AMBER LOVE 13-SEP-2012 This month the comics community witnessed a swell in harassment and assaults that was downright horrifying. Private security officer TED RICCA (@rickety_rico) took the time to work through some tips and give advice on how to deal with these situations when they escalate from annoying to dangerous. VODKA O’CLOCK episode 1228 may have triggers but we’re hoping it’s beneficial to share some thoughts on these problems.

I apologize for the quality of the call. The combination of Skype and Pamela to record the podcasts for the past few weeks has deteriorated and each call is worse than the previous one. Ted was patient and we disconnected and redialed five times just to patch together almost an hour of discussion. This is an important subject and I didn’t want to cut out giant segments of it because of static and background noise.

Download here.

“Ladies at D*C – at least two of my group have been groped or assaulted today in the crowd. Be safe, don’t be alone and call/text for help.” @elementalamber, September 1, 2012, Twitter

Ted’s tips:

* Contact Law Enforcement when things get out of hand whether online or in person. If that means convention security or local police, someone should be willing to help you.

* If you are not frozen in fear and someone is inappropriate to you in person, snap a photo on your cell phone to show the convention security staff.

* Safety in numbers – find your friends immediately.

* Online, take screen captures and save the images. Hit the Print Screen button on your keyboard. Go to your Windows Start button > All Programs > Accessories > MS Paint. Then Control-V to paste the screen capture. Save the file. Even if people get banned, blocked or deleted from a social site, you have proof of what they posted.

MY RECENT ENCOUNTER WITH A TROLL THAT TOLD ME TO KILL MYSELF.

One of the key notions we discussed is victim shame. There’s a psychology to being afraid to speak up about something bad that has happened to you. Some victims feel they must have done something to deserve an attack/assault/rape. There’s no point saying you shouldn’t feel the way you do. Just know that once you open up to a supportive community, you may realize you did nothing wrong. The key word there is supportive. Plenty of trolls have supporters too.

“Be constructive, please, of course, I am all for that but when that criticism turns ugly (and I stress, the stuff I read had become incredibly offensive) then constructive criticism goes out the window and it becomes very personal and frightening. Last time I checked, death-threats were not in the least bit constructive.” @amandaabbington, September 11, 2012, Twitlonger

LINKS:

* ExplodedSoda’s blog post: The Penis Incident

* UnWinona’s story about a crazy metro commute

* Australia’s Next Top Model Judge attempts suicide after the social media trolls got too much for her to bear.

* Back Up Project – an organization that promises to come to your aid at a convention (Use a service like this wisely: Dragon*Con did not endorse this effort and felt it made it easier for predators to find vulnerable people).

* Actress Amanda Abbington’s Twitlonger post about the death threats she received for criticizing a television writer.

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Vs. Reality (The Vs. Reality Series)
SUMMARY

If your deepest desires spontaneously manifested into reality, giving you powers and abilities once limited to your dreams, what would you do?

Donovan Cole hates his life: his body, his job, his relationship…until one night a violent confrontation outside a nightclub causes him to change – instantly infusing him with almost supernatural size and strength.

The transformation is only temporary, and before long he realizes that he’s not the only one; people around the world have been manifesting at random, able to bend the laws of physics that govern our universe…but they’re rarely seen or heard from again.

Who, or what, is causing them to disappear? What’s the trigger that causes someone to change? And is it arbitrary when someone manifests their powers?

Cole is drawn to a beautiful but troubled girl named Dia who is looking for similar answers, but has a solution to the unreliable nature of their unstable powers: an experimental drug known as ‘Muse’ that enables the user to trigger their abilities and transform at will.

Battling a powerful and mysterious faction known as The Collectors – as well as their own addictions – Dia, Cole, and a small group of friends race against time to unravel the secrets of their uncanny abilities…but they may not live long enough to find out.