oursin: Painting of Clio Muse of History by Artemisia Gentileschi (Clio)
[personal profile] oursin

I really liked this piece (I do get some great pointers via FaceBook, like anything it's who you know, right?):

Shouting at doctors: archaeology and food allergy.

It resonates with a lot of things I've said here about history over lo these many years - that one example of something doesn't mean it was universal or even that it totally alters the narrative:

Whatever the evidence you have remember not to go too far beyond it. Imagine that you find a Saxon site in Kent, fine. Saying that ‘Kent was conquered by the Saxons’ as a result of your findings goes way beyond the available facts.

So very, very true.

And to mention my own annoying self-diagnosis medical instance, being banged on at great length at an academic institution party by somebody who claimed that they had worked out The Definitive Treatment for MS on the basis of their own experience (it involved, among other things, the fact that they had been drinking practically industrial quantities of diet coke) but that they were being a bit cagey because of wanting to patent it -

This was fairly soon after my brother's diagnosis (early 90s or so) and one thing that was apparent from the reading I'd seen (what with having unusual access to medical literature) was that MS is usually a remitting disease and quite serious debilitating episodes can be followed by more or less return to functionality. Also I was aware of the long history of things that had been taken to be the magic bullet precisely because of this factor.

(Am currently gradually recovering from a fairly severe version of my own invisible disorder, migraine. About which there are also People's Pet Theories. I have some food triggers - as my dr rdrz are doubtless aware with all my whinges about Surpriz Cheez or chocolate - but I wouldn't say that was the only reason. I have no idea, for example, what caused this one.)

Daily Happiness

Mar. 27th, 2015 01:32 am
torachan: ryu from kimi ni todoke eating ramen (ramen)
[personal profile] torachan
1. I slept in until like 11.30 this morning!

2. We went karaoke with Alexander this afternoon, which we haven't done in a long time. It was a lot of fun! And I'm hopefully going karaoke again with my former coworker next week, so yay karaoke.

3. I actually got a fair amount of translating done today and should be able to finish up the last few pages of this month's Yasha, Gunjo, and Himegoto chapters tomorrow, which will hopefully mean I can get them all posted by the end of the month (thank goodness for fast typesetters!).

4. It was hot today, but at least it's cooled down quite a bit tonight.

Camp NaNo

Mar. 26th, 2015 04:06 pm
auguris: Dozens of blue butterflies resting on a tree. (ΦΙΛΗΜΩΝ)
[personal profile] auguris

I haven't done a lot of writing this past year. I haven't done much creatively at all, to be honest. I was starting to think I couldn't, anymore, but I've done it for so long I know that's not true.

Anyway, without getting too far down the woe-is-me-my-depression-nearly-killed-me hole, I decided to sign up for Camp NaNo. I'm going to work on the draft of the first book for Krixos, aka Ghost Sight. (GS was a terrible working title. Krixos is a slightly less terrible working title.) I don't really get this whole cabin thing.

My Profile


Phil Miller and Male Entitlement

Mar. 26th, 2015 04:20 pm
brigid: close up of my face a week or so post partum (me)
[personal profile] brigid

Mirrored from Words, words, words, art..

This post contains spoilers for the first five episodes of Fox’s Last Man On Earth.

Phil Miller has spent much of his post-virus last man on earth time wallowing in his own filth, drunk, in droopy underpants. In the Before Times, the 41 year old man had a job- not a career- as a temp. Unless the Tuscan, AZ temp market is vastly different from the Chicago, IL temp market, he was making $8-11 an hour, or just enough to afford his shabby apartment, single lifestyle, and not much more.

When Phil, who has given up on personal hygiene, sobriety, and life, meets clean and well groomed (shaved legs, even!) Carol, he stumbles across her clean drying laundry (and bra) first, spinning a fantasy of the sexy young soulmate they belong to. Carol’s less than conventionally attractive appearance puts him off immediately. She doesn’t live up to his fantasy. She isn’t what he deserves. Phil, who has literally been living in a pile of garbage and shitting in a pool, is convinced that she isn’t good enough for him. This despite the fact that Carol, annoying quirks aside, has her life pretty together. She manages to bathe and wash her laundry, for instance. She has plans for the future that don’t involve soaking in an inflatable pool filled with alcohol. And unlike temp Phil she had an actual career as an office manager of a business, which meant she was making significantly more than Phil and also probably had PTO, health insurance, and a 401k. In the old world, there’s a good chance she would have been out of his league, and yet Phil considers himself comfortably superior to her because of her appearance and insistence on stopping at stop signs (which, by the way, ignoring stop signs lead to a car crash when Melissa shows up). But really, which is worse: being a stickler for grammar or shitting in a pool and living amidst literal piles of literal garbage with food crusted on your face and in your beard?

Likewise, when Melissa shows up– younger looking than Carol, more conventionally attractive, more stylish, more made-up, more blonde– Phil feels entitled to her sexually and emotionally. She is more attractive than him, and again, in the before times she had a career as a Real Estate Agent and made FAR more money than he did. She, again, would have been very out of his league and yet he feels entitled to her simply because he exists and he wants her. Melissa can barely tolerate his creepy and predatory company, desperate horniness aside. (And in a world where every single vibrator and battery is free and available, would she REALLY be that desperate for sex with a creepy married dude? That plotlette very much feels like something a group of dudes would come up with.) Phil has nothing to offer her besides sex, and yet he feels he deserves her and if given the chance (no Carol, no Todd) she would realize how great he is and return his interest and attention, even though he has an established history of lying to her and betraying her trust.

This is an example of the same male entitlement that gives rise to the Nice Guys who have nothing to offer save feigned respect and kindness with an ulterior motive, and who deride and berate the women (usually better looking, with better jobs and social skills) who don’t appreciate their greatness and refuse to fuck/date/marry them.

Phil’s attitude is toxic, and dangerous, and creates a hostile and threatening environment for Melissa and Carol to navigate. When Carol pulled a gun on drunk, urine-soaked Phil and demanded to know if he was a nice person or not he said he was. But as his interactions with his fellow survivors show, he isn’t very nice at all.

Will his brief moment of emotional vulnerability and truth with Melissa mark a change in his toxic personality, or will he continue being a barely likable (albeit wittily written) character? I have a sneaking suspicion that “Last Man On Earth” may reflect the reluctance of an increasing number of survivors to put with him and his manipulations.

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oursin: The Delphic Sibyl from the Sistine Chapel (Delphic sibyl)
[personal profile] oursin

I finished that book The Friend Who Got Away: Twenty Women's True Life Tales of Friendships that Blew Up, Burned Out or Faded Away yesterday, and still thinking about it. The contributors appear to be writers by profession, which has I suppose pluses and minuses, and even people who aren't writers would probably strive to impose some kind of narrative, though I felt that one of the issues might be the resistance to narrative of instances where friendships inexplicably fade, or blow up for apparently no reason.

I also felt that perhaps the selection covered a somewhat narrow range, in that the stories tended to skew to friendships of childhood/adolescence/early adulthood (with some exceptions), which are possibly going to drop away with life changes.

It additionally struck me that perhaps there are kinds of intense friendships, or friendships forged in the pressures of some situation, which don't have staying power (this was mooted in at least one of the essays).

Not much about the impact of the internet, or the role of online friendships, but that might be due to the fact that these were largely looking back to earlier stages of life from c. 2005.

(That Acker/Wark book I think pointed up very well the way that email facilitated rapid and exciting exchanges and how thrilling this was when it was a relatively new thing.)

There's been a book out lately on how we are all terribly lonely and not relating in the real world: interview here with the author; review here.

While face to face contact is all very well (though I think its benefits may be overrated and it can be as thin and as superficial as any hasty 'like' on Facebook, surely?) and it helps in matters like having someone to hold a spare set of keys or feed one's pets in an emergency to have someone who is present in the near vicinity, I think there are problems with this WOEZ DIGITAL theme.

For one thing, it's not either/or, is it? I have been to all sorts of meetups f2f with people I first met in the plastic box - these things complement one another.

And for another, on the need for connection, there is surely an element of finding the people among whom one does not feel lonelier than when one is alone? I.e. the 'kindred spirits', 'fellows of one's totem'.

I've seen a lot of support and caring among people who may not ever have met in the flesh, online. (And I was sustained through my month in Urbana-Champaign by my personal virtual village.)

However, I'm not sure that friendship is something that there might be an app for: If only you could swipe right to find a new friend. Because I'm not entirely sure that that would work. Common interests are all very well, but there is that thing where mutual friends and acquaintances think that two people should meet because they have So Much In Common and it's a disaster, perhaps because there are subtle mismatches about the things in common, or whatever.

sailorptah: Hiding in a box (depression)
[personal profile] sailorptah
"This is my idea of how this passage in Nicolae might have read if Rayford Steele stuck to a truly biblical view on abortion."

The women fighting for equal treatment in sanitation services, sewer work, and coal mining. "Just because you aren’t paying attention to the feminist movement doesn’t mean that the feminist movement is nonexistent."

"'God does not regard the fetus as a soul no matter how far gestation has progressed,' wrote professor Bruce Waltke of Dallas Theological Seminary in a 1968 issue of Christianity Today on contraception and abortion, edited by Harold Lindsell, a then-famous champion of biblical 'inerrancy.' His argument rested on the Hebrew Bible, '[A]ccording to Exodus 21:22–24, the destruction of the fetus is not a capital offense. … Clearly, then, in contrast to the mother, the fetus is not reckoned as a soul.'"

"My babies were loved and wanted. They had names. They are not fodder for campaigns. They are not fodder for asking for donations."

"The people who talk about black genocide are the same people who defund Head Start and food stamps and are now trying to dismantle public education by encouraging voucher systems—all of the systems that need to be in place to take care of those black babies. It's diabolical."

"White men were also concerned by shifting ethnic and racial dynamics in the United States, worrying that the low birthrate of the white upper class would lead to racial inferiors and un-American immigrants overrunning the country."

"Yet as I pursued my career as an OB/GYN, I saw the dilemmas that women found themselves in. And I could no longer weigh the life of a pre-viable or lethally flawed fetus equally with the life of the woman sitting before me."

"Want to require a bunch of unnecessary visits before a woman is allowed to have a procedure? Now you need to do that for a biopsy, too. Want to force abortion clinics to meet ambulatory surgical center standards and abortion providers to have hospital admitting privileges? Well, dentists will have to meet the same standards before they can drill a tooth. If this bill passes (more on that below), states would be forced to let abortion providers operate in peace or make everyone else—including, gasp, men—endure the same kind of hassles and mistreatment women seeking abortion now have to endure in much of the country."

"I would be abandoning my own conscience and judgment if I held a position that I no longer believed appropriate. I have come to believe that we must trust women and families—not politicians—to make the best decision for their lives."

"Other things I’m grateful for include the many benefits of living in a state that hasn’t been taken over by misogynist barbarians who like tormenting women at what may be the worst moments of our lives. Or creating worst moments of our lives on purpose."
helloladies: group shot of three My Little Pony's (Default)
[personal profile] helloladies posting in [community profile] ladybusiness
Today we're excited to welcome [tumblr.com profile] justira back to to Lady Business to talk about Mockingjay Part 1. Ira is an awesome illustrator, writer, and web developer who gained their powers by consuming the bones of their enemies. They make art, comics, and writing when they are not distracted by way too many video games. You can find more of Ira's work at their tumblr.

Mockingjay's recent release to DVD has reignited my ambivalence towards the movie— don't get me wrong, it's great having another female-led spec fic film, especially one with Natalie Dormer running support. But the film suffered a critical lack; the ghost of the movie it could have been hovered over the film for me: the film lacked confidence. The story — the book — is, at its core, part social commentary and part inspection of PTSD. But the film adaptation lacked the boldness to pull a full genre shift, or make up for Collins's shortcomings as a writer. Spoilers for the books and movies up through Mockingjay Part 1 and its equivalent part of the book follow.

What the movie should have done was listen to its own message more. It should have listened to Haymitch.

Haymitch explains how to use Katniss effectively.

Haymitch criticized Plutarch's effort at making Mockingjay propos: they were falling flat and felt artificial. What they needed to do — what the movie needed to do — was get inside Katniss's head, inspect the authentic intersection of her internal world and the world around her. Katniss's commodification had to be contingent upon her authenticity in order to function as intended. That's when the propos were the most genuine and effective. That's when the movie shone. Read more... )

Postcards, Round 3

Mar. 26th, 2015 02:34 pm
nanila: (me: art)
[personal profile] nanila
Mia has made one of her recent pieces available on Redbubble to purchase on a number of items. “Aswang, at Night” is an incredibly powerful image wrought from many hours of work with ink and watercolour.

I've ordered a set of 16 postcards. If you would like me to send one to you, please provide an address that will reach you, either by leaving it in the poll below or in a DM. Please note the following. First, I’m happy to send outside the UK as I have a stockpile of international postage. Second, if you provided your address in one of the previous postcard polls, you don’t need to leave it again. Just say, “Yes, please” or equivalent. If you need to check whether or not you've left me your address before, links to my previous postcard posts for "When Dragons Speak" and "Princesa" can be found by looking at the free stuff tag: DW and LJ.

It usually takes several days for a Redbubble order to reach me, so these will be going on over the next two to three weeks.

Poll #16560 Aswang, at Night
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: Just the Poll Creator, participants: 2

I would like an aswang postcard by Likhain. Please send it to this address:

Daily Happiness

Mar. 26th, 2015 04:53 am
torachan: palmon smiling (palmon)
[personal profile] torachan
1. I ended up working thirteen hours today, but supposedly if you go over twelve hours overtime is paid at double not time and a half, so I'm looking forward to that!

2. I managed to get all my ordering done tonight so I don't have to go in tomorrow! Since I didn't get off until 3am and was hungry and needed time to unwind before going to bed, I'm not even getting in bed until five here, and who knows if I'll fall asleep right away (though I am very tired). I'm so glad I don't have to try and make it in today (and especially glad I don't have to be in at nine as I originally was going to have to do).

(no subject)

Mar. 26th, 2015 07:59 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] robling_t!

This is important.

Mar. 25th, 2015 10:19 pm
auguris: (Follower of the Apocalypse)
[personal profile] auguris
Reps. Mark Pocan Thomas Massie want to repeal the Patriot Act.

This can happen. If enough of us tell Congress we want this, it can happen. Find your Rep. here and send them a quick note. Tell them you'll back any Representative that supports the Surveillance State Repeal Act. This can happen. We can make it happen. Please.

Fables of Foreclosure

Mar. 25th, 2015 07:39 pm
jae: (bookgecko)
[personal profile] jae
Juuuust in case there's someone out there who's geeky about these books in the same way I am, I feel like I should share this (in a total misuse of university library privileges, ahem):

Gregorek, Jean. 2014. Fables of Foreclosure: Tana French's Police Procedurals of Recessionary Ireland. In: Kim, Julie H., ed., Class and Culture in Crime Fiction: Essays on Works in English Since the 1970s. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc.

(pdf download here)

The paper deals both with The Likeness and Broken Harbour. Here's the summary from the book's introduction:

Jean Gregorek takes up the issue of class and real estate. Focusing on the “tendency of the popular detective genre to tap into the anxieties and stresses of the middle class,” Gregorek studies Tana French’s psychological hardboiled Irish novels which “use murder plots to examine topical issues shaping middleclass life—a fading sense of Irish heritage, the housing market collapse, unemployment resulting from the imposition of austerity—among others.” Gregorek’s tracing of the Irish housing crisis prepares us to see how “French’s fiction usefully highlights the psychological toll exacted by the contemporary Irish economic crisis.”

Wednesday reading

Mar. 25th, 2015 08:00 pm
queen_ypolita: Books stacked to form a spiral (Bookspiral by celticfire)
[personal profile] queen_ypolita
Recently finished
I finished revisiting the source text for my [community profile] rarelywritten assignment and Trowchester Blues.

Currently reading
I'm still reading Persian love poetry at bedtide and The Mask of Apollo. I've also made a start on Shopped by Joanna Blythman and The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (on my phone—I'm just hoping it won't turn into another Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man).

Reading next
No idea.

Wednesday is a sunny sunny day

Mar. 25th, 2015 03:20 pm
oursin: Photograph of small impressionistic metal figurine seated reading a book (Reader)
[personal profile] oursin

Sekkrit Projekt #ifitoldyouidhavetokillyou isn't actually over, but it is now at the stage where I am no longer contemplating huge piles still to be got through somehow.

What I read

I seem to have picked some winners as freebies from US scholarly press (and although I would have preferred ebooks on principle, will admit that these are rather nice physical objects):
Kathy Acker and McKenzie Wark, I'm Very into You: Correspondence 1995--1996 (2015) which is actually impassioned (mostly about ideas) exchange of emails over the space of a few months and an intriguing read.
Vivian Gornick, The Men in My Life (2008) about male writers whom she has found saying things that she could identify with but who were also problematic in many ways. I suppose I was vaguely aware of Gornick from various collections of 1970s feminist writings, but I am now rather a fangirl and looking out for her other stuff.
Kate Zambreno, Heroines (2012) about which I was ambivalent - it was a compelling read but I found something self-indulgent and unexamined privilegy about it, and although towards the end she was yay female blogosphere she was rather nasty about second wave feminism (which, really, All More Complicated) and getting into that whole dodgy generations-of-feminism and former generation as somehow Bad Mother trope.
Plus several others that I have not yet started.

Elizabeth Moon, Deeds of Honor: Paksenarrion World Chronicles (2014) - pleasant enough but the stories probably don't make much sense if you haven't read the various novel series set in that world.

Susan Palwick, Mending the Moon (2013), which was lovely, in spite of the set-up - much-loved friend and adoptive mother brutally murdered on vacation, the impact on those left behind - beautifully done, and about the redemptive power of popular media.

On the go

Still Run Away Home for [livejournal.com profile] trennels readthrough.

Bogging down in The Ariadne Connection, which seems to keep everything dialled up to 11 all the time, there is a significant viewpoint character who embodies a set of tropes I find problematic (I can only hope that they are set up for a redemptive arc, because otherwise, I am a bit ugh), and what it maybe needs are a few more quiet moments - cf Beth Bernobich's lovely post on Quiet Moments in Epic Fantasy. Thrillers could also do with moments when things let up for a moment. Also, it's all so serious - I remember the earlier things by Stamey that I read having a lighter touch?

Started, and dipping in and out, Andrew M Butler, Solar Flares: Science Fiction in the 1970s (2012), to help clarify my own thoughts on that dismissed decade.

Also, because somebody mentioned it on FaceBook, Jenny Offill, Elissa Schappell, The Friend Who Got Away: Twenty Women's True Life Tales of Friendships that Blew Up, Burned Out or Faded Away (2005) - may have further thoughts, given my interest in women and friendship, once I've finished it.

Up Next

Well, somebody I know has just published (pseudonymously) Bought by the Billionbear, a shapeshifter erotic romance, and at 99p I'm prepared to give it a whirl (also, quite short).

Also, have ordered a couple of Gornick's other works, so those are on the pile as well.

Big Purple and Meg & Mog

Mar. 25th, 2015 10:23 am
nanila: wrong side of the mirror (me: wrong side of the mirror)
[personal profile] nanila
I finally got a few pictures of Keiki in Big Purple, getting ready for a walk. He was practising his "Haaa haaoo" noises during the photo shoot, which led to pulling some interesting faces.

"I can eat this, y/y?"

+1 )

Humuhumu is presently obsessed with the set of five Meg & Mog books that sister-out-law gave her for Christmas. I think they're from the seventies; both the bloke and sister-out-law remember them vividly from childhood. Meg is a witch, of the spellcasting-pointy-black-hat-and-cauldron archetype. Mog is her black and white striped cat. The illustrations are colourful and the story lines are quite sparse and more than a bit absurd. I have them memorised now as we frequently have to read all five at bedtime.

Shirtless man with children behind the cut )
Photo: Keiki on Humuhumu on Daddy, reading Meg's Eggs, in which Meg magics up three big eggs for supper, but the shells can't be broken. In the night, the eggs hatch into dinosaurs, two of which are plant-eaters (Diplodocus and Stegosaurus). The third is a T. rex who wants to eat them all. Meg makes another spell and the dinosaurs are miniaturised to a non-threatening size. The End.

This one is second only to Meg's Veg in Humuhumu's view. Meg's Veg is her favourite because there is a page on which Meg fetches the muck for her garden. Which, of course, means we all get to shout, "POO!"

Reading Wednesday

Mar. 25th, 2015 10:36 am
liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
[personal profile] liv
Recently read
  • Via [twitter.com profile] nanayasleeps a very evocative description of a really terrible sex party. NSFW, obviously; the article is plain text and illustrated with a fairly vague modern art pic, but the site is a sex magazine and most of the links to related articles have more or less porny thumbnails.

  • The [twitter.com profile] embassthon account in its entirety. It's a charity stunt by [twitter.com profile] scattermoon, in which she dressed up as Carmen Sandiego and visited every single embassy in a single a weekend, and was sponsored to raise money for a refugee charity. I know a lot of my friends are into effective giving and are against fundraising stunts as a matter of principle, but [twitter.com profile] embassthon is just a lovely piece of performance Twitter in its own right. Worth reading from the bottom up; there are cryptic clues to which embassy is up next, snarky comments about the embassies and their countries, lovely stuff.

  • Network surfing led me to [personal profile] melannen's adorable Big Hero 6 / Pacific Rim crossover.

  • [livejournal.com profile] cavalorn is slightly locally famous for debunking lots of silly fluff Pagan stories. This year he's come up with a rather amazing piece about church history: On Bede, pagan kings, rival Churches, and the Great Anglo-British Miracle-Off, where he explains, with great humour how: Rather than a simplistic matter of The Christians versus The Pagans, we are dealing with multiple cultural groups and multiple iterations of Christianity.

    Currently reading Two thirds of the way through Imajica. Things are getting apocalyptic, which means it's not as slow to read as it was in the earlier sections. I think there's some very cool fantasy in this, but it's rather more padded than I prefer.

    Up next I'm going to be acquiring some of the stuff you recommended for medical students for myself, no question. Well worth having a look back at that thread if you're interested in books you can learn something from.

    Other than that I've come down with a very annoying digestive TMI bug. I'm not seriously ill, I was able to get on with giving feedback on student work yesterday, just uncomfortable and annoyed. And since I do have the kind of job where I can get away with doing this, I'm being good about staying away from public areas until I'm properly better. I'm especially grateful for technology, and thoughtful friends who use it, so that I haven't actually been stuck on my own with no company for the past two days.

    So, if anyone wants to send me links I would be most grateful. At this stage of being not exactly ill but still in quarantine, I'm more interested in distracting, interesting, meaty stuff than cute adorable stuff.
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