reileen: (anime - Neuro)
Haha, looking back on my previous entry at the icon and the moodpic, I'm reminded of how Gintama has amazing "WHAT THE EVERLOVING RATFUCKING SHIT" expressions. I really want to collect the English manga, but I have no money and no job yet. And I wish someone would license the anime so I could buy that too with money that I don't have.

Speaking of anime, I really gotta get caught up on Michiko to Hatchin. It's almost ending soon and I want to be able to write a review thingy of it.

And speaking of "ending soon", the Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro will be doing just that. It's currently on chapter 197 or something, and I'm not sure how many more chapters Matsui's got planned. It would be clean and neat if he ended it at 200, but given the events of 197, that would make things seem a little rushed. (Though it's not like no mangaka has ever done a rushed ending before.)

***

Finished reading Naomi. Brief thoughts: I wanted to smack Joji, I felt bad for Hamada, and Naomi was a hell of a piece of work. The entire story is much more palatable if you read it as an extended allegory of Japan's relationship to the West, instead of as two actual, living characters. I think overall, I prefer Lolita. Let me tell you - as creepy as it is (and it is creepy), Humbert Humbert did one thing right in going for them super young, because if you wait too long, then they apparently turn out like Naomi. Lord and Lady on a pair of skiis...

I'm going to tackle Goodbye Tsugumi by Banana Yoshimoto next. Er, well, maybe I should start reading some of the library books I have first. Decisions, decisions.

***

In honor of Mario Day on March 10 (because March 10 = Mar10 = Mario, hur hur), someone made SMB-themed cookies.

While we're on the topic on themed food, apparently a restaurant in D.C. is now offering Obama-shaped sushi. Er...phwee?

I present to you the best cosplay photo ever. ("THIS WAS NO ORDINARY CHICKEN CUCCO. THIS WAS EVIL MANIFEST.")

Miley Cyrus and Kanye West got snubbed by Radiohead. I love Miley's claim that she's going to "ruin" Radiohead. Yeah, I'd like to see her try! (For the lulz.)

OMG YES, I WANT THE TWILIGHT DVD JUST FOR THIS: Twilight movie commentary with the director Catherine Hardwicke and stars Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattison. BRB LOLING TOO HARD.

Gonna end this link-o-llection with a couple of SRS BSNS links...

This article takes a deep look at the status of the female sexual submissive in the BDSM community and in greater society, and how it connects to feminist issues regarding informed choice. (It also happens to be written by a woman who identifies as a feminist and as a female sexual submissive.) [livejournal.com profile] mia_noire, I don't believe you're into BDSM (and if you are, make sure you play safe and sane, aight? :D!), but I believe this article is relevant to your interests anyway with regards to the parts on female images of sexuality in society.

These two articles discuss the issue of being sexy as a Muslim woman.

The Japan Times Online has a rather grim article on the future of the anime industry. Here's a blog commentary on that article.

***

Gospel of the Shadow is up on YouTube now. I also have vids for "Almost" and "Sphinx" recorded, but, uh, I think I might want to re-record them.

-Reileen
I never wanna act my age, what's my age again?
reileen: (Default)
Common mistakes made in fiction about guns.

At Fandom Wank, we have an epic wank revolving around an AU Twilight fic in which Edward and Bella are both human and in which the word "orgasm" was massacred by the search-and-replace function, being instead substituted by the word "unicorn". This has to be one of the funniest things I've seen out of Twilight fandom so far! "CHAAAAARLIE! CHAAAARLIE! WE'RE HAVING SEX, CHARLIIIEEEEE!" The mental image of which is made worse considering that Bella's dad is named "Charlie". Man, I love wanks involving BNFs!

Remember this entry, where I asked whether cloaking technology would ever go mainstream? Well, here's my answer - apparently cloaking material can be used to kill static on cell phones and improve the overall quality of cell phone reception. I'm so down with that! Now I want to see invisibility bras and undies, to be used by strippers and poledancers to completely boggle everyone's minds as their clients wonder where their happy parts went.

The Smart Bitches ask their readers whether the Insta-Sex trope in fiction turns them off from a story. I'm going to echo a bunch of the comments over there and say that Insta-Sex (in which two romantic leads meet each other for the first time and then OMG HAVE TEH HAWT SEXXORZ) can be good or bad, depending on the situation. I judge it within the context of the story: if the rest of the story is well-written, I'll forgive the Insta-Sex. Also, is there any significance to the Insta-Sex, besides showing that the romantic leads are Totally Made For Each Other? If there is, that bumps it up a notch in my book.

What bothers me far more is Insta-Love. I'm not saying that Insta-Love doesn't happen in real life, but I'm personally far too cynical to give the trope much credit in my mind, especially if the relationship that spins out of the Insta-Love thing doesn't explore both the good sides and the bad sides of the relationship, or the wonder (...or possibly horror) of discovering something new about this person that you instantly fell in love with.

Check out this Obama action figure from Japan. It's awesome enough that he's got, like, interchangeable hands and all these awesome accesories like a stool, a microphone, and an American flag. But then! You get to the bottom of this web page and you see Obama doing his best James Bond impersonation, wielding dual katanas, napping under a kotatsu...and fighting Darth Vader

Also, apparently all of his clothes are removable, according to [livejournal.com profile] vyctori (who is the one who sent me this thing of beauty, thanks!).

[livejournal.com profile] vyctori: ...You know, all of Obama's clothes come off, apparently.
[livejournal.com profile] reileen: ...THIS CAN ONLY END IN TEARS.
[livejournal.com profile] reileen: OF LAUGHTER.
[livejournal.com profile] vyctori: Imagine what someone good at sewing could do!
[livejournal.com profile] reileen: And everyone knows that the best cosplay comes from Japan!
[livejournal.com profile] reileen: *is now imagining Obama in Jade's uniform and is dying of roffles*
[livejournal.com profile] vyctori: asldjhsaljdahjl!!
[livejournal.com profile] reileen: Actually, fuck that - OBAMA IS THE NEXT DOCTOR.
[livejournal.com profile] vyctori: FUCK YEAH.
[livejournal.com profile] reileen: THAT WOULD MEAN HE COULD GO BACK IN TIME AND FIX ALL OF OUR MISTAKES!
[livejournal.com profile] vyctori: SWEET
[livejournal.com profile] reileen: AND, LIKE, USE A SONIC SCREWDRIVER AND STUFF.
[livejournal.com profile] vyctori: THAT WOULD BE INSANE.
[livejournal.com profile] vyctori: BRITAIN GETS THE MASTER AS A PRIME MINISTER AND YOU GUYS GET THE DOCTOR.
[livejournal.com profile] reileen: XD!

ilu Vyc.

Here's a post about the idea of creating a universal attribution symbol, to be represented for the moment as (i). I love the idea, but have heard some concerns that the "i" looks too much like a Roman numeral to some people, and thus they expect to see (ii), (iii), and so forth. Still, this is something worth thinking about. (Thanks, Eridanus!)

A list of America's most mysterious places. WE'RE ROADTRIPPING, BABY!

John Scalzi features an article from the NYT on "easily misinterpreted place names in the UK." Gee, with names like "Crotch Crescent", "Titty Ho", and "Spanker Lane", I can't possibly see what the problem is, no, sir!

What wishful thinking - If Movie Posters Were Honest.

***

Finished my ART200 paper, but that wasn't so hard to do in the first place - it's the HON301 paper that'll kill me. Today, I'll probably quickly read through some assigned ART200 articles before watching Gattaca, reading one article for the group presentation on Tuesday, and taking preliminary notes for my HON301 paper.

Also, neither my A&D advisor nor the coordinator for the Japan CDM trip has gotten back to me, so it's time for me to bug the backups!

-Reileen
and I pick myself up like a champion
reileen: (Default)
What Reileen Ate Yesterday
Breakfast: Half a can of Mountain Dew.
Brunch: Two small packs of Welch's fruit snacks. Eaten during JPN104.
Lunch: Two fried breadsticks stuffed with pepperoni and a Mountain Dew from the soda fountain.
Lunchinner: One package of Maruchan pot ramen, chicken-flavored. A small bottle of water, followed by a bottle of Mike's Hard Lemonade.
Dinner: One hot dog with ketchup. Finishing up the bottle of Mike's Hard.

What Reileen Ate Today
Breakfast: A bag of regular chips (Miss Vickie's brand, yum) and a bottle of Mountain Dew. Consumed during ANT120.
Brunch: Another bag of regular chips; still working on that bottle of Dew.
Lunch: Five pieces of crab rangoon. Finally finishing up the bottle of Dew.
Dinner: Will be pasta, apparently, and another can of Dew.

I'm not sure why I thought this would be interesting to post, but there you go.

***

Despite staying up 'til 11:30pm working on an ANT120 lab report that I'd wanted to finish earlier and waking up at 6:00am grumpy and groggy as hell, I actually found myself less likely to want to nod off today. This may have been in part because 1) I had a lab today in ANT120 that actually required me to do work and to stay for almost the entire scheduled time of lab, and 2) I went to Chinatown today to stock up on incense, which required train travel and ambulatory travel. I bought sandalwood, cinnamon, strawberry, and "fragrant forest", and the total came out for around $11 for all of it. Yay.

Received my "specialty area" for ART233 today: it's Classical Greece, of course. Although I have to admit I was also leaning towards Sumerian or Babylonian art as well despite the fact that I skipped the lecture where the professor actually talked about these areas. I think I'll probably look those up on my own. Also, I'm wondering if there's a book or a few out there that deal specifically with studying temples from all over the world. In class today, we were looking at the temple of the Egyptian queen Hatshepsut, and I was "dfkljaldkfjaldkf GLEEEEEE!" I love temples. I can't articulate why, exactly, beyond "OMGCOOLANDPRETTY!", but I love 'em. If I'm in a game and we're exploring temples or temple-like areas, it's likely that I'm going to spend a large part of the game with the character just looking up and around at the exterior and the interior of the place. (The Temple of Time in Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess makes me squee. Am also fond of many of the Sephiroth points in Tales of the Abyss and the Spirit Temple in Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.) In short, I am a whore for nearly anything that evokes ancient pagan temples.

(...would that make me a "temple whore"?)

Anyway, I think that's it for interesting things from Reileen's life (which tend to be few and far in-between), so onto the link-o-llection!

***

Kit Whitfield blogs about depression and children's fiction, comparing depictions of depression in Harry Potter, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and in Antonia White's novels. Hefty, but a very interesting read. In particular, I love her interpretation of the Fire Nation royalty in Avatar in the context of depression-running-through-families. She also nails down the strength of Zuko's character in the show - and by strength, I mean not only how Zuko himself would be a strong person if he existed in real life, but also what makes his character from the show so memorable. He struggles; he despairs; he makes mistakes; and ultimately, he grows. I was pleasantly surprised at the care given in drawing this portrait of him throughout three seasons of the show.

Here's a set of candid shots of Barack Obama taken before, during, and after the debate in Oxford, Mississippi last week. My personal favorites are this one, this one, and this one.

And here's Build-O-Bama, where you can cut and fold your very own Obama paper doll for...some...reason!

For every comment made on this blogpost, Tyson Foods will donate 100 lbs. of food to food banks in the Bay Area. Easiest charity since Free Rice. How do these types of things work, though? Technically speaking, this strikes me as a more charitable version of "Give me five reviews and then I'll update with the next chapter!"

Artist builds "temple of science". Let me tell you, I've got at least two characters in my headspace who are going all drooly-mouthed and starry-eyed at this idea. (For background, they're both scientists - or as much of scientists as a scientifically-handicapped person as myself can write - of strong divine heritage.) And now I'm tempted to see if I can build a "religion of science" in a novel. I can already see places where I'd be running into problems, but it would be a fun thing to play with.

[livejournal.com profile] kaigou recounts an interesting anecdote that reveals insight into why a person might seem gluttonous when eating. She also now has a post up of 348 personality quirks that could be worked into a character, which would be an excellent reference for all the NaNoers out there.

Disgrasian wonders about where the hell Asian Barbie is in Mattel's current line of Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader Barbie Dolls. Meanwhile, Reileen wonders how it's possible that Barbie has gotten skinnier over the years.

At the Temple of Kraden, a Golden Sun forum (that I actually am on under my fandom name), there's a thread going on in which people post funny pictures, and others reading the thread try their best to get as far as they can without laughing. Man, I didn't even try that - I just wanted to see the lulz. Which there is a fair amount of. (Be warned, though - that thread is 38 pages and counting.)

Quoting [livejournal.com profile] ysabetwordsmith for Major Fucking Truth from here: "In each faith are found strange and subtle truths. The study of comparative religions is learning the shape of the Divine by groping your way all around the elephant, in the happy company of other blind people."

Also quoted for MFT is this excellent post from [livejournal.com profile] dien about writing fanfiction vs. writing original fiction:

So when you remove fandom from the equation, you're removing exactly what people came to fandom for in the first place: the characters and the worlds. You've got to create your own. And maybe writing in someone else's world has been like training wheels, maybe it's shown you the kind of thing you're going to need to do for yourself. Without having actually written narrative fanfiction, I still look at what JK Rowling's said about her process in terms of planning out a long series. What do you give away, how soon do you give it away--her decision to move Horcrux info from Chamber of Secrets to a later book, that kind of thing. But you're also in danger of having steeped in someone else's world for so long that you write your own thing, and it's like everything everyone's already seen.

Yes. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

Eerily enough, look at [livejournal.com profile] dien's list of things you learn writing fanfiction vs. what you learn writing original fic. Replace "things you learn writing fanfiction" with "strengths as a writer" and "things you learn writing original fic" with "weaknesses as a writer", and those two lists describe me to a big fat T. My strongest points are easily dialogue, characterization, and "the power of well-crafted language" (at least I'd like to think so). My weakest points are plot (which I quickly found out doing NaNoWriMo for the past few years), stories with staying power (again, NaNoWriMo pointed this out to me), and stories that matter.

Also, check this interesting analogy in the original entry from ETA 2: "...we might think of fanfic versus original fic as two different musical instruments-- you can learn how to play music on either a guitar or a piano, but learning how to play one doesn't necessarily mean you will automatically be able to play the other."

-Reileen
your eyes tell of a star's death
reileen: (general - strawberry)
So instead of posting about Obama's excellent speech at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday or Governor Sarah Palin being chosen as McCain's running mate, I will instead remark upon toys.



(Source: This post on Disgrasian.)


I mean, come on. Presidential plushies. How weirdly awesome and awesomely weird is that? Though honestly they do look quite frightening. They should look more like this chibi Gintoki plushie.

Regardless...I must confess that I kind of want a Barack Obama plushie.

-Reileen
why'd you have to go and make things so complicated?
reileen: (Default)
From Truthout: Obama Chooses Biden as Running Mate

Washington - Senator Barack Obama has chosen Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware to be his running mate, turning to a leading authority on foreign policy and a longtime Washington hand to fill out the Democratic ticket, Mr. Obama announced in text and e-mail messages early Saturday.

    Mr. Obama's selection ended a two-month search that was conducted almost entirely in secret. It reflected a critical strategic choice by Mr. Obama: To go with a running mate who could reassure voters about gaps in his resume, rather than to pick someone who could deliver a state or reinforce Mr. Obama's message of change.


Yahoo!News has an analysis on what this suggests about Obama and his campaign:

DENVER - The candidate of change went with the status quo.

In picking Sen. Joe Biden to be his running mate, Barack Obama sought to shore up his weakness — inexperience in office and on foreign policy — rather than underscore his strength as a new-generation candidate defying political conventions.

[ . . . ]

The picks say something profound about Obama: For all his self-confidence, the 47-year-old Illinois senator worried that he couldn't beat Republican John McCain without help from a seasoned politician willing to attack. The Biden selection is the next logistical step in an Obama campaign that has become more negative — a strategic decision that may be necessary but threatens to run counter to his image.

Al Giordano discusses some of Biden's weak points, including allegations of plagiarism from Biden's past presidential campaign and some of his racially-insensitive remarks, but concludes that Biden is, nonetheless, an asset to the Obama campaign.

Another article from Truthout brings to light some details from Biden's personal life, suggesting that despite his job in Washington, he is still in touch with the issues of everyday people.

Daily Kos has two posts regarding Biden's work with pushing legislation to criminalize violence against women, something that Biden has called "the single, most important legislative accomplishment in [his] 32-year-old career in the Senate."

The smart folk at Making Light are tossing around the implications of VP!Biden and what this may mean in the future. One of my favorite comments from this blog post, interestingly enough, has nothing to do with Biden:

Neil in Chicago @ 112: "That said, can we move on the the imporant question? The economy is in the toilet. The war is in the toilet. The budget is in the toilet. etc. So why is Obama polling a lead in the low single digits??"

I have a theory that it's a clever ploy by the Obama campaign to dispel the Arrogant Celebrity Frontrunner/Plucky Gen-yoo-ine Underdog narrative that had been building recently. Obama's lead had been so huge, it was inevitable that it would narrow at some point. Once that happened, McCain's fans in the media would all be breathlessly wondering if McCain could pull off an amazing comeback. Nothing energizes a constituency like rooting for an underdog--it might have turned out the right-wing base like nothing else could. At the same time, a huge lead might lull Obama's supporters into a false sense of security, especially unreliable voters like college-aged kids and other new voters. A massive turnout has always been key to Obama's electoral strategy.

Instead, the Obama campaign goes silent--Obama goes on vacation, and the campaign directs their energies into GOTV training and infrastructure building, not trying to get media attention. McCain gets the spotlight for a couple of weeks, letting the voters to get to know him a little better, warts and all. Especially the warts. Rumors begin to spread: Is Obama falling apart? Liberals freak out and redouble their efforts. The gap narrows, McCain's unfavorable ratings shoot up, and Obama has piles of cash and a ground operation to die for. He blazes back into the spotlight, hitting whatever weaknesses McCain's recent media glare has revealed, and rides rising polls right into November.

...or so I hope.


Shifting the focus back to Barackman for a bit...[livejournal.com profile] bradhicks linked to this fascinating article from the New York Times regarding Obama's economic policies:

When Obama gives a speech about his economic plan, there is often a moment when you can sense him shift from poetry to prose. He can be inspiring when talking about how the country ended up being the envy of the world. But when he comes to the part about what he wants to do next, how he wants to keep America the envy of the world, it can sound a little like a State of the Union laundry list.

His advisers are divided about how much of a problem this is. Some of them told me that he did have a unifying theme — the middle-class squeeze — and that it would become clearer to voters as they began paying closer attention to the race. Others said they didn’t think Obama had yet come up with a simple way to explain how he would alleviate that squeeze. Obama himself seems well aware of the stakes. In 2005, on a call-in public-radio show, he told a listener that Democrats hadn’t been as effective in telling a story about the country as Republicans. In the end, he said, people voted not for a hodgepodge of position papers but for someone who could explain to them where the country should be going.

So I asked Obama whether he thought he had been able to tell an effective story about the economy during this campaign. Specifically, I wondered, did he think he had a message that compared with Reagan’s simple call for less government and lower taxes.

He paused for a few seconds and then said this:

“I think I can tell a pretty simple story. Ronald Reagan ushered in an era that reasserted the marketplace and freedom. He made people aware of the cost involved of government regulation or at least a command-and-control-style regulation regime. Bill Clinton to some extent continued that pattern, although he may have smoothed out the edges of it. And George Bush took Ronald Reagan’s insight and ran it over a cliff. And so I think the simple way of telling the story is that when Bill Clinton said the era of big government is over, he wasn’t arguing for an era of no government. So what we need to bring about is the end of the era of unresponsive and inefficient government and short-term thinking in government, so that the government is laying the groundwork, the framework, the foundation for the market to operate effectively and for every single individual to be able to be connected with that market and to succeed in that market. And it’s now a global marketplace.

“Now, that’s the story. Now, telling it elegantly — ‘low taxes, smaller government’ — the way the Republicans have, I think is more of a challenge.”



Okay, phew, I think that's enough links for now.

-Reileen
you were killed at twenty-one on a minor battlefield
reileen: (Default)
Tired of getting rickroll'd? How about getting Barackroll'd instead?

***

After 400+ pages of absolutely hideous wannabe thriller tripe (to say nothing of questionable theology and the morality that goes along with said questionable theology), Fred Clark conclude's in this week's Left Behind posts that the illogic and paradoxes of Left Behind stem not from unreliable narrators used in the literary sense, but unreliable narrators that stem from unreliable authors.

We readers come to this novel with certain expectations. We expect that it will tell us a story -- a coherent narrative that makes sense. Those expectations are so habitual and fundamental to our experience of reading novels that it can take us a long time to accept that such expectations are really being thoroughly frustrated. That's why it took me a very long time -- hundreds of pages -- before I finally conceded that the constant, flagrant contradictions between our narrators' perceptions and their reality weren't some kind of deliberate, meaningful narrative device.

[. . . ]

This chapter might have been more interesting if Buck had turned out to be only partly immune to Nicolae's enchantment and he had emerged from this room less than certain of what he'd really seen -- as though he really were having to fight to keep his sanity. He is, after all, a brand-new RTC, a mere infant in the faith, so the divine counter-enchantment might not have been fully operational just yet.

But that wouldn't work because that's not how the authors' notion of RTC magic works. It's a binary system. You're either 100-percent saved or you're 100-percent damned to Hell. There is no half-way, no partial, no blurring of categories. Truth is wholly true and lies are wholly lies. Good is wholly good and evil is wholly evil.

And that, ultimately, is why readers don't have to worry about things like unreliable narrators in this book. The authors can't have intended such a device because the authors don't believe in it.


***

From [livejournal.com profile] dark_christian: Focus on the Family prays to God for rain to "drown out Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention in two weeks' time. Word to FotF: I think you're better off using this as your guide for making it rain on Obama's parade. (Yes, I am being completely ironic in recommending anything from Spellsandmagic.com.)

***

I recently discovered the blog of author Kit Whitfield, who comments on Slacktivist under the pseudonym "Praline" and always has articulate and thoughtful commentary to add to any Slacktiposting. She has since been mentally added to Reileen's Roster of Awesome and Brilliant Bloggers To Whom She'd Like to Be as Awesome and Brilliant As Someday, which currently includes the Smart Bitches Sarah and Candy, John Scalzi, the blogginating team at Making Light, and, of course, the Slacktivist himself. Also, throw Vienna Teng in there. Because, y'know. Vienna motherfucking Teng. I wish she'd blog more on her site scrapbook, but in all fairness, she's busy recording her new album, so I'm not going to fault her too much, since anything she puts out - music or writing - is something I whoreship.

Anyway, a sampling of Kit Whitfield's blogging:

Writing sex scenes versus writing porn
The thing is, if your story is intended to be a piece of straightforward porn, you can pick a style and go with it. The usual objections to blunt writing are removed; graphic words for body-parts tend to leap off the page in a rather glaring way if your characters spend most of their time dressed. The reader gets to know the characters in, basically, a social context, like you'd get to know a friend, and if your friend suddenly whips out his genitals, it's a bit startling. Overly graphic sex scenes in otherwise fully-clothed books can feel like too much information, like the characters suddenly changing style and going from Regency elegance or lyrical melancholia to porn-speak, which is as disconcerting as if the vicar poured a cup of tea and then started talking dirty. All of which gives a sense of 'whoa!', which is not exactly the mood for sexual bliss. If, on the other hand, the story you're writing actually is porn, there's no reason at all not to use pornographic language. Direct language can be used all over the place without the style taking a lurch.

But if you're not writing porn, you need to match the sex scenes with the rest of the book.


The myth of the Macho Sue
A disagreeable variant of Mary Sue, often found in action films, cop shows and the more battly kind of science fiction. While Mary Sue is a fictional character who bends the universe around herself with her amazing specialness, Macho Sue bends the universe around his manhood. He has a particular ability to get away with behaviour that would be considered bad in a woman - to the point of behaviour that would be considered typically female by a misogynist if displayed by a woman.

Kit Whitfield's lexicon of issues in fiction
Phantonym
The feeling you get when you're searching for the perfect word: that there is a word for this concept that's not in the thesaurus, but you can't quite remember it. Usually this is not the case, and you're forced to go with a word that's slightly wrong, or else rewrite the whole bloody sentence. (Reileen sez: "I get this one all the time.")

[. . .]

Naglet
A concept or action that you have the nagging sense really should have a single word to describe it-the action of a dog putting its head between its paws on the ground to invite you to play is one that always bugs me - but most unfairly, it doesn't. (Reileen sez: "This is often a jumping-off point whenever I'm doing in-novel conlanging for SF/F. What concepts exist in such-and-such culture to the point of ubiquity, and thus would probably require a word or a short phrase describing it?")

[. . .]

Subconscious-Packing
Reading and absorbing as much as you can in the way of good stylists and general information, on the understanding that it'll mesh together in your subconscious and make your writing richer. Not to be confused with procrastination. (Reileen sez: "It's probably the equivalent of eating past being full, but I follow this philosophy for my art, my writing, and my music. Needless to say, it drives me nuts, but it drives me nuts if I don't at least attempt to do it, so I'm pretty fucked either way.")

The tricky business of defining national insults
It strikes me that a key element of English insults is the idea of self-awareness: a great many of the insults denote someone who, were he aware how he was coming across, wouldn't be acting so stupidly.

The kind of insults a nation creates are an unusual insight into its general character: you wouldn't bother to invent an insult for something that nobody does or nobody minds. Whether this means that, say, England has more wankers and America has more jerks, or that England notices wankers more and America notices jerks more, I couldn't really say. (As an interesting side-note, many English people feel that 'arsehole' is a stronger insult than 'asshole', even though the only real difference is in pronunciation. Curious, huh?)

***

From Strange Horizons, an online speculative fiction magazine: Stories We've Seen Too Often and Horror Stories We've Seen Too Often.

***

METALLICA IS PLAYING AT THE ALL-STATE ARENA ON JANUARY 26 NEXT YEAR. WANTS TO GO PLZ. D:!

***

For a while now, I've been looking for a decently plain white blouse that I can pair with different items, such as a sweater vest or a plaid skirt (...probably both in my case), and today, I finally found one.

It was from Avril Lavigne's new Abbey Dawn fashion line.

I'm trying to figure out whether I should be embarrassed by this or not.

-Reileen
fortune, fame, mirror vain
reileen: (Default)
I hereby dub these linkposts as "link-o-llections", a portmanteau of "link" and a misspelled "collection"! I r witty.

***

From the inimitable [livejournal.com profile] sannion - Rihanna's Hymn to Zeus (otherwise known as "Umbrella"):

Rihanna goes on to sing:

You can stand under my umbrella

And this is one of the most powerful metaphors in the piece. Here she is comparing Zeus to an umbrella, by which she means that Zeus is our shelter and protection from the storm, a noble sentiment indeed, and one that is truly worthy of the god that she hymns so lovingly. No doubt that is why she chose to give such a name to her piece, for it is truly the central theme of the song.

Be sure to check the comments for a brief expose on how Justin Timberlake's "Sexyback" is an allegory for Hephaistos. No, seriously.

***

From the Angry Asian Man - Obama on vacation in the "foreign, exotic" state of Hawaii:

Oh, please. As you might know, Senator Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, which—last I checked—is a state. One of those United States, actually. Of America. But it turns out, according to political analyst Cokie Roberts, Hawaii is too "foreign" and "exotic" a locale for a campaigning presidential candidate to go to for vacation. Huh?

On yesterday's edition of ABC's This Week, Roberts criticized Senator Obama for "going off this week to a vacation in Hawaii," which she said "does not make any sense whatsoever." Funny, it makes perfect sense to me. Can't a guy go back to his home state to chill? According to Roberts:

"I know his grandmother lives in Hawaii and I know Hawaii is a state, but it has the look of him going off to some sort of foreign, exotic place... He should be in Myrtle Beach, and, you know, if he's going to take a vacation at this time."

Hawaii isn't American enough, apparently. What the hell kind of criticism is this?!

***

From Making Light - Classifying the Novel:

Novels may be classified in this manner:

(a) Those that are best-sellers, (b) those that were assigned to you in school, (c) those that you feel you have already read even though you have not, (d) classics, (e) those that are not read as the author intended, (f) those that many intend to read “some day,” (g) fantasy trilogies, (h) those that are otherwise not flawed, (i) those that were written on manual typewriters, (j) those that can be judged by their covers, (k) those that were padded by their designers during production to appear longer than they are, (l) those that are only called ‘novel’ by courtesy, (m) those that have been condensed by Readers Digest, (n) those that look well upon the shelf.

Making Light is a wonderful place full of simultaneously inspiring and intimidating individuals with a knack for wordplay and verse. Make sure you go through the comments - there's even more gems in there.

-Reileen
in another life, you and I worked West Virginia coal mines, side by side

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Reileen van Kaile

April 2010

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