capriuni: The 12th Doctor Clara, captioned: "Can I talk about Planets, now?" (Planets)
Audrey has moved on from binge-watching Deep Space 9 to binge-watching Babylon 5. *

Anyway, that's lead to the following thoughts:

Read more... )

*School's been cancelled all last week, and nearly all this week, due to snow and ice. So Audrey's been camped out in her room "on vacation."
capriuni: A watercolor sketch of a small green troll with blue eyes (Eloise 2)
...I don't think I've done a New Who episode review since Series 1, episode five (?) So Team Moffat and Capaldi must have done something right to get me my fannish energy back. Good job, them.

In pro-fun troll tradition, I shall praise what I enjoyed before criticizing what I didn't (in reverse squee order, rather than chronological)

  1. Capaldi -- all of him. But specifically, his sense of timing and rhythm. And the way he inhabited his body as he shifted, gradually, into his new character.

    Spoilers begin here )

    In conclusion, the final score:

    Squeeful things = 7
    Annoying things = 5

    Importance of Squeeful things: High
    Importance of Annoying things: Low
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I noticed that one of the employees at his news station (in the background, non-speaking part, but clearly there being busy doing her job) uses a motorized wheelchair.

...It's almost as if, now that he identifies as a PWD, the star at the center of the show wants to make the point that disabled people really are just part of the same world as everyone else..
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
And I think I like it (Mother taught me not to come to any conclusion until I've experienced something three times). I'm even willing to forgive that it's another TAB actor in cripface, because a good bit of each episode is in flashback, from before his injury, which shows he was the same semi-crazy maverick before he was shot as he is afterward -- so his bravado is harder to write off as simply "Compensating" for being "crippled."

But: 1) his wheelchair has no push handles, so he's spared the fate of being treated like a movable prop, like Artie of glee, 2) He was only given one brief scene (in the pilot) where he was seen grieving over his lost abilities... other than that, his attitude is written as: "This is my new normal, and I have a job to do (I don't have time to be your inspiration)," and 3) he's given snarky lines like: "If you're gonna stare, at least get the hell out of my way, all right?" and (to a macho guy trying to bully him): "I'm pretty confident I'm looking right where you do most of your thinking."

In short, It passes my "disabled character" test.

WARNING, though: The preview clip on NBC's website for the show is a great bit whopping spoiler for the second episode...

[facepalm]
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The show was pleasant to watch -- one pre-review of it that I heard on the radio, earlier this week, was that it "Wasn't as funny as it should be, considering..." but that it would likely grow into itself. I can kind of see where the reviewer was coming from, but on the other hand, two thoughts:

I don't really know if there should be a "should be" -- what was he expecting? The same sort of sitcom humor that was written into Spin City, thirteen years ago (I had to look up its original run on Wikipedia, I was sure it was more like 20 years ago)? Different character, different situation, different sort of humor...

And I'm pretty sure that the humor at the TABs' expense(s), where people gush about how "inspirational" and "brave" he is, went right over his able-bodied privileged head...

In other news (less well advertised, I only found out about it when I went onto NBC's website to double-check the info on the MJF show): NBC is also rebooting their old Ironside series, with Blair Underwood (able-bodied actor) in the titular role (so they can show him being a "normal" cop in flashbacks). The official premier is October 3, but they're previewing the entire first episode online. It follows your typical "Vigilante Cop" trope, but the self-pity is kept to a minimum, no whining for a cure, and no push handles on his chair. And in one scene, he's the first person to spot a key piece of evidence, because he's got a different line of sight than the other detectives, and I thought that was a nice touch. So I'll probably reward NBC with my eyeballs for a few more episodes, yet...
capriuni: multicolored text on black: "Quips and sentences and paper bullets of the brain" (paper bullets)
A cousin, perhaps, to the "Five Things" post -- for those pet peeves on your mind: "Three Three-Sentence Rants" (they may be long sentences; I'll try not to commit semicolon abuse).

---

1) "Flynn Rider," from Tangled, is a lying, greedy, selfish, emotionally manipulative, thief: an anti-hero who becomes a hero. But he's presented as the unadulterated, romantically ideal "Disney Prince" simply because he's charming and handsome. What's wrong with people us?!

2) IMNSHO, only historical and hard biographical context should be allowed in declarative statements about literature (especially poetry). Symbolic meaning should only be brought up sparingly, in the form of open questions. Many people think of poetry as "hard" and "snooty," but it's really the anthology editors to blame, not the poets.*

3) Watched the season recap of "Elementary," the other day, and couldn't bear to watch all of it, because Spoilers, ahoy! )

*This rant is brought to you by The Poetry Foundation, and its 'Learning Guide' for William Carlos Williams's To a Poor Old Woman.
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So-- as I said, recently, YouTube has been recommending (after about a year's break) videos related to Chuck... Well, it turns out that the lead actor in the show (Zac Levi) has been, for the last three years, holding charity fundraising events at Comic-Con for Operation Smile called "Conversations for a Cause." He hosts/organizes panels in intimate spaces (rather than massive halls that hold 5,000+ people); entrance to these venues is $20, and the entire panel time is Q & A with the guests.

Here's one of the panels that streamed live, yesterday: Conversations for a Cause -- Doctor Who (Matt Smith, Jenna Louise Coleman, and Steven Moffat) -- Hosted by Nathan Fillion

~45 minutes
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I'm not complaining... ;-) -- Because that show, more than any other I ever remember following (including several iterations of Star Trek, Quantum Leap, and Max Headroom) really was about Geek Pride as its subject matter and theme.
...
Anyway, one of the videos related to Chuck that I watched, recently, was a two-hour interview/conversation with the star of the show (Zac Levi), and I was rather chuffed to hear him define "nerd" in the same basic way I define "geek" (someone who cares more for the subject of their passion than they are worried of making a "sideshow freak" of themselves, by expressing that passion).

So this post has two main purposes: To express a tiny "hooray!" that I'm seeing more people express my broader definition of "Geek" than just a math/science/computer whiz, and:

To state my newest realization: That "Geek" and "nerd" are more synonymous than I've long given them credit for. "Geek" dates back to the 15th Century, it's true. But its modern incarnation was as a side-show exhibit. "Nerd" was a word invented by Dr. Seuss. But it was a word for a creature in a zoo. In other words, both "Geek" and "nerd" are framed in the context of being stared at.

It has one secondary purpose: all this thinking about thinking about geekdom prompted me to go look through my archives for this post, which was written as an expression of frustration that Network TV (NBC) shows so little respect for Geeks (Chuck): More Geek pride geekery. I closed that post with the following:

"I was going to go on, and write further about geekery and disability. But this has taken up too much space-time already."

...And now, I must admit that I can't remember a jot of what I wanted to say about the disability connection. Oops?

Maybe it will come back to me...But here's the scene from Chuck that inspired that post:

More detail than is warranted about the now-dead series, including a video clip of a scene that made me cheer out loud when I saw it on my TV. I think I may actually have said: 'Squee!' )
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
There was the original "Inspector Morse" series, from Colin Dexter's novels. Then, there came the "Inspector Lewis" spin-off. And, now, there's the prequel entitled "Endeavor" -- set in the 1960's about how the young Endeavor Morse grew into the white-haired Morse.

Anyway, I saw the first episode of "Endeavor," yesterday... And, while I enjoyed it quite a lot, I was reminded of an observation my mother made about the original series (which was family viewing): Cut for whopping, if generalized, spoilers ). It's a trend that seems to be continuing. :-/

And then I saw that Colin Dexter is contributing to the new series. So I wonder if that's a personal fiction kink of his...

Is this a special subset of the "manpain" trope?
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
1) A wonderful piece of writing on sexual objectification, from [personal profile] kestrel: For Sale: The Joy of being sexually objectified (content warning: sexual microagressions treated in a satirical manner)

2) Any time I buy raisins, the package always specifies that they are "Seedless"... I know seedless grapes are a (relatively) new thing, in the history of agriculture... But is it even possible to buy raisins with the seeds in, anymore?

3) Songs originally written for the Hearing, and translated into Sign for the Deaf often make me go "hrm," because a) it often comes from the assumption that the Deaf are "deprived" of music (music, like language, resides in the human mind, and Deaf have their own forms of [visual] music, thank-you-very-much), and b) the qualities of a song that make it musical to the ear are usually lost when translating the lyrics into Sign. But this video gives me all the feels. For one thing, the signers are, themselves, Deaf, and each of the performers has translated the meaning of the English lyrics in their own way -- showing the flexibility and nuance that's possible in Sign. And also, the message of the song itself:

(BTW, at the very last line, the final two performers are signing "We support you.")

4) Oh! The most recent "Inspector Lewis" episode on Masterpiece: Mystery! passed my Disability Test... The young brother-in-law of the murder victim was paraplegic, and a wheelchair user, and he wanted: to get free of his overbearing mother! \o/

5) Another bit of writing that's not from me, but I wanted to share... This time, from Dave Hingsburger: Red and white
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So -- the big television news for the coming season, here in the States, is that Michael J. Fox is coming back to television in a sitcom which is also writing for (I think), as a fictionalized account of his life since leaving television due to having Parkinson's.

On the one hand: yay! Disability as portrayed by someone who lives it, rather than fantasizes about it. On the other hand, I've been apprehensive, because the network it's airing on (NBC) has done some terrible shows, like The Apprentice and Biggest Loser.

But I saw the official trailer for the show last night, and I'm now more hopeful. For one thing, it looks like at least some of the jokes will be about "TABs say the darnedest things, don't they?" It also looks like it's both set, and filmed in NYC (Hollywood versions of New York are faker than Dick van Dyke's cockney accent).

Here's the trailer from YouTube:
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'Cause I have Thoughts on a passel of television season finales. You have been warned.

Castle )

NCIS )

Elementary )

NCIS: Los Angeles )
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So ā€“ last night, I watched a repeat of the episode "the Final Frontier," and it was a great, fun episode, all about geek pride. The thing is, that the murder victim was shot (with a laser gun that was very much hand-waved), and "hidden" on a mockup of a television set spaceship and left overnight. ā€¦ And no one noticed until a couple of fans decided to snoop around and take a closer look. Apparently in the "Castle" universe, human corpses have no smell.

I really do enjoy the series, until I think about it too hard; it's really just a fantasy for writers ā€“ all about how were really the smartest people in the room, which would be obvious, if only people would listen to us. Because after all, it's our job to think about everything .
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First. Cute overload of the day, or week, or month, or until the next time I squeal out loud at an image on my screen: Linked Tails (photo of three harvest mice siblings perched on a branch, holding tails the way humans hold hands)

Second. Re: Feeling ... not so much left out as pushed out of Valentine's Day (it's the only holiday I can think of that puts people in a second class based on relationship status, and for those of us who have been historically and culturally discouraged from thinking about having relationships, well... yeah. And being the sort who doesn't like feeling left out and bitter, I spent yesterday trying to think of a positive alternative way to frame it -- or a new one (my old fall back of it bringing a shot of bright color into the grey depths of winter doesn't work as well in Virginia as it did in New York).

This is what I came up with: For the Romans, it was a fertility fest celebrating the founding of Rome, and the suckling of Romulus and Remus by the she-wolf... According to the Christian story (aiui) Saint Valentine became associated with lovers because at one point, married men were exempt from the army, so the Saint would perform marriages as an act of civil disobedience. So I propose that we singletons of that bent use the day to celebrate conscientious objection and other "loving" acts of social change... (hey, "pinko" is already a color associated with it!)

Third. Working on a YouTube video of my "harvest" poem... which is why I haven't been talking here much (which is why I was researching mice to draw).

Fourth. Still need to schedule an inspection of my central heating/AC

Fifth. Need to schedule repairs to the van (may be the transmission). :-/

Sixth. After 30 or so years, This Old House is finally doing a series on wheelchair-accessible design. My feelings, they are mixed. On the one hand: yay! On the other hand, it's still being framed as "Something we should do for our elderly family members." (And again, disability = elderly, rather than disability = everybody). Also, it's a two-storey house and the downstairs is being converted into a self-contained, one-storey, living space with the upstairs being renovated for future live-in help if needed... And once again, I'm thinking that that would probably have been the better option for me to adapt my New York home instead of moving down here...

Seventh: OMG! Asteroids! Meteorite! Eek!
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
And, I think I figured something out: The supposed "Special trait" that separates Modern Homo Sapiens from all other species of human, and non-human animals?

It's an obsessive psychological need to be separate from all other species of humans, and non-human animals. ...In other words, it's our bigotry. :-/

On the other hand, the conclusion voiced at the end of the episode (from one of the scientists interviewed) is that Neanderthals "disappeared" because they interbred with the Homo Sapiens who migrated into Europe, and got genetically absorbed (and the Neanderthal genes we [Europeans] inherited are the ones that control our immune systems). So that offers some hope that we really can "Make Love, Not War."

Peace forever, Baby!
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
Tonight, on the PBS program This Old House, the team of home renovators congratulated themselves on dismantling the ugly and cumbersome wheelchair ramp which the current owners of the house in question didn't need, and replaced it with a much more beautiful and welcoming brand new set of stairs.

The documentary that aired in the very next hour focused on the work and life of African American painters, and the struggles they've personally had to wage against racism in the professional Art World. The injustice of Segregation and Jim Crow laws, which codified in writing where individual people were allowed or forbidden to enter was mentioned more than once.

. . . . . . . . .

I trust you, Gentle Reader, can see where all the irony quotes should go without me actually typing them. Do I trust rightly?
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Season Final of Chuck (So far): Three down, ten to go.

I'm really liking this. Spoilers for seasons 1-4, strictly speaking, but only in the very broadest of strokes )

Ye Muses and Storytellers! There needs to be more of this! Please!

Another snippet from Rolling around in my head:

(quote) Read more... ) "If our most important invention was the wheel," he said, "why did we follow up with the stair?" (unquote)

Thoughts that come to mind from wanting to talk back to Brian Greene in his new "Fabric of the Cosmos" series:

I am really sick of the Theory of Entropy being treated like it's a hot, new, exciting idea. Read more... )

And, thanks to Life, a chaotic and falling-apart Universe is a lot more fun and interesting that the super-ordered moment at the very start of the Big Bang. I'll take it. Thanks.
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Yesterday, I wrote this:

(Quote)
In the past, I've always used my NaNo novel to create a psychological buffer zone for myself. And now, the prospect of dealing with all that without the project that requires to write past word #35,000 is scaring me at the moment... scaring me quite a lot, actually.

So ... Should I, or shouldn't I?
(Unquote)


Well, yesterday, I posted this question/thought again on the Mudcat thread about it. And someone I know on there said she wished I'd join up so I could guide her through it...

So, with that little nudge, I decided to go for it -- only this time, I'm not expecting or planning to "win"... But just to have it as a thing.

The theme for The Art Garden this year is "Charms," and its deadline is November 12. So what I've decided is: to work on something for that today and tomorrow (a sonnet, maybe), and then use whatever key thought arise in that work as the starting point for my NaNovel.

So I will go do that now...

(after a snack and a pee, not necessarily in that order...)

Oh, and tonight on Nova, it's the start of a new series about emerging theories in quantum physics: dark energy, time travel, more parallel universes, etc., with Brian Greene. I can't remember my opinion of him, but I think I remember him being kinda cool (not as cool as Sagan or Feynman, but you have to take what you've got).

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