Sincerity of the Pin

This last two weeks I’ve been wearing a safety pin. It’s a small symbol of my personal commitment to support and interfere with public displays of hatred and intolerance.

In the last week there’s been backlash. Some calling it white guilt, others calling it a twitter action and many being critical of the sincerity of people who want to show that they will do something.

The first criticism that this symbol is a matter of white guilt is completely daft. Firstly because it’s a symbol I’ve seen non-white people wearing and also because I’m not guilty that I’ve had privilege thrust at me, I’m angry about it. I know what it’s like to be on the opposite end of that particular stick and moving between my home town in the English north to the USA has turned the way people see me around. From being an uneducated criminal class waste of space to being a quaint English, articulate, sensible Beatles accented gentleman in the space of a six hour flight.

If anything, I would stand up for the working class of any colour or creed. It’s a built in part of me and it will probably get me into trouble. There might be people out there who will wear it as fashion, or guilt, but I see no value in doubting the sincerity of people. And that’s realyl what the backlash is, a disrespectful doubt that the motives or the carry through will not live up to the symbol.

That leads me to that second point. That this is a Twitter action. That is, a re-share of an idea with no substantive action backing it up.


This is something which will remind me to do something, if that means putting myself in danger, calling the police or just comforting the victim. I have made a vow to myself to be that voice if called upon. I know I live in a liberal city where I will not be called upon often, and that habitation does make it less useful. But there is racism here, there is misogyny here. It’s always been in Boston and I’ll always disprove of it.

But now, if it manifests in public, I’ll have to do something about it.

Inkscape Contest and Spreadshirt

For the past few weeks we’ve been running a contest to pick the next about screen. It’s a regular contest that we run and this one is special for me because it’s the first time we’ve managed to run the contest on instead of the deviantArt page. Because of this, we’ve had really good response this time around and the voting process is now ongoing:

The other good news is that the Free Software Conservancy has set up a spreadshirts account for inkscape, so the plan is to try and produce some physical goods. At first we’ll just inkscape logo items, but we’ll try and move to getting other items too. Maybe even incorporating artworks. Although that’ll bring up a good discussion we’ll have to have with the artists to make sure they’re happy with the idea, even if they’ve licensed things under CC.

2016 Sucked

This year was the focal of manure. We have no idea what the future will hold, but the probability for happiness and a quiet life is diminished.

Good luck everyone.