The dwindling part

May. 29th, 2017 08:10 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

Actually, although this was the last day and people have been leaving like whoa since the morning, it's been my day of wild amounts of social interaction, or, at least, catching up with (different) people at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as having the lakeside walk (which I thought I might not get to) with [personal profile] commodorified this afternoon.

Got caught in the on and off rainstorm coming back this evening, but there was a spectacular rainbow.

Also got to a panel on canon and fanon this morning, and managed to resist spending vast amounts in the dealers' room.

Tomorrow: onwards (well, back to O'Hare with a view to further travel).

Remembrance

May. 29th, 2017 05:34 pm
kiya: (piece of the night)
[personal profile] kiya

Mirrored from Suns In Her Branches | Kiya Nicoll.

I didn’t do anything in particular to mark the Beautiful Festival of the Western Valley this year (25 May on my calendar) because I am buried under so much of everything that I barely know what month it is, let alone when the holidays fall. It did strike me, yesterday, how interesting it was that it fell so close to Memorial Day this year.

I’ve long described the Beautiful Festival as “a cross between Samhain and Mardi Gras”: the Veil is thin, the dead walk among us; have a flower garland, drink the good intoxicating drink! I’ve been doing some reading, quietly: stories about loss, of the beloved dead, of fallen soldiers, of others.

I’ve been thinking about Portland.

I’ve been thinking about the ways in which the modern pagan movement and the products of Naziism are two branches off the same oh so complicated tree, emerging from the same zeitgeist. I’ve been thinking about an “anti-monotheist” with runic imagery pulling a knife on people who tried to stop him from threatening two young women of color, one of them a hijabi, killing two of them and severely wounding a third.

(And I’ve been thinking about a young black man murdered by a white supremacist. A homeless black man murdered by another one. Charleston. The “mysterious deaths” of several black judges. I’ve been thinking, thinking, thinking.)

I’ve been thinking about how, when it’s a white man who does the thing, people leap to “mentally ill” and “lone wolf”. And I’ve been thinking about stochastic terrorism.

I don’t have a lot of coherent thoughts about any of this.

There’s a bit of European folklore, that takes a number of forms depending on the region, which may derive from older polytheisms: this idea that the Devil steals from us, takes away our harvest, our fertility, our hope. The Devil steals from us, with the help of those of the Devil’s party, robbing life from the world, and if we are going to live, we must ourselves go into Hell and take it back.

I think about that a lot, too.

The veil is thin. The dead walk among us.

In Flanders Fields the poppies grow.

Blossomforth, Derpy and Cloudkicker

May. 28th, 2017 10:29 pm
frith: Violet unicorn cartoon pony with a blue mane (FIM Twilight vexed)
[personal profile] frith posting in [community profile] ponyville_trot
blossomforth_derpy_and_cloudkicker_close_up_by_viwrastupr
Source: http://viwrastupr.deviantart.com/art/Blossomforth-Derpy-and-Cloudkicker-close-up-662417181

I've started a book called The Life and Times of a Winning Pony by Chengar Qordath, which is a My Little Pony fanfiction. I'm reading it because I got it in print form. I really appreciate it when authors go to the trouble to offer their works in print, and I expect if a bunch of people sign up for the print run, the book is probably good. In hindsight, I should have read the first ten pages or so before jumping on this bandwagon. It's not what I'd expected.

So far, the story is a smut comedy. Wry humorous smut. The main mare is an expert on everything she does, seems untainted in Ponyville society despite her scandalous life of debauchery, and she clearly thinks all should pay exactly what they owe, be it for goods or services. She's elite, or at least in her own mind. The smut is all innuendo, much like I'm writing here. The clearest technical terms have been pie, cherry, wing boner, jelly (as in lubricant) and toy. The word "mate" comes up, but only as an abstraction. Otherwise, the innuendo is almost non-stop, and from the ease of the conquests it really seems like we're being told that it's a rare mare in Ponyville who isn't keen to "mate" with other mares. Right off the bat, Pinkie and Rainbow Dash are shacking up and apparently, Rarity and Applejack are only a whisker away from slathering on the jelly too. Perhaps later we will learn that this is why there are so few foals in Ponyville? (I doubt it.)

What I was expecting was "winning" to mean good at games of chance or at sport, or to mean having a winning personality. Not "winning" as in "getting lucky" frequently. I hope something interesting and non-smutty happens soon. There are another 750 pages to go in this book.

'Xhausted hedjog

May. 28th, 2017 08:07 pm
oursin: Sleeping hedgehog (sleepy hedgehog)
[personal profile] oursin

Had a terrible night last night: insomnia exacerbated by the hip thing playing up; then woke up ridiculous early and failed to get back to sleep - okay, I know, just lying in bed has some benefits - so got up earlier than I had intended, and went to the panel I thought I might do if I was up and breakfasted.

Walked about a little and had lunch - I have really not been terribly organised about arranging to have meals with people, sorry. Have a couple sorted for tomorrow, at least.

Chilled a little in my room in preparation for being on a panel then doing a reading.

I think I might have been more idea'd and articulate on the panel if I'd been better slept, but at least I managed to get in some of the thoughts I'd had.

The reading, I think, went well - at least, the audience laughed, and amusement was intended, so I think it counts as a win.

I am intending going to the GOH speeches but don't know how much longer than that I will manage to stay up.

catherineldf: (Default)
[personal profile] catherineldf
Here are suggested books, shows and movies that were mentioned during the WisCon panel, Red as Blood: Women in Gothic Horror.

Gothic Blog: https://gothicfictionblog.wordpress.com/ 

Tor.com talks about Gothic: http://www.tor.com/2012/06/19/whats-gothic-now/

Here's a good primer page: https://www.google.com/#q=Gothic+Fiction

Your friends at Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/1230.Best_Gothic_Books_Of_All_Time

Gothic Movies: http://www.indiewire.com/2015/10/18-great-films-of-gothic-horror-and-romance-to-watch-before-crimson-peak-112007/

Some suggestions from the panelists and the audience:

Books:

Windward Heights by Maryse Condé

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

Affinity and Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

Respectable Horror edited by Kate Laity

Speaking to the Skull Kings and Other Stories by Emily Cataneo

Voodoo Dreams: A Novel of Marie Laveau by Jewelle Parker Rhodes

“The Specialist’s Hat” by Kelly Link

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

We Have Always Lived in the Castle and The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

 

 

Films and TV:

Crimson Peak

The Orphanage

Penny Dreadful (TV)

Victor Frankenstein

The Babadook

Salem (TV)

The Woman in Black

The Handmaiden

 

 

Comics:

The Girl from Raw Blood by Sarah Vaughn

Dude Watching with the Brontes by Kate Beaton



kaberett: Clyde the tortoise from Elementary, crawling across a map, with a red tape cross on his back. (elementary-emergency-clyde)
[personal profile] kaberett
The Red Turtle is a collaboration between Studio Ghibli and Oscar-winning British-Dutch animator Michaël Dudok de Wit. Having premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, it's had a general release in the UK this week. [personal profile] me_and spotted a poster in one of our local stations; I've just started showing him the Studio Ghibli back catalogue; he suggested going. (It's Ghibli! It's turtles! These seemed like good things.)

The Guardian, in one of many rapturous reviews, says:
Suffice to say that the official one-line synopsis of The Red Turtle – "the milestones in the life of a human being" – rings entirely true; the cycle of birth, death and rebirth is expressed with piercing clarity.


... which is sort of accurate, but very telling about expected audiences, and reviewers, and... everyone involved in the thing.

'ware spoilers! )

To be clear, I'm glad that I saw it: I loved the animals and the textures and the ways in which one got to know the small island; I loved the atmosphere and the great sweeping shots of tiny people against a vast expanse of sea and sky; I loved the detail of the glass bottle that washed up on the shore, echoing a much earlier barrel.

I just really wish that it didn't, in framing itself as universal, once again write the experiences of anyone who's not a factory-default man completely out of the story.

YU-GI-OH!

May. 28th, 2017 01:33 pm
darjeeling: Priest Set & Kisara | Yuugiou DM ([ ANIM ] powerful is the soul)
[personal profile] darjeeling posting in [site community profile] dw_community_promo

The [community profile] yugioh fandom community is getting a reboot, just in time for the new series! Whether you're a fan of the original Duel Monsters, GX, 5D's, Zexal or the new VRAINS, all series and fanworks are welcome. Fanfic, art, icons, discussions, it's all good. There's also a new FRIENDING MEME posted for meeting other fans.
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
[personal profile] kaberett
Prompted by having received an utterly anodyne response from the party that completely ignored all of the actual issues I raised.

So, with content notes for transmisogyny and transmisogynist violence, here's the very brief summary of why -- regardless of party leadership's opinion on that matter -- that poster is Not Okay. (Yes, I have explained this in painstaking detail in reply to the e-mail from the party.)

Read more... )

We never think it’s us

May. 28th, 2017 10:16 am
mrissa: (Default)
[personal profile] mrissa

Originally published at Novel Gazing Redux. You can comment here or there.

You volunteer for a thing. Good for you. Seriously, non-sarcastically: good. The world needs people to step up on so many fronts, and you do. And you do the thing, and then the thing gets done, and sometimes you have a natural gift for it, and sometimes you don’t, sometimes you just work hard at it and do some learning and figure out the thing. You get good at the thing, fast or slow you get good at it. There’s a little bit of applause but maybe not as much as there is work done. There never really is, that’s how volunteering works.

Great! Fantastic! Now stop.

I’m serious. I’m really, really not kidding. You need you to stop. Your organization needs you to stop.

Not stop volunteering completely. Nope. The world needs people to step up. But here’s the problem: if the same person steps up to the same job for too long, it becomes invisible. It becomes A’s job. And A still gets thanked, hey, good job, A, what would we ever do without A. But sometimes that last rhetorical question turns literal: A is probably not immune to breaking their leg, having a family member who needs care, a job crisis, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel to Tahiti. (Or Australia. Hi, Paul.) A, to get really morbid with you, is probably not the world’s first immortal. So if you can’t do the thing without A…you can’t do the thing. And the more important the thing is, the more that’s a problem.

Also of concern, and very hard to bring up: sometimes A’s skills slip for one reason or another. Yes, you. Even if you’re A.

Say you’re arranging the little kids’ Christmas program. And the first two years, you are filled with joy and energy and you have so many ideas and it is amazing! And people tell you how amazing it is! The best ever! My golly! What a Christmas program! And the next few years, you have not quite so much joy but so much experience, so the combination is still pretty great, probably better than anyone else could do! Wow! You are the Christmas program monarch! And when a 4-year-old vomits off the back of the risers, you have someone ready to clean it up quietly, and you have enough adults to make sure that the 6-year-olds do not rampage when they get offstage afterwards, and this is just a super, super job!

And ten years down the line, not one single person has approached the beloved mainstay of the community to say, “Your Christmas programs stink on ice and you need to stop.” Which of course they would feel totally comfortable doing, so you can definitely tell that you’re still at the top of your game and feedback will always get to you before people are frustrated enough for it to be non-constructive.

Say it’s not the Christmas program. And it’s not just burnout. Say it’s finances, and say your memory has started to go. This is not a random example; I know someone who was in charge of part of the finances of a volunteer organization and started to slip into the early stages of Alzheimer’s. And for the first few years, experience carried them through, and I bet that they told themselves that it was still fine and they were still doing a better job than anyone else would have done. And for the first few years they were probably even right. And by the time they moved into the memory unit, there was literally over a decade of mishandled finances for that volunteer organization. No one is the villain here. That person is not a bad person. But we never think it’s us. We never think, I bet I’m the problem here.

Nor is Alzheimer’s the only way this can happen. There are habits of thought one falls into, things that seem obvious, that are just The Way We’ve Always Done It, and some of them are because We have had Bitter Experience, and some of them are…just habit. Sometimes the Bitter Experience no longer applies. Sometimes this is all very true, and passing the job along to someone else will mean that it is done worse. We have to do that anyway. We have to be willing to let someone else make mistakes and do it worse sometimes. And sometimes we can pass along notes and advice and all sorts of information to make this smoother, but it can never be perfect.

But seriously. Rotating jobs. Changing what you’re volunteering for. I very, very occasionally see this discussed as a favor to yourself to avoid burnout, and it is. It’s also a favor to your organization. And you can come back after a few years, when someone else has taken a turn and learned to do the thing…although if it’s always you and the same person alternating, that also tells you a thing about the organization.

The last question is, what if no one else steps up? And the answer is: that tells you something about the health of the organization, right there. If no one else steps up and you are literally the only one, then maybe it’s time to say that your volunteer energies should be used on something else anyway. Which is a bitter pill to swallow when you’ve put a lot of time, energy, and love into something. But. Sometimes.

I have no exact perfect answer for a timeline on this. There is no five-year rule or ten-year rule or one-year rule. It depends on what you’re doing, how often it happens, what kind of energy it requires, what size of group, all sorts of things. But I’ve seen this in more than one kind of organization–churches, art groups, science fiction conventions–all in the last year, so I thought I’d say: we never think it’s us. Sometimes it’s us when we least want it to be, and those times are the times when we get the least signaling about it.

(no subject)

May. 28th, 2017 09:33 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] genarti and [personal profile] green_knight!

A good but tiring day

May. 27th, 2017 08:24 pm
oursin: Sleeping hedgehog (sleepy hedgehog)
[personal profile] oursin

Even though I had a reasonably decent night's sleep last night.

Good meetings with people and good conversations, some tasty food, a panel that (I think) went fairly well even though it was in the room I hate, with the speakers on a platform and a spread-out audience, and cold. (One might also mention the single microphone that had to be handed back and forth among the panel.)

Also managed to get to a couple of other panels.

Was contemplating the Tiptree Auction but felt some recharge time alone was necessitated, May go to the parties for a little while, but am already feeling a bit that what a hedjog wants is a nice cup of Horlicks and a Nice Book to go with it.

brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane posting in [community profile] wiscon
Per today's Momentary Taste of WisCon newsletter - "WisCon is proud to offer live-captioning services — available all weekend long, at request, for (almost) any panel....would you like to have CART for a panel you’re going to attend? Our CART providers will be hanging out in the Green Room (2nd floor) all weekend long. Check with a Green Room volunteer to see if the CART provider is available. Or you can email access@wiscon.net!"

Granny Smith

May. 27th, 2017 10:48 am
frith: Yellow pony with yellow mane, stunned look. (FIM Applejack stunned)
[personal profile] frith posting in [community profile] ponyville_trot
Granny_Smith_by_exclusionzone
Source: http://exclusionzone.deviantart.com/art/265140959822-672110032

Showtime in the US on Discovery Family in about 1 hour! This week it's Hard To Say Anything, the discussion for which is at the May 13th post. Watch it and marvel at how a special talent can be a private hell for some ponies.

(no subject)

May. 27th, 2017 09:42 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] redroanchronicles!

Spectacular sunset over the lake

May. 26th, 2017 08:18 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

One of the benefits of being on a higher floor of the hotel, even if this also means a lot of rather tedious waiting for lifts. I was going to take and post a photo, but I really don't think that my present state of tiredness is a good state in which to get to grips with DW photo posting. Also, on essaying to take a photo for later presentation, realised that the grimy marks on the window would be rather obtrusive.

Quite a full day, which started with waking up rather earlier than I had hoped, but not horribly so.

Socialising has taken place. There was going to be a walk, but then it started to rain (I wouldn;t say there was no chance of a walk that day, but not at that particular time).

Also have been on one panel, which I think suffered a little from ambiguity in framing its terms but nonetheless evoked some interesting discussion.

Observations of note: in the stuffed toy and knickknackery shop just around the corner in State Street, there is a stufft swan, right at the front of the window display: also an inflatable pool version. However, I should eschew props for my reading.

Coco Pommel

May. 26th, 2017 07:56 pm
frith: Yellow cartoon pony with pink mane, blue eyes (FIM Fluttershy head)
[personal profile] frith posting in [community profile] ponyville_trot
coco_pommel_by_mirroredsea
Source: http://mirroredsea.deviantart.com/art/Coco-Pommel-681153278

No new episodes are to be broadcast this weekend in Canada. In the US, Discovery Family and iTunes will be broadcasting Hard To Say Anything (episode 8) for the first time. Like last year, this season is in two parts. I don't remember how many episodes were in the first part last year, but this year, Discovery Family has stated the mid season break starts after episode 11 (Not Asking For Trouble). In the meantime, Discovery Channel will be broadcasting at least one Equestria Girls special (Dance Magic). That should be fun, even if the Equestria Girls are anorexic hooker chick meat puppets created by an ancient pocket universe death trap spell.

Why you deserve it

May. 26th, 2017 01:24 pm
mrissa: (Default)
[personal profile] mrissa

Originally published at Novel Gazing Redux. You can comment here or there.

I have just finished watching season 1 of Skin Wars on a friend’s recommendation. It is very very far from my usual sort of thing: it’s a reality show that’s a competition in body painting. My friend promised that it was very low on the interpersonal cattiness/drama, with lots of very skilled work and a certain amount of people learning stuff about their art, learning from each other. New art and learning? Hey, I’m there for that. And I was immediately hooked, and I will definitely watch the other two seasons, especially since my friend is a person who would have warned me if there was a lot of body-shaming weirdness in store.

One of the things that fascinates me is that the artists involved in this were often financially struggling–it’s not a fast route to fame and fortune–and they had pretty well-entrenched justifications for why they deserved success that were not always easy to dislodge by circumstances that really should have dislodged them. Examples:

I have put in the time. I have worked long hours. This is a competition with firmly set time limits, around each piece and around the competition as a whole. Each artist gets literally exactly the same amount of time. There are no examples of artists putting their feet up and being done early, and beyond that here is absolutely no way for anyone to put in more time than anyone else. Eventually this got clarified to:

I have put in the time. I spent my whole life learning this. Finally someone turned to the person who kept repeating this and said, how old are you? and determined that they were very close to the same age. And that they had both spent their whole life learning it, so…yeah. Not a distinguishing feature. I’ve seen both of these at conventions, though: I have devoted more time to science fiction than the other people at my day job! And I’ve seen a certain amount of it in various factions in the field who are convinced that they are the ones who are truly, deeply devoted–and that that kind of devotion has to be what matters. (Spoiler: it does not have to be. Sorry.)

I need it the most. My living conditions are worse than other people’s without recognition. There are indeed need-based scholarships for various types of study, and I’m very glad. But they’re usually clearly labeled, and “I like your art a lot” and “I think you need money” are not actually the same thing–and “you should like my art a lot because I need money” doesn’t actually work very well.

I need it the most. I poured my heart into this piece. “You should like my art a lot because I need validation” does not turn out to work better than “you should like my art a lot because I need money.” It is often a great idea to pour your heart into art. I recommend it. Then make more art and pour your heart into that. Also technique at the same time.

I have the most technical skills. Ever heard a pianist play Hanon? They are finger exercises. They are finger exercises, they are to make you a technically better pianist, and nobody plays them in concert because they are no fun to listen to. (Or play. Freakin’ Hanon.) Okay, okay, they have a certain hypnotic power, they can be impressive, but…at the end of the day if you are showing up and playing Hanon, nobody is buying your book, your painting, or in the most literal sense, tickets to your piano concert. (Freakin’ Hanon.)

It is apparently really, really hard to say, “Mine is good. Here is what I did well. Look at this part. I deserve this because mine is really good art. I combined the technical and the creative, this has thought and feeling and everything it’s supposed to have, and who cares whether I picked up those skills in two minutes or ten million hours, who cares whether someone else thinks that they are overall better than me and paid their dues more than me, here is the thing I made, it doesn’t come with dues, it comes with awesome.”

It is even harder to say, “I don’t know what’s missing. I did everything right. It’s just not happening for me. Can you help me see what’s going wrong in my piece?” And sometimes there are ten million answers, and sometimes there’s one answer, and sometimes there…isn’t. And sometimes the artificial contest structure of a reality show has made something happen that reality doesn’t support, it has made a thing where there is a winner and a loser where actually in a group of ten there might be three pieces that really work and four that don’t and three that meh, or ten that meh, or any other combination of numbers.

But the attachment to previous explanations of why you deserve it, the strength of that: that really got fascinating for me, and I will be riveted to see whether that continues for future seasons.

Hidden Passages

May. 26th, 2017 10:52 am
calliopes_pen: (sallymn dark and stormy story)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen posting in [site community profile] dw_community_promo
[community profile] hidden_passages: Hidden Passages is a new community dedicated to gothic horror and gothic romance works in film, television, and literature across history.

(no subject)

May. 26th, 2017 09:41 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] aedifica and [personal profile] the_rck!

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