ugh i had almost forgotten about that one post where people wax eloquent about how young girls who hate “pink and dresses and girly things” just have internalized misogyny and need to ~develop~ into proper pink-liking, dress-wearing women in order to be good feminists who celebrate all girls
not that internalized misogyny can NEVER play a role in this — shit is complex, and there was some degree of it involved in my hatred of pink at age ten — but come on it is perfectly reasonable for a woman or girl to resent the clothing, activities, and behaviors forced on her by patriarchy.
and if you’re going to say well, we don’t live in a vacuum, how can dislike of these things associated with women be totally unaffected by societal misogyny? then i am going to say to you, well, we don’t live in a vacuum, how can the demonization of gender nonconforming women and girls as self-hating, politically impure failures at supporting women be totally uninfluenced by the overwhelming demonization of them in our patriarchal society as pitiable, ridiculous failures at being women? and how can the idea that girls who do not become feminine women have failed to demonstrate appropriate development and growth be unrelated to the widespread patriarchal conviction that gender nonconforming women are childish and need to “grow up” into “real” women?
how is it that rejecting the trappings of womanhood deemed mandatory under patriarchy is a sign of misogyny, yet repeating patriarchy’s stigmatizing messages about gender nonconforming women and girls in new shiny pink feminist wrapping is not?
get back to me when your politics of celebrating all girls includes ALL girls, not just those whose self-exploration and struggles against internalized misogyny result in a love of skirts and makeup
In the early twentieth century, the vision of a future society unbelievably rich, leisured, orderly and efficient—a glittering antiseptic world of glass and steel and snow-white concrete—was part of the consciousness of nearly every literate person. Science and technology were developing at a prodigious speed, and it seemed natural to assume that they would go on developing. This failed to happen, partly because of the impoverishment caused by a long series of wars and revolutions, partly because scientific and technical progress depended on the empirical habit of thought, which could not survive in a strictly regimented society…Nevertheless the dangers inherent in the machine are still there. From the moment when the machine first made its appearance it was clear to all thinking people that the need for human drudgery, and therefore to a great extent for human inequality, had disappeared. If the machine were used deliberately for that end, hunger, overwork, dirt, illiteracy, and disease could be eliminated within a few generations.
Over the past 15 years, surfing has become a kind of obsession for me. I surf eight months a year. I travel to surf destinations for family vacations and seek (forgiving) waves in the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. I have spent thousands of dollars on boards of all sizes and shapes.
And yet — I suck at it. In the sport of (Hawaiian) kings, I’m a jester. In surfing parlance, a “kook.” I fall and flail. I get hit on the head by my own board. I run out of breath when held down by a four-foot wave. I wimp out when the waves get overhead and I paddle back to shore. When I do catch a wave, I’m rarely graceful. On those rare occasions when I manage a decent drop, turn and trim, I usually blow it by celebrating with a fist pump or a hoot.
Once, I actually cried tears of joy over what any observer would have thought a so-so performance on a so-so wave. Yes, I was moved to tears by mediocrity.
So why continue? Why pursue something I’ll never be good at?
Because it’s great to suck at something.
When people hear that I surf, I get a knowing nod of awesomeness from the terra firma-bound. I know what they’re picturing: me on a thruster, carving up and down a wave face until I casually kick out the back to paddle out to the line up for another. The truth is that most surfers don’t come close to what we see in highlight videos. But pretty’s not the point. The point is the patience and perseverance it requires to get back on the board and try again. After a surf instructor pushed me into my first wave, it took me five years to catch one on my own.
When I do catch a wave and feel the glide, I’ll hold onto that feeling for hours, days or even weeks. I’m hooked on the pursuit of those moments, however elusive they may be. But it’s not the momentary high that has sustained me. In the process of trying to attain a few moments of bliss, I experience something else: patience and humility, definitely, but also freedom. Freedom to pursue the futile. And the freedom to suck without caring is revelatory.
My friend Andy Martin is a Cambridge don of French literature. He has surfed the world over. But about his status as a surfer, he tells me, “I am called a surfer only at Cambridge.” In his mind, he sucks, but he’s O.K. with that. That being O.K. is the humility that comes only with sucking and persevering.
The notion of sucking at something flies in the face of the overhyped notion of perfectionism. The lie of perfectionism goes something like this: “If I fail, it’s only because I seek perfection.” Or “I can never finish anything because I’m a perfectionist.” Since the perfectionist will settle for nothing less, she is left with nothing.
Self-knowledge here is key. No one ever tells you how much you suck at something. Unless you have a mean boss, an abusive parent or a malicious friend, most people are happy to help us maintain the delusion that our efforts are not in vain. No, we cannot count on people around us to let us know how much we suck. It is far more acceptable to compliment than to criticize. So the onus is on us as individuals to admit to ourselves how much we suck at something. And then do it anyway.
By taking off the pressure of having to excel at or master an activity, we allow ourselves to live in the moment. You might think this sounds simple enough, but living in the present is also something most of us suck at.
Think about how focused you become when you’re presented with something totally new to accomplish. Now, what happens when that task is no longer new but still taps into intense focus because we haven’t yet mastered it? You’re a novice, an amateur, a kook. You suck at it. Some might think your persistence moronic. I like to think of it as meditative and full of promise. In the words of the Zen teacher Shunryu Suzuki, “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind, there are few.” When I surf, I live in the possibility.
Or, as the great father of surfing, Duke Kahanamoku, wisely advised: “Be patient. Wave come. Wave always come.”
But, then what’s going to happen?
As my friend Michael Scott Moore wrote in his book, “Sweetness and Blood,” “When a surfer takes off on a wave, there are two possible results.” Fairly predictably for me, the outcome is an epic fail. Yet, I remain hopeful that this time will be better than the last.
Maybe sucking at something where the stakes are low can lead us to a better place. Maybe it could be a kind of a medicine for the epidemic cocksureness in our culture. Seeing ourselves repeatedly doing something we suck at — no matter how trivial — might make us a bit more sympathetic to how hard so many things really are: trying to navigate health issues, listening to our neighbors, improving the economy or mitigating relations with hostile nations.
By exposing ourselves to the experience of trying and failing we might develop more empathy. If we succeed in shifting from snap judgments to patience, maybe we could be a little more helpful to one another — and a whole lot more understanding.
If we accept our failures and persevere nonetheless, we might provide a respite from the imperative to succeed and instead find acceptance in trying. Failing is O.K. Better still, isn’t it a relief?
There’ll always be another chance. And another after that, trust me. Be patient. Waves come. Waves always come.
What are thoughts when Americans say the US will lose it's important role as a superpower to China or whoever?
I have a lot of thoughts on this. I think it’s possible that China will overtake the US as the predominant world power at some point over the next century, but it’s far from guaranteed. It’s useful to imagine three scenarios to illustrate a range of possibilities:
China-pessimistic: China stagnates. The CPC fails to continue development at current rates or experiences a severe crash it can’t manage. The failure of the CPC to continue delivering economic gains to Chinese citizens opens the door for demands for significant democratization, likely leading to state repression and a reversal of any gains made in political liberalization.
Middle-way: China meets the US in strength. China continues to develop, albeit at a slower rate than before, and fully meets the United States in global power at some point over the century, establishing a new bipolar international system.
China-optimistic: China overtakes the US. The CPC overcomes structural problems in the Chinese economy and keeps China on a path of strong growth, allowing for an expansion of international influence. The Party allows for greater cultural freedom, giving them cultural exports to compliment their new international roles. This leads to China overcoming the US at some point over the next century.
The actual reality, as I imagine, could be any shade of gray in between those options. I tend to gravitate towards the middle way. There’s a number of factors that make me skeptical of the idea China will be able to blow past the United States in global power. I’ll break this up into two parts: economic and military.
Chinese GDP growth, even after accounting for their inflated numbers, is almost certainly higher than American GDP growth. However, growth rates have been trending downwards for years. For 2016, China published its annual lowest growth rate since 1990- the year following the turbulence of the Tiananmen Square protests- and it was only even that high because of a significant government stimulus. There’s a number of reasons for China’s economic slowdown:
Like the US, the country is in the early stages of a pretty significant demographic crisis, but unlike the US, their’s is due primarily to the one-child policy. The portion of the population in the workforce is on the decline, while the portion of the population needing support in old age is on the rise. This demographic transition will much harder for China to handle than the US due to their lower state of development.
Tyler Cowen gives a good, simple argument in the video below about a structural problem that the Chinese economy has hit which partially explains their over-reliance on debt-based investment. China could achieve massive gains in growth in earlier decades by grabbing all of the “low-hanging fruit,” all of the reforms that a dictatorship can accomplish quite easily which are necessary to create a sound economy- liberalizing trade; investing in the basics like infrastructure, transportation, housing, etc.; and so on. High levels of investment were enabled by its high levels of pre-reform savings, allowing for an explosion in growth once liberalization occurred. However, as they’ve reached a higher level of economic development, they’re now faced with much more complex problems that a dictatorship is less well-equipped to deal with: creating systems like education and healthcare which are hard to design and which require a lot of feedback from those most closely involved in them, creating an environment for market-based entrepreneurship, etc. Instead of going after those hard tasks, the Chinese government has continued to poor investment into enterprises with lower and lower returns, leading to overcapacity in a number of sectors in the economy. They waste all this money on inefficient investments to keep the economy propped up and make it look like it’s growing at a fast pace so as to keep the loyalty of Chinese citizens, attract foreign investors, and so on. I strongly recommend the video.
All of this complicates the CPC’s ultimate goal of moving China from an export-based economy to a domestic consumption-based economy. Accomplishing this goal would make the Chinese economy significantly more stable, and is probably a smart move for long-term prosperity. Doing that requires a number of things: raising wages, establishing a stronger social safety net, improving education in both quality and reach, and liberalizing markets. That’s a transition that will be difficult to accomplish for the CPC, especially as they’re trying to simultaneously balance their debt burden and their oncoming demographic crisis.
Add to that balancing act one final problem: enormous levels of pollution in Chinese cities that do significant damage to their economy. Part of the reason for this is not only China’s massive population, but also the inefficient nature of their economy. In a quote I linked to earlier, Chinese economist Gao Shangquan points out that, from 1949-2009, China’s GDP increased 14-fold, but its consumption of natural resources increased 40-fold. But, even with this fact aside, keeping Chinese growth high over several more decades to come will only bring greater environmental challenges, which need to be dealt far sooner than later.
All of this is greatly complicated by the fact that the Chinese government can’t necessarily sacrifice short-term growth for long-term gains, because, to quote Evan Osnos (in his book, “Age of Ambition”): “without ideology, the legitimacy of the Chinese government rest[s] ever more on its satisfying and pleasing the public.” A failure to deliver material goods to Chinese citizens would allow for the emergence of the popular pressures for democratization that the CPC is trying to repress.
China’s military is strong and growing, but they’re still far behind the US in their ability to project power internationally.
The United States has a military presence all over the world, while China has only just announced the creation of its first overseas military base (this, as part of an overarching trend of China breaking with it’s anti-colonial past).
The Chinese Navy is at a natural geographical disadvantage compared to the United States, being surrounded by the Korean Peninsula, Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia; while the US has unimpeded access to both the Pacific and Atlantic. This natural disadvantage is likely part of the reason they’re pursuing claims of territorial control over the East and South China Seas so aggressively. And, as I’ve briefly mentioned elsewhere, it seems like China is currently more focused on the development of a regional, “green-water” Navy than the type of sea force capable of projecting power globally. This may be a temporary orientation on their part, attempting to appear humble and, to use Deng Xiaoping’s phrase, “lie low” until they have the ability to construct a larger navy.
As a counterpoint: as is discussed in that second link, China has responded to its comparative military weaknesses by placing focus on high-tech “asymmetric” military capabilities meant to interfere with America’s command of the commons: anti-satellite technology, drones, cyberattack capabilities, etc.
As for soft power, China is doing very well on the institutional end and very poorly on the cultural end. Investment in Africa, getting the Renminbi elevated to the status of a key global currency, and the creation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank as an alternative to the World Bank are all very smart moves on the part of Beijing to claim a larger role in the international system. The last, in particular, is important considering the dominance of the US and Europe over the current international finance system. However, China’s restrictions on artistic expression and risk-taking prevent them from developing cultural exports that can be used to further spread China’s influence (See: the “Kung Fu Panda” problem).
In sum, though China’s rise may sometimes seem inevitable, it has a number of obstacles preventing it from matching the US in global power. First, further economic development requires an extremely precarious balance between sometimes conflicting goals (management of demographic problems, deleveraging, shifting to a consumption-based economy, anti-pollution measures), and the stakes are high due to the importance of maintaining economic growth. Second, China is significantly behind the US in its ability to project global military power, though it has shown signs of starting to compete for international political influence. I imagine China will continue to grow in power both absolutely and relatively, but I’m skeptical of the idea that it will easily overpower the United States at any point in the near future.
Unappreciated during his lifetime, Vincent van Gogh is one of the most famous and discussed artists in history. From an early age Van Gogh struggled with his identity and longed for direction. When he took a pilgrimage across Europe, he attempted to replicate the delicate and soft work of the Impressionist movement, but failed. He, then, developed his own style composed of bold, colorful strokes. Emotive, beautiful and distinct, a Van Gogh piece can be detected even by the untrained eye. Although he was mentally unstable and impoverished in his life, Van Gogh sought refuge in his paintbrush.
Truly terrifying your readers takes skill. Not only do you have to focus on getting the pacing absolutely right, you also need to understand what makes something scary. When you’re writing, you can’t rely on cheap thrills like in most horror films.
Here are a few tips on adding horror to your story:
Let us know the stakes
We need to know what’s at risk for your character if you want to scare us. We need to know the immediate consequences for your character. We don’t want to be guessing what your character is afraid of happening. Let us know what will happen if they fail.
Develop your characters
No one will care about your horror novel OR any of your novels if you don’t develop your characters. This is often a mistake with beginning horror writers (and well-established ones)—they don’t make us care about their characters. We need to know who they are first before we care about what they might lose.
Write with emotion
Horror truly requires writing with emotion. As a writer, you need to be able to put yourself in the place of your character. You need to be able to describe their fear because that will make your writing more terrifying for your readers. They need to feel what your character is feeling emotionally.
Use all your senses
Focus on using all your senses when writing horror. Smells, sounds, and tastes will all add to the creepiness of your novel. Saying something smells like rotting flesh really adds to your story. Explaining that footsteps sound like heartbeats will build tension. Always consider everything that’s happening in the room and use it to improve your novel.
Have your character make mistakes
Sometimes fear in horror novels comes from characters doing something we know they shouldn’t. What if they accidently killed someone and tried to hide it? What if they got up in the middle of the night to investigate a noise? Build the tension by letting your characters make poor choices.
Give your readers hope
If your readers have no faith in your character from the beginning, your novel won’t be very exciting. Simply putting a character through awful situations does not make a good horror story. We need to believe they can survive. That’s what keeps us reading.
Create new monsters
Don’t be afraid to experiment with new ideas. Turn a vampire into something else by reconstructing our ideas of what a vampire should be. Create a new monster entirely. If there’s something from a nightmare that frightened you, develop it.
Don’t tell us when to be scared
This is when show, don’t tell really comes in handy. You can’t tell your readers, “Amy was really scared.” You need to show us why she’s scared. Simply stating that a character is frightened does nothing to scare your readers. Show us what’s happening and we will know why your character is terrified.
Would you say it's selfish for someone to developed a game for the sake of popularity, even if they put all their time and energy into it?
It’s not selfish, it’s just dumb.
Ok let me rephrase that: making a game for personal popularity is misguided.
First of all, you’re looking at the wrong community to get popular in. If you want to obtain popularity, making a game on the RPG Maker engine is not the first place you should go. We’re a small community of people who are friendly and cool, yes, but we’re not going to propel you to fame or anything. Most blogs here are lucky to get to the 150-250 follower count by the end of their first year here (that is, if they stay that long due to loss of interest!). On other sites it’s still the same: check out all these games on RPG Maker.net that have under 200 downloads.
This doesn’t include sites like Steam where they don’t take kindly to RTP made games and such, where RPG Maker is seen as an engine for the lazy (you and I both know it can be used for good of course). It takes a lot of luck, good marketing, and hard work for your game to get popular. :c I know that sounds harsh, but I don’t want you going into game making with all your dreams crushed only after you finished your game.
Now, say, you have an idea for a game or story and you love it so much that you want it to become popular and that’s what’s driving you. That’s a different story - you want to share something with others. That’s still not selfish, that’s just wanting to share some rad things with other people. Good motivation, would recommend :)
Why are you trying to achieve popularity? If it’s to feel better about yourself, think of other ways of achieving that. If your game isn’t the best or doesn’t get popular, you’re gonna be even more down on yourself because you’d think your game = your self worth, which isn’t the case at all. You are not your game. You have a completely different value from it, independent of it. If your game doesn’t get popular for whatever reason (It wasn’t the best, you didn’t market it as well as you could), that’s alright. People still like you, they’re just not interested in the game as consumers. Like, when I don’t pick up Root n’ Tooty Point n’ Shooty IV, it doesn’t mean the developers failed at making a good game, it’s just that I’m not interested. And hell, failure to create a good game doesn’t equal failure as a human being. Plenty of first games suck, plenty of second, third, and forth games suck. Doesn’t mean you suck.
While getting attention is great, make sure you have a few other goals you can be proud of even if that fails. Like, “Sweet, I finished a whole game!” or “Wow, I can’t believe I programmed all of that when I was scared to even touch RPG Maker before!” Make sure you’re taking your personal growth into account as well.
We, as people, thrive off attention. I know I do, at the very least. We want to be liked, we want to be admired, etc etc. And I can def imagine someone looks at a game like OFF and sees the praise Mortis Ghost gets, and thinks, “I want to be praised like this too.”
So honestly, I don’t think it’s necessarily more selfish than anything else.
As a motive in itself… It might be a little dubious but I wouldn’t call it selfish. Making a game for others to enjoy is, in itself, a very un-selfish thing to do: you spend time and energy to try and give OTHER people a good time playing your game, after all.
It is, however, maybe not the best basis of game design.
If you see your game as nothing more than a vehicle to become popular, chances are the game itself might not be good, because there’s not really a passion for the game as much as there is a passion for the RESULTS of the game (popularity). And that’ll make it that much harder to get your game noticed and out there to get that sweet popularity you crave.
Long story short: not selfish, just not the best motivation. Hope this helps :,)
CHOI JINRI ; APRIL EVALUATIONS! rose scent breeze ; red velvet | song!
jinri has been thinking about rain a lot this month.
it figures, right? april showers and all that. she’s always really enjoyed this month – with her birthday right at the end of march, it’s always been easy to go into april happy, and to let that carry her through even the dreariest weather.
but this year the rain has reflected her mood more often than she would like. she supposes that’s just what happens when the first week of a month involves surprising herself with her own ambition and nearly wrecking her relationship with her best friend because of it.
one impulsive decision managed to turn her world upside down, though jinri’s at least thankful that she was able to withdraw her name from the show without any trouble. it didn’t take her long to realize what a mistake it felt like, and she hates that there’s still a part of her that whispers that she should have done it anyway, that she should take any opportunity she can get, no matter what.