This past year was a lot more tumultuous than hoped, and characterized by frustratingly long periods of stillness.
Last year I wrote a series of small essays at the end of the year and called the whole thing Roaches and Foie Gras. I probably thought the title was really clever or something, though it does have the distinction of being rather memorable. The little essays in the blog post touched on things I carried with me into 2015. I didn't realise how long (until today, until the day after tomorrow, until forever) I would be carrying these things with me. The biggest takeaway, I think, was a sort of realization that humans are destroying the earth and that I'm a pretty key player in that destruction by just existing.
I think, also, that last year I tried to write about beauty, trying to remember that in all the ugliness there is beauty, trying to get at some sort of resilience.
This year, instead of writing a bunch of small essays, I'm just going to summarize a little bit what happened in 2015 in the form of best tweets, a few lists, my favourite books and games. It's also odd, because to me it feels like an incredibly fallow and quiet year, but I sure did take a lot of photos.
Mostly, this is apparent on instagram.
On top of photography, I did do a little bit of writing and editing. One project that took off and that I'm very grateful for is the collaborative website The Treehouse, which is still small in scope but might be growing a little bit more this spring.
In August I travelled to a small farm in southern Nova Scotia run by the man who also runs the Harrison Lewis centre on the same farmland. It's breathtakingly beautiful. I did a bit of work on the farm in exchange for a few nights of room and board, as well as took some video and photography for the women's chainsaw workshop that they were running that weekend. It was a beautiful long weekend.
Here's a small breakdown of what else I was up to.
Most Popular Blog Posts of 2015
Some of these were written before 2015.
- 09 May 2013 Reading Log on Clay, a short story by James Joyce
- 18 Sep 2014 Comparing what it looks like to build a body mass index calculator in Java and Python
- 22 Jan 2015 Using Twine 1.4.2 As A Prototyping Tool for Unity3d
- 30 Jan 2015 Trans Rights & le code civil du Québec
- 05 Jun 2015 Reflections on Bioregional Animism, Consent and Power Dynamics (Raven’s Knoll 2015)
Side note: I'm still anxiously awaiting for ghost to properly implement the really crucial search function. I did notice that since my switch from Wordpress to Ghost in late Sept 2014 a lot of my older posts have simply stopped being read.
What happened to my patreon in 2015?
In short: I got too depressed and anxious to maintain a patreon, let alone do any sort of artistic or critical work.
I am still not sure if I will be going back. I am currently looking into part time work as a programmer, (probably, but nothing is certain yet) outside of video games.
Best Tweets of 2015
Check out all this content production!!! Tweets chosen because they had thousands of "impressions" (number of times Tweet was "seen") or a relatively good percentage of "interactions" (clicks, RTs, follows, likes), and/or because I liked the tweet.
Hey trans folk. My friend started the wikipedia page on cissexism: https://t.co/gNElcg2oRl Let's make it really awesome, okay?— Gersande La Flèche (@gersandelf) March 13, 2015
(Yes I know that's not technically my tweet but I am still proud!)
I've seen grown men throw tantrums because a safer space policy would mean they would be held accountable for what they repeatedly say.— Gersande La Flèche (@gersandelf) April 27, 2015
Community does not mean twitter. Twitter is a tool, but not a community. #glmtl15— Gersande La Flèche (@gersandelf) May 2, 2015
I think many folks don't realize that Kickstarter is just a shiny "new" capitalist toy to OFFSET RISK TO CONSUMER https://t.co/scodLzGqxF— Gersande La Flèche (@gersandelf) June 22, 2015
Really grateful for the @societeludique commitment to safer spaces. It's really easy to cave in and throw minorities under the bus.— Gersande La Flèche (@gersandelf) June 26, 2015
"Look, no one outside GG wants to listen to an hour of GG history" you can say that again— Gersande La Flèche (@gersandelf) July 14, 2015
White men who think feminism is useless or stagnant because it's not Marxist enough: you are a huge part of the problem.— Gersande La Flèche (@gersandelf) September 19, 2015
"When, as happened recently in France, an attempt is made to coerce women out of the burqa rather than creating a situation + #debatdeschefs— Gersande La Flèche (@gersandelf) September 25, 2015
Emotional/sexual/physical abuse in childhood, correlated with poverty, doesnt work like the adage "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger"— Gersande La Flèche (@gersandelf) October 7, 2015
It literally damages the child's brain development and makes the child's ability to survive poverty and go to school incredibly difficult.— Gersande La Flèche (@gersandelf) October 7, 2015
I was going to apologize about nonstop tweeting about Canadian elections but then I was like THERE IS STILL A YEAR OF DONALD TRUMP so ya no— Gersande La Flèche (@gersandelf) October 20, 2015
Good thing that I live near churches so I always have sanctified dirt lying around for my spells to burn down the universe. #lifehack— Gersande La Flèche (@gersandelf) November 12, 2015
White people were not refugees to the Americas. They came as conquerors. They acted like conquerors. Even the pilgrims.— Gersande La Flèche (@gersandelf) November 24, 2015
Calling something a game is a Trojan Horse, because maybe it's a game or maybe it's something a little different.— Gersande La Flèche (@gersandelf) December 3, 2015
Really wish Montréal had a leftist freelancin' artist Patreon videogame making writing union or coop. Or at least a rad hackerspace.— Gersande La Flèche (@gersandelf) December 6, 2015
What if one of the reasons tech companies care about diversity now is because they expect to pay less salary to these "diverse hires".— Gersande La Flèche (@gersandelf) December 22, 2015
*whispers* Lupita Nyong'o is way cooler than Yoda— Gersande La Flèche (@gersandelf) December 29, 2015
My "Best Of" 2015
(This is in no particular order and, of course, does not really represent a complete list. There are so many things that one reads and thinks about in a year—this is a tiny fraction of what I am capable of recalling in the moments I put the list down in writing.)
- Tanya Tagaq's Aorta
- Gaby Dunn's Get rich or die vlogging: The sad economics of internet fame
- Octavia's Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements by Walidah Imarisha (Editor), Adrienne Maree Brown (Editor)
- Pippin Barr's A series of gunshots
- Chalsley Taylor out of my mentions
- Pol Clarissou Orchids to Dust
- Daniel José Older Context as Crisis: The Street as a Book
- Arundhati Roy The God of Small Things
- Brock Wilbur Video Game Violence: The Military and Game Developers Can't Both Be Right
- Zoe Quinn August Never Ends, But It Isn't The End
- Read Only Memories
- Carolyn Jong Conferences in Crisis
- Kai Cheng Thom 9 Ways We Can Make Social Justice Movements Less Elitist and More Accessible
- Erica Violet Lee “Indigenizing the Academy” without Indigenous people: who can teach our stories?