swirlingFlight

a blog of things and stuff

252,100 notes

roachpatrol:

urtube:

How long after arriving at someone’s house is it appropriate to ask for the WiFi password?

a good host offers their wifi password as soon as their guests have sat down and glanced furtively at the bag they’ve brought their laptop in

1,885 notes

cornflakebox asked: Hi Lissa! I love your work and your stories. I hope to work as a story artist myself, and I was wondering if you could give me some tips! Thanks a bunch!

shoomlah:

lissabt:

Answering publicly, because i get this question a lot :)
Sorry to anyone who’s asked this before and gotten an abbreviated answer (or no answer, sorrysorrysorry!), it’s a big thing to sit down and write and i want to be as thorough as i can. But i hope this helps anyone who needs it!

Story tips, wow.
I’ll try and list as many as i can! I’ll try to keep it from getting too ramble-y because man, there’s just so much to talk about! I know i’ll leave some out anyway, because there’s stuff i forget all the time. I’ve had the benefit of learning from some really awesome people and goodness knows i’m still learning from them.
I’ll try and get the biggies :)

NOTE: These are all coming from my experience working in feature animation at one studio. Different studios will have different cultures and ways of working, and i understand that boarding for T.V. is a whole different animal from boarding for feature, but i think most of these should apply to visual story-telling across the board.

And as always, these are TIPS not RULES :)

- CHARACTER IS KEY.
Always think about your character, what they are doing and why they are doing it. This applies to camerawork too. THE CAMERA IS THE INVISIBLE CHARACTER IN EVERY SCENE. Just as a character wouldn’t do something unmotivated, camera moves and shots need motivation too. What are we looking at? WHY are we looking at it? HOW are we seeing it? How is it making the AUDIENCE FEEL? That’s the core of any visual story-telling medium, and in a time-based medium like film you get a whole other level added on.

- Related note: we should always be with the main character. this doesn’t necessarily mean always LOOKING at them, but we should know what’s in their head, what they want, how they feel about what’s going on at any given point in the story. Usually they are the anchor for how the audience is supposed to feel about what’s happening. You lose them, you lose emotion.

- YOU ARE AN ENTERTAINER!
"Entertainment" doesn’t always equal "comedy"; it equals "What i’m watching makes me feel something". I’ve found that entertainment often comes from specificity. Think about how you do ordinary things, how people you know do them. Say you have a scene where your character is cooking breakfast. How does she do it in a way that no other character would? Maybe she does a little dance while she’s making an omelette if no one else is around. Maybe she NEVER gets a clean break in an egg and always has to pick bits of eggshell out of there. Maybe she’s out of milk and has to sub in yogurt or something and just prays it doesn’t make her omelette totally gross…
(…sorry, i’m digressing, this is just… a description of me making an omelette.)
Think about specifics, make your character feel real, no matter if they’re making an omelette or falling in love or fighting giant robots.

- All that being said, you also have to be CLEAR and ECONOMICAL with screen time. Consider how much time you have to convey an idea. Sometimes you have time to linger and do fun character stuff. Sometimes you just have a few shots to convey a plot point. Learn to gauge what a scene NEEDS and try and see it in the context of the story as a whole. (note: there are usually still ways to get character specificity in these quick beats. try and find them!)

- CLARITY IN DRAWING.
Clarity is important for drawing boards too. It doesn’t have to be pretty, it doesn’t have to be detailed (and in many cases it SHOULDN’T be), it doesn’t have to be finished… as long as it’s CLEAR. This is probably the big difference between storyboarding and illustration; story is NOT the place for making pretty pictures :)

- Hand in hand with the last point, is for story you need to be able to draw clear and FAST. Sequence turn-around can be quick (i once had to do three passes on one scene in a week), and in the course of working on a project most of what you do will be redrawn many, many times. Don’t be precious, don’t be afraid to kill your babies.

- KNOW STORYTELLING.
As a lot of these tips have probably implied, drawing is only a part of storyboarding. You have to understand story structure and film making. There are a lot of resources out there for this. Robert Mckee’s book, simply titled “Story” is a good starting point for understanding story structure, and Bruce Block’s book “The Visual Story” is an amazing breakdown of all the elements of visual story telling as applied to film (but really it applies to anything). I also always direct people to Mark Kennedy’s blog. Mark is a head of story here at Disney, amazing board artist, teacher, and all around good dude. His blog is a masterclass in itself, and he covers a variety of topics from drawing to composition to story: http://sevencamels.blogspot.com/

- DON’T HAVE AN EGO.
This is a big one and functions on many levels; you have to work with a team; you have to be able to give notes constructively and not get offended if your notes aren’t taken; you have to remember that you’re working to support the DIRECTORS vision, not your own; you have to be able to take the notes you’re given and not take them PERSONALLY; you have to be willing to throw out all the boards you’ve spent the last week working on and start over if the production requires it; you have to be willing to see your sequence handed off to a different artist who will probably re-draw most of it.
You can’t have an ego because almost NONE of these things are actually about you. They very rarely have any bearing on your ability as an artist. This is just how the process works, and at the end of the day almost no one will actually see the thousands of drawings and all the hard work you’ve done over the course of about two years. They say “all story no glory” and it’s absolutely true.

Whew.

If you’ve gotten through all of this and aren’t totally terrified… then maybe story is for you :)
Also, to reiterate; many studios work differently. Some places will give you more creative freedom as a story teller than others. I’m really fortunate to work in a place where i do have an amount of creative freedom and feel that my voice is heard and my opinion is valued. But no matter where you work, all of these things can always, always ALWAYS be applied to your own stories. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a big studio or paying the bills as a barista or are still in school, you can ALWAYS tell your own stories :)

Above all, work with confidence, listen to criticism without letting it own you, find the truth in it that will help you be better. And draw draw draw! :)

Im going to be thinking about this all day and flipping out when i remember things i’ve left out.

Lissa is one smart dame and, from my own experience, a lot of this info is pertinent to vis dev as well- not having an ego when you’re working as part of a team or studio is HUGE.

Filed under advice writing art

2,054 notes

Squidalicious: On Autism Murder Apologists

jumpingjacktrash:

ponyprincessesforjustice:

This is important. This needs to be read.

This is something much more important than what much of tumblr Social Justice Warriors talk about. It is bigger than most of the things I have seen being talked about on tumblr.

This is people getting murdered by people they trust because of something that is not their fault. This is people being murder apologists and that is not okay.

Whenever I see a news story about an autistic child being murdered by a caretaker, it’s always “don’t you dare judge them!” or “I understand why…” “oh it’s hard to take care of an autistic child…”

And it happens with other disabilities too! Part of society thinks it’s okay to murder the disabled. Part of society thinks it’s okay to forcefully sterilize people with disabilities.

I have high functioning autism and I have been told I should not reproduce. This has been said to my face. On more than one occasion. And all of those times it was when I mentioned that there is a good chance that autism might be genetic.

And you hardly hear about this from anyone other than the apologists for it. Those that justify it and think it’s not only okay, but should be standard practice! And yet the only social justice blogs I have seen make mention of it in depth is real-justice-walugi, ughsocialjustice and disneyvilliansforjustice. Not one blog that identifies as a “Social Justice Warrior” seems to care about this issue.

And it’s terrifying for me. Forced sterilization is barbaric and disgusting, and yet it is openly done to the disabled in first world countries. Doctors recommend it.

Thankfully, not one in my family is like that, but think for a moment.

If my mother dragged me down and had me sterilized tomorrow, people would support it.

If she murdered me, people would be more sympathetic towards her than me. I would be dead, and people would be crying for her. It’s asinine.

That is ableism. That is worrying and destructive ableism that ends lives. And none of the “social justice warriors” care. They care about what words you use. They act like pointing out that there are different levels of autism in the worst offense against us. They focus on the downright petty and act blissfully unaware of the important things.

They do that while there are innocent people getting their most basic human rights taken away simply because they are disabled.

It has to stop. And I’m seeing nothing being done outside of the disabled community.

~Cadence

reblogging this again for the commentary.

i am not normally in favor of the “stop talking about your oppression because mine is worse!” attitude. but arguments about white headcanons for fictional characters get tens of thousands of notes, and this article link has 25.

it is legal to pay disabled government workers less than minimum wage.

people regularly get away with murdering us.

i’ve been fired for failing to pick up nonverbal cues at least twice, and ended up homeless on one of those occasions.

the richest and most visible group claiming to speak for us is a hate group dedicated to eradicating our existence.

the ‘wheelchair ramps’ that would allow us to interact with institutions are almost entirely absent.

i could go on and on and on. but apparently none of that is remotely as interesting as some celebrity’s latest sexist tweet. look, guys, i don’t want you to stop talking about other stuff. i just want you to talk about this too.

(Source: autisticadvocacy)

Filed under sj murder abuse

21,608 notes

genderflummox:

"never use this word because it’s common, instead use all of these things that i’ll call synonyms even though they carry different connotations and will change the meaning of your dialogue if you use them" — very bad and unfortunately very common writing advice

(Source: toxicsovereign, via thepageofhopes)

Filed under writing

125 notes

A Summary of the Problem

the-real-seebs:

As previously mentioned on some occasions, I have concerns about the way Real Social Skills deals with (or more importantly, doesn’t at all deal with) criticism, and some of the really crappy advice they give, and the fact that a lot of people, having seen only some of their good posts, tend to keep recommending them. Problem: Since they block their critics, no posts critical of them show up on reblogs or anything. So I could post with tags. But wait, my blog’s tagged NSFW, so it won’t show up in at least some tag searches. Solution: A separate blog which exists only to be SFW and address these concerns.

realersocialskills:

The blog “Real Social Skills” offers a fascinating mix of fairly good advice (especially for autistics trying to learn social skills), mediocre advice, and genuinely awful advice which could get people killed. They aggressively block critics, and that includes not just people who flame them, but anyone who advocates a little too much for a position they don’t like. Since blocking prevents anyone from seeing the blocked posts, this means that none of their other readers get to see the comments from people whose experience doesn’t fit their preferred narrative.

Many of us have tried to get them to respond to critics, or even acknowledge that perhaps their presentation is one-sided. That gets you blocked. Questioning their judgment? You get blocked. Pointing out that your own experiences are different? Tends to get you blocked, especially if you do it on one of their hot-button issues. So if an anonymous user writes in to Real Social Skills with a question you could answer, you’d better hope you’ve never accidentally said something they disapprove of, or there is no way for you to let the anon know. And if Real Social Skills says something stupid, or dangerous, you can’t do anything about it; you can’t correct them, or you’ll get blocked.

I originally started following them because of their good-quality advice about learning social coping skills. I’m autistic, and I am always on the lookout for good sources of advice on social interactions. Unfortunately, over time, I’ve found that more and more of their posts are dangerous or flawed. And, since they don’t accept criticism well (and hardly accept it at all, really), it’s become a sore point.

Oddly, one of the best explanations of the problem here comes from Real Social Skills themselves:

When you have mixed feelings about an abusive relationship

People are complicated, and relationships are even more complicated. Abuse victims are often pressured to pretend that things are simple. They’re pressured to believe that if there was any positive aspect whatsoever to an abusive relationship, then it wasn’t really as abusive as they think it was.

But it doesn’t work that way. People aren’t averaged. People can do some really good things, and some abusive things. They don’t cancel each other out. They coexist. Whatever else happened, the abuse was real, and you’re right not to tolerate it.

Sometimes… sometimes your abuser is also the person who taught you your favorite recipe.

Or something fundamental about how you understand the world.

Or a major skill you now use professionally.

Or maybe they gave you a lot of valuable criticism that made your art better.

Or maybe they supported you materially when you were in real trouble.

Or any number of other things.

And…

…none of that makes the abuse ok. None of that is mitigating in any way. It doesn’t cancel anything out. Sometimes people talk like the abusive interactions and the good ones get put in a blender or something, and like some sort of theoretical blended average is what really counts. That’s not how it works. It’s the actual interactions that count, not some theoretical average. The abuse is real, and significant, no matter what else happened.

This is, in fact, a really good summary. And Real Social Skills produces a lot of things like this that are actually pretty good advice, pretty insightful, and so on. They also produce some bad stuff. And I don’t mean “maybe this is a little debatable”, I mean “seriously harmful bad advice, could get people killed”. So I’m going to start doing some responses to their posts on a separate blog, because my regular blog, the-real-seebs, is tagged NSFW, and won’t show up in searches.

Issue #1: Lie to your therapist

This is pretty much the gold standard for shitty Internet advice:

Lie to your therapist!

If someone who is trying to crush you sends you to a therapist, you’re probably better off lying to that therapist. You’re probably safer if you learn to pretend to be happy and grateful, and to avoid telling them anything important. Be careful. Don’t trust them unless you have an exceptionally good reason to. Even if they seem kind. Even if they seem to sympathize with your position. Abusive therapists are very, very good at faking that and misleading you. A therapist who is working for someone who wants you crushed is probably working for the purpose of crushing you, and they’re probably very skilled at manipulating you into betraying yourself.

This might sound reasonable at first, but it’s pretty much not, because abusive therapists simply aren’t that common. Yes, there are some out there. But wait, who is it that’s “trying to crush you” and has the ability to send you to a therapist? Probably parents. And while some parents are able to suborn a therapist, quite often therapists turn into allies against abusive parents. The assumption that the default is that therapists are abusive is already flawed. The assertion that you need “exceptionally good reason” to trust them is arguably worse, because pretty much by definition, if you need this advice, you aren’t really equipped to determine what counts as an “exceptionally good” reason.

Issue #2: No one in power can be trusted

Someone reported a problem with their mom habitually outing them as autistic to people. Someone suggested asking the mom to stop. Real Social skills replied:

I don’t know what your relationship with your mother is like, but maybe ask her if you can talk to her privately for a moment, and be firm but gentle, use words like “This is important, we need to talk.” Vocalize in the nicest way possible about how you feel about what she does when she introduces you to people. Think of an agreement when you want to “out” yourself as being Autistic, if you even want to out yourself.

You can even write all these feelings in a letter if talking to her face to face is too intimidating.
That kind of thing is much more effective between equals. I haven’t seen it work well as a strategy to get someone with power over you to treat you better. Have any of y’all?

Of course, many people have seen parents try to avoid hurting their kids when alerted to the fact that they were doing so. Unsurprisingly, the people who responded pointing out that we’ve seen it work well? Mostly blocked. People who would challenge the dogma that all people in power are abusive can’t be allowed to talk. And that’s a pretty serious problem, because the fact is, most parents have power over their kids, but will in fact listen to things their kids say about what hurts them. This is because most parents are not abusive.

Issue #3: Therapists are evil, it’s definitely the majority that are bad, and no one should be allowed to say maybe it’s not pervasive

This one’s a bit long.

There’s some truth to concerns about the possibility of problems in therapy, but this post is structured to strongly suggest that therapy is by default horrible and abusive, and that there’s no significant risks from non-treatment.

Only, that’s not true. Non-treatment of serious health problems kills people. The underlying assertion is that the problems with the mental health profession are “pervasive”. That is to say, it’s basically impossible to encounter therapists who aren’t abusive. If it’s not that hard, then the problems aren’t really pervasive, now are they? But the occasional grudging admission that maybe occasionally therapy isn’t the worst thing doesn’t do much to make up for the ongoing flood of “absolutely, therapy is very dangerous and you should be afraid”.

Perhaps most importantly, the person Real Social Skills was responding to said:

Many people have these experiences with therapists and don’t even know there’s anything wrong with them. So they don’t report bad experiences even if they’re having them.

You know what? When you tell people that the problem is “pervasive” and nothing will be done about it, that makes them think those experiences are normal, and makes them less likely to report them. Real Social Skills is doing the exact opposite of making this better, by warning people away from reporting problems. Some of the analysis in the quoted post is not bad at all, and correctly observes that the stigma associated with mental illness in many societies makes it harder for things to get fixed. That’s true. But it’s a problem that is dramatically worsened when people talk about how horrible therapy is, and about how it should be a desperate measure of last resort only. (It is also one of the reasons that Internet stories give such a bleak picture of mental health care; people who are unhappy are likely to complain, and people who are happy are likely to be afraid of the social results of admitting to having needed mental health care.)

Issue #4: Institutionalization is never, not ever, done because someone was actually dangerous:

No, really, they said this.

Sometimes people are institutionalized. This is not evidence that they are dangerous. It is not evidence that they need to be locked up for their own good. It is not evidence that they are a kind of person who can’t be free. All it’s evidence of is that someone powerful decided they weren’t really real, and needed to be separated from the real people. And that’s all.

You can really hate therapists a lot, and still admit that every so often people who are very obviously suicidal get institutionalized at least for a while because they are believed to be a danger to themselves. But Real Social Skills can’t admit that. No, it has to mean that someone with power decided the person wasn’t “really real”. It can’t ever mean that sometimes, people who are really real are also really a danger to themselves or others.

Issue #5: No one who has ever studied autism knows anything about it

This is a classic.

I don’t dispute that the world contains “autism experts” who are spectacularly bad, starting with Autism Speaks and going right on down the line. But. This is a much stronger claim; it’s not that experts might believe these things, but that “experts are taught things like this”. So if you aren’t taught those? You’re not an expert. The people who might have commented on this post with anything about successful or positive interactions? Blocked. Hidden. Down the memory hole.

Issue #6: Totally anonymous, presenting as an authority, and requesting donations

Pledge drive

Look, I totally support people asking for help when they’re short on food. On personal blogs, where they aren’t presenting it as supporting the “work” of maintaining a blog that does shitty things. If you’re gonna solicit donations to fund your blog, I think that gives you something of an obligation to put in the effort to do the blog competently. That means not silencing critics and repeating falsehoods.

So where am I going with this?

Part of the problem here is that this blog actively targets vulnerable people. People who do have mental disorders, who may have trouble evaluating the world or getting a good view of how safe it is. And then not only offers bad advice, but goes to significant effort to ensure that responses from other people who have differing views aren’t displayed. To anyone. If you want to respond so that the other posters see what you say, your options would be to make a new blog every time and hope that a few people see something in the hours before you get blocked for disagreeing, or… well, there isn’t really another option.

So. The only solution I can think of is to write a counterpoint blog, which takes some of their posts, and comments on them.

I don’t mean to imply that all their advice is bad. Some of it is quite good! It’s just that the bad advice is so very bad, and they’ve worked so hard to prevent anyone from responding.

And yes, before I decided to do this, I tried every other avenue I could think of for trying to get them to even acknowledge that there were concerns. I’ve never gotten a single response or acknowledgement from them, and several of my acquintances who have also tried have also gotten no responses ever. As a very fundamental thing, being in the advice blog business requires that you be willing and able to deal with criticism. If you can’t do this, you cannot competently run an advice blog. And there is nothing else to it. If your life experiences have left you unable to handle conflict, then it’s pretty important not to pursue a career in which you have to either handle conflict gracefully or endanger people. That would be a major disqualification.

This is particularly true because of the combination of anonymity, aggressive blocking, and asking for donations to support the “work”. We have no idea whether Real Social Skills has education or experience relevant to the topics they write about. We don’t know whether they have ever actually known any mental health professionals, although the evidence seems to suggest they’ve known some bad ones. And the fact that they’re asking for donations means that in addition to whatever other motives are involved, they have a financial motive to try to make it look like they’re more reliable and trustworthy than they are.

If you’ve gotten this far, and you disagree with things I’ve said here: Feel free to send asks, or reblog with comments. I won’t be blocking people for criticism, and I will in general respond to any asks I get, within the limits implied by trying to avoid the NSFW tag. Since my primary complaint has to do with a lack of transparency or acknowledgement of criticism, I’m going to be pretty careful not to do the same things.

Filed under realsocialskills realersocialskills a blog to address the popular one that blocks most of the people who disagree with them which is really awful coming from a blog with that supposed purpose

112,187 notes

gay-mo:

The child I babysit sometimes is 5 years old. Last time I went to take care of him I noticed he has this awesome painting of the moon in his bedroom. He told me his mothers friend painted it. After he told me the artists name he then explained to me “She used to be a boy but she didn’t feel good so now she just takes medicine and it helps her to be a girl. She feels better” 

It’s literally that easy to explain it to kids. 

(via trilies)

2,500 notes

Last week, local teenager Andrew Phillips picked up a copy of Ayn Rand’s best-selling dystopian novel Atlas Shrugged. Within a matter of days, Phillips finished the entire novel cover-to-cover.

Many in town held a candlelight vigil, in memory of Andrew Phillips.

"I miss Andrew," said Monica Wake, one of Phillips’s best friends since elementary school, during the memorial service. "He was such a sweet kid. He cared so much about other people. And it’s so sad that that sweet kid is no longer with us today." Wake, as well as many others, broke down in tears.

"I remember the last thing Andrew said to me before the wonderful person he used to be died," said another friend, Richard Baker. "He said to me, ‘Richard, I just got to the part where Francisco gives his speech about money and the root of all evil. Ayn Rand just got that so right’. I didn’t want to believe it, but as time went by… I had to accept that the Andrew I knew was no longer with us."

Baker then went on to say, “But after he finished the big speech at the end… it was even worse. I asked if he wanted the rest of my turkey sandwich. He said charity was for parasites, and that mine was the morality of death. I don’t even know what that means. It was just a sandwich.”

In a final, tearful eulogy by Phillips’s best friend Jacob Roark, he said, “Andrew was my best friend. He was kind. He was thoughtful. But toward the end, he slipped into something like dementia. He wasn’t the same smiling boy I used to know. He kept talking about how poor people deserve to die, that they were just leeches on society. And he said that we should do away with all government, and become an anarcho-capitalist society. It’s just…” Roark broke down sobbing. “It’s just not realistically sustainable taking into account human nature and the complexities of the real world!” Roark cried.

"I just miss my friend," Roark said, wiping away tears of grief and loss. "He used to be cool. He used to be nice. Now he’s a Libertarian. But I won’t remember him as he is now: cold, dead, uncaring of the underprivileged. I will remember him as the wonderful human being he once was. I love you, Andrew. For free."

The service lasted two hours, with hundreds showing up to honor the memory of Andrew Phillips.

Studies have found that the minds of thousands of impressionable teenagers are victim to readings of Atlas Shrugged every year. Phillips’s parents have issued a warning to all those contemplating Ayn Rand novels: “Don’t let yourself become a statistic. Think.”

Unsuspecting Teenager Picks Up Copy of Atlas Shrugged

The Wishwashington Post

(via thewishwashingtonpost)

(via thepageofhopes)

Filed under satire beautiful

63,123 notes

gynocieum:

oniongentleman:

kahtiihma:

bless-the-child:

scaredpotter:

Oh, know the perils, read the signs,
the warning history shows,
for our Hogwarts is in danger
from external, deadly foes

And we must unite inside her
or we’ll crumble from within
I have told you, I have warned you…
let the Sorting now begin.

I’ve been waiting for this gifset <3 look how great is is that the houses are interacting and not everything is so black-and-white-and-we-all-hate-slytherin. I love it. 

INTER-HOUSE FRIENDSHIPS
SLYTHERINS HOLDING HANDS WITH GRYFFINDORS
HUFFLEPUFFS DANCING WITH SLYTHERINS
RAVENCLAWS DRINKING AND STUDYING WITH GRYFFINDORS AND HUFFPUFFS
AHHHH

How much do you want to bet that the Gryffindors and Slytherin just get together to complain about how hard the homework is.

is that lesbians in the first gif?

(via trilies)

Filed under harry potter yes good