oursin: The stylised map of the London Underground, overwritten with Tired of London? Tired of Life! (Tired of London? Tired of Life!)
([personal profile] oursin Sep. 25th, 2017 01:56 pm)

Dept of, did you do any research?

That Uber vs TfL thing, with TfL refusing to renew their license - okay, I do not use Uber (I am probably not their target market) and everything I hear about it makes me deeply suspicious - but when I read various articles claiming that London black cab drivers are the trad white working class, I wonder how often, if ever, any of these people have ridden in a black cab. Because in my limited and anecdotal experience, finding a Trad London Cabbie who will give you his Salty Cockney Opinions whether you want him to or not, is not the default at all.

This article about Some Artist's exhibition on what he calls 'pseudo-Georgian architecture' in the UK and dates to the 1970s.

Marvel at a London Waitrose – “the pearl of Holloway Road”, according to Bronstein’s caption – with a cupola-crowned tower floating above its entrance. That oddly proportioned line of columns, running above the shopfront windows, suggest the architect once glimpsed a photograph of Vicenza, but not for long enough.
I know that Waitrose and shop there regularly and I am old enough to remember when it was Jones Brothers, by that time part of the John Lewis Partnership, but dating from an era when suburban department stores were built as retail palaces - as far as I can see, dates back to the 1890s.

***

Dept of, is that really the solution? PETA co-founder says we should stop wearing wool. I cannot help feeling that if there is no longer any economic reason for rearing, even if 'sheep are so gentle, they’re so dear!' they are likely to vanish from the face of the earth except in zoos (to which I imagine PETA are also opposed). Might not doing something about introducing legislation for more humane shearing practices be a better use of their time and energies?

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([personal profile] oursin Sep. 24th, 2017 09:39 pm)

As our flight was not until after lunch, this morning after we'd packed and put our luggage in store we went to the Hipolit House: more historical domestic interiors, plus exhibition on the actress Antonina Hoffman and on theatre/acting more generally in C19th. Rather interesting.

Of the journey, not a great deal to be said except for the enormous distances walked within airports.

Anyway, ome agen.

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([personal profile] truepenny Sep. 24th, 2017 08:25 am)
Dear Senator Johnson:

You have been saying terrible things about people with "pre-existing" conditions for all of 2017, comparing us to cars, saying that we should pay more for our healthcare, even though most "pre-existing" conditions are not caused by anything a person does or by bad choices they make. In fact, since pregnancy is a "pre-existing condition," you are actively punishing people for having families--which seems to run counter to the agenda the Republican Party has been pushing for years The Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson proposal, which callously strips all protections from people like me (and which makes it entirely possible that a premature baby will hit his or her lifetime cap before leaving the hospital for the first time), makes it clear that in fact you have no idea of what it's like not to be able to afford healthcare, or to have a chronic, incurable condition, and that you don't even have enough imagination to be able to empathize with the people whose lives you are destroying.

Moreover, given that there is astonishing unity among healthcare professionals, patients' interest groups, and major insurers (plus all fifty Medicaid administrators and a current count of eighteen governors), it is quite clear that you aren't doing this because it's a good idea. You don't care whether it will be good or bad for your constituents. All you care about--and more than one of your Republican colleagues have admitted as much--is repealing "Obamacare." You're doing this because you made a campaign promise, and you're too blindly self-centered to see that this is a promise that would be better honored in the breach than in the observance. You and your colleagues are behaving childishly, destroying something only because you hate the person who built it. The ACA is not failing, as you keep claiming it is, Senator. It is suffering mightily from obstructionism and deliberate sabotage from you and your colleagues, and, yes, it does need reform. But your proposal isn't reform. It's wanton demolition of legislation that is working, legislation that is succeeding in making the lives of Americans better, demolition which you are pushing without the slightest consideration of its effects on the people you claim you serve.

I'm not writing this letter because I expect you will change your mind--or, frankly, even read it. I'm writing this letter because I'm angry and scared and unbelievably frustrated with your deliberately cruel and blindly stupid determination to do something that no one in this country wants. You won't change your mind, but you can't say you didn't know there was opposition.

P.S. I'd still really like to see you denounce white supremacism, Senator. Because right now, I unwillingly believe you don't think there's anything wrong with it.

***

Dear Ms. DeVos:

I am appalled at your decision to roll back the protections given to sexual assault survivors by Title IX. I'm not surprised, because it's perfectly in line with the other cruel, short-sighted, and bigoted decisions you've made since being appointed Secretary of Education, but I honestly wonder (and I wonder this about a number of Trump appointees, so you needn't think you're alone) how you live with yourself. How do you justify, even if only to yourself, the damage you're doing? Do you believe the lies you tell?

I'm not going to quote statistics, because I'm sure they've been shown to you. I'm not going to try to change your mind with personal stories. I am going to ask, futilely, that you stop and truly think about the young women whose college careers, already catastrophically imperiled by the sexual assault they have survived, may be destroyed because of the policies you're implementing. And I'm going to ask how on earth you think this destruction is part of your mandate as Secretary of Education?

Everyone's civil rights need to be respected. I believe this strongly enough to belong to the ACLU. But victims' rights are historically ignored, trampled on, and outright broken, especially in cases of sexual assault, especially when the perpetrator is white and male. I also strongly believe that the purpose of government should be to ensure that privilege is not used to skew justice. It was already crushingly difficult for sexual assault survivors to report their assailants. You have made it that much harder, and that much more likely that they will simply remain silent. I cannot help thinking that that silence is your goal, and that, Ms. DeVos, is truly shameful.
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([personal profile] oursin Sep. 23rd, 2017 05:03 pm)

But nonetheless there has been sightseeing.

I already mentioned Rynek Underground.

The Mehoffer House, which is an artist's house, pehaps more interesting for the interiors than the art, but with an ace cafe, the Meho Cafe.

The National Museum - there are lots of branches, we went to the main building, which seemed mostly arts and crafts + the Lady with the Ermine.

There is probably more to see than we saw at Wawel Hill, but we did the State Rooms and the Royal Private Apartments of the Royal Palace, and the cathedral. Must remark that dwelling in marble halls, or at least spending several hours walking/standing on floors of that substance, does my lower back thing no favours.

We did an organised tour to the Wieliczka Salt Mine: very impressive. (Much more spectacular than the one in Cheshire which is now an archive store.)

Today we went to Kazimierz, which on reflection, was not, being Saturday, the ideal day to do so - had intended going earlier in the week but ran out of time/energy.

There have also been visits to a number of churches, which after a while tend to run together - lotsa baroque.

truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
([personal profile] truepenny Sep. 23rd, 2017 08:46 am)
Not about books, but definitely a review.

Hulu has episodes from 3 seasons of A Crime to Remember, which is an Investigation Discovery show. In my ongoing love/hate relationship with true crime media, ID stands out for their high production values and for about as unexploitative an attitude as you can have. (I wonder, perhaps unworthily, if part of what makes ACtR seem thoughtful rather than vulture-like is that the executive producer and a bunch of the writers & directors are women.) I have also been very fond of Homicide Hunter, partly because the show does not try to sugarcoat Lt. Joe Kenda at all. He's very good at his job, and he is a ruthless avenging angel, but he is not a nice man. I kind of adore him. (I'm pretty sure he'd hate me, but that's okay.)

But ACtR. All the episodes are period pieces. (I joked to my therapist that they must have come up with the idea because they wanted everyone to be able to smoke on camera.) I'm not super fond of the gimmick, in which every episode has a narrator who is a minor fictional character in the real crime being portrayed, but most of the time it works okay. (It works extremely well--give credit where it's due--in "The 28th Floor" (2.4).) The actors--"character" actors all--are excellent, and most of the time they even get the accents matched up to the region. (There are exceptions.) And the producers have interview clips with true crime writers who have written about the cases; with people who investigated the cases (when those people are still alive); with Mary Ellen O'Toole and other experts in various fields; with friends and family of murderers and victims alike. They frequently featured Michelle MacNamara before her death in April 2016--pretty obviously because she was very good at conveying information clearly but without sounding scripted. And, again, because they seem to look for women. They also have gotten Catherine Pelonero more than once. (I actually haven't been able to bring myself to watch the episode about Kitty Genovese, but Pelonero does a great job in the other episodes I have watched her in.)

My true, serious beef with ACtR is its insistent trope of the loss of American innocence. Almost every case is framed as something that destroyed a piece of American innocence, and this is infuriating to me for several reasons:

1. America has never been innocent.

2. The idea of the Golden Age, the before time just out of reach in which everything was perfect, is a very, very old fallacy. (The Romans were all over it.) I think it is pernicious, because it validates reactionary attempts to return to "the good old days," which are "good" (in 20th century America) only if you are white, middle-class or above, and it helps if you're male. ACtR does deal with racism, sexism, and classism, but it doesn't seem to recognize the contradictory position it puts itself in thereby.

3. Casting these crimes as destroyers of American innocence erases crimes that went before. I can give one very specific example: "Baby Come Home" (2.8) about the 1953 kidnapping and murder of Bobby Greenlease, who was murdered before his kidnappers ever tried to extort ransom from his parents. Now I am not at all denying that what happened to Bobby Greenlease is vile and horrible and an expression of the worst part of human nature, but claiming that Carl Austin Hall and Bonnie Heady somehow invented kidnapping children for ransom--or even just the worst and most cruel of bad faith negotiations after the child was already dead--erases what happened to, for one example, Charles Lindbergh, Jr. Or, for another example, Charley Ross. If there was any innocence to be lost in this particular genre of crime, it was lost in 1874, 79 years before Bobby Greenlease's death.

So, yeah. That's the one thing that I really think they get wrong. Otherwise, they do a lovely job, and they have taught me about murders I'd never heard of but I think should not be forgotten: the terrible deaths of Judge Curtis Chillingworth and his wife Marjorie in West Palm Beach in 1955; Charles Whitman's sniper assault on the students, faculty, and staff of the University of Texas in 1966 (which I knew about, but knew kind of wrongly); the bizarre murder of Betty Williams in Odessa, Texas, in 1961; the murder of Veronica Gedeon in New York in 1937, and how the case was largely solved by the editors of the true crime magazines she was a cover model for; the murder of Roseann Quinn in New York in 1973, which was the inspiration for Looking for Mr. Goodbar, and I deeply appreciate the way ACtR questions the LfMG myth and suggests that Theresa Dunn is a cruel travesty of the real Roseann Quinn and the reality of her death. If you are interested in criminology or American history (because nothing tells you more about a culture than its cause celebre murders), I commend this series to your attention.
oursin: Sleeping hedgehog (sleepy hedgehog)
([personal profile] oursin Sep. 22nd, 2017 09:51 pm)

Which, given the weather - today was persistent drizzle rather than yesterday's chucking it relentlessly down - was a good idea. Salt mine, to be precise.

However, has been a long day - only just in from a Mahler concert - so any more detailed reports on touristic activities may follow at some later season.

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([personal profile] oursin Sep. 22nd, 2017 07:37 am)
Happy birthday, [personal profile] jenett, [personal profile] matociquala and [personal profile] nanila!
oursin: Cod with aghast expression (kepler codfish)
([personal profile] oursin Sep. 21st, 2017 08:41 pm)

Back in 2008, Gandhian pilgrimage that ended at Calais.

And his present (surely it is the same guy) simple life agenda has crossed my horizon heretofore.

My dearios, I give you I live a healthier life now I’m free of the trappings of modernity.

O, lucky old you, a healthy bloke with sufficient resources to undertake this project and pontificate about it. You are not just lucky to be 'born without any serious long-term health issues' - this is due to various factors including maternal nutrition and antenatal care, vaccination against common childhood diseases (even if he didn't get these, and I bet he did, he would have benefitted from herd immunity), i.e. the benefits of modern medicine and sanitation.

Also, I have no time whatsoever for anyone who dismisses other people's experiences of pain: there is a man who, we must suppose, never sat an exam while doubled over with period pain, or suffered a migraine. Not at all rare conditions. Your body is not 'always aiming for balance and health'.

And we observe that he has had a vasectomy... because one of my questions (among the many stimulated by the thought of all the technological advances that have made women's lives so much less arduous, which I remarked on when his bogosity first impinged upon my aghast gaze), wot abaht contraception?

Perhaps we might introduce him to the notion that being regularly flogged with a large codfish is a cure for pretentious woowoo?

(And do we think that his simple austere life is 'more work for other people', like the process that gets his handwritten ms - written on tree bark in berry juice, we wonder? - from his simple cabin in the woods to the Guardian website?)

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([personal profile] oursin Sep. 21st, 2017 08:49 am)
Happy birthday, [personal profile] italiceyeball!
oursin: Photograph of small impressionistic metal figurine seated reading a book (Reader)
([personal profile] oursin Sep. 20th, 2017 09:19 pm)

What I read

Finished Boys will be Boys, which was still very familiar although it is many years since I last read it. Wonder if Turner would really have liked to be writing something a bit more serious about matters of popular culture; and would have liked to be nerdish in the archives of the publishing companies, because there are sometimes wistful asides about the mysteries that might be solved thereby. Pretty sure this is where the very youthful [personal profile] oursin first acquired that apprehension that each generation disses upon what the young of next are consuming (whether print or radio or more latterly other media) as A Road to Ruin (I wish I could locate my copy of his Roads to Ruin).

Also finished The Witch of Syracuse: worked well, did not have that sense one so oft has when scattered short stories on a character/s are brought together of 'fix-up', but that it worked as a narrative arc. Also thought it worked well on the historical contingencies, nature of the deities, etc. (Very unfluffy Hellenic/Punic goddesses.)

Being somewhat smitten with travel angst, read various short things, comfort re-reads, etc.

Did read the novella Suradanna and the Sea by Rebecca Fraimow (2016): very good, even though I couldn't remember why or when I'd downloaded it.

On the go

Finally began Victoria Bates, Sexual Forensics in Victorian and Edwardian England: Age, Crime and Consent in the Courts (2015) - very good so far.

Also currently in medias res, Patricia McKillip, Kingfisher (2017) - very good, but my bar for riffing on/mashing up Arthuriana is set very high with Naomi Mitchison's To the Chapel Perilous.

Up Next

Dunno.

*Among other sights seen today, Rynek Underground.

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([personal profile] oursin Sep. 20th, 2017 08:45 am)
Happy birthdsy, [personal profile] sharpiefan!
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([personal profile] oursin Sep. 19th, 2017 09:08 pm)

This morning it was overcast and a bit cool, by this evening via mildly drizzly has become colder and wetter.

Nontheless, we have managed some flaneurserie around the Old Town, a visit to St Mary's Cathedral with its massive gothic altar, and several museums:

The Gallery of C19th Polish Art at Suikiennice

The Jagiellonian University Museum Collegium Maius

The temporary exhibition of 350 items from the The Princes Czartoryski Museum

Pharmacy Museum, Jagiellonian University Medical College

All of which leaves me rather too overwhelmed to say much beyond: that's a hell of a lot of old scientific instruments/apothecary paraphernalia, and dealers across Europe must has seen the Czartoryskis coming, with their interest in associational historical items (I would guess scamsters moved into this after the decline in fake relics?).

There was also (v expensive) coffee taken in a very plush place with numerous historical associations.

Place is generally heaving with tourists and tour groups.

oursin: Sleeping hedgehog (sleepy hedgehog)
([personal profile] oursin Sep. 18th, 2017 09:11 pm)

Today has been mostly airports and planes - both flight AND connecting flight were delayed, so even more hanging about airports than anticipated.

Now fed and in hotel - serious lack of/unhelpful positioning of power sockets. But at least free wifi and brekkers inc.

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([personal profile] oursin Sep. 18th, 2017 07:01 am)
Happy birthday, [personal profile] auguris and [personal profile] fitzcamel!
oursin: Frontispiece from C17th household manual (Accomplisht Lady)
([personal profile] oursin Sep. 17th, 2017 08:36 pm)

Bread during week: a loaf of the Khorasan (kamut) flour, made as per instructions on the packet.

Friday supper, Gujerati khichchari, very nice, even if yet again I put in ground cumin instead of cumin seeds.

No Saturday breakfast rolls, as we were using up bread before going away, so had toast.

Today's lunch: lemon sole fillets, seasoned and panfried in butter, served with Ruby Gem potatoes roasted in goosefat, garlic roasted sweet sprouting cauliflower and tenderstem broccoli, and padron peppers.

oursin: Hedgehog saying boggled hedgehog is boggled (Boggled hedgehog)
([personal profile] oursin Sep. 17th, 2017 01:24 pm)

A pregnant woman working at a Queenstown ski field found a colleague had left a condom filled with mayonnaise and a crude note on her desk during a staff morale boosting event.

And okay, perhaps this is me being Very British Problems, but I'm fairly creeped out by the concept of

an event dubbed "woo week" where staff were encouraged to boost each other's morale using notes and gifts.

An event poster from NZ Ski encouraged staff to "Let those romantic and creative juices flow, to show your affections and/or appreciation for your woo'ee. "Whether you're single, married, defacto or other, woo week is fun for everyone. "You are assigned at random one person to woo in secret from 23-29th July," the poster read.

The ughfulness is terrific. I feel thar even short of the reported crudity, this has enormous potential for problems.

Tags:
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([personal profile] oursin Sep. 16th, 2017 05:39 pm)

Why can’t we read anymore?.

When the author complains that he barely reads four books a year, I think we should be told how many he was wont to read before he got addicted to the distracting dopamine rush. (I write here as someone who considers that her number of books read per annum has almost certainly declined: to something in the region of 200-300. But held fairly steady even when I was being an Award Judge.)

I also think that perhaps we should be told what kind of books he's trying to read: in which case, perhaps it's the particular what that he's bouncing off.

(Because honestly, there are times when I find myself bouncing off particular kinds of things, or just not finding whatever it is that will tickle my reading taste-buds. And maybe this is about general mood-factors, and not just the siren song of the digital universe.)

And, of course, I will never not be somewhat amused by the way in which Reading Books has become this culturally worthy activity, because I can remember when it was otherwise...

Dear Senator Johnson:

I have been reading about the Graham-Cassidy ACA repeal bill, and the more I read, the more horrified I am. The premium hikes it allows for "pre-existing conditions" are unconscionable, and if you don't think Wisconsin will exploit those hikes, you have no understanding of your state's governor. Moreover, it's estimated that 32 million people will lose coverage within 10 years. Remember when you were arguing that 16 million was "better" than 22 million? Because I remember that very clearly.

Senator, this bill is a DISASTER. I am forced to choose between believing that you did not read or understand the bill that you have co-sponsored and believing that you understand it perfectly and just care that little about the well-being of your constituents and the rest of the American people.

Your party's obsession with repealing the ACA has been wasting time, energy, money, and other resources since the beginning of 2017--not to mention the resources and opportunities wasted by your party's childish obstructionism throughout the Obama administration, in which you are fully implicated. Repealing the ACA is fantastically unpopular and has failed repeatedly. And, honestly, the worst thing that could happen to the Republican Party is for this repeal bill to succeed. If it weren't for the catastrophe that would be brought down upon millions of people, I would almost want to let you have this monkey's paw. By all means, Senator. GET WHAT YOU WISH FOR.

However, I would much prefer it if you would join those of your colleagues who are trying to REFORM the ACA, even if you won't go so far as endorsing Medicare for all. In fact, I thought you HAD joined them, since you were participating in hearings about healthcare reform, and I am bitterly disappointed in you (yet again) by your co-sponsorship of the Graham-Cassidy bill.

I know nothing I say will change your mind, and certainly nothing I say will convince you to vote against your own bill. But I cannot remain silent and allow my silence to be counted as consent for this abhorrent, inhumane, and unethical bill. You cannot say you did not know that there was vehement opposition to the Graham-Cassidy bill among your own constituents, to whom, in theory, you are supposed to listen and whose interests, in theory, you are supposed to represent.

I am frankly ashamed to have you as my senator.

Sincerely,
Sarah Monette
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([personal profile] oursin Sep. 16th, 2017 11:23 am)
Happy birthday, [personal profile] copperwise and [personal profile] noveldevice!
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([personal profile] nineweaving Sep. 15th, 2017 10:23 pm)
O my!  Burdick's and Tosci's—twin gods in the Cambridge pantheon—have collaborated on an ice-cream sandwich!  You can get chocolate macarons with hazelnut ice cream; pistachio with Earl Grey; or almond with matcha.  Bliss.

I discovered this on my way to the Tilda Swinton festival at the Brattle.  So far this week, I've seen her in Sally Potter's Orlando (1993), and in two Derek Jarman films.  Orlando remains an absolute delight.   I love the wit; I love Orlando's glances through the fourth wall; I love the doubling of the scurrilous Nick Greene and the publisher, and the Sebastian and Viola casting of Sasha and Shelmerdine.  I adore Quentin Crisp's Elizabeth I.  (He was born to play that part.)  I love the Jacobean winter funeral, and the teacup topiary, and the perfectly truthful absurdity of most of the costumes.   I love the scene where (as I once wrote) Orlando "rushes in a fury into a hedge maze ... whisking round a corner, she emerges in another century, in another cage of skirt."

I confess that Tilda Swinton gave me Thea's fiery hair in Cloud & Ashes.  She's a fabulous muse—which is all I share artistically with Derek Jarman. 

Caravaggio (1986)  is imperfect and astonishing.  It was one of Sean Bean's earliest films, and Swinton's first.  The stagings of the paintings in the film are so perfectly Caravaggiesque—so blasphemous, numinous, intemperate, unmoving, shadowy, and dazzling, so cold and so  engorged with godhead.  They are clearly what the artist saw.  The canvases on screen are merely sketches:  art is what the camera sees.

Still trying to get my head around The Last of England (1987), which is incandescent.  It's so dazzling it hurts.  Literally:  I have eyestrain from the visionary flicker.  The rant is on the fall of England—all its goodness and greenness, every vestige of decency—under Thatcher, a gut-wrenchingly relevant anger.  Part of it I saw as Asmodeus' Books:  it begins with the auteur speaking as he writes a curse in a cluttered workroom, in a beautiful italic hand:  what he spells, is.  (Greenaway appears to have stolen that image, in a prettier, post-modernist take.)  Out of the whirlwind, I recall a few most vivid scenes.  There was an evocation of the Ford Madox Ford [Brown!  Ford Madox Brown!  My proofing skills have gone to hell] painting from which the film takes its name:  a huddle of despairing people at a harbor, underlaid with Marianne Faithfull singing, "Speed, Bonny Boat"—but they're prisoners.  There is no boat, and no Australia.  They've simply come to the end of ground.  There was a naked Poor Tom, gnawing on a demonic raw cauliflower.  It would terrify a vegetarian into eating sashimi—at least that doesn't writhe and flap.  No really—it looked like some sort of brain-bird with broken pinions.  And there were sequences of astounding beauty:  Pan dancing in a brickyard, and Tilda Swinton whirling in silhouette before the flames of the apocalypse.

Nine

Later: [personal profile] sovay  and [personal profile] rushthatspeaks have posted brilliant reviews of The Last of England, here and here.  I stand in awe.

 





oursin: The stylised map of the London Underground, overwritten with Tired of London? Tired of Life! (Tired of London? Tired of Life!)
([personal profile] oursin Sep. 15th, 2017 02:06 pm)

Should probably say that my part of London is pretty distant from Parson's Green.

***

Dept of Fortuity: when you see news of a book that you would be really interested in reading, at eye-watering academic press prices, even for the ebook: and in a day or so having a request from the very same press to referee a book proposal for them, in return for BOOKS to a value that would cover this and a bit more.

***

Dept of O tempora o mores: The Tatler guide to threesomes. If Sir Charles Dilke did do as alleged during a divorce trial, and suggest a 3some with a lady and her maid, perhaps had he read this he would not have got into the hot water he did.

***

Dept of, is this a portent? Rare white giraffes sighted in Kenya conservation area. Are there local tales of the dire consequences of hunting a white giraffe? In this video clip the mamma has a rather 'I'm ready for my close-up now Mr de Mille' expression.

***

Dept of, is this not the return of the prefab: Home sweet micro home: sleep-testing a pod for the homeless.

***

Dept of, so out of touch he's floating in the void: Jacob Rees-Mogg seems to think that the poor are put into the world in order to allow people to acquire merit through charitable activity. O that Simon Raven were around to excoriate him as a fictional character as he did his father.

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([personal profile] oursin Sep. 15th, 2017 09:10 am)
Happy birthday, [personal profile] desert_dragon!
oursin: My photograph of Praire Buoy sculpture, Meadowbrook Park, Urbana, overwritten with Urgent, Phallic Look (urgent phallic)
([personal profile] oursin Sep. 14th, 2017 05:38 pm)

I was mystified, and going 'what's your motivation here, luvvie?' by that guy who said he was playing the piano in a Bristol park to win back his ex and would not stop until he had.

Which seemed to me, along a spectrum from 'aw, romantic gesture' to 'equivalent of holding breath until turns blue', a lot closer to the latter.

Do we not think when he said

"The social media reaction turned it very quickly into something that would cause the one person I didn’t want to hurt embarrassment and pain.
"That was the last thing in the world I had wanted to happen, so I left.”
that that person was himself and not 'Rapunzel' (TWFU)?

And, while there is a folkloric tradition of women setting their suitors arduous tasks - as it might be, go to the Mountains of the Moon and bring me back a phoenix feather, and not just any manky feather, a nice large pinion in mint condition' - do we not wonder, my dearios, whether that was to get them out from under their feet and hanging about in stalkery fashion? (Obvs, is different when it is possessive father setting ordeal.)

I see I remarked some while since about the poem The Glove, that fair Cunegonde was probably hoping the tigers would eat Sir Delorges - but at least she did get him off her back.

I was also reminded of a couple of advice-column things I read somewhere, sometime: one of which was a woman complaining that her husband was always Making Things about the house and their friends would comment and be envious; but that she never got any kudos for the non-performative things she did in the household and would have been grateful for some less showy manifestations of activity on his part.

The other one was similarly about a guy who showed his devotion through DIY, rather than in a more usual and carnal fashion, and she would have preferred a spot of Ye Conjugales.

I suppose this may relate to that trope of 'men have no idea what presents to buy for their wives' and therefore buy things that are trite, inappropriate and unwanted.

This article that I just encountered seems apposite:

I remember, when I was breaking up with one of my exes years ago, he listed all the ways I made his life better when trying to convince me not to go. And I asked him, “but how do you think you make my life better?” and he was taken aback. “I don’t know,” he said. He’d never thought about it.

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([personal profile] truepenny Sep. 14th, 2017 07:20 am)
Dear Senator Johnson:

Today you unveiled your proposed health care legislation. I am not impressed by it, especially in comparison to the health care legislation of Senator Sanders and Senator Baldwin. I know I cannot change your mind, or convince you that removing federal regulations is a catastrophe, not a solution, or that block grants to states, while perhaps a workable solution in some states, will be misused in every way possible in others to ensure that the money does not go where it is most needed. I count Wisconsin as one of those states. I do not believe the state government has its citizens' best interests at heart any more than I believe you do.

Republican senators have been trying and failing to repeal the ACA for all of 2017, despite intense opposition from their constituencies, while Senator Sanders' Medicare for All plan creates the reform you claim to want. You are wasting time, energy, money, and other resources that would be better spent on almost anything else--perhaps the opioid crisis you also claim to be concerned about.

I am disappointed and angry. You have betrayed your constituents again, Senator. And although this is just one more chapter in a book you are making longer by the day, I am still appalled by the stupidity and cruelty you continue to endorse. Even though Wisconsin is not my native state, I have lived and voted here for more than twenty years. I am ashamed that one of my senators has put his name on this bill.


P.S. You still have not made a public statement denouncing fascism, either.
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
([personal profile] oursin Sep. 14th, 2017 09:14 am)
Happy birthday, [personal profile] ann1962 and [personal profile] brewsternorth!
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
([personal profile] truepenny Sep. 13th, 2017 12:33 pm)
The Anatomy Murders: Being the True and Spectacular History of Edinburgh's Notorious Burke and Hare and of the Man of Science Who Abetted Them in the Commission of Their Most Heinous CrimesThe Anatomy Murders: Being the True and Spectacular History of Edinburgh's Notorious Burke and Hare and of the Man of Science Who Abetted Them in the Commission of Their Most Heinous Crimes by Lisa Rosner

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


[library]

Up the close & down the stair / But & ben wi' Burke & Hare / Burke's the butcher, Hare's the thief / And Knox the boy that buys the beef.
--Anonymous doggerel

Read more... )
oursin: Photograph of small impressionistic metal figurine seated reading a book (Reader)
([personal profile] oursin Sep. 13th, 2017 01:35 pm)

What I read

Finished The Citadel of Weeping Pearls, which is indeed very good, just required a little more intellectual energy (and possibly, more concentrated reading time) than available to me during and in the aftermath of an academic conference.

Also finished Mitchison's Ghosts, which was very good, got I thought at Mitchison's own rather Schrodinger position on the supernatural. (Is there, has there been, a book to be written on the literary legacy of Margaret Murray's - exploded but in their day highly influential - theories about witchcraft and The Old Religion? I seem to have seen echoes of this, and Graves' White Goddess, over a range of writers and genres.)

Aliette de Bodard, Ships in Exile: Stories of Xuya - three novellas situated in de Bodard's longer future history, very good, just possibly needing a bit more context, but hey, this was a giveaway, wottahell.

Daphne du Maurier, My Cousin Rachel (1951) - spotted in booksale, and have been wanting to read since seeing the movie as is decades since I first read it. Confirmed that there is a honking great, plot-undermining, misunderstanding of testamentary law (I think there were ways this could have been got round in the narrative, but, really, a will made ten years previously would be voided by marriage. Even the lawyer does not remark on this). Also, up codfish and at 'em for Philip Ashley, no? (I will concede that the only du Maurier I have actually reread multiple times is Frenchman's Creek, it is absolutely a go-to work when convalescing from flu.)

Nicholas Blake, There's Trouble Brewing (1937). I was well pissed off when Georgina, having featured in the first few pages, is despatched to do some strenuous outdoor activity in the wilds of Scotland while Nigel Strangeways goes to, as he thinks, give a talk to a provincial literary society and hijinx nefarious deeds ensue. Quite good, i.e. readable, up to the final pages where we have a detailed reconstruction of how the crime must have been done (we have already come to, surprise whodunnit twist).

Sarah Gailey, Taste of Marrow (2017). Enjoyable.

Oh yes, and finally dragged myself through to the end of the book I was reading for review: very dry.

On the go

(I see that I have things listed as 'currently reading' on GoodReads that I should either mark gave up or on hiatus.)

Dorothy Heydt, The Witch of Syracuse (2017, but actually collecting together short stories published in anthologies during the 80s and 90s: free to download). Enjoying these: partly for the flashback to those days when there seemed more of this sort of thing around - women protags with agency but not necessarily ass-kicking ninjas.

Up next

I'm currently in a havering mood on various things as to whether I read them now or save them up for travel purposes.

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