vanitashaze: Text: "Idiot: member of large, powerful tribe whose influence in human affairs has always been dominant & controlling." (rampant! rampant!)
So I just had a really infuriating argument about all of Glee's SERIOUSLY PROBLEMATIC PROBLEMS (of which I could go on forever, but I won't, because this show makes me go AAAAAAAARGGH) with a friend who was convinced that Glee was "fluff"; that I was "taking it too seriously"; that it was a "coincidence" that the main storylines went to white, straight characters (and hey! Gay characters and disabled characters and characters of color exist! So obviously my argument is groundless); that the writers weren't racist (and sexist, and ablist, and homophobic), and if they were, it was because they "didn't know how to handle so many storylines", or (my personal favorite) "because they wanted good ratings, and nobody watches shows about gay people/black people/asian people/disabled people/women".

And this a good friend. Someone I really like. And who could not accept that it was a problem that Glee had problems.


Then I read this, and that made it a little better, at least in regards to the Brittany/Santana storyline. So that's something.
vanitashaze: Text: "Idiot: member of large, powerful tribe whose influence in human affairs has always been dominant & controlling." (rampant! rampant!)
Courtesy of [ profile] sheafrotherdon:

OH MY GOD EW CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICANS. This is not the first time that secularism has been sacrificed in the Texas Textbook Debates, but this is definitely one of the scariest examples I've seen yet. There are so many things I could say about the new curriculum - how it's likely going to be sexist, racist, xenophobic, homophobic, religiously discriminatory, just discriminatory in general, and oh yeah, PARTISAN BRAINWASHING - but I think this shit is self-explanatory, and there's just way too much fail to properly document. Really, I think one of their fellow Republicans said it best: "Guys, you're rewriting history now!" Though this bit deserves a special notice for sheer RAGE INDUCING FAIL:

McLeroy moved that Margaret Sanger, the birth-control pioneer, be included because she “and her followers promoted eugenics."

In conclusion: Yuck.


vanitashaze: Girl on a dark beach. (Default)
ROMANCE c.1300, "story of a hero's adventures," also (early 14c.), "vernacular language of France" (as opposed to Latin), from O.Fr. romanz "verse narrative," originally an adverb, "in the vernacular language," from V.L. *romanice scribere "to write in a Romance language" (one developed from Latin instead of Frankish), from L. Romanicus "of or in the Roman style," from Romanus "Roman" (see Roman). The connecting notion is that medieval vernacular tales were usually about chivalric adventure. Literary sense extended by 1660s to "a love story." Extended 1610s to other modern languages derived from Latin (Spanish, Italian, etc.). Meaning "adventurous quality" first recorded 1801; that of "love affair, idealistic quality" is from 1916. The verb meaning "court as a lover" is from 1942.

I shall repeat: it didn't mean love affair until 1916.

Isn't it strange to think that, in a way, the concepts you're taught to build your world on didn't even exist a hundred, a thousand years ago? "Romance" was a heroic story. Love existed outside of marriage, not in it. Once, we thought that the earth was flat, or that atoms were formed like plum puddings. Doubtless in a hundred years, we will think, once, we thought that atoms were clouds of electrons revolving around a nucleus. We are not timeless; we are temporal. There is - I believe there is - the eternal in us, some being or presence, and yet. We don't know what time is, but we are so strongly grown from this one. I don't quite know how to articulate it but it's strange. It's eerie. Like living inside Einstein's dreams. How much of you is made of your time?
vanitashaze: Girl on a dark beach. (Default)
As part of the fandom [ profile] help_haiti auction, I am offering FIC of at least 1000 words on prompt of your choice, or POETRY, fannish or not. Fandoms include Doctor Who, Psych, SGA, Supernatural, Torchwood, Merlin, Harry Potter, and Being Human. I have additional knowledge of more. If you've got a yen for more obscure fandoms - an old movie, for instance, or a piece of literature (Camus and Sartre would be examples of authors I've written) - just drop me a PM, and I'll let you know if I'm familiar with it or not.

Additionally, I am offering a PODFIC of any of the fandoms on this list (or not on this list, if you ask nicely and bid generously), or a COVER of a song of your choosing, a capella (though if you bid a lot I'll try for piano or guitar accompaniment). Blues, standards, R&B, folk, you name it. For those who aren't familiar with my vocal work, you can find a sample here. (You wanted to put tip money in my mug, [ profile] sinkwriter, now's your chance!)

As if that wasn't enough, I am also offering FANART of any visual-medium (TV, movie, etc.) fandom, or ORIGINAL ART, or a FAN COMIC for any of the fandoms on the above list. G to R rated; I'll scan, or buyer pays S&H. You can check stuff out at my art tag.

Bidding for all three starts at $15. My fic/poetry thread is here, my audio thread is here, and my art thread is here. Bidding ends Wednesday, so bid now and don't miss your chance!

Go go gadget fandom!
vanitashaze: Girl on a dark beach. (Default)
And yet I am quickly becoming addicted to Radiolab, a wonderful little radio show on WYNC 93.9 that's somewhere between geekdom and synesthesia. Every episode, they choose a topic - life after death, for instance, or numbers, or why we blink - and from that topic focus on a few elements in-depth, usually about three of these, and then leave it to the listeners to draw conclusions and connections between them. It's supposedly a scientific show, and they definitely have a scientific bend - most of the elements are approached from a scientific basis - but it also touches on psychology, philosophy, anthropology, spirituality, music, literature, art... the list goes on and on. (And, [ profile] ticketsonmyself, they had They Might Be Giants on for a guest spot!) I'm not particularly scientific, and I always preferred a more humanistic / metaphysical / subjective explanation for things, but that has not deterred me at all, because this isn't a typical radio science show that only scientists can enjoy (or, you know, a high-school science class). This is how science should be taught - with humor, depth, care, debate, and above all, an endless good-natured curiosity about the way the world works and what our place in it is. (All the hosts are super easy on the ears, too.)

It is, needless to say, great. I want to move to New York just so I can listen to this on the radio every day. However, if - like me - you're unlucky enough to live out of radio reception, you can download the podcasts of the shows for free off their website, and listen to them whenever. They have the longer hour-shows - which I totally recommend, especially "Beyond Time" and the one on race - but they also have twenty-minute "shorts", which are great if you don't have the time to commit to listening to the former all the way through. (Word to the wise, though: Don't try to listen to either of them while doing something that requires motor concentration. They're fascinating, and you will get totally wrapped up in them and forget what you're doing. I almost got flattened by a mid-size compact this morning, doing just this.)
vanitashaze: Girl on a dark beach. (it's just been that kinda day /)
...But I was wrong! Grievously so! To wit: this hilarious Ovid poem, as (rather liberally) translated by Peter Green.

The Amores: Book One, Poem Three

Fair's fair now, Venus. This girl's got me hooked. All I'm asking from her
Is love - or at least some future hope for my own
Eternal devotion. No, even that's too much - hell, just let me love her!
(Listen, Venus: I've asked you so often now.)
Say yes, pet. I'd be your slave for years, for a lifetime.
Say yes - unswerving fidelity's my strong suit.
I may not have top-drawer connections, I can't produce blue-blooded
Ancestors to impress you, my father's plain middle-class,
And there aren't any squads of ploughmen to deal with my broad acres -
My parents are both pretty thrifty, and need to be.
What have I got on my side, then? Poetic genius, sweetheart,
Divine inspiration. And love. I'm yours to command -
Unswerving faithfulness, morals above suspicion
Naked simplicity, a born-to-the-purple blush.
I don't chase thousands of girls, I'm no sexual circus-rider;
Honestly, all I want is to look after you
Till death do us part, have the two of us living together
All my time, and know you'll cry for me when I'm gone.
Besides, when you give me yourself, what you'll be providing
Is creative material. My art will rise to the theme
And immortalise you. Look, why do you think we remember
The swan-upping of Leda, or Io's life as a cow,
Or poor virgin Europa whisked off overseas, clutching
That so-called bull by the - horn? Through poems, of course.
So you and I, love, will enjoy that same world-wide publicity,
And our names will be linked, forever, with the gods.

While I understand that the more academic translation is perhaps not quite as ribald, I quite prefer this one. People don't seem to understand poems in a historical context - witness the Canterbury Tales. It's hard to remember that most of the Classical poems we read today were written in a different language and then translated, into a language that barely resembles what we speak today; that the formality we associate with epic poems and "thee" and "thou" wasn't, at the time, particularly formal at all. I suppose I like this version of the Ovid poem because, had I been around in 20 or so BCE, this is pretty much how I would have understood it to be: a funny, light-hearted, occasionally rude ode to love, certainly not worth the pompousness it's given today.
vanitashaze: Girl on a dark beach. (girl if you're a seascape i'll be a boat)
Iran: *explodes*

I don't pretend to know anything but the bare bones about this whole affair, but reading this, it's... it's something. I don't know if I can properly articulate it, I don't know if I even have the right to - because in a tangental sense, James Ransome was right, I haven't held their babies - but I can say that it's sobering in the extreme. All this... humanness - the beatings and abductions and killings, and the courage of the people risking being beaten and abducted and killed, but still googling and Twittering and marching - is a wonder, and horror. Especially for me, I suppose, for Americans who just had the forty-fourth peaceful transition of power in the history of their country, and have never known any other way, but for the grace of God or Allah or George Washington or whomever-the-fuck. We made such a big deal of it. And it was a big deal - it was - but still. We didn't have blood running in the streets. This collective Twitter transcript, it's an education in revolutions themselves, because you have pages and pages of reported deaths and rumors and instructions, and then suddenly you have something like, "please RT urgent does anyone know whats happening near saiee park? my daughter is near" and you think,

oh fuck,

these are people we're talking about here.

IN COMPLETELY UNRELATED BUT INFURIATING NEWS: Thank you, assholes. I don't believe I've ever properly articulated how grateful I am for the right to exist. You know, like every other American. (Though for some reason they have the right to exist and the right to marry.) Just - ack. THE STUPID, IT BURNS.


vanitashaze: Girl on a dark beach. (Default)

April 2012

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