DB blathers at length

For When I Get Angry and Everything Goes Red

Conversations to have with myself:

  • Why don’t you breathe in while counting to two, then count to two again, then breathe out while counting to two? 
  • Good, good. Now let’s do that all over again, another five to ten times.
  • Hey, how’s your jaw doing? Is it all clenched? Are you grinding your teeth? How about we relax that jaw there?
  • Ditto your hands. Stop making those fists, buddy.
  • All right, now let’s go to your shoulders. Are they up around your ears? Maybe lower ‘em down a bit, okay?
  • Good, good. Bet you’re feeling a bit better now, aren’t you?
  • I thought so.
  • You’re welcome, self friend.

Everyone likes to bag on trans men, especially young trans men, and their trend-following names–hello, Aidens–but this is really, really not a thing exclusive to trans men. Names come into fashion and fall out of fashion, and that’s been true pretty much forever.

Like, as someone who is the child of Boomer parents? People my age? Go to anyone my age and ask, “Do you have an uncle named Jim?” and there is a really strong chance the answer will be yes. And if the answer isn’t yes, ask that person if their dad is named Jim.

A lot of the Greatest Generation decided to name their sons Jim, is what I’m saying.

A Very Serious, In-Depth Look at Pinkie’s Mane/Pinkie’s Cutie Mark Interactions

This is Pinkie Pie, and this is what Pinkie Pie’s mane looks like.

At least, this is what it usually looks like.

This is what Pinkie’s mane looked like from birth to the point she got her cutie mark.

This is what Pinkie’s mane looks like … not after she got her cutie mark, because she still doesn’t have it in this screen shot. But this is immediately before she gets her cutie mark, and it’s not long after Rainbow Dash’s first Sonic Rainboom and its resulting rainbow taught Pinkie how to feel joy.

(*cough*RAINBOWPIE5EVA*cough*)

This is what Pinkie’s mane looks like after she thinks her friends don’t like her anymore and want to kick her out of the friend group. It’s reverted to pre-cutie mark flatness. (Also, her mane and coat color have turned a somewhat darker color.)

This is what Pinkie’s mane looks like after Discord brainwashes her into thinking her friends are all laughing at her and not with her. It still remains poofy, though its color (and the color of her coat) have turned a bit gray.

This is what Pinkie’s mane looks like after Twilight accidentally swaps Pinkie’s cutie mark with Applejack’s. It’s flattened, much as it was pre-cutie mark, but unlike in “Party of One,” it hasn’t changed color.

This is what Pinkie’s mane looks like after Cheese Sandwich “steals” away the planning of Rainbow Dash’s birthday party. Neither its shape nor color has changed.

(Side note: Perhaps Pinkie is so upset about Rainbow’s birthday party at least in part because she wants to repay Rainbow Dash for what Rainbow did for her in “Party of One”? It’s a theory. *cough*RAINBOWPIE5EVA*cough*)

This is what Pinkie’s mane looks like after Starlight Glimmer steals her cutie mark. It’s still poofy but darker in color, much as it was after Discord’s brainwashing.

As can be seen from the above evidence, there is strong likelihood of a correlation between Pinkie’s mane and Pinkie’s cutie mark, but this correlation is clearly not a direct one-to-one causation. More research and analysis are required.

Okay, so. All of these posts circulating that are like “Obviously you don’t understand feminism if you say you’re not a feminist” or “Feminism is [under fifteen word description].” Here is my thing about these posts. I look at them, and I can’t help hearing something like: “Asia has a really great religion!”

And then I’m like, “Well, which parts of Asia and which religions? Are we talking only about Hinduism, Buddhism, Shinto, and other religions that were founded in Asia? Or are we talking about all the current religions practiced across the continent? And if so, are we distinguishing between, say, Buddhism as practiced in China and Buddhism as practiced in Japan? Etc., etc.”

And in response, everyone else just gives me this condescending look like I’m the stupidest person who ever lived and says, “Uh, we’re talking about Asia here. Don’t you know what Asia is?”

And then I just throw my hands up and walk away.

Seriously. When you say feminism, are we talking about third-wave feminism? If so, are we talking about exclusively Western third-wave feminism? Are we talking about radical feminism and, if so, are we talking about trans-exclusionary variants? Are we talking about second-wave feminism? Are we talking about Womanism? Are we talking about lesbian-separatist feminism? If so, do we include political lesbians and their particular flavors of feminism there? What about the feminists who get labeled “sex-negative” and the feminists who get labeled “sex-positive”? Are we lumping all of them together?

Susan B. Anthony and Gloria Steinem and Janice Raymond and bell hooks and Betty Friedan and Julia Serano and Adrienne Rich and Andrea Dworkin and Mary Daly and Tristan Taormino and Carol Adams are all feminists, and they all believe(d) and advocate(d) really, really different things. Some of these people I agree with almost entirely. Some of these people I agree with almost not at all. Some of these people, through their particular flavors of feminism, advocate(d) positions I consider downright evil.

Maybe it’s just because I was a Women’s Studies major. I dunno. But my brain has a really hard time handling the topic of “feminism” when “Well, which feminisms?” isn’t even recognized as a valid or coherent question.

earthsong9405  asked:

I don't think I've seen the entirety of your character. I'm curious; is he an earth pony? O:

He only exists in full-body in a few places. And he’s not so much a character as “what I looked like back when I first got into MLP, except if I was a pony and also was colored like Donatello the Ninja Turtle.”

But yes, he is an earth pony. :) It seemed like the way to go, since Pinkie Pie is my fave of the Mane Six. Also … I dunno. I just liked the idea of being an earth pony, since they tend not to be that impressive on the outside (no wings, no magic) but have a lot to offer on the inside, etc., etc. *shrug*

I Am Shallow, and I Do Not Apologize

Pretty frequently I see posts self-righteously demanding of Tumblr, “Why are you people reblogging [shallow fandom thing here] when [serious "real world” issue] is going on???“

I post pretty much entirely shallow things–although pony shipping, let us not forget, is srs bsns–and I thought I’d answer that question. Even though it’s undoubtedly a rhetorical question that is merely meant to make me feel deeply ashamed of myself.

Over the years, I’ve worked at several non-profits and volunteered with several more on a variety of social justice flavored issues. I do not exaggerate when I say that the last ten years or so of my life have been filled to the point of overflowing with pain and blood and bullying and rape and torture and murder and depression and suicide and screams and tears and death. Hours of every day of my life are filled with pain, endless pain, ever-flowing pain, and I have seen and heard horrors that will haunt me until the end of my days.

I am surrounded–we are all of us surrounded–by an entire ocean of suffering. And the most any of us is ever given is a tiny thimble with which we can reduce that suffering.

And I bail. I bail and I bail and I bail, and it’s never enough, it can never be enough, but I keep bailing even though the ocean never seems to get any smaller. Even though things never seem to get any better.

Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I scream. Sometimes I just shut down for a while and don’t feel much of anything at all. But for every time I’ve set down my thimble, I’ve picked it back up again. I always pick up my thimble again.

But sometimes I do need to set down that thimble. Sometimes I need to turn away from the things that fill my nightmares, and sometimes I need to reach for something that is happy and joyous and light. If only so I don’t forget that there is something in this world besides darkness and pain. So I don’t forget how to feel like a human being–how to be a human being.

So that is my answer. I do not know if it is anyone else’s answer, but it is the one I have to offer. I am shallow, and I am quite deliberately shallow. I will continue to write ridiculous, long screeds about which brightly-colored magic ponies are in love with which other brightly-colored magic ponies, and I will do so because doing so makes me happy.

I have already been denied so much happiness in life–we have all of us been denied so much happiness in life–that I will not surrender what happiness I do possess without very good cause. No one should surrender their happiness without very good cause.

And I am not sorry.

*finds new Twinkie story*

Ooooooh! Let’s see what we’ve got here …

*“It was a bright and sunny day in Ponyville …”*

Oh, dear.

No. No, no, no. Don’t give up too quickly, Donny. After all, you can’t judge a book by its cover. Let’s just keep reading and see–

*Twilight is described as “lavender”*

Come on, story. Please. Please don’t–

*dialogue refuses to use any contractions*

Just gotta grit my teeth and push on ‘til we hit make-outs. You can do it, Donny. Hang in there. HANG IN THERE FOR THE SAKE OF SMOOCHIES.

*Twilight wakes up and randomly thinks to herself, Oh, hey, maybe I am suddenly and inexplicably in love with Pinkie? Yes, I think I am suddenly and inexplicably in love with Pinkie Pie*

Oh, for Chrissake, you’ve gotta be–UGH.

*exits browser*

You're Beautiful

You’re beautiful.

I want you to know that.

You’re probably saying “No, I’m not,” right now, because so many people don’t feel beautiful, but you are. Your eyes, your nose, your ears … your knowledge, your laugh, your sense of humor … and the parts of you that you hate? The parts that make you cringe? Those are beautiful, too.

I know you probably still don’t believe me. That’s okay. I don’t believe it sometimes, either, don’t believe that I’m beautiful. But there needs to be someone who says it, because there are so many voices out there saying that we aren’t beautiful.

Sometimes, the voices saying that loudest of all are the ones inside our own heads.

But you’re beautiful, no matter what all those voices say. You wanna know how I know that? I know that because you’re you.

While I’m not a particularly big Doctor Who buff, there’s one quote from the show that I really, really love:

“Nobody important? Blimey, that’s amazing. You know that in nine hundred years of time and space and I’ve never met anybody who wasn’t important before.”

I’ve never met anybody who wasn’t important. I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t at least a little beautiful.

Yeah, even if you messed up yesterday. Even if you were petty or mean or selfish or stupid. Even if you did everything wrong that you could possibly have done wrong. Because you know what? I was a bunch of those things yesterday, too. And the day before that. And the day before that. And so were most of the people standing around you.

Welcome to the human condition. We’re a species of screw-ups.

But we’re lovable screw-ups. Most of us, anyway. Most of the time.

So brush yourself off, stand back up, and try again. Not because you owe it to any of us, because you don’t, but because you owe it to yourself. You’re too beautiful–you’re too precious–to hide yourself away because of guilt or embarrassment. Make apologies if you have apologies to make, fix things if there are things you can fix … but most importantly, get back out there.

Your presence, your you-ness, is the most amazing thing you have to give to the world. Not everyone will appreciate it like they should, but that doesn’t mean it’s not amazing. That doesn’t mean it’s not important.

Because you’re beautiful.

Today. Precisely as you are, right here and right now.

Tomorrow. No matter what tomorrow brings.

Always.

Because you’re you.

And I think you’re goddamn beautiful.

I did not grow up around cats.

My mother was, and remains, deathly allergic to cats. We had dogs. (And I loved my dog, and I loved my brother’s dog, and I love my mom’s current dogs.) So I never really learned how cats work as a youngster, and I was always very uncomfortable around them because of it.

Back in high school, I was babysitting for one of my mom’s coworkers. Things went really smoothly, an exceedingly rare occurrence during my babysitting adventures, and the kids even went to bed when I told them to. So then it was just me in the living room, quietly watching t.v. and waiting for the parents to return home. The family’s cat jumped up on the couch beside me, and tentatively I started petting him. Everything went fine … for a while. Then, suddenly, he lashed out and caught me across the forearm. I slowly backed away and fled to the bathroom to wash off the blood from my arm, convinced that cats were terrifying demon-beasts.

Of course, the thing was … the cat didn’t swipe at me until I started petting his belly

But I didn’t know that I shouldn’t have done that, and I didn’t learn until years after. There’s a picture of me during my college years–which I happened across while digging up that prom picture I posted the other day–where I’m at a party and sitting cross-legged on the floor. In the photo, the party host’s utterly adorable cat is sprawled across my lap, and I am sitting ramrod straight, with my hands at my sides, caught between my terror of actually touching the cat and my deeply-ingrained need to pet small, fuzzy cute things.

In law school, I did a summer internship in a town not far from where my then-girlfriend had grown up, and I agreed to watch her parents’ cat while they were out of town. I was older now, after all. Wiser. Surely I could survive a cat for one weekend. I happened to be on the phone with my girlfriend when I walked into her parents’ place, and instantly the cat was right there at my feet, rubbing against me and very much not caring about personal space boundaries.

It was about then that I started panicking. “Oh, God,” I babbled at my girlfriend, “oh, God.

“What? What’s wrong?” asked my girlfriend, instantly concerned.

“The cat’s pissed off at me! She’s gonna maul me!" 

"What the heck’s going on over there?”

“The cat is growling at me!”

There was a long pause before finally my girlfriend replied, “Sweetie. That’s called purring. That means she’s happy to see you.”

Now here I am. I have watched every video on Jackson Galaxy’s YouTube channel. I own a “Real Men Love Cats” t-shirt. I have a cat living in my house 24/7, a very irritable and hair-trigger cat, and I wake up to a cat biting me more often than not most days. That exact same cat is lying beside me right now, snoozing away, blissfully unaware that in a few short days, there shall soon be two cats who live in my house 24/7.

And I am so, so happy.

Oh, hey, look it’s Clark Kent. That Clark sure is a nice guy.

HOLY SHIT, IT’S SUPERMAN.

(I don’t know why I’m making that face. It seemed like a good idea at the time.)

I got new glasses! It’s been, like, five years since I’ve gotten new glasses, so it was very much time for an update to my prescription. I chose these frames almost exclusively on the basis that they remind me of Christopher Reeves-era Clark Kent.

I’ve discussed a bit about my job search here on Tumblr ever since I was laid off in November, so I thought I ought to mention that I just received and accepted a job offer. Yay! I’m going to be working as a paralegal, and I’m pretty excited to be going back to work.

It’ll mean no more futzing around on Tumblr during the day, alas, but I can finally buy the Nightmare Rarity comics. :D

You know, I always figured we played Never Have I Ever so much because we were young and dumb and, y'know, drunk, and it was a good opportunity to engage in a bit of exhibitionism.

But now I’m sitting here and wondering if it wasn’t also, partly, that we were young and dumb and, y'know, drunk, and it was a good opportunity to let down our defenses a bit and try to actually connect with one another.

parius  asked:

Is a late TMITuesday question ok? Can you tell us all please how you and Dys met and got together? Was it filled with Awwww's, or awwwwwkwardness?

We met at a planning meeting for a proposed local LGBT community center. I thought Dysto was way cute right off the bat, so after the meeting I went over and introduced myself. We ended up going out with a group of other meeting attendees for coffee, and we talked a bunch over coffee and exchanged contact info. (I actually still have the sheet of paper with Dysto’s phone number, AIM name, etc. I keep it in my wallet.)

Not too long after that, Dysto asked if I wanted to go sing karaoke with hir. Before heading out, I tried on a bunch of different outfits and made my long-suffering apartmentmate give her opinions, because I am exactly that huge of a dork. We sang some karaoke at this dive gay bar and played some pool and drank some beers, then afterwards hung out at Dysto’s place for a bit and talked until way too late.

We hung out a few times after that, including star-gazing at a local beach, but there was never any touching. No hugs, no holding hands, no kisses, nada. I’d thought these were all dates—I mean, c’mon, star-gazing on the beach, that is cliche romance!—but by the third or fourth time of hanging out in the most platonic of ways, I wondered if maybe I’d misunderstood the situation. Which, y’know, not the worst thing, making friends with someone cool, right? C’est la vie.

I’d pretty much shrugged off the idea of something romantic when we were watching a movie at Dysto’s place, and while we were watching, Dysto kinda leaned up against me. I leaned back, and our shoulders didn’t stop touching for the whole rest of the movie. (For the life of me, I cannot remember what we were watching. Maybe Star Wars or Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy? Ugh, I am worst husband.)

Cuddling and kissing followed shortly thereafter, then dating, etc. :)

I’m unhappy.

I’ve started at least a half dozen posts and trashed them, and I have another half dozen sitting in my drafts, including at least one truly godawful abomination of a poem, but what it comes down to is: I’m unhappy. I’m unhappy, and I don’t wanna be melodramatic or anything, but it’s been getting exhausting pretending that I’m fine and that nothing’s wrong. So I’m not gonna pretend.

So, uh, yeah. I’m probably going to keep leaning on my queue for a while and continue to be a bit of a hermit. Sorry about that.

In Which Donny Feels Compelled to Expound at Length Upon the Amazingness of RariPie

This is the screen shot I used for my “They’re in love, darn it” image for RariPie and, while there are other images where they hug and make goo-goo eyes and all, this is still one of my favorite RariPie screen shots.

I cannot express the extent of my delight at Pinkie Pie dressing up to the nines to deliver that party invitation to Rarity. Tuxedo! Top hat! Spats! And Gummy’s wearing a tiny little tux, too! Pinkie dons a different outfit for each invitation delivery, to be sure, but only Rarity receives anything approaching this level of fanciness.

You will never convince me that this is sheer coincidence. You will never convince me that Pinkie Pie didn’t throw on a tux simply because she thought Rarity would appreciate the fanciness.

And you will also never convince me that Rarity didn’t appreciate the fanciness.

This tiny little scene is how my brain envisions RariPie working on a macro level. I see Pinkie Pie paying attention to Rarity’s likes and dislikes, as she does with everyone she cares for, and then putting this knowledge into action through her filter of Pinkieness. I see Rarity reacting to all of this with a mixture of bewilderment and amusement and then, after that initial response, feeling a bright warm glow in her chest.

Because Rarity knows that all of those stallions in town fall all over her and do her bidding simply because they want in her saddle. But Pinkie does what she does for no reason other than to bring a smile. All of those stallions think Rarity is beautiful–and Rarity knows full well that she is beautiful–but she’s also so much more. And Pinkie knows that. Pinkie thinks Rarity is smart and fun and talented and funny every bit as much as she thinks Rarity is pretty.

Basically? Strip away the atrocious table manners and impromptu songs, and within Pinkie you find the soul of a romantic prince.

It might take Rarity a while to see that, but once Rarity does, I don’t think she’ll ever be able to see Pinkie Pie any other way. Just like I don’t think Pinkie will ever stop dressing up for Rarity for no other reason than to make Rarity happy.

And I think it all traces back to this one brief moment in “Party of One.”

Unexpectedly formative school moments in my personal and political development:

  • Reading George Orwell’s 1984 in 7th grade for English class. I chose the novel to read but only because of the title, which appealed to me since I was born in 1982. It was the first book I read that had a completely soul-crushing ending. I still remember how hollow and cold I felt inside when I reached the words “He loved Big Brother” and found that was the end.
  • Doing a book report for my 8th grade social studies class on Elijah Muhammad, one of the early and influential leaders of the Nation of Islam. I do remember that I chose the Muhammad biography but don’t remember why. I also remember being very wide-eyed as I read, as before then, I’d only known of the very watered-down version of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s civil rights activism.
  • Arguing in 10th grade English class that Iago was such a massive dick in William Shakespeare's Othello because his hatred for Othello was really a warped and diseased form of love, attraction, obsession, etc. All the other students looked at me like I’d grown two heads, and the teacher could not rush quick enough to reprimand me for such a ridiculous theory. In college, of course, I found out that “Yeah, Iago’s really jealous ‘cause he’s got the hots for Othello himself” is a fairly unremarkable and not uncommon interpretation of the text. But “lol ew gay,” I guess.