sqbr: (existentialism)
[personal profile] sqbr
So, I've been in fandom a long time and have seen the overall values of various fannish communities shift and change. I've personally been involved in efforts to improve fandom's attitudes towards social justice. But unfortunately it seems like whatever values fandom has in theory, in practice fans tend to exhibit the same toxic behaviours, often entirely opposed to the values they are theoretically upholding. Seeing this happen with social justice has been especially frustrating, but it's always bad, and I'm not sure what can be done about it.
Read more... )

what is, what is not, and why

Aug. 28th, 2016 02:21 pm
twistedchick: daffodils in rain, my photo (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Since the topic came up in my post on Teresa of Calcutta, I want to talk a bit about something that tends to be misunderstood and confusing: the dark night of the soul.

Let's start with things that it is not. It is not clinical depression, though it may accompany depression. It is not mental illness. It is not grief, though it can happen to someone who is grieving. It does not necessarily have anything to do with one's emotional state. It is not the bad potato you ate before going to bed last night (thank you, Scrooge).

It goes deeper than all of that.

Simply put, it is a stage in one's spiritual life -- and I mean anyone's spiritual life, in any religion, faith, practice or belief system -- when things that you have been doing that gave you comfort and worked very well for you up to then just. don't. work. any. more.

more behind cut, hopefully not too confusing )

(no subject)

Aug. 28th, 2016 11:46 am
twistedchick: daffodils in rain, my photo (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
How do you set up a blog on Imzy? I do not plan to move there for everything -- I am still here -- but it would be good to be able to do that now before things get complicated over there. Help?

ETA: yes, I already have an account there. I don't need an invite. I am *giving out* invites. But I have not found in Imzy how to set up a blog there as opposed to just subscribing to various groups. That is what I am looking for.

ETA2: Never mind. I'm asking the admins on Imzy. And waiting for my t-shirt in the mail.

Visiting Israel

Aug. 28th, 2016 04:47 pm
cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)
[personal profile] cesy
I am coming to Israel for some winter sun in November, staying in Tel-Aviv from 11th-19th. I am hoping to meet up with local fans, including [personal profile] marina, [personal profile] hagar_972, [personal profile] roga, [personal profile] the_ragnarok and others. Let me know if you're around, or have suggestions of things I should do while there. I've done a lot of the major tourist sites in Tel-Aviv last time, and did a brief tour of the country as a kid, but there's lots more to explore. I may well take a day trip up to Haifa, and be looking for someone to go to Blackout with me. Feel free to pass this on to other local friends.

I am excited!

Daily Happiness

Aug. 28th, 2016 01:23 am
torachan: maru the cat giving the side eye (maru side eye)
[personal profile] torachan
1. The fans in our walk-in freezer at work stopped working, so it wasn't staying cold. When we called the refrigeration company, they said they could send someone out today, but no one came and no one came and finally it was getting close to eight and we close at nine, so I called them again and they said the guy was finishing up another job and it might be another two hours. D: So I went home quickly to feed the cats and then went back to work, expecting to be there until quite late, but the guy ended up getting there just a little after nine, and he was done by ten! (I had gone in this morning around eleven-ish, so that's still longer than I would have preferred to be at work, but better than I expected!)

2. I played a bunch more Luigi's Mansion this morning and tonight and am really liking it! I remember the original Luigi's Mansion being super short, so I hope it's a little longer than that, but if not, at least it was cheap.

3. I got some sweet kitties.

(no subject)

Aug. 28th, 2016 03:39 am
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
argh I would really like to be able to sit up for more than three minutes without horrible paiiiiiiin

A digital bubble?

Aug. 27th, 2016 09:29 pm
yourlibrarian: Merlin pouts (MERL-MerlinPout-andiwould)
[personal profile] yourlibrarian
1) I got a notice in my email that Instapaper is being bought out by Pinterest. I'd forgotten I even had an Instapaper account because I never utilized it. But that and the recent sale of Yahoo (and thus Tumblr) reminded me of an article about how digital media is collapsing. Read more... )

2) Speaking of tanking digital offerings, apparently Google is giving up on its plans to offer high-speed Internet through fiber lines. Instead it plans to continue its ISP efforts through wireless instead. This sounds pretty unreliable by comparison. If these efforts create competition with telecom and cable carriers though, I hope they succeed because prices need to come down.

3) Thank you to whoever nominated my Spike/Xander meta in the Wicked Awards! Very unexpected and a nice surprise :)

o, for a devil's advocate

Aug. 27th, 2016 05:47 pm
twistedchick: daffodils in rain, my photo (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Mother Teresa, the Albanian nun who went to Calcutta to help 'the poorest of the poor' die with dignity, is to be canonized a saint in a few weeks.

I wish they wouldn't.

Not because I disapprove of saints (I don't) or of helping poor people (again, I am for it), but because I don't think she should be canonized. I do not think her worthy of that honor. And not just because of this article in the NY Times about an Indian doctor who wants the world to know that the way the West saw Mother Teresa is not the way she was in reality, and that her hospitals did far less for people who were dying or severely ill than they could have.

But more than that, her canonization plays into a specifically pre-Vatican II view of women's spirituality requiring deep endless suffering -- such as such as Teresa of Calcutta's deep, years-long, untreated depression.

here be ranting, hagiography and criticism )

Interesting Links for 27-08-2016

Aug. 27th, 2016 12:00 pm

Daily Happiness

Aug. 27th, 2016 01:01 am
torachan: karkat from homestuck looking bored (karkat bored)
[personal profile] torachan
1. Carla's mom had surgery today to clear out her carotid artery. Everything seems to have gone well and she should hopefully be able to be released sometime this weekend.

2. Busy but good day at work today.

3. Three days of sleeping in coming up! Which is good because I've somehow gotten on a much later sleep schedule lately. D:

4. I got the Nintendo Selects version of Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon in the mail today. I totally forgot I pre-ordered that! I started playing it a little tonight and it's pretty fun. I remember enjoying the original Luigi's Mansion, but that was so long ago I don't really remember that much about it.

5. Got a sunny Molly.

selenak: (Ray and Shaz by Kathyh)
[personal profile] selenak
Starring Cecilia Bartoli as Maria; I saw it on Thursday and with one important caveat loved it. If you've read/heard about the production, you'll probably be familiar with the central gimmick; the critic of the Süddeutsche Zeitung suspected it's the result of the director anticipating cruel remarks re: the age difference between Cecilia Bartoli and the rest of the youthful cast, and preventing it by using that very age difference: the production is Maria, decades after Tony's death, remembering the events of her youth.

This I knew in advance, but what I hadn't known was that there's also a young Maria on stage, which works out surprisingly well. Young Maria does all the speaking and interacting, and the fact that older Maria (I can't write "old" Maria, because La Bartoli is a youthful looking 50 something) can't touch any of the characters (until the very end) contributes to the poignancy, though she sometimes acts as a mirror/contrast to her younger self in movements. Young Maria wears the traditional white dress until the last scene, older Maria the black dress from the last scene throughout. This concepts also changes the context/subtext of several songs: "I feel pretty", for example, is now older Maria looking back with amusement and a mixture of joy and longing to her young self, and "Tonight", in addition to being young Tony and Maria being passionately in love, is also older Maria with Cecilia Bartoli's mature mezzo soprano voice longing for what she's lost. The arrangement for "Somewhere" in this production isn't a duet between Tony and Maria, it's older Maria, having just relived the deaths of her brother and Riff and knowing what's to come for Tony, grieving and protesting fate. And so forth.

Unfortunately, where this is all working towards is my one big nitpick/caveat/complaint/what have you, the very end of the production: Which is spoilery even if you're familiar with West Side Story. )

Other thoughts: the production was firmly set in the late 50s (as indicated by the boys' hair cuts and girls' dresses), with no attempt to update, but the blatant racism shown towards the Puerto Ricans and all the "who asked you to come here?" had very present day resonance for the audience; you could tell. Which is why I regret the production uses the original arrangement for "America" (i.e. Anita and her friends), not the revised arrangement and lyrics from the movie version (all the Sharks), because I heretically happen to consider the later one better, especially in the current day situation, see also this old entry as to the reasons, complete with quotes. Otoh the production swayed me a bit on my other movie-caused perference, i.e. the switch of places between "Cool" and "Gee, Officer Kruppke". In its original place, as in this production, "Cool" contributes to working up the tension among the Jets that's about to become lethal none too much later.

About that, though: seeing how skillfully Tony shames/manipulates the Jets and Sharks earlier into a one on one fist fight instead of the big rumble, it's frustrating to see him go about stopping the fight incredibly clumsily and with apparantly no plan beyond "I'll just say stop". Here, good old Shakespeare made the relevant plot point more plausible (i.e. Tybalt challenges Romeo, Romeo, newly wed to Juliet, has no intention of accepting, Mercutio is angry on his behalf and starts to fight Tybalt instead, Romeo tries to stop it, Mercutio's death happens, etc. On the other hand, I agreed, once again, with Arthur Laurents' boast that he bettered Shakespeare on the final tragic twist; Romeo simply not getting Friar Laurents' letter because the plague hits Mantua is an accident, the Jets assaulting Anita, thereby causing her not to deliver Maria's message to Tony, is directly related to the hatred and feuding that's been going on through the play. And that assault scene remains shoking and yet one of those instances where I consider it dramatically necessary and justified to have been written. (BTW, it's always interesting to see what the individual productions do with Anybodys during that scene. Most I've seen let her back off - but not intervene - when she realises where this is going; this one, taking its cue from the fact she's taunting Anita verbally early on, lets her be one of the pack assaulting Anita, the ultimate consequence of her desire to be one of the boys, and then caught up the shame when Doc puts an end to it.)

Bernstein's music remains glorious no matter how often I listen to it, and it occured to me that the lyrics for "Officer Kruppke" with their wordplay and sarcasm are classic Sondheim already. I wish these two would have collaborated more often. Then again, who's to say that more masterpieces would have resulted - maybe the uniqueness of the situation contributed to it.

In conclusion: despite my objection to the ending, a great experience in the theatre. Definitely worth a trip to Salzburg for.

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