ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 ... to communicate with people, you have to speak their language.  Sometimes that language constitutes waving a fist in their face.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the June 2, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] chanter_greenie. It also fills the "nurture self-worth" square in my 5-20-15 card for the Wellness Toolbox Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by EdorFaus. It belongs to the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: References to past mayhem, body image issues, and offscreen intolerance.  Current environment is safe.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I was heartened to see this post about soldiers and veterans speaking out in support of Muslim Americans

Me, I'm not a soldier in this life.  But I still don't like bullies, and terrorists are bullies.  (Different thing from being a freedom fighter: it depends on your aim.)  So yes, I still have that habit of putting myself between other people and danger.  I've faced off against abusive partners (both sexes) and abusive teachers and dealt with car wrecks and whatnot.  And I try very hard to make my little corner of the world a safe space for everyone.  Somebody gets on my site and acts like a douche?  I will protect you.  Chances are if it's early morning and I'm asleep, my other fans will jump in and ask them to cool it.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's an article about Bernie Sanders and race relations.  This quote caught my eye:

“I have never, ever seen a person running for president come through here. Not one time,” he said. “At first, I wondered if he is just trying to get the black vote. But I did some research and found out he fought a lot for civil rights, and even marched at one time with Martin Luther King. I never knew that. And in his speeches, he says, ‘Yes, black lives do matter.'”

So here's this white Jewish dude, he's not black, his state is mostly white ... but he's got some roots in equality activism, and one more thing.  You wave a problem in his face, he doesn't ignore it.  He goes out and gets some goddamn experience.  Maybe it's not a lot yet, but when was the last time you saw a politician respond  to a protest with anything other than "Stop whining?"  He's talking with people who know this shit.  He's going into their neighborhoods to see where this shit happened.  That matters.

That more than any speech says, in footsteps, black lives matter.  At least to him.  Because he'll go out of his way to look at a problem that is not, personally, his problem.

This is what makes activism work, when people acknowledge problems and look for solutions, and then it doesn't have  to reach riot proportions, because you're already addressing the issue.

That's leadership.  That's power.  And whether or not it goes where I hope it does, I'm happy to see it.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
So here is how Charles Schulz dealt with racism.

1) When someone else pointed out the problem, he agreed that it was a problem.

2) He then admitted he had no idea how to fix it without making it worse; he lacked relevant experience and information, and really did not want to screw it up.

3) So the lady asked her friends who did have relevant experience.

4) One of them suggested introducing supernumerary characters -- background roles -- as a way of laying groundwork for a regular character later on.

5) And he did that.  And it worked.

Believe that you can make a difference.  If you aren't sure how, say so and seek further input from useful sources. Understand that if you're an artist, you'll never know most of the times you make an impact in somebody's life.  But every so occasionally, someone will tell you that you have, and that's awesome.

So go save the world, it needs saving.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Brazil is encouraging people to read by treating books as subway tickets.  Surely someone must be doing this in Terramagne!
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 This project aims to make Legos more inclusive with a holiday-and-magic themed set including minifigs in wheelchairs.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's an intersting post about teaching diversity. It's good as far as it goes. But it's missing a piece, and that missing piece lies at the heart of what's wrong with diversity today.


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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This demifiction belongs to the Berettaflies thread of the Polychrome Heroics series. It takes place on Day 7. Technically, the authorities would prefer that people stay at home while the threat level is at Red, but it's about to turn Orange the next day. Given a peaceful indoor vigil, they'd really rather not plug that safety valve and risk something really dangerous happening instead.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: (Fly Free)
This is the freebie for today's fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from LJ user my_partner_doug. It belongs to The Ocracies series.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Talk to the lonely people.  

Not like it?  Dude, this has been my primary mode  of socialization since I could walk.  The first thing I do in any group event is look for the people on the fringes.  They're usually my best matches and more interesting than the ones in the middle.  It even worked in Mexico and Russia when we didn't necessarily have more than a partial language overlap.

Anyhow, connection helps keep people alive.  It reduces many types of violence.  It also reduces deaths from suicide and loneliness.  Loneliness is about as deadly as smoking.  Also worth mentioning is that it's not purely physical: people can be surrounded by others, and still feel lonely for lack of intimacy.  

A cool thing here is that intimate relationships don't have to be physical.  Sure it's nice if you have plenty of local-to-you friends who can cuddle with you or help if your car won't start.  But if your area doesn't have many people like you, then you can find friends online instead, which meets the need for connection.  Outside of my family, I don't have more than friendly acquaintainces nearby -- but online I have some very fine 'ohana indeed.

The world is a violent mess right now.  Somebody should do something about that.

Be Somebody.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This study showed how names influence imagination

I've always annoyed people trying to apply these tests, because I stop with, "I don't know anything more about that person.  All you've given me is a name.  That doesn't contain the information you're asking for."  Or a picture.  Or whatever.  Because it could be boy named Sue or a white Irish kid named Javier.

Sometimes when I'm naming characters they just tell me.  Sometimes I go looking for things that match.  I like using ethnic names because it's a chance for wider representation.  I often look up the demographics of a region to find locally common names and ethnic groups.  But every once in a while they do something off-pattern, like sex-swapped names, or the Louisiana woman who started screaming curses in Italian.

Assumptions are bug spots that'll stop you from seeing what's really in front of you.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This article does a good job of analyzing what underlies mass shootings. Remember that America has had plentiful guns for a couple of centuries and only recently developed a persistent problem of mass shootings. Also there are other countries with guns that don't have this problem. So if you want to fix it, you have to look at the root causes, which include...

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ysabetwordsmith: (gold star)
Level = Epic.  

See, this is another reason we need diversity in entertainment -- it spreads around who can do the best cosplay.  No able-bodied person is ever going to be play Imperator Furiosa as well as someone who shares the same missing limb.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Meatheads Movers are making a difference by offering to help abuse survivors move to escape their abusers -- for free. While it's often impossible to prevent domestic violence, it is  possible to reach out and help the victims.  Concrete actions like this can determine whether or not someone manages to flee.  This is how men can work against the violent, rape-friendly culture of America today.  When you see something in the world that you despise, look for practical things you can do to thwart it.

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