Annoyed and grumpy.

To be clear that’s “being the subject of targeted annoyance” rather than “being in a free-floating annoyed state”. Because apparently there is at least one guy in the complex where I work who takes the sight of a woman walking down the hall and being engaged in something on her phone as a reason to pretend he’s going to run into her.

Not even joking. Direct quote: “I was just bugging you. Acting like we were going to run into each other. Because you were on your phone.”

Yes, sir. Yes, I was on my phone. And you successfully interrupted what I was doing, motivated by seeing that I was on my phone. For your next trick, perhaps you will interrupt someone who is not available to pay attention to you in a completely different way.

I am mostly over the irritation about this, but it feels like the week is shaping up to be a long week and this didn’t really help.

Changing times

My short story “Playing Prometheus” has been published at Persistent Visions! It can be read online here. And the art for it is absolutely gorgeous; I am deeply grateful to Dana Martin.

(Please note: there is a content warning at the top of the story.)

I’ve noticed that a lot of time travel stories suggest that good results only come of preserving the past, or of making changes by accident. “Playing Prometheus” is my attempt to engage with that.

I hope you enjoy it; I’ve done my best.

Interpretation

One of my favourite pairs of earrings is “Deciphering As Art“, by Elise Matthesen (whose other jewelry you can currently find on Etsy). They’re pretty simple; tiny squares of striated grey stone, with a grey fiber-optic bead dangling under them. They’re a beautiful, simple reminder of the process of taking something you’re actually presented with that  has a quality or a tendency,

I have been thinking about this a bit lately. I had a very long discussion about reconciling  Deadpool’s Rule (thank you, Foz Meadows) with calling out queerbaiting recently. The two points which came out of it were:

  • It’s reasonable to look at a character’s actions and interactions and draw the conclusion that said character is not straight without them explicitly naming themselves as such. (Deadpool’s Rule)
  • It’s reasonable to look at a creator (or creative team) that consistently refuses to give non-straight characters or interactions commensurate page time, screen time, and/or validation, and get frustrated and angry.
    (You might feel like you want to throw something at the interrelated shows which have a couple hundred episodes between them and have had canonically gay characters for nearly three years and have two married gay couples and still haven’t ever managed to have two guys kissing onscreen. Just as a for-instance.)

I generally assume interpretation of a character is going to be done in good faith. I may not agree with it, and in certain extremely rare cases[1] I may conclude that you are bringing some very specific preconceptions to the text, but I will assume it is being done in good faith. But just because you read a character as having a marginalized identity, it doesn’t mean you can’t want the work in which you found them in to do better.

Seeing something in a work that resonates with you doesn’t mean that the creator stood behind what you’re seeing. (It can! It often does! But it can also mean you’ve picked up on something the creator didn’t intend or didn’t want to showcase.) It doesn’t mean you’re endorsing the creator. And it’s okay to call out shortcomings, and to expect better.
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[1] Like the time someone told me I should keep in mind that Gregor Clegane had been bullied as a child for being the biggest and the strongest.