carolecummings: (Not a happy face)
It’s been an interesting couple of weeks. And I’ll confess I’m really only posting this to vent. It has no other redeeming value. But I’m already tired of the whole “we have to listen and understand why so many people voted for a dishonest, misogynistic, racist, homophobic gameshow host/smarmy used car salesman” because no, no we don’t. We know why they did it. And if we listen to them, they’re only going to lie to us, and themselves, by pretending it had nothing to do with the assurance that they get to keep discriminating, just like in those Good Old Days they’ve been promised are coming back. And I swear to god, if one more person tries to give me the “it was because of jobs, they’re not racist/misogynistic/homophobic, they’re good people!” excuse I’m going to throat-punch them.

Because bullshit.

BULL. SHIT.

They are not good people. They may be perfectly nice people, but they are not good people. There’s a difference. A huge difference.

Because the thing is, what that “it’s not racism!” thing boils down to is this: “I only voted away other people’s rights because jobs!”

And good people do not vote for Mussolini because they don’t like how the trains are running.

And that’s not hyperbole. It’s exactly what happened. And I refuse to give those people the legitimacy of believing their bullshit, when what they were really after was the privilege and entitlement they were crying their White Tears over losing. And believe me, their resulting empowerment is already rising. On a much bigger scale than my own little personal world--hate crimes rose dramatically overnight, and don’t look to be letting up, plus let’s not even start on the cabinet appointments so far--but my little world is what I know, so that’s what I’m going to talk about.

Here’s what happened when my daughter posted a meme on Facebook the morning after the election. Those are family members jumping on her, and calling her names, and demanding respect. (Some of the more nasty comments, btw, were deleted, so what you see isn't even as bad as it got.) My daughter is a member of the LGBTQ+ community, and she has a disability. The people demeaning her in those comments had just gotten done voting away her rights. And they wanted RESPECT. And thought they had the RIGHT to demand it.

One of them ended up tagging me, saying something to the effect of “do you see what your daughter is doing here?” apparently expecting me to barge in and give her what-for. They apparently have never met me, and so did not get the response they were expecting.

So what did they do? They kicked us out of the family, of course. “Good Christians,” all, that’s them, and cutting off family is apparently what Jesus would do. That’s a screen-shot of what was once a Facebook group composed of all the members of my vast extended family. I, my husband, and our children were booted from it not ten minutes after I posted my response to that first link. I was not quite as devastated as they might have been expecting.

Then my brother decided this whole “discrimination against women” thing was just women being too womeny. Obviously, there’s no such thing as male bias, because he’s never seen it. Like, ever. 0_o The exchange is kind of priceless, actually. I could teach a class on Trolling 101 just using my brother’s responses.

But that’s the thing--he genuinely believed, still believes, that my calm dismantling of his arguments was attacking him for being polite and respectful. Because he genuinely believes it’s respectful to question the fact that discrimination exists.

This is just a taste. A teeny-tiny, pretty much insignificant iota of what other people are already dealing with. When it comes right down to it, I’m a middle-aged white chick. All of that up there? It’s nothing compared to what every single minority in this country is already having to deal with. Has been dealing with. And this round is only just beginning.

So I don’t want to hear “we have to listen, we have to respect the opinions of these people, we have to give them legitimacy” because NO. No, we don’t.

If someone’s opinion is that it’s okay to take away human and civil rights--for any reason--I don’t have to respect that.

If someone’s opinion is that their religion is the only one that matters and everyone else has to live by its tenets, I don’t have to respect that.

If someone’s opinion is that someone who’s anything other than a straight white cis man is lesser than, I don’t have to respect that.

And if someone says they voted away the rights of other human beings because “it’s about jobs!” I neither have to respect nor believe it. I’m calling bullshit on every bit of it, because good people do not do that shit.

Everyone should watch this video or read the transcript. Because it articulates so much of what has been sitting on my chest since November 8th, and it does it a lot better than I can.

Watch it. Read it. Share it. Bookmark it. Save it.

I have a feeling we’re all going to need it.

*blinks*

Nov. 1st, 2016 10:43 am
carolecummings: (Writer)
Nice. Random review request from someone I've never even heard of, with whom, as far as I can tell, I've had no previous contact. Like. Ever. I mean, who does that? Just... out of the blue, "hi, read and review my book, here's an Amazon link." 0_o And where did they pick up *my* name from? And WHY would anyone think that tactic had even the slightest chance of working?

I am unreasonably annoyed by this. *points to icon* I'm going to be grumpy all day now.
carolecummings: (Not a happy face)
Dear Horrible Woman with Clipboard:

Something I didn't get to tell you yesterday, when you were looming importantly over my daughter and trying to bully her into removing her dog and herself from the soccer complex: that clipboard? Doesn't mean you're omnipotent. No, seriously. I know it's hard to believe. I mean, someone gave you a clipboard, right? That makes you Important. It makes you In Charge. It makes you Right.

Except, you know, it really doesn't.

I've seen so many like you over the years. I know the Power of the Clipboard sometimes goes to one's head. I know it's difficult to understand that people without clipboards have rights and might know what they're talking about better than you do. So let me just go over the course of the conversation point by point so that I can tell you all the ways your Mighty Clipboard led you astray.

You: You need to leave.
Daughter: Um. What?
You: You need to leave. No dogs. There are signs. *waves clipboard*
Daughter: He's a service dog.
You: For what? You don't look disabled.

Okay, so stop right there. Not so I can say things like Did you really just say that? or Somehow I can tell already you vote Tea Party More just so I can pause and rein myself back in so I don't mangle my laptop in a fit of resurgent rage. Also, so I can make sure you see how very awful you were, right from the start. Go read that last line again. Are you starting to get it yet?

Yeah, I didn't think so.

*deep breath*

All right, moving on.

Me: Is there a problem here?
You: I'm taking care of it. Please mind your own business.
Me: Wow. Okay, before you say another word, you should know that this is my daughter. My minor daughter. Anything you'd like to discuss should be discussed with me.
You: If she's your daughter you shouldn't have allowed her to bring the dog to the field. There are signs.
Me: And as I heard her tell you, he's a service dog. He's exempt.
You: If he's a service dog, where is his vest?

And pause, because no, he wasn't wearing his vest. This was our first outing in a public place with the dog, and my daughter was reluctant to use the vest for two reasons: 1) Because she didn't necessarily want to advertise "Hey! Look! I have a disability!" and 2) Because she knew there would be a lot of kids at the fields and she wanted them to be able to pet the dog if they wanted to. (When he's got his vest on, he's On Duty and no petting.)

So. Deciding to err on the side of Don't punch the ignorant, I answered:

Me: We decided against the vest today. But you can see his tag on his collar, stating that he's a service dog.
You: Anyone can buy one of those.
Me: *blinks* ...Yes, I suppose anyone could. Anyone could buy a service vest, too. But why anyone would want to, if their dog isn't a service dog, I'm sure I don't know.
You: Maybe so they could bring it to places it doesn't belong and think they can get away with it.
Me: (Um. I didn't say anything at this point. I was too busy gaping.)
Daughter: The vest is in the car. I'll go--
Me: No, you won't.
You: Do you have papers to prove he's a service dog?
Me: ...I'm sorry, are you kidding me?

At this point, I kind of stared around at the other soccer spectators who'd gathered. They all stared back.

See, right about here is when I seriously started wondering if this was some kind of punk or something. Because I was having a genuinely hard time believing I was having this conversation with you at all, let alone the tone and the length of it, and I started to wonder if the surreal feeling I was getting meant I had fallen asleep in my soccer chair and was dreaming all this.

But, alas, no.

You: No, I'm not kidding. There are signs! *waves clipboard* No dogs. And unless you have proof he's a service dog, I'm going to have to ask you to leave.
Me: You can ask all you like, but my daughter's rights, according to the Americans with Disabilities Act, say she doesn't have to. What's more, they say you're not even allowed to ask any of these questions or make any of these demands. Now, if you'd really like to turn this into the shit-storm you're asking for, I suggest you call the police to make us leave, and then they can educate you properly on why you're an unbelievably reprehensible human being.
Daughter: Mom, why don't we just--
Me: No, hang on, I know this whole thing is embarrassing you and I'm sorry, but we can't let this one slide.
You: He has no vest! *waves clipboard*
Me: Because my daughter is not used to having to proclaim her disability to the public in general, and because a vest is not a requirement she is obliged to meet in order to utilize her rights or to compensate for your ignorance.

You see, Horrible Woman with Clipboard, a vest is nothing more than a signal to other people to leave her alone so she doesn't have to be subjected to this kind of ignorance--the kind of ignorance, I have to say, I didn't think we'd encounter at a kids' Sunday afternoon soccer game.

You: Well....

And right about here is where I could see your inner flailing begin. I could see you trying to decide if you should back down and (maybe, though doubtfully) apologize, or if you should keep trying to make what we both knew by now was a ludicrous point.

You, unfortunately, Horrible Woman with Clipboard, chose unwisely.

You: Well, you know, some kids are allergic to dogs. Some are afraid of them.
Me: I'm sure that's true. In which case, I'm also sure those kids will stay away from the dog. As you can see, he doesn't stray from my daughter's side, so none of those things are a problem unless a child who's afraid or has allergies approaches the dog, and in that case, I'd say it was the child's or the parent's problem and no fault of the dog.
You: There are rules! *waves clipboard again, with emphasis*
Me: Yes, there are. And no matter how much you wish it were otherwise, those rules do no apply to this dog.
You: You can't have the dog at the soccer field. If you won't leave, I'm going to have to call someone to have you escorted out of the complex.
Me: *turns to daughter* Sweetie, why don't you take the dog over and sit with Dad? I think Mommy's about to get ugly.


And, you know, I did. I thought maybe, in retrospect, I'd be a little ashamed of myself, because I wasn't just angry--I was incandescent. And I had stopped worrying about making a scene right around "anyone can buy one of those". I did not want to prolong or deepen my daughter's embarrassment--already worse than what she had been trying to avoid in the first place--and I did not want to continue to give those who'd gathered more of a "show". But I felt this was too important. There were examples to be set here, Horrible Woman with Clipboard; there were those kids you were so concerned about, watching you trying to bully a 5' 2" 95lb disabled teenager, and there were the parents of those kids, who would later either tell their kids that you were right to accuse my daughter of trying to pull one over on you, or that you were wrong for letting your clipboard go to your head. And I knew which example I wanted those people to walk away with. So, while I do regret that I was forced into handing you your ass in public, I do not regret educating anyone who was listening about the kind of person you are, nor do I regret showing my daughter that some things should not be borne.

Because, you see, Horrible Woman with Clipboard, my daughter has been in the hospital this year more than she's been out of it. It's why we even have a service dog. She's shy and prone to being too easily bullied. And she has very few Good Days right now. She was well on her way to having two Good Days in a row when you decided to wield the Power of the Clipboard, during which you took a Good Day and turned into a Bad Day, and it has now morphed into a Worse Day, and I can see the week ahead and it's not looking good.

So thank you, Horrible Woman with Clipboard. Thank you for teaching my daughter the valuable life lesson that people are awful everywhere, that they'll take something that's private to you and fling it out in front of all and sundry so they can make their uninformed point, that they'll hang on tightly to that uninformed point and continue to harass, accuse and malign, simply because they don't want to be proven wrong in front of the crowd they've gathered to witness what they thought was their authority but turned out to be their own awfulness.

Thank you for teaching my daughter that, if she doesn't want to have to deal with someone like you again, she'll be obliged to forfeit her privacy and put the dog's damned vest on. Not that it's any guarantee.

So, fuck you very much, Horrible Woman with Clipboard, and congratulations. I have no doubt this is a lesson my daughter will never forget.

Sincerely,

Me

~~~~

Honestly, I've been trying all morning to come up with a calm and less-snarky way of wording a letter to the soccer league's administrators, if for nothing else than to see that their people are better educated, but I think I'm still too pissed off. So I did this. I'd hoped it would give me an outlet and lance some of the rage, but... er. Not really, no.

God, people are such assholes. I can't even.

Oh sigh

Jul. 17th, 2013 08:58 pm
carolecummings: (inigo montoya)
I just watched Immortal Beloved for, like, the bazillionth time, and it got me all blubbery for, like, the bazillionth time. I know it's kind of like an AU fanfic of Beethoven's actual life and music, but day-um it's an effective one.

I don't think it will surprise anyone if I admit I've been a nerdy classical music fangirl since forever--my dad used to play 78s and 33s of the Masters on the gigantic cabinet-sized stereo in our livingroom when I was growing up. (Along with the Clancy Brothers, the Beatles and the Carpenters, Jesus Christ Superstar, the Chipmunks singing the Beatles' hits, OMG, but we don't need to go into all that right now, because yes, that's exactly how old I am.) And Beethoven's 9th symphony has always been one of those pieces of music that can make me conduct all by myself in my car and not care what someone in the other lane thinks. But the way Immortal Beloved portrayed the 4th movement of it just... gah. No words. Or, you know, lots of words but very teary ones. That little boy running and running and grasping for some kind of freedom then immersing himself among the stars. If I wore pearls I'd be clutching them. (Shut up, I have a lot of feelings.) If I could do for a reader what that scene and that music does for me...

Sublime.

On another note, there are apparently now just as many links to torrent downloads for my books on a Google search as there are legitimate sales links. Sigh again. Which might not be so bad, if it wasn't for the attitude on some of them. See, I don't generally worry overmuch about the torrent sites, because I figure those aren't people who were going to buy my book anyway. If they couldn't get it by stealing it, they weren't going to buy it, so it's not like I'm losing anything. (Unless they go around one-starring me on review sites or something, because that would just be... wrong. Somehow. Insult to injury, or something.)

But the cheek on some of these people is truly amazing sometimes. I saw one where the girl (I'm assuming--the pseud was kind of chickish) posted every single one of my books, and left a note on the post that said it would be nice if anyone who steals downloads them would leave her a thank you.

0.0

Seriously. A THANK YOU. I was kind of tempted to sign up for a membership just so I could leave her a note that said, yes, thank you for stealing my books and making it so easy for others to steal them as well. I didn't. I'm so freaking lazy. Plus, I'd probably be the one coming out of it looking like the troll. Anyway, you send out one desist order and ten new links crop up, so feh. Entitlement, man. It's a goddamned epidemic, I swear.

I remember Josh Lanyon once talking about a comment on one of his books threads, where the person said they were a huge fan, had read every one of his books, and proudly stated they hadn't paid for a single one of them--they couldn't afford it, see, but they'd gone out of their way to hunt down a free download, because that's just how dedicated they were. And you know, I get that a lot of people can't afford to pay for their reading habits. I really do. (You have no idea how poor I was at one time, and I've been a voracious reader all my life. Except I generally tend to reread the books I have on my shelves when I can't afford something new. 'Cause, you know, the stealing thing.) And it totally sucks to desperately want a new release from an author you love but you can't afford it. But Jesus, stealing it really doesn't make you a fan. Stealing it makes you a thief who happens to be a tiny bit discerning. No one is actually entitled to reading material, and certainly no one's entitled to steal it if they can't afford it. But there are tons of people who seem to think they are.

I'm not really griping, I swear. I mean, I kind of am, but like I said, I don't see myself as losing anything to the free downloads. It's a sincere lack of respect for the authors from whom they steal, but I'm a mother of four--I'm used to no respect. It's the principle. And the entitled attitude bugs the crap out of me.

Er. Sorry. I really just logged in to see how everyone's doing and to gush about Immortal Beloved. I'll stop now.

Hope everyone's been having a great, if unreasonably hot, summer.

xoxo



Extra shout-out to Julia and Marlene! Hope you're both doing better, <3 <3 <3 <3, and check your inboxes! Michelle, don't check your inbox just yet. (See, you should never forgive me for late correspondence, because I'll just be later the next time.) This week, I swear. You know I adore you, right?
carolecummings: (*head desk* gif)
Pope Decides Gay People Aren’t Fully Developed Humans.

Okay, I'm not quite sure I agree with the headline interpretation, but either way, the message is pretty much endorsed intolerance. Intolerance endorsed by a religion. A religion founded on a figure who preached tolerance. *boggles* Which I guess I should have learned to expect by now, but still. It would be nice to think we actually learned a thing or two from the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Salem witch trials and the Civil Rights Movement, but alas.

What I'd really like to know is this: Exactly when did these people co-opt the definition of marriage, and why does no one seem to notice that the definition they're using is not what 'marriage' is? (And by 'these people' I mean anyone using the 'definition' to justify refusing rights to others who don't agree with them or do what they say--even if they're of a different religion or no religion at all.) Let's not even go into the fact that I sincerely doubt you will find a definition in any reliable dictionary that grants exclusivity to unions between a male and a female. And just because there are those who want to take possession of the word and use it to bludgeon the opposition does not mean they can own it, as they seem to be trying to do.

Marriage, before all of the co-opting, was defined in pre-Biblical times as a contract between two men to legally transfer ownership of property from one to the other. (No, seriously--that's its etymology. It didn't have anything to do with anything but land ownership.) Later, it sometimes included the transfer of 'ownership' of the seller's daughter along with the land, which, at the time, was used as a way to ensure that the land remained in the seller's family. (Yes, marriage--that venerable institution that we can't besmirch with nonhetero love--was once a way to legally sell one's daughter.) It wasn't until around the 1300s that the term became synonymous with the state- and church-endorsed union of a man and a woman in European society. (And was still often times used as a way to legally sell one's daughter. Which is not the salient point here, but still--it bears repeating.)

So, even putting aside the fact that these people are claiming exclusive rights to decide what the word--which they pretend they invented but really really didn't--means, the meaning of the word itself has clearly evolved over the centuries and somehow survived--likely because it evolved. How would allowing it to evolve again destroy it?

Okay, the answer doesn't really matter because I really don't think anything is going to get through the screaming paranoia and prejudice of these people, so there's no point in giving myself a headache. But I would really like to start seeing people taking back that word. It doesn't mean what they pretend it means and never truly did. And it isn't theirs.
carolecummings: (Bang Head Here)
But I felt myself working up to a ranty essay, so I figured I'd better just shut up. I would, however, like to share the link with you and see what you think.

Fanfiction--When is it Original Fiction?
carolecummings: (Default)
So I’ve been really looking forward to seeing John Carter when it comes out. In fact, I think it’s out this weekend, so yay! Or maybe it’s next weekend. Hm… Anyway, so I’ve been looking forward to it and reading any preview reviews I’ve come across—as you do—and I have to say, I’m getting a little tired of reviewers who don’t know WTF they’re talking about.

You have to understand... )
carolecummings: (Not a happy face)
If you got a weird email from me,sorry for the SPAM. Someone apparently had nothing better to do on Christmas and hacked into my account. I hope everyone knows by now not to click on weird links, and sorry if you got one.

Hope everyone had a great holiday, and Happy New Year to all!

Whoa

Apr. 5th, 2011 11:47 am
carolecummings: (*head desk* gif)
This was brought to my attention because my sister lives in the area and frequents this establishment.

It always surprises me when I'm hit in the face with the fact that these sorts of things still happen.

The Cottage, 522 Lucerene Avenue, Lake Worth, FL has been under attack by a small group of local residents who are using the city's noise ordinance to harass The Cottage. Noise complaints have been made by four residents on almost a daily basis for the past three years. The noise complaints began shortly after The Cottage began its Sunday Tea Dances and branded itself as the only gay-friendly, downtown restaurant in Lake Worth.

...met with City Manager Susan Stanton to seek assistance to stop the harassment. Instead of receiving support from Ms. Stanton, they were dismissed from her office with homophobic remarks.

Ms. Lutfy says, "She (Stanton) first asked if I would consider stopping the Tea Dance for awhile. I responded that I would close my entire business first. She dismissed Mike and me from the office ending the conversation by saying that "men in dresses, and men dancing with men is offensive. If you continue, you will just have to suffer the consequences.'"


Really? I mean really? *shakes head*

Read the full article and sign the petition here.

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