caitri: (Books)
The Dangers of Reading in Bed by Nika Mavrody

In his history of masturbation, Solitary Sex, the historian Thomas Laqueur draws a direct link between 18th-century distress over solitary, silent novel reading and masturbation’s new status as a public menace: “Novels, like masturbation, created for women alternative ‘companions of their pillow.’” These “solitary vices,” as Laqueur calls them, were condemned for fear that individual autonomy would lead to a breakdown in the collective moral order.

...

People feared that solitary reading and sleeping fostered a private, fantasy life that would threaten the collective—especially among women. The solitary sleeper falls asleep at night absorbed in fantasies of another world, a place she only knows from books. During the day, the lure of imaginative fiction might draw a woman under the covers to read, compromising her social obligations.
caitri: (World Is a Mess)
Like on social media, the group I have to interact with irl but who I otherwise despise is all "LOL this funny article about astrology" and I'm like "I just singlehandedly rewrote the history of an entire discipline, FIGHT ME."

Gods, I hate behaving.

caitri: (Chris Vocabulary)
Writing: I've had a busy writing term: I written and turned in a diss chapter, three book chapters, and two sets of article revisions since January. That's.....not bad. Next up I have a long essay on reading, gender, and genre for a forthcoming reference book, another diss chapter, and a conference paper I need to finish.

Also, I miss fic. I keep thinking about some sort of Sleeping Beauty retelling with Finn/Poe that has to do with Poe being anxiously aware that in real life he has spent maybe half an hour with Finn and it's ridiculous to be projecting all these romantic notions onto an unconscious man in a medpod. Buuuuuut I can't seem to think beyond that.

~

Reading: Here are some books I've really enjoyed recently:

All Systems Red by Martha Wells.

A too-too self-aware organic-mechanical hybrid robot works security and has to protect the humans who want to project all their issues onto it. Hijinks ensue.

The Lady of the Lake by Andrzej Sapkowski.

This is the final novel in The Witcher series, which originally came out in 1999 but wasn't published in English until March. I have fallen so hard for these books; the same thing that makes them interesting also makes them kind of difficult to read, as they aren't actually a series so much as a single story told over five novels and two short story collections. Stuff happens and keeps happening and you don't really get any closure until the very end. There's also a lot of stuff going on politically, as these are written in the aftermath of post-war Poland, and so there are a bunch of resonances that just keep going on: reckoning with resistance under tyranny; confronting pogroms and concentration camps in other countries and the mass influx of refugees; balancing wanting to do the right thing with wanting to do the right thing in the right way. Also, Netflix just announced they are going to do a tv series based on the books and I am hella excited!!!

The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison.

In which the half-elf, half-goblin fourth prince becomes the unexpected and hella-competent Emperor, with some straightforward commentary on what it's like when the government leader is dark-skinned and this Upsets people. It wraps up nicely, but I still wish it was a series.

~

TV: American Gods is fucking amazing and I'm glad it's already renewed for a second season, even if
it seems like there will be a massive drought between seasons. SO PRETTY. So in-your-face about racism and America.

Which, see also Dear White People. I know I'm always the person who listens because people will inexplicably tell me things, but oh my GOD, watching the show is nearly physically painful because I recognize nearly every one of the many and varied stories told. (Like, the incredibly awkward threesome-that-wasn't. I feel like I shouldn't be able to recognize that?? But ISTFG someone told me a story like that in undergrad.)

Supernatural I can't quit this show, even when I probably should.

Lucifer is still my favorite. I really want to read Chloe/Maze femmeslash but there's none on AO3 which makes me sad.

Also, just go watch Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms which is apparently the most watched Chinese drama ever. IT IS SO PRETTY. It's an epic fantasy with reincarnation, cool fight scenes, and sometimes dragons. So.

~

Uh, yeah. What have you guys been up to?
caitri: (Chris Vocabulary)
Viet Thanh Nguyen Reveals How Writers' Workshops Can Be Hostile


What Nguyen says about writing workshops I want to apply to printing and bookmaking workshops:


As an institution, the workshop reproduces its ideology, which pretends that “Show, don’t tell” is universal when it is, in fact, the expression of a particular population, the white majority, typically at least middle-class and often, but not exclusively, male. The identity behind the workshop’s origins is invisible. Like all privileges, this identity is unmarked until it is thrown into relief against that which is marked, visible and outspoken, which is to say me and others like me.

We, the barbarians at the gate, the descendants of Caliban, the ones who have no choice but to speak in the language we have — we come bearing the experiences and ideas the workshop suppresses. We come from the Communist countries America bombed during the Cold War, or where it sponsored counter-Communist efforts. We come from the lands America occupied, invaded or colonized. We come as refugees and immigrants, documented and undocumented. We come from the ghettos, barrios, reservations and borders of America where there are no workshops. We come from the bedrooms and the kitchens of the American home, where we were supposed to stay, and stay silent. We come speaking languages other than English. We come from the margins, where English is broken. We come with financial aid and loans and families that do not understand what “creative writing” is. We come from communities we do not wish to renounce in the name of our individualism. We come wanting to do more than just sell our stories to white audiences. And we come with the desire not just to show, but to tell.

But what is that art that is also political, historical, theoretical, ideological and philosophical? How is it to be taught? It must be taught not only as an isolated craft or a set of techniques. It must be taught in relation to, or within, courses on history, politics, theory and philosophy, as well as ethnic studies, gender studies, queer studies and cultural studies.
caitri: (Books)
 I'm snug in my hotel bed for a little while longer, and then I have to go catch the airport shuttle and then, home. I've been in San Diego for a very busy week at my favorite conference. I was sad because several of my friends couldn't come this year, but I still got to see some familiar faces and hang out with new friends. 

I think maybe the highlight was the morning the Star Wars trailer came out after a friend's roundtable and about eight acafangirls clustered around someone's phone, and when we saw Finn we all squeed in relief and delight.

I gave a paper, spoke on a round-table, and co-chaired an area meeting, all of which went well. I have a bunch of notes for things to look into when I get back, plus several new books in my bag (like The Fanfiction Reader!) I look forward to reading.

I'm hoping for a smooth flight today; I'm really tired and theoretically could even sleep....
caitri: by blue_hobbit (Don't Go Where I Can't Follow)
I've been crossposting between LJ and DW since the servers were being moved to Russia; I've also deactivated my auto-renew account for lj because I don't want them to have access to my financials. I don't think the recent LJ TOS statement will be legally enforceable in the US, but I also don't foresee any organizations going to the mattress about it either.  That said, if LJ ups and closes shop, all my stuff is at my DW account: caitri.dreamwidth.org. 

Good night and good luck, I guess.
caitri: (Books)
 Crossposted at The Future Fire:


Norman Spinrad, The People’s Police. Tor Books, 2017. Pp 284. ISBN 978-0-7653-8427-0. $27.99.



The very best satires have enough truth at the core of their fiction to make them uncomfortable reading, and so is the case with Norman Spinrad’s The People’s Police. Spinrad is perhaps best known for his self-proclaimed anarchic ideals in his fiction, which fully come into play here: the central question asked is “Suppose the people and the police, who are so often on opposing sides in the US, actually came together for the benefit of all?” In this world, the order of government authority (and business world corruption) is at odds with everyday people and with the chaotic loa spirits, with the soul of New Orleans itself at stake: does the city belong to its everyday inhabitants or to the distant politicians and visiting tourists?

The novel takes place in a post-Katrina and post-2008 housing bubble-burst New Orleans, where the most pressing problem the police have is the unending numbers of eviction notices to be served, even among themselves. There are three main characters for the bulk of the action: Martin Luther “Luke” Martin, a former gang member who sees the police force as the biggest and best-armed gang of all; J.B. Lafitte, bar and brothel owner; and MaryLou Boudreau or Mama Legba, first mockingly and then accurately called “White Girl Who Dances With Loas” and “Voodoo Queen.” A fourth character, Colonel Terrence Hathaway, appears in the final act as a Christian and Army officer who sees a chance to do good in the world, and actually takes it. Along the way, a reality tv star is elected to political office, hurricane damage is mitigated by magic, and cooperative anarchism is a more reliable tool for governance than anyone would have expected. Things take a darker turn in the final pages of the book, which I don’t want to spoil too badly, but suffice to say that it’s an attempt to bring a little more realism into the story regarding localized American politics, especially in Louisiana, and that it works even if the romping tone that had proceeded it was more fun for the reader.

The insertion of the loas, mystical Voodoo spirits who can possess and speak through human bodies if they choose to do so, into the story introduces a fantastical element into the satire that does unsettle it a bit. Loas and Voodoo are a part of life in New Orleans and parts of the Deep South. Erzuli is the Haitian spirit of love, dancing, and luxury; she appears in the book as one of the entities that periodically possess Mama Legba. Mama Legba is a white woman, the child of hippies who live and perform in New Orleans: she’s the epitome of outsider and yet in the book she is never considered as such. When she is possessed by the loas, the African-American practitioners are surprised, but then disappear from the story in a way that made me uncomfortable as a reader: it does not make sense to bring up the fraught topic of race in America, in the South, and then immediately drop it. Indeed, engaging with it head-on would have been a service to the story, as would have been some additional scenes with Voodoo culture generally. It is clear that Spinrad did his research impeccably, and it would have been nice to see more of that, especially in contrast to the Christian character.

The People’s Police is a fast-paced, funny novel; almost a magical-realism counterpart to A Confederacy of Dunces. Nonetheless, there is a disconnect between its author and its content that troubles me: Spinrad is a white American writer currently residing in Paris, it is disconcerting therefore to read about black characters in New Orleans, whether as cops, pimps, or gangbangers (a term that is used in the text). While the writing itself is incredibly enjoyable and thought-provoking, it nonetheless performs acts of ventriloquism with a white man’s words coming out of black men’s mouths, ventriloquism I find troubling given our current discussions around both diversity in publishing and cultural appropriation. Coming from a mainstream genre publisher with a wide reach, in hardback no less, would it not have been better to instead publish a story of New Orleans by an actual resident of New Orleans, to signalboost new black writers rather than old white ones? (Lest anyone write and say “but there aren’t any!” let me point again to Kiini Ibura Salaam’s When the World Wounds (2016), which I reviewed here in February.) Further, the public is genuinely hungry for diverse texts by diverse authors, as witnessed by the furors that have erupted around the whitewashing aspects of Marvel’s Doctor Strange and Iron Fist. In 2017, we do not need or want cultural appropriation; as part of a global society, if we want kung fu dramas, we can legally download and watch the latest shows from China mere hours after their home release, and if we want to read about African-American stories and concerns, we can read books in their own words; last year, Ta-Nehisi Coates became a writer for Marvel’s Black Panther series and it was one of their most popular titles of last year. The old adage that works by diverse authors “won’t sell” is thus manifestly false. Readers can make up their own minds about how they feel about this aspect of reading and watching, but it is a topic that should at least be considered when deciding whether or not to pick up a new book.
caitri: (Books)
 I've spent the last couple days at ASECS, the American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies conference; I sneak in because technically I do work in the long eighteenth century and also it has several book history-ish panels. Anyways, I chaired a panel and gave a paper, and both went well, even if the only reason I got a question at Q&A was because I had a friend in the audience; several people told me later they enjoyed my paper and my enthusiasm, and one woman said she wanted me to hurry and write a book so she can read it.

In marked contrast, I went out to dinner with a bunch of people last night, and most of them like got together and drank and gossiped and talked job market and whatnot; me and another friend had been under the impression we were going to talk bibliography instead, so that was less than fun. Also, one woman asked me about my dissertation, so I started the thirty second elevator-talk summary, and like twenty seconds in she turned to the woman next to her and started talking to her, and so I quickly and awkwardly finished up. But what even was the point of that?? And then at the reception tonight this same person wanted a group photo with some folks I was with, and I tried to sidle out but she had me stay in, like....okay, you remember my name, you'll take a picture with me, but you don't want to talk to me? I DO NOT UNDERSTAND HUMANS, I SWEAR.

(But thank god I was able to talk to Youmi last night, I would have died of boredom, the food was slow and the drinks kept coming, and just. Yeah. So we got to bond and talked about kdramas the whole time, and she said if she moves back to Seoul I can come visit her and she will take me to eat all the yummy delicious things people eat on tv that I can't even pronounce!)

And then today, I got two--TWO--emails from academic presses at PCA asking me about doing a book with them!! One was the new editor at U-Iowa Press, and I'd been in contact with the previous editor there, so I'm kind of curious if the new person hasn't looked in their files or what. The other was someone from U-Mississippi Press, who I hadn't talked to before, so that's good for the ego!! (And in marked contrast to "twenty seconds is too long to listen to you" girl.)

I head home tomorrow and the pre-flight jitters are kicking in; the flight here was the bumpiest I've had in a while, and I'm pretty sure it should be smoother, but I'm still anxious, because me. So, uh, wish me luck??!!
caitri: (Books)
 #thanksfortyping has been trending on Twitter. It's a tag full of people uncovering the often unnamed wives and secretaries who are acknowledged as typing male academics' manuscripts: basically, that's literally what invisible labor looks like, folks, some poor wife typing up some asshole's book FIFTEEN times, and his editor gets all the thanks.
caitri: (bullshit)
It's bad enough to have a kung fu show with a superwhite white boy, but the level of BORIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING is inexcusable. At this point I bring something to read and make fun of it while Scott watches it. (Scott has patience. And is maybe a masochist.) 
caitri: (Mouse Herat)
I've been rereading Finn/Poe for comfort recently (an excess of real life), so last night I dreamed I was Finn. I was pinned down by enemy fire and Poe flew in for some dramatic dispersal and rescuing, followed by comfort. It was great. Good job, brain! 
caitri: (Status Not Quo)
I just had a eureka moment about why purity wank (whether political or fannish) bugs the crap out of me: It's pretty much always, *always* about kicking down, about how the author gets to or justifies feeling superior, and never ever about actually doing something constructive or actually helping any one person or group.
caitri: (Books)
Crossposted at The Future Fire:


Kiini Ibura Salaam, When the World Wounds. Third Man Books, 2016. Pp. 184. ISBN 978-0-9913361-5-9. $15.95.



Kiini Ibura Salaam is an American writer of speculative fiction that directly engages with women and race in ways that are both thoughtful and disturbing. This is her second collection of short fiction; the first, Ancient, Ancient (2012) won the James Tiptree Jr. Award for that year. Salaam is a writer of short pieces that have largely previously appeared in collections; When the World Wounds consists of three short stories, two novelettes and a novella, only one of which is reprinted (and has been edited from the previous version). As such this collection will be of emphatic interest to her fans, and provide much food for thought for new readers.

‘The Malady of Need’ is an incredibly evocative, even erotic read. Told in the second person in an increasingly near-obligatory near-future dystopia, the pair of nameless characters, both men, engage in emotionally destructive romance and sexual encounters. Written in a series of vignettes that are increasingly frenetic and explicit, the narrator dissolves from wishful thinking to pained regret; it is something like Nine and a Half Weeks against a science fictional backdrop.

‘The Pull of the Wing’ takes place in the same universe as several of the stories from Ancient, Ancient. The protagonists are all alien, and convincingly so as Salaam deftly describes both their bodies (winged, with lenses and feelers) and the very different perceptions those bodies process; it reminded me of Martha Wells’s Raksura race from that eponymous series, exactly different and exactly similar enough to humans to be exotic but comprehensible. Unfortunately, having not read Salaam’s other book, I’m not sure how well this story illuminates the worldbuilding she has done before; the story itself concerns a group of friends who try to understand more about their world and, having reached a new comprehension of their lives and their species, seemingly wish that they hadn’t. It’s an odd story, and I’m still not sure how I feel about it.

‘The Taming’ is the story that stuck with me the longest; it’s about the domestication of wolves, from the point of view of a wolf. Like the rest of her writing, it is incredibly sensual and incredibly disturbing. Unlike the rest of the stories in the collection, it is accompanied by a small illustration of a wolf’s head in between each segment, unique to this version (the earlier version of this story in Interfictions is slightly different textually, and does not have the illustration). As a reader, part of me kept wondering if the wolf was indeed actually a wolf for reasons I can’t actually articulate— perhaps something in the specificity of the writing, perhaps only that I was reading in a time of incredible anxiety in the real world. Spoiler alert, the wolf is a wolf, but that does not make its encounter with domestication/civilization any less violent, nor its fate less worrisome. After all, it is the twenty-first century; we are sadly all too aware of what happens to wolves and the wild.

‘Hemmie’s Calenture’ straddles the space between magical realism and a more straightforwardly supernatural tale, told in titled vignettes that start as a fever dream and become something else. Hemmie is a slave in early nineteenth century Louisiana who is injured while trying to escape to freedom. An unnamed woman, who can sometimes speak to her directly through her mind, helps to heal her, and shows her another battle that is being fought in the forest and swamps alongside the more conventional battle between the British, French, and Americans. The woman charges Hemmie with gathering an army, and so she journeys to New Orleans to find (real historical figure) Joseph Savary and his battalion of Free Men of Color… who are not interested in her fight, and indeed, think her mad. At the end she finds a single soldier willing to accompany her, and the woman assures her that she does have an army after all. This is a resistance fable, and if it is rather different than the other stories, it is all the stronger for that: Freedom and change start in the spirit before they become true action.

‘Volcano Woman’ is a short story that is about the power of a woman’s anger. When the protagonist is threatened by escalating street abuse—the kind that shifts from words to physical pursuit in an eyeblink—she escapes and finds a strange old woman who feeds her a comforting bowl of soup and applies a series of unguents that remake her into something else. When she faces her attacker again, she is the active cleansing fire of rage. The story’s prose is spare, but the message of the importance of purposeful anger is one that speaks to a multitude of political movements in the United States right now, but especially that of black women.

‘Because of the Bone Man’ is the final piece in this collection, a novella that takes on the 2005 Katrina flood of New Orleans along with the physical and emotional devastation that catastrophe wrought. The story takes place six months after the flood, just before Mardi Gras. Like ‘Hemmie’s Calenture,’ the story mixes the magical with the supernatural; it’s unclear if the Bone Man is a human or not, a personification of the celebratory ghoulish costumes of some of the parades, or not—nor does it matter. Either way, he makes paper mȃché masks culled from the storm’s debris, waterlogged photographs, and gives them to the ghosts of children killed in the storm. Salaam’s anger at the disaster’s aftermath—she is from New Orleans—bluntly confronts the harsh reality within the story; there are white dancers at the parades who are “thrilled to take the space black bodies usually occupied” (164) and the ghost of a Baby Doll dancer states that “Yeah, it was just a coincidence the levees broke where they did. It’s just a coincidence people like us is homeless and them with dry houses don’t look nothing like us” (174). Like several of the other stories, it concludes with hope, as the Bone Man finds a nun and together they make a miracle, using the masks to restore what children they can to life. This story speaks not just to psychological and emotional healing from trauma and adversity, but to the preservation of culture—and few things are as central to New Orleans culture as the Mardi Gras krewe culture.

When the World Wounds is not an easy book to read, but it is one that is well worth the time spent both for the stories told and for the absorbing, poetic prose of Salaam. While the stories in this collection share certain themes and modes of writing, they are all singular experiences that can’t be repeated, something that can’t be said for several single-author collections. Most especially, despite the darkness of much of the stories’ content, there is the prospect of hope and healing to be found—traits that many readers will need right now.
caitri: (Default)
Coffee-Chocolate Layer Cake With Mocha-Mascarpone Frosting

Ingredients

Cake
2 cups cake flour
3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups (packed) golden brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
4 teaspoons instant espresso powder dissolved in 3/4 cup hot water
Frosting
1/3 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1 1/2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream, divided
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 8-ounce containers chilled mascarpone cheese
Bittersweet chocolate curls (optional)

Preparation

cake

Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 325°F. Generously butter two 9-inch cake pans with 2-inch-high sides; dust with flour, tapping out any excess. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper.
Sift 2 cups cake flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add brown sugar and beat until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in vanilla. Add flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with buttermilk in 2 additions, beating just until blended after each addition. Gradually add hot espresso-water mixture, beating just until smooth.

Divide batter between pans; smooth tops. Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on rack 15 minutes. Run small knife around sides of pans to loosen cakes. Invert cakes onto racks; lift pans off cakes and remove parchment. Place wire rack atop each cake; invert again so top side is up. Cool completely. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap each cake in plastic and store at room temperature.

frosting

Sift cocoa powder into large bowl; add espresso powder. Bring 1 cup cream to boil in small saucepan. Slowly pour cream over cocoa mixture, whisking until cocoa is completely dissolved, about 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup cream and sugar; stir until sugar dissolves. Chill until cold, at least 2 hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; keep chilled.

Add mascarpone to chilled cocoa mixture. Using electric mixer, beat on low speed until blended and smooth. Increase speed to medium-high; beat until mixture is thick and medium-firm peaks form when beaters are lifted, about 2 minutes (do not overbeat or mixture will curdle).

Using pastry brush, brush off crumbs from cakes. Place 1 cake layer, top side up, on platter. Spoon 1 3/4 cups frosting in dollops over top of cake. Using offset spatula, spread frosting to edges. Top with second cake layer, top side up, pressing to adhere. Spread thin layer of frosting over top and sides of cake. Chill 10 minutes. Using offset spatula, spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake, swirling decoratively. Top with chocolate curls, if desired. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome; chill. Let stand at room temperature 20 minutes before serving.

Link: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/coffee-chocolate-layer-cake-with-mocha-mascarpone-frosting
caitri: (Books)
caitri: (Books)
Over at Bustle: "Why Fan Fiction Shaming Is A Feminist Issue" by Emma Lord

Snip:

The two most "famous" fan fictions aside, the shame associated with fan fiction originated long before these works reached readers outside of their usual sphere. Unfortunately, fan fiction at large lends itself to mockery in a much safer and subtler way than other forms of female desire-driven works: the writers are, for the most part, anonymous and unpaid, with little training. They are often young women, subjecting the works to the same dismissive attitude society frequently takes over things that young women enjoy. And while there is a wide range of writers and types of fic on the internet, a majority of fic — the fic that most people are aware of — is written primarily by women, for women, holding it to the kind of scrutiny from people who do not consume it that makes it all too easy to mock. ...

If you don't think that fan fiction shaming in particular is a feminist issue, then consider what we're really doing when we shame fan fiction writers: we are shaming women — often young women, who are just starting to get a sense for what they want not just in a narrative, but in their adult lives — for expressing their desires. We are setting up women to apologize for their writing before it even leaves the keyboard. We are attacking them not only personally, but professionally; we are discouraging them owning a part of themselves, and from profiting from it, should they ever decide to write their own original work down the road.

More than that, though, we are discouraging them from engaging in the incredibly diverse and open learning environment that fan fiction provides. Fan fiction has historically been a safe place to experiment with and read about all kinds of romance — no matter the gender or the orientation, be it the cheesiest trope or the most specific kink. It is a place without judgment, and a place that introduces young writers to perspectives outside of their own — sometimes normalizing diverse relationships for writers who would otherwise not be exposed to them, ultimately making them more accepting and empathetic not just as writers, but as human beings.

With that in mind, it is all the more disheartening that the judgment of others so critically affects the writers and readers of fan fiction, which itself is such an open, nonjudgmental place. But once that misplaced shame is there, it never really goes away. Even now, fully aware of the root of my feelings, I see it in motion in myself and the people around me. I write my own fiction now, and whenever somebody asks about it, I frequently preface any plot descriptions with "it's silly," or "it's dumb". I hide my fiction writing with the same kind of crippling embarrassment that I shielded my fan fiction usernames. And I hear the same apologies from other female writers everywhere I go — be it with other fic writers on Tumblr, or fiction writers who write in genres targeted at women that I meet out in the real world, there is all too often a disclaimer to soften any exchange of their work. The very work that should empower us and embolden us, the same work we feel safe celebrating in anonymous corners of the internet, often makes us cower in the light of day.

Of course, ending the fan fiction shaming isn't going to solve everything; fan fiction shaming is just one of countless things lurking under the umbrella of things women are conditioned to feel shame for. But it is high time to recognizing fan fiction shaming for what it is at its core: the shaming of women's desires, and their daring to take control of them.
caitri: (This is Your Captain)
In the post-Trump world, it is really an incredible political parable that I don't think was adequately appreciated (even by me) when it came out this summer.

But think about it: It's about a reactionary, xenophobic old man that hates the new world he lives in and wants to destroy it, and how he is opposed by a diverse group of young people whose lives were forever changed because of terrorist acts--and who, rather than succumbing to fear, say things like "Unity is our strength" and "It's better to die saving lives than live with taking them."

Oh, and who call Beastie Boys "classical music." :}
caitri: (Chris Vocabulary)
1) I've been rereading Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern books for comfort, and the last time I did that I was really frustrated with the unrelenting dubcon of the 1960s. Yes, I understand that sex scenes had to be done that way until, like, the 80s or whatever, but still. There's actually a couple of lines in "Dragonflight" where F'lar thinks with regret about Lessa being a virgin when their dragons mated and so what he had done wasn't much better than rape--which, yay, hero, glad you got that--but then this becomes a point of romantic obstruction. Also the whole thing with how the Blue and Green dragonriders "have to be" gay that's incredibly awkward subtext because of McCaffrey's incredibly problematic view of homosexuality.

2) I worked on and sent off edits for my fanfiction and book history essay that's coming out in September (!). The reviewer wanted me to remove the bit about fanzines-as-samizdats, which is simultaneously a common, unexamined, and problematic view, which is to say that people argue that fanzines aren't samizdats because they aren't political and there aren't ramifications about their publishing. Except this is contrary to a long-held view about maintaining fan anonymity even of historical work where people used their real names because they didn't ever think they would get "published" (even if a zine has 1000 copies) that 1) emphasizes that whole public/private divide in a gendered way, and 2) ignores anxiety about doxxing. So basically fandom isn't dangerous until it's dangerous.

I'm still mentally sorting that one out.

2a) All of the anxiety about fan anonymity, from print zines to kink memes.
caitri: (Default)
Bookmarking because it's beautiful, and apparently this is the only freaking poem you can get in English from this author because it was shown on a kdrama. >_<

“The Physics of Love”
by Kim In-yook

The size of a mass is not proportional to its volume
That little girl as small as a violet
That little girl that flutters like a flower petal
Pulls me with a mass greater than the Earth
In a moment, I
Like Newton’s apple
Mercilessly rolled and fell on her
With a thud, with a thud thud
My heart
From the sky to the ground
Continued to swing dizzyingly like a pendulum
It was first love

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