lotesse: (Default)
from f-fa: here is a link to an 09 podcast interview with Andy Blake, aka thanfiction, aka Victoria Bitter, from back when no one knew he was the same person as VB. His interview segment starts at about 1:33, and beyond the hillarible accent, the most striking thing is his insistence on presenting himself as the newbiest of newbs - looking up "fan fiction" on the net with his bandmates for a lark, never written a thing before, no experience with fiction - when zie had been in media fandom for more than a decade at that point, actively producing fic in Star Trek: Voyager and Due South and Hornblower and Sharpe and LotR.

it's super weird to hear Andy as a voice; I'm used to hir being this disembodied and now largely ghostly presence, the author of works that zie can no longer claim because zie's killed off the associated personas that originally posted them.
lotesse: (Default)
I hate dreaming about my ex; I always wake with this terrible burning urge to get back in contact with him, but I won't I won't I won't. He's the problem not the solution. He's the problem not the solution.

I know why I had the dream, though. I was driving home from my sister's at 2:30 last night, and maybe it was because we'd been watching Avatar: The Last Airbender and I was feeling open and forgiving, but passing through the intersection where he and I both went to elementary school, where the highway that curves around the bay connects to the road that leads to both of our parents' homes, I was struck with this massive quantity of remembered tenderness. Enough, I guess, to carry over into my dreams and make me imagine strange and joyful reunions that will never happen.

He was such a big part of my life. I don't know what to do with my memories.
lotesse: (freedom)
every day I wake up hoping to hear the news of Darren Wilson's arrest, and every day that news doesn't come it feels a little harder to breathe
lotesse: (Default)
spent three excellent hours yesterday drifting down a river in a kayak with my sib; saw a blue heron on her nest, an immature golden eagle flying low through the trees, and a whole bunch of water striders. had a very silly bit chasing after a floating peach.

so good to be in the north again.
lotesse: (Default)
sprung a leak & can't stop crying; applying solitary iTunes-enabled Pete Seeger singalong as remedy.
lotesse: (freedom)
things that are making me want to ragequit the universe, racism edition:

The Economist thinks that slavery was a perfectly cromulent economic strategy, the City of Ferguson thinks that an all-white PR firm is just what they need right now, and white teachers in the New York City public schools seem to be of the opinion that wearing t-shirts in support of the NYPD isn't a massive fucking betrayal of their students of color, a clear sign that the halls of public education aren't for Black children or their police-brutality-resultant trauma.
lotesse: (Default)
I hate the term "binge watch," it's too close to being an eating disorder trigger and it reminds me in a bad way of when I was a little girl who was so in love with stories that I read so fast and my father accused me of skimming my books.

Becoming intensely involved with a story and wanting to encounter it entirely, with no reservations, no breaks, isn't a behavior that I associate with the "slow death" (tm Lauren Berlant) behavior of binging, anyway.
lotesse: (Default)
in photos, murdered innocent Michael Brown looks so much like J. did the year we met - and he was just 21 then, not much older than Mike - it just consistently freaks me out. Because I miss J. and I'm sad that things didn't work out with us. Because I remember what he was like that first year of grad school, and I'm so fucking sad that Mike Brown is never even going to have a chance at college.

I can't decide if I'm relieved or sorry to not be teaching critical race theory to the 18-year-olds of Indiana this fall, against the context of this summer. It was fucking exhausting, trying to get those white kids to give a shit, and their indifference could get heavy. But I also got to witness some beautiful moments of connection between Black students and Black history/theory - it's such a great thing to be able to hook someone up with the tools they need, especially when you get to work to reverse the flow that seeks to distance Black children from Black wisdom.
lotesse: (freedom)
re-thinking an exercise from my education:

when I was in the seventh grade, my multi-age grade 6-8 class went on an extended field trip; divided into two groups, the Haves and the Have-Nots, we spent a weekend mimicking c19th farm life. I was one of the Haves, and we were bored; the Have-Nots had to do hard work, but they had a lot more fun. Reflecting on the trip, I'm not actually sure what the lesson on socioeconomic class division was supposed to be. I remember concluding, with my friends, that it meant that it wasn't such a bad thing to be poor - and as our families were relatively poor, it wasn't a bad thing to have reinforced that money can't buy happiness. But looking back I'm struck by the way we were set up to overlook systemic oppression. Of course most kids are going to have more fun doing vigorous playful outdoor work than sitting quietly in an empty room. Cyclical poverty isn't like that. You don't get to go home, and it's not fun working for low/no wages when you're an adult with skills that deserve to be fairly valued. They taught us the wrong damn lesson, and likely lessened some of my classmates' tendency to empathize with the righteous anger of the exploited; we were Have-Nots too, for a weekend, and it was nothing to get upset about. 100% certainly it reinforced the blindness of all of the kids who were Haves, myself included, to the real benefits we gained through our various race/class/gender privileges; we were all of us white.
lotesse: (Default)
hold on wait up - Darren Wilson, the man who murdered Michael Brown in the street in Missouri two weeks ago - Darren Wilson is my age??? Mofo looks like he forty! Guess callousness is prematurely aging.
lotesse: (sorrow)
I wonder who called the cops on Kajieme Powell, and I wonder how they're feeling about it now. That person may have thought they were doing everything right, after all. They tell you that you shouldn't go in after a drowning person yourself, because you'll likely both die that way; you're supposed to call for specialized help, equipped with knowledge and supplies that enable rescue without further risk of life. And the police are also supposed to be specialized help. Powell was visibly not well, and he did have a weapon, and I can absolutely see wanting to get him help without engaging him directly. He needed help. The police, who have protective clothing and presumably SOME training in getting through to suicide risks, are the logical next step.

What do you do about officers who respond to a suicide's agonized plea - "shoot me!" - with prompt and obedient action? They shot Powell down like a dog, mere seconds after their arrival on the scene, and they kept shooting, and after he's dead you can still hear them demanding that he put his hands up.

It shouldn't be possible to use the police as a weapon for self-killing. The drowning ones need to be safely rescued.

And then the PD tries to present it as a "clean" and justified killing of a young Black man by a white cop, only days after the murder of Michael Brown, an innocent Black child, right there in the St. Louis area.

eta: St. Louis Public Radio has audio of the 911 and dispatch calls. People sound worried; the second female caller's tone is pretty gentle, and she's clearly looking to get Powell help in addition to protecting herself and her business. Nothing that would even come close to justifying the kind of immediate massive violence the police unleashed on him.
lotesse: (Default)
Well, my car is packed, I'm ready to go. No major disasters of any kind, and I'll have many hands to help unpack me into my new digs tomorrow. Not looking forward to the long drive with animals, but so very much looking forward to the moment when I'mma get to dive in the lake and feel it on my face and smell it all around me. And, for once, it's not going to be a temporary reunion. Lived landlocked away from my big water these ten years, but no more. Gonna be able to swim out again.

lynch law

14 Aug 2014 12:52 am
lotesse: (freedom)
I am sick with horror at events in Ferguson, Missouri, because once again white pride has trumped the right of black children to exist. I am sick with terror at events in Ferguson, Missouri, because this is the creep of violent fascism in action, and we should fucking all be afraid.

And I feel sick with grief, too. That poor beautiful little boy.
lotesse: (narnia)
Abbey/orangeblossom did an AMA over at her journal about VB/Andy/thanfiction over the weekend. All of her retrospective writing on Bit of Earth is fascinating to me - I was there, but on the outside. I interacted with all these people without knowing what was going down in meatspace. Some of the stuff about LotR being real came through, but it seemed like pastiche play at the time, taking Tolkien's mock-editorial stance very faux-seriously. Spoiler alert, it was not.

Abbey left me some of my first ever fic reviews, back when I was just getting started, and I will always think fondly of her for it. But it's such a strange experience to be poking around in the back of an old fandom and recognize one of Andy's pseuds. I wouldn't engage with his work now, but ngl some of the old VoyagerBabe stuff in Due South gets me there, mashes the buttons nicely. idek.
lotesse: a still from Peter Jackson's "Forgotten Silver" (glamazon)
This essay from an anonymous female international journalist describing her assault by a respected male member of her field is intense and gorgeous: "There’s a little irony I appreciate here because, the evening I got groped and ‘be a good girl’d, the Very Respected Journalist and I had been discussing Philip Roth in the bar where we went for drinks. We talked about the American novel in the twentieth century – he was defending Updike, I was making the case that the line-up would be better if we replaced Mailer with Auster – we were exchanging these ideas as though we were two equals. As though I was a member of the club of Very Respected Journalists who I respected so very much. Two hours later, however, I had nothing intelligent to add as he forcibly tried to prise my legs apart and I just repeatedly, sickly and quietly, 'no, I don’t want to, I don’t want to, please, can you stop.'

"I guess if Philip Roth wrote that scene it would be a profound comment on the human condition. I write it and it just makes me – unheroically, so unlike a Very Respected Journalist – want to sit in the shower until I have scrubbed my skin off."

(hat tip to Shakesville for the link)


7 Aug 2014 09:08 pm
lotesse: (Default)
here is a poem that I read years ago as a little girl when Cicada magazine published it, that has rattled half-forgotten around in my head ever since, and that I have only just now bothered to look up:

Joyce Sidman, "An Evening Among Peach Blossoms"

(Ts'ai Lun developed the method of making true paper in A.D. 105)

Dawn comes silently
like a lover's embrace
My Lady Who Writes,
in a few short hours I will present you
with your heart's desire.
But in this soft light
I think of the past,
when we bent our heads together.

I can still see you,
new to the court as I was,
slim and plain as a nightingale.
You turned away jewels and bright robes
for scrolls and ink.
You were a great scholar, even then.
The words you painted on silk
glimmered like the dawning sun
that rises, in time,
to its true power.

I, for my cleverness,
caught your eye.
"Ts'ai Lun!" you called
in your bird's voice.
"I must write, yet silk is costly.
There is never enough.
Find me something I can write upon!"

Sixteen years I labored.
Searching the countryside,
mixing and scraping and stretching
anything I could find.
I lived for the moment
I could bring my humble offerings
to your sight, watch your white hand
move over the page.
"No," you would say softly,
"it is not good enough, Ts'ai Lun.
Keep working."
And I would bow, joyful
that the task was still before me.

The sun, which rises now
above the garden, dries and cures my work.
Smooth and perfect,
the paper awaits your brush.
Soon I will see your hand
fly like the white breast of a swallow
across the page.
Sixteen years was like an eventing
spent among peach blossoms.
I, clever Ts'ai Lun,
lament that my task is done.
lotesse: (Default)
move: t minus 7 days
work: I've handled this whole summer of totalitarianism memoirs all right all right, but Olga Lengyel's might be the one to break me. Not only Auschwitz but first-hand Auschwitz medicine and reproduction and oh god I don't want to look
sleep: hahaha nope
craziness level: high. started fucking around cutting on my hair and can't make myself stop
lotesse: (sorrow)
It weirds me out when media doing fine arts heist plots show real famous paintings in their various fictional private collections - I always have a moment of "that belongs in a museum!" and then am driven to go and check where the pieces actually are, to affirm that they remain visible to the public. I'm watching Leverage, and the first season finale two-parter just showed Vermeer's Girl With A Pearl Earring in the baddie's locked-down private gallery, when it's been in the Hague for more than a century - I know, because I checked.

It's like these shows take place in some horrible alternate universe where art is totally non-democratized. Vermeer in private collections, and - what was it, Picasso? Monet? - lost on James Cameron's Titanic.

(Am enjoying Leverage, but I wish it would play a bit harder. Watched Hannibal over the last few weeks, and wow it plays so hard. Whither happy mediums?)
lotesse: (Default)
It's like I've almost got everything lined up perfectly - but none of it's quite there yet. Deep breaths, self. You know things are gonna have to unsettle a little bit more before you're through.

-housing. I gotta get out of where I'm at, this is not cool. I've been looking for a place up in northern Michigan, up home, and it's soooo frustrating because what I need is to not live around people, but that costs money. I'm emailing right now with a dude who has EXACTLY WHAT I (THINK) I WANT: a 2br house on a farm. he's got other people interested, and I pretty much sent a beg yesterday evening, and have not heard back yet, and I'M CLIMBING THE WALLS because I WANT IT and I want to have everything settled, but true talk I haven't seen the interior or ANYTHING. I JUST WANNA BE SETTLED. I JUST WANT TO BE ABLE TO LIVE SOMEWHERE SAFE FOR ME.

-work writing. Every summer, my company puts together a set of introductory essays on a special topic. Last year it was Letters & Diaries, the year before that Manifestos. This year? Stories of Daily Life in Totalitarian Regimes, which seems to mean Red China, the USSR, and Nazi Germany. Girls, I been writing a LOT about Nazi Germany, I'm here doing a workup on Primo Levi, gah. There's a reason why I chose not to specialize in this sort of thing - I don't like looking at it too close, it eats at me. I mean, in a way it's also a (scary) honor, because talk about a literature written in blood. But I would still kind of rather be working on Shakespeare.
lotesse: (narnia)
I don't know why I feel driven to speak for C. S. Lewis - I don't deny that he was everything everyone says he was. But I get frustrated, because other people's perception of his authorial position in relation to his text just do not match up with my own. and the things that I find lovable about him are erased in the mismatch. Read more... )

(this is mostly coming from my attempt to read through Ana Mardoll's chapter-by-chapter Narnia decon; I respect Ana like crazy, but I get antsy with other feminists and Lewis-reading, because I see him as such a damaged little beast that I want to defend him, and then get frustrated with myself because in general I try to avoid defending white Christian dudebros. I don't think anyone needs to give him a pass. Nevertheless - some girls do woobie!Loki, I got my Jack Lewis)

daughter of the sea, oregano's first cousin


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