Because sometimes…

you make the mistake of sharing something that bothers you (international media announcements of the Nobel Peace Prize for Economics Winner Esther Duflo and her husband — there, fixed it), but your Facebook friend decides that you haven’t shared your concerns in the right format, so you give up on justifying your right to an opinion and whip up a snarky retort in Photoshop instead.

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Fake news article. Design/ photo: Suzanne Skaar, 2019. Full text below. All rights reserved.

It’s only Wednesday.

 

*********

Descriptive Text for my friends who may be relying on screen readers:

 

EXTRA! EXTRA!

Local Stay-at-home Mom Shares Link on Facebook Without Verifying 30 Additional Sources First

Earth blows up next day.

[Photo of Suzanne being tackled by her daughter. Caption:] Pictured above: Panic on the streets.

Local mother Suzanne Skaar (who claims she has an identity outside being a parent but has not provided any evidence of this) took a break from entertaining her seven-year-old on Tuesday, October 22, 2019 to share a post that “irked [her] based on [her] own experiences working with men on collaborative projects.” After she shared the post, she included links to other articles on this same topic.

This afterthought was not enough to prevent panic on the streets.

Experts agree that, before sharing an opinion, regardless of confirmation that she was not paid for this opinion, she should have at least prepared a bibliography in advance of hitting the share button. As of press time, however, she had still failed to convene a committee to perform a proper peer review.

“It’s my fault,” Skaar admitted. “I should have known to stay away from social media until I had a thesis ready to attach to the post.”

Authorities have not taken any actions as of yet. When asked for comment, an unnamed (Continued on A4)

 

Making Space Panelist Anna Nepomuceno

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Photo courtesy of Anna Nepomuceno; photo by Rheality Photography: http://www.rhealityphoto.net

In a little over a week, I’ll be moderating the panel “Making Space” at Jet City Comic Show, and I’m super excited! Here’s the bio for one of our panelists, Anna Nepomuceno:

“Anna Nepomuceno (@anepintacoma on Instagram) is a political activist by day and a plus sized cosplayer by night. A mother of 3 and an enthusiast of all things geeky, Anna is on a mission to encourage all girls and women of every size, shape, age, ability to embrace their inner hero. Anna is the co-creator of Body Positive Cosplay PNW, a small Facebook group that supports and encourages all body types to cosplay their favorite characters.”

Join Anna, Alease Frieson, Stephanie Anne Johnson, Naarah McDonald, and me on Saturday, October 26, at 11 a.m. For tickets, click here.

— Suzanne

 

Impeach Trump

The news is infuriating, heartbreaking, disgusting.

Watching what’s happening on a domestic and global scale with Trump in office is too much to bear.

Today, in more than 60 cities across the country, activists are holding Impeach Trump rallies. As host for Tacoma’s downtown rally (in front of Union Station, noon – 2 p.m.), I’ve been contacted by an activist who has stated they are driving 4 hours EACH WAY just to join our rally. That’s how much this means to them. We can no longer allow Trump to get away with criminal activities. Our elected officials MUST hold him and his cronies accountable.

Find your rally today. If your city doesn’t have one, make signs and get out on the streets! Make your own rally! Exercise your First Amendment rights before they’re taken away.

Drunken Discourse Recap

This weekend I traveled to Portland to participate in a monthly panel discussion, Drunken Discourse, which is broadcast on Portland public access television and made available online after that. (It sounds like it may be December before the most recent one, Episode #6, makes it on air.) I was invited by the host, Kyle Curtis, who read some of my work and gave me the opportunity to present my newest research project entitled: “Controlling the Narrative: Gatekeepers, Secret Societies, and Good Ol’ Boys Networks.” My best friend since high school accompanied me on the train ride down, and one of my first and favorite friends, my cousin, met us at the venue just as the event was starting.

I was able to take a brief break and join them at their table in between participating in the on-stage “get to know your panelists” conversation and actually giving my presentation. This is how the off-stage conversation started:

 

Cousin: Is she drunk yet?

Me: No.

Friend: No.

Cousin: Should we fix this?

Me: No.

Friend: Yes.

 

As I stated in my presentation, I have done editing and design work for a Tacoma based Drunk History presentation in the past (uncredited) – obviously this is the type of work I didn’t do while inebriated or in public.

Leading up to the event, I announced on several occasions that I was bringing my friend as my designated drinker.

I was honestly not going to have even one drink.

I failed in this endeavor.

I reportedly still rocked my presentation — even with not getting the clicker thingy, aka “slide navigator,” to work initially, and then later accidentally killing the entire slide show. Thank goodness for producers like Megan Taylor of Manic Esoteric Productions for straightening that out without me having to interrupt my presentation to ask. Those present had the great fortune to listen to Juan Coronell’s, Narendran Muralidharan’s, and Bill Hernandez’s talks ranging from sweet (“Embrace Change”) to hysterical. Narendran’s “Conservative Immigrant” had us dying; his timing was dead on.

Saturday night (and Sunday morning) did reconfirm the following for me: there are consequences to giving into peer pressure. Something about trying to be a responsible adult, the chronic sleep deprivation that accompanies parenthood (I had two hours of sleep Friday night), and missing a gallbladder has weakened my tolerance for vodka. But this weekend also reminded me of the power of hanging out with strong, intelligent, positive, and supportive women. I am extremely lucky in this regard.

I will share the link when it is available. According to Megan, the show airs on TVCTV.org and Portland’s Open Signal. “This includes many public access channels including CAN which reaches the greater Portland Metro area. CAN is on Xfinity Channel 11 and 331 (in HD) and CenturyLink Channels 11 and 1011 (in HD as well as Frontier Channel 22.” According to Open Signal’s website, “Via our five cable channels, Open Signal reaches over 400,000 homes in the Portland metro area […]” In other words: no pressure. Keep an eye out on the Drunken Discourse Facebook page for more information.

I am looking to publish the longer written version as soon as possible, and I can also be available to repeat this presentation sober (the audience doesn’t have to be). Feel free to contact me at nominestudios@gmail.com.

Cheers!

 

Suzanne

 

Update: Standing up to Santa

I don’t know how permanent this is or if I will have to fight this fight again, but as of this morning, this:

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changed to this:

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Thank you to those who took the time to write on my behalf. I’m not sure whether the link was taken down by Facebook or the Knights of the Pythias. If it was the latter, it’s sad that the individual was so bent on retaliation against a woman he dated that he’d rather erase any trace of her contributions from a nonprofit organization than credit her and get permission to use photos before posting. 

I am still waiting for the KOP leadership to get back to me with an apology for making a volunteer jump through so many hoops for her own intellectual property, and to confirm what steps will be done to protect others should they be sexually harassed. It’s 2019: historical societies shouldn’t still be treating women like it’s the Dark Ages.

Standing up to Santa

I stopped volunteering with two non-profits this year due to the bad behavior of men that was recognized and pointed out by others, but not appropriately addressed.

With one, I was able to wipe my hands and go. I had dedicated two years to the organization and had already trained others in media matters along the way. I’ll find out in December if the Chair actually figured out how to remove my credit card information from the website provider. (Joy.)

The other is still actively using my intellectual property without proper attribution and permission. I brought this up again about two weeks ago to a few members of the organization, one of whom said they would try to help me. Ironically, their efforts were thwarted by Santa.

 

Literally.

Santa Claus Knights of the Pythians 2018
The Tacoma Knights of the Pythians’ Santa Claus/ Social Media Coordinator. Fun fact: he is also a substitute teacher for my daughter’s school district. Photo by Suzanne Skaar, December 2018. All rights reserved.

 

 

To keep a long story short, here is a copy of the letter I sent to the Tacoma Knights of the Pythians’ Chancellor after I found out my request for assistance was blocked:

 

August 30, 2019

To the Leadership of the Knights of the Pythias Commencement Lodge #7:

 

On December 15, 2018, I helped create signs and took photos of the Pythian Sisters’ Children’s Holiday Party. I had borrowed [redacted]’s camera with the verbal assurance that I could get the files from him after the party.

 

Without permission or credit, [redacted] posted my photos on the Knights of the Pythians Temple’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pg/TacomaPythians/photos/?tab=album&album_id=948089761981410&ref=page_internal). While the women who put together this event were not credited (despite my request), he made sure to add the following line to the album description: “The lodge got a visit from Santa thanks to the Sisters’ annual holiday party. Gosh, that dude is awesome.” For those unaware, Mr. [redacted] was the one wearing the Santa suit.

 

He asked me in writing via Facebook Messenger on December 18, 2018, if I wanted credit for my photos, to which I responded that I did. He had already posted them on December 17, 2018. As of August 29, 2019, there is no photo credit, and despite asking other Knights and the Chair of the Pythian Sisters [redacted] to fix this on my behalf, he is refusing to correct this. Even more insulting is that the photos shared included my child. As both the photographer (intellectual property holder) and the mother of a minor in the pictures, it is well within my rights to expect that photos be shared within the context I allow. I had encouraged that the photos be shared in the secret Knights of the Pythias group so that the other parents could have pictures of their children. I did not give permission for my photos to be shared on the Knights Facebook page without attribution.

 

As a non-profit, the Knights of the Pythias Lodge is liable under Intellectual Property laws. Per the Washington State Nonprofit Institute: “Intellectual property law grants the creator of intellectual property exclusive rights for exploiting and benefiting from their creation” (https://www.wanonprofitinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/LGL-Kit-Intellectual-Property.pdf). As such, my original request that I be able to retrieve the photos from his camera should have been honored. As far as the Temple is concerned, my work should not have been used for the majority of a year by the organization without attribution.

 

I am asking that the Knights of the Pythias correct this oversight and for a public apology for the misuse of my property and of Temple resources. In addition, I am asking that the organization review appropriate consequences for sexual harassment (retaliation).

 

I am willing to meet with the leadership of the Tacoma Temple and, if necessary, the Grand Lodge to discuss this matter further.

 

Sincerely,

Suzanne Skaar

 

This is literally the dumbest argument to be had ever. With a “secret society.” With Santa no less. There were witnesses (members of the organization and visitors) that I took these photos. He has recognized in writing that he is aware that I might want credit for my work. And yet, here we are.

 

I have been assured by others in the organization that this matter is being taken seriously but that it will take some time to resolve. Personally, it took me less than half an hour to create this post, so I’m not sure why it would take almost a year to either give credit for work as is the norm or remove work for which permission has been rescinded. Considering the social media coordinator worked in journalism for years, he is expected to have an above average knowledge of these issues. Maybe some guys just aren’t as tech savvy as they claim to be. If it’s ineptitude, then the organization should consider why they’re having troubles attracting and keeping volunteers with social media/ website knowledge and non-profit experience. If you would like to support me in this fight for rights to intellectual property (especially images of my minor child), please email a quick message to: chancellorcmdr@tacomapythians.org . A simple “I support Suzanne,” “respect intellectual property rights,” or something civil would be awesome.

Cheers, and thank you for your support. Feel free to share this.

 

Suzanne