Thursday, April 25th, 2019 11:07 am
"From the Dark Tower," Countee Cullen

We shall not always plant while others reap
The golden increment of bursting fruit,
Not always countenance, abject and mute,
That lesser men should hold their brothers cheap;
Not everlastingly while others sleep
Shall we beguile their limbs with mellow flute,
Not always bend to some more subtle brute;
We were not made eternally to weep.

The night whose sable breast relieves the stark,
White stars is no less lovely being dark,
And there are buds that cannot bloom at all
In light, but crumple, piteous, and fall;
So in the dark we hide the heart that bleeds,
And wait, and tend our agonizing seeds.
Thursday, April 25th, 2019 08:06 am
I keep trying to read books and just not getting into them -- and it's me, not them. Although I've been trying to read the Gorey bio, Born To Be Posthumous by Mark Dery, and it just seems....awful. The tone is smarmy and not that informative and the quotations from Gorey are way more interesting that Dery's speculations, and it's barely illustrated. But I keep plugging on very slowly (and keep being annoyed). Did anyone else bounce off it? Does it get better?

Storm of Locusts landed on my Kindle but I don't want to read it now because THEN I WON'T HAVE IT TO READ! Argle. It looks amazing, though. I love Maggie so much.

Looking at Brian Reed's run on Ms Marvel, as I was interested on pre-DeConnick portrayals of her. The art is....okay? Oy, that costume, though. I do love how he dismisses House of M in about twelve pages. It's lightweight fun so far I guess.

Comfort rereading Soul Music:
There was a clock by the bedside, because Death knew there should be things like bedside clocks. It had skulls and bones and the omega sign on it, and it didn't work. There were no working clocks in the house, except the special one in the hall. Any others got depressed and stopped, or unwound themselves all in one go.
Wednesday, April 24th, 2019 12:46 am
Spoiler Endgame 'analysis' )

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019 07:40 pm

After this and the Magicians finale it's going to be a cold day in hell before I throw my heart into another canon run mainly by white males, I can tell you that.
Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019 06:15 pm
and WOW fandom is going to continue to explode. There is something to make nearly everyone ticked off!

Man I feel tired. I miss just enjoying these movies. I think I will go back to my Black Widow comics.

Vague spoiler )
Monday, April 22nd, 2019 01:01 am
The US president said on Thursday he was having a 'good day' after the release of the special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the now-closed Russia investigation.

IDEFK, man. It feels like every day we get closer and closer to tyranny. Every minute of every day, even. And even if he's impeached or not re-elected or somehow glory hallelujah convicted, can the country recover? Good fucking question. I just keep trying to kind of cling to "hope in the dark" and, as an example, that little moment in Apollo 13 when Ed Harris says "I believe this is going to be our finest hour." But I just really don't know.

Shareable icons:

("Trump tweeted angrily throughout the day." - Guardian ....Good Lord.)
Sunday, April 21st, 2019 09:48 pm

Review copy provided by the publisher. I also have the privilege to know the author a bit socially.

We've now had several decades--all of my lifetime, in fact--with fairy tale variations, reconceptions, recreations as a major subgenre. So the question about a collection like this can sometimes be: is there anything new to say here? Is it possible to fracture a fairy tale in a way that is not in itself a predictable part of canon at this point?

Happily the answer here is not just yes, but "yes and I will even show you a little of how it's done behind the scenes." I was pleasantly surprised to reach the end of the collection and find not only notes on each story but a poem to go with each--sometimes very directly, sometimes with glancing notes on the same theme. Many of these stories are from previous decades, and Yolen takes time in the notes to talk about how she thought of them then--particularly interesting when they span a cultural shift of awareness around who gets to retell tales from whom.

I'd come upon some of these stories before in other collections of Jane's, but I'm never sorry to see "Granny Rumple" reprinted--it changed my world when I first read it, and I think it can do the same for writers and readers who encounter it for the first time now. Jane's warmth and humor permeate these tales, and breaking familiar stories like Snow White and Cinderella in more than one way in one collection gives us even more perspective on what these tales can still do.

Sunday, April 21st, 2019 09:47 pm

Review copy provided by the publisher.

This is the last in a trilogy, and it is all about consequences. Regular readers know what a sucker I am for consequences.

Years have passed since the events of Amberlough and Armistice. The world is not perfect--there are still war zones--but people have started to get through the very basics of rationing and rebuilding and into questions of who should be honored and who demonized in their recent turbulent history. For teenagers like Lillian and Jinadh's son Stephen, the war and occupation are increasingly dim and distant memories, an obsession of adults. For the adults, it's still all too close and all too real--especially when parts of the past don't stay hidden in the jungle where they previously were.

Frankly, most of these characters are exhausted. Their old coping mechanisms are imperfectly adjusted to their new circumstances, which keep shifting anyway. None of them seem to have had even five minutes to put their feet up, breathe, and look at some nice trees or a sunset or something. Their world is relentless. That makes Amnesty a completely appropriate book for right now--and also sometimes a difficult one. There's solace here, but it's circumscribed, constrained; there are ways forward, but none of them without cost. There is hope, but not for the things the characters used to hope for. And there are people trying to do better. Always, always, amidst rubble and chaos and machination, there are people trying to do better.

Sunday, April 21st, 2019 05:01 pm
Of course it was a disaster.
The unbearable, dearest secret
has always been a disaster.
The danger when we try to leave.
Going over and over afterward
what we should have done
instead of what we did.
But for those short times
we seemed to be alive. Misled,
misused, lied to and cheated,
certainly. Still, for that
little while, we visited
our possible life.

- via [ profile] sashayed, from The Great Fires: Poems 1982-1992
Sunday, April 21st, 2019 04:41 pm
[personal profile] goss posted: Take heart
“Optimism is radical. It is the hard choice, the brave choice. And it is, it seems to me, most needed now, in the face of despair — just as a car is most useful when you have a distance to close. Otherwise it is a large, unmovable object parked in the garage.

...History and fable have both proven that nothing is ever entirely lost. David can take Goliath. A beach in Normandy can turn the tide of war. Bravery can topple the powerful. These facts are often seen as exceptional, but they are not. Every day, we all become the balance of our choices — choices between love and fear, belief or despair. No hope is ever too small.”

- Guillermo Del Toro

Monday, April 22nd, 2019 12:49 am
Last weekend I asked for recs of wholesome shows to watch because while I was enjoying Z Nation, I needed something less gory to get me through the vet stuff.

[personal profile] nixwilliams suggested Anne with an E and I am so glad becaused it is just the most beautiful wonderful fantastical romantical show and I’m very pleased there is going to be a third season because I only have two episodes left.

Anne is lovely, Marilla and Mathew are perfect, and I want to be Aunt Jospehine Barry when I grow up old.

Anne Shirley Cuthbert is the the neurodivergent chaotic good bisexual that I didn’t know my heart needed and I will love and protect her for ever.
Sunday, April 21st, 2019 04:28 am

tl;dr as someone on Tumblr said it's not about fandom expectations, it's about narrative betrayal
Tuesday, April 30th, 2019 01:38 am
This got way behind because a lot of March had bad anniversaries that hit me like a ton of bricks.

These are new-to-me books. Titles in bold are for the 2019 [community profile] 50books_poc challenge. Fiction is in green.

34. The Hot One: A Memoir of Friendship, Sex, and Murder, Carolyn Murnick (2017) (a response: "An Open Letter to Carolyn Murnick")
35. A Man of Independent Mind (Clorinda Cathcart's Circle Book 2), L.A. Hall (2019)
36. Nebula Awards Showcase 2004, ed. Vonda N. McIntyre (2004)

A Life Discarded: 148 Diaries Found in a Skip, Alexander Masters (2016)
Full Dark House: A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery, Christopher Fowler (2003)
To Say Nothing of the Dog, Connie Willis (1997)
Screwtop, Vonda N. McIntyre (1976)
Saturday, April 20th, 2019 12:34 am
I don't know if it really counts as KonMari-ing since I didn't throw anything away, just finally, FINALLY bought a cheap-ass plastic spice rack that fits inside a cabinet so I could FIND stuff. The cabinets are typically pretty tidy, altho I should really have stripped out the awful old shelf paper, washed the nasty fake wood down, and put down some new nice shelf paper. But then it never would have gotten done. So with that caveat, LOOKIT MY SPICE RACK

(yes I use the somewhat cheap "grocery store" spices and I drink Stash tea, because they're always in stock at the QFC/Bartell's that's about six blocks away for not too much money, and reliable/accessible/affordable is good.)

Tidy kitchen cabinet

Tidy spices

Before I got the spice rack, all those little bottles were just on the shelf all at the same level, with wasted space above, and theoretically the least-used ones were at the back but it still DROVE ME CRAZY trying to find shit. Now it's all accessible! For like a good five minutes after I finished I just stood looking at it, absurdly pleased. (Yes, I also like this tumblr, don't @ me.)

(THE FOLGER'S INSTANT COFFEE IS NOT MINE, IT IS T'S. INSTANT COFFEE SHOULD BE ABHORRED AS AN ABOMINATION UPON THE EARTH. He says he likes it. He also uses the nasty Kroger cinnamon on his morning oatmeal. Says ditto. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯)
Friday, April 19th, 2019 01:04 pm
10 years of Dreamwidth?! I always forget my LJ/DW anniversaries (I also nuked my early LJs and DW, whoops. First LJ was 2000, no, 1999 maybe.....). Here's to many more!

The vi'lets from her lap, and lillies fall:
She misses 'em, poor heart!
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....WHOOPS, I apparently missed my own 10-year anniversary on this DW about a week ago. (I forgot my mom's birthday. Twice. I never forgot T's birthday, but for years I thought it was two days later than it really is.)
Thursday, April 18th, 2019 10:07 pm
Spoilers )

ETA This Twitter thread is also really good:

The audience is not your combatant. You can and should play chess with them. You should not be playing Russian Roulette. Your story is always for people. This story is for pretty specific people. The power it gave is not in line with the attitude surrounding this turn of events.

And frankly if the episode had been left to stand alone people may have found more value and solace in it - their own interpretation. The deluge of behind the scenes comments made in the press, and the attitude present, broke the contract of why anyone should trust your story.

They took a hard story which could have had beautiful value even as it stood on screen and gleefully made it unforgivable by the way they've spoken about what they think they achieved. It's in bad faith, incredibly misguided and irresponsible.

I've spent the last couple of days talking about this with many people from many walks of life, including other TV writers, and while thoughts vary in terms of the plot itself, it's a universal, horrified Nope at the comments being made by the EPs & the reveal of that gag order.

It's sort of a shockingly bad way to do business. Making entertainment is not a wargame where your audience - especially a very marginalized audience are your enemy. Upsetting them in a controversial real life way is not a success. It is a fail. Big fail.

6:30 PM - 19 Apr 2019