kaigou: this is what I do, darling (4 pretentious with style)
Free Culture: The Nature and Future of Creativity — Lawrence Lessig

Find Lessig's book and READ IT. If you have even the remotest interest in intellectual property rights, are an artist, musician, or author, or just want to understand what property rights mean (and what they've become) in our internet age... READ THIS BOOK.

also reread (while checking on specific arguments in each) The Edges of Language: An Essay in the Logic of a Religion — Paul M. van Buren; Dynamics of Faith by Paul Tillich; The Third Peacock: The Problem of God and Evil by Robert Farrar Capon. (If you are xtian & curious about theology and its linguistics and arguments, I cannot recommend Capon enough. Like, triple quadruple recommend. He is the least stuffy theologian, like, EVER. A sharp wit and an affectionately deft touch for the subject matter, and somehow educational all at the same time.)

Irony & Crisis — Stuart Sim

Every now and then, Sim lets slip the snark. No wonder about 90% of the book is quotes from other peoples' texts and so very little actual analysis or synthesis. When he can't even make it more than a paragraph between four-plus paragraph quotes (fair use limits? we don't need no stinking limits!) and he's already into the subtle snark... maybe it's time to find someone else to write the book. Or tell Sim to get over the stage fright and go ahead and snark. Dude, it's postmodernism. It's the damn heart of snarkness.

Postmodernist Culture: An Introduction to Theories of the Contemporary — Steven Connor
...to pin one's faith ... upon the subversive sublime enacted in critical language requires crucially the privileging of language as the arena of all power. Many claims about the subversive power of critical style depend upon the barely legitimate intensification of the view that lanaguage is an embodiment or enactment of forms of power to the point at which language is seen as the secret vibrating heart of all power whatsoever -- as though all that were really objectionable about, say, US imperialism, were it syntactic habits and choice of metaphor. This absolute collapse of language and power leads to (or allows) the grandiose, usually self-mortifying claim that the most radical form of politics consists of turning languages of authority (criticism, for example) against themselves. The difference between the renunciatory and the sublime odes of postmodern criticism is in this sense only one of degree; where renunciation tries to give away authority, the subile mode authoritatively evict authority from its own language. Both modes involve the implicit claim that everything may be done in terms of language itself, and may be regulated by an intention which is actualized in and through the language alone.

It is either wrong of me or simply postmodern, but for some reason this passage makes me think of both the tension between postmodernism and feminism, and at the same time reminding me of [personal profile] thefourthvine's brilliance:
It used to be that the Anointed Few stood at the front of the room - sometimes a tiny classroom, sometimes a giant lecture hall with video cameras catching each golden word for those not lucky enough to hear it in person - and spoke. And everyone else was just audience: the listeners, the readers, the passively entertained. Fandom has turned your lectures into seminars. We keep speaking up. We keep having our own ideas. We don't even have the courtesy to raise our hands and ask to speak. And sometimes we lock you out of the room altogether.

Yes, the implications are working on more than one level, and yes, there's a reason I didn't remove the reference to US imperialism. I think the connotation is an important aspect of the critique of, well, the critique.
kaigou: just breathe (2 just breathe)
Two neighbors are heading to Japan for business trip. They'll have a coworker along as translator, but the neighbor's wife is working overtime to learn at least the basics of Japanese for the trip. As musicians, CP figured they'd enjoy Nodame Cantabile (live action version), so we take a copy for them. Meanwhile, the Japanese tutor recommends one of Miyazaki's sappier sobfests, and the neighbors decide they don't like anime at all. (I did point out this is like watching an episode of Cheers and deciding that all American television sucks -- sure, it's mostly suckage, as is most of Japanese animation and television for that matter, or any media anywhere -- but you can hardly say on the basis of one movie and and a few clips that all of it sucks.)

So, since the issue here is learning some basics of the language, I suggested several series that have significant cultural components in the folklore/myth areas (Spirited Away, Mushishi, even Mo No No Ke), that also have some of the bigger names among the seiyuu. I figured if it's listening comprehension, the seiyuu, like radio vs television, speak with greater enunciation and clarity than most live-action actors. And that if folklore/myths are an interest, than those series are more steeped in it than most.

Here's the reply from the neighbor. Several other comments not relevant here, and then this paragraph:
Very realistic city images in [the Durarara comparison clip]! What B--- and I don't "get" is why these anime artists make Japanese people look Anglo? The big eyes, etc. What is this? Some sort of self-loathing going on here? Anyway, I know it's blasphemous, but we really don't care for anime. *sigh*

Maybe I should've asked here, first, but I just couldn't process the statement, at first. I could handle the "they look white" thing, since I've seen that before. But taking it into the realm of concluding this is "self-loathing"... I think I wrote and edited about six different versions of a reply. I mean, I have the option of waving off the assumption, because it's not like I'm Japanese (or even Asian) so what have I got to lose if I just let it stand, right? But then, no matter how hard it is to have your privilege checked, after the fact I've always been glad to know I'm one step closer to not looking like a freaking ignorant moron. )

Or maybe that's just an oddity of me, that I get more offended on behalf of generalized racist-cultural statements about someone else, yet state once and then give up and just tolerate the repeated "we're all believers here" attitude that offends me, personally.

Tell me I'm wrong, and I say that in a "tell me I'm damn well right to say something" meaning, because I could use the backup right now. A bit of reminder that it is important to stand up at times like these.

Now, I think I'll go out in the garden and dig up worms. Not to eat, but to have conversation with. Anything's got to be better than this morning's exchange.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
I don't really do locked posts much, anymore, so I'm going to be culling down my access list to three two* groups: in-person friends and longtime critters. So if you're seeing yourself drop off the access, I'm still reading you. I'm just going to keep the access list narrowed tightly until I organize this journal -- since things got converted from two different LJ accounts with some funky locks and filters. I hadn't realized some thing had been left open accidentally, so I want to clean up those messes, and then I'll have a better handle on what and where there's a need for access.

* Also, it appears I can't count.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (4 pretentious with style)
First, for the sake of easier typing, OP can mean either "original poster" or "originating position".

A discussion is when two or more people are talking about a specific topic. Let's call this discussion, "A", and the voices involved in it are therefore "Group A". A different discussion is going on at the same time. That would be discussion B, and its members are Group B, and so on. Some people are in A and B, some only in A, some only in B.

If you reply, directly to Group A, and as a participant in Group A, and state your own position as agree or disagree, (cf my earlier post about this), that's a Yes or No.

If you say: "yes, but..." or "no, and also..." (explicit or implicit), you're digressing. You're presenting, in some way, a position that creates Discussion Drift: you're moving away from the substance of the OP and expanding it, narrowing it, carrying it to its logical conclusion, or making it all about you. Any of these (and more) can be Drift. Depending on Group A's general attitude (and whether your digression is also a derailment), your comment might be welcomed, tabled, ignored, or outright ridiculed.

If you go off elsewhere and open this tangential-to-A topic within a different post, journal, or community (and so on), you are now the OP of Group C, discussing the "but/and-also" section of your original reply as a distinct OP. You set out your position, and Group C merrily debates (which may or may not include cross-repliers from Groups A or B).

The explanation I saw of derailment -- which at the time seemed eminently practical and easily applicable as a rule-of-thumb -- was that it doesn't necessarily mean the reply is wrong per se, only that it's inappropriate in context. If we replace 'derailment' (a loaded term for many) with the more neutral 'digression', then the statement works for a variety of OPs. It basically amounts to: "it's okay to say Maybe, but it's not okay to say it in this context."

Which is great, but that does rather beg the question: what, exactly, is meant by 'context'?

All along, I've been under the impression, and this seems widespread, that 'context' is defined as (roughly) the scope of a community, the scope of a single post, or some other easily identifiable perimeter. )
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (3 split infinitives)
1. Contacts arrived on Monday, new glasses on Tuesday. WOAH. I can see!

2. When setting a story in actual geographical location, it helps to look farther than just a half-hour away to get an idea of the region. Hit point in story where I had to ask, are there bookstores? how big? how far away? and I went back to map to remind myself of nearest good-sized city, outside the town where the story's set. And then... ahem. Suddenly mental list shifted radically.

-- has large number of Ming-era homes. check!
-- has mountains nearby. check!
-- is within short distance of Yellow River. check!
-- has archaeological significance for pre-Qin dynasty. check!
-- has at least one big honking temple in/near town. check!
-- has historical significance going back to Liao Dynasty. check!
-- is within hour's drive of the most polluted city on earth. check!

...wait whut whut.

I can't even comprehend the notion of any one person living in a place that's so polluted it makes Los Angeles look like middle-of-nowhere in Montana on a gorgeous day, let alone a place so polluted that breathing its air for twelve hours is equivalent to smoking three packs of cigarettes. I certainly can't imagine putting four million people through that, and even if they are living with that as I write this, I'm not doing it to any fictional characters.

If I had more word-count and a broader picture, I might place a story there for the additional social commentary and critique (not to mention the issue of whether it's American privilege to demand a safe and healthy environment!) but this story has enough weight to juggle already, and I think it'd sink under such a massive thing... especially when, after watching two different documentaries about the area's coal-mining issues, I discovered the pall of smog is captured by the surrounding mountains, so one would be driving for nearly two hours along the valley before the smog dissipates. Since the original setting is on a mountain just north (and facing) the coal-mining valley, well, that explains one thing: those pictures of the temple and the town's architecture weren't all taken on foggy days. That's smog.


3. There is a CAVE near my HOUSE. )
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (3 dogs may bark)
* except Windsor, who started at the top and kept going until she got it.

I posted a list of fandoms, though not all were necessarily actively fannish -- I mean, some of those pre-date any kind of an awareness of fandom, so I loosely defined it for myself as "a story, book, or movie in which I spent time wondering what happened to the character(s) after the story ended". The one no one's going to get, I'm almost certain, is the character from M*A*S*H.

I grew up with that show, more than any other story. )...and a short bit about the fact that there were military women in my family, too. )
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (usual suspects)
Ce n'est pas un chat.

C'est a damn nine-pound demon in pinstripes. )

And a few other random notes. )

Last week's humpday Sinfest would be a great deal more amusing if I'd not had to live through this weekend.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (X] open door)
Awhile ago -- like, hrm, over a year ago -- I posted yet another reflection on issues burbling in my head, that particular time riffing on the question of exclusionary subgroups at writing conferences. I had it up for a bit (maybe a few days?) and took it down on second thought, because I mangled more than communicated. Although, admittedly, I do that plenty, anyway, because it's just part of the process of processing. For me, at least.

Keeping silent or dancing around stuff never did me any good. Never learned from it, at least. Sometimes you just don't realize how stupid something sounds until you say it out loud, realize what you just said, and the next words out of your mouth are: okay, that's pretty stupid. And sometimes you gotta say it out loud to realize: the reason this sounds stupid is because I'm missing some crucial info, here.

I'd always meant to come back around again, and I did, sort of, in recent post. But I didn't really address the first post's root cause in the second post, which is this: on what grounds can someone participate in this discussion? I think that's where my confusion came in, and the result was that I was trying to juggle two contradictory positions. In other words, I didn't deconstruct far enough. There was an assumption hiding in the statement, "to participate in this discussion," and I didn't go far enough in asking just what hid beneath that.

Because it is entitlement on one level, and a justified one, but if the context is different then I agree that entitlement is inappropriate. )
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (3 love the stars)
When I was in sixth grade, my Mom taught people how to write resumes (and interview, get hired, etc). Being her kid meant also being guinea pig & having my "unskilled, unpaid labor" resume used as example in her book. The one major change she made to my draft (and that I've retained ever since) was my name: from first+surname to initial+initial+surname. She told me, this is how the world is: there are jobs you qualify for, but that you will never get if they think they know your gender.

She was right.

That may be less, now, but it's still fundamentally true. I use initials+surname all the time, and have learned to shrug when recruiters get confused about whether I go by initials or an actual first name. I can't do anything about the fact that my surname is obviously Anglo-saxon, which can work for you or against you, as much as an obviously Middle Eastern or Asian or Russian or any other distinguishing surname can do.

For a long time, when I saw authors' names on published books and it was also initial+surname, I would think, ahah, you got past the gateway where they would've stopped you for being the wrong gender! (Although, over time, this gradually extended to include, "or maybe your parents gave you such an embarrassing first name that this is your compromise for publishing with a close-to-real name without everyone knowing that first initial stands for Eugene.") A'course, that's ignoring those SF authors who were women writing with men's names, or the romance novelists who are actually men but use a woman's pen-name... or (in my opinion, the most egregious) authors with quasi-Native-sounding surnames who are actually Jewish kids from the suburbs who've never even been on a reservation.

The more you know about how authorial names are fluid -- like Nora Roberts, Anne Rice, Andre Norton, etc -- the less trustworthy is the first impression. Just like the more paperbacks published without an author's picture, the less you tend to look for it, as though this might tell you something about the book.

And (of course) more behind the cut. )
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (X] winter)
I have an armband tattoo that's a family motto. It's not in English; it's in Gaelic. Yes, I do know how to pronounce (in Scots-gaelic, at least) because if it's going to be on my body, I should be able to at least say it properly. I didn't get it because I wanted secretly to be Scottish, or because I particularly like the Gaelic language; I got it because it's part of the family stories I was taught over and over, growing up.

Cultural imperialism: indigenous enough, owning a culture, the global child, scorecards, dismissal, stereotypical rants, and second-guessing characters until the basket gets dropped and all the token eggs are smashed. )

My head hurts. Maybe I should just take up knitting.

also, very much worth reading is [livejournal.com profile] zvi_likes_tv's post what I learned about tone.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (W] fond of stars)
Someone on my flist posted a self-critique about the issue of trust, or lack thereof: not able to trust in general, not able to trust anything, that something/one can provide or be a place a safety, a respite. I didn't reply there because -- being someone with a similar mindset -- I suspect my response may have seemed offensive to anyone doing their best to assure my LJ-friend about friendship good intentions and support.

Thing is, this is one of those instances where the only thing to do is accept that sometimes, when a person says, "it's not you, it's me," that this really is the truth -- and then rather than kneejerk, stop and think.

Dynamics of reaction, if anyone's asking me; curious that our reactions often say more us than they do about the person we're ostensibly discussing. )

Note: none of this applies to Jay Lygon, who ALREADY GETS IT.

ETA: there's a difference between a person with control issues who gives the appearance of distrust as a result of inability to rely/delegate, versus someone with trust issues who ends up trying to control things as a coping mechanism for dealing with fear/anxiety. The two are not the same.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (W] know and not-know)
I was going through the current draft and realized I had somehow managed to end up with a conversation between two characters, Ranulf and Marna, discussing a third character... Muna. Which sounds a little off but doubly so when you see "That's Muna," Marna said -- and go, DOH.

Back to the drawing board, right around the same time that I decided I couldn't keep dealing with misspelling Dyfri as Dryfi damn it, so let's give him a new name, as well... which got me to thinking about a discussion I recall having a few years ago about character naming... and therein ensues meandering thoughts on meanings of names, connotations, parental values and impact on the named character as backlash... )

However, now that I've resorted all the names, corrected the ones in which meaning is of value, made sure I didn't end up with sixteen names all starting with T- and another nine starting with Ma- ... guess it's time to get back to writing. But first, I think I need COOKIES. Woo.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
h/t to [livejournal.com profile] ryansara:

Lynda Barry's Two Questions

Yeah, all of '08 and maybe some of '07, and let's raise a glass to none of it in '09.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
Sometimes I forget I'm using philosophical methodologies uncommon in the US/UK, and invariably I get brought up short by bewildered (even sometimes annoyed) responses when I start analyzing a text/work. Guess that means I'm overdue for providing, hrm, not a disclaimer... so much as an explanation of my process and why it takes shape the way it does.

I rely most heavily on a style of argument called the dialectical process. It begins by setting forth a thesis, which is distilled to the point that one can then posit the antithesis. Then, by studying the tension between the two, one can arrive at a synthesis. In practical application, it ends up reading like a series of swings back and forth, from the thesis/positive to its antithesis/negative, until slowly each is modified in light of the other to reach a synthesis. That final step is not necessarily a conclusion, per se, so much as an assessment of the tension that exists between the two original points.

Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up: ) my style of deconstructive synthesis ultimately focuses on a post-modernist ludic ontology of strong social constructionism*. I may not use these methodologies absolutely formally, but that's the gist of my analytical process.

In ordinary language I might therefore conclude: if you think a work should stand on its own without cultural metanarrative, if you think the 'truth' of a work does not require external comparison, if you dislike the chaos of exploring a story's small details... you might, in the future, just skip my posts when I get into analysis. It's okay, really. You can take the modernist road, I'll take the postmodernist road, and I'll be in Scotland before you.

* See how much easier it is to be concise when using jargon? That took me this entire post to say lingo-free.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (love's bitch)
A series of thoughts I've been turning over in my head while I scrape popcorn from the ceiling, tear down the ugly ceiling beams, cover the paneling with drywall, plaster and prime and paint, and so on: it keeps the hands busy and frees the brain to ponder at length. Okay, pondering has reached maximum capacity and now I am at point of please to be getting additional inputting.

Here's the premise: you've met someone, and are solidly falling-in-love -- whether that be a love-at-first-sight or gradual drift from friends into something deeper. You might safely say that this person is "the one" for you; the first flush of lust/infatuation has become the brink of something longer-term.

Alrighty, now let's say someone you trust -- or at minimum has authority satisfactory enough to you -- explains that you are not, in fact, in love, and your experience/emotions are due to A) a magical spell, B) a drug/medicine, or C) due to tagging an ineffable instinctual landmine. (The last being inescapable/unstoppable akin to non-autonomous functions like heart-beat and breathing; I leave it open to your interpretation whether the landmine could have been avoided in the first place.) Those are the three options for externalities, with me so far?

What do you think would be the one aspect of your relationship that:

1a. Would prove to you that your relationship would continue -- as true love (forgive the romanticism but what else to call it?) -- even if A/B/C were removed from the equation?

1b. Could not be duplicated/mimicked by A/B/C and therefore by its existence indicates your love is real?

(I break those out because A/B/C may only inculcate but without damaging upon withdrawal: much like potting soil may boost a seed's preliminary growth but that at some stage the plant could survive on sun, water, soil without additional fertilizers.)

2a. Would the means make any difference in your reaction -- that is, whether the in-love is thanks to magical whammy, misfired neurons, or survival instinct gone haywire?

2b. Which of the three would be most offensive as a means of manipulation (or is it all-the-same)?

2c. Which would you consider most easily forgiven? (eg, "I can accept drugs but if you magic on me, that's way worse".)

3a. Would it make any difference if your in-love state were caused by a specific person's actions (as opposed to honest mistake/accident like tripping a long-dormant spell or drinking the wrong medicine)?

3b. Which would be worse: to learn it was purposeful, or that it was purely accidental?

4a. If you knew it was purposeful but didn't know the perpetrator's identity would not-knowing be better (or worse)*?

4b. Would you try to find out the perpetrator's identity, anyway?

4c. What if the perpetrator were the person you'd fallen in love with?

As an addendum to that last one, I find myself applying #1 and #2 specifically to the situation upon learning the falling-in-love was due to artificial causes. Would even determining that it's 'true love' be irrelevant, due to considering such acts/intentions completely unforgivable?

* the 'better or worse' idea could be applied to your sense of integrity, or to your faith/trust in the relationship... it could be that not-knowing assuages your sense of autonomy yet also causes you to doubt whether this person is really the one for you.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (source code)
I ache all over, I managed to get bitten by a nasty spider (though it took me a day to realize that's what that ill-looking bruise/knot was from), my head hurts, everything is covered with a not-so-fine layer of drywall dust, I haven't written in a week (or more?), the rebuilt iMac is still under sheetcover with all the rest of the electronics to protect it from the dust, the paint color is just a bit too off to be tolerable, the ceiling is only half-de-popcorned, the entire living room is mostly in the dining room, did I mention I ache all over, every outlet in the room is hanging half-out of the wall waiting for drywall surround, ache too much to bring in the most recent drywall compound purchases from the car, and do I ache, do I ever ache.

On the other hand, for better or worse, about five hours of battle at least, FINALLY, got me this. )

Tomorrow, back to de lovely popcorn and drywall.
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (gimme tea)
Question for everyone, about possession/protection in stories. Your impressions don't have to revolve around or be based solely on romantic sub/plots (RSP for easier typing), but in general, though it's most often overused in RSP.

In case I need to mention it again, interpersonal dynamics are absolute fascination to me, especially when you add in any sort of imbalance of power. Given that, you may get already the gist of what I mean when I bring up characters being possessive or protective: it's most often the more powerful character, the one with little to obviously gain, who feels anywhere from unexpectedly protective (or the shadow-side version, possessive) of another character -- to the RSP style in which it's an almost obsessive and immediate protective/possessive sense.

The question: at some point, in everyday real relationships, have you seen/experienced an overwhelming (or at least very strong) sense of needing/wanting to 'protect' a lover? )


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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