I was going to cut this, but couldn't decide where, so scroll if you don't want a rant with mentions of misogyny, homophobia, and racism.

You'll notice that I used AND instead of VERSUS in my subject line because unlike what seems like most of the rest of the Sherlock Holmes-loving world, I like them both.

Shocking, I know.  Blasphemy!  I, a woman of thirty-six years and reasonable intelligence, can actually like two shows about the same character who have completely different approaches AT THE SAME TIME!

My sarcasm, it is showing.  Mostly because I'm more than a little irritated that someone actually blocked me on Facebook over this shit (a while ago, actually, this rant has been building for that time - I figured I should get it out before it boiled over).  For that, I think they are an asshat.  They were also an LJ friend and guess what?  I blocked them from this journal.  Because I can be online petty too.

For the record, it took me a few episodes to get into the groove of "Elementary."  I wasn't sure about having Joan instead of John (for probably a lot of the same misogynistic reasons as those who absolutely refuse to watch it, even if I didn't want to admit it) and was even less sure about Jonny Lee Miller's ability to play Sherlock.  Guess what?  He pulls it off.  He is not Benedict Cumberbatch, but he's not TRYING to be.  Miller is is own version of the character.

I started to compare them, but there is no comparison - they might as well be playing completely different roles.  Well, what do you know?  They ARE playing two different roles, neither one doing a "better" job at it than the other.  They each capture Sherlock Holmes in the modern world, they simply approach it very differently.  And I like them both.

Did you hear that?  I.  Like.  Them.  BOTH!

It bears repeating, because I don't feel like I should be forced to choose here.  There is no "side," no "right" or "wrong."  They're both good in their own way.  They each have strengths and weaknesses, neither of which do I wish to discuss at length, mostly because I've seen "Elementary" more recently and so right now I like it more.  When "Sherlock" comes back, I'll probably like it more for while I have it.  It's a matter of changing gears, not fucking RELIGIONS.

Also for the record, I don't give a flying fuck about CBS "not being true to the character" by moving him to New York and giving him an amazing woman partner.  Nor do I give a flying fuck about those who say that CBS "just wanted to cash in on the popularity of BBC's "Sherlock."  Um, yeah - that's what TV networks do.  And sorry boys and girls (I would say men and woman, but the people in this "debate" have shown themselves to be little more than silly children), but neither concept is anymore "true" to Conan Doyle's work than Robert Downey Jr.'s version is.

Fact: John and Sherlock may be your slash OTP, but in the original, Victorian-era canon, they were friends and Watson was married.  To a woman. 

Fact: in the BBC's "Sherlock," both John AND Sherlock have shown attraction to women.  That's not to say that they can't also love each other romantically (hello, bisexual poly woman here), but they are not shown as sexual towards each other.  If anything, Sherlock is shown as being more asexual, with the exception of Irene Adler.  There have been a lot of jokes about John and Watson getting or being together in "Sherlock" canon, but as others have pointed out far more eloquently than I, "bromances" and "winks to the camera" do not equal gay inclusion. 

So sorry slashers, it's not homophobia to turn Watson into a woman for a new TV show.  For "Sherlock" fan fiction, I can see the argument because writers are changing the canon gender of a character because they don't like the idea of two cis-men together. 

For an entirely new show, no, though I do see where you're arguing from.  Your argument is flawed, but I see it.

Fact: the backlash of misogyny and racism against Lucy Liu since "Elementary" came out has been disgusting in the extreme, especially since she is made of total awesome in the role.  Martin Freeman can kiss her beautiful ass, as well.  Don't fucking tell me he was joking.  It was unfunny, m'kay?

To be honest, all of this bullshit (along with the mods of horror at the most popular "Sherlock" LJ site) have kind of turned me off "Sherlock."  I'm not saying I won't watch it (though it's now rather in the category of "liking a problematic thing"), but I'm avoiding the fandom even more ardently since I got blocked on Facebook for telling someone I felt they were missing out* to summarily dismiss "Elementary," because they were "completely opposed to Watson being a woman."

Why?  There is no answer to that question that I've seen so far that isn't rooted in misogyny.  Somewhere.  Yes, Watson was canonically male.  But canonically, both Holmes and Watson lived over 100 years ago, so canon is pretty much out the window the moment writers take a modern take on it.

Vaginas are icky, I guess.  And heaven forbid a vagina come anywhere near beloved characters that have been redone and remade so many times I think that only "The Three Musketeers" have them beat for variety of productions.

Finally, to be perfectly clear, I'm not saying that anyone has to watch or like either show.  However, I am saying that it's possible to enjoy both without it being some epic battle over who is more awesome.  And I also think it's wrong to judge something without having watched a single fucking episode.  Now, there are those who say that one can judge something by its previews ("Battleship," anyone?), but when most of the negative press has more to do with casting decisions than actual acting critiques, I start to smell a misogynistic, racist rat.

*The person argued that I wasn't respecting their judgment by saying they were missing out.  They're right.  I wasn't.  And I'm not apologizing for it, especially since they blocked me on Facebook over it because they didn't like my telling them (fairly nicely, I thought) that they were full of shit. 
As always, [livejournal.com profile] sparkindarkness has said everything far better than I ever could here.  Please read what he has to say.  Thank you.
Sadly, I can't link to it here because it has the person's real name attached, but there's a viral image on Facebook that is a screencap of the following status:

I caught my son walking home with the gay kid from across the street.  My hand and his butt are going to be sore for the rest of the night.

A friend re-posted the image with the following caption:

Complete parenting fail.  The best way to teach your children hate and bigotry is to violently abuse them.

As her name was on it (she has an uncommon name and the pictures matched), I sent her the following message with the picture attached:

I wanted you to know that your incredibly awful parenting has gone viral. Congratulations on teaching your son hate, bigotry, and fear through abuse. You are disgusting and should be ashamed of yourself.

She'll probably be able to get the image pulled if she reports it to Facebook, but for now I'm happy to see her publicly shamed for being an intolerant child abuser.  There's also a fan page that's been set up to bash her with the tag line, "Proud homophobe and child abuser."

If there's anyone out there thinking that I (or anyone else) shouldn't sink to her level by shaming her, bothering her with messages, or any other such rot, allow me to remind you that she's the one who hit her child because he walked home with a child who may or may not be gay.  If you're on her side in any way, shape, or form, your comments aren't welcome here.
So I had a dream last night (bear with me, because I know that studies have shown that nothing is more boring than listening to other people's dreams), I had a dream that we actually had to say in person everything we wrote online to the people we were saying it about/to. 

It was intense.  It was probably also prompted by this post by [livejournal.com profile] sparkindarkness, which features a video from Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters showcasing the homophobic tweets that people sent #tomyunbornchild.

In any case, I'd really like for all of you to take a moment and think about everything you've ever written about/to anyone on the internet.  Now imagine them standing in front of you.

How many of you would still call them the names you've called them online?  Some of you would, I know.  Some of you aren't cowards, hiding behind screen names or sometimes not even that.  Some of you would own what you say, think, and feel, by saying it to a person's face.

But many of you wouldn't.  Because to many of you, the people represented by every line of text one finds online (even the bots were programmed by someone), EVERYONE is a bot.  No one is real.  We're all just characters in a big game.  Some of it is human socialization.  When interacting with others I think it's 70% how you look, 20% how you say something, and 10% what you actually said (numbers pulled directly from my ass, but I think they're pretty close to reality). 

Online, it's 100% what you said.  Online, we are what we type.  Not only that, but unlike with most face-to-face interaction, there is no body language, no nuance of expression, nothing but words on a screen.  To many of you, that's all I am, for better or worse, I'm words on a screen. 

I've said and done hurtful things, both in person and online.  Online, it's forever.  There is no way to "make up" with someone online, not really, because the connection is at once tenuous and permanent.  If I misspeak offline, I still may make an enemy for life (or at least lose a chance at a friendship), but let's be honest here - human memory fades and it's much easier to make amends to a person than a screen name.

The internet doesn't fade.  The internet is forever.  Every poor choice of words, shitty opinion, sleepy tirade, or stupid comment is just there.  Even if someone deletes, there are screencaps and WayBack machines. 

Where am I going with this?  I'm not really sure, I just needed to articulate my unease with the idea that to many people with whom I interact online, I'm not a real person.  Why else would so many people call the world outside the internet "real life," when in fact it is "offline life?"  ([livejournal.com profile] rm did a good post about this a while back that I'm too lazy to go and look up.)

I remember once reading a fiction story that described a mental disorder in which a person didn't believe that every person around them was in fact "real."  They knew that they were "real," and felt that others could be "real" as well, but for them most people were simply two-dimensional characters, with no true thoughts, feelings, or lives of their own. 

I am not a character in Sim City.  Neither are you.  What we say and do here may be escapism from everyday pressures such as bills, work, homophobia, racism, sexism, or just the general pain of living, but everyone with whom we interact has problems, maybe not just like ours, but problems all the same.  Everyone has pain.  Everyone has tragedy.  Your pain does not make my pain less, nor does my pain make your pain less, nor should it.  We are all human beings. 

We all have privilege to one degree or another (simply the act of being able to get online to read this- Hell, simply the act of reading is a privilege), but there is no one can see this who has not suffered.  No one who has not felt pain or loss or alienation from others.

And the internet is the ultimate alienation.  We're all just words on a screen to one another, which means that far more than with face-to-face or even telephone interactions, we must choose our words with care, thoughtfulness, and patience.  We must not be rash, or hasty, or cruel if we can avoid it.

But we are.  Unless you're a total lurker (as I was for many years - ah, the salad days!), the odds are good that you've said or done something online that has hurt someone else.  That hurt has been real.  It was a real person you were calling horrible and while you may have felt they deserved it (and they certainly may have), I still have to ask - Would you have said it to their face?"  Or signed the name that people know you face-to-face to it?

Do you own what you say, think, and feel here where you don't have to?  Would you say everything you think of me if we met offline?

I hope you would.  I hope I would.  Actually, I know I would because I have.  I've told people that I just met that they had terrible opinions and I've called people out at work and school when they've said something nasty.  Not every time, but then, I don't engage every time online, either.  And just as with here, I don't win friends and influence people... but sometimes I do, :). 

Again, where am I going with this?  Nowhere, obviously.  I'm just a 35-year-old, white, US-born woman, sitting in my pajamas in an office chair with a tabby cat on my desk in my messy office, listening to my bed call my name because I can go back and sleep a little longer today before I go to work, writing about a dream I had last night. 

I have homework to do, bills to pay, and paperwork I need to file.  I have problems.  I have pain.  I broke down crying for a moment last night when I saw the same tabby cat that's sitting on my desk right now out of the corner of my eye and for a moment, my brain forgot Buttons was dead.  I have joy.  I cuddled up with my husband last night and I'm done with school for the week.  I also cooked myself chicken for breakfast.

I'm a boring, ordinary, living, breathing human being with an average number of problems that are almost certainly worse in my head than they are in reality. 

I'm real, though.  I'm a real person with real thoughts, real feelings, and real pain.  You can hurt me, if you have that desire. 

I am a living, breathing human being.  Nothing more, but certainly nothing less.

And so are all of you.  I'm going to try to do better about remembering that. 

I would sign my full name to this, but that's against LJ's TOS, so I'll just say - Eh, perhaps not.

With warmest regards,

Beverly J. Horsley
So Keith Olbermann and I definitely don't agree on everything.  I've actually written him e-mails in the past chastising him for equating a female political figure to a prostitute and for contributing to the rape culture.

Tonight, though, may be where Keith and I part ways.  In his "Worst Persons" segment for December 13, 2011, Keith has the "Runner Up" as Joe Amendola, Jerry Sandusky's lawyer, who invited people to dial 1-800-REALITY if they believed the witness statements.

Yeah, someone (deadspin.com) called 1-800-REALITY and it's a gay men's sex hotline. 

Cut for homosexuality & references to pedophilia in the same sentence, :(. )

I feel utterly sick about this.  Yeah, I already knew that Keith Olbermann wasn't perfect, but -  And the "but" is what's killing me.  I've let a lot of his behavior slide because most of the time, what he has to say is worth hearing.  However, to be absolutely fair, I usually watch his show on fast-forward, just watching headlines and skipping most of the pundits, so I may have missed a lot more fail in the past.  It's going to take him owning up to this egregious error for him to regain my respect after this.  I'll also be interested to see if anyone else comments about his homophobic choice of words.

What makes this even more horrible is that I used to think that his Special Comment on Prop 8 was one of the best things I'd ever heard a straight ally say. 
A Few More Powerful Responses to 'I'm Christian, Unless You're Gay'

This is pretty cool. 

ETA: Since something got lost in translation, I want to make it clear that I'm sharing these because I think they're AWESOME! 

They've restored some of my faith in humanity, honestly.
So about 18 months ago, I defended someone who was using a "Grammar Nazi" icon.  It was a shitty thing to do, I was rightly called out for it and since then I've become more aware of the word and have started calling people out when I see them using it to mean anything other than "people who support or supported Hitler". 

So now, 18 months later, someone's passing around a spelling meme on Facebook and captioned it, "For all you Grammar Nazis Out There".  I said something to the originator of the meme.  Was argued with.  Twice.  And so posted the following as my status:

Things that are Nazis: People who support or supported Hitler and his ideology.
Things that are not Nazis: Everyone else.
Please do not confuse one with the other. Thank you.
The following conversation ensued:

Cut for length and epic stupidity. )ETA: Random Commenter #2 )Cut for length and epic stupidity. )

ETA 2: The Jackass' response and more conversation. )
ETA 3: Yet another response from the jackass and my response. )ETA 4: Deep. Hurting. Yep, he responded again and derailed the conversation so far off the original point that I have no clue how to get it back on track. I tried, though. )
ETA 5: Jackass: I understand that you're offended by me using the term "IT Nazi". Well, I am not going to change it. )


Here's the thing, 18 months ago, I was that jackass.

Cut for length.  )
Warning: Possible triggers for slurs in both the comments and the post.  Also, general asshattery. 
[livejournal.com profile] sparkindarkness just posted an entry regarding the fetishization of gay men, especially that of a few well-known actors who've come out recently.  He also made me aware of this disgusting "You Know You're Addicted To Slash" meme, upon which I will now comment:

Cut for length and homophobia. )

Some of you might think I'm being hypocritical here because I both read and write slash (and I'll admit, the majority of what I read online is slash). 


When I write it, I try to treat the characters with respect, not as poseable fuck dolls.  And when I'm reading it, I stay away from authors who write nothing but stereotypes.  It's a fine line, perhaps, which is why I'm trying to stay on the correct side of it and not forget that I'm reading about people.  Fictional people, yes, but still - characterization is important.  Treating the subject matter with respect is important.  More than important - respect for what one is reading and writing is just basic human decency.

One final word on fetishization.  I'm a bisexual woman.  Men are very "accepting" of me and my sexuality.  Because they think it's "hot".  They could care less about me or any woman I might have sex with as people - all they care about is being allowed to watch.  

If you care about the rights of BGLTQP people even when they aren't providing you with entertainment, you're someone I'd like to know and be around.  However, if you only think of us in terms of the entertainment we can provide to you - fuck off.   
[Error: unknown template qotd]I would erase the intrinsic idea that most human beings have that anyone "Other" is someone to be feared.  I know the place where it comes from is one that helped our ancestors to survive (because it told us that the thing that went "bump" in the night might be a bear coming to eat us or that a stranger might be a drain on resources already stretched thin by subsistence living), but I'd truly rather that our species never have made it to this point, instead of us being sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic and generally horrible to anyone who doesn't fit within our specific definition of "normal" (which is something that literally varies from person to person and no one really has set values for anyway).

Cut for length and mentions of harm. )

Bottom line:  I would erase all of the excuses and justifications that people use to rationalize hurting those who are different from them.   
Is what Michell Bachman actually says in the first fifteen seconds of this video.  Normally, I leave stuff like this on Facebook, but this one I want shared as far as I can share it.  She's an empty-headed, mega-mega-homophobic, racist (see video under the cut), disgusting excuse for a human being (who's married to same).  It's like the entire GOP is in a race to see which of them can be the worstRon Paul's a white supremacistRick Perry is just scary.  Mitt Romney's looking like the least evil and even he can't keep his temper under fire.  Note:  All of these links were from my personal wall on Facebook in the last TWO WEEKS. Read more... )
Inspired by more than one comment on the post that this post links to, I'm finally going to weigh in on the whole anti-PC, thought-police, this-word-has-another-meaning-and-no-one-can-own-a-word, I-don't have-to-change-simply-because-you're-offended school of thought.

I'm going to begin by saying that I'm guilty of using pretty much every word that is at issue at one point or another, some as recently as last year, so I'm not saying that I'm not in a glass house here. 


For those who are against changing their language to remove certain words from their vocabularies because another person is offended by it, I ask the following question:

Who does it hurt? 

Seriously, who does it hurt to make the effort not to use words that others have found offensive?  I know that it's an effort to do so, so I guess someone could argue that it's hurting them by virtue of the fact that changing one's vocabulary and deleting certain words is hella difficult...  Well, I have to say that it's more difficult in the offline world, but online?  It's as easy as being careful of what one types.  I realize that for some, who type as quickly as they think, that could be a challenge, but seriously?  Who does it hurt?  Why is it such a big deal to just not be an asshat when someone asks you to do so?

Cut for possible triggers and an incomplete list of incredibly offensive slurs that everyone should know not to use. Ever.  )And because I've been educating myself a bunch lately, here are a bunch of links that all say all of this a lot better than I just did.

101 Primer

[livejournal.com profile] sparkindarkness' entire journal.

Read all of that and then come back to discuss, if you wish, :).

ETA: Proof that not being an asshat is an ongoing battle: Weak is ableist.  Thank you to [livejournal.com profile] 51stcenturyfox  for letting me know, :).

ETA 2: My comment thread on the post that started all of this is here

ETA 3: Drama communities are probably not the best place to start, lol, but if it were not for them I never would have found most of this stuff out, which is why I mentioned them.  The best place to start is with the 101 Primer and go from there, :).

This post has now been edited because my essential message was being lost and I was doing more harm than good by defending my position on one phrase.  Most of the comments regarding that phrase have now been screened.  I'm not a PoC, so my feelings on that phrase don't matter whatsoever and continuing to argue about it only detracts from the essential point of what I was trying to say. 

I apologize for the drama.

For the record I am US-born, white, queer though I easily pass for both female and straight, and able-bodied.  I have no personal experience with physical, racial or ethnic discrimination and I apologize for speaking for those groups as if I were personally invested in those particular slurs not being used.

The areas in which I have personal experience and/or a personal investment include: feminism/sexim, sex work, body image/food, sexual freedom, BGLTQP rights/homophobia, bullying, child abuse, the US foster care system, the US health care system, PTSD, anxiety, depression and mental health.  



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