currently consuming

Sep. 23rd, 2017 08:55 pm
toastykitten: (Default)
[personal profile] toastykitten
I'm really enjoying my NY Mag subscription.


(no subject)

Sep. 23rd, 2017 08:50 pm
shadowkat: (Default)
[personal profile] shadowkat
Hmmm...update meme:

1. Doing: Spent the day dealing with vendors, which was well trying and a touch stressful. Good news? Accomplished all three tasks.

Read more... )

Then went for a long meditative walk and grocery shopping. Because all of that, well the a/c stuff, was insanely anxiety inducing, also frustrating. And it went okay, or as well as can be expected.

2. What I am Watching?

Vietnam War Documentary on PBS by Ken Burns. And I'm bored. It is interesting in places. But too much information. Brain overload. I need to watch this when I'm not gainfully employed, and writing three books at the same time in my head. Plus trying to figure other things out.

Did learn a few things...the French do not come out as very nice. Actually it's an indictment of the French, British and Americans. Apparently the French colonized Vietnam and enslaved the inhabitants, justifying it as civilizing them. The Vietnamese could have done without the French version of civilization and didn't need them, thank you very much. Ho Chi Mingh went to the Americans to help them get out from under French rule. And the Americans sort of helped, but got caught up in well the Cold War and their fear of Communism. He tried, in various letters to various Presidents, to inform them that he wasn't a communist and he just wanted a free state for Vietnamese. (If anything he was more of a nationalist.) But alas, the CIA with its own agenda, refused to pass the letters on to the Presidents. Things escalated, the US became paranoid of Communism and hence the Vietnam War. The American fear of Communism and European urge to colonize killed over a million people.

Depressing. And hard to watch. I knew some of it already. What I didn't know was what the French did.
Okay, not completely true, the French father of a family that I stayed with in the 1980s in Brittany, did tell me a lot of it. But he told me in French, so I got about half of it. He was stationed there and had been in the trenches.

What else?

The Expanse, Mozart in the Jungle, Wynonna Earp S2, and General Hospital. Also tried to watch The 100, but I think I'm going to give up on it and delete. I just don't care about any of the characters any longer. I've no clue why. I liked the first two seasons, but the third one lost me a bit with the whole Allie arc and oh the world is going to blow up, again. My least favorite sci-fi subgenre is nuclear war. I got burned out on it in the 1980s.

3. What am I reading?

At the moment, Carrie Fisher's The Princess Diarist --- which is her publication of the diaries she kept while filming the first Star Wars film - A New Hope. The first 45% of the book is prologue or set-up to the diaries. She's basically setting the stage, so you can figure out what she's talking about in the diaries. Because Fisher is more like I am in her journal writing...she writes about feelings, how she feels about things, what her thoughts are, and less about what she did or what happened. She's a reflective and introspective writer, not a...oh today we had lunch, and went to the doctor, and did this, and that, and had sex with our boyfriend. She also isn't into doing graphic sex scenes...so if you were hoping for Star Wars porn...it's not there. I'm liking the diaries more than I expected, much better than the introductory material.

However...she does in the introductory material state that she'd received closure with Ford, and he was kind. Which explains why they had no problem doing the next two films together, and were able to remain friends or at the very least friendly. Ford is not the most emotionally reflective of folks, which if you read any of his interviews you probably already knew. Nor much of a conversationalist. He's fairly monosyllabic. But he does tell her...in response to her statement that she's such a hick. "No, I think you are a lot more intelligent than you think you are...so an intelligent hick." Pause.
Then after a bit. "You have the eyes of a doe and the balls of a samaria (sp?)." Which she realized was out of character for him to say and incredibly kind. In the interview -- the only thing Ford was willing to state about Fisher and the book, was more or less the same thing ...that she was brilliant, kind, and amazingly brave and he was glad to have known her. And to his credit, he'd thought when they entered their affair that she was a lot more experienced than she was, for she came across that way. And they smoked so much pot that Fisher can't remember much of it, and really just has her diaries and vague memories to go on. She does wonder why she didn't go for Mark, who would have been far more suitable. (Honestly? I know why. I'd have jumped Ford over Hamil when I was 19. At 12 I preferred Luke, but I was more romantic and less sexual at that point. And I'm ten years younger than she was.)

Also read a lot of romance novels. Read more... )

I'm eclectic and insanely diverse reader. There is not a genre that I have not binge read or read at one time in my lifetime. I just can't remember half of the books that I read in it...the downside of binge reading, I suspect. I do have my favorite -- go to genre, which is sci-fantasy, mainly because unlike romance and mystery, it tends to combine the other genres within it, and I like world-building apparently. Or crave something a bit more complex and thematic, with lots of metaphors. I jump into sci-fantasy in between other books.

4. What I'm writing...

Besides multiple things for work, and blog posts...still plodding away on my sci-fi novel, the one about the resistance leader negotiating a peace settlement with the aliens she's been fighting for a decade. Doing a lot of world-building in the midst of the action. At the moment sort of stuck on a plot bunny. Read more... )

Winter is over

Sep. 23rd, 2017 11:01 am
ironed_orchid: "axial tilt is the reason for the season" (axial tilt)
[personal profile] ironed_orchid
At least until next time.

This winter really kicked my arse. I had colds and flu three times (April, July, and August). And generally struggled with energy and motivation.

As of today I am taking a week of annual leave, and the only thing I need to do today is be awake and at home during the hour my groceries are scheduled to get delivered. This is a good amount of responsibility to have.

Over the next 9 days I want to do the following 3 things:

1. Take laptop in for repairs
2. Book and have an appointment with osteopath
3. Spend a night at my dad's.

Also do some chores around the house, but not to spend more than 2 hours a day on them.

Also finish The Stone Sky and start on The Shepard's Crown.

Also some Ingressing if the weather is nice.

Also lots of naps.

the day before the revolution

Sep. 21st, 2017 09:54 pm
toastykitten: (Default)
[personal profile] toastykitten
I really liked this Ursula LeGuin short story, currently available for free as a PDF. I've really been having a lot of trouble concentrating and just focusing, and reading LeGuin reminded me of why I love her work so much. It's not just about the sci-fi/fantasy ideas, which are fun/fine in and of themselves, but also how beautifully she uses and chooses her words. Contemporary sci-fi often seems a little on the overly dry, descriptive, and plain side.

I think this part was my favorite, for what it evokes:


The toes, compressed by a lifetime of cheap shoes, were al-
most square where they touched each other, and bulged out
above in corns; the nails were discolored and shapeless. Be-
tween the knob-like anklebones ran fine, dry wrinkles. The
brief little plain at the base of the toes had kept its delicacy, but
the skin was the color of mud, and knotted veins crossed the
instep. Disgusting. Sad, depressing. Mean. Pitiful. She tried on
all the words, and they all fit, like hideous little hats. Hideous:
yes, that one too. To look at oneself and find it hideous, what
a job!

i can't

Sep. 21st, 2017 09:31 pm
toastykitten: (Default)
[personal profile] toastykitten
I just tried watching Mark Zuckerberg's apology video, and sorry, man, I can't. He looks creepy and totally insincere, and like someone who's taken a lot of classes in how to act like a leader, complete with authoritative hand gestures and he's still a complete failure at it.

(no subject)

Sep. 21st, 2017 10:55 pm
shadowkat: (Default)
[personal profile] shadowkat
1. Eww...really who wants to see a man put a digital tracking device up a woman's vagina in an action film?

2. There's nothing like a slew of bad reviews to make one curious about a movie or television series...I mean can it really be THAT bad? And if they network is cancelling it after 8 episodes yet still airing all 8 and even premiered it in IMAX..

3. Maybe it's just me, but this plot synopsis makes no sense


She had no idea what passion was,
Until she saw them…

Lady Alain needs a husband, and Quintin Wyntor will do just fine.

She will offer him a mutual agreement of respect and independence–
As long as he never visits her bed to claim his marital rights.

But seeing him with a man, with Calder, changes it all.
For better–and for worse.

Passion stirred.
Desire ignited.
And yet, she still never wants to touch or be touched.

But Quinn’s heart is shattered when his lover walks away so he decides to explore his feelings for Celeste to ease his broken heart.

In one unchecked moment of passion, mutual need spins out of control and bringing Calder home now may just be impossible.

Will Celeste give in to what Quinn wants for her?
Or will she stand her ground and hope they find another way…

This book is the story of Celeste and has her happily for now.
It is also the beginning of Calder and Quinn’s story which will be continued in THE SPARE AND THE HEIR.

This book is an autochorissexual romance (on the asexual spectrum) but contains important pieces of a gay romance. Both are explicit.

Warning: this book has a cliffhanger ending for Calder and Quinn, but is very much part of their story.


So guessing it's about a threesome? What the hell is autochorissexual??

And I need to stop buying books for .99 cents or 1.99 whenever they go on sale. [Clarification - I did not buy that one. Considering the synposis was giving me a headache.]

4. Reading The Princess Diarest...Carrie Fisher's memoir about the filming of Star Wars. She spends an entire chapter discussing lip gloss and another one discussing how the makeup artist styled her hair. Weird memoir.

Defenders drive-by review

Sep. 21st, 2017 07:22 pm
sabotabby: tulip pointing a gun (preacher)
[personal profile] sabotabby
On a more trivial note (yes, yes, the world is ending, and I'm blogging about telly), I really enjoyed hate-watching Defenders. Which is to say that it was nearly all shit except for the scene where Luke Cage teaches Iron Fist about white privilege. I mean, I can't believe I wasted like 8 hours of my life but in the same way, it made me feel like a better writer because I didn't write it.

spoilers )

vices versa

Sep. 20th, 2017 08:36 pm
microbie: (Default)
[personal profile] microbie
Depression is a perfectly rational response to current events.

Hail to the traveler!

Sep. 20th, 2017 08:08 pm

Too many TV Shows...Too Little Time

Sep. 19th, 2017 09:30 pm
shadowkat: (tv slut)
[personal profile] shadowkat
According to Entertainment Weekly there are roughly 145 television series. I actually don't see many new ones that spark much interest, more interested in the returning ones.

Most of the good ones are popping up in October. I remember when everything popped up the week after labor day. Now we have revolving television seasons. And about 145 shows per season, which is about well multiple that by four seasons...and that's a lot of television. That said, most of them are hard to find or require a device, a smart television, cable subscription, and payment. None of it is really free. Well, maybe the five or six broadcast channels.

Returning shows that I'm watching or thinking of watching...or haven't given up on quite yet

1. Lucifer - Now at 8pm on Fox. Starts October 3.

vague spoilers and casting spoilers from the mag on Season 3 )

2. Poldark S3 Returns to PBS at 9PM on October 1. (Poldark goes to France with the French Revolution, while Demelza must deal with her troublemaker brothers, and Elizabeth has her kid.

3. Good Behavior S2 pops up on Oct 15 - at 10PM TNT. Basically a con-artist/thief, her hitman love and her precocious son living the family life.

It's really good. A twisty and somewhat humorous noir series.

4. This is Us returns on Tuesday (used to be on Wed, confusing) - 9/26/17 at 9PM on NBC.
I can never remember what channels these shows are on. They were discussing at work what channels they watch...I was thinking I don't really watch channels just television shows.

This is Us is an ever-surprising non-linear family saga about a husband and wife who lose a triplet during childbirth and adopt a third baby at the hospital, as well as the journey of the three children, Randall, Kate, and Kevin as children, teens, and thirty-somethings.

It's the best family drama I've seen and one of the best serialized dramas of last year. If you liked Brothers and Sisters, Parenthood, and Friday Night Lights..you'll probably enjoy This is Us.

5. Riverdale returns 10/11 - CW at 8PM. (I personally would have put it at 9pm for the adult content, but what do I know?)

This is basically Archie Comics by way of Twin Peaks, except without David Lynch. So S1, Twin Peaks.
It's dark, gritty, sexy, and twisty in places.

6. The Good Place returns on 9-20 (ie, tomorrow), on NBC at 8:30 PM (yes, it also moved nights, again, confusing -- I wish they'd stop doing that, stupid network programmers. OTOH, probably doesn't matter, since most people just DVR it or watch on demand or stream.)

This is the comedy with the weird twist. I actually had given up on it, until I found out about the twist and went back to watch and decided it had a charming satirical edge to it.

Anyhow, Eleanor and her friends think they are in heaven. She believes she landed there by mistake. Except heaven is rather irritating and problematic. It's also run by a well-meaning but rather inept and bumbling Angel, who has built a new heavenly domain or so we think....spoiler )

* There's all sorts of satirical jokes on American culture, politics, and religious mythology.

7. Grey's Anatomy returns on 9-28, Still Thursdays, at 8PM. It's Season 14. It has Supernatural beat by one season. Supernatural is on S13. But NCIS has made it to Season 15, and The Simpsons and South Park are on Season 20 something.

Some shows can't die.

They are rebooting or refreshing it with new interns, a refurbished and remodeled hospital (it was sort of blown up last season), and new love triangles...because it's actually a soap masquerading as a serious medical drama. Entertainment Weekly provided a flow chart showing all the incestuous and soapy relationships between the characters...basically proving my point.

8. Once Upon a Time reboots itself on 10-6 at 8PM on ABC and it also appears to have changed nights.(Because the network programmers are bored apparently?) It's now on Fridays.

It also has basically re-written itself from scratch. You honestly could come into this without having seen the previous seasons and be fine. Instead of the story revolving around Snow White and the Evil Queen, it's revolving around Cinderella and her Wicked Stepmother...and StepSister. With Alice (from Alice in Wonderland) as a sort of portal jumping Rumplestilskin character. And the Princess from Princess and the Frog as Cindy's friend. Also, POC cast. Which is interesting. And Henry is apparently in the Emma role now, or rather an adult Henry is.

Very odd. I am admittedly curious. But the writing has been ...disappointing to date. So we'll see.

9. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Pops up on 10-13, still on Friday. CW. It has managed to survive, probably because it is on the CW. The CW is rather interesting in that regard.

This is a cool sitcom, doesn't always make me laugh, but it has its moments. Sometimes it makes me cringe. But it is a great satirical critique of our gender issues, how our society views romantic love, etc. Plus it has song and dance numbers.

10. Stranger Things S2 -- shows up on Netflix on 10/27. In time for Halloween.

11. Big Bang Theory --- returns on Monday 9/25 at 8PM (Season 11)

Shows...I'm giving a second chance to:

* Lethal Weapon (I'm curious what they do with the cast shake-up)
* Gotham (Bruce Wayne is becoming Batman)
* Outlander (I may do the Starz trial and check it out)
* The Exorcist - Jon Cho
* Better Things
* Will & Grace (okay it's new, but 11 years later...)
* Poldark (see above)
* Great News (which I didn't try last year)

It's late, bed calls. Will do the new shows some other time.

In which the Bittern is pissed

Sep. 19th, 2017 02:16 pm
twistedchick: (bittern OFQ)
[personal profile] twistedchick
This so-called article is a piece of crap. It purports to provide the results of a study and conflates the numbers in the study with society as a whole in ignorant ways.

For example, second paragraph:

Just ask college students. A fifth of undergrads now say it’s acceptable to use physical force to silence a speaker who makes “offensive and hurtful statements.”


A fifth of undergrads? No. A fifth of the 1500 undergrad students they surveyed. That's 300 or so.


Villasenor conducted a nationwide survey of 1,500 undergraduate students at four-year colleges.


Nationwide? There are far more than 1,500 four-year colleges (for those of you not American, the word includes universities). How were the colleges chosen? How were the students chosen? How many were chosen at each university? How many overall were from the same discipline? There's no way to know. We don't even know if he chose accredited schools, or those pay-for-a-degree places. Did they ask at Ivy League schools, the majority of whose students come from well-off families? Did they ask at places like City College of New York, where the tuition is much lower and people who are there are from a variety of backgrounds, not wealthy? Ag and tech colleges, out in the countryside, or only urban colleges?

Further down it says the margin of error is 2-6 percent, "depending on the group." Oh, really? Which group is 2% and which is 6%? We aren't told. It appears we are to be grateful that a margin of error was even mentioned.

The whole thing is supposed to be about undergrads' understanding of First Amendment-protected free speech. Since we are not told the exact wording of the questions asked, it's impossible to know if the responses were appropriate to them, or if the questions were leading the students to a specific response.

And then there's this:

Let’s say a public university hosts a “very controversial speaker,” one “known for making offensive and hurtful statements.” Would it be acceptable for a student group to disrupt the speech “by loudly and repeatedly shouting so that the audience cannot hear the speaker”?

Astonishingly, half said that snuffing out upsetting speech — rather than, presumably, rebutting or even ignoring it — would be appropriate. Democrats were more likely than Republicans to find this response acceptable (62 percent to 39 percent), and men were more likely than women (57 percent to 47 percent). Even so, sizable shares of all groups agreed.

It gets even worse.

Respondents were also asked if it would be acceptable for a student group to use violence to prevent that same controversial speaker from talking. Here, 19 percent said yes....


Let's look more closely, ignoring the editorializing sentence for the moment. Half of who? Half of 1500 people is 750 people, scattered across the US. And then again -- 19% of who? Everyone? Women? Men? Democrats? Republicans? We aren't told.

Meanwhile, the entire other side of this survey is ignored. By stressing the minority and ignoring the majority, the minority's views are inflated and made more important. Let me turn this around for you: more than 80% of undergrads say that violence is not acceptable in dealing with an unwanted speaker. Try turning around all the other numbers, and the story falls apart. Instead of "students" substitute "students surveyed", and it also falls to pieces. Who cares what 1500 people out of 200 million think? If we don't know why those 1500 were specifically chosen, why should we care?

I have worked with surveys, written surveys, conducted and analyzed surveys. It is possible to have a statistically perfect survey with 1500 people surveyed, but only if the respondents are very carefully selected to avoid bias. There is no way to tell if that was done with the evidence given in this story. For all we know, those respondents could have been selected from the same departments or majors at all the colleges. The colleges could have been technical schools or enormous state universities or religion-affiliated schools. There is no way to know. Why does this matter? Liberal arts, political science and pre-law students are more likely to have read about the First Amendment than optics majors or engineers, for instance. I'm not saying the optics majors or engineers would be more conservative or liberal -- but they are less likely to have discussed free speech in a class. Improper choice of respondents can provide very slanted results -- for example, the survey that said Dewey would win over Truman was conducted by telephone, and the calls went to houses on the corners of two streets; this meant that people who were wealthier (because corner houses pay higher taxes, based on road frontage) were questioned, while their less wealthy neighbors (who voted for Truman) were ignored.

Also, by not including any context relative to current events, there is no way to know if the small percentage who thought violence was acceptable was the same as during the Vietnam War, for instance, or Desert Storm. I guarantee you, it was not the same percentage as during the Revolutionary War, when those who spoke against any prevailing view to an audience who disagreed would have been lucky to have been ridden out of town on a rail, if not tarred and feathered. (Feel free to do the research if you wish; be sure you have a strong stomach for the details of what happens when boiling tar is applied to skin.)

What it all comes down to is this: this story is written poorly by someone who does not understand how statistics should be used, and was not properly edited. It was published in order to scare people, although the publisher may not have realized its propaganda value. By not including the whole story, and by allowing editorializing in the middle of it, it slants the results.

This would not have been published during the time when Kay Graham was publisher. Editor Ben Bradlee would not have let this story pass. He would have told the reporter to rewrite it, clean it up, and get more depth into it.

And the reason I am writing this is that this is not the only paper that misleads with statistics, and you need to be aware of this, and of what to look for when someone is quoting a study, badly, misleadingly, in a way that bids fair to be used for propaganda. Be cautious and critical when you see numbers and statistics, and look for whether the writing is made personal/editorialized. It matters.

The filmmaker and his/her audience

Sep. 18th, 2017 08:46 pm
shadowkat: (Default)
[personal profile] shadowkat
Been reading reviews of Darren Aronofsky's allegorical film mother!, including finally the director's explanation of his intent behind it. Aronofsky - "Requiem for a A Dream, Black Swan, Pi" is sort of similar to David Lynch in that he's an acquired taste. People either like his movies or really hate them. I actually always found them to be rather interesting, nightmarish, but interesting. Like Lynch, Aronofsky delves into a sort of psychological/allegorical sense of horror or notion of it.

Cinemascore and the mainstream critics, such as Owen Glieberman with Entertainment Weekly despised the film. Cinemascore gave it an F, but Cinemascore also gives things like Batman vs. Superman high scores...so, you can't really go by them. And film like all art or so I'm finding is in the eye of the beholder. For example? Some people love the Kevin Costner film Wyatt Earp, others despise it. I've had friends rank on me for loving Pretty Woman and LadyHawk. We are a culture that has a tendency, like it or not, to foist our opinions onto others as if they are gospel. Which may be why we're in the culture wars?

On one site, people were ranking on the actress Jennifer Lawrence, stating she was a horrible actress in everything but one movie -- I'm guessing Winter's Bone. (Having seen her in just about everything but Passengers, which I skipped, I strongly disagree and wonder what drugs they've been imbibing or what they consider good acting? See, there I go flinging my opinion at you.) While one respondent to the site stated that the film had made them scream laugh with absolute delight...and they felt it was a marvel to behold. What turned everyone else off turned on this guy, for some reason.

And well here's the most recent, and rather fascinating review I read about the film


his film is also not for everyone.

As I said, it’s not a horror film, but horrific things happen, which are harrowing to watch. There are two scenes in particular toward the end that are immensely disturbing. If you don’t do well with violence (specifically against a woman, or against children), this is not the movie for you, and you should know that.

However, you should also know that the violence I’m talking about very much has a purpose that is integral to the film, especially if looked at through a particular lens. If you can stomach filmed violence at all, so long as it isn’t oppressive in nature (ie: against marginalized people), gritting your teeth through it might be worth it to you for the greater overall experience with the story.

That said, it’s also not for people that don’t want to have any kind of thinky-thoughts when they go to movies. This film isn’t escapism. There’s nothing wrong with escapism; I’m a huge fan of escapism, but I don’t believe that every film has to be, or should be, escapist. While very often, something being “confusing” is indicative of faulty storytelling, it’s equally the case that sometimes people don’t want to have to think that hard when watching something, and get angry when they’re required to look past a surface and don’t know what they’re looking for.


Then they provide a link to Aronfsky's explanation of the film, which wasn't exactly what they saw in it. But close.


As for the writing, that’s where I found it less successful. I saw mother! before reading Aronofsky’s explanation of what it’s about, and came up with what felt like an air-tight explanation for the goings-on in the film … that was not what Aronofsky set out to convey. While the film certainly can be read his way, there are a couple of things that muddy the water just enough to seem like failures in execution.


THIS is what Aronfsky explained. Which I found rather interesting. The whole film is an allergorical essay on our relationship with Mother Earth. Jennifer Lawrence's character sort of represents mother earth and is relentlessly tortured throughout the film in her octagonal house that she lovingly built.


Aronofsky considers Mother!’s final 25-minute sequence—a deeply disturbing crescendo of violence—“one of my best accomplishments, just because it’s a nightmare. It just builds and builds on top of documenting the horrors of our world, and throws a pregnant woman into it.”

Lawrence herself said that after seeing the images unspool on the big screen at the Venice Film Festival, she was “shaking” and wondered whether they had “gone too far.” Though Lawrence has said she is proud of the film, and hopes that it will inspire audiences to exhibit more empathy, Lawrence also told Toronto International Film Festival moviegoers, “I don’t know that I would make a film that made me feel that way again.”

As for Aronofsky, he clarified: “I think it’s important for people to recognize I am not condoning the violence in the movie. Some people might think, ‘Hey, it’s messed up.’ But we wanted to show the story of the world and how it feels to be her. And what we as a species do to her . . . We also wanted to make something that would floor people.”

Aronofsky said that he edited out a few scenes that “went a little too far,” but did not make any major changes in post-production. Because the film is such a carefully engineered climactic build, taking out one on-screen atrocity would have been like upsetting a game of Jenga.

Some critics have called the final sequence—particularly what is done to Lawrence—misogynistic. Entertainment Weekly even titled its review “Jennifer Lawrence Gets Put Through the Torture-Porn Wringer.”

But Aronofsky has a response for those people: “They are missing the whole point. It’s misogyny if it says that this is good . . . I think [any spit-take revulsion is] just like an initial reaction to being punched. We are telling the story of Mother Nature turning into a female energy, and we defile the earth. We call her dirt. We don’t clean up after our mess. We drill in her. We cut down her forests. We take without giving back. That’s what the movie is.”


The reason I felt the need to post about this...is well it touches upon various things that I have been discussing lately online, often with a great deal of aggravation as if we are circling around the elephant in the room, but from another angle.

I think art, regardless of how well it is done or how well we like it, is a reflection of our society and world. Sort of the shadow we cast in the mirror. I don't like mirrors. Never have. They unnerve me. In part because the reflection is never the same, it always shifts and changes depending on the light and the angle of the cast. Similar to photographs, which are similar to mirrors. They capture an image inside them via light. But unlike mirrors hold on to it. Art, painting, television, film acts like a mirror -- it takes on and often distorts the images thrown at it, depicting what lies beneath the surface.

Oscar Wilde's brilliant book, The Portrait of Dorian Gray, is a psychological horror tale about a man who stays beautiful while his portrait ages and becomes ugly, taking on all the ravages in his soul, depicting the true man beneath the surface. Instead of being a beautiful portrait, it's actually
ugly and gross and horrifying. Aronsfsky's films like the portrait of Dorian Gray, show us the bits we don't want to see.

Mirrors also lie to us, they show us what we wish to see. Just as art can lie and show false truths.

The artist's intent may not come off as intended, it may get lost in translation or be misinterpreted by the viewer. Many viewers and critics saw "mother!" as either torture porn or misogyny. And I read similar reactions to Black Swan.

While the artist intended an allegorical tale of what we're doing to mother earth. The gut-wrenching pain of it. Yet, oblivious to it, blind. Until faced with the consequences.

I find the interactions between the audience with the art and the artist with the audience and work to be fascinating. I remember my brother, a conceptual artist, telling me once that all art regardless of the medium was interactive, or risked being self-indulgent. That people interact with the art, and the art is representative of our culture, ourselves and society at large. If we hate a work of art, we should dig deeper and ask what it is reflecting of our society...and what is our relationship to that.

I haven't seen the movie "mother!" and from what I've just read about it? I don't think I'll be able to watch it. Not a huge fan of allegory, and graphic torture isn't something I can watch easily. But, knowing and overall being fascinated by Aronfsky's work...I'm admittedly curious and might rent it on On Demand or Netflix.

Murder Murder & Manslaughter

Sep. 17th, 2017 09:24 am
sabotabby: (gaudeamus)
[personal profile] sabotabby
It's hard getting into new music when you're old.

There's various reasons, cultural and perhaps biological, that make it harder to passionately love bands that you hear in your 30s and 40s as much as bands that you encountered in your teens and 20s. I do try to listen to new bands—and support them financially—as much as I can, but I often find that even when I fall in love with a new-to-me band, half the time it turns out they they've been around for 30 years and I'd just never heard of them. I just don't bond with new artists as much as I'd like to.

So when there is a band that's new and hits all of my musical buttons, I get evangelical. I'm gonna do that for a bit. About a year and a half ago, I clicked on a semi-random link (someone complaining about a thing) and accidentally heard a single from a Sudbury band called Murder Murder who described themselves as "bloodgrass" and played nothing but murder ballads.


How do I describe this band beyond that they're a phenomenally talented bluegrass band with a morbid streak as deep as a 19th gold vein on your rival's stake? If your favourite Nick Cave & the Bad Seed albums are Murder Ballads and Kicking Against the Pricks, you think Deadwood was criminally underrated, and you find goth-hipster-cowboy a compelling aesthetic, you will dig them.

One of the things about them is that after hearing all their stuff, I knew that they would be fantastic live. Of course, the main problem is that, in the short time I've been obsessed with them, they have played everywhere but Toronto. They have in the past, but they mainly seem to do folk festivals in towns I've never heard of. I mean, they're big in Sudbury, but that is a bit far to go for a gig.

They finally announced a Toronto show, the launch party for their third album. By the way, their publicity is terrible. It took some actual digging for me to find out things like "when" and "where" and "is this a thing that is happening for sure?" It appeared to only be advertised on FB, with no advance tickets, and some initial uncertainty as to where the venue was. But! Found all that out, dragged my mother, who does not like country music at all but enjoyed this almost as much as I did, and at last got to see them live.

I was nearly as excited for the opening act, based on the description alone. Manslaughter are an all-female collective outlaw band. I would love to link you to their stuff, but this was only their second gig. You can add them on Facebook, though, which has links to all the members' other projects.


manslaughter



They did not disappoint. They're a bit like Neko Case except that there are 4-6 of them (depending on the song/show) and I am in love. Their best song is called "Murder Murder" and is completely adorable and I just hope they release an album soon so that I can play it for you all.

Murder Murder, as predicted, were phenomenal. Intense, rowdy, punk as fuck, and just a joy to listen to. Their new album, which I am currently listening to, is as excellent as their last two. Beyond the novelty concept (which, don't get me wrong, I adore), they are just really, really musically talented. You should check them out so that I do not obsess alone.

murder murder
Crappy cell pictures are a Sabs concert tradition.

Anyway here's their latest single: And have two more for the road, just because they're two of my favourites and they played both last night.



ETA: Why is formatting in DW such bullshit? Can I not just embed videos and move on with my life?

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Sep. 16th, 2017 09:20 pm
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[personal profile] shadowkat
There's apparently a Syfy app now on Amazon Fire Stick, where you can watch all the Syfy shows for free. Does have commercials. But not as annoying as on demand. But you do need a cable provider to access it.

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