The MLP Movie, which is coming to theatres in October (and I sure hope I'm not going to have to sit through six months of the same trailer week after week, like with Logan, Rogue One, Doctor Strange and every single other blockbuster in waiting out there), has an "all star supporting cast" of VA's. That would be Emily Blunt, Sia, Michael Peña, Liev Schreiber, Taye Diggs, Zoe Saldana, Uzo Aduba and Kristin Chenoweth. Who are these people? Can they act?
Hello, Dreamwidth! And thank you to everyone who wished me and my wife a happy vacation -- it was an excellent one. (Rumors that it was to help distract me from a significant birthday starting with 4 and ending with 0 are totally unfounded. Really.) It was also awesome to come back and see all of the new activity going on! I hope that everyone who's joined us in the last month or two has been settling in nicely.
Behind the cut, a tour of some of the new stuff we've done in the last few months, plus a look at some older changes that could use more love:
* Image Hosting Frontend * HTTPS Beta * Create Entries Beta: progress report * Selective comment screening * Other alphabets in site search: fixed! * Icon file size limit increased * Dreamwidth: Did You Know? * Team Dreamwidth
That's it from us for another update! As always, if you're having problems with Dreamwidth, Support can help you; for notices of site problems and downtime, check the Twitter status page.
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Obviously there’s much more Serious Business going on in the world than my romantic (mis)adventures, but a recent breakup has given me time to reflect on the things that have brought me comfort and meaning when my heart has faced tough times. I wanted to share them for others who are going through heartache, and just to have them all in one place should I need them again someday.
The first is from one of the earliest Captain Awkward posts, “The Golden Retriever/Kwisatz Haderach of Love“. NB: I’ve never read Dune nor seen the movie, the post is worth it even without knowing the references Among the pieces of advice to the heartbroken letter-writer is this wonderful musing on love:
It’s okay to still be in love. Love is – as this hideous wedding-cake topper excruciatingly reminds us – patient, it is kind, it believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. So there you are, all shaggy and embarrassing bounding toward your person wagging your tail and doing that adorable thing you do where you pretend that you’re not going to hand over the ball you’re carrying in your mouth and your person doesn’t even want your stupid ball and then the leash of reality yanks you back. That part of you is the purest and best and truest part of you, and you can’t really turn it off. It’s just going to love for a while.
I say this because it’s really fucking frustrating to try to talk yourself out of having a feeling or beat yourself up for having a feeling at the same time you’re having the feeling. So just have the feeling. Just be the Golden Retriever of Love. You’re not stupid for feeling it, you’re not a bad person, you didn’t do anything wrong. You just feel what you feel, and you’ll feel until one day you stop, and you can’t decide when that is, so don’t even try.
For me it’s one of those pieces of writing that I come back to over and over, like a worry stone. Just have the feeling. Just be the Golden Retriever of Love. It’s such a beautiful reminder to be kind to the best and most loving parts of yourself, even when they are hurting. Especially when they are hurting.
Next up is the Beyonce Freelancing Method, a delightfully raunchy reflection on the economic value of romantic attention by the Scottish writer and video game critic Cara Ellison:
This frame of mind has been percolating unconsciously for a while. It’s mainly about valuing men monetarily. I weigh up how much money I lose as a freelancer by spending time on pelvic sorcery rather than writing, and I calculate whether it is worth losing that money. […] It’s all about the pleasure return and the impact on my work. Does the sex, the hanging out, the effort to keep my attention leave me energised? Or does it make me really exhausted and sad and angry so that I can’t work? The first type is worth more monetarily. The second type is not worth it and I’ve been learning to refuse to invest in it.
Grieving and forgiveness are two things that I think about a lot in the context of breakups. A breakup leaves one grieving the end of what was, what was imagined to be but never really was, what could have been, or some combination of those. There’s plenty of pop-psych writing on grieving, but a thing I found very helpful was just understanding that the classic 5 stages “are not stops on some linear timeline[…]. Not everyone goes through all of them or in a prescribed order.” Grief is often a messy thing, but I’ve found the 5 “stages” to be a helpful lens to understand my feelings.
In a 2008 essay in the journal In Character, history professor Wilfred McClay writes that as a society we have twisted the meaning of forgiveness into a therapeutic act for the victim: “[F]orgiveness is in danger of being debased into a kind of cheap grace, a waiving of standards of justice without which such transactions have no meaning.” Jean Bethke Elshtain, a professor at the University of Chicago Divinity School writes that, “There is a watered-down but widespread form of ‘forgiveness’ best tagged preemptory or exculpatory forgiveness. That is, without any indication of regret or remorse from perpetrators of even the most heinous crimes, we are enjoined by many not to harden our hearts but rather to ‘forgive.’ ”
In the documentary version of Margaret Atwood’s Massey Lecture “Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth,” she interviews Louise Arbour, former Canadian Supreme Court justice. Arbour says, on forgiveness:
Forgiveness is a link between the past and the future, it’s not the restoration of the past prior to the injury.
And it was one of those lines that jumped out at me so much that I paused the film to write it down. It’s available on Netflix in Canada or Amazon in the US, if you’re interested in watching it.
I mention forgiveness specifically because there’s often a rush to try to make nice with an ex, to preserve social bonds and mutual friendships, and that to me often feels like a jump to the “exculpatory forgiveness” Elhstain describes. A friend pointed out to me a few years back that often the reasons one might choose to break up are the same reasons one may not want to be friends. And that’s ok. The rush to be friends is often about one person’s absolution, particularly when it’s the dumper asking it of the dumpee. It’s such a frequent theme in r/relationships posts and Captain Awkward columns that it feels cliché to even mention, but you’re under no obligation to stay in touch or stay friends, and it’s often healthier not to.
On the longer side, there are a couple of books I come back to over and over as I process relationship stuff. I’ve read a lot of terrible garbage self-help books over the past few years, but these stand out as being works which have helped me grow and change as a person.
On the more seriously dysfunctional end of the spectrum, Lundy Bancroft’s book Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men is essential reading and has been instrumental in my avoiding getting involved with abusive people in recent years. Despite the title, it’s worth a read regardless of your gender as the patterns of abusive mindsets are super helpful for people of all genders to understand.
And finally, when your heart is sad, you can always summon a calming manatee.
We are planning to do a code push late this weekend, at approximately 9pm PST / 12am EST / 5am UTC on either Sunday, Feb 12 or Monday, Feb 13, depending on whether you live east or west of midnight. (Time is an illusion anyway, right?)
Here's a partial list of changes that will go live with this push, apart from the usual minor tweaks and bugfixes:
HTTPS Everywhere beta! Users can opt-in to have all Dreamwidth content automatically served over HTTPS. We'll post the instructions for this after the feature goes live.
New and improved design for the file management pages, which we were hiding from you because we were so embarrassed about them before. Thanks to momijizukamori for making them prettier and more functional!
Backend fixes to resolve problems using the aforementioned file management pages. (Did I already mention the embarrassment?)
At long last, international character support for journal search! Our systems guru alierak finally cracked this long-standing bug.
Support index page converted to Foundation styling, for your mobile viewing pleasure.
For users of the Practicality style: color properties now sort properly in the customization wizard.
For users of the Drifting style: the QuickReply box will now appear in the appropriate location, instead of wandering off somewhere unexpected.
Improved handling of word break (<wbr>) elements in user entries.
I followed up, and we got me, plus Rebecca Wexler, the author of that piece, invited to speak. We're testifying tomorrow, Wednesday, February 8th, in New York City. In preparation, I'm conferring with Karen Sandler of Software Freedom Conservancy (who was slotted to speak but now can't) and with acquaintances who work in government forensic labs.
I did speech and debate in high school so in some sense I have been preparing for this for twenty years.
I will give the closing keynote address at LibrePlanet, a free software conference, March 25-26, 2017, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. Tentative title: "Lessons, Myths, and Lenses: What I Wish I'd Known in 1998."
I will be one of the Guests of Honor at Penguicon, an open source and science fiction convention, April 28-30 2017, in Southfield, Michigan, USA.
I managed to collect a small herd of Applejacks and trot them off to work for a harmony holiday cake break. I didn't have enough get up and go to decorate a cake with anything more than a cake topper figurine, but the swag has been given away. So, success! Yay.