and i don't feel so good myself

May. 26th, 2017 02:56 pm
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
[personal profile] jazzfish
Sometime last week I came across a passing link, probably somewhere in the Lawyers, Guns & Money comments, to All Birds Are Cats. I started off somewhat baffled, but by the end of the two-minute clip I couldn't stop giggling. "Well, look, if you're not prepared to do the research, Bryan, why make the statement in the first place?"

It seems that John Clarke and Bryan Dawe have made a career for the last thirty years of doing these little two-minute satirical interview sketches, one a week, for Australian television. Some of them are downright brilliant, for example, The Front Fell Off (I have not laughed so hard in ages). Many rely on a grasp of Australian politics that I just don't have, but are still delightful to watch.

Sadly John Clarke died early in April, while 'bushwalking' and birdwatching. On the bright side there's an awful lot of Clarke & Dawe on their Youtube channel, and more to come.

First World Problems

May. 26th, 2017 04:26 pm
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[personal profile] dreamshark
Leaving on our first road trip of the year TOMORROW (driving to Oregon!). The van is all cleaned out, the oil changed, the magic van seats reconfigured, and I'm well on the way to being packed. But I am inconsolable because I can't find my National Parks Passport Book! Last year I traversed South Dakota (twice!) and got stamps for everything from the Badlands to Devil's Tower. This time we're going through North Dakota for a change, and I won't be able to get my book stamped for the Theodore Roosevelt National Park.  Waaahhh!  

What really makes me a poster child for First World Problems is the astonishing number of places that passport might have been, but wasn't. Is it in this box labeled Travel? This bag of Laura Ingalls Wilder souvenir booklets? This file drawer full of maps? This pile with the Roadside America books? This other pile on the little table by the stairs? One of the pockets of my bike luggage?  Maybe it's with that favorite scarf I haven't seen since Minicon. I did unpack after we came home from Minicon, didn't I?
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[personal profile] stevenpiziks
Now the Internet is losing its shit over a screening of Wonder Woman:

https://www.yahoo.com/movies/wonder-woman-update-theater-chain-behind-women-screenings-responds-complaints-adding-screenings-174319106.html

Short version is, a movie theater company arranged a women-only screening of WONDER WOMAN.  In certain quarters of the Internet (you know the parts I mean), this was met with howls.  Clutch your balls, gentlemen!  The wimmins have become sexist!  How dare they!

Shut your fuckity-shit mouths, trump-holes.

Let's look at what's really going on, shall we?

First, the guys howling sexism aren't really worried about sexism.  They're being small children.  For thousands of years, men have had power over women, and we're now in a society that is trying (and usually failing) to right this wrong.  Certain men, the ones who have only half a scrotum among them, are afraid of this.  So they meet every positive change with a demand for an equal-and-ridiculous sexist change.  "Women have demanded equal access to men's spaces such as men's clubs and men's board rooms and men's jobs, but now they want a special women-only place?  THAT'S NOT EQUAL! THAT'S HYPOCRISY!"  And they leap around clutching their balls because they're afraid someone is going to cut them off.  This can't actually happen--you can't cut off what doesn't exist.

At any rate, the WONDER WOMAN screening is a party, and a party is allowed to have a limited guest list.  Tell you what, ball-clutchers--when all of you demand to be included in baby showers, bridal showers, and strip clubs where men bare all, I'll believe your whimpering about WONDER WOMAN.  Until then, it's plain your protests are as fake as your wife's orgasms.

Second, if you're really and truly upset about a special screening for just women, then arrange a special screening for just men.  Go for it!  Nothing's stopping you--except the fact that you have a sphincter where your mouth should be.  There's no rule that says the group that arranged the women-only screening is required to arrange a men's screening for you--that's your job.  Get off your flabby, artery-clogged asses and arrange it.  Maybe I'll even buy a ticket.  If I'm in town.  And I can stand the thought of sitting next to a bunch of emasculated ball-clutchers with half a scrotum among them.

Nah.  I wouldn't be able to.  I'll wait until the movie opens and make my sons go see it with me.  Like real men.


Friday Yardening

May. 26th, 2017 03:34 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today is partly sunny and warm.

Round 1, I watered the potted plants on the porch and trimmed grass around the telephone pole.

The mourning dove eggs have hatched into two tiny, fuzzy squabs.  I found a video of one online. 

Raspberries are beginning to turn pink in a few places.  Many of the mulberries are pink.

EDIT 5/26/17 -- Round 2, I pulled weeds around the forest garden.

Also the last shipment of plants arrived today.
usernamehere: can't explain (can't explain)
[personal profile] usernamehere posting in [community profile] followfriday
 
  Got any Follow Friday-related posts to share this week? Comment here with the link(s).
Here's the plan: every Friday, let's recommend some people and/or communities to follow on Dreamwidth. That's it. No complicated rules, no "pass this on to 7.328 friends or your cat will die". Just introduce us to some new things to read.

Welcome to Books: FMK

May. 26th, 2017 01:08 pm
rachelmanija: (Books: old)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
[personal profile] melannen has been culling her bookshelves by playing "Fuck Marry Kill" via poll. In the interests of doing the same, and also getting back to posting more book reviews, I have decided to join her. (I am doing "fling" rather than "fuck" just because my posts get transferred to Goodreads and I don't want EVERY post of mine on there littered with fucks.)

How to play: Fling means I spend a single night of passion (or possibly passionate hatred) with the book, and write a review of it, or however much of it I managed to read. Marry means the book goes back on my shelves, to wait for me to get around to it. (That could be a very long time.) Kill means I should donate it without attempting to read it. You don't have to have read or previously heard of the books to vote on them.

Please feel free to explain your reasoning for your votes in comments. For this particular poll, I have never read anything by any of the authors (or if I did, I don't remember it) and except for Hoover and Lively, have never even heard of the authors other than that at some point I apparently thought their book sounded interesting enough to acquire.

Poll #18415 FMK: Vintage YA/children's SFF
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 10


The Spring on the Mountain, by Judy Allen. Three kids have magical, possibly Arthurian adventures on a week in the country.

View Answers

Fling
3 (50.0%)

Marry
1 (16.7%)

Kill
2 (33.3%)

The Lost Star, by H. M. Hoover. A girl who lives on another planet hears an underground cry for help (and finds chubby gray cat centaurs if the cover is accurate)

View Answers

Fling
2 (28.6%)

Marry
3 (42.9%)

Kill
2 (28.6%)

The Wild Hunt of Hagworthy, by Penelope Lively. Lucy visits her aunt in Hagworthy and is embroiled in the ancient Horn Dance and Wild Hunt.

View Answers

Fling
6 (85.7%)

Marry
1 (14.3%)

Kill
0 (0.0%)

Carabas, by Sophie Masson. Looks like a medieval setting. A shapeshifting girl gets accused of being a witch and runs off with the miller's son.

View Answers

Fling
3 (37.5%)

Marry
3 (37.5%)

Kill
2 (25.0%)

Of Two Minds, by Carol Mates and Perry Nodelman. Princess Lenora can makes what she imagines real; Prince Coren can read minds, but everyone can read his mind. (Ouch!)

View Answers

Fling
6 (85.7%)

Marry
1 (14.3%)

Kill
0 (0.0%)

A Word About Tat Shops

May. 26th, 2017 02:04 pm
lydy: (Default)
[personal profile] lydy
Tat, in this context, to mean cheap souvenirs. The portions of London that we spent the most time in were, unsurprisingly, full of tat shops. And I discovered a weird passion for tat shops. I do not wish to own most of the tat being sold. It is generally cheaply made, and of limited utility. But I truly love tat shops.

Here's the thing about tat shops. They are unapologetic, exuberant, and emotionally accessible. They are also cheap, cynical, and emotionally manipulative, but in such a brazen, cheerful way that I didn't mind the manipulation. I almost bought a Bobby Bear, because seriously, a teddy bear in a uniform? So fucking cute. I wish I had thought to take a picture of one tat shop window near the Houses of Parliament. The entire window was full of shiny gold and silver replicas of Big Ben, in descending sizes, from about a foot high, down to about two inches high. Each had a working clock face. And the sheer glory of a Big Ben of any size to meet your space and budget was dizzying. And funny. And just fucking weird.

The least successful tat shop, for me, was the one in the British Museum. Something about just having seen the Elgin Marbles and the actual fucking Rosetta Stone made me less charitable towards cheap knock-offs. I think it was just me, they were doing a really brisk business. I regret, a little, the lovely cards with William Morris prints on them, but I don't send cards, so well, then.

While we were in York (we did a day trip to York) we were wandering around the Shambles. There was a store there called The Cat Gallery. "Look," I cried with glee, "it is a cat tat shop!" And so it was. Cat mugs, cat tea cozies, cat posters, cat cards, cat stickers, cat rugs. In the end, I came away with a very fine cat apron, and a reusable shopping bag with cats. While nothing about my cat tat says "York" I will always remember where I got it, and will always be pleased with it. So, Cat Tat for the win.

The Tower of London also, of course, has a tat shop. Much of it is the standard stuff you can get anywhere. Snow globes with the Houses of Parliament, or the Tower, other random items. The very weird plastic dome, about one and a half inches high, with a crown inside it. I mean, what? Why? It's a really generic crown, too, bearing no particular resemblance to the crown jewels, or anything else. It is not large enough nor heavy enough to use as a paper weight, it does not fit on a key chain, has no function that I could discern, and cost a couple of pounds. Ok. There were lots of toy swords, and pencils with odd things on the end, like Big Ben, toy crowns, and so on. But this was also my weirdest experience in a tat shop.

When we did the Tower, we walked along the wall, mostly, which took us into various towers. The towers had their interesting displays, and so on. And, of course, a lot of centuries old graffiti from people who were probably going to die, soon. At one point, Patrick walked out of one of the rooms muttering, "I'm just enough of a partisan to be uncomfortable with the amount of Catholic blood in that room." I walked into Beauchamp Tower, and turned right around and walked out again to regain my composure. It was the tower where Elizabeth the First was held, and for atmospherics they had echoing footsteps on the sound system, and some other things. I didn't consciously process this, I just suddenly felt completely overwhelmed. We'd just walked by the green upon which many people had been beheaded, and the close grim tower was too much. I did go back in, and was glad to have done so. The next place on the path was the Bloody Tower. Patrick walked in, saw an instrument of torture, and turned right around and walked out. I didn't even venture in. It had been, by then, a long day. We were both tired and very overwhelmed emotionally by the vast history literally surrounding us. Neither of us felt like torture-porn was going to be a good experience.

So, the tat shop. I think it was called the Raven Shop. As I said, most of it was pretty normal, standard tat. There were some very pretty chess sets (extremely expensive) and some interesting books, but mostly, it was very standard. There was, however, in a glass box, some paper figures, one kneeling, and one with an ax held high. I barely glanced at it, not quite long enough to register exactly what it was, just long enough to know I didn't wish to look further. When you remember that one of my passions is pop-up books, my sudden aversion without processing strikes me as interesting. A shop girl said, "Oh, you have to see this. It's so neat!" I turned around. She pushed a button on the box containing the paper figures, and the paper figure with the ax lowered his arms, the ax landed on the paper figure kneeling, and the head fell off. I said, very loudly, "EEEK!" and started to walk quickly away. "That's horrible," I added, feeling badly about being mean to the shop girl, but at the same time really weirded out. She called after me, "It's not horrible, it's cute!"

I dunno. If this was my history, if I got taught it repeatedly in school, if it was part of my heritage, maybe my emotional responses to it would be a lot more like the shop girl than the ones I had. But honestly, how is a beheading cute? Ok, then. Tat shop 1, Lydy 0.

The last full day in London, I went into several tat shops, looking for a thing to take home that wasn't embarrassingly daft. I finally settled on a black t-shirt with the Tube map on it. It was only twelve pounds, and I am inordinately pleased with it. I vaguely regret the Bobby Bear, but well. I would have been embarrassed later.

"You with the Guardian?"

May. 26th, 2017 08:13 pm
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong posting in [community profile] thisfinecrew
Here's a thought:

If you disapprove of politicians beating up journalists (or winking at other politicians' beating up journalists) and have some spare cash, one possible action would be to contribute to the Guardian -- whose journalist, Ben Jacobs, got beaten up.

There are various options for becoming a member and paying a regular subscription, but you can also make a one-off contribution.

Although they're a British newspaper, their coverage of US issues is very very strong.

They would like to note (in an e-mail sent out to members) that they recently ran pieces including GOP candidate Greg Gianforte has financial ties to US-sanctioned Russian companies and Trump diehards stay loyal in Montana's 'white man's country' – video:

In that interview, the Guardian's west coast bureau chief, Paul Lewis, challenged Gianforte over his support of Trump's executive order that threatens more than two dozen national monuments in America, including the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument in Montana.

"You with the Guardian?"

May. 26th, 2017 08:10 pm
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
(X-posting to [community profile] thisfinecrew.)

Here's a thought:

If you disapprove of politicians beating up journalists (or winking at other politicians' beating up journalists) and have some spare cash, one possible action would be to contribute to the Guardian -- whose journalist, Ben Jacobs, got beaten up.

There are various options for becoming a member and paying a regular subscription, but you can also make a one-off contribution.

Although they're a British newspaper, their coverage of US issues is very very strong.

They would like to note (in an e-mail sent out to members) that they recently ran pieces including GOP candidate Greg Gianforte has financial ties to US-sanctioned Russian companies and Trump diehards stay loyal in Montana's 'white man's country' – video:

In that interview, the Guardian's west coast bureau chief, Paul Lewis, challenged Gianforte over his support of Trump's executive order that threatens more than two dozen national monuments in America, including the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument in Montana.

Lawn Craze

May. 26th, 2017 01:34 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Here's a comic about the lawn craze.  Some further thoughts ...

It goes a lot farther back than postwar suburbs.  Lawns started as a status symbol among European aristocracy.

Advice to stop watering, fertilizing, mowing, etc. or to replace lawns with something else is great -- if it's legal.  In many areas it is not, and people are fined or even evicted for being unwilling or unable to keep their lawn in a manner pleasing to others. Such laws are bad for disability and bad for the environment, but those are things fewer people care about than power. Check the local level of tyranny before trying to solve lawn-related problems.

Tinhuviel Moving

May. 26th, 2017 01:22 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
[personal profile] tinhuviel is moving, but has almost nothing to settle into a new home.  :/  There is a WalMart registry and a GoFundMe page for donations.  If you liked Shiv's housewarming basket, here's your chance to do something similar.

Why you deserve it

May. 26th, 2017 01:24 pm
mrissa: (Default)
[personal profile] mrissa

Originally published at Novel Gazing Redux. You can comment here or there.

I have just finished watching season 1 of Skin Wars on a friend’s recommendation. It is very very far from my usual sort of thing: it’s a reality show that’s a competition in body painting. My friend promised that it was very low on the interpersonal cattiness/drama, with lots of very skilled work and a certain amount of people learning stuff about their art, learning from each other. New art and learning? Hey, I’m there for that. And I was immediately hooked, and I will definitely watch the other two seasons, especially since my friend is a person who would have warned me if there was a lot of body-shaming weirdness in store.

One of the things that fascinates me is that the artists involved in this were often financially struggling–it’s not a fast route to fame and fortune–and they had pretty well-entrenched justifications for why they deserved success that were not always easy to dislodge by circumstances that really should have dislodged them. Examples:

I have put in the time. I have worked long hours. This is a competition with firmly set time limits, around each piece and around the competition as a whole. Each artist gets literally exactly the same amount of time. There are no examples of artists putting their feet up and being done early, and beyond that here is absolutely no way for anyone to put in more time than anyone else. Eventually this got clarified to:

I have put in the time. I spent my whole life learning this. Finally someone turned to the person who kept repeating this and said, how old are you? and determined that they were very close to the same age. And that they had both spent their whole life learning it, so…yeah. Not a distinguishing feature. I’ve seen both of these at conventions, though: I have devoted more time to science fiction than the other people at my day job! And I’ve seen a certain amount of it in various factions in the field who are convinced that they are the ones who are truly, deeply devoted–and that that kind of devotion has to be what matters. (Spoiler: it does not have to be. Sorry.)

I need it the most. My living conditions are worse than other people’s without recognition. There are indeed need-based scholarships for various types of study, and I’m very glad. But they’re usually clearly labeled, and “I like your art a lot” and “I think you need money” are not actually the same thing–and “you should like my art a lot because I need money” doesn’t actually work very well.

I need it the most. I poured my heart into this piece. “You should like my art a lot because I need validation” does not turn out to work better than “you should like my art a lot because I need money.” It is often a great idea to pour your heart into art. I recommend it. Then make more art and pour your heart into that. Also technique at the same time.

I have the most technical skills. Ever heard a pianist play Hanon? They are finger exercises. They are finger exercises, they are to make you a technically better pianist, and nobody plays them in concert because they are no fun to listen to. (Or play. Freakin’ Hanon.) Okay, okay, they have a certain hypnotic power, they can be impressive, but…at the end of the day if you are showing up and playing Hanon, nobody is buying your book, your painting, or in the most literal sense, tickets to your piano concert. (Freakin’ Hanon.)

It is apparently really, really hard to say, “Mine is good. Here is what I did well. Look at this part. I deserve this because mine is really good art. I combined the technical and the creative, this has thought and feeling and everything it’s supposed to have, and who cares whether I picked up those skills in two minutes or ten million hours, who cares whether someone else thinks that they are overall better than me and paid their dues more than me, here is the thing I made, it doesn’t come with dues, it comes with awesome.”

It is even harder to say, “I don’t know what’s missing. I did everything right. It’s just not happening for me. Can you help me see what’s going wrong in my piece?” And sometimes there are ten million answers, and sometimes there’s one answer, and sometimes there…isn’t. And sometimes the artificial contest structure of a reality show has made something happen that reality doesn’t support, it has made a thing where there is a winner and a loser where actually in a group of ten there might be three pieces that really work and four that don’t and three that meh, or ten that meh, or any other combination of numbers.

But the attachment to previous explanations of why you deserve it, the strength of that: that really got fascinating for me, and I will be riveted to see whether that continues for future seasons.

In which the author is out of words

May. 26th, 2017 01:35 pm
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[personal profile] rolanni

So, I haven't done a catch-up post in a few days. That would be because -- there's nothing really to catch up on.

We took a drive down to Old Orchard Beach last weekend and had a nice, relaxing time walking the beach and the town, sitting in the sun on the mall, eating ice cream and people-watching.  Hard to get enough people-watching.  Or, yanno, ice cream.

Steve and I have been alternating reading stories aloud for bi-weekly posting on Patreon, where they're available to patrons only for a month, before being moved to Splinter Universe, for the perusal of all.  Tomorrow, around noon, Eastern, "The Beggar King" will reveal itself, read by me, with a little help from Scrabble.  Previous readings have been, Steve reading "A Night at the Opera;" me reading "The Gift of Music;" and Steve reading "Charioteer."  It's about time for "Opera" to disappear from Patreon and re-appear on Splinter Universe.

For those coming in late, the Lee and Miller Patreon page is here.  Back in April, we introduced a new goal of $2,500/month.  As of this writing, we are a scant $96 from realizing that goal.

We've also been participating in #1stChapterFriday on Twitter, along with many of our colleagues.  Follow the hashtag for some provocative reading.  Or, here's a link that may or may not work (the ways of Twitter remain a Mystery, I fear).

As some of you may know, the twentieth novel set in the Liaden Universe®, and the fifth detailing the on-going adventures of Theo Waitley, aka The Gathering Edge, was published earlier this month.  This is where I ask those who have read it to please take the time to leave a review on Amazon, BN, Goodreads, or other sites.  As last year, with Alliance of Equals, we're hoping to hit the Magic Number of 100 Reader Reviews on Amazon.  Alliance wound up with 263 reviews, and TGE is well on her way, with 87 reviews already posted.

I find, in fact, that I am remiss in announcing here that The Gathering Edge hit Number Four on the Bookscan Bestseller list for the week of May 11.

And that?  Is all I've got, except a sincere Thank you! for everything you do, from reading our books, to recommending them to friends, to donating to our various causes, to writing encouraging letters.  We'd couldn't have gotten so far on this long, strange, sometimes scary, artistic journey we set ourselves on, without you.  Every one of you.

So, give yourselves a pat on the back, and bask for a moment in the gratitude of authors (I naturally can't promise you the gratitude of cats, though I'm sure they'd appreciate y'all too, if it happened to occur to them) -- and enjoy the weekend.

gfish: (Default)
[personal profile] gfish
I was reading Kepler's Epitome of Copernican Astronomy and The Harmonies of the World recently, and found myself quite fascinated with his Platonic solid model of the solar system. On a lark, I set about extending it to include Uranus and Neptune. It proved to be an interesting challenge, and one that really helped me connect with the mindset of the age better.

Of course, with all that done, I had to write up my results as a full academic paper: Extending Kepler’s Mysterium Cosmographicum

Much Ado

May. 26th, 2017 05:04 pm
hawkwing_lb: (Default)
[personal profile] hawkwing_lb

Last night I went to a play.

 

It is the second play I have been to lately. The first, The Elephant Girls, I saw on the recommendation of Amal El-Mohtar while it was showing in Dublin, and that was excellent. This was a showing of Much Ado About Nothing at the Lir Theatre: a friend had got tickets through work and couldn't go, so she passed the tickets along. So my girlfriend and I stroll along last night up by Grand Canal Dock at the hottest day (so far) of the year, to see the young people of the Lir National Academy of Dramatic Art DO SHAKESPEARE.

 

Wow. What a show.

 

It was a modern staging and a very high-energy one, at that: Much Ado About Nothing reimagined as the eighties/disco house party from hell, complete with high heels, shirtless men in hot print shorts and fur coats, Claudio lathering Don Pedro in sunscreen, and Beatrice reading Caitlin Moran. It was a small cast: Beatrice, Hero, Leonato (cross-cast as Leonata), Don Pedro, Claudio, Don John, Margaret, and Barachio, whose actor also played the Friar. There was some compression of characters and scenes but it did not detract from the play.

 

There were musical numbers. Scene changes were signalled by the lights going down and a couple of bars of thematically-appropriate pop music. Leonato cross-cast as Leonata is a change that works really well, and allowed the play to play with the idea of Leonata and Don Pedro having an understanding.

 

Beatrice delivered her lines amazingly well. She and Margaret, I think, were the best performers in the cast, though I suspect when they have a little more age and experience, the actors who were playing Leonata and Benedick and Don Pedro will be able to bring more presence to their performances. (Leonata leapt in presence once she had some pathos, rather than comedy, to play with.) Don John had little enough to do, but did it really well. And the stage business, the physical comedy, was exceptionally well done.

 

This staging of the play understood the misogyny that is at the heart of Much Ado About Nothing, and did not seek to minimise it: there is drinking and drug-use shown during the play, and this, juxtaposed against Claudio and Don Pedro's vile over-reaction to aspersions cast on Hero's sexual virtue, plays with the hypocrisy that is at the heart of the play. And at the scene break immediately after Claudio and Hero are agreed to be married the first time, members of the cast handed out invitations to the wedding.

Wedding invitation of Hero and Claudio

 

The text inside the cover?

 

"Men are afraid women will laugh at them. Women are afraid men will kill them."

Men are afraid women will laugh at them. Women are afraid men will kill them
 

 

There is also a particularly telling bit of business at the very end of the play. All the cast are celebrating - with the exception of a hooded and bound Margaret. The cast exits, all bar Margaret, who is left in the middle of the stage, saying plaintively into the silence, "Hello?"

 

And then the lights go down.

 

They understood their Shakespeare enough to stage it well and faithfully and hilariously -- and also critique its attitudes at the same time. An excellent play.

Hidden Passages

May. 26th, 2017 10:52 am
calliopes_pen: (sallymn dark and stormy story)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen posting in [site community profile] dw_community_promo
[community profile] hidden_passages: Hidden Passages is a new community dedicated to gothic horror and gothic romance works in film, television, and literature across history.

So this is who we are now

May. 26th, 2017 11:17 am
drwex: (Default)
[personal profile] drwex
I was floored waking up to the news that Gianforte - despite assaulting a reporter - won his election. I hope they put this f*cker away and he can not show up to vote for anything more horrid because he's in a jail cell. This is who we have become: the worst of American bullying and thuggery and violence.

More than ever I'm convinced that Trump is the symptom, not the cause. His presence and words and behavior legitimize and embolden this kind of fascist violence, and the islamophobic violence we saw enacted at airports in the wake of the travel bans, and the racist violence we are seeing across the country as immigration officials go after the brown-skinned who might possibly be in the country without proper papers. But that seething hatred, that fascism, racism, sexism, and *phobia was there before. Now it has the upper hand - it's emboldened.

I find myself deeply depressed. Fortunately, Jay Smooth to the rescue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLMF4FxXhbI

There's a URL at the end of the video but I'd like to point out that Jay Smooth now has a Patreon and if you are a fan of his critique and commentary, if you find his insights as useful as I do, you can now show your support as I have by becoming a patron.
hrj: (Default)
[personal profile] hrj

I made a few teensy exceptions to my rules that books for this promotion had to be November releases. One friend had a re-release, one November release was short fiction that I used to bump mention of the related book, and when I mentioned the project on the Bella Books facebook group, a couple of my fellow Bella authors with October releases asked it I could include them too--which I did when I found I had some space open at the end of the month. (Ordinarily, I try to avoid scope creep because it hits my anxiety buttons.) I'm re-arranging the planned schedule a bit to move those Bella books into the next few days because...Bella Books is having a weekend sale! 17% off all orders over $17.

Tempered Steele: Hard Edges by M. E. Logan is a follow-up to the post-apocalyptic dystopian  romantic adventure Tempered Steele: Stoking the Fire.

After a nearly apocalyptic earthquake engendered a societal breakdown, visionary Deborah Steele returned to her isolated family farm and turned it into a safe haven for women to escape from the increasingly misogynistic and dystopian world around them. Her fair and open system of contracting labor for food, shelter and security has bound them together and ensured their survival. So far… 

Outside the farm, however, others are using a contract system as a form of human trafficking. And Deborah’s attempts to protect her estranged love, Joanna Davis, will soon bring the women’s community unwanted visibility, putting them all in danger and forcing Deborah to choose between the sanctuary she has built and the woman she still loves. 


It doesn't take a dystopia for women to need to struggle against misogyny and a society that exploits their labor and denies them a full life. Challenging those forces will always put them in danger, whether of overt violence or the no less hazardous rejection of society. In Mother of Souls, Luzie Valorin faces the choice between acceding to those who think her musical skills are only suitable for domestic amusements--or to support a man's career--and reaching out to sieze the chance for greatness. Perhaps even to change the fate of Europe with her compositions!

The Great November Book Release Re-Boot is a blog series talking about November 2016 releases that may have been overshadowed by unfortunate political events. And at the moment, some of those books are on sale!

Weekend plans

May. 26th, 2017 11:16 am
filkerdave: Made by LJ user fasterpussycat (Default)
[personal profile] filkerdave

No SF conventions, no regional burn -- invited to a few parties on Sunday but my sister and family will be in town and that's more fun! (On the other hand, that means likely no POTA either.)

What about the rest of you?

(no subject)

May. 26th, 2017 09:41 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] aedifica and [personal profile] the_rck!

Lydy Nickerson, World Traveler

May. 26th, 2017 07:11 am
lydy: (Default)
[personal profile] lydy
To be clear, "World Traveler" is British Airways polite term for coach.

Last Worldcon, for reasons that totes made sense (you'll have to trust me on this), Ctein persuaded Patrick to take me to London. I have wanted to go to London for longer than I can remember. If I had a bucket list, which I don't, London would be at the top. (And suddenly, it seems odd to me that a bucket would have a top, but well, I do not understand the ways of buckets.)

We went for eight days, leaving Friday 5 May at 10:00 p.m. from New York, arriving 10:00 a.m. at Gatwick, and left again at 4:30 p.m. on 14 May, arriving at 8:00 p.m., which totally felt like 1:00 a.m. And then there were customs...I am getting ahead of myself.

I am going to do a series of posts about the trip, mostly so that I will remember it in years to come. If you find other people's travels boring, do please skip. I will not be including many pictures. Patrick was totally in charge of pictures because I don't particularly do visual stuff, and trying to fuss with a camera or cell phone camera would have significantly interfered with my enjoyment. Nor do my memories tie to visual media all that well.

London. There is...a lot of London. Lots and lots of London. Way more than we could have seen in 8 days. We had an A, B, and C list, and got to most of the things on the A list, a couple of things on the B list, and nothing on the C list. Which is as it should be. It was amazing and wonderful and I regret nothing. Ok, I regret that Hyde Park tried to kill me. Other than that, I regret nothing. I would love to go back again, and try to get to the other bits. And then again, and again. Did I mention that there is a lot of London?

London is exciting, beautiful, engaging, fascinating, old, and odd. I did not find it overwhelming, frightening, or strange. It was not familiar, either. It was like...ok, really bad analogy. It was like putting on a brand new pair of shoes that fit perfectly. They aren't familiar, but they do feel utterly right, and they tempt you to walk way more than you really should. (According to the world's worst pedometer, Pokemon Go, we were clocking about 10 kilometers a day. Oh, my poor feet.)

So, London. It's lovely.

Music meme: day 1 of 30

May. 26th, 2017 01:01 pm
liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
[personal profile] liv
[personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait and a bunch of other people are doing a 30 day music meme, and it's really interesting to see people's choices! In some ways music isn't a big part of my life, so I might struggle with this one, and anyway I'm not going to commit to posting every day for 30 consecutive days, but I thought I'd give it a go.

The first is A song you like with a colour in the title, so I went for White winter hymnal by Fleet Foxes. I don't always love the kind of very blurry musical style that Fleet Foxes go for, but I got really fond of this song a few years back and it's one that always raises a smile when it comes on shuffle.

People are generally linking to YouTube, and I'd never actually seen the accompanying video for this one before. It's kind of a cool claymation thing, so I'm glad I searched it up.

Embedded video )

Out of curiosity

May. 26th, 2017 01:08 pm
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
What happens if the new Republican rep for Montana is now convicted of assault?

He appears to have "declined" a further interview requested by local law enforcement (which, much like "declining" a subpoena, is one of those things I didn't know you could do).

But he's apologized (or "apologized") for having "made a mistake".

(A "mistake" that allegedly involved grabbing someone by the neck with both hands, body-slamming them to the floor, then repeatedly punching them.)

Paul Ryan (displaying all the guts and principle we have come to expect from him) took the bold stand of saying Gianforte should apologize. Other Republicans seem to feel that Ben Jacobs should apologize for having wickedly provoked Gianforte to attack him by being a liberal journalist in public.

fifty years ago next week

May. 26th, 2017 03:07 am
calimac: (Default)
[personal profile] calimac
In commemoration of the impending 50th anniversary of the release of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, I am proud to present you with ...

what I believe is the first cover version of any of its songs to be released. It was released in June 1967, same month as the original album, and it was produced by the same George Martin who produced the album. It's a comic actor and musical comedian artist of his (remember that Martin got his start in comedy records) named Bernard Cribbins, singing "When I'm Sixty-Four."



I haven't directly compared this with the original, but it seems to me as if George Martin just took the backing tracks from the original recording, stripped out the backing vocals (none too well), slapped the new lead vocal on top, and called it a day.

I gather that Bernard Cribbins is well-known in the UK, but he's not so familiar over here. I had to be reminded who he was, and who he is to me is the comic actor who played Mr. Hutchinson, one of the most memorable guests ever to stay at Fawlty Towers. Yes, he's this guy.

It's Raining

May. 26th, 2017 12:46 am
liralen: Finch Painting (Default)
[personal profile] liralen
It's raining tonight.

The soft hiss of water on the pavement, the spatter on the windows, and the coolness through the house. The sky was a riot of fluffy clouds, shadows, and curtains of water being blown in from over the mountains.

Read more... )

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