It’s a little scary that I put this off because I couldn’t think of five things that didn’t come with qualifiers…but here goes:
I’m a good writer. Maybe not to everyone’s tastes, but technically, I think I’m good. I put a lot of effort into getting details right.
I give other people the benefit of the doubt. If someone hurts my feelings I’m going to assume it was accidental, unless/until it becomes clear that it was deliberate. My default setting is “people are well-intended.” This has bitten me in the ass a couplefew times, but on the whole, it’s been a stress-reducer to approach others this way.
Although I have my spendy moments, I’m smart about financial matters. I started preparing for retirement when I was 22, eating ramen noodles and generic tomato soup @$.25 a can. I’ve been frugal *enough* (even though it’s not my nature), I studied money management, I listened to people who were where I wanted to be in 30 years’ time and built on their knowledge.
I’m a good listener. I’ll listen to rants, squees, grief, joy, or just whatever you did today, and give feedback on request (or just listen and never bring it up again if that’s what you want). And as long as I know that’s what you want, whatever you tell me will stop with me.
I’m a good cook and great “taster.” I can eat practically anything and figure out a close-enough duplicate. I take food seriously and can spend all day researching how to make the best Vietnamese pickles or Persian eggplant stew.
I know that I do it.
I know that it’s fun.
I know that it seems to fill a specific need in me and I usually do it when I’m feeling ansty or excited or happy or overstimulated.
I know that it can be words or animal sounds or random noises or humming or singing or just about anything that you can do vocally.
I know that telling someone to “use your words” is shitty.
the fangirl challenge
ten tv shows (1/10)
"I see as much misery outta them movin’ to justify their selves as them that set out to do harm."
I am radically against service trips where people go to “build schools” (or other facilities) in a developing countries, and I find them to be incredibly disempowering and paternalistic at their core. It all boils down to stroking the (usually white) egos of the volunteers to make them feel like “good people” and does NO longterm good for the community.
I just wish people thought more critically about international development and saw through the smoke screen of “aid” that many of these “development” organizations put up as part of the white savior industrial complex. Like it just seems so obvious to me that an organization that goes through all of the logistical and human effort needed to bring “volunteers” to build schools in ~*aFriCa*~ has values that are fundamentally not aligned with those of their communities. They do not have the best interest of locals at heart, at all.
If they cared about the community, they would be building out local capabilities and talents rather than trying to make a quick buck from western volunteers. They wouldn’t be bringing in untrained (usually) white people from the West without any language skills or understanding of local cultural intricacies to a community that is most at need. Rather than siphoning resources toward making white people “feel good” about themselves and aligning their values with white supremacy and white savior-dom, instead they would be working to give that exact same business to local carpenters and construction workers. Or, worst case, they would bring in people using those same dollars to train community members so that they develop these critical skillsets for themselves and their community at large. Why not actually work in solidarity with a community and build together to improve and develop local capabilities in the longterm? Why must we instead center the white gaze and destructive paternalism, which is disempowering and harmful and only has one longterm impact: making the Western volunteers “feel good” about themselves for “saving the Africans”
It makes me sick.
I also think it’s just so indicative of the deepset narcissism that lies in white supremacy and Western global hegemony that somehow we think that we can “build a school” better than people who are actually from that community. You know the ones who intimately know their needs and those of their communities, far better than the volunteers swooping in for 2 weeks to “save” them. How sick is it that we presume that “expanding our global horizons” can come at any cost, including undermining the fabric of a community, breeding dependency, and pulling resources away from actually building out the longterm capabilities of the people in these communities? I discussed these topics at length with someone who worked in international NGOs for 7 years in Africa and who left incredibly jaded because she saw how the values of so many of these organization was focused on “more NGO, now” rather than doing the more important work of creating communities where the presence of NGOs fades progressively with time as these communities are empowered.
The structure of the white savior industrial complex is one of disempowerment, damage and harm. Participating in it furthers this destruction and hurts these communities in the long run.
The vast majority of these international aid and development NGOs do not have our best interests at heart, and are simply there to make white people (and other Westerners) feel better for the “good deed” they did once in ~the third world~
We used to bring “school supplies for the children” to a developing country and felt like we were doing something good. Then it was pointed out that every pencil we brought was a pencil the local merchant wasn’t selling.
And going to the school to donate was disruptive and sent a destructive message.
We started going on non-school days and gave money to the principal instead. They did things like bought roofing supplies from local merchants. That “good deed” did more good, and felt a lot cleaner.
spock studying terran forms of humor and arriving at the conclusion that puns are the most logical choice of humorous offerings, and that proper employment of humor is important to human socialization structures
so the next time jim asks him for an estimate on an equation, spock replies ‘in order to supply that information, i would have to be a calcunow, not a calculater’ and jim doesn’t talk for three hours he can’t get over what just happened
Imagine your middle-aged OTP reading books side by side in bed. Occasionally they comment on what they’re reading to each other, or read passages out loud to help the other fall asleep.
Imagine your middle-aged OTP taking drinks and books down to the pool that is filled but not yet open so they can lounge on the poolside loungers in peace, until it’s too dark to read comfortably, then they go back to their apartment to start supper.