hmmmmmmm i do declare it is bedtime
hmmmmmmm i do declare it is bedtime
pipistrellus replied to your post “I love … writing… everyone. should talk to me about writing.”make sure not to use any words in your writing, stephen king told me this
Yes, you’re absolutely right! People give us all kinds of writing advice … Whether you follow it is really up to you … :-) But here’s a compilation of the best writing advice I’ve ever gotten … I hope you’ll find it useful … :-O
1. People are not real. Don’t write about people. Write about concepts. Write as broadly about concepts as possible.
2. ADverbs and ADjectives have two things in common: the letters A and the letter D. They are ADDITIVES. Would you feed your children ADDITIVES in their MILK? Would you feed your READER MILK? Remember, real fiction is a soft-yet-firm cheese. REAL RENDERED READER CHEESE.
3. In media res is a cheap trick. In actuality life has been happening long before you arrived and things will continue to happen long after your existence has expired. Real novels begin before the Big Bang and never end.
4. I like to write in cramped portable toilets. Don’t be shy about writing about bowel movements. This will lend a sense of grit and authenticity to your writing and make it seem as though you’re a writer who’s unafraid of bringing that extra bit of poop, unlike the sterile and cold writers who surround you.
5. Why write about things that have happened? Write about things that have never happened. Write them by grinding your brain against a portal to another dimension. All that’ll be transcribed are your horrible screams and agony, but you’ll be original and one-of-a-kind. Who needs sentences or stories when you have pain?
6. Real things happen in the real world. Fantasy is just an extension of the tormented mind. Science fiction is just shitty parables wrapped up in anxieties about bitcoin. Friends, we will all drown in the future and no one will listen to the one man, that one man, who knew it all. Who knew it all. My sister-in-law looked at me in the mirror and touched my shoulder. She looked hard at me. She believed in my arms’ corporeality and fleshiness, but in the future… Does that make me human? Or does it just make me… more?
7. Good people don’t exist. You’re showing deep complexity when you embrace a mechanical vision of the world fueled by half-thought Victorian concepts of “survival of the fittest” and “I don’t actually understand Darwin but I’m going to try to quote him anyway.” Everything in this world is about fighting and fucking. We are all manipulators. I picked up a mug of water and dropped it. Look at that. I have manipulated the floor by getting it wet. ALL RIGHT ALL RIGHT ALL RIGHT
8. But like… can people EVER REALLY understand each other? Can we ACTUALLY understand one another? Oh man. Oh man, oh man oh man oh man oh man
9. When I write about women, I write about the mystic energy pooling beneath their sensuous, swaying eyeballs. Vitreous jelly.
10. Days are not days. They’re nights in Australia. Nights are days in Australia. Days are nights. Nights are days. Australia. Australia. Australia.
this’ll be the first time i’ve done a drag show since i started consciously identifying as anything other than A Boy so that’ll be interesting
speaking of stuff related to Not-Boy identity i got a bunch of sweet garments at the university pride centre’s clothing swap. i will try to remember to take pictures of them sometime to show u all
ok i managed to run through both my songs, in costume, i have confirmed that this is possible for me without collapsing midway
at the very least i will put on the garments for my two numbers and test my range of movement while thus clad. i may not have the energy to do full run-throughs but my dancing style is in large part improvised anyway. as long as i have a good sense of what’s POSSIBLE in costume i should be ok
like, EVEN if you cut nondisabled SJ types out of the picture — much of the disability ‘discourse’ on this site is run by people whose disabilities do not involve significant language impairments, who are engaging in a flavor of discussion that blatantly excludes people with language deficits (especially receptive language issues), and who are trying to control the way people use language.
to put it more clearly:
- most of the loud, visible disabled people here do not seem to have trouble with specialized and complex language.
- they talk about disability in a way that is really hard for me, and other people with significant language problems, to understand.
- and they are trying to dictate the way people talk, and the words they use, while ignoring how hard this can be for other disabled people.
And they don’t understand how like…
I can follow some of their language rules, sometimes. A tiny amount of the time. With enormous amounts of effort. But this means that…
I’m using effort and energy that I need for other tasks.
Even at times when I am not even slightly capable of doing these things, this puts an enormous amount of stress on me. Like, every time I go to write in a place where I know that lots of these people are going to be watching my every word and potentially “critiquing” me more for my language usage than for my content, this puts stress on me that then makes communication that much more difficult.
And if you have any level of communication difficulty, you know that this kind of stress and fear of scrutiny can completely screw up your ability to communicate.
And I do see this kind of double thing happening:
On the one hand, there’s a focus on words as a measure of moral purity. This means that for anyone who has difficulty with expressive language and word-finding on any level whatsoever, whether that difficulty is visible or not, then they are going to be in an extra state of stress trying (and, often, failing) to communicate adequately.
To make matters worse, they may be shunned at worst and patronized at best if they are unable to keep up with all the changes that are constantly being made in what is the acceptable way to speak and what is not the acceptable way to speak.
(And this by people who claim to be advocates for groups of people who frequently have language impairments.)
And then the second part of the double thing:
There’s a lot of really elaborate language being used. And that language can be extremely difficult for people with receptive language problems.
I don’t know how it is for every other person, but I actually get this feeling of little miniature explosions in my head when I read certain very difficult words. It’s the feeling of my brain trying hard to find a meaning and coming up blank. It’s different than just not understanding the word. It’s like a computer returning an error message.
I’ve compiled a list of words that affect me this way that are frequently used in the communities mentioned. However, I’ve rarely felt comfortable posting that list.
One reason is I’m afraid of putting the same kind of restrictions on others that they are trying to put on me. Like, I’m afraid people will assume that because I have a strong negative reaction to their language, then I am expecting them to use different language, whether they can or not. And as someone with communication problems I’m very sensitive to that.
But the other reason?
Because if you have a problem with many of these words, you are treated like utter and complete and total shit.
Like, it’s apparently okay if you’re triggered by a word like crazy, but if your brain balks at a complicated word used in SJ communities, then everyone assumes you have ulterior motives.
Like, they assume that:
- You don’t understand that the concept behind the word is actually a real thing.
- You don’t want to acknowledge that the concept behind the word is actually a real thing.
- You are oppressive and privileged and don’t want to face your privilege.
- You are actually being racist, or ableist, or *ist against whatever group of people originally invented the word (as if the origin of a word could magically make it comprehensible to everyone).
- Your problem with the overuse of academic language is actually some kind of stealthy way of saying that you secretly believe in oppressing whoever is using the academic language to describe their own oppression. Because somehow “academic language” and “fighting oppression” have become the exact same fucking concept in people’s heads, which is really messed up.
- You’re saying you don’t understand a word, because you don’t want to understand it, or the concepts behind it.
- You’re saying you don’t understand a word, because you don’t experience the oppression that the word was thought up to describe.
- You’re just an anti-SJ person looking for an excuse to bully SJ people.
And when you say that actually, overusing this kind of jargon can shut out lots of oppressed people (people with English as a second language, disabled people, people without access to a college education for any of a huge number of reasons)…
…they tell you that because some disabled people, some people without a college education, and some people whose second language is English, can use those terms with no problem, then the problem is you, and that you are the one being oppressive for “assuming they can’t” (even if that’s not what you said, at all).
Because, of course, a lot of these discussions have evolved into this complex social game where whoever can accuse the most people of oppressing other people, is the ‘winner’ of the conversation. So people have become extremely adept at accusing each other of *ism whether such accusations are appropriate or not.
Which means that when you actually need to make the point that something can harm some oppressed group of people? Often you’ll be met by a very intellectually skilled set of maneuvers where a person will find some way of saying that you yourself are harming some oppressed group of people. Not because you are, but because that’s become the way of ‘winning’ the conversation and getting a get-out-of-jail-free card as a result.
So what does this mean?
It means that, as a language-disabled person, I am afraid to communicate about my own oppression in case I accidentally use the wrong words.
It means that, as a language-disabled person, I am unable to read most of the things written by the “big names” among the people who share my disability labels and talk about disability oppression on tumblr. And when I can read them, it takes a lot of effort and is intensely stressful.
It means that, as a language-disabled person, I am afraid to even name the words that cause me the most problems. Because I’m afraid of having to defend my right to even be in the discussion.
I dare you: Jump into the middle of tumblr-SJ-land and say you don’t understand the word intersectionality. Watch what happens.
Because you will be told that you’re not a woman of color, even if you are. And that, whether you are or not, you’re oppressive to women of color, because women of color invented the term. You will have the concept behind the word patronizingly explained to you, over and over, as if this can stop the problem with the word hitting a blank spot in your head. You will be told that your problems with academic language are actually a smoke screen for your own racism. You may be presumed to be anti-SJ, even if you are, or would like to be, part of the SJ community, or are at least someone who has a deep investment in the issues discussed in said community. You will be presumed to be very privileged. You will have your privilege explained to you, even if you don’t have privilege in the areas assumed.
And all that for one word.
I have a list of dozens of words used in this community that create that blank-spot explosion in my brain.
I’ve many times been tempted to post it, and always held back. I’ve sometimes posted small parts of it, but I’ve always been afraid to post the entire thing. Because if you don’t like, or can’t handle, or can’t understand, these words, then your commitment and comprehension and all these other things are called into question.
I’ve been disturbed in recent years not just about the disability community, but about the autistic community. I keep hearing only the same names over and over and over. I would be hypocritical if I said I didn’t want to hear those names at all, because I used to be one of the names you heard over and over myself. But when I was one of those names, I was constantly trying to promote the work of people who were lesser-known than I was. I was constantly trying to get more and more names out there, more and more stories told, more and more people’s ideas out there whether they totally agreed with mine or not. This is why I was one of the first autistic people to compile a comprehensive list of books by autistic people. This is why I collected articles by autistic people back when there were still few enough to do that, and compiled a huge list of web links to as many articles as possible by as many autistic people as possible. This is why I was constantly trying (whether I always succeed or not) to promote the work of other people. This is why I used to want to edit anthologies of writing by autistic people.
And some of the big names now are doing that. But more often, what I see these days is the same small group of people, all linking back to each other’s work. And that same small group of people mostly hold the same ideas as each other, and mostly communicate in similar language to each other.
And I’ve seen vulnerable people treated like crap because they didn’t instantly hold the same ideas, or use the same language, as the people with the most clout in this community. I’ve seen people shut out of the community almost before they could reach out to the community in the fist place. And I’ve seen a lot of autistic people becoming disillusioned with this segment of the autistic community, because all they see are the same small number of people, all writing in ways that they can’t understand.
And you know… there are many ways that I agree with the autistic people who are the big names in this community. But I have trouble getting on board with a community that has become so determined to be an island of like-thinking people who can all use academic SJ buzzwords to great effect. And there’s a place for those buzzwords, in some cases, but… what’s happening here is extremely troubling for me.
And I’m saying this as someone who writes in a way that not everyone can understand. (Hell, I write in a way that even I can’t understand all the time. My expressive vocabulary is larger than my receptive vocabulary.) Nobody can write in a way that everyone can understand. The problem comes in when practically everyone is writing in a way that very few people can understand. You lose people’s interest and attention before they can even figure out whether they agree with you or not.
And the thing is… this is a community formed around a disability that is known to cause both expressive and receptive language problems in a huge proportion of people who have it.
And more and more, I see the tiny number of people in this tiny part of the autistic community, assuming they know what all other autistic people feel like. I see them saying that “autistic people feel this way” about something when actually, a lot of autistic people don’t feel this way. I see them saying that “there’s no autistic people who feel that way” when there are lots of autistic people who actually do feel that way. And when they do acknowledge that some autistic people disagree with them, they often do so in the most patronizing terms possible.
And even though I agree with many of the ideas in this community. I can’t help feeling like this approach to autistic community is setting us all up for the accusation that we’re not representative. We all hear that, all the time. We hear “You’re not like my child” and “You’re not like most autistic people”. And often that’s a political move, and a horrible one at that, and a horrible thing to say. But sometimes I find myself thinking it’s true. And I don’t think that because I want to see “the REAL autistic opinion” represented as “we all should get cured and we shouldn’t listen to the outspoken self-advocates”. I think that because lately autistic self-advocacy has started meaning something much narrower than what it used to mean.
And yes, I actually understand that many of the people who communicate this way have language issues themselves. That’s why, whenever I talk about words I can’t handle, I try to be very careful not to present them as a list of words that should never be used. But I also see a serious lack of understanding, among people who communicate this way, towards those of us who really can’t communicate that way, and/or can’t understand communication of that sort.
And if this is happening even among a group of people who are known for having language disabilities, then what hope do those of us with language disabilities have in a broader disability community where the most outspoken people don’t even have a tenuous connection to cognitive or language disability?
It’s very frustrating and upsetting to watch.
And I know, because of my status in this community, I can get away with saying more about this than a lot of people can. But even so, I’ve been accused of not caring about people who are negatively affected by certain words. In fact, I’ve been accused of not being a person who is negatively affected by certain words, because if I was affected that way, surely I would choose to deal with it by demanding that nobody, ever, say those words?
But the reality is, whether I’m negatively affected by a word or not, it’s very rare that I choose to deal with those effects by attempting to stop everyone from ever using those words. True slurs are the closest I come to that, and even there I make exceptions.
So I want to be clear… I do have a serious problem with a community where, in order to be considered able to communicate effectively about oppression at all, you have to be able to memorize a lot of academic jargon and buzzwords. My problem isn’t that some people use those words. My problem is that practically everyone with power in these communities is using them as much as they possibly can. My problem is that people who can’t, or won’t, use those words are seen as inferior. My problem is the assumptions made about people who can’t understand these words. My problem is the lack of space being made for those of us who have difficulty understanding said words. So I’m not trying to create a new list of banned words or something, but I am trying to call attention to the way these words are used, and the consequences for those of us who can’t or won’t do that.
So on the one hand, there’s all these words that are being effectively banned. Like not literally banned. But banned in a social sense — if you use these words then you are doing something bad. This makes things quite difficult for anyone who can’t avoid using those words, or finds it greatly difficult to do so. Including many people with language problems.
And, on the other hand, there’s all these words that everyone is using that are quite difficult to understand for a lot of people, including people with receptive language problems.
And the combination of socially banning everyday words that aren’t even slurs or anything (although some of them are getting elevated to that status in people’s minds, which quite disturbs me), and using a lot of academic jargon in discussions of oppression? And making both of these things necessary to discussing oppression in any serious way? Makes things extremely hard, if not impossible, for those of us with expressive or receptive language disabilities, and other cognitive disabilities.
And you can’t spot a person with expressive or receptive language disabilities or cognitive disabilities just by how they write on the Internet. You don’t know which of us are getting shut out and shut up. Many of us are afraid to speak up because of the responses we’ve gotten. Many of us get extremely vehement, hostile responses when we try to bring up these issues.
Just recently I read that there is absolutely no debate among people with developmental disabilities over whether the word stupid is bad to use — that all of us just automatically agree that it’s a horrible word that nobody should use. That’s not true. In fact, it’s not only not true, it’s covering up a truth that’s very important: Many people with developmental disabilities are unable to cut words like that out of our vocabularies even if we wanted to. And many of us have a very hard time expressing why it’s so hard. I have a better ability to communicate than a lot of people with equivalent cognitive impairments to mine, and it took me years to be able to articulate why this was a problem for me. Or even that it was a problem. This was years of difficulty, self-doubt, and shame over my inability to eliminate words that I was being socially pressured not to use. Sometimes I even agreed I shouldn’t use them and I still couldn’t eliminate them. It often put me off of even entering a lot of important conversations, because I knew I wouldn’t be able to abide by the rules. How many other people are silently dropping out of these discussions because the cognitive demands placed on them to drop very common words, or to use and understand very uncommon words, are too high?
But even with all these people not being able to communicate how hard it is for us, there’s still plenty of debate over whether it’s right to eliminate words like this. And to claim everyone in a certain group agrees with you (and by extension, anyone who doesn’t agree isn’t even worth acknowledging) is both misleading, and it shuts down the voices of a lot of people out there who really don’t agree with you at all.
Of course, there’s a huge advocacy community out there. A huge one. A huge advocacy community that isn’t hung up on everyone having to have a large academic vocabulary, or on everyone having to cut common words out of their language. A community with diverse representation and diverse opinions. And that community is making gains every day, real concrete gains, almost totally unnoticed by a lot of the people who assume that they are the end-all and be-all of the communities that fight against various kinds of oppression. And that gives me hope.
whoaaa your nails are so long now :O
i know! operation “stop biting them thanks to the power of nail polish” has been a resounding success
what’s the purple polish that you have on in the 6th picture?
the dark one with the pink/purple glitter in it? Revlon’s “Scandalous”, which I borrowed from my friend gwenfrankenstien. I’ve been trying to keep an eye out for a bottle I can buy but haven’t had any luck yet :C
i’m so fucking tired but i still want to runthrough my numbers for tomorrow’s drag show before the end of the day
why is this tumblr post open
what am i doing
nothing makes any sense any more