Transcendent, the anthology

Sep. 26th, 2017 08:49 am
monanotlisa: (procrastinators yellow)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
If you want to read an anthology of speculative fiction testing the boundaries, I recommend Transcendent.

I ripped out one of the stories and tossed it in the trash, because it was written by a fandom bully who hounded [personal profile] hesychasm, among many others. hesychasm has written about them here. But genuinely enjoyed the rest, some of them tremendously. (I'm still thinking of Red, and Joash, and the time-travellers.)
selenak: (rootbeer)
[personal profile] selenak
In short, hm. Could go either way.

Spoilers wonder when internal communication systems are going to be used )
selenak: (Pumuckl)
[personal profile] selenak
You may or may not be aware we had elections in Germany yesterday. The results weren't very surprising (if you've been following news and polls), but nonetheless shocking, because Nazis in German parliament for the first time in over 70 years should be. (Let me qualify the technicalities: of course we had original flavour Nazis in the very first post war parliament, it being 1949. We even had a rather prominent one, the original commentator of the Nuremberg "race laws", in Adenauer's cabinet. And there were right wing extremist parties since then who didn't pretend very hard to be anything else. But none of them reached 13%, which the right wing extremists du jour, the AFD, just did.) In practical terms: this means 80-something MPs drilled in verbal abuse and little else entering parliament as of next year. At least they won't be the official opposition, since the SPD, which had its historic worst result in the entire post war history with 20 something %, ended the governing Big Coalition last night. (This is actually a good thing and was direly necessary to save the party, imo. It governed in coalition with Merkel's conservatives for two out of three terms Angela Merkel has been chancellor, and while this wasn't the only reason for its steady loss of votes, it was a big one.) How the "Jamaica" coalition (so called because of the colors associated with the parties in question - black for the CDU/CSU, the conversative union, yellow for the FDP, the business-oriented liberal party, which will return to parliament after having been voted out four years ago, and green for the Greens, obviously) will work out is anyone's guess, but it's the best of currently available alternatives. And since the AFD does have a lot of inner fighting between its heads going on and hasn't yet managed to actually do something constructive in any of the provincial parliaments they were already in, they might destroy themselves over the next four years, as the 80s flavor of right wing extremists did (they were called Republicans, I kid you not). None of that changes me feeling thoroughly disgusted this morning at 13% of our electorate, and angry with a lot of other people as well.

Here are two articles from two of our leading papers translated into English which analyze the election and its results:

Tears won't change a thing (from the Süddeutsche, in which Heribert Prantl says that we're the recovering alcoholic of nations, which is why it's differently serious when part of our electorate falls off the wagon to get drunk on demagogery, racism and authoritarianism again)

The Panic Orchestra, which also analyses the role the media played (because just as with Trump, the bloody AFD seemed to be on tv all the time)

On the bright(er) side of things, there were spontanous anti AFD marches on the street in Berlin and Cologne last night, and they were soundly defeated as also rans in Munich. (Which is a relief on a personal level, since I live there, and also because of history.)

Speaking of Munich, to conclude on a distracting and cheerier note, the Süddeutsche also hosts an US journalist who last week penned this column:

11 things Americans get wrong about the Oktoberfest
monanotlisa: (spock profile - st:tos)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
No time to watch yet, wedding and work, plus my father in town, but I just purchased an annual CBS "All Access" subscription so I can immerse myself in Star Trek: Discovery for the next few weeks, and in The Good Fight come 2018.

I really wish the television model were different, though. Not because of the money; I purchase shows on iTunes consistently (Wynonna Earp, Killjoys, Orphan Black, iZombie). But I worry that the no-network model of CBS here means the opposite of its name: less access to smart, well-written, diverse, and feminist shows for normal people who aren't able to drop yet more money on a limited slice of entertainment, good as it may be.

The German Election Results...

Sep. 24th, 2017 07:12 pm
monanotlisa: Steve Rogers jumping down against a bright blue sky with clouds, his shield centering the eye. (steve rogers - captain america)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
...are predictably depressing.

Please send love and virtual hugs. Also, punch a nazi for me, or ten.
monanotlisa: (naomi & emily - skins)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
For two bisexuals, my wife and I sure tick a lot of the lesbian boxes*. The one thing I regret about yesterday's wedding celebration up in Tilden Park, on a golden fall Saturday in Berkeley, is that we didn't get to pin a note to our little board with the photos and such, to remind people of Bi Visibility Day.

* A love for cats, hardware stores, tea,...

I'll post photos when they come in -- my former work wife took some GREAT ones, obviously already posted with acerbic commentary to social media. Ah. I miss her snark. My wife's sister-in-law, one of them, took photos with a nice DSLR, and I got a few shots in.

(I have hundreds of icons, but this is the singular one of two queer women together and alive by the end of canon -- skins' Naomi and Emily.)
selenak: (Schreiben by Poisoninjest)
[personal profile] selenak
Back when I marathon-read Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther series, I saw he's also authored a lot of novels for children, and had a new one coming out this month, a standalone called Frederick the Great Detective, which, however, mysteriously seems to be available in German before it is in English. (Mysterious because Kerr's Scottish and writes in English, and the novel, which got released today, is indeed translated from the English original, I checked the imprint.) Anyway, the novel has a very similar premise to a movie I saw at last year's Munich Film Festival, Erich Kästner and Little Tuesday - the review I wrote about the film is here: boy falls in love with Emil and the Detectives, befriends its author, Erich Kästner, in the twilight of the Weimar Republic, the Third Reich ensues, boy tries to maintain ideals of novel versus increasingly awful reality. Having read the novel now, I can add a further parallel: both Friedrich in Frederick the Great Detective and Hans in Erich Kästner and Little Tuesday have an older sibling who is enthusastically joining the Nazi cause. My original suspicion as to why Kerr picked a fictional main character instead of Hans, who actually existed and did befriend Erich Kästner, was because Hans' fate was sealed by history, and that Kerr wanted a better fate for his young hero. Spoilers ensue. )However, by that point, I had already guessed various other reasons why Kerr chose a fictional over a fictionalized "real" main character, and the differences to Erich Kästner and Little Tuesday are instructive here.

For starters, there's the difference in focus: Erich Kästner and Little Tuesday is, as far as Hans is concerned, a coming of age story - he goes from child to teenager and young man in the course of the story - and has Erich Kästner as the other lead, whose perspective through the movie is even the slightly favored one. Frederick the Great Detective, by contrast, has Kästner only as a supporting character, aside from a prologue and an epilogue ends in late 1933/early 1934, and is above all a homage to Kästner's novel in structure, focusing on Friedrich and his same-age friends, who play detectives until it gets lethally dangerous. (The adults, whether benevolent or malignant or in between, are seen from the outside, the point of view is Friedrich's throughout.) For, befitting the author of the Gunther mysteries, there are actually cases to solve. (Though as opposed to Bernie, young Friedrich - who wants to become a detective through much of the novel - gets the point that you can't be a detective in a system where the criminals have taken over when Kästner desperately tells him just this.)

Indeed, while reading I wondered whether the basic idea for the novel might not have been a wish to write a sequel to Emil which tackles how Emil & Co. would act when the Third Reich starts, because Friedrich's gang with its twins has some similarities. Then again, Friedrich has a distinctly different background to Emil (or Hans Löhr) - no working class single parent mother, instead, middle class parents with his father a journalist and friend of Kästner's, which is the original connection, which allows Kerr to depict the way the press lost its freedom within a year. It also allows Kerr to let Friedrich and his parents vacation on Rügen where Friedrich meets Christopher Isherwood and Isherwood's boyfriend Heinz on the beach. (Leading to a charming scene where Friedrich manages to solve his very first case by finding Isherwood's lost watch.) Kerr provides quite a lot of real life characters making cameos throughout the novel - Billy Wilder (during the premiere of the "Emil and the Detectives" movie version which he scripted), Max Liebermann, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Walter Trier etc. - but the Isherwood cameo was for me the most vivid of these. (And I'm not surprised, having come across an interview where Kerr says bascially Berlin for him as a reader, before he got there, was invented by two British writers, Christopher Isherwood and John Le Carré.)

Kästner himself lis of course the real life character with the most page time, but he feels more like a generic version of Kästner's author persona than an actual attempt at depiction of the man. (As opposed to the Kästner in Erich Kästner and Little Tuesday.) Meaning: he's a benevolent adult the way, say, Justus the Teacher in "Das Fliegende Klassenzimmer" is, with no hint of any inner conflicts, and Kerr slims down the biographical and authorial data about him to "wrote Emil and the Detective, also works as a journalist"; in this book, there are no mentions of either Kästner's other books for children or his adult novel, Fabian (the one who got burned by the Nazis at the 1933 book burning), nor of his sharp political poetry (which in Germany he was and is almost as well known for as for his prose). (Hence ahistorically Emil ends up as the burned book, when in rl Emil and the Detectives was so popular that it got published, as the only one of Kästner's works, within Germany until 1936. Then it was for the axe as well.) The one biographical background fact about Kästner mentioned in conversation by Friedrich's father is in fact a wrong one, or rather, a wrong assumption, that Kästner's mother, like Emil's, raised her son alone. In rl, not only was Kästner's father around and in contact with his son, but he outlived Kästner's mother. There is, however, a reason why I didn't mind this particular wrong statement, which is: Kästner kept his father and his relationship with him very low key as long as his mother was still alive, while his relationship with his mother was intense and very public, so a colleague from work like Friedrich's father could be forgiven for assuming the guy was either dead or had left the family. ( If you've read Kästner's autobiographical writings, one of the most memorable childhood scenes which makes you cringe in sympathy is his parents' christmas competition about him, when his father, a craftsman, proudly presented presents he made with his own hand while his mother spent all her money on presents, and both parents would regard whichever present their son showed any favour to as proof whom he loved more or a rejection respectively. And thus it went on for as long as Kästner's mother lived.)

What the novel does really well, though, is presenting a group of children responding to their world changing radically, and Friedrich as a likeable child hero who ends up rejecting the demagogery, scapegoating and promise of glory that lures his older brother in because he sees how both people he knows and strangers are abused in its name. Again, in an homage to Kästner's novel which has a memorable dream sequence, Friedrich's ongoing crisis of conscience and wonder how to avoid becoming a Nazi himself climaxes in a surreal dream where the various things he has experienced come together. The lesson he draws from this is simple and profound at the same time, very Kästnerian and indeed great advice in current day circumstances as well, to the question as ow to act: Be kind. Being kind and you can't become what you fear and hate. Be kind.

Mind you, the 1945 prologue and epilogue does spoilery things ) But all in all, Frederick the Great Detective is still a very readable children's novel set in a dark time which also manages to pay homage to a classic while being its own thing.
badfalcon: (Flyboys)
[personal profile] badfalcon
Today did not start off well. I didn't sleep particularly well last night; tossed and turned, couldn't get comfy, too hot, too cold... I felt very sluggish and not-rested this morning. It made me late for work, only by like 2-3 minutes but just enough that I felt like I was playing catch-up all day.

I had a fairly productive evening. I got another load of laundry done and did a sinkful of dishes. I went to the gym and did another 2 miles on the treadmill, although I upped my walking pace some and it really made a difference in how much of a workout I felt I got. I read somewhere that to get a really good cardio workout you should aim to walk a mile in 15 minutes, so I set the treadmill to 4mph. I was definitely struggling the last 1/3 of a mile - my legs were aching, I was sweating and panting but I did it. And I felt really fucking awesome.

I did my ESTA Visa Waiver application for my Christmas trip to the states and got instant approval. Yay, the US is planning on letting me in. Wonder if I'll once again get selected for all the extra screening - I've never not been one of the 'random' selections. I think it's the disabled female travelling alone thing. Ugh!

I have thinky thoughts for another day about my use of crutches/wheelchair on bad days vs my using the gym right now on good days. I know there's a difference between working on my fitness and my continued ability to function, between good day and bad days but there's weird fraud-y feelings bubbling around that I can't quite put words to just yet.

This evening I've watched Somewhere Between 1x03 and 1x04, tried and discarded the pilot of Doctor Doctor and watched 12x13 of Supernatural.
monanotlisa: (ignoranus)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
Also off my trusty friendslist, here is a dossier on white supremacy in the US -- from a source on the inside who infiltrated key organizations for years.

White Supremacy background and history, plus of course present danger: The International Alternative Right


monanotlisa: Lucca Quinn, centered, looking thoughtful (lucca - the good fight)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
C/p'd from [personal profile] giandujakiss:

The GOP broke off bipartisan talks with Dems to shore up ACA's insurance markets, and now they're trying - again - to unilaterally repeal ACA and take with it a huge chunk of Medicaid (which will, of course, completely destabilize our entire healthcare system, but that's where we are).

You can find more information by googling Graham-Cassidy, but here's one link [on this new attempt to dismantle the ACA].

Apparently, Lindsey Graham - one of the bill's sponsors - got on Breitbart radio (yes, now we're integrating Breitbart into GOP mainstream, fun times ahead) to urge listeners to call in support of the new bill, so it's VERY IMPORTANT that the Senate be flooded with opposition calls.

Here is one script and information resource.

L'shanah tovah!

Sep. 20th, 2017 08:01 am
monanotlisa: (apples how you like dem)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
A little early, but I won't be around later, so: a happy start of the High Holy Days to you, if you celebrate!

My secular Jewish household will mostly eat apples and sweet honey when it comes to action. But both my wife and I will think of the Jewish community, in our different ways as an American Jew and a German Gentile.

Adaptions and remixes

Sep. 20th, 2017 12:07 pm
selenak: (Borgias by Andrivete)
[personal profile] selenak
Two filmed novels in, the tv version of JKR's written-as-Robert-Galbraith mystery novels called Strike comes across as very enjoyable. Holiday Grainger is a delight as Robin, Tom Burke still isn't how I imagined Cormoran Strike, but he's entertaining to watch, and they have good chemistry. Inevitably, characters and subplots were for the axe in both Cuckoo's Call and The Silkworm, but so far they've kept the important emotional beats. In the case of The Silkworm, I'm especially glad my favourite sentence of the entire novel gets to be used in dialogue, though a different character gets to say it on tv: Writers are a savage breed, Mr. Strike. If you want life-long friendship and selfless camraderie, join the army and learn to kill. If you want a lifetime of temporary alliances with peers who will glory in your every failure, write novels."

Of the guest stars, the actresses playing Leonora and Orlando were especially good. I do notice that some of the sharpness of the novels is lost when it comes to politics. I mean, The Silkworm, the novel, has passages like this: : Kenneth Clarke, the Justice Secretary, was announcing plans to slash 350 million pounds from the legal aid budget. Strike watched through his haze of tiredness as the florid, paunchy man told Parliament that he wished to 'discourage people from restoring to lawyers whenever they face a problem, and instead encourage them to consider more suitable methods of dispute resolution.' He meant, of course, that poor people ought to relinquish the services of the law. Nothing like it on tv. But the result still doesn't feel as awfully castrated as the tv version of The Casual Vacancy, which lost all the bite and anger and ruined what might not have been a masterpiece but was a novel with genuine points to raise by turning it into inoffensive blandness, more angry reviews here, possibly because such asides aren't the main issue in the Galbraith novels.

In other news, [community profile] missy_fest has been revealing one Missy story per day-ish. This was the smallest ficathon I ever participated in, but a delight to write and read, and as soon as it's de-anonymized, I'm going to link and talk about the story I wrote. Meanwhile, check out the one I received, which was The Master's Faithful Companion (Forever or Just A Day Remix), which remixed my story Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.
badfalcon: (Paper Heart)
[personal profile] badfalcon
I was told in work today that I seemed more like myself today. I did feel brighter this morning but oh boy did I crash this afternoon. Half-way through this afternoon I was just done with the day and wanted it all to go away, was fed up of whiney suppliers and stupid questions. Suppliers chasing an invoice that was cancelled by a full credit in 2012, chasing an invoice that was paid in May. Facilities boss giving me half the info I need to give him an answer.

I've had a semi-productive evening. I did a load of laundry, I did a sink of dishes. I made my packup for tomorrow and I had a culinary failure. My roast potatoes were still uncooked in the middle and my sausages were burned. So that worked out well. I just ended up with some spaghetti and some steamed vegetables. Not exactly exciting or tasty but it was edible.

I did however then binge and eat all the chocolate and cake that was in the house *sigh* Bad Cassie, not going to lose weight doing that. Admittedly it did make me feel a little better. Yay sugar high.

TV wise this evening I have watched the 1x02 of Outlander, the 1x02 of Liar and 1x05-1x06 of Midnight.
Outlander I've been meaning to watch for a while. Everyone talks about it and since it's available on Amazon prime... Clare is gorgeous and I love her voice. I can see why everyone loves Jamie. It's filmed beautifully. The first book is now on my to-read list.
Liar is an ITV drama about a woman who's accused a guy of rape and how it's affecting both their lives. Very powerful stuff but also filmed in a really nice way. Also, Ioan Gruffud
Midnight Texas is LOVE. Also, I was very gleeful that Christopher Heyerdahl was in it. I adore Lem and want to do nasty dirty things to Fiji! You also should have seen my reaction to Joe's Angel wings! <3

OH... HOLY MOTHER OF HE JUST GOT HIS WINGS OUT AGAIN. I MAY NEED A MOMENT TO WHIMPER AND WIBBLE AND RECOVER. FUCK ME SIDEWAYS.

Right.. now, where was I?

I've just started reading the first of the books that, I'm about 50 pages in. Some of the characters are very different - Lem and Manfred physical descriptions especially and I much prefer Lem in the show but I wish Manfred had all the tattoos and piercings he does in the book. But I'm enjoying it so far. I was nervous about it when I realised it was by Charlaine Harris because I wasn't a fan of the Sookie Stackhouse books. It also blew m mind that she wrote the Aurora Teagarden mysteries which I love the movies on Hallmark. I'll be getting the next Midnight two books on payday, they're still on offer on Amazon which is even better and I might see if the Aurora Teagarden ones aren't too expensive.
That 'no buying books' things is doing really well hahaha

Oh! Speaking of Christopher Heyerdahl, it was his birthday yesterday. I tweeted him and he liked my tweet. Happy fangirl was happy.
And seriously, is there anything that man hasn't been in?

My phone is telling me to 'TAKE YOUR FUCKING MEDS' which is my cue to head upstairs when this has finished, take my meds, and start winding down for the evening. Listen to some music and read a little more before turning in.

Let's hope for another good day tomorrow.

Depression is a bitch

Sep. 18th, 2017 06:44 pm
badfalcon: (Default)
[personal profile] badfalcon
My Dreamwidth and Livejournal paid accounts have both expired. Boo. And I'm too broke right now to renew them. First world problems, I know.
Well, I'm not planning on renewing my LJ, not giving them anymore money but I have to work on narrowing down the icons because holycrap I had a love.
Dreamwidth I will definitely be renewing but that's going to have to wait til Friday when I get paid again. Of course, I'm actually going to have to start using my journals again.

I just.. I don't know. Never feel like I have anything to talk about. I work, I read, I watch too much TV. I go to the odd Raintown gig or sci-fi convention but mostly, I'm just boring as fuck. Every time I've opened up this 'post an entry' page lately, I've been feeling very depressed and I don't want to just talk about that, but at the same time, I hate that it's taking this away from me. I'm determined not to let it.

This evening I thumbed my nose at the depression and forced myself to the gym. I did a gentle 2 mile walk on the treadmill - not too fast, not too steep; just a steady gentle walk. I don't really feel like I had a big cardio workout but I really need to build my knee up to it. Right now it's screaming at me :(
But I figure any walk is a good walk, even if I didn't break out a sweat or anything.

Tomorrow's plan is to go to Tesco and grab a couple of frozen ready meals to have on work out days because there's no way in hell my knee is letting me cook. I'd planned on making chicken stirfry but standing to cook was a no-go after working out. So I'm sitting with it up and an ice-pack on it, eating some past and watching Chesapeake Shores.

15 Characters Meme

Sep. 18th, 2017 01:31 pm
selenak: (uptonogood - c.elisa)
[personal profile] selenak
1. Norma Bates (Bates Motel version)

2. Philip Jennings (The Americans)

3. Missy (aka Gomez!Master) (Doctor Who)

4. Jimmy McGill (Better Call Saul)

5. Rachel Duncan (Orphan Black)

6. James McGraw/Captain Flint (Black Sails)

7. Ahsoka Tano (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

8. Bernie Gunther (Philip Kerr: The Bernie Gunther Mysteries)

9. Sarah Connor (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles)

10. Alfred of Wessex (The Last Kingdom)

11. Andra'ath/Miss Quill (Class)

12. Londo Mollari (Babylon 5)

13. Phyllis Crane (Call the Midwife)

14. Doc Holliday (Wynona Earp incarnation)

15. Jessica Jones (MCU version)

And you came up with some awesome prompts!

Now the questions: )

British Wildlife

Sep. 17th, 2017 11:41 pm
weaselett: (httad - toothless ;o)
[personal profile] weaselett
One of the jobs at the moment is checking for hedgehogs/random cats before releasing the hounds into the garden......

I opened the door, and discovered the patio covered in blood and bits of something else - five minutes of poking, I discovered that the bits were the remnants of worms (I was concerned I had somehow missed the dogs up to something earlier....though how I would have missed THAT I have no idea but I honestly did not think worms bleed? I've never seen a worm bleed, but apparently, they have red blood, go figure o.o)

Apparently the hedgehog decided to massacre 18 worms on the patio, mere feet away from the unlocked cat flap......which given the crazed charge around the garden by the hounds, was at least partly witnessed by them *face palms*

Surfacing, the real-life edition

Sep. 17th, 2017 10:29 am
monanotlisa: Lincoln Lee against a red jagged background, captioned "mind is a razorblade" (Lincoln Lee - Fringe)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
Let's start with five good things about my life right now:

1. Ask, and ye shall receive. Under pressure at work to put together a presentation in October, I texted one of my non-profit co-founders on a whim, not expecting her to have time or interest in co-chairing a webinar. But she immediately said yes; we're having a planning session tonight. Now I'm both relieved and a little bit excited about the subject of much procrastination.

2. Our wedding celebration preparation is almost done. WHICH IS GOOD, BECAUSE IT IS NEXT WEEKEND. Can't claim I was the driving force here; my wife was much better. But still, I too knocked several preparation points off our list. There's a price to pay if neither you nor your life partner are Planners or Organizers, but we had the privilege to pay in hard coin (i.e. having vendors do more for us) rather than familial currency (i.e. putting it on a date fitting for her auntie, who would have loved to go full Weddingpalooza).

3. The cats are very affectionate these days. Still semi-feral, of course, and not into being petted :( or even touched, although Poppet tolerates it from my wife. But they are social with us, head-butting and nose-sniffing and watching us Do Important Human Things In The Kitchen through the glass without feigning the usual disinterest...okay, fine, sometimes they feign disinterest; they're cats. :)

4. If one door closes, a window opens. (It's small, but it's a window.) I was devastated when the only dedicated gluten-free sweet pastry shop in San Francisco with actually good baked goods (glutless) closed, but they have just re-opened as a delivery-only service for Fridays and weekends. Weekends aren't excellent for someone living in the East Bay, but Fridays, Fridays I shall feast on cake! Except this upcoming one, given no. 2.

5. No periods forevermore, and everything works. Once the non-surgery issues were resolved, for the most part, life without a uterus has been excellent...except on the one day of my cycle when everything is terrible and the world is dull and gray, of course. But even that pleases me conceptually, because that plus the other two signs of an upcoming period mean my left (heh) ovary has taken over the full hormone production, and I don't have to consider HRT.

Unfortunately, like humans are wont to, I make bad decisions in the spur of the moment, so right now I am struggling with an old-new issue. Oral surgery talk, pretty gruesome, so please mind the cut-tag )
selenak: (Scarlett by Olde_fashioned)
[personal profile] selenak
I've acquired new fandoms and revisited some old ones since the last time I did this, thus, from [personal profile] astrogirl:


1) Make a list of fifteen characters first, and keep it to yourself for the moment.

2) Ask your f-list to post questions in the comments. For example: "One, nine, and fifteen are chosen by a prophecy to save the world from four. Do they succeed?", "Under what circumstances might five and fourteen fall in love?", "Which character on the list would you most want on your side in a zombie invasion?"

3) After your f-list has stopped asking questions, round them up and answer them using the fifteen characters you selected beforehand, then post them.

Also, this unique summary of A Legacy Of Spies cracks me up. :)

And then there's this

Sep. 16th, 2017 06:47 pm
selenak: (Black Widow by Endlessdeep)
[personal profile] selenak
The other day, I could hear Arundhati Roy present her new novel and talk about the situation in India today in Munich. And reinforced that by now, I'm not just bugged but disturbed by part of Kala's storyline in Sense8, because it's so exactly in contrast to Indian reality, and so exactly what a vicious government propagandist would want people to believe, that I'm starting to wonder whether the reason why the Wachowskis and JMS came up with it wasn't that they otherwise would not get permission to film in India. Spoilers for both seasons of Sense8. ) Why? Because consider the depth of current day Hindu fundamentalism from Modi (the PM) downwards. Arundhati Roy mentioned the saying "there are just two places for Muslims - the grave and Pakistan", which gets said by officials in the country with the second largest Muslim population in the world (Indonesia has the largest). People get lynched for the crime of possessing or eating beef. Modi belongs to the RSS, the same organisation Gandhi's assassin did, and the vocabulary of said assassin is now mainstream politics. A popular taunt makes the word "secular" into "sickular". An MP could say Arundhati Roy should be used as a human shield in the war in Kashmir to punish her dissent, and not get reprimanded but applauded. (For more, check out check out these statements by today's most famous Indian origin writers.) Basically: the kind of story Sense8 tells is about as likely to happen in this India as a story about, say, a rabid atheist rising in Saudi Arabia's government and starting to persecute Muslims would be. Or, to bring it closer to home, a story about a fanatic atheist becoming a US government official and starting to surpress Christians. Which, of course, is what Breitbart & Co. tell their ilk already happened under each Democratic president. ("War on Christmas", anyone?) Which tells you what type of propaganda this is.

Now don't get me wrong: I don't believe the Wachowskis and JMS are aware. At first, I thought it was simply that they wanted Kala to be a faithful believer and needed some type of conflict for her that wasn't about her not wanting to get married, picked Hinduism as the most popular Indian religion (and the one with the film friendly statues), and didn't do much research about the Indian present. But now I wonder whether they did tell some staff member to do research, and that person came back with this storyline, getting it as a condition for the crew filming Kala's story in India. Because it's just too perfect BJP propaganda to come across by accident, my inner conspiracy theorist says.

For distraction, something lighthearted:

Avengers


Up in the air, Junior Birdman: in which the Avengers (plus Maria Hill, Sam Wilson and Rhodey) go camping. Set at some point between the frst and second movie, this Natasha-centric story is ensemble-tastic, and has Bruce as co-lead.

Grateful

Sep. 15th, 2017 09:26 pm
[syndicated profile] happyopu_feed

Posted by Jewel Staite

Hey dudes. So the boredom has subsided, as I knew it would. Mostly because we’ve been flitting off to various cities every weekend for appearances and pop culture expos, which is tiring but also super fun and pretty much the best way to see the world. There’s a reason why lots of actors are trying...

On Anxiety, but funny

Sep. 13th, 2017 08:25 am
monanotlisa: Misty Knight lookin' hilarified (misty knight - luke cage)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
That "Distracted Boyfriend Meme"? It's really not that funny in the original, but I keep cracking up about all the clever fandom renditions...and threw my hat in the ring to make one myself (with that handy meme generator out there on the internets):

I made dis (on tumblr)


Yuletide

Sep. 13th, 2017 08:15 am
monanotlisa: (otw)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
ON THE PLUS SIDE, Y'ALL, Yuletide nominations are open!

These are mine, below the cut: My Yuletide Noms )

What, ouch, and also -- already?

Sep. 13th, 2017 07:43 am
monanotlisa: philipp broyles in b/w, captioned with his name (broyles back - fringe)
[personal profile] monanotlisa
:: It's raining. I would have never grasped the weight of this statement in 2012 when I came here, but the song is true, mildly modified: It never rains in Northern California in summer. It's the softest and gentlest reminder of climate change, and the polar opposite of what the folks in the Caribbean, Cuba, and states like Florid and Texas experience. But...it's a reminder.

:: Also a reminder of my short memory when it comes to non-chronic pain: God, my lower jaw hurts. Yesterday I tried to have the implant for my lower jaw put in, finally. But even with "perfect-looking" bone (after chewing in the front to remind my jaw of its job; after popping calcium pills like it was my job) there was simply too little of it post-accident. Cutting for tooth surgery details )

:: My boss is back in the office today. I am quivering in what might feasibly be boots (given said weather situation).

Hillary Clinton: What Happened

Sep. 13th, 2017 04:15 pm
selenak: (Rocking the vote by Noodlebidsnest)
[personal profile] selenak
Briefly; originally I intended to wait for the library to feature What Happened, but the sheer amount of hate Hillary Clinton's book has already produced made me buy it in a hurry. Having read it yesterday, mostly I agree with this review on its major strengths and weaknesses. (My main area of disagreement is with the reviewer's screpticism re: the role of sexism in the election and her comparison between the respective type of hoslitiy aimed at Hillary vs her husband, John Kerry and Mitt Romney.) Therefore, I'll add some trivial observations of my own which are pop culture related:

1.) Wasn't surprised to learn that Hillary, as opposed to The Orange Menace, loved her SNL counterpart. Up and including Kate-as-Hillary singing Halleluja post election.

2.) Was amused that of the various new terms the internet coined in recent years, her favourite is "Mansplaining". (""The second I heard it, I thought"Yes! We needed a word for that.") Of course, the sheer number of guys currently mansplaining what REALLY happened in the election to Hillary Clinton was also predictable.

3.) HC also mentions The Good Wife among the shows she's watched post election for distraction. Given the various comparisons the show draws between the Clintons and the Florricks (my favourite being the Diane and Will conversation where he admits to not getting it and says Peter and Alicia are Bill and Hillary on acid), enquiring minds wonder how distracting that one could have been. Mind you, Hillary is way more positive about Bill in this book (and per previous one) than Alicia ever was about Peter. What Happens includes not just a wry "I heard it again in the 2016 campaign: that 'we must have an arrangement' (we do, it's called a marriage)" and lots of praise for his unwavering support but a straightforward love declaration as well as the statement that if she'd known what was ahead, dark times, public humiliation and all, she'd still marry him again without hesitation.

4.) She loved that pony meme as a summary of her dynamic with Bernie Sanders, and I have to confess it cracked me up as well.

5.) Apparently her Game of Thrones reference ("They shouted "Guilt!Guilty!" like the religious zealots in Game of Thrones shouting "Shame! Shame!" while Cersei Lannister walked back to the Red Keep") is held up as an example of Hillary not getting that Cersei is a villain? Which, well. There are lot of times GoT doesn't want you to sympathize with Cersei. That sequence, though, wasn't one of them.

6.) I don't know the woman, so I have no idea whether or not the book is Hillary Clinton unrestrained, but she certainly sounds like it. ("The President of China had to explain the complexity of the North Korea challenge to him. 'After listening for ten minutes, I realized it's not so easy,' Trump said. Can you hear my palm slapping my forehead?") Also, on Comey: "(Comey) said that he was 'mildly nauseous' at the idea that he influenced the outcome of the election. Hearing that made me sick." I have a bit more sympathy for Comey than she does, but yeah, no kidding.


Generally speaking, I found the book easier to read than her previous memoirs, not least because of her greater focus on one particular era and set of issues.

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