kaigou: fangirling so hard right now (3 fangirling so hard)
I just need a moment to stop hyperventilating.


and then maybe a few more minutes to stop running around in crazy circles.

kaigou: (1 olivia is not impressed)
Remember my rant about feminism? I know there were several replies along the lines of, "I do believe that men and women should be equal, but I'm not a feminist" or "...but I don't call myself a feminist" and even a comment about not being a feminazi.

If you've ever said or thought that, or know someone who has, watch this, because it explains why such disallowance matters. Pass it on.

kaigou: Internet! says the excited scribble (2 Internet!)
looking for something else... and I found this. I've been quoted! Or referenced. Or just bibiolographied. (Several times, apparently, but it's only a partial preview so idk.)



from The Wind Is Never Gone: Sequels, Parodies and Rewritings of Gone with the Wind by M. Carmen Gómez-Galisteo
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (6 tanuki in thought)
Martín Espada: "Alabanza: In Praise of Local 100"
for the 43 members of Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Local 100, working at the Windows on the World restaurant, who lost their lives in the attack on the World Trade Center


Alabanza. Praise the cook with the shaven head
and a tattoo on his shoulder that said Oye,
a blue-eyed Puerto Rican with people from Fajardo,
the harbor of pirates centuries ago.
Praise the lighthouse in Fajardo, candle
glimmering white to worship the dark saint of the sea.
Alabanza. Praise the cook's yellow Pirates cap
worn in the name of Roberto Clemente, his plane
that flamed into the ocean loaded with cans for Nicaragua,
for all the mouths chewing the ash of earthquakes.
Alabanza. Praise the kitchen radio, dial clicked
even before the dial on the oven, so that music and Spanish
rose before bread. Praise the bread. Alabanza.

Praise Manhattan from a hundred and seven flights up,
like Atlantis glimpsed through the windows of an ancient aquarium.
Praise the great windows where immigrants from the kitchen
could squint and almost see their world, hear the chant of nations:
Ecuador, México, Republica Dominicana,
Haiti, Yemen, Ghana, Bangladesh.
Alabanza.
Praise the kitchen in the morning,
where the gas burned blue on every stove
and exhaust fans fired their diminutive propellers,
hands cracked eggs with quick thumbs
or sliced open cartons to build an altar of cans.
Alabanza. Praise the busboy's music, the chime-chime
of his dishes and silverware in the tub.
Alabanza. Praise the dish-dog, the dishwasher
who worked that morning because another dishwasher
could not stop coughing, or because he needed overtime
to pile the sacks of rice and beans for a family
floating away on some Caribbean island plagued by frogs.
Alabanza. Praise the waitress who heard the radio in the kitchen
and sang to herself about a man gone. Alabanza.

After the thunder wilder than thunder,
after the booming ice storm of glass from the great windows,
after the radio stopped singing like a tree full of terrified frogs,
after night burst the dam of day and flooded the kitchen,
for a time the stoves glowed in darkness like the lighthouse in Fajardo,
like a cook's soul. Soul I say, even if the dead cannot tell us
about the bristles of God's beard because God has no face,
soul I say, to name the smoke-beings flung in constellations
across the night sky of this city and cities to come.
Alabanza I say, even if God has no face.

Alabanza. When the war began, from Manhattan to Kabul
two constellations of smoke rose and drifted to each other,
mingling in icy air, and one said with an Afghan tongue:
Teach me to dance. We have no music here.
And the other said with a Spanish tongue:
I will teach you. Music is all we have.
kaigou: fangirling so hard right now (3 fangirling so hard)
I have seen the HD trailer for the new Avatar series (here).

The icon says it all.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (3 break out of prison)
I was going to say that this reads like an essay that should be handed out for mandatory reading in Freshman college classes -- but it's also one I should probably print out and put on my own wall, just to remind myself about my own fur.

On the difference between Good Dogs and Dogs That Need a Newspaper Smack.

ETA: No, the metaphor is not perfect. Every metaphor will break down at some point, and they do so faster if you try and go literal on them. Yes, there are essays out there that explore more, question more, push more. But as essays go, I think this is one I'd pick for a Freshman Intro, one of several, before moving deeper.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
Rereading Rain Fall by Barry Eisler, and I'm reminded of one of my favorite nonfiction reading topics (other than architecture, that is): travelogues of places I've been, written by non-natives. Specifically, works like Ciao, America (written by an Italian attache stationed in Washington DC). There's something intriguing to me about what people notice, when they arrive as adults to an unfamiliar culture, things I take for granted as a native.

I don't mean in the sense of romanticizing the locale (although that is a risk), but in the little things. It's part of the tone, but also part of the details noticed. It's gotten to the point that I treasure a writer (of any origin) who can do the same in fiction, and one reason that many SFF books disappoint me, because these details are often left out (or just as bad, read like they could be from anywhere).

My travelogue-books are all hardcopy (and in the library, at that, and I'm too lazy to go digging for them), but this copy of Rain Fall is electronic, so it's handier as example. It's a scene very early in the book, where John Rain is trailing his most recent assignment. Long, but I think worth it as illustration.

The light at the bottom of Dogenzaka was red, and the crowd congealed as we approached the five-street intersection in front of the train station. Garish neon signs and massive video monitors flashed frantically on the buildings around us. A diesel-powered truck ground its gears as it slogged through the intersection, laborious as a barge in a muddy river, its bullhorns blaring distorted right-wing patriotic songs that momentarily drowned out the bells commuters on bicycles were ringing to warn pedestrians out of the way. A street hawker angled a pushcart through the crowds, sweat running down the sides of his face, the smell of steamed fish and rice following in his zigzagging wake. An ageless homeless man, probably a former sarariman who had lost his job and his moorings when the bubble burst in the late eighties, slept propped against the base of a streetlight, inured by alcohol or despair to the tempest around him.

The Dogenzaka intersection is like this night and day, and at rush hour, when the light turns green, over three hundred people step off the curb at the same instant, with another twenty-five thousand waiting in the crush. From here on, it was going to be shoulder to shoulder, chest to back. I would keep close to Kawamura now, no more than five meters, which would put about two hundred people between us. I knew he had a commuter pass and wouldn’t need to go to the ticket machine. Harry and I had purchased our tickets in advance so we would be able to follow him right through the wickets. Not that the attendant would notice one way or the other. At rush hour, they’re practically numbed by the hordes; you could flash anything, a baseball card, probably, and in you’d go.

The light changed, and the crowds swept into one another like a battle scene from some medieval epic. An invisible radar I’m convinced is possessed only by Tokyoites prevented a mass of collisions in the middle of the street. I watched Kawamura as he cut diagonally across to the station, and maneuvered in behind him as he passed. There were five people between us as we surged past the attendant’s booth. I had to stay close now. It would be chaos when the train pulled in: five thousand people pouring out, five thousand people stacked fifteen deep waiting to get on, everyone jockeying for position. Foreigners who think of Japan as a polite society have never ridden the Yamanote at rush hour.

The river of people flowed up the stairs and onto the platform, and the sounds and smells of the station seemed to arouse an extra sense of urgency in the crowd. We were swimming upstream against the people who had just gotten off the train, and as we reached the platform the doors were already closing on handbags and the odd protruding elbow. By the time we had passed the kiosk midway down the platform, the last car had passed us and a moment later it was gone. The next train would arrive in two minutes.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (1 hobbes attacks)
Pursuant to kdorian's wonderment about the apparent lack of tags on the US-version of the wearing-the-juice mansplaining crap from SurveyFail, I went and looked. Turns out there are just so many tags, they're hidden. (Sheesh.) Click on the link under the section title, and suddenly you see the first twenty or so tags... with five more pages of tags behind that.

For my own entertainment (and yours), I bring you: THE ENTIRE LIST. )



Oh, fandom, never change.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
I've been wondering whether I should compile the various posts (and unposted drafts) that I've done on fandom, and try looking at them as a collection of chapters about fandom and fanfiction. I think the current count is that I've been quoted now in (or at least asked for permission to be quoted in) five different grad-level dissertations.

Or maybe it's just that I may never be able to truly equate "published on the net" with "published, like, for reals". Wouldn't quoting me count as quoting from an unpublished work? How the hell do you cite someone's blog post?



I really need to dig out my craigslist acct info and get rid of some of this stuff... so I can replace it with new stuff. Like, say, butcher-block countertops. The ones that have been out of stock for the past two months, for crying out loud. I could use different ones instead of continuing to wait, but then I'd have to deconstruct the countertop bases to make room for the extra 3/16" I'd need. Much easier to just wait for the countertops to come back into stock. Someday. Damn it.



Ta-Nehisi Coates' series on the Civil War continues to fascinate me, interrogate my own education and long-held unquestioned cultural assumptions, and make me ponder what I learned as a child and what I just sort of absorbed even if no one ever said it. His most recent post, "The Civil War Isn't Tragic", has had me thinking today about how the war, overall, was presented in my childhood (formal, not family) education. I think the message in grade school was that it was tragic because so many people died, and so many families split north/south... but by high school and then into adult (informal) education, the tone shifted. It became more that the Civil War was tragic... because of the stupidity of people who kept it going and/or insisted on fighting in the first place.

That it was not averted by a peaceful resolution of outlawing slavery when there was the political chance on the board (as Britain did, in the 1830s) is the real tragedy, and that it dragged on for so long and cost so many lives is equally horrible. But the outcome? Not tragic at all. The aftermath and the scars? Tragic, mostly for (similar to the origins) being so badly handled, and so on.

But in the end: no, not tragic. Just stupid and horrible. And I think Coates has a significant point about the fact that we don't have a holiday to celebrate the re-unification of the Union. Why don't we?



Okay, rain would be great. Rain that consists of only 1/4" worth of water doesn't even make the ground damp. It just kind of made everything glisten for a few minutes, before it evaporated again. This is more than a little unnerving, to know we're coming up on heat-lightning season and we're in the worst drought in fifty years.

ETA: Rain! ... and the whole "20% chance of thunderstorms" was really "a few minutes of dark sky, followed by a single drop of rain." ONE DROP. One big honking drop landing smack in the middle of my A/C repair invoice.

ONE SINGLE LOUSY FRICKING DROP OF RAIN != thunderstorm, people.
kaigou: when in doubt, have a man come through the door with a gun in his hand. (3 when in doubt)
(If you're not familiar, "shounen" means "boy", and is used as the genre-name for action/adventure stories geared towards boys, usually aged about 11-16 or so. "Shoujo" is the genre for girls of equivalent age.)

From endersgirrrl's review of Bloody Monday:
The shounen manga Bloody Monday was the brainchild of prolific writer Agi Tadashi (credited as Ryumon Ryou), who also penned the manga Kami no Shizuku [...] And it’s interesting how the shounen vs. shoujo genres play to two fundamentally disparate adolescent yearnings: shounen manga panders to every hormonal teenage boy’s most basic non-sexual fantasy, which is to be a Superhero (but — in disguise!!!), while shoujo manga puts a premium on an adolescent female protagonist realizing!her!relationships! — be they romantic or platonic.

Shounen manga is much more result-oriented, i.e. the teenage Hero with a small but loyal band of like-minded friends saves something or someone close to him, with the highest aspiration really being to SAVE THE WORLD. [...] In shounen manga, character development takes a backseat to plot (and plot is really all about Accomplishing!the!Mission!), while in shoujo manga, character development supersedes plot action as the protagonist/s are more focused on working through their feelings and experiencing inner growth — and all that sappy SweetValleyHigh-ish stuff, lol.

[In Bloody Monday, all] the staples of the quintessential shounen manga are here: a teenage Hero with “special abilities” (in this case, hacking and, uh, looking unbelievably good in hoodies); the Hero’s brainy best bud, who has his own “special-but-not-AS-special-as-the-Hero’s abilities” (in this case, archery skills and spouting random useless trivia — like when Christmas Day is really celebrated in Russia); their loyal friends (usually of the same age bracket — in this case, the Newspaper Club at school); the token Hot Chick on the side of the Baddies; a Mission that only the teenage Hero can accomplish (natch!); the techno-gadgetry and gizmo-geekery galore! galore!; and oodles of HardyBoy-esque action — chase sequences! messy explosions! and rooftop standoffs! (oh my!)

[...]

If [the show/manga plot] sounds vaguely familiar, you may recall the Aum Shinrikyo (now Aleph) terrorist cult that perpetrated the well-documented sarin gas attacks on the Tokyo subway in 1995, killing 12 commuters and injuring hundreds. [... Given] that the real-life Baddies’ shenanigans are obviously no child’s play, you understand why the manga writer would want to dull the edge of their depravity by sketching up these cartoonized (read = shounen-friendly) versions.

And the best way to dumb down all the crazymonkeybaddies? Is to make the TRUE ringleader… well, just like our teenage Hero. No I mean, literally just like our teenage Hero. So in the end, the Uber-Villain is revealed to be not a 50-year-old barefoot mystic, or a twentysomething math genius, but… oh, just another kid. [...] It’s stupid as sh*t, but you kind of understand how it also reveals the true heart of a 12-year-old manga-wanking fanboy: by vicariously channeling the story’s Hero, he can ONLY save the world IF the villain is just like him – in age, stature and abilities. This really is the ultimate shounen-manga satisfaction: by leveling the playing field, the inherent absurdity of a hormonal teenager saving the world becomes much, much easier to stomach. Whoopeeee. Long live the 12-year-old fanboy, may his precious manga collection never get eaten by termites, may mummy never catch him – uh, doing funny sh*t inside his closet with a stash of ecchi comics, and may he never turn into a sociopathic whack job later in life, lol.

I adore Ender's Girl's reviews, partly for often having some crucial insights I missed while watching, and always for having a completely torqued and spastic sense of humor that clearly loves the shows while skewering them mercilessly. (Even if you haven't seen the show, thus, EG's review is worth the five-minute read if you need a bit of levity in your day.)

Beyond that, though, I was thinking about something I was told when first writing urban fantasy... )



In a semi-related vein, I want to save this somewhere more reliable than just my email inbox, just because it's important to remember. From a thread on femslash, another Branchian piece of brilliant observation:
We can step around the boys, the same way slash steps around the girls, but we have to step wider because they’re taking up more space.
kaigou: life is a banquet, and some poor suckers are starving to death. (3 life is a banquet)
so what if it's a commercial, that's only the last second at the end of five minutes of awesome.

wtf dw, why are you not letting me embed!? ... ah, must use "old code". sheesh.

note to USians: "football" = "soccer". just in case you weren't clear.

kaigou: Toph punches Zuko. (2 pigtails and inkwell love)
from Artisphere:

By Any Other Name : An Evening of Shakespeare in Klingon
Washington Shakespeare Company

Sunday, February 27, 7:30 pm
Black Box Theatre

The BBC is creating a five part documentary about language and how humans communicate called Planet World. Washington Shakespeare Company's (WSC) By Any Other Name will be filmed live for the documentary series. As part of the evening, world-renowned writer/actor Stephen Fry will perform a Klingon role in a scene from Hamlet.

The evening will begin with an introduction by Marc Okrand, creator of the Klingon language.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (4 usual suspects)
Joel Chandler Harris' home is in Atlanta, and I just came across some of the storytellers who tell the various Brer stories -- because there's not just Brer Rabbit, there's Brer Coon, and Brer Vulture, and Brer Lion, even. I have no idea whether we actually saw a storyteller at The Wren's Nest, though I thought it had been at the High Museum. And all of the storytellers are much too young to have been the one I saw, but if you imagine a deeper voiced Akbar Imhotep, then you'd be getting close. His accent's a little softer, but still.

To hear the story of how Brer Coon gets his meat, click on the first link on this page from the Wren's Nest site (audio only). There are some clips from several of the other storytellers, as well. (I also recommend swinging by the biographies for the staff.) Then scroll down to the bottom of the storyteller's page and listen to Woodie Person's telling about the time Brer Gator Meets Trouble. It's a classic, and one more example of how each of the critters in the various stories have their own personalities. (Me, I like Brer Gator. Not as much as Brer Rabbit, but very close.)

They've started doing videos of some of the stories being retold. Click here for Mr. Imhotep retelling Brer Terrapin Learns to Fly or go here for Curtis Richardson retelling Brer Lion Meets Mr. Man. I have no earthly idea why the youtube embedding isn't working.

If you're wondering, Mr. Imhotep speaks with the Georgia accent I heard for most of my childhood. Listening to him talk is like a short visit back home.
kaigou: sometimes it's better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness. (2 flamethrowers)
From a Salon essay about the English-language translation of The Ringbearer, a satirical/parodic take on The Lord of the Rings. First, tying into both myth-making and a broader pop culture application, per the issue of fantasies in re women's roles, this food for thought:
"The Lord of the Rings" wouldn't be as popular as it is if the pastoral idyll of the Shire and the sureties of a virtuous, mystically ordained monarchy as embodied in Aragorn didn't speak to widespread longing for a simpler way of life. There's nothing wrong with enjoying such narratives -- we'd be obliged to jettison the entire Arthurian mythos and huge chunks of American popular culture if there were -- but it never hurts to remind ourselves that it's not just their magical motifs that makes them fantasies.

And an intriguing reaction from the reviewer, too, in the final paragraph:
Yeskov's "parody" -- for "The Last Ringbearer," with its often sardonic twists on familiar Tolkien characters and events, comes a lot closer to being a parody than "Wind Done Gone" ever did -- is just such a reminder. If it is fan fiction (and I'm not sure I'm in a position to pronounce on that), then it may be the most persuasive example yet of the artistic potential of the form.

And since translations and language have been on my brain, this paragraph from an interview with Arundhati Roy, author of The God of Small Things:
To be able to express yourself, to be able to close the gap—inasmuch as it is possible—between thought and expression is just such a relief. It’s like having the ability to draw or paint what you see, the way you see it. Behind the speed and confidence of a beautiful line in a line drawing there’s years of—usually—discipline, obsession, practice that builds on a foundation of natural talent or inclination of course. It’s like sport. A sentence can be like that. Language is like that. It takes a while to become yours, to listen to you, to obey you, and for you to obey it. I have a clear memory of language swimming towards me. Of my willing it out of the water. Of it being blurred, inaccessible, inchoate… and then of it emerging. Sharply outlined, custom-made.

whois

kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
锴 angry fishtrap 狗

to remember

"When you make the finding yourself— even if you're the last person on Earth to see the light— you'll never forget it." —Carl Sagan

October 2016

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