From MIT, a conversation about popular culture and Stephen Johnson's Everything Bad Is Good For You, which I reviewed here. There's also an audio version available on the site. I found the discussion of the complexity of today's TV storylines versus older TV particularly notable since I was just listening to the commentary on the pilot of American Gothic, in which the producers discuss the network's initial opposition to having Sheriff Buck whistle the theme from The Andy Griffith Show as he jauntily went to kill someone. In 1995, they say on the commentary track, before Buffy, network execs resisted references to other shows, but they think they were allowed to do it because Pulp Fiction had just shown the popularity of cross-reference.

Anyway, the MIT series is pretty cool; you can find other conference reports and papers on the same site.
rivkat: Rivka as Wonder Woman (Default)
( Jun. 14th, 2005 12:38 pm)
Thanks for the kind wishes and the numerous Spy!Clark suggestions! Like [livejournal.com profile] koimistress, I get antsy at the sight of my name over and over in reply comments, so I'll just say: I appreciate both, and the latter have made me realize that Clark's covert powers can be used in numerous practical, sensible ways that would be extremely hard for me to write dramatically. As a result -- since what I really want is Spy!Lex -- I have reconceptualized the story and I think it might work better that way.

There's a very interesting article at Salon about celebrity trials and the difference between American tragedy (both sides are in the wrong, the truth may well be unknowable) and classical tragedy (both sides are right and wrong, there's independent value in knowing the truth). I find my Salon subscription well worth the price -- I really hate having to watch ads. But the story is probably worth sitting through some ads for if you are interested in analysis of popular culture.
Does anybody know of a good summary of the X-Men and X-Men 2 movies? I mean detailed, not necessarily TWOP-recap-detailed, but one that would cover all the plot, from Magneto's origin to Rogue hanging on to the dogtags at the end of the first, and likewise for the second. Any help you can offer will be much appreciated.
rivkat: Gotham Office of Copyrights (copyright gotham)
( Jun. 6th, 2005 03:30 pm)
Did anybody else know that Google is planning to host video from anyone who wants to send it in? Not a lot of help to vidders, but still a pretty cool expansion. They're accepting submissions now, but you can't yet browse. I'm researching what Google's up to these days as part of my latest project, on libraries and universities in the new copyright regime, and I'm tremendously impressed by all Google's aspirations. Maybe I should worry more; Google wants to be Microsoft, and absolute power is dangerous, and all that. But -- free video hosting!

Also, I plan to return to the (ir)regularly scheduled posting shortly -- I guess the past 24 hours have just been nervous ones, for no good reason.
rivkat: Rivka as Wonder Woman (just gay men)
( Jun. 1st, 2005 12:22 am)
OK, I already know that The Dead Zone is the best show you're not watching. But hearken, my friends, and I will give you another reason to watch the show: Cesca is writing Johnny/Walt slash (she provides useful pictures if you're unfamiliar) and it is good. Buddy slash, with extra Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick triangle-y goodness where they bond over their shared love of the same woman! Coma jokes! Armageddon, only better!

New episodes begin on June 12th and all 3 previous seasons are out on DVD; now would be a great time to get into the fandom. Also, the official website is fabulous, with full scripts, deleted scenes, and lots of other goodies.

Another really good show you're not watching -- this time probably because it's damned hard if you're not Canadian -- is The Collector, about Morgan Pym, a man who's just renegotiated his deal with the Devil so he gets to try to save people's souls before he takes them to Hell. They're going to Hell ten years after they bargained with the Devil -- his standard term -- and, while they always get what they asked for, they rarely get what they want, because the Devil likes nothing more than to make your wishes into nightmares. Some of the dealmakers are good people and others are bad, but Morgan tries to save them all by getting them to atone for the harm their deals caused (apparently the Devil works by moving luck around, so good luck for the dealmaker entailed bad luck for someone else). Because this isn't an American show, Morgan doesn't always win (one can indeed question whether he ever wins, since the Devil makes all the rules), and while the Morgan backstory is a lot lamer than the show thinks it is, he's still a compelling character and there are plenty of neat plot threads. Also, Morgan/Devil slash would work well, if you were into that sort of thing; the Devil is played by many actors, including cute little Emily Dinsmore, but often enough by the devilishly handsome Colin Cunningham.
Not really comedy tonight, but the line was too good to pass up.

In light of recent discussions about only writing trauma when you "know" the trauma, I found this article from New York magazine particularly interesting. It's about legal superstar Larry Lessig and his surprising (because he doesn't generally do this type of law) representation of a man who says he was molested decades ago at the Boychoir School in New Jersey, where Lessig also went. As it turns out, Lessig was also a victim, but his life has turned out quite differently from his client's, which is not to say that he wasn't affected. His client draws a fascinating analogy: Read more... )

Tomorrow night I'll be in Philly, aiming to misbehave.
rivkat: Rivka as Wonder Woman (grrr argh)
( May. 3rd, 2005 03:18 pm)
Anyone with Photoshop want to take this on?

image behind cut now )
rivkat: Rivka as Wonder Woman (Riley gun)
( Mar. 14th, 2005 12:20 pm)
[livejournal.com profile] misterrivkat pointed out this story about US soldiers making music vids of their bloody experiences.
rivkat: Rivka as Wonder Woman (batman looming)
( Mar. 4th, 2005 11:48 am)
Batman and Bacardi logos:

images behind tag )
Googling for something else, I found this. It's like something out of a Monty Python skit, yet sadder and scarier. (I was particularly interested in why handwriting analysis was grouped with witchcraft.)
rivkat: Rivka as Wonder Woman (don't be the bunny)
( Feb. 15th, 2005 03:34 pm)
Ways In Which She Could Have Blinded Me With Science, including, "She exposed me to excessive ultraviolet radiation, which gave me terrible cataracts." At the bottom, there's also "Four Ways in Which My Life Is Just Like Pac-Man's":

1. Ever-present wail of sirens
2. Relentlessly pursued by ghosts
3. Four special pills daily keep ghosts at bay
4. Occasionally eat some fruit

At the end of the week I'm heading to the Harvard High School Debate Tournament, something I've now done every year for more than half my life. I enjoy helping out my old team, hanging out with my former coaches, and having lived through it each time; moment-to-moment it's a bit less fun. Something both funny and terribly sad happened this year. The tournament happens on President's Day weekend every year, to get the necessary long weekend so the competing students don't miss too much school. At about 7:30 last Friday, my coach got a phone call: "Has registration moved from CRLS [where it always is]?" No, my coach replied. "Where is everybody, then?"

Yes, the person had sent her team all the way from the Midwest on the wrong weekend. Apparently she refused to give any other identifying information than her state. I guess we'll see if a team from that state fails to show up. Or maybe they've been camping out in front of CRLS for the past week.
Slate suggests that CSI might be the most fanfic-generative show on TV.

Say wha?

I understand the need for a hook for a story, and I have no beef with anyone who does write and/or read CSI fic, but that's just annoying ignorance. (OK, when I checked on ff.net, CSI was a lot closer to the top of the list than I thought it would be, but even assuming ff.net is a good bellwether for overall numbers, Buffy beats it by an order of magnitude, and the Slate story's links to two archives with a total of about 300 stories between them does not help persuade me.) I'd be interested in a story about Grissom's attractiveness, but not a story that has to get its punch by making up an exclusivity/preeminence that doesn't exist.
Daniel Handler channels [livejournal.com profile] sisabet:

Handler's contribution to Slate's Year in Culture )

Now tell me that isn't [livejournal.com profile] sisabet's voice exactly. Hmm -- now that I think about it -- have you ever seen the two of them together?
rivkat: Rivka as Wonder Woman (catwoman)
( Nov. 16th, 2004 04:27 pm)
How's that for a souvenir from Vatican City?

Are priests supposed to be pinups?

[ETA: Apparently these are models and the photographer is looking for priests for the next edition. Good luck with that.]
rivkat: Copyright and Lisa Simpson (copyright and lisa simpson)
( Nov. 15th, 2004 10:03 am)
A really interesting article by an author who found his words and ideas incorporated into a Broadway play, and began to see that they weren't necessarily "his" words at all.
rivkat: Rivka as Wonder Woman (batman looming)
( Nov. 8th, 2004 11:27 pm)
So apparently Little Egg Harbor Intermediate School in NJ was strafed by a fighter jet from the DC Air National Guard the other night. (Oops.) The Washington Post kindly ran an item wondering "how tough a school has to be before the hall monitors call in air support." It suggested new PTA bumper stickers:
My school's so tough ... the third graders play "Duck, duck, COVER!"
... the cafeteria serves Meals Ready to Eat.
... after reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, we shout, "Hoo-ah!"
And of course,
My Kid Is a Medal of Honor Winner at Little Egg Harbor Intermediate School.

In other news, I watched The Butterfly Effect and thought, hey, didn't I write a story like that? Yeah, nobody liked that one, either.
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