No, I didn't get shot
Unrelatedly, my attitude toward Livejournal has softened a little. The advertisements still annoy me tremendously, and I plan to keep all my useful writing on the Dreamwidth account. However, I won't delete the LJ posts, and I will post mundane updates giving the details of my life on both journals, when I resume writing them. I think I'm some, uh, thirty-something months late on those.
Edit, April 2012: I'm back to being pissed off at the site. I hope you die, Livejournal.This entry was originally posted at http://lhexa.dreamwidth.org/49412.html.
Several years ago, I bought a full account on Livejournal, intending to renew it steadily. Then the site started showing ads, and although my paid account prevented those ads from showing up on my journal, I was annoyed enough to decide against renewing the account. Considering the importance I place on what I write here, I can't stomach the fact that LJ draws advertising revenue from that writing -- I can't stomach the fact that on one side of the page there will be a thoroughly edited, painfully heartfelt entry of the sort I can only create once every few months, and on the other side there will be a picture trying to convince you that you are too fat.
Few people read what I write here, and fewer respond. Do I need people to read it? Yes, but I can just as easily point specific people to specific pieces I want them to read. In a way, it will be a relief to write things that I know will go unremarked (except when I ask people individually), rather than experiencing periodic disappointment at the lack of response. To those of you who take interest in what I write here, I cannot thank you enough, and I will continue to write at my Dreamwidth
account, should your interest extend that far. I believe you can leave comments there using your LJ account. And to all of you: I adore you greatly, but I am under no obligation to your considerable apathy. If any of you want invite codes to Dreamwidth, I have plenty.
I'll keep the journal around in order to comment on what my friends here write. Given that I have a complete copy of the journal at Dreamwidth, I will delete the rest. Fuck you, Livejournal.
Across the street from my grandmother's shop there once lived a kind old woman named Nora. During that span of my life (roughly my early years in grade school) my mother worked a second job as a costume designer for a Dallas theatre, so she would often use my grandmother's sewing machines, tables, and supplies of fabric, with me along to spend my time as I desired. There were always books to read, or games to play, or the overgrown plot out back which I never fully explored. Sometimes I would also cross that vast street and knock on Nora's door, because she was always home. We would eat snacks together and talk about things. Only scattered, unclear memories remain of her: the well-stocked, thoroughly organized pantry; the strange old technology, lacking all of the unobtrusive sleekness I knew; the dining room table that stood always ready for guests; the bedroom which was never quite as clean as the rest of the house. Notwithstanding the terrifying loneliness I sensed even then, I respected and wondered at the significance of every item, that each brought with it a series of memories to be invoked with a question. In that house, I behaved with a delicate awe quite unlike my usual heedlessness.
I remember the music boxes most clearly. Nora collected these, and had more than a dozen in her living room. All were purely mechanical, activated by turning some knob or handle. Most had a set of little prongs tuned to specific notes, twanged in sequence by a rotating cylinder. None were ever quite in tune. Whenever I visited Nora, before the snacks or the conversation, I would turn on every single one of those boxes, hunting the room thoroughly to make sure I had not missed any. Both Nora and I would then revel for a little while in the abundance of music. As I remember, it was not a cacophony, but rather the beautiful disharmony of an orchestra warming up. There are various little exercises which I do consistently, like performing estimates in my head before reaching for a calculator, or looking up a new word in the dictionary: these exercises ensure that my mind will always be able to do what I most need it to do. One such exercise is to recall what I felt when I realized that the house across the street from my grandmother's shop had been torn down.
In my fantasies I help my friends in big, decisive ways, by being the right person with the right resources at the right time. These are unrealistic fantasies, because the pivotal moments when a friend needs (and can receive) such help are vanishingly rare: I can think of only two times when I was able to decisively help someone with a single action. More realistic, and frankly more valuable, is the help I can provide in imperceptibly small portions, by providing consistent support, conversation, perspective or even just presence... the help which consists in being a kind gardener to those around me, helping what is worthwhile in them to grow. As one of many rewards for that activity, I may on occasion be invited inside someone else's head, to observe the objects there with a delicate awe, and to set the music there to playing.
It is a strange cord which ties me to my past, because the more strands I cut the stronger it becomes. I do not mean I should not cut at what ties me, but that I should cut wisely. I can be a better person than I have yet been shown.
Part of a conversation with Cube about identity and insanity.
...I don't have a character, much less one for each species. So I describe the identification as a set of affiliations, implying some degree of loyalty to humanity's present understanding of the two species. That understanding includes the literature tied to the animals (though tied very loosely, in the case of the fisher).
So less a pure furry and more one interested in furry (historical and present) as a lens for understanding humanity?
Neither. Not the former because if a pure furry exists, I don't know what it is. Not the latter, because understanding humanity is a side concern. I'm a furry in order to ensure that I'm at least an animal. I mean to imply that the development of humanity has made the majority of its members something less. Purposes, appearances, activities, perspectives are all less than animal (they go into, they compose what is animal), but human beings are reduced to being, in a vital sense -- that is, reduced to embodying or living -- such things as purposes, appearances, activities, perspectives...
At present humanity is something less than animal. Once I can figure out, to my satisfaction (or rather completion) how I am an animal, maybe then I can try to envision humanity as a higher form of life.
But to get back to the previous point, my understanding of what is fox-like or fisher-like will be human understandings thereof, my capacity for understanding them being a human one. Even if, as I argue (and once argued for draconity), what is fox-like and what is fisher-like cannot be reduced to a subset of what is human.
...Disconnected from a purposeful life by the structures humankind has built for itself. Tricky to undo...
A later part of the conversation.
...I think that more insight in this problem [of boundless greed] can be found in the idea of the fox. There's the insight that hit me with so much force when I first read the Ysengrimus. Reynard isn't any less greedy than Ysengrimus, but his is, in short, a different (and better) form that greed can take. He makes use of cleverness rather than strength, and his ability is what can redirect the raw drive of an Ysengrimus. Power, or the need for power, can't be repressed (that only replaces power with power), nor can it be reasoned with, but it can be outwitted.
All of these magical or divine creatures humanity has described provide ways of coming to terms with what is limitless in a person, whether it be power, suffering, love, patience, or any of the other things that have been expressed at various points in history... any one of which has the capacity to completely reshape human society. The vulpine answer is, in short, that divinity is cleverness. The application of this idea, in my case, is that whatever anger, pettiness, insecurity, delusion, vanity, hopelessness, and resignation might exist in me (and there's much at times), they can all be outwitted. (Again, for emphasis... not controlled, and not reasoned with, but outwitted.)
The downside to this approach is that, like Reynard, I have no final victories over my failings... hunger will never be more than a day away, and Ysengrimus or his kin (that is, what they represent) will always reappear to test my cleverness again. The fox is not the form of one who most values rest, comfort, or endings. But it works.
I hope there's something in there you can use.