John Spaceman and His Crewmember

16:06 PDT - April 16th, 2015

NOTE: This is unauthorized fan-fiction of Demetria’s Science fiction without the social justice.


John Spaceman leaned back in his floatchair. The condensers whirred as they picked up the shifting weight.

“You ever been a rocket ship as big and as throbbing red as one, Lieutenant… uh…”

“Astro-Draper. But you can call me Don.”

“Don Astro-Draper.”

“Yes.”

The walls of the ship throbbed exactly once. The ship was begging. Begging to leave this dusty, war-torn planet and plunge into the deep abyss of space. But first things first.

“Nice haircut, Don.”

The Lieutenant blushed. “It’s regulation, sir. Now that I have my discharge, I want to grow it long and rub grease all over it.”

Spaceman had his doubts about taking on a crew member so late into the plan. But, looking into his blue eyes and milky alabaster skin, he felt he could trust Don. He just looked safe. The kind of man that spoke your language and whom you knew would come to work on time every day. The kind of man you’d like to meet in a dark alley.

“I bet you’re gonna miss the war right? All those sweet explosions and fighter jets.”

“Yeah, war is pretty fun! I’m going to miss it.”

The loss of bone-shaking explosions in Don’s life has been hard, mmm yes, but something he was coming to grips with. What he needed now was a job with John Spaceman. Something he could get deep into and just work until his body no longer yearned for war.

Spaceman smiled and stood up. “Dude, you’re hired. But first, let’s get off this rocket ship and get some babes.”

Don heterosexually agreed.

Who Not to Photograph

17:57 PDT - March 24th, 2015

One of the things I’ve known for a long time about my photography is that I tend to shoot a lot of photos of the people I find beautiful. It’s a very subjective measure but I gravitate towards the kind of beauty that society-at-large values, whether it’s a slender woman with clear skin or a baby with a toothless grin.

While it can be a great motivator to take pictures, it’s an unflattering reflection of my own narrow-minded ideas of what sort of person is considered beautiful. More accurately, I’ve avoided photographing people that I consider “ugly” or “undesirable”.

It’s very personal who I consider ugly. Most often it’s people that remind me of the real or imagined things I hate about myself. I don’t want to relive the flaws I’ve overcome and I don’t want to confront the flaws I continue to live with. Once I see people as walking manifestations of these personal problems, I try as hard as I can to avoid staring too closely at them.

But, as part of my selfish journey to be less scornful of my own real (or perceived) flaws, I’m learning to accept others just as they are. In doing so, I’ve taken some great photos of friends that force me to look at them in a new light. I’m starting to grasp that their struggles are not mine and I don’t have a right to fault them for it. And I’m starting to grasp that I’m not the pile of human garbage that I previously thought myself to be.

Replacing “black” with “white” to show someone they are the *real* racist

07:38 PDT - March 11th, 2015

No. Stop. Don’t do that.

Don’t replace “women” with “men” either to show how someone is the real sexist.

Your clever little trick of wordplay is based on the assumption that all these groups are currently equal in power and that the problems of the past never existed. Google is your friend. Spend some time on it to understand why it the finger is being pointed (not at you personally but your group as a whole). Meditate on why you’re trying to defend the people wielding more power. Search deep inside and understand your emotional state and what you have to gain by maintaining the status quo. And listen to the voices you never hear; when a member of a marginalized group tries to educate you about their struggle.

Just as we’ve always been taught to learn where the money resides in any given relationship (or maybe that’s just me?), take the time to learn about the power given and taken by society and always look to see where it truly lies.

See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_equivalence

Milanese Loop

17:16 PDT - March 9th, 2015

Apple did their big watch announcement today and they finally gave us prices. The watch that I want is US$649. Isn’t that ridiculous? They’ve sold me on this thing that I thought I didn’t want at a price I thought I’d never pay.

The cheapest Apple Watch sells for $349 which is still luxury watch territory. I’m not a watch nerd at all and three hundred and fifty bucks for a watch is what I’d maybe consider spending for my brother’s graduation or my father’s retirement. Not as a gadget that is gonna be obsolete in 2 years.

Apple Watch with Milanese Loop

Apple Watch with Milanese Loop – http://www.apple.com/watch

Look at this Milanese Loop though. It looks like beautiful chainmail with a magnetic clasp. They have a page with an animation of how the clasp works and it’s so magical.

I already own a nice watch. It was a $400 birthday/Christmas present and I love it but I don’t wear it half as often as I should. I’m gonna feel even more guilty when I get a more expensive watch to go with it.

I have a feeling that the watch is going to pan out a lot like the iPad. For a lot of people, it will be hugely useful and relevant to their lives. For the rest of us, it will be a fun toy that starts collecting dust all too quickly. And it probably won’t be something you replace very often unless you break it or pass it on to a family member.

If I do end up buying one, it’s gonna be a special treat to myself. I’m not gonna lie and think it’s gonna drastically improve my health or even wear it everyday. (I don’t think I’ll ever justify the more expensive one though, especially not for a first generation product.)

Listen to People When They Tell You Something is Racist

07:50 PDT - November 19th, 2014

Julie Carrie Wong recently wrote an article for Buzzfeed, The Problem with “Serial” and the Model Minority Myth.

To summarize, Serial is an immensely popular podcast (from the people that produce This American Life) and it attempts to unravel the murder of Hae Min Lin and her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, who was convincted of her murder. Wong believes that the podcast fails to account for complicated racial contexts here and actively tries to paint a picture of harmful stereotypes; the Asian couple were high achievers, the black friend was a criminal.

All I’m telling you to do is listen. Listen to the podcast; it’s very entertaining and I listened to all 8 episodes over 2 days. And then read the article. And then just sit and think about it a lot. Spends some time on Google and see what others have to say about white privilege, the model minority, and whatever other jargon you haven’t really explored. And then sit and think about it some more. Stew in it.

Don’t get all defensive about it and don’t write a piece for the New York Observer where you throw your arms up in the air and complain about political correctness choking every possible form of expression and then come to the absurd conclusion that everything’s racist and therefore nothing is racist. Wong has come forward and tried to intelligently engage on an issue that already draws the ire of the majority white audience, don’t write an emotional plea to dismiss her and to rally the troops against her.

Nobody is calling you a racist. But some of your actions are. And some of your favorite pieces of media rely on racist tropes. And we’ve all got a lot of growing to do, both personally and as a society. And it’s so hard for me to find people that intelligently critique pop culture on its depictions of race, I’d appreciate if you didn’t try to chase them out of the industry.