sovay: (Morell: quizzical)
[personal profile] sovay
I don't understand Facebook's algorithms. Independent of any pages shared by my friends, it keeps presenting me with this photo of violinist Gil Shaham, upcoming guest of the BSO, and I cannot tell if it thinks that I am the sort of person who listens to classical music (true) or the sort of person who thinks this particular musician is great-looking (also true) and in either case I have no money for the symphony and extant commitments on one of the days he's playing anyway, but I still want to know which data they were farming to produce this result. Seriously, it's been every time I go to check in on the news. I'm not complaining, but I am puzzled.

Gil Shaham


(I did not make it to the Brattle's screening of A Matter of Life and Death (1946), so the question of whether I find David Niven as beautiful in that movie as Andrew Moor does will have to wait for another time.)

Star Trek: Discovery: Episode 2

Sep. 25th, 2017 12:10 am
sineala: The Enterprise (Star Trek: TOS) flying into the clouds (enterprise)
[personal profile] sineala
AAAAAAAAA.

Spoilers )

Star Trek: Discovery

Sep. 24th, 2017 10:13 pm
sineala: The Enterprise (Star Trek: TOS) flying into the clouds (enterprise)
[personal profile] sineala
I have seen the first episode of Star Trek: Discovery! It was good! I would watch the rest!

Spoilers )

Now please let the rest of it not suck.

the common or garden anti-semite

Sep. 24th, 2017 06:37 pm
staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)
[personal profile] staranise
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.

The Good Place

Sep. 24th, 2017 04:57 pm
sartorias: (Default)
[personal profile] sartorias
I've been watching this really clever sitcom while doing the exercise bike. Sadly, I only have a couple of episodes to go for the first season. Why couldn't it be longer?

It is so rare that I like a sitcom, but this one is smart and funny, and the actors terrific.

Teamwork

Sep. 24th, 2017 10:08 pm
[syndicated profile] incrementum_feed

Posted by Mary

One of the best and worst things about the four year age gap between V and A is their lack of interests in common. Best because they don’t fight over toys very much, worst because they often want to be in different places: toddler paradise is not pre-tween paradise. It’s getting worse now that V is slowly, finally, starting to outgrow playgrounds.

But there are some pursuits that span the age range:

Arcade

Joint work

sovay: (PJ Harvey: crow)
[personal profile] sovay
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.
chantefable: ([fisher] train of thought)
[personal profile] chantefable
Remix Revival main collection authors have been revealed; I can now post a link to my story! Behold, I made Hannibal (TV) debut - with rare pair femslash:

Title: These Troublesome Disguises (Don't Let Yourself Grow Hungry Now Remix) [on AO3]
Fandom: Hannibal (TV)
Relationship: Freddie Lounds/Margot Verger
Story notes: Mentions of dead foxes, vulpine and serpentine imagery, heavy extended metaphors, canon-typical lushness and extravaganza, Milton & Machiavelli references, mentions of past canon-compliant violence & trauma; no cannibalism (different plotline)
Summary: “Off the record, then.”
Freddie's voice is dry like the desert, and when Margot turns to her, the narrow limits of the bedroom are momentarily expanded, walls and furniture sloshing like wine in a glass, and an arid, barren land stretches between the two of them, eager to swallow up more.
Notes: This is a remix of Petronia's atmospheric flash fic Don't Let Yourself Grow Hungry Now and it revolves around Margot's semi-random hook-up with Tattlecrime reporter Freddie Lounds who is sniffing around Mason Verger, Dr Lecter, and the whole unsavory business (do I put spoilers here in case you haven't watched the show but want to read my fic? better not; there are no spoilers in the fic, btw, it is vague enough). I volunteered to write for this fandom even though I had only read it before, and I was glad to get matched on it - and with Petronia / genufa @tumblr, whose stories in the fandom were known to me and much liked. I actually tried remixing other fics, but this is what came to be in the end, and I reckon it was respectful of the original, true to my writing (despite all the creative limbo of late) and close enough to the show's aesthetic.

My two gifts turned out to be from different creators - I guess I was double assigned. Thanks to pyrrhical for remixing Pity No More (Man From UNCLE) and to Dancingsalome for remixing Tequila Sunrise (Harry Potter): my grateful gushing about gifts is here.

Remix Reveals

Sep. 24th, 2017 06:33 pm
lost_spook: (dw - bill)
[personal profile] lost_spook
The main Remix collection was revealed today, so I can admit that I wrote:

Coffee and Crumbs (The Idiot in the Attic Remix) (2145 words) by lost_spook
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Doctor Who (2005), Sarah Jane Adventures
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Twelfth Doctor & Sarah Jane Smith
Characters: Sky Smith, Twelfth Doctor, Sarah Jane Smith, Mr Smith (Sarah Jane Adventures)
Additional Tags: Remix, remixrevival, Post-Episode: s08e01 Deep Breath, Episode: 2013 Xmas The Time of the Doctor
Summary: The Doctor always returns to Bannerman Road at the important moments. It's the timing that's so hard to get right...

It's a remix of [personal profile] paranoidangel's Tea and Biscuits, because we just can't avoid each other in these things! Anyway, it was fun and I had plenty of options to choose from, but my heart wanted this one. I'd actually beta-ed Tea and Biscuits (and it was a gift fic for [personal profile] dbskyler, too), which is a little odd, but so far in my remixing, I've always gone for stories I've loved and that's what drew me to T&B quite quickly. I'm not sure what the key is (I'm sure you could remix almost anything with a bit of work and inspiration), but certainly a story that speaks to me, one I can say something in response to is maybe what that sudden, "That's the one!" spark is. Anyway, this was fun. I was little worried about effectively switching Eleven for Twelve, because it borders on going too far - but on the other hand, the Doctor is the Doctor, and I know Paranoidangel doesn't have an aversion to any of them. (Well, as far as I know!)


And I see that I have [personal profile] estirose to thank for the remix of my Dungeons & Dragons fic! (Madness is still unrevealed, although I do have a suspicion...)
wpadmirer: (Default)
[personal profile] wpadmirer
That was the last line of my horoscope this morning, and I really like it.

I'm up early because Pat is going bicycling. But I have no obligations today. That is rare for me. There's usually something that I have scheduled, or that must be done. Instead I find myself with the morning alone and nothing required.

Whatever shall I do?

I had a lovely lunch with my friend Patti. It was good to catch up. We hadn't seen each other in a long while.

I heard about her trip to New Jersey to see her grandson, and how they had fared through the storm. They lost power for five days. Otherwise they did pretty well. I'm glad.

I took another long nap yesterday afternoon. I just feel really tired this weekend. I think that it's a combination of a hard work week, hard boxing lesson, and I'm still processing shit from my mother's death. I have had multiple dreams which she appears in.

The human brain is a weird thing, and the heart no different.

Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give, 2017

Sep. 23rd, 2017 09:07 pm
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
[personal profile] sasha_feather posting in [community profile] 50books_poc
This is a young-adult novel, a debut for the author, and it deservedly has a lot of great reviews.

Content notes for police violence

Starr Carter lives in a poor neighborhood called Garden Heights. She and her brothers commute 45 minutes to go to a mostly-white private school. It's Spring break and she's a a party in the Garden. She runs into an old friend, Khalil, and they catch up. A fight breaks out at the party and they leave, getting into Khalil's car. On the way home, a cop pulls them over, shoots and kills Khalil. The book is abou the aftermath of these events.

It's first-person and the strong use of voice makes this book real and visceral. Thomas deftly handles a number of difficult topics, such as Starr's complicated feelings about dating a white boy, and feeling torn between two worlds. The story is gripping, and though its long (by YA standards), its a fast read.

I hope to see this as required reading on syllabi.

Ellen Pao, Reset, 2017

Sep. 23rd, 2017 06:33 pm
yatima: (Default)
[personal profile] yatima posting in [community profile] 50books_poc
Remember how I said that I was probably way too close to the world described in Juliet Takes A Breath to have any kind of objective opinion about its merits? Join me in laughing hollowly as I disclose that I joined the venture capital industry very shortly after Ellen Pao first filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the industry's giant, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Why is it on me to learn and improve and not on them to listen to me like they listen to one another? I wondered.

I shall confine myself to remarking that I underlined every second sentence or so of Reset but nobly refrained from writing IT'S SO TRUE!!! in every margin, if only because I was reading it on my Kindle. And that Ellen is a real-life badass superhero and that her Project Include is an authentic Force For Good. And that this book is an pretty good primer both on the structure of venture capital and on what discrimination in the workplace looks like, and how insidious it is and how hard to fight. Okay, I'm done.

Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye, 1970

Sep. 23rd, 2017 06:21 pm
yatima: (Default)
[personal profile] yatima posting in [community profile] 50books_poc
Content warning for child sexual abuse, incest, and a fairly graphic rape.

I was puzzled by this book until I realized it was the author's first, and that when she wrote it she was not yet the astonishing artist who created Sethe and Beloved. The Bluest Eye deals with a lot of the same themes as the later novel - the crippling legacies of the slaveholding South, the crises of Black American manhood, the extremes to which Black women are driven to make sense of their predicaments. But they are present here in larval form.

Morrison uses the text of a child's early reader as a framing device, and to throw her dark material into stark relief. I realize as I am writing this that it works equally well as an ironic nod to the fact that the author is here feeling her way into her story and her voice.

The great John Leonard gave this book a lovely, generous review.

Alice Walker, The Color Purple, 1982

Sep. 23rd, 2017 05:53 pm
yatima: (Default)
[personal profile] yatima posting in [community profile] 50books_poc
Content warning for child sexual abuse, incest, and intimate partner violence.

I knew this book only from the Spielberg movie. I am not a fan of Spielberg; I find him manipulative and his films shallow and cloying. Nothing prepared me for hearing Alice Walker read her own novel aloud. Her performance brings out the vivid poetry and wry intelligence of Celie's very singular voice.

This is the story of the three great loves of Celie's life: her sister Netti, the singer Shug Avery, and God himself. God is fine, I guess, whatever. Shug is one of literature's greatest bisexuals, and I would take a bullet for her. But Celie and Netti are America's Jane and Lizzie Bennett. Their love is vast.

By the end of the book I found myself hanging on every word, and gasping aloud at turns in the plot. You say something like "a modern masterpiece" and it makes it sound like homework reading, but The Color Purple is both great and really, really good.
sovay: (Rotwang)
[personal profile] sovay
Happy autumn! Happy Bi Visibility Day! Happy centenary of the invention of Fluff, which explains why the first thing I ate today was a peanut butter and marshmallow fluff cookie: I spent the later part of my afternoon in Union Square with [personal profile] rushthatspeaks, [personal profile] gaudior, and Fox, who may or may not have liked their first taste of marshmallow but was really into a crunchy organic juice blend one of their parents was trying to drink. (Eventually they covered themselves in it. It was green. That's the first time I've seen a baby cosplay Howl's Moving Castle.) I am delighted to learn that plasmodial slime molds can share memories. I would definitely watch Dwayne Johnson as Plato. I am faceplantingly tired, but I have cats. It has not been terrible, being awake today.

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