blog.rupamsunyata.org

Decklin’s excuse for some blogging software. Est. 2006.

I USED A HAIR DRYER

So the Dig has had those extremely sketchy American Apparel ads (all AA ads are extremely sketchy AA ads, I think) on the back page of late. This was, according to my ex who worked there, why they went to a glossy cover last year; more advertisers. You can imagine someone sitting in a back room, shirt open to the waist, chewing a cigar, saying, "No, no, no. This newsprint just isn't creepy enough. And get me a model who looks more underage. Hey, tits! It's late for my 2PM blow job."

But I digress. What caught my eye this week was this: they have brought back the Hypercolor t-shirt. Their own updated generic version, yes, but if you grew up when and where I did, a Hypercolor t-shirt is a Hypercolor t-shirt. I guess if the only place you can move on from aping the 1980s is aping 1990, the only way you can push past postmodernizing abstract styles is postmodernizing actual sui generis fads (or, if you want to be more charitable, objects).

As a way of looking at my childhood I find this striking. Maybe there was a point when I was too young to understand it where you stopped having a role -- which member of the Breakfast Club are you? -- and started being a collection of attitudes towards products. For example, here is the actual reason I posted anything about this: the greatest picture on Wikipedia, ever. In an alternate universe, I could be a hipster dumping this on my tumblr without commentary. Frantically collecting objects as a definition of myself, but wearing something from AA that fetishizes a generic past, a past we can make ironic because it is so malleable.

Borrowed nostalgia for the unremembered, as a great man once put it. I do honestly believe that all the fetish imagery AA deals in is really about that, and not sex. When we were that old, sex was something else entirely.

No Installation Required

So, I haven't blogged in almost a year. I am a horrible, horrible, horrible person. But at least I've been on LowThresholdNmu. Barely.

Since I still read a blog or two so that I can pretend to be informed: I really like this post. I would make a comment about the bumper sticker on the Prius normally parked around my part of ye olde Prospect Hill, but then people might think I was actually talking about politics or oil or cars or gentrification or something like that. It's a violent world out here on the interweb. One can only be oblique.

When did I get so old? Did I fit in at some point? I really don't know.

Irony Alert

The other day I went back to the West Hartford library for some more DVDs and stopped by the New Non-Fiction shelf. This book caught my eye. It claimed to be a lexicon of euphemisms, “doublespeak”, and other language used in the US to disguise one’s true opinion, assumptions, or political agenda (you know how we love politics over here). An Ambrose Beirce for the talking head set, if you will.

So I flipped through it for a bit, and to be fair, the authors did do a commendable job of pointing out some of the subtle presumptions of many words that I myself think I use completely innocently. Even if I try to directly combat this tendency in my own way, one could certainly argue that ideas like systemic bias or jargon themselves implicate or demonize certain groups.

But that's why we need something like this book, right? Have to keep on our toes. Then I landed on H. The first entry was “hacktivism”.

“...which,” it read, “like hacking, is illegal...”

I know, it really *isn’t* surprising

When this headline on Pandagon pops up in your feedreader, you get the sort of feeling a parent might have when the principal calls. I wrote a long and typo-ridden comment. (I gotta stop linking back to that same entry.)

Come to think of it, that’s kind of the same feeling I have every time Andrew Suffield sends something to a mailing list that users and/or the general public read...

Resisting the urge to say STFU

On most technical forums, and even when IRC is not being technical, I tend to hold off on volunteering opinions because I don’t want to seem, I suppose, arrogant, and because someone else probably knows better what they’re talking about. (Of course, sometimes they don’t, and I get mad, but I try not to e.g. splatter it all over Planet.)

I’ve kind of kept at this thing (9 years and counting...) despite that making me feel like I do not even remotely fit in. School is a similar environment it this country. I never spoke up in class, but at least I had the privilege to do so without someone saying “oh, what could they possibly know, they’re a girl.” But that attitude’s still around, and our term papers aren’t still going to be due if we wasted all our time being loud obnoxious pricks. The smaller the stakes, the more energy you can waste picking on people who are different.

Perhaps we don’t do this because we’re sexist; perhaps we’re sexist because we do this.

The -private Show

OMG PEOPLE

SHUT UP

QOTD

“All IT arguments are based on rationalizing what the user has already chosen for social or emotional reasons.” —Don Marti

Playing nice

Someone on -private (I think) posted a link to the Debian Community Guidelines. Worth reading.

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