Mar 07

So behind they think they are ahead

This made me laugh, especially the headline “A Masterpiece Without a Genre.”

“Kazuo Ishiguro’s first novel in 10 years is a sad, remarkable fantasy set after King Arthur’s death.”

And it features scenes like:

Here, in no special order of importance or chronology, are some things that happen in Kazuo Ishiguro’s new novel: An old man uses a hoe to fight off thousands of pixies who have attacked his wife as she floats down a river in a basket; an enchanted mist envelops a country, causing an entire people to forget its past; an ogre is found in a ditch, gravely indisposed, having killed and partially eaten a poisoned goat; an ancient widow prosecutes a grievance with a mysterious boatman by methodically slitting the throats of rabbits and spilling their blood on the floor of his childhood home; a past-his-Green-Knight-beheading-prime Sir Gawain faces off against a hell-dog in an underground chamber.

Of course no matter the quality if someone who’d started out writing fan-fic or in the pulp paperback ghetto had written the exact same thing it would have been relegated to the fantasy bin and never spoken of in polite company again.

I always laugh when incidents like this occur; some “important” author writes fantasy or sf — usually poorly and behind the leading wave of the genre by 25 years — and is praised for it, meanwhile actual genre authors are writing better, more nuanced work that is never considered other than to laugh at.

I don’t much care for the literary establishment. Luckily, it is much-diminished in importance (and they hate that).

Novels only don’t have a genre (as this Slate tripe claims) when the literary mandarins want to re-heat something that has been old hat for a few decades and present it as something unstained by those genre ties.

Pretty disgusting if you ask me.

Mar 07

Politricks

Here’s a more balanced review of American Sniper, rather than all the liberals soiling themselves over how it glorified violence or whatever else.

I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I will, as most of the reviews sounded very probably wrong to me because I’d never seen Eastwood helm a movie pointed the direction that one was accused of heading ideologically.

So American Sniper a war movie.

It is not a pro-war movie.

It’s not a particularly political movie.

The little politics Eastwood lets slip in are isolationist.

The only connection made between 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq is chronological. The attacks happen and nineteen months later the war happens and Chris Kyle finds himself in Iraq. In between, he gets married. Eastwood makes no use of it for emotional effect, never mind using it to make a political point. It’s exposition. We don’t even see it happen. We see Kyle see it happen on TV.

That’s about what I expected. Eastwood is about as likely to make a pro-war movie as I am to vote for Rand fucking Paul. And of course one can’t really make a movie about Iraq and ignore the politics of it all — but still, I care about stories, and telling the story of a man doing a dangerous and dirty job in a bad situation is more interesting than explicitly political movies. Even if the job itself is very probably on balance evil, but situational evil.

I considered becoming a sniper in the military, and changing my job to that when I was offered the opportunity. I’m a very good shot and have the mentality for it. But in the end I am glad I did not, and declined because I did not trust (rightly) the military to want to kill the right people insomuch as anyone deserves death.

Note: I did not and do not support the Iraq war, do not think we should invade any country pretty much ever and am fully opposed to America’s past and future imperial ambitions. I am a liberal, and a far left-wing one at that.

If only the great body of people reacting to American Sniper had done so against the Iraq War — well, it probably would’ve still happened but this still seems a bit hypocritical. But criticizing in bad faith American Sniper is an easy reputation boost whereas inveighing against the Iraq war in the propaganda run-up was a huge risk.

So that’s why we see what we see today.

Mar 06

Needs more powah

Is this true?

For example, support for more than one email address is considered a power user feature that Google is dropping.

If that is a power user feature, I must be a robot fusion-powered space mutant turbo ninja user, because I have at least eight email addresses that I use somewhat regularly (including work addresses) and probably a dozen more that I am aware of but are in states of abandonment.

Mar 05

Aquatic ape

This is why I always denigrate the Fat Acceptance movement.

baMUfys

That is some deeply whacky bullshit. And almost certainly not a troll.

The Aquatic Ape theory is my favorite absolutely wrong theory. However, even if true, we would’ve evolved our aqua-simian (kind of like Aqua Man, but apier) features where temperatures are warm so our blubber requirements would be minimal.

And gah, the stupid, the stupid, it burns.

Mar 03

Laura Cox

How is it that a woman with a French accent* is the only one who’s yet made a credible cover of “Sweet Home Alabama?”

That’s a very hard guitar solo in that song. Hell, even the rhythm guitar in that song is not easy. She’s a great rock guitarist. Really just great. Watch this.

Listen to those notes bend. If you haven’t figured it out, she’s playing all the guitar parts and mixing them in post-production. Including bass.

Bonus because it’s fun watching such an overtly masculine song played and sung by a woman.

Ah, hell, why not one more. Known very hard solo.

*I have no idea where she’s from, but French is definitely her first language.

Mar 03

The Walking Dead – not the zombies

Could one show improve as much as The Walking Dead did ever again?

It went from meh to bad, to holy fucking god that is world-class drama and acting.

How? Is this? Possible?

The transition really started in season two, but seasons four and five are right up there at the pinnacle with any TV show ever made. Better even than Lost at is prime, for the most part.

When the protagonists become the villains and you understand why, agree and realize that you’d probably do the same in their situation — that’s really fucking fine work as that’s so very hard to do dramatically.

OMG I love Carol so much. What a great, great character she’s turned out to be. Simply masterful writing and portrayal by Melissa McBride.

It’s great to watch someone become who they should’ve been, even in such dreadful circumstances.

Mar 02

Is is good

Wow, actual satire and biting mordant comedy on SNL? That hasn’t happened in years.

Damn funny. If you aren’t offending someone, you aren’t doing comedy. By definition, pretty much.

Yeah, we created the mess in Iraq. But pretending that ISIS is a bunch of nice dudes running around rescuing orphans is a very liberal American thing to do. And it just ain’t so.

Making fun of those raping murdering bastards and crass consumerism and resultant marketing is just fine is with me.

Mar 01

Professing

Good article about sexual paranoia in academia that applies to all life nowadays I think.

Of course, the residues of the wild old days are everywhere. On my campus, several such “mixed” couples leap to mind, including female professors wed to former students. Not to mention the legions who’ve dated a graduate student or two in their day—plenty of female professors in that category, too—in fact, I’m one of them. Don’t ask for details. It’s one of those things it now behooves one to be reticent about, lest you be branded a predator.

I miss the Wild West of the internet, the more open times of the 80s (though I don’t miss most of those times), and when generally people just weren’t as uptight and afraid as they are now.

Things weren’t perfect, but people weren’t so paranoid and insane about many things as they currently are (also related to how kids aren’t allowed to leave the house anymore — all connected.)

To be clear, I think protecting people from sexual predation is wonderful. However, 95% — if not more — of these codes are about sexual control of people and are related to the same urges religions express/depend on to control sexuality and thus people, and are based in no desire to protect anyone.

Protection is just the excuse, the canard, the, uh, insertion point.

Everyone is so afraid of everything these days. Fuck that. Just fuck that. Living in fear is like death. I pledged not to live my life that way, and I have not.

Mar 01

Period

Why does this keep showing up in my YouTube recommended videos no matter what I watch?

pd

Period blood doesn’t disgust me. Almost nothing does except some bad smells. But why, YouTube, why?