teleidoplex: (Default)
Am I the only one who found today's XKCD kinda disturbingly hot? Just those two panels, if you know what I mean, but...

brown chicken brown cow!

also, I really would love to see an XKCD/OotS collaboration and/or crossover.

This is an idea whose time has arrived. Flood the forums of both strips with this suggestion. Go forth, my simply-drawn minions. Go! Go! Bwahahahahhaahahahahaaa!!!
teleidoplex: (Default)
I don't know how the other writers on my list get warmed up before a session, but here's an example from yesterday of what I tend to do:


Writer's block is just the act of not writing. This pithy observation doesn't offer a solution, but it sure sounds nifty. A blocked writer could get a lot of mileage out of it, repeating it like a mantra—not writing, not writing, not writing.

Interruptions are another rich source to mine. A thought or a sentence only flows as freely as the empty course of the page laid before it. Interruptions—be they momentary interjections from coffee shop servers as you're trying to get your daily writing engine started or larger digressions brought by life wrenching your head around and forcing your concentration away from the free flow of ink across a paper landscape—these are the pebbles and boulders and Hoover-fricken Dams that stopper all that inspiration and muck up your headwaters something fierce.

I must pause now, for a big plate of bacon has been set before me. One must always pause for bacon.

Mmm. Bacon.

Right. Where was I? Oh yeah—the distractions that keep a writer from writing…

Mmm. More bacon.

There are other things: research, editing, re-reading, world-building. The business side of writing. But none of these are as tasty as bacon, so I don't feel any great need to ruminate on them

Eggs and potatoes, they're interesting enough, but even with hot sauce, they are what they are. There's no sublime excess drawing me away from everything except devouring them mindlessly, and getting my fingers all greasy in the process.

No, bacon is my writers pitfall. Fatty, greasy, salty, unhealthy bacon. You just keep devouring it until it's gone.

WoW… is kinda like a never-ending plate of bacon for me. I need to figure out ways to put a few pieces on my plate and then step away from the table.

Complete non-sequitor in response to the stimuli of my environment: I totally want to write a Lost/Gilligan's Island crossover fanfic.

Right (Write? Wright?), back on track.

Tea.

It all comes back to tea with me. Tea does not distract. It centers. It soothes. It focuses. It warms the hands and the head, puts fire in the belly, and readies and steadies me for the work. I need to remember and apply this: bacon in moderation, tea in ubiquity.

Alright. Enough with the omphalaskepsicism. Time to segue into my fiction writing.
teleidoplex: (Abominations)
This was originally written in response to a conversation on [livejournal.com profile] tooth_and_claw's lj, but as usual, I'm too long-winded. Since it stands alone, I'm posting it here.

I've had a trifecta of experiences recently that have put gender issues and representation in the forefront of my thoughts. The first is the MJ marquette that [livejournal.com profile] tooth_and_claw linked to. The second is a dream I had and a story I'm going to write about identity. The third is the recent reports of the upsurge of ritual stonings of women in Iraq since our invasion -- what is being called by some news sources the Talibanization of Iraq.

For me, all of these situations are related to my own personal gender crusade. As people who know me know, I actively resent and work against having a gender identity imposed on me. I am a much more complicated being than a pair of breasts or a cunt or a womb or whatever other biological markers people use to impose a female identity on me. I am a much more complicated being than any of the stereotyped behaviors associated with female-ness can account for.

Fiction, whether it be comics or literature or film, actively constructs the identities that then get imposed upon us because of biological or cultural markers. It is not the only place where such identities are constructed, but it is a prevalent and powerful one. The elites (who are currently and historically marked -- both biologically and culturally -- as white males) have control of this medium and the construction of these identities.

Take, for example, the person in comics known as Mary Jane, or MJ. Rather than assuming her as a being with certain essential characteristics, lets imagine her as a constructed entity. What are the foundations she's been built on? The basic blocks that differentiate her from, say, Gwen Stacey? Well, She's female. She's married to (or will be married to, or has been married to) Peter Parker. She grew up next door to him. She has red hair. She calls him 'tiger'. She's a model/actress.

Now, what do any of those things mean? How are they represented? There's a lot of space here for constructing that meaning. MJ can be represented as a traditional damsel-in-distress (the way she is in the movies), an individual with moxy (as JMS and Bendis tend to do in the comics), or as a cheesecake, wankeriffic wifey-poo (as in the marquette). All of those representations are choices, and influence the way we the audience perceive the iconic building blocks of MJ. What does it mean to be a woman? What does it mean to be married? To be married to a powerful man? To be beautiful? To be the girl-next-door? Even what it means to have red hair.

That is why I take issue with the marquette. Rather than choosing to use their power to construct the iconic imaginary of MJ as a symbolic representation of empowered and self-determined and -defined femininity, the individuals responsible for that marquette chose to construct MJ as an object to be ogled and consumed (and wanked over, in both senses of the term). That this was done to a character who is associated (through marriage) with the mantra "With great power comes great responsibility" is doubly ironic.

As an aside, the above issue is why I vehemently disagree with [livejournal.com profile] drydem over the casting of Jessica Alba as Sue Storm. While I had many problems with the first F4 movie, I liked that Sue was represented in a more interesting way than just the white, blonde, mother-figure of the F4. I felt they kept to the basic tenets of the character, while at the same time moving her beyond some of the more problematic aspects of those basics (except for the Dr. Doom stuff, but I blame Julian McMahon's lousy acting for that).

One thing that I feel is important to point out is that while I hold the individuals who construct these identities responsible for their constructions, and while those responsible tend to be white and male, this does not mean that all those individuals who are marked as white or male are evil or wrong or even culpable. The meanings associated with whiteness and maleness are also constructed -- it just happens that those constructions are often associated with self-determination and power, whether or not everyone marked white and male enjoys such personal sovereignty.

From my perspective, *anyone* who resents having an identity (and associated expectations) imposed on them should take exception to such disempowering constructions, no matter what form they take, if only because of enlightened self-interest. Unfortunately, part of the white male identity construction that white males often embrace is that the (women, blacks, muslims, infidels, what-have-you) are storming the gates of power and want to turn the tables. Contemporary constructions have those marked as white and male on the defensive, but what is less-often discussed is that what is being defended is the very system of identity construction, representation and imposition that disempowers most individuals in the first place.

The process of stereotyping is the process of dehumanization. It is how we construct individuals as less-than-human so that we can justify enacting violence against them. Everyone is culpable in it, and everyone is susceptible to it. If we want to construct a world where the violence of having an identity imposed upon us is not acceptable, then it behooves anyone with melanin in their skin, or testosterone and estrogen in their systems, or belief in their hearts, to rail against such impositions, and to demand the right to self-determination.
teleidoplex: (Default)
I'm putting this behind a cut because it's not really work safe.

Read more... )
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See _Primer_. No, seriously, especially for you Doctor Who fans out there. It's the best time-travel story I've ever seen, although I had to pause it and rewatch several bits just to follow what was going on, and doubtlessly it only really unfolds with multiple viewings. I am in awe. I am inspired. It's just wow.

See it. Really. Now.
teleidoplex: (Default)
Uh...my computer just exploded.

No...seriously.  I was working on The Possibility of Ways and there was a loud crack-crackle-crack, several flashes of orange and white light, a terrible smoky smell, and poof went the screen.

Luckily, I just ordered a new computer from Dell yesterday.

Luckily, I'm hoping my hard drive is far enough from the power supply that it won't have been fried and I can slave it to retrieve the data.

Luckily, even if I can't, my partner backed up the entirety of My Documents and everything less than a month ago, so I will have only lost about a months' worth of work and documents (although sadly that includes all of the work I've recently done on fics, publishable material, and grant proposals.)

Luckily, I do a lot of my writing by hand, so even if I do lose the last month I can probably reconstruct a lot of it from my journals.

Luckily, the only damage outside the computer tower seems to be the terror instilled in the Panda, who was sitting under my feet when the tower blew.

Sadly, if the hard drive is gone, then so are all the pictures I took at the most recent Changeling game.

All in all, I think I'm pretty lucky.  Although, it means that my plan to update TPoW today has gone into the shitter.  The Gods conspire against me.

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