2. I love gothy covers of Sarah McLachlan’s Possession, but it occurs to me that they are a bit mansplainy. She did, after all, know that she was writing about a stalker.
3. Words cannot really describe how much I want a Farscape vid to Murdering Stravinsky. Dining on each other! Dressing up as fascists! Killing off the past to make the future last! Dancing on the coals!
( Elliott Kay, Seanan McGuire, Sarah J. Maas )
( psychology of the built environment )
( discussion in the college classroom )
( St. Louis history )
( Long review: Louisa Ellen Stein, Millennial Fandom )
And another plug for my Yuletide gift, Simple Gifts, The Pretender, Jarod/Miss Parker, General Audiences
Summary: Jarod investigates troubling shortages at a half-way house/shelter that serves displaced and homeless veterans. Along the way he discovers that family is about more than just blood relation.
This case fic gives a really detailed treatment of the family Jarod finds, and into which he’s welcomed. The warmth and love is palpable; the case has a great Pretender feel, including some false steps towards finding the real bad guy and a ‘taste of his own medicine’ punishment for the bad guy; the end has just enough Jarod/Miss Parker to satisfy without getting explicit, and it makes sense for the characters that their moves toward each other would be tentative.
Second, I wrote something for spn_j2_xmas. I can't get it up at the community yet but here it is:
Title: There But for the Grace
Word Count: ~26,000
Warnings: extremely dubious consent and one instance of mild consensual bondage.
Summary: The seals broke; Lucifer rose. But somewhere else, another Sam cut a deal with Lilith, and now Dean’s gone to a life where Castiel never gripped him tight and raised him from perdition. As Sam struggles to fight off a newly risen Lucifer with only Castiel to aid him, Dean contends with a brother gone almost all the way down the road to Hell. He might not just lose one world and one brother to apocalypse, but two. (AU from the end of Season 4.)
( I did not like the new show Intelligence )
TV: Pretty Little Liars yay! ( New character is new. )
Anyone else watching Under the Dome (aka the show Colin Ford, young Sam Winchester, is in)? ( Vague statements comparing the show to the book )
I’ve devoured Night Vale over the past few days (or it has devoured me). I’d describe it as Lovecraftian pastiche with a Cabin in the Woods absurdism, but not quite as much blood. Come for the hooded figures, the floating cat, and the desperate (and perhaps not entirely unrequited?) love the narrator has for the dreamy scientist who's come to investigate the town. But not for the dog park. Don't even think about the dog park. The podcast doesn’t have official transcripts, but there are unofficial ones for the first 8 episodes.
Maddy Myers has a good piece about supporting Anita Sarkeesian and her series, Tropes v. Women, without being in full agreement with her on particular choices. It reminded me of other conversations about loving problematic things; we forgive ourselves that very easily.
In Ascension, By Descent (14742 words) by Anonymous
Fandom: Political Animals
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Relationships: Thomas "T. J." Hammond/Original Male Character(s), Douglas Hammond/Original Female Character(s), Thomas "T.J." Hammond/Original Female Character(s), Douglas Hammond/Anne Ogami
Characters: Douglas Hammond, Thomas "T. J." Hammond, Bud Hammond, Elaine Barrish, Margaret Barrish, Original Female Character, Original Male Character, Mallory
The pattern of Doug and T.J.'s lives were set even before they set foot in the White House. Somewhere along the way, things changed.This Yuletide story does a great job of bringing backstory to the brothers’ complicated relationship. “T.J. gets it. He can be the queer son, but not the screw-up. He doesn't get to be both.” The "underage" is not explicit; the most explicit bit is canonical.
The Mirrorverse Doppelganger Visitation (9522 words) by Anonymous
Fandom: The Middleman (TV)
Rating: Not Rated
Warning: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Tyler Ford/Wendy Watson, The Middleman/Lacey Thornfield
Characters: Wendy Watson, Lacey Thornfield, The Middleman, Tyler Ford
"What a crazy, random happenstance."Someone from the mirror universe drops in for a visit. “Friendship is Magic, Dubbie!” This fandom is the gift that keeps on giving; this story feels very much like a filmed episode.
Cartes Postales (21631 words) by Anonymous
Fandom: Blossom Culp Series - Richard Peck
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warning: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Blossom Culp/Alexander Armsworth
Characters: Blossom Culp, Alexander Armsworth
Alexander discovers that not all postcards are meant to be mailed, and Blossom acknowledges that some curses may be averted but others only embraced.Blossom Culp! I hadn’t realized how much I’d missed her until I read this novella with its happily ever after.
cesperanza: So Hey, We Stopped Saying That! Or how fandom learned to stop worrying and love the label “transformative.” (My version of “hey, stop saying that” is here.)
Thanks to geekturnedvamp, talitha78 and mustangsally78 for the holiday cards. It’s not that surprising to me that the latter two both feature cats, and that the first doesn’t!
Via Jason Mittell, a really smart essay on violence in pop culture:
One argument I’m suddenly hearing a lot of is: Of course violent TV has a violent influence. Isn’t the whole TV advertising model based on the idea that content can influence action? Does that influence stop once the commercials are over?Which led me to this essay on why all the "good" TV is so violent:
For starters: yes, actually, it kind of does. In the sense, at least, that advertising is a different kind of rhetoric from fiction. It’s generally a direct argument: buy this product, for this reason, you will get this benefit, you will look and feel a certain way.
Fiction–even really bad fiction–doesn’t work that way. It tells a story, and people make meaning from it. It can have profound effects on people, but not necessarily the same ones on everyone, and its message isn’t linear. Breaking Bad, for instance, is a violent story of bad people, but you would have to have much more contempt for its viewers than I do to assume that its “message” is: life is cheap, power is awesome, so go cook some meth, dominate your wife and hurt whomever you have to, even kids, to get your way.
But what is concerning is that this revolution has been deep but narrow; it's like we have an army of dazzlingly fluent poets who all write in one language. That doesn't, of course, make all the poetry the same, any more than all English-language poetry is the same. These shows are varied in many ways: The Wire is not the same show as The Walking Dead just because people get shot and otherwise brutalized, and American Horror Story and Boardwalk Empire are hardly identical twins. But they share elements, one of which is that the stakes involve — not solely but largely — avoiding being violently killed. And for that reason, they ask the viewer to want to watch people being violently killed now and then, and sometimes now and then and then and then, because otherwise the threats are false.
(It's worth mentioning that the violence is not the only thing many of these shows have in common. They're also very heavy, though less uniformly so, on the question of what it means to be a morally conflicted 40-ish white guy in modern America, or '60s America, or Prohibition-era America, or Westeros. This is also the theme of the highly decorated Louie, which is sort of a comedy, but only sort of. As much as it's failed to reach many kinds of stories, the revolution has also failed to reach many kinds of people with any regularity.)
Awesome older review of Steven Pinker's attempts to reduce art to evolution.
Nothing new under the sun: Evgeny Morozov on decrying new technology:
Long before bossy GPS technology invaded our cars, chiding us for wrong turns with a patronizing "Recalculating . . . ," cultural critics were already complaining about the debilitating effect of navigation technologies—even the paper-based and analogue variety. Some, like the Marxist philosopher Herbert Marcuse, saw road maps as the embodiment of the anti-humane and unthinking rationality of the modern condition. "A man who travels by automobile to a distant place chooses his route from the highway maps. . . . Others have done the thinking for him," he complained in 1941. Others thought that maps, signs and highway codes impoverish our sense of space, with the French theorist Henri Lefebvre lamenting that the driver "perceives only his route, which has been materialized, mechanized and technicized, and he sees it from one angle only—that of its functionality."( profane feminism, statistical ignorance, and LBJ becoming president )( profane feminism, statistical ignorance, and LBJ becoming president )
Pretty sure this is British cesperanza: “To all those women who recoil from the word feminist, she asks, ‘What part of “liberation for women” is not for you? Is it freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man you marry? “Vogue” by Madonna? Jeans? Did all that good shit GET ON YOUR NERVES? Or were you just DRUNK AT THE TIME OF THE SURVEY?’”
If you read that Avengers story with the Roombas you might enjoy this picture.
Blurb blocker for the AO3: it will block stories with particular terms when you search/browse on the site. Detailed instructions for use. We really need one of these for subscriptions. Anyone know how to do this for RSS feeds?
Game of Thrones attack ads.
Excellent essay on Ripley as corporate auditor/Weyland-Yutani as the real villain of the Alien franchise.
( The benefits of being an amateur )