rockinhamburger: (Gorgeous Gaga)
We hear a lot about them. We're intimately familiar with them. We know the double standards that men and women are held to. We know the double standards that exist for straight people and for anyone who strays from the sexual 'norm'. Double standards are ever-present and difficult to ignore.

There has been a lot of talk about last week's episode of Glee, and I just want to give my vested two cents on the subject while my mind's in the right space to do so.

Cut for spoilers for Glee's '3x05'... )
rockinhamburger: (DARREN/BLAINE)
Cut for spoilers... )
rockinhamburger: (Rachel Maddow)
I used to visit my granny every Sunday afternoon when I was a child. She would sit me down with various craft supplies, and my favourite thing to make was the cardboard guitar (this was long before my days of actual guitar playing, but clearly I was a musician at heart from a young age!). Did you ever make one of those? You know, with an empty tissue box? You rip off the plastic around the opening, then you cut a hole in one end and stick an empty paper towel roll in it, and then you stretch elastic bands around the tissue box so that they're stretched over the opening, and VOILA! You have your very own guitar that makes wonderful, elastic-y music.

I also remember making cardboard dioramas. Remember those?? I'd make an ocean floor, with fish hanging from the top, a big treasure chest on the bottom, and flashy blue paper as a backdrop.

I was a crafty child. Maybe you were too?

Kids still make crafts today, but I've noticed a slight shift in what exactly kids are crafting.

My best friend's mom is a nanny for these two adorable girls. They're 7 and 9 years-old. They listen to the Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus. That's okay! When I was their age, I was listening to the Spice Girls and the Backstreet Boys (and The Beatles and Chris de Burgh and Queen and R.E.M, but I digress)!

But craft-wise? These girls aren't crafting ocean floors and hand-made guitars, they're making cardboard cell-phones and laptops. And don't they have toy cell-phones now, with candy inside? I know they have toy laptops and iPods available for purchase as well. You know, to help get these kids tech-obsessed early on.

Isn't that a little sad? That children want computers and cell-phones when they're 7 and 9? It starts early, man. Kids are becoming as dependent on, obsessed with, and addicted to technology and efficiency as we adults are, and they believe, because they're taught (not necessarily consciously) that indulging in these luxuries is adult, mature, grown-up.

I do realize this is an inevitable, inescapable consequence of innovation, industrialization, and progress. It is becoming increasingly regular and perhaps even necessary for teenagers to own laptops and cell-phones. I'm sure, from a teacher's perspective, computers and laptops make teaching a breeze, but I'm not sure I agree with the concept that teaching should be easy; it's damn hard, and I rather think it should be! Learning isn't easy; why should teaching be? You know, fifteen years ago I was learning how to write in cursive. I was writing short stories and essays on loose-leaf sheets of paper with pens and pencils. Or I was playing outside with my sister, visiting friends and using our imaginations.

What are many kids doing these days? When they're not in school or doing homework, they're playing video games, watching television, and surfing the internet. Maybe they go outside occasionally, but a lot of these kids much prefer to be inside, escaping into virtual, fictional worlds of whimsy. I love kids, I babysit a lot; this is something I've noticed, and I'm not sure it's entirely healthy, even if it is unavoidable and no doubt irreversible.

I'm not saying technological advancement is evil. I just think it's little bit sad and scary that this outlook and behaviour has become the norm. I'm also not saying technology is ruining our children. I definitely don't believe that. My sister and I had a television in our room for all of our childhood and adolescence, and we were perfectly capable of turning off the television, and you know what? We did! We went outside and played tag, or we went for a long walk, or we created imaginary worlds with our toys. My friends and I played role-playing games in the schoolyard, where we were animals or hybrid animal-superheroes. We were not enslaved by technology, and I don't think kids are today. But I have noticed this intriguing, somewhat sad, growing trend, and I do think this is something worth thinking - and maybe even talking with kids - about.

What do you think?
rockinhamburger: (Adam)
Lately I've taken to filling out prompts on an American Idol kink meme. I've filled about six prompts, and I've been having a blast because people seem to enjoy my fills and, for the most part, everyone's been really kind and respectful toward me.

But I've been noticing a trend, and it's not just toward me. This is a problem in many memes, but I've noticed it much more heavily in the AI fandom. I'd like to lay out a few rules here regarding Meme Etiquette. You are, of course, free to disagree, but I really think this is as simple as being appreciative and respectful of the hard work writers put into filling out prompts.

Meme Etiquette

1) When prompting at a meme, you forfeit the right to be critical of anything apart from grammar, spelling and sentence structure (even this is pretty nitpicky - it's a meme, for crying out loud). When someone goes out of their way, takes the time and energy to fill out a prompt for you, you should say, "Thank you! I liked that!" (even if you didn't) and move on.

2) If the fill was not exactly what you were looking for, or at all what you were looking for, you could wait a few days and repost your prompt, perhaps reworded, explaining that you would really like a similar fill. Suggestion of what you might say: "I'm reposting this; the other fill was good, and I'd love to read another take on this concept." That way everyone's happy. Someone else might fill out your prompt again, closer to what you wanted, and the writer who initially took the time to fill it out for you doesn't have to feel like shit because it wasn't what you wanted.

3) If you really want to read something in a fill, but the writer who filled it for you didn't give you precisely what you wanted, and you're having trouble finding the premise anywhere else, write it yourfuckingself. If you're so hellbent on reading something, do not harass writers; fucking write it. It absolutely boggles my mind when I see people nitpicking over the smallest things; details that have nothing to do with the overall prompt. If you don't like the way a fill is going, stop reading. No one's forcing you to. Don't comment. Leave it alone.

4) If you're not the writer or the OP, what the hell are you doing critiquing a specific angle, or a specific element of characterization, etc.? The writer did not write it for you! It's nice to get drive-by comments of appreciation; it is not nice to receive drive-by criticism from strangers, especially anonymice. If you're not a fan of the way the story went down, write your own damn version.

5) Last but not least, let us not forget this important truth about memes: We are all extremely lucky when someone fills out our prompts at all. The bigger the fandom (and its subsequent memes), the more followers there are, the less likely we are to have our prompts filled. So we should feel very fortunate to have anyone bothering to fill them out; I know I do! It is our responsibility - in order to keep the various writers at these memes - to be respectful of the fills that are written. If we aren't, what's keeping these writers from saying, "fuck this noise!" and moving the fuck on? Absolutely nothing. So let's use our discretion at all times, and if we have nothing kind to say -- all together now -- don't say anything at all!

-

I'm not gonna lie; sometimes I feel very discouraged by the attitude at the meme. Sometimes I really don't want to continue filling out prompts. Right now I'm having trouble remaining cool and collected about this issue (if this entry hasn't already told you that), and I'm seriously reconsidering my participation there. For the most part, people have been very kind. I am extremely grateful for the kind words most of my readers have commented with. I continue to be very touched by my readers' enjoyment of my writing. That's all I want!! Truly, it's the random bystander who feels compelled to tell me that my fill wasn't what they wanted, or that someone else should fill it out the way it actually went down (even though this is fucking fanfiction), that makes me feel shitty about my writing.

NOTE: This is not directed at anyone who has commented on Diamond Dog Diva. You have ALL been wonderfully kind to me, and I am so grateful for the beautiful feedback I've received. I'm referring to the few odd fills I've submitted at the meme that I have yet to post over here. I've received some comments that hurt me and make me feel dumb for writing a prompt in a particular way. I mean no offense by this entry, either, and I'm certainly not talking to any of the friends in the AI fandom that I've made in the last few weeks. You're all darlings! It's just a few bad eggs that I'm talking about (usually in the guise of anonymity), and I thought I'd spread the word in the hopes that some of you on my flist might read it, agree with what I'm saying, and think it worth incorporating into our interactions with each other in fandom life.

Thank you for your attention! ♥
rockinhamburger: (Gaga:)
the more i think about it, the more strongly i feel we - as fans of our favourite music artists, film and television actors, and those people we respect in the entertainment industry - have a lot to learn about the fine line between normal admiration and unhealthy obsession/borderline stalking of celebrities.

don't get me wrong; i know it comes with the territory of being famous. i get that those who wish to be in the limelight, those who wish to share their artistry with the world, are in some sense willingly (and in full understanding of what comes with all of that notoriety) putting themselves in a position of having their privacy compromised. but there's a limit. or there should be.

i love adam lambert. that is not a secret. i'll tell anyone that, and i'm not ashamed to admit it. i'd love to meet him some day. i've met very few of the artists i respect and whose work i enjoy. however, when i met those people, i was very respectful of that wall that exists between them and myself.

i'll shake their hand. i might ask for a hug or an autograph (not both; i don't want to monopolize their time), but there are some things i would never do. i would never approach adam lambert or lady gaga while they were eating their supper in a restaurant or having a drink at a club. i'd never take photos of my favourite actor eating supper at said restaurant if i so happened to come across them. i wouldn't run up to them on the street and scream, "i love you! you're amazing, can i have a hug and an autograph, omg you're my hero, you mean everything to me." because there's a fucking limit to what's acceptable behaviour when meeting someone you respect who is also famous.

and i totally understand the excitement of meeting someone we really admire and maybe even love (even though we know next to nothing about these people apart from their public personas and the faux-paparazzi-journalist pictures and articles written about their endeavours outside of their work - you know, celebrities buying coffee or shopping for clothes or groceries - FASCINATING STUFF!).

and again, i understand the desire to know absolutely everything about a loved and cherished artist. but there really is a point where it goes too far. taking pictures of adam lambert on his time off, while he watches lady gaga perform in concert - that's too fucking far. i really believe that. let the man enjoy his show without photographing his every move. i know we're excited to see someone famous, someone we like very much, enjoying something else we enjoy, but it's too much.

and i'm not saying i don't fall prey to this myself. i do. but i'm recognizing that this is a problem, and i'm working to remedy it. i don't think there's any harm in enjoying an artist's music, in acquainting oneself with that artist's work, or speculating about an artist's regular life. i am happy when my favourite artists get married or have children, or begin dating someone new, but i don't want to see every picture of them together. or every picture of that celebrity in existence. it makes me feel like a total creep. when it crosses the line to that creepy, stalkerish, follow-their-every-move place, i become uncomfortable. and i feel bad.

these people are just trying to lead some semblance of a normal life. the internet has made this incredibly difficult, and it's rather inevitable, i know. but still, it's worth taking note of. and maybe it's worth changing our behaviour over, as well.

personal privacy is important. i truly believe that.

what do you think?

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April 2012

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