Phoning it in

Sunday, 22 October 2017 12:27
oursin: Cod with aghast expression (kepler codfish)
[personal profile] oursin

Oh dear, another blooper from David Mitchell in this week's Observer New Review.

Or, at least, a classic case of writing about something before reading it properly.

The first was that Cambridge University lecture timetables are being labelled with “trigger warnings” about the plots of various literary works, including The Bacchae and Titus Andronicus. So English literature undergraduates are being protected from the knowledge of, among other things, what one of Shakespeare’s plays is about, in case it upsets them.
That is so not what the furore about this that I saw across my bits of social media was: what I saw was the push-back against the elitist assumption that eny fule already no that Titus Andronicus contains murder, rape, mutilation, and involuntary cannibalism (not to mention massive amount of racism).

And trigger-warnings aren't about protecting people from the knowledge that works of art contain disturbing material: they're precisely about letting people who haven't yet encountered them know that they contain material some people may find upsetting. Like the warnings you see at the beginning of a movie, just so you know what you're letting yourself in for.

And I'm really not sure that one can assume general cultural familiarity with one of the less-produced of Shakespeare's plays (the one that suggests that, had he been writing in the 1960s, he'd have been working for Hammer Horror - while some of the early comedies suggest also possibly moonlighting for the Carry On films, but I digress). Okay, there has been a movie version of the play itself, and Theatre of Blood alludes to it in one of the vengeances taken against the critics of the protag. But I doubt it's all that well-known to the individual on the Clapham omnibus.

(no subject)

Sunday, 22 October 2017 12:02
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] gryphynshadow!

Orthodoxy in Oxford

Sunday, 22 October 2017 08:55
naraht: Orthodox church in Romania (art-RomaniaPantocrator)
[personal profile] naraht
One of the things that I loved most about Russia was being able to pass any random church – usually a beautiful Baroque church – and know that it was an Orthodox church. And the fact that there was usually a service going on, which meant that I could go in, light a few candles and stand for a few minutes to enjoy the architecture and the singing before going on with my sightseeing. (There's no expectation that you'll arrive on time, or indeed stay till the end, as long as you know the points of the service during which you're not meant to leave.)

Back in Oxford, I'm really missing it. I would go to church much more if it could be this simple - if I could just pop in between the farmer's market and the cafe as part of my weekend routine. In the week and a half I was in Russia, I went to more church services than I've been to in years. (Not to mention wore a headscarf more than I ever have... it was a good chance to use all the scarves I have lying around.)

Really I shouldn't complain. I know there are places, like in the American South, where you have to drive for hours to get to an Orthodox church. I grew up in a town with one, and I've just discovered that we have four here in Oxford, not two as I'd originally thought.

• the Greek Orthodox/Russian Orthodox one, the oldest Orthodox church in Oxford and the home of Kallistos Ware, which is unfortunately a long walk from my house
• the other Russian Orthodox church (Patriarchate of Moscow), which is also a bit of a hike
• a Romanian Orthodox church
• an Indian Orthodox church (Malenkara Orthodox Syrian)

Whether or not I manage to get off my couch within the next half an hour to go to church this morning, I must definitely plan to visit the latter two sometime - particularly the last, as I've never been to an Oriental Orthodox church before. We shall see...

ETA: I ended up going to the other Russian church, which I hadn't visited before in its new home, and turns out to be only 20 minutes walk. Not too bad.
rydra_wong: Lee Miller photo showing two women wearing metal fire masks in England during WWII. (Default)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Politico: Young subscribers flock to old media

What's particularly fascinating is the way in which it's directly correlated with people wanting to support news organizations as a way to resist Trump:

“The big boost we saw in subscriptions in the U.S.,” Newman said, “is driven by people on the left and younger people are more likely to be on the left. That is really a lot of what’s driving it: young people who don’t like Trump who subscribe to news organizations that they see as being a bulwark against him.”

Keep up the good work!

(no subject)

Sunday, 22 October 2017 08:38
cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)
[personal profile] cesy
Fannish people with money, [community profile] fandomlovespuertorico currently has a lot of bargains and very few bidders.

More booky thoughts

Saturday, 21 October 2017 21:42
badgerbag: (Default)
[personal profile] badgerbag
Moomin ranting tonight a bit (charmingly) about wishing his class was broader than just European fairy tales but he also appreciates that it is focused and grounded in particular history.

I was thinking how I came up against that wall around the same age, a bit earlier, and went looking for "world" stuff or just anything not English, US based, "western culture" wanting to see anything possible. Anthologies were good or looking by specific country or ethnicity. I would root through any library or bookstore. Encyclopedias too. The indexes of books were super instructive. It took just years for me to have any real handle on the depth of the problems of histories but it was clear from the beginning that A LOT WAS WRONG. I didn't go into that (right now it is better if I listen to him than talk about my own thoughts)

Anyway! I'm so, so proud of Moomin and his excitement about scholarly things. I feel like no matter what he does in life he will have that kind of love of books and knowledge and stories.

He also really loved Gilgamesh so I am going to show him those awesome debates online between Hoe and Plough, Fish and Bird, etc.

Mermaid points

Saturday, 21 October 2017 16:22
badgerbag: (Default)
[personal profile] badgerbag
Moomin convinced me that the HCA Little Mermaid story is actually amazing because she just feels her feelings but isn't an asshole, doesn't get married, and becomes foam on the sea and an air spirit who helps people so basically her story NEVER ENDS and she is a SUPERHERO who flies around with air powers, doing good in the world! I started out with the complete opposite point of view on this story.

Also when he said he thought of me in relation to her feeling like she is walking on knives..... i actually think of that sometimes so that kind of touched me.

He is also reading Gilgamesh and some Bible stuff for philosophy class and seems to be keeping up in his other math class! So nice to have him here even for a day. <3

An Actual Update: Fannish Edition

Saturday, 21 October 2017 18:29
fairestcat: Dreadful the cat (Default)
[personal profile] fairestcat
Sorting out my mood stabilizers gave me back my ability to read for pleasure and it also gave me back my fannishness.

I've been reading a lot of books, but I've also been reading a shitton of fanfic for the first time in years and just loving it.

I tend to multifannishness with periods of intense focus on one specific fandom. For most of the summer that was Les Miserables, which is a great fandom to binge-read, but a highly inconvenient fandom to want more fic for in 2017, as it's not dead, but definitely doesn't attract as many really good authors as it did a couple of years ago.

Les Mis is really actually two fandoms with one name. There's the Valjean/Javert portion of the fandom, and there's the Les Amis d'ABC portion of the fandom.

I've read and loved some Valjean/Javert in the past, but right now I'm ALL about Les Amis.

The thing about Les Amis fandom is this: in canon almost every character dies, but fandom being fandom says "fuck that shit," and instead you can read thousands upon thousands of ways for everybody to live.

Most Les Amis fic is AUs. Modern AUs. High School/College AUs. Dystopic SF AUs. Fantasy AUs. Soulmates. A/B/O Universes. If you can think of it, someone has probably written it.

But there is a common theme to most of it, a story I needed to read over and over this year. It's a story about queer, radical revolutionaries who get to be happy and maybe even win a little. Not all the great fic is overtly political, sometimes they're radicals in different ways, but that radical queerness is always there at heart, and it feeds my soul.

Also, Enjolras/Grantaire is basically radical idealist who's terrible at human emotion meets cynical alcoholic who's feels too much, and it's gold. If you like pairings who start out the story completely incomprehensible to each other and fight a lot on the way to falling in love, this is definitely the fandom for you. I love stories about people who make each other better, and that's very much the case for these two.

I'm working on a Les Mis recs post but it's rather long, and I've got a lot of other things going on right now, so I'm not sure when I'll get it finished.



Just when I was starting to despair of no more Les Mis fic, [twitter.com profile] bonibaru and [twitter.com profile] thatmissp started talking about Shadowhunters and linking to stuff. So I watched one of bonibaru's vids and went, "ooh, pretty, also very, very queer". And then misspamela posted a snippet of a fic she'd written and I read it and said, "okay, I definitely need more of this." And then I discovered that it's on netflix in Canada, and decided I'd give it a shot.

I watched the entire 13-episode first season in 3 days.

As my two enablers warned me, it's not exactly good TV. It's a trashy supernatural teen soap opera, and it embraces that. But I actually love that about it, it has no interest in being subtle and nuanced, and that makes it kind of charming and endearing. It's just so earnest.

Also, very, very queer. It's an ensemble show and within that ensemble the romance that gets the most attention and best development is the queer one, and it fills me with joy.

Magnus Bane is a flamboyant, hedonistic, bisexual and immortal warlock. Alec Lightwood is a young, uptight, closeted supernatural demon-fighter. They meet and Magnus immediately goes, "I want that one," and Alec suddenly completely loses the ability to speak. It's adorable.

And of course there's angst, and Alec is a self-sacrificing idiot a lot, but it's also a surprisingly honest and realistic relationship arc for a supernatural teen soap opera.

Anyway, I've just started season two and I'm enjoying it immensely. It's not the kind of fandom I expect to become passionate about long-term, but right now it's providing a much-needed shot of sparkly queerness in my life.

An Actual Update: Real Life Edition

Saturday, 21 October 2017 16:06
fairestcat: Dreadful the cat (Default)
[personal profile] fairestcat
Look, I can makes posts sometimes that AREN'T either music or book reviews! Who knew?

This summer was filled with reading, multiple trips to a friend's cottage in the Gatineaus, and learning to be dog owners. That last has been particularly exhausting, but we're getting there. And he is a sweetheart.

This is Bogart:
sitting dog

all about Bogart, with more pictures and a cameo from Dreadful )

There is also a new four-footed resident downstairs. Chakra, one of Rayne's cats, died in mid-August and in September I saw this fine gentleman in a pet store and sent his picture to Rayne, who promptly came and met him and fell in love.

This is Ivan Vorcatril:
white cat

Yes, we do call him, Ivan, you idiot )

Which is better than Kina is with the new temporary downstairs resident.

Three years ago we rescued and either rehomed or tnr'd the colony of feral cats who'd been hanging out in our backyard. One of the first kittens Rayne rehomed was Sage:

grey and white cat

Sage has returned to us, but she can go home with you! )


In non-pet news, As of yesterday I am taking Concerta for ADHD.

This article was somewhat unnerving to read, because so much of it could apply to me: How I Came To Understand My Adult ADHD".

Especially this part, about how long the writer went undiagnosed:
When I asked how this was possible, my doctor-friend hit the nail on the head without looking up from her menu: “You were performing well, so no one asked you how you felt.”

I'm still figuring out what parts of my non-neurotypical brain are because of being bipolar and what parts are in fact due to ADHD. It's a weird feeling to be re-evaluating this stuff now. I'm 37. I've been diagnosed as bipolar since I was 24. I thought I was done learning new and interesting things about how my brain works.
rydra_wong: Text: BAD BRAIN DAY. Picture: Azula, having one. (a:tla -- bad brain day)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
which I have been hiding from for nearly a year owing to its close temporal (and partially causal) association with my major mood dip at the start of the year.

Because I am in no way MASSIVELY AVOIDANT or anything, no why would you think that.

I will accept praise and validation.
oursin: Cod with aghast expression (kepler codfish)
[personal profile] oursin

Okay, this guy is clearly in a state of confusion: I’m in a kind of love triangle and am so confused about what to do.

But, really:

It has got to a point now that I have told my girlfriend that we need to have a break so I can sort myself out. She has moved out and I do miss her a lot.... The space away from my girlfriend, I hope, would make me realise that she is the one for me and come back to her in a happier place where I feel I can be happy and give 100%.

Whereas she is probably busily blocking his number and any contact they have on social media and telling her friends not to pass any details on.

I mean, I think Annalisa Barbieri is right that probably neither of these women is The One and he is just trying to make one of them The One because he wants to Settle Down, but I do wonder if at least the girlfriend, if not the ex, is going to wait around for him to get his head together, and it's not so much a question of he should break up with both of them, but that he is likely to find himself broken up with.

Let him go, let him tarry:

[Daily happiness]

Saturday, 21 October 2017 00:20
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
[personal profile] oyceter
1. Was in Berkeley for a conference, and it was nice to be around campus again!

2. Had braised meat rice for lunch, then got pastries from the Chinese bakery and pearl milk tea, yum. And the lunch place was playing Cpop and made me slightly homesick for Taiwan.

3. Watched The Snake Prince, a Shaw Brothers movie, with CB and [personal profile] jhameia and it is... quite a thing. Let's just say there was much more disco music and dancing than I had expected.
newredshoes: vintage-y lady + parking lot full of cars (<3 | costumes and settings)
[personal profile] newredshoes
My phone tells me that I climbed 51 flights of stairs today.

But on the plus side, everything I don't plan on tossing from Old Place is now in New Place, and I drove a large van in freaking Brooklyn and didn't damage anything (a true first for me driving rented vehicles in a city!).

My nephew is worth his weight in gold, and I am so glad we get to reconnect like we are.

A good day.

The Frightening Friday Five

Friday, 20 October 2017 14:13
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (Default)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
https://thefridayfive.dreamwidth.org/73063.html

What book frightened you as a young person?
None I can remember.

If you had to become a ‘living book’ (i.e. able to recite the contents of a book cover to cover upon request – reference Fahrenheit 451), what book would it be?
To Be of Use by Marge Piercy, poetry

What movie or TV show scared you as a kid?
The Outer Limits. I’d watch with my older sister and she told me when it was safe to lower my hands from my eyes.

What movie (scary or otherwise) will you never ever watch?
Silence of the lambs et seq

Do you have any phobias?
Centipedes, millipedes, and other Myriapodae make me recoil and squeal a little.

Spam spam spammity-spam

Friday, 20 October 2017 19:39
oursin: Painting of a pollock with text, overwritten Not wasting a cod on this (pollock)
[personal profile] oursin

Or, I have just been followed on Twitter by 3 people who are the same person, and I do not think there is anything holy about having 3 Twitter identities which are all touting your book/s.

I am also mildly beset by people who, having by some means or other found my website, and discovering something there moderately pertinent to their interests (sometimes, I swear, it is Just One Word in the middle of text), email me offering to 'contribute' or begging me to link to their pages, or add in their link collections, without actually considering what the various bits of my site are doing.

E.g. on my - not even this year's, several years back - listing of my Quotations of the Week, is one which alludes to [problem] - which I probably posted originally because it was neatly turned and complete in itself and not because I have an overwhelming interest in [problem]. This is really not an appropriate venue for a link to somebody's site which is All About [Problem]. Point Thahr Misst.

Indeed, more or less equivalent to, if I had the famous quote attrib Mrs Patrick Campbell re the hurly-burly of the chaise-longue, sending me their list of links to custom makers of high quality chaises longues.

And they do not give up: there is one person who has been positively badgering me, even though I have ignored their email except to mark it as junk, because, for extremely personal reasons, I have a link to a UK charity dealing with [condition], to add in their set of links relating to [condition] which seem entirely US-related, several of them dealing with issues around healthcare which are still - so far - irrelevant in the UK context.

My site is a small, personal, and carefully curated site dealing with various interests of my own and not exactly inundated with hits, except when some media outlet links to certain pages.

Y O Y?

starlady: Peggy in her hat with her back turned under the SSR logo (agent carter)
[personal profile] starlady
Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017), dir. Angela Robinson
I loved this film so much and I'd bet that almost everyone reading this will love it too. Based on the real-life story of the creator of Wonder Woman and his wife and their partner, the movie has been winning deserved praise for its respectful portrayal of a poly love story, as well as its exploration of exploring kink and BDSM in a relationship. The story of Bill Marston, Elizabeth Marston and Olive Byrne is fascinating, and Robinson leaps off the agreed-upon documentary record to make it a full-on romantic trio, with Elizabeth and Olive's sexual relationship being just as important and real as either woman's relationship with Marston. Despite all that, however, the film is mostly inexplicit; Robinson is far more focused on the depiction of relationships through the way people look at each other than through body parts. It is, in other words, extremely female gaze, and very sexy. I would happily have watched another hour of the movie, particularly as the latter half gets into the challenges of queer parenting in a homophobic society in a way I wasn't expecting, but the movie's conventional structure means that there's only so much time. Still, it was wonderful, and all the actors were great. Go see it.

The Princess & the Frog (2009)
Disney's last traditionally animated feature film, its first featuring a black princess, and probably the only Disney princess movie I hadn't seen. I liked the story of Tiana and her feckless prince, and from my admittedly inexpert position it seemed like the non-white characters were largely depicted in a positive manner. The story is sweet, but it owes so much to Shrek, it's kind of painful, and the thing that really struck me is that even as Disney put a lot of effort into moving beyond racist stereotypes in its depiction of the non-white characters, they were unwilling or incapable of to get beyond lazy stereotypes and fatphobic tropes in their depictions of villains and fat people. (I was also interested to see that the dupe villain gets a British accent, since the movie being set in New Orleans means that Disney was unable to rely on its main vocal stereotyping strategy of having the villains speak in Southern accents.) All of which is to say, there's ultimately no comparison between this movie and some of Disney's more recent successes.

dilemma solved!

Friday, 20 October 2017 09:29
the_shoshanna: pleased-as-punch little girl: "Ta-da!" (ta-da!)
[personal profile] the_shoshanna
Thanks to everyone who offered guest gift suggestions! So many great possibilities I feel silly for not thinking of; sometimes I get stuck on one thing that won't work, and can't wrench my brain away to look beyond it to things that will.

In the end I went to Ten Thousand Villages (well, Dix Mille Villages) and got a couple of paperweights/worrystones, one engraved "Joy" and the other "Peace." They're pretty and friendly, not so expensive or so cheap as to be embarrassing for anyone, and fitting for a church-related function. Plus they won't be degraded by spending ten hours in the car before being presented! Yay.

And I'm supposed to be on the road in two minutes and I'm not ready yet aaaaaa. Happy weekend, all!

icons: Carmilla

Friday, 20 October 2017 00:08
meganbmoore: (moth diaries: becca)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
 48 x Carmilla: Season 0


here ) 
jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (Default)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
My iPad is always within reach, but it doesn't have cellular service. Could I get a mobile hotspot and use it as a phone?
more details )

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