bladespark: (Default)
Fans sure seem to think, sometimes, that the people they're fans of owe them something. I see fans all the time, insisting that a creator needs to do X, Y, or Z for no better reason than the fan thinks it's a good idea.

I rather profoundly disagree. For part one of why, I'll just let Neil Gaiman do some talking. http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2009/05/entitlement-issues.html

Go, read.

Okay, you done?

Now let me add something. As an artist I am also a human being. I have feelings. I have a RIGHT to have those feelings. I can feel however the frick I happen to feel. Which means, by the way, that when a fan says something that upsets me, I'm not going to stop being upset just because it's a fan that said it! I get upset when my close friends and family say things, sometimes. Just because you're some random person I've never even spoken to who has left me a comment on a picture once, that doesn't mean you're somehow above them!

In addition, particularly here in MY space, that is on MY FA account, on MY DA account, on MY livejournal, I can express those feelings. I have the right to! If I want to say that my fans have upset me, I CAN.

Maybe I shouldn't. Maybe you'll all get some upset feelings too. Maybe I should just shut up and never let anybody know I have emotions at all. I tried that for a while. Maybe I shouldn't be writing this right this minute. But I AM a human being and I DO feel those things and sometimes I just want to let it out and TELL people how they make me feel.

Now as a fan you have some rights too. You also have a right to feel whatever you want. You can feel upset. You can feel hurt. You can feel you disagree with me, or you can feel you agree. But you know what? You have NO RIGHT WHATSOEVER to demand that I stop expressing my feelings. I do not owe you anything just because you're a fan. I don't even owe you politeness if I don't want to give it. You don't earn anything by watching me, except the ability to see my stuff. There is no agreement beyond that!

You certainly have the right to stop watching me, of course, if that's what you want. I've unwatched people who said something that upset me before. So feel free to. Or you can keep watching me and just not read my journals, or heck you can read my journals and get pissed off, and you can even rant and rave at me in the comments, but when you do THAT, I'm going to start exercising some additional rights I have, and you are going to get your ass banned.
bladespark: (snakepony)
I subscribe to the official Peter S. Beagle newsletter, and I just got some amazing news. First, the legal disaster that was keeping him from being paid royalties on the movie is now fixed! So he is now getting paid, and they are even slowly paying him back all the money they owe him from the last 25 or so years.

Which is awesome, but more awesome is that the same legal straightening out has resulted in some other great things, including the movie having some limited re-releases in theaters! So if you want to see it on the big screen, you might get a chance! They're doing it as a theater tour, meaning that Peter S. Beagle himself will be at all of these showings. The schedule is still being made, the only theater down for certain is the Egyptian in Hollywood, where it will start, but the newsletter says that they're trying to hit every single major American city, as well as some in Canada, Great Britain, and Germany.

There's a lot of other neat stuff going on in conjunction with this as well. I can forward the full newsletter to anybody who wants a copy, but I just couldn't resist mentioning this stuff, it is way cool!
bladespark: (Default)
I was tired, and tried to go to bed, but sleep wasn't happening. This always seems to happen on Friday nights, when I need to be out the door at 8am the following morning. :P I have a strange life, I can sleep in as late as I like on weekdays, but on weekends I must get up in the morning. On Saturday it's the Market, on Sunday it's church.

Which leads me to think about something that happened last week, that has to do with insomnia and the Market and church too. Since I have nothing better to do right now, I'll write about it. Skip if you don't want philosophy and religion in your day. :)

Last week I had it pretty bad. I didn't get to bed until nearly 6am, and with the alarm going off at 7:30 it goes without saying that I didn't get much sleep. JJ hadn't gotten to bed much earlier, and while I don't mind depriving myself of sleep for my work, doing it to him on his weekend is a bit too cruel, so I went and drove myself, set up my stuff alone, and generally managed. Which I don't mind at all! But last week I had a problem. I'm usually pretty good at staying awake, lots of college all-nighters under my belt, and I've always done it without stimulants, since they're against my religion. But even I have limits, at by about four in the afternoon I had nodded off at my table half a dozen times, and I was starting to worry. Because JJ couldn't come get me, I had the car with me. I would have to drive. Other alternatives (sleeping in a down town parking garage) didn't seem like a great idea (I mean this is Eugene, I'd probably be fine, but I'm not sure I could get any good sleep in such a situation anyhow) so I was left with pretty much two options. Option one, just drive home anyhow. Odds are that nothing would happen, even though being that tired is just as bad as being drunk. But it's not a great option. Option two, have some caffeine.

A lot of devout people would go with option one. I mean, "driving while tired" isn't against anybody's religion, right? It's not sin, like a cup of coffee is, so it's the better thing to do, right? Surely doing something really stupid but not sinful is better than doing something you're specifically forbidden to do! And that right there is the problem with a pre-packaged moral system. When all you have are a list of "do this" and "don't do that" and your moral choices involve nothing more than checking if it's on the "don't do that" list, you get your priorities out of order. And you do the "right" thing that in this case could get you or some innocent person who gets in your way when you fall asleep at the wheel, killed.

I went and found the nearest source of caffeine, drank a mocha (which was the least vile-tasting option available) and was awake enough to drive home safely.

I'm sure the very idea would horrify a lot of people at my church. I broke a rule. I did a "thou shalt not." I did something wrong. But I happen to think I did something right. And I did what I did because I unwrapped my pre-packaged moral system and had a look at it, and thought about it, and considered the reasons behind it. The scriptural bit that forbids coffee, for example, is presented with a promise. Follow these dietary rules and you will be healthy and strong and wise, it says. So there is my reason. I promised God I'd eat and drink a certain way, and He promised me He'd help me be healthy and wise. Now I have something to weigh against the other half of my equation. I weigh "healthy and wise" against "maybe kill somebody" and I find that I'd rather pass on healthy and wise for a while, to avoid the whole death and maiming thing. :) But somebody who's never taken their religious commandments out of the box and had a look at them may well have chosen the other way. And they probably would have been just fine, truth be told. But maybe they wouldn't have been.

I've read a number of studies that say that atheists have more highly developed moral codes than theists. I suspect that's why. Nobody has handed them a tidy box of do-and-don't. They've had to build their own. When you need to stop to weigh every decision on its own merits, rather than just checking it against a list, you end up putting a lot more thought into even the smallest of choices.

Of course plenty of theists have great moral systems. The commandments of a religion make a really good starting point, in my opinion. But it's only a starting point. If you stop there, you're crippling your morality, and in the end you may well end up making a lot of knee-jerk stupid decisions. Maybe even ones that get somebody killed.
bladespark: (Default)
So the doorbell rings, and when you peer out your little fisheye you see them: young men, white shirts, ties, little black name tags. The Mormons are here. What do you do?

Let's discuss a few options. )

So there you go. And it's not a lie, by the way, to say that you have a Mormon friend you can ask. I'm right here. Any questions you want to ask me are completely welcome. (Just remember that I don't extend my tolerance to tolerating bigotry and hate speech, so that sort of thing will just get deleted.)
bladespark: (3 - irritable)
This is not a religious sermon. This is one of my other soap-boxes. One of my BIG, FAT, hot-button issues. Let's see what you guys think of it.

Rambling and ranting under the cut )

And anybody who wants to debate with me about this is welcome, but see icon. I am kind of pissy right now, so don't expect me to be all gentle words and kind correction, if I think you've said something stupid I'm going to let you know. :P
bladespark: (guardian)
I have no sermon today. There were thoughts I thought about writing, things that had to do with me, and my inner world and my experience of God, but they're not important thoughts. I'll share them later, perhaps. There were thoughts from what I heard at church today, but they were not thoughts that touched me very deeply. I'll share them later too, perhaps.

Something else more important, that touched me more deeply, came along. I share that instead.

The Obliterated Place.

When I hear people ask "How can a loving God let us suffer?" I have answers, but I've never been able to frame the words quite right. It sounds trite and useless to say "we need to suffer" when you say it in the face of some of the terrible, horrible, unspeakable things that people have suffered. Sugar says it in a way I never could. I feel almost ashamed that I wrote her the other day with some petty trouble of mine that felt like it needed her advice. It probably didn't. But I suppose it's that way with God too. Just because you haven't suffered "as much" doesn't make your troubles any less real.

But I shall shut up now and let you go read some better words than mine. Read, ponder, cry a little, and hopefully come away with more than you had when you began.
bladespark: (Default)
I couldn't sleep, and something started running through my mind that had a bit of that inspiration and hopefully also a bit of the uplifting feeling that I was lacking earlier today. I thought I might as well write it down.

Cut for religious topics, also for length, zomg. )

*The title of this is the religious motto of Valdemar. :D Yes, I am a geek. But if I were to live in a fantasy setting, that's the one I'd pick. For one thing the most modern period is well into the renaissance and maybe even the very early industrial, as far as technology goes, and for another, I very much like that motto. It works very well for me. :) Also, Companions. 'Nough said.
bladespark: (Default)
http://crooksandliars.com/node/34099/print

I've said pretty much exactly what's in this article before. But given how very few people are saying it, compared to the massive bombardment from the "other side" it can always stand to be said again.
bladespark: (angelcat2)
I have a billion thoughts, but none of them has gelled into anything worth writing. So here is a random observation.

I saw somebody sitting on the pew in front of me today, and he was wearing a wristband. It was yellow, and for a moment I thought it was one of those Livestrong bands. Then I got a better look at it. It was a hologram band. *sigh* And I thought to myself "No! There shouldn't be any of those here! Don't you follow your own faith? The glory of God is intelligence, how can you be so stupid and gullible! You should know better than that! You should be better than that!"

Sadly, every religion is full of stupid people. This includes the "religions" of various philosophies, of atheism, and even of science. People are just plain idiots, and no group is free of them.

Also people are hateful, exclusionary, and cruel. That too turns up in all groups, including whatever group you, the reader, identify yourself with. I've personally been treated with hatred and bigotry by furries, christians, aetheists, gays, and kinksters. No group is immune to "us vs. them" behavior, even those whose philosophies ought to make them inclusive.

Think on that the next time you are tempted to judge a group as stupid, or hateful, because of what one member of that group has done.
bladespark: (angelcat2)
Firstly, I'd just like to thank everybody who commented on my last Sunday Sermon. :) Everyone was amazingly civil. Please do try to keep that up this time around too.

The heart of my Christianity, and what I think about miracles. )
bladespark: (Angelcat chibi)
I used to post these all the time. I thought I might try and get back into the habit, though I doubt I'll manage to post one every single Sunday. Just whenever something from church particularly inspires me to thought.

I'm posting this unlocked, and I ask that whether you agree or disagree with my views, that you please keep things civil in the comments. I'm normally very private about this sort of thing, and I'm giving you guys reading this a lot of trust by posting it for you all to see. Please don't abuse that trust. As Thumper's mother said, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."

Discussion of God and related thoughts under the cut. )
And on the subject of reaching out, I'm opening this post up for question asking. I tried formspring once, but I never did get any questions. :) Not "popu-fur" enough, I think. But anyhow, you can ask questions about the little sermon there, or about my religion, or about me personally, my business, my art, whatever. Any question you like. All questions are guaranteed an answer, though no answers are guaranteed to be the answer you hoped to get. :)

O.o

Sep. 22nd, 2010 05:08 pm
bladespark: (Default)
Two months running I've had the good old Mormon missionaries knock on my door, and both times they were just knocking around the neighborhood (I almost wrote "knocking up the neighborhood" but that would be kind of wrong!) the way they do, and had no idea that a church member lived there. :D They need to update their map, or something. When I did the missionary thing we had all the local members marked on ours.

On the subjection of missionarying, btw, (and why I'm posting this public) I figured I should let folks know, that if you've ever been curious about what's in this "Mormon Bible" aka. The Book of Mormon, that I can get free copies and would be happy to mail them out to anybody who wants one. :) I can get free Bibles as well (King James version) but I figure the Gideons have that front mostly covered these days. Although they saddened me by switching from the King James to a modern translation. :( None of the modern versions have the poetry of the King James, imho.

Anyhow. There you go. If you want a free Book of Mormon, lemme know. I can ship you one personally, or I can put you into the "referral" system that will have your local missionaries come knock on your door and deliver it.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled plush/art posting.
bladespark: (guardian)
http://therumpus.net/2010/07/dear-sugar-the-rumpus-advice-column-44-how-you-get-unstuck/

Read it.

I'm doing an evil thing, maybe, because it will probably make you cry. If it doesn't I'm not sure you're a human being. Read it anyway.
bladespark: (angelcat2)
http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_upshot/in-new-tv-ad-campaign-mormons-pitch-message-to-middle-america

Hi!

I'm a newly-wed of 32 who loves fuzzy critters and cute things, but hates pink and fluffy girly things. I don't wear makeup, but I do wear dresses. And kilts and guy's shirts. I steal my husband's shirts sometimes. My most precious possession (if you don't count the cats, which I don't, they own me not the other way around) is my pair of New Rock biker boots with flames on them. I love designing and sewing interesting plushes and costumes, and have managed to turn it into a career. I collect pokemon. I have two cats, three snakes, and one jackal. That's my husband, his "fursona" is a jackal. Mine changes depending on my mood. I'm not too serious about the furry thing, mostly it's the above stuff about liking plushes, costumes, and fuzzy critters. I read books like a maniac and own *almost* every book Mercedes Lackey has ever written. (And that's a LOT of books!)

Oh yeah, and I'm a Mormon. :D



(And if the intended message is "We Mormons aren't so weird after all," I'm not sure I've succeeded there, I'm a total weirdo, but the weird hasn't got much to do with the religion.)

Posting this mostly because the whole "Mormons are normal" campaign kind of makes me giggle, but also because I suspect some of you might actually not know! I don't tend to drag religion into everything, but I'm not ashamed of it or afraid to discuss it either. :) Just do be civil if you have something negative to say, please.
bladespark: (Default)
Because apparently people don't know this.

When somebody asks you to pay through paypal and send it as a gift so they don't have to pay fees... well first off, hello! They are telling you that they are competely okay with ripping off somebody, because they are ripping off paypal. Admittedly paypal makes out like bandits on fees, and they are a faceless corporation, which most people don't mind ripping off, but it's still a red flag.

That's not the big, fat, dangerous red flag though. The big problem that should be staring you in the face but most of you apparently haven't thought of it, is that a gift is a gift. It cannot be disputed. I mean what are you going to say. "Hi, paypal? I freely gave somebody a gift, but now they're not giving me anything in return, so give my gift back please."? Yeah, no. You send that money out and you will never see it again, no matter what they person you're paying that way does. They can take the money and run and you are left without any form of recourse whatsoever. And remember that just by asking you to do this they've already told you they don't mind a little fraud. What's to say they won't mind defrauding you too?

So unless you're willing to write that money off as an actual gift and get nothing in return, don't pay somebody with a paypal gift. Seriously, don't.

(And you artists asking people to pay this way, firstly shame on you! And secondly, good luck if paypal should notice you're doing this, they can and will shut your account down for fraud if they catch you at it, and what are you going to do then?)
bladespark: (Default)
Normally I don't pass posts asking for donations on, but in this case I'll definitely make an exception. Copied from Aurora, who posted plenty of good info.

Haiti is in dire straits right now. Port-au-Prince is nearly destroyed. Hospitals collapsed. Thousands trapped and maybe even over 100,000 dead.

For those of you wanting to do something, here's some links:

Daily Kos list of ways to help:
http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2010/1/12/824490/-Helping-the-Victims-of-the-Haiti-Earthquake-%28Morning-updates%29

Another collection of ways to help:
http://junebugged.livejournal.com/743090.html?style=mine

Red Cross response:
http://newsroom.redcross.org/2010/01/12/disaster-alert-earthquake-in-haiti/

Doctors Without Borders
https://donate.doctorswithoutborders.org/SSLPage.aspx?pid=219&&source=AUU090000DE0

[livejournal.com profile] help_haiti has been formed as a place for fandomers to help raise money to help in the rescues, recoveries and rebuilding of Haiti following the tragic earthquake on January 12, 2010. (quoting the community's profile page)

I donated myself through http://www.mercycorps.org/give/otherways simply because they take paypal, and that's where my money is right now.

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