Let me put it this way: I am me. I am not going to change who I am for the sake of pleasing people I neither like, respect, nor admire. Many people have tried and failed in this endeavor. It will be infinitely less painful for all concerned if everyone who has a problem with who I am is made aware of this in time to avoid me. If you think I'm awesome and want to hire me, great. If you're thinking about hiring me and something I've said freaks you out, please go the fuck away before you hurt yourself on my pointy bits. Giving me money grants access to my professional mode and bumps you up my priority queue; it doesn't make me a different person. Proceed accordingly.
It occurred to me, thinking about the conversation we had in the meeting, that the corporations are putting themselves in the position of essentially deciding if people are worthy to have a place in society at all.
Now consider that it's not just about a place in society, but the ability to LIVE, because without a job there is almost no way to make money and thereby obtain survival needs such as food, shelter, clothing, and health care. I'm not okay with the idea of throwing away people just because they don't have anything you want. It makes me think that society is fundamentally sick.
This poem came from the March 5, 2013 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by Shirley Barrette. Yes, it's true that empty houses greatly outnumber homeless people.
All homes are houses
but not all houses are homes.
There are over five empty houses
for each person who lacks a place to live.
America is becoming a nation
of homeless people and tenantless houses.
They look through the windows at each other,
yearning for what they are told they cannot have.
It is considered more important to protect
the wealth of the few than the well-being of the many.
Every man for himself, chant the headlines,
while the Devil takes the hindmost one by one by one.
Basically, use your folding vote to say how you want cultural material to be handled. Do you want it shared so more people can play with it and make cool stuff? Buy from people with an open-source or fanwork-friendly policy on their material. That includes conventionally and alternatively published material. Don't buy from people who won't let anyone else play with their ball. Do you feel that only creators and their heirs should be able to use that stuff, forever? (It is forever, as long as Disney owns The Mouse That Ate Copyright and enough politicians/judges to keep rolling the dates.) Do the opposite. Either way, support what you want to see more of. It isn't necessary to rant. People mostly don't care what you think. They absolutely DO care what you buy -- or don't buy.
So I was deeply amused by this comic spoof of Superman a la Card, which is even funnier if you've ever seen Clark and Lex dancing around each other in Smallville. Also awesome is the text discussion underneath, "That Guy, Eh?" because wow, yes, Card is one of fandom's most infamous That Guys. I was thrilled to see someone else cite one of my favorite reasons for promoting free speech: "I want to know where the idiots are." That way, I can make informed voting and shopping choices.
And as a writer? If you disagree with my politics, religions, sexuality, linguistics, social stances, or other stuff ... that's okay. You don't have to agree with me to like what I write. It's very diverse stuff; my characters aren't even like each other, let alone all like me. You might find something they've said that matches your taste better than what I usually say.
On the other hoof, if you disagree with a LOT of what I say, you probably won't like my writing. It tends to carry some of the same messages, spread out across different works because they have different themes. If it bugs you, don't read it. Go read something else. The world is full of stuff to read; you can find something more to your taste elsewhere. If you have a very fixed worldview, this is actually a safety warning. "DANGER: May cause permanent damage to narrow minds."
I know a lot of artists, writers, musicians, crafters, and other talented folks who make some of their living from their creative endeavors. I don't always have the money to support them as much as I'd like, but what I can do is set up a virtual faire where vendors can offer their wares to an audience that likes crafts, literature, and small businesses. For those of you doing your holiday shopping, here's an opportunity to buy something made with love, something unusual or unique, in a way that helps make it possible for creative people to go on creating wonders. And there will be no traffic jams, stampedes, or gunfights at the Winterfaire!
Vendors: If you have goods or services suitable for holiday gifts, please put up a booth by replying with a description of what you sell, an estimate of your price range if possible, and some kind of contact information so shoppers can reach you. If you have a website (Etsy, DeviantArt, personal, whatever) showcasing your work in more detail, include the link(s). If you have holiday freebies, such as downloadable greeting card imagery, you're welcome to promote those too. For ease of identification, I recommend titling your reply starting with "BOOTH:" followed by the name of your business or type of goodies.
Shoppers: If you're looking for something specific and it's not posted yet, feel free to ask. Someone else may know where to find it! "SHOPPING FOR:" and the topic would be a good title.
Everyone: You may help promote the Winterfaire by linking to this post from your own blog or site. If you have a similar holiday-networking post, you may link to it in a comment on this post.
Participation Perk: I'm offering poetry for participation, beginning with verses of "With Its Head Cut Off" (28 verses) from the Path of the Paladins series. (Completed!)
* link to this Winterfaire page to boost the signal
* comment posting a Booth of your wares/services in the Winterfaire
* buy something from a vendor listed in the Winterfaire
* host a similar holiday market in your own blog or other venue
LiveJournal will notify me of comments to the Winterfaire post and links to it elsewhere on LJ; for everything else, you need to TELL ME in order to get credit for it.
Do you know of another indie holiday shopping post? Let me know and I'll link it here.
Jaguar's Black Friday Bazaar
The Winterfaire at Angel's Place
Handmade Holiday Shopping
2012 Holiday Bazaar
One problem: Covers with slim, attractive girls or women sell. Covers with more diverse body types do not sell. This really pisses me off, because it actively punishes publishers who buck the trend to present diversity. I lobbied for more diverse covers at PanGaia and SageWoman, and we tried a few, but really we just couldn't afford it. The numeric difference was prohibitive.