pine: X-files Alien eyes sheep (Dreamsheep_Alien)
The New York Times asks David Duchovny, now a published novelist, about all that steamy Mulder/Scully fanfic, and he says....

"When “X-Files” was kind of in its heyday, that was the beginning of the Internet. I was very skeptical and thought, This thing will never last. My favorite was the fan fiction that had Alex Krycek, my nemesis, and me as lovers. It was beautiful.

Yes it was. *happy sigh*

And is!

One of the most beautiful, IMHO, is the still-available (whew!) A Boy and His Rat by the talented C.M.Decarnin:
pine: picture of big pine tree in California vineyard (Default)
Fandom is political. Fandom is international. And politics are international: what happens in each country very much tends to follow the "trends." For all these reasons I urge you to read a UK fan's comments below on their upcoming elections. It happens here too. It happens everywhere.

Consider what privatizing society - taking away public goods so that only wealthy and powerful groups have access - has to do with "net neutrality." How secure is our fannish freedom to say and write and be who we want online? Only as secure as our voices are heard; our votes and opinions must be counted. Do you want Tory-style governments handing over big chunks of the internet to rich commercial customers only? (Think LJ. 6A. Youtube take-downs.) It's not just public parks and women's shelters such governments close down and destroy.

The scene: Britain. The crisis: freedom. Read on:

Of course, we have to hope.
[A signal-boost from Yonmei, c/p by permission; feel free to comment at her journal]

So I hope. That despite everything, we won't end up back in Tory Britain again.

Obviously, there's the pond of homophobia and transphobia lurking under the happy smiling of-course-we-like-LGBT-people face. But that we know: I don't think many LGBT people are likely to be fooled by the Tories.

Johann Hari points out that we can already see what Cameron's vision of "Big Society" looks like in real life: a Conservative council was elected in Hammersmith and Fulham, a model for Conservative government, says George Osborne, who wants to be Chancellor on Friday: they immediately sold off 12 homeless shelters, handing them to large property developers.

The horrified charity Crisis was offered premises by the BBC to house the abandoned in a shelter over the Christmas period at least. The council refused permission. They said the homeless were a "law and order issue", and a shelter would attract undesirables to the area. With this in mind, they changed the rules so that the homeless had to "prove" to a sceptical bureaucracy that they had nowhere else to go – and if they failed, they were turned away. ..... A young woman – let's called her Jane Phillips, because she wants to remain anonymous – turned up at the council's emergency housing office one night, sobbing and shaking. She was eight months pregnant. She explained she was being beaten up by her boyfriend and had finally fled because she was frightened for her unborn child. The council said they would "investigate" her situation to find "proof of homelessness" – but she told them she had nowhere to go while they carried it out. By law, they were required to provide her with emergency shelter. They refused. They suggested she try to find a flat on the private market.

Eight months pregnant, beaten, and terrified, she ended up sleeping in a park for four nights. That's what David Cameron regards as a model of good governance, and I know that I'm preaching to the converted: but that's what the Tories mean when they talk about "Big Society" and people "taking responsibility". They mean that people with a disability so severe they need 24/7 care should start paying the bills - £12.50 per hour. (You do the math. I'll cry.) [US $18.90/hour] And any disabled person assessed as having only 'lower moderate' needs would be totally cut off. Leave people who could have some quality of life with help, rotting abandoned in their homes, if that saves the rich some money.

When I was visiting London in the 1980s, at the height of Tory Britain, I just got used to the plain fact that you'd pass a teenager huddled under a blanket anywhere that was a good begging spot: kids almost my age, who had left home and found that Thatcher's pro-family policies meant they'd get no help at all from any of the agencies supposed to provide for those in need. Over 16, they were legally allowed to leave home: under 18, they weren't entitled to claim benefits of any description. There were so many of them, and I had so little money myself, I used to make formal awkward rules that I would give what I could spare to the first one I passed on any given day, and try not to feel too awful about the next one, and the next, and the next.

It's not just the children who are homeless: There's kids who have homes, but need youth clubs and parks:

Castle Youth Club. It was built in Dickens' time and bequeathed to the local council "to benefit the children of this area for perpetuity". The Conservatives shut it down two years ago to sell it off. The deal fell through, so now it sits empty while the local kids hang around on the streets outside.

Hurlingham Park was a big vibrant patch of green where kids from the local estates could play, and run on one of the few professional running tracks in the country, in a setting so classically beautiful it was used in the film Chariots of Fire. But then the Conservatives were elected. They handed the park over to a large international polo consortium that has ripped out the running track and shut the park down for a month every year – so rich people can watch polo for hundreds of pounds a day. ..... Nick Anderton, a 17-year-old from the local estate. He stares at it sadly and says: "The park is meant to be for everyone, isn't it? But we have to stop our football now so they can get it ready so these people can play polo, and we won't be able to use it for most of the summer ... My friend used to run on the track every day, he wants to be an athlete, but they got rid of it so he can't now ... It feels like we don't have the right to be here any more.

To benefit the children of this area for perpetuity.

Or until a Tory government comes along.

Send this to someone you know in Britain. Remember it for the next election, wherever you are! This signal-boost is of a post by Yonmei, c/p with her permission; feel free to comment at her journal.

ETA to fix html error mistakenly ascribing a ¶ of Yonmei's words to Hari. *facepalm*
pine: picture of big pine tree in California vineyard (Default)
Life, work, my dratted dissertation, and everything else* has been keeping me busy. I'm not gafiating, just not often online here lately for more than reading my flist's posts and some news and fics, and commenting. But what else is new? If I have to choose between either posting in my own journal, or talking about whatever my friends are talking about, in their journals, I will always opt for commenting to my friends. Or to writers and artists.

*which if you know me you know what that is; but if not, you are welcome to guess at! Comment with any completely cracktastic guesses so we can all ROFL too. ;-)

I never seem to have developed whatever-it-is that motivates people to post exclusively or mainly their own stuff in their own journal. I mean... if there's no conversation happening, isn't a paper diary or a locked journal just the same? I do post private-locked often; that's for me, so I see no reason to go on exhibition with it.

It could also be that the reason for posting frequently "into the ether" is simply to practice at posting and/or writing, and doing it publicly is some part of the compact with oneself or one's muse. Since I'm not a wildly loltastic or clever writer, that doesn't attract me much. I'd rather practice being a good reader and commenter.

If you post often, do you find the number of comments (if any) make a difference? Do time limits ever mean you choose to comment on friends' posts and fics rather than posting something yourself, or do you tend to post-in-own-journal-first, read-and-comment later?

My major fandom activity lately has been beta-ing fics for fests. more rambly thoughts on beta-ing and spring and film )

LJ, oh LJ

Mar. 4th, 2010 11:21 pm
pine: picture of big pine tree in California vineyard (Default)
So in reading my dwircle I gather that LJ pulled a quick-trick with the code in a way that rather substantially benefited them financially but was pulled quickly after fans got uber-miffed.

Someone linked to LJ user's Kyle_Cassidy's journal for more info on this. The name sounded so familiar I clicked over there to read. Oh! KC is our LJ user rep. I'm still groping for specific memories around that datum point - my LJ files have been have deleted and the rest are slowly trickling out of sight - so I read farther down the comments and see that yes, many are happy that KC is doing a great job (which he kindly thanks them for but demurs, saying he'll be convinced when they get a User Backup function going).

To someone who says UR THE BEST USER REP EVAH he replied:

i think i'm only the second one and, from all i've heard, the first one vanished immediately after being elected.

Oh rly? Hmmm. Izzat so? How'd that go down? I actually recall voting in the first LJ user rep election - or wait, make that both of them - but without remembering either time who that user rep ended up being. Although I also recall being pleased that the best-qualified candidate IMO, the one I voted for, ended up being elected each time. However, these are but tiny floating islands of knowledge in a sea of HUH WHAT HAPPENED?

Enlighten me O clued-in flist. What, in the varied and vocal opinions of fandom, has been the *concrete* outcome(s) of having an LJ user board and user-elected reps?
pine: picture of big pine tree in California vineyard (Default)
So I've always been interested in society and medicine and disease. I mean, disease... how can it not be fascinating? My left science list is having a discussion lately on military metaphors in medical discourse - discourse in the broad sense of being not just the language but the ideology and the practice of medicine itself.

As an illustration one of that flist just posted a link to a book that is online for free (YAYY FOR FREE ONLINE BOOKS AND DOWNLOADS) from the U.S. National Academies of Science, "Ending the War Metaphor: The Changing Agenda for Unraveling the Host-Microbe Relationship" (2006).

Here is the opening of page 1. Is this not beautiful? A brilliant sign of hope for what science can be if it ever all becomes this reflexive. Not to mention humble.



The History of Medicine

2000 B.C.—Here, eat this root.

1000 A.D.—That root is heathen. Here, say this prayer.

1850 A.D.—That prayer is superstition. Here, drink this potion.

1920 A.D.—That potion is snake oil. Here, swallow this pill.

1945 A.D.—That pill is ineffective. Here, take this penicillin.

1955 A.D.—Oops…bugs mutated. Here, take this tetracycline.

1960–1999—39 more “oops.” Here, take this more powerful antibiotic.

2000 A.D.—The bugs have won! Here, eat this root.

—Anonymous (World Health Organization, 2000)

Ahhh, my Snapefan self also loves the part about potions! :D There aren't many other HP fans on my radical science list-serve, alas. So I bring it here. My science studies love, let me show you it.

It's amazing to think that this book on medical metaphors, on the language of leading paradigms for understanding infectious disease, is from a conference organized by the (U.S.) Institute of Medicine and National Academy of Sciences. O the slipperiness of meaning; compared to this even bugs are predictable! But neither can be controlled by men in white coats, not with all the gleaming lab equipment in the world (and in the U.S., which spends the most in history to get some of the worst national health results, that's a lotta spending indeed).

I could segue into clever comparisons to fandom were it not well past my bedtime, and me with a persistent headache as well. And a new book to look at! So I leave the analogies to you and take, instead, the book...
pine: picture of big pine tree in California vineyard (Default)
So Belgium's Kevin van der Perren is skating to Robin Hood (the Michael Kamen score).

Earlier, it was Pirates of the Caribbean, with Spain's young Javier Fernandez doing an awesomely fun, lively interpretation. Worth watching especially for his swaggering drunken-sailor section, in the cutest pirate "boots."

Watching yet another slim young man with dark tousled hair and a sparkling personality take the ice, I wondered... when we'll see a Harry Potter interpretation in the Olympics or worlds. Quidditch, anyone?

An IJ friend is pondering a Snape figure-skating AU. OOOH. We should cheer her on to do this, y/y?

I could really go for a Plushenko!Lupin too.

Also, I need skater icons, I think! Or really, if I'm going to use DW, more icons of any kind.
pine: picture of big pine tree in California vineyard (Default)
I'd say I'm back online but really, I'm just posting to share my squee about the upcoming Olympic men's figure skating finals.



I love seeing more of the skaters *not* attempt quads but that's simply because it hurts so to see them fall. Most of them do, more than half the time. New York Times has a great interactive spread tabulating risks and rewards of a quad for the 14 men skaters in this Olympics who've tried a quad in major international competitions in the last four seasons (and not including the short programs from Tuesday night).

The record shows: "only about a third of them earned more points than if the skater had performed a well-executed triple lutz, one of the most difficult triple jumps, but one which most of the top men can do consistently."

In other words, even landing one doesn't necessarily help that much. Lysacek, for instance, only added "positive grade of execution" points 31% of the time for trying and/or landing one - and even then, it was only an additional +0.8 at most (and far less than that on average). So, he's smart not to plan one in the long program. Plushenko's efforts, however (with only the four competitions since his 2009 return tabulated) have hit 100%, and have netted him an additional +1.2 on average, with +1.8 as his high.

Daisuke Takahashi, ranked 3 after the SP (but virtually tied with Plushenko and Lysacek) has tried more quads than Lysacek, and he's landed half of them, and garnered up to +1.5 additional points for grade of execution as a result. So it makes sense he'd try one in the LP tonight.

Who am I rooting for? WAHHHH I WANT THEM ALLLLLLL!!!! THEY ARE ALL SO AWESOME. Truly, I love them all, for different reasons. Takahashi is beautiful, Lysacek is elegant, and Plushenko is OMG PLUSHY OMG. And Johnny Weir is SO CUTE. (Although frankly, I find him more a performer than a skater, especially Tuesday night.)

Can I just say that also, Lysacek reminds me somewhat of Snape? especially when he wears something like Tuesday night's dark, long-limbed Firebird costume, with the gorgeous feathers drawing attention to his large, strong hands. And Plushenko, IMHO, makes a perfectly marvelous Remus? :D :D :D *Snupin love* In person, of course, Lysacek is just a nice well-to-do American boy who loves sports (see interviews below). But Plushy, in his interview, could still be Lupin. I have so much love for Evgeny Plushenko as the bravura daredevil he truly is, I have to be rooting for him. But... also for all the others! I just hope (like Dick Button, lol) that they all do wonderfully, pull off their best performances ever. Which I will then enjoy!

The NBC Olympics website has the short program videos up, as well as
a long interview with Evan Lysacek (in two parts, the second linked from this one) and a shorter but still delightfully rich interview with Evgeny Plushenko.

The short programs for virtually every contestant is up there, though a bit hard to find: Plushenko, Lysacek, Takahashi, and all the rest. YUM YUM YUM.
pine: picture of big pine tree in California vineyard (Default)
What do you do after a flaming row? An intemperate remark (or 10)? When the bitter anger of a wank dies down, there is occasionally a fleeting wish that some of it could be unsaid, or at least that you could apologize and agree to move on. Or sometimes, there are things you didn't do - the "sins of omission" - and you wish you could say what you didn't say, and explain why, and apologize, and move on.

quinfirefrorefiddle on Dreamwidth came up with one interesting solution:

[info - community] meaculpa

Because if we don't move on... we're stuck. Not changing, staying the same, is being stuck, too.

In the aftermath of every fail there are some who wonder, Is fandom getting wankier all the time? What happens when you follow the Geek Social Fallacies too assiduously (or your whole flist seems to) and can no longer be "friends" with anyone who didn't totally agree, jump in on the "right" side, join the drama, care deeply, get the point?

Eventually the only friends you dare have are those who (a) don't talk, (b) don't talk publicly, or (c) are newbies. The friends who don't talk - well, hello? They're gone. The ones who no longer talk online - why stay, then? We're gone. As for those newbies, they will soon go through the same trial-by-fail, resulting in most of *them* becoming polarized or silenced or silencing or walking away from fandom... do the math. It's a never-ending turmoil with smaller and smaller circles of trust, and larger and larger circles of former friends and lifelong enemies.

Woah. This is not my shiny fandom! This is not the online community we say we want! Instead, it's a steadily shrinking space of love and trust and diversity, of civil discourse. It's ever less of the squee, and teh shiny, not to mention my beloved meta. Yes, it's good that fandom becomes ever more aware of important issues - but not if it becomes ever less willing to just *talk*, and resolve them, and move on with an increase in both awareness *and* community. Because dude, regardless of how right the path is, if it goes into the big empty desert without that loaf of bread, jug of wine, and especially *thou* - the rest of the community - it's a lonely, empty place.

Sure, there's that whole "different drummer" shtick, taking "the less travelled path". But there's also the old "No woman is an island." It reminds us "for whom the bell tolls": it's for *us*. That death knell always, in some way, signals a loss from our community. Because hey, we are social animals, and if we can't take care of each other? We die a little inside. Sometimes social animals, cut off from healthy community, just die.

This web 2.0, this fandom, our shiny jewel in the online sea, this splintered isle - it's no good if we can't learn how to get along.

Sometimes, you want to say you're sorry for your actions or inactions, for words spoken or unspoken, information divulged or topics shied away from. This can be regardless of whether the others involved are interested in dialogue or forgiveness. Sometimes, *you* need to make an apology for your karma or serenity, your self-respect or sense of closure or whatever.

Here's a way )
pine: picture of big pine tree in California vineyard (Default)
So I rimed me some Mother Goose filk on the PervySurveyFail (Ogi Pogi, puddin' and pie)

behind the cut )

And [personal profile] jalendavi_lady promptly shot back a limerick form (with apologies for the dissonant last line):

There once was a man, name of Ogi,
Who along with a friend was a fogey.
Fandom thought they were pervy
Once they'd posted their survey
And told them quite loudly, "Nokey!"

(Yes, I know the last line is horrid.)

Now along comes [personal profile] quinfirefrorefiddle (quinfirefrorefiddle over at DW) with an awesome, full filk! YAYYY fandom, that hath such talent in it!

"Once there were two researchers..." Sung to the tune of Carole King's Tapestry

For those who are fuzzy on the music, a link to the video. Cue, roll, sing!

Sung to Carole King's "Tapestry":

There once were these two researchers who thought they had a clue
A never-changing vision of an everlasting crew
A web of all desire they wanted to weave and hold
Stereotypes to feel and see, spelled out right there in bold.

Once, amid the internet, and sites to make you sigh
With plot lines, authorship and wit, the fannish nerds did cry,
"I do not fit your labels, and you are not on my side,
Your ignorance is willful, which I will not abide."

They moved with some uncertainty, as if they didn't know,
Just what they'd gotten into, or whether they should go.
Once, they reached for kindness, hoping for sympathy
But their words came off empty.

Soon, amid the internet, the acafen arrived
Querying their methods, and how they had derived
Their predetermined hypotheses, which did not work too well
No one wept to see them suffer, they'd ignited their own hell.

As fandom watched so cynically, they quickly disappeared
Abandoning their "research" and their new-begun careers
In times of deep despair, at least, we know they won't come back
Their "survey" lost them all their cred, we won't trust them with jack.
We won't trust them with jack....

AHH Fandom! You are Made Of Win. Now, someone's got to do the Youtube version and CIRCULATE IT AROUND THE WORLD so that every search for "Ogi Ogas" comes up with this lyrical paean to SurveyFail. ::sporfle::

ETA: for more filk, fic, fan art, parody and all your meta needs:
pine: picture of big pine tree in California vineyard (Default)
So [personal profile] ithiliana over on LJ was asking who impudently dubbed this the PervySurveyFail. *raises hand reluctantly*

Oh, but she liked it! Well... in that case. *is inspired* Also, IZ NOT TL;DR TODAY, JUST BAD RHYME!

Remember Mother Goose and "Georgie-Porgie, pudding and pie"?

I give you:
"Pervy Ogi"

PervySurvy, Ogi and Sai,
Polled the fans but told a lie.
When they asked about the fail,
Pervy Ogi started to bail.
When the fangirls came to play
PervySurvy ran away.

pine: picture of big pine tree in California vineyard (Default)
Ogi, thanks for more evidence of your social immaturity, your sexist bias, your utterly self-absorbed scientific twerpitude:


[Sep. 3rd, 2009|06:24 am]

We wish to apologize for any offense caused by our survey, which was certainly never our intention. We can clearly understand how strong feelings were evoked by the specific nature of our interactions. We deeply regret this. We appreciate tremendously the invaluable feedback we've received, and certainly hope to improve our work and grow as people as a result of this experience.

No Ogi, how about you apologize FOR BEING WRONG? For doing BAD SCIENCE and CRAPTASTICALLY AMATEUR, INSENSITIVE pop social research? For pretending to know something about fields you never took even an undergraduate class in? FOR LYING?

How about YOU apologize for YOUR FAULTS AND FLAWS AND FAILINGS instead of blaming fandom?

*takes deep breath and turns to analysis*

Sorry for the tirade. I really, really hope someone Ogi talks to points out to him that THIS IS NOT AN APOLOGY. Rhetorically, discursively, syntactically, this is a DENIAL OF RESPONSIBILITY for a situation HE CAUSED. Ogi should be apologizing for what HE did, not essentializing fandom further by telling *us* what *our* response is.

Also, I particularly vomit at how he (& poor Sai who is either an even bigger coward or a total tool of Ogi) hope to "grow as people." It's not just that they should grow as *men* and as *scientists* since in both those areas they are clearly at a very immature stage, it's that through this and other choices of words, they RESTATE AND COMPOUND their sexism and colonialism. Throughout this pathetic and completely unprofessional excuse for an apology, they emphasize their agency over fandom. They characterize fandom as a passive mass, an object, an only vaguely seen - and not worth seeing - group who they just spent many hours with, but failed to get to know in any way.

So instead, they deliver an apology that is a nonpology (or as I've also heard, a nopology). They post a text that is all about them, to a group they can't even bother to name, using discourse that frames fandom as composed of hyperemotional women who have no qualifications, no intelligence, no humanity, no rights. Their discourse establishes this binary us-versus-them schema in a way that reaffirms Ogi on a number of levels and devalues fandom in all. It does this in a number of ways; let me show you them!

ETA: now revised, with subheds and better summary. I'm workin on it!

turn up the tunes, pop open their nopology in a new window with the handy link below and let's do some discourse analysis. Whee! )

Get Sheep!

May. 1st, 2009 04:20 am
pine: X-files Alien eyes sheep (Dreamsheep_Alien)
Dreamwidth sheep are ... dreamy. Or alien or vampires or state flags or anything you like - if you see it and share it at dreamsheep.

Go on, don't be sheepish. Hoof it on over there and gather yourself a little flock of Dreamsheep icons. Better yet, make and share some ... and enter the contest!