katekat: (Default)
In a little more than a month I'll be turning 40. Most of my friends are in their late 20s, so it's a weird place to stand socially. I'm considering throwing myself a fantastic 40 party with a kind of boozy alice-in-wonderland type theme, but we'll see if I change my mind 50 times between now and then or not.

I've been seeing two fannish turnings that I'm fascinated by:

1) some interesting meta by someone in the Hockey RPF about one of the Hockey players who is probably a rapist and why she's going to continue writing it. eta: author has apparently removed post entirely, which is a bummer. It was her discussing how she got into reading and writing RPF through LOTR and Merlin, where the actors' characterizations in fic were largely constituted through the characters they played. She then argued that because of this, she was writing/reading a fictionalized character of a real hockey player, and didn't have to take into account in her writing the *real* person's current actions. He was being accused of raping a woman.

This was my response:
yes i actually used up the character limit ) We have this idea that there is some perfect world where all these stories have absolutely no meaning and are just fun (thus having no effect), but in the same breath (or in your same post) we conceive of the fanfiction process as transformative and liberatory - it actually MUST have an effect in order to be transformative and liberatory.

Acknowledging that damage is possible is the only way to continue forward, I think.

Also, could you please add something about this being a discussion because of rape allegations in your tags (or notes)? It seems like a gaping absence.

2) fannish history is a continual act of forgetting, it seems, instead of a continual act of remembering. This post by [personal profile] bluemeridian is something that I've heard about multiple times over the years, and interestingly seems to happen with every generation. I was (am?) part of the LJ generation of fandom (I started on yahoo groups and sent out my first fic through them, but still did most of my fannish stuff on LJ as a platform). But I've become aware of a much larger fannish history the longer I've been in fandom and the longer I've read academic things by people who do fandom studies. Henry Jenkins writes about Beauty and the Beast fan practices Textual Poachers, and that there even *was* a fandom around this media property is largely forgotten in the oral history of fan culture I was introduced to in the early years.

I don't think it's indicative of a particular aspect of fan culture, though there is something to the way that new technologies and online platforms, because of increasing monetization of participation, would like us to forget what forms came before. Tumblr is invested in keeping people *only* on tumblr (only and *all the time*) because it lets them make claims about unique users and advertising, and the sense of newness and exclusivity creates a user over-identification that they really want. After all, yahoo groups users are unique, adventurous, young, and hip like no one else on the internet! NO, wait, I mean LJ users are unique, adventurous, young, and hip like no one else on the internet! NO, wait, I mean facebook and twitter users are unique, adventurous, young, and hip like no one else on the internet! No, wait, I mean tumblr users are unique, adventurous, young, and hip like no one else on the internet! /sarcasm

I think it's actually indicative of human culture. As much as we try to spend time reminding ourselves about history, collectively we spend just as much time rewriting or ignoring history.
katekat: (Default)
I post them elsewhere, so I thought I'd post 'em here too....

Setting The Table: The Aesthetics of Hannibal
Bryan Fuller and David Slade are major talents, so coming into the project I was immediately aware that this was a chance to do something complex and haunting. In our first conversation, Bryan invoked the painter Francis Bacon as a reference for Lecter, and from David came a very striking image, the Blood-Stag; this is how it started. I assembled an array of paintings and photographs through which the three of us discussed realism and expressionism, architecture, qualities of light and palette. In addition to Bacon, Gerhard Richter, Todd Hido, Gregory Crewdson and the French painter Caillebotte. I included Wyeth for his anxious rendering of the Midwest and certain paintings by Edward Hopper. David’s photographic images were key in defining the look of the series.


How To Talk To Little Girls
Teaching girls that their appearance is the first thing you notice tells them that looks are more important than anything. It sets them up for dieting at age 5 and foundation at age 11 and boob jobs at 17 and Botox at 23. As our cultural imperative for girls to be hot 24/7 has become the new normal, American women have become increasingly unhappy. What’s missing? A life of meaning, a life of ideas and reading books and being valued for our thoughts and accomplishments.


Map of US Places with their literal names
It’s easy to think of words such as California or Texas or New York as just the places on the map, but those words actually meant something, once, and those meanings offer a little glimpse into history. The above map, designed by cartographers Stephan Hormes and Silke Peust, labels states, cities, and landmarks with the literal meanings of their official names.


What Man of Steel Gets Wrong About Superman (SPOILERS)
There are a lot of radical reinventions of the Superman character in Man of Steel. Some of them are intriguing. And then there’s the thing that happens at the end of Man of Steel that was so ill-conceived and poorly handled that you almost start to wonder if anyone attached to Man of Steel knows what makes Superman so special.
katekat: (Default)
I told myself last night that I'd try to post while I'm at home - this post inspired by [livejournal.com profile] savoytruffle's post on why she likes WsIP (works in progress).

I am, at best, an ambivalent consumer of works in progress. )
katekat: (b/g - in the library)
Richard Stillman is coming to talk on our campus

Tuskegee experiment - details on national health conspiracies that were ... well... real

The etymology of conspiracy : conspire
c.1300, from O.Fr. conspirer, from L. conspirare "to agree, unite, plot," lit. "to breathe together," from com- "together" + spirare "to breathe" (see spirit). Conspiracy is from 1386; conspiracy theory is from 1909.

An article on Artificial intelligence from Wired (we were trying to define AI)

Khronos video projection (an organic interface to the digital world that plays with ideas of space and time)
- images and video page

A kid's toy that possibly reads electrical impulses in your brain (a la the force!)

San Francisco Exploratorium (mecca of weird science)

Zebra Imaging - company that does imaging (though not often for art purposes)

Rabbit Holes Graphics - company that does 3d imaging / visual effects FOR art!

Tinmith Augmented Reality Project - a man who wants to take the visuals he's created and put them in the world

Dr. Adder by KW Jeter (and also, look up his book Noir)
katekat: (_nihon)
Monday was, to quote, "A rare and historic occasion, bringing critics AZUMA Hiroki and MIYADAI Shinji together in dialogue with North American scholars for the first time outside of Japan." And it happened at our University.

And these guys? They are so frigging smart )

other random babbling....

I managed to forget my Father's birthday yesterday, so I called him tonight.  Not only am I profoundly grateful he's my father, but I'm profoundly grateful that he doesn't sweat the small stuff (and since every year he mutters about not really wanting to celebrate another year passing... yeah, my dad is not the party type).  He is, however, the super duper dry and sarcastic type, and I adore that.  It all works out.

School is crazy and relaxed at the same time.  I went thrugh most of today trying to play a DVD on different devices (school dvd players, computers, my own laptop, etc) and came to the conclusion I think my own laptop dvd/cd drive is dead, and finally after all those other devices, that the dvd I was trying to watch was smudged enough that it wouldn't play.  Hail the unsmuger!

right now my eyes are itchy -- too many graphics, too much pollen, and too few contact changes.  I get to talk to distinguished faculty vising from Oslo tomorrow about our graduate program (yay!) and OH my god I forgot what happened monday:

the to do list - done and undone )
katekat: (Default)
Ok, first off, check out this meta (link via [livejournal.com profile] sl_podcast )

What you want, what you need: fans and endings, and narrative satisfactions

 
From the article:
Authors are readers, and authors desire order and satisfaction as well. But the job of an author is to suspend satisfaction, that is, to sustain the reader's desire so she'll finish the story. Therefore the author's discipline is to resist the narrative path-of-least-resistance - in simple terms, to put off the happy ending. In order to balance security and risk/conflict, the author plays on generic expectations, so that the reader is simultaneously reassured (by the appearance of familiar tropes and structure) and challenged (by some appearance of newness - the fiction that this time it might be different).


Also, from [livejournal.com profile] fanthropology, there are three people who are trying to gather some informal information on slash - and they're really really interested in people who don't read slash answering their poll.  So, if you're bored, clicky!

From their poll header:
We (myself and my two co-moderators, shoemaster and lovelokest) are trying to gather some informal statistics on whether or not most fangirls (or fanboys!) are open in "real life" (RL) about reading/writing slash (i.e. are you in the slash closet?). We are co-moderating a panel at a very small fangirl gathering and this information will help us in our discussion. We would be very appreciative if you took this poll and PIMPED it to EVERYONE you know INCLUDING NON-SLASHERS. Thank you!!
katekat: (giles - lounge)
[livejournal.com profile] nemo_88 did something really lovely over at her journal, and I thought I'd try it.  This is the second of hopefully three posts - icons, manips, banners, where I'm going to post my very first graphics and describe why I shudder at them and what I could've done better, if I knew then what I know now (or something like that).

it seemed like people were ok with my icon post... so here goes the next...

so, starting at the beginning: manips )
katekat: (a/f - adoration)
[livejournal.com profile] nemo_88 did something really lovely over at her journal, and I thought I'd try it.  This is the first of hopefully three posts - icons, manips, banners, where I'm going to post my very first graphics and describe why I shudder at them and what I could've done better, if I knew then what I know now (or something like that).

hopefully it'll be interesting for someone other than me, but even if it's not, it's kind of scary/interesting to know where i've been...

so, starting at the beginning: icons )
katekat: (Default)
Let’s talk about a girl. A girl in the woods. Trying to go somewhere, but they’re never good woods. Dry leaves stick up little edges under her feet. She tries to walk softer, but that just makes the edges stab deeper.

Sun’s going down – the shadows press in and she wonders again what’s out in the dark. What’s out there? Shadows, nightmares, old starched men’s shirts.

Kleenex in her pocket. She rubs edges with her fingers. Cold fingers, like the winds of winter bite at the tips. She feels the nails, they’re cracked.

Where’s she going? No clue. Something’s gotta happen now – introduce an animal maybe. Let’s add an animal.

The bushes rustle, and out hops a kangaroo. You know you love it. The kangaroo hops, flips and turns into itself. She drops her grip on the Kleenex – she has to.

Alright, tell me what else the kangaroo does.

He hops into the distance maybe? I don’t know – what else do kangaroos do?

I don’t know, depends on what kind of a story we’re writing.

He encounters a branch, and it drips, drips, drips – not breathing … 1…2…3…breathing. He licks the branch. Licks it again after a second, and the girl doesn’t know what to do.

What does she do?

What does she do?

Poke it?

Poke what?

The kangaroo.

Ok. It blinks – big soft eyes –

No, poke it – it’s life!

No!

What? It’s a good ending.


* This little scribble brought to you though the joint efforts of Kate and Daria - yep, we have no idea either.
katekat: (Default)
Wow.  A friend of mine sent me links tonight to the youtube trailer for the Japanese version of Ursula K. LeGuin's Earthsea books called Gedo Senki.  We were bemoaning the fact that it's not going to show up in the US until 2009 because the SciFi channel (that made one of the CRAPPIEST book to TV adaptations I've ever seen) holds the rights to the U.S. market.  And he sent me links to LeGuin's negative view of both the SciFi Channel miniseries and the Japanese movie (although she hated the Japanese movie less).

At her site I came across an essay titled Shame, by Pam Noles.  Written by a highly intelligent woman of color, it talks about the continued and often seemingly ignored trend in sci-fi and fantasy to write from the white perspective.  It was prompted by the Sci Fi channel's magnificent ability to cast what was a book filled with people of color as all white.  LeGuin actually talked about their "whitewashing" on Slate when the miniseries came out.

I followed other links to find this freaky and sad gem written by Douglas Blaine... and before you go agreeing with his viewpoint (not that I think you will), read Tobias S. Buckell's refutation because every word he says is worth reading, and worth practicing.

Pam mentions Buffy in Shame, and again in her response to the responses.

She says, in the original essay:

Am I the only FoP [Fans of Pigment] forced to develop a veneer of denial in order to function at the gaming tournaments, at the conventions other than the comic book fest in San Diego, or while watching "Buffy" and wondering if The Hollywood People who had ever actually been to Sunnyvale? Because, you know, if they had, there'd be five Asian/Pacific Islanders and at least three Latinos in the background. Am I the only FoP who was reduced to searching the people in the background because the people in the foreground were always a given? Am I the only one to wonder why the Los Angeles of "Angel" looked a lot like the New York City of Woody Allen's films?


There's a fic of [livejournal.com profile] tabaqui and [livejournal.com profile] reremouse's where Gunn asks where the hell all the people of color are (it's called SNAFU and is Spander if you're so inclined) in Sunnydale, but most of the time I think people in the Buffy 'verse stick within the boundaries set out by Joss.  And maybe that's too bad.

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