bliumchik: (nothing sus)
Well, my two-week flood of assessment deadlines is over! Now I have at least three weeks before the next one starts, and I am naturally going to use them to procrastinate.

In TOTALLY UNRELATED NEWS, Portal is free from Steam for another week or so :D

...you guys, I get motion sickness from this game. And it's awesome. I do not even.

So anyway, since handing in my final assignment last Friday I've been tumbling and shooting portals at things and vegging out on the internet, woo! This sluggish state has been partly in response to the freedom from all that writing about socialists and french philosophers and moths, and partly in order to recover from Friday itself, which was approximately 36 hours long. (PS: I totally started this post on Tuesday :P oops!)

cut for length of the recount and a bunch of random tangents and an aside on the topic of good-touch/bad-touch and uh I got a little carried away...? )
bliumchik: Jared Padalecki's thinkyface (deep thought)
Getting back into posting here with any degree of regularity is easier said than done. Rusty, I guess. There is also the question of what form I want this blog to take in the future - do I continue as, essentially, a diarist, or do I only post when I have Something To Say, or should I return to my blog the random-thought-receptacle function now usurped by twitter?

Decisions like these are made continuously, on the net. I didn't even think about them when I started blogging at the tender age of fifteen, aside from the occasional dilemma regarding the degree of disclosure I was comfortable with regarding incidents that involved people who might actually read this. Funnily enough I mostly settled on nothing but my love life being off-limits... not taboo but discreet. Then again, everyone I dated before read this journal (yes, both of them) while my current is a bit of a luddite. People who know him read this, though, which leaves some things firmly in the realm of TMI (or maybe it would have been like that regardless). I've always been astonishingly blase about TMI in the general sense, and equally oversensitive about it in the specific. My embarrassment squick: it functions really fucking weirdly. I feel okay about contemplating a post about my intimacy issues and how bizarre yet lovely physical contact is, but writing up a date seems wrong despite the actual events depicted being practically identical to many other occasions I have chronicled here.

Tangent. It's just that I'm twenty now, and even as I sometimes come to a total full stop epiphany about how bloody young (we all are) I am this feels like something I can and should be held accountable for now. In the standard Get Famous, Have Biography Written About You hypothetical, stuff you write when you're sixteen is stuff you can smile at and say "aw, silly tiny pastme," but stuff you write when you're twenty is much harder to divorce from your identity. This is Me, not Minime. This isn't going under Early Years.

I feel sorry for people who only got onto the internet post this Age Of Reason epoch. I've had years and I'm still only just cementing points of internet ettiquette in my habits. It must suck to realise that not only were you a douche to somebody on the internet that one time, but you were actually (nominally) a rational adult when you did it, and people expected better of you. (related reading open in my tabs right now: How to disagree, How to want to change your mind. Actually though the main thing that it has literally taken me all this time to realise is that the age-old noob-pwning heuristic of LURK MOAR compacts an essay's-worth of Sensible Things About The Internet. Someday I might write the essay.)

Tangent. I have 2000 words due Friday, another set Tuesday and yet another next Friday. I'm procrastinating. You may as well ask me anything (you can totally do that in comments, too... it's just my formspring hasn't seen use in a while :P)

murrgruhhh

Feb. 23rd, 2010 07:41 pm
bliumchik: (fight the system)
I think I have some sort of persistent opportunistic flu infection that pops right up as soon as my immune system is compromised by stress or leaking or lack of sleep. grah. hate. Also I have had a weird skin reaction to this lotion my gran brought back from Israel. Fuck you, dead sea! However this resulted in hilarious twitter conversation yonder:

jk_rockin: you're allergic to the Dead Sea?
me: Apparently so! This does not bode well for any undead israeli boys that want to sweep me off my feet in the future!
fishmouse: Better a vampire than a zombie anyday.
me: yeah I'm pretty sure EVERYONE is allergic to zombies :P
me: oh man, imagine if you were allergic to the kiss of death! talk about adding insult to injury!
me: MOOHAHAHA, NOW YOU ARE VUN OFF USS! ...and svellink up somesink awful. Armand, is zis supposed to happen!?
jk_rockin: ONE OF US ONE OF US ONE OF US

Further such hilarity occurred IRL last night, when I showed up at Jenn's Batcave (a warehouse full of amazing giant piles of junk, omg I wanted to put on a snorkel and wade in) for adventures with hairdye! But first, a scenic detour to the Shire. "Hey Jenn... I think I am on the wrong train. Where is Panania?"

Anyway I have a red skunk stripe now. Oh did I mention I got a superdykey haircut last friday? I did that, yes. It is. Interesting. I can never quite impress upon a hairdresser that MY HAIR IS A LITTLE CURLY and they keep giving me styles I have to straighten bits of otherwise they look ridic. But anyway I have a red fauxhawk with an S-curl and brown lady-sideburns with almost-shaved cut-outs behind them. I like it but I don't think short and rectangular is really my thing in general - next time I will let my hair grow out much longer before I go in, give them something to work with. On the other hand, it looks excellent under hats! :D

A meme I tagged long ago and forgot about:

Reply to this post asking for words and I'll give you five I associate with you, which you then talk about in an entry on your journal!

From [personal profile] amber!

slam poetry: hahaha I am not sure why you associate this with me? I have done it all of twice. I find it interesting how rhythms are different when you're writing poetry to speak aloud, than to look at on a page. It's a matter of long and short beats, internal rhymes and consonance. Whereas book-poetry is less about how the words sound aloud and more how they look on the page, what kind of beats a space, a line break, an indent create. I think the best poetry combines the two, really, but I can't quite express the process.

Russia: ZE MOTHERLAND. lol. I identify as Russian without any particular tie to the place we call Russia, I think that's common to a lot of immigrant kids like me. It's about the language, the food, some little customs and cartoons. Family history plays a part, too, anyone whose family spent a few generations in the Soviet Union generally has a fairly russo-unique set of "grandpa stories" and interesting familial neuroses.

The actual place is by all accounts a corrupt racist alcoholic winter wonderland, but I'd still like to go back there some time just for the novelty of getting by in a language other than english.

neutral_omens: Ahh that old game. A Good Omens based "let's throw some characters into a place and see what happens" roleplay, albeit much smaller than ones like CFUD and la. We actually got together in OOC-chat and worked out bits of plot :P also, it was HILARIOUS (or maybe I just thought it was because I was sixteen). Angels, wizards, demons, an antichrist and some random bewildered humans in a hotel that used to be a satanic nunnery cum paintball retreat? OH yeah. I played Newt Pulsifer, toying with a proto-accident-field-superpower that has inspired a comic book character who now lives in my head. At some point I will script the first issue and find an artist for that.

Here are some of my favourite threads I was in: John Constantine and Newt Pulsifer vs. the Cellophane Beast was fun times, as was American Gods character Loki prodding Newt's Special Fail Powers. That one also resulted in a hilarious AU drawing based on what else could have fallen through the ceiling (hint: there was nudity).

Amanda Palmer: lol this list was given me before Evelyn Evelyn drama drama went down. I should have done it then, I could have gone on about her voice and lyrics and audacity and ability to connect with people instead of her privilege and public relations failure. And after all I said in the last post I STILL ended up arguing about it with strangers on the internet. God, both sides, too! I guess I am just one of those CAN'T SLEEP, SOMEBODY IS WRONG ON THE INTERNET people, regardless of whether that person agrees with me or not. Well, you know, you don't want people who agree with you to be wrong, do you?

Honestly I am more disappointed in the way Amanda has handled this whole fiasco than with the concept of the record. Like, sure, that was problematic, but as an initial provocation on a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 is accidentally saying "stand up for yourself" to a wheelchair-user and 10 is Spartan social darwinism, Evelyn Evelyn is maaybe a three. She could totally have salvaged that situation, but instead she's managed to make everyone who started off going "amanda I love you but I feel a little uncomfortable with this" feel like she sees no difference between us and people who tried to censor Oasis/think her photography is "goffic snuff porn"/hate her for dating Neil Gaiman (disclaimer yes I know those are all different people). For somebody who has cultivated such a feeling of closeness with her fans that just feels like a bit of a betrayal.

Also I am a little disappointed in the manner in which many people pursued this complaint against her in the first place, but that's a whole essay on effective privilege-checking that I want to save until tempers are less frayed, so that I can use this as a specific in the general case without putting people on the defensive.

And speaking of defensive don't even TALK to me about the people jumping in with "it is your responsibility if you feel offended because we choose our feelings" (more or less verbatim from one) because OH MY GOD. Alternating fury and motts at those people, why must you remind me that just because somebody likes the same stuff as me does not mean they are not a douche? (also mottsy because it reminds me of times when I have leapt to the defense of something without thinking, although I can't recall specific instances right now, but that just makes me paranoid!)

talking-really-fast: it's. a thing I do? XD I think out loud, and thoughtspeed is always faster than we are physically capable of forming words, so sometimes I trip over myself. Also sometimes people say "okay now say that again only use a spacebar" (not in so many words). Aside from that it's not much of a thing one way or another. Now talking really LOUD is a real problem I have, whereby I forget that I have a volume setting that can be adjusted until someone goes OMG STFU MAGGIE. (I feel that is a good note on which to end this post.)
bliumchik: batface + batpalm = batfacepalm (facepalm)
Argh, I just want the whole Evelyn Evelyn thing to go away or go back to being a cute jokey song or two on Myspace. I hate drama and I am pathologically incapable of picking sides, and this is hitting simultaneously with RL friend-drama with a similar dynamic, and I am a very Why Can't We All Just Get Along panda at the moment. I didn't even LIKE the Evelyn Evelyn stuff all that much aside from that one Have You Seen My Sister song, the actual performance sort of squicked me out, and when I saw that it was going to get big I cringed, and now exactly what I thought would happen is happening.

Just so nobody has to ask me, if they think it's important, full disclosure: my reason for not wanting AFP to be doing this is identical to my reason for not being personally offended by it. I am not a conjoined twin or any kind of similarly physically disabled person. Neither is she. Maybe she's talked to enough of them to feel comfortable speaking for them - I have not and am not. Or maybe she just didn't think about it. Many people don't. It makes them thoughtless, not bad people. From what I can gather this appears to have started as a clever attempt to get around her record label's claim to the next album with her name on it, so I guess she just didn't approach it from the Real People Like This Exist angle. Also I assume she got hit with the full flood of anger that the internet can provide filling her inbox all at once in the aftermath of this article, under which circumstances most people are not at their best.

(I'm not trying to make up excuses here, btw, the way I respond to all ~drama is by trying to unravel the causal chains involved. It's just how I process.)

Although honestly I was completely surprised that people took this tweet as anything other than "yes, I know about this issue. Now I need to get back to work" especially in conjunction with the next three or four tweets. But I guess after reading everybody's upset posts about it I can see how it's sort of poorly worded.

Anyway. I'm not upset at anybody who's experienced a radical de-pedestalling of Amanda Palmer and is screaming about it on the internet, because losing a hero is a shitty, shitty experience and I think all emotions (unlike all opinions, natch) are valid. I'm also not massively upset at Amanda because I completely saw this coming and, in any case, I lost that pedestal gradually and without fanfare - she's a person. People make mistakes. This one doesn't affect me, and I'm not going to defend her to people it does affect, but neither am I going to try to speak for them to her or any pedestal-keeping person who tries to insist that her actions are unproblematic.

I'm sitting this one out.
bliumchik: Item: trebuchet. Item: zombie. Sound effect: braaAAAAaains. Zombie Badminton: priceless.  (zombieminton)
Mwaha! Okay, now it is time for linkspam! First off, remember Formspring? Not sure I ever linked it here. I AM INCREDIBLY FRANK, YOU GUYS: YOU KNOW THIS. Ask me things!

Bee tee dubs, I meant to tell you how awesome the compliments meme was! Some of the people I was thinking of when I wrote about the i'm-so-fat thing and my puzzled flail about it did not comment though, so I had to ambush them on facebook. And while I was there I said what the hell, and got through another twenty or so of my friends. It was amazing! I highly reccommend it, I went to sleep grinning my face off. I turned on my capslock before I started. NOTHING IS AWKWARD WHEN YOU SAY IT IN CAPS LOCK :D

Speaking of Facebook, I thought y'all might find this recent exchange of mine amusing.

ImageHost.org

It's true, I really would watch Battlestar Gaylactica. Don't lie, you know you would too.

In slightly more Srs Bzns lately, I found this article incredibly interesting. Back when I first read the Zombie Survival Guide in high school I had plans to write up detailed Zombie Contingency Plans for the event of securing my house, my school and a long-term fortress such as an island (because you know. it never hurts to be prepared awesome. I also spent a lot of time trolling the [profile] zombie_survival community, but I got tired of it being full of people who had not actually read the book and either took the whole thing too seriously or were obsessed with proving their own points about some strategic detail. Plus: the curse of a thousand American gun nuts!)

I never got beyond vague ideas and a hilarious diagram of my school with zombie-vulnerable points circled, but as part of the long-term plan I was considering data storage. I had some idea of a cool dry cellar in which we'd keep archival computers that could be powered with our generator or even a hand-crank - for all those bits of information we're not sure if we'll need or not. They'd be powered down all the time except when we need to check something, or yearly maintenance I guess. I never got round to doing the research on how long they would last. Things are made pretty disposable these days.

Idle speculation on future archeologists is also a bit of a hobby of mine. Last year there was an archeology thread on the Whitechapel forums, and one user who studies in that area pointed out that the default explanation for Stuff That Baffles Us is to file it under Religious Purposes. I found it amusing to look at modern art pieces and imagine them being dug up in a thousand years by next-civilisation scholars who invent elaborate religious rituals on our behalf to explain them. But gods, is it creepy to think about all those ghost-databanks, lying fallow all over the world for lack of decryption technology.

Think about what's on your hard-drive right now. If that one computer was all some future pastgeek could access, what would they infer about our civilisation?



Okay, now MOAR LULZ.

The Worst Sex Scene In Comics. I think I ruptured something giggling at this. (PS it is SFW in the sense that there is clearly sex happening but it's been blackboxed.)

SPEAKING OF SEXYTIEMS. Am I a bit of a perv for finding Venom licking a dude hot? COME ON, GUYS. LOOK AT THAT LITTLE HEAD-TILT. COME ONNNN.

Hope you've got your lulz/srs bzns whiplash neckbrace on because I really like this article about Taylor Swift. Basically assume I am nodding vigorously at everything in that article.

AND FINALLY LET US END WITH STILLLLLL MOOOOAR LUUUUUUUULZ. (via [livejournal.com profile] drjon a long time ago)



also it is apparently delurking week! or it was, and can be, like, extended. jussayin.
bliumchik: (fight the system)
Good evening, internet! It is for once Before Midnight and I am writing a blog post!

I have been a busy little maggot this week, for varying values of busy that alternate between internet-cyborg-zombie and person-who-leaves-the-house-wearing-clothes. My casual online tutor work has started up again, so now I have an EXCUSE to sit in front of the computer for hours at a time! Also on Friday I accidentally went to a trance club. The night began promisingly, with young ladies stealing my roll of gaffer-tape to prepare their breasts for later semi-naked acrobatics and all, but I went home early because I had forgotten my wallet and felt too awkward sober. Also, I was hungry. So I came home and made a steak at one in the morning. Class~!

Anyway, a thing which I wanted to talk about was the Ladies: Why You Be Putting Yo'selves Down stuff going round earlier this week. I shall link to the Tiger Beatdown post because that is where I came across it and also because I agree with pretty much all of it, Sady is a sensible person and I love her blog. She and Amanda Hess continue the conversation here, and that post in particular felt oddly, nay, horrifyingly familiar.

You see, people do this around me all the time. I shan't name names, but I've been dealing with various close friends moaning about how fat they apparently are since I was fourteen. And I never got it, and I could never think of an appropriate response, because "no you're not" got old fast when it was clearly making no impact, since the conversation would repeat verbatim ad nausea, and talking about how stick-thin is not the only way to be pretty skirts the minefield of calling them fat by dint of not gushing about how skinny they are. Sometimes I'd cynically think to myself, "She is just fishing for compliments, god!" but I never particularly minded handing them out - it was just, you know. Boring.

I never really thought about this weird female habit in context, in terms of the whole patriarchal structure of feminine downplaying and tearing down and submissive gestures. I never really felt the urge myself - I guess those couple years of preadolescent socialisation I missed out on were good for something, huh? On the other hand, I am always going on about how clumsy and forgetful I am. It's not in a "please reassure me" way, it's more an instinct to lower expectations, I suppose, but now I'm wondering if that's part of this phenomenon, or if it has more in common with the gender-neutral Class Clown syndrome, as I've always thought.

All that can't hide the fact that this really is a Thing, that women are taught to do, and it still sucks. It's hard to know what to do about it. I still don't know how to respond when people (read: women) (...and Shaun, now that I think about it) put themselves down. I'm thinking of a compliment-ambush strategy, or something, I don't know. But if you're reading this, if you're reading the posts I linked above (and I hope you read those because they are awesome) and you are thinking shit, that's me, then I'd like to hear about what goes through your head in those conversations, what it is that I never got from your perspective. And yeah, I'd like it to happen less often, but not at the expense of your feeling able to express your insecurities to me, because what else are friends for? I only want to hear that stuff less because you're thinking it less. And I of all people know how tricky and unpredictable brain-hackery is, but I do believe that sometimes, when we're aware of a Thing we do that we do not want to do, we can do something about it. Remember when I used to have panic attacks on buses? You probably don't. Hell, I barely do. But I do remember it's slow, it starts small. And here this rambling dovetails neatly with a meme I've been meaning to post, via [livejournal.com profile] jk_rockin and [livejournal.com profile] mishka_jayne!

Reply to this post, and I'll tell you one reason why I like you. Then repost this [if you like] and spread the love.

Except! Amendment! Especially for if you are a lady (or shaun)!

Reply to this post with something you like about yourself. No cop-out complinsults please! I know you've got it in you! And if you don't I will still do the original meme above, so no pressure or anything, but try. For me.

AND IF YOU DON'T COMMENT, Certain People, well... I know where you live (on the internet). I will hunt you down. And some day, when you least expect it... I will... SAY NICE THINGS ABOUT YOU.
bliumchik: (quantum)
And OBVIOUSLY I then make my first post in 2010 on the sixteenth of January. I swear I have forgotten how to blog, or something.

So, first things first!

Stories Wot I Wrote For Yuletide

1. My main fic! you said you'd help me disappear, Who Killed Amanda Palmer, 1200 words, for [livejournal.com profile] featherlane

2. Madness treat one! And I Said Who Are You Thinking Of, Glee, 937 words, NSFW (oh my god), for pixienotes.

3. Madness treat two! Some folks say there ain't no bears in arkansas, Mirrormask, 408 words, for Angie.


Naturally the porny one has over twice as many hits as the others XD

ALSO: I wrote something for the [livejournal.com profile] no_tags fixchange, which I am about to repost here, as well as the WKAP fic - I think I'll leave the treats just on the archive, because one is more a ficlet which I might still expand on and the other is. porn. /o\

I want to rec a heap of other stuff from [livejournal.com profile] no_tags but I have not even finished reading all of them yet! So i will save that for then. And I'll be periodically rec'ing yuletide stuff as I go through THOSE, there is SO MUCH FIC, YOU GUYS.

I've also been reading a lot of srs bzns stuff about cultural exportation of conceptions of mental illness and gendered expectations in relationships (I got my mum this book for new year and I highly reccommend it for a feminist analysis of the mars/venus trope) and ~stuff.

Oh and I posted an offer on [livejournal.com profile] help_haiti for three lots of epic beta services, despite feelings of insignificance surrounding the whole endeavour - hey, it can't hurt, I guess. Actual monetary donations were problematic because no charity seems to accept paypal for some reason :/ but someone on [livejournal.com profile] ontd_startrek finally came up with one. I really have to get that visa debit this summer :P

And ~stuffff has been happening in my life but I am way too behind to document it at this point! In any case I feel like this blog should be less of a "and then this happened and then this happened" sort of place these days. I will still post about hilarious things that happen to me if I can write about it in a narrative way, or as a brief anecdote, but maybe if I don't feel like absolutely everything has to go on here in chronological order I won't have these huge build-ups of pressure and I will actually post more often!

Of course this week I have been lazy and chilled out at home for a few days in a row - even last night when I had no less than three possible events to go to. I guess I just felt kind of burnt out after the last month or two of epic socialising, and wanted to sit around and play facebook scrabble and Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened. Which is... interesting, I guess. I was amused by the opening sequence, which I documented on twitter thus:

@bliumchik: lol Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened begins with Watson rolling around on a bed, moaning "Holmes!"
@bliumchik: Then Holmes bitches all the romance has gone out of the criminal world, & Watson suggests he buy some books of a vague yet specific nature!
@bliumchik: Why does Holmes have a portrait of a random dude petting a creepy little girl on the head and waving?
@bliumchik: Aww, but when I try to walk into Watson's bedroom Holmes says "I have no reason to go there!" ...methinks, protest, too much?
@bliumchik: lolol the pictures on the walls are recycled. Hello again, waving dude and creepy child! I see you have migrated to the hallway!
@bliumchik: Haha the good thing about animating london is that all you need for sky is one grey tone XD
@bliumchik: Why have I just purchased a book about fish?

Then I got stuck in a rosebush. Whoops! Anyway, now I am slightly baffled because I can't figure out if there is more stuff I can click on hidden amidst all the ~scenery or if my next step involves DOING something with the stuff I've found so far.

But tonight I am not being a hermit, but instead going to Die Maschine! Thinking of not wearing my big goth boots this time, though - I wore them to Desiree's Vegan Anachronism birthday party and there was walking around and my feet were very angry at them. Also: lazy, see above.
bliumchik: Jared Padalecki's thinkyface (deep thought)
So the other day I was thinking about that whole SF/F racism kerfuffle again (people who are sick of it feel free to skip this post) and about trying to unpack some of my own unconscious issues. (I would like to note before I start that I am not holding my hand out for Nice White Lady Cookies here, seeing as people have been accused of that throughout and often rightly so. I'm just trying to verbalise this for myself and guess it might be food for thought for somebody else too.) cut for rambling )
bliumchik: (fight the system)
Yup, I really need to stop staying up till four in the morning and then deciding to make LJ posts about ~politics. Because... I... didn't quite get to the politics *looks sheepish* So please consider the meander of my last post Vaguely Related Things I Have Been Thinking About. Because I was actually thinking about the island thing for some time before RaceFail 09 was brought to my attention, and it's not really fair to have my one post on the topic taken over by my own tl;dr hypothesizing. Nevertheless I like it as a frame of reference and will continue to wikihop on the topic of empire prior to the British one to see if my theory has any sway. I know the Ottoman empire had a habit of putting somebody local in charge of their conquered lands, so that the only thing that changed was where the taxes were going, which reduced civil unrest. Is there anybody history-minded on my flist, d'you know if there has been anything on the scale of British colonisation at any other point in history? Um anyway, [/end ramble]

The actual kerfuffle: I have been reading further! (SO MUCH further. IT IS SO HUGE, OH MY GOD) I have found one of the most erudite and sensible people in the melee is [livejournal.com profile] tablesaw - among other things this was pretty damn awesome. (Considered friending her but I don't think we actually have anything more specific in common than I Like The Sci Fi and would thus feel like a stalker) (...more like a stalker than usual). However I have obtained an extra blog to the bookmarks list with Mary Anne Mohanraj guest posting on John Scalzi's blog - her books look interesting too! If there is one thing I have gained from this whole thing aside from red eyes and a vague discomfort with my own reactions to certain things it is the many additions to my amazon wishlist!

My conclusion on the actual events... is totally irrelevant, I don't really have anything new to say there. Speaking of John Scalzi, there is a guy who knows how to say "oops, my bad" - some people could learn from that. This really did not need to get this fucking big, seriously. Seriously!

(however that is not why I am up so late on THIS night, this one is all down to faily procrastination issues. I did manage to get one thing done, which was for a marketing internship - they asked all the shortlist folks to sign up to their networking site and post an article about entrepreneurship or something. I uh, sort of ended up going on a tl;dr rant about networking sites which may or may not have been the BEST idea depending on their meta tolerance but I am trusting in my leet wordsmithy skillz to blow them away. ...I really hope I won't wake up tomorrow and discover THIS was something I shouldn't have done at four in the morning EITHER lol. IT ALWAYS SEEMS LIKE A GOOD IDEA AT THE TIME, DAMMIT.)

Anyway I shall finish this post on a more awesome note. [livejournal.com profile] villainny's post about [livejournal.com profile] 50books_poc reminded me of Janelle Monae again (the reason I keep forgetting is I CAN'T FIND HER MUSIC ANYWHEEEERE) ;_; so have an amazing sciffy music video that I don't remember if I've posted before and don't care if I have because it is awesome.

bliumchik: (fight the system)
Okay, okay, I TRIED to stay out of it because I KNEW it would be full of the same old infuriating People Who Just Don't Get It, but I caved. I read up on the blowout currently going by RaceFail 09. And I found to my surprise that I did, in fact, have something to say about it.

Okay, firstly, to get it out of the way, my take on writing characters with a different cultural background to my own )

Now, on to the actual controversy. EDIT: I got distracted and ended up waffling about something only vaguely related? So my actual comments about the actual internet kerfuffle are in the next post. *looks sheepish* All right. So. The thing about fantasy is - quick summary of my understanding of the background here before I get into what I think I can actually add to the discussion. The thing about fantasy is that offensive themes are very easy to disguise in it. Mostly subconsciously. Because, of course, it's not our world. Back before anyone was really talking about Coded Language and whatnot it was very easy for someone whose personal worldview was very self-centered to create a fictional world in which all those pesky things which do not fit either don't exist or are warped into something that doesn't make them uncomfortable. It's still easy, it's just nowadays people actually notice and talk about it. And nowadays most good fantasy writers are not quite so blatantly xenophobic as, for example, H. P. Lovecraft. The problem is that most good fantasy writers regardless of race grew up READING fantasy written by white people for whom race was a d'n'd style straitjacket. Like Tolkein, who imagined the whole world to be a cookie-cutter clone stamp of about a hundred acres of British countryside. Can't really blame him. After all, the man lived on an island.

and some more waffle )

This post has been getting more and more poetically incoherent as the time gets closer to four am. What I'm trying to say is I believe our lack of humility is in part geographic, and our construction of race in opposition, of whiteness and Other, is influenced by that disconnect. (Obviously I realise that non-island nations also have racist and nationalist dialogues. But go and count how many of them are not primarily based on territory, religion or both, go and count how many involve an conflict that did not begin across a national border or a line of scripture.)

And western framing leaks, we impose our ways of dividing society on the rest of the world whether purposefully or otherwise. Information flows OUT from us, and it is SO easy not to look elsewhere, not to look in any other way than this one. Is it any wonder that our fantasy worlds take on that same affect?

I want to see a fantasy Eurasia. I want to see countries upon countries upon ex-empires upon conquerors upon conquered, I want to see DEPTH to the history of fantasy universes, I want to see a character get six completely different Once And Future Exposition speeches from six different Wise Old Folks who live within sixty kilometres of each other. I want to see descriptions of racial characteristics that don't stand out like a sore thumb because everyone but that character defaults to fantasy-caucasian, I want to go through ten characters before one repeats a skin colour. I want friendly four-way arguments about religion in which none of them are barely-disguised Wicca or obviously-coded Christianity or Generic Oriental Philosophy X.

...

Possibly what I want is more Ursula K. Le Guin. Yes, I do! I want people who have learned from her! After all, it's fantasy. If you can write anywhere full of anyone, why write Grandad Tolkein's Good Old Days?
bliumchik: (Default)
It's been a while since I nattered on about science and religion in this journal, but Nicky linked me to the whole crocoduck kerfuffle (just... just google it) and I couldn't help getting a bit riled up. So uh, this is cut for your convenience )
bliumchik: THIS IS NOT SPARTA. I AM LOST. (splode?)
And apparently by "tomorrow" I mean "unspecified date in the future" lol. Uh I just thought I should pop on and let y'all know I am not in the part of my country which is just slightly a little bit on fire at the moment, nor the bit that's underwater. It's actually raining lightly here, but I am nevertheless regarding it suspiciously. I totally didn't hear about it till last night as I stayed up watching South Park at Stan's place and then ended up staying there the whole next day. We watched a hilarious Russian movie in which a young Finnish bloke called Rayval gets his Russian friend to take him along on a Real Russian Hunting Trip. Featuring Sweaty Naked Dudes Vs. Drunk Bear for your entertainment. Wonderful! (Also for SOME REASON we ended up googling sexual positions for pregnant women. Look I DON'T KNOW OKAY. And for the record "pregnant sex" = terrible choice of search terms, Stan.)

And then I came home and the death toll was in the hundreds. It was rather unsettling. Anyway I don't know anyone who's in danger or lost stuff (according to [livejournal.com profile] drjon there's info on donations and stuff here) so... I guess I'm just gonna go right ahead with the belated Forster post. But, holy crap, shit down there is just fucking razed, you guys. Holy crap.

for anyone who cares about my hilarious beachside adventures with Nicky )

Anyway, that was that. For once I actually wrote about a long offline period instead of putting it off so long I forgot about it!

In other news, Lily finally sent me the file for one of the songs we recorded at her place a few weeks ago. Bone Weather, rough acoustic version. What do you guys think!? I sort of need to work on my low-pitch wail. Or, you know, warm up at all :P now, to find a drummer and a bassist! Also hopefully a keyboardist/second guitarist, but we could do a band comp without those. It's really lame to go onstage without a drummer.
bliumchik: (approved)
My flist has been exploding for the last few hours - well, since like four am this morning - well, all week, honestly. Well... okay, the USA has the longest and loudest election campaigns ever, but today. Today my flist has been INUNDATED both by Americans and otherwise, but have I joined in the kerfuffle? Nay, I have not, for I had a 2500 word essay to finish by this afternoon which I started... well, let me tell you, you don't wanna know how late I started it. I had to do a semiotic analysis of a song, which, as far as I can tell, differs from a regular analysis only in that certain keywords must be used and Roland Barthes namechecked a lot. (Next up for Friday, postmodernism essay in which certain keywords must be used and Michel Foucault namechecked a lot. Joy.)

The upshot of which is that I have had The Mountain Goats' "Lovecraft in Brooklyn" playing on repeat for about twenty four hours, and my desk is covered with big hardbacks proclaiming "signification ablaze" at me in gold lettering, and my back hurts, and I had to look up what a mason jar is on wikipedia. BUT I AM DONE. FINISHED. FINITO. What's more, I'm actually PROUD of this essay. I think, knock on wood, I think it's GOOD. I haven't felt that way about a piece of academic writing in years.

Coincidentally, the same could be said of U.S. elections. Good work, you guys, and congratulations.
bliumchik: (quantum)
So I got bored and decided to look up my first school, right... oh, wikipedia.

I don't know I just got to thinking about how life would have turned out if we hadn't moved - I'm still in touch with two people who went to that school because they were family friends, but that's all. Then I got to thinking about that point in my life in general and I realised that I had two friends who lived on my block, and I can't recall their names or faces. I think the boy might have been called Zach but I'm not sure. I don't think they went to that school. I have a fuzzy memory or possibly just a memory of a memory, in which we climbed through a hole made by a missing board in a wooden fence. There was a large trampoline in somebody's backyard, I can't remember if this was someone we knew or not. And... that's it. Two or three years and it boils down to that.

Does it ever frighten you how much of our childhoods we just lose to the ether?



So I'm liking Jawbreaker... aside from the vocals. I hate it when that happens - a band has good lyrics but I can't listen to them because the singer sounds like he's on his sixth consecutive hour at the karaoke machine. Voice is pretty much a dealbreaker for me - sometimes a voice can grow on you but... yeah.

PS: lulz from Reddit via Stan.
bliumchik: THIS IS NOT SPARTA. I AM LOST. (splode?)
The extent to which I cannot resist a pun is ridiculous. Seriously. Okay, here are two things I came out with the past week.

On leaving poetry lying around in public places: "Litterature."
And (23:35:21) Stan: my psych lecturer looks like Colonel Sanders. That is all.
(23:36:00) Maggie: lol!
(23:36:13) Maggie: kentucky freud chicken

SOMEBODY STOP ME.



The awesome thing about [livejournal.com profile] bandombigbang, aside of course from all the long and awesome fic, is the mixes. Since everyone in bandom shares at least some of my music taste, I'm getting a lot of cool songs in the mixes and looking up the artists.

For example, Chiodos. I'd never heard of them, but they're pretty cool. Another band I've gotten into lately is Street to Nowhere... but I'm actually not sure I got them from big bang mix, because I think it was a bit earlier than that.

...and on the other hand, I now know that Rufus Wainwright wrote a song called Gay Messiah. I'm not super into his music, but honestly. That song is UTTERLY RIDICULOUS. Just, WHAT.



Something Completely Different: a post by Stele3 got me to actually bring my thoughts on abortion into some sort of coherent order, so I'm posting them here, just so I've got a clear position ready next time an argument breaks out.

Yeah, I know, serious business - it's just not like me! )
bliumchik: Jared Padalecki's thinkyface (deep thought)
Okay, let's try this again with less crazy.

no really. Actual discussion this time. )
bliumchik: batface + batpalm = batfacepalm (snark)
Some people almost make you wish there was a hell so they could go there. I say "almost" because only a total psychopath would seriously enjoy the thought of human beings burning alive for eternity, right? Right!?

Ugh. At Stan's house a few nights ago Liza and Alex and I were goaded into watching 2 girls 1 cup (well, the first ten seconds of it, anyway) and that was less disturbing. *shudders*
bliumchik: (Squee)
There's still nothing so beautiful as the sky. It was cloudy on that horizon, but there was a perfect translucent diamond, like curtains drawing open, that the sun passed through just before setting. The clouds were a carpet of pink shading to orange, like a viscous cocktail spilled across the sky, or a messy heap of fairy floss, cushioning the bright yellow circle of the sun that leaves blue-black bruises wherever you next look, so that when you stare directly at it you fancy you can see the dark outline of endless space shining behind what you keep reminding yourself is a giant ball of flaming gases, millions of everything away. Eight and a half minutes.

The wind bites at your face with salt sea spray and you stare across the bay in tandem with a fisherman and a family down on the rocks ahead, and a man behind you - just sitting in his parked car, windows open, watching the sky smolder. The sun is just a semicircle now, peeking farewell over the high, dark clouds. Beneath them, on the opposite shore, a paler and heavier mass creeps inexorably towards you - the edge of the storm is visible in the sky and on the water, where a slight change in colour denotes the border between rain and shine. The thin strip of water churned white by raindrops gets noticeably wider, and the clouds are racing now, so close you can see the huge gap between the charcoal clouds above and the milky top of the raincloud, gray colour bled to the bottom. It roils and seethes, spilling across the sky, and lightning flashes beneath it like bright trees sprouting from the waves.

We run to the car, but I leave the window open as we drive away, still gazing back in wonder. It's been too long since I was truly outside, not just walking to somewhere, and beneath a sky that's other than uniform blue and a sun not too bright to look at. This is what drives us into the mountains and onto the oceans, this is the lure of the horizon, the call of the siren, the weight by which you measure love. To sit beneath the sky is all anyone can ask for.
bliumchik: (Default)
The symbolism is practically poetic. You can feel it like a story, the news spreads (like, hah, wildfire), they whisper - did you hear? Is it true? Did you know him? Oh my god.

He set himself on fire.

I hardly think, though, that poetry was his primary aim in doing so. And yet - as a political statement, what does it provide, except an extremely powerful symbol? Symbolism needs somewhere to go. A symbol can set fire (once again the appropriate metaphor) to the people, can wake them up, which was Malachi's intention, but people go back to sleep so easily. We tune out, it's how we survive. An alarming symbol, therefore, needs to be timed precisely enough to wake the people when they are needed, when there is a clear action for them to take. Inciting revolution - that's worth setting yourself on fire for, if you happen to believe in revolution.

You can't make symbolism at random. It's such a waste. He sounded like an intelligent sort of person, from his website - there was so much more he could have done. I won't dispute anyone's right to take extreme measures for something they believe in, but the pragmatist in me winces at the waste. Still, it remains to be seen - will anything happen? All those Americans he wakes from the stupor we tend to call life - what will they do? I suppose I'm cynical when I think it won't be much. Still, I hope something happens. It's sad to think he did it for nothing.

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October 2013

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