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Posts Tagged ‘imaginative fiction’

Diary #552

I have never believed that special events necessarily require inviting a lot of people over; even when it’s just my family, I’ve always liked doing small special activities on certain nights or occasions.  Longtime readers may recall that I prepare a lot more feasts than most Americans do, all around the year, but I’m talking about even smaller and more frequent events, “micro-events” if you will.  For example, around the beginning of last autumn Chekhov proposed we do “Friday night movies”, in other words every Friday we watch some old horror or monster movie from the ’30s to ’70s, mostly from Universal, Hammer, Amicus, American International, etc; last Friday it was The Creature from the Black Lagoon, and our next will be X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes.  Once Daylight Mismanagement ended we added “epic movie night” on Sunday, featuring 3-hourish type spectacles (recent picks include the three Lord of the Rings installments and Fiddler on the Roof).  This past Sunday was Spartacus, so I made pizza because that’s how I roll.  Not only are these micro-events fun, they also help family members to remember what day it is without the usual weekday/weekend factory/cubicle grind most folks rely upon to keep that straight.  We’ll truncate our epic movies once Daylight Mismanagement restarts in March, then suspend them completely once the days start to get long, because I’m just not in the mood to watch long movies with sunlight streaming in the windows.  But hey, that’s something to look forward to picking up again in the autumn.

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Pretending that ordinary incidents are dangerous and ordinary objects are toxic recalibrates reality.  –  Lenore Skenazy

I’m really pleased to see that others are beginning to mock the kindergarten pretense that there is some meaningful difference between authoritarians who call themselves “left” and those who take the label “right”.  We’ve seen these guys before, but this example was provided by Franklin Harris; the links above it are from Lenore Skenazy, Emma Evans, Cop Crisis, Walter Olson, Amy Alkon, and Emma again, in that order.

From the Archives

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I fear for my life.  –  unnamed witness to police violence

Here’s another Luna video, because she’s awesome.  The links above it were provided by Jesse Walker, Radley Balko, Franklin Harris, Cathy Reisenwitz, Radley again, Tim Cushing, and Cop Crisis, in that order.

From the Archives

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You don’t find out what it’s all about, but you have a lot of fun being extremely confused.  –  Douglas Adams

Here’s a really unusual cover of a familiar tune, played on a most unusual instrument.  The video was provided by Inspireland, and the links above it by Lenore Skenazy, Boatfloating, Gustavo Turner (“Cardin”), Lucy Steigerwald, Jesse Walker, and Scott Shackford, in that order.

From the Archives

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They…leave people’s lives in ruins because they got it wrong.
–  Anjanette Young

When I retweeted the video I featured last week, reader Michael Norwitz called my attention to this one; I think it’s a suitable way to close out the year!  The links above it were provided by Stephen Lemons, Jillian Keenan, Radley Balko, Cop Crisis, Franklin Harris, and Scott Greenfield, in that order.

From the Archives

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Why are you in my home?  –  Kawaski Trawick, last words

Though there are rarely any decent holiday videos on YouTube any more (and when there are, they appear only a few days in advance), Christmas has long been a time for celebrating via mind-altering substances.  I therefore present this video, provided by Jesse Walker, who also supplied “corpse” and both obits.  The other links above the video are from Mike Siegel, Walter Olson, Mistress Matisse, Phoenix Calida, and Radley Balko, in that order.

From the Archives

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The fact I have this name…doesn’t mean I’m striving for world domination.  –  Adolf Hitler Uunona

My friend Savannah Sly has released a new song in collaboration with Jazz Goldman; it’s a very impressive cover of “Ohio” by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.  The links above it were provided by Ally Fogg, Amy Alkon, Mike SiegelJesse Walker, Tim Cushing, and Cop Crisis, in that order.

From the Archives

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I looked down there this morning at my willy and there’s a fucking flea bite on it.  –  Johnny Rotten

It’s not often that I laugh out loud at a video, even from The Onion, but this one was hilarious (at least to a literature nerd).  The links above it were provided by Amy Alkon, Jesse Walker (x3), Mike Chase, and Walter Olson, in that order.

From the Archives

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Diary #542

I’m getting good at scheduling my appointments closely enough together to keep my trips to Seattle short and sweet.  I drove in on Wednesday, got my nails done, then on Thursday saw a new client I’ve known for some time online (he is an “out” client, but professional discretion still forbids my naming him unless he chooses otherwise) and found him both lovely and generous.  And speaking of generosity, I got three new presents: the DVDs for Thundarr the Barbarian from Brad Carter; a book of ghost stories from Nick Fowler; and a lovely snakeskin summer top from my friend Angela Keaton.  I also found out who sent the kitchen scale (RockyJimBeam) and the red cashmere sweater (Antonio Lorusso).  Jim will be glad to know that I already used the scale in preparing Saturday’s dinner, and Antonio asked for a picture of me in the sweater (I’m sure he won’t mind if I share it with everyone).  Thanks so much to all my wonderful, generous friends, clients, and readers; y’all have helped make this a very lovely birthday season!

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Though I’ve been a Trekkie since childhood, I had never seen all of Deep Space Nine until recently.  The reason is simple: the series premiered in January 1993 and was midway through its third season when my first husband left me without warning.  My life was thrown into turmoil and it took two years for me to get it straight again, during which time money was much too tight for the relative extravagance of cable TV.  So though I saw all of the first two seasons, half of the third, and occasional episodes (at friends’ houses or via borrowed videocassettes) of the fourth and fifth seasons, I got rather lost due to the complex story arcs and decided not to see any more individual episodes until I could rewatch the whole show from the beginning.  I gave Grace the complete series on DVD for Christmas about a decade ago, but still never got around to viewing it until this year, after I moved to Sunset as my primary residence.  As I watched, I soon found that I agree with many reviewers’ opinion that the series is the best of all the Star Trek sequel series; though it was a direct spinoff of The Next Generation I find it very much superior to its parent, not only because of its greater consistency, better writing, and relief from the pressure of being THE Star Trek show of it decade, but also because it discarded the moral oversimplification which (unfortunately) permeates most of The Next Generation in favor of a universe full of greys in which few characters were either moral paragons or cardboard villains.

This realistic portrayal of the ethical tangle that is real life was on full display in a 6th-season episode we watched a couple of weeks ago, “Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night“.  In it, Major Kira Nerys discovers that her mother, whom she believed to have died in a concentration camp during her planet’s half-century-long occupation by the militaristic Cardassians, actually survived for seven years after the very young Nerys had last seen her…as a “comfort woman” claimed by the Cardassian governor, Gul Dukat.  At first, Kira (who started the series as a morally rigid, almost puritanical character, and only slowly grew to accept that real life rarely resembles such abstractions) refuses to believe that her sainted mother could have been guilty of collaboration horizontale, then as she explores the truth (with the help of a mysterious alien device which grants her visions of the past), she instead becomes terribly angry with her mother for literally sleeping with the enemy.  But as the vision goes on, she realizes that her mother’s position as the governor’s mistress not only resulted in better living conditions for herself, but also for her husband and children, who might otherwise have died in a labor camp.  By the end of the episode she has not forgiven her mother, but has come to accept that she did what she thought best for her family, just as Nerys herself had to make hard choices (including becoming a terrorist) in her own struggle to survive the occupation.

The episode is not a highly rated one; perhaps the topic is too uncomfortable for many viewers, especially in these neo-Victorian times.  But as a sex worker and hard-nosed pragmatist, I deeply appreciated the show’s willingness to recognize that sex work, even under duress, can almost never be fit into a pat narrative of villain and victim, and its repeated depiction (in this episode and many others) of war as a filthy business from which nobody emerges entirely clean.

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