My Issue With Saying People Have 'Too Much Time On Their Hands'

I just saw someone describe a creative endeavor as the work of someone with “too much time on their hands” - fuck you HuffPo! Being creative is not a waste of time, talent or effort. Being creative is something to respect because creativity is hard. Making stuff is hard.

I’ve had many, many non creative friends and people express shock and joy over simple doodles that in my mind are mediocre, but they’re not described as being done by someone “with too much time on their hands”. It’s bullshit how often a long term project or art piece gets knocked down like that.

The person creating probably didn’t have any “extra” time and carved time out from sleeping or being social to make something amazing.

Don’t degrade creative work. Respect the time and effort and the actual WORK of the person who made it because you can’t make it and that’s okay. You have something you’re great at, something you’re passionate about and you make the time for it.

Creativity is not a diversion. Final pieces, drawings, songs, performances, everything are the end goal and a chance to show off all of the hard work someone put into something. Respect it.

Thinking About MRAs

[This is from May 26th. I never finished this, but...it goes up anyway. I haven't been creating much recently, I need to kick my ass into gear. Being honest, i'm not reading it before posting,  I remember the general ideas but it became too stressful for me to finish writing it before.] 

MRAs and male entitlement seem to be some of the most destructive things in the  16-34 age group in american men.

And it's fucking bullshit.

I just heard about the USC shooting, where this guy was a sadsack and depressed about being a 22 year old virgin(I'm not hating on virgins or people being depressed or upset about being virgins, I'm hating on people being assholes about being virgins). Well fuck, I'm a 25 year old virgin and I can count how many times I've been kissed on one hand. I'm not going out and thinking abouthow all of the patriarchy are against me and how no one wants to date a Nice Girl like me. I mean, mostly because I'm an asshole and figure I don't deserve anyone's love and compassion, but mydepression is not the point of this. 

I was thinking about all of the women who are in a similar situation as these MRAs. Nice women who are friends with guys but then get called 'one of the guys' which removes their friend's chance of sexual potential with them. Women who may be (god forbid) overweight or have small breasts, or maybe they're not up to society's beauty conventions and have been snubbed when they confessed to guys they liked. What about the women who'd be perfect homemakers and can cook and will suck your dick at the drop of a hat but are denied because of some superficial reason. 

What about every time a woman like this approached an MRA and every time they told them "no fat chicks, lol" and laughed about her behind her back as she felt as crushed and they do when the bombshells around them turn them down. 

Bear with me I'm arguing two things here. 

One, women aren't talking about taking down the patriarchy and aren't discussing violence towards men for this type of common, everyday misogyny. Women want the patriarchy dismantled so they can get equal pay for equal work, and equal job opportunities, and the right to say 'no' without the fear of being killed for having that much self esteem. The thing is women have experience massive hate by men and are constantly told they're sexually undesirable to their faces before they even ask for a date or even suggest friendship. Women receive massive and constant hate from men they're interested in and now there's a movement perpetualting hatred toward women from men they're not interested in. Nobody is interested in every person they meet. Few people are interested in half the people they know, and hearing a positive 'yes lets do they do' still probably won't be heard because how often does mutual liking happen?  But ugh, I've got the spins, which bones given I'm sober, but women aren't hurting and threatening men because they experience rejection. 

Men are taking denials and grouping them, as if all women conspired to turn them down. Getting told 'no' is not a personal thing, I mean, it'd be better to ask why you were told no but not be an angry bitch about it. 

Ugh. 

The other thing I was thinking about was what about all the women that MRAs have turned down and denied for whatever reason? It's pretty likely that some women they've known over their life has been interested in them and was maybe flirting way hard but they were ignored for the girls who seemed like the women in magazines. I don't know if there's one type of girl MRAs tend to go after, but this guy in this instance shot up a bunch of sorority girls because of his perception of them. Sorority girls are stereotyped as being vapid and but "gorgeous" so is he even interested in them on an intellectual level or just as a place to put his dick. 

Ugh.

So my thing, what is it MRAs are attracted to, it is just the looks or the personality. Is it the idea of that person that they've built in their heads? Is it the idea of being in a relationship that really gets them going. 

Thinking About Isms and Ignorance

I read this tweet and the following comments by the person who posted it and it reminded me of a thing I read some time ago about how trans women and people raised as boys eventually learn and see the institutionalized sexism that happens to women all the time. 

I kind of get it though, not noticing or not thinking about something as critically as you could until you experience it, and for a second I lamented there's no way this could be done for race. I can't think of a "this could happen to me" type of 'ah ha' moment that can happen to make racism better understood. I see instances of racism, modern and historic and I'm not surprised. 

I'm not surprised at proud white people posed beside a dead, lynched black person. Not in 18-whatever, not in 1957. It's like seeing groups of white people with shit eating grins in black face, I'm not surprised, just saddened each and every time that people aren't better. Seeing a color, instagram photo of dumbass white people in black, yellow, red face and other colored-face makes me angry but also sad that there's no way these people can ever really feel compassion for the people they're mocking and insulting. 

The closest is if we make it about them and that's not the same. 

I mean, I've heard people get so snitty and so pissed because someone's wearing a band shirt and they're "not a real fan" or about the concept of "fake geek girls" and "fake gamer girls". Titles of being a geek, a gamer, a fan of something are things you willingly put on and add to what you already were. And people get so defensive of the perceived "wrong person" giving themself attributes of something they like. But these selfsame people can't understand that when you dress up like something that a person can't change about themself and you're being insulting about it that it actually is harmful. 

I think I was also thinking about this because of that shitty Time article from this weekend when a college freshman went on and on about how he won't apologize for white privilege. He said some truly ignorant things but mostly addressed the hardships his grandparents had to overcome but never really addressed the aspects of his life that he had easy. His grandparents escaped Nazi-fied Europe and made it in America, made a business and started a family. His father worked too many hours and was barely around to see him as he grew up and he's not white privileged to be able to go to Princeton. I look at that and think about the loans his family was able to take out easier and with lower interest than what naturalized black Americans would have had access to. I look at the fact that he had both parents in the home and never made any mention of how much or little he saw his mother. Not that single parentness is a POC issue, but there'd be a different situation if there weren't a parent in the home when the other was at work. I also wonder how often he was a shitty kid in school and was never punished and what he himself accomplished with his own two hands and his brain to get into Princeton. I wonder if he was ever told "you speak good English" by people in his community, as if he shouldn't be able to. How often people ask and assume he's from a specific location because of his race and how he presents himself. He has lived a privileged life and it's disrespectful to just ignore it, it's disrespectful for the hell his grandparents lived through if he doesn't acknowledge that when they got to America they were playing the Game of Life with different handicaps than they had been playing with in Europe.

Crossdressers, trans people and I think even fe/male impersonators fall into a different category, they're not ridiculing and they can change who they are to a certain degree. You can't change your genetics or what ever biologic sex based medical diseases you may get. I don't know what it's like but I'm sure we need more trans positive doctors to help with pre-change health conditions that someone is still susceptible to. 

It's just maddening how difficult it is to educate someone who has never had to think about how complex the life of an Other is. Sex based discrimination can be seen and learned when someone changes who they are outwardly and society acts in kind. Race can't be learned as simply. Even going to a different country won't be the same because of old colonialism and Western domination. 

Drawing Topics

Not long ago my buddy Kristen wanted to draw one of her characters but didn't know the situation so I threw out my favorite suggestion, ages, because it's a great way to explore what makes your character them but also it gives you, the creator the chance to add on to their personality and consider how they got to that point. Then I thought of a few other interesting ways to draw a character or even think about them. 

I guess these can also be used as writing prompts or character development writing prompts, whatever.

Ages: Draw them far younger than they are in the story, what did they look like? How did they act? Are they bright-eyed and bushy-tailed? Conversely, draw them older - whether they live to the end of the narrative or not, how were they affected by the events of the narrative? Who do they still hang around with? I think it's always fun to have the closet badass old character taking care of kids and teaching them weird, covert opts shit and their parents are like 'old, senile Mr Jenkins, he so cray'. If they die, pretend they lived, whatever. What type of crazy injuries do they have now? If your character is immortal speculate on the differences between them being newly immortalized versus they've been around for a few centuries, are they jaded? Are they bitter? Are they tired of seeing people they care about die? Do they only maintain relationships with other immortal individuals because of that? There are a lot of things you can learn about your characters when you play with ages.

Sickness: Draw a character sick. This would work well as a short comic or I guess microfiction. How sick are they? High fever? vomiting? Bone deep aches? Do they have anyone around to help them? I mean, I've been sick alone and man do I put off eating to sleep and wallow in pain and fever. What's this character like and the people around them? Even if they live alone, are they close enough to anyone around them, friends, neighbors whatever, to have this person stop by with some gatorade and cans of soup?

Injuries: Similar to being sick break a bone. How did they break that bone? How much did it impact their life? You don't even have to keep it canon, how would they react to having broken a bone? Or losing a limb. Are they an artist who has to learn to create with one hand or their non-dominant hand because it got mangled in a car accident? Would they, with their personality, overcome the injury and continue on? would they become bitter if they were a happy camper? Would they have a new-found sense of positivity because they're still alive? And like with being sick - who is there to help them? Do they have anyone or are they stuck using buses and taxis to get to the doctor? Are they hopped on on percocet taking the bus, and tripping balls into a weird adventure?

Flirting: spoken for or not, how would your character react to a stranger coming up to them and flirting? Are they open to flirt or go to bed with them? Is this stranger they type of person they find attractive? Where are they when it happens? a bar? A coffeeshop, the bookstore? How will the location affect how they respond? It doesn't have to be street harassment, it can just be someone being polite and saying they find your character attractive. Do this with their partner(s) around, how do they react. Or conversely, have your character see someone who gets them going and they go to flirt with them. How successful is your character? How badly do they lose?

Cooking: can your character cook? On what level from 'cereal combusts' to 'can cure global starvation' are they in the kitchen? Can they get better? Do they follow a cook book or wing it? How encouraging on their friends/partner? Do they have one thing they can make, but nothing else? Will they end up in the hospital from food poisoning or missing a finger before ten minutes have passed? - Your character has a goal 'cook the thing' and a ton of props at their disposal. Hell, give them a simple task: make whipped cream. Give 'em a whisk and a bowl of cream and do they succeed? I've whipped cream, shit's difficult if you're not used to using a whisk. If your character fails, how spectacularly do they fail?

Embarrassing/incriminating photo: this works well with ages, but is there a picture of an embarrassing moment from your character's life that they think no one should ever see? what is it? What happened? Who don't they want to see it? what happens if this person see it? It could be anything. Do their parents have a photo of them naked as a baby running around the house with poop on their butt, and they don't want their crush to see them? Is there an incriminating photo that they don't want the cops to see? Are they a big, tough badass who has  soft sport of kittens and they don't need the person their intimidating to know that they lose their shit over kitten sneezes? Are they a big tough badass but they had horrible glasses and braces as a kid and were bullied? Does this still bother them?

 

I dunno, these are a few drawing prompts I just came up with, but these give you more to work with than just 'gender bent' or costume based art topics. These can help you learn about your character, even if the information has no bearing on the narrative and it never comes up, it's good to know these things for yourself as a creator. It helps the character breathe. They can feel more real and human. 

If I think of any others maybe add them here, or make another post.