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Internet, I am in a considering mood. I have been reading and reading and reading all morning. I have been reading wonderful blog posts about being a Lady Nerd, being Nerd of Color, being a Queer Nerd and all of them, every last one, is inspring and wonderful.
For the record, the blogs that I have found these wonderful posts are:
http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/sexist/2010/06/29/coutney-stoker-on-feminist-geek/ (This hit a lot of buttons for me-the idea of having to either reject my feminity or be hypersexualized if I wanted to be a nerd is one that I still sometimes struggle with.)
I think I'm gorging on this because I just got back from Comic Con, where I met wonderful Lady Geeks (Hi, _sharvie_!) but also heard a lot of shit about Wonder Woman, and how awful it is that she is wearing pants.
Let me discuss this:
Wonder Woman has always been problematic for me. I want to love her, but every time I pick up a comic book featuring her I feel-like there's something missing. And, because she's touted by every geek (male) every time someone dares question the inherrent sexism in American Comic Books (ACB's) I felt like it was me who had the problem. There was a problem with my feminism because I didn't identify with Wonder Woman. All those boys got something that I, with the girly parts, did not get.
And then, this year, Wonder Woman had a costume change (the reasons for this are many and complicated, but it's basically an AU) and what did everyone want to talk about? Pants.
Wonder Woman gets to wear pants. And a jacket. It's sensible. She's not invulnerable-she can get shot, and knifed, and all sorts of nasty things, so wearing a bathing suit and boots with heels always seemed a little impractical. I mean, Superman can't get shot or knifed or anything, and he gets a unitard, underwear, a cape and boots with out heels. Superman could go around fighting Lex Luthor naked and not get hurt, provided there's no Kryptonite. Wonder Woman finally has a costume that makes sense! And everyone...hates it. The (male) fans at the DC panels were upset, not because of the origin changes, or the new, darker Diana, but because she wasn't showing as much skin, and the boots were more practical and less likely to get stuck in a grate while running. Which, I have had a heel stuck in a grate, and there is nothing more disconcerting or emberassing then having to ask a stranger to help you get your heel.
And that's when I realized, it wasn't me-my frustrations with Wonder Woman are ok. I'm allowed to have them, and I'm allowed to talk about them, even if it makes the Geek patriarchy uncomfortable. Trotting out a female superhero in a revealing costume and huge breasts does not make ACB culture less sexist. It makes it less welcoming.
Expressing frustration with any kind of dominant culture is problematic, but it is even more so when the majority of that culture already views themselves as victims. Because they are victims, we (however the minority we is defined) are not allowed to call them on their bullshit, because they have already suffered.
Suffering should make us more aware of the possibility of hurting others, not less. If I express distress at being whistled at (I wasn't even in costume kids, just work clothes because I was working) don't get defensive, or talk about how you don't know how to act around girls, and anyways it's a compliment you should be flattered or are you just a stuck up bitch? Instead, say sorry. I'll forgive you, and ask you to not do it again, and that will be that. If you get defensive, I get angry, and that generally leads to seething rage with the only outlet being punk rock, because I can't deal with talking to a wall.
And there it is, the problem with fandom from a middle class, straight white Jew girl perspective. Take it for what you will.
November is going to be really frickin' busy for me.
First there is NaNo. I've changed the name of my book to "Dying in Avalon".
Also, I have an idea for next year, but that's not now. I have all year to research for next year. And I will be disciplined, damnit!
I have a Dreamwidth account, and if anyone is interested, I might post my work there. I think I'll try to do weekly updates at FB, just to keep myself on track.
I'm going to London on 11/10 with Jon, and we come back the 18th. The following things will occur: We will see John Barrowman in La Cage on the 12th, then go to a write in that evening, on the 13th we're going to Liverpool, where Jon will geek out over everything related to the Beatles, and I might just find a pub to write in, we will see one of Jon's favorite bands that evening, on the 14th it is extremely likely that the new Dr. Who special will air (YES!), so we will be watching that (or at least I will-if Jon insists on talking (which he does sometimes during a show) I will kick him out of the house until it is over) and then there is Nation at the National theater, which will be in previews that week.
THis is not counting museums, shopping, and pub hopping. Also, there is a write-in at the BRITISH LIBRARY on Tuesday. Guess where I will be.
Then there is Thanksgiving, which is going on at mine. And by going on, I mean Adam & Ania staying with me, 'rents staying at the nearby Days Inn (now with 50% less crack whores!) and going out to dinner for thanksgiving, with Jon. Which is nice, because maybe Jon can drive? I just really, really don't want my dad trying to drive in LA, it would just be a world of unfortunate.
And after Thanksgiving, I am allowed to get sick and die. The end.
At least until ALA in July. And Comic-con.

Coming Up

Ok, I'm in a better mental space.
It's been a rough couple of weeks, but I've had two consecutive days off, and I actually think I have a handle on things, for the moment at least.
I have a lot going on in the next few weeks. Two programs this week, prepping for Teen Read Week, and prepping for NaNo.
I actually have something like an outline done, which is not usual for me. I have more than a vague "Hey, I'll write a book!" notion this year, and I'm really pleased with the initial idea, and where it's sort of ended up.
Anyway, you know how I go off the grid every November? THis is the official first warning.



Here is the complaint I made to the BBC
BBC Complaint
As a fan of a television program, seeing that program take a nasty left turn is always difficult. The "Torchwood: Children of Earth" mini-series was no exception.
Even though a creator has the right to take a series in whatever direction he or she wishes to take it, it is also the right of the viewer to register our opinions with those who ultimately make the decision to either show the finished product or to walk away.
The "Torchwood" I've enjoyed for the past two years died a horrible death Thursday, and, frankly, I don't care to see what next evolution it takes. It is not the hard Sci-Fi I fell in love with, it has none of the characters I find funny or engaging, and (in probably the worst offense) it has a creator who has taken the legitimate frustration of a fanbase, and turned it into a point of derision.
I am aware that the BBC is not responsible for the tone Mr. Russell T. Davies takes in interviews, or when he speaks in public forum. I do feel the need to say that, as a fan, I will no longer be supporting endeavors in which Mr. Davies takes dominant creative control. I include Dr. Who in this, and any future projects Mr. Davies may have.
I was saddened and shocked by the death of the character Ianto Jones. I was dismayed when it was made clear that he would not be resurrected. I was disgusted when I was informed that my criticisms were not only unwelcome, they were invalid, to which I say fine. I will take my support, both as an advocate for the show and as someone with purchasing power, and follow Mr. Davies suggestion and watch Supernatural instead.
Thank you for your time.
Rachel Kitzmann


There is this amazing group out of New York called Improv Everywhere. They consider themselves a comedy troupe, but I've always thought of them as performance art, the kind of thing you would see in the 60's Happening movement. Basically, a group of people get together, plan to do something to shake up the mundane of the day, and then do it out in the open, sometimes getting the regular public involved, sometimes not. It's not necessarily malicious, but it is subversive. I think the purest manifestation of this can be seen here:
It's the fact that there's no reason for it-they're frozen, then they're not. It makes you hyper aware of time and space, and movement.
The LA group tried to imitate that. They did not succeed.
It just...doesn't have the same feel. It's like a poor imitation of what happened in New York, but with more pretension. Compare that with what happened in Belgium:
They take the idea of turning a normal space into something special, bringing joy.
I think that's what's missing from the LA troupe-they don't bring joy.
I was at the site, and looking at the discussions, and most of them were about disruption, but in a negative way. Like, messing with the LA Marathon. Why? Why mess with something that is already a disruption of the norm, with people who are just trying to do their best? There's talk of having people do it as an egg race, or have someone dressed as the Flash...I don't know, I don't think that's particularly clever, or thought inducing. You're interrupting something that people have put time and effort into, for what? I know, art is not supposed to have a point, but this is the type of thing that, if I were a runner, and someone had a spoon with an egg on it while I was racing, would just make me angry, or frustrated.
An idea I saw that I loved, and would totally want to do: Someone suggested that a large group dress up as celebrities (like, 100 or so) and go to Graumanns' and take pictures with tourists-like, the person dressed as the celebrity asks the tourist to take a photo with them. I think that's fantastic. It's a switch up of a uniquely LA phenomena, it's positive, and it disrupts the routine in a respectful way.
It has, of course, quickly been shot down in favor of something negative: Now, they want only a few people dressed up as one celebrity to get into a territory dispute outside of Graumanns.
My problems with this:
It's negative. I don't like seeing people fight. I don't like a lot movies for this reason. Altercations make me uncomfortable, and I don't think it's a positive disruption. It's negative art, which I don't necessarily like. If I want to feel bad, I'll watch BSG, or Six Feet Under or something. I don't need to see six Elvises get into it.
It's not inclusive. One of the great aspects of the original idea is the inclusion of audience-having a Marilyn come up to a tourist with like a cell phone to take a picture. It's such a great way to get people involved, but it's not angry, it's not negative (I know I'm using that word a lot, but I'm not sure what else to say). It would a positive shock, a switch from the expected that would elicit a smile rather than an uncomfortable downcasting of eyes, which I think an argument would entail.
It's already done. There are a bunch of different celebrity impersonators outside of Graumanns' already, and they are very territorial. I've seen, like, three Captain Jack Sparrows, and they have to take turns of whose positioned where. I've heard rumors that the guy with the Elmo costume is kind of ruthless about it. So, I don't think it's bringing anything new to the discussion-it's just a re-hash of something that already happens in real life. The idea of "celebrities" taking pictures with tourists calls a lot of stuff into question: Why are the famous famous, why do we obsess over these people, what is celebrity and who is worthy of it?
I've just been very dissappointed with Guerilla LA stuff that's been done-or hasn't been done, because I haven't gotten any e-mails about potential missions ever. But I don't want to be a part of something that focuses on such negativity.


FOX News.

You know, I wonder sometimes. I wonder if FOX News is some sort of elaborate art piece, or if Rupert Murdoch just does not give a shit about anything, or if the entire programming department is, in fact, run by stupid frat boys that will never, ever get laid because no respectable woman will lower themselves to that level.
Because there's this:
Now, I know I have a somewhat unique perspective on Canada. I'm from MI. I listened to Canadian Radio, watched Hockey Night in Canada, and for a while had a better understanding of Canadian politics than I did about American politics.
I love Canada. Unequivocally. I love the history of cooperation, and exploration without shitting in peoples backyards, of an active and engaged public body.
Basically, Go Canada.
It's just as simple and complex as that.
Go Canadian sports. Football players get played millions of dollars for running six feet and then falling. Wow.
Hockey players get paid a couple hundred thousand (maybe a million. Maybe) and they play on ice, while wearing knives on their feet, go seven hundred miles an hour, get thrown into hard plexiglass, hit a a piece of hard rubber that could break a car window if I threw it, let alone hit it with a stick at another seven hundred miles an hour, and routinely beat the shit out of each other. That's a sport, right there. Bollocks to American sports.
Also, Mounties are awesome. You know how American CSI's need high tech labs, and special equipment and all of that? Yeah Mounties not so much. They need a pine needle and to lick something, and they will have enough information to make not only an arrest, but have an air tight case against him.
Good education, national pride, and an engaged electorate.
I was almost Canadian. When my parents were looking at Grad Schools they thought about the University of Toronto.
I could have lived on Bloor Street in Toronto, one of the hippest parts of the city. I am still angry that they did not do that. I still bring that up when I'm frustrated with them. Whenever Mom or Dad question my choices, I always throw at them, "Yeah, well, who decided to go to U of M instead of Toronto? I could have been Canadian, and I bet you I'd be more agreeable then!"
So Fuck You, FOX News.
Fuck you from an American who still wishes she was Canadian.


To quote to marvelous Madeline Khadn in one of the only film adaptations that doesn't make me twitch "Flames...Flames...On the side of my face"
Epic Rant is Epic-continue at your own bandwidth risk.Collapse )



From Nightsinger

Your result for True Colors Test - A Self Inventory...

NT - Scholar (Green)

Congratulations! You are the SCHOLAR.

First, the bad news. On any given bad day you're most likely to be perceived as cold, arrogant, know-it-all. At times you are closed off and independent, seemingly absentminded, and have probably been told that you've got your head in the clouds. You get lost in thought easily, and sometimes you leave people back on Earth when you go off on a reverie. All of this means that you can come off as aloof and unappreciative of other peoples opinions. You know better, you're probably just smarter than them.

Now that we've got that out of the way, on to the good news. You are a critical thinker and an innovator. A lifetime learner, your passion and thirst for knowledge will entertain you throughout your lifetime. You are the "ideas" person that people come to for solutions. To hell with implementing the ideas, you'll leave that for someone else to figure out. In the meantime, you're probably always eager to share solutions and wisdom with those who seek it. You're good at being alone, and probably need alone time periodically to recharge and just be in your head. You're a visionary, mentally tough, analytical and capable of meting out judgment. You are highly knowledgeable and people seek that out in you. Try not to let that get to your head.

Scholar Traits:

  • Visionary

  • Conscientious

  • Calm and patient

  • Sees the big picture

  • Serious

  • Competent

  • Inquisitive

  • Meticulous

  • Innovative

  • Insightful and intellectual

  • Adaptable

  • Can never know enough

Take True Colors Test - A Self Inventory
at HelloQuizzy


Let's be honest...

It's going to take me 5.2 seconds to buy Spock and Uhura.
Kirk? Not so much.


New Goal for 2009

To get Once There Was and Twice There Wasn't ready for this ( http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/?nodeId=200291640#timeline ) in 2010.