quinara: Tara walking in the Slayer's desert. (Restless desert)
A friend of mine shared this on facebook - and it's so cool! The BFI have uncovered and digitalised some footage taken with the first ever colour video camera in 1927. I can't get over how new and clean it looks:

Even cooler, some whizzkid went out to shoot the same scenes and then made a side-by-side comparison video. The trees have all grown in! There is also a strikingly similar ratio of buses on the roads.

(My favourite bit is the stuffed toy rabbits on the market stall of Petticoat Lane.)
quinara: Little cartoon girl from the Devics' Distant Radio EP cover. (Devics Distant Radio)
So, last week I posted a fic for [livejournal.com profile] seasonal_spuffy. There a four chapters: one, two, three, four.

It's called In Remission, and this is the summary I posted with it at the time:

In the five years Spike's been missing, the world around Buffy has irrevocably changed. The general population has woken up to vampires' existence and the kill count has dropped way down. She's sharing a house with a soulless vampire, still going by the name of Faith. But what does Spike have to do with it? And what does it mean for their future?

The thing is, I kind of came up with this summary a while before I'd written the ending and really worked out what the bloody heck I was babbling on about. I may have slightly written the whole thing in a forced rush. But I'm quite happy with it, all told, so I would love for you to read it! I do not know what title and wankier, more characteristic summary I would have come up with had I had more time, but I did realise eventually that the whole thing is a Foucault love-in. I don't even know where to begin explaining, but may I at least offer this quote from a conversation with Gilles Deleuze:

The other day I was speaking to a woman who bad been in prison and she was saying: "Imagine, that at the age of forty, I was punished one day with a meal of dry bread." What is striking about this story is not the childishness of the exercise of power but the cynicism with which power is exercised as power, in the most archaic, puerile, infantile manner. As children we learn what it means to be reduced to bread and water. Prison is the only place where power is manifested in its naked state, in its most excessive form, and where it is justified as moral force. "I am within my rights to punish you because you know that it is criminal to rob and kill . . ." ... What is fascinating about prisons is that, for once, power doesn't hide or mask itself; it reveals itself as tyranny pursued into the tiniest details; it is cynical and at the same time pure and entirely "justified," because its practice can be totally formulated within the framework of morality. Its brutal tyranny consequently appears as the serene domination of Good over Evil, of order over disorder.

Brutal, n'est-ce pas? I want to paste some more quotes, to encompass a bit more social theory/theory of human nature, but I can't find anything specific enough. But basically everything he says is gold. And dangerous. And what happens when Buffy is older and wiser and stops believing Chomsky and has to face this shit?

... That's basically it. And the quote really isn't that appropriate anyway. But stuff happens!

quinara: Mog from Meg and Mog swimming in a diving suit. (Meg and Mog Mog underwater)
But we had a great Halloween challenge on [livejournal.com profile] sb_fag_ends, not that I was much help with it. (Still not... *waves at co-mods feebly*) [livejournal.com profile] seasonal_spuffy is back again, so make sure you catch up with that too!

My SS day, of course, is Sunday... I was basically stuck on things to do, then came up with an idea during my walk to and from the faculty or maybe when I was reading Seuils in the shop and eating porridge (neither of these things bear relevance to the idea). Unfortunately there is now limited time to produce this idea, which is still possibly without a point and will almost certainly want to be longer than I can possibly produce. Sigh face! Also, I'm so out of practice for writing fic that I keep shifting tenses into the present. I used to wonder how the heck anyone did this because it seemed like such an unnatural pattern of thought, but it turns out that if you are very much in the habit of writing in the present tense then your ideas start coming out that way even though you don't mean them to. I think my problem is that the plot I want to do isn't really a medium for dealing with the theme I think I'm writing about. I have no idea what a plot would be for that. Especially to make sure it's a Spuffy plot. Why does everyone else seem to be able to come up with stories when all I ever come up with is puzzles!

Blergh. Ill. Might got to bed now. Tired.

Although one ETA: Housemate and I watched The Fugitive last night and it was excellent. I miss that film's prevalence in Christmas schedules.
quinara: Sheep on a hillside with a smiley face. (Default)
I love John Lydon. But you knew that. I also love John Hurt, and am still sad about the time my brother had me convinced for three minutes that he was dead. This was a post I meant to do, but didn't have time, so I'm doing it now.

I have recently discovered more music and shit. One track of which is Group Rhoda, who do like tropicana post-punk, which is the best. The track I want ain't on YouTube, so you'll have to trust me. But in other news, I also like Frankie Rose's Street of Dreams:

Naturally this is a cover of the Damned song from 1985, which is basically the same but with Dave Vanian and saxophones. The funny thing is, though, swapping in guitars for the saxophones, it's quite easy to recognise that the chord sequence and beat are essentially Billy Idol's White Wedding.

It's almost like The Damned and Billy Idol came from the same scene. Which they did. But fuck knows they don't want people to think it...

This is the end. It's not that interesting. But it is anyway!
quinara: Approaching Black Mage from FFIX. (FFIX black mage)
Libertine: For Interested Women

There was a link to it on the New Statesman and the bits online are good when they aren't elementary. Looking at the team behind it it looks as though there could be a lot of interesting articles about technology in the future. And investments! *haz no money but finds money interesting* ... *also power*

The only sad thing is that when it says it eschews the standard fare of women's magazines, that probably means no fashion. :( Why can't we have semiotics and Alexander McQueen???
quinara: Approaching Black Mage from FFIX. (FFIX black mage)
Thanks for the comments on my fic, gang! Replying to them soon. The library's shut and I'm supposed to do some work at home today... But video!

ETA: OK, so the BBC embed code doesn't work properly. Link instead:


I dunno if it'll play outside of the UK...
quinara: Owl from Meg and Mog looking a bit scared. (Meg and Mog Owl eyes)
Proper random, but browsing Topshop... I love this look, but cannot see myself ever, ever wearing it:

... )

This is basically the sad truth about a lot of where Topshop has gone recently. Maybe with a t-shirt that actually properly hit the top of those jeans? But also, I know, because I own some creepers, that I wouldn't be able to walk anywhere proper in those shoes without getting blisters, because my ankles have no grip at all. :'(

[Although, the more I look at this image, the more it seems obvious to me that the model's belly button must have been photoshopped in and she's not wearing the right shoe properly. So I'm happier to admire this as fashion photography that bears no resemblance to the potential of clothes in situ...]
quinara: 'You may be silent, but this will shut you up,' says Andrew. (Andrew ninja)
[livejournal.com profile] gingerwall posted this interview with Mila Kunis on her journal, but I had to bring it over here so that anyone who hasn't seen it can. Basically, Chris Stark is really nervous about the interview, so Mila helps him out by letting him go off-piste in the subject matter, and then... They end up talking about going down the pub in Watford. Watford!!! He envisions this day of fun where they go to Nando's and then to the football and then get trashed down the pub. It's worth it for the Watford Nando's shout-out alone (♥), but in general is just brilliant.

ETA: Heeee, more reaction. As far as I'm watching, this basically breaks down the video, but it explains the set up more too.

quinara: Approaching Black Mage from FFIX. (FFIX black mage)
I'm very, very worried I'm going to start watching EastEnders again. It's been over ten years, but for some reason I seem to be still invested in Kat and Alfie. And Nina Wadia is very compelling to watch.

*hides from own shame*
quinara: Spike drinking from a blood bag. (Spike blood bag)
Confessions of a Shopaholic's on iPlayer at the moment, so I watched it, for dubious reasons known to no one. I can't say it was very good, but it got surprisingly close to actually dealing with addiction (actually) at a few points. There were a few beats when it really could have broken into some sort of Trainspotting-esque reality and you realised that the shopping had been a metaphor all along and the frivolous world of New York magazine journalism was in fact the imaginings of someone in a hovel somehow managing to catch repeats of Ugly Betty...

But, anyway, it made me miss the early days of Being Human, when it was all just a heroin addict, a domestic abuse escapee and an HIV-positive randomer trying to make a go of it in Bristol. I don't know why they never realised that the world they'd created wasn't epic fantasy so much as something very, very small. :(
quinara: Tara walking in the Slayer's desert. (Restless desert)
I had a weird mind-wander as I was getting ready today where I thought about what I would do if I won the lottery, as in actually what I would do from the first moment of getting the cheque onwards. It was odd. I ended up deciding that I would find a massive influx of money very stressful and confusing, because at heart I rely too much on being part of an (academic) institution to want that much financial independence. But at the same time I am and will always be a magpie, so I really wouldn't mind some posher clothes and posher food in my life, as well as a new computer and a decent electric whisk (my Asda Basics eight quid one has just broken). And I still really want to do the whole Trans-Siberian Railway one day. But maybe when I'm retired. And have learned Russian and Chinese.

All in all, I think I want to learn more languages. And have decided that thinking about the future is strange.
quinara: Buffy looks up with a bloom of yellow sparklies behind her. (Buffy sparkles)
I was listening to The Jam earlier, and Down in a Tube Station at Midnight reminded me that there used to be vending machines on Tube stations(!). When did they all disappear? Why did they disappear? They always used to be completely overpriced (40p for a chocolate bar in the mid-late nineties, IIRC, which was ridiculous then but pretty cheap now), but sometimes you were waiting at Oxford Circus or Harrow on the Hill (which I think kept the machines going for a while longer than the underground ones) and really fancied a snack...
quinara: No Kicking Penguins (Penguins)
Has there been a better thing on television in a long time? I really don't know because this is just so clever. I can't even sum it up, just...

OK, so we start with the industrial revolution, with all its dark satanic mills and dreams for the future - are we Blake dreaming of a world without industry (just cricket), or Caliban!Brunel dreaming of a world of noise and riches? No matter the answer we go through to the 50s (ish) anyway, getting noise and darkness and yet achievement, the Olympic rings wrought out of steel.

We then get to 'Second to the Right and Straight on till Morning': the NHS, children, fantasy literature and the moment between sleep and waking - still caught up in dreams and nightmares. Through jazz and the outfits this is also definitely pitched as a historical transition between the Industrial Revolution and the digital age pageant later. It's like an investigation of what the Industrial Revolution produced - the end of infant mortality as a fact of life (labour, if we imagine child labour, transforms into children being looked after in bed and at GOSH) plus the rise of literacy. Put these two together and the main threat to childhood shifts from actual death to fantasy figures, Voldemort like a pantomime grim reaper and Mary Poppins the image of childcare and education. Everything ends happily like a fairy tale; 'childhood' as a safe bubble away from work and threat is banishable even as a nightmare. But this is even undercut by the nurses doing folk dances, as if they're pretending to still live in the idyll. Which we know has gone.

This establishment of childhood and safety then inevitably spreads to produce Youth Culture as a whole in the digital age, which gets it's own celebration in 'Frankie and June Say Thanks, Tim'. (The whole ceremony is about handing over to the next generation; the narrative of the show is about how that happened with cultural authority.) But even that's shadowed by this tension between illusion and reality (all the dancing backdropped by fictional representations of life that is constructed media culture, embellishing on children's literature), and this sense of darkness. I can't catch all the lyrics in the chronological montage, but it's so heavy once you get past the romance:

My sketched transcription... )

So even with this massive upheaval, from rural idyll through industrial pain through childhood's invention and welfare and Teh Yoof taking control; the shift in power from Top Hat Man to Multicultural Dancing Everyone, we're still caught up in this dark, fearful, shifting space between reality and illusion, dreams and hope and dissatisfaction. (The defiance in this section - And we don't care / I just think I'm free / We will be victorious - only comes to segue into uncertainty - Change and decay in all around I see; O Thou who changest not, abide with me.)

... So, that's just how I read it (expressed very badly). But I can't help but think it's one of the most interesting national portraits I've seen in a long time. I like this bloke Boyle... :D

(God, I have do something today... Why haven't I done anything?)
quinara: Profile shot of Olivier from FMA:B, mostly of her hair. (Olivier profile)
This is where I post the most pathetic whinge about AO3 that has ever been whinged. I like to think I'm not that wanky about my creative stuff; I can let things go; the net is an imperfect publication system and that's OK (how many fics have I split up to post on LJ that weren't meant to be split into parts?). But apparently I can still be irrationally irritated by minor things...

Basically, what this boils down to is the way you align text to the right on the AO3 interface. (Yes. Text alignment. I know.) My last poem was aligned right - some might say unnecessarily, but it was still a conscious decision. To display that on LJ and DW I put the whole thing in a tag <div style="text-align:right"> - but the AO3 doesn't support in line styling, so the poster strips the tag down to just <div>, which does nothing to the alignment. I get around it by using <div align="right"> - but I try not to use depreciated HTML (except <font> in comments because it's just very easy... I am a bad HTMLer :( ), so I drop a line to Support, because it seems odd that this would be the most sensible way around the issue. As it turns out, it isn't, and the AO3-recommended way to do things like aligning sections of text etc. is to apply a CSS work skin (eg. the public basic formatting skin) and then use classes, ie. pull down on one extra option on the posting form's menu and then use the tag <div class="align-right">.

To be fair, this is very easy (although I feel like I should mention that this wouldn't make sense to someone who's trying to use the Rich Text editor, because that has an alignment button and it doesn't work). My issue with it is the way this Work Skins business has been implemented is so that creator's styles can be very easily be turned off, either by default or by a fairly obvious button at the top of the work. So now anyone on the work page can basically toggle my poem back and forth across their monitor. I suppose this is so, should there be a trend in formatting fics in eyes-bleedingly ugly ways they can be very easily turned back into plain text - but. While the rational, readerly part of me understands this is very sensible, the wanky poet part of my head won't stop ranting, "but the poem is aligned right!! It's not aligned 'right but with a button in case you want to read it left-aligned'!! The act of moving your eyes from the part of the page where you expect text to this other corner is a whole part of the reading process!! It's not there to be toggled at will!! It should just be!!".

And yet the rational part of me that is proud of her basic HTML skills refuses to change the tag back to something wrong just to get rid of the button, not least because it's the site standard and you should uphold people's expectations. So now I'm miffed - about something which isn't really a problem. Because I wrote too much poetry and became pretentious. :(

We shall not talk about the time I spent faffing with longhand spaces - ie. [ampersand]nbsp[semi-colon] - in my last poem so that everything was aligned correctly on the various different platforms I posted it, with their different fonts and sizes + posters which strip back multiple typed spaces. Concrete poetry doesn't half feel that way when you post it in HTML...
quinara: Rinoa from FFVIII watching petals fly. (Rinoa petals)
So, I've signed up for a Pinterest invite... I saw the button on the Topshop website and thought to myself, 'you know, I would actually have a use for a service where I could store a mood board of aaaaaaall the clothes I'm lusting after - it might even help some buying decisions'. I'm going to sign up under my fandom name, because I can only ever imagine linking to it here for some reason - but, erm, I doubt anyone will be that interested in my obsession with dark red, jewel tones, leather, silk and wool and gold and BRIGHT THINGS (you see why I can never afford anything and have to lust)...

But! Does anyone have a Pinterest account? Do you use it? Is it fun? Browsing, there seems to be lots of tasty pictures of cake and cocktails, but considering I am always in the mood for a margarita anyway I'm not sure this is sensible to have in easy access. Oooooh, mood board of sweets!!

This is brought you by Gold Jacquard Mini Skirt, which makes me miss an old skirt I used to have in gold brocade. :( Also, I own two pairs of this style of jeans in dark grey and marine blue... But I cannot buy a pair in dark red, because otherwise most of my jumpers would make me look like I don't even know what. But it would be nice to have a reminder they exist. Also, eighteen pound jumper? Bargainous. Plus they do the same in a lovely heathered black...


ETA: Lavender mojito!!
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.

quinara: Yoshi from Mario Bros. (Yoshi)
Caroline Quentin!!! (How did I not realise I missed you?)

"OK... Let's get this Glee Club started."

"Ooh! What's a Glee Club?"

"It's like a choir..."

"Why don't you just call it a choir, then?"

"... Why don't you just stop shoplifting from Dixon's?"


Best cliffhanger ever. Aaaaaaaaah!
quinara: Approaching Black Mage from FFIX. (FFIX black mage)
Now I'm listening to Linkin Park's Hybrid Theory. I had completely forgotten how much of this album is rap. I remembered how industrial it is, but the rap is everywhere, along with crude 'dance' remix-squeaks of vinyl and plinky plonky electronics... Oh, the year 2000.

The weirdest thing, though, is the melodies - and the lyrics. The actual content is that nu metal going on emo stuff, but much of the way the verses/rhymes click together and the melodies are straight out of a boy band. I suppose that's the nineties for you, but it's so bizarre. I'm fairly certain I never heard it at the time, but the pop instincts are all in there. o.O
quinara: Little cartoon girl from the Devics' Distant Radio EP cover. (Devics Distant Radio)
I never did that meme that was going around last week or so(?) about various random personality bits and bobs, mostly because I didn't think my answers would be that interesting. (Although, for the record, when we did Pottermore at a friend's house I came out as Gryffindor - and I was quite happy about that. I don't think the others fit!) One thing that really struck me, though, was the number of people who said music wasn't especially important to them, because for me music is absolutely crucially crucial and has been for a long time.

This then got me thinking about various teenage obsessions I had, which brought me back, after a long absence, to AFI - and Black Sails in the Sunset on Grooveshark. There was a time when I was fourteen/fifteen or so that I was convinced that this was the best record in existence, completely and utterly. (And I thought the album cover was a thing of beauty too.) The fact it's not on my iPod and therefore inaccessible to me not via Grooveshark is evidence of how much I dropped it and AFI after I realised I couldn't take any of the horrifically emo lyrics seriously anymore, but it's so weird listening to it now. For a start, it's pretty damn impenetrable - on the first listen through I had absolutely no idea what had attracted me to it at all - but now, as I readjust to the ever-present cymbals, I can hear all the musical turns that I loved... Which is such a bizarre feeling.

The album came out in 1999, and you can really hear that in retrospect. Clove Smoke Catharsis, for example, has some turns that I recognise from things like the Lostprophets' first (and only good :P) album (oh, Shinobi vs Dragon Ninja... Thefakesoundofprogress still defines when I started being a person, in my mind), but I think had entirely vanished in rock music by the late 2000s, which, actually, was all pretty retro by comparison. Now that I can divorce myself from the embarrassment of thinking Black Sails' lyrics were any good, I find the whole thing a really fascinating snapshot of how my tastes expressed themselves back in the day. Because I definitely still like my speed and my harmonies and my syncopation and my cadences, and this is so dense with them.

Anyway, I don't really know where this is going, but it's definitely strange being able to look at this stuff with distance. I used to go to and from school with my CD Walkman, not bothering to change which album I was listening to for days/weeks at a time and I can remember these songs going round and round and round as I trudged back home up the hill with my bag and my viola and my PE kit and my tech folder. No Poetic Device is really not that great a song, but it still puts a smile on my face (even with the emooooo lyrics), because I remember how it used to make me perk up every time it came round on shuffle. And then I get to the massively emo God Called in Sick Today and remember that, oh yeah, 'filigree' is still one of my favourite words...

I'm not sure I'd recommend the album anymore - unless you too feel really emo and want something that will make you feel like random Californian musicians understand. At the same time, it does make me think that guitar music these days is very dull indeed. I mean, what would the equivalent be? Who's looking after the emo!teens now? Where are the Bullet for My Valentine-type bands, which I scorned so hard by 2005, but who were still providing a service (I link to the only song of theirs I ever confessed to finding catchy)? Am I completely missing all the alternative bands out there, or is it true that all the teens are listening to Deadmau5 and Skrillex? I like my electro, but it all seems a bit sad. Where's all the death and pain and blooood gone?

In other news, I'm bored of my music collection and want moooaaaaar, but am generally dissatisfied by what's out there. If you're not that into music, be glad this is a restlessness you never have to experience! :D


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

September 2014

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