverts.

        I think information about introvert vs. extrovert is becoming more common now; I don't see the misinterpretations as often as I used to. But people still sometimes express surprise that I could consider myself an introvert if I am not shy, if I'm not scared of public speaking or public performance, and if I can visit crowded public places or interact socially without a problem.

        Introversion isn't some kind of character hangup that stops people from doing things. It's an expression of personality and comfort; it means that where a "people person" would feel rejuvenated by human contact, I find social interaction to be more of a drain on my resources, and I need alone time to recuperate. That doesn't mean that crowds in general bother me at all--in fact, I'd be far more drained from intense social interaction with an individual or small group than I would be moving through a crowd or performing for strangers. It also doesn't mean I resent or suffer due to social interactions. I just don't need it or want it all the time, and like to spend a lot of time alone.

        It strikes me as very odd when people interpret this as a defense mechanism. As if the only reason someone might make a claim about preferring their own company would be if they didn't have friends or couldn't get anyone to give them attention. But I guess I shouldn't be surprised. A certain type of person assigns their own beliefs and desires as normal and default, and casts suspicion on anyone who doesn't value the same things. The easiest thing to do is shame them, accuse them of lying, or frame happiness as necessarily containing very specific factors that everyone "needs." I would never tell someone who felt fulfilled with a whirlwind social life and spent almost no time alone that they were clearly compensating for not being able to handle their own company, nor would I make condescending comments about them not knowing themselves very well if they're always bouncing off someone else. I understand that people's wants and needs are diverse. So it's weird how I encounter so many challenges to mine.

        Tuesday, October 18, 2016

        More thoughts on bullying

        Last week I wrote about bullying on my Wednesday Factoid prompted blog, but I have some thoughts on its mechanics now. And it happens to be National Bullying Prevention Month, so here are my thoughts.

        In recommendations regarding bullying, we usually see a lot of commentary on what you should do if you are bullied, and a little bit of weak commentary on how bullies shouldn't bully without much examination as to why they do. But I want to talk about the enablers.

        The victim blamers.

        I touched on this last week when I mentioned several times that adults assured me I was being picked on because a boy liked me. This goes hand in hand with any comment that responds to "I'm being bullied" with "they're doing this because of X." Trying to explain the bullying, and trying to either frame it as inevitable or frame it as something you, the bullied person, have a responsibility to handle properly. Or else it will just keep happening to you. You, who did not choose your bully, but were chosen by your bully. You, who presumably did nothing to deserve the bullying or negative attention, and you, who now get to deal with other people suggesting you have caused the bullying by one of your own actions or inactions.

        The message this sends is that bullying is a natural occurrence that just "happens"--it, unlike whatever you did to deserve it, is not a decision. It's just Thing That Happens, and there's no use in addressing it at the source. Bullying will happen unless You Do Something About It, and it has to be the right thing, and it has to work, and if you won't handle it properly then hey, guess you'll just have to suffer.

        I have been told as an adult and also as a child that the "answer" is "just ignore it" or "don't let him know he's getting to you" or "bully him back" or "laugh with him" or "stop letting it bother you" or "it's because you make yourself a target." Whenever I've had these things suggested to me as an adult (usually in more subtle ways), I instantly remember all the times I was shamed for not "handling it" as a child. It really hasn't changed, though I of course have these issues far less frequently. But even in adult life if I complain about a difficult work situation or discuss a bad experience with another adult talking to me in a disrespectful way, I still occasionally get told that it's because of something I'm doing to attract it.

        I'm not sure if people understand they're essentially saying "You're not respectable, because if you were, people would respect you." I'm not sure if people understand they're reinforcing the bullies' ideology--that the bullying isn't something they make the decision to do, but something that happens to you if you're weak in a certain way. I'm not sure if people understand they're giving victims less power, not more.

        In a different but sort of related situation, I had a recurring problem for a while in my young adulthood when I would visit someone else's home and get jumped on, scratched, and licked by a dog they would not control. I'm not really afraid of dogs (unless they are violent), but I don't really like touching them or interacting with them. I just kinda like watching them. But I do NOT like when they jump on me or lick me. I usually respond to this by turning around so the dog a) can't jump on my more tender areas and b) sees a signal I'm not interested in interacting. But during these times I was repeatedly told that the dog did this to me because I didn't preemptively say or do something I was supposed to do to stop them from jumping on me, or because the dog just wants to play awww why don't you just give him a scratch, or because the dog could inherently sense I was afraid (I was not).

        Notice that the dog owner never acknowledged that it was okay for me to not like this behavior, and that they never acknowledged that they had the power to control their dog.

        When you let someone undergo an experience they have been vocal about not enjoying, and you tell them it's happening to them because they did the wrong thing/failed to do the right thing/inherently cause the situation . . . congratulations, you're enabling bullying. Not that I would ordinarily want to compare a doggie to a bully, though. In human interactions, human bullies are making those decisions, and those with the power to put them on a leash don't do it. Usually it's because they either make noises about the bully's right to not be on a leash (irrespective of the bullied person's greater suffering) or because they don't believe or don't care that the bullied person is suffering at all. It's not that bad, I'm sure you've heard. And it's so inconvenient when we mind. If only we just liked or humored every dog that jumps on us and slobbers on us while ripping our shirts and leaving scratches on our skin. If only we said "no" in the right tone of voice that we were supposed to somehow know, or if only didn't attract enthusiastic dogs with our body language.

        So my message isn't for the bullied people or the bullies themselves. It's for the enablers. The people who make bullied people feel there's no escape, or that they cause the bullying, or that they shouldn't complain about it if they're not willing to try (usually) impractical, superficial adjustments to their own behavior, or that they should fight the bully on their own terms so they'll never mess with someone again (ha, ha, ha). If you have advice, ask if they're looking for perspectives before you tell them what to do, and never phrase it as "why didn't you just X?" or "that's happening because you Y."

        Express sympathy, and don't say anything that blames them for the behavior they're tolerating, even if you think you know why bullies react to it. Don't just tell them bullies are weak or are jealous of them or are interested in them romantically as an explanation of their behavior; this frames bullying as a force of nature. You might consider helping them look up resources, but don't dump judgmental advice on them in a way that makes them feel like standing up to bullying might be worse than the bullying itself. Or that you as their friend (or whatever you are) can't be trusted as an ally. You don't want to be one more person who wouldn't listen or wouldn't understand. You don't want to be one more person to tell them they're bullied because something in who they are is wrong, not because bullies decide to bully.

        And yes, before anyone says it, conflict resolution skills can sometimes be helpful. It's not abusive or cruel to offer coping ideas or engagement techniques if the person is asking you what to do or seems open to your suggestions if you offer. What you want to avoid is making them feel like they deserve to be bullied unless they "handle it." You also want to avoid teaching them that they're a target, or that any trait they have is a natural magnet that they should just expect people to harass them for. People can get very self-conscious if they're trained to believe bullying types are instantly noticing something about them and zooming in on it to start torment. Not many people who are bullied react to this by "toughening up" or changing the traits that are changeable. Mostly they just end up losing more confidence, which--as you have probably noticed--makes them less prepared to handle if a bully targets them.

        If you truly want to help bullying victims, don't make them feel responsible for their bullying. First and foremost, express sympathy and remind them they don't deserve this treatment, and secondly, identify the source of the bullying as the bully, not something they do to make it happen to them (e.g., "if you weren't so girly they wouldn't tease you," "your clothing choices make people think you're awkward," "if you didn't talk that way they'd have nothing to mock you for"). And if you're dealing with a child or someone who is being viciously bullied in a way that's potentially dangerous (e.g., it crosses the line into destruction of property, physically painful pranks, stealing personal items, or stalking), you might help them contact the proper authorities--supervisors, principals, or law enforcement.

        And please, don't try some inspirational movie–inspired tactic like pushing them to show them who's boss by issuing a worse/more effective prank, getting the bully in trouble with a ruse to embarrass or shame them for something they didn't do, or harassing the bully yourself. This is not a good idea and doesn't help, even if movies usually show the bully getting theirs and then running away or swearing off bullying forever. Real bullies are vindictive people who hurt others for a variety of reasons, and not all of them do it because of lack of confidence, attempts at compensation, jealousy, or deep dissatisfaction with their own lives. You don't necessarily know why they do it, and you shouldn't pretend to know or prey on them for their weaknesses. Point is, if you try to get back at them, they will usually lose their temper and bully far worse, not back off forever and sit down defeated. People who retaliate in mean-spirited ways or use underhanded tactics also can't appeal to law and order as easily if a feud gets out of hand. The focus should be on stopping the bullying, not punishing the bully.

        I don't care to offer specific anti-bullying instructions because a) I'm no authority on that and b) the situations where bullies bully are so individual and diverse, but I did want to say this for people on the sidelines. Do not become an enabler. The bullies are the perpetrators, but you, as an enabler, would be one of the people who makes the world safe for their bullying.

        Saturday, October 15, 2016

        Personal Digest Saturday: October 8 – October 14

        Life news this week: 
        • Saturday I actually mostly just did things I'd been meaning to do all week! I also played my ukulele a lot and reviewed a book. Sigh.
        • Sunday I banged out a bunch of content--some videos and Internet maintenance, mostly. And I got the dishes and laundry done. I know it is super fascinating.
        • Monday I worked, went grocery shopping, and made sushi at home! I had never made sushi before and it was sort of successful but I made the rolls too big. And at night I did some video editing.
        • Tuesday I actually got a battery changed at the office so now it's not beeping all the time anymore. Mom didn't want to hang out so I did some drawings and made sushi again with my leftover materials. Came out much better this time!
        • Wednesday was spent buried in wires again and I helped the folks with graphics. I met Jeaux for Burger 21 food, and we went to my place to consume media: a news program, a silly Internet video, Night Vale, and a recording of a Steven Universe panel at a convention. I drew a picture while we were listening to the podcast. After he left I just worked on video editing and played ukulele.
        • Thursday was uneventful except I talked to Victor on the phone and drew pictures for my comic. It was a really good talk though.
        • Friday was sort of long at work, and afterwards I met Mom and we went shopping at Target together. I got a final piece for my Halloween costume and bought some fun plates for my party.

        New reviews of my book:
            Interviews, Features, Mentions:
            • None.
            Reading progress:
              New singing performances:

              This week's performance was a duet with EmmaJane: "What Is This Feeling?" from Wicked!

              New drawings:

              I did some new Steven Universe drawings of an experimental sort this week.

              This one is my favorite Crystal Gem, Garnet, giving you the eye. Well, more than one.

              Pretty sure you will not succeed in hiding from her.

              And here I tried to draw her without using any references for the first time. I mostly got her details right, and it's decent for not using a model despite the variations.

              "~this is garnet~!"
              And finally, I tried another reference-less doodle of other characters, which was not quite as successful but it's still cute.

              Ruby and Sapphire, the show's power couple!
              And then the usual webcomic.

              Webcomic Negative One Issue 0596: "Faraway Shot."

              New videos:

              I decided to start uploading my ukulele videos to a hidden list on YouTube, so here's the latest: Cecilia by Simon and Garfunkel.

              And my latest asexuality video is Letters to an Asexual #40, which is about terminology we use and interpretations of contradictions in terms.


              New photos:

              In the process of making sushi for the first time.
              I made sushi rolls that turned out to be too big for my mouth.

              Social Media counts:
              YouTube subscribers: 5,336 for swankivy (lost 9), 601 for JulieSondra (no change). Twitter followers: 846 for swankivy (4 new), 1,310 for JulieSondra (4 new). Facebook: 294 friends (no change) and 202 followers (2 new) for swankivy, 644 likes for JulieSondra (1 new), 56 likes for Negative One (no change), 126 likes for So You Write (no change). Tumblr followers: 2,468 (1 new). Instagram followers: 87 (1 new).

              Wednesday, October 12, 2016

              Wednesday Factoid: Bullying

              Today's Wednesday Factoid is: Were you ever bullied in school?

              Oh yeah. You better believe I was bullied.

              I don't think it was incredibly intense. I don't recall being the specific target of any large-scale bullying campaigns or anything, but you know, you do the math. I'm quiet and small and daydreamed a lot and read a lot and took advanced classes. People like me were always targets.

              I don't recall any extensive physical bullying, thankfully. I did have a boy in fourth grade who used to try to touch me on the playground (petting my hair and stuff) and when I'd run away from him he'd chase me, catch up to me easily, and then put both hands on my shoulders from behind and jump so his weight went down on me and I'd fall. He also used to pester me to give him my snacks in the classroom. I told the teacher and she got him to stop, though I also got to hear from other people that I should find it flattering because he probably liked me.

              When I was older, in middle school, there was a boy whose last name was so close to mine that we were always next to each other if lockers or seats were arranged in alphabetical order. He was an absolute ass, and used to do stuff like waiting until I was done with an assignment before leaning over and scribbling on my paper with a pen so I'd have to copy it over, or wiping spit on me, or one time he hit his own head on my locker door when he wasn't looking and he blamed me for it (and "punished" me for it by slamming my own locker door against me so I had a bruise, and weirdly he called me a "faggot" while he was doing it, so I guess he didn't know what that word meant). 

              That same guy used to chase and kick my best friend, and I mean they would kick each other very hard and practically wrestle. I counted myself lucky that no one would do that to me, but she was bigger than him and I guess maybe it's not very satisfying to hit or hurt someone who's really small. When we were in high school he tried to be nice and sociable to me and I didn't accept it.

              Boys who rode my bus in middle school latched onto harassing me pretty early on. These two clowns from my neighborhood would sit behind wherever I sat, and they would make fun of me for not having friends to sit with. One of them would lean over the seat and ask me over and over again "Are you a loner?" and then both boys would laugh. One day one of them put gum in my hair and everyone laughed at me for crying about it. I was also again told that these boys liked me and didn't know how to show it.

              I'm not really sure if the bullying "stopped" in high school or if I just didn't give a crap? I had a lot of other stuff going on and had things to be passionate about, I guess. I was also more confident and had more friends around me who had common interests, so I guess I looked like less of a target. I did tend to be friends with people who weren't typical, though, so I guess I'd occasionally deal with nonsense, but nothing like elementary and middle school.

              I did have a couple weird little incidents in college, though. And again, it was a symptom of being alone, apparently. In music school we were required to be in an ensemble, and for singers that meant choral groups. I auditioned to get into the audition-only selective group, University Choir, figuring if I didn't get in I'd just join one of the open groups, but I did get in. Which, unbeknownst to me at the time, meant singing with people much older than me (upperclassmen and grad students). I believe there were two freshmen in the group of fifty. So I didn't know anyone from my classes.

              I took to reading before class and during class breaks instead of talking to people around me--most of my interactions with the older sopranos around me were weirdly antagonistic, so I kept to myself. At the end of the year there was a sort of unofficial yearbook that someone made, and it had some photos of the members. All of the photos of other people were with groups, smiling or posing, and then there was a shot of me, by myself, reading. I don't think there was a caption. At an event celebrating the culmination of the year, I got a gag award for being an airhead. It was called the "Hello! Up here!" award. Yeah, I got to get called to a podium during an event and receive the "award." That's a really gross thing to do. Though I do recall that a bunch of the awards were in poor taste. (I don't remember the title of this one, but one girl received an "award" that implied no one knew who she was or could remember her name unless you refer to her by the size of her boobs.)

              There was also this dude in that class who took a liking to pestering me. He had a girlfriend and was a frat boy, but people I talked to about it STILL said he must just be an unconfident guy who didn't know how to talk to girls. (I'm really, really sick of that narrative.) I actually forget what he even did. I just remember he'd come find me and say inappropriate things to me and then laugh when I didn't like it. And the interactions always felt like he thought we were playing, but I'd make it clear I didn't want to play and didn't like him, and he'd still give me the "you know you like it" nonsense. Weirdly, this bully had a redemption. We did Secret Santas in our choral group, and I have a history of getting secret partners who literally give me nothing or get me something inappropriate (in Girl Scouts my secret pal never got any gifts for me except ONE time and it was a candy cane pen--for the girl who doesn't celebrate Christmas). But that year I got a couple really nice packages, including a tee shirt for a cartoon I liked.

              When the secret partners were revealed, I found out not only was my Secret Santa this guy, but that he'd gone to the organizers and requested me. He wrote me a note saying he realized he'd been teasing me all year and had only recently realized that he'd gone too far and wanted to make it up to me. That was relatively cool of him. Still kinda felt like too little too late (and people somehow always manage to underestimate how small I am; the tee shirt was too big), but it's a way better story than most.

              Monday, October 10, 2016

              Deliberate deception and confirmation bias

              CW: mention of child rape, sexual assault, crass language

              Two evils of gathering information through social media are the potential to mislead through ignorance and the potential to mislead deliberately.

              I obviously hate the latter more. And I generally am not friends with too many people (knowingly, anyway) who are willing to obscure facts on purpose to get their way. I have seen too much of this in, specifically, the asexual community to avoid recognizing its scent in other contexts--we have, to use a recent example, people who redefine the term "demisexual" to exaggerate what it means so they can mock it and accuse demisexual people of "special snowflaking" their identity. I'm not sure why it doesn't cause cognitive dissonance for them if they knowingly distort what they're describing so it's easier to make fun of it, but they do it all the time. The fact that they have to fabricate before potential allies turn on the target does not seem to bother them.

              But then we have politics.

              Lately, in an attempt to "get back" at "the other side," two political posts have been going around. One is claiming Hillary Clinton volunteered as a lawyer for a child rapist and laughed at the child's fate. The other is claiming Barack Obama has "demanded ribs and pussy." These have been circulated uncritically among some people, and they are both DELIBERATE reframings of things that did not happen. Someone DELIBERATELY took these stories and replaced reality with nonsense to make their subjects look bad.

              There are LEGITIMATE reasons to criticize these politicians. People who do not like them should criticize what they actually DID DO AND SAY.

              Hillary Clinton did not eagerly defend a child rapist (she was appointed because he demanded a woman lawyer and she was one of the only ones available in the county at the time, and she explicitly tried to get out of it), and she did not laugh at the child's fate (one of the things she "laughed at" in the interview was that the rapist passed a lie detector test while lying, and she was chuckling at the absurdity while saying her faith in those machines was lost). The rapist was also pleading guilty, so she did not prove him innocent or whatever the latest meme is telling you. Someone took this case and tried to paint her as a monster for things she did not do, and they did it knowingly because they would have had to read or listen to the interviews to get those details. If you want to view her as a monster, at least use something she DID.

              Barack Obama did not get recorded demanding ribs and pussy. Obama was the narrator for the audio track of his book. The line is from his book and it is quoting the words of another person. This one grosses me out even more because someone who has more than a passing knowledge of Obama's content went in and extracted this with an INTENTIONAL DECEPTION to make it seem like our current president is as crass and sexist and predatory as the Republican nominee. If you want to view Obama as awful, there are a TON of things he's actually done that you can jump on.

              I am very very disappointed in anyone who passes this false information on. Almost as much as I'm disappointed in the people who made them. I don't know those people, and I know they think they're helping their "side" by lying about the other one. But I've seen a couple of my FRIENDS share one or both of these. And I am disgusted to know that instead of actually checking whether these bizarre reports are true . . . they just shared them. Maybe they wanted them to be true, or didn't actually care whether they were because hey, even if they weren't, surely they encapsulate what that person actually believes or would do, right? Doesn't matter if the actual described incident ever happened, because pretending it did fits with what they want to believe about that politician. They probably would have looked for evidence if it was someone they respected, but they don't mind spreading lies if it's about someone they don't like. 

              That fundamental dishonesty is a trait I will not tolerate in a friend.

              When the truth doesn't even matter to you because you already know what you believe about someone else, okay. You're entitled to live in a hole and believe things that are literally not accurate at all. I think the big problem begins when you become one of the pathways by which the false information gets spread. You (possibly gleefully, possibly just uncritically) share damning information that was literally divorced from its context so that it could make someone look like they said/did a bad thing, and you don't feel like that's a dishonest thing to do because it fits with what you already believed. You saw a lie consistent with how you think of that person, your confirmation bias led you to nod your head and join hands with others who are telling the world this thing happened, and you act like it doesn't actually matter when the lies all come out in the wash. It is so easy in our age of information to check whether something is true. I have no respect for you at all if this is how you live your life and this is how you share information.

              I saw a conversation on a friend's feed from a guy who was obnoxiously sharing the Hillary story and pasting it everywhere, ignoring when point-by-point debunkings were offered (with sources). This guy also claimed Donald Trump could not have committed any sexual assault–related crimes because he was never convicted, but in the same conversation claimed that Hillary Clinton's failure to be convicted in an investigation was evidence that the courts were corrupt and biased. For this guy, lack of conviction for Trump proves he never did anything wrong, while lack of conviction for Clinton means there's something wrong with the system. He had no qualms whatsoever in stating publicly that he knows Clinton is guilty of wrongdoing despite an investigation determining otherwise, but that only a conviction would prove that Trump did anything criminal. And he doesn't think this is a demonstration of hypocrisy.

              That's because in spite of all the blustering about due process, he thinks he has the ability to determine objective reality with his gut. And his gut is what he listens to. In spite of facts blaring on loudspeakers, with open invitations to read documents and view sources. The truth has a really hard time being shared if people who don't want to believe it go out of their way to avoid looking at it.

              They're so transparent, but these people are part of our friend circles and our families. They avoid criticism sometimes by claiming relationships shouldn't be destroyed by ~differences of opinion~ and ~politics~, but I disagree. This isn't as simple as agreeing to disagree or political preference. This is a fundamental, deliberate denial of reality, and it is an enabling of deceivers who have an easier job day by day poisoning minds with tales of events that never happened, and it is having immediate, devastating, personal consequences in the lives of everyone who has been victimized by rape culture and sexual assault, among other things. This isn't just hee hee, lie about child rape and suggestive language to get your enemies in hot water. This is exploitative untruth that is making the world safer for abusers by spreading the lie that everyone talks like this. Everyone's guilty. Everyone's terrible. They're all equally awful. Plus Clinton's a woman and Obama's black, so we can say sexist and racist things that should make the white guy come out on top. (It's beside the point really, but I'm still baffled at how people seem to hate Clinton worse for getting cheated on than they hate Trump for doing the cheating, repeatedly.) 

              If you disagree with something or someone, argue with their argument. Argue with what they are actually saying and doing. If they're as horrible as your gut knows they are, you should be able to find something they're doing or saying that you don't have to take out of context or give new context before it seems horrible. If you literally can't find something that helps you smear the person you're trying to smear without lying, hiding facts, or framing the facts dishonestly, then why do you really hate them?

              Answer that before you participate in character assassination that literally isn't based on reality. Answer that before you click share.

              And get acquainted with debunking sites or just plain easy Internet research, for cheese's sake.


              Saturday, October 8, 2016

              Personal Digest Saturday: October 1 – October 7

              Life news this week: 
              • Saturday was uneventful--did some treadmill reading, blogging, tidying up, and very slight maintenance on Internet stuff.
              • Sunday I had my friends Ben and Jodi over. I had not seen them since 2002! They were in town for a wedding and decided to hang out at my house. We ordered pizza and spent 90% of the time talking about Steven Universe and musicals. We also watched an episode of the cartoon Jodi hadn't seen yet, at Ben's suggestion. (She's almost caught up.) They liked my toys. After they left I worked on my big video project.
              • Monday I went to work early. I had to work on a letter for the DOT, and we got that done, plus some other stuff. Cute new shorts came out for Steven Universe--five of them! I also cooked some tofu and mushrooms early in the morning, but it was probably not good anymore because I got sick and almost didn't go to work the next day.
              • Tuesday I still went to work even though I felt bad, because there was a lot of stuff I needed to get done, but I left early. Mom came over in the evening and made me some shribble soup, and she did my grocery shopping for me. It was pretty nice. :) She fell asleep on my couch and when I woke up in the morning she had left.
              • Wednesday was more work things and Jeaux Day. We ate at IHOP and watched the cartoon shorts at my house, and mostly just hung out not doing anything.
              • Thursday I bought stuff for my Halloween costume, did some office work, and worked on my video at home. Also talked to Victor on the phone while drawing.
              • Friday was a low-key day at work and I also got to enjoy some Internet clips taken at the New York Comic Con where there was a SU panel. At home I finished my comic and did nothing astounding.

              New reviews of my book:
              • Just one one-star review on Audible where the reviewer--who has only ever reviewed one book, mine--opines that it is "garbage." LOL
                  Interviews, Features, Mentions:
                  • Tumblr blogger sergeanttomycaptain quoted my book in a post, with some glowing tags.
                  Reading progress:
                  • Finished this week: Avatar: The Search, Volume 2 by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko. Four-star review.
                  • Currently reading: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.
                    New singing performances:

                    This week's performance was a pretty weird choice for me: "November Rain" by Guns N' Roses.

                    New drawings:

                    Webcomic Negative One Issue 0595: "Just a Flash."

                    New videos:

                    I didn't really make any "real" videos this week, but here's me messing around on the ukulele trying to sing "Come to My Window" by Melissa Etheridge. It's not very good so it's not public on my channel, but you guys can watch it.

                    New photos:

                    We had to take a group photo at the office, so this is our work group.

                    Social Media counts:
                    YouTube subscribers: 5,345 for swankivy (lost 2), 601 for JulieSondra (no change). Twitter followers: 840 for swankivy (2 new), 1,306 for JulieSondra (8 new). Facebook: 294 friends (no change, but I friended Jodi and Victor's ex [temporarily?] unfriended everyone they had in common, so that makes it even) and 200 followers (lost 1, probably Victor's ex) for swankivy, 643 likes for JulieSondra (1 new), 56 likes for Negative One (no change), 126 likes for So You Write (no change). Tumblr followers: 2,467 (1 new). Instagram followers: 86 (lost 1).