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|Monday, November 28th, 2011|
So Anne McCaffery died last week, and she's had a lot of very cute eulogies across the intertubes, as befits one of the pioneers of the genre. The thing that's driving me up the wall is shit that hedges praise with embarrassed caveats about "problematic content"
, in her case ableism and sexual violence.
Look, find me 4 books written in any era by any author
that doesn't feature "problematic content". Guess what? Any book is going to have some shit that doesn't pass muster. That's no reason not to still like it for your own reasons. Anne McCaffery's books for me were always fluffy pieces of nonsense juxtaposed with oddly hard sci-fi moments. Did I ever approve of F'lar and Lessa's relationship? Nope; he's a dick, she's often a ballbreaking, emotional wreck. Was I creeped out by Menolly and Robinton's revelations in Dragondrums? Yup; schoolgirl crush is one thing, but it being reciprocated by a man 3 times her age (even if it wasn't consummated) is squicky. And don't even get me STARTED on the founders with Sallah Telgar and her man and whatnot. But I never viewed the interpersonal relationships as being particularly central to what I was interested in: fucking psychic dragons!
I didn't hold these fucked up characters (and by extension their authors) to a standard that was unrealistic, because real people are problematic.
The most enlightened and liberal and understanding person in the world has blind spots, or embarrassingly archaic moments, or issues that takes a while to get over. I'm as guilty of that as the next person. I'm frequently made uncomfortable by memories of my past attitudes and actions. That's normal
for an introspective and evolving character such as myself. Conversely, the most racist, homophobic, thoroughly died-in-the-wool good ol' boy has moments of tolerance and love. Does that make me a bad person, and my opposite a good person? Nope, it just makes us human.
So yes Virginia, you can still love a work even if it's not perfect, even if the author is a total tool (or just from a different era), and you can acknowledge the bits you don't like without having to defend your literary (liberal, feminist, etc.) cred for doing so. Current Mood: Mystified
|Sunday, August 7th, 2011|
It's the little things
So I read a book recently called "A Discovery of Witches" which was pretty mediocre. It was mindless brain time for a couple days after reading the latest Dresden, which is all I really ask of most books. But then something bothered me.
The main character is a professor of history, medieval history and alchemy specifically. One thing leads to another and she falls in love with a vampire, who introduces her to his family of vampires, one of whom is a mommy-ish type character who makes her a special herbal tea. A special herbal tea that contains both pennyroyal and Queen Anne's Lace. Later on she is shocked, SHOCKED to learn that both of those were herbal birth control/abortifacients.
A medieval scholar who doesn't know this is just too much of a leap for me, I'm sorry. If you're gonna dress up your corny vampire romance with the trappings of academics, DO IT RIGHT.
Current Mood: Grouchy
|Saturday, April 16th, 2011|
|FUCK YOU FAT GIRL TAX
I was online shopping (like you do) to see if I could find a shrug to go with some dresses I have. If you're a woman and you've been to a store in the last six months, these fucking things were unavoidable. NOT TODAY, I couldn't find shit in meatspace. What I could find was the wrong size, hideous, too expensive or all three.
So I went to Old Navy online, and they've got some in clearance for $10 or less. Great! I put one in my cart and browse around for pants. I actually like their perfect khakis
; they're soft and wide legged enough for me, and the stance isn't too low and they have them in short (hallelujah!). But! I'd happened to be browsing in the plus section. And lo and behold, they're a different fucking price.
Old Navy's straight sizes go up to a size fucking 20. Not only can't you get the "women's plus" line in stores ("online exclusive" is code for "fat girl ghetto" or "we don't want your big ass in our store, but give us your cash anyway"), but you pay extra for the "privilege" of having something (a very limited amount of something, I might add) in your size. Which is available in straight size for less. Also, you pay to return merchandise.
Sorry fuckers, I'm not paying you extra just because you put "plus" on the label. Suck it. Current Mood: Dumped on
|Tuesday, March 1st, 2011|
Hey, how 'bout an article full of slut-shaming and judgmental bullshit from a woman on why you're not married yet, you lady-hags? No? Well, how 'bout an awesome take-down
of it? Yeah, that's more like it.
This article has been kicking around the internet for about a week now, and every time it's linked I get irritated. Here's why I'm not married: It's not a priority for me. Ta da! Here's why these kind of articles don't fucking mean shit: the woman writing them has had 3 failed marriages. Hardly an expert in how to have a successful
marriage. Of course, that's not part of the title, is it? Success hardly matters, so long as you get that ring and paper, right? Then you can be a valid person! If you wanted an article with advice on how to be successfully married, wouldn't you go to someone who's been happily married like 50 or 60 years to the same person? No. Know why? 'Cause they don't have advice that would help you either. They know what works for them, period. Human beings aren't Borg, they're discrete individuals.
This isn't the only stupid relationship article I've seen in the last week...I'm just curious, what the fuck happened last week that necessitated this kind of nonsense all at once? Isn't there enough shit happening in the world, what with protests
, people trying to take away my bodily autonomy
, and whackjobs putting fetus on the stand
to try and ban abortion...y'know, I think there are more important things to think about than whether or not single women are worthless to bitter insane misogynists. Current Mood: Fixin' for a fight
|Friday, February 4th, 2011|
|Oh please! I think Lea Michele is sending the wrong message. She plays such a ‘good girl' on ‘Glee' and a lot of kids look up to her persona.
Name. ONE.Most of what Lea says in interviews is unbelievably PG when compared to other stars her age, so basically the issue at hand is just what she chooses to wear.
Orrrrrrrrrr...what the stylist chooses for her to wear. 'Cause magazines. They kinda work like that.Like most actresses who star in shows popular with the kiddies, Lea has to toe the line between being a
alluring-yet-virginal high schooler and an adult woman in control of her sexuality.
There, fixed that for you!You can be sexy without looking ridiculous, and she just looks ridiculous. It's not genuine. Lea Michele may be an adult, but to pretend that she doesn't know her fans are 11 is just ignorance. Why take the risk that even one teenager will get the wrong message of from her idol?
Oh Fox News. You're so very clueless on every single solitary issue ever. I don't know an 11-year-old who watches this show. High School Musical? Yes. Hannah Montana? Maybe. Most of Glee's fans aren't middle schoolers, who wouldn't care about it in the first place.
Besides, she's the least worrisome role model (and oh, how I HATE that term) on TV currently. Guess what, if you're that worried that your kids will emulate Lea Michele, you might want to think for a half second about oh...everything else they've ever seen.
Which by 11 in this day and age is a fuckton of porn with no responsible context for it.
But that would require interacting with your children like they were people and not Fabergé eggs. Current Mood: Brash
|Thursday, January 27th, 2011|
Sometimes I get these ideas that simply won't leave until I do something about it. Like I laid down to sleep and all of the sudden by brain goes:
"Hey, what do you think happened to those taped performances Ms. ____ had in her classroom of all the drama performances?"
"I dunno, depends on if they were hers personally, or if the school considers them theirs."
"If they're still around, they should be converted into a digital format."
"Yup, they sure should."
"We should do this."
"...Really? I know fuck all about converting VHS to digital copy."
"We could ask the TComm lab people. Then we could have a digital library. Surely someone sometime in the future will be morbidly curious and want to see these. Go email someone at your old high school and ask."
"Self, it's like 12:30 at night, can we not do this in the morning?"
"NO. DO IT NOW."
Current Mood: *Snarl*
|Friday, September 10th, 2010|
|RAEG "Mr. President, thank you," said Biden, addressing a hypothetical Bush. "I've known you for all eight years of your presidency, and I've never known a time when you didn't care."
Asked whether Bush deserves credit for the end of combat operations, Biden said earnestly, "You deserve a lot of credit."
Thank you? THANK YOU?!
Here, I wanna thank him too: Dear FORMER (thank god!) President Bush,
Thanks for demeaning women.
Thanks for infringing on my rights as a person.
Thanks for infringing on my right to privacy.
Thanks for skull-fucking the economy right
at the time when I most needed a fucking job.
Thanks for regressive social policies that prevent me from ever getting out of this fucking nightmare life that I'm currently struggling to maintain.
Thanks for condoning (and enforcing) extremely regressive medical protocols that enable my doctors to view me as nothing more than a sperm receptacle and "potential mother."
Thanks for getting us into a war with a country that had absolutely nothing to do with the only terrorist attack ever on mainland America. Thanks for continuing that war for no conceivable reason.
Thanks for ridiculous fucking foreign policy decisions that ensure that we are viewed as negatively as possible worldwide.
Thanks for backing false dichotomies ("These are REAL AMERICANS!!! IN THE HEARTLAND! WHO AGREE WITH ME!") and thus making any political dissenters "on the side of the terrorists."
Thanks for encouraging ignorance on a grand scale, ensuring that the next generation is as ill-informed as possible.
Thanks for financially backing programs that very plainly don't work (read: abstinence only education) and ignoring programs that do (read: comprehensive sex ed), thus guaranteeing our place as the number one First World nation in abortions and STDs.
Thanks for firing anyone who gave you a realistic POV rather than a ra-ra-cheerleader for your horrible fucking mistakes in judgment. You wanted optimists; and boy did you need them when the economy went to shit, and the housing market went to shit, and the banks went bankrupt, etc.
Thanks for taking the first budget surplus we'd ever had as a nation in decades
and reducing us to trillions of dollars in debt in just a few short months.
You know, maybe y'all have something to thank him for. Feel free to add anything I might've missed. Current Mood: Fixin' for a fight
|Friday, August 20th, 2010|
"Chef" D does not approve.
I reserved a couple cookbooks from the library on the subject of food for weight loss and health. I saw some lovely ones at the Borders when we were down there last time, but I don't want to spend $30 on a cookbook. I end up using such a small fraction of a cookbook that my upper limit is pretty much $10. Most recipes you can find online anyway. In this instance, I wanted a couple ideas, see if they had any hints.
And these books are terrible.
The American Heart Association Healthy Family Meals book...I found not a single recipe I'd use in here. And it uses one of my number one pet peeves associated with food books: The unnecessary quote.
Meat "Loaf" with Hidden Vegetables. Super "Sundae" Breakfast Parfaits. Meat Loaf "Mud Pies." UGHUGHUGH. I read them every time as scare quotes. Like, what is it if it's not a loaf? What exactly is a "loaf"? I'm sure I don't want any.
The second book is Cooking Thin With Chef Kathleen. Pet peeve number two (in this post): Chef Kathleen. You know, that's a title that other people give you, it's supremely egomaniacal to call yourself that. Real chefs don't need to put that in there in their own books. I'm pretty sure if Thomas Keller doesn't insist on being called "CHEF THOMAS KELLER" on the front of the French Laundry Cookbook, then you should maybe settle the fuck down.
Continuing with the many sins this book commits, the first 80 pages are devoted not to recipes or basics and tips, but as a giant screed against fatties, 'cause the author is formerly fat herself. Oh the self-loathing weight loss guru, how I despise you. Yeah, guess what, I don't need to be told that if I ate less Ho-hos I'd be slimmer (ignoring the fact that my lifetime total of Ho-hos eaten is very very small).
And the final two nails in the coffin of effectivity in this book? The "From Mom's Lips To Your Ears" sidebar. "Try Everything Once." "Eat More Vegetables." For fuck's sake, really? And finally, and MOST ANNOYING the (ugh) "Guyometer," a gauge of whether your husband will like any given menu item (example: Oven Roasted Carrots and Parsnips - Guyometer: Ding, ding, ding, off-the-charts great--for a vegetable. Rainy's Sweet Potatoes - Guyometer: It's not steak but as far as vegetables go, this is pretty good).
First off, how annoyingly sexist. Secondly, how fucking hetero-centric. Third, how presumptuous. FAIL FAIL FAIL.
This book isn't quite as useless as the previous one (I lifted three whole recipes out of 200, so...), but I'm failing to see how any of the food in this book qualifies as weight-loss fare. It's all stuff I already cook. There's been no attempt that I can see to "lighten" any of the meals (it's got a recipe for ribs. There is absolutely NO WAY you can make ribs low fat or healthy. NONE). It offers no nutritional information whatsoever. The closest it comes is saying things like, "Save up your calories for this one, it's worth it!" So "Chef" Kathleen's advice for healthier weight loss eating is...don't eat anything else if you're planning on having a supremely fattening dish? Excellent. That's some great fucking advice there, did you get it from your stereotype of a mother or your stereotype of a husband?
So in other words, a complete waste of my time. Ah well, at least I managed to get Virgin: The Untouched History out at the same time as these paperweights.
Current Mood: Catty
|Tuesday, July 6th, 2010|
|John Mayer sexuality in Ferelden.
Title refers to this
bit of wank from a few months ago. The comparison becomes clear shortly.
So you remember how I was going to play through all the relationships and endings and whatnot for Dragon Age (note: Not Awakening)? ( I sort of did, and here's how it goes. Spoilers. )
So yeah, the sourcebook thingie. The boyfriend gets these sometimes at work for like a dollar or free or something when they're getting ready to toss them out, so he brought this one home. Oh man, it is the least helpful thing EVER. First of all, it doesn't have an index. Second of all, it doesn't give you locations of things in fetch quests (either in writing or on a map). If it does give you a direction, it's always super vague. It's a guidebook with no advice (I swear to you, verbatim, this is a passage: She'll transform into a dragon. Kill her. (Have fun!)
What the shit? Don't give me any tips or anything! Like who to bring or her vulnerabilities!). This is one of the only strategy guides I've ever had where I'll just keep the goddamn Gamefaqs open because I know the book will not help me.
The pictures are pretty, and that's the only good thing I can say about it. Also the drawing on the back looks not unlike a deformed vulva. Current Mood: Bitter
|Thursday, July 1st, 2010|
So yesterday I was bitching about the flood of shit about Twilight all over my goddamn internet, to the point where even the haters had nothing new or interesting to say (I know, shocking). But this is a thing of beauty:Congratulations, Twilight: Eclipse. You didn’t manage to suck as much as the first two entries into the franchise. Of course, that’s like wereboning a geriatric with dementia during a rare moment of lucidity. Sure, he remembers your name, but he’s still a wheezy, barely erect sag-ass bag of flesh and bones with old-man balls. But that’s not stopping over half of the critical community from tea-bagging the old fuck. Why? Because the standard set by the first two movies is so low that we’re supposed to feel blessed because the dude put in his dentures, metaphorically speaking, never mind that the teeth marks he left on your back are covered in Polident. ETA:
I just saw someone give a spoiler warning for Van Gogh's death. People, I don't care if it was used as a plot device in a recently aired show; it's not a spoiler if it happened 120 years ago. He also cut off his ear (not in the same year). But the Meiji restoration happened, the Massacre at Wounded Knee killed off a bunch of natives, and Nelly Bly circumnavigated the world. You're all caught up on your 1890 "news." Current Mood: *sporfle!*
|Wednesday, June 30th, 2010|
|This just in
Man makes half-assed defense of the Star Wars Prequels, is taken to task by fans in the comments.
I always assumed the Jedi were striving toward a Buddhist kind of thing: life without attachments, the end of suffering because of passions*, etc. Then again, I'm less inclined to argue this point on the Internet.
*Those familiar with the EU and KOTOR and whatnot can attest: the Jedi code
sounds not unlike the Four Noble Truths
? Current Mood: Flippant
|Monday, May 31st, 2010|
|A bit of a diversion
be rewatching the Avengers. And once again, I'm struck by Mrs. Peel's outfits. SO. Enjoy one.( I learned to screencap, sort of. ) Current Mood: Fan-Tabulous
|Friday, May 21st, 2010|
|Friday, May 7th, 2010|
Need one, take one.
Current Mood: Flippant
|Sunday, April 25th, 2010|
|Thursday, April 22nd, 2010|
|Friday, April 16th, 2010|
|Wednesday, April 14th, 2010|
|Sunday, April 11th, 2010|
|An achievement because...? From here:In fact some of the most ardent LOTR fans that I've ever come across have been women.
'Kay, I'm not gonna argue that; me too.Take my aunt for instance: she reads LOTR from cover to cover every single year, and has been doing so for as long as any of us can remember.
Okay, maybe I'm a bitch, but this doesn't seem that impressive to me. I re-read things constantly. I re-read all of the Dresden Files (Fool Moon excluded) a couple times a year. Twelve books worth, twice a year (or the Kushiel books; six books, some in the 900 page long range, a couple times a year, when I get bored). I don't brag about this, because who the fuck cares? It's not an accomplishment for me to read or re-read. I'm a literate adult, it's what I do.Tolkien might not have had much time for women as some have claimed,
"Some have claimed". Or you know, he said outright. Pesky details like that. Like how he tried to prevent women from studying at Oxford, or belittled female scholars at the time (this was when mixed gender intellectual salons were actually quite popular, so you can't entirely blame, "Oh it was the olden days." There's quite an element of choice and perspective here).
Am I saying women can't or don't like LOTR? No. But I'm not saying any of these "facts" makes it more feminist or positive. Reality is troublesome like that. Current Mood: Catty
|Friday, April 9th, 2010|