quinara: Sheep on a hillside with a smiley face. (Default)
So I wake up and find that Yahoo! Mail has changed their interface. Fine. Have your ridiculous flickr/Tumblr screens; I'll try a sunset for half an hour before I realise it's bloody ridiculous and pick black. I don't actually hate change. Sure, you clearly don't expect anyone to actually use filters for folders, so they're all hidden away where I can't just see them down the side. Whatever. BUT PLEASE DEAR GODS OF YAHOO FIX THE BLOODY SCREEN WIDTH BECAUSE I CAN'T BEAR IT ALL THIS BLOODY DEADSPACE ON THE RIGHT OF THE SCREEN WITH ALL THE CONTENT ALIGNED LEFT!!!! I EVEN TURNED ADS BACK ON JUST TO CHECK WHETHER MAYBE THAT WOULD GIVE ME MORE OF MY RESOLUTION BACK, BUT IT DIDN'T AND EVERYTHING IS SQUISHED AND IT MAKES MY SKIN CRAWL AND YOU CAN'T SCROLL DOWN EVEN THOUGH THE CONTENT HITS THE VERY BOTTOM OF THE SCREEN; NO, YOU CAN ONLY SCROLL INTERNALLY WITH YOUR CURSOR IN THE RIGHT PLACE AND THERE IS NO RELIEF FROM THE UNRELENTING ASSAULT ON WHATEVER THE DESKTOP TOOLBAR IS CALLED... I'M FILLED WITH SO MUCH WEBDESIGN RAGE AND IT SHOULDN'T BE HARD! IT SHOULDN'T BE HARD.

So now my day is ruined and I'm going to be filled with impotent rage every time I check my email. Woohoo. I suppose the only silver lining might be if it works on my mini laptop. Because it does look nice-ish on all the press release screencaps. But I have a widescreen monitor so I can see shit! Not stare at ugly gaps!!!
quinara: Approaching Black Mage from FFIX. (FFIX black mage)
FFS, I told myself last night that I wasn't allowed to think about this, but... I can't believe it's been ten years - ten years - and people are still demonising and threatening people who dare:

1. Read Smashed in a way that Buffy is not a victim.
2. Analyse Buffy/Spike on its own individual basis of a relationship between two characters in a fantasy world rather than something solely contextualised by impersonal sociological narratives.
3. Suggest that they find Spuffy hot.

And the whole thing's been brought about by someone who operates on the assumption that we're all dense enough to believe that he 'forgot' he knew about SR when he started shouting at people for having different views about Smashed.

I'm so angry.

All I've got is my video which I like to think indicates that Spike's sarcasm vs. Buffy's violence has been their game for a long time:



Tell me they both fuck up in S6, but don't tell me either is fully taking control.

ETA: On the other side of the coin, All Butterfly AU, anyone? (+ bogwitch's comedy sequel)
quinara: Sherlock Holmes thinks porn is boring. (Sherlock porn is boring)
So, I got my invite... Apparently I have to sign up with either a facebook or a Twitter account. No possibility of creating an independent account. 'But we will ALWAYS let you control sharing', I am promised.

Yeah, there is very little more likely to make me say 'eff off' to a service than that.

The question now is whether I make a dummy Twitter account just to be allowed on another site... Right now I think I'm too affronted.

*iz miffed*

ETA: Clicking on the 'sign up with Twitter page' it takes me to an app page on Twitter which says:

This application will be able to: Read Tweets from your timeline, See who you follow, and follow new people, Update your profile, Post Tweets for you.

This application will not be able to: Access your direct messages, See your Twitter password.

Well, isn't that nice it wouldn't be able to get at my password? !! Never mind it would have access to pretty much anything someone with the password could do anyway.

I really cannot bear this creeping process of people joining up the web. It's all to create richer baskets of demographics data to raise the price of advertising, yet the whole thing is so disingenuously presented in the patronising idea that people find it too complicated to have multiple log-ins: 'we require facebook and Twitter to make it easier to find people you know and reduce spam,' it says. I mean, come on: I don't want to find people I know and your site is proper bugged if your small start-up is getting so much spam that you have to piggyback off the user-screening of something so widespread as Twitter.

Do not get me started on Google's bullshit and the patronising messages they've started putting at every point of user engagement.

/rant
quinara: Approaching Black Mage from FFIX. (FFIX black mage)
On the BBC: [ETA: or at least it was when I posted this; they seem to have edited it out of the article now]

The prime minister will say that too much of the debate about the alternative vote (AV) has so far been dominated by "scientific" evaluation of the two systems' merits.

"But for me, politics shouldn't be some mind-bending exercise. It's about what you feel in your gut - about the values you hold dear and the beliefs you instinctively have," he will say.

"And I just feel it, in my gut, that AV is wrong."


Getting past the question of how you can value or believe in writing an X instead of a 1 with any sort of dearness or instinct, that is some seriously offensive bullshit you're spinning. Fear change! Fear science! (Never mind the government's continual argument that science is the only valuable academic discipline anyway; I can see where this is going...) This is even worse than your mindless modelling of an economy on a household budget. (Most households I know don't pay themselves; you're not our daddy working down the office.)

Grumble.

(I have another post about some fic I wrote for [community profile] sb_fag_ends, but the plan is to write a bit more, and it doesn't really belong in this post anyway. But I'll write that at some point.)
quinara: No Kicking Penguins (Penguins)


This is the Arctic Monkeys' new song. Can you tell it's by them? The accents still come out somewhat, I suppose, but since the lyrics are so simple a five year old could write them I think we'd all be forgiven for thinking it was a filler track by some random nobody band. I mean, maybe I should have seen this was coming after Humbug, where the words were starting to just get pointlessly obscure, but Alex Turner is meant to be a lyricist - once upon a time he was rhyming 'ghetto' with 'stiletto' and telling amazing little stories. Now there's this?? (Also, where is that they're pratting around? If it's anywhere near San Francisco that is damned ironic considering a certain old and dear song of theirs...)

Sigh. I was really looking forward to their new album. :(

PS. Oh, look, here's another song about bricks; funny how there's slightly more to it...
quinara: Approaching Black Mage from FFIX. (FFIX black mage)
I have a deadline on Wednesday, so, as might be considered my MO, I've somewhat lost the will to work (have an essay, but can't work out how to make it any better; I finish things far too ahead of time, it's a thing), but have nevertheless essentially checked out of the world. To the point I was on the phone to my mum and seemed to think she would understand if I started talking about my essay (which she had been reading) in terms of two sections before and after the volta... Because, of course, that sort of conceptualisation's visible outside my brain.

Anyway, my checking out last weekend and this Friday/Saturday has essentially resulted in a draft [livejournal.com profile] seasonal_spuffy fic - 16,000 words even. Just in case you don't want to know... )
quinara: Wishverse Buffy in a white frame. (Buffy Wish white box)
I still haven't managed to make myself watch the video [personal profile] gillo posted about yesterday, but as the Cambridge occupation enters its sixth day in town, I thought it was worth posting some links for balance. :D

PennyRed on Twitter has a great account of yesterday's protest in London, including amusing comments such as "Morning at UCL occupation. Scramble to clean up before the Guardian arriv. Are the Guardian now the strict parents of the British left?" [ETA: and this video, BTW, is what the Guardian made], "Protesters yell to hurry up: 'run,close the gap!' Two schoolgirls: 'close the pay gap while you're at it!' Amazing", "To the tune of 'coming round the mountain'- 'you can stick your big society up your arse!'" and "It's sleeting, I'm drinking tea in trafalgar square watching 3000 kids screaming to overthrow the state. Never felt more British in my life."

And, from the day before, a video of a UCL-organised flashmob having a protest outside Topshop (ah, rhetoric):



Students are not against 'Big Government' - 'Big Society', which they are against, is a daft Cameronian concept where services are increasingly decentralised into the private sector and 'volunteers' (because obviously the type of health and education services you receive should depend on where you (can afford to) live). They are against the increased levels of debt that will be pushed upon future generations of (possibly only) English students (Scottish students do not pay tuition fees) and the move towards a supply-and-demand model of funding in arts and humanities education.
quinara: Tara walking in the Slayer's desert. (Restless desert)
Though various flips and wriggles across cyberspace (/my DW netork), I came across this post, where someone I don't know quoted somebody else I don't know saying the line:

"[A]ll literature, highbrow or low, from the Aeneid onward, is fan fiction."


On the one hand, this is a very nice sentiment and, you know, in the context of the qualifying definition Michael Chabon provides, true. On the other, however, I find myself yet again amused/annoyed that apparently the Greeks were actually divinely inspired in the verve and originality of their literature. Or maybe this guy is just a really big fan of Catullus or something, but, if we play the averages, I suspect he might probably hang with the crowd that thinks Terence's Menander 'translations' were completely unchanged in their move to Latin and Ennius' tragedies just copied the oldies despite making drastic changes even in the fragments we have.

But none of those are major parts of the Western textual canon! you might say. The Aeneid is just making a big point, because everybody's heard of it! Apart from the fact that every fifth century tragedian was essentially writing fanfic too, and, oh yes, yet again we see Homer as The Original Source Text Of All Texts Ever. Because, you know, the Muse actually came down and told Homer what to say: 'he' was completely free of all outside influences - it was only when the Aeneid came along that the fanfic began. Uh huh.

...

I'm not even sure why I'm ranting about this. I love Homer and all his cleverdick ways (and he, whoever he was/were-in-the-plural-creators, really was a clever bastard), but, for heaven's sake, if everything from the Aeneid onwards is fanfic, then the Iliad and the Odyssey bloody were too.

IN OTHER NEWS: What do you think my fic says about my id?
quinara: Approaching Black Mage from FFIX. (FFIX black mage)
I get so sick of the idea that one group (shippers/Spuffies/random subset) has 'taken over fandom'. Usually, it seems to me, what people actually mean is that the shippers/Spuffies/randomers are producing lots of discussion and fanworks and making their part of fandom an active and fun place to be, when other places have gone a bit dead.

I mean, can you 'take over' a story by reacting to it? Maybe if you try really, really hard you can dominate the discourse (or not so hard if you're trying to dominate discussion from a position of societal privilege) - and, obviously, shipper sets have been pushed off big general boards in the past - but I don't think any fandom clique has the power to take 'control' of fandom, what with the internet always having another corner to talk in.
quinara: Spke standing over the Chinese Slayer, with the caption 'Slayer' at his feet. (Spike Slayer)
Hello! Berlin was lovely - noticeably different from when I visited two years ago (Starbucks and McDonalds seem to have made inroads, yet at the same time Bio-Essen (organic food) seems to be making further strides, with Bionade way more expectable than some sort of equivalent over here), but also, to my tourist's eyes, familiarly different in the way's it's been to me since 2006.

I'd love to hear from the Germans on my flist about their thoughts on Ostalgie... )

But if we're talking about over-intellectualising, I might as well mention the comics. Because I'm still annoyed about the sexualised marketing of Buffy; I'm annoyed that the big!climactic!drama is a sex scene instead of a boss fight (this can be done well, but I don't understand how sex instead of fighting has been built as a thematic point in the season; as it is it just feels like the female narrative ending in sex once again, especially since this is selling itself as a retconned climax to all the seasons - and, hey, apparently sex and power are bad for women too; two birds with one remarkably unsubversive stone, eh, Joss?); I'm annoyed that the TwilightZone is symbolically represented by people wearing sheets (because you know what, Joss, the Ancient World is not that different to this one; you aren't that safe); I'm annoyed the Slayer mythos has been divorced from all the human bullshit that made it so believable and relevant, to be replaced by some sort of bizarre sentient Nature god; I'm annoyed by the solipsism that Earth is of central importance to the Universe, because what is solipsism if not the fount of faily privilege?

Though, thinking about it, I think I'm mostly annoyed that the annoyance I feel, no matter how extreme, cannot compare to how passionately I once enjoyed watching the show. :(

ALTHOUGH, making myself read - DID YOU SEE HOW SATSU PUT DAWN IN CHARGE? Feel the chemistry, my friends. :P There are some characters I still care about, OK?
quinara: Approaching Black Mage from FFIX. (FFIX black mage)
Compared to several people on my flist, I have nothing to complain about. Just to make that clear. At the same time I don't think it's necessary for me to have potential-anaemia, overly-waxy-tinnitussy ears, the realisation I want to be doing the Odyssey paper rather than Sophocles paper (yeah, if I can just read the Odyssey in Greek over the weekend I'll have caught up - I've got to Book 10 - then there's an essay on it for Wednesday), a seminar on Monday about some poems I haven't been able to find in form more legible than this all summer and which, it turns out, aren't in the University Library either (they're available, apparently, but not on the shelves) and my phone freaking out so none of the buttons do what they're supposed to do ALL AT THE SAME TIME. And my laptop is still being ridiculous and pressing apostrophes when none need to be pressed. I've got a program to stop it writing apostrophes when it does it, but it means you can't hold down keys sometimes because something else has nabbed the repeat-pushing thing, and sometimes it blocks off the P key or the semi-colon.

Unimpressed.

Oh, bugger, I need to make myself some food. None of my stuff is clean, but my pyrex bowl only had pasta and peas in it. I'm sure it's fine.

ETA: The phone situation has stabilised. Yay! Alas, all else remains.
quinara: Spke standing over the Chinese Slayer, with the caption 'Slayer' at his feet. (Spike Slayer)
*has potentially unpopular opinion*

For some reason, I've been writing a lot of 'what I know' recently - places I've been and experiences I've had. None of them have been exact situations that I've lived, but compared with the usual stabbing in the dark I'd say we're in 'what I know' territory. The thing is, I don't think it's made me write any better than I might have done otherwise. Certain aspects have certainly been easier, but to me it's doesn't feel like the words have come out with any new sense of sparkling truth to them.

It's led me to realising what I thought was possibly true for a while: I really don't get on with 'write what you know' as a maxim. It might work for novels, because people probably have more to say about what they know, but in fandom, where you're having to work with someone else's world, I don't think it's particularly useful. The Buffyverse is almost completely alien to me - I've never been to California; the relationships aren't like ones I've been in, either familial, romantic or between friends; I've certainly never interacted with a vampire. Short of drastically changing the verse in some way, or limiting myself to writing outside the canon characters, I'm almost always writing what I don't know. But I don't think it's put me at a particular disadvantage. (That's not to say I don't bring things in that I do know about, because I do, but I equally toss in utterly random crap because it serves the story. I don't think one should be preferable to the other.)

And, more than that, I can't help but feel that 'write what you know' gives people the excuse not to branch out from their own experience - or, at lease, people with normative life experiences anyway. Because, with TV (etc.) the way it is, a lot of people are going to be forced to write what they don't know if they want to write fic. 'Write what you know' might as well be 'write what we know (but only if you can pretend that you know it)'. It rubs me up the wrong way.

For example, I always thought that I shouldn't write any graphic sex scenes until I had, you know, had sex. But then I came to realise I wasn't intending to do that in either the near or distant future, whereas I was writing fic where sex could be an extremely crucial moment in the story (mostly unpublished stuff but the point still stands). So I started writing what I didn't know and, really, that made my writing better.

Basically, why encourage people to limit themselves unnecessarily? I'm not saying that it might not be a useful suggestion in moderation, but I wish it wouldn't be seen as some sort of universal truth of what makes good writing.
quinara: Approaching Black Mage from FFIX. (FFIX black mage)
I find this kind of disgusting.

He clearly wasn't running a file sharing website - why has only he been brought to trial? Reading another article on it to day it seems there is a base fine for distributing copyrighted music (it was in the jury's hands to see how much higher than that he would have to pay) - why is it so disproportionate to the revenue that this man would have cost them? Say an mp3 download is 80p, then that means nearly 17,000 people would have had to download each of his thirty songs for that amount of revenue to be lost (oh, the name and the value, I suppose, which is such a joke). Maybe that many people did download them, I don't know, but frankly, at the very least, this guy is being made the scapegoat for a collective activity between tens, hundreds, possibly thousands of people.

Copyright theft = bad, wrong, nasty. But I've argued before and I will continue to argue that if the music industry intends digs its heels in and pretends internet culture doesn't exist things are only going to get worse. Somehow they've got to innovate around the fact that music no longer exists in objects, but in data. People have always let friends listen to records/tapes/cds; trying to stop all forms of sharing music over the internet and make people only listen to the music that they themselves have personally bought (or has been conveyed to them through specific, sanctioned channels) is madness. That would kill music far faster than BitTorrent is doing.

I don't use file-sharing networks, but I've got quite a few tracks that people have sent me over the internet. You know what else I've got? Albums I never would have bought if it hadn't been for being sent those tracks and getting into them. They're probably the majority of the library on my laptop (which is about two years old), considering all the other albums I've bought after getting into the other albums which I bought because of those tracks I didn't pay for. Maybe I'm not the norm, but I don't see why I shouldn't be.

In less ranty news(!), I'm going on holiday tomorrow afternoon/evening for a week. I'm not entirely sure what LJ access will be like, so I'll see you when I see you! Will definitely respond to comments as and when I can.

ETA: One more rant before I go, considering I really shouldn't make another post about it - YOU CUT AHRC FUNDING BACK TO PITTANCE AND THEN YOU BRING IN *THIS* USELESS-BUT-SPINNABLE SCHEME?? WHAT THE HELL, GOVERNMENT??
quinara: Sheep on a hillside with a smiley face. (Rinoa Petals)
[personal profile] fiercelydreamed is doing a fantastic job at [community profile] queerlygen (do come an join in, it's going to be great - I can tell these things), so this shouldn't be read as any sort of indictment of her and certainly isn't a call for people to come and 'help me out' in any way. The whole issue I'm going to talk about it is ongoing, so really this post will likely become irrelevant very quickly; I'm mostly making it because, if I don't, then it will be running round my head for the rest of the day and drive me up the wall.

Asexuality 101, abridged, with minor rantiness. )
quinara: Sheep on a hillside with a smiley face. (Rinoa Petals)
Re The Apprentice.

I don’t speak with authority here, and I’d love someone to take the mike, but I’m pretty sure that if a woman in a club tells you she’s transsexual, she’s a woman. It’s really one of the least complicated systems you can have.

Cheers!

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

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