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Buddy Goodboy: Creativity Unleashed Posts

Patreon, I’m Fed Up with You: Update 03/26/2024

It’s been twelve days since I wrote Patreon several messages regarding their Community Guidelines update. Messages like this one:

“Promoting, normalizing, providing instructional advice about, coordinating, or otherwise glorifying disordered eating, feederism, or related topics is prohibited on Patreon.” “Promoting,” “normalizing,” and “glorifying” are broad enough terms that they could mean anything. “Normalizing” in particular—does any positive depiction of a person who has disordered eating or is involved in feederism violate the Community Guidelines? Is publishing a work intended to reach out to people involved in feederism and reassure them that they’re not morally compromised people “normalizing,” “promoting,” or “glorifying” feederism?

Today, Patreon Trust and Safety sent me this response. Four times. They sent me the exact form letter to each of my queries.

Hi there,
This is [NAME REDACTED—Buddy] from Patreon’s Trust & Safety Team. Thanks so much for reaching out with input about our recent Community Guidelines refresh.
I’ve passed along your thoughts on how we present the subject of feederism within the Community Guidelines to Patreon’s Policy Team, who oversee the guidelines, and appreciate hearing from creators and members like you.
Our goal is to always provide clear and informed guidance on what is and is not allowed on Patreon; however, sometimes we need to continue clarifying specific nuances within a policy. We’ll reflect on what you shared as we continue to improve our policies. If you’re interested in hearing more about ongoing updates to Patreon’s content policies, stay tuned for the next update from the Creator Policy Engagement Program.
If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Warm regards,

Patreon Trust & Safety

It’s the kind of message I would have written when I was in a public-facing position: “Wheels are turning, but I have no idea what direction they’re going, no control, and I haven’t been authorized to say anything further.” It’s noncommittal and only acts as an acknowledgement that they received my messages.

I’ll keep on this, and provide updates as I get them. Have the new Community Guidelines affected you or creators you support? Write me a comment and let me know!

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Patreon, I’m Fed Up with You, Part One

On March 12, 2024, Patreon announced new Community Guidelines which prohibited works “promoting, normalizing, providing instructional advice about, coordinating, or otherwise glorifying disordered eating, feederism, or related topics.” They claim that these “pose risk to the physical, mental, or emotional health of those on the platform.” This apparently justifies banning them entirely.

Is this censorship? Yes. Is it legal? Also yes. There is another word for this, though, and that is bullshit.

Feederism? What’s that? Why does Patreon care?

If you don’t know, feederism is one of a group of interrelated kinks that involve gratification from food in some way. Some people like the feeling of being full, some enjoy gaining weight. There can be an element of power exchange. Sometimes it’s just nice to have someone show how they feel about you by taking care of you and sharing with you. Like with other abstract kinks, feederism can have a sexual component or not.

Feederism, like any kink, should be risk-aware and consensual, but when it is, it can enhance the lives of those involved.

Jack Black says, “I like to eat, is that such a crime?”
You tell ‘em, Jack Black in School of Rock.

Yeah, it deals with concepts that society finds squicky. People are complicated and varied. It takes maturity to engage with this loaded a topic.

Late last year, Patreon banned adult baby diaper lover or ADBL-related content. The crinkles don’t hurt anybody. They just make potential investors squirm. Now, as then, Patreon wants to disappear a nuanced and difficult topic.

But wait, there’s more!

The guidelines as written ban way more content than Patreon potentially realizes. “Glorifying” disordered eating or feederism is bannable. Does that mean any positive depiction of a fat person enjoying food is verboten? According to the Community Guidelines, maybe. Bad-faith actors might report a work, and the creator could lose their Patreon for it.

This illustration depicts a nasogastric tube running through the nose, down the esophagus, into the stomach.
By Cancer Research UK – Original email from CRUK, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

A nasogastric tube is a medical device which helps folks who can’t swallow get food into their system. There’s nothing remotely controversial about that. It’s technically banned. Patreon got uncomfortable with cartoon foxes sucking on helium tanks to inflate themselves big and round. Should that mean that people with medical difficulties can’t show their faces anymore?

Patreon needs to answer for this.

Banning content involving feederism or anything that looks like it is too broad a stroke. I think that’s unfair, to say the least. To make a point, I submitted the following questions to Patreon Community Support. I’ll report their responses.

Clarification on “health risk” language in Patreon Community Guidelines

“Patreon prohibits works focused on promoting dangerous or self-destructive topics (eg. high-risk acts and challenges, disordered eating, suicide, self-harm or self-injury) that pose risk to the physical, mental, or emotional health of those on the platform.”

Patreon Community Guidelines

What if the act in question doesn’t pose a risk, but instead helps the physical, mental, and emotional health of those on the platform? Kink has been long accepted to be a positive influence on its practitioners, providing enough mental and emotional benefits that physical health also can be improved. A feeding kink can be indulged in a healthy manner, in moderation.

Further, what about depictions of feederism such as cartoons or fiction? Those pose no risk whatsoever to anyone on the platform. Any clarification would be appreciated.

Clarification on “promoting,” “normalizing,” and “glorifying” language in Patreon Community Guidelines

“Promoting, normalizing, providing instructional advice about, coordinating, or otherwise glorifying disordered eating, feederism, or related topics is prohibited on Patreon.”

Patreon Community Guidelines

“Promoting,” “normalizing,” and “glorifying” are broad enough terms that they could mean anything. “Normalizing” in particular—does any positive depiction of a person who has disordered eating or is involved in feederism violate the Community Guidelines? Is publishing a work intended to reach out to people involved in feederism and reassure them that they’re not morally compromised people “normalizing,” “promoting,” or “glorifying” feederism?

Clarification on “disordered eating works” in Patreon Community Guidelines

“Examples of disordered eating works include, but are not limited to: extreme low-calorie diets, imagery of someone making themselves vomit, and imagery focused on ribs, thigh gaps, concave stomachs, and so forth.”

Patreon Community Guidelines

Some people have thigh gaps. Some people have concave stomachs. The creator can’t help that. How is that an appropriate restriction on content?

Clarification on “feederism works” in Community Guidelines

“Examples of feederism works include, but are not limited to: force feeding (consensual or nonconsensual), using illegal or controlled substances to achieve weight gain, using devices to fill the stomach, and so forth.”

Patreon Community Guidelines

Force feeding (consensual): In a risk-aware, consensual situation, this does not have any risk to the physical, mental, or emotional health of those on the platform. Depictions of the act in fiction or art also poses no risk whatsoever. Given that the prohibition is on works focused on promoting dangerous or self-destructive topics which “pose risk to the physical, mental, or emotional health of those on the platform,” how is this against Community Guidelines?

Force feeding (nonconsensual): Would this violate Community Guidelines in a situation where it does not present risk to the physical, mental, or emotional health of those on the platform? This is depicted in Bugs Bunny cartoons. Nobody argues that Bugs Bunny poses a risk of harm.

Using illegal or controlled substances to achieve weight gain: The legality and level of control of a substance is widely variable between jurisdictions. Further, I’m not aware of a controlled substance commonly used for the purposes of weight gain. Over the counter products like Boost, however, can and are used for this purpose. Is that against Community Guidelines?

Using devices to fill the stomach: What constitutes a “device to fill the stomach?” Is a nasogastric tube, used when a person is physically incapable of being fed through the mouth, against Community Guidelines?

Clarification on permitted works involving “disordered eating, feederism, and related topics” in Community Guidelines

“Works involving disordered eating, feederism, and related topics that have a community support or educational focus, are part of a greater narrative, or are otherwise contextualized in a manner that abides by Patreon’s guidelines are permitted. Also permitted are works that promote body positivity, eating competitions, medical surgeries, and health, fitness, or lifestyle works.”

Patreon Community Guidelines

What is a “community support” focus? What educational ends are acceptably within Patreon’s guidelines? What context would make a work include feederism or disordered eating permitted under the Community Guidelines? How are eating competitions allowed if the mere act of eating excessively is harmful enough to the creator to ban it?


Akira Toriyama: Potential Unlocked, or Son Gohan and Me

I found out yesterday that manga legend Akira Toriyama died. I suspect many of you feel the same way I do. 68 is long enough to have an impact and to have led a good life, but it doesn’t seem like enough. Toriyama wasn’t just the creator of Dragon Ball. He was prolific and profoundly influential as a cartoonist. His control over pacing, choreography, tone, were all world-class. Yes, he forgot some characters existed, but I suspect I would too if I were turning out a chapter a week. This isn’t meant to be an analysis of Toriyama-sensei’s works–though I’d like to do one in the future–but rather a bit of a eulogy. What Akira Toriyama’s works meant to me personally.

First, a little bit of my background.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been afraid. I was never quite certain of what; it was nebulous and elusive, and changed form often. It felt like there was something inside of me that was wrong somehow, and that I had to contain it or face disaster. I felt weak, afraid, insufficient. Six months ago, I was officially diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder and began treatment. I feel better now than I have in my entire life. I’m thirty-six years old, and I’m finally unfettered and showing my true power.

Given that, it should be no surprise that my favorite character in Dragon Ball is Son Gohan. I immediately related to him. The bookish and soft son of the world’s greatest fighter Son Goku felt familiar. When I saw his character arc play out on Toonami’s broadcasts of Dragon Ball Z, and later when I saw Team Four Star’s Dragon Ball Z Abridged and finally read the manga, it hit. It felt like Akira Toriyama got me in a way I hadn’t quite gotten myself yet.

Here’s what Akira Toriyama taught me through Son Gohan:

Sometimes you’ll be scared.

Son Gohan runs screaming away from a giant, carnivorous dinosaur trying to eat him.

You can be weak.

Son Gohan get kicked hard by Ginyu Force member Recoome, who vastly outclasses him in power level and fighting prowess.

Sometimes you’ll be angry.

Gohan tries to throw a punch through angry tears.

It can feel like you’re all alone sometimes.

Son Gohan blames himself for Piccolo's death--he believes he wasn't strong, brave, or smart enough to defend himself, forcing Piccolo to sacrifice himself.

You can make terrible mistakes.

Piccolo shields a frozen Gohan from a ki blast that will assuredly kill whoever is in its way.

Sometimes life pushes you into situations where you don’t want the expectations that are being put onto you.

Son Gohan cries as he watches his friends falling in combat around him, victims of Cell's sadism and desire to see the pacifist Gohan really snap.

You can feel like there’s something that separates you from everyone else, something you have to keep in check, or face disaster.

Son Gohan can turn into a Great Ape or Oozaru under the light of the full moon, and he loses all reason and self control. Vegeta is about to find out firsthand, as an enraged Great Ape Gohan raises a boulder above his head to smash Vegeta.

It doesn’t matter.

In your life, the hardest work will be all yours to do. Nobody can take it away or do it for you. When the day of fate comes, what you have inside of you is enough. That’s all you have to be. The power to face your fight, win or lose, was always yours, it was just a matter of letting it loose.

Gohan faces his fear and allows his power to flow freely, proving himself to be stronger than the monster Cell.

See you at the next Tenka’ichi Budōkai. If you liked this article, you might like some of my other posts on media I like.

Images from Dragon Ball, various volumes, sourced from Dragon Ball Official (March 8, 2024).

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Book Review: Nobody Does It Better, The Complete Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of James Bond, by Mark A. Altman and Edward Gross

I’m an Amazon associate, and I may get a percentage of any purchases made through this link. I was not paid for this review, and I purchased the Kindle version for myself.


I started reading this as a diehard fan of the James Bond books and films, and after having read Gross and Altman’s The Fifty-Year Mission: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Star Trek. This follows the same format as Mission, almost entirely using interviews and soundbites from cast and crew of Bond films, plus pop-culture historians and aficionados and film and literary figures in the Bond orbit. As it released in 2020, the book covers through 2013’s Spectre.

This was an enjoyable read, mostly for the background information. The travails of Fleming trying to get a movie produced were an interesting read, as well as the segments on the 1967 Casino Royale and 1983’s Never Say Never Again. However, once the book starts covering the mainline films, my interest started to drop off. Long passages seemed to be recitations of plot and production facts, and too much of the modern Bond films’ segments were insubstantial self-congratulatory responses from the production team.

If you’re new to the lore surrounding the Bond films’ production, this is a great introduction, hence the four stars. I would have liked more substance or direction.

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Merry Christmas, Professor Nemesis

Apex glided through the sky at subsonic speed toward Professor Nemesis’ mountain lair. No need to rattle any windows on a holiday, after all.

As the thought crossed his mind, infrared lasers from the foothills tracked onto him. Subterranean launch platforms spat missiles in swarms. The roar drowned out his super-hearing. He dove and swerved to avoid the first wave—not too good a turn radius on these models—only to see them arc around to follow him. Guided by the lasers, no doubt.

Apex squinted, and electromagnetic waves flowed in a torrent from his eyes, then narrowed and focused to a specific frequency. Sure enough, the missiles veered to follow Apex’s signal and slammed back into their own launchers.

Apex touched down at Professor Nemesis’ front door.

The gargantuan titanium skull rising out of the mountain was crushed in places. One eye lit up a sickly green. Apex turned up toward it and arched an eyebrow. “Missiles?” he said for the benefit of the camera no doubt tunneling data back to the professor. “Those haven’t been effective against me for fifty years. You might as well come out and talk, Nemesis.”

The mouth of the skull yawned open.A shrunken, greying scientist in badly oversized lab clothes decorated in a green skull motif shuffled out to meet Apex. “A mad scientist’s budget doesn’t stretch like it used to,” he coughed.

Apex reached out a hand toward Professor Nemesis. “You kept your word. Every dollar spent trying to kill me matched by a charitable donation. And no innocents endangered.”

Nemesis slapped Apex’s hand away. “As if I would endanger the innocent. My quarrel is with you, you monkey.” He gave a wet, wracking cough and doubled over. “No using—“ he started. “No using your micro vision to diagnose me. You promised.”

“I wish you would let me—“

“I let you do enough.” Nemesis’ eyes watered. “Every year, I let you condescend to me, and you get stronger, and I get older.”

Apex offered his hand again. This time, Nemesis took it without looking. They were silent together.

“I will kill you,” Nemesis said finally.

“Merry Christmas, Professor Nemesis.”

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The Scene of the Crime

Content warning: body horror
They raised the yellow tape over my head and let me onto the scene. The air thickened with the smells of copper, metallurgy, leftover scrap, paint, thinner. Blood, of course.

“Nobody touch nothing,” I said. Flatfoots gave me the evil eye and got out of my way. I thumbed my camera drone to life and let it flit and snap.

Three-point lighting flooded the scene with washes of pink and blue. The chalk circle was there, centered, again. Somewhere in the fumes of acetylene there was probably incense.

The vic’s head and neck rose out of the body of an old Triumph Rocket III motorbike, one of the old wheeled ones. A gas guzzler. The face froze in a roar of rage or terror, chrome horns riveted onto its head. The blood mixed with oil and rust and pooled down below. I checked the fuel gauge—empty. It had run all night before it was found.

“We know who did this,” said one of the buzzcuts.

“Shut up,” I told him.

“It was broadcast.”

“Of course it was.”

He scowled. “Why do we need you to to solve this murder?”

“Murder?” I looked back at the Triumph. Not a centaur—two wheels made this a satyr. Symbolic of wild excess and temptation. The motorbike usually meant freedom, but the empty gas gauge told a different story. The victim was no doubt alive at the beginning. This was the end of the road, as it were. The broadcast made it a performance. A sacrifice to a dying god of a dead culture.

“I guess it is a murder,” I said, finally. “But is it a crime? Or is it art?…”

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Christmas C.E. Twenty-thirtysomething

The Familiar came today. One for us all to share. We were so excited when we first saw the big pine crate. Mother cracked open the seal and read the directions while Father started pulling out limbs and tried to make sense of its tiny printed labels.

It needed assembly, charging, and a firmware update. We played with our other gifts, but this was the big one, a plastic, rubber, and carbon fiber servant of our very own.

When it was ready, Mother, Father, Sis, and I gathered around to watch it switch on. It gave a simulated yawning sound, shook gently, and blinked its friendly, oversized LED displays. It said good morning and happy holidays, and sang the jingle we’d memorized from ads all year, then asked if we’d like to name it. Sis called out, “Stupid!” It winked and said it knew she didn’t mean that.

And it wasn’t stupid, not exactly. Limited, more like. Its vocal software didn’t understand our accents yet, and asked what whether we meant this or that.

Mother had it take out its own recyclable packaging, and Father had it dust the tops of the bookcases, and Sis had it sing and play Rock Paper Scissors and tell stories.

Mother and Father asked if we were surprised, and we said yes, and they asked if we were happy, and we said yes.

But I asked for a puppy.

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The Old Grey Hare

Picture, if you will, the theatre after the show. Sweepers clean the popcorn and candy boxes left by the crowds. A grey rabbit dangles his feet from the stage and crooks a gloved finger at you. You follow the rabbit onto the stage and he puts an arm round your shoulder. He’s shorter than you imagined from your seat in the audience.

He rasps quietly in a smoker’s Brooklynese and tells you a secret.

“Dignity can’t be bought. The sugar-glass replicas the rich and powerful buy and display ain’t the real thing by a long shot.” He opens a cigarette case, lights one, and offers it to you. He smokes it himself.

He continues. “How you respond under pressure, under the hunter’s rifle sights, that’s who you are. And you should always take a swing at the mug holdin’ the gun.”

You cough at his secondhand smoke. You want to tell him it’s unhealthy, but he’s rolling.

“There ain’t nobody,” he says, “but nobody, so big you can’t laugh at ‘em. Go forth and do ye likewise, doc.” He pats you on the back, stands, and clomps away on his big feet.

That’s all, folks.

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I Watch Disney Movies Alone

I watch Disney movies alone. Can’t watch ‘em with most people.

I’m on the autism spectrum, and one of my superpowers is that I have special interests, fixations on certain topics to the point where I learn all I can about it and like to talk about it whenever I can.

At the moment, I’m into 2D animation to the point where I hunted down specialty animation tools like an animation disc and Acme-registered cel transparencies so I could learn to make my own animation cels. I’m reading about layouts, how to paint backgrounds, timing for animation, and I’ve even made a few (very) short animations myself. I am having a great time with it.

Ain’t he a cutie pie?

My special interests sometimes override my conversation limiter and I wind up talking someone’s ear off about something they may not care about. Luckily, I’m surrounded by very kind and understanding people, so it doesn’t come up as a problem that often.

When it does, though, it hurts. My Kryptonite is rejection sensitivity—if someone doesn’t match my level of intensity on a topic, it can feel like a rejection, not only of my interest, but of me. It’s not logical. I’m working on it.

Anyway, 2D animation is a niche interest within a niche interest—the adults who still watch cartoons are rare to find, and those who can tell a Chuck Jones from a Bob McKimson are rarer still. It’s hard to find someone who wants to pause The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride and look up who directed the animation for a certain character because their head moved in a cool way. 

So for now, I watch Disney movies by myself, just to avoid feeling like my enthusiasm may be a turnoff, but I’m going to be brave and branch out. Exposure therapy is a good way to deal with fear, so I’m trying to express my interests more openly, and logically thinking through any possible responses to address the illogical fear of rejection. Worst case scenario is, someone doesn’t want to watch Fantasia with me—I’m not likely to lose friendships over being overly enthusiastic. In fact, I’m more likely to strengthen friendships if we have that in common.

Want to watch Zootopia+ together?

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Batman, and What He Meant to This Robin

Kevin Conroy died.

If you don’t follow voice actors, Kevin Conroy played Batman and Bruce Wayne in Batman: The Animated Series, The New Batman Adventures, The Batman-Superman Movie: World’s Finest, Batman Beyond, Justice League, Justice League Unlimited, Justice League Action, The Killing Joke, the Arkham series of video games, and some other movies I know I missed. 

You know his voice. He was vengeance. He was the night. He was, for many, including me, Batman.

* * *

Batman’s always been a part of my life. He—and I’m not talking about an actor here but the Real Batman—is still one of my heroes, and the Real Batman’s sense of justice and equity still informs mine. I doubt I’ll ever fire a gun. I’ll always try to extend an open hand instead of a closed fist. I’ll always think capes are a necessary fashion accessory.

My parents maintain that I recognized a cardboard standee of Michael Keaton’s Batman by name in 1989. I was two, maybe. Not much of a talker at that point. Batman ‘89 is the first movie I ever recall seeing on VHS. I got myself in trouble repeating some of the words I learned in that movie at a dinner party once. I still have a Polaroid of myself, my twin brother, and my sister as two Batmans and a Catwoman standing with the ‘89 Batmobile at an auto show that we went to specifically for that.

Then there was the 1949 Batman and Robin movie serial starring Robert Lowery and Johnny Duncan. We had two VHS tapes of that, and there must have been a third out there, because I first saw the ending when it was rereleased on DVD in 2005. Worth the wait? Not exactly, but for completion’s sake, it needed doing.

Let’s not forget Batman ‘66. Dad was almost definitely the one who got us watching those. He can still tell you the date of the premiere, and what date he saw the real Batman and Robin with the Batmobile at Walt Whitman Mall on Long Island. I watched that show with a religious zeal—I never saw the strings until watching it on Blu-ray. Whether that’s due to taping the show off a TV re-run or because I was a True Believer, I’ll never know.

A copy of the children’s novelization of Knightfall wound up in my hands as part of a birthday party goody bag.

The comics, of course; I recall nearly my first comic ever being an early issue of the Contagion crossover, and it scaring the pants off me. Chuck Dixon, Larry Hama, Ed Brubaker, Grant Morrison, not to mention the countless artists like Neal Adams, Scott McDaniel, Alex Toth… 


But Batman: The Animated Series debuted on Fox Kids on September 5, 1992, airing the first part of “The Cat and the Claw,” a two-part episode featuring Adrienne Barbeau as Catwoman, Kate Mulgrew as Red Claw, and, of course, Kevin Conroy as Batman. This was, and is, my Batman.

Kevin always played his Batman as trying to save everyone, especially his villains. Mercy was as much a hallmark of his character as gadgets, martial arts, and Batarangs. Villains like Two-Face, Mr. Freeze, Ventriloquist, and Catwoman—especially Catwoman—he was always trying to bring over to the side of the angels. Even no-namers like Sid the Squid got the benefit of the doubt.

Kevin seemed to be that way in real life as well—I only got to know about him indirectly, through interviews and secondhand stories. He served food to NYC first responders after 9/11, and rekindled their spirits by playing Batman for them. He seemed genuinely gracious to be known as Batman and gave everyone their moment with the Man himself.

One of the most powerful things he ever did was to come out as gay. He even wrote a comic about how being in the closet informed his performance as Batman and Bruce Wayne—about fear, duality, loneliness, rage—and being able to do something positive with it. More than any other actor, Kevin Conroy embodied Batman. He was dealt a tough hand, pushed through it, and used his position to help others. 

“Finding Batman” was written by Kevin Conroy, drawn and colored by J. Bone, lettered by Aditya Bidikar, and edited by Arianna Turturro and Jessica Chen. It was published by DC Comics in DC Pride 2022, available in print and digitally. It’s worth your time.

Kevin, I’ll miss you. Thanks for everything.

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