Dec. 16th, 2010 11:09 am
labellementeuse: a picture of Katara yelling at Sokka with the text 'Feminist Rage' (atla katara's feminist rage)
Spent the last hour alternately literally throwing up because I think I ate something gross, and metaphorically throwing up because of the left-wing response to the Julian Assange rape chargers. Here is some required reading for you all.

"We require — not ask, not prefer, absolutely require – progressive media and public figures to stand against rape in every case. Again, this is not negotiable. This is mandatory. This is a requirement: If you don’t stand against rape, and make that stand a crucial and central part of your platform, we do not accept you either as a real “progressive” or as someone who is in any way qualified for authority or a leadership position. We will not buy your merchandise; we will not support you; we will speak out against you. Because a progressive movement that doesn’t stand against rape isn’t a progressive movement. It’s just The Man, it’s just the oppressor, it’s just oppression, in a baseball hat, holding a camcorder."

Say you’re at a family barbecue and someone mentions that one of Assange’s accusers was a feminist who wrote about taking revenge on men, and you say yeah, rape is terrible but so is being wrongly accused. So many women just cry rape to get the attention, it’s disgusting and your mother-in-law leaves the room because she was raped many years ago by a trusted family friend and nobody believed her, but you don’t know that story, because you never asked. How does your mother-in-law feel, how does she feel about you being the parent of her grandchildren?"

"Dinah has been politically engaged since she was in junior high school, working on a host of left-wing causes. Articulate and brave, as soon as she turned eighteen she spent school breaks traveling around the country working on various campaigns. And on one such campaign, while traveling alone with this celebrated male activist through rural Wisconsin, she was raped by this man she looked up to and admired.">
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (kate demasking)
I just made a whole bunch of new friends, so OBVIOUSLY what I'm doing is posting another meme post. SORRY GUISE. For those playing the LJ game, I just unfriended a bunch of people and communities: people I'm following on dreamwidth who don't flock their entries, and communities that got annoyingly spammy. I really doubt I got up anyone's nose and as you guys know I'm way, way too lazy to flock, but if I defriended you and you want back on, tell me tell me. I was really aiming at consolidating, not cutting. (Also: defriending amnesty. If you've been wanting to, do it, I promise not to cry.)

So this is particularly bad timing for three vids that are all basically Issue Vids. If you have Issues with Issue Vids, steer clear! For these vids I think it's particularly important that you watch them before reading my commentary, so uh. Please do?

Day 16 - A vid that told you something new about a show/movie you already loved
My Medea, by [personal profile] yunitsa
Joss Whedon shows; Girls in Boxes; premise spoilers for Dollhouse; spoilers for Firefly; Buffy included but (IMO) no significant spoilers; violence against women, general creepiness.

blah blah )

Day 17 - A vid you wish you had made
Let There Be Guns, by [personal profile] kuwdora
Stargate: SG-1 and Stargate: Atlantis; everybody has guns; tv violence, no spoilers worth mentioning.

I'm not a vidder, so this was tough for me, but this is sort of an attainable goal: I wish I was as witty as this vid. Of course it starts off with a bit of an advantage because it uses a hilarious song, but the spark of genius that first combined the two - well, I desire it! There's nothing much to this vid except wit, and I love it.

Best Bit: Definitely "naw, not me, I got me a rifle." &Vala; The timing on "we could go out and shoot things" is really good, and "we wouldn't need the police no more" is extra-good because it comes from an episode about, like, separationists so I think it's hilarious. The vid mostly depends on visuals rather than canon knowledge, so I like that that's a scene where canon knowledge makes this extra funny.

Day 18 - A vid that made you investigate that vidder's other work further
Bachelorette, by [ profile] obsessive24
BTVS, ensemble, spoilers for the whole series, rapid cuts

GUISE GUISE, I know I've recced like fifteen vids which are all RARR JOSS HAS PROBLEMS, but this vid? sort of pro Joss! You should watch it!

etc etc )

SO THAT WAS A LOT OF TL;DR. Watch some vids, guys!
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (steph burning)
1. I had this big rant about how I started watching Supernatural again last week and how I kind of find the whole angel-demon-apocalypse thing weird/boring and yet I suddenly really like Castiel (which I really didn't back when I was last watching the show, beginning of S4) but it was kind of confusing and off-track and vaguely anti-Christian and also turned into a rant about how I just hate apocalypses so I deleted it and instead I think everyone should give me Dean/Castiel recs. I think this is the third time I've returned to this show, maybe the fourth, and I have to say I don't know why. There are better shows on TV. There are shows with actual women on them, which I happen to really enjoy. But w/e it sucked me in again.

2. Here's a profic rant that's been building up for awhile, probably since the Wellington book festival. I was not having a great week and didn't get to much, but I did get to the Margo Lanagan and Neil Gaiman panel about writing ~~Darker and Edgier~~ YA.

Anyone who's cracked a book lately is aware of a surging interest in young adult fiction. This is at least partly because the shit is really selling lately, and not just to teenagers: also to women of all ages (like me). One aspect of this is that the stuff that's really selling is fantasy; for awhile in there it was urban fantasy, now, of course, it's paranormal romance. It's worth noting at this point that I think some of the greatest fantasy being written at the moment is being written for teen audiences. Gaiman (Coraline, The Graveyard Book) and Lanagan (Black Juice and many other short story collections, Tender Morsels) are only two examples. However, they are certainly poster children for a particular style of writing and for a fairly significant crossover audience.

Naturally they were asked about this: writing for YA, the differences between writing for YA and writing for adults, writing graphic violence and/or sex, how has the crossover audience affected YA, etc. They both said basically the same thing: they don't think of themselves as writing YA books. They write the books with the protagonists they want to write and then their publishers decide and you know kids can read all kinds of stuff these days and blah blah blah they're way too cool to make marketing decisions, which is all, you know. Fine. It's fine. I understand what they're trying to say: they're trying to say that the children's and YA reading audience is sophisticated, can be much more sophisticated than they are given credit for. And this is true, particularly for children who are prolific readers. (I was going to get into a discussion here about the relationship between privilege, especially educational and financial, and being a "good"/"sophisticated"/voracious reader, but I think I'll talk about it another time so I'll just leave it there.)

But Neil Gaiman couldn't answer the question without taking five minutes to diss the problem novel, which he described in this way (paraphrased): "Back when I was a journalist I would come across YA/teen books for review and they were all these horrible things about your brother being a drug addict and becoming HIV positive and your stepfather beating you up and your girlfriend getting pregnant."

Now, Gneil is hardly the first author or book reviewer or editor to take a swipe at the problem novel (sometimes also described as an issue novel and not to be confused with the social problem novel), which is indeed a staple of the YA genre (and has been since, oh, The Catcher in the Rye). Wikipedia has a fairly nice definition and brief summary of attitudes to the problem novel which I will quote here:
Problem novel is a term used to refer to a sub-genre of young adult literature that deal exclusively with an adolescent's first confrontation with a social or personal ill. The term is rather loosely defined ... as dealing more with characters from lower-class families and their problems; being "grittier"; using more realistic language; and including dialects, profanity, and poor grammar when it fits the character and setting.

I would add to Wikipedia that problem novels are famously YA but are not exclusively so: they're just as common in picture books and middle-grade and intermediate novels.

Now, first off let me point out that the problem novel has a frankly illustrious history. To Kill A Mockingbird is a problem novel. So are The Outsiders, The Chocolate War, Maniac Magee. These are widely-acclaimed novels, and if you check the list of Newbery and Carnegie Medal winners, you will see problem novels cropping up often. (I think Tithe is a lot like a problem novel too, by the way. Francesca Lia Block has written a few.)

So there's no doubt that problem novels can be good. Those novels, their existence and their value, doesn't need to be justified. However, it has become increasingly clear to me that adult readers, writers, reviewers, don't understand and often don't appreciate the problem novel, the ones that don't win Newbery awards, and it's these people who are popularising crossover YA fiction and it's a real attitude problem.

Anne Fine (Goggle-Eyes, Madame Doubtfire, Flour Babies, Step by Wicked Step, Round Behind the Ice-house) has won the Carnegie medal multiple times. Jacqueline Wilson (The Illustrated Mum, The Suitcase Kid, Bad Girls, The Story of Tracey Beaker) has won the children's Whitbread several times. These are women who write prolific, straightforward problem novels, about divorce, adoption, stepfamilies, shoplifting, mental illness, death, bullying, romance (not all in the same book.) (Note: these are both Brits and I'm referring to them because I read a lot of both of them. Judy Blume would be a US analogue.) But I do not think they are understood and they have no crossover audience of which I'm aware. And this is because - and I think this is crucial - they aren't writing for adults. They aren't writing ~the books that come to them~ and then letting their publisher pick who to market it to depending on what's hot. They are writing books for children and young adults about issues that are of vital and pressing concern for actual children and actual young adults. And these are the writers that are being dissed when we diss problem novels.

They made a movie of one of Anne Fine's books, Madame Doubtfire. Maybe you saw it, it had Robin Williams in it and it was pitched as a family film. But in order to make it as an American, Hollywood movie, they had to cast - well - Robin Williams. They had to change the protagonists from the children to the adults. Because Madame Doubtfire is profoundly a book about children. I have no doubt that it would not have sold well as a family film, because they have to be sold to adults as entertainment for adults. And I think this is a signal of why I find all this talk about crossover audiences and fiction for all ages and blah de blah upsetting.

Sure - we can sit around slagging off Go Ask Alice til we're blue in the face (and I think GAA is problematic because it's a bit of a cautionary tale, but w/e). But problem novels are profoundly not for us. They're for children and middleschoolers and young adults who, actually, do want and sometimes need to read about someone whose brother is a drug addict and whose girlfriend is pregnant. They can be crucial for teens in crises and for helping teens not be in crises and "at-risk" teens and children. Slagging them off is, to me, part of a process of co-opting the young adult market for 23-year-old women like me and I don't want a bar of it. Stop doing it, everyone.

Little bit o'links:
Justine Larbalestier on problem novels, great suggestion in the comments about differentiating between "problem novels" and "lecture novels"
A whole blog about problem novels, although - hahahaha - their 2007 intro post refers to the "new trend" of problem novels.
Diversity Roll-Call: Problem Novels, which includes the cover to the problem novel (actually a short story collection) that might have been most important to me personally, Am I Blue?
Problem novel recs at The Englishist.

Cross-posted with comments enabled to There may be further discussion in comments there.
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (Default)
This post at Comics Alliance about race in DC at the moment is really good. Someone in the comments made the really cogent thought that this is basically what happened on Batgirl in the last couple of years - Cass Cain, a Batgirl who was clearly part of the grim & grittier, (more) modern school of comics, and a character of colour, left her own book (which was really damn good) and was replaced by Stephanie Brown, who looks a lot more like bright, bubbly, sarky Babs-style Batgirl. Other comments have pointed out that this is sort of happening on Batman right now: Dick, a Romany* character, is going to be re-replaced by Bruce Wayne, Ultimate WASP.

Now, you can sort of try to justify these. Steph becoming Batgirl is a really cool, logical move, displaying both her growth and her close relationships with both the former Batgirls. Meanwhile Dick, unlike Cass or the other characters mentioned, probably isn't going to die or get put on a bus (after having had her character fucked around with in the most insanely infuriating ways... but don't get me started) when Bruce gets back.**

However, I think in both cases it's still a good call. Cass, a terrific character, was put on a bus partly because I suppose they were morons who couldn't figure out a way to use her and all her friends had kind of left the city (Tim was away, Kon was dead... on the other hand, Steph had even fewer friends around). But realistically, as cool a move as I think Steph being Batgirl is, it wasn't entirely necessary. Spoiler was always a pretty cool identity (IMO, YMMV) and they could have given her growth in some other way. (I don't know. But unlike oh, say, everyone who works for DC, it's not actually my job to figure it out.) Meanwhile, when Dick goes back to the Nightwing costume, if he does (come on: no way are they going to kill Dick, but equally no way is he going to keep the cowl - as cool as that would be) it's really only going to be a step backwards for him as a character. Finally becoming Batman was actually a big fucking deal for a character with Dick's history. Returning Bruce is just going to reboot Dick to where he was a year or two ago. Growth is cool, y'all, and sometimes legacy characters should actually stay de-legacied.

I don't know if I actually have a point! Talk to me about the Batbooks this week, y'all!

Birds of Prey, Batgirl, Batman thingummy spoilers! Lots of rambling )

*As plenty of people pointed out, Dick was white for a really long time - or at least he looked white. Devin Grayson was the one who wrote him as Rom, I guess about ten years ago? On the other hand, as someone else pointed out, there's really no reason not to embrace that. On the other other hand, I'm not sure that, if DC rewrote all its characters to give them ambiguously non-white backgrounds - say, the traditional my-great-grandmother-was-a-%fill in a stereotypical name for Native American group here% - that this would really fix the problem. On a fourth hand, widespread confusion about what the hell Connor Hawke or Lian Harper's ethnicities were doesn't make them not mixed race? Someone give me a sword, please, this knot is becoming a problem.

** Speaking of which, I sort of liked the first issue of Return of Bruce Wayne or whatever it's called? IDEK
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (raise your voice)
So I usually submit a physical timesheet and invoice on Tuesdays, and then get paid on Thursdays. This Tuesday we got an email saying to send our invoices and timesheets electronically to our various supervisors. I did so, late in the evening (my instructions for timesheets had been 'by Wednesday midday' so I figured I was fine). Then on Wednesday there was a tangi (funeral) which most of the staff attended, so people weren't in the office for most of the day. Thursday, I don't get paid, my supervisor comes past to get me to sign my timesheet, I figure, hey, there was a tangi, everyone was away for a day, I'll be paid tomorrow. Friday: I'm not paid. I talk to my supervisor indicating that while I quite like my job, I don't do it because inactivity bores me. (That's what the Internet is for.) He calls around, says things are messed around because of the tangi (no kidding) and I should be paid early this week.

Today is Wednesday, I still haven't been paid, I consider it no longer early in the week. I write to my supervisor, he comes over and talks to me, says, oh, this has happened and that has happened and I really don't know where everything went but maybe if we get everything together now I'll be paid - but probably not tomorrow: Maybe Friday, or next week, but when this other staff member gets back in the office he'll be able to tell me for sure.

I mean, for fuck's sake. Being paid fortnightly is enough of a drag as it is. Being paid approximately once a month (and let me point out that I've been here nearly two months and have only ONCE been paid on anything resembling a regular schedule)? SUCKS.

On the plus side, maybe, having no trouble staying focused at work today, because every time I drift into staring out the window i get re-energised with a burst of intense fury.

This wasn't even what my angry post today was going to be about. (It was going to be about - what else? - John Key and his special, special ideas. 2010: Year of John Key's Really Dumb, Not Consulted Upon, Blatantly Obviously Bad Ideas That He Rams Through Anyway.I admit it's not a catchy title.) But that's been pushed to tomorrow, same bat-time, same bat-journal, your daily moment of seethe-inducing ridic from the government. (I actually work for the government, sort of, so this is even more apropos.)
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (tui art)
[ profile] paintmarks sent me snowflakes! Thanks hon :)

So today I started my new job, reference checker & proofreader at the Waitangi Tribunal. Because they planned for me to start actually doing my job on Wednesday, and before that basically had a bunch of style guides and one or two articles for me to read, by 1pm today I was like "doo doo doo... nothing to do!" (I mean, really.) So my boss got me started on reading this book on the Waitangi Tribunal called, um, The Waitangi Tribunal: Te Roopu Whakamana i te Tiriti o Waitangi. (Ed. J Hayward and N Wheen for anyone who wants to go look this up, which I don't know why you would want to do, but whatever.) It's basically a bunch of chapters on a bunch of different aspects of the Tribunal - history, procedure, etc. A couple of chapters compare it to other nations' methods of dealing with indigenous peoples' land rights, and one chapter was on Canada. Want to hear something really, really horrifying?

So British Columbia has been pretty slack on acknowledging that First Peoples have any land rights at all. They finally got around to it a while ago, like maybe 15 years or so, and established the BCTC - BC Treaty Commission, which is a tiny bit like the Waitangi Tribunal in, like, a few ways. Not very many. But you want to hear the best difference, and by best, I mean worst? So the BCTC is funded 8% by the federal gvt of Canada, 12% by BC itself, and 80% by... a loan to the First Peoples of BC. In fact these various tribes etc now owe CDN$177 MILLION, over about 50 claims, and NONE of the claims have been resolved - only one of them is CLOSE to being finished. The BCTC is only authorised to give out CDN$7 million per claim. Do you see what's happening here? Hi, guys... we took your land and left you impoverished and for a couple of hundred years we refused to acknowledge that you might deserve or need any kind of compensation at all, and now, hey, you can have it! But any money that we give you you're going to have to give right back to pay off the costs of us admitting that we did something wrong! Neat, huh?

-- this is all current to when my book was written, about 2003-4, I think. But even if they've fixed it since then - and I note via Wiki that it's now the British Columbia Treaty Process, but other than that nothing particularly encouraging - how does that kind of thing even happen?

Also, because I feel like it, a meme via [profile] deutscheami (of whose hints I didn't get a single answer, but never mind.)
1. Put your iPod on shuffle
2. DO NOT write down the lyrics of the first 15-20 songs to come up.
3. Describe what the song is about. Be creative.
4. Cross out the songs when your friends guess them in the comments.
away we go )

I have my interview for the publishing course at Whitireia tomorrow morning. Advice and well-wishes gratefully appreciated!
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (my own adventures)
1. "I think it's a kiwi." "Don't they only live in Australia or New Zealand?" *sob*

2. On "Ms." Not the magazine, the title. If I could make one single absolute change to the world, it would probably be Ms. Mrs. would be gone and Miss would be like Master - on the way out. I know that is a pretty bourgeois English-speaking problem, and obviously I could say, end poverty, hunger, violence. But I think those things are symptoms, not the disease, ad I think curing the disease is going to take more than one change. So: Ms.

Here are some of the things I think about Ms.

"Miss" implies this: You're a woman. You're unmarried. You probably don't have dependents and in fact might be dependent upon others. You're probably young = naive, and/or young = irresponsible, and/or young = don't need promotions/careers instead of jobs/pay raises.

"Mrs." implies this: You're a heterosexual woman. You're married. You're dependent (or codependent) upon others. You also have a good chance of having dependents, who might cause you to take time off work to go pick them up from school, look after them when they're sick, etc. This means you probably shouldn't get responsibilities in case you can't fulfill them because of that, even though you are more responsible than that Miss. You're dependent so you probably don't need that pay raise.

"Mr." implies this: You're a man and you're an adult.

Why would you let people who know, potentially, nothing about you than your name have all that extra information about you?

And these are only the most practical, boring reasons. For reasons that actually make me angry, check out a person paper on purity in language.


Aug. 25th, 2009 11:23 pm
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (raise your voice)
So I spent the better part of today working on adapting the gorgeous owls pattern for knitting in the round, in DK. This took some time but I feel pretty good about my fudged numbers and I'm squeezing my yarn and looking at the outfit I wore today and thinking about how much cuter it would have been with an owls sweater instead of the principals jumper that everyone on the planet owns and what a neat shade of green my yarn is and how much I can't wait can't WAIT to cast this thing on. And godDAMNit, I don't know where my 3.5mm needle tips are but I'm pretty sure they're in a box coming back from the UK and I must. cast. on. this. jumper. right. NOW.

and I'm pretty sure Nancy's isn't open for me to get a second set of 3.5s at 11:30 pm. Arrrrrrrrgh.

Off to work out my anger on the shawl I'm supposed to be knitting at the moment. I'm at that point that you get to in a triangle shawl where you've memorised the pattern but your rows are now long enough that each one takes forever, so progress is extremely slow. I just want to cast off already. :(
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (Default)
Re: Supernatural 2x13.

Dear world,

hey, so apparently you don't know that much about atheists. (Which, by the way, is what Dean is. I mean, I know you have him calling himself a sceptic and all, but he's straightforwardly atheist to me. For most of this episode, anyway.) I'd just like to let you know, world, that we're not all sad, and gloomy, and lonely, and drowning in evil. You know? And hey - it's okay to be atheist. You know this religious tolerance we're all supposed to have - I know a lot of atheists work quite hard at it. But if Dean had been religious, like, Muslim or Jewish or Hindu or even, probably, pagan, I bet you you would never have picked the ending you did.

So why is it okay to take away what makes an atheist, an atheist?

No fucking love,

PS: But I did like that version of Knockin' on Heaven's Door. (Um, and if anyone has it... I'd love a copy. I can swap for my version? This is the first song on SPN to already be on heavy rotation on my music players, I'm so proud. :P)
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (Default)
Of all the states I can be in, I consider the state of being bored and bookless by far the most pitiful. I tend to wander around, whining and prodding bookshelves and deciding there's nothing there that I really feel like, dammit.

Because I work at home summers, and internet access is if not more difficult at least less inviting in the home parental, I read a lot more published fiction (as opposed to fan fiction) December-February than I do any other given three months. Here are some of the books I've read since the New Year:
some old and some new ones )

Currently in my to-read pile: Idoru by William Gibson, which I picked up at a library sale; The Watchmen, Alan Moore, which I got for Christmas; Fortune's Child, by Alice Hoffman; The Solitaire Mystery by Jostein Gaarder. I am currently seeking recs in the fantasy and adult literature genres, so if you have one... *points* I direct you to the comment button. I will try pretty much anything, and don't misjudge me by the skew of the stuff above. :P

By the way, gang; about how much does lamb cost where you live? Because I occasionally read things like "lamb isn't cheap unles you live in New Zealand," and well - lamb isn't cheap here, guys. No, really. If it's relatively cheap here, it must be absolutely ridiculous overseas.

OK, stopping talking about books now (I only really do it because otherwise I get to the end of the year and I'm like, "I have read NUZZING. NUZZING this year." Which is total crap, of course, but this way I can look back and be like, oh yeah, I have read some stuff after all.) Have still not been doing much - stayed with the excellent [ profile] megaffe for two days while my room was occupied by friends of the APs and coincidentally her parents were away. We watched a lot of Battlestar Galactica, which was great - it's a good show to watch with someone, you can stop and bitch and laugh at Kara (we mock because we adore her, truly) and all that good stuff. We did a bit of rambling over her section and up the back onto the reserve - she lives out in the eastbourne bays and it's pretty gorgeous if steep. Saw great fat keruru and lots of tui, which is always good fun - we get tui in town now but keruru never and I just think they're great.

I've also been working, and I have a brand-new coworker to "replace" [ profile] keymash. His name is Ramsin but I shall christen him The Lump, for lo, verily he stands around and does fuck all the whole day. part of the reason I haven't posted so much lately is because if I did, it would all be bitching about Lump. Today while I was doing the sandwiches (which admittedly I hate, so I wasn't in a good frame of mind to start with) the meadowfresh order came in, which gets chucked in the bed of our NOT WORKING* fridge. I get done with the sandwiches and notice that the meadowfresh order is still out, so I look around for the invoice to mark it off.

Necessary context: almost all deliveries (there are exceptions like cookie time and fruit, but they are special cases) have to be marked off on their docket before they're put away, because everyone makes mistakes and that means delivery guys & gals, too. After the invoices are checked off they get put on the spike for Shijo or Monique to... do whatever officey stuff they do with them that makes sure things like stocktakes are up to date and all that important stuff.

So the meadowfresh order is sitting there in our - I can't say this enough - BROKEN fridge, but I can't find the docket. Eventually I figure out that it's been spiked, so I think, hey, maybe Ramsin already checked it and didn't put it away. This would be dumb, because OUR FRIDGE IS BROKEN and meadowfresh is, like, butter and yoghurt, but perhaps we'd been busy. So I check that he's ticked it off, and he's like, "No." And gives me this look like, why would I do that?

So, in brief. the meadowfresh order - which was tiny this week, a carton of margarine and a couple of crates of drinks - has come in. The Lump has signed for it, spiked it without checking it off, and then let it sit there mouldering** while he... stood around at the counter doing nothing.


*this is pain in the ass enough, because we had to take all the milk and dairy out of it. We put up big signs that said OUR FRIDGE IS BROKEN. WE HAVE A SUPPLY OF MILK BEHIND THE COUNTER. SORRY. but, of course, we still had to deal with fifteen thousand people who can't read a fucking sign and kept coming up to the counter to say "no milk, then?" You might not think this sounds so bad, and it's not the first time, but the twentieth time in a row - I am so not exaggerating, we sell a lot of milk in the mornings - you just want to smack them and say LEARN TO READ.

**lest you fear for your health: it's not as bad as it sounds because the fridge was at about 6 degrees, which is one degree too hot for milk but probably won't hurt marge, and the drinks were all stuff that's fine at room temperature. But it could have been yoghurt, is what I'm saying. He didn't know because he hadn't opened the box.
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (Default)
I know that when I say this,
I may be stepping on pins and needles;
But I don't like all these people
slagging her for breaking up the Beatles.
(Don't blame it on Yokey!)

-- Barenaked Ladies, Be My Yoko Ono


oh no, apparently I do have more to complain about )
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (Default)
'Fess up: who slipped Helen alcohol today? has an article, and well, some of the highlights:

On Don Brash:

"Labour regards Dr Brash as a corrosive and cancerous person within the New Zealand political system."

"What began this appalling slide in political standards was having a polarising leader of the Opposition – a man who I do not believe should be leading anything in New Zealand."

On Labour MP Trevor Mallard, who said some nasty things about dotty old Don:

"He was responding very, very strongly to quite ridiculous and outrageous attacks on me and on the New Zealand Labour Party and we are not going to stand by and have the sort of behaviour go on that has gone on."
"Personal attacks form no part of Labour's strategy. That's where Trevor was out of line," and yet,

"He did not start it."

Or, to put it another way: the Opposition made him do it!

Apart from alcohol, I think the whole Davis thing was the absolute last straw. Helen's marriage has always been the target of criticism - much less than Don's ever was - and frankly I think someone just went a little too far.

As for the rest of the article: Labour is not trying to divert attention from the pledge card debacle, because you know what? The Exclusive Brethren thing was exposed before the pledge card thing, in fact before last election. 1.2 million dollars is a really significant sum, literally hundreds of thousands of dollars more than were involved in the pledge card thing. Russell Brown writes about Exclusive Brethren spending here and overseas.

On a more amusing note, satire is always good. (So, by the way, is their news coverage. Very thorough, especially of parliament but also national and international news. Plus, they have a category for "strange and bizarre." That's nifty.) Highlight today: Investigate magazine to claim Clark/Brash affair, by Lyndon Hood, which is fairly hysterical.
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (Default)
Okay, let's review, shall we? New Zealand has a robust, bitchy Parliamentary system in which members will backstab, connive, pointscore, mudsling, in short, do anything to keep life interesting in the Beehive. The media usually stays far away from commentary on private life but everything else is open season.

May 2005, National opens up with accusing Labour MP David Benson-Pope of abusing his authority during his time as a teacher. B-P denies allegations (and mostly has the support of Labour); they remain fairly unsubstantiated (after he hit the news, there were plenty of students willing to come forward and say they'd suffered under his iron rule. But only after.) There was unbelievable rhetoric directed against him, including stuff that even if he did absolutely everything he was accused of doing it would have been inappropriate.

post-election, 2005, it is revealed that the Exclusive Brethren have been campaigning for National, spending up to 1.2 MILLION dollars advertising to support them; money that was not reported to the electoral officer. (This is way illegal because NZ parties have a certain amount they're allowed to spend, and no more.) It is slightly dodgy territory because they advertised using National's slogans - "Change the Government" - and EB leaders were transparent in support of National but they didn't actually put "vote Nats!" on the pamphlets BUT... anyway, you get the picture. More crucially, Don Brash actually lied about his knowledge of the pamphlet's existence. (there's a whole bunch of other dodgy stuff about them but anyways.)

There is a period of mostly quiet, which is nice for a change (anyone following parliament a bit more closely know much about what was going on here?) Jane Clifton describes it as a policy of "nuclear dirt-terrent."

Then this week, it is revealed that National leader Don Brash has been having an affair with a woman on the Business Roundtable. This is politically dodgy - not for the affair, for whom it was with - but it had been kept quiet by the media for about a year until, and this is important, National MPs brought it up in caucus and then leaked it to the papers. This really broke major NZ media taboos on commenting on the private lives of politicians; I was watching the news tonight and they came up with two examples of this happening before in NZ media (David Lange's affair, about twenty years ago, and Rob "I am an asshole and everyone hates me!" Muldoon's accusing a Labour MP of being gay thirty years ago.) I don't like this at all and the ONLY reason I could be even a little bit okay with this is that apparently the woman he was sleeping with has a lot of control over, for example, National party funding by the Roundtable.


Today? Someone (*cough* NATS *cough*) has started spreading rumours about Helen Clark's husband, Peter Davis being gay. Specifically, there is a photo of him hugging Ian Scott, a gay Labour supporter.

The problem for the smear campaign is that this photo was taken on election night. Labour had just won. Probably, if Don Brash had been in the room, Davis and Scott would have hugged him and it sure wouldn't be because of powerful sexual attraction, kids.

I just can't express how furious this makes me. It's bad enough that because Helen is PM, she's constantly being accused of being a lesbian. (The favourite conspiracy of right-wing jerkoffs in this country is the lesbian cabal running the country. Think the gay agenda, but with special political oomph.) But now, because it's been publicly revealed that Don Brash is having an affair, someone has to make these things up out of whole cloth? NOT FUCKING ON, NZ media. We're sinking to an international low, here.

The worst of it is, it detracts from commentary about exactly why Don Brash's affair might be politically (rather than morally or personally) dodgy. Apart from corruption, he's repeatedly campaigned on a platform of conservative marriage values, for example. But this thing frankly makes it all about the sex lives of our not-so-rich and powerful. Because the thing is, if Helen were a lesbian and Davis were a gay man, they'd a) still have a more functional marriage than Brash and both is ex-wives and b) they'd at least be being honest with each other and c) it still wouldn't affect Helen's fitness for office or Davis' fitness for, um, being professor of Sociology at Auckland University. Just like, in my opinion, Brash's affairs are not what's relevant to his unfitness for office.

Okay, I'm done.
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (Default)
*mooches in* Too tired and blah to have actual content, so, for your disinterest: have spent the past few days working and watching massive amounts of Dark Angel (and when I say massive, I mean started at the beginning and now have like five episodes left? of 42. In four days. I have massive show-watching powers, although right now I'm kind of watched out, hence updating.) I'm mildly horrified to find that I like it; I actually did watch it for awhile, I think maybe the end of the first and beginning of the second season? Or just bits of each. However, I'd totally forgotten everything and now I'm enjoying it, which confirms for me that I am a sucker for a) fantasy and sci-fi shows, especially dystopic, with small casts b)shows with a female main character, I can't help it, even Jessica Alba. Not. One. Word. and c) shows with Jensen Ackles. I like Alec! Although I think, as a character, they constantly make gestures towards giving him depth and then next episode? Nothing. Absence of character growth really isn't a compelling trait.

[ profile] kphoebe started a "post your classes" meme, which is kind of fun; feel free to comment here and/or steal. Obviously this isn't *quite* complete yet, and relies on my passing four courses, but:

assuming I do pass... )

Also, every time I watch a non-pirated DVD (which lately happens less often than it doesn't), I am reminded that I don't actually like them. I've been glancing vaguely at SPN box sets and wondering if I can be bothered - I can afford it since, miraculously, I've actually saved over a thousand dollars this year. I'm not totally sure how. However, I do have copies of all the eps already and - this is the kicker - box sets are actually annoying to watch. Firstly, there are the unbelievably annoying piracy announcements at the beginning of the DVD and at the end of each episode. Yep, on most players you can skip them. They're still a drag and also make me want to go out and steal cars and handbags. Secondly, the menu pages? Have music. I cannot describe how annoying I find this, especially when it keeps playing. In other words, if I, say, finish watching one episode and decide to go do something else in another window for ten minutes before watching the next episode, I have to either deal with their crappy music (which also means not playing my own music), eject the disc (which means reloading it) or mute the player (and then forget to unmute it, and wonder why I can't hear anything, and and. Okay, that's not totally their fault, but it's still goddamn annoying.)

And then you have the prohibitive expense of many box sets.

I consider buying box sets out of a combined feeling of guilt (even though, hey, they don't air the damn show in NZ), materialist pleasure in owning the pretty, and wanting to see the extras. But considering that the actual episodes are available elsewhere, for free, without driving me crazy? I can live without the extras. Smarten up, folks.
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (Default)
I was thinking a few days ago, it's been awhile since there's been any really impassioned ranting hereabouts. I was wondering how to fix this; happily, although not really, today's Sunday Star Times front page gave me not one but TWO apoplexies this morning! I have been working up rants on them all day at work.

Illegal Immigrant gets $500k liver transplant: clearly, kiwis are being robbed of healthcare! )


And now, feeling much better, I'm going to do my reading for English tomorrow. Mmm, Wordsworth.

ETA: ALSO. So, all this year I've been telling people that I'm doing a BA/BSc, BA in phil, BSC in maths. However, I'm in the middle of confirming some of my course changes and I checked my majors and apparently my BA major is... English. Phil and maths are my joint BSc majors.

This means two things.
1) At the beginning of the year, in some major spaz fit that I have since totally and completely and utterly forgotten, I changed my majors.
2)Um, I should probably be taking those two English papers, since apparently I don't need the science credits any more. Predictably, as soon as I realise this, I instantly decide Semantics looked much more interesting in the Wednesday lecture. *sigh*
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (Default)
So I was thinking about Bechdel's law earlier. In a comic strip by Alison Bechdel, a character explains that she only watches a movie if it
"one, it has to have at least two women in it, who
two, talk to each other about,
three, something besides a man."

And then I was thinking about Firefly, as you do, and I was thinking... does Firefly ever meet the standard? Even in Inara's lesbian sex scene they talk about men. Inara and Kaylee have conversations - about Mal, or occasionally Simon. Does Zoe ever converse alone with anyone other than Mal or Wash? And then I was thinking about Angel, and I'm pretty sure that fails in almost every episode (many of them right at the first step.) And then I was thinking about Buffy, and then I got depressed, because I have a sinking feeling that even Buffy the Vampire Slayer wouldn't meet the standard more than 50% of the time.

Dear f-list, please tell me I am wrong and give me evidence?

Also! Fandom questions!

fanfic100, for blueyeti )

crazy space incest for sixth_light )

doctor/rose for bad_mushroom )


May. 30th, 2006 09:19 am
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (Default)
Dear wider world:

"maori spirits": not universally evil, also, not often called spirits. Also, Maori do not have shamans or medicine men or live in teepees, and they never have. Ever. Kaumatua is not a difficult word to find and it would be so much better than shaman, thanks.

Also, enough of the soul-eating Maori monsters!11!!1. If you want to incorporate that aspect of Maori culture, great, good for you, but get it right. Otherwise, don't use it in fic, don't use it in fanworks, and DON'T, DON'T, DON'T use it in actual published work - and published only a few years ago, I might add - that you want to get money for. (*cough* Gotham Knights 16-17. The thing that pissed me off the most about them is that it was half-right- some (some) of the art was pretty good (and then some was awful. There's a whole goddamned wiki page on ta moko and it even has pictures! But it is fairly recent, so.)

And may I just add? I know next to nothing about Maori culture and history, I don't speak te reo and I don't even know my mihi. So if I can tell that it's appalling, so can everyone else. JUST SAY NO to using a culture you know nothing about.


This PSA was brought to you by Gotham Knights 16-17 (Devin Grayson, Roger Robinson), and then seeing it once to many times as a gimmick. And I really like GK, so it pissed me off more than normal. NO MORE EATING BRAINS, WORLD, OKAY?

ETA: THIS IS ME PUBLICALLY DEFENDING [ profile] keymash's HONOUR, BY THE WAY. I was busy sleeping when she was being given the inappropriate smackdown by my brother and his friend, who are clearly unable to distinguish IRONY from LJ comments. So, *ahem*, I have known [ profile] keymash for, like, at least over a year and she was so totally making a joke oh my god. A satire, even. *shakes head*

That said, I am sort of glad because that was very funny.


Oct. 28th, 2005 06:50 pm
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (Default)
So, in the post-Election National party shuffle-around and line up, #14 Wayne Mapp has been appointed:
Labour & Industrial Relations
Political Correctness Eradication
Chair of Caucus Policy Committee

I kid you not. Actual Eradication. In Radio NZ interviews, he's gone on to advocate the removal of the Human Rights Commission, along with- predictably- the Waitangi Tribunal (I haven't listened to the interviews but I would not be much surprised if he also had a tizzy about Women's Affairs. @!@#$) Keith Ng has an awfully good column about liberalism and the National- liberalism in the ACT/USA sense, which is not always the way we use it in NZ. David Haywood was very funny in a satire that, unfortunately, is not all that far from the truth. Holly Walker has s short piece about the usefulness of the phrase "political correctness", Adam Gifford writes about PC and mainstream.

Lyndon Hood kind of summarised my thoughts on the issue, though:
Wayne Mapp: Opposition spokesman for Political Correctness Eradication.

W - as they say - TF?

Had National been elected, we would presumably be forming a Department (surely not a Ministry) of Political Correctness Eradication.

fuckers. To think I thought I wouldn't have any more use for this icon after the election.
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (Default)
If anyone wants to take ten seconds to send a note to Meadow Fresh telling them not to ditch glass milk bottles for the South Island, the link is here. :( Glass milk bottles are better for the environment (because they're cleaned and reused), milk tastes better out of glass bottles, and they employ tonnes of people- kids with after school jobs & so forth. Glass milk bottles were already ditched for the North Island- stop them doing it in the South! Frogblog has a bit of information here.


Oct. 1st, 2005 11:37 pm
labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (Default)
So there's been a bunch of trolling lately at [ profile] greatpoets, including porno, people f*cking with tags, etc etc e-annoying-t-c. This is a cool community and obviously this is ANNOYING and difficult for its rather overworked mods. There was a post earlier today by the chief (and, I think until very recently only) mod who basically requested suggestions for what to do about spamming and erratic tagging. She mentioned a couple of options, one of them being making the community paid and "real" account only. Now, I can see how if you're getting a lot of spam, having approved-only membership would be really useful because it ensures you get way fewer of the casual spammers with, you know, no journal- hence "real" accounts ie accounts that are obviously being genuinely used. I think there's a lot of margin for error here, of course, but it'd be better.

But paid accounts only? I mean, of course most spammers are going to be non-paid account, but there are tonnes and TONNES of non-paid users out there- I am generally one of them, although not currently- who are perfectly peaceable and not-trolls. Is this general procedure anywhere? Is there a precedent for this kind of thing?

Anyway, a bunch of people (myself included) said in the comments of that post that they thought paid-account only was a bad idea for pretty much that reason. Then there was another trolling, and a few hours later the maintainer- who I haven't seen much of, frankly, but I guess I just might not have seen him/her active before- came in, deleted it, and posted saying it was going paid-account only except for "some free account users" who could comment at that post to have their application reviewed, or whatever. A couple- like three- people said, with varying degrees of niceness, what they thought of that (buried among at least a dozen people asking to be allowed to remain on) and then the maintainer posted again saying basically everyone's so ungrateful for her hard work in maintaining the community that it was going to be deleted in 24 hours. WTF? Totally out of character for community & just... silly.

*sigh* I like that community. fssssss.

if it ends up on fandom_wank, I might cry.

ETA: AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHHAaHAHAHAHAHAHA there's a rational explanation for this, apparently: the person I thought was the maintainer was a TROLL disguised as the maintainer. I could almost applaud. *sigh*

I still think paid-only is a siriusly stoopid concept.


labellementeuse: a girl sits at a desk in front of a window, chewing a pencil (Default)
worryingly jolly batman

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