Wild West

Aug. 19th, 2017 07:21 am
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[personal profile] cactuswatcher
I was driving back toward home from the bank yesterday, when I saw a tall skinny dog trot across the main street I was on. It was well in front of me so I had plenty of time to see it. It was about half way across when I noticed its bushy tail. I thought "Is that a..." Yep, it was a coyote. Not that coyotes are limited to the west any more. But this was the first wild one I'd seen here in the Phoenix area since I moved here getting close to two decades ago. I think it was last year that someone put up a warning about a coyote seen in my immediate neighborhood. (They can be a particular danger for small pets.) I have no idea why the coyote was up on the street yesterday. It was just a few steps north of a bridge over a flood control channel, a very deep wide ditch that is perfectly dry almost all the time, that's there to keep the summer monsoon storms from flooding the nearby houses. No doubt the coyote lives down in the channel, where the plants grow wild and whatever critters that move in are left alone. It's a rough life in the desert. The coyote I saw boldly loping up my driveway a couple decades ago in Missouri, probably weighed twice as much as the one I saw yesterday.

I don't know how far and wide Hatch chilies have spread as a food item. They are certainly a thing in the Southwest. They are moderately sized, long, a bit tough skinned, perfect for stuffing, as in Chile Rellenos. I hated stuffed peppers when I was growing up. But those were green bell peppers which I still don't like. Chile Rellenos are something I often order at Mexican restaurants. This time of year you can buy the Hatch chilies in grocery stores. They can be dead mild to very hot. The trouble is that it's impossible to tell a hot one from a mild one just by looking at it. They are grown separately according to spiciness. The store will have separated piles of them for sale, but they are frequently mixed up either in shipping or by careless customers. I bought three that were labeled 'medium' to use in salads. The first one turned out to be dead mild. The second one is slightly hot. I'm hoping the last one will not be fiery hot.

Everyone's favorite dingbat President is having a 'campaign' rally in Phoenix next Tuesday. The mayor of Phoenix asked him to put it off. But DJT listened about about as well as he does to anyone, so he's coming. In addition to his statements about Charlottesville being fresh in everyone's mind, there have also been hints of him being eager to feed his base by giving a pardon to a local celebrity. Our former, long-time county sheriff, Joe Arpaio was convicted of ignoring court orders to stop hassling Hispanics in hopes of catching illegal immigrants. The sentencing is set for a few weeks down the road. There is some fear that riots may happen if Trump pardons Arpaio now before his sentencing. We did manage to vote Arapaio out before he was convicted, but there are probably as many people who love him as there are who hate him. Protests and counter protests are being planned as I write. So I'm hoping the news coming from Phoenix next Tuesday will be at least peaceful.
oursin: My photograph of Praire Buoy sculpture, Meadowbrook Park, Urbana, overwritten with Urgent, Phallic Look (urgent phallic)
[personal profile] oursin

- just on reading the the cover of the Guardian Saturday Review, which promised its readers a letter from Karl Ove Knausgaard to his unborn baby.

And when Tonstant Weader had finished thwowing up, she wondered how much nappy-changing KOK (fnarr, fnaar: am 13 at the back of the class) signs up for, rather than providing Deep Existential Insights?

Will concede that I am somewhat cynical about the entire genre of 'Bloke becomes father and has EPIPHANY' - in particular we may note that KOK already has two children. Also KOK has admitted that 'he has achieved huge success by sacrificing his relationships with friends and members of his family'.

And in other bloke news, maybe it's just me, but why is Rosa Bonheur 'less well-known' than other French C19th horse painters whose names ring no bell with me, Vernet and Fromentin? If someone has a massive great canvas in the NY Metropolitan Museum... I think this is a deplorable case of the reviewer not having heard of her.

And also in Dept of Unexamined Assumptions, What Internet Searches Reveal: as I am sure I have heretofore remarked, what interests people in porn, what their sexual fantasies are, doesn't necessarily map to what they like to do. So not entirely sure that Big Data on the topic is quite as revelatory as claimed here.

(no subject)

Aug. 18th, 2017 11:22 pm
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[personal profile] shadowkat
1. Mary Queen of Scots - film based on the 2004 biography The True Life of Mary Stuart by John Guy

Stage director Josie Rourke is directing the title, which is written by House Of Cards creator Beau Willimon and based on the 2004 biography by John Guy, The True Life Of Mary Stuart. Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner and Debra Hayward are producing. Pic is expected to begin shooting this summer.

Crowned the queen of Scotland before she was a year old, Mary added to that pedigree when her first husband became France’s king and she became queen consort in 1559. Despite that auspicious start, things didn’t go well form there. She later married her first cousin, Lord Darnley, a bad match that ended with his murder.

When she quickly married Bothwell, who was suspected of orchestrating the killing, an uprising against the couple resulted in her being imprisoned in Loch Leven Castle. Forced to abdicate her throne to her year-old son, she failed in an attempt to wrest back the throne and fled for the protection of her cousin, England’s Queen Elizabeth I. Mary had once claimed to be the rightful Queen of England, a view embraced by Catholics. Perceived as a threat by her cousin, she was confined and ultimately executed for complicity in a plot to assassinate Elizabeth.


Hmm.

2. From EW Magazine, some interesting fall flicks:

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women --basically a film about the psychologist, William Moulton Marston, who created Wonder Woman and his psychologist wife and their mutual romantic partner Olivia Byrne.

Goodbye Christopher Robin -- this isn't what I thought it was going to be about. Domhnall Gleeson portrays AA Milne who returns from WWI, damaged and downtrodden, and is struggling to adjust to life after war, he does so by reconnecting to his son, Christopher Robin. It also depicts what happens after Winnie the Pooh becomes a worldwide phenomenon and Christopher Robin the most famous kid in the world and the toll that takes on the family.

3. Hee Hee Hee... or rather omg, LMAOOOO!But you do have to be patient and get to the midway part, when they actually perform the musical in the middle of a California Intersection Cross Walk in LA.

Conversations..

Aug. 18th, 2017 09:24 pm
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[personal profile] shadowkat
Woke up in a good mood, then alas I went to work and my mood slowly drifted downhill from there. Not helped by the weather. Whenever I went outside, I felt as if I was treading through water. The air was thick with perspiration and electricity...

1. This week, Sci-Fi fan Co-worker, the one who loans me books...which would be cool, except he likes to loan me books that have tiny print and he'd bought in the 1960s, so they make me sneeze...

Sci-Fi Co-worker aka RZ (short for Roger Zelzany fan): I saw the worst science fiction/fantasy series on television ever this weekend. And I do mean the worse of anything I've ever seen in my entire life.
(I take a breath and brace myself...just in case it's one I happen to like, there's so many to choose from. Also this is rare, because he pretty much likes all sci-fi/fantasy shows, even shows like Midnight, Texas. )
Me: Okay...what was it?
RZ: Twin Peaks.
(I burst out laughing.)
Me: Okay, do you mean the current one? Or the original?
RZ: Yes, the most recent..
Me: Did you watch the original?
RZ: No -
Me: Because the sequel won't make a lick of sense without watching the original, or so I've been told.
RZ: My wife saw the original...
Me: Did she like the sequel?
RZ: Really not. It made no sense. Everything about it was horrible...
Me: Well, you got to understand it's David Lynch. After the first two seasons of Twin Peaks, he sort of went off the rails...and decided to be surreal. So if you don't like pure surrealism, you probably won't like it...
RZ: Maybe. Except this was just awful.
Me: David Lynch is often an acquired taste. For me he's hit or miss. I liked the first two seasons of Twin Peaks, Mullohound Drive, and Blue Velvet. Not so much the other stuff. Dune was a disappointment.
RZ: Skip this.

Considering everyone online including my mother's cousin adores the sequel to Twin Peaks, I find this conversation rather amusing and somewhat informative.

2. Discussion with freshman roommate, who happens to be African-American, lives in Boston, and works as financial planner about that Racism chart that I posted the other day. This also includes my aunt, who had to pipe in her two cents. The national debate on racism...is necessary but extremely painful.



Ex-Roommate: I have a problem with us trying to define racism. What about people who march, make space, "put themselves in harms way" for other motives? Defy parents, low self-esteem, trying to prove something? What about POC who are racist against other POC? It's fine when people are obvious about racism, but you can't get into the minds and hearts of people, look at surface behavior and yell racism. I think this chart is fine, but its so much deeper then this.

Me: Thank you. I've been wondering about this as well. Can we define it so neatly? And is there a relationship between racism and "privilege", which should be emphasized? I think you are right -- it's much more complicated than this.

Ex-Roommate: I know plus size white women who say they can only date black men because white men aren't attracted to them. Is that racist? I know a woman who adopted a little girl from China, and she would constantly say racist things towards Asian people at work. When we called her out on it she said, "I'm not racist my little girl is from China." And I constantly have black people telling me, "You should have financial education classes just for black people as we don't know how to manage our money like white people." Racist?

Me: I think it's prejudice and racism but it is socialized racism. But not necessarily discrimination in all cases? There's a huge difference between racial prejudice and racial discrimination and profiling. I mean everyone is prejudiced in some way, right? I think we all make generalizations based on physical traits and develop prejudices many of which we are socialized to believe. But, that doesn't justify racist or prejudicial behavior that hurts another. So I think it depends on the action? I.e. The woman who prefers dating black men because they see her as beautiful is a bit different than the coworker who thinks it is okay to say abusive and derogatory comments about the Chinese even though she has an adopted Chinese daughter. If anything what she's doing is worse because she's reinforcing negative racial views regarding her own daughter. Just as it is different for black people to use the "N'' word and for a white person to use it. Or a white guy to say blacks can't manage their money as opposed to the black woman stating it -- however in both cases it's not true. My white grandparents and many family members are horrific at it and I work with a lot of black financial whites.

Aunt: The chart is not diagnosing your racism. It's a tool to open your eyes as to where you stand and then hopefully, you strive to improve yourself. It's not a judgement tool. It's a self help tool.

Aunt to Ex-Roommate: No. Mentally maladjusted. I've worked in the public sector and, let's face it, there are some out there who are just plain nuts! (Whoops, I hope I wasn't being offensive to the mentally ill).



I don't know. Racism is admittedly a trigger for me. I have strong opinions regarding it. I think in part because I've seen up close and personal the consequences of it. I've met and talked and become close to people who were severely hurt by it. And I've listened to and sat with the bigots. I think I told you about my Uncle Earl, he died several years ago. The man would talk about "Nigger Ball" that's what he called Basketball. And he disowned his daughter for marrying a person of color. And at one point, he pointed out to my parents that they might want to worry about my brother marrying his wife, who was part Cherokee (and Jewish) because they tend be quite dark and will have...dark kids.
My father had to leave the room and could barely stand him. He called him "Lonseome Dove", half in jest.

I'm trying to listen. And not say too much. I think sometimes I say too much. I've been criticized a lot in my life for saying too much.

3. On a brighter note...Voyage to the Other World: A New Eulogy for Ray Bradbury by Margaret Atwood Okay, it's an eulogy, so maybe not brighter?

4. I don't know, I think several episodes of Great British Bake-Off need to be binged this weekend. I need a palate cleanser. Either that or the Defenders...although I think Great British Bake-Off would be better.

Bye Bye, Bannon

Aug. 18th, 2017 11:13 am
cactuswatcher: (Default)
[personal profile] cactuswatcher
Bye bye, Bannon,
Bye bye, Bannon,
Bye bye, Bannon,
I'm sad to see you go.
(That last line is a genuine example of fake news.)
oursin: The Delphic Sibyl from the Sistine Chapel (Delphic sibyl)
[personal profile] oursin

Was lately reading something about (male) travellers and those Amazingly Beautiful Women they saw somewhere a long way away after arduous journeying, which might be partly about Exoticising the Other, but also, I think, about there being some place (or time) which is not boring old Here, where things are amazing.

On the, Not Like The Women I Have To Deal With Here And Now In The Present, a friend of mine has a piece somewhere or other (actually I think it's in a volume in which I too am represented) about certain late C19th French (male) intellectuals complaining that women of their day were by no means comparable to the HOTT witty libertine ladies of the Ancien Regime in their salons.

And this led me to the thought that maybe if you are living in it no time is Perfect and Ideal: some may be better than others, for more people, maybe. Just as there were people who found, for them, good lives in times/places that are not usually thought of as utopian eras and most time-travellers would not put on their bucket lists.

Anything close-up and quotidien is, I depose, something the flaws in which you are going to apprehend fairly acutely. Though possibly the upside of that is, that they are the flaws and hindrances that one has developed work-arounds for (see Katharine Whitehorn on the little niggles about one's house that one hardly notices any more but has to warn visitors about).

(no subject)

Aug. 17th, 2017 09:45 pm
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[personal profile] shadowkat
1. States Remove Confederate Monuments

Following in the footsteps of Baltimore, many other cities across the United States have taken preliminary steps to remove their own Confederate monuments. This includes statues and plaques and the like, as well as schools, highways, and other facilities named for Confederate soldiers, even holidays. All told, the Southern Poverty Law Center identified about 1,503 items as of 2016. Moreover, the vast majority of statues and physical markers are located in what can be considered southern states; of the 718 monuments and statues, about 300 are located in Georgia, Virginia, or North Carolina.

As you already know, Charlottesville’s city council voted to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from the newly-minted Emancipation Park. It was this decision that led to the violence that occurred over the weekend. As of right now, the statue’s removal is on hold as the city tries to figure out how to move forward after the protests and tragedy of the weekend. Gainesville, Florida has already moved one statue, and is in the process of raising funds to remove a second. One North Carolina statue was knocked over by protesters in response to what happened in Charlottesville.


This is actually a big deal. A historic event. Keep in mind these monuments have been around since the 1800s. So they are over 100 years old. The removal of the monuments to the Confederacy has opened up a nation wide debate on the topic. A debate that everyone from Condoleeza Rice, former Secretary of State to Robert E. Lee Jr, V, descendant of the Confederate General have participated. Interestingly enough, Rice thinks the monuments should stay where they are and Robert E. Lee's descendant thinks they should be put in a history museum depicting the horror of the times.

You'd think it would be the opposite, it's not.





Asked about the value of preserving statues that honor slaveowners in a May interview on Fox News, Condoleezza Rice argued against what she called the "sanitizing" of history. "I am a firm believer in 'keep your history before you' and so I don't actually want to rename things that were named for slave owners," she said. "I want us to have to look at those names and recognize what they did and to be able to tell our kids what they did, and for them to have a sense of their own history."

"When you start wiping out your history, sanitizing your history to make you feel better, it's a bad thing," the former secretary of state added.

Rice's defense in favor of preservation is rooted in an argument that is the basic opposite of the reason white nationalists are rallying for Lee. They believe it to be a persistent reminder of a positive history. Rice, on the other hand, believes preserving monuments to the darker moments of our past ensures future generations are acquainted with history and charge forward rather than backward, away from the mistakes of their ancestors, rather than into their fading bronze arms.

To be clear, Rice has not yet voiced her opinion on this particular statue. But hers is an interesting perspective to consider at a time when a small but vocal group of racist bigots is drawing attention to one of the darkest times in our nation's history.



I am curious to see what she'd have said after the events in Charlottsville.

Meanwhile...



Lee, a great-great-grandson of the Confederate hero, and his sister, Tracy Lee Crittenberger, issued a written statement on Tuesday condemning the "hateful words and violent actions of white supremacists, the KKK or neo-Nazis."

Then, Lee spoke with Newsweek by phone.

"We don't believe in that whatsoever," Lee says. He is quick to defend his ancestor's name: "Our belief is that General Lee would not tolerate that sort of behavior either. His first thing to do after the Civil War was to bring the Union back together, so we could become a more unified country."

The general was a slave owner who led the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia during the Civil War and who remains a folk hero throughout much of the South.

"We don't want people to think that they can hide behind Robert E. Lee's name and his life for these senseless acts of violence that occurred on Saturday," Lee says.

The Lee heir says it would make sense to remove the embattled statue from public display and put it in a museum—a view shared by the great-great-grandson of Jefferson Davis.

"I think that is absolutely an option, to move it to a museum and put it in the proper historical context," Lee says. "Times were very different then. We look at the institution of slavery, and it's absolutely horrendous. Back then, times were just extremely different. We understand that it's complicated in 2017, when you look back at that period of time... If you want to put statues of General Lee or other Confederate people in museums, that makes good sense."


Then there's this statement from the Mayor of New Orleans...


But there are also other truths about our city that we must confront. New Orleans was America’s largest slave market: a port where hundreds of thousands of souls were brought, sold and shipped up the Mississippi River to lives of forced labor of misery of rape, of torture.

America was the place where nearly 4,000 of our fellow citizens were lynched, 540 alone in Louisiana; where the courts enshrined ‘separate but equal’; where Freedom riders coming to New Orleans were beaten to a bloody pulp.

So when people say to me that the monuments in question are history, well what I just described is real history as well, and it is the searing truth.

And it immediately begs the questions: why there are no slave ship monuments, no prominent markers on public land to remember the lynchings or the slave blocks; nothing to remember this long chapter of our lives; the pain, the sacrifice, the shame … all of it happening on the soil of New Orleans.

So for those self-appointed defenders of history and the monuments, they are eerily silent on what amounts to this historical malfeasance, a lie by omission.

There is a difference between remembrance of history and reverence of it. For America and New Orleans, it has been a long, winding road, marked by great tragedy and great triumph. But we cannot be afraid of our truth.

As President George W. Bush said at the dedication ceremony for the National Museum of African American History & Culture, “A great nation does not hide its history. It faces its flaws and corrects them.”

So today I want to speak about why we chose to remove these four monuments to the Lost Cause of the Confederacy, but also how and why this process can move us towards healing and understanding of each other.

So, let’s start with the facts.

The historic record is clear: the Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and P.G.T. Beauregard statues were not erected just to honor these men, but as part of the movement which became known as The Cult of the Lost Cause. This ‘cult’ had one goal — through monuments and through other means — to rewrite history to hide the truth, which is that the Confederacy was on the wrong side of humanity.


He's not wrong. You should really read the whole thing. After listening to the Mayor's speech, I re-affirmed my view that yes, those frigging monuments need to come down. They should have been torn down in the 1960s. No, wait. They should never have been erected in the first place. Apparently there's a memorial to a Nazi sympathizer and collaborator in NYC, why it's there, I've no clue. Particularly in NYC of all places. Although changing place and street names may be a bit more problematic from a logistical perspective. (Yes, I know, I'm possibly the only person on the planet that obsesses over logistical matters... But, say you are looking for a post office located on Robert E. Lee Avenue and suddenly it has become Forest Hill Avenue. You're GPS can't find it and neither can you. Granted, if I were African-American I would not want to be living on Robert E Lee Avenue or passing down it every day to work. So, yes it should be changed. It's just a bit problematic. I bring this up because Governor Cumo wants to change the place and street names in New York. Now, why New York of all places had places and streets named after Confederate Generals is beyond me.

2. North Carolina Protest Arrest

In the days since Charlottesville, cities across the country have taken steps to remove Confederate monuments. Baltimore removed all of theirs in the middle of the night earlier this week. And if you haven’t yet watched the video of protesters in Durham, North Carolina, who refused to wait on their city and toppled a Confederate statue themselves, I recommend doing so. It’s highly catharticOne woman, Takiyah Thompson (you can see her coming out from behind the statue in the GIF), was arrested for her part in the protest. She’s currently out on bail, but this morning, a group of about 200 people gathered outside the Durham courthouse to oppose her arrest. And many of them (about 50 by some accounts) also went full Spartacus and lined up to turn themselves in to authorities.


3. How America Spreads the Disease that is Racism by not Confronting Racist Family Members and Friends

There's a nifty chart, see if you can identify where you fall on it.

Racism Scale Chart.

I can't reproduce the chart, sorry, I tried. You'll have to follow the above link.

If you fall below “awareness”, then this is a red flag that racism is a problem for you. If it is not a problem for you, but find that it is a problem for your family members and/or friends, then it’s time to address it or it will continue to spread throughout America.

Like alcoholism, an alcoholic cannot thrive without their enablers. It is the same white Americans who enable their relatives and friends who are racist. It is important to identify and recognize that racism is a mental illness and recommend that individual to a psychotherapist as needed.

There is no easy way to contain a disease, but if we can identify the symptoms, then we can put a stop to it through education and awareness.


This is why it is very important to talk to a diverse group of people constantly. I remember ages ago being challenged by my friends, when I muttered that if only I can be around people who agreed with me all of the time. They said, a)that would be boring, and b) how would you know when you are wrong?
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

I.e., this week has been mostly getting the new computer to do those things which it ought to do, and leave undone those things which it ought not do -

Among which the most disturbing was the discovery this morning that Thunderbird was marking ALL, yes ALL, incoming mail as Junk and also as Read, fortunately I did discover that this was happening.

There has also been wrestling with getting to be able to talk to the MyCloud as part of my home network rather than via a remote interface connection.

There was the oops, I needed to do a backup of This Thing, That Thing and The Other Thing from the old computer, and having to sort that out.

There is all the finding the passwords and activation codes for things for which I entered a password when I first activated the thing, and never since.

There is also the loss of some things - don't seem to be able to have the little slide-show widget thing of photos on my desktop, chiz - and finding that the new versions of things are Not What We Expect - the new Kobo Desktop App is quite horrid.

But on the whole, we are reasonably satisfied with the New System - its speed in particular is commendable.

However, I am annoyed with Opera, which I was intending using as my secondary browser to avoid Microsoft and Google, but the main thing I wanted a secondary browser for was so that I can log into The Other DW Journal without logging out of this one, but Opera, for some reason I wot not of, insists on autofilling the login screen with the details for this account rather than the other - la, 'tis tedious vexatious.

Lamb ribs

Aug. 17th, 2017 02:14 pm
chickenfeet: (cute)
[personal profile] chickenfeet
 Canadians don't eat much lamb.  It's just not a thing and it's more expensive than most other meats.  Despite that, by and large, only the expensive cuts make it to market.  Recently though butchers have started to sell lamb ribs as a BBQ cut at fairly fancy prices.  This amuses me as, some years ago, one of the more upscale butchers at the S. Lawrence Market tried to sell ribs with little success.  In fact at one point they were giving them to me for free in exchange for recipes.  I still wonder how many Torontonians essayed Côtes d'agneau à la St. Ménéhoulde.

In other world shattering news I have just completed room 9 of Kleptocats.

My new BalletX article

Aug. 17th, 2017 01:40 pm
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[personal profile] camille_bacon_smith

 I have a new article in the Broad Street Review!  This one is about BalletX's Choreographic Fellowship, that brings in a young choreographer to create a piece for the company under the mentorship of an experience choreographer.  It was interesting to hear director Christine Cox talk about what the fellowship means for the company.  

http://www.broadstreetreview.com/dance/andrew-mcnicol-wins-the-2018-balletx-choreographic-fellowship
 

(no subject)

Aug. 17th, 2017 01:37 pm
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[personal profile] camille_bacon_smith
 Busy week!  Last night, went to the #PhillyIsCharlottesville march.  The March ended at a church where speakers talked about local action to take next. Most of the people were outside, with loudspeakers carrying the speeches, but I actually got a seat inside.  It was a hot night, and I was a bit soggy by the time I got home, but I now have lots of ideas for forward action!

(no subject)

Aug. 17th, 2017 05:37 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] negothick and [personal profile] quiara!

Cheese

Aug. 16th, 2017 05:25 pm
chickenfeet: (mew)
[personal profile] chickenfeet
 A wise man once said "the second rat gets the cheese".  I think my problem is that all my life I've been typecast as first rat.

Heimat

Aug. 16th, 2017 11:24 am
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[personal profile] chickenfeet
Much of what I've been working on or reading or watching lately seems to turn on what homeland means to the colonised and how relationships between occupiers and indigenous people play out both in practice and ideology. Who would have thought that there were common threads between Rossini's Guillaume Tell, Scott's Ivanhoe, Tovey's Ancestral Voices and Current's Missing?  For some people writing about opera is all high notes and pretty dresses.  For me it's reading Franz Fanon and John Ralston Saul.

Wednesday is positively summery

Aug. 16th, 2017 03:53 pm
oursin: Photograph of small impressionistic metal figurine seated reading a book (Reader)
[personal profile] oursin

What I read

Finished The Color of Fear: up to usual standard.

PC Hodgell, The Gates of Tagmeth: these have definitely succumbed to a kind of Dunnett syndrome, in which there is some huge mysterious meta-arc going on, occasionally alluded to, but each episode deals with some particular problem that Jame (mostly) has to face (there were a few other viewpoint sections in this one) in the foreground and doesn't seem to be advancing the longer game particularly. On the other hand, kept me reading. On the prehensile tail, so not the place to start. (Are there really only 8 books in the Kencyrath sequence? only I have been reading them for decades, so it seems more.)

JD Robb, Echoes in Death (2017), as the ebook had finally come down to a sum I consider reasonable for an ebook. The mixture as usual, pretty much. Okay, not the most sophisticated of mystery plots, I got this and the twist very early on, but it's the getting there, I guess.

On the go

Discovered I had a charity-shop copy of PD James, The Private Patient (2008), the last of the excursions of Dalgleish, which I had not already read for some reason - possibly because I wasn't at that time sufficiently keen on PDJ and AD to shell out for a trade paperback.

Up next

Dunno, really.

What's-his-name

Aug. 16th, 2017 06:33 am
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[personal profile] cactuswatcher
Trump's performance the last few days has been bewildering enough, that I think others ought to be considering what I've said before: Donald Trump seems to have a form of non-Alzheimer's dementia. He's really not all there anymore, but can act reasonably well, enough of the time, that the people closest to him don't know it. I'm sure he was opinionated his whole life, but he just can't make or understand a rational argument anymore. Someone else wrote his speech from Monday and convinced him to give it publicly. He seemed like he was trying to internalize what he was saying, but just couldn't do it. Yesterday he was back to the rubbish from the weekend, with no comprehension that a bunch of fascists were invading a university campus just hoping to cause enough trouble to get themselves on the news.

I know what Trump was trying to say, and can appreciate it. The problem is he is no longer capable of formulating that kind of argument and that makes what he was trying to say Tuesday sound like nothing but sympathizing with nut jobs. He is no longer capable of understanding that line of argument doesn't fit the situation at the University of Virginia anyway.

It's horrifying to see otherwise well-meaning people project their beliefs onto Trump and loudly proclaim he's doing a fine job. It's no better hearing more realistic thinking people who like Trump where he is, because they know, and are happy as can be, that the government is crippled with him as President. Trump should be in assisted living not in the White House.
selenak: (Kitty Winter)
[personal profile] selenak
RE: ongoing horror show, err, US national and foreign politics: this is yet another reason why I find the entire Hydra in Marvel comics & MCU concept so stupid, not just in the WWII era, where the sheer logistics (or lack of same) break my brain, but also in the present day. Super-secret organization, master assassins, gadget weapons? This just isn't how fascism works. This is how fascism works. It shouts its goals to the winds and gets itself voted into power.

There is not a single member of the Republican party, nor any other voter who either elected the Orange Menace or by not voting enabled it, who can claim this isn't EXACTLY what they voted for or allowed to happen. Because Agent Orange certainly hadn't kept his views a secret. Nor did his minions.
oursin: The stylised map of the London Underground, overwritten with Tired of London? Tired of Life! (Tired of London? Tired of Life!)
[personal profile] oursin

London garden bridge project collapses in acrimony after £37m spent.

And I can't help wanting to say to Boris J that in Ye Bygone Days when people built follies they did so on their own estates and with their own money (though on reflection this was probably ill-gottens from the Triangle Trade and dodgy dealings in India) and didn't ask the nation to pay for them.

(And aren't there already memorials to Princess Di? How many do we need?)

And, you know, it's a pretty idea and in theory I am there with Thomas Heatherwick that 'London needs new bridges and unexpected new public places': except that that is not a part of London that required Yet Another Bridge, there are so many that taking the boat journey along that stretch of river is more like going into a tunnel.

Also, it was not properly a public space:

a link that would be privately run, would be able set its own rules for access, and would close at night and be available to hire for private events.
Not dissimilar from those gardens in London squares to which access is by residents' key. I do not think that is a definition of 'public' that would have been assented to by those urban planners and reformers creating parks and spaces for the benefit of the inhabitants of the metropolis.

I am also boggled by the suggestion that the river is not already pretty much 'centre-stage' in our great city.

I think Mad William would have had things to say along the lines of

I wander thro' each charter'd street,
Near where the charter'd Thames does flow.
and whether if crowds flowed over the bridge, so many, common and routine usage would have meant that
Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,
And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.

I might go along on the line suggested by this to comment that what good is a garden bridge if the land lies waste?

Orphan Black 5.10

Aug. 15th, 2017 12:59 pm
selenak: (Allison by Spankulert)
[personal profile] selenak
In which we get a LotR or Babylon 5 type of ending, and it's lovely.

Read more... )

(no subject)

Aug. 15th, 2017 09:25 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] jcalanthe and [personal profile] muckefuck!

GoT - to S7 - Episode 5

Aug. 14th, 2017 10:54 pm
shadowkat: (tv slut)
[personal profile] shadowkat
All caught up on Game of Thrones now..just a few things or questions/answers really...

major spoilers )
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

So, farewell then, printer which has been with me some dozen or so years, also previous computer.

Take it away Bessie Smith:

The usual sturm und drang over setting up the new All In One Computer and the printer which purports to be wireless, but refuses to connect thusly: however it will connect by cable.

Though alas, all the USB ports are on one side of the computer, the one away from where the printer has to go (unless I do some major rearranging), but I think I have contrived.

And of course, various other things still to get sorted.

But, getting there, sorta.

selenak: (Twelve and Clara)
[personal profile] selenak
I am looking forward to Jodi Whittaker’s Doctor, but last week it hit me really badly how much I’m going to miss Peter Capaldi, and I promptly started a Capaldi era rewatch, and fell in love with the Twelfth Doctor and Clara (and Missy, and (almost) all the storylines and themes) all over again. This was when Moffat-DW really clicked for me. I like the Eleventh Doctor, I like Amy, Rory, and of course River, but individual episodes aside, I was never in love during that particular era. And that’s okay. With a canon spanning more than 50 years, you really don’t have to be all the time. But it’s really great when it happens.

Madmen and -women in boxes )

TV Meme...

Aug. 13th, 2017 06:44 pm
shadowkat: (tv slut)
[personal profile] shadowkat
Eh, television friending meme from tv talk.

Name (see above)
Location Brooklyn, NY (USA)

Favorite currently airing shows: Great British Bake-Off, Game of Thrones, Nashville, (by current, I'm guessing during the summer which I'm watching now? Because not up to figuring out all together.)
Pilots you're most looking forward to: The Defenders, The Gifted, Star Trek Discovery, The Orville,
Other shows you maybe haven't mentioned yet: The Doctor Who Christmas Special, Sense8 Two Hour Movie Wrap Up premiering in 2018, Lucifer S3, The Expanse (which is taking up space on DVR), The 100 (ditto), Legion S2,
Top Five finished/canceled shows: Buffy, The Wire, Sense8, Farscape, The Good Wife (Oh wait, did you mean this year? Vampire Diaries, The Great British Bake-Off, Sense8, can't think of anything else.)

Other Hobbies; Writing novels, reading books, movies, cooking, sometimes I hike, long walks, sometimes I water-color and draw, yoga, listening to music,
What sort of posts do you post in your DW? Pretty much whatever I feel like at the time - see title of journal, although I am trying to pull back from discussing politics because it makes me unhappy and stressed out. I keep deleting political posts due to a tendency to ...well...pontificate, rant, and beat people over the head with my opinions. Apparently when it comes to politics at the moment, I've zero patience for the other perspective. (Trump getting elected pretty much crossed that line in the sand.)
Anything else interesting: I published a novel, it's called Doing Time on Planet Earth and available via Amazon. I'm technically challenged, so couldn't get it on the other electronic platforms.

Culinary

Aug. 13th, 2017 08:58 pm
oursin: Frontispiece from C17th household manual (Accomplisht Lady)
[personal profile] oursin

Bread during the week: a Standen loaf, v tasty.

Saturday breakfast rolls: brown grated apple with molasses and ginger: using up two bags of flour probably a) rather more wholemeal than strong white b) probably quantities a bit more than usual; also using up ginger so these were quite gingery.

Today's lunch: small whole sea-bream baked in foil with ginger and lime; served with purple crinkle-cut sweet potato fries, garlic roasted sweet-stem cauliflower and bellaverde broccoli, steamed samphire tossed in butter, and padron peppters.

Meanwhile...

Aug. 13th, 2017 08:03 pm
selenak: (Call the Midwife by Meganbmoore)
[personal profile] selenak
The things you learn: seems Samantha Bee of tv comedy fame is a Call The Midwife fan. A woman of taste, which is not new.:) As the unspeakable creature in the White House brings us closer to WWWIII by the tweet and finds condemming Nazis as Nazis too much of an effort, I can see why watching CdM is a good way to maintain sanity.

(Sidenote: I usually avoid calling present day people Nazis because the term is flung around far too often and sometimes in bizarre contexts - see: "grammar nazi" - but if they scream about blood and soil, give the fascist salute and throw the occasional Sieg Heil in, there's absolutely no reason to call them anything else. No more of this "Alt-Right" nonsense.)

But to return to "Call the Midwife", here's a lovely new story, a terrific portrait of Shelagh/Sister Bernadette that follows her through her life to that most crucial of years to her, 1958: life, and breath, and all things.

And here's a Black Sails rec:

The Fields of Elysium: the story of Thomas Hamilton after the 2.05 flashbacks until and including something spoilery )

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