ah ah ah

25 Mar 2015 09:54 pm
lotesse: (afrofuturism)
urgh dad if you want to set me up for a networking dinner with, as you put it, "the local gentry," let me know beforehand!!! he says "wanna grab a burger after yoga," he means "show up and impress strangers." i mean, i would at least have put on some fucking lipstick and not shown up in my leggings and flannel.

... i did impress the strangers, anyway, so there's that.
lotesse: (open)
the thing about the long northern winter is that, when you get these first March thaws, even the promise of a single degree above freezing can cause massive eucatastrophic feelings about the approach of spring. imagine what it'll feel like once the temp hits 40F!

there was a really lovely thread on ffa about the problems with the poverty-finance-maturity themes of Buffy S6 that got me thinking a lot about heroic narratives and communitarian ethos. for all that the Scooby Gang are held up as a found family, imo Buffy is much more a story about isolated strength; the iconic moments that hang in my mind are all of B on her own, stripped of resources, digging even deeper into herself in order to go on. and I think about the inspiration I've drawn from that sort of thing, the "time to save yourself; no one else will save you" attitude that i've come to rely on in hard times. how much of that is maladaptive?

(the suggestion from the thread of an alternate possible thematic for Buffy's maturation, that of her dependence on/conflict with the institutional power of the Council, is totally burning up my brain. do I want to write it? I maybe want to write it, idk.)
lotesse: (freedom)
soooo, is this Republican "hold Homeland Security hostage in order to prevent immigration reform" another incarnation of the NYPD "slowdown" farce? am I missing something, or is shutting down the Dept of Homeland Security a total non-problem? the opposite, in fact, of a problem?

is our long post-9/11 security-theater-and-fascism nightmare at last coming to an end, done in by a right wing that doesn't seem to understand the definition of irony?
lotesse: (open)
Thursday linkspam:

Henry Jenkins, Affective Publics and Social Media, An Interview with Zizi Papacharissi (Part Three): "Affect theory suggests that refrains, among other conversational signifiers, can be employed to convey a sense of movement toward a certain, albeit-not-yet-determined because-it-is-in-the-making, direction. So you want to think of retweets as a variation of refrains, and in the book, I explained how retweeting in #egypt gave the resulting news stream about the movement a rhythmicality that sustained an always on, ambient online presence for the movement. And during escalating events, retweeting that employed the refrain of revolution or affirmed the revolutionary theme of the movement further amplified intensity and harmonized affective energies in a manner that reflexively and discursively claimed the revolutionary outcome, well before regime reversal had occurred."

Claire L. Evans, We Are The Future Cunt: "Revisiting CyberFeminism in 2014 is a joy. For one, it’s fun. The language is dynamite. There just aren't many feminists on the web curretly writing manifestos that include phrases like 'the clitoris is a direct line to the matrix' or 'we are the future cunt'—both memorable lines from VNS Matrix’s ​Cyberfeminist Manifesto for the 21st Century—at least not on the blogs I’m reading. And the enthusiasm for the nascent possibilities of the web is palpable, even contagious."

Johann Hari, Two Biographies of Ayn Rand: "We all become weak at some point in our lives, so a thinker who despises weakness will end up despising herself."
lotesse: (freedom)
Selma might be the most absorbing, intense, engaged viewing experience I've had since first watching The Fellowship of the Ring as a teen. I will fight anyone who says shit about this picture; apart from a couple of complaints about the handling of Coretta Scott King, it was flawlessly done. And imo less violent/brutal than it could have been; I felt very safe seeing it on the big screen. It made me feel stronger, not weaker; affirmed, not beaten.
Read more... )
lotesse: (Default)
this essay at Alas, A Blog about misogyny and academic models and sociobiology is amazing, and I'm going to have to reread it in a moment when I'm not so stirred up; I was interested and nodding along, and then got to the claim that "Both ignore the scale that involves lying naked next to your husband and listening to him say appalling things about his last-boss-but-one, again, and then watching him pick his nose like an eight-year-old, and realizing you’re going to divorce him, even though at that very moment you have no idea how, and life after marriage is a blank, in your imagination, nothing there at all" - and sighed and settled and said oh yes that's right, I know that -

and then the essayist brought in T.H. White and The Book of Merlyn.

why does everything keep connecting back to that
lotesse: (tony)
[personal profile] anghraine tagged me on tumblr - fifteen things that are making me happy right now:
1. winter is far from over; I have a solid three months of snow left to look forward to
2. the myth-type of Persephone, the rape victim married to her rapist, given a cold power by her trauma and her survival but also fundamentally connected with the renewal of spring. she gets stronger and more dangerous by breaking, and i'm connecting with that
3. soft-aesthetic photos of black men with flowerbeards
4. Jim Kirk's face
5. Lip Gallagher's face
6. Mandy Milkovich's dyejob - so cute! and Debbie's haircut
7. I got to see my best friend and not!sister this week when she came home for her mother's 60th birthday
8. I'm no longer involved in any way shape or form with my ex's endless hopeless drama
9. Jim Kirk genderswaps
10. William Shatner genderswapped is kind of what I look like, except for the eye color
11. Marvel 616 Civil War fix-it fic
12. Cara Loup recently uploaded a bunch of her zine-era Han/Luke to the AO3, and it's glorious - and also imo it's cool to spend time in a SW universe where the PT hadn't been made yet and see what people were doing.
13. Anna ([personal profile] starry_diadem) is publishing some of her amazing Battlestar Galactica 1978 fic as with the serial numbers filed off; her worldbuilding work is tremendous, and also I tracked her down a few years ago after a long break from the fandom by recognizing her very distinctive use of the word "gauche" in fic even after she'd changed pseuds, of which I am unreasonably proud.
14. the water-soluble wax pastels are awesome for coloring my mandalas
15. girl you know i listened to the ESB radio serial again the other night and it is some hot shit; no one else can act at all, but Mark Hamill is there, and he goes pretty hard. the exaggerated-noises style that radio dramas always do work really nicely with the film's plotlines; lots of moaning and heavy breathing and whimpering from Luke, it's all very exciting. also they do the Hoth scene that fanwriters always tackle, with Han and Luke overnight in the shelter. they found the worst voice in the world for Vader tho, which is kind of a problem
lotesse: (Default)
Model View Culture editor Shanley Kane is killing it: What advice would you give to your younger self, or to women who are considering a career in technology now?

"I actually don’t have a lot of advice. There’s not a whole lot that you can do to keep your career from being crushed by misogyny. The idea that if we can tell people the right way to act, they will be able avoid all that structural discrimination and aggression—that’s just not the case, based on my experience; so my main advice is basically to do what you can and to take care of yourself."
lotesse: (Default)
(cont'd from previous thought) I mean, it's my old beef with Virginia Woolf again, isn't it? Her insistence in Room of One's Own that the disruption of women's novels by their sociopolitical rage prevents them, rather than enables them, in reaching aesthetic incandescence. It's the place where I've never been able to get myself to agree with her - because everything she says about the way Charlotte's anger tears through the narrative fabric of Jane Eyre, about the way that Austen holds herself back and prevents the same, I'm on board with. Only, it makes me love Charlotte all the more, and is the major factor in my lack of passion for Austen. I love seeing Charlotte claw through the warp and weft of the literary tradition with the ferocity of her feminist rage, love it.

(there's something to do with Brecht in this thought-stream as well, though I'm not sure I quite have the connection down. It's that I know from long exposure that I respond with heightened affective intensity to the strategies of Brechtianism, the exposure of the mechanisms of the story and its conveyance. I trip hardest of all on that stuff, it makes me feel so much that sometimes it's too much to even deal with. Witness the way I feel about Into the Woods. But I confuse myself once I actually go into Brecht's theoretical writing, because he's talking about using disruption to create affective distance/ the V-effekt, and in me it doesn't work that way at all. Virginia seems to be distanced, alienated, and put-off by Charlotte's proto-Brechtian disruption of formal illusion, just as Brecht's theoretical writing would seem to anticipate. It only makes me fall harder in love.)
lotesse: (stars)
ohhh wow I just had an epiphany about my thing with Star Wars. I was rewatching ESB - it's cool if you start the movie at about the 50-minute mark, which is when Han and Leia are kissing and Vader is discovering that he has a son - and feeling even more impatient with Yoda than usual. Maybe because I'd just been reading afrofuturist theory, but for the first time his chastisement of Luke's looking toward the future rang hollow to me.

Here's the thing: the "philosophical" stuff the Jedi characters say? is what my fucking father is all about. even down to the memetic genealogy of it, the vague eastern spiritualism via white male 60s counterculture. It's what I was brought up to, what I still fundamentally believe but am intent on rebelling against. Daddy chastises me for including anger in my politics, coming from a white-buddhism valuation of peace and inner quiet - and I hear that, I do, but I also hear Audre Lorde enumerating the uses of anger, and her voice is louder to me and more beautiful. After all, dad's also always chastised me for my focus on women's issues; I know that I can't trust him to be my strong ally all the way down. He has his limits.

Why shouldn't Luke Skywalker look to the future? Yoda sounds like Owen Lars. We build a better future than our current shitty present by dreaming it first. And Leia pretty gloriously uses her anger to fuel her rebellion, and I have a problem with anyone who has a problem with that. (i mean tbh i agree with yoda's concern-trolling about luke being reckless, but on reflection i lack confidence that yoda shares my reasons: i worry about bb being a little suicidal, but yoda was planning on eventually sending luke off to commit patricide, i'm not sure his mental health is the guy's first priority.)
lotesse: (Default)
In her work on literary empathy, Suzanne Keen observes that, although we associate western leftists with ideas about the importance of literature, in fact when push comes to shove it tends to be western conservatives who articulate arguments about the significance of representation, while leftists end up going, "it's just {a book, cartoons, music, words}, not important, not worth killing over/dying for."

While I do think we tend to err in directly conflating representation with real life, as in conservative arguments against violent video games or shock metal, I'm also increasingly finding that I do think representations are real, important, and a site where we should expect revolutionary conflict to surface, rather than being surprised by it. Representations are sites of epistemological violence, just as unjust incarceration, policing, and economic policies are sites of bodily violence. All the violences, together in systems, are what generate violent responses. Linkages might not be 1:1, because representation can be kinky and sideways and peculiar, but I think we've got to start to know that connections are always present and active.
lotesse: (starwars)
It's easier for me to project my trauma, insecurity, anxiety, and pain onto male characters. It's too - hot - to do it with female self-avatars. I haven't been able to casually re-watch the last season of Shameless before now, because the way I identify with Fiona is so intense and cathartic that I sort of don't want to touch it. Sometimes the nerve is too sensitive. Rose Campbell makes me just sob and sob and sob. Writing about Ekaterin Vorsoisson is like looking into the mirror and forcing myself to tell the truth about what I see. In some ways, these are the important identifications: they're the ones that are really keeping me going, the bedrock of story-stuff that I know will always be there for me to fall back on when I need support. They're the loci where I'm working through my shit; and I keep swearing to myself that, if nothing else, I will work through my shit. But it's fucking painful. With male self-avatars, it's a lot easier, a lot lighter, and pretty painless.

I think it's so much easier and so much more painless for me to work through trauma via male self-avatars for two reasons. One is that I've been culturally conditioned to love, forgive, and excuse men. In my real life, this has caused problems for me; through the transformative effects of fiction, it can give me a way to love, forgive, and excuse myself with greater ease and confidence.

The other reason has to do with distance; there's a line that I've always remembered but haven't ever been able to google down, from someone's meta about slash from way back in the early millennium, about how slash is a retreat from a figural female body "soaked through in semiotic ink." My own body is, for me, tremendously overdetermined; it all means too much. My selfhood has come to feel similarly; I keep touching off painful epiphanies and moments of unwanted self-knowledge, and it's a lot. Boy characters with whom I can identify - Will Stanton, Benton Fraser, Luke Skywalker and Miles Vorkosigan and Bellamy Blake and Daniel Jackson - let me sidle up to my damage without the incendiary risk. There's a representational veil that protects me, so that I can indulge in h/c or grovelfic or praisekink or whatever soothing stuff my id wants without self-protective sensitized pulling-back.
lotesse: (glamazon)
M rewatching S4 of Shameless in anticipation of the start of S5, and I just need to say - fuck Fiona's boss/boyfriend, fuck him with something uncomfortable. There's something about the combination of shitty sex and personal pressure that he uses on Fiona that triggers me all to hell and back, and he's her goddamn boss to boot: he gives her an ultimatum, she says she can't handle that, but she can't go back in to her house and face her family and their poverty and tell them she gave up this meal-ticket guy because he's a mild dick who doesn't get her off and is freaky and controlling but in a way that makes her look like the bad and dysfunctional one. I get, on rewatch, that some of his shit is baggage left over from life as a sweet normcore guy with a douchy addicted chaos-muppet brother, but seriously fuck him.
lotesse: (Default)
There doesn't seem to be an attested link, not one that I could find in a cursory googling, anyway - but I've just been amazingly startled by something. I'm working on an essay about Alejo Carpentier's 1949 novel El reino de este mundo, a magical-realism work about the Haitian Revolution, and toward the end of it Ti Noel, the former-slave narrator, is starting to reach real wisdom; and he begins to be able to turn himself into animals; and he disguises himself as an ant, but it reminds him too much of carrying heavy burdens as a slave; and he disguises himself as a goose, . And I got to that bit of the text and went, holy fucking shit that's The Once and Future King, contrapuntal transformations into ants and wild geese as the culmination of a lesson in political wisdom.

I've been thinking a lot about White, the last month or so, so I might be reading too much in to things. The ants and the wild geese are a special pair of adventures, though - they're the ones that were translocated from "The Book of Merlyn" back into "The Sword and the Stone" for publication. In the full recombined narrative - which is the one I've been thinking about - they're the hope all-unlooked-for that comes at the very end: when Arthur sits in his tent at Camlann, reflecting on the failure of the table and his reign, Merlyn comes back to him and explains that he forgot to teach the Wart two key lessons as a child. He hadn't turned him into an ant, letting him experience fascism, or a wild goose, showing him the purity of anarchism. And Merlyn gives the old king those transformations, and it lets Arthur have this fucking essential moment of final character development where he gets angry about what he's sacrificed for his ideals and fantasizes about walking away and then chooses to go die for his people but with a lighter heart.
lotesse: (Default)
I'm trying not to put too much symbolic weight on this new year; I want to, but I'm not quite ready to declare the new beginning, not just yet. If I pay too much attention to the passage of time, it feels like it's slipping away from me, but I'm not ready to stop letting it go.

For yuletide, I wrote:

The marriage plot (2403 words) by lotesse
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Vorkosigan Saga - Lois McMaster Bujold
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Ekaterin Vorsoisson Vorkosigan/Miles Vorkosigan, Aral Vorkosigan/Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan, Georg Vorthys/Helen Vorthys
Characters: Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan, Helen Vorthys, Aral Vorkosigan, Ekaterin Vorsoisson Vorkosigan
Additional Tags: Marriage, Awkward Conversations, Feminist Themes
Summary: “And so I suppose they'll be married,” Helen said, sitting down in the antechamber of Aral and Cordelia's suite with a sigh and toeing off her shoes.

(it was hard to do, a bit; everything I want to write comes out so intense and personal atm that I have to do a lot of facing-up to myself. I wanted to recognize and affirm all the concerns that y'all have articulated about the speed of Miles and Ekaterin's marriage, but also to honor the very real way the ship helped me personally. Reading Komarr while I was still with my Ex was like a blow and a promise all at once: the blow of recognition, but also the promise that if I could just get away from my own Tien, love like Miles' would potentially become available to me.)

I was gifted with two more Vorkosigan Saga fics, both about Ekaterin, which was great fun:

Night, Vorkosigan House (2069 words) by kalirush
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Vorkosigan Saga - Lois McMaster Bujold
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Aral Vorkosigan, Ekaterin Vorsoisson Vorkosigan
Additional Tags: Awkward Conversations, Babies, Explosions
Summary: Ekaterin and Aral have a late night conversation, with babies.

Lady Vorkosigan's Manor (888 words) by mayachain
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Vorkosigan Saga - Lois McMaster Bujold
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Ekaterin Vorsoisson Vorkosigan/Miles Vorkosigan, Aral Vorkosigan/Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan
Characters: Ekaterin Vorsoisson Vorkosigan, Aral Vorkosigan
Additional Tags: Interior Decorating, In-Laws, POV Female Character, Politics
Summary: After the new Lady Vorkosigan's redecorations, Vorkosigan House has a green silk room.

thank you again to both of my gift-makers!
lotesse: (Default)
man it is such infinite bullshit that paydates can get all jacked around by the holidays but bill due dates are ironclad
lotesse: (Default)
this is the downside of northern Michigan weather: late last night, when it had been raining all day and the snow was fully melted off, I looked at the registered Ferguson protest rallies downstate and thought, yes I too will go, I'm more together than I was last month, I can pull that. buuuut then it snowed half a foot overnight, and it's still coming down this morning. and it gets dark early here, which - snow accumulation on unfrozen ground, on the highway, in the dark, for 2-3 hrs, all by myself and keyed up as fuck.

so there's that borked. note to self: access to organized political events might be one good reason to move to Detroit next year, instead of heading further into the woods. posting this to acknowledge to myself that no, I will not be haring off to Grand Rapids later tonight, so I may as well try to relax into an analysis groove instead.
lotesse: (Default)
the MSNBC stream of Ferguson, MO tonight is really fucking intense; they run a split screen of the president's address and the reaction happening on the ground, young people acting out hurt and betrayal, police lines and vehicles and weapons, and then tear gas all over the place, and over it all the president's voice almost sometimes daring to approach the truth before haring off again on respectability politics tangents. Some of the juxtapositions might have been fucking engineered for maximum irony.

1. we're living in a fucking dystopia, 2. I am so done, so infinitely done, with the democrat establishment. so done.
lotesse: (Default)
bob mccullough is a lying sack of shit. his words are acts of civil violence.

daughter of the sea, oregano's first cousin

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