muscadine: (Me 2005)
The way this meme works is as follows: I commented on [ profile] bdouville's post, and he gave me the age 14. If you request in the comments, I'll assign you an age, and so the chain of memes can continue. Or not. So, here goes.

At 14 (for reference, we're talking June 1990-91.) )


May. 31st, 2010 12:15 am
muscadine: (Cooking Demon)
"Judge me not by my hideous features but by my warm and gentle heart. Or I will eat your soul."
muscadine: (Comfort/Grief/Rain)
I stumbled upon a short poem I wrote probably a year or two ago in response to witnessing the Eyes Wide Open exhibit, which was displayed on the UA mall for a short time. I may have posted it here before but I'm not sure, so putting it here now for posterity:

As in life
The soldiers form a straight line
A regiment
The emptiness fills their shoes

More on the Eyes Wide Open exhibit )
muscadine: (Default)
A group of us were talking over dinner last week, and (mostly based on [ profile] acutegirl's contributions to the conversation) came up with four rough criteria (in no particular order) people use to decide whether they will enter into a certain sexual situation or not:
(a) Is it illegal? (are there laws - perhaps also policies/rules - against it?)
(b) Is it immoral/unethical? (do I believe it to be harmful to myself or others, does a Higher Power forbid it, etc?)
(c) Is it beneficial or is it in my/their interests? (beyond strict answers to above considerations, will it be unharmful and perhaps helpful in some way - psychologically, socially, etc. and probably actually includes consideration of consequences of (a) & (b). This criterion was the most vague and may actually need to be explicated further and teased apart more from (b).)
(d) Is it a preference? (do I like or want to do it, does it turn me on, etc)

Clearly, this set of criteria probably applies more broadly than sexual situations. How these four considerations are weighed against each other depends upon the person, and probably varies across situations for at least some persons. For example, some people would never do anything they knew to be illegal. Other people wouldn't much care about the legality. Some people might care a great deal about the legality in business matters, but not sexual matters. Sociopaths would only consider (d) and a limited aspect of (c) in regard to decision-making about pretty much anything. And so forth.

I decided to write about this now, beyond the fact that I considered the above conversation very interesting, because of how I thought about it being applicable in another case I recently ran into. On an LJ gaming community I posted part of a post by Gabe from Penny Arcade, an interview of his grandpa who fought in World War II. The interview ended with the following exchange:
Interview excerpt cut for length )

At the end of this quote I asked about what kind of moral/ethical lines people drew in regards to the games they play. I was only somewhat surprised to get back a couple of responses along these lines:
"I play what I like. I don't like moral/ethical values stand in the way."
"I do not avoid video games based on morals or ethics. The line should be drawn when games stop being fun."
In other words, mostly using (d), with perhaps a limited consideration of (c). Sound familiar?

As I thought about it, it seems to me this is actually a common attitude towards media in general. Certainly there are things individual people won't read or watch, but it varies quite a bit from person to person, and often tends to be expressed more in terms of personal preferences than ethics or morality. Indeed, there is often lots of criticism and contempt heaped upon groups that recommend avoiding a movie or book because of the ethics or morality it displays (of course, this is somewhat confounded by a history of actual censorship or attempts at censorship, and/or un/misinformed viewpoints about content of a book or movie). So I would venture to say most people will read books or watch movies in which various sorts of unethical and indeed horrifying behavior takes place, even when portrayed in anything from a neutral/ambiguous to sympathetic light. Witness the Hannibal Lecter fandom, as a quintessential example of this phenomenon.

So it should not be shocking to find people extend this attitude to other forms of media including video games. But, in the case of video games, it seems to me people tend to find this more worrisome. While in a sense people may "take on the role" of characters in any form of media, in video games this is much more explicit and active. The main character "is" the person playing in a way they are not for the person viewing or reading. Certainly I find it somewhat worrisome, although upon reflection I think perhaps we should also do more worrying than we do about other media as well. What does it mean that many of us use a logic arguably akin to sociopathy to decide what media we consume?


Oct. 19th, 2007 10:15 pm
muscadine: (HP - Fandom Albus)
This is surely the best news for fan fiction ever:
It's official: Albus Dumbledore is gay.

In other news, I carved a pumpkin tonight. I'm really proud of it. Shall post a picture or two later.

I <3 NY

Aug. 15th, 2007 10:02 am
muscadine: (Default)
Lesson 1: All flights in and out of New York City are late. 15 minutes late. 3 and a half hours late. Some kind of late. We and nearly everyone we talked to experienced this.

Short Restaurant Reviews )

Portland Square Hotel Review )
muscadine: (Sociology)
*A Puzzle: if women are supposed to be more open and...flexible in their sexuality, why do we consistently find that more men report attractions for other men, more men report sexual activity with other men in their lifetimes (and since 18), and more men identify as gay or bisexual (at least within the United States? This is a common finding across a number of studies which are supposedly representative samples.

*Pretty much everything on campus is closed other than the bookstore. I think if classes are being held on campus, there should be at least some limited food and printing options available on campus. Even my dept building is closed, and apparently the heat is only running for part of the day or something because it has gotten noticeably colder both this afternoon and yesterday afternoon. This is particularly bogus.

*I need to write up my exam for tomorrow. And work on my Williams Institute application.

*We had a nice storm move in last night, and have gotten a good soaking rain all day today, which was no doubt sorely needed. However, it's cold, at least for Tucson, and will only be getting colder as the front moves through.
muscadine: (Default)
Feminist Theory - A
muscadine: (Sociology)
I turned in my final paper for Feminist Theory. Eight pages on "trans-gendering women," about half of which is a (hopefully) theoretical reading of the independent film Female to Femme. Monika says the idea of trans-gendering women makes her brain hurt, but I think she might like the video. It's a rough start but if my professor likes it I think I want to develop it into a full-fledged theory paper.

I'm giving an early final tomorrow so I need to start putting questions together. The real final is Friday.

Also, need to revise my CV for my Annual Evaluation *DUN DUN*.

Also, it might be good to write a syllabus for the class I'm teaching during Winter Session.

First few paragraphs of 'Trans-gendering Women' )
muscadine: (Christmas (FF))
My Wish List


Dec. 7th, 2006 04:35 pm
muscadine: (Goatee)
PS - By request, the goat is back. Baaah!

Let's see if it lasts til Christmas...
muscadine: (Default)

My Personality
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muscadine: (Journey/Gandalf)
Got up earlier today and went to breakfast at Eggspectations (or something like that) near the hotel, recommended in Monika's guidebook. HUGE breakfast. DELICIOUS. I went to a workshop about going on the job market as an LGBTQ sociologist. Interesting, may talk about it more later. Came back to the hotel afterwards for a nap. Then back to the conference at 2:30 to go to the presentation of research I've been working on with Erin. Four presenters and a discussant. The whole session was consistently good and interesting. Afterwards talking with Erin some and then went off to look at the book section but it was again closed. Their hours suck. Trying again tomorrow at 12:30. Paid my membership for Sociologists for Women in Society. Then we went to Chinatown, which mostly seems to be Chinastreet. Lots of restaurants and little shops down a corridor and then off several side streets. Nice and fun! We had dimsum for a very reasonable price, wasn't too shabby! Then we caught the shuttle and headed back to the hotel. We're resting now, may go out and do something later.
muscadine: (Journey/Gandalf)
We got up on time this morning and everything went smoothly. First session Mon and I both went to on innovative teaching techniques for soc classes. LOTS of good stuff. Next I went to a social movements session which included Liz, 1-year newly minted faculty formerly of UA. Not quite so informative overally but not boring. Then I went to lunch at a local deli on the corner of Baudry and St. Catherine and had a smoked meat sub sandwich, apparently a local speciality. It was basically smoked beef on a toasted sub (with cheese?) lettuce piled on (with tomato, which I removed) and I chose italian dressing to top it off. VERY good.

Saw Megan and Karen briefly before the afternoon sessions started. For the afternoon I went to the sexualities roundtables, in part just to see what the roundtables are like. Very informal, which is good considering I have nothing planned for Sunday. Monika also came to the roundtables, but participated in a different table. After that I went to a session on technology which talked about virtual and non-virtual communities in the context of online gaming (and LAN/gaming centers) as well as interaction in wireless access coffee shops. I left after those two presentations and went to a culture-focused session on boundaries which included our own UA faculty Ron B (though I missed his actual presentation, sadly). Several UA folk were there as well.

After that Mon and I met up again at the student reception and headed towards the sexualities section reception, which was a couple of blocks away in the basement of one of the hotels. Meh. Anyways, didn't know anyone there at first, though I eventually recognized one woman I had met at my PSA presentation session. We each introduced ourselves to a few other people, and to the section chair, though I am not much for the schmoozing/meeting people I don't know thing. Feels so awkward. So around 8 we headed back to the hotel. Megan and Karen eventally got back and we eventally decided to go off to eat in the Gay Village. Karen is coming down with strep she thinks, yikes! *makes sign of crucifix* I finally got some Canadian $$$ from an ATM there and we then ate at a local fast food joint. It was pretty good. I and Megan had a cheeseburger. Karen had a SQUARE chicken sandwich which she didn't eat. Monika went authentic Montreal and had smoked meat (which she didn't like and wasn't quite like my lunch) and some strange bucket of french fries with cheese and gravy (I forget the official name).

After that we went around to some of the clubs. First to the Drugstore, which is predominantly lesbian. We danced a bit, explored the SEVERAL levels of the club all the way to the roof. Then went back down to the patio area. We checked out the people around. I flirted (he kept looking at me and I would smile) with a guy who was there with his lesbian friends. After Karen finished her drink we went to Sky Cafe and checked out the drag show. Very impressive til they got to the talking/joke part, which dragged way too long. The main dance floor was apparently requiring a cover, so we tried Unity...which also required a cover. So we went back to the Drugstore. Eventually ended up nearly the same spot. Flirted some but a bit less with the guy. Laughed at some lesbian making fun of an effeminiate guy who stuck his butt in her face. Drank a little too much and talked about the hot women in the place. Karen suddendly decided it was time to go, and in fact it was if we wanted to catch one of the last Metro trains. So I downed my smirnoff and we left. Which left me a bit dizzy and silly, but we made it no problem back to the hotel. I'm almost back to normal now. We're going to bed. Mon and I are planning to get up early for breakfast, then off to an early morning session, then some time off. I then have to be back for the session with Erin at 2:30. Goodnight.
muscadine: (Journey/Gandalf)
Monika and I made it to Montreal, and Allen made it Memphis. We're still waiting for Megan and Karen, our roommates for the conference, to get here. They were hoping to be here by 10 and it is now almost 11:30.

It was unpleasant waking up at 3am to begin with (4 hours sleep = unhappy me), but in addition the first thing I noted was the terrorist plan thwarted in London. Allen's mom warned us they were going to not let us take liquids/gels on the plane. Luckily I had already packed a carry-on which we just converted to our checked baggage of toiletries. Then Mon and I each had a backpack. There was quite a delay both on our flight (ALL bags were searched before boarding) and then again in Denver for the connection flight though they didn't search bags before boarding there. We were supposed to fly out at 6:30 in Tucson but didn't board til then, or maybe later. I think we were supposed to board at 10:50 in Denver and we didn't board til after noon. We were the lucky ones from what I can tell on the news. Good thing we were getting an early start.

The fights themselves went smoothly and Air Canada is the shiznit. Cushy seats, great tilt, stereo headsets, in-flight movie. I'm flying to Canada more often.

Montreal is a big city! And very French. Yes, I have a firm grasp of the obvious. After we checked into the hotel we walked down Rue St. Catherine then south to Old Montreal. We ate gyros at the Restaurant Cafe McGill (I think? Glorified, localized Denny's basically - fun!). Skirted Chinatown, caught the Metro, and walked through the Gay Village. It is perhaps the gayest place I've every been.

Tomorrow, conference. Tomorrow evening, more touring the town.
muscadine: (Journey/Gandalf)
In the mail from [ profile] queerbychoice: As Meat Loves Salt. Intriguing. This may be my Montreal trip book.

Also, used some university bookstore giftcards earned last prospective student weekend to purchase most of the books for the Feminist Theory class I'm taking this fall. And still have some left over to purchase the rest when they get in. Not having to pay for school books is delicious, but on top of that the texts look to be quite interesting.

PS - Holy crap, I need a book icon.

About 25 more exams to grade, so better get back to work...
muscadine: (MAD Cheshire Cat)
Evangelical megachurch pastor pays a high price for rejecting conservative politics. The church is in St. Paul apparently, so [ profile] i12bmore might be particularly interested.

We have water in our rivers and (despite unnaturally high humidity) we are quite possibly one of the coolest areas of the country. Our high today might break the ninties. Beware for the apocalypse is surely nigh!

I was somewhat cranky about my students yesterday, for no particular reason but rather a combination of factors. However, after talking with some other people in the dept and the students themselves about the fact that some of them are taking up to 5 classes over the wonder they don't show up for class and have no motivation to do any work. I think we should switch over to a tri-mester or quarterly system. Especially since our regular semesters are currently insanely long and three sessions in the summer is also insane.

We had a "sin party" last night with the theme of Wrath. We watched the new Focus on the Family video answering 10 questions asked about same-sex marriage. There are intelligent, integrity-filled people who oppose same-sex marriage, at least in terms of religion (as in, all religions should not be forced to conduct same-sex marriages, etc). But this was not an example of that. The mistake made, perhaps, was that the purpose of the video was to engage the debate without using scriptural or religious arguments. But all that they had to replace it with, apparently, were arguments of gender essentialism and emotional pleas to "think of the children." I am not using hyperbole here. And I could actually accept those arguments as part of public discourse, except that the spokesperson deliberately misrepresented research and statements by professional and advocacy groups. But perhaps the most ridiculous thing was what basically amounted to a character assassination of, of all people, Rosie O'Donnell. It's surprisingly hard to maintain a wrathful composure when you are so filled with incredulity at what you are witnessing.
muscadine: (MAD Cheshire Cat)
(Click here to post your own answers for this meme.)

I miss somebody right now.  (And most days. I wonder if you're still there K.) × I don't watch much TV these days.  (Not as much as I used to, but "don't watch much" isn't accurate.) I own lots of books.  (They are my children.)
I wear glasses or contact lenses.  (Glasses because I don't like the idea of putting things IN MY EYE.) I love to play video games.  (Duh.) × I've tried marijuana(Unless you count a contact high maybe?)
I've watched porn movies.  (Duh.) × I have been the psycho-ex in a past relationship.  (Sadly, no.) I believe honesty is usually the best policy.  (But not always.)
I curse sometimes.  (Imperio! Dance, my puppets, dance!) I have changed a lot mentally over the last year.  (And, hopefully, every year.) × I carry my knife/razor everywhere with me.  (Not even a pocketknife, usually.)
it goes on... )
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