May 11th, 2003

loud fayoumis

Humans vs. Asshats

I've come across this phenomenon in two different groups, now, and I have no reason to think it would be any other way in any other group.

Both in paganism, and in polyamory, I've run into situations where people affiliating themselves with a group, perhaps even accepted by the group, turn around and do terrible things. Sometimes they just do this. Sometimes they do this with the excuse of their affiliation. In either case, the affiliation is generally what the media seizes onto, and the group tries to distance themselves from the offender, saying, "That's not real foo; what this idiot did was in no way connected to the real foo; he used the name of foo to perpetrate the awfulness."

They say, "This idiot was a poor excuse for a foo; they claimed foo and used that to go about their horrible ways."

What they mean is: "This idiot was a poor excuse for a human being."

Idiots and asshats show up in all walks of life. This idiot is a poor excuse for a pagan. This idiot is just using the noble claims of polyamory to let his perverse lusts loose. That idiot is a murderer and psychopath who hung their asshat on Christianity, on Islam, on Judaism, on abortion, on Right-for-life, on freedom, on slavery, on communism, capitalism, government, anarchy...

They are all poor excuses for humans.

Especially in minority social groups, I see it. "Zie wasn't a true foo because bar," where bar is the specific infraction. "This guy can't have been a real pagan because he molested little girls, and pagans don't do that." How about a real, decent person? Evil nasty people come from all walks of life. It's not strictly the territory of any one social group, any minority, any religion, any race, any gender. It's a human problem.

And as humans, it's worth our while to collectively figure out how these asshats got separated from the basic idea of being human, rather than individually scramble to kick them out of our ideological treehouse.
pretty, Francine


Woke up.

Bumbled around the house for a bit. Realized, at 9:30, that Darkside was likely to be awake. Called. Discovered that he'd already left for work.

Wandered about the house some more.

Everybody came home; Little Fayoumis had been a pest at the gallery. Again.

Everybody left for Chonch & her wife's house, not without some amusing (or not) interplay between Little Fayoumis and everybody else.

I did a desultory almost-clean of the house.

I wandered out to give plasma.

I wandered back, with burgers for self.

Chatted with people.

Decided that kittens needed to go down.

Failed to put kittens down.

Decided that I needed sleep.

Failed to get sleep.

Everybody kept calling, et cetera. Votania called, wanting to know if I could handle certain small fayoumi. Nuh-uh. I was on the verge of cracking.

Tried to get sleep.

Dawn called.

Tried to talk to Dawn.

Everybody came home at about this point. Small meltdown. I was trying to talk to Dawn and listen to everybody at the same time, and that just can't be done. Hell, when I'm that tired, I can't even cuss at the cats and talk at the same time.

Dawn had to go anyway.

The other grown-ups left.

I called Darkside and talked for a very few minutes, but it made both of us smile, and I think we both needed that. He'd had 10 hours at work with no real break; I'd been having a hellish week; I think we both hung up feeling hugged.

LF put himself to bed.

I made something resembling supper, after/while talking with Ro, which was much-needed.

Everybody came home.

Nice, long bath.
running, bomb tech


I anticipate a flaming row with Darkside, on the issue of my self-esteem, my weight, his sense of beauty, his self-esteem, and so forth.

As an additional arguing point, if we really do get going, I may well bring up the topic of that unwritten letter to him. Of course, bringing that one up in a row is fighting exceptionally dirty, but I know I've got to talk about that with him sooner or later, and ... I may not have the courage to mention it when we're both calm, peaceful, and relatively happy with each other.

I have no idea of the timing of this event; I just know it's been brewing for some time. The latest clue came when he made what was intended to be a joke, a week or more ago, and I burst out crying instead of giggling at it.
running, bomb tech


"I'm a different person around Darkside and I know it. I'm nice, polite, sweet, not as prone to depression, someone easy to love. (Does he love me?) Away from him, I'm odder, more easily made sad, different."

That was over a year ago.

I'd say there have been some changes.

"I like the person I am near him better. I've been trying to change myself so that I'm calm and happy whether I'm near him or away from him, so I can give to myself the same serenity and joy of heart, mind, spirit, that I have in his presence. "

I think I've done a good job with that. It's not so much that he made me someone else, but that he saw the true me, and brought it out, first while I was in his physical company, and then all the time. He encouraged me to show it. I think I can safely say that I have been.

He can always brighten me. But I'm not longer two different people in his company and out. I'm still myself. I just like this self a lot better.

I wonder if I do the same thing for him? I am Told that I do have good effects on him, and I've seen for myself that when I call him and have a few words with him after one of his rough days at work, he picks up the telephone cross with the world, his job, himself, and me, and hangs up the phone smiling. Just as I do.

I wonder if the glow of having talked with me stays with him, as it does for me.

...He cares about me. I'm one of those few people who dares risk his snark on a regular basis. I suppose I know him fairly well. I wonder if there are things I'm good about asking him about, prying, letting him know that I care, and he has every right to be angstful and bitchy about work, about his parents, about anything...

...and I make him smile.

I noticed that in these journal entries. He used to delight in making me smile. He'd see me without a grin, and he'd tease me until I did smile, and then his face would light up too, and I'd grin harder. ...It was a bit of a power trip for me, knowing that I could make him light up like that if I smiled for him.

Maybe I am good for him.

He's just not used to having a friend who knows him this well, who will know him well enough to presume a bit and possibly skirt rudeness in the name of friendship. And I suppose he appreciates that. He likes, in general, his privacy, but I'm good about backing off when told to, and I will make sure that we stay in contact.

He's just ... ambivalent. He doesn't suppose that he's a particularly good friend to me. He knows how to be loyal to friends, how to come through in all manner of unlikely ways. He's been let down so very many times. He's learned to be a good friend by any number of people being bad friends to him... I've learned that I want to keep him as my friend, and I'll make sure it happens.

"'Til Death do us part" is far too soon.
trust, best friends forever, snot-nosed brats

A letter (written)

Dear Sunshine,

[*snicker* Yes. Hit me. Please. I know you hate that nickname.] I'm feeling particularly blessed this morning. You're my friend. I'm overwhelmed by all that entails.

You show up for major holidays. Every now and then, if I weren't the one keeping us in contact, you'd make sure we were all there and OK. Even though you enjoy your solitude, you let me tag along with you for certain movies. If I'm feeling horrible and you hear me while I'm feeling horrible, you make sure I'm feeling all right again before you let me go. If I'm beating up on myself, you clobber me over the head until I stop. You allow me to hug you, if I don't get too carried away. Since you don't tend to hug outside your family... You delight in making me smile. You clobber me over the head until I do smile, and then you light up with a grin that is, if possible, bigger than mine. (Yes. I did notice.) You crack insane jokes that are just the right kind to make me laugh.

You can match my energy pattern when you're recharging me. I've never known anyone else able to do that, much less recharge me with what feels like my own energy without me even noticing. You don't set off my defenses. I know you would never harm me, though I do flinch when I anticipate that you might hurt me (nerve pinches do hurt, even though I've gotten very good at pretending they don't).

You make me smile, Fire, and when you smile back at me, you're warm and bright. Sunshine really is a good name for you...

Little Fayoumis, Nephew

My views on spanking. (Copy/paste, with expansion.)

I guardedly approve of spanking as a last-resort immediate consequence for something Very Serious.

There is a big difference between a swat or two on the seat of the pants that startles more than it hurts, and an all-out thrashing. I've had both.

When my mother spanked me, I knew I had it coming to me, and it fit with my sense of Fair, even though I did not like it at all. It stung, and I was not happy about it, and before I was done crying from the concept of having been punished, I couldn't feel it. When my father spanked me, I was terrified. It hurt fiercly and I screamed, and continued screaming from fear and pain after he was done spanking.

My dad stopped with the thrashings after we were eight or so, because he suddenly realized how very much he did not want to repeat his father's mistakes. It was a quite sudden and dramatic thing, in fact. We'd done something-or-other, and he was coming after us to Really Spank Us. I seem to recall something about peeling a strip of wood off the dresser. I was already wailing with anticipation (and probably holding my bottom). It had been a party at our house, and there were other people there, and the situation (our misdeed, his anger, us running in fear of him, how hard he was going to hit) suddenly hit directly home to him, and he stopped. It took years for us to trust him when he was angry, but we get along now.

My mother trailed the spankings out until less immediate forms of punishment were more effective. I have never distrusted her when she was angry.

I do not see the problem with a few swats on the tail no harder than a "gimme five" handslap that the kid and I exchange on a regular basis, as a signal of Extreme Punishment. I do see a problem with any form of punishment where a kid cries as a result of pain rather than as the result of the concept of punishment. I see an extreme problem with any punishment where a kid is crying from pain after the punishment is over, or when a kid is crying before the punishment out of fear of pain.

Spanking here tends to be a "You are not listening, and you have proved that you are not listening, and your attention will be gotten NOW" activity rather than an "I am angry and you will suffer" activity. If time-outs fail, and getting grounded does not seem to be making an impact, then it is time for one to three light swats that should not leave any sensation ten seconds later. This causes *immediate* cessation of the problem behavior, and complete astonishment: "You spanked me!!!" and the realization that yes, we were serious, and he is in deep trouble.

Angry tends to come out as, "You have just made me very angry. Go to your room now," delivered (in my case) in a tone of voice that is too calm and even to be natural. And I tend to go to my room, too, and blow off steam on LJ, and after we are both calm, further punishment is discussed. I don't even like issuing groundings when I'm angry.

On the whole, I see Little Fayoumis being more inclined towards violence when watching casual animated violence (Strongbad kicking The Cheat for no reason is followed by Little Fayoumis aiming a kick at shammash for no reason [which resulted in him getting grounded from Strongbad]) than following an isolated incident of getting swatted on the butt (there are occasional incidents of him, in a silly mood, pat-swatting an adult behind with less force than he uses for a gimme-five and saying, "I'm spanking you!" gleefully, with much giggling).
running, bomb tech


Happiness involves finding a fragment of orange peel inside the real orange gel that is inside a product purported to contain real orange stuff.

For, you see, it therefore does!
running, bomb tech

Happy, happy happy.

Azure Lunatic says:
Happy Mother's Day.
Fuzzy says:

Called Mama. Wished her a happy Mother's Day. Narcissa already left a message earlier. Wished Guide Dog Aunt a happy Mother's Day via Mama.

FatherSir's recovering nicely from his surgery. (Carpal Tunnel.)

Dawn conveyed Mother's Day happiness votania's way; I relayed it.
high energy magic


Got some laundry put away, and the West bedroom vacuumed. The two black shirts will go in the Box of New Black Clothing as soon as the laundry's away and the bed's tidied.
running, bomb tech

Ahh, nice.

Have successfully transferred the books that had been on top of the sturdy pine shelves to the bookcase, which has been moved from right where it was getting in the way by my bed, to a temporary location, where it's really getting in the way by the door. It's eventually supposed to come to a halt in my closet, where it should theoretically not get in the way.
documentation, writing, quill

taka-taka stop-stop *snerk*

Deep in my past, I started playing the violin, using the Suzuki method.

Now, the first thing that one learns, the first real song in the book, is "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star". And before one learns the entire song, one learns various bowing rhythms for it.


Being as we were creative little fayoumi, and not particularly tending to leave anything well enough alone, instead of taking the words that our teacher gave us to go with the rhythm, we had to make up words of our own, and sing them to the tune. So, "taka-taka stop-stop" became "halibut-and-ice-cream", and any number of other things.

Years later, years and years later: today, in fact, I found myself singing: "Lovecraft Harry Pot-ter..."
  • Current Mood
    amused amused
trust, best friends forever, snot-nosed brats

Sit and stay a spell: How I may have come to meet Darkside.

Well... once upon a time, back in 1994 or 1995, I wished that a certain youth (I specified him by first name and appearance) and I have a second chance to get to become friends, and perhaps he would love me (I'd made a horrendously bad first impression). Narcissa stood by and watched; she would remember this as the "Make It So" spell.

Nothing, of course, happened. Or so I thought...

Fastforward to 2000. I head out of state for college. I meet a good new friend, my soulsister, and she introduces me to another new friend of hers.

Same first name. Same hair color. A gamer, just like the other guy. When I wind up at his house, his face, in the family portraits from the appropriate year... they could have been twins.

Darkside. We hit it off instantly. We weren't best friends quite from the start -- it takes both of us a while to warm up to a new friend -- but it was close.

We do get second chances.
  • Current Music
    marxdarx building pyramids
running, bomb tech


What do you think my worst fear is? What's yours?
trust, best friends forever, snot-nosed brats


"Where does this leave the time and energy for the sensitive, sweet Darkside I know?"

Um. Woman. You bring that out in him. Yes, he can be a grouch around you, and yes, if you take liberties such as kissing him on the cheek, he will sock you a good one in the stomach, but... you make him smile. You make his day happier. You can convert a lousy mood to a decent one just by being there with him.

I mean, think about it.

Scenario: computer lab.
Darkside at computer, working on some lab project that is almost due.
You see him. Someone who is with you sees him.
The person with you says hi.
The person with you gets snarled at.
You sit down next to him.
You stay there quietly.
After a few minutes, he turns and vents to you.
After venting, he goes back to working on the project, not half as stressed-out.

...if you had not showed up, would he have been more stressed, or less stressed?
Does he de-stress for just anyone? I thought not. He tells you stuff. I'd be willing to bet that he hasn't told anyone else, anyone who matters, that thing [post is heavily filtered]. But he told you.