The joys of planning

31 January 2015 17:21
juliet: (Default)
[personal profile] juliet
Further to my previous posts musing on getting stuff done and the perils of the ticky-box approach, I have realised another interesting thing, which is that I can find researching and (in particular) Planning a Thing more satisfying than the actual Doing of the Thing.

The thing with planning is that you can research and consider and analyse and generally collate lots of information into a cohesive whole, and then make a considered decision based on appropriate factors. All of which is (I find) quite satisfying. And after that you can work out what needs to happen when[0], and whether you need to acquire anything, and generally, once again, consider and analyse and collate things into a Plan. A Plan is a beautiful thing.

But then comes the actual Doing, which involves hard work (physical or mental) and finding that you forgot to allow for this, that, or the next thing; and often the Doing does not entirely match up with the Planning in outcome either[1]. (Though sometimes it does, and sometimes it is better.)

And yet, Planning without any actual Doing is (probably) (right?) eventually going to be unsatisfying.

I could use getting better at Doing.

In other news, we are (hopefully) going to get solar panels! (They should be Permitted Development but due to the specifics of our covenant we have to get permission and it is proving a little more intricate than I expected. Which, really, I should have expected.) Planning the solar panels was fun, and also takes me one step closer to finishing my Permaculture Diploma which I am now aiming to finish by July. There is, inevitably, Another Plan.

[0] If you are very lucky, there may be a Gantt Chart.

[1] I often find it difficult to start writing something, for example, because in my head it exists in a whole and, it seems, perfect form, which is necessarily going to suffer when turned into cold hard words on paper. I am trying to get better at this. Also that is the point of editing, but it is still sometimes sorrow-making to read back something I've just written and realise just how clunky it is.
[personal profile] saunteringfiend posting in [community profile] poetry
When the bass drops on Bill Withers’
Better Off Dead, it’s like 7 a.m.
and I confess I’m looking
over my shoulder once or twice
just to make sure no one in Brooklyn
is peeking into my third-floor window
to see me in pajamas I haven’t washed
for three weeks before I slide
from sink to stove in one long groove
left foot first then back to the window side
with my chin up and both fists clenched
like two small sacks of stolen nickels
and I can almost hear the silver
hit the floor by the dozens
when I let loose and sway a little back
and just like that I’m a lizard grown
two new good legs on a breeze
-bent limb. I’m a grown-ass man
with a three-day wish and two days to live.
And just like that everyone knows
my heart’s broke and no one is home.
Just like that, I’m water.
Just like that, I’m the boat.
Just like that, I’m both things in the whole world
rocking. Sometimes sadness is just
what comes between the dancing. And bam!,
my mother’s dead and, bam!, my brother’s
children are laughing. Just like—ok, it’s true
I can’t pop up from my knees so quick these days
and no one ever said I could sing but
tell me my body ain’t good enough
for this. I’ll count the aches another time,
one in each ankle, the sharp spike in my back,
this mud-muscle throbbing in my going bones,
I’m missing the six biggest screws
to hold this blessed mess together. I’m wind-
rattled. The wood’s splitting. The hinges are
falling off. When the first bridge ends,
just like that, I’m a flung open door.
likeadeuce: (writer)
[personal profile] likeadeuce
1. This is one of those realizations that falls somewhere between 'epiphany' and 'no duh, you're just noticing this?' Which is that my creative energy ebbs and flows a lot -- the energy involved in just being enthused and inventing things, but also the follow through to sit down and put things into words. And when I'm in a high-energy stage I run around and commit to as many things as I can think of and if it's something I can do immediately, great, but if it's not I end up in this energy ebb and I'm super over-committed and I just want to hide. So -- that may explain to some of you the way that I tend to approach projects, and how if I'm really keen to work on something on or discuss something with you and then drop off the map, I wasn't faking and I don't hate you, I'm just bad at portioning out brainspace and creative time. For me, it means -- well, being more aware of the commitments that I make when I'm on the high-energy point of a cycle, but also to understand why the part of it where I want to hide happens and not beat myself up for it. Just learn to account for it.

2. One of the things I did when I was being energetic a while ago was sign up for the Blue Christmeth Breaking Bad fan exchange -- and I got a very lovely Gus/Max in Chile backstory fic btw, The Sea Left Behind, which you should read if you love tragic queer South American drug lords (my favorite detail is that Gus basically gets into drug smuggling because it exasperates him to realize other people are doing it so inefficiently and, you know, one of the reasons I love Gus is his fierce competence in the midst of the "Walt and Jesse Suck at Doing Crime" show.)

But anyway, before I defaulted I did rewatch a lot of late-season BrBa and I have totally plotted a canon divergent story where Skyler and Lydia Rodarte-Quayle sneak off to a creative writing conference and have an affair. (Seriously, I described the logistics of the thing in such detail that [ profile] bessiemaemucho asked me whether I am currently having an affair; in any case, we concluded that I am better at crime than either Walter or Lydia, though probably not Skyler, who is the one of the three I would least like to match my wits against.) Anyway, the story would be from Skyler's POV, and Lydia exasperates her and drives her crazy by being tense all the time, but also, Lydia's tension is something she can actually do something about in a way she can't deal with Walter. I don't know, I can't figure out whether this was serious or crack fic-y or whether I should even try to reconcile with canon, but it did make me think about what it is I like about Lydia. Skyler and Marie are sometimes exasperating but still really flawed and complicated and interesting women and Lydia is. . .basically not, she's the Evil Corporate Bitch stock villain, yet (partly because of Laura Fraser's performance, which is somewhat mannered but also very precise), her manifest anxiety, the way she copes or doesn't cope with it, is something that looks very personally familiar to me, and that we don't get to see in sympathetic characters. Lydia on paper really isn't that complex, and she's certainly not morally defensible (even relative to Walter and Mike and Gus; she's better than Todd and his gang maybe in being not an actual Nazi that we know of, but essentially she's a completely indefensible person).

3. I recently watched all of My So-Called Life and somebody must have written some meta about how Jordan Catalano and Jesse Pinkman are basically the same character trapped in very different genres. Also about how obviously Brian Krakow wants Jordan to fuck him.

4. The real actual fannish Renaissance thing I want to talk about, though is movieverse Howard Stark, who showed up on Agent Carter this week and engaged in a fairly massive retcon spoilers for Agent Carter, though I'm pretty sure I'm gonna talk about this one outside the cut before long )

5. I briefly tried to use tumblr again, but I can't even figure out how to search for a tag and find stuff I like anymore? Like, I type in "Howard Stark" (shut up) and get a lot of texty posts thrown at me in a vaguely table-ish form and I don't know how to parse them. I'd ask people to help me use tumblr better but then the stuff I want to read wouldn't be there :(. [ETA: okay, I sort of get it

6. I also got a playstation 3 and a cat, and [personal profile] stultiloquentia has me watching Glee and [personal profile] spuffyduds is sort of moving in. I should post more.
[syndicated profile] fanhackers_feed

Posted by fanhackers

Posted on request from Liorah Golomb:

I am looking for a collaborator with computational linguistic skills for a project mining the dialogue of the U.S. television program Supernatural (CW Network, 2005-present). My goal is to demonstrate, through textual analysis, the originality of the dialogue, the breadth of words and phrases used by the writers, the way language is used to distinguish characters and reveal character traits, etc.The product of this project will be an article for publication in a peer-reviewed venue. Presentation at an appropriate conference is also a possibility.

A chapter that I’ve written about my exploration of this project thus far is forthcoming in Digital Humanities in the Library: Challenges and Opportunities for Subject Specialists (Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries, March 2015). That chapter documents my process of creating the corpora from fan-created transcripts, testing and selecting concordance tools, and examples of the type of results these efforts will produce. It also discusses the limitations of examining only the dialogue in a visual medium and my own limitations as a non-linguist.

My hope is that a partner with the skills I lack will be able to help me with linguistic concepts as well as determine (1) whether there is a way to codify non-verbal action and communication for analysis and (2) whether it would be useful to encode the text for analysis. Interest in or familiarity with Supernatural is a plus.

I am an academic librarian and Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma with a long history of publishing scholarly work. My CV can be found at

Please contact me to discuss this project further:

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Lots of people talking about TV

29 January 2015 23:02
next_to_normal: Natasha and Clint fighting; text: That awkward moment when master assassins resort to biting and hair-pulling (awkward assassins)
[personal profile] next_to_normal
* Alison Brie talks about how supportive Yahoo is of Community.

* Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould talk about Better Call Saul.

* Andy Mientus talks about playing the Pied Piper on The Flash. Also, The Flash and Arrow creator Greg Berlanti talks about LGBT characters and introducing diversity to the world of superheroes.

* Director Thomas Schlamme talks about The Americans, Manhattan, and of course, The West Wing.

* The showrunners of The Americans are also talking about their show. Plus, eight reasons to love The Americans (not that you guys need them because you're all obviously watching, right?) and an interview with Holly Taylor.

* Marvel news: Hayley Atwell talks about Agent Carter. There's some new stuff in the Age of Ultron TV spot. And David Tennant is playing the villain in Netflix's AKA Jessica Jones!

* Apparently the internet is actually in charge of casting things now, because Chris Pratt might be starring in an Indiana Jones remake.

* For further evidence of this theory, I present the all-female cast of Ghostbusters. I am particularly thrilled about Kate McKinnon (on whom I'd have an immense crush, except that her Justin Bieber impression is so spot-on it creeps me out).

* Emma Watson will play Belle in a live-action Beauty and the Beast.

* The Fantastic Four trailer looks... um... generic? If you didn't know this was based on a superhero comic, it kind of just looks like a sci-fi disaster movie? I really feel like the gritty realism is a mistake. I mean, look, I don't love the original movies or anything (other than my bb Chris Evans), and I don't think anyone would mistake them for good movies, but why bother making a Fantastic Four movie if you're not going to embrace the inherent ridiculousness? This should be Fox's Guardians of the Galaxy.

dust | dorianne laux

30 January 2015 10:35
[personal profile] carthaginians posting in [community profile] poetry
Someone spoke to me last night,
told me the truth. Just a few words,
but I recognized it.
I knew I should make myself get up,
write it down, but it was late,
and I was exhausted from working
all day in the garden, moving rocks.
Now, I remember only the flavor —
not like food, sweet or sharp.
More like a fine powder, like dust.
And I wasn’t elated or frightened,
but simply rapt, aware.
That’s how it is sometimes —
God comes to your window,
all bright light and black wings,
and you’re just too tired to open it.

I Love The Hour Just Before

30 January 2015 00:05
[personal profile] saunteringfiend posting in [community profile] poetry
I love the hour just before
a party. Everybody
at home getting
ready. Pulling
on boots, fixing
their hair, planning
what to say if
she's there, picking
a pluckier lipstick,
rehearsing a joke
with a stickpin
in it, doing
the last minute
fumbling one does
before leaving for
the night like
tying up the dog or
turning on the yard
light. I like to think
of them driving,
finding their way
in the dark, taking
this left, that right,
while I light candles,
start the music softly
seething. Everything
waiting. Even
the wine barely
fanart_recs: a grayscale apple being painted green with a brush (Default)
[personal profile] turlough posting in [community profile] fanart_recs
Fandom: Classic Doctor Who
Characters/Pairing/Other Subject: The Sixth Doctor
Content Notes/Warnings: n/a
Medium: pen and paper
Artist on DW/LJ: n/a
Artist Website/Gallery: [ profile] bloodyheartart

Why this piece is awesome: I love the almost abstract quality of this work. The way the almost random-seeming areas of light and dark and varying shades of grey coalesce into a portrait of a very thoughtful Sixth Doctor.

Link: Colin Baker
[personal profile] synecdochic posting in [community profile] poetry
Here's an easy game to play.
Here's an easy thing to say:

If a packet hits a pocket on a socket on a port,
And the bus is interrupted as a very last resort,
And the address of the memory makes your floppy disk abort,
Then the socket packet pocket has an error to report!

If your cursor finds a menu item followed by a dash,
And the double-clicking icon puts your window in the trash,
And your data is corrupted 'cause the index doesn't hash,
Then your situation's hopeless, and your system's gonna crash!

You can't say this?
What a shame sir!
We'll find you
Another game sir.

If the label on the cable on the table at your house,
Says the network is connected to the button on your mouse,
But your packets want to tunnel on another protocol,
That's repeatedly rejected by the printer down the hall,

And your screen is all distorted by the side effects of gauss
So your icons in the window are as wavy as a souse,
Then you may as well reboot and go out with a bang,
'Cause as sure as I'm a poet, the sucker's gonna hang!

When the copy of your floppy's getting sloppy on the disk,
And the microcode instructions cause unnecessary risc,
Then you have to flash your memory and you'll want to RAM your ROM.
Quickly turn off the computer and be sure to tell your mom!

January 2015 playlist

29 January 2015 16:30
[syndicated profile] thefword_feed

Posted by J Whitehead

Janet Jackson

Happy 2015, listeners! Granted, new year feels like a long time ago, but it's been a while since we talked.

Please click here for your first playlist of 2015, lovingly compiled by yours truly. You can also view the track-list here.

LoneLady's single 'Groove It Out' was released to limited, but enthusiastic acclaim in November last year. Her first album Nerve Up was released in 2010 to widespread praise and she's just announced the release of her second album, Hinterland, which is due for release on 23 March. LoneLady, AKA Julie Campbell, is also playing a series of live dates. Find out more here.

Quadron's 'LFT' struck me as a summer track, but I'm not prepared to sit on it until July and think we could all do with a sunshine injection in this, the bleakest month. The track screams of Quincy Jones/late 1980s Michael Jackson, something Quadron acknowledge in this article.

I've just discovered Caviare Days 'Fresh Tomatoes', which I hope you enjoy as much as I do. With its heavy 1960s influence, it brings to mind Jefferson Airplane. I'm looking forward to listening to more from these Swedish artists.

Finally, I'd like to say a big thank you to David Wilkinson for introducing me to Pauline Murray and the Invisible Girls, through his fantastic article recently published on the site, which you can read here.


The image is the classic album cover from Janet Jackson's seminal 1993 album Janet. The cover is a head shot of Janet, with her hands clasped together above her head. The image has a sepia tint and was taken by the photographer Patrick Demarchelier.


29 January 2015 16:11
ruuger: Patrick Jane from The Mentalist drinking tea (Mentalist - Tea!)
[personal profile] ruuger
For reasons that do not require explaining at this juncture, today has been a seven cuppa day on Ruuger's Tea Scale of Work Stress.

An average day is a three (morning tea, after lunch tea, and late afternoon tea), but today I've also already had four cups of "fuck this shit, I'll go get some tea" tea and will probably still have to have one more cup of "for the love of god does this day never end" tea before I go home.

Five things make a post

29 January 2015 11:30
nanila: wrong side of the mirror (me: wrong side of the mirror)
[personal profile] nanila
I received more requests for dragon postcards than I had postcards! Never fear, I have ordered another pack and will be able to fulfill all of them. I’m sending them out slowly in batches as I have a chance to write them.

Crossposting question
Is anyone else finding that, if they edit an entry that’s been cross-posted from DW to LJ, it re-posts to LJ instead of modifying the previous entry? I’m getting grumpy about it, as I usually have to edit entries 3-4 times after initially posting because I’ve forgotten a tag or spot a grammatical error.

Beautiful sky rock
[personal profile] kaberett, did you see the cover of this week’s Nature? It is gorgeous. From the Nature web site:

The Esquel pallasite — arguably the most beautiful meteorite ever discovered — consists of centimetre-scale gem-quality crystals of the silicate mineral olivine embedded in a metallic matrix of iron-nickel alloy. The pallasites are thought to originate from a ~200 km radius parent body that separated into a liquid metal core surrounded by a rocky silicate mantle shortly after the birth of the Solar System. High-resolution magnetic imaging of the iron–nickel matrix of two pallasites (Esquel and Imilac) by James Bryson et al. reveals a time-series record of magnetic activity on the pallasite parent body, encoded within nanoscale intergrowths of iron-rich and nickel-rich phases. This record captures the dying moments of the magnetic field generated as the liquid core solidified, providing evidence for a long-lasting magnetic dynamo driven by compositional convection. (Esquel image from Natural History Museum, London.)

I have a paper copy of the issue if you would like me to post it to you.

As mentioned in my post about the long-tailed tits (DW/LJ), I received a new lens for my dSLR for Christmas and have been keeping vigilant watch on the bird feeders so I can rush out with it when the light is good (not a common occurrence in January). I’ve been posting selected shots to [community profile] common_nature, but wanted to put a record of them on my personal journal for safekeeping as well.

Birds, birds and more birds )

Cat and boy

Telstar and Keiki napping together on a spare room bed. Telstar has decided he definitely prefers infants to toddlers. Especially toddlers who chase him around gleefully shouting, “No, Teldos!”

More Links Than A Bag Of Sausages

29 January 2015 03:24
petzipellepingo: (more links by eyesthatslay)
[personal profile] petzipellepingo
It Was the Chocolate , Giles/Joyce by [profile] tld8of9.

[personal profile] shapinglight re-watches Season One .

A Buzzfeed community member gives "21 Reasons Spike Might Not Be Worth It".

People talks to Joel Grey.


28 January 2015 12:45
fenchurch: (Barefooter)
[personal profile] fenchurch
I usually just add them to a mash with other roots and that works okay... or I'll add them to soups, but seriously, if I just use them for that sort of thing, it's going to take forever to get through them. Does anyone have any favorite recipes that might help us use up our overabundance of parsnips a bit faster?

Crossposted from my Livejournal.
[personal profile] saunteringfiend posting in [community profile] poetry
Without this knowledge, you’ll never make it:
it’s one part fashion advice and two parts survivalist.
Learn to talk to people so they think you’re honest
but never be honest. Cooking eggs may save your life,
so crack them, neat and firm, pour into the skillet,
stir gently. Forget about your shoes; people will judge
you by your shine, the imminent light you offer them.
Be a lamppost in wilderness, be the elephant
in the showroom. If you steal the idol, make sure
to carry a weighted bag of sand. No surprises: we’ve lied
about having it all. It’s either the piano or the pit viper.
Cinderella’s shoe came off at midnight because it hurt,
and Red Riding Hood’s real story involves cannibalism and a striptease.
Don’t wear red lipstick, don’t you kiss your mother with that mouth?
Long bangs hide a multitude of sins. Ask your grandmother
about the herbs she used to swallow while pregnant.
The butterflies here didn’t start out black, they were white
as onion skin—and the forest was more ominous
before the smokestacks. Well, here’s your little basket
and coat, sweetheart, sweetmeat, smile like you mean it,
shake what you’ve got while you’ve got it,
go out into the world and knock them dead.
fanlore: (Default)
[personal profile] maximumhusky posting in [community profile] fanlore <-- This is a link that you should click!

Hi, I'm not sure if this is the right place to talk about this subject, but I'd like to let people know about the Fanlore chatroom that has been set up for us. I try to idle in there when I can, but so far, I've never seen another user there. 😨

If you want to chew the fat and fart around with your fellow Fanlore peeps in real time, check it out. Let's create some silly usernames, argue about which version of Blade Runner is the best (it's the Final Cut release, btw), or even just chat a bit.

Wednesday Reading, January 2015

28 January 2015 09:40
nanila: me (Default)
[personal profile] nanila
I’m finally beginning to tackle the pile on my bedside table that’s mostly been gathering dust for the past year. I managed to finish less than ten fiction books in 2014, and only have strong memories of two: Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie and Spirits Abroad by Zen Cho, both of which I loved. This is mostly because my attention span is shot to hell by the combined pressures of house maintenance, toddler care and an extremely full schedule at work. The latter is temporarily off and although I do now have an infant to look after, that actually affords me some time to practice my now-rusty reading skills. It’s better to pick up a book in the middle of the night than to refresh the Economist or the Guardian on my phone and get worked up about the latest injustice. So! Here we go.

Just Finished
John Scalzi’s Lock In. Now that was good fun and a very quick read. I enjoyed the crime-solving process. Then there were the added bonuses. The gender of the protagonist is never specified and doesn’t matter. Likewise, their (non-white) race is only mentioned once as part of a tangential plot point. It is heavily implied, thoughminor spoiler ). Racial diversity is evidenced through the use of names rather than physical descriptions. There are plenty of female characters in professional positions of authority. All of this is presented deftly and integrates smoothly with the plotline and the wry, witty dialogue.

I enjoyed this offering more than Redshirts, which is the only other book of his oeuvre that I’ve read.

In Progress
Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Sword. I had more difficulty getting into this during the first sixty or seventy pages than I did the first book in the series. Perhaps it’s because Breq’s motivation - the overriding sense of anger - is subsumed somewhat by her* need to play her cards close to her chest, as the political game she’s now playing requires. Even though it’s not spelled out as explicitly as in the first book, the sense of her non-human-ness feels stronger, as well. I found myself wishing for an occasional switch of point of view to a character I have more ease in sympathising with - Seivarden, for instance. Now that I’m nearly a third of the way through**, this desire has abated and I’m fully immersed in the action. I try to slow myself down to savour Leckie’s loaded dialogue and meticulous world-building, but it’s getting very exciting.

* I use the pronoun in the same gender-neutral manner as in the books.
** I wrote most of this entry yesterday. The baby had a very disturbed night, so I’m now twenty pages from the end.

Up next
Ben Aaronovitch’s Foxglove Summer. I missed out on Broken Homes (see: 2014: the lost year) but I’ll acquire it if I enjoy this offering sufficiently.

More Links Than A Bag Of Sausages

28 January 2015 03:43
petzipellepingo: (more links by eyesthatslay)
[personal profile] petzipellepingo
Three Tara and Three Fred drabbles and Three Anya and Two Xander drabbles by [personal profile] deird1.

Chapter Thirty Five of Shattered Remains by [profile] xspike4evax.

Chapter Four of Answering Prayers by [personal profile] velvetwhip.

Head canon thoughts on Willow and Cordelia by [profile] sunclouds33.

ComicBookResources previews Season Ten, Issue No. Twelve .

Mindrobber podcast of Weight of the World & The Gift .

Storywonk podcast of Ted.

Hhwlod podcast of The Witch & Teacher's Pet and additional podcast of Never Kill a Boy on the First Date & The Pack .

a new language | casandra lopez

28 January 2015 13:15
[personal profile] carthaginians posting in [community profile] poetry
My words are always

upon themselves, they feel too tight
in my mouth. I want a new
language. One with at least
50 words for grief

and 50 words for love, so I can offer
them to the living
who mourn the dead. I want

a language that understands
sister-pain and heart-hurt. So
when I tell you Brother

is my hook of heart, you will see

the needle threading me to
the others, numbered
men, women and children
of our grit spit city.

I want a language to tell you
about 2010's
37th homicide. The unsolved,
all I know about a man,

my city turned to number,
always sparking memory,

back to longer days when:
Ocean is the mouth
of summer. Our shell fingers
drive into sand, searching–we find

tiny silver sand crabs we scoop
and scoop till we bore and go
in search of tangy seaweed.

We are salted sun. How we brown

to earth. Our warm flesh flowering,
reminding us of our desert and canyon

blood. In this new language our bones say
sun and sea, reminding us of an old
language our mouths have forgotten, but our
marrow remembers.

some stuff happening

27 January 2015 18:43
snickfic: action!Sam (Sam action)
[personal profile] snickfic
First, [ profile] shipswap has signups open
Meanwhile, [ profile] beyondpanels also has signups open.

Beyond Panels: A Comics Fanwork Exchange
fic & art | all comics welcome
nominations Jan 12 | sign-ups Jan 23
A03 | LJ | DW

And hey, what do you know, [ profile] genteensybang signups are also open!

Anya and Xander drabbles

27 January 2015 15:49
deird1: Anya hugging Giles! (Anya hug)
[personal profile] deird1
Here are three drabbles starring Anya, and two starring Xander.

Alternate Realities Are Neat )

Memorial )

Brave New World )

Stuck In Place )

Best Laid Plans )

More Links Than A Bag Of Sausages

27 January 2015 03:32
petzipellepingo: (more links by eyesthatslay)
[personal profile] petzipellepingo
A Nightmare of Dust and Never There, Buffy/Angel by [personal profile] angelus2hot.

"Helpless" wallpaper by [profile] smth_blue.

Willow icons by [personal profile] teragramm.

SlayAlive talks to Christos Gage about Issue No. Eleven.

EW re-watches Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered.

More news and even more news from the Sunnydale Press.

Buzzfeed gives us "The Hardest “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” Quiz You’ll Ever Take. Are you good enough to beep if the apocalypse comes?

Whedonesque reports that ASH sings on Galavant .
[syndicated profile] thefword_feed

Posted by Holly Combe

It was confirmed last week that Page 3 as-we-know-it hadn't ended at The Sun after all. I strongly suspect I am not the only feminist for whom this will mean very little. The Sun was sexist when it included pictures of topless models, remained sexist when they briefly went away and I expect it will continue to do its usual sexist thing now that those pictures are back. However, one thing this turn of events probably does mean is that the mainstream media will continue to host polarised debates about Page 3, where feminists will still be assumed to be involved in the campaigns against it, regardless of our campaigning backgrounds and what we actually say.

So when I received a call from BBC Radio Somerset last week regarding taking part in such a debate, I made sure my views were clear; I said that, yes, I think Page 3 is out-of-date but, ultimately, the bigoted commentary typical of The Sun is far worse. I also mentioned that I have not been involved in any of the recent campaigns against Page 3 and actually thought at least one of them was really dreadful. I was told this view was still of interest and there would be a few different voices in the mix.

Despite this, there were several tweets from the presenter that evening that indicated there would be just two of us and we received the following introduction on the show the next morning (02.10):

...We're going to hear the debate from both sides. We're going to hear from a Page 3 model -- a glamour model -- who says the campaign against [Page 3] is annoying and she wants to openly and freely express her sexuality. We'll also hear from a writer and feminist who says she's happy to see it go because she thinks it's outdated and it objectifies women. [My emphasis.]

I appreciate that radio researchers, producers and presenters are under pressure to host juicy debates with clearly divided opponents, but surely caricaturing contributors regardless of what we actually have to say shouldn't be necessary? More to the point, this tendency seems to lead to a significant strand of intersectional feminist thought going unrecognised. Indeed, after I had clarified my position, the presenter, Ben McGrail, seemed bemused when introducing caller, Gwyneth (19.34):

I've got in my notes here about you: you're a self-proclaimed feminist. [answers yes] I got that one right then! Now, I'm going to take a wild sweeping assumption here: you're not a massive fan of Page 3...

Once bitten, twice shy, I guess. Also, to be fair, Gwyneth agreed that no, she wasn't. But it isn't as if my position is even that unusual. Plenty of other feminists have expressed opposition to or at least ambivalence towards campaigns against Page 3. It is also hardly ludicrous to point out that candid shots (celebrities being photographed on the beach etc without clear consent) and patronising blurb along the lines of News in Briefs (which thankfully ended in 2013) are far more problematic than including a topless picture that a model openly posed for.

The bemusement I observed seems to sit alongside the dismissive reaction that former Playboy bunny Samantha Rea got from her boss when it became apparent she was against Page 3. Personally, I'm not really down with the quickfire 'family newspaper' angle per se, as I think it tends to lead to a blurring of the distinction between suggesting children should not be repeatedly exposed to limiting gender stereotypes and implying they are actually harmed if they happen to see partially nude images designed to mildly titillate adults. However, I firmly believe there is nothing incongruous about a woman who has worked as a Playboy Bunny suggesting that pictures of topless models are out of context in a newspaper. And, regardless of whether I entirely support Samantha's arguments, I'd say it's pretty outrageous for her boss to be telling her what she should think.

And that's the point. It's one thing for us to knowingly consent to being objectified in a transient way, but quite another to have the nuances of our arguments stripped away so that we can fit more easily into rigidly pre-defined boxes.

Hearteningly, the recent BBC Radio Somerset discussion became more open as it progressed; there was a good rapport between two callers with quite different views, while another mentioned double standards when it comes to sexy images of men. The presenter also drew attention to Laura and I having "different opinions on some things" (we only disagreed strongly about one thing and it wasn't Page 3!), but agreeing about candid shots. It's just a shame that, in keeping with usual stereotypes, we were framed as automatic adversaries.

NB: This post, along with any others on this site about Page 3, does not constitute 'The F-Word view' on the subject because, of course, there is no such thing!

Image description:

A photograph of two women, wearing hats made out of newspapers. They are photographed side on, facing each other with their faces close together. Both are shouting. Whether they are yelling at each other in conflict or playfully expressing mutual frustration about the position they find themselves in is open to interpretation. The picture is called 'Shout it!' and is by Ian Quantis, shared under a Creative Commons License.

Weekly round up and open thread

26 January 2015 22:49
[syndicated profile] thefword_feed

Posted by Jess McCabe

Welcome, welcome. It's the weekly round-up of things that have happened, and open thread. Usual disclaimers apply!


I'm an atheist, but I have no interest in joining your 'movement' (The Guardian)

The nagging wife: symptom or cause? (Hannah Mudge)

It's not just Björk: Women are tired of not getting credit for their own music (Slate)

Bjork calls out sexism in the music industry (Bitch Magazine)

Interview: women unequal under Lebanon's law (Human Rights Watch)

'No jerks, cops or oppressive behaviour': music's new wave of queer festivals (The Guardian)

Jobcentre to claimants: if you want benefits help, ask the local group that campaigns against us (Kate Belgrave)

Next on Black Mirror (The Toast)

Our 'impartial' broadcasters have become mouthpieces of the elite (The Guardian)

A step too far: how retailers are losing disabled customers (AOL Money)

What having two mums taught me about feminism (My Motherfull Family)

'Girl On Girl: a film about lesbian visibility' seeks funding through Indiegogo (HuffPo)

The This Girl Can campaign is all about sex, not sport (The Guardian)

Someone stole naked pictures of me. This is what I did about it - video (The Guardian)

Menstruation: the last great sporting taboo (The Guardian)

For Homeless Women, Having a Period Isn't a Hassle - It's a Nightmare (Vice)

'Imitation trans awareness poster reveals ignorance of creators' (The Telegraph)

I won't fear Muslims (Salon)

Photo by Liz Henry on Flickr, shows the cover of issue 2 of 'Period: The Zine'. The cover is a line drawing of someone in a bath, possibly with period blood? Shared on Flickr under a creative commons license

likeadeuce: (carrie brownstein)
[personal profile] likeadeuce
Hola, chickadees.

I haven't done this for a while but 'the darkest depths of winter seems like as good a time as any.

Share with me something you're enthused/ excited/ flush with anticipation about. One fannish/ one real life, if you'd like. ( Or as many as you want of one if you're ignoring the other, which is valid. )

I've got: 1) Selma, Agent Carter, Sleater-Kinney reunion + album

2) New feline roommate, new (at least temporarily)* human roommate.

* status as roommate, not as human, though MAYBE I got a were cat. You don't know my life!

Do chime in in the comments, and/ or browse other people's if you're looking for cheer.

How to Stay in Bed, Cathy Barber

26 January 2015 15:03
[personal profile] saunteringfiend posting in [community profile] poetry
Start the night before. Don’t set the alarm.
Consider setting it, perhaps, but decide against.
Shut the blinds before you lie down at night.
Turn the plastic rod so the blinds are tight.
When the inevitable light forms in lines
and brightens your room anyway, turn away.
Close your eyes again and see if that helps.
When closing your eyes doesn’t help,
pull the covers over your head. Grab them
in a way that you can tighten them all around.
Like, as a child who believed in witches,
you blocked their prying searches for you.
Get comfortable again. Adjust your under-the-covers
pillows. Wiggle your shoulders into new,
less scrunched positions. Let your arms rest
where they will.
Think lovely thoughts. Really. Go all Mary Poppins,
or if you prefer, Mr. Rogers.
Put on a metaphorical cardigan and slippers.
Enter the world of make believe.
There is no car here, no highway,
no bumper-to-bumper, no boss,
no deadlines, no failures,
just sleep and sleep and dreams.


quinara: Sheep on a hillside with a smiley face. (Default)

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