March 13th, 2009

Baron1

Now I'm all confused.

There's a recurring dream location of mine that's somehow a combination of San Francisco and Seattle.

I wound up in that city last night, apparently accidentally: I was driving and took the wrong (AND NEVER BEFORE SEEN) exit while northbound on I-5 in Portland's Terwilliger Curves (which should have a slogan: "a roller coaster for your car!") and after winding down (down? The Terwilliger Curves are below the other streets over there. Oh, yeah. Dream) I found myself turned around and upside-down and not sure where I was and suddenly without my car or a useful sense of direction. All I could find at first were homeless guys and large piles of boxes and palettes. I got a rent-a-bike from a WalMart (though whether it was for riding around the city or just riding around the WalMart, I'm not sure) and started feeling my way through the hilly city. Figured out the direction of stuff, and was still feeling my way through the city when I woke up.

So...is it more San Francisco or Seattle? Arguing for Seattle was that I was trying to find the home of my Seattle-livin' cousin Amy "Maximy" Walsh. Arguing for San Francisco was not only that I knew somehow that my LJ friends supremegoddess1 and stagger_lee77 were connected to the town (and Kim and Lee have connections to S.F.), but that, um, Young Kirk was there. Er, Starfleet is in San Francisco, after all. (Though that doesn't explain the Tyrannosaurus Rex attacking an office building, either.)

s00j's phrase "Welcome to my brain" is a VERY useful phrase, isn't it?
Whale fluke

God bless Peter David

Peter David, writer of BURN:
THAT'LL TEACH JIM CRAMER

Jon Stewart just kicked the living crap out of Cramer on “The Daily Show,” proving once and for all that when you make foolish comments such as that investors should dump all their shares of Stark Industries, you get what’s coming to you. Somewhere Tony Stark was watching and saying, “Good.”

PAD
Context. More context here.
Whale fluke

In which I disappoint kradical

Madagascar didn't do much for me. The one fairly inventive thing that made me smile and gave me hope was the opening penguin chorus. It was mostly downhill from there. Lazily downhill, plagued by the just-reference-it-and-it's-funny-except-it's-not gag writing later perfected (should "perfected" be in quotes?) by the Friedberg-Seltzer Epic Movie/Disastrous, I Mean Disaster Movie guys. (Running on a beach to the Chariots of Fire music? Really? Another To Serve Man reference? That actually needed?) Some amusement from the militaristic penguins (the Antarctica gag's well done), but I'll add that their short "A Christmas Caper" didn't do much for me back in 2005, either. I shrug, I guess. Sorry, Keith.

I have bought kradical's Star Trek: A Singular Destiny (new, even!), so that should ease his pain. Plus I'm now working through Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Jessica Stevenson's Spaced, thanks to my neighbors who had it, which eases my pain.
Scorpio

Stories

This I need to remember. Written by Catherynne M. Valente, and what she wrote is worth quoting at more length than I normally quote:
...Why do we need stories? In the greater human sense, not in the bestseller, ZOMG Alan Moore is awesome sense. Storytelling is an essential human activity, a paleolithic one, hardwired into us. It's the campfire and the tribal circle, the shaman and the nomad. And while you could argue many motivations for this ritual act, I want to focus on one. One especially applicable to folklore, fairy tales, mythology--and therefore to fantasy and science fiction.

Stories teach us how to survive. They tell us that our lives can be transcendent, that we can overcome almost anything, no matter how strange, that we can go into the black wood and come out again, that the witch can be burned up in her own oven, that we can find someone who fits a shoe, that the youngest, unloved child will find their way in the world, that those who suffer can become strong, can escape, can find their way into comfort and joy again...

...And when we see story after story that has no one like us in it, a book entirely without women, a TV show where white people speak Chinese but there are no Asians visible, a movie set in California without Hispanics, image after image of a world where everyone is straight, and when we are told that it's no big deal, really, there is no race in future societies, that it's not anyone's fault if all the characters are white, that's just how they are, in the pure authorial mind, that we have no sense of humor, that we are ganging up on people because we speak our minds, this is what we hear:

You do not have a right to live. There are no stories for you, to teach you how to survive, because the world would prefer you didn't. You don't get to be human, to understand your suffering or move beyond it. In the perfect future society, you do not exist. We who are colorblind, genderblind, sexualityblind would prefer not to see you even now. In the world we make in our heads, you have been obliterated--even better, you never were. You are incapable of transcendance. You are not worthy of the most essential of human behavior. If you are lucky, we will let you into our stories, and you can learn to be a whore, or someone's mother, or someone's slave, or someone's prey. That is all you are, so pay attention: this is what we want to teach you to be.

And when our protests are drowned out by a privileged few who insist that their stories are even more difficult than ours, even more hurtful, in fact just like ours but better because someone who looks like them is telling them, that their voices MUST be heard, that we are wrong to even bring up the subject, when they try to punish people for speaking out, when they tell us over and over that when they are done speaking, when they are done telling their stories to all the people who look just like them, so that people who look like them can learn to survive and be strong, maybe we can have the mic for a minute while the janitors who look like us are cleaning up, what they are saying is not literary theory.

It is eugenics.
Please read all of Valente's thoughts. I think I'll need to again.

And I'm thinking of all my friends who are bringing stories into the world.