santa-of-the-subconscious asked:

No. Just shut up and stop. You can complain about "anti" whatever the minute you call out the fucksticks who have used racial, homophobic and ablelist slurs to people who aren't into Johnlock and whose only crime was expressing a preference for a non-Johnlock pairing. Unless and until you've done that, shut the fuck up with the faux-Pollyanna bullshit.

Dear stranger on the internet using strong language and a random, secondary blog to get around the fact that I switched off anon asks:

I’m sorry reading comprehension is such an obstacle for you. That must make things really hard in your life. Obviously I don’t know you, so I don’t know if you’re struggling with literacy generally, or if you just have a nasty tendency to descend into a red mist whenever someone who likes things you don’t like says something anywhere you might see or hear it. Either way, you have a problem.

One day, after you’ve got the help you need (literacy support, or just anger management) and you’re capable of understanding text on the internet, you’ll realize that you just told someone who expressed that she thinks “live and let live” is a better option than YOU LIKE A DIFFERENT THING THAN ME DIE IN A FIRE to shut the fuck up until she publicly states that we shouldn’t be mean to those who like things we don’t like. See the problem here?

You’ll probably feel like an idiot about this when you realize your logical misstep. You might feel embarrassed at how utterly ridiculous this is and how not very bright it makes you look. We’ve all been there. It won’t be fun, but hey, It’s a learning experience. One to grow on, as they say. Good thing you didn’t use your main blog to contact me, eh? Phew! Dodged a bullet!

Sincerely,

Ivy “Pollyanna” Blossom. These ringlets are real, honey.

Things I Consider to be True

  • Shipping is the act of enjoying the idea of two characters being in a romantic relationship with each other.
  • The vast majority of the time, you can’t be wrong about shipping. Because shipping is enjoying the idea of two characters being in a romantic relationship with each other, and the vast majority of people know whether they enjoy a ship. So no one’s wrong to ship a ship.*
  • Shipping is not the same as predicting things. Shipping is, as I say, the act of enjoying the idea of two characters being in a romantic relationship with each other. You can say YOU ARE AN IDIOT FOR LIKING SOMETHING I DON’T LIKE, AND YOU ARE VERY WRONG TO DO SO, but that kind of make you a jerk and unpleasant to be around.**
  • Some people enjoy making predictions. That is fair and reasonable fannish work.
  • Fans who enjoy making predictions are welcome to make them, publish them, and convince other people with them.
  • You might agree with the predictions of other fans.
  • You might disagree with the predictions of other fans.
  • If you feel moved to define your fannish presence as anti-whatever-it-is-someone-else-really-loves-or-believes, you should probably ask yourself why. Do you not love anything enough to be defined by that instead?***
  • Love is better than hate, on the whole.
  • You can be thoughtful, interesting, and challenging without being mean and disrespectful to other fans.
  • You don’t need to live in a tumblr tag and police everything that happens there. You can find the people who post the kinds of things you enjoy and follow them. Then you can create the dashboard of your dreams. It’s pretty great. Seriously.

* I say the vast majority of the time, because there is probably someone out there who is, as we speak, trying really hard to ship something that they don’t yet realize that they don’t ship, and must be, at this very moment, very confused about why shipping what they ship doesn’t bring them the pleasure shipping that ship brings other people. Self-knowledge is complicated sometimes. 

** I was being kind. It doesn’t kind of make you a jerk and unpleasant to be around. It makes you a jerk and unpleasant to be around. Try not to be a jerk. Everyone’s unpleasant to be around from time to time, don’t beat yourself up.

*** Just asking.

amazinghowfire asked:

Sorry, I saw that you're a librarian and I was just wondering if you have any advice for people who want to possibly be a librarian... I've heard getting hired is hard.

I get this question a lot, so I’ll answer it in public in case anyone else wants to know the answer. Warning: frustrated librarian snark ahead.

[[MORE]]There are a lot of un- or under-employed librarians in the world right now. But it’s not that there are too few jobs, though I suppose from the perspective of an un- or under-employed librarian, there certainly are too few jobs. 

But the real problem, to my mind, is that the concept of “librarian” tends to attract a particular kind of person to the profession, and the profession does not need that kind of person at this time. Not to put too fine a point on it. 

People who tend to be attracted to librarianship are quiet, introverted, solitude-loving white women who love books. They think that librarianship is about sitting with books all day and lovingly petting their spines, and that’s what they want to do with their lives. They love the idea of keeping and storing pretty much everything just in case, obsessively organize their bookshelves alphabetically (ugh), and are so bent on their bookish solitude that they will bring a novel to read when going out to dinner with friends. They tend to be opposed to ebooks and digital media on moral grounds. They make jokes about how their paper journals don’t have a 140 character limit. They think the feel and smell of paper is, inexplicably, more important than accessibility of material to people with disabilities. (I will never understand this.)

The problem is that librarianship is actually a technology-rich service profession. It’s about helping people, all sorts of people, all the time, often with or using digital material and tools. Everyone thinks a good librarian is an introvert stashed away behind the rows of books, but if the idea of talking to strangers for hours makes you feel ill, you will struggle to find a job as a librarian. Can you get up in front of a room full of people and explain a thing? Can you confront a new digital tool or gadget with excitement and enthusiasm? Are you interested in the idea of designing and assessing public services, public spaces, innovative online services, or managing a staff? If not, librarianship will be a problem for you. 

The future of libraries will be digital. At its heart, any library is about the free and easy flow of information, so the online world must become a librarian’s natural home. Librarians must innovate and reinvent themselves in order to remain relevant. The profession is in a state of flux as everyone panics in this digital, semantic, connected context. 90% of us are so paper-loving and digital-hating that we are functionally unable to do this. So when a library is hiring, they’re usually aiming for new blood capable of confronting these challenges. They think young people will be better at these things, but they’re wrong.

Most people who are attracted to the profession right now are pining for a simpler world. Many would prefer to be a librarian in the mid 50s, and think that’s what we want from them. When they come to interview, they think they have found their people. They’re probably not wrong. But we know we’ve made a mistake. We’re sinking, and we can’t take them with us.

I can’t tell you how many librarians I know who don’t like computers or the internet. They think the internet is for other people. For young people, most of the time. The internet is made of information, and librarians are meant to be information professionals. But if you ever see someone wearing a button that says “HUMAN SEARCH ENGINE” and thinks Google is some kind of hideous abomination trying to keyword search them out of a job, you’re definitely looking at a librarian. Go figure.

When a committee gets together to hire a new librarian, they are looking for an innovator. They are looking for a people-person interested in providing good service to patrons, and in developing the library’s relationship to its community. They want someone who is not afraid of technology, and in fact soaks in it on a regular basis with relish. They want someone filled with enthusiasm and passion for people, community, and technology, someone with vision and the ability to articulate it, someone willing to experiment and explore what comes at them, someone flexible and not afraid of radical change. They need someone who can be compassionate towards every patron who walks in the door. They desperately need someone who understands the devices, computers, the internet in general, social media, project management, customer service, and marketing. 

None of those things are what people think about when they think “librarian.” Talk about a branding problem, eh?

Don’t get me wrong, we love books. Who doesn’t love books? We all love books! I write books for fun in my spare time! My bookshelves are groaning with books! But loving books does not qualify anyone to be a librarian, and that’s the bit prospective librarians often fail to understand. Unfortunately, 95% of the people who go to library school think their love of books will get them a job, and it won’t. We interview those people, they tell us they want to be a librarian because they love books, and we think, we've already got a dozen of you

If you are an intelligent person who isn’t afraid of new technologies, have experience with and knowledge of how online tools work, are willing to play and explore new stuff as it comes along and if you’re not afraid of change, if you enjoy working with and helping people, can manage public speaking without getting freaked out, if have passion and enthusiasm to share and want to make the world a better place, please. If this is you, go to library school. We need you.

Does Mary Know?

I wrote a story post series 2 that proposed that John came to realize how he felt about Sherlock after Sherlock was apparently dead. While fanfiction can definitely be a meta argument of a kind, that one in particular isn’t one I would ever make.

I’m pretty convinced that John is already clear about his feelings for Sherlock through most of series 2. If Sherlock hadn’t taken a flying leap at the end, I would have written a story about John’s emotional journey towards accepting his feelings for Sherlock and set it entirely inside the earliest parts of A Scandal in Belgravia, which is where I think most of that internal action probably happened.

I think John is well aware of how he feels about Sherlock. But he won’t admit to it out loud. That’s what he won’t say to his therapist, isn’t it? And it’s what he doesn’t say at Sherlock’s grave. It doesn’t say it to Sherlock’s face in the train in The Empty Hearse either, which was another logical place to say it. It seems as if it’s something John physically can’t say.

So does he ever tell Mary?

Read More

I write things down when I have had a variety of thinks and want to share them, but  also just for the simple pleasure of stringing words together. Just that. I like it. I love words. I love them in strings.*

And then people ask me things about what I’ve said and i realize I’ve basically said nothing at all.  I have made no firm statement. I have neither agreed nor disagreed, I have expressed no strong opinion.

It’s just the act of putting one word in front of another about things I’ve thought about, it appeals to me. I write about things I am not done thinking about. I love it, what can I say. Should I stop? I don’t want to.

But then I think, you know, maybe that’s the point. Not everything has to be polarizing. Not everything has to be “you’re with me or you’re against me,” right? There’s still room for neither/nor. And if there isn’t, we should make some room for it again, because it’s fun. Not everything has to be a strong opinion for you to agree or disagree with. Right?

I’m not here to be right about things. I just like to think and write. An re-think, and write some more! And learn from someone else’s thinks, and re-think, and write again! The neverending cycle! That’s the middle ground where we just let things out and simmer them in this collective soup of thoughts and ideas. Not all of them are useful. Not all of them are right. None of it’s really meant to be right. It just is. That’s okay, right?

*I love you, wordstrings.

I’m going to assume you know what I’m talking about.

Well, I mean. He isn’t wrong.

He knows more about fandom than I would have expected. I might have reached the point where I’ve stopped being entirely surprised by that, but that’s more information about what goes on in fandom that I would have expected from someone on the powers that be side of things.

That’s not the art or the fics, that’s the politics of meta and argument and passionate debating about what it all means, in the end. Should I be surprised that anyone involved in a show would dig down that deep into our world to see that sort of thing? It’s not really about digging down anymore. That’s the wrong metaphor. Everything is on the surface now. I’ve stopped being surprised.

There is a point where fandom activity and discussion is about something beyond a piece of fiction, no matter how beautiful, well-written, well-acted, or well-shot. There’s a point where the language of fandom becomes a way to make sense of the world, and to determine what is right, and what is righteous, and what is a part of the problem. It’s the marriage of social justice and fandom, something many people want to conflate with slash fandom culture, or meta fandom culture, but is actually its own thing altogether.

Fandom is a community that starts with a piece of fiction, so it makes sense that the fan community would take the lessons it’s learning from social justice and see problems in that piece of fiction, or problems in interrogating and enjoying that piece of fiction, as community problems to be solved out loud. Sometimes it might seem ridiculous, but I think it comes from a good place. Fiction, and fandom, becomes the stage on which to have a different conversation, for good or for ill, rightly or wrongly.

In the sixties and seventies, wearing lipstick was seen as an act that made a woman complicit in her objectification as a sexualized ornament. In communist Croatia, wearing lipstick was an act of political rebellion. Sometimes things that seem trivial on the outside have a lot of meaning on the inside.

You can look at something from your own perspective and say, “but that’s silly, you’re blowing everything out of proportion, that little bit of fiction doesn’t really mean what you say it means.” But everything has a context. If you’re not on the inside, and don’t know what all those things mean in that universe, you won’t understand the message. Or maybe you’re right: maybe it’s completely wrong. That happens. Blown out of proportion, things going to extremes, ultimatums, emotions running too high. People tying things together that shouldn’t be. Or maybe it just doesn’t mean the same thing in your context. Maybe it’s just not a message for you.

Anyway. I can’t even tell where the fourth wall used to be anymore.