oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
  • I have mostly spent the last two days trying to catch up with the protests currently going on in Iran. With the caveat that I'm still piecing together information and what's signal and what's noise, links I've personally found useful have been:

    I am too uncertain about the current situation to know who to trust re: information for proxies or what the current state on Twitter is, so grain of salt.

    I've been heartened by the number of people who have been saying that this is not about the USian us, but about the Iranians on the ground and demonstrating. I've also been incredibly angry about the people trying to put a spin on it as "Look! They are absorbing the ideas of US democracy!" and the people going on about the social media aspect of it, especially the bloggers. I have no doubt that what's currently going on is different because of how Twitter and YouTube and cell phones and digital cameras have been used to document things, but I am extremely wary of white bloggers using this as a platform to go "Yay new media!" It reminds me too much of how conversations about RaceFail started to be white people talking to other white people about social media. (eta: not just white bloggers, but Western bloggers period)

    But mostly, I hope that the people protesting will be safe, that they will get the government they voted for, and that it makes a difference.

  • [personal profile] shewhohashope has an excellent post (same post, just DW and LJ versions for comment tracking) on [livejournal.com profile] cereta's On rape and men. If you don't read any of it, read at least this:
    When rape culture is being discussed, rape is a product of civilisation itself, not an example of its disruption but a natural result of the principles it is built on.

    [personal profile] coffeeandink also links to some good posts.

(no subject)

Thu, Nov. 4th, 2004 12:16 am
oyceter: Delirium from Sandman with caption "That and the burning baby fish swimming all round your head" (delirium)
So. I shall blather on a little about politics while being a complete Pollyanna, because while I am very disappointed, there's really no sense in my sitting here bitching about it. I did, however, curse a lot at the TV and probably scared the boy, who leans slightly Republican on some issues (but I heard him say he supports gay marriage, so hurrah). Aforementioned blather )

And now, back to my boring life. Coming up: a rant on Powerpoint, in which I take off the Pollyanna hat.

Rant within )

(no subject)

Tue, Nov. 2nd, 2004 11:33 pm
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
Eleven more days?!

Am tired. Am sick of yelling at the TV. Am very disappointed re: gay marriage bans, although I probably should have expected it. But still... *sigh*

Trying to think happy thoughts about higher voter turnout and people caring and not thinking about partisan politics.

I'm going to bed... I have to get up early.

On the plus side, I have discovered I am part of District 16, which will surely be good information to have during next elections ;).

The election entry

Tue, Nov. 2nd, 2004 07:01 pm
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I voted for the first time in my life today. Considering the fact that I am 23, I am rather embarrassed about this. Oh well. Better late than never!

I ended up going after work because I had to be at work at 8, and given my commute and polls opening at 7, I wasn't sure how much of a line there would be. Also, I wanted to sleep in that extra fifteen minutes or so. Work was actually this training session in which I sat and listened to many presentations on programmable chips and such, which was incredibly boring. I kept surreptitiously checking CNN every ten seconds, even though no results had come in yet.

Then I waded through the traffic, got home, and went to vote. Showed up at City Hall with a rather nervous grin on my face and probably startled one of the volunteers by asking, "Hi-they-spelled-my-name-wrong-could-I-please-still-vote?" After deciphering what I had blurted, she said yes. Whew. And told me I could do a name change there if I wanted to. Then I picked a paper ballot because of paranoia.

After that, I stood around the table for a few seconds and realized there was no handy place marked "GET YOUR BALLOT HERE." So I wandered back to the table, probably looked exceedingly puzzled, and asked, "Er. Is this where I get my ballot?" Got my ballot, but it turns out there were only two places set up for paper ballots, so I had to wait a few minutes for a spot. Other than that, there were really very few people there. I thought there would be a lot given that I showed up during after-work hours, but maybe everyone else was still stuck in traffic. Got very confused again re: paper ballots and the organization thereof, and hunkered down to try to read all the issues.

Voted for president, voted for senator, voted for representative, and then realized I didn't actually know what district I was in. That's when I realized I really need to be an anime character so I can turn chibi and do giant sweatdrops to adequately express how I feel. Tried to vote on issues but left quite a few spots blank for things I couldn't make my mind up about. I felt rather small there in my cardboard booth and resolved to be better informed next time. It's my own fault, really, and I am probably an embarrassment to voters everywhere. But at least my mind was quite solidly made up about the presidential election!

Stressed again about not knowing where to put my ballot, but ended up finding where (the big box with the slit on top, what a surprise). Handed over my ballot. The lady gave me an "I Voted" sticker, which made me absurdly happy.

Wow. So. I'm a voter! Cool.

And now, I sit at home, and wait, and press the refresh button obsessively.

(no subject)

Tue, Nov. 2nd, 2004 07:32 am
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
I think we should all get a day off on voting days. Not just because I'm selfish and want a day off (though I do), but because honestly, it's really hard motivating yourself to vote when you've got an hour before work and two hours after work total before the polls close.

Not that I'm not voting!

Anticipating voting after work today ^_^. A little late, but still there!


Sun, Mar. 21st, 2004 06:10 pm
oyceter: Delirium from Sandman with caption "That and the burning baby fish swimming all round your head" (delirium)
So elections in Taiwan are over (kind of). I don't really know what to think -- my parents and most of their friends are firmly on the KMT side, my friends are mostly DPP. I personally don't support reunification with China at all, what with the still rather totalitarian rule. Plus, on the practical side, Hong Kong isn't doing so well after reunification, so what would happen to us?

I don't actually know why I am making this post, but I feel I should be documenting this. I wish I were back there now. Well, kind of, because everyone will be talking politics (not my strongest suit) and there will probably be tons of angry people in the street.

Well. Hopefully the next four years will not end up with us having the crap bombed out of us. That would be good.

More politics

Wed, Feb. 25th, 2004 11:58 pm
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (daniel)
So. For the first time ever, I have written a letter of petition. Via the ACLU free fax service, granted, but I actually wrote a bitty thing, didn't use their form letter, and hopefully did not sound unintelligent. This is weird. I don't do politics at all, nor have I ever written any sort of postcard or mail to get shows I liked un-cancelled. It feels a little like one small voice yelling out in the wilderness, "Please don't do this!"

Now to really register to vote.

(no subject)

Wed, Feb. 25th, 2004 02:23 am
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (daniel)
Trolling around and kind of starting to catch up on the FL, since I've been not really in an internetting mood lately.

Thoughts inspired by [livejournal.com profile] lenadances' post on civil disobedience, a topic very near and dear to my heart.

While I'm generally not a very patriotic rah-rah American, there is a kind of golden sheen in my head around the US Constitution that has been there for quite some time. The boy and I kind of poke fun at each other sometimes because I can have very un-American sentiments at times but have this shining ideal of the Constitution in my head while he in general thinks America is great but is leery of majority rule. And it's not that I think majority rule is this awesome thing. It's that I'm so in love with the idea of this document with checks and balances written into it, with a Bill of Rights too. I know it's not the only document out there like that, but it's the only one I studied in any sort of length (heh, yeah, in my school in Taiwan nonetheless! My govt. teacher made us read the whole thing). And I do think it's greater than the Declaration of Independence, because it's a living document.

I don't know, it sounds geeky in words, and much of it is tied up with the movement against slavery and the civil rights movement. When I was a kid, Martin Luther King was one of my heroes, and one of the few whose writings I can read and still greatly admire. "Letter from Birmingham Jail" makes me tear up every time. But it's just this idea, his "I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law." And I very thoroughly believe that. I read those little Scholastic books as a kid (and those Scholastic biographies) and was amazed and awed at the thought that so many people participated in sit-ins and protest marches that there were not enough jail cells for them.

Under the cynicism about America, I am a gooshy idealist at heart.

Is it presumptuous to feel a sort of awe because it feels like something like that is happening now because I am not actively participating in the movement or putting anything at risk for it? I always have this nidgy feeling that comes about when talk of any issues dealing with race (or sexual orientation, in the current matter) comes to bear because there is always a part of me that wonders if I am pre-empting something that belongs to other people. Do they have more right to it than me? It's from having done too many slash arguments and too many EAS readings on nationality and identity, I suspect, the result being the voice in the back of my head always commenting, great, this movie has a homosexual couple portrayed in a fashion that has them being a couple who just happens to be homosexual. But the heroine is still straight. What does that say? Etc.

And yet, in a sense, Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement did a great thing for me too. Those people fought that battle in a sense for me and for all the other people who were not and are not the racial majority. I'm guessing the interracial marriage laws were there mostly to prevent black-white marriages. It's totally naive of me, but I guess up till now I never consciously realized there was an actual law against interracial marriage. Considering who I date now, it's a rather scary notion. And whoever repealed that law, the people who helped with that have given me something, fifty years later.

So that is all from me, because I am tired now.
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
I mostly forgot it was the anniversary of 9/11 today, and I'm not sure if I feel guilty about that or what. I don't know. I just didn't really think about it much except this morning driving to work and listening to the radio. I got really mad at the radio guy because he was talking about stuff like how it was the start of this holy war against the US and how it was World War III and whatnot. I felt he was rather silly, although I guess intentions are in the right place? Not sure, really. I don't know, mostly. I mean, I still feel horrible that 9/11 happened, but almost in the same way one feels horrible that people are still killing each other all over the place, everywhere. Scope-wise, 9/11 was bigger, but... And I don't mean to demean it. I feel the opposite actually (read [livejournal.com profile] anniesj's post, she says it better. But I feel that making it out into this giant memorial event to stir up patriotism/nationalism and to remind the US of all the grand injustices done to it carries a sort of feeling that the US's national tragedies are grander than everyone else's. And that's not right either. And I'm quite sure all people feel the same way about bad things that happen in their own country, but to blow up the events into an almost propaganda like proportion tends to wipe out the fact that I was thinking about watching the TV and listening to the radio two years ago. There were people on those planes and in those buildings. People like me who were flying home or flying for business or to see someone, or just going to work in the morning like usual. And it just sucks beyond all telling that they died because of this incredibly stupid thing, just like it sucks that innocent bystanders are killed all the time and that there are suicide bombers in the Middle East who kill kids. Whenever people talk about how it's changed America irrevocably or how it means America is the target of these horrible fanatic people, it makes me feel not a part of it... not that I am a part of it. But it makes me feel distant, like it's not something that really affects me, because in the end, I don't feel American. Matter of fact, I don't really feel Chinese either. I think if I had to declare a nationality I would be a citizen of the internet. Anyway, I digress. But making it into this giant political event to me seems like it alienates people (imho). But if I really think about what happened that day, just how scared all those people must have been (I have an especial phobia of what the people on the airplane must have felt, knowing that their airplanes had been hijacked and desperately trying to call home on their cells), that freaks me out because it could be me or my mom or my sister or the boy or anyone I know up there. And to me, that makes it more real and more like something that happened and affected people instead of all the stuff George Bush says on TV.

So that was my politicizing...

In musings on my own affairs, learned kind of how to research prices online, which was fun. Doesn't require that much more brainwork than shelving, but so far I am less bored with it. I think it has something to do with the fact that I am in front of a computer typing meaningless things (yes, this probably includes LJ ^_~). For some reason, this comforts me... I think because I do stuff like HTML all hand coded. Plus, I like typing. Something about the sound of the keys.... yes I'm dorky. Buying day tomorrow so I'll be back at the shelves...

(no subject)

Sun, Apr. 27th, 2003 04:06 pm
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
Salon is much smarter and coherent than me in expressing why Santorum's speech was bad and why Bush's response makes it worse.


Fri, Apr. 11th, 2003 06:20 pm
oyceter: Delirium from Sandman with caption "That and the burning baby fish swimming all round your head" (delirium)
Ok, I just tried to do the Friday Five, except I am not a musical person at all, so it's really silly. I mean, I listen to music, and I like it, but I realize I have no real musical taste.

Other things that I've been thinking about today:

The war thing still bothers me. I was sitting around at dinner last night, and there were so many disparaging remarks toward the French. And one of my friends said something along the lines of, "Well, they're just pissed that we went in there without their approval and kicked ass. And hey, we could just go in there and take down their government too!" I'm sure it wasn't a really serious remark, but things like that bother me a lot. I can't help but think, Um yes, that's exactly why they're probably pissed off. No one really doubts the ability of the US in taking down governments and bombing the hell out of countries. That's probably why everyone was so iffy about it.

I forgot whose LJ I read it on ([livejournal.com profile] gwynnega?), but she said something on how the American flag over Saddam's statue may have looked like victory for the US, but it may have also looked like conquest to others.

And now there are all these anti-French comments, even from the same people who laugh at "freedom fries." And I mean, isn't that doing what they're accusing the French of doing? Just..many comments on how the French hate all Americans, hate all American institutions, how they're jealous of America, etc. But even if they do, which I doubt, because French people are individuals, how is that any different from people here projecting all these things onto the country because they're France?

As a digression, I also have a personal problem with pronouns when talking about these issues. I feel awkward referring to the US as "we" because I never quite feel like I'm a hundred percent part of it, but "you" also sounds bad and accusatory, and hey, Internet is international! So right now it's the awkwardish "they."

I'm an expatriate of both Taiwan and the US, and as such, I always feel a little foreign in every country. So it bothers me when countries talk about us and them, because by default, I feel like I'm always "them." I had a really hard time explaining this to some of my friends here in the US, who didn't always understand why I didn't feel "American," even though I have a US passport.

I think mostly I have a problem with the implicit arrogance and the "we are right, they are wrong and stupid" attitude that I think when I heard those things about France. I don't even know if the people are thinking that, or if I'm oversensitive to the issue, which is also quite likely. But it just disturbs me, like it disturbs me when anyone says "America is the best country in the world," because, hey, lots of other countries out there that I'm sure the citizens are satisfied with. And it does disturb me when my friends back at home (Taiwan) do the anti-American bashing thing, because then they're doing the same thing they accuse all Americans of doing.

I also just have a problem with the "we can just go in and bomb them" thing, because that's scary. Maybe my friends here don't think so around the dinner table, because we're supposedly all Americans, but I bet if they were sitting at a dinner table in China and people were laughing and joking about a comment like that, it wouldn't be so funny. And bombs? They are scary. I don't like them. It's not cool that America could go over there and bomb the hell out of Iraq. Maybe it was absolutely necessary, but it still wasn't this great awesome thing to brag about, because people died. From both sides. And yeah, America might have won in the end, but still.

*sigh* I don't like violence at all. And the attitude that it might have been a good thing, that America or any other nation could do something like that, frightens me, because I'm sure somewhere in China, there are people laughing over the fact that they could bomb Taiwan to kingdom come. And while my little island might be very far from a perfect country, I live there.

And to stop that rant:

Had my phone interview with Google today, and I think it went well, even though I sounded very stupid on many answers. "Where do you see yourself a few years from now?" "Uhhhh... California?" "Career-wise?" "(Oyceter bullshits about intellectual stimulation and doing something important)"

"Why did you pick this job?" Oyceter thinks: "It's in California, and I'm kind of qualified, and you'll pay me money to do something I'm pretty sure I can do." Oyceter says: "(insert more bull about intellectual stimulation and the potential of the internet)"

So I'll fill in their little written bit, which I think is kind of silly (look at websites... does the www.nytimes.com require users to log in? etc.). But hopefully I will have a job in Bay Area, California. And I will be paid. And this will allow me to buy Buffy and internet access.

And so it starts

Wed, Mar. 19th, 2003 10:37 pm
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
I feel so petty for being angry that the news interrupted the end of Angel.

I don't know what to feel now. I kind of resented Bush's paralleling Iraq with 9/11. I want a free Iraq where the people aren't scared of being killed or whatnot. I don't want people to die. I'm kind of scared. I'm also very numb-feeling, and that makes me feel guilty, worrying about silly little things like my sister not calling me yet about coming tomorrow and my thesis and the end of Angel.

I wish I knew what was going on.

I wish we didn't have to do things like bomb stuff. We've been civilized for how long and we still can't figure out a way to do things without all this destruction? I don't get it.


Tue, Mar. 18th, 2003 02:39 am
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (hat)
I am ignoring all current events until either the thesis is done or... well. Maybe I can just forget that all this is happening. Me, not really for war. Don't like Saddam, but as stated previously have many qualms about the way the US is going about this. And war? It just sucks. I'm a stupid idealist, but it kind of makes me sad that we have to do stuff like this in the world, you know? Well. I will try to be optimistic and thankful that things now are much better when compared to just half a century ago, and much much better than when Mongol hordes were overrunning China. Yes. I am now Ostrich!Oyceter.

But but but!

I mastered Photoshop! (aka I made me icons)

Go see my pretty new icons!

Thesis update

Mon, Mar. 17th, 2003 03:05 am
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
Well, apparently this journal has just become a way for me to keep track of my thesis progress. I'm currently at the middle of page 17 and just writing soooo slooooowly right now. Hopefully by tomorrow at 5 I'll have finished my leftover points and hit page 20. Yes. Go me go!

In other, happier, non-thesis-related things, [livejournal.com profile] wisteria_ finished her Eleven Straight Days of Rain fic, and it's a nice, realistically romantic Spuffy fic that just makes me want to beg Joss to show it. Or parts at least. Actually, I'll just settle for the general idea... please ME, toss me a bone?

In other, non-happy, non-thesis-related things, it really looks like we're going to war. I don't really have anything to say. I feel bad, but I've been concentrating on my thesis so much that I haven't really been paying attention. And I guess I've just been expecting this to happen to matter what, looking at the way Bush has been doing things, so this is almost anticlimactic. Well. Please, whoever's in charge of this place, don't get too many people killed?

And now, to sleep, in preparation for more thesising tomorrow.


Thu, Mar. 13th, 2003 05:24 pm
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[livejournal.com profile] anniesj has an interesting thread going on about the war, which got me all pondery again.

I just have no idea what to think. I have a problem with America going in and throwing foreign regimes they think are oppressive, because way back when during the Cold War, that meant all Communist governments, even though sometimes the people preferred the Communist candidates to the corrupt officials supported by America. And I know Saddam obviously isn't some benevolent ruler, but I always wonder. Because to me, Mao was in no way a benevolent ruler, but some of the people I know in China today think he's a hero. So I just don't know whose opinions count more. I'm also kind of leary about pre-emptive striking, especially when we're doing it without world support. I agree that it could set a very bad precedent, perhaps with China, particularly because we're bucking UN decision, which opens a way for others to do it.

I have a very love-hate relationship with this country, which is almost my country, and yet, not quite.

Currently, the attitude toward the official aspect of the country is edging heavily toward hate. I admit quite readily that I'm not educated at all about the war thing, so I don't know any specifics about the Patriot Act. I also admit very readily that a lot of the stuff I read is highly biased. But to be honest, the entire Patriot Act really scares me. I don't have anything to hide, really, but I just don't like the thought that the government can just dig through my records because I'm from Taiwan. I just feel that no matter how much of this putting aside of civil liberties they do, they're never going to be able to catch all these incidents when they come up, like Columbine. In certain areas, I feel violations of my person and my property is very necessary, like in airports when they ALWAYS pat me down and dig through my luggage and embarrass me because I have dirty underwear in there. That makes me feel better, in a way. I know it's really annoying, especially since I fly a lot, and I know sometimes the rules are very arbitrary (I'm going to kill someone with my round-tip tweezers. Really.), but I just think airplanes are an area where you kind of give up certain things. And airport security before 9/11 was a joke.

Anyway, I'm getting a little off topic. What I really mean to say is what I hate the most about this war is what it's doing to America. This is why I don't like war. It's so hard to wage war and not become polarized. Just working, I overhear so many jokes against the French because they're not siding with America or how everyone should follow America or something. I'm scared of reports that tell of Sikhs getting yelled at because they wear turbans. I have a friend here who's a Sikh, and he told me he was walking one day last year and got called "Osama" and eyed suspiciously by any number of people. I don't want something like the Japanese internment camps happening here again. I guess I just kind of wish there were a way to do this while still realizing that it's not really our right to wage war or to police the world. I don't really think anyone has the right to wage war. And while I can see the necessity of getting Saddam out of power and Iraq de-weaponized (?), I can also see this already turning into a huge us-against-them mentality in which we are completely justified in bombing another country. Because we're not. We never are. No one ever is. I guess that's my problem with war in general, even though I know it's a completely impractical philosophy for the real world.


Sometimes I wish I didn't live in the real world.

Making noise

Mon, Feb. 24th, 2003 07:37 pm
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
Not really much to say, just felt like I should write. Which is funny, since obviously this is my journal, and I am in no way obligated to communicate with this HTML stuff or whatever. Anyway, did anyone notice I have an icon and a new background? I made the boy play around in Photoshop for me, and I think I kind of get it now. Maybe I will make my own icons later. I also made my own custom styles. Not really, but just got icons to show in my Friends page. I feel so accomplished. I think now I can figure out how to make my own real custom style. Hrm. Maybe I should cough up money to keep myself on as a paid subscriber... hee.

Was just reading a few chapteres of Guns, Germs and Steel for class and randomly thinking about Bush and Iraq. I'm a flaming liberal, and the boy's pretty conservative, so that's led to quite a few arguments between us. And I know in general the liberal position for the war is against it. Mostly, that's what I think. Actually, that was completely my mindset until a few minutes ago. I don't like war in general. I'm incredibly anti-violence and pacifist, and war scares the hell out of me, as does nationalism, patriotism and all those things that can lead toward fundamentalism or militarism. Yay isms. But then, I was thinking back to some of the headlines on Salon.com that seemed to be on articles on what the Iraqi population might think of the peace protests and the anti-war protests going on right now. I mean, do they think we anti-war people want to keep Saddam in power? Do they think we're dangerously isolationist, like Tokugawa Japan? Do they think we only care about America and our own affairs? Or do they resent America for the war and for barging in on their country and their politics?

And thinking about it that way, the war looks like some sort of holy crusade to free the natives from this oppressive ruler. Except that doesn't seem to be the way Bush presents it. The funny thing is, I think maybe the war would be a lot more acceptable to more people if it weren't portrayed as taking Saddam out before he unleashes himself on the world and more along the lines of doing what the oppressed Iraqi population can't do. Maybe. I don't know. And then there's the question of exactly how oppressed the Iraqis are. I know there's all that stuff in the media about oppressed women and fundamentalist Islam. (By the way, I think using "oppressed" now sounds so propagandist) But sometimes you wonder. I remember one of the strangest things about my internship this summer (besides the sheer horribleness of investment banking, which, I swear, is a separate level of hell in and of itself) was really getting to talk to people from Mainland China. As I said, I'm from Taiwan, which means I've heard lots of horror stories about the Cultural Revolution and the evils of Mao Tse-Tung, both from my Chinese teachers and less so from my American ones. I think because of that, I just figured everyone kind of knew Mao was this horrible person who did all these horrible things in China. But the interns from China all were talking about who they admired more, Mao or Jiang Ze-Ming or the other political leaders. I'm pretty sure most people in America, not to mention Taiwan, would think this was not something most people say. I hear about all the human rights issues in China, along with the arrest of dissenters, censorship of almost everything, and the persecution of the Falun Gong, in the media, and I guess I just assume that oh, of course everyone must think like that. But I guess to the Chinese, they might see that as American propaganda attempting to discredit their own government or something. POV is everything sometimes, it seems. So I still have no idea what to think about the war on Iraq, after all this. Mostly I think I'd like to know what people in Iraq think.


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