Feb. 23rd, 2011

Online Bullying: A Public Discussion

To keep things focused, I've made this post only on Livejournal, where most of the activity has been. But I invite others to participate, no matter fandom or site.

Online Bullying: A Public Discussion

I encourage everyone to take an Active Listening approach to every discussion online, even though we're typing and reading. Use empathy and compassion when reading, take a moment to count a few breaths before posting, and be aware that behind every userpic there's a person.

This entry was originally posted at http://zephre.dreamwidth.org/480585.html. comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

Aug. 17th, 2010

and then there's Facebook

Ok, so remember what I said about dealing with the fact that people will disagree with me on things, but I should post anyway?
I posted to Facebook today about the Cordoba Initiative's Park 51 building, and linked to Olbermann's Special Comment about it, which my mother emailed me this morning.
My post:
"The continuing discrimination and hate-mongering is really starting to get me down. I ask my fellow seminarians (many of whom have worked with Imam Rauf, or been taught by him, as I was) for help dealing with my own grief and anger, and then figuring out how interfaith activism can help, not just in NYC but across the country, anywhere religious freedom is threatened."

And one of my cousins (a fellow minister and a Navy chaplain assigned to a Marine unit) posted that he was also saddened by the events.
One of my Seminary classmates posted an encouraging note.
And one of my other cousins wrote this:
"Kerri, Are you for a Mosque being built close to ground zero???? Those freaks need to build it in their own country, not ours!"

Now, leaving aside the fact that she's my relative and still misspells my name (It's pretty common, really - big family, not immediate relationship. I give everybody a pass because I can't remember everybody's spelling either. We shall ignore the fact that the correct spelling is plastered all over FB), this makes it worse.

This is the culture of fear, the knee-jerk reaction against something we don't understand, the price of ignorance.  And it makes me so ANGRY.  And then it also makes me so SAD.  And I don't deal well with either of those emotions. ANGER makes me snippy and want to bang things and shout a lot. SORROW makes me curl up and cry, and that doesn't actually happen very often, that I do that snail-curl. It also makes me FRUSTRATED. Because how can I change someone's mind about this when it becomes so confrontational? How can I share the deeply spiritual and loving nature of the Muslims I know, the tolerance taught by Imam Rauf, the inclusiveness and understanding of the New Seminary, when I am so caught up in these negative emotions? That's no place from which to start teaching or talking.

I hope my responses didn't come off as completely crazed:
"As an interfaith minister, [Cousin], I am aware that Islam DOES NOT equal terrorism, anymore than Evangelical Christianity equals Terrorism or Conservative Judaism equals Terrorism. That kind of ridiculous blanket condemnation of an ENTIRE PEOPLE is a step on a slippery slope to exactly the kind of horror that the American colonists were fleeing in the first place."
and
"Also, I hate to break it to you (not), but the folks who are building and would be using this community center are American citizens. THIS is their country."

But aaaaaaargh. How can we create a community of tolerance and love? Give me some ideas, please. I feel totally powerless, and this is just the top-level news-worthy problem.  How many other places of worship and community (Mosques, but also maybe Hindu temples, or Druid groves, or Pagan spaces, or metaphysical meeting places) are being denied in other places, but won't ever make the news?
Slippery slope, indeed.

Edited to remove cousin's name, oops.
ETA: I have now calmed down somewhat, despite further infuriating posts, and folks who are interested in this issue may also be interested in this article, it's quite good: Ground Zero mosque as Wedge Issue: Muslims vs "real" Americans.

This entry was originally posted at http://zephre.dreamwidth.org/451464.html. comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

Jul. 30th, 2010

Tiger Beatdown is excellent again

Tiger Beatdown › The Girl With The Lots of Creepy Disturbing Torture That Pissed Me Off: On Stieg Larsson:
But the bottom line is not so much that of a Reviewer, but that of a Lady: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo creeps me the fuck out. In my gut, right there, the place that is like GET ME OUT OF HERE AND FIX ME A DRINK AND START TELLING ME ABOUT UNICORNS AND KITTENS OR SOMETHING. The novel’s original title in Swedish was Men Who Hate Women; but reading the book, you start to get the feeling it’s not a polemic so much as a manual.
Seriously, every review I have read of the movie (or the book) made me ill.

This entry was originally posted at http://zephre.dreamwidth.org/449729.html. comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

May. 15th, 2010

catching up - good, bad, plus ApolloCon Yay!

So yesterday something wonderful occurred: a family dinner, just the four of us: me, my parents, and my brother. We met up after the Scion got off work and had a great dinner at a local restaurant. It's been a long time since we had such an occasion, so I was very happy.
Then just as we were getting ready to go, the heavens opened with torrential downpours. Whee, gotta love East Texas.
Today my cousin is graduating from the University of St. Thomas, and I'll be going to her party this afternoon. I was hoping to see the ceremony on streaming video but it took me until just now to find their link. Doh. I'll have to see about watching it later.
I have tons of stuff to do this weekend, as well, and a busy schedule.

On Thursday I got lucky and attended the symphony in place of a friend who had to go out of town. That was really nice - it's always cool to go to Symphony shows.
Tomorrow I'm going to see Jane Eyre: the Musical at the Hobby Center with another friend, which I expect to be LOLtastic, although I have heard the music and it's pretty good.

Last week really sucked, mostly because of things I didn't feel comfortable blogging until they were resolved. and they live under this cut )
And of course that was totally separate from the general worry about the upcoming Hurricane Season, which promises not only to be worse in general than previous ones, but also full of nasty gross oil spill madness. Apocalypse, this summer!
Plus I've been doing a lot of reading on rape culture, sexual assault awareness, and misogyny in media, which isn't cheerful anytime.
So given that fabulousness I'm sure folks can understand why my reaction to recent Merlin fandom wankitude over the last week has been, "I can't believe you guys think this is worth this much outrage, seriously."

But I'm very happy to see some fun prompts in various prompt-collecting places, and hopefully in this month's TOTAL CRAZINESS (i.e. the last month before ApolloCon goes up) I'll find the time to draw some stuff.

Also, hey - APOLLOCON is coming! Houston's science fiction, fantasy, and horror convention is full of awesome, and I say that not just because I'm on the ConCom. ;) Weekend memberships are still available for pre-registration for $35. They'll be $40 at the door!
We'll have fun stuff this year: authors, artists, musicians, rocket scientists, LARPers, cosplayers, concerts, a dance, readings, and a FABULOUS Con Suite. Come play!

This entry was originally posted at http://zephre.dreamwidth.org/445931.html. comment count unavailable comments posted to original post.

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