Online bullying – a new and ugly sport for liberal commenters
Even if you’re fighting the good fight, if it’s more about shaming, righteousness and public performance I’m not fighting with you
‘Being an asshole: it’s not just for the GOD HATES FAGS people any more’ … Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church in Providence. Photograph: Paul Connors/AP
I’m the Seattle-based publisher of a network of lifestyle websites read by roughly one million people each month. Almost all of our readers are women, most of them are educated and many of them are quite politically liberal. Because of this large, diverse and progressive readership, we deal with community issues that perhaps wouldn’t be such a problem on smaller sites. And lately, I’ve started to notice a disturbing trend.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve watched the rise of a new form of online performance art, where liberal internet commenters make public sport of flagging potentially problematic language as insensitive, and gleefully calling out authors as needing to “check their privilege” (admit their privileged position within society and its associated benefits).
As a publisher serving readers who identify as both progressive and marginalised (in many different, varying ways), this issue is hugely important to me – I’m protective of the quality of debate on my sites. As a progressive myself, it’s also complex and challenging because while I very much share the political values of the folks who engage in this kind of thing, I’m not on board with the tactics – which essentially amount to liberal bullying, and are way worse than anything I see from the conservatives who swing by my publications. The sad truth is that when it comes to the motivations behind this kind of commenting, it’s basically the same as the GOD HATES FAGS guys – even though the values are the polar opposite.
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How The Internet Transformed The American Rave Scene
by MICHAELANGELO MATOS
“I worked so much overtime trying to talk about how the rave scene wasn’t all about drugs,” says Ariel Meadow Stallings, who published and edited the rave zine Lotus in Seattle during the late ’90s. “It was very noble of me, and I still do believe it wasn’t all about drugs. But it is a drug culture. Even if you’re not on drugs, the culture of the party is determined by the fact that there are people there who are.”
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Social Media Weddings: 4 Tips From the Pros
Your wedding planning strategy — as with most things — can either be helped or hindered by your use of social media.
“While there are great reasons for using social media to plan your wedding (convenient! fun! easy!), since social media is so often used for marketing, it can be difficult to find the line between using the tools to effectively organize your wedding and treating your wedding like another Twitter hashtag publicity campaign,” explains Ariel Stallings, the author of popular wedding blog Offbeat Bride.
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Brides buck tradition and ditch the white dress
Instead of trying to fit a certain mold, Ariel Meadow Stallings cut up a lime-green prom dress she found on eBay, and paired it with an iridescent blue corset.
After all, it was her wedding day. She wanted to look and feel her best. “And that means wanting to wear the color you feel best compliments your skin tone and your hair,” she said.
While most brides aren’t ready to walk down the aisle in anything more colorful than ivory, bridal consultant Susan Rogers said the wedding industry is slowly changing its tune.
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Bowling alley wedding: How creativity is priceless in a bad economy
Sifuentes’ bowling alley wedding in January may not have been traditional, but the creative ceremony saved her thousands of dollars at a time when wallet tightening has become necessary for many American families. Her offbeat wedding is representative of a growing trend, wedding experts say, as brides are discovering cheap can be chic, and also inspire innovative party ideas.
“Necessity breeds ingenuity,” said Ariel Meadow Stallings, a writer who runs the online bridal site Offbeat Bride.
She explains what has ushered in the recent trend of frugal yet creative brides: “It’s the combination of the economy with the fact that through the ’90s, there was a big explosion of the wedding industrial complex.”
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Get your BlackBerry out of our bed!
Ariel Meadow Stallings, 32, an author, blogger and marketing manager from Seattle, recently started a project she calls 52 Nights Unplugged after realizing her dependence on technology had “gotten a little creepy.” Every Tuesday night, she shuts off the TV, computer and cell phone and takes a short digital sabbatical.
“When I first told my husband what I was going to do, he was dubious,” says Stallings. “He’s the one who brings me the laptop in bed. But I’m in my 10th week now and it’s going great. I’m doing a lot more reading and crafting and even taking a dance class.”
Stallings calls her project a “raging success,” although there are still occasional twinges of online envy.
“My husband’s not doing the unplugged thing; he doesn’t feel he needs to,” she says. “So there are nights that I’m unplugged and he’s checking his e-mail and surfing on his laptop, and I’m like, ‘Grrrrr.’”
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