Where the Sane Should Fear to Tread

Therapy Sessions on File


March

03/31/02
Okay, here's the deal. This is an I-have-to-get-this-off-my-chest-or-I'm-gonna-burst thing. Personal opinion will run rampant - don't read if you don't like that stuff, and before flaming me for this, have a damn good argument to back up you're statements.

On an ML I lurk on, a member decided s/he (staying gender neutral here) couldn't understand the "occupation with sex and violence" writers seem, in hi/er opinion, to have. S/he went on to say "You wouldn't like it done to you, now would you? But it's just fine to fixate and exagerate and subject characters in fanfics to it over and over again? And then to claim it's in the interest of a good story?"

First off, let me state for the record this person was stating his/her personal opinion and I respect that. My views differ from hi/ers, but that doesn't make his/hers any less valid... just different from mine. S/he had their say, now I get to have mine.

Reality check time. No, I know of no one who is desirous of being raped, having the snot beat out of them, or being tortured to within an inch of their lives. However, we are not talking about real-life but FANFIC about characters that aren't even real (they're animated).

Yes, some people go overboard with the violence levels, but those fics are (most of the time) very well labeled to warn readers sensitive to that type of material. Don't like it, don't read it - simple concept ain't it.

Fanfiction is escapism, pure and simple. Though it may reflect real-life events, it is not real itself. The characters are fictional, the story is fictional... IT JUST AIN'T REAL! There are some people who find violent sex - forced or consensual - titillating to watch/read. They do not necessarily want it to happen to them, and would be greatly upset should it happen to someone they knew, but there is something about it they cannot turn away from. Not the most pleasant of traits in a person, but everyone is different and I see no point in forcing my morals/ethics/opinions on someone else. It's rather like watching a bad car accident - it's horrid to see (mangled metal, mangled people, etc) but you just can't look away.

Also, and I doubt the person in question considered this, many writers use their works as a means of dealing with their own problems. The fic becomes an outlet, an expression of everything the writer can't or won't talk to a third party about. I can recall one fic in where the writer used her personal experience of being raped and "tortured" a character. It was horrible to read, haunting my thoughts for days afterward. I wouldn't wish half the stuff she wrote about on my worst enemy. That said, I couldn't stop reading it. And it wasn't until the end I discovered the story was based on personal experience.

One more thing to add before moving on. 90 percent (might be more, but I'd bet not less) of the fanfics this person was referring to are written by women. Granted the characters are usually male, the point is it's women writing about horrible violating acts they would (hopefully) never wish to experience first hand. In a time when women are still not treated very well, some women find it cathartic to torture these fictional men. I don't necessarily agree with that line of thought, but I'm not gonna give someone grief about it either.

And, of course, if a man wrote a story like those in question he'd be hunted down and de-balled. It's a double standard, totally, and one I disagree with. Yeah, yeah, I know the argument about how it perpetuates violence against women and all that. But if one group can write it, then so can the other. It's part of free speech.

Another quote from the e-mail - "A good story has a plot, if you care for the characters you don't torture them more then necessary for the plot and if you really wanted people to like and read your writing for more then the sex and porn, you would write something worth reading."

Yes, a plot is nice to have but what the hell is wrong with a nice little PWP? My opinion is that if a fic is filled with nothing but torture and non-con for no particular reason it's a waste of space - ain't my cuppa though it may be someone else's and I'm fine with that. Just because a fic has no discernable plot (or one that's so thin it may as well be called plotless) does that make it not "worth reading"? A popular writer in the GW fandom writes fics that are basically all PWP's. Some have more involved plots than others, some are nothing but a way to get the characters between the sheets. By the sheer number of people who've subscribed to her personal ML I'd say her stuff is worth reading (it is! Yum!). Again, these types of fics are normally well labeled so readers who require a plot can by-pass the stories that are nothing but "sex and porn".

Personal opinion is just that - PERSONAL! I am so sick of being told what I should and shouldn't do/like/say I could scream. Just what fucking century are we living in here? I was under the impression free speech was alive and well. If this person had hi/er way it probably wouldn't be. Would it be better if we all thought the same thoughts, enjoyed the same things? No rational, free-thinking person could possibly answer 'yes' to that. It's our differences that make us individuals, that give us new inventions and allow the world to move forward instead of back. As long what I do does not compromise what you do in a negative way, what's the fucking problem?

Instead of bitching about violent fics, overly-sexed TV programs and other stuff of such ilk, turn the computer/TV OFF. If you know you'll be offended by something, stay away from it - simple concept, but one too many people fail to acknowledge. They want everyone to cater to their views, their opinions, but balk at accommodating someone else's. Yeah, right. Bite me. Don't expect me, or anyone else, to do for you what you are unwilling to do for us. You don't have to agree with another's choices, but if you want your own respected you have to be able to show the same respect in return.

{sighs} Now maybe I get back to writing. I feel the urge to needless torture a helpless G-boy {muhahahaha}.
03/24/02
Major heart-attack tonight. The gateway puter started emitting the most gawd-awful beeping sound. At first, I thought the stupid cable modem was going into self-destruct mode, but nope, it was the gateway puter. Losing either of those two devices - modem or puter - would be a major pain-in-the-ass. Looks like the cpu fan stopped working (hardly surprising given the crap I cleaned out of it) but is this a sign of things to come? The puter is old, pathetically so. It was supposed to be my play machine, the one I was going to learn Linux on {sigh}, but wound up performing it's current job because Rogers/Shaw charges waaay too much for additional IP's. Guess I have no choice but to get the server online asap. At least Trafalga will be happy with that.

Did lunch with the girls on Saturday. Dim-sum this time, instead of Japanese. Vicious and I finally convinced our other member not all Chinese food is created equal. The real stuff is soooo much better than that Westernized crap so prevalent around here.

Can't decide what I want to do with the still unopened 'Other Wanderings' section on the Sanctuary. Have a few ideas, but {shrugs} does the 'net really need yet another do-nothing destination full of images? I suppose I could pick one thing and concentrate on that, but that's not what I wanted. Inspiration is nowhere to be found right now. And there's still some blank spots in other areas that I should be working on. Motivation is also MIA.

Dunno what's up with Morpheus lately. Their new interface sucks the big one, and downloading is a bitch. Could be me, but I don't half the problems using WinMX that I do with Morpheus. Of course, WinMX crashes more often which totally pisses me off. All I want is a reliable P2P that doesn't install spy-ware with it. Probably a pipe-dream {blows a raspberry}.

Found out the cat has been using the old LP's as his personal scratching post. None of the platters were damaged, but...Fuck! Not much can be done about it though - won't dump the cat and there's simply no room to move the records elsewhere. And it reminded me I really need to start converting them all to mp3's - something that was supposed to be done a year ago. Geez, am I a procrastinator or what!

Time to go coax the muse out of hiding and get some more writing done - toodles {waves}
03/20/02
Today is officially the first day of spring. Sure couldn't tell by looking out my window. The LM got hammered by a freak snow storm... for two days. Didn't amount to much in some places (like my office) but around home it reached about 2-3 inches. Pissed of the cats, pissed off the hubby even more. The roads may be okay by the time I leave for work, but when he does, they're still crap - unplowed, unsalted and slicker than snot.

Spent a large chunk of the weekend updating one of the subsections on PE. Damn, wish a pile of money would just fall into my lap. So many things I'd love to get {sigh}. That's the one thing I hate about updating the GRP - lookie but no touchie.

Went to visit hubby's Grandmother. She moved from a house (in it 50+ years!) to an apartment. {snorts} Apartment my ass. I've seen smaller houses than this thing - it's huge! And the view is to die for. One side has a killer view of the local ski hill and the other overlooks the main bridge into town (when it's lit up at night the bridge is spectacular). And the shopping mall is literally right outside the main door... Gah!

I cannot understand why people hide malicious scripts in their web sites. I hit a site tonight that sent the ol' virus scanner into a frenzy. I mean, what is the fucking purpose here? Is it some sort of 'right of passage' to see how many 'puters you can fuck up? When I first started playing around with 'puters and 'dialing-in' we did it to see if it could be done - enter, look around, leave. Nothing was altered, no trojan's left behind, nada. Now days, god help you if you don't have a firewall and virus software. Apart from forcing people to buy protection software and make them distrust everyone and everything, what is being accomplished? Maybe I'm getting too old to understand this 'new breed' of 'puter user.

Blew out of work a few minutes early the other day and made the earlier train home. Besides getting home a half-hour earlier (what a difference that makes!) I got to yak with my girlfriend. Pity the 'other person' was there too. She's the type of female that put me off having any female friends for years. Unless the conversation revolves around her, she's really not interested in participating... at least it seems that way to me. And money is very (can't stress that word enough) important to her. I don't know if she finally paid her boyfriend for her half of the expenses when they went away, but last I heard she hadn't. The trip was before Xmas. It's not like she's strapped for cash - lives at home, doesn't pay rent, doesn't have any major expenses (maybe car payments) and yet she's dragging her feet. Come on already, pay the man! More and more, it's sounding like she's taking her boyfriend for a ride... and I don't mean the fun way!

After being hounded - by doctors and the patient himself - to get authorization to do a new eye, it finally came in. Should have had the authorization weeks ago, but the morons in Ottawa don't know their ass from a hole in the ground. 'Requests for prior approval go to the office closest to where the patient lives'. So I sent the request to the Yukon office. Wrong!! We don't have a billing number for the Yukon, so after sitting around that office for two weeks the paperwork was sent to the Vancouver office. Where it was promptly lost. Faxed copies to them and got the authorization within a day - hooray! But now try and contact the patient! He wants the new device like yesterday, but he doesn't call me back. Sheesh! If that doctor of his calls to chew on my ass again, I swear I'll chew back! Small note to the 'professionals'... office support staff are people too. Respect us, treat us with the same courteousness you like to receive. All that fruit salad after your name does not make you better than those without it. And for fuck's sake, don't give us crap over things we cannot control.

Ah... that feels better. A good rant and a CD of twisted tunes does wonders for clearing the mental channels. Time to pop all the oldies mp3's into the player... maybe some Gatch stuff too. Waaaay too many choices!
03/15/02
Citing a pathetically empty bank account, the wretched-colored blob called a bathroom sink still lives. The patch-job is holding just fine. Damn. I really wanted that thing gone. But, with one set of house taxes done, and another on the way, there is no hope of replacing the ugly thing. Sometimes, apartment living seems appealing again.

Other than that, I'm happy to say this week has gone very well. The boss' son has been in, learning the ropes and seeing if he wants to continue the family business. He's a sweet kid. Quiet though. I'm sure I'm probably scaring the shit out of him.

Finally got to talk to my girlfriend in Germany again. Until she moved there nearly six months ago, we chatted online every week for two years. But, with no computer and outrageous phone costs, that became impossible. She, or rather her son, has a flat-rate DSL line now so hopefully our chats can resume their regular schedule. Her presence has been sorely missed. GC babe, if you get to read this, know that I mean it when I say I miss you.
03/11/02
And with a resounding crack, the bathroom sink has joined its counterpart, the toilet, in death. A piece at a time, my bathroom is falling apart. Not that I'm entirely heartbroken - both items were a hideous shade of robins-egg blue - but I hate dealing with plumbing issues. The piping in this house is questionable, though it's not as bad as the electrical.

The built-in video on the back-up machine is heading towards death (fuck!). For months I thought the used monitor was the issue so today, when the words on the screen finally become completely illegible, I swapped monitors. There was no improvement at all. So no more AGP video on that system, I'm back to an old PCI vid card. Motherboards with the built-in audio and video may be more convenient and cheaper, but I'd rather spend the extra bucks and get separate components. If the mb hadn't been a gift, I never would have installed the sucker.

More vet bills look to be in the future again. Mr. I'm-tougher-than-you-are Cat decided to scrap it out today. Cuts and missing fur now adorn his orange and white hide, along with some peachy looking bites. So far, he seems okay but I suspect that will change. And knowing the way my cat fights, I'd hate to see the kitty he tangled with!

So that makes three mini-disasters today. Since things good and bad come in sets of three, I hope this is it for a while.
03/10/02
I hate website designing. Absolutely despise it. I am not creative in terms of making things look pretty.

Cold, hard, technical shit is my forte. Like hand coding all the pages on this, and every website I've done. Yes, it can be an incredible amount of work. Yes, it's time consuming. But! I know what every piece of code in the site does and how it relates to every other piece. Far greater flexibility and control doing it that way. Hrm... control... yeah, I'm a bit a control freak (thanks mom, appreciate that trait so much).

Don't get me wrong. There's lots I can do to gussy-up a site... if someone tells me where things should go, what images would look good, ect. I just can't think of that creative nicey-nicey shit myself. I don't see the colors or pictures, I really just see the code. It's not a pretty site that attracts me, but how it functions, how it's laid out. I've spent hours picking apart a website's source code just to figure out how something was accomplished. Hint to those who 'encrypt' their source code... give it up. It's not that hard to de-encrypt and by trying to hide your code, you're almost begging for someone to do so. Face it, there is nothing so unique in your code that you have to hide it. And accusations of code stealing are such bullshit, especially when many sites offer premade templates and scripts for personal use.

So, in terms of look, Personal Escapes (and all the subsections) will never amount to much in looks. The color schemes will change as I grow tired of them, pictures will change as I continue learning PS. But if you're expecting spectacular things... forget it. I've never had a day of formal training on html or with the graphics programs I use - too expensive and working full-time (and then some) pretty much means I have limited free time.

Functionality. That's what I aim for. I try for cross-browser functionality, but lately... with more and more people using only Internet Exploder I've drifted more that way. But things are still usable in Nutscrape. Probably Opera too, though I can't test that from home. Hell, I can barely test with NS at home - it keeps blowing up on me. There's an old saying that goes "the site's not done until Netscape won't run". In that case, I've achieved success.