Profile

tla: (Default)
tla

May 2017

S M T W T F S
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
212223 24252627
28293031   

Custom Text

I'm rereading Gaudy Night by Dorothy L Sayers for the first time in maybe a year, since I just switched my Audible membership over to .ca instead of .com, and the Canadian website has the rights for the book when the American website has just been promising to have it for ages but never actually being able to sell it.

In that time I've read Hannah Arendt's The Origins of Totalitarianism, which very closely details the rise of anti-Semitism in Western Europe between the French Revolution and the Second World War. Sayers is an awkward novelist in that her writing in the 1920s and 30s is sparkling in many ways, but soured a few times a book by discordant notes whenever "those people" are mentioned--Sayers seems to think that she is being very liberal-minded by mentioning Jewish people at all, much less having her characters vaguely tolerate them and discuss how a Jew might be as moral as the next fellow. (She had an unhappy early affair with a Jewish writer that seems to have affected her strongly)

I can see no situation in which they might ever have met, but still, the whole thing solidifies mentally for me into a unified whole if I imagine them at some evening party full of urbane and witty literary people, drinking and smoking and sounding clever, where Sayers is holding forth and being pleased with herself and Hannah Arendt is smoking in silence and taking down extensive mental notes for an essay later. She smiles when Sayers passes her an ashtray, but she's already plotting her revenge.
1) It's a non-teaching week this week, which means my alarm is turned most definitely off and I am catching up on sleep. It's also cold and wet and rainy, to the point where when I was starting to write up my journal this morning I inadvertently started entering the month as "June".

2) I have managed to complete the AV presentation which was driving me bats, and now I have to concentrate on getting my poetry portfolio done. Which means I have to settle down and actually get into a poetry mindspace, which is somewhat akin to having an unstructured dose of therapy. Poetry involves rummaging around in the subconscious, and the problem with doing this for me is I keep finding things in there I don't remember putting there. Like discovering the reason I'm so keen on Final Fantasy VII as a fandom is because I actually empathise strongly with Cloud Strife's memory problems (because they're rather akin to the ones I have as a result of chronic depression).

3) I've done my vote in the Marriage Equality survey, and I think Steve dropped both of them off in the post-box on Friday. I voted "yes", of course, because quite frankly I cannot for the life of me see how allowing people who aren't heterosexual to marry is going to "damage marriage". The arguments of the "No" campaign appear to be mainly based around "think of the children" (I don't have any myself, and I'm thinking of the non-heterosexual and non-gender-binary children who might want to get married when they grow up); "it's against our religion" (well, nobody's saying you have to go out and get married to anyone); "marriage is about having children" (oh, does that mean my infertile friend is damaging the institution of marriage? How about my mother, who's past the age of reproduction and still married to my father?) and so on. None of their arguments really appear to be based on anything sensible, because let's face it, we can't point to a sensible argument against extending marriage to non-heterosexual people.

(Also, on the whole "freeze peach" side of things: if anyone who is busy screaming about how it's going to result in priests being forced to perform gay weddings against their wills and against religious canon can actually point to a single case of this having occurred anywhere in the world where non-heterosexual marriage is already permitted, then I'll start paying attention to this particular argument. But until then... it's a stupid argument).

4) I have a bunch of seedlings from my mother that I picked up on Saturday - Mum buys a bunch of seedlings every year to plant out in her vegetable garden, but the vege patch isn't really all that big, so she's usually got some over. So now she's giving them to me, and I'm going to be planting them out in my vegetable garden space. If the rain ever lets up for long enough for me to get it done. I will also be surrounding them with enough snail bait to hopefully keep the troops of snails we currently have decimating everything in the garden well away for a while.

5) We have received an invitation to come over for dinner tonight from my parents. My brother, in a fit of enthusiasm (and in the grip of a high-protein diet) decided since today is a public holiday (and he thus doesn't have to go in to work) he was going to barbecue an entire beef brisket. So he went and bought himself what looks like half a cow - seriously, the thing occupied about half the width of my parents' chest freezer. So they've invited myself and Steve over to help consume the wretched thing. I may wind up being given some leftovers to take home with me, which means cottage pie for dinner some time this week.
R: [chess partner] lost one of my black bishops from the chess set last weekend.

Sam: You should go to the thrift store and find something cool to replace it with! That’s how you get a really unique chess set.

R: So you’re saying his mistake became….a mistakapportunity? 

Sam: Of the millions of words that I thought you might say when you paused, mistakapportunity didn’t even make the list.

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2y0YuXL
via IFTTT

remix pinch-hit

Sep. 25th, 2017 07:43 am
tielan: Wonder Woman (Default)
[personal profile] tielan
Once again, I didn't sign up for Remix. I did, however, pick up a pinch-hit at the end:
title: My God, It's Full Of Nerds (the It's Sci-Fi All The Way Down remix)
summary:Do not argue with nerds, for you are unschooled in knowledge and taste delicious with pedantry. (Or: "Steve Rogers and the Science-Fiction of the Twenty-First Century")
rating: G
characters/pairings: Steve Rogers, Maria Hill, (cameo Pepper and Tony)
tags: Humor, Geekery, Friendship, Fluff
notes: inspired by The Ultimate Question (a.k.a. Steve Really Needs New Friends) as a pinch-hit for [archiveofourown.org profile] LadyMerlin in the [community profile] remixrevival.
I'm pretty happy with this one.

Baaaaack

Sep. 24th, 2017 09:39 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

As our flight was not until after lunch, this morning after we'd packed and put our luggage in store we went to the Hipolit House: more historical domestic interiors, plus exhibition on the actress Antonina Hoffman and on theatre/acting more generally in C19th. Rather interesting.

Of the journey, not a great deal to be said except for the enormous distances walked within airports.

Anyway, ome agen.

I dreamed I was in Providence last night, visiting friends who don't exist in waking life. There was no particular occasion—I hadn't seen them in months, NecronomiCon notwithstanding. I had brought one of them a ring I had found in a thrift store in Boston. It looked like heavy gold with a blurred device on the signet and chips of emerald down the band; I thought it was costume jewelry. It had been priced accordingly. The girl at the register hadn't been able to tell me where it came from. I almost tossed it to my friend as we walked through Burnside Park, telling him it had looked like his style. He didn't even put it on: he turned it over once or twice and dropped onto the nearest bench like someone had kicked his feet out from under him and burst into tears. I thought at one point he said, "How could you do this to me?" but I didn't have an answer and I wasn't sure he was asking me. When he left without looking at me, he left the ring resting on the bench behind him. I put it back in my pocket. I went back to their house. He was there helping his partner prepare dinner; no one said anything about it. I can do something with this dream, I think. [personal profile] spatch asked me months ago if I had ever written Lovecraftian noir and I couldn't think of a way to do it without being cheap or clichéd or ripping other authors off: I might have dreamed myself a way in. I just wish I could think of things that don't require research.

1. Thank you, question mark, Facebook, for pointing me toward this teeth-grinding article: Zoe Willams, "Yes, yes, yes! Welcome to the golden age of slutty cinema." I was a little wary of the opening, but then we reached the following claim—

"On the big screen, we look to the 1930s and 40s – rightly – for an object lesson in how to make a female character with depth, verve, wit and intelligence, but to expect those women to shag around would be unreasonable, anachronistic."

—and I blew a fuse. Can I chase after the author screaming with a copy of Baby Face (1933)? Or the bookstore clerk from The Big Sleep (1946)? Pre-Code cinema in general? A stubborn and sneaky percentage of Hollywood even after the ascendance of the Production Code? "It is a radical act," William writes, "which every film generation thinks they are the first to discover: to create characters who are not good people"—well, apparently every generation of film critics thinks they discovered it, too. I wrote on Facebook that I was reminded of the conversation between an ATS driver and her prospective mother-in-law in Leslie Howard's The Gentle Sex (1943), where the younger woman declares proudly that "for the first time in English history, women are fighting side by side with the men" and the older woman quietly lets fall the fact that she served as an ambulance driver on the front lines of the last war. Just because the young women of the rising generation don't know about the social advances of their mothers doesn't mean they didn't happen. Just because the author of this article lives in a retrograde era doesn't mean the onscreen representation of morally ambiguous women is some kind of millenial invention. It's so easy to think that the past was always more conservative, more blinkered, more backwards than the present. It's comforting. It's dangerous. It permits the belief that things just get better, magically, automatically, without anyone having to fight to move forward or hold ground already won. Once you recognize that the past, even briefly, got here first, it's a lot harder to feel superior for just being alive now. We can't afford it and anyway it isn't true.

2. Apropos of nothing except that I was listening to Flanders and Swann, I am very glad that I discovered them before reading Margery Allingham, otherwise I might have thought she invented "The Youth of the Heart." It's quoted in a scene in The Beckoning Lady (1955)—correctly attributed, but her books are so full of fictional artists and musicians that when I read of "Lili Ricki, the new Swedish Nightingale, singing Sydney Carter's lovely song against a lightening sky," I might have easily had the Avocado of Death problem and assumed she made them all up. As it is, I know the song from a recording of Swann performing it solo as part of At the Drop of a Hat in 1957, since he wrote the music. And I was reminded of Allingham because there's a copy of Traitor's Purse (1941) on Howard's bookshelves in Howard the Duck (1986). I assume someone in the props department was a fan.

3. The Somerville Theatre has announced its repertory schedule for October. I am sad that the double feature of James Whale's Frankenstein (1931) and Bride of Frankenstein (1935) is the same night that [personal profile] rushthatspeaks and I already have plans to see William Wellman's Beggars of Life (1928) at the HFA, but I am looking forward mightily to the triple feature of Psycho (1960), Psycho II (1983), and Psycho III (1986), because it is the Sunday before my birthday and five and a half hours of Anthony Perkins seems like a good preemptive birthday present to me. I have never seen Robert Wise's The Haunting (1963), either, or Anna Biller's The Love Witch (2016), and I always like Edgar Wright's Shaun of the Dead (2004). I know Brad Anderson's Session 9 (2001) was shot at the derelict Danvers State Hospital before it was demolished for condos, a decision which I hope is literally haunting the developers to this day. Anyone with opinions about the rest of this lineup?

I am off to write letters to politicians.

Reading: Autumn

Sep. 24th, 2017 06:19 pm
white_hart: (Default)
[personal profile] white_hart
I bought a copy of Ali Smith's Autumn in the Oxfam bookshop in York last week, because they were playing Leonard Cohen and I ended up browsing the contemporary fiction section much more closely than I often do because I wanted to keep listening to it. It was the day the Booker shortlist had been announced so someone had been talking about the book on the radio as I was driving up; it sounded interesting so I thought I might as well buy it when I saw a copy there.

It's a strange book. Essentially, it's the story of a friendship between an elderly man and little girl, growing and developing across the space of years, but it's also a complicated web of allusions through which Smith considers questions of time, memory, love and art; key influences are Dickens (the opening sentence is "It was the worst of times, it was the worst of times") and Ovid's Metamorphoses although there are many others. Its time-hopping, non-linear format jumps between the aftermath of the Brexit vote (the novel was published last October and it was clearly written, fast, after the referendum), the 1990s, the Profumo scandal of the 1960s and World War 2 and the years immediately preceding it. It's funny and thought-provoking, melancholy and angry and also somehow hopeful. And the prose is beautiful and poetic. It's a short book, and a quick read, but I think it will stay with me.


Click here to go see the bonus panel!

Hovertext:
Well, I guess there are plenty more comatose fish in the sea.

New comic!
Today's News:

Hey geeks! You can enter for a chance to win an early copy of Soonish here!

Remix Revival, an exchange for fic and art remixes, has just revealed authors/artists. Read more... )

Another exchange, currently still anonymous: Coronation Ceremony, for The Goblin Emperor fic and art. I liked a bunch of things (including some fun geeky science stuff), but these two pictures of the (fictional) historical figure Lisethu Pevennin, a woman who led a rebellion against the emperor of her time, can be enjoyed without canon knowledge.

Read more... )

letters, Johnson & DeVos

Sep. 24th, 2017 08:25 am
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
[personal profile] truepenny
Dear Senator Johnson:

You have been saying terrible things about people with "pre-existing" conditions for all of 2017, comparing us to cars, saying that we should pay more for our healthcare, even though most "pre-existing" conditions are not caused by anything a person does or by bad choices they make. In fact, since pregnancy is a "pre-existing condition," you are actively punishing people for having families--which seems to run counter to the agenda the Republican Party has been pushing for years The Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson proposal, which callously strips all protections from people like me (and which makes it entirely possible that a premature baby will hit his or her lifetime cap before leaving the hospital for the first time), makes it clear that in fact you have no idea of what it's like not to be able to afford healthcare, or to have a chronic, incurable condition, and that you don't even have enough imagination to be able to empathize with the people whose lives you are destroying.

Moreover, given that there is astonishing unity among healthcare professionals, patients' interest groups, and major insurers (plus all fifty Medicaid administrators and a current count of eighteen governors), it is quite clear that you aren't doing this because it's a good idea. You don't care whether it will be good or bad for your constituents. All you care about--and more than one of your Republican colleagues have admitted as much--is repealing "Obamacare." You're doing this because you made a campaign promise, and you're too blindly self-centered to see that this is a promise that would be better honored in the breach than in the observance. You and your colleagues are behaving childishly, destroying something only because you hate the person who built it. The ACA is not failing, as you keep claiming it is, Senator. It is suffering mightily from obstructionism and deliberate sabotage from you and your colleagues, and, yes, it does need reform. But your proposal isn't reform. It's wanton demolition of legislation that is working, legislation that is succeeding in making the lives of Americans better, demolition which you are pushing without the slightest consideration of its effects on the people you claim you serve.

I'm not writing this letter because I expect you will change your mind--or, frankly, even read it. I'm writing this letter because I'm angry and scared and unbelievably frustrated with your deliberately cruel and blindly stupid determination to do something that no one in this country wants. You won't change your mind, but you can't say you didn't know there was opposition.

P.S. I'd still really like to see you denounce white supremacism, Senator. Because right now, I unwillingly believe you don't think there's anything wrong with it.

***

Dear Ms. DeVos:

I am appalled at your decision to roll back the protections given to sexual assault survivors by Title IX. I'm not surprised, because it's perfectly in line with the other cruel, short-sighted, and bigoted decisions you've made since being appointed Secretary of Education, but I honestly wonder (and I wonder this about a number of Trump appointees, so you needn't think you're alone) how you live with yourself. How do you justify, even if only to yourself, the damage you're doing? Do you believe the lies you tell?

I'm not going to quote statistics, because I'm sure they've been shown to you. I'm not going to try to change your mind with personal stories. I am going to ask, futilely, that you stop and truly think about the young women whose college careers, already catastrophically imperiled by the sexual assault they have survived, may be destroyed because of the policies you're implementing. And I'm going to ask how on earth you think this destruction is part of your mandate as Secretary of Education?

Everyone's civil rights need to be respected. I believe this strongly enough to belong to the ACLU. But victims' rights are historically ignored, trampled on, and outright broken, especially in cases of sexual assault, especially when the perpetrator is white and male. I also strongly believe that the purpose of government should be to ensure that privilege is not used to skew justice. It was already crushingly difficult for sexual assault survivors to report their assailants. You have made it that much harder, and that much more likely that they will simply remain silent. I cannot help thinking that that silence is your goal, and that, Ms. DeVos, is truly shameful.

Nominations Queries Post Four

Sep. 25th, 2017 02:07 am
morbane: uletide mod image of guinea pig among daisies (mod)
[personal profile] morbane posting in [community profile] yuletide_admin
We have been working on the tag set for 195 hours, and the number of individual fandom nominations has gone down from 5058 to 43. (Many of which 43 are mentioned below.) There are 3171 approved fandoms now in the tag set. We’re nearly there! Please note, though - the tag set won’t open the moment we hit zero. We’ll need a break to catch a breath & some of our own mistakes.


Please help us with the following issues:

Barcelona (album) - this is nominated only with characters Boy and Girl. Could the nominator please confirm what album they mean (the one by Freddie Mercury?) and what is meant by the characters? It seems like they might appear in just one song, The Golden Boy. Please clarify.

Battle: Los Angeles (2011) - By fandom name, this appears to be a nomination for the movie, but one character, Lee Imlay, appeas to be specific to the tie-in game. Could the nominator please confirm that all characters appear in the same canon, and confirm which canon they mean?

Carly Rae Jepsen (Musician) - This is nominated with the characters Alana Haim and Carly Rae Jepsen. We’re not really sure what the connection between the two is - could the nominator please clarify or suggest another fandom label?

CNN Pundits RPF - It’s not clear to us that The Magic Wall (anthropomorphic) belongs in an RPF nomination. Could the nominator please explain their reasoning?

Chronicles of the Raven - James Barclay - Ry Darrick only seems to appear in the sequel trilogy; is that incorrect, or does this fandom label cover both trilogies? We’d also appreciate a little more information on the Unknown Warrior.

Devil’s Cub - Georgette Heyer and These Old Shades - Georgette Heyer - these have been approved separately, with characters Dominic Alastair, Justin Alastair, Léonie de Saint-Vire, and Mary Challoner, and Hugh Davenant, Justin Alastair, Leonie, and Rupert Alastair, respectively. However, it’s been pointed out that they form a series. If (and only if) both nominators are willing, we will merge the nominations as the Alistair-Audley series. Nominators, how do you feel about that?

The Katering Show - We’re a bit confused by the nomination of The Thermomix as a character. Could the nominator please give their reasoning?

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017) - This fandom has already been approved, but we’d like to hear from anyone who nominated the tag The Mage | Guinevere. This is the canonical tag on AO3 (and Yuletide’s use of it is unlikely to change that; if you have strong opinions please refer them to Support). However, one person who nominated The Mage has argued that they are separate. Would the other nominator also be OK with changing The Mage | Guinevere to just The Mage? If so, we will change it; if not, we will leave it as The Mage | Guinevere.

NaPolA | Before the Fall (2004) - Two characters, Albrecht Stein and Friedrich Weimer, are characters in the film; the other two, Florian Stetter and Martin Goeres, are actors. Nominator, could you please confirm whether you wanted to nominate the movie, or to nominate an RPF canon of the movie’s actors?

Nemocnice na kraji města | The Hospital on the Outskirts of the City (TV) - This title seems to refer to several different versions & reboots of a show. The character Eliška Králová seems to only appear in the 2003 sequel show, Nemocnice na kraji města po dvaceti letech | Hospital at the End of the City Twenty Years On, while the other nominated character Ina Blažejová is in both the 1978 and 2003 shows. Could the nominator please clarify what canon is covered by the title they’ve nominated?

Never Too Wanted - The Composed Faucet Collection (Commercial) - We can’t figure out which character you’ve identified as the US Marshall - pointers, please?

No Game No Life - Kamiya Yuu - we're a little confused by the character 『 』| Kuuhaku | Blank. Could the nominator please give their reasoning for nominating this character separately?

The Scarlet Pimpernel - Takarazuka Revue - The nominated characters Chauvelin (Ryuu Masaki) and Chauvelin (Yuzuki Reon) appear to come from separate runs of this production, in 2008 and 2010. Nominator, could you please share your reasoning on nominating them together?

Smosh - the characters nominated are Keith Leak Jr., Noah Grossman, Olivia Sui, and Shayne Topp. Could the nominator please clarify if this is a nomination for RPF, or for fictionalized characters that share the names of the real people?

Southpaw Regional Wrestling - we can’t find confirmation that a “Swamp Monster” appeared in this canon. Could the nominator please clarify and confirm?

Star Wars Legends: X-wing Series - Aaron Allston & Michael Stackpole - We have approved this nomination. However, we have also approved a nomination for Star Wars Legends: X-wing Series - All Media Types, with characters Derek "Hobbie" Klivian (X-Wing), Plourr Ilo (X-Wing), Rial Pernon (X-Wing), and Wes Janson (X-Wing). Could the nominator of the Allston & Stackpole series please confirm if it is okay to combine their nomination with the All Media Types nomination?

Trial and Error (TV 2017) - We can't find the character Anne Cox. Could the nominator please confirm and give us pointers to when she appeared? (Did you mean Dan Cox?)

决对争锋 | Duì Jué Zhēn Fēng | Beloved Enemy - We can't tell if this refers to the audio drama, the web series, or both, and if both, we'd appreciate a further comment on why they should be grouped together, please. This was nominated with the characters Gu Qing Pei, Peng Fang, Wang Jin, and Yuan Yang.


All Media Types fandoms
We need clarification from the person (or people) who nominated the following fandoms. Please specify a single version of the canon and provide a link to your nominations page so we can confirm the nomination. If these aren't answered, the fandoms will be rejected:

  • Kino no Tabi | Kino's Journey - All Media Types, characters: Kino (Kino no Tabi)

  • Kizoku Tantei, characters: unnamed main character (Kizoku Tantei)

  • Kurosagi - All Media Types, characters: Kashina Masaru, Katsuragi Toshio, Kurosaki (Kurosagi), Yoshikawa Tsurara

  • A Room With a View - All Media Types, characters: Charlotte Bartlett, Eleanor Lavish




If you are commenting about your own nomination to say what you would like done with characters or fandoms, please link your nominations page! It is the page you get by clicking ‘My Nominations’ from the tag set.

If you notice any problems with your nominations - mis-spellings, etc - feel free to comment on this post.

Reading: St Mungo's Robin

Sep. 24th, 2017 10:23 am
white_hart: (Default)
[personal profile] white_hart
I wasn't quite ready to get my head out of fifteenth-century Scotland after finishing Gemini, so I thought I'd read the fourth of Pat McIntosh's Gil Cunningham mysteries. Set in Glasgow, about ten years after the end of Gemini, these books feel a bit like a extension of the world of the Niccolò series; some of the same historical characters appear in both and I like to imagine Dunnett's characters living their lives just off-screen. (Accidentally or on purpose, there are also a couple of cases where character names and nicknames end up being minor spoilers for points in Dunnett where knowing a character's full name rather than just their nickname would have given too much away, so if you're reading your way through Dunnett and care about remaining unspoilered I'd recommend leaving McIntosh until afterwards; I also enjoy McIntosh more for having read all of the Niccolò books now and understanding the historical background.)

In this book, Gil (now officially charged with investigating murders, after his earlier successes on an amateur basis) is called to a Glasgow almshouse where the unpopular Deacon has been found stabbed with no shortage of people who might have had a motive to kill him. He's also due to be married in a week's time and his investigations are both helped and hindered by family and friends arriving in town for the wedding, while he and his fiancée, Alys, are both suffering from pre-wedding nerves.

I enjoyed this a lot - the series really seems to be hitting its stride by this stage, with the core characters established enough to feel like old friends now; Gil's investigations manage not to feel out of place in the historical setting while still allowing him to do things like estimate times of death from the condition of a corpse. I did spot a couple of clues well ahead of Gil, and had worked out the identity of the murderer by about two-thirds of the way through the book, but then it's always nice to feel cleverer than the detective!