The only thing that would be better than Ricky Martin's takedown of Trump's racism would be if he sang it. At the Superbowl would be really nice, too.
I thoroughly enjoyed India Edghill's Queenmaker: A Novel of King David's Queen, the story of Michal, daughter of King Saul and wife of King David. Basing her interpretation on a few Biblical references, Edghill fleshes out the character of Michal (and the other women in David's life, including Bathsheba and Abishag) in a highly believable fashion.
Equally interesting is her portrayal of David, from the young shepherd, harper and hero beloved - and feared - by Saul, to the ruthless warrior who united Israel, defeated its enemies and secured the fortress city of Jerusalem as its capitol, to the corrupt leader who killed both allies and rivals to get what he wanted, to the grief-stricken father who saw his sons conspire against him and each other for his power and his crown.
Edghill has written several other historical novels set in the kingdom of Israel featuring women mentioned in the Old Testament, and though normally this is not one of my favourite historical periods to read about, I'll be looking forward to reading them.
Well, something to that effect.
AHAHAHAHAHA, I said.
swaldman noted he'd liked I Still Believe (iirc) when it was performed at the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony, or something (I was actually completely oblivious to the fact the guy was performing at that point, but then I was kind of screamingly crazy and also in Edinburgh at the time), but hadn't particularly cared for the others or found them memorable.
And that, you see, is the crux of the matter, and it is this: Frank Turner has written one good song and a lot of variations on it, and he's also written a lot of intensely misogynist bro-y crap. (For my go-to example of the latter, look up the lyrics to Worse Things Happen At Sea, which has content notes for threats of stalking and domestic violence.)
The good song, to be clear, is I Still Believe, and all the songs that sound like it: the rock-anthem paeans to holding fierce & tight & viciously exulting to life (let's grab life by the throat/and then live it to pieces), with an endearingly misguided veneer of assertions that any of this shit is meaningfully punk rock. It's misogynist around the edges, because fundamentally there is absolutely no fucking way I would last longer than five minutes in a pub with this guy before I was yelling at him that the fucking reason he's stuck on I have to say that, honestly,/I still haven't found/the person who can take the strain/.../so I'll do this on my own is that he's straight and he doesn't think of women as people, and he doesn't want a partner he wants a Manic Pixie fucking Dream Girl, and perhaps if he could think of higher praise than Tre's the safest girl I know and if he could conceive of women having complex interiorities with motivations beyond being the addressee of but darling, if you're there, gentle voice and soothing hands,/to quiet my despair, to shore up all my plans he'd have more satisfying relationships--
-- all that aside, right, I Still Believe, and here's a run-down of its variants.
( Read more... )
But seriously there are so many other people you could spend time and money on instead. The Indelicates, obviously, though they don't particularly do much of a line in grimly-clinging-on-to-positivity-rock-an
But the truck battery is dead and needs a charge. Or (I hope not) another battery. And it is 2000 miles late for an oil change.
And the SU is not well. ( stuff )
• RIP Darryl Dawkins. Dawkins was a basketball player — a professional athlete, yes, but one who always seemed to take delight in the fact that he was playing a game. Dawkins treated playing games as something that was fun, and just watching him was endless fun for the rest of us. His loss, at age 58, makes the world a little less fun — a little bit less like the Planet Lovetron he invited us all to live on.
John Fea wrote a nice remembrance here, ending with a photo of perhaps the most appropriate way of remembering Dawkins. Grab a ball and find an 8-foot rim — or, if necessary, a 6-foot rim — and dunk a few in your best Dawkins style. Invent a new dunk and give it a name — something funktastic. Because it’s fun.
• On the plus side, hoverboards are a real thing! We’re living in the future! On the minus side, that future still involves cops roughing up black people for no good reason.
It seems the sci-fi fantasy aspect of Star Trek wasn’t stuff like Geordi La Forge’s future-tech visor. It was the fact that La Forge was simply able to go about his day without worrying about getting beaten or shot by police.
• Trailer for Spotlight. The cast here includes a bunch of people — Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Stanley Tucci, Liev Schrieber — who have been good in every role I’ve ever seen
Prediction: This’ll be critically acclaimed and get nominated for a ton of awards. And that will form the basis for the counter-attack from Bill Donohue and other such religious right conservatives — Hollywood elites, liberal media, latte-drinking intellectuals, etc. Every award or honor bestowed on the film will be cited as a reason that red-blooded real ‘murkans should ignore the true story at the heart of the movie.
Here’s why, I think: People expecting an edgy satire tuned in and found, instead, a mordant farce. That’s not something one encounters much on American television, and its confusing to viewers who tune in expecting satire. Satire cuts — it’s a scalpel, a stiletto, the twisting of the knife. Farce twists — it’s a ratchet, a vise, the torque of the wrench. It’s a different genre with different conventions.
Think of the stateroom scene in A Night at the Opera. Or think of that scene in The Ritz where Rita Moreno and Jack Weston and Jerry Stiller and Treat Williams all wind up … well, just any scene in The Ritz, actually. Then add nuclear weapons and three or four countries with leaders bonkers enough to consider using them. That’s The Brink.
• TV audiences can’t be blamed for having trouble distinguishing between satire and farce. The two genres can overlap or blur into one another in confusing ways, nowadays. Consider, for instance, these comments from Fox News contributor and icon of nepotism Alveda King:
They entice these ladies into their facility knowing that once they get there, it’s a very lucrative experience. … Because they’re going to give her medicines and birth control shots and pills and things that will expose her to breast cancer. Then she’ll go to Susan Komen, because Susan Koman exchanges money with Planned Parenthood, the money goes back and forth between them. And if she gets pregnant, they’re going to give her an abortion and then they’re going to traffic the body parts of the baby. So they make a lot of money.
Satire? Farce? Performance art? Who can tell?
• I don’t closely follow the sausage-making machinery of political campaigns and consultants, so I didn’t really have much of anything to say about the ins and outs of conservative political operative Sam Clovis of Iowa switching teams from the Rick Perry campaign to the Donald Trump campaign.
But then I saw a photo of Sam Clovis. And now I’m just immensely pleased to learn that this is a conservative back-room political wheeler-dealer who so perfectly looks like a conservative back-room political wheeler-dealer. If this Trump gig doesn’t work out for him, I hope he’ll consider moving to Hollywood. Central casting could use a face like that.
To some extent that's a bare minimum for reconciliation, but I think that while it's necessary for said it's not sufficient; for reconciliation I'd need a more active than passive motivation, which is not the case for this definition I'm proposing. It's a slightly more formalised version of "you won't hurt me again" (as equal parts prediction and instruction; the saying makes it so), I think, in a way that lets me sit with and accept past hurt without requiring me to cross-reference all current patterns against it in a hypervigilant attempt to avert (perceived) disaster.
iDAMN iHATE iTunes
(I'd somehow created dup music folders. Good thing I only have ~2000 songs or my poor drive would have keeled. If you use a Mac and ever have to delete more than 50 iTunes duplicates, do yourself a favor and spend $8 for Dupin Lite 2 from this Apple store link.)
It's like Apple's software division has no overall UX chief. Almost every bit of software is uniquely annoying. If you use an Apple device, what's the software you hate most right now?
(Can I have Eudora back?) Speaking of which, recognize my icon?
( Drawing back the red velvet curtain, we see... )
I am also, as always, grateful to fairestcat who fixes my coding and my spelling and my punctuation and whose perspective informs pretty much everything I do, particularly when it comes to fandom.
I also want to acknowledge the fans and the academics I have learned from who were not consciously with me as I wrote this. This thing we do is always a communal production, and I've been reading, writing, and talking about these things for many many years now, the last fifteen of them as an active member of fandom. If you recognise your uncredited thoughts or influences here, or those of another, please let me know, with links if you wish, and I will find a way to credit you.
Permission to link/quote: granted. Anon comments are screened on dw, off on lj. Journal rules as laid out in my profiles will be applied here. Anon will not be unscreened unless signed in some fashion allowing me and readers to tell anons apart. Initials and nicks and so forth are just fine and need not be the one you normally use, nor known to me.
So one of the things we do in fandom is talk about writing about rape.
( no actual discussion of rape ensues, but much talk about survivors )
You're just 1980s delightful, which means not when there are already the edges of a headache.
Sigh. thatyourefuse, have you tried this one yet?
The Daily Report
Okay. First, I started this morning with over 450 unread emails in my contact email address. I’m not sure at what point the dread of opening it became too much. In my mind, it’s been months. In reality, probably weeks, maybe a month at most. In my mind, most of it was people furious with me for not writing back or getting stuff done. In reality… most of it is automated notifications, ads, bulk email, et cetera.
What finally got me to look at it… and clear out about a quarter of the backlog, answering some very important work related emails in the process… was that I have had people getting in touch with me over my latest work of satire, John Scalzi Is Not A Very Popular Author And I Myself Am Quite Popular.
For those of you who only follow this blog for my own original work and are mystified about what I’ve got against John Scalzi: nothing. Believe it or not, he’s not the target of that title. Someone showed it to him last night and he thinks it’s hilarious. He has offered to perform a dramatic reading of it in exchange for donations to Con or Bust, an assistance fund for bringing diversity to fandom conventions.
Scalzi Is Not Popular is now the number 1 seller in multiple categories on Amazon, and in particular, number 2 in the category dominated by the source material that inspired it. To invoke an old family saying: so, I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.
In the midst of all this and a little renewed attention on my equally off-the-cuff book about loss and grief that I wrote last year in the wake of Dorian’s death, I have been reminded of an important thing: as an author, I’m an experimenter at heart. I do best when I dare. And while depression sometimes makes me feel like I’m surrounded by the bones of my failures, all a failed experiment really signifies is that I wasn’t afraid to try.
That realization even more so than the positive attention this little booklet has garnered has done a lot to lift my spirits.
The State of the Me
Even though it’s still August and we’re still seeing very summery temperatures in the afternoons some days, today I realized that waking up early as I have been doing means I can open the windows for a bit without turning my office into a swamp. It’s very refreshing.
Plans For Today
It’s MU posting day. I’d hoped to be done with today’s chapter before today, but on top of the circus that’s been happening all around me, I had to close the office early yesterday because of external circumstances. That’s okay. I don’t have anything else that needs doing today. I’ve got a chance to get out of the office and still do some work in the afternoon if I want it, and I think under the current circumstances I might just do that. Time to get away.
Spotted yesterday, on FB or Twitter, and didn't save the link - but doing a quick google for what it might have been turns up a number of stories, none of them precisely up to the minute - Students demand law profs. eliminate traumatic, 'triggering' rape law lessons (all the top hits are from around Dec last year, not sure why it was showing up now, ? linked story)
This appears to be part of the 'present generation are fragile flowers' narrative, but I am wondering how, historically, and indeed even at the present day, the law on sexual violence has been/is dealt with in classroom situations.
Because I can quite imagine to myself the way in which Dead White Male Professors might teach the subject, i.e., at best with a somewhat blokey take on it (this just somehow reminds me of the passage in Richard Gordon's Doctor in the House in which the only lecture in the medical jurisprudence course that packs the theatre to the doors is the one on rape) and at worst... well.
Also, having seen this week a classic example of story-distortion in which Jeremy Corbyn's remarks about engaging with the problem of sexual harassment on public transport, and discussing the proposals for doing something about, which had included the suggestion of bringing back the ladies' only carriage, became that Jezza himself wanted to bring in purdah, pretty much, wonder how much these reports were slanted. (Also, on this particular issue, I did note that some of the most vociferous voices attacking The Very Idea came from persons whom I presume to be fellas and with whom I would not necessarily want to share a railway carriage...)