From an FB thread:

  • It does help to have some strong talking points. Here are some alternate arguments that I've field-tested:

    - "When spending thousands or millions of dollars to make a movie about the dignity of a marginalized group, you'd think the decent thing to do would be to solicit, or at least accept, applications from members of that group"

    - "Networks will hire for a trans role and deliberately recast trans actors."

    - "Roles are written for the majority as a default. Roles that could be played by anyone (i.e. "woman in park" "doctor #3") are still assumed to be the majority. And when a minority role comes up, people in the minority are told that they 'don't have enough experience.' (Although experience doesn't make you better - practice does). And then they get the minority role too. This is another example of an experience trap that uses someone else's predjudice as an excuse for more of the same."

    - "The government is spending hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies to an industry that refuses to live up to even basic human resources equity - and refuses to hire 95% of the population for key publicity positions. this discrimination crosses many axes - trans is just one of them."

    - "Cis actors have a track record of doing sloppy research, confirming a caricature, and then shooting their mouth off in transphobic ways until they thankfully get tired of the transgender content and forget about us entirely . This is just one more example."

    - "I'd be happy for hollywood to hire cis people for trans roles, if they did the reverse - heck, i'd prefer it. But they don't hire trans folks at all. So hiring trans people for trans roles is a first step."

    - "Wouldn't it be nice to see a world on TV that actually looks like the world around us?"

     Another problem with the blackface analogy (beyond the large contextual gulf between mocking parody and something contemporarily prevalent and more subtle) is that it tends to lead people to conclude "and therefore drag is also bad" - and I'd rather not oppose drag as it is one of the few performing arts fields where trans people can get a leg up.

    If an analogy is necessary, I find it's best to let the person one is trying to convince find a reason why *they* (or failing that, someone they know) would be recast in a hollywood lead role. If you rattle off one of the above arguments, and, if it doesn't seem to be connecting, mention how this is part of a larger TV/film HR trend that also applies to looks/age/ability/race/accent/weight/height/class/women/LGB. With this floating past them, *most people* will be able to draw from their own experience to find a reason to suddenly agree with you - as very few people have privilege on all these axes, and are therefore potentially subject to discrimination themselves.

    I find that this invocation of self-interest will abruptly sway people who, minutes before, were indifferent to - if not actively speaking against - employment equity for trans actors. It leads them to the (logical, contextually more accurate, and less anti-drag) conclusion that they are not allies in the fight against shitty casting, but are victims of it themselves. Personal rage is way more of a motivator than analogous sympathy.

A few years ago, I came across a dialogue process along these lines, but I haven't been able to find it again. I'd like to credit the creators. If anyone knows who they might be, let me know.


Here is a method of creating dialogue with artists around oppression in art.

It give politically passionate audiences a place to find solutions to problematic content. It gives politically passionate artists a way to communicate with these audiences with less fear of being judged. It gives a place for art that is actually not problematic to show its strength. It gives space to teach. And it also makes it hard for bombastic ignorant jackasses to dismiss much-needed criticim of their work.

As someone wishing to engage an artist in dialogue, work through the following stages until you feel the issue has been adequately addressed, or you hit #4 and throw fruit at them. As an artist, listen and respond.

1. I noticed _______________ in your work. What led to this decision?

2. I see, are you aware of ______________ as a social issue? Do you this might relate?

3. I think this aspect of the work is problematic for the following reasons _________________. What are your thoughts?

4. Seriously dude, Fuck You. [Throw fruit of choice]

Schools that offer metalwork:
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Comics and Cartooning
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Internal dialogue:

I should be outside making plinths for bronzework, instead I'm inside, screwing around.

By "screwing around," you mean "designing display cards for a gallery showing

Yeah... but I was talking on the phone earlier

To a photographer. Who you're hiring. To take product shots for your wesite.

Okay. Fair point.
A bronze mask and a bronze bell sit in the shower. On them is a mixture of table salt, concetrated vinegar (10% - table vinegar is 5%), ammonia and flour to make it into a paste. One sits halfway in a compostable deli container sans flour.

This patina is the faster and more salable equivalent of the traditionaly "save your urine in a bucket" technique.
I want to make fake teeth.

Fangs. Like a large cat.

I've learned a thing or two baout about making precision moulds

And so, on a rainy bike ride of a maybe-date, we went to see a denturist.

In Nelson. Which is full of hills.

Your mouth is full of saliva, a watery solution.

Yes, yours. I've checked.

Water is a polar molecule.

This means that it dissolves ionic bonds and other things composed of polar molecules.

Like table salt.

Dentures are best made of a non-polar molecule.

The denturist leant me some supplies with which to make fake teeth.

You use a non-polar powder and dissolve it in a non-polar solution, adding a catalyst. It melts together, the solution evaporates and you have the basic structure.

Acetone is a common solution.

Nail polish is like 3% acetone.

The stuff he lent me is industrial strength.

He capped the open spout with denturist's wax.

Denturist's wax can be used as a seal, but it's not really designed for it.

Which is to say that you should only use it to seal things that are sitting still on a table.

And not, things which are in a backpack on a bicyclist in a city built on hills.

We did not know this at the time.

My backpack now hangs open in the fume room.

I might pick it up tomorrow.


Everything that was in it, and everything it touched, now reeks of concentrated acetone.

I just took a long shower.
I went from sketching plans at 10:30 to getting parts just past lunch. Then I sculpted until 4:15. I walked across town for an hour of electrolysis. Then I ate dinner at a bench in the co-op while buying a fewm groceries. At 7:30, I returned to school, leaving milk outside with the flurries. I sculpted for another hour, then started making a mould out of bathtub caulking.

I am getting better at this metal casting. I just banged out the first stage of a cylindrical bronze bell (modeled after a xylophone key - as despite a lot of searching, I can't find any traditional examples though I'm sure they exist) in one day. With electrolysis and grocery shopping thrown in.

In January, this would have taken me two weeks.
When someone says that "the steel in this ______* sword is folded over one-thousand, or sixty-five thousand times," this is what it means:

You start with four layers of metal: two of a hard steel for cutting and two of a soft steel for flexibility. You get them so hot that they fuse together at the edges. Then you hammer them out and fold them. Now you have eight layers. Another heat and another fold is sixteen layers. And so on.

The sword is not actually folded a thousand times. It's folded between eight and fourteen times. This makes between 1024 and 65536 layers of steel. If you want over a million** layers, as i've heard from time to time, fold it eighteen times.

This still requires a lot of skill, as it needs to be flat, and smacking the sword the wrong way could easily puncture a layer of steel. And you don't want to repeatedly heat and cool something that thin, because you'll lose a bit of steel and structural integrety every time. This means that you need to get several people pounding the sword at once, with great accuracy and fine rhythm, and without accidentally sledgehammering each-other.

And you need to temper the sword right, heating the whole sword and getting the whole cutting edge to hit one temperature and the back another before you cool it. And then you need to sharpen it just right. And then you need to figure out which swords are good, which to recycle, and which to sell at a discount under a fake name.

But there is not some _______* blacksmith hunched over a forge, folding it a thousand, or sixty-five thousand, times, or a million times. That would be silly. Never mind the time involved. If you truly folded a sword fifty times, you'd split it's atomic nuclei several times over. If you tried, you'd just mash the layers together to make a lump of steel that varies between thin layers and an alloy, and which, when you went to use it, would bend in interesting ways.

I am learning a lot in this class.

* Insert a nationality here. Blades from cooking knives to scythes, from Switzerland to Burma are made like this. But for some reason the word is usually "Japanese," which makes me hope that Honshu bladesmiths are having a collective mathematical giggle at the rest of the world. It also makes me think that North America has some  stereotypes about the Japanese (obsessively skilled but dull - suitable for repetitive factory work) that resemble 1900-era Euro Vancouver's assumptions about Chinese servants. But until word gets around, I can always change my name to Keiji and hire a model to stand in for me on the "about us" section of the website.

**1048576 layers, to be precise. The same number of layers as bytes in a megabyte

Welding turns the tables on steel: makes it soft and pliable; makes it do what you want.

Even after I removed the coveralls and wiped off the soot, you can still smell it.

Uniform coveralls. Oversized leather aprons. Thick goggles. Hair covers. Grossly oversized gloves. We look like gnomes.

The goggles give you a similar view to what you'd see on an alien planet: outside is a chlorinous green-yellow. Dim. Your vision is constricted, presumably by the space suit.

The goggles that make glowing steel look black. But the torch is bright. Even through the goggles.

The metal is hot. I can leave it through a 45-minute lunch break and it will still be too warm to handle without tongs.

The gases are dangerous. Mixed and lit properly, acetalinne and oxygen make a 3300 degree flame, the hottest gas burn known. Applied correctly, it makes steel grow uncomfortably bright, then melt, then boil.

Mixed and lit wrong, without the right attachements, it can burn back up the line and hit the tank.

If you over-pressurize acetaline without suspending it in acetone, it explodes. If pressurized oxygen contacts oil or grease, it explodes. In case of a large explosion, the roof is designed to go before the walls. Everyone in the shop still dies, but the people next door live.
A few years back, I described my faith as "a crappy Buddhist."
Self denial doesn't work

I. Want:

To spend some time in a cabin that's surrounded by snow - Birkenhead maybe, anyone else want in?

To get back into kink - I attended a workshop last night - I forgot how much fun that was - I find it a bit awkward to go to a play party without someone to play with though

To find a loving relationship - feeling irritated (gah! women! oh... wait... shit.), will keep trying, appreciate suggestions and recommendations

To learn how to make more things - a trades course looms

To be a better cook and seweringpersonything - keep practicing

A cunt - better start doing research

To be doing more art - community college maybe? Or one of those electives that looms on the way to finishing my degree

To get into physical activity that will strengthen my joints instead of hurting them - signed up for softball, will try to get involved with paintball - [ I want to make a queer paintball team (the team is queer - the people on it may or may not be) just so I can make a wordplay on "Rainbow Six"]

To take some time off - told my coworkers last month that I won't be a round much this month

To get my Student Union out of the goddamn CFS - the fight starts in January and culminates in March

To get involved in co-op stuff - I think I might go intern again

You got any advice or suggestions or news, or have the same thing that you want a second person to work on keep me in mind
My cousin has the complete fourth season of Ellen. I don't really care for sitcoms, especially American ones, and while Ellen is of above-average quality, I don't think it's especially good. Still, I am delighted to watch it.

Curiously delighted. This is strange.

For my birthday, my cousin also gave me a copy of Disney's Robin Hood, which, during my childhood, was hands-down my favorite movie. I still think it's a blast but watching it, and reflecting on other variations on Robin hood myths, be they in cinema or text, I feel a mix of enthusiasm and disconnect.


Context: it's true that I really needed to watch a comedy, and that I also am surprised at just how much has changed since my childhood.

But I think that most of it has to do with the fact that the most striking loss of privilege I've experienced is the lack of role models, especially fictitious ones.

So I tried switching the genders around in some songs. This produced odd results.

Happy New Year all.

Nineday is the close of week zero and a good time for summaries and resoultions:
Thus... )

In other news: to date, four people have stated that "Sasha" doesn't sound, or simply isn't, an androgynous name. Two said it's a boy's name; two, a girl's.
Borrowing from the krumpers from rize, I have spraypainted two old T-shirts. For stencils, I used my left hand on one, and leaves on the other. The hand T-shirt looks decidedly cool. The leaves one got a bit soaked, and is drying in the closet. I want ideas for stencils, and I'm going so far to wondering if I could procure an old airbrush.


Also: I owe some of you art. You have your choice of a cartoony sketch, crazy neon photo work, a spraypainted attire.
As part of truly exploring my masculinity and awakening the wild man within, I'm going to learn how to bead.
1 - I think I can make pretty things,
2 - It sounds like fun,
3 - I can sell it because, when it comes to beads, people will buy complete crap
4 - It used to be a fad, so there hould be lots of extra beading equipment floating around and I can pick it up for cheap.

This announcment is here because
1 - If you, or someone you know, has old beading stuff, I'll take it off your/their hands in exchange for novel photoediting services, customized freshly baked bread, or something along these lines
2 - if you want to bead and want someone to do it with, I'm... well, I guess that's pretty obvious,

Anyone out there want an animated LJ icon? I want to teach myself this function of GNU imaging. Tell me what you want. (the attached image is a first-shot attempt). I also have morpher, if you want one thing to turn into another or something.
The Sawbones Paean

Self is illusion:
Walls are lies;
Unity is immortality.

- Ede Mu-Kranshk



August 2017

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