Dr. Ellie Lockhart, Out of Touch Coastal Ellie Profile picture
PhD, Texas A&M, 2015. Software worker. Data nerd. My views are my own and never represent any employer.
2 May
Ok, that last thread was needlessly inflammatory, so I deleted it

Here’s my better framed question, which will still likely be controversial

GOP anti-trans bills have been leading to a lot of distress among trans people on here - understandably. Here’s my issue.
These bills targeted at youth health care do worry me, even though I’m fairly confident they are just not narrowly tailored enough to survive even the right wing judicial system we have.

But so many of the people who post about their fear of it also seem anti-assimilationist.
They offer relatively little sympathy, for instance, when I make arguments about, for instance, preserving the tech industry as the historical economic lifeline it has been for trans people
Read 6 tweets
2 May
Dear members of the Firefly cell of Salt Lake City:
As your leader, I have decided we need to make certain changes. [...] We are a vaccine inventing terrorist cell, not a social impact terrorist cell. Therefore, no more useless “committees.”
In particular, I am abolishing the following committees, which just take us to dark places and haven’t served us well:
- the Pediatric Research Ethics Committee (if I need an opinion, I’ll ask someone qualified)
- the Reliable Mercenary committee (Marlene can handle this fine)
Finally,we’ve had a somewhat paternalistic “survival benefit” incentivizing safe behaviors,like not wandering off to help pregnant zebras, and not fighting massive homicidal dudes with a single scalpel. I’m abolishing this and paying a bottle cap bonus.

Sincerely,
Jerry Anderson
Read 4 tweets
2 May
Sometimes I feel like it’s incumbent on anyone who’s been active in talking about politics for more than a few years to periodically do a “previously on...”segment to provide context, for self and others

I was thinking about the Captain America discussion yesterday in that light
Yesterday, several someones asserted that Nazis have been an apolitical sort of bad guy until very recently, and that this means that Captain America was initially a “both sides” kind of hero

Except that’s not true.The fact that they didn’t make John Walker Cap in 2010 proves it
By this I mean not necessarily literally John Walker, although they could easily have decided to make Cap a legacy hero with one of the other people who carried the shield without having to get into the WWII stuff, sort of like how MCU Ant Man is a legacy
Read 6 tweets
2 May
So, I know there’s some deserved criticism of Naughty Dog for their tendency to... give their white protagonists Black enemies who are presented as inordinately threatening, at least in TLOU (though my impression is at least Uncharted 4 also has the issue)

Mostly out of my lane>
I do think the characterization I read of Abby’s penultimate as-the-player boss fight (sickle Seraphite) as “monstrous Black man menaces blonde white woman” to be kind of enormously and has-to-be-intentionally deceptive
Like you can’t talk about that scene without acknowledging that Abby, regardless of ND’s intentions, was read as gender ambiguous and thus objectively the most monstrous by the player base

Sickle Seraphite is a dude, that’s why he’s like that, to that audience
Read 4 tweets
2 May
I’m not sure how much people realize that the idea that transphobia is a new thing for the right wing to be into, that they weren’t thinking about it 100 years or more ago too, is false

They didn’t always call it that but fascism is terrified of destabilizing gender
This is HOW we get factory work being valorized above other forms of labor, especially intellectual - it’s the fear of “becoming feminized” that led these people to invent both nerds and jocks (see Benjamin Nugent’s American Nerd, and my dissertation)
Anyway this means that since there weren’t actually huge populations of people changing their gender publicly (trans people have always existed and always will but the *specific way* we exist currently is new-ish) 150 years ago we have the advantage now
Read 4 tweets
2 May
Something ideological about the Last of Us games that I think it’s worth noting is that the narrative fundamentally does not embrace the idea of a Hobbesian state of nature, as people claim it does. Every “bad” faction or individual is like that bc of being oppressed
Like, Joel becomes a raider because OBVIOUSLY he’s not going to go live in the Austin QZ with the cops who murdered his daughter

Every other raider group was failed either by FEDRA or a similar post-FEDRA group
And government itself isn’t portrayed as an innate evil either; if there’s an ideology it’s pretty clearly social democracy or even light anarchism, given the premise that the right group of people could build a communal society in rural Wyoming
Read 8 tweets
2 May
Here at Faro Industries, I’ve decided it’s time for a course change. We’re doing fine, we have a lot of clients/wars, but we’ve been getting distracted a lot with politics lately, and it’s taking us to a dark place. <draft edit to remove> ELISABET.
We are a GIANT SELF REPLICATING AUTONOMOUS NANOSWARM COMPANY, not a social impact company.

So from now on, you can say whatever you like about the moral hazards of replicating autonomous nanoswarms sold to the highest bidder ON YOUR OWN TIME and OFF FARO INDUSTRIES SOCIAL MEDIA
UPDATE: I understand this change may not be for everyone which is why I’m offering a full buyout to employees meeting certain criteria

If the employee’s social security number is <draft edit Elisabet Sobek SSN removed at request of Elisabet Sobek legal team>
Read 7 tweets
2 May
I should be sleeping but instead I’m going to post something controversial: I actually more or less agree that there’s almost no point to doing a fictional work *just* to have [x] but with lgbt rep. Like, every LGBT story I like was made for non-didactic purposes
I find fiction about only straight cishets dull and it’s unlikely I’d ever create it! But, I am actually aggressively disinterested when I see something that was clearly designed with the selling point of “x, but More Inclusive.”
I get why people do this for Hogwarts specifically, incidentally, but here’s the thing: Hogwarts the setting isn’t even inherently queerphobic, but it does suck in like 18 dozen other ways! Sure, spite WBL by making the heroine a trans lady but also fix the other massive issues!
Read 7 tweets
1 May
Ok, so going off of my earlier thread about Cat’s in the Cradle (the song), 24, and absentee dads as a trope, did cinema history have a moment similar to video games’ dad game moment? Or was Hollywood *always* sufficiently dense with young fathers that they didn’t all hit at once
Like I can’t think of any period of time where “badass dad stories” were really really in

Yeah, fatherhood is obviously an important theme, but I feel like 1) it’s usually done from the child’s POV in film and 2) in exceptions, the dad is... less dadly?
Like there’s tons of Die Hard type movies where some dude with a family has a situation, but you don’t get the 2010s Dad Game thing where the guy’s entire character is Protect My Kid and Be The Best Dad I Can Be, in fact in films he’s usually a bit reluctant
Read 4 tweets
1 May
OK so Spotify just queued up a metal cover from this year of Cats in the Cradle, which tbh I can’t picture a less relevant to 99% of people in 2021 song
In 2021, “parents are out of the home for work too much” is, well, substantially decreased as a complaint kids would have, and also, people don’t really look up to their parents uncritically or at least I don’t get the impression so these days
Honestly I remember feeling that a plotline about absentee Business Dad was kind of outdated when 24 did it (about a side character, Jack Bauer is absolutely a Contemporary Dad Archetype) in 2002 and it definitely feels that way now
Read 8 tweets
1 May
I kind of think the awkwardest thing about Marvel’s (except for Black Panther) very poor track record on real world issues - like, in terms of *even having anything to say about them* - is that they’re not close to the first superhero people to try
Like my first superhero movie ever was Superman (197x), which wasn’t super political, but then the sequels, especially III and IV, whatever else you can say about them, did take very explicit (pro-environment, anti-nuke) stances
And X-Men (2000) was my next, and it kept all its “real politics” behind a metaphor but that metaphor was *fcking obvious* and as much as it deserves critique and isn’t a great way to handle social issues by analogy, IT’S STILL MORE COHERENT THAN F&WS
Read 7 tweets
1 May
ANNOUNCEMENT: You, as the best friend of Dr. (former Professor, but left the academy under mysterious circumstances) Ellie Lockhart, have received a letter from her after no one has heard from her in a year, beckoning you to an ancient island!
“I know you may be tired of hearing this from me,” Dr. Lockhart says, “but you’re the only one I know I can trust. I think I’ve discovered the link between the ancient civilizations of Germany, Finland, Russia, and Atlantis! I know why they all vanished!”
Enclosed in the message is a key to Dr. Lockhart’s apartment, a digital camera (a post it on it suggests you may need it to keep track of “certain codes you encounter along the way”) and a handwritten journal which currently won’t turn past page 3.
Read 5 tweets
30 Apr
Ok,I am not a lawyer and I know everyone got mad at me yesterday for suggesting we won’t all get exterminated, but I do want you to understand & be aware of that last summer’s *6-3* Supreme Court ruling in favor of trans rights directly supports overturning all trans sports bans
Like, the Court doesn’t like going against its own precedent. The people who set that precedent especially don’t. Regardless of how Gorsuch feels, his “law is not a canon of donut holes” remark and the logic of “sex is sex is sex” indicate he’s unlikely to carve out an exception
I’d actually be more concerned about the health care bills - although I think there’s at least a little small-l libertarian sentiment that will help some there - but I don’t expect them to make it to SCOTUS. Especially not the ones that criminalize parents. It’s just so far.
Read 6 tweets
29 Apr
I am so, freaking, tired of this trans discourse

I am so frustrated and alienated with people who think it’s wrong to consider the actual harmful effects on *people who need this space for support* of spending every waking moment expecting your extermination by the state
Like, I get it: your friends have made you believe genocide is coming

And it’s hard to go against your friends

I know because *that’s my whole problem*
Like, people are repeating BLATANT FALSEHOODS like that the Biden Administration has not taken any actions to support transgender people, and the fact that I know factually this isn’t true makes me a pariah
Read 7 tweets
29 Apr
SPOILER: in fact, Ellie got in another knock down, drag out fight
I seriously want to know what exactly the skills are that 90% of the trans people I know seem to think they have that makes “wait for the actual violent collapse of society” seem more appealing than “vote for the political party that isn’t actively trying to kill you”
Especially since this is the same community that got AGGRESSIVELY OFFENDED that a post-apocalypse video game included trans people

Do you want us in the apocalypse or not? Personally I’d rather not, in real life, but, you do you, I guess
Read 6 tweets
29 Apr
Here’s the thing:

I don’t know ANY liberals who think it’s a huge deal that Biden said something in support of trans kids. Any. And, being a liberal and not a leftist, I follow as many liberals as I can.

All today has been are trans people who hate Biden dunking on him.
I’m not defending “a politician.” I could give a sh*t about Joseph R. Biden’s mental state or if he’s happy or whatever. he’s not my hero or anything to me but the guy who isn’t issuing executive orders to have me stripped of rights twice a month
Biden, and liberalism, represents the possibility that we have a CHANCE, that *I* have a *chance*, to ever be happy, without going through a bloody and violent struggle where we will likely be killed

Nearly everyone I know who’s trans would rather just expect death/losing
Read 5 tweets
29 Apr
Hit me Image
She Is My Sin - Nightwish
Shot in the Dark - Within Temptation
Read 19 tweets
27 Apr
So one thing that’s become clear to me from being in the periphery of Western animation fandom for the past decade (and corroborated with other fields as well, fwiw) is that very few creators are actually the people who are deciding to definitely not do LGBT representation
What I mean by this is, it’s almost always a corporate decision if there will be LGBT representation.We’ve heard this now from people involved with basically every cartoon and you can see trends by comparing with things like video games too,where EA & Ubisoft are relatively chill
Basically I guess I’m suggesting I suspect that the reason video games is ahead of movies in LGBT rep, but behind television and animation in some forms, is that the companies involved are simply less stodgy in the more inclusive media
Read 10 tweets
27 Apr
it really sucks that we’ve got all of this big data on what movies people have actually watched during the pandemic, and it’s all in giant data warehouses belonging to the streaming services, and they’re not even sharing it with each other - which severely limits its utility
Like there was a moment when Netflix had all this super valuable insight on what people were watching, because they controlled most of the streaming traffic, so largely they just weren’t accounting for physical media, piracy, and theaters
But now I’m not sure even Netflix’s data can be much use to them, because like, if I as a Netflix subscriber who reliably watches female-protagonist action films skipped Enola Holmes, is that bc my tastes have changed or bc Amazon or Disney or CBS had a comparable offering
Read 4 tweets
26 Apr
Okay, I wanna talk about The Debate Mindset and how it’s escaped collegiate debate. I wish I could leave this thread open to replies, but I can’t - I’ve seen how defensive debate people (not just “bros”) get about their community. (Thread on collegiate debate as a social factor)
So, collegiate debate is an activity I actually only wished I could do until my last two years of college, and ended up coaching at Texas A&M - I don’t think I was a terribly good coach, but I do understand the activity, and I also took a course on coaching it. >
There are a variety of, well, varieties of collegiate debate, and these largely exist at the high school level too. These are debating activities, usually combined at the lower levels with forensics (as in prepared speech and theater-like events), with academic prizes
Read 29 tweets
5 Mar
My actual take on empathy is somewhere between Orson Scott Card's and the Coen Brothers', both of whom sort of take as a given that no one ever really understands anyone else (although for the Coens the *viewer* kind of contradictoraly understands almost everyone)
I think some people have very strong emotional bonds with other people. I know from experience these bonds are often not reciprocated, and that moments of understanding can be easily severed or broken.
Other people are very good at understanding others, but don't particularly connect with the people they understand. Some people can do both. None of these ways of understanding is pathological
Read 7 tweets