The weather phenomenon will bring down production, increase food prices worldwide
The “boy” has arrived, throwing economic tantrums across the world. From Peru to India, from the power corridors of the White House to the outgoing Indian prime minister's office, the fear of the “Christ Child” or El Nino (LINK TO PIECE THAT EXPLAINS EL NINO) hangs heavy.
Read Anne Bishop's Daughter of the Blood. From Twitter:
@vassl: Now to attempt to finish reading the GOH's first novel before I arrive in the convention city. It was published in '98, I'm a little slow.
@vassl: Anne Bishop's Daughter of the Blood: surprisingly good airport reading. It's set in Hell, so relevant to my current location.
@vassl: Tullamarine Airport has fewer magic cockrings and sparkly jewels than Anne Bishop's Hell, and different decor choices, but otherwise similar
@vassl: Finished Daughter of the Blood. Started out all lolzy idfic magic cockrings, suddenly became not at all lolzy child trafficking rings.
Can see where JR Ward got her inspiration for what to name people in the Black Dagger books. There is a character in this novel whose name is surreal. I mean she is named Surreal. I mean both. snarp and rachelmanija were both right about it (except that I enjoyed it more than Rachel did, and will definitely be reading at least the second book.)
Reading Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray. Got through a few more pages in the last week. Hate Henry SO MUCH. Hate Dorian too. Indifferent to Painter Dude. Want to read a novel about Henry's aunt, written by Anne Bronte not Oscar Wilde.
Reading Bill Bryson's A Short History of Everything. Got from pg 129 to pg 288 during Swancon weekend. Volcanoes and meteorites are scary. :( Some more Twitter commentary, because I like to recycle my jokes:
@vassl: Reading Bill Bryson on M-theory and have suddenly and regrettably turned into a zombie. Braaaaaaanes. #physics #holidayreading
Reread Komarr and 'Winterfair Gifts'.
Read Loki: Agent of Asgard #1 and #2. Basically giggled the whole way through. Yes, it was pure bubblegum, but I was in the mood for bubblegum. And Al Ewing's author's note on the last page, quoting Thor #353 (Odin: "For Asgard!" Thor: "For Midgard!" Loki: "For myself!") really rang true to me, both as a principle (standing up for yourself is not selfish/bad!) and also as an interpretation of Loki's character (not a nice person, but also frequently the only person on Team Himself.)
Read dira's Vorkosigan refugee AU and reread one of her Jole series while waiting for the plane. Some stories are worth going over your mobile data plan for.
TV and Movies
Watched 'Lake Laogai' from ATLA. Can we leave Ba Sing Se now? It is a terrible place.
Watched Spirited Away at bookgirlwa's house. It was made in 2001, but it's still very definitely in the tradition of 80s/90s kids' films that will destroy your infant mind with terror, while being instant classics for their meaningful script/use of myth and their beautiful cinematography/hand-drawn animation/puppetry/David Bowie's crotch.
Discovered Cut The Rope. Obsessed.
Watched the music video to Total Eclipse of the Heart for the first time, and have some preliminary conclusions: 1. I want whatever drugs they were on. 2. At least part of this is set in the Black Jewels universe. 3. The rest of it is set in Smallville. 4. I want the I'm Not Okay crossover. It would be epic. More epic, I mean.
Listened to Lydia Lunch's Queen of Siam. Liked.
Appoints three-member committee to give recommendations to reduce road accidents across the country
Terming road accidents as one of the biggest challenges to orderly human existence, the Supreme Court of India on Tuesday ordered Central and state governments to implement the existing road safety laws and rules seriously.
She mentioned on the video that Sojourner Truth, the abolitionist and suffragist, (whose biography she’s written) had used photography. Of course, that immediately registered with me and I had to find out more.
Sojourner Truth was perhaps the most famous African-American woman in 19th century America. For over forty years she traveled the country as a forceful and passionate advocate for the dispossessed, using her quick wit and fearless tongue to fight for human rights.
Nell Painter says: No other woman who had gone through the ordeal of slavery managed to survive with sufficient strength, poise and self-confidence to become a public presence over the long term.
One of the ways Truth supported herself was by selling portraits.
… Many former slaves depicted themselves in these photos with whip-scarred backs and clad in the rags of slavery. But Sojourner Truth — who sold the cartes-de-visite to support herself — chose to represent herself as a respectable middle- class matron, sometimes wearing glasses, knitting, or holding a book. “I think we can see Truth becoming strong enough to refuse to define herself as a slave,” (Quotes are from a The Chronicle of Higher Education review of the book)
Looking at the contemporary photos of Truth on the web there is a clear self presentation. Syreeta, in a review of the movie Lincoln on Feministing discusses this brilliantly.
Sojourner Truth, according to the Willis/Krauthamer book Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans And the End of Slavery, understood the power of photography, and actively distributed photographs of herself:
“Those pictures were meant to affirm her status as a sophisticated and respectable “free woman and as a woman in control of her image.” The public’s fascination with small and collectible card-mounted photographs, allowed her to advance her abolitionist cause to a huge audience and earn a living through their sale. “I Sell the Shadow to Support the Substance,” proclaimed the famous slogan for these pictures.
Truth was not alone in her understanding of the power of photography. A host of other African-Americans, both eminent and ordinary, employed the medium as an instrument of political engagement and inspiration. “Envisioning Emancipation” argues that photography was not incidental but central to the war against slavery, racism and segregation in the antebellum period of the 1850s through the New Deal era of the 1930s.”
… Truth understood the power of images was just as powerful a weapon as any. Even the composition of the photograph of Truth (noted above) has a subliminal power, appropriating classic European portraiture in her seated posture, her resolute gaze, showing a black body as American. Human.
The truth-telling photography and empathy that photography conjures isn’t new but understanding it as a mode of cultural and social activism during the Civil War era is and certainly worthy of a look back.
Truth-telling photography and empathy are what my work always aspires to. I need to learn a lot more about this history.
(Photo from Syreeta’s post on Feministing)
A funny, great film about an old lesbian couple that have been together for nearly 30 years. Stella and Dot live together in a New England house, but when Dot gets hurt, Dot's granddaughter tries to put Dot in a nursing home. Stella busts her out and decides to drive them to Canada to get married. They pick up a hitch hiker along the way and have some adventures. There is lots of fun banter because Stella has a dirty sense of humor and good chemistry with Dot. Dot is blind and it's so refreshing to see realistic disability representation.
Content notes (here be spoilers):
( notes )
Pit Stop, 2013
A sweet, slowly building film about getting over past relationships and moving on with life. It deals with the real complexity of gay relationships in a way that I loved, and dealt with working-class men in small-town Texas. I liked going into this movie not knowing who these people were and trying to figure out their relationships, so I don't want to give too much away. The movie's protagonists are Ernesto and Gabe, and each of them have pasts, attachments, and deep emotions that the viewer gets to see. Occasionally it looks a little low-budget in that the lighting and camera shots are bad, but overall it's well done. No content notes that I can think of.
* Captain America (sholio)
* Doctor Who (turlough)
* Firefly (mific)
* Star Trek: Reboot (unbidden_truth)
* Welcome to Night Vale (sailorptah)
So we already have a few recs too look forward to in May, but it would of course be awesome if we had more recs. There is still plenty of opportunity for you to jump in and volunteer to rec next month (or to convince your friends to do some reccing). And many cheers for all of our members who volunteer to rec, especially if you rec regularly. Your valiant repeat efforts keep the comm alive.
Looking even further ahead so far only one reccer has volunteered for June, so that month definitely still needs some love (and recs! *g*) too. So please consider reccing in a fandom of your choice, whether small or huge, and comment on the sign-up post and volunteer for May, June or even further ahead if you are so well organized, that you know your fannish interests and time commitments in advance. It's only four recs as a minimum, and you can rec any genre or rating. Or promote us to your friends or in your favorite communities so others do the work.
Open Rec Posting
The monthly open reccing period for all members starts now and lasts until the end of April. If you are looking for something to inspire you, the prompt for this week is "Movement", but that's totally optional for the recs. However they do still have to conform to the usual rec format and follow the rules for what is allowed to be recced here.
(Comments here are disabled, because I want to bundle volunteering in the sign-up post so that nothing gets lost, and you can see the list of claimed slots there too.)
I have written too many words today
and now I’m out.
They needed to be written. The book won’t write itself.
This is how I earn
whatever fraction of a cent
they pay me for every letter.
The problem is that now I’m out of words
and have started to forget the names of things
like that thing, right over there,
the gray one
that isn’t a toaster.
I turn on the radio in search of words.
It doesn’t help.
The radio’s words are all “jobless rate” and “insider trading.”
I can’t do anything with that
like trying to fill a dry well up
There are no words growing in the garden
and reading is unsettling
those words echo too much
their footfalls sounding in an empty hall
with no words of my own to muffle them.
And the worst part—
the very worst—
the fear that now I am deprived of prose
and will be forced to communicate in poetry
or worse yet
That would be Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, written by John Jackson Miller.
(That description also sums up Star Wars: Legacy, written by John Ostrander, but I might talk about Legacy another time.)
Knights of the Old Republic shares a title and a timeline with the video game, but you can easily read KOTOR without knowing anything about the game, which is what I did. John Jackson Miller described KOTOR's relationship with the video game as a helix; they occasionally intersect but usually occupy different parts of the universe. I'm sure the comics are richer if you're familiar with the game, but not being so, I can't say for sure.
KOTOR takes place four thousand years before the movies, in the days of the Old Republic, and the galaxy is a much wilder place than what we see in the movies. The Jedi Order hasn't yet crystallized into the institution of the prequel trilogy; there are still branches and offsets and different schools of thought and theory. It's still a time of war, though; the Mandalorian Wars are raging across the Outer Rim, disrupting peace and security.
If I had to sum up KOTOR, I'd say that it's Farscape in the Star Wars universe. ( Scans beneath the cut )
If you like Star Wars and you like Farscape (or Firefly, I guess there's a little Firefly in it too), you will probably like Knights of the Old Republic. The entire series run is out in trade paperback (ten volumes) and, as of tomorrow, in omnibus (three volumes). (Here on Tales from Another World and here on Amazon.) Individual issues are also available digitally on Dark Horse Comics. (Looks like they've got the omnibuses, too.)
As an extra treat, John Jackson Miller also does author's notes and trivia for everything he writes (the Kenobi notes are amazing), which are on his website here for KOTOR.
Spoiler alert: that is never going to happen, for all the reasons.
So you'll just have to bear with me cross-posting some things I originally put on tumblr which I want to keep a record of here. Moving forward I think I'm going to stop posting text to tumblr first unless it's a response to something, so hopefully there will be less of these.
( A few haphazard, disjointed thoughts on Elementary, spoilers through 2.14; mentions of Fringe as well. )
( And also, a thing about Moriarty in Elementary )
I have, btw, finally caught up with Elementary (...except wait. I think that I might be one episode behind again. Has 2.21 aired yet? If so then I am behind again. I've seen through the Alistair episode which is 2.20). Anyway, the rush of things I have to say about Sherlock and human connection has died down. (Except to say: my fears for Randy, realized in Alistair.) I still have thoughts on these things and the season is still exploring the issues, I think, but I've been frustrated with other things this season, largely the lack of Joan's arc and the lack of recurring female characters, particularly Ms. Hudson, Jamie, and Joan's mother, which has lead me to lose some interest in talking about the show.
I've also found that watching the show at the same time I was getting into tumblr has made me somewhat reticent to voice my opinions. Not because people on tumblr have reacted poorly to my posts, on the contrary, I've been pleasantly surprised at people liking them/reblogging them. Rather I'm just having continued issues with adapting to elements of tumblr when it comes to text and discussion.
( Cut for blather about me + tumblr + my issues )
Anyway, at the same time, there are things I do really like about tumblr. Now that I have gotten my moving gif problem under control it's really fun to look at the pretty things that people post and the flow of content takes up much less brainspace than dreamwidth, for me. Right now I am basically just looking at paused versions of moving gifs for all of Orphan Black, which I binge watched this weekend on accident. Ooops? I do have some thoughts on Orphan Black, which is pretty much amazing and reminds me very much of TSCC, in the best of ways. Again, apologies for the repost from tumblr, probably will happen less in the future.
( Thoughts on Orphan Black with mentions of MCU/Marvel/Black Widow, Elementary, TSCC, Fringe, and Dollhouse, though no major spoilers for any of them. )
I definitely have more I want to say about Orphan Black, but after the whirlwind viewing I think I need some breathing room. But ye gods, I'd forgotten how much I hate being super into a show as it airs. I want to know what happens next!!!!!