quinara: Owl from Meg and Mog looking a bit scared. (Meg and Mog Owl eyes)
People of the internet, oh, this makes me sad.

The Web We Have to Save

An Iranian blogger after six years in prison talks about the internet he remembers and the internet he's found on coming out.

But the Stream, mobile applications, and moving images: They all show a departure from a books-internet toward a television-internet. We seem to have gone from a non-linear mode of communication — nodes and networks and links — toward a linear one, with centralization and hierarchies.

The web was not envisioned as a form of television when it was invented. But, like it or not, it is rapidly resembling TV: linear, passive, programmed and inward-looking.

When I log on to Facebook, my personal television starts. All I need to do is to scroll: New profile pictures by friends, short bits of opinion on current affairs, links to new stories with short captions, advertising, and of course self-playing videos. I occasionally click on like or share button, read peoples’ comments or leave one, or open an article. But I remain inside Facebook, and it continues to broadcast what I might like. This is not the web I knew when I went to jail. This is not the future of the web. This future is television.

The thing is, I can see it even in the way that this post is just an advert for this blog with a link. In 2008 I would never have posted a naked link like the one above, but I almost just did right now. It seems quaint to bother writing the tags to mask to give it a title, even. (ETA: And heck, even did it wrong the first time.) Oh, I am sad. No one writes with punctuation anymore, or capitals. incl. me
quinara: Wishverse Buffy in a white frame. (Buffy Wish white box)
Because I can't really be arsed to dig into it, but apparently Joss has been chased off Twitter by The Feminists, who it seems were no longer to be bought off by Joss being Joss and writing retrograde claptrap but nonetheless having the women punch people while doing it. And then there's a side narrative about the Marvel execs ruined his creative vision, which may or may not be related. I know many of us are Joss fans but at some point I actually started hating him, so I'm finding myself unbelieeeeeeeeeeeeevably amused!!!!!!!!!! Has the world woken up to his poor little baby auteur games? Have mainstream standards for women's plots actually managed to shift in the last twenty years? Is this the start of the revolution? Or will the fanboys just take this as another reason to act like dicks?

Not even drunk. But this is hilarious. No, I haven't seen the Avengers and don't plan to... Spoil me however!

ETA: This is quite interesting, and I think raises an important point about the sheer volume of messages about Avengers AoU to Joss - it makes you question if whether this was really a hounding that can be compared to that orchestrated against much less major figures. It also seems like the Whedon line on Twitter is that it's part of his job, and when the job is done he generally leaves it alone. Not trying to excuse anybody's behaviour, but I'm starting to see this slightly as another pitched battle between the stans and the haters, with the casus belli (as usual!) a rather ambiguous event...

ETA2: Fab conversation people; I will be back this evening. Just going to add that the man has spoken. From which we learn that people shouldn't blame the critics, for one will always be cursed for one's art and daring to have a political point of view, even if those militant feminists do actually generally bring other feminists down because if Joss says he's a feminist then he will always be helping the cause no matter what. It's backhanded graciousness for everyone!
quinara: Profile shot of Cassie from Skins, with lots of hair and a hat. (Cassie hat)
Just to say that seeing posts from my French flisties makes me think I should say I'm thinking of you, everyone and us all. I really liked this compilation of cartoons that have been produced around the world in reaction to what happened:

quinara: Owl from Meg and Mog driving: 'Who let the owl drive?' (Meg and Mog Owl drive)
Sometimes I think Laurie Penny talks completely out of her backside (or more likely on three coffees at three AM before a deadline when she actually can't think of anything to say), but sometimes she's great and this was nice:


Sherlock spoilers(ish) ) All of these things are significantly less plausible than gay sex. I’m just saying.

What is significant about fan fiction is that it often spins the kind of stories that showrunners wouldn’t think to tell, because fanficcers often come from a different demographic. The discomfort seems to be not that the shows are being reinterpreted by fans, but that they are being reinterpreted by the wrong sorts of fans - women, people of colour, queer kids, horny teenagers, people who are not professional writers, people who actually care about continuity (sorry). The proper way for cultural mythmaking to progress, it is implied, is for privileged men to recreate the works of privileged men from previous generations whilst everyone else listens quietly. That’s how it’s always been done. That’s how it should be done in the future, whatever Tumblr says.

But time can be rewritten. Myths can bend and change. Something new and exciting is happening in the world of storytelling, and fans are an important part of it. All kinds of fans, from obsessive cupboard-dwellers to the shouty social justice crowd to livejournal perverts who just want to know what Sherlock would have to say about the chemical composition of personal lubricant.

On this and other matters, it doesn’t do showrunners any harm to pay attention to their fans. We are living in a world of stories where thousands of new voices from diverse communities are speaking up, sharing ideas and creating new worlds out of the shadows of the ones we knew as children - but so far, a handful of professional chaps still get to make the decisions. Now, where have we heard that one before?

(To put my cards on the table, I haven't been watching Sherlock this series, but I wandered through a few times when my parents were watching it over Christmas to see the bit I quote LP's description of and thought it was dead cringe + just an insult. In general I went off Sherlock last season and haven't heard anything to make me think it's got any better/any less like Doctor Who... But the piece is still nice.)
quinara: Lorne holding up a sea breeze, looking enigmatic. (Lorne Player)
I like it when Newsnight packages the interesting bits into single videos:


(Also, this reminds me of how much I've enjoyed some articles in the Financial Times over the years. Sure, I have no money to do anything with this stuff, but it's very interesting. And the How To Spend It magazine is the best of all 'ogle expensive junk' periodicals, even if the ratio of men's stuff:women's stuff in it is a woeful reflection of the financial sector.)

(Yes, I went looking for yesterday's Newsnight. It's not up yet.)
quinara: Rinoa from FFVIII watching petals fly. (Rinoa petals)
Once upon a time a read a lecture summary or something on the Cambridge website about what would happen if humans upped and vanished one day from a large city (such as Cambridge)... I've never been able to find it again, but it stuck with me and was one of the main inspirations behind abridgement. And these images from Pripyat in the Chernobyl exclusion zone remind me of that too:


Can't get over that second image with the forest re-emerging between the buildings.
quinara: Owl from Meg and Mog driving: 'Who let the owl drive?' (Meg and Mog Owl drive)
^ BBC headline right now. About pregnant!Kate pics.

... Er, gang, we're still in 2013, right? Watching Supersizers Eat The Fifties didn't actually send me back in time, did it? o.O

(Also watched the Supersizers do the Eighties. When did I start being charmed so much by the 80s? Why won't it stop?)

(I really, really don't want to go back to the library tomorrow. Even though I have Responsibilities To Undergrads I Have Been Shirking. My mum was right. I've hit the wall of my particular PhD marathon. In sport/bizarre craft projects this is usually where I give up. And my head is tender still. :( )
quinara: Approaching Black Mage from FFIX. (FFIX black mage)
Well, the Pope's resigning. I don't have much to say about that, though I like the idea forwarded on the telly this morning that the new Pope might be from somewhere other than Europe. I think that would be nice for a lot of Catholics around the world.

In other news, though, I can't get over what has become known as the 'horsemeat scandal'! For those who haven't seen this particular bit of British/European news, they recently found that some (value) beef ready meals/things have contained horsemeat rather than proper beef and, the more they dig into it, the more there seems to have been some serious organised fraud happening in a pan-European supply chain - the latest victim is Tesco's spag bol.

I just can't help but feel like this is one of the definitive stories of our times. There's so much bound up in it - how expensive meat is (becoming again? has always been?) that fraud is worthwhile, how cheap we want/need our food, how meat-heavy we want our diets to be (despite all that), and yet how picky we are about what animals+cuts we eat - even when they're processed beyond our ability to discern any difference. Because, presumably, if we just ate horses our pockets would be the ones benefitting, rather than the fraudsters... But we never will.

Basically, I feel like beef is the new bread when you come to food history; it's the site of all our anxieties. Which amuses me.
quinara: Tara walking in the Slayer's desert. (Restless desert)
The headline link to the BBC website's magazine feature on procrastination is doing my head in... Please oh please will someone tell someone that non carpe diem is gobbledegook? I know noli carpere diem isn't a very sexy title, but they'll just have to come up with something else. I can't take it.

In other news, I've been working on the Greek Magical Papyri (which is a collection of random papyrus fragments purporting to be spells and rites etc.), and yesterday it took me about three hours to realise I should probably have been more bemused than I was to read through a list of the different Homeric verses you can use either spoken or written down as part of an amulet to beat menstrual pain or else work as a contraceptive. I've become far too jaded. (And I have such an urge to write a novel about these characters you got wandering around Egypt in the third century AD collecting magical lore and selling trinkets to people... But it would be a nightmare trying to source evidence. Must suppress.)


29 July 2012 14:30
quinara: Wesley looking angsty. (Wes swirly)

[livejournal.com profile] brutti_ma_buoni, you were right. I can't actually believe NBC did this...

My heart just breaks.

ETA: IF YOU'D LIKE TO SEE IT: memorialdance.mp4 [~38MB; ~6:30mins]
And you can read Akram Khan talking about the piece here.
quinara: Sheep on a hillside with a smiley face. (Meg cackles)
I watched it at the time, but I'd forgotten how much I love this interview of Russell Brand by Jeremy Paxman. (I think it was late 2010 sometime?) I do think Russell Brand is brilliant when he's on form.


1 April 2012 19:53
quinara: Profile shot of Cassie from Skins, with lots of hair and a hat. (Cassie hat)
As usual when I am this miserable about the world, I wrote to my MP. Unfortunately, putting everything down (concisely but probably not coherently or comprehensively) in an email just made me more upset. So there we go.

Oh, and I wrote a fic. It's not very good. Read the warnings.
quinara: Rinoa from FFVIII watching petals fly. (Rinoa petals)
First of all, mega thanks to [livejournal.com profile] green_maia for the daisy!

Otherwise, I think I agree with the (admittedly) subtext of this article, that the weather at the moment is essentially ridiculous. I just wandered to Asda (don't miss Sainsbury's really, though as regular readers will know I was a faithful patron...) and it was, what, six to half-six? The sun was setting, such that it's pretty gloomy now, but on the way there it still felt like it was blazing. I had short sleeves on! And it's October tomorrow! The park I walked past was carpeted in fallen leaves and it definitely smelled like bonfirey autumn, but it was basically baking. This lunchtime it actually was baking, but I don't think I can believe that it felt too hot to be walking home with a big bag of shopping in a t-shirt, on the 30th September. It was more like walking around at 10pm in the middle of a July/August heatwave; utterly ridiculous...

There wasn't much point to this post; I think I need to go and make my tea.
quinara: Tara walking in the Slayer's desert. (Restless desert)
A snappy slideshow about the history of writing and the development of the English alphabet, as plugged by the faculty website (I knew there was a reason I went on there from time to time...):


Including reference to dear old Ugarit just for you, [livejournal.com profile] wildecate!

(I'm not that fussed about the music in the background, but don't let that put you off...)

(PS. Also, aha, it looks as though the poem I was ranting about a while ago wasn't completely wrong about its Sumerian tablets for counting stuff, and probably wasn't thinking of Linear B. It was just me being wrong, so that's nice to know (although IIRC the poem still needed pulling up on the idea that there wasn't all this other stuff going on in Sumerian, which did indeed continue on afterwards for millennia; I still think the tone was off).
quinara: No Kicking Penguins (Penguins)
I hope this isn't poor taste, but, as they say in the vernacular, I LOLed:

'In a nod to his felonious Bullingdon days, David Cameron uses the gangster term “sick” in order to describe his restaurant-smashing kindred spirits.'


PS. I swear, whenever there's a shot of Cazza in government, Clegg is always sitting there looking like he's actually dying. That frown is practically a fissure in his face these days. Not that Osborne looks much better. Or different.
quinara: Approaching Black Mage from FFIX. (FFIX black mage)
I'm back at home in preparation for Things happening, and must must must reply to emails ASAP, but I thought I'd reappear vaguely pointedly, if only because going without the internet feels like dropping off the face of the earth.

On the riots - nothing much has been happening round my way, though my mum's work sent everyone home early yesterday (which was amusingly enough her first day in a new position - so much for settling in!). I hope everybody (and everybody everyone knows) and their possessions are safe! It's all quite appalling. (And yet I cannot help but be disgruntled by Nick Robinson on the news saying that Cazza will be keen to say that these aren't political actions against the government but apolitical attacks against the people. As far as I'm concerned, the business of government is managing the population so that society doesn't break down into violence and fear. How can this not be an attack against the government if our government is truly constituted by the people? And don't get me started on the petition to axe rioters' benefits. Of course what we need right now are violently disaffected people out in the streets with nowhere to live...)

Otherwise - my tinnitus is acting up and my glasses are still wonky from where I fell over a couple of weeks ago (not that I expect them to fix themselves, but one can dream). Add to that a letter from the Student Loans Company saying that I haven't told them anything about my situation (when I have, I bloody have) and they're going to fine me 150 quid if I don't declare what I'm doing and how I'm supporting myself within twenty-eight days, I'm a bit grumpy. Not to mention my laptop coming back from Dell with a new hard drive (yay? Only time will tell if it doesn't freeze anymore), but of course with all my settings undone, and me not realising how many accummulative tweaks I'd made. Like to the effing touchpad mouse, which is teeth-gratingly sensitive (and I can't find the bloody settings to change it).

However - college has decided to award me a prize (of money) for my MPhil thesis, strangely enough. This is nice. Reassuring, in fact, since it seems as though academia may still be the one area in which I'm not actually incompetent. And people say I should get out and find a real job...
quinara: No Kicking Penguins (Penguins)
Thanks for the tinfoil hats! They are keeping me safe from both aliens and the wedding. (Though I think the old Bleep-Bridge Bubble may have helped as well. :P ) I plan to use them as boats forthwith.

ION apparently there's been massive rioting centred around a Tesco in Bristol? I hadn't heard about it until today, but it seems strange and a little scary. Not to mention the US tornadoes. Keep safe, world!


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

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