wlotus: (Eyes Wide Open)
I'm glad to see LiveJournal will remove the ability to cross-post comments from protected entries. That's an improvement, though it doesn't help protect the identities of people who post publicly from anonymous blogs. I applaud the improvement, though.

That doesn't change my mind about preferring to blog in my own domain.

Also, folks who snort and say we are upset over nothing have probably never dealt with being emotionally (let alone physically) abused, the power that comes from finally being able to go public with your words (even anonymously), and the fear that comes from realizing you could again become a target of such abuse.
wlotus: (Eyes Wide Open)
I would be very surprised, if LJ fails. The people who say they and their friends leaving will send the service into a freefall towards oblivion are either naive or they have made themselves out to be legends in their own minds. LJ is far bigger than us and our friends/connections. It will more than survive people like me leaving the service; it will thrive. The investors will make sure of it, or they will sell it to another investor who will find a way to make it so.

Whether those of us who leave would want to be a part of what LJ is becoming in the process of continuing to thrive is another story. I've decided I don't want to be a part of it. That is why I have moved my blogging to my own domain, not because I fantasize that my leaving will cause any kind of ripple in the force.
wlotus: (Eyes Wide Open)
Until the Facebook/Twitter cross-posting feature was released, I did not bother to go to DW to comment, even if comments were only accepted on the person's DW blog. Now, though, I use my LJ identity via OpenID to read and comment on DW.

I changed my mind after the new cross-posting feature finally convinced me to set up a Wordpress blog in my own domain. I figure that if I am going to pay to blog publicly, I may as well do it in my own domain, on my own terms. I intend to have all of my blogging migrated to that blog by the time my paid account expires in January. But I will keep my LJ account here just for reading/commenting on blogs that aren't anywhere else.

If you have a Dreamwidth blog you want me to subscribe to, let me know.
wlotus: (Headache)
Someone has created a poll asking people's input on the FB/Twitter link feature.

http://community.livejournal.com/thequestionclub/86168785.html

From what I understand, the LJ staff is aware of and watching this poll, so feel free to add your input to it.


ETA: Yesterday evening LJ staff member [livejournal.com profile] bluemeringue posted this comment in response to the overwhelming number of requests to get rid of (or at least allow blog owners to opt their blogs out of) the Facebook/Twitter cross-posting:

We understand and appreciate your wish for privacy. Most of us would not want our LiveJournal usernames, FO comments, etc., published on Facebook or Twitter either (to the extent we even use them). We hear you. We are doing our very best to respond.

Which makes me wonder, then, why it was done in the first place. I suspect LJ staff had nothing to do with this change. It probably came from the owners up above.
wlotus: (Princess)
[livejournal.com profile] docjeff has shared with [livejournal.com profile] sunfell a Custom CSS fix that will disable the cross-posting checkboxes for many LJ styles. This fix will remove the boxes from your blog for anyone who views it.

I've tried it. It seems to work. If it does not work (if you can still see the checkboxes when commenting on my blog), please let me know.
wlotus: (Nope)
Of course you are free to share your personal thoughts without referencing my identity or blog on your Facebook or Twitter. But referencing my identity, specific situation, and protected blog entry on your Facebook or Twitter? HELL to the N-izz-AW! I hope LJ allows people to disable this feature for their blog and for all screened comments, rather than leaving it up to commenters to enable or disable the feature for their comments. Not everyone is reasonable and rational. Some people are drama-llamas. This is why privacy protections exist: to protect the rest of us from such people.

LJ Frequently Asked Question #279: How do I update my Facebook or Twitter when I post to LiveJournal?

You can choose to update your Facebook Wall through the Facebook Connect feature any time you post a public entry to LiveJournal using the Post an Entry page, or any time you post a comment to any entry, regardless of the security level of the post itself....

For comments, the Facebook update will say "[Your name] posted a new comment to 'wlotus' at LiveJournal.", and will contain the subject and text of the comment, as well as a link to the entry....

Please note that you can choose to have comments posted to protected entries cross-posted to Facebook and/or Twitter, and the text of those comments will appear to all your followers on those sites, but clicking the link will not show the full entry to anyone who does not have access to view it. The cross-posting options will automatically be unchecked when commenting to a Friends Only or Private post, so that no protected comments are sent to Facebook or Twitter by accident.


Let us get something straight, dear readers. If I catch you linking comments to my locked posts to Facebook or Twitter, you will be removed and banned from my blog without explanation or apology. This is your only warning. Heed it.

Comments are disabled for this post and may be disabled for all locked posts in the future, until this is fixed to my liking.
wlotus: (Happy)
All of your comments on my post about realizing people enjoy reading about my life touched me. I am busy with the holidays right now, so I don't have time to get back to everyone, but please know I appreciate your comments. Thank you.
wlotus: (Peaceful)
As it turns out, LiveJournal's mobile site is very, very limited. Since I have full web access on my Blackberry, I'll simply use the regular LJ site from my gadget. That way I have full access to my security settings et al on the go.

[livejournal.com profile] scream4noreason mentioned missing my writing here. I have missed writing, too. To be honest, I have felt overwhelmed with all of the internal processing I have been doing concerning my life, my liberty, and the pursuit of my happiness. But it dawned on me this morning that the processing just may become less overwhelming, if I write about it along the way.

In stark contrast to my silence here, I've been doing a lot more sharing of the everyday wonders in my world via Facebook. Now that I have a cameraphone, I have gone snap-happy with it. One of Facebook's neat features is the ability to send photos right from my 'phone to my Facebook Wall. It's fun to be able to make photos of my everyday life and share them with friends and family right away! There may also be a way to do that with LJ, but I haven't looked, yet, to see how I can do it. There isn't a standalone LJ application for BlackBerry, so the only way I know of doing it is to FTP the photos to my web hosting account, then go to LJ's main website to create a post linking to that photo. Needless to say, it's not something that is easy to do on the fly. If I am going to go through all of that trouble, I may as well wait until I have photos from my DSLR to share. Those photos look much better than anything I can take with the tiny sensor on my cameraphone.

Speaking of my DSLR, I intend to make night photos in Manhattan, today. Right now I am in the self-study classroom at school. (Yes, I am back to working on my MCSA, heaven help me!) After spending the morning studying, I intend to go home for lunch and a break, then head back into Manhattan around 4:30. That will give me two hours to photograph Rockefeller Center and Bryant Park before meeting T for the ride home. I'm looking foward to posting those photos here...once I finish editing and sharing the photos from T's family gathering last Saturday night...once I finish editing and sharing the behind-the-scenes photos I made of the Astoria, Queens Help-Portrait team in action last Saturday morning. Hmmm...this may take longer than I thought.

1:11PM - Holiday photos will have to wait. I decided to remain at school, as I seem to be on a roll with this Routing & Remote Access subject matter. I'm spending the afternoon in the Mentored Learning Classroom, then will accompany T home from work. I think I'll walk with my camera tomorrow, so I can make photos after I finish my afternoon session on the ML Classroom.

I'm glad studying is fun, again!
wlotus: (Peaceful)
ip address: 192.35.35.35
hostname: proxy3b.external.lmco.com


I take it one of my former coworkers has been looking me up since (at least) the end of September. Announce yourself, please!
wlotus: (Happy)
What's this I hear about LiveJournal "dying"? Several LJers have made that claim, but I don't see what they mean from where I'm sitting. While some of the LJ blogs I read/watch have been slower at posting (as I have been in recent weeks), my reading list is so active and so diverse that I have felt perpetually behind on reading for the past month. For the time being I have no interest in blogging elsewhere as much as I blog here, and I have plenty enough to read to keep me here.

Anyway, I know I haven't posted much as of late, but it is not due to defecting to some other blogging site or losing interest in y'alls posts. I'm still here, and I'm glad you are still here, too.
wlotus: (Default)
If you had a paid LJ account as of Thursday, 6 August 2009, you can get a 3-day extension of paid time.
wlotus: (Eyes Wide Open)
I have tried, for several days, to find a word that best describes how I feel about this year's presidential election cycle...rather, to find the words that most politely describe my feelings and will not burn bridges between me and people whose friendships I wish to retain. After a lot of private venting and after reading the public blog of a Christian who chooses not to participate in the voting process due to the power imbalance it perpetuates--this person cannot, in good conscience, participate in a process which demands someone must lose and be forced to endure a legislature they find untenable--I have come up with two words.


Betrayed.
Invisible.


When the election odyssey started, my research started. I listened to the mainstream media. I listened to first-hand accounts of people's experiences. I listened to the candidates. I listened to people's opinions. I began to see a very different story was happening on the ground than what was being reported in the media. There was a lot of fraud and race-baiting happening from the camp of the now president-elect. There was a lot of mockery from his supporters. There was resistance to the truth. I do not know why the mainstream media failed to report on these things that people saw and experienced with their own eyes. But I know I spread the word, sometimes passionately. I posted about these things here and usually did not allow dissenting discussion, as that only served to perpetuate the half-truths the media was telling and obscure the fact that things were not as many people believed them to be.

For my efforts I was called an uninformed liar. I was called bitterly paranoid and close-minded. I was told to grow up. I was told to filter my political posts rather than keeping them public--my blog was a way for me to share many aspects of my life, not just politics--and when I refused, I lost readers, some of whom called themselves friends. It was so important to them that they not be exposed to the truths I told that they were willing to entirely walk away from the venue by which I shared my life with them, rather than merely skipping the political posts the way I skipped political posts I did not agree with. It hurt, but I continued to put the truth out there, sure it would help people make the right decision. And in the end, the country voted into office the very person who had lied and cheated to get the Democratic nomination. My words and the words of many like me did not matter to those people, except as something to complain and joke about. To say I feel "betrayed" by their decision (some of whom started out in the same camp) is a polite understatement, but in the interest of not burning bridges, it is the best I can do.

Now I feel, for the most part, invisible. (That is, when I am not being targeted as an object of angry derision.) I grew up in an environment where I was shown and told my views did not matter and would not be considered, even if the outcome of others' decisions directly affected me. This feels like more of the same. The media ignored me. Some folks who called themselves my friends ignored me. They are going on with their celebrations without any concern for the warnings folks like me gave them. It is as though we and our warnings do not exist. The outcome of the 2000 and 2004 elections affected me in exactly the same way, with one exception: the bulk of my friends and associates felt as I did. Back then I had them to mourn with me. Now I mourn alone or amongst near-strangers.

So now I wonder why should I bother participating in the election process. It has been a long time since I have felt my vote matters. This will be the third consecutive administration which is opposed to my concerns. Adding insult to injury is the fact this administration will come from the party I used to believe represented me and my ideals. I am reading the posts of a Christian who chooses not to participate in the voting process, and I will read the various reference materials this person has compiled of like-minded thinkers. Part of me does not want to take that road; as an African-American and a woman, I am aware many people suffered a lot of pain and indignity and even gave their lives just for me to have that right to vote, today. As someone who has gained more respect for the role third parties play in our political system, I am aware supporting them often forces the two major parties to address concerns they would otherwise ignore, and failing to support them insures the political landscape will remain bipolar. But at least on the national scale, it is obvious my views and my vote do not make a bit of difference in the outcome of things. So why should I bother?

I do not yet have the answer to that question, but I will return to it in the years to come.
wlotus: (Princess)
As they become known to and accepted by us, our feelings and the honest exploration of them become sanctuaries and spawning grounds for the most radical and daring of ideas. They become a safe-house for that difference so necessary to change and the conceptualization of any meaningful action. Right now, I could name at least ten ideas I would have found intolerable or incomprehensible and frightening, except as they came after dreams and poems. This is not idle fantasy, but a disciplined attention to the true meaning of "it feels right to me." We can train ourselves to respect our feelings and to transpose them into a language so they can be shared.

~ Audre Lorde, "Poetry Is Not a Luxury"



I have never liked debate, though I could never point to quantitative evidence to justify my distaste. But this afternoon I read "Poetry Is Not a Luxury", and now I understand why I don't like debate: the way most people debate things like politics (since that is what is most on my mind when I post here, after photography) leaves no room for feelings. To many people who debate politics, it is not good enough to say, "It feels right/wrong to me," in defense of one's political position. One must stick to cold, hard facts or risk being called unreasonable, unrealistic, or, the most offensive thing any woman can dare to be in a society that expects women to be pleasant at all times to all people, angry. Anything other than facts is dismissed as irrelevant.

Separate your soul from your brain, and you end up with little more than a bucket of dirt and a few buckets of water.

I cannot separate my logic from my feelings and be whole. A lifetime of trying to do so is probably a large part of the mental woundedness I have been slowly healing over the past decade. My instincts knew the right thing to do, though; when teenaged me realized my feelings are not welcomed in the realm of debate, I avoided debate. I have not yet learned the language that will allow me to fluently share my feelings in debate and have my words heard and respected, so I stay far from it. Whenever I make the mistake of venturing into that realm, I end up flailing angrily at the injustice of being told my feelings do not matter, only facts do...and then, only facts the other side wants to hear. My flailing doesn't help get my message across, and others use it as "proof" that feelings have no place in debate.

A place that has no room for my humanity has no room for me.

Now I know, "Because it feels right to me," is as valid a reason for my political position just as much as unemotional facts are...more so, in my case, because experience has taught me my intuition is far more reliable than the "facts" of other people's words and public actions. I have spent most of my life watching people say one thing in the public eye and doing exactly the opposite in private. My intuition can pick up a fake far faster than I can find the words to prove it to those who are blind to the reality of feelings. It happened during Bush's campaign, in spite of being surrounded by people who claimed Bush was akin to Jesus Christ and just as good for our country. Sometimes I wonder what many of them think of him, eight years later; I am no longer part of that community, so I don't know. All I know is I was right about him, even before I had the words to "prove" anything, even when my only defense was, "Something about him just doesn't seem right to me." Absolutely nothing about what that man has done or said or NOT done or said is a surprise to me. I felt it coming when he first entered the race and the people around me began worshipping the ground he walked on. Now I just shrug whenever something new comes out and think, "I tried to tell them, but they wouldn't listen."

And so it is with Obama.

Why do I fight against Obama's campaign, in spite of Senator Clinton's public support of his campaign? Because it feels right to me.

Why do I find a dollar here and there to help pay down Senator Clinton's debt and send prints of my voters registration form reading "No Party" to every DNC request I get for contributions that I don't shred? Because it feels right to me.

Why do I support PUMA PAC with my time and money and energy? Because it feels right to me.

Why do I not allow dissenting comments on this subject in my blog? Because it feels right to me.

wlotus: (Eyes Wide Open)
The white western patriarchal ordering of things requires that we believe there is an inherent conflict between what we feel and what we think--between poetry and theory. We are easier to control when one part of our selves is split from another, fragmented, off balance. There are other configurations, however, other ways of experiencing the world, though they are often difficult to name.

~ Nancy K. Bereano, in her introduction to Audre Lorde's Sister Outsider


And [speaking] is never without fear; of visibility, of the harsh light of scrutiny and perhaps judgment, of pain, of death. But we have lived through all of those already, in silence, except death. And I remind myself all the time now, that if I were to have been born mute, and had maintained an oath of silence my whole life for safety, I would still have suffered, and I would still die. It is very good for establishing perspective.

~ Audre Lorde, "The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action"


Thank you, [livejournal.com profile] mage_girl and [livejournal.com profile] rockbirthedme. I am ready to begin talking, again.



wlotus: (Atlas Shrugged)
Today, I am tired. There is so much to do, so much I could do, but only a few of those things seem worth my time and energy.

Sorting, editing, and developing my photos is at the top of that list. So is cleaning out my photoblog and Fotki account, so only the best of the best are displayed there.

Blogging here is not on the top of the list. Other than this post, it isn't on the list at all. Thinking about blogging here puts me on tenterhooks, because of the potential consequences. I am more than just pictures and self-reflection. I am politically conscious, and I want to share that. But when I did, some folks left and shut me out of their blogs in the process. Some of them came back after I stopped posting political stuff so much. When I think about posting a new set of political reflections, I feel anxious about losing access to their blogs, again, as punishment for not seeing things their way, for not letting them air or argue about their views here instead of in their own blogs, for not seeing things as unemotionally as they may see them, or for not being as emotional about what they are emotional about. I didn't do that to any of them; I just scrolled past their political posts and left them in peace, if I didn't agree with them. But far be it from any of them to extend the same courtesy to me. It reminds me of the emotional blackmail I grew up with, except now it's over politicians who don't know any of us personally and never will. I never thought I would see that day.

I hate being on tenterhooks, so I'm jumping down for a little while. If I'm gone for more than a day or two and you would like to continue to enjoy my photos, you are welcomed to visit my photoblog. If you want to know what is going on with me, please email me.


Central Park
18 July 2008

I'm Back!

Apr. 2nd, 2008 09:07 am
wlotus: (Happy)
wlotus: (Eyes Wide Open)
One could argue it's a side effect of being brought up to believe I am powerless in the face of those who hold the reins, but I have always taken the attitude that since LJ is on someone else's server, they can do whatever they damn well please, they don't have to listen to me--even if they claim to want my input...I've heard that from authority figures, before, and have learned the hard way many people say it just because it sounds good, not because they mean it--and I don't have to like or approve of it. If I don't like it, I can leave. Period. So when policy changes I don't think are ideal happen, I just shrug and say, "Well, it *is* their toy, not mine."

When I heard LiveJournal had been bought by foreign investors, I carefully archived my history to my home PC and deleted all highly personal posts from my blog. (I had been leaning towards that move after spending months feeling like no one was paying attention to my posts, anyway, and the sale spurred me to action.) I don't know what consumer and privacy protections their culture has, and if the LiveJournal servers ever move to their country, I could find my personal reflections being used in ways that go against my American sensibilities. Rather than screaming from the rooftops and ending up hoarse while things moved on anyway, I just deleted my stuff. If I don't feel like the site meets my needs when my paid time expires, I simply won't renew. All of the screaming and howling is just noise...and compared to the numbers of users who will continue to pay and/or visit no matter what happens, the noise isn't all that loud. If I don't post, thousands more will. If I leave, thousands more will come later. And if, by some strange chance, the site ultimately folds, the owners will invest elsewhere and continue to make money. The only people hurt will be the users who no longer have a site and the employees of LiveJournal, Inc. (i.e. the little people), not the investors and decision-makers at the top.

That is how business works.

Based on my experiences in life, I realized early on that the only way to have things exactly the way I want them is to build the environment myself. So I am not howling, and I am not striking. When I don't post or comment here, it is because I don't have anything to say that I would want the general public to read. (My decision to not post highly personal stuff means I rarely do filtered posts. I now share private stuff in private conversations, even when it comes to commenting.) If I want an online community that caters to my desires, I will get off my tuckus and build it myself. Moving to another pre-built service isn't even the answer; who knows when that service will change, too? Because no matter where you go and what claims the site makes, the bottom line is the bottom line. It is never about you or me. It is always about money. Finances will always trump feelings.

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