st_aurafina: Audrey ftom Twin Peaks listening at a wall (Twin Peaks: Audrey listening)
[personal profile] st_aurafina
Title: Grandmothers For Peace
Fandom: Wonder Woman
Rating: G
Words: 100
Characters/Pairings: Diana & Etta
Warnings/Content: Future fic, protests
Notes: For [community profile] multifandomdrabble 2017.

Summary: 1958, The Atomic Research Weapons Establishment, Aldermaston

Also at the Archive

Grandmothers For Peace )

Title: Wuthering Heights
Fandom: Riverdale
Rating: Teen
Words: 100
Characters/Pairings: Cheryl Blossom/Jughead Jones, Cheryl Blossom/Veronica Lodge, Jason Blossom
Warnings/Content: Canonically dead character
Notes: For [community profile] multifandomdrabble 2017.

Summary: Cheryl wished people would be more accepting of her brother.

Also at the Archive

Wuthering Heights )

Title: Under the Sycamore Tree
Fandom: Twin Peaks
Rating: Teen
Words: 100
Characters/Pairings: Dale Cooper/Audrey Horne
Warnings/Content: Post-S2, The Black Lodge
Notes: For [community profile] multifandomdrabble 2017.

Summary: After the explosion, Audrey finds herself in an unfamiliar place.

Also at the Archive

Under the Sycamore Tree )

Title: For Services Rendered
Fandom: The Retired Angel of Death
Rating: Teen
Words: 100
Characters/Pairings: Brittany
Warnings/Content: Post-canon, future fic, alien world, seafood
Notes: For [community profile] multifandomdrabble 2017. The Retired Angel of Death is a sci-fi short story by Jamie Lackey, about a retired assassin who takes up food blogging and travel. You can read it here: The Retired Angel of Death.

Summary: Brittany has no problems eating meat.

Also at the Archive

For Services Rendered )

The War of the Worlds, H. G. Wells

Jul. 26th, 2017 03:06 pm
rushthatspeaks: (vriska: consider your question)
[personal profile] rushthatspeaks
I haven't reviewed anything here in far, far too long, and I certainly didn't think this book would be the thing to push me into wanting to write something. However. At Readercon, I picked up the new collection of Ursula K. Le Guin essays, Words Are My Matter, of which this is not a review because I am nowhere near finishing it, and I noticed that there are three separate essays on H. G. Wells. Three! This is not unique, in the structure of the book-- there are also three separate essays on José Saramago-- but that makes more sense to me, because Saramago, you know, Nobel laureate, relatively recent death, work in an interesting position vis-à-vis speculative fiction as a genre, there are some conversations to be had there that seem very much in Le Guin's chosen critical milieu. But H. G. Wells! Hasn't everything been said already?

Then it occurred to me that I, personally, had not read any Wells since the age of eight or nine, when I'd read The Time Machine and found it pretty and confusing, and then hit The War of the Worlds and found it extremely upsetting and went away again. So I went back. The Time Machine is indeed very pretty, though far less confusing to an older person. The Island of Dr. Moreau turned out to be the most vicious piece of theological criticism I have encountered in years, and an actual novel with things like character dimensionality to boot, as well as such an obvious influence on Lovecraft that I was shocked I hadn't heard that mentioned before. And then I got to The War of the Worlds.

It turns out the reason I found it very upsetting at eight or nine was because it is very upsetting, and at that age I had no context for or capacity to handle the ways in which it is upsetting.

We all know the basic plot: Martians invade, humans are technologically overpowered and defeated, Martians eventually drop dead because of Earth's microbiota. The novel came out in 1898, after having been serialized the year before, and has been dramatized and redramatized and ripped off and remade so often and so thoroughly that it has entered the collective unconscious.

The original novel, however, is notable in intellectual history not just for the archetype of the merciless and advanced alien invaders, but because it is an ice-cold prevision of the nightmares of the twentieth century. The phrase 'concentration camp' had already been coined, c. late 1860s by the Spanish in Cuba, though it would not become widely known by the English-speaking public until the Boer War, which Wells' novel just predates; that phrase is the only part of the vocabulary of future war to which Wells could have had access, and the phrase does not appear in the novel. Here are some of the concepts that do, without, as yet, any names: Genocide. Total war. Gas attack. Blitzkrieg. Extermination camp. Shellshock/PTSD. (Also, on a slightly different note, airplane.)

Wells' vision of war was ruthless, efficiently technological, distanced from the reader of the time only by the fact that the perpetrators were incomprehensible aliens. But he does not let you rely on the comforting myth that it would take an alien to perpetrate these atrocities, as perhaps the book's worst scene, in terms of sheer grueling terror and pain, is the sequence in which six million people attempt to evacuate London on no notice, with no overall organization, no plans, and the train as the most modern form of transportation. The Martians are miles away from that, literally. The only thing Wells spares you is the actual numbers of the death toll... but you can get an informed idea.

And, just in case you happen to believe that people (as opposed to aliens) are too good at heart for this sort of warfare, this novel is also a savage theological takedown*, in which the idea of humanity as the center of a cosmos created by a benevolent God is repeatedly stomped on by the sheer plausibility of the nightmare, the cold hard logistics of enemy approach + insanely destructive new bombing technology = frantic evacuation and a military rout. The priests and churchmen in War of the Worlds generally go insane**; their philosophical framework has left them ill-equipped to handle the new reality. Wells is displaying humanity as a species of animal, no more nor less privileged existentially than other sorts of animal, who may be treated by a sufficiently technological other animal in the way that humans often treat ants. He explicitly uses ants as the comparison.

This is where I noticed something fascinating. War of the Worlds has the most peculiar version of protagonist-centered morality that I have ever encountered: only the protagonist and his nearest and dearest are allowed to perform moral actions that are not shown in aggregate.

Everyone else either does good as a faceless mass, or neutral-to-evil at close proximity. The military, as a force, is allowed to act against the Martians, which is seen by definition as moral, but they are at a distance from the novel's viewpoint such that they don't emerge as people while they are fighting-- we meet an occasional refugee from a destroyed division, but we don't see people giving orders, taking orders, firing weapons. When the ramship Thunder Child attacks two Martians at close range in order to save shipping in the Channel evacuation-- a sequence distressingly like Dunkirk, only in the opposite direction and sixty years early-- it's one of the few acts of heroism and selflessness in the novel that actually works, and it's the ship personified who takes the action. Here's the middle of the fight:

"She was alive still; the steering gear, it seems, was intact and her engines working. She headed straight for a second Martian, and was within a hundred yards of him when the Heat-Ray came to bear. Then with a violent thud, a blinding flash, her decks, her funnels, leaped upward. The Martian staggered with the violence of her explosion, and in another moment the flaming wreckage, still driving forward with the impetus of its pace, had struck him and crumpled him up like a thing of cardboard."***

Notice how there are no humans, individual or otherwise, even mentioned here. And this is the high point of the book as far as moral action taken, a direct self-sacrifice for the benefit of others. Individual people range from the curate who hears the narrator calling for water "for hours" and doesn't bring him any to the men whom the narrator's brother finds in the process of robbing two ladies and has to fight off at gunpoint. Even most mob action is inimical, including things like the looting of shops and the literal trampling underfoot of the weak.

The narrator and his brother, however, mostly behave as one would hope to behave in a catastrophe. They are constantly picking up strays, helping total strangers pack to evacuate, fighting off muggers, attempting to assist the trampled, sharing their provisions with others, etc.. They are the only people in the book who do this sort of thing-- every other individual (except a couple of the strays, who are there to be rescued and get in the way) is out for themselves and can, at very best, be bought with cash on the barrel at a high price.

Now, it's not that the narrator and his brother are saints. They're fully developed, three-dimensional, relatively decent people. The brother participates in the looting of a bike shop, refuses water to a dying man for fear of putting his own people in danger, and fails to rescue anyone from the relentless trample. The narrator may well kill a man to save his own life, and certainly aids and abets the murder if he does not strike the final blow (it's impossible to find out exactly when the man dies or what specifically killed him).

The odd thing is that nobody else has any of their virtues. No one else is picking up strays; no one who isn't under military orders to do it is knocking on doors to begin the evacuation; no one is giving away food and water; no one except the military is attempting to place themselves between those they love and danger. In short, there is none of the kind of everyday, tiny, sometimes futile heroism that the twentieth century has shown us is almost impossible to beat out of humans entirely.

Now, I think this is intentional, as part of Wells's argument: the Martians have broken the human social order as if it were an anthill, and none of the ants has any idea what to do anymore. It's part of the demystification of humanity's place in the cosmos and the insistence on our nature as intelligent animals.

However, I think it skews the thought experiment in two ways: firstly, the narrator (and the only other POV character, the brother) have to be decent enough that we as readers are willing to read a book from their perspectives, and in 1898 that was harder than it is now. "Probably murdered somebody who wasn't a villain or an enemy combatant, and is never punished for it in any way except by vague remorse" is a pretty radical stance for a first-person narrator in an English novel of that period, and Wells has to talk us round into considering this a sympathetic or at least justifiable stance by having the narrator be in most other ways a flat-out hero. I don't think this does too much damage to his argument, as the resemblance of the narrator to other hero-types of the period makes Wells's more radical premises easier to communicate than they would otherwise be. It's not the presence of altruism in the narrator that is the major way the experiment is skewed.

It's the absence of altruism in others, as shown by the work of Rebecca Solnit, the memoirs of Primo Levi, the oral histories of the camp survivors of several cultures: one reason The War of the Worlds is so very upsetting is that its events are more unmitigatedly depressing than the same circumstances would be in real life. One of the wisest men of the twentieth century, Fred Rogers, said that in tough situations you should look for the helpers (and somewhere elsenet I saw the corollary, which I think Mr. Rogers considered implicit but which could use unpacking anyway, that if you cannot find them, the helpers had better be you). In The War of the Worlds there are no helpers at all, except what little the narrator and his brother can manage. We have actual science now about the way people form communities in catastrophe; we have innumerable anecdotes from the worst places and times in the world about those who in small ways, quietly, do what they can for others with what they have. It's not that Wells was wrong about us being animals, about trying to knock us off the pedestal that insists that everything was made for humanity and we are the only important beings. It's that while we are a social animal, we are a social animal on the micro-level as well as on the macro, and we have now seen that the micro-level does not have to be limited to immediate biological family, because the bonds of catastrophe can cause, and in fact seem to produce, some amount, tiny though it may be, of genuinely altruistic behavior.

When I happened to say to [personal profile] nineweaving that I was in the middle of a Wells re/read, she promptly replied with a couplet from a comic verse she had memorized as a child: "H. G. Wells / Creates new hells."

Which is true. His Martian invasion, the twentieth century through a glass darkly, is right up there on the list of the most nihilistic things I've ever read, not because of the Martians, but because none of the humans are outright villains. Some of them are insane, and some are annoying, and many are behaving in ways unconducive to long-term survival, and all of them are terrified; but you believe in them not only as individuals but as a plausible set of people for the narrator to run into in the middle of a war. It's only after thinking about it for quite a while afterwards that I noticed how neatly Wells had removed the capacity for altruism from his secondary characters. The Martians are frightening and cool and interesting (and clearly described as being drawn by H. R. Giger, which has not made it into any of the adaptations I've seen), but I think one reason this particular nightmare has lasted so long and clung so thoroughly in the back of our heads is that it would take recreating these terrible catastrophes in almost every particular to prove him wrong about the essentials of human nature and the ways people would behave in these circumstances. That's part of the book's appalling genius.

The thing is, though-- we did.

And he is.



* albeit not as much of one as Moreau, which is saying something

** that classical nineteenth-century insanity in which they rant and rave and chew the furniture, i.e. nothing you can find in the DSM, and therefore I just use 'insane' as I am not sure there is a less aggravating descriptor for this particular literary trope

*** Via Project Gutenberg's HTML copy

July is for all the stress!

Jul. 26th, 2017 11:43 pm
orangerful: (kermit)
[personal profile] orangerful
Thank you guys so much for your great responses to my thinky-thoughts post from Saturday. There's just no "right" answer to any of this stuff and each human experience is unique, but it is also very human to want to clump people together. It was great to read some feedback from people who have experienced the world in that part of the country.

It's been a week - on Friday, the contractor the insurance recommended came by to rip up the kitchen floors so they spot that was water damaged could dry out. So for a week we have been living with this:



There is a big fan and a humidifier going non-stop in the kitchen. The plastic is to keep the air trapped so we're not drying out the whole house. I didn't mind it so much at first, but now it feels like we are living on a ship. And it also feels like we are living in Elliot's house during the last half hour of E.T. and Peter Coyote is about to come out of my kitchen in a hazmat suit and tell me E.T. is dead. :\

Good news is they are supposed to stop by and take a moisture reading and see if everything is dry enough. We picked out some tile so we can give them that information tomorrow too and get that started.

Two promotions have opened up at work and I was planning on going for one of them but after careful contemplation, I've decided to try for both. One would just be a step up in the same branch, a brand new position that my manager has been trying to get for awhile. The other is a manager position at a branch down the road from my house. That spot opened up because of shenanigans with the recent hire, an outside person, who totally broke every "things not to do when you are a new manager" rule in the book before the 6 month probation was over. She "resigned" last week.

I've been with the library system for 7 years now at this branch and I've been working in public libraries full time for over 10 years. While I'm super comfortable in my current position, I feel like maybe I need to push myself and try for this. Everyone has been REALLY supportive. I'm getting some coaching from two other managers this week and next to help me with the interview. But I don't want to assume I have the job because they did post it for outside hires...though they only posted it for a couple weeks.

Anyway, I haven't written a resume in YEARS or done an interview - I know I am VERY lucky - so I've been stressing out about all of this since Friday. I'm done with the paper work part though, I'm submitting all of that tomorrow. Next up is "studying" for the interview because I have a TON of experiences to pull from...I just need to remember what they all are!!!

And now I should probably get to bed because the contractor will be here bright and early and I don't really want to greet him in my pajamas. :P

Happy Birthday!

Jul. 26th, 2017 10:14 pm
jerusha: (birthday)
[personal profile] jerusha
Happy birthday to [personal profile] ayinhara! I hope you have a wonderful day and wish you an even better year to come!

Classic Children's Television Shows.

Jul. 26th, 2017 10:08 pm
shadowkat: (Default)
[personal profile] shadowkat
Why is it I'm wide awake and raring to go, now, but want to sleep between 6 -10 am, and 1-3PM?

Sinuses are bugging me a bit. I feel like I have a catch in my chest or some congestion. Probably combination of allergies and chemicals (paint and pesticides ie. Raid).

Off and on over the past few years, I've been discussing children's television programming with Doctor Who fans. Who keep telling me that Doctor Who is a treasured British children's series, and they didn't have much children's programming.

Culture shock. Television more so than movies depicts some of the cultural differences between our countries. For one thing when I visited France in the 1980s, I was surprised to see US series in French, same with Australia (they had US television shows, but not the new ones, reruns from five years ago). As did Wales and Britain. Actually, I found watching television during the summer in England and Wales to be a painful experience in the 1980s...not that I had reason to do it that often. Did see a lot of Fawlty Towers.

Anywho...I thought I'd skip down memory lane in regards to kids shows.

In the 1970s, I watched the following television shows as a child, near as I can remember. And my brother and I loved Saturday morning cartoons. We'd eagerly await the new cartoons...which premiered the third Saturday in September. They were on from 7 am to roughly 12 noon, on all the networks. We only had four networks and UHF back then. Prior to showing up on Saturday morning, the networks would air a preview of the upcoming series as a sort of advertisement on the Friday night before. So you could plan which ones to check out.

* Hong Kong Phooey -- sort of a take on Superman and Mighty Mouse. Except with a mild-mannered dog.
So imagine cartoon dogs playing all the roles in Superman.

* Sid and Marty Krofft's HR PufnStuf (aired from 1969 - 1971). I loved this show, but only vaguely remember it. (I was born in '67). A young boy named Jimmy has in his possession a magic flute named Freddie that can talk and play tunes on its own. One day he gets on a magic talking boat that promises to take him on an adventure. The boat happens to belong to a wicked witch named Witchiepoo, who uses the boat to kidnap Jimmy and take him to her home base on Living Island, where she hopes to steal Freddie for her own selfish needs. Fortunately Jimmy is rescued by the island's mayor, a six foot dragon named H.R. Pufnstuf, and his two deputies, Kling and Klang. Then his adventures begin as he attempts to get back home.

* Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids -- hosted by Bill Cosby (this was in the 1970s, when Cosby was still a cool guy, before all the allegations came out against him. And before you say anything about Cosby, keep in mind the same allegations came out about Trump -- actually they were worse, and people elected him President. Lando wouldn't let me hear the end of it. He's not wrong, we are a racist society. Sexist and racist. Just not bloody sure what I can do about it.) The show however was pretty good -- it was about a bunch of black kids in the inner city learning how to help each other and stand up to bullying and racism.

* Battle of the Planets (1978) - adored this cartoon

* The Muppet Show -- basically a light children's satire on variety shows and various cultural and political issues of the time, starring the Muppets.

* School House Rock - 1973 - 2009 (Schoolhouse Rock! is an American interstitial programming series of animated musical educational short films (and later, videos) that aired during the Saturday morning children's programming on the U.S. television network ABC. The topics covered included grammar, science, economics, history, mathematics, and civics.) -- this was the result of the Children's Television Act of 1969, which was updated in 1996.

* The Secret Lives of Waldo Kitty (which was an illegal adaptation of the Secret Lives of Walter Mitty starring cats and dogs...and got into trouble with James Thurber's estate, for well doing it without permission)

* Sesame Street (1969)

* The Brady Bunch (1960s, early 70s, mostly in reruns)

* The Monkeeys (1966 show, in reruns in the 70s)

* Batman (1966 -- in reruns in the 70s)

* The Addams Family

* The Archie Show (1968) -- became Archie Funnies in 1970s

* The Flintstones...

* The Jetsons

* Lost in Space - 1965 (A space colony family struggles to survive when a spy/accidental stowaway throws their ship hopelessly off course. This is basically the American version of Doctor Who.)

* The Pink Panther (1969) -- a cartoon based on the Blake Edwards films, except without the adult content.

* Tom & Jerry

* The Bugs Bunny and Road Runner Show

* The Hannah Barbara Hour

* Sid & Marty Krofft Super Show

* Free to be You and Me

* ABC Afterschool Specials

* Reading Rainbow

* Kimba - the White Lion (basically the story that Disney co-opted for The Lion King, except he didn't grow up and we just followed Kimba's adventures as he eluded his evil uncle, Scar.)

I googled and UK had kids shows.

See here: Classic Kids TV Shown in the UK in the 70s and 80s

We actually had some cross-over. But Tarzan the cartoon never to my knowledge aired in the US, nor did Book Tower, we had Reading Rainbow instead.
feliciacraft: felicia as editor of the Sunnydale Herald (herald editor)
[personal profile] feliciacraft posting in [community profile] su_herald
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reading wednesday

Jul. 26th, 2017 07:59 pm
boxofdelights: (Default)
[personal profile] boxofdelights
• What are you reading?

Chimera, by John Barth. Last read in college, when I was studying computer science, and everything Barth said about alphabets and stories seemed to be a direct reflection of something Turing discovered about numbers and computing machines. "The key to the treasure is the treasure."

• What did you recently finish reading?

Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel. I had been putting this off, because my non-SF-reading friends were saying it was really good but my SF-reading friends were finding it disappointing, which usually means I'll find it disappointing. Turns out it's really good!

• What do you think you’ll read next?

Out Stealing Horses, by Per Petterson, for Tawanda book group.
st_aurafina: Sameen Shaw walking in a desert with a hat on (POI: Shaw hat)
[personal profile] st_aurafina
Title: Subtraction
Fandom: Person of Interest
Rating: Teen
Words: 100
Characters/Pairings: Joss Carter/Zoe Morgan/Sameen Shaw
Warnings/Content: Canon character death, mourning, threesome
Notes: For [community profile] multifandomdrabble 2017.

Summary: Vengeance might feel good but it doesn't make things right.

Also at the Archive

Subtraction )

Title: Recovery
Fandom: Person of Interest
Rating: Teen
Words: 100
Characters/Pairings: Root/Shaw
Warnings/Content: Sickfic, Root lives, post-series
Notes: For [community profile] multifandomdrabble 2017.

Summary: Shaw says she has no bedside manner, even though she hasn't left Root's side since the shooting.

Also at the Archive

Recovery )

Title: Favours
Fandom: Person of Interest
Rating: Teen
Words: 100
Characters/Pairings: John Reese/Kara Stanton
Warnings/Content: Pre-series, canon-level violence,
Notes: For [community profile] multifandomdrabble 2017.

Summary: Kara loves to show John just how much she cares.

Also at the Archive

Favours )

Wed Reading Meme

Jul. 26th, 2017 09:12 pm
shadowkat: (work/reading)
[personal profile] shadowkat
1. What I just finished reading...

Lord of the Fading Lands by CL Wilson -- this is an "epic romantic fantasy series" that sort of clobbers you with fairy tale and romance novel cliches. And spends fare too much time on setting things up, and not enough on character. Also it's extremely repetitious. By the halfway mark, I was slugging my way through it. Do not recommend.

Not sure I'll bother reading the sequel, even though I do own it. Unfortunately, I bought it before I realized I didn't like the writer's style.

Eh, for a more in depth review, here's what I wrote on Good Reads:

Read more... )


2. What I'm reading now?

Americanah by by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - which is about two Nigerian former lovers. One, female, Ifelemu, who moves to America for two years, and then decides to return to Nigeria. The other , male, Obinz, who went to seek his forturn in Great Britain, and has returned to Nigeria, gotten married and has a daughter.

I'm currently in the section in which each is relating their past or what came before. How they lived in Nigeria, going to University there and school, and their families. Obinze's mother is a University Professor. And Ifelemu's mother is an administrator, while her father had a government job before he was summarily fired, for not calling his boss, Mummy.

The woman are exceedingly strong in this book. More so than the men. Which is interesting.

It's not a romance (Obinze is unhappily married), more a literary coming of age tale about what it is like being Nigerian in this world.

The British, Americans and the Northern Europeans, basically the entitled white people who attempted to colonize and raid Africa, do not come across well. I hate to say this but if you go around colonizing other countries, thrusting your imperialistic might, and enslaving or undermining their inhabitants...you are bound to be portrayed by the inhabitants of those countries as irredeemable entitled assholes many years later. *cough*Karma*cough*

It's a fascinating novel, but somewhat depressing. So not sure how long I'll be able to stick with it. It's over 600 pages. And small type in a paperback. My aging eyes prefer ebooks, where I can increase the print size. Otherwise I have to wear reading glasses over the contacts. Like I'm doing now as I'm typing this.

Compelling yes. Uplifting and funny, no.

I don't know why literary novels, for the most part, are so depressing. There are a few funny ones here and there. But most are these poetic dirges of middle-class malaise. Either bad marriages, unsatisfying romances gone sour, bad friendships, dysfunctional families, etc.

Almost as if the only way you can be considered worthy by the esteemed academic literary canon is if you are depressing. (Well as long as you do it poetically at any rate.) I actually saw people condemn a novel for having a happy ending. As if a prerequisite for quality is well not ending happily.

I have no interest in writing depressing novels. It's not that I can't do so...I can. But seriously, why? Life is hard enough at it is.

Hmmm...on a poetic front, are there any witty poets wandering about?

Looking for a book

Jul. 26th, 2017 06:19 pm
norah: Monkey King in challenging pose (Default)
[personal profile] norah
Looking for a book that would have been published by 1957.

Involves a boy who goes through a small door in a wall in the back of a garden. He time-travelled back to the 19th century, and became somehow caught up in a conflict between two wizard or magicians or sorcerers, one good & one evil. That's what we got - help me Obi Wan.

Happy Birthday!

Jul. 26th, 2017 07:25 pm
jerusha: (birthday)
[personal profile] jerusha
Happy birthday to [personal profile] sunnyd_lite! I hope you have a wonderful day and wish you an even better year to come!
st_aurafina: Natasha Romanova, looking down, against a rainbow background (Marvel: Natasha)
[personal profile] st_aurafina
Title: Aftershock
Fandom: Agents of SHIELD
Rating: G
Words: 100
Characters/Pairings: Leo Fitz/Framework!Grant
Warnings/Content: Angst, drinking, forgiveness
Notes: For [community profile] multifandomdrabble 2017.

Summary: Fitz can't leave Grant standing on the doorstep in the rain. (Set post S4 finale, but before that future scene in the diner.)


Also at the Archive

Aftershock )

Title: Date Night
Fandom: Captain America
Rating: G
Words: 100
Characters/Pairings: Steve Rogers/Sam Wilson
Warnings/Content: Flirting, Sam showing off, Steve's notebook of modern facts
Notes: For [community profile] multifandomdrabble 2017.

Summary: Sam knows he's being ogled.

Also at the Archive

Date Night )

Title: Air Show
Fandom: MCU
Rating: Teen
Words: 100
Characters/Pairings: Steve/Bucky/Sam/Natasha
Warnings/Content:
Notes: For [community profile] multifandomdrabble 2017.

Summary: After they've found Bucky, they need some time to hide out and recover. (Set after Winter Soldier, on the road trip that should have been.)

Also at the Archive

Air Show )

Help me turn away from the awful?

Jul. 26th, 2017 04:58 pm
kass: lilacs, "zen fen" (zen lilac)
[personal profile] kass
Ugh, y'all, I am having one of those days where just keeping my eyes open and witnessing the awfulness of my nation's government is making me feel bleak and wrung-out and helpless. And I keep opening FB and Twitter in adjacent tabs, and then after reading for a while realizing that reading them is not actually helping anyone or anything (me included) and closing them, and then a few minutes later opening them again without even thinking about it, which says something about my social media habits that I do not like. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

I miss having a sense of active involvement in fandom. I have a few hours ahead of me with no kid to mind, and I obviously need to stop poking at social media (it's the emotional-intellectual equivalent of just eating endless bags of potato chips -- hours go by and then I feel sick to my stomach), and I know that once upon a time I would have seized on this time as an opportunity to make something for y'all, and I miss that. But I'm not embedded in any particular universes right now, and I feel tapped-out and devoid of ideas.

Read any good books lately, especially fiction or nonfiction that left you feeling lifted-up instead of dragged-down?

For those of you who are actively fannish, what are the things that are bringing you joy?

What I'm Doing Wednesday

Jul. 26th, 2017 02:43 pm
sage: image of the word "create" in orange on a white background. (create)
[personal profile] sage
books Christie, Arendt )

grandma extreme old age is hard )

yarning
roses in progressstatue of liberty amigurumiThe garland is about 40 inches (1m) long, with 5 segments. I'm putting 4 roses on each segment, so that's 20 flowers. I've got ten made and ten to go, though I don't think I have enough of the variegated lavender yarn for the last one. Will have to improvise something. Then I can get it in the mail to Grandma.

Then today's newscycle pissed me off enough that I posted a WIP shot of my epic project, my 15" Statue of Liberty. I'm still awaiting lightweight yarn so I can make her robes that actually drape. Also a superhero cape.

In sum, yarning is coping.

(308) Avengers: Age of Ultron

Jul. 26th, 2017 10:14 pm
ebsolutely: (mcu [ pepperony)
[personal profile] ebsolutely posting in [community profile] fandom_icons
(308) The Avengers: Age of Ultron
→ Tony Stark, Natasha Romanoff, Steve Rogers, Bruce Banner, Clint Barton, Wanda Maximoff, Thor, Maria Hill

Previews;


OVER HERE at [community profile] megascopes

Francesca, by Ezra Pound

Jul. 26th, 2017 11:36 am
runpunkrun: tree on a grassy hill against a blue sky (et in arcadia ego)
[personal profile] runpunkrun
Francesca

You came in out of the night
And there were flowers in your hand,
Now you will come out of a confusion of people,
Out of a turmoil of speech about you.

I who have seen you amid the primal things
Was angry when they spoke your name
In ordinary places.
I would that the cool waves might flow over my mind,
And that the world should dry as a dead leaf,
Or as a dandelion seed-pod and be swept away,
So that I might find you again,
Alone.



angry when they spoke your name )

Ridiculous fanfic idea

Jul. 26th, 2017 02:11 pm
bookishwench: (Default)
[personal profile] bookishwench
Voldemort needs a nose. So he tries to steal Rudolph's. Merry havoc ensues. Literally.
umadoshi: (W13 - Claudia open mic (vampire_sessah))
[personal profile] umadoshi
The Toast makes a one-day-only return appearance today! "Link Roundup!"

Yesterday [dreamwidth.org profile] bluemeridian posted a batch of MCU and Wonder Woman recs.

"‘Wrath of Khan’ Returning to Theaters for 35th Anniversary".

"Orbit Turns 10: Take a Look at a Decade of Milestones". [The B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog]

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] misbegotten, the Cincinnati Zoo has successfully reunited Fiona-the-hop with both of her parents. Adorable hippo pictures ahoy!

From 2014, but via Twitter today: "BitchTapes: American Protest Music". [Bitch Media]

"The Fourth Messenger at the 2017 New York Musical Festival". [ViennaTeng.com] (Includes purchase links for the soundtrack and script.) [ETA: Refers to a concluded run, not an upcoming one.]

On Atlas Obscura:

--"NASA Just Released Hundreds of Historic Space and Aviation Videos".

--"These Endangered Pygmy Rabbits Survived a Wildfire by Heading Underground".

--"Why It Took Scientists So Long to Figure Out Where Babies Come From: Human conception was still basically a total mystery until as recently as 1875".

--"The Odor ‘Wheel’ Decoding the Smell of Old Books".

--"The Dormouse-Fattening Jars of Ancient Rome".

--"People in 1920s Berlin Nightclubs Flirted via Pneumatic Tubes".

--"Found: Never-Developed Photos of Mount St. Helens Erupting".

--"These Maps Reveal the Hidden Structures of ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ Books".



On Mental Floss:

--"The Golden Girls Are Starring in Their Own Version of Clue".

--"This Illustrated Periodic Table Shows How We Regularly Interact With Each Element".
selenak: (BambergerReiter by Ningloreth)
[personal profile] selenak
Having now read three of the four books the first two seasons of The Last Kingdom are based on, I find my original suspicion that Bernard Cornwell novels benefit from adaptions into other media because these take you out of the main character's head justified, though not always quite in the way I assumed. Because the novels are narrated by an older Uthred looking back, his narrating self can sometimes point out things his younger self did not yet see or realise, for example, that he wronged his first wife Mildrith, or that he underestimated Alfred early on because a chronically sick non-warrior valueing learning and feeling guilty about sex could not possibly be a strong leader in his young eyes. Otoh, older, wiser Uthred narrating still doesn't change the fact most female characters come across as more dimensional and fleshed out in the tv adaption than they do in the novels (Brida and Mildrith in the first, Hild and Aelswith in the second season - Iseult, alas, is a cliché in both versions).

The tv show cut or compressed various characters and slimmed down events, and given that they do two books per season so far, that's not surprising. But even if they took a longer time, I think some of the changes and cuts were to the narrative's benefit. For example: Cornwell has to come up with some pretty convoluted circumstances and far-stretched plots to have a teenage Uthred who is still with the Danes secretly present when Prince (not yet King) Alfred confesses about his carnal lapses to Beocca. In the book, he needs to be because he's the narrator and neither Alfred nor Beocca would have told him about this. The tv show dispenses with said circumstances and just has the scene between Alfred and Beocca, without Uthred secretly listening in, because he doesn't need to be in order for the audience to get this information about the young Alfred.

Mind you, dispensing with the first two times Uthred meets Alfred and letting their first encounter not happen until after Ragnar the Elder's death creates one important difference between book and show relationship that's worth mentioning. Book Uthred lies to Alfred (and Beocca) these first two times and point blank spies on them for the Danes, so the later "why do you keep distrusting me?" indignation rings a little hollow in this regard. Show Uthred does no such thing, so Alfred is accordingly less justified in his lingering ambiguity.

Another cut that somewhat shifts perception: the first novel has Uthred participating in a few Danish raids led by Ragnar, including one on Aelswith's hometown (though she doesn't know he took part). Now, in the show we go from Uthred the child to adult Uthred directly and adult Uthred is solely seen at Ragnar's home, with the deaths of Ragnar & Co. impending, but given adult Uthred later is shown to be already a skilled fighter, it stands to reason he practiced these skills. But I suspect the show avoided showing Uthred fighting against Saxon civilians this early on deliberately. Both show and books have Uthred loving the Danes but staying with the Saxons post Ragnar's death because various circumstances (and then Alfred's machinations) make it impossible for him to do otherwise. Only the book, though, spells out that Uthred doesn't start to feel any kind of identification/emotional connection to the Saxons until he sees them winning a battle (until then, narrator Uthred says, he hadn't thought Danes could lose, which makes sense given that throughout Uthred's childhood and adolescence, they were winning), when before he regarded them as weak and didn't want to think of himself as belonging to them. Which makes sense given Uthred is raised in a warrior culture and is a young, arrogant adolescent at the time, but again, I suspect the tv version avoids spelling this out in order not to make him off putting early on when establishing the character.

Otoh, the scenes the tv show adds in the two seasons where Uthred isn't present all serve to flesh out the characters in question more and work to their benefit, whether it's Alfred, Hild, Aelswith or Beocca. The notable exception is Guthred in s2, whose additional scenes make him look worse, not better than the novel does. Possibly, too, because in the novel Guthred is described having an easy charm that makes Book!Uthred forgive him even the truly terrible thing Guthred does to Uthred, and the actor playing Guthred on the show doesn't have that at all, and instead comes across as nothing but fearful, easily influenced and weak. (And show!Uthred while coming to terms with him doesn't forgive him.) I have to say, lack of actorly charm aside, given that Guthred does something spoilery to Uthred ), I find the tv version more realistic.

The push-pull relationship between Uthred and Alfred is there in both versions, but in the tv show, it comes across as more central. As my local library has it, I also read "Death of Kings", the novel in which, Alfred dies, not without manipulating Uthred one last time into doing what he wants him to do, and Uthred's thoughts on the man later, summing him up, are Cornwell's prose at its best:

I stood beside Alfred's coffin and thought how life slipped by, and how, for nearly all my life, Alfred had been there like a great landmark. I had not liked him. I had struggled against him, despised him and admired him. I hated his religion and its cold disapproving gaze, its malevolence that cloaked itself in pretended kindness, and its allegiance to a god who would drain the joy from the world by naming it sin, but Alfred's religion had made him a good man and a good king.
And Alfred's joyless soul had proved a rock against which the Danes had broken themselves. Time and again they had attacked, and time and again Alfred had out-thought them, and Wessex grew ever stronger and richer and all that was because of Alfred. We think of kings as privileged men who rule over us and have the freedom to make, break and flaunt the law, but Alfred was never above the law he loved to make. He saw his life as a duty to his god and to the people of Wessex and I have never seen a better king, and I doubt my sons, grandson and their children's children will ever see a better one. I never liked him, but I have never stopped admiring him. He was my king and all that I now have I owe to him. The food that I eat, the hall where I live and the swords of my men, all started with Alfred, who hated me at times, loved me at times, and was generous with me. He was a gold-giver.


Last Yuletide I added a Last Kingdom request at the last minute because I'd seen it had been nominated, and accordingly it was short, but this Yuletide I think I'll also offer, and will request in more detail and more characters. While the other historical tv shows I consumed during the last year were entertaining in various degrees, this was the only one which was also good.

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