Pokemon Go

trainer

I guess I’m sort of reposting this. I made a tumblr to post random art and stuff. You should check it out. I had made another tumblr for personality jokes and stuff, and I am blown away by the amount of reception it has received. Apparently shit gets around on tumblr.

Anyway. Pokemon Go. This has been a fun game, insofar as I’ve been able to play it, because my town is a dead zone. Few gyms, next to no pokestops. I live in a city but it’s not the kind of city that has a lot of historical interests or artistic fixtures, the kinds of things the original players of Ingress would have submitted for what was to become our pokestops. So if I want to play in earnest, I have to go to the big cities like San Francisco or Sacramento. I do that anyway, and now it feels like I have an incentive.

So here I am on the Golden Gate bridge, pausing my game to take a photo:

bridge

All the pokemon were three steps away, which probably meant the game wanted me to go into the water below to catch them. Uh. Oh well. I did get to see a whale.

whale

I mean, kind of?

I tried again on the Richmond bridge when we were crawling through traffic, going slow enough so that it would look, to the game, like I was walking. Not much there either. Oh well. I guess I was hoping major landmarks would have more stuff going on, but not really. But if you do go to these places, the entrances to the bridge have a lot going on. Got a lot of eggs and pokemon there.

Anyway. So yeah. Go Team Mystic! See you on the streets!

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Responsibility As Writers

I’ve read a lot of stuff in my day, and one thing that keeps coming up for me as I read the various comment sections (why do I do this?!) and reactions to the work I’m reading is this:

When we write for a large audience (comics, webcomics, stories, whatever), to what extent are we responsible for being sure that our characters uphold moral righteousness at all times? To what extent are we responsible for being bastions of all that is Good and Politically Correct when writing, even if our story is being told about flawed characters in flawed situations? And to what extent do the voices of our characters, however different from us, represent our exact thoughts and feelings as writers?

This is a question I think about everyday. I think about this as a writer, and I think about this as a reader. I think about this when I see an author having to clarify that the decisions their characters make are purposely flawed and not representative of the One True Right Action. And I think about this when I see an author being hen-pecked for putting something out there that readers felt was damaging. So where do we draw the line?

I think this question comes into even sharper focus when we are writing about sensitive subjects or cultures which we ourselves are not a part of (or even if we are a part of them!). The issue becomes apparent when, for instance, you write about a gay character and your readers assume that you are speaking about all gay people, on behalf of all gay people. And that puts a shit-ton of responsibility on you as a writer. Your character who broke the law also happens to be gay? Well, then, you’re making a comment on how all gay people are law-breakers. And you should be ashamed!

Yikes.

So maybe the real challenge isn’t in what you present, but how you present it. I’ve read things that were intending to be inclusive and make positive comments on certain people, social practices, and subcultures, but that came off as being disrespectful to me because of the way it was presented. At times it comes off as being silly, funny, absurd, and therefore harmless, and at other times it comes off as a look how inclusive I’m being by including this character, situation, or subculture. In both cases, the character, situation, or subculture isn’t really being treated as normal. It’s still being treated as an oddity or something to be laughed at rather than just being presented as it is. And that, I feel, can rub a reader the wrong way.

But then there are more gray areas. Say you want to write a character who is misogynist. I think it would be fair to put this character in situations where he is confronted with the realities of his beliefs and is forced to take responsibility for them. But are you, as a writer, required to make a statement about misogyny? Are you required to say misogyny is bad and you shouldn’t be like that guy, otherwise you are a bad writer and an offense to society? Well, saying yes to that question may seem obvious because we can see how misogyny is a harmful thing. But it also requires something else. It requires us to believe that there is only one right answer for social behavior, and that answer is dependent on whatever society believes is the most Politically Correct at that moment. It’s not really cool to hate on women anymore. So boo to you, unless you are clearly presenting your character as being Wrong!

But do we all have to believe the same things as writers? Do we all have to have the same moral compass? Must we all be forward thinking, inclusive, morally righteous people who seek only to do good? To what extent can we be held responsible for the ideas we put out into the world? To what extent is the writer responsible, and to what extent is the reader responsible for what they take away?

I think the best writers are the ones who step back from editorializing and let their readers form their own conclusion. These are writers who aren’t presenting any viewpoint over another (because trying to preach through one’s writing is only going to have one effect: people will hold you responsible for what you believe and what you believe others should believe). They are simply letting their characters and their story talk, and allowing you to take away from it what you will.

What do you think as a reader, or a writer?

Happy New Years!

Cat Caddy | New Years

And happy 6 months Cat Caddy!

When I started this thing I had intended it to be a no-pressure, bullshit for fun blog. And then people started reading it and following it and all sorts of things! And they weren’t even people I had badgered to read my blog in real life! Wow!

So thanks everyone for finding me and finding this blog interesting enough to read regularly! It has been really awesome doing this and getting to know you all!

Hoping next year is just as awesome!

<3, Grey

What is the Deal With My Little Pony?

MLP Crazy

I’ve been seeing this Pony shit everywhere. I have to admit I was totally confused by this movement, so I typed what is the deal with My Little Pony? into Google. And here’s what the internet said. Watch it, it’s actually a pretty good show.

So I did. The above gif was my initial reaction.

The Smiley Bandit

How many times have you been having a discussion on an internet forum when this happens?

Cat Caddy | Smilies

This is a huge pet peeve to a lot of people (and rightly so, because the perpetrator is being a backhanded little dick and they know it) but there are times when you just want to call someone on it so badly and you can’t because doing so will initiate a fucking meltdown. But how infuriating is it when someone does this while you’re trying to have a serious conversation, and things start getting a little heated? There’s always some visionary who comes out with this tactic:

I’m being a total asshole right now, but since I’m littering my response with platitudes and smileys it makes you look like a bigger dick for being infuriated by it! Heehee! 🙂

Even better, in spiritual communities there’s always a person who comes along, dumps some words of wisdom like, “Your anger just proves how in the ego you are,” and steps back to watch the fallout. For those who don’t know, ego is the spiritualist’s black plague. It is very bad and you should try not to have one. So dropping this little turd in the conversation is the perfect way to invalidate whoever was speaking and anyone who might have been feeling legitimately angry over what a douche the smiley assassin is being.

Spiritualists have this weird idea that you can’t ever get angry. Like you have to be serene all the time. And if someone catches you with your pants down and says something that sets you off, you can come back later and save a little face by accusing everyone else of being full of ego and letting Earthly concepts entangle them in attachments. These are some of the most frustrating people to get in an argument with, because they will invalidate you every step of the way when they are losing by pretending that you’re losing Spirit Cred by being in any way frustrated with their passive-aggressive attempts to communicate. All while being incredibly passive-aggressive! Lol! 🙂

Sometimes you do get so sick of it that you venture to call them on it. Hey look, pal, I can see right through your bullshit. You’re being about as serene and enlightened as a broken dish right now. Give it up and drop the stupid veneer of niceness you think you’re tricking everyone into buying. And what do they say? Oh what, these? I was putting them in because I’m genuinely smiling! What’s wrong? You couldn’t possibly be offended by what I’m saying, could you?

Even better when the person in question is clearly seething as they type. You can practically hear their teeth cracking as they enter each platitude, each back-handed observation, each fucking grin. But when you try to get them to be honest about their frustration and just argue the point directly?

What? I was just being friendly!

Fuck your smilies.

🙂