selenak: (Berowne by Cheesygirl)
[personal profile] selenak
While preparing another book review, I got sidetracked by musings which have nothing whatsoever to do with the novel in question or its plot, so they get their own entries. To wit: the differences in pop cuture memory/reputation/novelistic and tv use of two guys who were, at different times, Henry VIII.s brothers-in-law. In one corner we have Charles Brandon, later first Duke of Suffolk. Best remembered for marrying Henry's sister Mary (and getting away with it) after her brief stint as Queen of France, and for being the closest thing Henry had to a life long best buddy. Charles as far as I could see usually ends up as a romantic hero in Tudor era fiction.

In the other corner we have Thomas Seymour, brother of Jane (aka wife No.3 to Henry), married to Catherine Parr (Henry's widow, wife No.6 ), and probably best remembered for how he ended (messing with teenage Elizabeth, losing his head). While there have been attempts to turn Thomas Seymour into a romantic hero as well (Young Bess comes to mind, the film version of which starred Jean Simmons as Elizabeth, Deborah Kerr as Katherine Parr and Stewart Granger as Tom Seymour) by interpreting him as a man who can't help loving two women,these are rare, especially in recent years. His image both in biographies and pop culture these days is rather dark. At best, he's a a none too bright playboy who's just too sexy for his and everyone else's good (Susannah Dunn in both The Sixth Wife and The May Bride); at worst, he's an ambitious ruthless sexual abuser (with Elizabeth) and faithfless ambitious cad (with Katherine) who ruined Katherine Parr's well deserved happy ending against the odds, broke her heart and sent her to an early grave (Patricia Finney comes to mind).

Now here's what interests me: if you look at Charles Brandon's marital history, he comes across as easily one of the most ruthless go getters at Henry's court. There was:

1.) Anne Browne; Charles was engaged to her, which was binding, and it wasn't a platonic engagement, either, as it produced a daughter. However, she also had a very rich aunt. So.

2.) Margaret Neville. The aunt. Yes, one of those Nevilles, niece to the Kingmaker. Charles temporarily ditched Anne and married her. This did not make the Browne family happy, who went to court. Ultimately they won, the Neville marriage was dissolved, and Charles married Anne officially. They had another daughter, and then Anne died. Then there almost was:

3.) Elizabeth Grey, eight years old orphan and heiress of Lord Lisle. Also Charles' ward. (Buying wardships was immensely profitable in Tudor times and beyond.) (Keep the ward thing in mind, this isn't the last time this will happen.) Charles became engaged to her, at which point his good friend Henry VIII. transferred the title of Viscount Lisle to him. However, Elizabeth upon reaching the age where she could become legally married (which if I recall correctly in this era was 13) refused to marry Charles (good for her). (She later married Henry Courtenay.) Charles kept the title, though.

4.) And then there was Mary Tudor. Who got married by her brother to old Louis XII of France which she agreed to under the condition that she could pick her next husband by herself. At this point, she was already in love with Charles, who duly showed up as soon as Louis bit the dust. They had to pay fines to Henry (and Mary's entire dowery that she'd been given when marrying Louis), but otherwise, as mentioned, they got away with it. There were four children, two sons - who died young, more about one in a moment - and two daughters. Then Mary died. Which brings us to:

5.) Catherine Willoughby. This young girl would turn out to be one of the most colourful women of the Tudor era. Her mother had been Spanish, Maria de Salinas, Katherine of Aragon's best friend, but Catherine her daughter would turn into a fierce reformer who'd even go into exile when "Bloody" Mary Tudor came on the throne. But back to her youth. Catherine, a very rich heiress, was Charles' ward, grew up in his household with him and Mary as parent figures, and it was planned that she should marry his son Henry. Then, as soon as Charles was a widower again, either because young Henry was already sickly or simply because he wanted more direct access to the cash, Charles married Catherine himself. She was 13 or 14 (I've found both ages given), he was 49. The marriage seems to have been harmonious; at least, no scandal is known, and it resulted in two sons. (Catherine's previous intended having died in the first year of her marriage to his father, her oldest son was also called Henry.) Catherine survived Charles and would go on as the formidable Duchess of Suffolk.

Meanwhile, Thomas Seymour, despite his image as Tudor playboy extraordinaire (he's usually written as the Don Juan in contrast to his brother Edward who gets written as a prig), actually seems to have had no scandals with women attached to his name until he hit the big time. He wasn't married until then, either, which is interesting, because as the late Queen Jane's brother, he certainly should have had plenty of opportunities for profitable matches. Mind you, not that he wasn't also a go getter. No matter how much or little in love with Katherine Parr he was, when Henry showed interest he was prudent (and survival-oriented) enough to step back. And when Henry died, he first tried to marry either of Henry's daughters, Mary or Elizabeth, before proposing to Katherine. (This princess marrying idea was immediately rejected by his brother Edward the Lord Protector, not surprisingly.) He even indulged in the lucrative ward trade, getting young Lady Jane Grey (Charles Brandon's granddaughter, btw) as his ward, with an eye of arranging a marriage to her cousin, his nephw Edward the boy king later on. And whatever went down between him and Elizabeth, he certainly, at the very least, risked her reputation by overly familiar horseplay (waking her up in bed by tickling her, cutting her dress to bits while his wife the queen was holding her) before his wife died when as her stepfather he should have guarded it, and his scheme to marry her when he was a widower behind the council's back could have easily resulted into her dying with him if Elizabeth hadn't shown her survival skills for the first time.

But my point is: anything Thomas Seymour did, Charles Brandon did as well. Charles simply did it more efficiently, and hence died in bed in full possession of all he gained, in an age where most people close to Henry VIII didn't, with Henry even insisting Charles should be buried at Windsor in St. George's chapel (so they'd be together after death). Meanwhile, the nicest thing anything could find to say about Thomas Seymour was Sir Nicholas Throckmorton who described him as "hardy, wise and liberal, fierce in courage, courtly in fashion, in personage stately, in voice magnificent, but somewhat empty of matter", though young Elizabeth's "today died a man of much wit and very little judgment" comment is better remembered. In other words, the guy lacked smarts, which certainly could be lethal in the Tudor age. But as to morals, I see no difference.

fic snippet: undercover

Oct. 24th, 2014 11:12 pm
cofax7: Three women: Leia, Starbuck, Zoe (Three Women -- Body)
[personal profile] cofax7
What it is, is obvious. If you pay attention to various casting decisions...

They weren't going to find a body )

Yeah, so I don't read the comics, and I don't really know the character, but c'mon, you know I had to tell that story.

Daily Happiness

Oct. 24th, 2014 09:37 pm
torachan: brandon flowers of the killers with the text "some beautiful boy to save you" (some beautiful boy to save you)
[personal profile] torachan
1. My work schedule is changing and I now have Mondays and Thursdays off instead of Sundays and Wednesdays. I'm really glad I was still (at least for now) able to keep the week divided pretty evenly (as evenly as you can get with a seven-day week), and although this means my next day off is pushed back a day, at least I'm working afternoons on Sundays so I can sleep in.

2. I can also sleep in tomorrow! Which I may need, considering I drank a lot of soda today. (I'm really tired right now, but that doesn't mean I'll actually be able to get to sleep, though I'm going to try.)

3. Today was my coworker's last day, so there was pizza at work. It's going to be weird without him there, though, as he's been working there since the store opened, same as me (and now we're down to only five people including me who have been there since the store opened).

4. We finished up watching Hataraku Maou-sama tonight, which made me want to get back to reading the books (I only read the first one before getting distracted by other stuff) and when I went to see how many there were now and saw that it was up to volume twelve, I was able to find the ones I was missing quite easily! (I still don't have volume twelve itself, but it was only released last month. I'm sure I'll be able to find it by the time I actually want to read it.)

5. Not only did I have pizza for lunch at work, but we got pizza for dinner, too. :D

Postscript

Oct. 24th, 2014 08:10 pm
wistfuljane: tohru (fruits basket) going yay! (\o/)
[personal profile] wistfuljane
For records because I've been wondering for awhile since a translatable interface was officially mentioned in 2011, here are questions I have posed regarding features to have a translatable interface and tags in all languages supported on AO3 (not sure if the two are different features or one feature with different implementations and practices but) in relation to multilingual user needs:

  1. A user want to browse the archive in Portuguese, but would like to see (a) the fandom, character and relationship tags in the fandom source language and (b) freeform tags in Portuguese. How will this user's needs be supported?
  2. A user want to browse the archive in Korean and for Korean source fandoms, they want to see the tags in Hanja. However, for other non-Latin language source fandoms, they would like to see the fandom, character and relationship tags transliterated and freeform tags in Hanja. For Latin language source fandoms, they would like to see the fandom, character and relationship tags in the fandom source language. How will this user's needs be supported?
  3. A user want to browse the archive in Russian, but would like to see (a) the fandom, character and relationship tags in the fandom source language and (b) freeform tags in Cyrillic. However, for Japanese source fandoms, they want to see the tags in katakana. How will this user's needs be supported?
  4. A user want to browse the archive French, but for non-French language source fandoms, they would like to see the tags in the fandom source language and in French. How will this user's need be supported?
  5. A user want to browse in Tagalog, but for non-Latin language source fandoms, they would like to see the tags transliterated. For Latin-language source fandoms, they would like to see the tags in the fandom source language and in Tagalog. How will this user's needs be supported?
  6. And all the various combinations of the scenarios identified above and not yet identified.

(no subject)

Oct. 24th, 2014 08:15 pm
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
Sarah, sitting and putting labels on the 150-odd vials of BPAL I decanted today: "You know, I don't think it was an unreasonable request."

Me, opening 200-some vials that I bought secondhand to sniff them and determine if I like them or not: "What?"

Sarah: "'One of these days I should find a perfume I can wear to work', I said. And here we are, somehow that having turned into 'try everything BPAL has ever made'..."

Me: ...Hello, have you MET ME? YOU KNEW IT WAS ON FIRE WHEN YOU LAID DOWN ON IT.

(She is so very tolerant of the fact that "....that escalated quickly" is my life motto.)
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker
Warren Ellis clearly enjoys reinventing characters. He clearly enjoys playing around with the form and structure of comics. And he clearly enjoys lots of violence.

Moon Knight lets him do all three (including some interesting bits of design in the opening of the Sniper issue that I hadn't encountered before) and it's a lot of fun (provided you're comfortable with the aforementioned violence).

It's not essential, and I doubt whoever took over from him after his six-issue relaunch will do anything nearly as interesting, but I'm glad I picked it up.

Dear Festividder...

Oct. 24th, 2014 10:31 pm
rhivolution: David Tennant does the Thinker (Default)
[personal profile] rhivolution
This is a placeholder post of goodness.
andrewducker: (Evil Pizza)
[personal profile] andrewducker


It's also how local council elections work in Scotland - and why we have almost no councils without a wide range of parties represented.

Working

Oct. 24th, 2014 02:44 pm
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
Working working working. Decanting decanting decanting. The cooking tv shows I'm watching in the background are making me hungry.

Read more... )

GamerGate and Ethics in Journalism

Oct. 24th, 2014 11:17 am
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

For anyone who doesn’t know, the seeds of the GamerGate movement began when game developer Zoe Quinn’s former boyfriend wrote a blog post accusing her of cheating on him, and of generally being “an unbelievable jerk,” which led to a campaign of harassment against Quinn. Quinn’s ex- alleged that one of the people Quinn had slept with was journalist Nathan Grayson, and that this led to a brief mention of one of Quinn’s games in an article that was published before the alleged relationship ever started.

Because GamerGate is all is about ethics in journalism. And also time travel, apparently.

The movement began its crusade for stronger ethics in journalism with such rallying cries as, “Next time she shows up at a conference we … give her a crippling injury that’s never going to fully heal … a good solid injury to the knees. I’d say a brain damage, but we don’t want to make it so she ends up too retarded to fear us.” People who spoke out in support of Quinn were attacked as well, and their personal information published online.

All right, fine. So this all started with a whiny man-child’s temper tantrum about his failed relationship. But then it evolved into a Very Serious Conversation about ethics in journal–

Actually, what happened next were death threats and other harassment against Anita Sarkeesian.

But that was all before Adam Baldwin coined the term “GamerGate”! Just because the not-yet-officially-named movement was born in the muck and slime doesn’t mean Baldwin couldn’t turn things around and lead the newly-baptized group into a more Productive and Important Discussion of ethics in–

Wait, no. Baldwin coined the term in order to spread the attack on Zoe Quinn. Sorry, my bad.

But soon women and minorities joined the #GamerGate boat, coining the new hash tag #NotYourShield to protest those who were focusing on harassment instead of ethics in journalism. Apparently a small minority of Angry Feminists™ and Social Justice Warriors were using GamerGate as an excuse to push their own agenda. But ethics affect everyone, and #NotYourShield clearly showed that most women and minorities weren’t upset about–

Whoops. Turns out #NotYourShield was born and raised over in 4chan, using sockpuppet accounts and such.

Well, I’m sure GamerGate soon turned their attentions fully to the issues of ethics–

I mean, after they got done sending death threats to game developer Brianna Wu, driving her and her husband from their home, presumably as ethical punishment for the crimes of Mocking GamerGate and Gaming While Female.

All that aside though, the core of the movement is to reduce the nepotism in gaming journalism, which game designer David Hill notes “was essentially coopted as a marketing arm for certain AAA publishers.” Aha! And now we see GamerGate finally focusing on its core mission to fix ethics in–

Oh … Hill goes on to note that GamerGate looks like “some strange bizarro world” where the people being targeted and attacked have nothing to do with the larger problem of ethics in journalism.

But the people making threats aren’t really with GamerGate. They’re all sockpuppets, and also, Wu and Quinn and everyone else have been posting threats against themselves to discredit the movement. Because we all know women lie, right? And the best way to criticize a group you don’t like is … um … by posting your own home address on the internet? I guess? So where were we. Ah yes, ethics in–

And now Felicia Day gets harassed and doxxed for expressing her concerns about GamerGate.

But the sidebar in the Reddit GamerGate group clearly says “No doxxing,” so it couldn’t have been anyone from GamerGate. Lots of GamerGate people are speaking out about how the harassment and doxxing has to stop because it’s awful, unacceptable, hateful behavior it makes GG look bad.

And maybe it wasn’t an official GamerGater. Because at this point, the top Reddit post in the GamerGate discussion also says, “Stop identifying as ‘#GamerGaters.’ You’re Gamers first, Consumers second.”

Problem solved! If nobody is identifying as GamerGaters, then obviously GamerGate isn’t harassing anyone.

Look, from reading through some of the boards, it’s clear there are people involved with GamerGate because they genuinely care about the problems in gaming journalism. And it sounds like there are legitimate concerns there, and things that need to be challenged and addressed. But there are an awful lot of people who jumped on the GamerGate bandwagon because it was an opportunity to troll and harass and attack women in gaming. Who view “Ethics in Journalism” as synonymous with “The Evil Social Justice Warriors are coming to Ruin All the Things!!!”

Sexism and harassment in gaming? That’s a legitimate and real concern too. And the GamerGate movement was born from it. Maybe it’s grown into a hydra with one head that truly just cares about ethics while another head is all about harassing women, and a third head is just mad at social justice warriors, but no matter how many heads GamerGate has sprouted, it only has one ass, and it’s been dropping an awful lot of particularly noxious crap for months now.

 

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

not so much

Oct. 24th, 2014 10:52 am
twistedchick: (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
The side effects are lessening. Still the odd sensation of ripples of energy flowing through me, but nothing more. Heartbeat is behaving, bp is behaving. And I got some sleep.

Question for One Piece people

Oct. 24th, 2014 10:13 am
sholio: Colorful abstract tree art with "friendshipper" text on it (Default)
[personal profile] sholio
Is there a generally agreed-upon spelling for Iceberg's name? I notice AO3 has him "Iceburg" -- is that how it's normally romanized?

Not that I need to know for ... reasons or anything.

(We finished Water 7/Enies Lobby last night, up through episode 324, and HOLY MOLY. *____* Also, I really want to know why there is basically no fic on AO3 for Iceberg and Franky. .... well, okay, I know why, because Iceberg is a relatively minor character from a story arc in the mid-2000s, but I WANT IT ANYWAY. Most of the One Piece fic is hiding over on ff.net, isn't it?)

Cool Stuff Friday

Oct. 24th, 2014 09:54 am
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

Friday is all about the bass. And the treble. Friday also has a weakness for the staccato…

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

selenak: (Norma Bates by Ciaimpala)
[personal profile] selenak
Reccommended to me as the best current Hitchcock biography around. Not having read the others - though of course I knew about Donald Spoto's The Dark Side of Genius (i.e. Spoto is to Hitchcock fans what Albert Goldmann is to Lennon fans) via pop culture osmosis, Spoto having been the one to launch the Director-as-Actress-Abusing-Monster interpretation -, I couldn't say whether or not it is the best, but it's certainly solid, if noticable biased on the pro-Hitchcock side. Some of McGilligan's points against Spoto are well earned, for example, this one about young Hitchcock's school days:

One notorious transgression was the dangerous practical joke presented by Donald Spoto as a tone-setting anecdote of his biography The Dark Side of Genius. As Spoto told the anecdote, Hitchock and an accomplice grabbed a younger student named Robert Goold and hauled him off to the boiler room, immobilizing him for a "carefully planned psychological torture", ending when the two depantsed Goold and pinned a string of lit firecrackers to his underwear. Goold told this story to Spoto and others over the years. Unfortunately, his recollection couldn't possibly be true; admission records show Goold entered St. Ignatius a full term after Hitchcock departed. Confronted with the contradiction in 1998, Goold realized that he was "wrong in ascribing the incident to him (Hitchcock)".

Game, set and match for McGilligan. At other times, though, his defense of Hitchcock isn't nearly as well founded, as when the biography gets to the wretched chapter(s) of Hitchcock's relationship with Tippi Hedren. "What if he was only joking" doesn't quite cut it. (Cunningly, McGilligan quotes previous Hitchcock leading lady Joan Fontaine on that one: "'I was with Tippi Hedren once on a CBS show', recalled actress Joan Fontaine, who could boast of surviving a similarly complicated relationship with Hitchcock, 'when she said he had propositioned her. Well, what he did was to see her Achilles' heel, and, knowing that pretty young actresses wanted to feel that he was a dirty old man, he would play it up. 'Yes, I must get into your bloomers, young lady', he would puff and growl. I can just see him leering at them in jest, but they never realized he was teasing them.' With all due respect to Ms. Fontaine, she wasn't present during the shooting of Marnie, and whether or not Hitchcock was teasing when she knew him, implying that Hedren (or anyone else) should have just handled it with a wink and an "oh that Hitch!" attitude is just wrong.)

What makes McGilligan's biography a great source, though, is that defensiveness of Hitchcock aside, he's thorough, especially with the collaborative process that is moviemaking, and very time, place and period evocative. Because this biography doesn't rush to to get to the point where our hero makes it to Hollywood but goes into great detail about his English youth and silent movie days, I learned a great deal that was new to me. As for example: the first film Hitchcock directed - after working his way upwards from advertising to script lettering to editing and set decorating to assistant director - on his own, The Pleasure Garden, was actually made mostly in Germany, in Munich, 1925, for the Emelka (a production company which tried to be a South German alternative to the Berlin based UFA), with young (as in: early 20s) Hitch, his future wife and life long collaborator Alma Reville (who came along as editor and assistant director, exactly the same age as himself - she was born one day after him, but had started working for the movies at age 15, five years before Hitchcock did) and a handfull others the only Brits involved. McGilligan is great in pointing out how international the silient movie era truly was (and could be because the actors weren't limited to the languages they could speak). So the Hitchcock/Reville team could work with a mostly German crew, Alma could take the actresses to Paris to buy their frocks, and once photography at the Geiselgasteig in Munich was done, everyone was off by train to Genoa, Italy for the outdoor shootings. Bear in mind here this was a first time director and his motley crew with not a big budget, not the later Hitchcock who could command millions from the studio. It must have been an incredibly exciting time for everyone involved, and it was followed up with another German film, The Mountain Eagle/Der Bergadler, where they got snowed in while working on the script in Obergurgl, Tyrolia. (Nice skiing area, btw, I've been there.)

McGilligan is very good throughout the biography in pointing out the importance of Alma's input, whether or not she was officially co-scriptwriting. (She stopped being credited after Capricorn, the failure of which gave her a crisis of confidence, but still mapped out, storyboarded and co-edited the later Hitchcock movies. McGilligan gives us some great examples of how that shared brainstorming of the Hitchcocks worked, because there were peope present to witness it for To Catch a Thief and the original plan for Frenzy, which wasn't the scenario Hitchcock filmed years later.) Which is why the ending for both of them is so heartbreaking to read - Alma suffered a series of strokes culminating in one when they were both 78 which crippled her, took away both her physical ability to move (and unlike her husband, she'd always kept fit) and some of her mind. He'd lost touch with the audience by then and only kidded himself, plotting movies that would never get made anymore, and Freeman with whom he plotted such a never-made-movie once observed them together when he and Hitchcock moved their plotting sessions from the studio to the director's home at Bellagio Road: 'He was showing off for her,' David Freeman recalled. 'Strutting his stuff. He was saying, 'Look, I can still do it. There's a future. There's going to be another movie. It's worth it to go on.'

But there never was, he drank more and more while sliding into senility, she was able to understand the world around her less and less, and then he died, with her surviving him for two more years and not knowing even that he was gone (according to their daughter, Alma would tell visitors "Hitch is at the studio. Don't worry, he'll be home soon".) I must admit that even bearing in mind how flawed Hitchcock was as a person, this made me maudlin and misty-eyed when I had finished the book.

With the decades that Hitchcock's career lasted, there is of course a very huge supporting cast in the book. McGilligan, on a mission to be anti-Spoto, points out that for every Vera Miles and Tippi Hedren, who got bullied and had to deal with a creepily possessive and vengeful director, there were Ingrid Bergmann (who adored him, stayed friends through the decades and was one of the last people to see him before he died), Grace Kelly (mutual adoration society) and Janet Leigh (found his pranks funny and remained fond of him post movie as well). (Also Anny Ondra, who was one of the first Hitchcock blondes and another case of "wow, it was a small movie world" for me because I know her name in completely a different context - she was an Austrian-Czech actress who later married Max Schmeling (he of the Louis/Schmeling boxing match); they were one of the few celebrity couples who never divorced and are in fact buried next to each other. Hitchcock was so fond of her that when the studio decided their next movie would be a sound one, which would have ordinarily cancelled her out because of her accent when speaking English, he insisted on Joan Barry dubbing her instead so he could keep Ondra as the star). Which is worth bearing in mind, but what McGilligan seems to ignore is that kindness to one person doesn't excuse or cancel out cruelty to another. Hitchcock's relationships with his male actors is also interesting to read about. He got along best with those playing villains (Peter Lorre, Claude Rains, and, against type, Joseph Cotten in Shadow of a Doubt) and classified a great deal of those playing heroes in his movies as "too weak" , with the notable exceptions of Cary Grant and James Stewart (not that he was best buddies with either, but he respected them); McGilligan points out, accurately, that Hitchcock got darker performances out of both Grant and Stewart than their usual screen persona allowed in other films. The famous "actors are cattle" quotation is duly examined (it's one of those quotes that everyone is sure the celebrity in question has said but nobody can trace down to a first use and source) and given context; what I hadn't known is that it was already (in)famous in Hitchcock's lfe time so he himself was asked whether or not he had said it, and believed it. With the result of Hitchcock writing an article - in 1940! - titled "Actors aren't really cattle": Silliest of all Hollywood arguments is between the school that claims to believe the actor is completely a puppet, putting into a role only the director's genius (I am, God forgive me, charged with belonging to that school) and the equally asinine school of 'natural acting' in which the player is supposed to wander through the scenes at will, a self-propelling, floating, free-wheeling, embodied inspiration.

(Three guesses as to what Hitchcock's reaction was once method acting got popular.)


Voluminous as it is, the book still leaves open questions, but I think in a fair way, i.e. the author acknowledges they are there but doesn't pretend to have the answers. Alma's whole pov on her marriage, for starters. She only gave a very few interviews in her life, and those almost exclusively dealing with her husband's films. Now, Hitchcock through the decades kept telling all and sunder that not only was their pre-marital relationship chaste (during their first German film, he didn't even know what menustration was until an actress told him she couldn't do a scene in the water because it was her time of the month - apparantly they didn't teach female biology at St. Ignatius) but that once their daughter Pat was born so was their post marital relationship due to him being impotent. ("Hitch without the cock" was a favourite pun.) (Most people McGilligan quotes seem to agree he got his jollies the voyeuristic and gossiping way instead, with the occasional tongue kiss launched at an embarrassed actress thrown in.) But, as McGilligan writes, If Hitchcock was sexually impotent, what about Alma? He could make wisecracks about his impotence, his lack of sexual activity, but what how did Alma feel? He could flirt with or try to kiss an actress, but what about Alma? Wasn't she a perfectly normal woman with a sexual appetite that wasn't satisfied?. In lack of any statement from Alma, McGilligan can only offer her co-writer Whitfield Cook's account who says they had an almost-affair, with their one and only attempt at making love interrupted, true movie style fashion, by a phone call from her husband. As to what she thought about her husband's relationships with actresses, full stop: no quotes exist, and thus McGilligan leaves it at "we don't know".

Other observations: actresses aside, McGilligan's partisanship is also noticable in any Hitch versus writers dispute. Hitchcock filmed a great many books but usually considered them just a springboard on which he build his movie, and the biography gives you the impression that the first thing he and Alma did was to take a few ideas from the book in question and then rewrite the story an dcharacterisations entirely. And McGilligan, being a fan of the end result, always considers whoever objected to this - be it David O. Selznick re: Rebecca where his memos frequently had the refrain of "go back to the book!" , John Steinbeck who wrote an unpublished novella that was to be the basis for Lifeboat (bye, bye, novella) or Raymond Chandler (who was supposed to adopt Patricia Highsmith's Strangers in a Train with Hitchcock; he and Hitchcock ended up developing such an hate/hate relationship that his treatments literally landed in the dustbin while Hitchcock went back to Alma, Joan Harrison and some more of his regular staff writers for the script) as in the wrong and not thinking cinematically enough. In this reader, this evoked a "Yes, but" reaction. I mean, I can see McGilligan's point - a book is not a movie, etc. But speaking as someone who often experienced a favourite book turned into a non favourite movie (not by Hitchcock, though), a little more empathy for the writerly side of things wouldn't have gone amiss!

Lastly, first a quote that amuses me and might you: Cary Grant didn't requite Hitchcock to pick out his wardrobe. Cary Grant gave grooming tips, and Hitchcock usually told him just to "dress like Cary Grant'.

And a favourite bit of trivia: Hitchcock loved the US, loved living there. But he also stood by his inner Englishman: Years later in Hollywood, when the slate board reading 24-1 went up, Hitchcock would murmur, "Hampstead Heath to Victoria", that being the route of the 24 bus in those days.

And with a whistle of "in spite of all temptations, to belong to other nations", I conclude this review.
kate: Kate Winslet is wryly amused (Default)
[personal profile] kate
...right now, I do not have anything left in the gas tank for getting that frustration out (I have to get through another 60-70 hour work week and then my nephews are down for the weekend). Just... yeah. So many feels.

I also have several pictures and links of amusing things that I've not gotten to posting, and I've written fic I haven't said anything about over here.

Just too much on my plate right now. Less stressful than last week, but not by much, and next week is right back on that stress treadmill, the week after should be an absolute nightmare. Found out yesterday that not only am I not rolling off this gig in mid-November, I might actually be there through the end of the year. At this point, I'm thinking Cornell won't even want me when I become available, and I'll miss out completely on being there, which would absolutely suck. Fuck this place, I'm so done with it.

So any way, that's the state of me. Good thing: I am writing in the mornings because the stress isn't allowing me to get full nights of sleep. That's one way to get the words out, I guess.

On terrorism

Oct. 24th, 2014 05:07 am
jae: (Default)
[personal profile] jae
The word 'terrorism' has a very specific meaning, and that meaning is about the intent of the perpetrator(s) of an act. Is the intent behind an act to cause widespread fear in the general public and lead to chaos? Terrorism. Is the intent behind an act to harm a particular individual at a particular moment? Horrible, but not terrorism.

The fact that a perpetrator in the shootings at Parliament Hill in Ottawa had converted to Islam doesn't inherently make him a terrorist. Neither does the fact that you can point to lots of people on Twitter and say "look how scared they were!" (by that measure, lots of Fox News television journalists would be perpetrating acts of terrorism whenever they talk about Ebola these days). That's because terrorism is about intent.

The fact that he was an addict and possibly mentally ill doesn't make him not a terrorist, either, at least not inherently, and neither does the fact that he wasn't part of an organized group. The fact that he was Canadian-born certainly doesn't make him not a terrorist. That's because terrorism IS ABOUT INTENT, not religious affiliation, not birthplace, not mental status.

How do you show intent? Well, the way we tend to do that in this day and age is for a group that has already talked about its intent to take responsibility for the acts. But an individual could also show terrorist intent by having a manifesto stashed away somewhere (they didn't use the word at the time, but the Unabomber? totally a terrorist).

In the case of the Parliament Hill shootings, we know that the perpetrator attended a mosque in suburban Vancouver, where they were wary of him because of his erratic behaviour, but tried to help him anyway. We know he had a history of drug addiction and had spent some time homeless. We know he had perpetrated earlier crimes in an attempt to get himself locked up. We know that he was not close to his family, and didn't seem to have any friends. We know that the people who knew him at his mosque didn't think he had become "radicalized."

What we don't know (yet?) is why he shot a soldier at the War Memorial the other day and then went on shooting in various other Parliament Hill buildings. Maybe he was a terrorist, maybe he wasn't. I'm leaning toward "wasn't," myself, but I simply don't know yet--and you don't either. And in the absence of that knowledge, tossing around words like 'terrorism' is both potentially quite incorrect and an action that has the potential to cause a lot of damage.

Daily Happiness

Oct. 23rd, 2014 11:32 pm
torachan: devil boy from sinfest with his arms thrust up victoriously (yatta)
[personal profile] torachan
We stopped in the cheesecake shop this evening and I got a slice of green tea guava ube cheesecake. *_* It was so good! Green tea cheesecake with chunks of ube in it and a guava glaze on top. It's over $6 for one slice, so it's not somewhere we go often, but I definitely want to try and get that again at some point.

They had a lot of other stuff that sounded really good, too. I wish I could try more of them out! (But right now if I were going to splurge for another piece, I would definitely get more of this than try something else new...)

(no subject)

Oct. 23rd, 2014 10:16 pm
staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)
[personal profile] staranise
Wagner's Das Rheingold is playing at the opera in town this weekend. It's got good reviews and I'm kind of tempted to go just to, well, have seen it.

On the other hand my dad is on the Island for the next few days, so the timing may not work out in any event. I think it's going well? We're talking a bit more. Today we drove up to Lake Cowichan, which was beautiful as ever and sang to me and my shoulders unwound until we left.

Tweet Exchange O' the Day

Oct. 23rd, 2014 06:34 pm
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[personal profile] giandujakiss






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