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thebrinkoftime last won the day on October 21 2013

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  1. While a part of me is in awe of the sheer ingenuity of the crime, I hope GA members are all well-prepared to ward off the nasty Cryptolocker and its ilk. Imagine your stories being held ransom against you. Don't be THAT person.

    1. Show previous comments  8 more
    2. Ron


      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ransomware_(malware) - look under non-encrypting ransomware.
    3. Ron


      yeah, sorry. not the same but another form

    4. Thorn Wilde

      Thorn Wilde

      The mac one sounds fairly harmless. If my browser locks, I just force quit it. My docs are safe, anyway. :)

  2. I know this is a few month's old, but this struck me as odd: Video games inspired me to read and I know I'm not even close to the only person that is true of. There are also many, many video games that have better stories (Suikoden II, Persona 4, 999, Trails in the Sky, maybe if you're really lucky A Mind Forever Voyaging, etc.) and would be far more constructive for children to play than to read Twilight. Indeed, a lot of games these days have more text than Twilight. I'm not the type of person who would dictate to a child what they should consume in order to grow up better, because I remember being dictated to and how much I hated that, and I'm not making that mistake. But if a kid asked me whether they should play Ace Attorney or Animal Crossing or read Twilight, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the game. It's kind of a nasty myth that video games aren't good for children. Like a lot of things in moderation, there's nothing wrong with them; on the contrary, they can be as good for you as eating all your peas and a lot more fun -- cause who wants to eat the peas when they get squished up in the mash potato?
  3. Oh my gollygoshgodfries! A Scandal in Belgravia! Marvelous!

    1. nostic


      Only you say marvelous to such stuff!

    2. Zombie


      scandal what scandal? Is this a 3 pipe problem??

    3. Thorn Wilde

      Thorn Wilde

      I love that episode. 'Are you wearing any pants?' XD The Buckingham Palace scene is just about the best thing ever.

  4. You have no idea, Zombie. People think 50 Shades is bad because it's popular. And it is bad. And popular. But oh, the places you go and things you'll see if you just randomly buy books at Barnes & Noble. That's what my grandma did before she returned to Japan in a 2-week vacation to Canada. She gave me this fantasy book that looked very innocent from the cover. Not much of an English speaker herself, I'm sure she thought it was highly appropriate for 10-year old me. What she didn't know was that the book was about elven mountain hermets with two dicks each, one for sucking the latent evil out of the snapping, teethed vaginas of possessed vampire female elves and the other dick for depositing built up "dark cum" into the assholes of sheep. You might think I was scarred for life, especially at 10, but the naivete to sexuality and misogyny made reading it much better. I thought it was absolutely, gob-stonkingly hilarious (my mom would always ask me, "Is the book that funny?" I eventually ripped it up and threw it away so no one would suspect I ever read it) and have ever since been on the search for a story that could possibly be worse.
  5. Many ages ago when women were still heavily looked down upon and discriminated against George Eliot wrote Silly Novels by Lady Novelists, an essay railing against her contemporaries for the idiocy she found in their novels. If you haven't read it yet, I highly recommend it. There's a reason it's lived on for over a 100 years. Many years later, in 1950, that man among men, Raymond Chandler wrote The Simple Art of Murder, which was a plea for more realistic detective fiction that scorches his mystery-writing contemporaries. Both of these authors wanted a brighter future for the portrayal of a disenfranchised part of society. For Eliot, it was women. For Chandler, it was the poor, the downtrodden, the not-so-innocent. Both authors were pleading the same thing: please, for god sake, think before you write. They were asking for a certain level of censorship to further a cause. They were both heavily outnumbered by contemporaries who didn't necessarily agree with them. It's analogous to today. Partially because of Chandler, the mystery has evolved beyond the dapper gentleman, the doilies and the unrealistic venom below the daffodils into trying to portray the realities of crime and punishment. Partially because of Eliot has women's fiction blossomed into the obvious equal of fiction written by men. And it will partially be by discerning gay authors that gay writing thrusts a blinding light into the shadow puppet plays that many consider the gay experience and replaces them with the real stage, full of sound and fury, signifying something. But it will not be due to the gallons of alphabet snot phlegmatically produced by writers who do nothing but worship their uncontrolled id. That kind of writing laces the literary water pipes with arsenic. It isn't simply a question of bowing down to an authority who decides what is normal, because they are out to stamp out expression they don't agree with, wherein the obvious answer is to follow your instincts. There is a certain element of thinking that would have us believe our snowflake-like expressions are best brought to life with the least amount of tampering, lest they ruin the artful inspiration behind them. This leads to fortress-like egos who won't lend their ears to criticism and hide behind the walls of their opinion castles, shouting, "Well, I think it's good, so there" while they stick out their tongues. It leads to "flower bed" mysteries. It leads to silly novels by lady novelists. It leads to eye-rollingly bad attempts to challenge the status quo with taboos in gay fiction. If you've read Chandler and Eliot, you know they didn't look away from an uneasy reality, oh no, it was the novelists who didn't think about what they were writing and considered themselves realistic writers who did.
  6. A lot of wine tastes like carbonated grape juice. Therefore, grape juice > wine.

    1. Thorn Wilde

      Thorn Wilde

      God, you Japanese, you know nothing about wine... When I was there I kept getting red wine served ice cold. One time, I got an ice cube in it! *shakes head*

    2. thebrinkoftime


      I am referring to wine served to me by a French woman who brought it from France. Now what's your excuse?

    3. Ashi


      Carbonated grape juice??? Oh man.... Those are way too sweet. Someone needs to give you some wine lesson. Even young wines like Beaujolais aren't like "carbonated grape juice." I think someone gave you Manischewitz.

  7. I agree with your post Zombie, but my editor senses started to go all tingly here. For sure, good ol' Billy is one of the most well-respected today, but it took a while to get there and there were some periods that weren't very kind to the Shakes, which kind of demonstrates a facet being discussed in this thread.
  8. I know this is not really in good form and I shouldn't do it, since why would I click on this thread if I didn't have an interest? Well, you're smart, you know why I did it: because I want to say mean things about 50 Shades of Grey. So here goes. Jamie Dornan to play Christian Grey? Here's how many fucks I give about this: . No wait! I do have one: poor Jamie Dornan. I don't care who they are, no human should be subjected to the possible script for this movie.
  9. First of all, Ron, I do not approve. You couch it a lot in terms of that thread, but I know you are in part responding to what I said. And I didn't at all imply what you are saying. My plea was a call to think about the consequences before releasing them into the wild and own up, have a good sense of the responsibility of the image you create. It would be the same thing if you dance almost naked in a gay pride parade with bondage-themed gear on and then have the audacity to be shocked if a grandma covers her grandchildren's eyes. It goes without saying that everyone should have the right to express themselves, whether or not Madonna says you can, but along with that comes the responsibility of knowing the possible downsides and owning up to them, whether you agree with the reaction or not. Imagining what the neighbors will think every time you do anything is absurd, certainly, but it's unavoidable to a certain extent. Second of all, self-censorship is a bullshit word. By saying that, I don't mean that your opinions or thoughts are bullshit. It's just that we all pick up some bullshit words without thinking sometimes. What I mean is that self-censorship is like reverse racism or systemic misandry. It sounds like a useful word describing something that actually exists, but like those two other words, it doesn't. Censorship already describes a censoring of the self. It is either when an outside power forcibly intervenes and removes or changes the expressions of others, or you do it to yourself before you even express anything. It is easier to think of internal censorship in the Freudian sense. It is the internal societal logic we all get when we grow up in a certain set of rules. It's what tells us to put on clothes before we go out the door, not just because we might be arrested, but because some sort of societal norm imposes itself on us internally to regard walking around naked in public outdoors and in plain sight as obscene. It's the same little voice that tells us, "Okay, now put on your clothes and take your sunglasses on and walk calmly back to the dorms and no one will ever know you were the mysterious streaker." The superego. I know Freud isn't as popular among psychologists as he once was, but modern psychologists are not popular with me, and anyone can see the utility in thinking of the internal limiter we have on ourselves this way. So, just like my common sense tells me that, although it may be terribly subversive, it may not be wise to name a children's book Fuck and Shit Go to the Market, my common sense may give me advice on any number of things when I write. Will people like this character? Is this boring? Could this confuse the reader? And so on, and so forth. This is censorship already happening. Whenever you delete the last sentence, because really, no that joke wasn't funny, that's censorship. It's not what is commonly thought of as censorship and that's why I'd love it if we all abolished the word self-censor or self-censorship and just let the first word be its regular, broad, excellently meaningful self. Third, when it comes to gay people writing gay stories, when I said that above, I put it as vaguely as possible because it's just another form of censorship to think about when writing a story. Hardly anyone ever writes anything for the consumption and viewing of others that does not have at least a little censorship in it. (You could even argue conformity to grammar practices is a form of censorship. There's no logical reason we need to have period and commas and capitals other than somewhere we all agreed to do it for the greater good.) So when writing gay stories, one other thing to think about is, "Why am I writing this? What do I want to achieve by writing this? How do I want to come off when I write this?" and so on. I think these are very natural thoughts to have when writing any story. In gay stories, an additional component comes in. Obviously, on some level, naturally people are already going to object, because it has "gayness" in it and that's like a disease, man, you're not supposed to catch it or spread it! So you throw away the level of censorship wherein society might object to gay themes. Now then. If you then go on to take off your limiter for other themes people may object to (whether it be excessive violence, rape, incest, alien sex, baby-eating, Miley Cyrus, whatever, it doesn't matter) you must be realistic: there are people who will simply avoid it because they find it abhorrent. There's another long thread there about people not reading fan fiction because they associate it with low quality writing. If stuff like that is all it takes, then surely one can't be surprised when taboos come into the picture. Others will use it as an example to berate gay people and say, "See, if we allow gay marriage, this is the slippery slope of morality it leads to: fan fiction!" We're all aware that their arguments are a hot mess no one should pay attention to. But you can't deny that there is that element out there. So when you're writing, wouldn't it be best to be honest with yourself about what your motives are? (Do you want the applause of others? Is that one of the reasons you are writing? It's okay to admit that you want that.) The more honest, the easier it is to become happier with the end result. Know that if you choose to confront taboos, you may get violent or apathetic reactions and be ready to deal with it. And would it be your "fault" for propragating stereotypes? Potentially and partially yes. When you don't give any thought to including the stereotypes and taboos that opponents to gay people are likely to object to, you partially deserve the thoughtless reactions you'll get, even if they're wrong. I believe thoughtless expressions thoroughly deserve the thoughtless reactions they get. Sensitive, well-considered expressions can stand up for themselves, without the original person who expressed them even being there: they are strong and impervious to feeble criticism. The best expressions stand up to all forms of criticism and last through time and I can almost guarantee that the bulk of these expressions were from people who hemmed and hawed and snipped and shaved and didn't worship the omnipotence of pure expression in its undiluted form. You can't just say gay people get a "get out of jail free card" to having their writing criticized because they get unfairly ostracized. Straight people get into trouble all the time when they write about taboos. Straight black people find that sometimes society won't "allow them" to write characters they think are appropriate because they "reinforce stereotypes." Straight women have the same problem. You might think it would be lovely to be Stephanie Meyer, but do you want to deal with all the gunk she gets about how she should write more progressive female characters? So of course even gay people have the same problem too. It's a weird kind of equality, if you think about it in a certain way. In one of DomLuka's best stories, the main character is an absolute git for the bulk of it: he does awful things to his friends and family and we are subjected to torrents of teenage angst before he finally comes to his senses. It certainly was challenging. I thought it would never end. That the main character would just explode in gibblets of angst at some point. I have a feeling this was written with a very sensitive eye of how much is too much. Some censorship had to be involved in this sequence's creation. And it was worth it, I think, because this is an excellent story for the type of person who rolls their eyes at angsty gay teenage plights. It gives a minute description of just how a person can break down if they have to confront something so life-changing at the same time they are forming the rest of their identity. It is one of the strongest arguments against not including teenage angst in a story because it is a major turn-off to many readers, but it's risky too. I bet quite a few people gave up on it before they got to the end. However, I think there is a strong possibility that if such a story was published and read by many straight readers, it would give them an excellent insight into why it may not be such a hot idea to tease gay teenagers, but only to those who have a possibilty of being receptive. For others, who are naturally opposed to even reading such a thing, it's no great mystery that 95% of them will not even give it the proper consideration. DomLuka shouldn't re-write it for those sods, but I have a feeling the story was rewritten in DomLuka's head for the receptive type while he was writing it. So of course I wasn't saying anyone should or shouldn't do anything. My post was in response to a thread that was also about, "Why won't people give my stories the time of day?" It was taken in that context, toward the thread starter, meant to be a thorough response as to why people might not do so. Any traveler on the nets knows that there are places where your work will be accepted, because the nets are infinite, wide and varied. But they are also not entirely secure. One subset can easily flow into another and friction occurs. I love artists like George Kamitani and works like The Fisherman's Wife (don't google either of those if you don't want a serious shock and don't know who/what they are) because it's extremely well-done, spooky and unsettling. I like being completely unnerved and having something I never even considered suggested to me. Subversion, baby, subversion! But I like it best when it's classy. With that artist/work mentioned above, there's a certain level of restraint in the absolute ridiculousness of what's going on. Even in that pioneering, devil-may-care spirit, there's a certain level of censorship. That's what elevates it from schlock to class. And classiness is my favorite virtue. But if you're going to do this, for goodness sake, be ready and be courageous. Learn to fend off the stings and blows of sharp criticism. Be able to do so. And don't just write off the opposition's arguments, even if you know or feel they are ridiculous. The opposition likes being acknowledged and understood. If you write a story about incestuous gay giant space whales who hump their fathers, don't cry about the consequences you know are out there.
  10. I don't know either. I took advantage of my trip to Ameeeeerica and went and saw it and it was fantastic. I hate science fiction that forgets the characters in service of the plot or the science and this was not one of those movies. It reminded me of Contact, Apollo 13 or Gattaca, just one of those really arresting character movies in the foreign world of heavy everyday science that keeps your eyes following the pretty lights being projected to the wall. It was operatic in scope, while being minute in detail. I don't even have any remaining George Clooney hate ever since I saw him in that one movie where he rode in cars and talked to business people (Michael something, I think). I don't even know where my George Clooney hate came from since I don't know the man and have no possible clue what he's like in real life. Poor George Clooney, you were good in Solaris too, which is another interesting science fiction movie. Gravity is up there with Kaze Tachinu in the best movie I've seen this year. Whether it stands in the line of the greats will take longer to process and decide, but it's at least in the running.
  11. How are you? Things are good with me too. We've had a lovely relationship. I remember way back in the day where you totally throttled your search engine competitors. Remember Lycos and Infoseek? Ha ha, good times. I remember when you started revolutionizing all sorts of Internet services. It was pretty interesting seeing Google diversify and provide such a high level of quality for their services. I remember living right next to your main offices and biking past that wonderful building every day, for a short time. It made me grin that even though it may be nothing more than a marketing gimmick to say you were a more human technology company, it's certainly preferable to any other kind of marketing gimmick and I saw evidence that it looked like more than that every day. I liked that you provided a mobile OS that proved a sane alternative to a monopoly from Apple in a situation where most consumers would be squeezed into the unfortunate circumstances of having their phone and their computers controlled by feuding monopoly interests. Bottom line: there's a lot of good things you've done for me and all the rest of your millions of users. And most of them for free! Oh yes, I know you profited off of us and our usage of your products in all sorts of ways, but you have to make your money somehow and I honestly don't have much of a problem in the way you do it. Especially because Firefox + adblock is sweet ambrosia to my electronic philistine lips. It didn't bother me when you started instituting a policy that would read keywords in user's correspondence to generate focused ads. This was mostly because I am not naive. I could have easily forfeited the convenience of free web mail by downloading some undoubtedly exceptional, easy-to-use free e-mail program for use on my computer. But even with the advent of the cloud and huge databases where I can upload and download them from any computer, and even with the future advent of the rain storm or the blizzard (probably not that, the Warcraft people would get upset) or whatever the hell comes next, I enjoy doing that trick where you attach a file to an e-mail addressed to yourself and use it to transfer the same file on other computers and I probably always will. For this and a few other reasons, I prefer free web mail. And if I prefer free web mail, then I am essentially using somebody else's servers to transmit private messages to others. While they all ensure me that they aren't reading or accessing what I send, I have no idea what's really going on and have always made sure I don't do anything I wouldn't want found out over this, because I am not a trusting person in general. So it didn't bother me when that new policy came in and everyone followed your lead; I figured no one could really expect to have any measure of true privacy when they entrust their interactions to an anonymous internet company in the first place. So it's not that. It's something else. I wanted to let you know about something that's been bothering me lately. It's not new, but it's getting increasingly hard to avoid. I'm speaking of something that I know I can't be the only one to be incensed over. I like browsing Youtube, who doesn't? I don't want to upload videos on Youtube. I don't want to have a channel where I can keep bookmarks on Youtube. I have a brain and a memory and I can remember what I'd like to see on Youtube perfectly well. I don't want a user account on Youtube. I hear people complain that the user interface has gotten worse, but I don't care and even if I did I'm not going to complain: I've gotten hundreds of hours of free entertainment out of Youtube, and have no interest in acting like an entitled dope because the player doesn't always work correctly or because I sometimes have to get used to new things. But I don't want a user account on Youtube because I don't need one and I don't like feeling manipulated into having something I don't need. I don't like it when I download something from Microsoft and there's this pre-install page that urges me to make Bing my default browser. (Screw Bing. That's the last name of a Friend, not a search engine.) I don't like it when somebody tries to sell me something I have no interest in while I buy something else. I always, "No thanks, you can throw it in that trash can right over there." You should see the look on the salespeoples' faces when I do that. I really don't want a Youtube account because I follow Youtube links from all over the nets and sometimes people aren't helpful and don't label what it is they are actually linking to. I don't want my history of Youtube views in an account somewhere. Even if I can "easily delete it" (ha ha ha yeah right, on MY side, I'm sure I can). Travelling over the waves of the Internet these days is perilous. Everything seems to get tracked somehow, even when you're not really doing anything bad. Last year I had the woeful assignment to edit this madman's work that included a detailed description of "motorboating midgets." I knew, knew in my bones, this had nothing to do with frolicking midgets in jet skis. But fortunately by that time Firefox had blessed us with their private browsing windows that don't keep any history, cookies, user records or login info, so the next time my friend uses my computer and types "Miley Cyrus nude pics" into my search bar he'll never find out that I once searched for "motorboating midgets urban dictionary." I like that. I like not having to worry what other people will think about me due to out-of-context information. This is not because I am a people whore. It is because I have become increasingly concerned about how we forge new relationships these days and how fragile perceptions are and how easy it is to ruin new relationships with the slightest of rumor and gossip. I remember losing a nice potential friend in college because he believed this absurd rumor that I watched people masturbate through their windows. What kind of psychopath would do something like that? Nobody even had basis or proof for it. It's not even that though. When I'm with my friends, they don't care if I watch Jenna Marbles. But when I visit my mom's house and she snoops on my computer (I know she does it!), I'm pretty sure she'd object to Jenna Marbles (or even the friggin' Harlem Shake that's probably somewhere in the roots of my Youtube history). Google, don't make me explain Jenna Marbles to my mom. Youtube and the Internet in general are like that though. If you let them, they spread rumors that you like watching people masturbate through their windows, despite the fact that you probably never have done or even thought of doing such a disgusting thing. No matter how much you take care not to, sometimes you get images or links to places that you'd never expect. I don't want a record of that linked to me, however frivolously. I don't want to worry about a record like that. When I see somebody write, "I dunno, this video shows she still looks pretty hot" and "video" is that familiar blue, I'm hoping that when I click on the video it's not something stupid and tacky, but let's be real, this is the nets, the odds are not in my favor. Lately whenever I log into my Google account that I only use for a certain kind of e-mail, it automagically logs me into an equivalent Youtube account. I don't like this. It means I have to watch Youtube videos in one browser window, the private one, and use my e-mail in my normal browser, because I never know what I'm going to run into when I'm linked there or click a related video and I don't like having to constantly monitor my level of suspicion for the people who use my computer so that it doesn't have a convenient user-analyzed list of related videos that say "fart monkeys" when all I did was click on a related video once that said "zoo antics." It's exhausting. Especially because I'm a pretty normal person who just likes to surf the nets for the LOLs. Two months ago a friend of mine had his Youtube account revoked because he was "watching overwhelmingly copyrighted content." This despite the fact that after over 30 minutes of talking and reminiscing neither of this could remember what videos he watched had this awful, soul-destroying "copyrighted content" in them. I just know one day, in the name of convenience, somebody on my g-mail contact list will be able to click on my name and see what Youtube videos I just watched or what things I just searched. Even if that never happens, I really don't like the gut feeling in my stomach that all that information is linked to one account's identity. I killed my Facebook for the same reason. I don't like feeling like my habits are being watched and analyzed and attached to a username that can be linked back to my real identity. Even though I don't do anything heinous, I just don't. Like. It. Period. It's like every last thing you did in college is viewable in a video bar perched on your forehead. Much of the internet is like that obnoxious eternal college sophomore who won't get out of your face. If you spend extended time on its premises, it's nearly impossible to avoid. But the internet has changed a little bit over the last few years. Professional Internet writing used to be how much you could assert your style over the loud drones of the many users of the nets; these days the great majority of it is about how many search engine optimizations you can cram into an article without it looking too suspicious. In short, that sophoromoric college idiot has been trying to sell me Mormon bibles for years now and nothing I can do shuts him up. It's becoming intolerable. Knock it off. I like my gmail account. I like using Google. I like watching videos on Youtube. I do not necessarily like being watched as if there was this annoying nanny to monitor my every move and simultaneously sell secrets to the Nazis. Remember, people liked it when the all-seeing eye of Sauron got owned by the hobbits at the end of The Return of the King. I know there are millions of bozos who can't control their impulses on the internet and seriously need to have their anonymity revoked in the name of policing malicious and ugly behavior, but I'm not one of them and I refuse to be punished for it in an internet environment that is increasingly hostile to maintaining my sanity.
  12. I've been reading this topic ever since it started with a keen interest. Even though I stand at the opposite end opinion-wide to Sasha (I can't stand incest and if possible, I don't really want to read stories where it is positively portrayed), I really respect the authorial inspiration to tackle the issue, even though it is certainly taboo in many of the societies involved in this discussion. I don't know if I'd ever write a story about incest, but I have and will read stories about them in the same way I read stories about rape and pedophilia, if there is a certain amount of distance and disapproval of the act. Let me explain my thoughts on that last point. If I'm interpreting the original post correctly and not misrepresenting his stance, Sasha mentioned that perhaps there shouldn't be much of a problem with incest if it is between two consenting adults of the same gender who cannot procreate. I'm not so sure. To me, incest is very much in the same category of pedophilia in that both are presently thought of as potentials of non-standard sex between two humans that is not tolerated well in many societies. There are other similarities, but the one I am most chiefly concerned with is the psychological difference between soft and hard versions of both phenomena. What do I mean by soft pedophilia? You can see a lot of this in Japan to the point where I'm not sure you could call it pedophilia. The "softest" occurence of it is where people think it is attractive and desirable to have child-like or childish qualities. This can be seen as a very common cornerstone of our modern culture, where the word "cute" is, regardless of gender, used more often for sexual attraction than any other adjective, including things like "hot," "cool," "pretty," "handomse," or "beautiful." If you strictly defined this preference for love or sexual objects, it might correlate to pedophilia. But that would be ridiculous. It's like saying you can't love or find sexually attractive people who have red lips, that such objectification is called to be redophilia and be from now on, taboo. Nobody would take you seriously. So even if you think it may be strange to correlate child-like behavior or mannerisms in adults with the sexually desirable, since the two participants are most often consenting adults with no harmful or lasting psychological manipulation occuring, what damage can it cause? None, really. Now, if we're talking about Japan and pedophilia, then there are two elephants in the room and their names are "loli" and "shota." If you don't know what these are, a quick definition wouldn't be very helpful, but for the sake of argument, we'll define them here as a preference for consuming fictional media (not real life exploitation and abuse) with sometimes explicitly sexual images of young children engaging in sexual acts. That's much closer to actual pedophilia, but as with actual pedophilia, there are stages of disgusting. Pedophiles who act on their own impulses are, without question, far worse than those who keep it to themselves, much as the same as those who have murderous tendencies are far less heinous if they don't act on them. In the same way, as bizarre as it is to me as to why you'd want to subject yourself to loli and shota, I'm closer to live and let live here. As long as these people aren't hurting children, I see no harm in them looking at the pictures and reading the stories they like, even if I find them rather repulsive. And again, there are different extents. Some people just like child characters in a story and are not necessarily itching to see them do sexual things, in Japanese, you might say you enjoy a loli or shota character, instead of simply saying you like child characters. This is obviously another mark removed from the abhorrent possibility of child molestation and abuse. In fact, these two words are often mistranslated and underexplained when they are referred to in English, both terms can mean other, potentially harmless things as well. For instance, Lolita fashion just refers to women who like to revolve their fashion around looking like young girls -- roll your eyes all you want, but there's nothing wrong with that on a fundamental level. So these are types of "soft" pedophilia, in the widest term of the word: a love of children. But what about hard pedophilia that leads to actual sexual acts performed with children? Unless we're talking kids, kids and not encompassing older teenagers, I see some blurred lines there as well. Because in today's laws children are referred to as minors and in many countries the ages at which they cease to be minors for different legal purposes differ. We have some really different ideas of what pedophilia between an adult and a minor is between country to country. I think everyone is horrified when they hear stories of 30-year-olds and 9-year-olds being sexually involved. What I'm talking about is the really sketchy area, like 17 and 18, or 19 and 16. In order to process whether there is child molestation or statutory rape actually going on, regardless of what the law says, I think its useful to consider the context. So for instance, maybe the 19 and 16-year-old have been in a relationship for 2 or 3 years where the older one has become an adult quicker than the younger? And maybe it's a positive relationship, certainly with no abuse or manipulation going on? While the 19-year-old is potentially living a world very different than the 16-year-old now, the mere fact of age does not imply that this person is using it advantageously to psychologically do sexual things that would be damaging to the 16-year-old. On the other hand, the 19-year-old could be a player who has manipulated and abused people in the past, but this time wants to make a clean slate of it and is attracted to someone in nearly the same age bracket. That's quite a bit less clear. Then there is the case of a 19-year-old who has been living an adult life for two years and uses that gap in experience to easily force a conquest on a 16-year-old. There is an obvious case of clear psychological manipulation resulting from a gap in age, and one that will likely have far more damaging repercussions on the 16-year-old than on the 19-year-old. These days, I often hear people make comments like, "Ew, you think that 16/17-year-old is hot, that's so creepy!" But really, come on, who are we kidding? Many modern societies encourage teenagers to flaunt their sexuality by surrounding them with it and making it look like the coolest, most adult thing to do. Then they turn around and say for that many of the upper echelon of teens (say over 15) whose bodies, depending on the person, can be or look very close to a fully mature adult, that it is depraved to see any sexual attraction there? We have Rolling Stone photo ops sexualized Justin Bieber and then rejoicing with a headline "Now legal." As if a day passing by has now absolved anyone of any possible guilt in using their sexual maturity to manipulate Mr. Bieber. That's absurd. This is most likely because the reaction toward the obviously disgusting act of pedophilia is close to the same moral outrage as the obviously disgusting act of racism. Whether or not a behavior is actually negative, counterproductive and harmful, we often brand it as racist, because isn't it so if people say so? So I think there is a case where people have become oversensitive and imply that anyone who thinks near-adults look like adults is nearing pedophilial thoughts. I find this to be ridiculous. Actual creepy behavior, like fetishizing six-year-olds or leering at actual kids in a park, or preying on those who are just starting to develop into adults, is undermined by this casual demonification. And it doesn't help us move to a place of clarity with which to analyze the fringe cases between those just above the age of adult and minors on the borderline. Then there are the large gaps in age. This is not even restricted to minors. Say somebody who is 60 is dating somebody who is in their 20s, despite the younger person being an adult, you still hear some people say they are "robbing the cradle." This, again, gets to the crux of the matter. The gap in age and experience is why we have a problem with pedophilia. Still, I imagine there is the exceedingly, overwhelmingly rare case of say, a 30-something and a 15-year-old enjoying a relationship with no emotional manipulation coming from the more experienced party and no lasting psychological damage, which turns out to be more positive than anything. It's just not very common, because the usual 15-year-old isn't that emotionally mature or ready for it. But I am prepared to accept that there are even cases like this, where legally it may be wrong, but morally it's much less so. So while my stance is that "soft" pedophilia will not necessarily lead to "hard" pedophilia and even in cases of legal pedophilia, there are sometimes circumnstances which beg to be analyzed first before branding either party with the scarlet P, this is where I think it's pretty close to incest. In the same way, there are many levels of incest. There are the soft sorts of it, which are just normally some kind of infatuation or temporary crush on an impressive family member that normalizes into a more typical expression of familial love and can range perhaps all the way to people who become rather obsessed and may even fantasize on such ideas, but never act on it. Then there is hard incest, which I find much less tolerable. But I reserve my greatest disgust for relationships that imply increasing levels of foul play. I have the same objection to acting on it as I do toward pedophilia -- it stems from an innate sense that one or more parties are being emotionally manipulated and the result will be some serious psychological damage. In the case of pedophilia, its because one of them hasn't developed enough to be able to be ready or appropriate for such behavior. In the case of incest, I believe it has a serious chance of developing a person's burgeoning sense of relationships to a warped level because it stunts the ability to develop such behavior. I think one ought to look outside their family for romantic and sexual relationships. Even if ultimately, say living with a brother or cousin is almost like a spousal relationship on an everyday level, it should not ever progress to a sexual level. On a fundamental level, I think sex ought to be a way to connect to functional adults who are not already some way connected to you. The physical proximity of a familial relationship is bad for this on multiple levels. People ought to be encouraged to seek sexual intimacy outside of their family so they can learn to connect to people they have no previous ties to and build that into the relationship, as well as how to distance themselves when it may be time to move on. These are crucial skills to learn that most likely could get hampered if someone gets into a long-lasting incestual relationship. I can imagine all sorts of healthy norms getting warped. The close emotional and locational bond of family can be used to manipulate one party into sexual situations too. On the other hand, to pretend there is no incest or incestual themes in great literature would be a fool's errand. And in some cases, I see stories suggest that certain incestual relationships are not as ugly and repulsive as I consider most of them to be. I think casual sexual incest is really eye-twitchingly unappealing, but I can see how a light peppering of it (as previously said, a passing crush) or the odd really unconventional relationship could be okay. In literature however, the same standard for every potentially licentious theme applies: if it wasn't done merely to titillate, it's probably okay. In gay literature, right now, as in 2013, I'm hesitant to applaud it, even if done well. I think gay authors have to think about possible audiences including straight people, not just other gays. It's not going to help normalize gays to bring in taboos and it's especially not going to help to do so in a positive manner. While gay writers are not required to "write for the cause," so to speak, I'd like to see them take up a responsibility for the imagery they propagate when they write a story. To a certain extent, you have less of a leg to stand in if you're bemoaning the the mistreatment of the gay image in mass media if you are contributing to it in parts. So that's my long-winded, multi-faceted objection to incest in a walnut shell.
  13. I like to drink the blood of the sinners (or people who wear fluorescent fanny packs, same thing) who would dare defy me, mixed in with a little red wine. The simpler authorities can never tell the difference, which keeps the peace in Pleasantville.
  14. thebrinkoftime

    Turtle 2

    This is priceless. I feel like we should produce copies and give them to all the people who only block with Chun-Li and then use her lightning legs to get in cheap swipes. In other news, yeah, we all know what the deal is with the riddle and the obvious alternate answers, but did anyone else think a possible answer for number 2 could also be "neuroses"?
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