Saturday, December 28, 2013

Feminism and Kill La Kill?

//Kill La Kill quasi-spoilers ensue.

So I really have no idea what to think of Kill La Kill.  On one hand, its portrayal of women is highly sexualized.  I mean, its portrayal of men is also sexualized, so you could say the whole show is just sexualized, which is true, but it's pretty skewed nonetheless.  So it's definitely fanservice for male otaku, and I feel like that should make me uncomfortable.  But there are certainly statements that are girl-positive.  And in Japan, it seems that a lot of hyper-feminine things are used as leverage points for women to feel more confident.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Politics should be Radical

How I think government should work:

  • Pure democracy:  everything is a referendum.  No representatives.  No political leaders.
  • Rewrite our Constitution every twenty years

My personal political views:

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A few words for Frank Wolf

Francis Lapointe, known as Frank Wolf, was a man inspired by aesthetic beauty.  He was a model.  He spent a lot of time decorating his body.  He shattered conventions of style, and of gender, in an attempt to convey his perception of the corporeal.

On the Internet, including his facebook page, he put himself on display.  He made himself vulnerable to critique, to objectification, to the poring eyes of countless strangers.  Regardless of the obstacles he would have known he would face, it was something that he found meaning in.  He was courageous enough to put himself out on the Internet for this vision.

He was harassed.  He committed suicide.  He was 31 days older than me.  He died at the age of 20.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Furries (A Paper for an Honors Seminar)

Austin Tamutus
Dr. Marianne Dekoven
The Question of The Animal
December 10, 2013


There is much discourse and dialogue about the relations and parallels between humans and animals.  Many literary works investigate the boundary between humans and other species.  Although not many affirmative statements can be made about the prototypical representation of animals in literature, the liminality of the boundary between humans and nonhumans is addressed, by literature and scientific research, in a predominantly anthropocentric fashion.  Zoomorphism, the reciprocal of anthropomorphism, finds its home in a much different walk of life:  the "furry" subculture, internally known as the "Furry Fandom".  This paper will address the demographics of the furry fandom as preliminary overview, then delve into a review of what the significance of the furry fandom may be, as well as the meaning of how furry artwork and literature use animals and their characteristics to portray characters.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

How to Talk to Animals

Trailer and launch in the same day?  This tutorial has a preface that provides some useful information I've gained in my collegiate education that provides a broader understanding of the subject of communication and language.  If you want more than the specific heuristics below, and want to understand how I've come up with them, check out that previous post.

Let's begin this monologue with an observation about myself:  I wouldn't say I have a personality that is instantly endearing to pets.  When a dog or cat comes up to sniff me for the first time, I could just be any human.  There is no instant connection, there's nothing special about my demeanor or identity that draws animals to me.

But in my experience, after I've spent time with animals, I form pretty strong friendships with them.  I consider pets to be family, and I would say that pets of mine have all grown to consider me either a friend or a "family" member of sorts.  People are impressed by how much pets like me.

I assure you that it is not a reflection of anything impressive about me.  I am not special.  I simply allow animals to interact with me on their terms.  I respect them, and I listen to them, and they ultimately appreciate that.  So, I'm well-liked by nonhumans who I've spent a lot of time with.  Especially if we're talking about cats.  Cats like me more than they like most people.  Dogs are naturally social with humans, but cats have to build those social bonds from scratch.

I believe I understand how to interact with animals.  I'd like to share specific heuristics for doing so, rules of thumb for what to do to understand your pet.  As subtle as it is, I think I've done enough introspection about it, and I have enough education in cognitive science that I think I can do a good job explaining this.

So, if you want to "talk to animals", then this is your guide from a first generation immigrant who's slowly picking up the language.  I'll discuss first how to listen appropriately, then how to convey what's on your mind.

Preface to "How to Talk to Animals"

My life mission is to find a way to use language to communicate with some species of nonhuman animals.  I specify "language" because language provides communicative power that is far beyond the type of communication with animals that can currently exist.  That is not, however, to say that we cannot communicate with animals.

I will write a blog entry about how to communicate with animals.  First, though, I'd like to give background that is helpful in putting that advice into perspective, and providing evidence that my what I have to say is right.  This post will be a preface to one subsequent that actually gives useful instructions.