We haven't got time to be sensible

Dec. 10th, 2016 01:17 am
sovay: (Cho Hakkai: intelligence)
[personal profile] sovay
I am home from seeing Busby Berkeley's The Gang's All Here (1943) at the HFA with [livejournal.com profile] derspatchel, [livejournal.com profile] rushthatspeaks, and [personal profile] skygiants. I had remembered it fondly for four years, but forgotten that it possesses the dreamlike quality of really weird films where remembering one outlandish sequence means you are forgetting three or four others, in my case including the children's chorus, the fake blackmail, and the entire wartime plot. Despite knowing perfectly well that the film was released in 1943, it had entirely slipped my mind that the pretext for the romance is the chance meeting between soldier James Ellison and showgirl Alice Faye right before he's shipped off to the Pacific to become a war hero, leaving a pining Faye and childhood sweetheart Sheila Ryan behind him. (How important is this love triangle? Berkeley settles it with a conversation half-overheard behind a hedge and the hero's father going off to clarify matters with him offscreen. No kisses, no clinches. No attempts even to shoehorn the romantic leads into the same shot. There are stranger things to spend that film stock on. "You can't keep the children waiting all night.") The fake blackmail is a glorious piece of melodrama staged by society wife Charlotte Greenwood and theatrical producer Phil Baker—old comrades from her "purple past" as a cabaret dancer in postwar Paris—in order to snooker her strait-laced husband Edward Everett Horton into letting daughter Ryan take a leading turn as a specialty dancer in Baker's new show, which is also a homecoming party/war bonds rally in honor of the now-decorated Ellison, who I am afraid really is the least interesting person onscreen. The children's chorus are part of the finale, and it is true that their tiny polka-dotted bustles and bowties and overdubbing by an adult offstage chorus were very arresting in the moment, but I don't actually blame myself for blanking them out because the finale itself is "The Polka-Dot Polka," where Berkeley pulls out all the stops from neon to bluescreen to an actual kaleidoscope effect layered on top of his usual habit of choreographing women to look like one, and it sails right off the edge of Dada into the end titles and there's just not much to say about it except that I had failed to notice the first time around that the film is actually bookended with disembodied singing heads and I am delighted. Carmen Miranda is a joy throughout, even when she's just wearing spangly butterflies instead of the total fruit cargo of a steamship on her head. Benny Goodman looks consistently confused by the lyrics he is required to sing, which is fair, because "Minnie's in the Money" is forgettable and "Paducah" ("If you want to, you can rhyme it with bazooka / But don't pooh-pooh Paducah / It's another name for Paradise") is extremely confusing. Eugene Pallette gets to sing exactly one line in the finale and it is like somebody pulled out the organ stop for "bullfrog."

I love this movie so much and I find it essentially indescribable; none of the above statements are untrue, but they also make the film sound far more rational and conventional than it really is, because the overwhelming impression left by The Gang's All Here is not a pleasant musical romance with some socko numbers, it's wall-to-wall surrealism and metatheater and camp and above all Technicolor—it was Berkeley's first solo color film and he didn't just costume his actors to take eye-popping advantage, he turns fountains electric pink and argon violet just because he can. The realistic parts of this movie are not very real and they are not pretending to be. The fantastical parts of this movie gauge carefully where the top is and go over it every time. The theatricality of diegetic stage design and the theatricality of extra-diegetic movie sets parallax back and forth through each other like an optical illusion. A surprising number of punch lines are addressed to the fourth wall, as is almost all of Miranda's performance. The giant bananas, people. The giant bananas. The giant strawberries. Charlotte Greenwood's deadpan jitterbugging high kicks. Lipstick-plastered Edward Everett Horton experiencing sexual attraction to a woman ("Nobody's more surprised than I am!") for the first time in his life. Alice Faye's wry, yearning ballad about not getting any with her sweetheart away at war, performed on the most naturally dressed and realistically lit set in the entire movie, which naturally makes it a production number in rehearsal at the Club New Yorker. At one point Tony DeMarco—playing himself, like Goodman and Baker but not for whatever reason Miranda—fires off a volley of furious Italian and is sharply cautioned, "If you don't cut that out, the censors will!" I am amazed that the only actual censorship this movie seems to have suffered was a repositioning of the aforementioned giant bananas: once the scantily clad dancers held them a little higher than groin level, suddenly they weren't as Freudian as they look to everyone else? This movie is on beyond Minnelli. It renders me as incoherent as The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T (1953). I hope to God Wittgenstein saw it at least once his life. I didn't know where to buy a cold pork pie in Boston, so Rob and I took the Orange Line to Chinatown in the late afternoon and bought a quantity of really fine, fluffy char siu bao from Eldo Cake House, plus some lotus paste with preserved egg for later; I ate my pork bun through "The Lady in the Tutti-Frutti Hat" and it made me feel better about almost everything. See it on a big screen, on film if you can; if you can't, I hope a Blu-Ray with a decent color balance at least exists in your country and you have a very large TV. This shower bath brought to you by my tutti-frutti backers at Patreon.

Star Wars Doctor Aphra #1

Dec. 9th, 2016 10:38 pm
ozaline: (Default)
[personal profile] ozaline posting in [community profile] scans_daily
Doctor Aphra is in deep dept to a crime syndicate.


Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Thanks to a donation from [personal profile] janetmiles, there are 33 new verses in "The Sharpest Dose of Reality."  Pain's Gray realizes that Shiv hates the sparring match and calls a halt, in favor of discussing what Shiv does  like.  Knifeplay ensues, and this is where things begin to get really intense.

Prompt for 2016-12-10

Dec. 10th, 2016 12:56 pm
sacredporn: Kris Allen icon made by Sacred Porn (Default)
[personal profile] sacredporn posting in [community profile] dailyprompt
Today's prompt is "here we are, at the end of the line".
thanekos: Yoshikage Kira as Kosaku Kawajiri, after the second arrow. (Default)
[personal profile] thanekos posting in [community profile] scans_daily
He rebuilt a Centurion, because his ego was provoked.

He unveiled it to the Fleet.

He brought it online, and it took a knee.. before Sharon Valerii (not the one who was Boomer, but the one who would later be Athena), the tolerated Cylon prisoner.

That was a surprise. )

Registered for Escapade 2017

Dec. 9th, 2016 08:27 pm
morgandawn: (Cat Basket Going To Hell?)
[personal profile] morgandawn
 Both [personal profile] xlorp and I are registered, hotel room booked. Airfare will have to wait until we can work out the family visit days.

Poem: "One Nation, Indivisible"

Dec. 9th, 2016 10:19 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the December 6, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] chanter_greenie and [personal profile] janetmiles, based on this image.


"One Nation, Indivisible"


In the wake of unrest,
the citizens are left
wondering what they
can do to help.

Each of them comes
to the problem bearing
their own set of skills.

It is the poet with her pen
who spreads words of wisdom,
for teaching techniques of peace is
one sure way to undermine warmongers.

It is the water warriors
who place their lives on the line
to stop a pipe that could leak oil
into the drinking water of thousands.

It is the signmaker
who goes into his shop
and makes a sign to hold
outside of his local mosque:

You belong. Stay strong.
Be blessed. We are
one America.


Across the continents
there are centers of energy,
engines of civilization which
help humanity to lift itself up
to new and dazzling heights.

Such saw the construction of
the Constitution and then the birth of
the United States as one nation, indivisible.

The engines of civilization are powerful --
they can surround hatred and dismantle
its forces piece by piece and limb from limb --

but like any machine, someone has to turn them on.

* * *

Notes:

The title of this poem comes from the original Pledge of Allegiance.  You can also read about the Constitution.

Celebrate the victory of Standing Rock.

In divisive times, you can help by promoting peace and unity.

cyberghostface: (Spider-Man)
[personal profile] cyberghostface posting in [community profile] scans_daily


So here we are with the conclusion of Miles' first title. After this there was the three-issue Cataclysm tie-in and then 'Miles Morales Spider-Man' before leading into 'Secret War' in which Miles moved to 616 (or whatever Marvel wants us to call it.)  This is a good drop-off point as any but if people want me to continue I will.

Scans under the cut... )
morgandawn: (pic#10804831)
[personal profile] morgandawn
I know that the election has depressed many of us. It has terrified even more of us and with good reason. Day by day the news gets grimmer and the Trump  Drumpf presidency has not even begun.

But there is something each of us can do. Also day by day. It is something we control - ourselves. We can can choose how we respond to those around us.  With love. With resolve. With fierceness. This week:

-I read about anti-Semitic graffiti appearing on the sidewalks  in my neighborhood. When neighbors on the community forum  alerted the community and reached out to our anti-graffiti city services, their posts were flagged. As I am a moderator in our neighborhood, I was able to remove the flags.   And I reported the person who flagged every single post in the thread (over flagging is a violation of the terms of service). I also wrote to each of the people who were flagged to thank them for speaking out.
-my mother and I bought a small menorah to replace the one stolen from her senior center holiday display. My mother also bought one for the neighbor - it was her personal menorah that had been stolen.
-I listened to an African America friend talk about the hostile reaction she got from a  white police officer while waiting in line for an oil change. He was ticketing someone and blocked her from moving (for 15 minutes)  and then glared at her and ostentatiously ran her plates. All she was doing was sitting in her car, in line, with her windows rolled up, waiting for an oil change.
-We reached out to a local LGBT teen group to start discussions on funding self-defense classes.

We live in California, in a very liberal area. The graffiti was removed in 24 hrs, someone else put another menorah in the community area so now there will be two, I invited my friend to have dinner with us over the winter break, and we will see what happens with the LGBT youth center.


(no subject)

Dec. 9th, 2016 09:04 pm
actiaslunaris: Legend - Princess Lili peering from the shadows (shadowed)
[personal profile] actiaslunaris
The rime over my heart
is deceptive -- thick it may seem,
but walk with caution,
lest you fall in and freeze
in the depths beneath.
resonant: Three frogs in Santa hats (Default)
[personal profile] resonant
9. [personal profile] china_shop asks: Thoughts about writing original fic vs writing fanfic, whether it's different processes, different feelings (or the same process, and the same feelings), or whatever.

My writerly self-image is of a person who is bad at plot and conflict, good at smoothly flowing sentences, and better than decent at characterization.

But characterization in fanfiction is completely different from characterization in original fiction.

Once I've got a character who's fully real in my head, I can do the same thing I do when writing fanfiction: say, "This person refuses to say those words, and insists on saying these other words instead." But it's difficult to get there. Many of my characters come out flat; others refuse to coalesce, but remain a collection of traits that don't come together to form a real person.




Go here to add your own question.

The questions thus far are under here. )

Poem: "This Infinite Light"

Dec. 9th, 2016 09:34 pm
ysabetwordsmith: (Karavai)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This is from the December 6, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] ellenmillion. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. This poem belongs to the Torn World project.


"This Infinite Light"


In summer, a candle is lit
inside a time crystal,

held in a glass
without hours.

In winter, it still burns,
a bright spark in the darkness

and we all gather around
this infinite light.

* * *

Notes:

Time crystals form the basis of Southern technology.  Temporal technology is extremely risky, but they're using it everywhere, and liable to wreck the world a second  time if they don't quit.  Which is about as popular as trying to get America off its oil addiction.

Primarily the Torn World stories focus on the North, with its extreme seasons; or the South, which is temperate to tropical.

necturus: (Default)
[personal profile] necturus
It's not really that cold. but it will probably get down into the teens (F) before morning.

December is my least favorite month of the year, and this year it comes with the realization that some truly evil people are going to be taking over the government in a few weeks.

On Tuesday I had someone approach me, through a third party, asking for a job. I sent back the message that there might be something available, and to give me a call. But we won't make any changes right away; my brother and I need to get up to speed ourselves and identify what is and is not working at the stations we're buying.

The FCC will probably give us the green light in about a month. There's little to do but wait until then.

It was a very dear friend of mine's birthday yesterday. Unfortunately, she's not here to celebrate it; she died on Thanksgiving Day in 2013. We all miss her sorely.

About That Microwave

Dec. 9th, 2016 10:01 pm
malkingrey: ((default))
[personal profile] malkingrey
I bought the mid-range product in the mid-range brand that Hicks Hardware carried, so you'd think there wouldn't be anything weird about it.

Well. Turns out that unlike most microwaves, which draw 6 amps, this one draws 12 amps, which meant that when we plugged it into the same circuit as the old one, which also had the refrigerator on it, it tripped the circuit breaker. So we had to clear off the kitchen counter enough to plug it into the same circuit as the dishwasher instead, since it's a lot easier to not run the microwave and the dishwasher at the same time than it is to not run the microwave and the refrigerator.

Now all we have to do is figure out where to put the stuff that was on the kitchen counter where we now have the microwave -- things like the slow cooker, the rice cooker, the food processor, the coffee grinder, and the coffee pot. Which are mostly all on the kitchen table at the moment, pending reorganization.
[syndicated profile] neilgaiman_feed
posted by Neil Gaiman




 The Worldbuilders charity passed its stretch goal of a million dollars, so I lit a whole bunch of candles, put on a coat once worn by a dead brother in the Stardust movie, and I read Edgar Allan Poe's poem THE RAVEN by candlelight. You can donate to Worldbuilders at worldbuilders.org. And you should.



 (Thanks to Deanna Leblanc who filmed it, Augusta Ogden who helped light candles, and Phillip Marshall who held the baby.)



You can find out all about Worldbuilders, and the inspiring copy of STARDUST, and so many other things, at http://blog.patrickrothfuss.com/2016/12/ravens-and-recitations-the-kindness-of-neil-gaiman/






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SW: Friendship Awakens by nickyzilla

Dec. 9th, 2016 09:41 pm
musyc: Silver flute resting diagonally across sheet music (Default)
[personal profile] musyc posting in [community profile] fanart_recs
Fandom: Star Wars
Characters/Pairing/Other Subject: Chewbacca, Rey (Gen)
Content Notes/Warnings: None.
Medium: Digital drawing
Artist Website/Gallery: nickyzilla at deviantart
Why this piece is awesome: I love the little smile on Rey's face. I can imagine her humming to herself as she puts those iconic buns into Chewie's hair. His expression is a mixture of several different emotions, but I think "affectionate resignation" is about the right description. This is one time where the Wookiee doesn't get to win.
Link: SW: Friendship Awakens, on deviantart
tassosss: John Zhaan (John Zhaan)
[personal profile] tassosss
The last fic I felt good enough to post to AO3 was in February lat year. With moving in with Fiance and buying a house as major life upheaval going on and the Farscape podcast taking up a big chunk of creative time, I haven’t done much writing this year, even hidden writing on things that aren’t done yet.

With that in mind, I signed up for [community profile] mini_wrimo  this November where all you have to do is sign up for 100 words or more a day instead of trying to hammer out a novel, which really doesn’t work for me. 100 words, trying to get my groove on, really worked. I didn’t pick any stories to work on, didn’t put any pressure or expectations, just 100 words a day to write what I wanted to write.

I poked at the crossover (that I still intend to finish), I started up some Dragon Age Inquisition ficlets, I picked up an Origins ficlet. Often I wrote right before bed, after midnight, because it was the last thing I needed to check off of my Habitica list and I needed to make the daily check-in on the comm. The accountability kept me going. The low word-limit let me stop after a paragraph or two. Or write more  if felt moved to. And I did often write more than the minimum, which was a nice bonus. For the month, the goal was 3k words, and I did something like 7k.

The moral of this story is what I’ve known since I started tracking my yearly word count is that it’s less about the daily word count and more about the number of days on the couch writing. If I sit and write the worlds will come more often than not. This past year, with everything else going on, the hardest part has been even thinking about writing, much less getting myself to open a document and work on it.

Anyway, writing all that seems a little pointless, like I’m doomed to constantly learn things I already know. I’ve been writing fic since I was 16, and every year or two or five I feel like I try again for that magic formula for writing that magic fic — or you know, writing consistently, writing well. But part of the thing with life, is that with anything, there’s never really a finish line. There’s just next, and what you do after, and restarting. Always restarting. Circumstances change, bored hours to fill go away, late nights become harder, social circles expand and contract, living with different people, different jobs, new stresses. It’s a constant struggle to find new things that work, new ways to trick myself, or motivate me to write, and more importantly finish stories that I’ve begun.

The truth is there is no magic formula. Just new things to try. And hope that the next thing I start is that magic brain-melty one that writes itself. Of course those usually start out fine, 20 thousand words in a matter of a week or two, and then I hit 60 or 70k, it’s not done and it’s like hitting a wall. Anyway. Even though this year, I badly missed my [community profile] inkingitout  goal, I’m going to sign up for that and give it another go, this time with a focus on hitting the minimum daily word count and see how that goes/how long that lasts.

I want to finish The 100/Teen Wolf crossover. I want to finish my other Teen Wolf stories. I want to write more about my City Elf Warden, and my Inquisitor, and also Varric/Cassandra. I want the novel done, and then the other novel started. I wish I didn’t feel tired all the time, and had more time in my life so I could see my friends and still feel like I had creative time to write. One word at a time, right?

Who Still Speaks This Language?

Dec. 10th, 2016 01:33 am
[syndicated profile] languagehat_feed

Posted by languagehat

[The back page (subscriber-only) of the August 19, 2015, TLS ends with a piece of snark whose humor is cheap and obvious but which I can’t resist anyway:]

Incomprehensibility lives! Barbara Vinken writes in German, but Aarnoud Rommens and Susan L. Solomon have translated her book Flaubert Postsecular: Modernity crossed out into English. So they claim. They must know of a remote tribe hiding in an inaccessible university that still speaks this language:

The work of the text is to literalize the signifiers of the first encounter, dismantling the ideal as an idol. In this literalization, the idolatrous deception of the first moment becomes readable. The ideal will reveal itself to be an idol. Step by step, the ideal is pursued by a devouring doppelganger, tearing apart all transcendence. This de-idealization follows the path of reification, or, to invoke Augustine, the path of carnalization of the spiritual. Rhetorically, this is effected through literalization. A Sentimental Education does little more than elaborate the progressive literalization of the Annunciation.

Little more? Oh dear, it tells a story. Help us locate the last remaining speakers of this lesser used language. Flaubert Postsecular is published by Stanford University Press.

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