|River Scenic Spot by Larisa Koshkina|
Posted by Ana Mardoll at Friday, October 31, 2014 Edit
Posted by Ana Mardoll at Friday, October 24, 2014 Edit
|Flowers by George Hodan|
Posted by chris the cynic at Saturday, October 18, 2014 Edit
A poem should be palpable and mute As a globed fruit, Dumb As old medallions to the thumb, Silent as the sleeve-worn stone Of casement ledges where the moss has grown— A poem should be wordless As the flight of birds. * A poem should be motionless in time As the moon climbs, Leaving, as the moon releases Twig by twig the night-entangled trees, Leaving, as the moon behind the winter leaves, Memory by memory the mind— A poem should be motionless in time As the moon climbs. * A poem should be equal to: Not true. For all the history of grief An empty doorway and a maple leaf. For love The leaning grasses and two lights above the sea— A poem should not mean But be.
-Archibald MacLeish, 1892 - 1982
I recommend this poem on this recommends day because I'm a big believer in the whole "Not mean; but be" thing. While we don't deal with poetry here, I think a lot of the issues we have found in works like Narnia and Twilight come from a friction between the meaning (e.g. "But it's a metaphor for...") and the being (e.g. "It's 300 years of genocide and he's a part of it.")
Now I have to be careful here because I could give the wrong impression. "A lot" is not the same thing as "most" and certainly not the same thing as "all." We have found mountains of problems and so sometimes a subset that is a distinct minority is still quite large.
In general I think meaning-being issues cause us to go, "Wha...? I don't ... I mean-- Huh?" rather than, "Wow, that really shows [sexism/racism/bigotry/prejudice]." Though that's only a general thing and individual results vary. A particularly egregious version pops up a lot in children's and young adult fiction. A character is treating a problem like the end of the world. It's a metaphor for how people, ostensibly young people but in truth every age group does it, can blow things out of proportion and treat minor concerns as apocalyptic. The other characters follow the metaphor and thus treat the problem like they would if a child were blowing a small thing out of proportion BUT in the text of the fiction itself the problem is literally the end of the world and so the characters that are supposed to be stand-ins for people with decent perspective become complete monsters who would watch the world burn around them while the people screamed out in bloodcurdling cries of cacophonous agony rather than listen to someone they think they're above.
Anyway, there's a poem that I think helps put an endemic problem in fiction into perspective. What are some works that you find broad application for?
Saturday Recommendations! What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately? Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s coming up, give us something new to explore!
And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!
Posted by Ana Mardoll at Tuesday, October 14, 2014 Edit
[Xanth Content Note: Rape, Misogyny]
Castle Roogna, Part 6
Chapter 10 (Battle) gives us the scene on the front cover of the book, where Dor learns how to communicate with his workers, and to inspire them to obedience. Unfortunately, he accomplishes this by helping the head centaur conspire to sexually assault his wife. But the book hastens to assure us that this is all harmless shenanigans because she was totally asking for it by being evil and probably this is just consensual sexy power games. Or something.
But first we'll check in with Good Magician Roogna, who I'm increasingly convinced is evil.
[Dor and Jumper] arrived at Castle Roogna without further significant event, in the afternoon. The King was highly gratified by their tidings. “So you persuaded the Zombie Master! How did you do that?”
“Actually, Millie did it,” Dor said, remembering the possible limitations of his own actions. “She is marrying the Zombie Master.”
“That must have been some effort you people put forth!”
“It was.” Better to omit the details.
Millie isn't present for this conversation, by the way; she and the Zombie Master are trailing a day or two behind because the zombie army moves more slowly than Dor and Jumper did and they wanted to get to Roogna first to let him know help was on the way. Just to be clear that there aren't any social cues in this scene of Millie snuggling happily in Jonathan's arms or whatever.
Posted by Ana Mardoll at Tuesday, October 14, 2014 Edit
So. Um. Hi. *waves* I'm here. I haven't stopped existing. :)
I'm incredibly and intensely grateful to Kristy and Chris for keeping the open threads going, as well as to everyone for commenting in them. I get the comments, I read them, they make me happy. I've been going through a bad place with my depression, and it's nice to have those nice things to brighten my day.
There will be a Xanth post going up after this, mostly because I just... needed to write something today, and we'd left off there and it helped to write about it. I don't know if there will be more, I don't want to get anyone's hopes up, but it's there and um. Yeah.
I don't really have a lot more to say about the stuff that happened earlier this year beyond what I've already said. I am still very sorry to all the people who have been hurt by my words and actions.
I do think--and I understand that this isn't an excuse--that there have been misunderstandings that I don't really know how to avoid or correct. Frex, I've seen people take my earlier comments about this being an "Advanced Feminist Space" to mean that I think I have no privilege or I'm perfect at feminism or nothing ever goes wrong here, when really I just meant "if you show up asking me whether I've considered that maybe women lie about rape, you're going to be shown the blog-door because I get no pleasure from rehashing rape apologetics 101."
I don't really know how to correct or avoid misunderstandings like that, since the misunderstandings seem to predicate on words meaning different things to different people. I will just say that I'm sorry that my failures to communicate have harmed people. I've tried to remove references to that phrasing, since that was apparently a source of confusion. And I am sorry for all my other failures, both in communication and just, um, general human beingness.
This is, and always has been, a private blog by a private person. I'm sorry that I ever gave the impression otherwise, and I will try to be clearer about that in the future. I'm sorry that I have harmed people in my interactions with them, and I will try to be more thoughtful in my responses. That's all I have, really. I'm sorry, and I'm thankful and grateful to the people who have been kind enough to stay and be supportive as I work through my depression and other sundry health issues.
Posted by chris the cynic at Friday, October 10, 2014 Edit
|Brought to you by students who want more than a little learning even though their university says that's all they need.|
Photograph by me.
Posted by chris the cynic at Saturday, October 04, 2014 Edit
|Mona Lisa Modification|
For as long as there has been a written record people have been taking intellectual property that didn't belong to them and screwing around with it. We know the results of this as Greek tragedy, midrash, apocrypha, [every play that Shakespeare wrote], and fan fiction.
This post is brought to you by Mona Lisa with a colorful background. If it could be posted in 7236x10782 you'd see that it's more different than it at first appears.
Friday Recommendations! What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately? Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s coming up, give us something new to explore!