Monthly Archives: July 2012

The Personal is Viral

A few weeks ago I woke up to the news that my wedding bouquet was on Offbeat Bride’s Monday Montage.

Later that afternoon,  a friend of mine told me that she’d seen my bouquet on The Mary Sue.

Two days after that Corey Doctorow showed up on my flickr page and asked if he could put it on Boing Boing, and from there, well… it went everywhere. Seriously everywhere.

I remember thinking at first that it was pretty neat that my wedding bouquet was something everyone on the internet seemed to love.  Hell, the Official Doctor Who tumblr posted it.

But as it went on, there were people hating on my wedding bouquet, people saying that I destroyed a book, people saying that Stephen Moffat should be creeped out because I’m a stalker.

Suddenly, the bouquet which I’d actually had made because Sherlock Holmes was my first favorite book (and a character which my friends joked I would marry one day) and added a River Song Sonic Screwdriver to because Dr. Who makes me happy, and I have called my husband my Dr. Watson, and my Companion frequently. If we could, we WOULD travel through time together. I wanted paper flowers because I didn’t want to carry something that had been cut so recently from its life source, rather I wanted to carry something timeless. Bookpage flowers. Of a story that has been with me my entire life, and something that will be with me. The stories I read as a child will continue on.

Instead I get called a book burner, I am told that I am awful for destroying a book.

It’s lovely that so many people think my bouquet is awesome, and geeky and nerdy, and Moffaty as All Get Out. But what they forget, is that it’s still my wedding bouquet. No matter how many people recreate it for their own because they are that geeky,  it is still close to my heart.  And it feels strange to have something so very personal as that suddenly be the property of the internet.

Nobody asked me why I made the bouquet I did, they just liked it for the pop culture references (or hated it for those references.) In fact, few people who posted it even bothered to get in touch with the bride – with the exception of Corey Doctorow who went straight to the source. (Offbeat Bride is the other exception, because I’d shared it in their flickr pool).

All in all, the experience of having something go viral is wonderful, but remembering that it is still yours, and you still retain ownership of your attachment to the item is important.

So, Pros: The world loves what you do

The Cons: Sometimes it feels as though everyone wants something special to you, and suddenly it feels like you don’t own it.

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Now That’s Comedy! (Trigger Warning: Rape)

The internet has imploded over something stupid that some random guy said.

But this time it’s something I legitimately feel the need to comment on. Patton Oswalt
thinks that Daniel Tosh doesn’t need to be bashed like this. Normally, I think the internet has a high incidence of people getting really upset for reasons that can’t make much impact on the real world.

But in this case I make an exception. A really big one.

Here is where the trigger warning goes: if you are a survivor, PLEASE be sure that you are in a good place before you click any of the links in this article. Be sure that you are comfortable with reading about this before you go further.

A woman shouts “Rape Jokes are NEVER funny” during a comedy set in which it is implied that rape jokes are funny.  perhaps Mr. Tosh doesn’t like hecklers. But the ensuing threat really wasn’t necessary: “Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl got raped by like, 5 guys right now? Like right now? What if a bunch of guys just raped her…”

Patton Oswalt makes a point which typically, I would find valid. Comedy, and other forms of art which involves an audience, requires time to become perfect. Many of us do improvised humor, and sometimes we fuck up. Sure. That’s fine. But this was not the example to use in making that argument. Here’s why:

While I’m sure there are rape jokes which could theoretically be funny (I leave the option open, because there are certain topics I find verboten, and I’ve actually heard jokes on THOSE topics that were funny), perhaps a 5 minute bit about how rape jokes are funny isn’t exactly the best way to show it. Furthermore, following it up with what is tantamount to a threat is unacceptable.

The kind of humor which Tosh used wasn’t just problematic because it was offensive, it was problematic because it is this exact kind of humor which makes it more difficult for women to be taken seriously when they do experience sexual assault.  And it also makes it more difficult for women to speak out about it.  If we accept a threat like that as funny, we remove the authenticity of the experience people may have had. Sure, it’s hilarious to think of 5 men just hopping on a woman in the middle of the laugh factory because it’s so unrealistic that we can’t imagine it.

Mocking rape doesn’t help get rape taken seriously. It makes it harder for women to feel like they will be taken seriously – and even more difficult for male survivors of rape.

Comedy is challenging. But the weapon of the sharp tongue shouldn’t be used to shame, and we should never threaten our audiences , even when we feel criticized on the stage.

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Enable Talk – A New Way to Change Communication

Hey, look! It’s an idea for a program that makes communication between hearing and non-hearing people easier – AND it doesn’t go by the “fix it, it’s broken” model.

I really love that this is an adaptability concept geared toward bridging gaps in communication without either a) surgery or b) changing the person with a disability to make it easier for able bodied people.

Plus, one hopes if it’s easy and cheap to produce, it would be cheap for those who need it most to acquire. AND it could theoretically be an Iphone app!

Creating change by closing the communication gap is huge – and as someone who has always struggled with people in stores, I can only imagine how frustrating it must be when you can’t hear anything at all. I hope this project becomes a reality!

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I’ll just put this here

I’m percolating while I finish unpacking from my move on Saturday. I still don’t have quite enough spoons to really focus on writing. When I’m ready, you’ll hear from me. Hopefully next week!

So instead of doing any kind of writing, I’m putting a collection of links here for your perusal. A couple are directly related to my wedding, a couple are related to disability.

Next week expect discussions of sideshows, the phrase “the only disability is a bad attitude” and the beginning of the Dating While Disabled series.

Link 1: I submitted a photo to Offbeat Bride of a blind bride from the 1960s, here it is

Link 3: Roger Ebert writes about Jerry’s Kids showcasing Smart Ass Cripple. I plan to read his stuff soon!

aaaaaand

Link 4: My wedding bouquet on boing boing! I got married back in April, and apparently my bouquet went viral. For those of you wondering – THIS is what my wedding cane looked like. Image

Photo by Don Spiro.

Feel free to discuss any links (including spoon theory) or ask me to write about stuff.

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