rivkat: Dean reading (dean reading)
( Sep. 23rd, 2015 08:36 am)
Okay, all else aside, #bae_of_pigs is a brilliant coinage, no? Perfect synthesis of present pop culture with historical political scandal.

lots of old favorites, with sf, fantasy, sex, horror, and Richard Siken )
True fangirl confessions: I wrote Richard Siken a note about how much I liked Crush, and how I saw lots of continuities between his poetry, SPN, and the Mountain Goats in their treatment of masculinity/violence/drinking/desire/road trips/that general constellation of Americana. He wrote back noting that Crush predated SPN (which I knew, truly!) but indicating that he knew of the SPN/Siken correspondences through the power of the internet. Heh.

spoilers believe in miracles )

economies of desire )
rivkat: Dean reading (dean reading)
( Mar. 24th, 2014 09:16 pm)
Remix Redux

Richard Siken, Crush: Siken’s Litany in Which Certain Things Are Crossed Out gets a reasonable amount of circulation in my circles, and it’s a good example of Siken’s pained humor. (“I can tell already you think I’m the dragon,
that would be so like me, but I’m not. I’m not the dragon…. but the princess looks into her mirror and only sees the princess,
while I’m out here, slogging through the mud, breathing fire,
and getting stabbed to death.
Okay, so I’m the dragon. Big deal.”). Siken writes about the body, about the desperate imposition of sexual desire, about danger always lurking, about the desire to die. Louise Glück’s introduction is perfect, unsurprisingly: “This is a book about panic…. [T]he speaker is never outside it long enough to differentiate panic from other states. In the world of Crush, panic is a synonym for being: in its delays, in its swerving and rushing syntac, its frantic lists and questions, it fends off time and loss.” There are a number of repeated images: bullets, blood, road trips, brothers, green-eyed lovers, and other obsessions of Americana. (“There’s a bottle of whiskey in the trunk of the Chevy and a dead man at our feet/staring up at us like we’re something interesting.This is where the evening/splits in half, Henry, love or death. Grab an end, pull hard, and make a wish.”) Highly recommended, even though I don’t know how to write about poetry.
Yehuda Amichai

The real hero of the sacrifice was the ram
who knew nothing of the plot among the others.
He sort of volunteered
to die in Isaac’s place

I want to sing a song in his memory—
of curly wool, of the human eyes,
of the horns, so still in his living head—
and they turned them into trumpets after the kill
to sound their war-cry
to sound their crude joy

I like to see the last scene
as a photo in a glossy fashion magazine
the young man, tan and pampered
in his designer suit,
and the angel by his side in a
long silk receiving gown,
and both of them empty-eyed,
glancing at two empty places.

And behind them, as a colorful background, the ram
caught in a thicket before the kill,
and the thicket his last friend.

The angel went home,
Isaac went home,
and Abraham and God went home,

But the real hero of the sacrifice
is the ram.
rivkat: Dean reading (dean reading)
( Jul. 26th, 2013 09:15 am)
Anyone else ever have trouble logging in to DW from your own journal? I have followed all past advice (clearing cache, cookies, etc.) to no avail, but discovered my own workaround, which is that I can log in from the “post entry” form and then everything is cake again. Bizarre.

Pretty Little Liars: Heel face turn )

A poem by Patricia Lockwood, Rape Joke.  The title is its warning.

Diane Ravitch on schools )

the science of scarcity and behavior )

fire in the West; Mary Roach )
rivkat: Dean reading (dean reading)
( Jun. 20th, 2013 05:45 pm)
Variations on William Carlos Williams’ This is Just to Say -- I like the point about the aggression and self-congratulation implicit in the original.

Confessions of a Playgirl editor: Discussion of how the magazine decided that women wouldn’t buy gay porn and how women can like visuals too (exhibit 2: Tumblr) but perhaps differently than most men.

Molly Templeton discusses AO3 on Salon by way of evaluating Game of Thrones fanfic:  Even praises the search engine.

media consolidation, civil rights and the media, the unwinding of America, Lean In )
rivkat: River Tam beats up everyone (rt beats up everyone)
( Apr. 17th, 2010 12:21 am)
Not a particularly fortunate trip. First my credit card is declined (turned out someone attempted an unauthorized $360 sunglasses purchase) and so I can’t check into the hotel—which did get resolved—and now it appears that housekeeping spirited away my comfy flannel PJ pants which were intertwined with the bedsheets. I thought they didn’t change the sheets every day any more as a result of environmental consciousness! Woe.

This poem is relevant to my SPN interests.
A Washington Post article uses Strikethrough, among other incidents, to discuss the difficulties of defining and protecting free speech online. It's interesting that the article, while clearly free speech-friendly, turns the suspended LJs into "fiction," eliding the fan element. That makes sense--it's yet another thing that would have to be explained, detracting from the larger story--and yet I can't help wonder what other flattening has gone on in the other stories of suppression recounted.

Sedaris, superheroine poetry, Buckley )
The funniest thing about this parody is the Google ads it triggers. But I like the parody pretty well too.

I went to the Sisters of Mercy concert and got home in time to feed the baby -- a short set. Decent concert, neither the worst nor the best I've been to, with high points at Alice and Vision Thing. It's always fun to be in a packed crowd of people who know all the words. Best image of the night: the woman in front of me, in a pinstriped suit, who carefully pinned up her hair, revealing the elaborate tattoo curling around her neck and shoulders.

I just read this anecdote: Near the end of his life, Theodore Dreiser occasionally grew confused. One night he woke and searched for his wife Helen, but he didn't recognize her, and they had the following exchange:

Helen Dreiser: I am Helen.
Theodore Dreiser: Everyone thinks she's Helen.

So true, isn't it?
Gunn, King, Oliver, DeCandido (Serenity tie-in; no spoilers in review) )

Once I accept that I can't really do anything but care for the boy while Z. is away, life is okay -- I finished the Profit DVDs, including all the commentaries, where the creators twice point out that you have to be really hard-core to be listening to them. I'm proud to say I watched Profit for the ten seconds it aired on Fox; I guess I was ahead of my time, too. Now I'm on to Firefly again, and pondering the great philosophical question: when the Rivkid spits up my milk, whose bodily fluid does that count as?
Many, many thanks for all the Evil Overlord suggestions thus far. Please feel free to leave more, if you think of them.

Cicada update: almost all dead. The sound is like an electric hum, like having your ear pressed to a generator the size of a house – though with more dying every minute, maybe the generator is now only TV-sized. There are so many, coating trees and grass and cars and doors, that it reminds me of that Star Trek: TOS episode, "The Omega Glory," the one with the Yangs and the Kohms – "They sacrificed hundreds just to draw us out into the open. And then, they came, and they came. We killed *thousands*, and still they came!," the bad captain Tracey says. I don't know how the species survives, given that the individual cicadas get themselves killed in every possible way, from flying into doors to landing on pools of water and drowning. They are profligate with their lives, that's for sure. Perhaps they only become stupid after they've mated and laid eggs. A friend of mine says their existence is proof that there is no God, but maybe they're just proof that God has an inordinate fondness for cicadas.

Lots and lots and lots of fiction and a dab of comics and poetry )
For reasons noted best by [livejournal.com profile] cesperanza, I don't feel comfortable writing about "the story I keep telling." But I have been thinking about themes, and here are four bits of prose that always grab me, that I write around and read around:

1. "Some illusions are worth any price you pay for them ...." (Jane Mortimer, A Bitter Taste on the Tongue. My life would be very different if Jane's The Sin-Eater hadn't been just about the first XF story I ever read. She's also a mensch who answered my fawning fangirl feedback – say that ten times fast. I always remember this line as "Some lies are worth any price you pay for them," but it works either way.)

2. "You don't get to choose who you love. You only get to choose how." (The line so nice I used it twice.)

3. "He'd spent his entire life being offered things that were almost what he wanted, but for the single fatal flaw that made them completely unappealing." (Gigi Sinclair, who hasn't written enough SV.)

4. "Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past. The tradition of all dead generations weighs like an Alp on the brains of the living...." (Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte; don't say Social Studies never did anything for me.)

So I guess the themes are twofold: Fate versus Free Will, and Not Quite.

A grab bag of books:Read more... )



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