jaebility: (sm // kingdom)
On media and -isms
dear hollywood: I resent you. Srsly. by kaigou - "I'm just plain tired of always the same faces, the same middle-class heterosexual cisgendered cissexed abled white male take on things. I want something different. I'm tired of seeing and hearing ads for movie after movie with fabulous budget and intriguing premise and amazing effects and knowing that the story's centerpiece is, wow, quelle shock, another freaking white guy." YES YES YES.

The Importance of Being Bellatrix Lestrange by Ouyang Dan - Interesting post about mental illness and communication, using Bellatrix from Harry Potter as an example. "The importance of Bellatrix Lestrange is that she represents real people…real women who exist — whether intentional on the part of J.K. Rowling or no — who have valid concerns in the world, and who can not get their voices heard because their mental illness (or any disability) creates a barrier between what they say and what others are willing to hear."

The cost of art by fiction_theory - Amanda Palmer is a trainwreck of ignorance and insensitivity. fiction_theory compares Palmer to Erykah Badu, using Badu's new music video to break down American culture's views on art and women's bodies.

Real world stuff
'I pray lovely creature, comply!' 300-year-old stash of erotica found hidden in Lake District manor house - Human nature doesn't change much. I'd love to read a historical novel where the characters have a stash of steamy stories of their own.

The stunning pictures of sleeping insects covered in water droplets - Absolutely gorgeous.

Summerwind Mansion - A wiki article about a supposedly haunted mansion in Wisconsin. "One example is that when they attempted to draw blueprints, the dimensions of the house would change, with some rooms producing larger measurements on some days than on others. Photographs taken of the same location, on the same film, were also said to show a single room as several different sizes. even if they were taken seconds apart, or to show furnishings that had been in the room when the Hinshaws had lived there, but which had since been removed." Ooooh man. Shivers. Unreliable geometry is one of my favorite scary story tropes.
jaebility: (digimon // daiken embrace)
Some cool shit I've gathered during my internet wanderings.

The Louvre, the gendered gaze, and artistic assumptions by mariness: An interesting post about the marginalization of women writers and artists. Mari Ness writes about how anonymous artists are constantly gendered male, despite the evidence that women have been creating art as long as men.

Slaughterhouse 90210: Wow, love this site. Images from TV shows are paired with literary quotes, producing interesting new ways to view both. My Amazon book wishlist has increased practically tenfold.

The Automata/Automaton Blog: A blog with plans for making various gizmos. Makes me wish I were better with my hands.

Did the Jedi Have It Coming? by Tom Janulewicz: A good read about the nature of totalitarianism, even if you're not a Star Wars fan. I agree with this reading of the Jedi; if nothing else, it presents Jedi, midichlorians, and Palpatine seem much more interesting than the way they were shown in Episodes 1-3.

And finally, this quote by tithenai that I found in emilytheslayer's post I Made You This about hand-made gifts: "Anything, anything at all you make me with love and while thinking of me, will be precious, and I will adore it -- not only because it will come from you, but because it will come from you for me. I don't know if I'm being clear at all, but to have an object that is the manifestation of time I've spent in your thoughts is to have a treasure, pure and simple."
jaebility: (ffvii // girls)
[livejournal.com profile] tithenai wrote an interesting entry about silencing female characters: The Graveyard Women: Lest We Forget.

"I hate that in everything I read lately, it’s women who lose their memories – women who have had great adventures, who have been great, who have done great things. In the things that I read and watch on television, these women give up their memories, or have them taken from them, or allow them to be taken from them, in order to keep themselves from harm. They give up their longings, their desire for adventure, the adventures they have had, in order to stay sane, or keep their heads from exploding, or, sometimes, to save the world."

I completely agree with [livejournal.com profile] tithenai here; it's depressing that women are left behind - if they get included at all - that they're the ones who make sacrifices, or that they're the ones who need to be killed off, raped, kidnapped in order to move the plot. Women are devices in these stories; they aren't characters and they certainly aren't the heroes.

Here's hoping that 2010 will produce new fiction unhampered by this misogyny.
jaebility: (coraline // other world)
I'm trying read more fantasy, especially ones not set in the typical Europeanesque worlds. The Drowning City takes place in an Asian-inspired setting, lush and flush with rain and spirits. The main character is a necromancer from a foreign empire, sent to nudge the civil unrest into full rebellion.

It has its flaws, to be sure. There are multiple characters and multiple POVs, and the plot gets convoluted quickly. At one point, the characters fight off an assassin and when the identity is revealed, it's a huge shock. Or at least I imagine it was supposed to be shocking; I couldn't remember who the character was. The inclusions of so many minor characters gets ridiculous, the plot is drowning in them. This is Downing's first published novel; I'm sure she'll improve and iron out the wrinkles as she progresses.

So the prose is meh. The magic, however, is fascinating. The necromancer Isyllt has a specific method of magic that functions in a completely different manner than the magic that Zhirin uses. Downing does an excellent job at making the characters and their abilities distinct.

The interesting setting and the variety of strong, competent female characters made it a good read. This is book one of a trilogy and I'll definitely be getting the second part when it's released.
jaebility: (coraline // porch)
[livejournal.com profile] cidercupcakes's Home Team poll is made of awesome and win. Vote for/support your favorite heroines! Show some love for the ladies!

YES YES A THOUSAND TIMES HELL YES. It warms the cockles of my heart to see something like this, to see female characters getting the respect and admiration they deserve.

Go vote for Zelda! Or Yuna! Or Toph! Or Scully! Or all of the above!

I added a few, too: Miss Marple, Yuffie Kisaragi, September, and CORALINE OF FUCKING COURSE.
jaebility: (pw // lawyercest kissy)
"When you're a teenager it's true: Life is hard. You're beginning to see how profoundly you can be disappointed or disappoint others yourself; you can be taken aback by cruelty, both that of others and, shockingly, that of yourself; you feel the pressure of the future as you're pressed about colleges, about majors, about extracurriculars; you begin to keep secrets about your thoughts, about what you do; and sex! my god, sex is so confusing." Shining Light on the Demons of Adolescence by jdeguzman

Thought a lot about Coraline this weekend, as per usual. In the book and movie, she's twelve, maybe eleven - But not a teenager, and certainly not 16 or 17, when concerns about college and sex grow prominent.

I like thinking and writing about Coraline as a kid or as an early teenager, but shit gets real when she's a bit older.

Ok, tangent: I was talking to The Boy the other day about how I don't like the "oops I fell onto you" trope that pops up in (or "oops I fell into" hur hur hur) fiction. Crappy romance novels love this: the heroine accidentally trips and lands on the hero, tee hee hee, and they realize how physically attractive the other is. I don't like how it strips the characters of choice. Characters, especially adult characters, shouldn't have interaction forced upon them because they're too immature to initiate something themselves.

I think Coraline has a clear image of what she wants. She thinks she's independent because she's often alone - her parents are too busy to attend to her. It's only at the end that she realizes how she can be truly independent. Coraline's an instigator, too.

Tangent again: In my mind, Wybie's mother was a single parent. I like the idea that Wybie's always been around independent women, that all his role models are strong and female. He's more than content to follow Coraline - He learns to trust her (even though she's batshit insane as far as he's concerned) and willingly puts himself in danger because he so strongly believes in her (and his Other version even SPOILER! diesfor her).

What I like about her (and Yuffie, too, actually; in my mind they share a lot of characteristics) is that Coraline is bold and confident in her actions and decisions. There's a scene in the movie where she runs up a flight of stairs with (Other) Wybie behind her. He holds onto the railings; she doesn't. Coraline's movements are certain, unlike Wybie's, which needs support. (Coraline could totally be a meme like Chuck Norris. Coraline doesn't run up stairs, stairs run from her! ...Let's pretend that made sense.) That's a very telling scene.

Where was I going with this...

The quote is taken from a post about YA literature and teenagers' experiences in general. And hell yeah do I agree. Those years were hard and confusing and painful - I still am baffled by a lot of what happened, by a lot of what I did. I read YA novels as a kid and teenage, though I don't think I actively searched for them or even realized that I was reading in the YA genre. When I got older and started to differentiate between YA and adult novels, I moved away from the former. But now I think I'm becoming enamored with them.


jaebility: (Default)
a jar of jae

November 2016


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