PSA for USians

Today is voting day! There are some really unqualified people running in this election, so if your district is one of those at risk, please consider doing your civic duty and keeping them faaaaaaar away from public office.

Moving Camps

There's no good way to say this, so I'll just say it: I've decided to change bases to Dreamwidth. Too many big, moving, interstitial ads on Livejournal - it's not really that I hate ads, but that they make the site look cheap. I know it's not as annoying when you're logged in (if you are a paid, permanent, or basic account holder). But that doesn't mean that the badness is NOT THERE, just that you can't see it.

I've decided not to crosspost because the content would still be here, looking bad... and crossposting is messy and disorganized, and I'm disorganized enough in real life, anyway. ^^; It's hard to move, though, because it took many years of spending way too much time online to build up the relationships I have on this site, and, frankly, I don't really have the time or the drive to do it all again. XD; But at the same time, I can't really ask anyone to change their blog-reading habits just to follow me.

(But if you happen to already be at Dreamwidth, please subscribe to my posts over there so I can subscribe to yours back! I plan to actually read all the journals I am subscribed to there, something I haven't been able to do here for a long time.)

My location at Dreamwidth is:

http://sub-divided.dreamwidth.org/

Also, I thought everyone knew this, but ayalesca didn't, so maybe other people didn't as well: I have a Wordpress blog. It's where I put livejournal entries after I've had the chance to clean them up a bit. Here's the address:

http://sd.magatsu.net/blog/

To keep reading me without joining Dreamwidth, there are three things you can do:

1) Add my Dreamwidth feed to your RSS reader.
2) Bookmark my Wordpress blog and check in on the first week of every month (when I archive content).
3) Friend subdee_rss.

EDIT: And to leave comments on my Dreamwidth, you can sign in with OpenID on this page, or else leave them without signing in.

Thanks, and sorry to exit so dramatically, if this counts as dramatic. Switching from one blogging service to another shouldn't feel like saying goodbye, and yet somehow.... it does. ^^;;; Though just as a note, there are still quite a few individual journals and communities I follow via RSS, and will continue to follow after I leave. And this journal will stay, of course. But I haven't really been here for a while... so it won't matter as much when I leave, right?

Runaways Movie

The film about the short-lived band. I apologized beforehand to R that this movie might be upsetting - I'd read about the Runaways in a book on the history of women in punk rock - but actually it wasn't so bad. It did seem like there was another, much more disturbing story lurking in the wings, though. Not to play up the twin-horror thing too much, but after leaving home twin Cherie Curie (lead singer played by Dakota Fanning) leans heavily on non-twin Joan Jett (guitarist played by Kristin Stewart), whom she also sleeps with, while addicted to date rape drugs.[1] Meanwhile, there's a kinky, abusive, exploitative record producer/authority figure lurking in the background. It's like a recipe for dysfunction.

I dunno whether the reason for the lighter touch was that director wasn't deft enough to evoke a deep emotional response, whether she didn't have band permission to go there, or whether it just wasn't that kind of movie. ^^; Based on Cherie Curie's book, executive-produced by Joan Jett, mainly focused on the two of them and opportunistic record producer Kim Fowley. The rest of the band don't even get where-are-they-now blurbs before the ending credits. R and I were discussing how the movie could have fit in more about the other members: I said make it longer (it's just 1hr45min), she said cut out some of the "high" scenes, which after the first couple are all basically the same.[2]

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Overall, an interesting film. Its major weakness, which I see most of the reviewers mention, is that it really needed to decide which of the two of them to follow, Joan or Cherie, after the split; which is like saying that it needed to decide which narrative arc to follow, the bottoming-out-then-finding-your-center arc (Cherie) or the picking-yourself-up-and-kicking-the-slackers-off-the-couch arc (Joan). They're positioned as opposites - Cherie's dependence vs Joan's dependability - but at some point, you have to make a choice.

I have some other thoughts, but this is disjointed enough as it is. XD; Comments welcome!


[1]Though her relationship with Joan is written as the one positive, non-exploitative relationship in her band life, which makes a really nice change from the EVIL LESBIANS you see in so many films.

[2] Except for the one where Dakota channels washed-up Hollywood starlet to play Cherie doped up on her father's painkillers at the grocery store. That was priceless.

[3] The only time you're reminded that she's not Joan Jett is her "rebirth" scene in a bathtub near the end, when the director takes away the clothing, makeup, hair, and body language, and just leaves a wet Kristin Stewart. Wryyyy!

On this year's Oscar winner

The Hurt Locker - about a U.S. Army demolitions team posted in Iraq - is such a male movie, it could only have been directed by a woman. Sort of like how it took a German director to make the most American movie of all time, Independence Day.

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Speaking of the Oscars, it was cute when Jeremy Renner, the film's lead, stopped Kathryn Bigelow on her way to the stage to accept "Best Director". And then when he went offstage to retrieve her between "Best Director" and "Best Movie" -- while everyone else expected Hurt Locker to win, she apparently didn't. He looked kind of like a schoolkid going to get his favorite teacher. ^^ She's tall! Taller than all three of the actors who played soldiers.

I also thought the actor group hug during the team acceptance speech was cute. The three of them looked super excited to be there, and super chummy (as maybe they would be, after such an intense shooting schedule). (And it's a noticeable thing that as the movie goes on, the cast seems to shrink to just them, as if filmmakers had used up their extras budget by the end of the second scene.)

On whole I think it's a nice accomplishment, but the only awards I agree with are Best Director (definitely), and Best Movie (maybe).

Storm

I went to work today because I called the wrong partner - if I'd asked E, she'd have told me to avoid the weather and stay home, and she was the only one who was even in the office! But the City wasn't a bad place to be today. It was warm, there was no wind, the snow fell lightly (though constantly), and EVERYONE who was out was in a good mood.

When I left the office early, also in a euphoric mood, I tried to work out whether that was because of the semi-holiday, or because everyone who didn't want to be out had stayed home, or whether it's true that happiness in the US correlates to low population density. It was nice to go straight to the front of the line at the grocery store on the way home...

Or it could have been that I beat Beldr on the train in to work today, or that I was going to see R, or that I was finally getting over the killer cold I caught last week. But I don't think it was just me; everyone was happy; and that never happens.

In short: ^_______^.

Bakuman

AKA The manga by the Death Note writer-artist team about... a writer-artist team trying to conquer the world of shounen manga. XD; Shujin (writer) and Mashiro (artist) decide to team up in middle school. They share the same goal, of getting published in Jump, coming in #1 in the popularity polls, and having their work made into a anime so that Mashiro's childhood sweetheart (a would-be voice actress) can play the title role. And then (the plan goes), she and Mashiro can get married and live happily ever after, notwithstanding the fact that they are both too shy to actually speak to one another and can only communicate through email.

Yes, the writer shares even this goal with the artist. It's less like they're friends and more like they're two halves of the same brain, playing off each other and coming up with ideas together and supporting each other. It's kind of sweet, actually -- who doesn't want a BFF friend like that?

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Bah. Anyway, sexism aside, this is actually a good manga. Is anyone else reading this? Please comment or direct me to another post where I can comment, so we can discuss!

Up in the Air

I saw this movie with my family over break. It's the one where George Clooney flies around the country firing people, with scenes based on actual interviews with people who lost their jobs to corporate downsizing. Clooney's character is a simple (not stupid - he's smart - but not complicated) man who likes the perks that come with his job - the hotel stays, the frequent flyer miles, the exclusive gold club membership cards. He can pack a perfect bag in ten minutes and has a special key card that clues hotel concierge to always greet him the same way (“Welcome back, Mr. _________” / “Pleasure to see you again, Mr. _______”).

At a hotel bar in one of many Hiltons, he meets a woman (played by Mia Farmigiana, sorry I can't remember character names when I know actor names) who is like him "but with a vagina" (her words); in the next scene his boss makes him take along a new recruit to the company, Natalie. The three of them play house (with Mia and Clooney playing Mother and Father) when they crash a convention at the hotel they are staying at after Natalie's boyfriend breaks her heart.

Relevant links (via R): Don't move 3000 miles to be with your boyfriend! and Text Message Breakup

The rest of this post is spoilers.

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Truth in Television: This is another movie about how guys never think they want to get married, but once they get a taste of domesticity, they kind of like it, isn't it. Except not quite.

Eeeee Eee Eeee: An Attempt at a Review

I've been getting a lot of mileage out of talking about this book in person, so I guess I will do the same here. Eeeee Eee Eeee is an avant-garde novel about depression: not Depression with a capital D, but different manifestations of major clinical depression which are represented in the novel by different animals. For instance, people who often worry about contributing to the sum total of evil in the Universe - who don't eat at MacDonalds because they know the money will go towards opening more MacDonalds franchises in Japan where formerly healthy middle school students will get fat and die - are Dolphins.

The authorial stand-in(?), Andrew, is a Bear... I was reading some reviews of Tao Lin's work that said it's about the Major Problem of modern life in the Web age, which is that we can do anything but end up doing nothing. I don't really agree - more on this later - but I could see it in a scene where a Bear rips the roof off Andrew's car, then promises "$100 and a free laptop computer" if he'll follow down a trapdoor.

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What else. Sabina and I talked about the resemblance between Tao Lin' writing style and the Hipster Runoff writing style, and whether it was a coincidence or whether one inspired the other. Her take was that "the argument against the hipster thing is that they're faking it because they're afraid of committing emotionally. but if you can't commit emotionally because you're super depressed, it might sound the same but it comes from somewhere different. and anyway, I'm sure lots of hipsters are depressed."

R's take on all this is that she's disgusted with the author, who has obviously given up on ever not being depressed. She says that if you make something like depression a core part of your personality, you're never going to be able to put it aside.

Jony's take is that she's sick of hearing about Tao Lin just because he went to NYU (she's a student there).

My final thoughts on Eeeee Eee Eeee are that it's short, interesting... and infectious. It's idea-rich and it made me want to write - the way idea-rich novels always make me want to write. So I wrote - fifteen hundred words that I threw away because they sounded too much like Tao Lin. omg I've been infected.

If there's a "flaw" in the book it's that it takes you to a sad lonely place, and doesn't tell you where to go from there. This might be a cult book but it's not the kind of cult book you can use as a recipe book. There are no solutions - except maybe to open a new tab in Internet Explorer and start writing.

****

What a post for Christmas Eve. ^^; But I suddenly had a lot of time on my hands. Merry Christmas, everyone! PS I reserve the right to edit this post sometime that's not 4am.

The Princess and the Frog

Have Disney movies always pushed the heterosexual agenda this hard?

TIANA'S DAD (in the flashback scene): It's important to have dreams, baby, but remember that the most important thing is LOVE -- for instance the love between myself and YOUR MOM.

TIANA'S MOM (interrupting Tiana's "I can make my dreams come true if I just I work really really hard" song): Yes yes, dreams are good, but when are you going to have time for LOVE? (I want grandkids!)

WISE OLD SWAMP LADY: You know what you want, dearie, but have you thought about what you NEED?**

On the other hand R and I decided that Prince Naveen's parents -- the ones who cut him off for being an irresponsible good-for-nothing layabout -- must loooooooooove her. Pretty girl got our son to stop sleeping around? And spending our money? And throwing wild parties? And disgracing our names? And he even went out and got a job? Yes please!

**Hint: A Man.

Some links I have enjoyed this week

http://www.des.emory.edu/mfp/jnitrous.html
______the effects of nitrous oxide on the dialectical method

http://bravecows.dreamwidth.org/7595.html
______ASEANs, in Space!

http://ayalesca.livejournal.com/83279.html
______The Little Vulcan. With pictures! ♥

http://gordongartrelle.blogspot.com/2009/10/visit-from-dap-kufi-slapping-out.html
______Chasidic Man Mugged On Yom Tov For His Shtreimel

http://www.lamebook.com/daddys-girl
______The best/worst of Facebook: file with Texts from Last Night and Overheard in New York

EDIT One more:
http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/trends/n_9437/
_____Naomi Wolf's The Porn Myth

***

I think I need to keep better track of my blog reading. Wait. Is this what tumblr and diigo are for?!

Did I mention that the police found my car? Yeah. It was parked 10 blocks away. Nothing important was stolen or damaged: the thieves cleaned out the glove compartment (no money); took all my CDs (but not my mother's); and left the car smelling like booze, sweat, and weed. But the smell's faded in the last week and the rest is inconsequential. Lucky me!

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This journal is 90% public. I friend back anything that moves (meaning anything that is not a blank journal), but it helps if you let me know that you've added me. Thanks!

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