Phoning it in

Oct. 22nd, 2017 12:27 pm
oursin: Cod with aghast expression (kepler codfish)
[personal profile] oursin

Oh dear, another blooper from David Mitchell in this week's Observer New Review.

Or, at least, a classic case of writing about something before reading it properly.

The first was that Cambridge University lecture timetables are being labelled with “trigger warnings” about the plots of various literary works, including The Bacchae and Titus Andronicus. So English literature undergraduates are being protected from the knowledge of, among other things, what one of Shakespeare’s plays is about, in case it upsets them.
That is so not what the furore about this that I saw across my bits of social media was: what I saw was the push-back against the elitist assumption that eny fule already no that Titus Andronicus contains murder, rape, mutilation, and involuntary cannibalism (not to mention massive amount of racism).

And trigger-warnings aren't about protecting people from the knowledge that works of art contain disturbing material: they're precisely about letting people who haven't yet encountered them know that they contain material some people may find upsetting. Like the warnings you see at the beginning of a movie, just so you know what you're letting yourself in for.

And I'm really not sure that one can assume general cultural familiarity with one of the less-produced of Shakespeare's plays (the one that suggests that, had he been writing in the 1960s, he'd have been working for Hammer Horror - while some of the early comedies suggest also possibly moonlighting for the Carry On films, but I digress). Okay, there has been a movie version of the play itself, and Theatre of Blood alludes to it in one of the vengeances taken against the critics of the protag. But I doubt it's all that well-known to the individual on the Clapham omnibus.

(no subject)

Oct. 22nd, 2017 12:02 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] gryphynshadow!

Glub. 4am

Oct. 21st, 2017 08:42 pm
ranunculus: (Default)
[personal profile] ranunculus
 I am NOT a 4am kind of person.  
Still, at 4am yesterday morning I was being bright and cheerful and very prepared.  Sign In sheets, printed copies of the crew list ect.  We installed a small show in the Palace Hotel, operated it, then took it down and stuffed it back in the truck by 1:15 pm.  The nice things about this 10 hour work day were the hourly rate which was almost $10  above our normal rate (special contract for companies who refuse to sign a long term contract with us) AND the fact that it was all at double time.  The Union contract says that anytime we are forced to go to work before 6am (or after 12 midnight) that the employer has to pay us double time until we get a 9 hour break.  In this case the company didn't want to pay for an extra day for the hotel ballroom for our setup, and the event started at 7am.

Had a nice day with Donald today.  
 

have you ever

Oct. 21st, 2017 04:27 pm
lamentables: (Default)
[personal profile] lamentables
I'm currently trapped on the sofa between a hard drive and a music device and under a laptop and a cat. So here's a meme that came to me from Australia:

Had tattoos: No. I have the same problem with tattoos as with people asking for my favourite book/music/whatever - I can't decide.
Had surgery: Nope
Broken any bones: None
Shot a gun: Surprisingly, yes: target shooting, with air rifles, at the university gun club
Quit a job: Yes
Flown on a plane: Yes, many times. First time was 1988, when we went to Crete on our very first foreign holiday. I think the highest number of planes on a single holiday was 11, when we went to Vietnam and Cambodia in 1996.
Driven 100+ miles in car: It's hard to imagine the answer being 'no', though these days the majority of my journeys are short local ones.
Gone zip lining: About 10 years ago. (I was rubbish. I was also rubbish at abseiling.)
Watched someone give birth: No. That's another thing I'd be rubbish at. I have passed out at the sight of blood - some of it on TV - multiple times.
Watched someone dying: My Father. For a while. It look five days, and I was only there for one.
Ridden in an ambulance: Not an emergency one.

Travelled to:
US version
... Canada: Once, for fannish reasons (due South & C6D)
... to Europe: Yes
... to Washington D.C: No
... to Florida: No
... to Colorado: No
... to Mexico: No
... to Las Vegas: No.
UK version, suggested by peasant
... Scotland: Yes
... North America: Once for fannish reasons (SF)
... London: Yes, for work, friends, culture, arts, shopping
... Cornwall: Yes, while I was at Uni, with my then boyfriend
... Wales: Pretty much every year of my childhood for family holidays, and then 3 of the last 4 years with abrinsky, my brother, niece and nephew
... France: Twice, just on a day trip both times
... Monte Carlo: No
Australian version, suggested by dalmeny
... Tasmania: No
... Melbourne: Once for fannish reasons (SF)
... Canberra: No
... Far North Queensland: No
... the Centre: Yes
... the Top End: No

Sung karaoke: Absolutely not. It's on a list entitled 'You Can't Make Me, And If You Try I'll Leave'. See also: dancing.
Had a pet: Yes. Nine cats: Holmes, Watson, Molly, Tabitha, Lucy, Mina, Urvashi aka daFoof, Jia aka The Princess, Orwell. In that order. Lucy, The Princess, and Orwell are still with us.
Been downhill skiing: No, I'd be rubbish and probably break something
Gone snowboarding: No, I'd be rubbish and probably break something
Been able to read music: Once upon a time - played recorder, piano, cello, clarinet at various times at school - but don't know if I can still do it
Ridden a motorcycle: round a field solo; on the road only as a passenger
Ridden a horse: My best friend at school was obsessed with horses and I sometimes went riding with her. I've probably been on at least as many elephant rides, though. And the longest ride I've been on was 3 days on a camel in the Sahara.
Stayed in a hospital: No
Ridden in police car: No
Driven a boat: No
Seen a UFO: No
Been on a cruise: Not the holiday-on-a-giant-boat-with-lots-of-people kind, no. I've explored lots of places - cities and wilds - by boat: St Petersburg, Bangkok, down the Irrawaddy in Burma, loads of places in India, tributary of the Mekong in Lao, Vietnam, the Farne Islands, around various Greek islands
Run out of petrol: Once, while I was learning to drive, because I had a lousy instructor. Much more recently, I had to pull over and phone abrinsky to rescue me because otherwise I was going to run out before I reached a petrol station.
Eaten sushi: Yes; omonomnom
Seen a ghost: No

(Edited freely for grammar/consistency)
oursin: Cod with aghast expression (kepler codfish)
[personal profile] oursin

Okay, this guy is clearly in a state of confusion: I’m in a kind of love triangle and am so confused about what to do.

But, really:

It has got to a point now that I have told my girlfriend that we need to have a break so I can sort myself out. She has moved out and I do miss her a lot.... The space away from my girlfriend, I hope, would make me realise that she is the one for me and come back to her in a happier place where I feel I can be happy and give 100%.

Whereas she is probably busily blocking his number and any contact they have on social media and telling her friends not to pass any details on.

I mean, I think Annalisa Barbieri is right that probably neither of these women is The One and he is just trying to make one of them The One because he wants to Settle Down, but I do wonder if at least the girlfriend, if not the ex, is going to wait around for him to get his head together, and it's not so much a question of he should break up with both of them, but that he is likely to find himself broken up with.

Let him go, let him tarry:

Spam spam spammity-spam

Oct. 20th, 2017 07:39 pm
oursin: Painting of a pollock with text, overwritten Not wasting a cod on this (pollock)
[personal profile] oursin

Or, I have just been followed on Twitter by 3 people who are the same person, and I do not think there is anything holy about having 3 Twitter identities which are all touting your book/s.

I am also mildly beset by people who, having by some means or other found my website, and discovering something there moderately pertinent to their interests (sometimes, I swear, it is Just One Word in the middle of text), email me offering to 'contribute' or begging me to link to their pages, or add in their link collections, without actually considering what the various bits of my site are doing.

E.g. on my - not even this year's, several years back - listing of my Quotations of the Week, is one which alludes to [problem] - which I probably posted originally because it was neatly turned and complete in itself and not because I have an overwhelming interest in [problem]. This is really not an appropriate venue for a link to somebody's site which is All About [Problem]. Point Thahr Misst.

Indeed, more or less equivalent to, if I had the famous quote attrib Mrs Patrick Campbell re the hurly-burly of the chaise-longue, sending me their list of links to custom makers of high quality chaises longues.

And they do not give up: there is one person who has been positively badgering me, even though I have ignored their email except to mark it as junk, because, for extremely personal reasons, I have a link to a UK charity dealing with [condition], to add in their set of links relating to [condition] which seem entirely US-related, several of them dealing with issues around healthcare which are still - so far - irrelevant in the UK context.

My site is a small, personal, and carefully curated site dealing with various interests of my own and not exactly inundated with hits, except when some media outlet links to certain pages.

Y O Y?

I am enjoying the Dynasty reboot

Oct. 20th, 2017 02:48 am
giandujakiss: (Default)
[personal profile] giandujakiss
There. I said it.

(Never saw the original so I don't know how it compares)

More on The Meredith (fragment 3)

Oct. 20th, 2017 08:43 am
hunningham: Woman peering out from a book (More with Reading)
[personal profile] hunningham
I was looking for contemporary opinions on Meredith and I found this essay; it's from Views and Reviews by W.E.Henley, first published 1890.

I know I'm reading with a prejudged eye, but really, look at this:

    ".. the herd whose intellect is content with such poor fodder as Scott and Dickens and Dumas"

    "... [we] are interested in his processes, and enchanted (when we are clever enough) by his results"

    "...without sacrificing on the vile and filthy altar of popularity"

Contempt for the common reader, it's not new.

Much nonfiction

Oct. 19th, 2017 04:22 pm
rivkat: Dean reading (dean reading)
[personal profile] rivkat
Jennifer Wright, Get Well Soon: History’s Worst PlaguesRead more... )
Arkady Ostrovsky, The Invention of Russia: From Gorbachev to Putin: How things went wrong in Russia, with the failure of democratic reformers to put in a structure that could survive the transfer of power. Very few heroes here.

Hillary Clinton, What HappenedCue gross sobbing )
Neil Strauss, Emergency: This Book Will Save Your LifeRead more... )

Richard V. Reeves, Dream Hoarders: How the American Upper Middle Class Is Leaving Everyone Else in the Dust, Why That Is a Problem, and What To Do About ItIt me )

Brooke Erin Duffy, (Not) Getting Paid To Do What You Love: Gender, Social Media, and Aspirational Workfans who want to be pros )

Jesse Eisinger, The Chickenshit ClubRead more... )

Brittney Cooper, Eloquent RageEmbracing rage )
oursin: Drawing of hedgehog in a cave, writing in a book with a quill pen (Writing hedgehog)
[personal profile] oursin

And I suspect that it is Very Much Not Done to yell 'Speak up' or 'Use the Mike' when someone is giving an important formal lecture signifying professional advancement.

Maybe my hearing is getting even worse than I thought? Or maybe that lecture theatre has really crap acoustics.

(Speaker is a lovely person who does lovely work, and I bought the book that was also being launched and had it signed, but I was really rather frustrated by the actual lecture.)

But at least there were some really lovely visuals which were entirely relevant to the topic on hand.

Also put in a bit of a strop by the young person who checked my name off the list, and said 'join the queue', waving in the opposite direction to where it turned out the relevant queue was forming.

But I did see two people I knew (besides speaker) and did a little bit of catch-up with them, so I have socialed more than I recently have.

hunningham: Woman peering out from a book (More with Reading)
[personal profile] hunningham
In a spirit of earnest enquiry, I downloaded The Egoist by George Meredith from Gutenburg. I knew that Meredith was much respected & admired at the time (Booker prize winner of the 1840s?) and I was curious. And I then tried reading the book.

Wow. Am stunned. Even gobsmacked.

I had forgotten what the Victorians could be like when they really got going. Our author is bent upon being "uninterruptedly sublime", and it hasn't worn well.

Have a taste )

Update

Oct. 19th, 2017 10:54 am
ranunculus: (Default)
[personal profile] ranunculus
 Worked 14 hours on the clock day before yesterday.  Didn't do much yesterday.  Today I'm caching up with chores, welcoming M back from Indiana and getting ready for tomorrow.  Tomorrow I have to be at work at 4am.....   Good money tho!!

Really Scary

Oct. 19th, 2017 10:00 am
ranunculus: (Default)
[personal profile] ranunculus
 75% less insects trapped in the last couple of years compared to 20 years ago.  
What a horrifying decline.  
http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/05/where-have-all-insects-gone

Trying stuff out

Oct. 19th, 2017 10:54 am
yourlibrarian: Spike And Xander in the Comics (BUF-SpikeAndXanderComic-xandervampsgirl)
[personal profile] yourlibrarian
1) A quick rundown on new shows that I tried out: Great News and The Gifted: Read more... )

2) During my trip I read the first of Her Royal Spyness series by Rhys Bowen. I liked it well enough but am curious if anyone reading this has read more books in the series and whether they recommend them? Read more... )

3) We recently had another visit from the heron. It was strolling around our end of the lake.

Read more... )

4) A few more necklaces as well, Halloween and not Read more... )

5) Speaking of photos, it's interesting to see all the communities on LJ which clearly have absent moderators/owners because of all the dead Photobucket links in banners, backgrounds, etc. I wanted to ask if anyone knows of active Buffy communities here on DW that I might be able to post a promo to about Top 5's Classic Recs?

Fests and Cons

Oct. 18th, 2017 07:40 pm
argentum_ls: (Default)
[personal profile] argentum_ls
I’ve decided to sit out Yuletide this year unless a compelling pinch hit comes up. The excitement just wasn’t there.

The same is not true for Shortcuts. I signed up for that, and now have a wonderful assignment in hand!

Meanwhile, I’m counting down to the Highlander Worldwide convention this weekend. To make things even better, a surprise, retroactive raise at my second job meant I could afford to take Stan Kirsch’s Masterclass.

What are you up to?

life's a beech

Oct. 18th, 2017 06:15 pm
lamentables: (Default)
[personal profile] lamentables
We had the weird weather on Monday. The one where the sky was so full of sand from the Sahara and wood smoke from I-forget-where, that it was dark for most of the day. The sun was a flat red disk, just the way it is in polluted Asia. Perpetual sunset from sunrise to around 3pm. The mismatch between the angle and colour of light was disconcerting, as was the mismatch of darkness and warm wind. At yoga everyone was unsettled and we never achieved the usual atmosphere of calm and focus. I was so disconcerted that I didn't even try to photograph it.

Tuesday was gloriously bright and sunny, but I was stuck indoors in a meeting from 9am to 1:30pm. I had nobly agreed to do some work with the managers from the charity at which I used to be a trustee. They are both lovely, so it wasn't too much of a chore. It was draining though, performing and thinking out loud for two people for such a long time. Afterwards I went into town to the health food shop. I did need to buy stuff, but the shop is becoming a convenient way to treat myself. My loyalty card is rapidly filling up.

Today we're back to proper autumnal weather - gloomy, wet, and much colder - and I had to take Percy for a walk in it. He seemed quite cheerful about it all.

Normal autumnal weather #oftheday

My gardener doesn't seem to mind the weather and has demolished most of the front garden today. It's great to see the beech trees without lots of grass and weeds choking them, and I'm looking forward to the gardener planting more of them to fill the gaps and make a decent beech hedge all round the front.

Today is the usual last day of my working week, and we're shortly fleeing the country for a fortnight. No more work for me until 6th November. Hurrah!

Wednesday says Happy Diwali

Oct. 18th, 2017 05:21 pm
oursin: Photograph of small impressionistic metal figurine seated reading a book (Reader)
[personal profile] oursin

What I read

Ingested two David Wishart Corvinus mysteries, Trade Secrets (2016) and Foreign Bodies (2016) - Severn House having finally decided, it seems, to come down at some point to a price for their ebooks that is more or less comparable with mass market paperbacks rather than hardcover. These were pretty much the mixture as usual - combination of what seems to me pretty solid knowledge of what Rome and its Empire was like at the period, with upper-crust Roman sleuth cracking wise and somewhat anachronistic as the bodies pile up. There is probably a rule with extended series like this that if you haven't given up somewhere along the line, you will as a matter of habit pick up succeeding episodes as they come along.

Tremontaine Series 3, Episode 1. Interested to see where this is going to go.

Discovered by entire chance that there is an ebook of short stories about Rosemary Edghill's Bast, Failure of Moonlight: The Collected Bast Shorter Works (2012), which I had not known about and gulped down. This led me to a binge re-read of the 3 Bast mysteries - set in the world of contemporary Wicca/Paganism of the 1990s - :Speak Daggers to Her (1995), Book of Moons (1995) and The Bowl of Night (1996). I thought these held up pretty well, though possibly more for their evocation of a particular time, place and subculture, and Bast's own moral ambivalence, than for the mystery plots. In an essay appended to the shorter works she wonders if these will be what she is remembered for, eventually: she's written quite a lot in various genres under various names. I see that when I reread the space-opera trilogy Butterfly and Hellflower, written as eluki bes shahar, I felt it had rather lost its shiny. There were also, I think, some rather generic fantasy works and collaborations with Mercedes Lackey which have pretty much faded from memory, and I'm not sure I ever read any of her romances.

On the go

Only Sexual Forensics which got a bit back-burnered lately.

Up Next

The next episode of Tremontaine Season 3. Maybe Ruthanne Emrys, Winter Tide, which I have heard good things about, and is at present very briefly a giveaway from Tor. Also, have received some more v srs books from An Academic Publisher for reviewing a proposal (when offered this, I specifically look for books which are hideously expensive destined for university library editions that I would not buy for myself).

In case anyone is interested...

Oct. 18th, 2017 11:14 am
hunningham: Woman peering out from a book (More with Reading)
[personal profile] hunningham
From now to the end of October 20th, Tor.com Publishing is offering a free ebook download of Ruthanna Emrys' Winter's Tide when you sign up for their monthly newsletter.

Winter's Tide is one of several recent books playing with Lovecraft's toybox and turning his ideas on their head. In this one the narrator is one of the creatures of Innsmouth. I've read the previews and have been havering about whether to buy the ebook or the hardback.

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