Blade Runner 2049

Oct. 21st, 2017 06:59 pm
emperor: (Default)
[personal profile] emperor
Before going to see Blade Runner 2049, I re-watched the original (in the Final Cut version, which I don't think I'd seen before). It's still a classic, although the treatment of women is terrible (and I seem to notice more of that with each rewatch); the plot and visual tropes have inspired a vast amount of film sci-fi that's come since.

The sequel doesn't disappoint - the city-scape is very much from the same visual and audio space as the original, while the desert-scape of Las Vegas is a suitably post-apocalyptic wasteland. There's the same slow pacing (although at 2h40, this is substantially longer), and it's great to see Deckard back again, although I'm a little sad to see the ambiguity of his replicant-or-not nature from the original resolved. There are some great scenes, including a brawl in front of a holographic Elvis and some very creepy moments from Niander Wallace. And there's the continued theme of what it means to be human, and what sort of relationships we can or should have with those who are not.

There aren't really any new ideas, though, and the treatment of women is probably worse than in the original, which feels less forgiveable now than it might have been in 1982. And the bass was rather over-done to my ears, to the point of dragging you out of the scene sometimes. I'm sure I'm going to want to watch it again, though...

Tor.com giveaway of Winter Tide

Oct. 19th, 2017 04:13 pm
boxofdelights: (Default)
[personal profile] boxofdelights
Tor.com is giving away the ebook of Winter Tide by Ruthanna Emrys until midnight October 20.

It is a response to Lovecraft, but Kirkus describes it as "essentially a story about identity, found families, wrapped in a cozy mystery. With magic. And monsters. Except the monsters are not exactly who you expect them to be."

https://giveaway.tor.com/
ludy: a painting i did looking in a mirror (Default)
[personal profile] ludy
So I went to Venice and am now back on more solid ground in the less liminal London.
I don't entirely have words - there's a lot of things and stuff (mostly art and churches and then more ART!) it's amazing and beautiful and overwhelming and confusing and beautiful. You can start confidently following direction signs and they will suddenly evaporate part way to where you thought you were going. But there's prolly something else to see anyway...
There aren't enough places to sit down and the whole city is a mobility-impairment nightmare. But the public transport (boat-buses) is pretty good (within the understandably limits of fog and tides) and because there aren't cars (expect on Lido - which is a separate island NOT an outdoor swimming pool with a greasy caff and a teacup ride!) everything is pretty much people-shaped. There is coffee and ice cream.
There is textily goodness (LACE!) and glass and gold but most of the buildings are falling to bits. There are mozzies and mists and some of the prettiest Art is (deliberately) made from mould - and comes with an actual health warning...

It sounds like this.

[personal profile] lovingboth is an excellent travel companion who will excitedly point out the next exciting, shiny thing and explain the kinds of stuff that doesn't stick in ludy-brains. But is also helpful and understanding when visual stress or just an over-full brain makes you start to wobble and bump into things...

So what have I missed here?

reading wednesday

Oct. 19th, 2017 02:19 am
boxofdelights: (Default)
[personal profile] boxofdelights
[This is actually from last Wednesday but I'm just going to post it now anyway]
• What are you reading?

Notes from a Feminist Killjoy, by Erin Wunker. It's a bits-and-pieces book, but all the bits are in conversation with other writers, and with reality; even its bittyness recalls how Tillie Olsen would carry a sentence in her mind, polishing it in scraps of time between interruptions, through a day of women's work, a day of no peace, no privacy, no silence, no solitude.
When I started this book, I wanted to write something unimpeachable. Something so clear and objective, it could be a little dictionary or translation phrase book for how to speak a feminist language and live a feminist life. I wanted what many other writers -- the many-gendered mothers of my heart -- had already written. I wanted A Room of One's Own, Sister Outsider, Willful Subjects, Islands of Decolonial Love. I wanted Feminism is for Everybody and The Dream of a Common Language. I wanted No Language is Neutral.

I wanted books that had already been written by people whose experiences of moving through the world are different -- often radically so -- from mine.

*

I got stuck.
*
I read some more.
*
I remembered that I tell my students that reading and writing are attempts at joining conversations, making new ones, and, sometimes, shifting the direction of discourse.
*
I sat down at my typewriter again.


• What did you recently finish reading?

George & Lizzie, by Nancy Pearl.

Lizzie agreed. "I remember reading a novel in which one of the characters, a college professor, was writing a book on the influence of Emily Dickinson on Shakespeare and how his colleagues always misheard it and thought it was the other way around. I wish I could remember the title, because talking about it now makes me want to read it again. It's so interesting to think about. Do you think we read Shakespeare differently because of Dickinson's poems?"


I remember reading that too! It was by David Lodge, I think Changing Places? I read it about the same age Lizzie did. Not at the same time: I'm maybe ten years older than Lizzie. But, like Lizzie, I grew up in Michigan and went to UM and struggled with depression most of my life and, as a young woman, tried to claim my sexuality in ways that were bad for me and for the people I interacted with. Lizzie feels real to me, is what I'm saying, and I'm okay with the fact that the people around her are kind of one-note because the problem this book is about is: if you can't stop being sad about your shitty childhood even though your life is no longer shitty, if you can't stop punishing yourself for bad choices that you made long ago, if you can't stop trying to change something that happened long ago and wasn't in your control even then. . . then how do you stop?
[Lizzie says] "They're your thoughts, right? How can you not think them?"
Marla struggled to answer. "I don't know, but people do it. I think I let go of things, or at least try to. You have to, really, otherwise you're weighted down with all those cumulative bad memories. James and I used to talk about that baby missing from our lives, whether it was a boy or a girl, whether we could find out who adopted it, whether we'd ever forgive our parents, why we didn't just say 'Screw you' to them back then and get married after I got pregnant. I mean, you know, it was so present. It was always there in our lives. But if we kept that up there'd be no place for anything else. And now we just acknowledge all that awful stuff happened, that maybe we made the wrong decision, that we were just kids. We were just kids. You have to forgive yourself eventually, right?"

Lizzie's husband George got famous by explaining that, while pain is inevitable, suffering is optional, but his explanation doesn't work for Lizzie. George doesn't seem to understand that, for some people, that's liberating, but for others, it says that your suffering was your choice and therefore your fault. I'd offer Lizzie Season of Mists, because "you don't have to stay anywhere forever" worked for me, but how a story works depends as much on the reader as on the story.

Which is not to say that we shouldn't do our best to write good stories. This one has a stupid editing oversight that dumped me right out:
[Marla:]"I love you Lizzie, and always will. And I will always, always, keep your secrets. But this, what this means to you and George, is an important secret. It's not the equivalent of a little white lie. It'd be like me not telling James about the abortion."
[Lizzie:]"But James knew about the abortion, he was with you when you had it."
"Don't be deliberately naive, it doesn't become you. You know what I mean: some other James I was involved with."


What abortion, I wondered? Was there an abortion as well as a baby given up for adoption? When?

No, it must have been changed from an abortion to an adoption at some point. Which was a good change: it's believable that Marla would find it harder to move on with her life after carrying the baby for nine months, while knowing that there was a person out there that she felt responsible for but had no ability to protect. But leaving evidence of the change in the story made me notice how flat all the other characters are, how they are the way they are in order to serve Lizzie's story.

• What do you think you’ll read next?

The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories, by H.P. Lovecraft.

An observation

Oct. 18th, 2017 09:15 am
clawfoot: (luna face)
[personal profile] clawfoot
It's really hard to get out of bed in the morning when it's dark out.

It's SUPER hard to get out of bed in the morning when it's dark out and you're warm and cozy under a pile of blankets.

It's SUPER DUPER hard to get out of bed in the morning when it's dark out, you're warm and cozy under a pile of blankets, and you've got a a 60-lb. dog sitting on your chest, pinning you down.

Going To Texas

Oct. 17th, 2017 02:04 pm
wcg: (Default)
[personal profile] wcg
I'm going to be in Richmond TX from November 5th through 12th, working with All Hands Volunteers to repair some flood damaged homes. If anyone reading this might want to join in, or donate to the effort, you can find out about it here.

Four Clawbits make a post

Oct. 17th, 2017 09:57 am
clawfoot: (Default)
[personal profile] clawfoot

  • I keep getting notifications that my LiveJournal paid account will expire soon, and for the first time in about fifteen years, I'm not renewing it. I'm actually probably going to delete the account entirely. I've got it all backed up here on Dremawidth anyway.


  • When I was very young, probably around seven years old or somewhere like that, I remember having a bath one day and playing with my plastic mermaid toys. I spent, I swear to fucking god, at least half an hour under the water, just playing with my toys. I do not remember having to breathe. In fact, I specifically remember NOT having to breathe, but I didn't examine or question it too much.

    Normally, I would dismiss this as a memory warped by time. Time does really funky things to memories. But, in this instance, I clearly remember my next bath night, I tried to do the same thing again and failed. I wanted to play in the same way, but I kept getting interrupted by my need to breathe air. It was very frustrating. I thought maybe I'd used a snorkel, so I dug mine out of the basement and tried, but it wasn't the same. I tried holding my breath, but it wasn't the same. I just couldn't stay underwater nearly as long as I had the previous time -- mere days before. I was so upset.

    The reason this memory is so close to the surface now is because I had a weird dream the other night. I was in Hawaii, on the set of the new Aquaman movie. (An aside: I have no idea where it's actually being filmed.) The reason I was there was because I'd developed a technique for breathing underwater, and I was there to teach the cast how to do it. In the dream, it was a legit skill I'd developed and could teach. Jason Momoa was there. It was awesome. I'm pretty sure the technique I'd developed in the dream was the exact same one I'd used as a child. I wish I could remember it.


  • My mother and I went to see the movie Victoria & Abdul the other night, and I enjoyed it greatly. I mean, I could sit for two hours and watch Dame Judi Dench read the phone book and still enjoy it greatly, so that's not exactly saying much. Eddie Izzard played Victoria's son, Prince Albert, the future King Edward VII, and he did amazingly well with what little he was given. I'm not 100% sure of what I think of the story, or of the character of Abdul himself -- he seemed pretty selfish to me, frankly, but the actor, Ali Fazal, did an excellent job. And Dench, even for Dench, was AMAZING. The scene where they threaten to have her removed from the throne was completely entrancing. They show a little bit of it in one of the trailers, but the impact of the whole thing was amazing. If you like Dame Judi Dench, go see it. You won't be disappointed.



  • I think I actually suffered a tiny bit of mild heartburn last night. We'd gone out to dinner, to a new to us Pakistani fusion restaurant called Aunty's Kitchen, and it was delicious, but it was also much spicier than I am used to. Plus, there was a heaping great PILE of food. I got the butter chicken dinner, which came with butter chicken, rice, naan, and a choice of salad or "masala fries," which are seasoned, spicy fries. So much food. So spicy. I felt a little burny later on in the evening. It's an unusual feeling for me (I don't get heartburn at all) and I didn't like it at all.

More "Ghost in the Crown"

Oct. 16th, 2017 06:39 pm
marnanel: (Default)
[personal profile] marnanel
More bits of my poem "The Ghost in the Crown":

And I showed them the script
That I held in my hand.
“I call this play Catching­-The­-Mouse.
Understand?”
...

I'll fish for the king
With a play for a net.
I said, "With my net
I can catch him, I bet.
I bet, with my net,
I can catch the king yet."

...

"My head needs a pillow!
Your lap, to be blunt,
Is soft, and to hand,
And it’s pretty vacant."

...

So I went to her room.
But I passed, on the way,
A room where my uncle
Was kneeling to pray.
This must be the moment
To cut off his head!
But as I crept closer
I heard what he said:
“I murdered my brother!
I freely admit!
Dear God, please forgive me.
I’m rather a git.”
And I couldn’t kill him.
My blow was prevented.
For if he should die
Now he’s prayed and repented,
He’d go up to heaven;
That’s all very well,
But doesn’t seem fair
When my father’s in hell.
So I went on my way
As he muttered amen,
I hope that he’s sinned
When I see him again.

...

"And here is the head
Of a person historic!"
He gave me a skull.
And alas! It was Yorick!
I looked at the bones
And I thought as I sighed,
How he kissed me, and gave me
A piggy­back ride.
And now he’s a skull
And he’s silent and scary!
Now what has become
Of your dancing so airy?
The songs that you sang?
And the jokes that you said?
Now all that you have
Are the bones of your head?

...

The Lady Ophelia
Of whom you were fond.
She climbed up a willow
And fell in a pond.
And most of her talk
At the times she was verbal
Was straight from the pages
Of Culpeper’s Herbal!

...

I'm quiet, and I'm dead,
And I’m tired of my quest.
I’m glad of the silence.
I needed a rest.

Failed crosspost

Oct. 15th, 2017 10:54 pm
kiya: (slightly mad)
[personal profile] kiya
I don't know why On The Naming of Cats (and other Things) didn't crosspost properly and I'm too fucking tired to chase it down.

"Give us the ballot"

Oct. 15th, 2017 01:42 pm
marnanel: (Default)
[personal profile] marnanel
On 17 May 1957, Dr King preached:

Give us the ballot, and we will no longer have to worry the federal government about our basic rights. Give us the ballot, and we will no longer plead to the federal government for passage of an anti-lynching law; we will by the power of our vote write the law on the statute books of the South, and bring an end to the dastardly acts of the hooded perpetrators of violence. Give us the ballot, and we will transform the salient misdeeds of bloodthirsty mobs into the calculated good deeds of orderly citizens. Give us the ballot, and we will fill our legislative halls with men of goodwill, and send to the sacred halls of Congress men who will not sign a “Southern Manifesto” because of their devotion to the manifesto of justice.

Sixty years on, one in thirteen black men in the United is still disenfranchised. In many southern states it’s far worse: the Florida figure is one in four.

https://www.salon.com/2016/11/28/felony-disenfranchisement-the-untold-story-of-the-2016-election_partner/

https://theintercept.com/2016/12/22/a-quarter-of-floridas-black-citizens-cant-vote-a-new-referendum-could-change-that/

Profile

baratron: (Default)
baratron

October 2017

S M T W T F S
1234567
891011121314
1516 1718192021
22232425262728
293031    

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 22nd, 2017 03:22 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios