n8atkinson said: So I know first hand how difficult it is to produce work in the face of OCD. That locked up, tangled mess of detail that is the OCD brain. Seeing your work reminds me that it can be done. So be nice to yourself. You're f#%&ing great!
Thanks for the kind words. I’m glad if my work helps in any way, to any degree, although I have to fight the awkward impulse talk like that triggers in me to say something self-deprecating or obnoxious. I don’t take compliments well, been working on that for a while now.
I am nicer to myself, at least a lot nicer than I used to be. A lot of that is because of therapy, medication, reading up on the subject, and the support of my wife. It is an everyday struggle, along with my anxiety and depression, it feels like every decision is a debate or battle due to constant questioning of myself, what I’m doing, what I’m thinking. It’s exhausting to live that way because you feel stuck and blocked and sometimes crazy. Being more aware and mindful has allowed me to make a lot of headway. But while I still get work done, everything takes me three times longer to do than it should. I still have very little confidence in my work, I over-think everything, I over-stress, very often I don’t feel like I have control or authority over my own process. I am constantly taking a step forward and then a step back, repeating the stupid dance of indecision until I can’t take any more steps and somehow something gets done. Just writing this reply is work. Almost everything is work. But that’s a lot better than what it used to be, which was mostly panic and depression.
Without making this a longer reply, things get better if you work on making them better, and you have to be less hard on yourself, especially when you’re your harshest critic and worst enemy. You have to be better at recognizing when you’re being unreasonable and unfair towards yourself. You have to become your best friend, which sounds dopey, but I think is pretty much true. At least a good friend, an honest friend. It’s something I’m working on, something I wish I started working on decades ago, and I expect it will be a lifetime work in progress. I’m not great at it, but I’m trying. It’s never too late to start working on that, until it is too late, so you have to start working on it now, and never stop. It’s work, there’s no magic bullet, and it’s hard, and you slide a lot and there’s terrible patches, but you have to build on the good stuff and reject the mental horseshit as much as possible.
I’m going through a very bad time, work-wise, right now, I’m over-doing everything on Eltingville #2 and it’s very late and I’ve strangled my income and schedule. I’m stressed and I’m anxious. But I’m not hating myself or dragging myself through the mud like I would have in the past. I’m not making excuses but I’m also not making things worse by going mental and beating myself up over everything. I’m riding it out and doing my best and am going to try to not fall into this trap again. I have to learn to be nicer to myself on the page as well as in my life, I guess. Stop trying so hard and stop overcompensating. That’s the plan, anyway. Here’s to hoping.
Gotta get back to work, sorry for the long reply, I doubt you were looking for a long vent-session, but that’s what you got. Something else I need to work on (ha ha).
9:08 pm • 16 September 2014 • 34 notes
My tribute to the baddest space marine, “Vasquez the Vanquisher”.
Enlist today in the U.S. Colonial Marine Corps!
12:12 am • 14 September 2014 • 1,451 notes
The Greatest Black Women In Superhero Comics (Who Aren't Storm)
Whenever anybody asks about black women in comics, the immediate response is to bring up Storm. But Storm isn’t the only black woman to rock superpowers and a costume. Here are 20 other black female characters in superhero comics who deserve more love and attention.
Cool, Pantha made the list!
(She’s also the one favorite, ignored character I would write for if I got a chance.)
5:11 pm • 12 September 2014 • 51 notes
The Afghan Girls Who Live as Boys
The Afghan women I have met, some of whom have little education but a lifetime of experience of being counted as less than a full human being, have a distinct view of what exactly freedom is. To them, freedom would be to avoid an unwanted marriage and to be able to leave the house. It would be to have some control over one’s own body and to have a choice of when and how to become pregnant. Or to study and have a profession.
Given this, who would not walk out the door in disguise—if the alternative was to live as a prisoner or slave? Who would really care about long hair or short, pants or skirt, feminine or masculine, if renouncing one’s gender gave one access to the world? A great many people in this world would be willing to throw out their gender in a second if it could be traded for freedom.
The real story of Mehran, Shubnum, Niima, and other women who live as men in Afghanistan is not so much about how they break gender norms or what they have become by doing that. Rather, it is about this: Between gender and freedom, freedom is the bigger and more important idea—in Afghanistan as well as globally. Defining one’s gender becomes a concern only after freedom is achieved. Then a person can begin to fill the word “freedom” with new meaning.
Further reading: New York Times Afghan Boys Are Prized, So Girls Live the Part
5:17 pm • 9 September 2014 • 2 notes
Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, and the critique of pop culture
The “culture industry,” as they called it, offered the “freedom to choose what is always the same.”
One way or another, the Frankfurt School mode of criticism—its skeptical ardor, its relentless scouring of mundane surfaces—has spread far. When online recappers expend thousands of words debating the depiction of rape on “Game of Thrones,” or when writers publish histories of sneakers or of the office cubicle, they show intense awareness of mass culture’s ability to shape society.
4:51 pm • 9 September 2014
“A writer […] is able to describe her/his depression to us, and this is already a triumph experience over depression.”
— Julia Kristeva (via alterities)
8:55 pm • 20 August 2014 • 34 notes
In 2010, workers opened a sealed passage in the London Underground. The tunnel had been closed since the installation of escalators in 1959 and contained a trove of old poster adverts from the period.
View more of the images here
Good morgue file material to file away if you want to go for the Silent Hill or Fallout aesthetic.
8:25 pm • 12 August 2014 • 53 notes
On Telltale Games’ Ableist Treatment of Sarah
For those who aren’t a fan of this once-amazing series, The Walking Dead Game has always been lauded for its character diversity (with a wide range of different nationalities and racial backgrounds represented, well-written female characters and characters of all ages and body types featured prominently throughout the game).
In Season 2 we encountered Sarah, a Hispanic 15-year-old girl who is neurodivergent and has trouble coping with the horrors of the new world around her.
Now of course, being a female character and being disabled, she was immediately despised by the majority of the fandom. Slurs were tossed around, people frequently referred to her as “a liability”, and there were frequent posts made on Telltale’s forums, Facebook, Youtube, and elsewhere wishing her dead and hoping for a chance to kill her. This was nothing new - we had seen much of this before, with other female characters in the franchise. However, the ableism was rampant, and people would write essays about how she was “bringing the group down” and why her death would be a “good” thing for the other characters.
(spoilers) Her death came after the player was told several times by a pragmatic character that Sarah was dragging the group down, that she was a weakness, and that she “clearly” didn’t want to live (despite the fact that she screams and cries for help the entire time she’s being eaten). Instead of subverting that character’s pragmatism and showing that people with disabilities can still survive an apocalypse, she is killed even if the player chooses to save her (in a horrible manner, where she is partially crushed under a fallen balcony and then devoured alive by walkers as she screams for help). Her death served to further the already-prevalent fandom belief that disabled people are unnecessary weights holding survivors back, and makes total apocalyptic pragmatism look like a justified belief.
Of course, that made us (Sarah fans) angry and upset, especially considering many of us are ourselves neurodivergent (and several autistic teenage fans headcanoned her as being autistic) and the belief that characters like us are just liabilities is extremely hurtful. But that’s not what’s spurring me to make this post today.
The creepy glee the Telltale guys take in killing her off in their zombie game makes it so much worse. It makes them look like they’re indulging in the ugly survivalist fantasies of the zombie subgenre.
10:47 pm • 11 August 2014 • 5,150 notes
13-year-old girl destroys batters to send her team to Little League World Series
More from Deadspin:
Davis pitched a shutout against Newark in yesterday’s Mid-Atlantic regional championship, striking out six and allowing just three hits in six innings. Davis’s fastball can reach 70 mph, and her curveball is pretty damn devastating.
8:58 pm • 11 August 2014
One of my favorite gifts from Hiroyuki Imaishi during my hang-out w/ him at Trigger/Sanzigen/UPS.
I have to keep an eye out for this… I have a few of his other books and it’s really neat to see and examine his process.
8:30 pm • 11 August 2014 • 222 notes
this is good reminder that if you are suffering from depression or suicidal thoughts to talk to someone and try your hardest to get help. people out there care about you
7:22 pm • 11 August 2014 • 7,488 notes
Forcing Kids To Stick To Gender Roles Can Actually Be Harmful To Their Health
"This constant effort to manage one’s everyday life in line with gender norms produces significant anxiety, insecurity, stress and low self-esteem for both boys and girls."
(This gif, coming up, isn’t a reply to the above reply. It’s a reply to the title of the article):
12:48 pm • 9 August 2014 • 231 notes