Tag Archives: family

It’s not just games that need Beta-testing

Humans need beta-testing too, bug-reports and patches. And some of us, like me, need everything explained in detail -stuff I’m doing wrong, stuff that needs changing, stuff that could be better- explained in excruciating detail or I won’t be able to think about it.

There are gaps in each of our experiences, so expecting someone to be able to do something that you need them to do, without asking them, is illogical. They might not be able, because they might never have done it before and they may never have needed anyone to do it before, so it just won’t occur to them.

To take an example from The Man of Feeling, by Henry Mackenzie, “…she fell back lifeless in the chair… It was not until some minutes after, that it occurred to him to ring the bell [for assistance]”. The thought “occurs” to Harley significantly late, because this kind of thing has never happened to him before; he’s probably sitting there with an internal monologue of “Oh my god, she’s fainted, what do I do, help, the prostitute lady has fainted, is she dead, please someone help, oh god, what do I do?”, ya know?

For me it’s emotional-people stuff, people start crying and I’m just there like “oh my god, they’re crying, what do I do, help” and then I go and get a friend and point them in the direction of the crying person.

I made a mistake, long ago, Year 4. Turns out you don’t laugh when someone explains their grandfather, who is suffering from dementia, called them a banana because he couldn’t remember her name. From then on I have been terrified of dealing with emotional people, believing that whatever I say or do, I’ll just make it worse. My one successful fallback is tea and food, throw one of them at a crying person and you’re on to a winner, in my experience.

This, as it has recently turned out, is not a sufficient response when the relationship that you have is a continuing one where you are a main support for the person. “Talking” is apparently a thing that needs to go on longer than a couple of sentences clearly stating a problem, an explanation and an apology. Who knew? (not me) Some people are talky-emotional-people, they need to be listened to, and responded to. In my opinion, these responses are not always genuinely felt or are, in general, meaningless nothings that achieve nothing- there is no practical solution to be generated from them, so why waste the breath on them. It’s not the person, it’s the problem that needs to be solved.

But I’m wrong, this is not always the case. Sometimes all that is needed is an ear and a few sympathetic (ingenuine) phrases. Which freaks me the f’ out, but I’ll try.

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Worry-Doll

Crystal glass terrarium,
soft, smooth, glide, prove.

Inside, a male & female pair,
Dolls with whom this glass cave I share.

Performing for them everyday, ironic,
Encouraging breaking, reaching out.

And on my knees, head bowed I pray,
Learning whatever lesson it is today.

Punching, punching hard, on glass walls.
Punching my way out, for them.

Breaking free like shadow out of sun,
Like sun out of clouds, rushing air out of glass.

Shock wave force from out my heart,
Shatters the smooth glass cage I’m in.

That air, once trapped, now free,
Out I go flying, singing, “Follow me.”

Out I go, like kite in air,
but no string to reel me back again.

There, they sit and stare. Achieved
what they said, not wanted.

Aim and aspiration as lines to stay inside,
As safe space, not pathway to another place.

Crumble inwards little pair, separate and fall.
No longer are those walls so safe,

Nor comforting to little minds, I’m sure.
Come fly, fly free, but do not follow me.

Never-ending little space fractured by the power,
that you nurtured (unknowing, unwanted) in me.

This was not what you expected, for me,
To rise to such heights as to finally be free,

And wanted, and strong, and, well, me.
But in you go, and in you stay,

So crumple, little worry-dolls,
And no more think of me.

 

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The Problem with Polygyny

To someone who has generally been taught to blame the Church for everything, this report is actually really interesting.

A little background on me; Semi-Neopagan family upbringing. My ma always wanted us to freely choose and explore everything so whilst she was in the Neopagan way of thinking she didn’t really try to instill it; just you know morals, which she and I don’t see as being connected to religion (i.e. they’re a focus of religion but they’re their own seperate guidelines for life if you like).

My gran on the other hand, hella Neopagan, tho she’d say Pagan and wouldn’t understand that the roots of what she follows actually come from the 1970s not like 370. Not too pushy but definitely encouraging into it, so everything church related for her was condemned basically. We had a Rev friend but he ‘followed the way of the Light’ or some shit, so he was considered alright.

All but the extinction of Paganism? Church’s fault.
Destruction of ancient holy sites? Church’s fault.
Dismissal of personal magic, female power, freedom, free thought, free speech, free worship? Church’s fault.

I mean, you can see where that point of view is coming from, and it does have some basis in reality, you can see those trends. But it’s not a reason to condemn a faith for all but it’s pre-Christian Pagan morals. It really isn’t. And whilst I was never wholly condemning like my gran; I certainly picked up a lot of that attitude from her, being afraid of feeling Christian, mocking the occasional (one) devout Christian (that I wholly regret, though I was 7ish; same year I had a mock wedding held by my friend who was the daughter of a vicar \’-‘/).

So, when it came to the point where I like started actually thinking about stuff like sex, marriage, attraction in a my-entire-world-is-feminist-and-now-I’m-consciously-thinking-about-the-power-structures-and-male-hating-thought-pattern-my-gran-instilled-in-me way, I naturally blamed the condemnation of lesbians, gays and polygamy/open relationships on the Church. It seemed sensible at the time. Now I understand it’s just humans, not a religion’s fault because that’s stupid because humans make the religion (even if it’s divine inspired, they go on to corrupt or spread it).

So, humans condemn polygamy etc., yet I hadn’t moved past the thinking that it was because their religion made sexual relations like that seem immoral (if you read the right passages in the right way). Never had I considered that there may be a more natural reason for their condemnation/closed-mindedness, even though I have already put other things down to a more natural impulse (racism for example can be understood as a natural rejection of not-your-clan; this DOES NOT excuse it- there is a reason that we are sentient, reasoning beings and I firmly believe moving past no longer/never required natural impulses qualifies as one of those reasons).

The transmission of STIs as a reason to be monogamous in a large group seems reasonable, likely and regardless of what criticism is levelled at this model, seems almost unquestionably the most likely reason for polgyny and polygamy to be condemned by a lot of people by natural survival impulse. If this is the case, and I strongly believe it is, there funnily enough doesn’t seem to be much need of it now, or at least in entirely morally corrupt places that are abusing the rest of the world enough to be able to afford sti treatments and protection that prevents transmission.

Basically, let people fuck other fully informed, consenting adults and however many of them of whatever sex they please;  and for gods’ sake provide them with protection to do so!