yhlee: rose in a hexagon (hxx emblem Andan)
[personal profile] yhlee
I've been zigzagging between S1 and S2 because the Dragon didn't want to watch S1 (too much interpersonal drama for her taste) so I was watching S2 with her up till her bedtime, and going back to finish S1 with Joe.

cut for spoilers? )

(ahahahaha my husband gets the joke in my moodicon tonight but I wonder how many other people will get it?)

[Ω] Juxtaposition

Aug. 18th, 2017 11:44 pm
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
(h/t [personal profile] fiddlingfrog)

UrsulaV bats it out of the park:

https://twitter.com/UrsulaV/status/898201836800364547/photo/1

(Note, this requires clicking through to see two images.)

[me, pshrinkery] Home Again

Aug. 18th, 2017 10:45 pm
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[personal profile] siderea
The conference is over, and I am super tired and omg why do my feet hurt? I didn't do that much walking, and indeed spent most of the last three days sitting. The physical spaces the conference was held in were agreeably compactly laid out, so I didn't have do a lot of hiking down halls to go from one session to the next. But I feel like I've walked for miles.

I'm being cagey about the identity of the conference because of reasons. Suffice it to say I spent three days getting my radical on with people who, hmm, could be said to identify as "psychiatric survivors" – people whom the mental health system has done profound harm and violated their human rights – from around the world, many (most?) of whom might be described as activists and there in that capacity, some of whom are also clinicians or ex-clinicians or psychology researchers. Lots of very explicit intersectionalism and inclusivism. Very emotionally intense, super intellectually stimulating, enormously morally compelling.

Since the default assumption at the conference was that attendees were psychiatric survivors, I was "out" about not being a psychiatric survivor myself but a mental health professional and there as an ally. That was... a very hard experience to describe. To do such a thing, and do it ethically, is extremely demanding of energy, because it entails such a high level of self-monitoring and attention to others, at literally every second. Yet at the same time, it was so wildly validating of my ethical values as a person and a clinician, in ways I hadn't even realized I was hungry for, it felt very spiritually nourishing and emotionally supportive. I realized after the second day that just in the program book and in the presentations I'd attended, that I'd heard the word "humanistic" more times in those two days than I'd heard it used by anybody not me in the previous five years. Or maybe more. I'm a humanistic therapist, and I'm literally welling up again just reflecting on that, and how clinically-philosophically isolated this reveals me to have been. And, my god, the first, like, three times the term went zipping by I thought, Hey, do they know what that means, technically, to a therapist? Ah, they're probably just using it as a synonym for "humanely", as lay people usually do. And it became clear that, no, at least some of the people using the term really did mean it clinically. And I was like Oh. They don't need me to explain it to them. They already know. Which, is, like, the fundamental unit of being understood. Talk about your being called in from the cold.

I went to this conference thinking of myself as an ally, someone there to support another people as they do their thing – an in a really important sense, that is exactly right – but to my surprise, I discovered that these people, despite not being clinicians, were clinically my people. I wound up doing a hell of a lot more personal sharing than I would ever have expected – certainly vastly, vastly more than I have ever done in a mental health professionals context. It was like, I suddenly realized I was in an environment in which I could talk about how furious I am that I am forced to use diagnoses on patients without their consent, how frustrated I am by how the bureacratic systems in which I must work compromise the integrity of the treatment I try to provide, how disgusted I often am by the conduct of colleagues and mental health institutions (I discovered the wonderful expression, "psychiatric hate-speech"), how indignant I am at all sorts of idiocy and injustice and unfairness in the system – all the things I am so careful never to say because of how poorly my colleagues may take it. (Not my imagination: The last session I attended drew quite a number of clinicians, who were all "AND FOR ANOTHER THING!"; the presenter afterwards told me she had presented the same talk at a conference on the philosophy of psychiatry for an audience that was half psychiatrists, and, in contrast, they were furious with her for her temerity.)

I got to have conversations about capitalism and disability, culture and identity, the history of psychiatry, the history of nationalism, what you can and can't do inside the health care system, other countries' nationalized (or not, where mental health is concerned) health care, and how money affects mental health care; I heard a slew of what I would call "mental health radical coming out stories". I met someone who is as into the history of the DSM as I am, and someone who has written an academic article about the ethical and clinical problems of diagnosis. I got politely chewed out once, early on, for using oppressive language, and then immediately apologized to for it, them saying ruefully that they have "a chip on [their] shoulder" about mental health care professionals and shouldn't have talked to me like that, and I assured them I was there to be chewed out and have my vocabulary corrected and was fine with it; I'm pretty sure they were way more upset about what they said to me than I was, and I feel bad about putting them in that position by my ignorance – but we've exchanged phone numbers and I'm hoping I might yet make it up to them.

There was a point where somebody asked me something like whether I had been learning a lot at the conference so far, and I thought a moment and replied that I had, but, "I am at this conference not just to learn things. I am here because, as a person and a clinician, these are my values."

So it was an experience that was weirdly simultaneously hard and easy. If you had asked me four days ago I would have said that it's probably impossible for an experience to require a very high level of scrupulous self-monitoring and yet feel welcoming of and safe for emotional vulnerability and risktaking. Yet that was precisely my experience.

It was demanding and beautiful and powerful and huggy and astonishing and uplifting and I'm exhausted and weepy and have like twenty new best friends.
yhlee: Sandman raven with eyeball (Sandman raven (credit: rilina))
[personal profile] yhlee
I did not finish this book not because I thought it was poorly argued or poorly written, but because, despite it being very interesting, I just cannot brain this right now. (I'm under deadline for a novel.)

Heath Fogg Davis is a trans man and associate professor in political science at Temple University, and his book, Beyond Trans: Does Gender Matter? suggests that there are many situations in which clinging to gender categories is not necessary and even counterproductive. The context appears to largely be USAn, although I only got a little way into the book so that might not be true of later chapters.

The book opens with the case of a public transit system in Philadelphia that used to issue passes in both male and female variants. It begins with the dilemma of a trans woman who bought a female pass, only to be bounced off the bus because the bus driver judged her not to be a "real" woman, so she bought a male pass, and was bounced off the bus for not being male. At that point, she's screwed--what does she do? But trans people weren't the only one hit by this--a lot of cis people who didn't match certain bus drivers' preconceptions of gender presentation/appearance were also sometimes denied passage.

Davis then goes on to examine the reason why bus passes even had this designation to begin with. Apparently the stated intent was to reduce fraud--basically, each person was supposed to buy their own pass, and they were trying to prevent husbands and wives from sharing a single pass. Except, of course, if you look at the problem and the "solution," it makes no sense--you could easily still have fraud with two people of the same "sex" (whatever that means, a topic Davis takes up later) sharing a pass. So basically the "solution" screwed a lot of people, was intrusive and humiliating, and didn't even solve the problem.

The chapters in this book are:

Introduction: Sex Stickers
1. The Sex Markers We Carry: Sex-Marked Identity Documents
2. Bathroom Bouncers: Sex-Segregated Restrooms [1]
3. Checking a Sex Box to Get into College: Single-Sex Admissions
4. Seeing Sex in the Body: Sex-Segregated Sports
Conclusion: Silence on the Bus
Appendix: The Gender Audit: A How-to Guide for Organizations

[1] I lived for two years in a dorm in undergrad that had co-ed restrooms. Nothing bad happened. My dad would have blown a gasket if he had found out, though. :p

I only got through the intro and the very beginning of chapter 1 and what I saw looked encouraging and thought-provoking, but please don't ask me what's in the rest of the book because I genuinely don't know. I'm going to return this and hope to check it out later when I have more brain so I can think about the issues properly; it's good knowing the book exists so I can return to it at some later point.

Chimpanzee

Aug. 18th, 2017 11:01 pm
guppiecat: (Default)
[personal profile] guppiecat

Chimpanzee_9


With a sprig of marjoram and some cheetohs, she’s ready to party!




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

"Warding gestures*

Aug. 18th, 2017 02:48 pm
rosefox: A person in a gas mask. (safety)
[personal profile] rosefox
My body: A tiny bit of post-nasal drip leading to slight throat soreness, probably just allerg—

Me: NINE HOURS OF SLEEP, STEAMY SHOWER WITH PINE AND MINT ESSENCE, NASAL RINSE, SALT-WATER GARGLE, ANTIHISTAMINE NASAL SPRAY, STEROID NASAL SPRAY, CLARITIN, AGGRESSIVE TOOTHBRUSHING

My body: —look, forget i said anything, okay?


I refuse to get sick. REFUSE. R E F U S E. J has had a horrid cough for a week and is on antibiotics and prednisone (when they prescribe prednisone to the guy with insomnia, you know it's bad), X is wrapping up a course of antibiotics for a throat infection, and J had to do that for his own throat infection last month. So far I've been fighting off all the respiratory bugs Kit brings home from daycare, but I don't take my ability to do that for granted. And I can't take most antibiotics without serious mood effects because apparently I depend on my gut flora for emotional management, so I have to be extremely diligent about my preventive care.

I'm going to go have spicy curry for lunch and drink some ginger honey tea. Fuck off, germs.

Great Horned Owl

Aug. 18th, 2017 06:00 pm
guppiecat: (Default)
[personal profile] guppiecat

Great Horned Owl


Sure, they say he’s a great horned owl, but he looks a bit shabby to me.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Leopard

Aug. 18th, 2017 02:01 pm
guppiecat: (Default)
[personal profile] guppiecat

Leopard_4


Now is a time to paws and consider.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

"Have I told you lately"

Aug. 17th, 2017 08:38 pm
rosefox: Me looking at Kit and both of us grinning. (me and kit)
[personal profile] rosefox
It's my late night at the office. I videocalled home to say goodnight to the baby. They were tired, so after a while they waved bye-bye. I said "Okay, Kit, bye-bye! I love you!" and signed love you.

And they signed love back.

Me: [tears]
X: [tears]
Kit: [earnestly signing love at the camera]

My baby told me they love me. I'll just be here in a little melted puddle forever.

Nicobar Pigeon

Aug. 17th, 2017 11:00 pm
guppiecat: (Default)
[personal profile] guppiecat

Nicobar Pigeon_1


If you have trouble boiling water due to altitude, try adding just a little bit of pigeon.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Fig

Aug. 17th, 2017 05:48 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Can maintain disdainful detachment even as another, unfamiliar, cat thoughtfully grooms Fig's hind paw.

Tomistoma

Aug. 17th, 2017 08:00 pm
guppiecat: (Default)
[personal profile] guppiecat

Tomistoma_9


Tomistoma pondering why, with the most capitalistic president ever elected, the following solutions have not been proposed:


– Sell a set of linked billboards, scaling the rates based on proximity to large cities, allowing both American and Mexican businesses to pay for the border wall.


– Sell the rights for all statues of Robert E. Lee to KFC so they can rebrand him as Colonel Sanders nation-wide in a stunning marketing coup.


– Outsource the U.S.’s nuclear program to China and India, eliminating the need to remember all those pesky codes.


– Get rid of all those troublesome liberal states by selling them cheap to Canada.


Tomistoma is starting to think that some people are the brilliant businessmen they claim to be.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Red Ruffed Lemur

Aug. 17th, 2017 06:01 pm
guppiecat: (Default)
[personal profile] guppiecat

Red Ruffed Lemur_1


Baucis turned first.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.
swan_tower: (Default)
[personal profile] swan_tower

So a while back I looked at my short stories and realized, huh — they kind of fall into these nice little groupings. Not enough in any one grouping to fill a whole print collection, but very nicely sized to make a set of tidy little ebooks.

The first of those is now available for pre-order! The title is Maps to Nowhere, in homage to Diana Wynne Jones’ novel Fire and Hemlock and the “NOWHERE” vases that are a recurring motif in it. (The same novel that inspired me to become a writer, and in a roundabout fashion sparked another story of mine.) It contains ten short stories, all set in secondary worlds. To whet your appetite, here’s the table of contents:

Maps to Nowhere


cover art for MAPS TO NOWHERE by Marie Brennan

Maps to Nowhere will be out on September 5th!

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

A Thought on Antifa

Aug. 17th, 2017 10:28 am
lydy: (Default)
[personal profile] lydy
If you know me in person, I apologize.  I'm going to tell a story that I'm sure you've heard from me before.  I think I heard the original on NPR some time ago.  

It was a profile on Christiania, the weird city-state-anarchy in Denmark.  It started in 1971 as an occupation of an abandoned military property.  It has been a functioning, reasonably stable anarchy for more than 40 years.  It is neither the paradise anarchists hoped for, nor the hell-hole that everyone else assumed it would become.  It exists in strange symbiosis with Denmark.  Here is my favorite story about Christiania.

A couple of dude-bros (or, as we called them back in the day, skinheads) went to Christiania to buy drugs.  Christiania, being an anarchy, is a pretty good place to buy illegal pharmaceuticals.  The dude-bros went decked out in the regalia of their people which included jackets with large Confederate flags on the back.  I am unpersuaded by Americans who argue that flying the Stars and Bars is a matter of heritage, rather than racism, but in Europe, there is absolutely no ambiguity or plausible deniability.  The Confederate flag is frequently deployed as a stand-in for Nazi symbols in places where those icons are outlawed.  

Some of the residents of Christiania took it upon themselves to beat the ever-living snot out of the skinheads, and toss them over the city line.  The dude-bros said, roughly, "Why the hell did you do that?  I thought you guys were anarchists."  To which the anarchists said, approximately, "That's why, you idiots."

I am afraid of violence.  I am not physically fit, and have a low tolerance for pain.  I am fond of my reasonably comfortable life.  In a reasonable world, I would pay my taxes, and my taxes would pay for cops to protect me, and everyone else, from violence.  As we can see in Charlotteseville (and especially when contrasting it to Durham), this is not the case.  Which leaves...the Antifa.  Who stood up, and put their bodies physically in the way of the actual, real-live, terrifying Nazis.  And so here we are.  Is this dangerous?  Oh my god, yes.  Civil violence is terrifying, and it can spin out of control.  But the institutions, with their checks and balances and accountability...are not accountable.  Not functioning.  They murder with impunity, assault without accountability, and any discussion of "both sides" has to start with the fact that the state is on the same side as the Nazis.  And so, Antifa.  


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