I am obsessed with doing the New York Times Crossword puzzles, both the daily crosswords and the bi-weekly acrostics. @jaybushman and I do them together nightly on the couch after dinner through the NYTimes website and airplay to the TV. It’s definitely our favorite joint hobby.
So more than a week ago, Jay told me he had designed a puzzle for me to solve. I was like what? but he was serious. So we carved some time out last Saturday. He told me he’d made a specific acrostic with Bronwen-specific clues for me to solve.
And some of the clues I got right away! Azarenka! And NDA! And some took a lot longer because I really could not remember what Bitty’s old column was called.
And when I solved the puzzle, I got:
tl;dr Reader, I’m going to marry him.
So full of love for my clever, happy, beautiful friends!!
VHS! I made sure to record every single episode. And FX aired all the re-runs and we taped those too. And then we bought some of the tapes that Fox released. Or begged people on the Internet to mail us copies.
I taped them on VHS and rewatched but I didn’t start until season 2 so I had already missed lots. It was hard cause you couldn’t just go on Netflix and watch old eps in order or even all of them. FOX released these box sets of selected episodes so I’d read online where in the episode order they fell, walk to the video store, rent them and watch those over and over,since I couldn’t keep them and I wanted to remember what happened. I know people who couldn’t get eps at all so they just read the transcripts online to get an idea of what canon had occurred.
VHS here too. I managed to find a few of the box set VHS’s at a used bookstore, and I watched them until they wore out. And yeah, the transcripts were a godsend, if you didn’t have an ep on tape and you needed a detail or a few lines of dialogue for fanfic purposes.
True story: when I was really into The Pretender, I would tape rerun episodes that aired very late at night but often had to sneak out of my room to change the tapes from earlier in the day to the overnight one and program the VCR at the same time. It got to the point where I didn’t even have to turn on the TV to see what I was doing to program the time in.
By doing this faithfully, I managed to get all but two episodes on VHS, in ALMOST the right order. I managed to see all but one episode before I finally got the DVDs in college.
My first fandom was Star Trek TNG, which was lucky because it was in syndication and my local station played an episode at ten pm every weeknight.
So. I borrowed the Star Trek Encyclopedia from my aunt, wrote out a list longhand of every episode title in order, a synopsis of the ep, and whether or not I had seen it, then checked the tv guide in the newspaper every day to see which episode would be on that night. If it was one I hadn’t seen, I would pull out my tiny black and white tv and watch under the covers, hoping my parents wouldn’t figure out that I was awake and make me turn it off before I finished the episode.
It took about two years, but I saw every episode and a few favorites twice.
TV guide! Oh my gosh! I had actually almost forgotten how important that thing was.
And the Star Trek Encyclopedia was one of my favorite books. I read through it more than once.
This is exactly how I watched TNG and DS9.
And also The Lost World, which was terrible, but I regret nothing.
I still have a giant box of X-Files episodes on VHS that I can’t make myself get rid of, because those tapes were precious and I worked hard not to miss a recording. If I did, I never knew when I’d get to see an episode again!
When my parents moved out of the house they’d lived in for 20 years they asked me if I wanted any of the boxes and boxes of home-taped VHS cassettes. Even though I said no they sent me some of them.
Related, as I started reading this post I had the most powerful scent memory – the smell of the off-brand/indie/local/import movie rental place I used to haunt in HS. I watched so many things I can’t even remember the name of… which is still true, actually.
tumblr meme culture is really just a form of neo dadaism
I’d like to clarify:
dada was a largely european art movement that took place after wwi. this time and place is not a coincidence. let me explain.
dada art made no sense. the artists who made dada lived in a world in which nothing made sense - in which conventional logic led to the senselessness of a world war. so, making art that made no sense, making - well, you can’t really call it art, so making ANTI-art that rejected the conventions that brought about that atrocity in the first place - it made total sense. (if that makes any sense.)
so the artists did weird things. new things! putting things that were already made together and calling it sculpture, cutting up bits of pictures and putting them together and calling that something to frame - this site has some nice examples.
but from my perspective - there’s serious intellectual continuity between the absurdity of attaching a bunch of tacks to the bottom of an iron, rendering it useless, and say…. bath bomb posts. Put a fucking macbook in a bath. it’s useless now. Nobody fucking cares anymore. you want something funny? you want a punchline? gun. that’s your punchline. Take it. I am laughing
in a way it could be a method of venting some of the frustration and hopelessness and dissatisfaction that tumblr’s userbase (largely, disenfranchised millennials) feels in the modern day. I can’t really speak for anyone else, but… at least from a US perspective, there’s plenty to be disillusioned about. growing up in a constant state of questionably justified war, income inequality, an economic recession caused by the actions of a handful of wealthy fucks who didn’t even get properly punished, growing awareness of police brutality, being called lazy and self-absorbed by the generations that gave us these problems in the first place… I can’t help but think that these factors (and more) could produce a similar mindset to the one that precipitated the first dada movement.
so of COURSE we make nonsense jokes. it’s a coping mechanism for a world which doesn’t make any sense.
related: this isn’t by tumblr but I have to plug UCLA’s atrocity of a virtual gallery once more. it really needs to be experienced, but… it’s definitely also millennial neo dada. from the presentation (like an unplayable video game) to the content (THE DOGS HAVE ARRIVED), it is exactly what I am talking about. it is a fucking shitpost. and it’s high art, too! I love this
tl;dr: my generation is fed up with this bullshit, and the best way that we can express that is by shitposting. alternatively, dada was an early precursor to modern shitposting and we should all thank duchamp for signing a fucking urinal
a dear friend has given a perfect update to some of my phrasing, courtesy of their word replace extension:
you see this? this is exactly what I’m fucking talking about. the thing that I’m talking about is:
shitposting is the deconstruction of hegemonic discourse through the use of the absurd and surrealism.
I’d also say that while Dadaism was obsessed with the technological aspects of Modernity, of newspapers, of industrial mechanics and factory made clocks, neo-dadaism (of which shitposting but also the increasingly broad reach of the New Aesthetic and net aesthetics) is obsessed with the technological aspects of our time, or at the beginning of our time.
As just a comparison, the Clock in Absurdist and Dadaist art is both a symbol of the uplifting beginning of industrial relations (as one of the first complicated machines made by manufacturers, as the symbol of mankind’s ability to triumph and analyze nature and better ourselves) and as the deified symbol of horrific modernity (of demarcated time, labor hours, the oppression of the working class via managerial time), Neo-Dadaism/Absurdism has a similar relationship with early computers, which both symbolizes the utopian attitudes which we entered the digital age with, and the horrifying period we live in now, where the Digital is ever present and semi-deified.
My favorite dada satire is probably from Georges Grosz who takes the kind of robotic modernist tube people of folks like Leger:
and turns them into these mindlessly patriotic broken automatons chanting rote phrases:
And it’s so so funny to me that there’s all kinds of Gen X artists out there creating art about the millennials on their damn cellumar phones who think they’re the inheritors of this aesthetic but really it’s people who use the Madden gif generator to shitpost because they’re taking the technology meant for a coherent purpose for a particular narrative and they’re breaking it and turning it back on itself.
Aside from color palettes and materials used, I see literally zero difference.
This is one of the top 3 best posts I’ve ever seen on tumblr and I’ve been here for years.
The claim that ‘just’ ‘shrinks your power’ was popularized earlier this year by former Google executive Ellen Petry Leanse. As I pointed out then, what it overlooks is the fact that words like ‘just’ have a range of functions: you can’t just [sic] assert that they are ‘demeaning’ in every context. (As I also pointed out, Nike didn’t choose ‘Just Do It’ as a slogan because they thought it sounded pleasingly weak and powerless.) Even when ‘just’ is being used as a hedge (i.e., to make a point less forceful or more tentative), the commonest reason for that is simply to be polite; and politeness is more strategic than demeaning.
Only the other day, I got an email that read:
“Sorry to disturb you over the holiday period, but I’m just trying to firm up the schedule, and I wondered if you’d had time to check your diary yet. Have a great new year and get back to me when you have a chance.”
I didn’t think, ‘oh, this guy is really shrinking his power’ (yes, I did say ‘guy’: writing ‘sorry’ and ‘just’ in emails is not an exclusively female habit). I thought, ‘well, that’s considerate, making clear he knows it’s Christmas and I might have better things to do than help him with his schedule’. And since he had been considerate, I figured I’d return the favour: I replied the same day.
If he’d left out all the ‘self-undermining’ politeness features, the email would have looked more like this:
“I’m trying to firm up the schedule, so please check your diary and get back to me as soon as possible.”
The style may be more businesslike, but I’d have read this version as accusatory and borderline hostile (‘hey, I’ve got a schedule to make, why haven’t you given me the information I need?’). And I’d have registered my displeasure by putting it in the pending file until we were both officially back at work. So, politeness can pay dividends: ‘sorry’ and ‘just’ FTW.
Apart from being based on naïve and simplistic ideas about how language works, the other big problem with the ‘women, stop undermining yourselves’ approach is that it presupposes a deficit model of women’s language-use. If women use the word ‘sorry’ more than men (and by the way, that’s a genuine ‘if’: I’m not aware of any compelling evidence they do), that can only mean that women are over-using ‘sorry’, apologizing when it isn’t necessary or appropriate. The alternative interpretation—that men are under-using ‘sorry’ because they don’t always apologise when the circumstances demand it —is surely no less logical or plausible, but somehow it never comes up. As I said back in the summer, the assumption is always that ‘a woman’s place is in the wrong’.
The reason for this is simple. If your business is peddling advice to women, you have to begin by persuading women they’ve got a problem, and that the cause of the problem is their own behaviour. If that’s not the case—if, for instance, the problem has more to do with other people’s attitudes or with structural inequality—then telling women to behave differently is not going to fix very much.
The alternative interpretation—that men are under-using ‘sorry’ because they don’t always apologise when the circumstances demand it —is surely no less logical or plausible, but somehow it never comes up. As I said back in the summer, the assumption is always that ‘a woman’s place is in the wrong’.
Blaming women for just, sorry, and vocal uptick annoys the shit out of me and this is why.
The thing about reading fanfic (and original slash fic) is that you get used to that particular writing/reading culture after a while. You get used to the frank discussions of sexuality and kink, the close attention to diversity and social justice issues in the text, the unrestrained creativity when it comes to plot. The most amazing, creative, engaging stories I’ve ever read have almost all been fanfiction, and I think part of that is because there’s no limitations placed on the authors. They’re writing purely out of joy and love for the world and its characters, with no concerns about selling the finished product. The only limit is their imagination.
Next to that, most mainstream fiction starts tasting like Wonder Bread, you know?
Hey unicorns! Today is the last day to enter for your chance to win a special gift from me in honour of the #AT2UImovie release! Simply go to https://goo.gl/GRJv9q or click the link in my bio and fill out the form. This is available to unicorns ALL around the world. And… Each gift is sealed with a kiss directly from me because I love you to bits 😘❤️ you have until end of day today! Go go go! And get excited for our upcoming release! #AT2UI @at2uiofficial
I just feel like it’s too late for everything sometimes, and our generation will be at the reins when the world implodes but we will have never had a chance to reverse anything in the first place. I realize this is morbid and bleak for a Monday, but I feel like it’s not possible to overstate how incredibly bleak the outlook on climate change is.
Are the meals organic? How organic? You know just buying the food from fucking Whole Foods doesn’t mean it’s organic, right? Like, do you also have to be a member of a fucking CSA? Just one CSA? Is there a strict no-refined-sugar policy? How local is the honey? 7 points for on-premises, 0 points if they don’t even have a bee garden. 10 points if there is a regular bee petting program where the kids can kiss the bees.
When Lauren McKnight, 27, isn’t appearing on television shows for VH1 and ABC, she’s driving a black Scion xA, picking up Hollywood executives on their way to the airport.
When Carlton Totten, 23, isn’t studying old Marlon Brando films, attempting to summon up brooding intensity, he’s in a gray Prius taking trust-fund babies from El Rodeo School in Beverly Hills to the nearest branch of the Los Angeles Public Library.
And when Clairfoster Josiah Browne, 36, takes a break from his Abstract Expressionist-inspired artwork, he scans his iPhone for fares inside a 2012 Chevy Cruze.
This is Hollywood’s new creative underclass, where being a driver for hire has replaced waiting on tables as the preferred side job for the city’s underemployed actors and artists. Over the last two years, droves of them have gone to work for ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft because of their flexible hours and, until recently, decent pay.
We are by nature and nurture as women taught to collect and gather and smooth over. If you want to make a difference, you have to be prepared to go against that, stand out and then wrestle with feelings that come from doing that.The instrument of being an ambitious woman has to be practiced. It doesn’t just happen overnight. It’s like playing your scales. It happens one note at a time and after a time you become fluent.
Woodie Guthrie lived in one of Fred Trump’s building for two years, starting in 1950, and was so taken with the KKK-affiliated landlord, whobribed federal officials in exchange for government handouts that he used to build his income property.
Fred Trump maintained a racist “color bar” – a whites-only policy – for his property, something that particularly galled Guthrie. Guthrie wrote poems and journal entries expressing his loathing for the elder Trump. Will Kaufman – Professor of American Literature and Culture at University of Central Lancashire – unearthed the writing in the Woody Guthrie archives:
Bowie is why I tell my writing students that there is no “voice” to find, no voice that belongs to the true you, because there is no true you, only ever versions of yourself you have learned to perform, and the voice of the character you play on the page is up to you. The question is not who you are but what connects, how much courage you have, how much guile, what you can manage to get away with.
This is some NEXT LEVEL nerd-ing and I nearly cried reading it.
I don’t get it
Please explain ;_;
There is a star trek TNG episode where Picard encounters a race that doesn’t speak in actual structured sentences but conveys ideas through story parralels. The ones referenced here are “Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra” - cooperation, “Shaka, when the walls fell” - failure and Temba, his arms wide/open" - signifying a gift.
OK, but here’s what’s awesome/hilarious about this.
The whole point about why communicating with the Tamarians was so frustrating was because all of their communication was contextual. The problem wasn’t that Picard couldn’t understand what words they were saying (the universal translator worked fine) the problem was that he didn’t understand what THOSE WORDS TOGETHER HAD TO DO WITH ANYTHING.
Why is this hilarious/fascinating to me? Because this is essentially what people are doing today with memes. They are posting pictures and writing sentences THAT MAKE NO SENSE WITHOUT PRIOR CONTEXT.
If Picard beamed down right now, and you told him that Data is a cinnamon roll… you are a Tamarian.
Among the most important artists to emerge during the 1990s, Los Angeles–based Diana Thater creates groundbreaking and influential works of art in film, video, and installation that challenge the normative ways in which moving images are experienced. Her dynamic, immersive installations address key issues that span the realms of film, museum exhibitions, the natural sciences, and contemporary culture through the deployment of movement, scale, and architecture. At the heart of Thater’s work is the tension between the natural environment and mediated reality and, by extension, between the domesticated and wild, the scientific and the fantastical or magical. Drawing on a wide variety of sources, including literature, animal behavior, mathematics, chess, and sociology, her evocative layered imagery engages its architectural surroundings to create complex relationships between time and space. Experiencing these installations kinetically, viscerally, and psychically rather than by merely observing passively from a distance, visitors enter into an active dialogue with work that is consistently challenging, disciplined, and intellectually rigorous.
only after i experienced this in person have i noticed the articles and tumblr posts about it – were they there before and i wasn’t awake or did i go right as everyone was waking up to this exhibit? – and i love how the digital facsimiles feel just as part of the experience as being in a room with primary color bee projections. A+++ highly recommended.
This is the Great Pyramid of King Khufu. Everybody knows the Great Pyramid of King Khufu, but you probably don’t know about the Shit Pyramids of his father, King Sneferu. This is a shame, because they are amazing.
When King Sneferu came to the throne of Egypt, the cool thing that all the pharaohs had was a Step Pyramid, like the original one built by King Djoser and designed by Imhotep (not the mummy). King Sneferu could easily have had one one because his predecessor King Huni had died before his could be finished. All Sneferu had to do was step in and put the last few blocks on.
But King Sneferu had a vision. He didn’t want any old Step Pyramid. He was going to build Egypt’s first smooth-sided pyramid, and make King Huni’s pyramid way taller in the bargain. It didn’t work. The core of Huni’s pyramid couldn’t handle the modifications and nowadays the Step Pyramid at Meidum looks like this:
It’s not on a hill - that’s the outer layers of the pyramid that have fallen down all around it. The name of the structure in Arabic is Heram el-Kaddaab, which means something like The Sort-Of Pyramid.
Anyway, King Sneferu was understandably disappointed and made his pyramid-builders start over from scratch at a different site. Apparently having learned nothing about the Big Fat Nowhere that hubristic pyramid ambition was going to get him, this pyramid was designed to be even taller and pointier than the last effort! Too tall and pointy, in fact - the bedrock proved to be less stable than he might have hoped, and by the time the pyramid was half-finished stuff was already moving and cracking inside of it. There are ceilings in this pyramid that are to this day partially held up by wooden beams.
The builders seem to have panicked and decided that the only way to finish the pyramid without another disaster was to make the top half lighter than the bottom half. They did this by changing the angle of the slope, ending up with a pyramid that looks like this:
Egyptologists call this one the Bent Pyramid for fairly obvious reasons. Uniquely among Egyptian Pyramids, it has most of its smooth outer blocks intact, rather than having them all stolen to build other stuff (most of medieval Cairo is built from the skin of the Giza pyramids). I’m guessing this is because nobody dared touch the thing for fear the whole structure would come down like a giant limestone game of Jenga.
I’m sure the pyramid-builders were very proud of this solution. Sneferu appears to have been less so. He had them move over about half a mile and start over. Again. Why only half a mile when he had them move 34 miles between the Sort-of Pyramid and the Bent Pyramid is a mystery. I think he wanted to keep them in sight of the Bent Pyramid so they could look at it and feel ashamed every once in a while.
And there they built Sneferu’s third pyramid, which is called the Red Pyramid. As pyramids go, it’s a very cautious one - it’s got the shallowest slope rise of any Egyptian pyramid, and while it’s the same height as the Bent Pyramid it spreads its weight over a much greater base area, making it far more stable. Sneferu seems to have been happy with this one, because he was buried in it. Either that, or after a forty-eight-year reign he just finally died and that was the pyramid they used because it was the nicest of the three.
These three pyramids together actually contain substantially more stone than the Great Pyramid of Sneferu’s son Khufu. By the time Sneferu died, his workforce had honed themselves into a lean, mean pyramid-building machine. They had already made every possible pyramid mistake. So when Khufu announced that he didn’t just want a great pyramid, but The Great Pyramid, these guys built him a pyramid so fucking great that we now think aliens must have done it.
2) Why would you flip the bagels inside out like that so the cheese has no even surface area to cling to? It’s spilling out all over the place?? Like, all the cheese is essentially outside the bread I TAKE ISSUE, THIS IS NOT A REAL SANDWICH.
WHO DOES THIS TO A BAGEL. DOES THAT PERSON NOT HAVE EVEN ONE FRIEND.
However, Google says that its drivers actually took over the cars of their own accord “many thousands of times,” yet the company is not including those times in its numbers. That’s because Google argues that the California DMV only requires manufacturers to report when the driver was justified in taking control of the car. The company itself decides which manual disengagements were justified and which were not by replaying each disengagement in an online simulator.
i’m not sure if you’re talking about Britney, Internet explorer, Messenger, windows xp or the old youtube
You know what’s bad? Brain damage.
Flint, Michigan, is finding this out after it accidentally gave its entire population at least a little bit of lead poisoning when it switched up their water supply. In an attempt to save money for a cash-strapped city, Flint started drinking water from the Flint River — but ended up contaminating children with a poisonous heavy metal. Governor Rick Snyder has declared a state of emergency, and the federal government is investigating.
Why on Earth did they do this? Austerity. Aside from the obvious humanitarian disaster, this is a stark demonstration of austerity’s false economy. Trying to be cheap on Flint’s water supply will end up costing the state of Michigan (and probably the country as a whole) a ton more money than it would have to fix it properly in the first place.
Now Snyder has already been forced to pony up over $10 million to switch the Flint water system back to the way it was before (hooked up to Detroit, basically), and the city is asking for some $50 million more to replace lead pipes. But that’s very likely only the beginning. Flint’s population is roughly 100,000, and several families have already sued state and local officials over the lead issue. It’s unclear so far how badly the city’s children have been poisoned, but it’s a pretty safe bet the state will end up spending tens or perhaps even hundreds of millions on settlements.
And that’s where a moral atrocity becomes an economic self-kneecapping. Aside from the cost of settlements, children are the major portion of the future’s economic capacity, which depends critically on their ability to function normally. Destroying their brains with heavy metals will rather impede their ability to get the jobs and pay the taxes that will get Flint on a sound fiscal footing.
The cognitive dissonance caused by a society that tells its children to “follow their dreams” through messages in films, literature, etc. and then punishes them for not choosing safe, money making careers in adulthood is fascinating, to say the least.
Alright I feel like I need to make some plans to indulge in a little fake it until you make it enthusiasm for living this week. I need to, like, make a peppy playlist and not indulge my instincts to make it ironic. And I need to put away the Christmas decorations and immediately put something else up instead. And make concrete plans for this weekend. And eat food I like. And stay hydrated and moisturized. Be a fake fake positivity heaux in 2016.
K is forcing (inspiring?) me to make this public. I made this weird jump in 2015 to take the chance on a new job and a new city, and I don’t regret that. But here’s the thing: I don’t know anyone. So my friends are only work/theater people and I need to branch out. (S/O to @kiss-distinctly-american and @psycholinguistic who are super awesome and hang out with me but also have lives.)
So. The point. Is that if you live in the metro DC area, I want to hang out. I will go within reasonable public transport area, unless you’re willing to drive in which case I will go much further.
So let’s hang. Call it a New Year’s Resolution. Or just a chance on a new friend.
Which Shonda relationship do you ship the hardest?
you can get hiccups from drinking anything too quickly. But, as Gina Sam, M.D., told Shape, drinking alcohol is particularly hiccup-inducing, since “alcohol promotes acid reflux and that could [irritate] the esophagus.” This could, in turn, irritate the vagus nerve within the esophagus, which triggers those dreaded hiccups.
There is a common attack on art that thinks it is a defense. It is the argument that art has no impact on our lives, that art is not dangerous, and therefore all art is beyond reproach, and we have no grounds to object to any of it, and any objection is censorship. No one has ever argued against this view more elegantly than the great, now-gone critic Arthur C. Danto, whose 1988 essay on the subject was formative for my own thinking. That was in the era when right-wing senators wanted to censor art or cancel the National Endowment for the Arts altogether. The argument against this art, which included Robert Mapplethorpe’s elegantly formalist pictures of men engaged in sadomasochistic play, was that it was dangerous, that it might change individual minds and lives and then our culture. Some of the defenders took the unfortunate position that art is not dangerous because, ultimately, it has no impact.
Photographs and essays and novels and the rest can change your life; they are dangerous. Art shapes the world. I know many people who found a book that determined what they would do with their life or saved their life. Books aren’t life preservers; there are more complex, less urgent reasons to read them, including pleasure, and pleasure matters. Danto describes the worldview of those who assert there is an apartheid system between art and life: “But the concept of art interposes between life and literature a very tough membrane, which insures the incapacity of the artist to inflict moral harm so long as it is recognized that what he is doing is art.” His point is that art can inflict moral harm and often does, just as other books do good. Danto references the totalitarian regimes whose officials recognized very clearly that art can change the world and repressed the stuff that might.