Sliced Bread

To me, the internet is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Most of us have heard the saying, “That’s the best thing since sliced bread!” What do you think is actually the best thing since sliced bread?

365 Writing Prompts

The internet.

With the internet I can make friends all over the world. I can talk to people I don’t know, I can find like minds who live miles away. I often feel utterly alone in my local, meatspace communities. I suffer from social anxiety. I find it hard to leave the house quite often. Sometimes I just can’t stand the people I meet in real life.  Often I must make nice even though I dislike someone’s behaviour, or I’m “That bitch who makes waves”.

But on the internet?

I can block assholes from seeing me on Facebook or Google+ or Twitter. I can ban jerks from commenting on my blog. I don’t have to be nice for the sake of keeping up social pretences. Yes, there’s an increase in bullying and harassment because anonymity makes people brave, but there are also tools that make it a bit easier on me to deal with them — I hate confrontation in meatspace and walking away isn’t always an option. On the Internet, walking away is an option.

The internet is where I come together with people who have similar ideas as I do and we collaborate on how to make the world a better place. The internet is where I talk about things that are important to me, where I do consciousness-raising. The internet is where I work towards dismantling the oppressive kyriarchy in which we live.

Because of the internet, free apps are available to people, and I’m able to use programs like Evernote — something that literally has saved my butt as a writer. I don’t know how I got along before discovering Evernote.

(Evernote has a premium version, which I’m planning on buying when I have the money. But the internet allows me to try apps and software before paying for them as well as cutting down on packaging.)

On the internet, I have my own home — this blog. My website. These are my spaces. My online homes, as it were. I have a history of lacking a sense of home no matter where I live in meatspace, so having a sense of a place to call home online is important to me.

The internet also allows me to keep in easy contact with my meatspace friends in other parts of the world. I lived in Hawaii for 10 years, and I’ve travelled to many different countries, where I made friends from all over the world. Thanks to the internet, I can still keep in touch without racking up thousands of dollars in long-distance phone bills.

Speaking of phones — I actually hate talking on the phone. I have phone anxiety. Part of this is because I can’t see the person speaking, so I have trouble understanding what they’re saying. What I don’t have is Skype anxiety. I can Skype call my friends and chat with them without having a nervous breakdown.

The internet saved my relationship. I’ve been in a long-distance relationship for almost 4 years. For the first 2 years, I was a 2 hour boat ride away and only saw Ogre once a month, if that. We Skyped and Facebooked constantly, and it kept our relationship going strong.

Now that I live a 40 minute drive away, we still Skype several times a week or send each other Facebook messages.

Without the internet, today wouldn’t be the one year anniversary of our getting engaged. Our relationship would have crumbled a while ago.

I owe so many good things in my life to the internet. And yes, I owe some bad things too, but the good things so outweigh the bad that I am being completely honest when I say:

To me, the internet is the greatest thing since sliced bread. And sliced bread is pretty awesome. I mean, I can’t be the only person who cuts zirself when trying to slice whole loaves, right?

Songs for snakes and lions

Lately I’m interested in fandom music mixes, like this Gryffindor/Slytherin one I found on Friday.

I was looking at the ebook of prompts, and today’s is “What role does music play in your life?”

Short answer: a pretty important one. I have a lot of music on my computers; I have writing playlists, playlists for the gods, playlists for holidays, playlists for sleeping, playlists for cleaning, playlists for sex….

I love music. And when I find a new song I like, I listen to it on repeat for hours, sometimes days, so it becomes a part of me.

Lately, I’ve been interested in fandom mixes — collections of songs put together to fandom themes, like mixes for the houses of Hogwarts, or mixes for your one true pairing.

On Friday I saw this Gryffindor/Slytherin music mix. (Only slightly Drarry.) I’m a Slytherin engaged to a Gryffindor — I had to check it out.

The mix is perfectly put together for its theme; each song conveys the tension and attraction between Gryffindor and Slytherin. I like most of the songs, but my favourite so far is Afraid by The Neighbourhood. I’ve listened to it several times since Friday. I won’t be surprised if I break 100 plays sometime this week.

I don’t own it yet; when I have some extra cash I’ll probably buy it (and the other songs from the mix) from iTunes. I’ve been listening to it on Youtube.

When you get a chance, check out the music mix. It’s pretty awesome.

The same user has also put together a Slytherin mix, a Ravenclaw mix, a Hufflepuff mix, and a Gryffindor mix. I haven’t listened to any of them yet; I’m still absorbing the Slyth/Gryff one. There is another Slytherin mix, however, that I listened to a long time ago and really liked — it’s here, if you’re interested, and that user has also put together mixes for the rest of the houses.

A little foreknowledge can save you a lot of heartache…

I’d rather know as early as possible someone’s political or religious beliefs — because they could negatively affect my life.

This prompt comes from the ebook of 365 prompts put out by the Daily Post blog.

“It’s never a good idea to discuss religion or politics with people you don’t really know.” Agree or disagree?

Disagree, very much.

In my experience, it’s better to discuss religion or politics with people you don’t know very well. By the time you’re already friends with someone, if they’re a good friend (or if they’re family), if you have severe disagreements with them on the subjects of religion or politics what good comes from discussing them? Unless you really are the rare pair who can discuss it without wanting to murder each other.

Most of my politics are tied up in my life or death. That’s how it is when you’re a member of an oppressed class in an oppressive society. Abortion rights aren’t a quaint mental exercise for me; they’re a matter of whether I live or die. Fat acceptance isn’t me whining because I don’t want to lose weight; fatphobia has very real consequences for the health of fat people, and I deserve to be treated with respect no matter my size. Equal rights and protections for trans* folks aren’t just some abstract thing I can talk about with buddies over a beer; they affect my friends, they affect me — they affect our lives and safety. If I decide to present as male and I get into a situation where the cops need to see my ID, guess what? My life is at risk, because if they see “F” under sex and I don’t match what they expect in their brains, there is no telling what they’ll do.  If I go to a doctor who decides that all my problems are because I’m fat and they misdiagnose me, that could have real, life-or-death consequences for me — and I’m not even getting into the mental health issues that come from living in a society that’s geared towards hating fat people.

For these things that are life or death for me, there’s no room for disagreement. Because disagreeing that I deserve the right to terminate a pregnancy without legal interference is saying that I don’t deserve to have agency over my own body. Disagreeing that I have the right to present as male without fear is saying I’m not a person to you. Disagreeing that I have the right to respect no matter what my size because you’re “so concerned for my health” is saying that what really matters is not my health, but your comfort — because if you knew anything about my health, you wouldn’t say a damn thing about my needing to lose weight.

As for religion, it’s not a life or death situation for me, at least not here in Canada — but it does have a lot to do with my mental health, my happiness, my life going smoothly. If I’m making friends with someone, I’d rather know early on if they’re going to try to convert me to something else every chance they get, or if they’re going to call CPS to protect my (future) kids from my “devil worship”. That’s an actual worry for someone who IDs as a witch, by the way. Don’t kid yourself that it’s not.

I want to know if someone is the type of person who believes, truly believes, that they cannot be moral without religion to guide them. Because I don’t want to know those people. If religion is the only thing stopping them from hurting other people, then I don’t want to be around if they have a crisis of faith.

I’d rather discuss politics and religion early on in a relationship. That way, if they’re a transphobic misogynist who doesn’t really believe I’m a person with rights and freedoms, I know to not let them any further into my life. That way, if they’re not bigoted, but just very uneducated, I know exactly what I’m getting into and can decide if I want to spend the spoons on educating this person. That way, if they’re the proselytizing type, they know early on there’s no point to try with me — I’m not open to conversion tactics — I know early on that I may need to be prepared to kick them out of my life, if they don’t stop trying. That way, if they believe that religion is the only way to have a moral compass, I can say goodbye early on. I prefer my friends to be able to steer their ships with their own moral compass regardless whatever god or gods may be in their lives.

I try to keep the peace with people I still want to be friends with, even if they disagree with me on politics or religion. (There are not many people like this in my life, for the record, and those that are disagree with me on portions of politics that aren’t life or death for me.) Discussing these things only comes up if I think we might actually make progress, instead of talking past each other and getting angry.

And as for talking religion or politics with random people on the internet…. Well, what do you think my blogs are for?