What makes you think it was murrrrder?

Sunday, 22 October 2017 07:23 pm
scaramouche: Zhao Wei holding a gun, from So Close (zhao wei will fuck your shit up)
[personal profile] scaramouche
In anticipation for Branagh's Murder on the Orient Express coming out in a month, I watched the 1974 adaptation for the first time and read the book.

I am now a bit too prepared, because HOW CAN I WAIT A WHOLE MONTH.



The second trailer worries me a little, but I think it's still possible to roll with it.
starlady: Peggy in her hat with her back turned under the SSR logo (agent carter)
[personal profile] starlady
Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017), dir. Angela Robinson
I loved this film so much and I'd bet that almost everyone reading this will love it too. Based on the real-life story of the creator of Wonder Woman and his wife and their partner, the movie has been winning deserved praise for its respectful portrayal of a poly love story, as well as its exploration of exploring kink and BDSM in a relationship. The story of Bill Marston, Elizabeth Marston and Olive Byrne is fascinating, and Robinson leaps off the agreed-upon documentary record to make it a full-on romantic trio, with Elizabeth and Olive's sexual relationship being just as important and real as either woman's relationship with Marston. Despite all that, however, the film is mostly inexplicit; Robinson is far more focused on the depiction of relationships through the way people look at each other than through body parts. It is, in other words, extremely female gaze, and very sexy. I would happily have watched another hour of the movie, particularly as the latter half gets into the challenges of queer parenting in a homophobic society in a way I wasn't expecting, but the movie's conventional structure means that there's only so much time. Still, it was wonderful, and all the actors were great. Go see it.

The Princess & the Frog (2009)
Disney's last traditionally animated feature film, its first featuring a black princess, and probably the only Disney princess movie I hadn't seen. I liked the story of Tiana and her feckless prince, and from my admittedly inexpert position it seemed like the non-white characters were largely depicted in a positive manner. The story is sweet, but it owes so much to Shrek, it's kind of painful, and the thing that really struck me is that even as Disney put a lot of effort into moving beyond racist stereotypes in its depiction of the non-white characters, they were unwilling or incapable of to get beyond lazy stereotypes and fatphobic tropes in their depictions of villains and fat people. (I was also interested to see that the dupe villain gets a British accent, since the movie being set in New Orleans means that Disney was unable to rely on its main vocal stereotyping strategy of having the villains speak in Southern accents.) All of which is to say, there's ultimately no comparison between this movie and some of Disney's more recent successes.

IT'S RAINING

Sunday, 15 October 2017 04:37 pm
scaramouche: my cat staring at something (smokey whut is that)
[personal profile] scaramouche
I went searching for mermaid media, specifically a 2000 Hong Kong tv serial someone told me about called Legend of Heaven and Earth: The Mermaid Beauty, and even with the browser translation function the language barrier made it tricky to get useful information in terms of comprehensive plot. It was made even trickier by the fact that there are multiple titles (I think a mix of official and unofficial based on international dubs), which lead to a snowball effect where I ended up finding stuff about a completely separate mainland China tv serial called Legend of Mermaid (aka The Legend of Chasing Fish) which was confusing the heck out of me because at first I thought they were the same because hey, title variants, except NO THEY'RE NOT.

AND THEN because of the clickhole I ended up being bouncing through the internet and found I think three different mermaid-based China/Hong Kong/Taiwan* movies (I think they're movies?) all of which have multiple English titles but came out in the same freaking year of 2016 which I'm suspecting is because that's the year that Stephen Chow came out with his The Mermaid movie which destroyed box office records and... I suspect there may be even more out there. Good grief.

*I'm really sorry but I got so overwhelmed I ended up closing all the tabs instead of trying to identify each one properly.

ALSO I'd made another mistake where with the promos of Siren coming out recently, I thought that that was the Australian TV show that was announced ages ago just with a different name but nO! The Australian TV show is called Tidelands and I swear...

Description of Siren: “Siren,” which has been ordered for 10 episodes, takes place in Bristol Cove, a coastal town known for its legend of once being home to mermaids. When the arrival of a mysterious girl proves this folklore all too true, the battle between man and sea takes a very vicious turn as these predatory beings return to reclaim their right to the ocean. (source)

Description of Tidelands: The drama follows a former criminal as she returns home to the small fishing village of Orphelin Bay. When the body of a local fisherman washes ashore, she must uncover the town’s secrets while investigating its strange inhabitants, a group of dangerous half-Sirens, half-humans called “Tidelanders.” (source)

Plus that freaking indie The Little Mermaid movie with Shirley McLaine and William Moseley is supposed to come out this year!

Never thought I'd say it, but this may be too many mermaids.

Book Log

Saturday, 14 October 2017 07:37 pm
scaramouche: Door knocker from Labyrinth (labyrinth knocker)
[personal profile] scaramouche
Nancy Goldstone's The Maid and the Queen: The Secret History of Joan of Arc makes it the second book of this author's to have a title that left me confused by the end, though this one a little more disappointing than the last.

This book, thanks to its title and the blurb at the back advertising a "revisionist history" and Joan's having a "forgotten mentor" had me expecting something far more controversial or challenging of the known history of Joan of Arc, perhaps in trying to break down of the mythos of her actions. I braced for that, and there is some interesting theorizing about Yolande of Aragon's role as Joan's secret benefactor, but that comes at the beginning of Joan's arrival on the public stage and... pretty much the rest of it goes on as normal.

Cut for length. )

Pull the Football, Save the World

Friday, 13 October 2017 12:34 pm
starlady: Peggy in her hat with her back turned under the SSR logo (agent carter)
[personal profile] starlady
Are you worried about nuclear war? I am too. Keep reading for a way to stop it with one simple action.

Maybe you feel small and powerless. But many snowflakes make an avalanche. If we all move in the same direction, we'll be unstoppable. We will only fail if we choose not to act.

Trump has the power to order a pre-emptive nuclear strike for any reason - or no reason at all. He's always shadowed by a man with a briefcase of codes, called the "nuclear football," to enable him to launch nuclear missiles at any time. It would take less than five minutes from his order to the missiles being launched, and no one could stop him. Republican Senator Bob Corker says Trump is leading us into World War III. I believe him.

But we don't have to stand by and let it happen. Let's pull away that football!

Both House and Senate have bills to prevent the President from launching a pre-emptive nuclear strike without a congressional declaration of war. They're both called the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. Passing those bills may literally save the world.

𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝:

1. Contact your representatives in Congress. Ask them to co-sponsor the bill NOW, before it's too late.

2. Contact EVERYONE in Congress who might want to prevent a nuclear war. Usually people only speak to their own representatives. But with the fate of the entire world is at stake, it's worth contacting everyone who might listen.

3. Promote the Pull The Football campaign on social media. Trump isn't the only one who can use Twitter. Get on it and start tweeting #PullTheFootball.

Share this post on Facebook or Dreamwidth. Put up your own post on whatever social media you use. Ask your friends in person. If you know anyone in the media, contact them to get the word out. If you're not American, you can help by publicizing the campaign on social media that Americans follow.

𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐝𝐨 𝐈 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐜𝐭 𝐫𝐞𝐩𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐬?

1. Resistbot is a free service that will fax, call, or write your representatives for you. Just text the word "resist" to 50409 to begin.

2. Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to the representative of your choice.

𝐈'𝐯𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲𝐨𝐧𝐞. 𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐧𝐨𝐰?

Contact them again. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART. One water drop can be brushed away. Many water drops make a flood. Call, fax, or write as often as possible. Set aside 15 minutes every day to make as many calls or faxes as you can in that time. Relentlessness works - it's why the NRA is so successful. If they can do it, we can do it.

𝐖𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐈 𝐬𝐚𝐲?

Page down for a sample script. Or speak or write in your own words.

𝐃𝐞𝐦𝐨𝐜𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐜𝐭:

Every Democrat not currently sponsoring one of the bills. Thank them for their courage and service to the nation, and ask them to act now to save the world.

Thank the Democrats currently sponsoring the bills. There are 57 in the House and 9 in the Senate. Especially, thank Congressman Ted Lieu (sponsor of the House bill) and Sen. Edward Markey (sponsor of the Senate bill). Encourage them to step up their efforts to make it pass.

𝐑𝐞𝐩𝐮𝐛𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐧𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐜𝐭:

The Republicans listed below are the most prominent who have voiced concerns about Trump. This is not an exhaustive list. There are more Republicans who might be receptive. For instance, all the House Republicans who just voted for more aid for Puerto Rico, and all Republicans who are retiring from their seats and so not worried about getting re-elected.

Sen. Bob Corker warned us that Trump is setting the nation on a path to World War III. If you only contact one Republican representative, contact him. Thank him for his courage and urge him to follow through on his convictions.

Sen. Walter Jones is the only Republican to support the bill. Thank him for his courage and urge him to get his colleagues onboard.

Other Republican senators to prioritize contacting: Susan Collins, Jeff Flake, Lindsey Graham, Orrin Hatch, Dean Heller, John McCain, Lisa Murkowski, Marco Rubio, and Bob Sasse.

𝐒𝐚𝐦𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐒𝐜𝐫𝐢𝐩𝐭:
Hello, my name is [your name.] I'm calling to ask Representative/Senator [their name] to co-sponsor the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. I believe Senator Corker when he says we're on the brink of World War Three. No one benefits from a nuclear war. But we can stop it if we choose to. This may be the most important action Representative/Senator [their name] will take in their entire life. It may literally save the world. I urge them to co-sponsor the bill restricting first use of nuclear weapons. Thank you.

Thank you for reading this far! Please share the post before you go.

Thanks to [personal profile] rachelmanija for creating this campaign!

Burning

Wednesday, 11 October 2017 11:27 pm
owlmoose: A photo of a Highway 1 roadsign, with the California Coast in the background (california - sign)
[personal profile] owlmoose
Although I was born in the Midwest, spent much of my childhood in Iowa, and have lived in San Francisco for nearly 18 years now, I consider my hometown to be Santa Rosa, California, where my family moved when I was 13. It's where I went to junior high and high school, the city where my parents still live, and the place both my brothers went back to when it was time to go home.

And I've spent the last three days watching it burn.

This got a little long. )

Q3 Reading Goals Check-In

Tuesday, 10 October 2017 10:40 pm
owlmoose: (book)
[personal profile] owlmoose
So, I've fallen behind on reading. I can pinpoint two reasons for this: it's taking me a good a month to read The Stone Sky (not that it isn't very good, but I'm finding it slow going), and I find I want to spend my media time watching TV or listening to podcasts instead. There's no particular reason for this, that I can discern; it's just where my head as been at lately.

Anyway, my goals are posted here, and my last check-in, from July, is here. I have currently read 26 books, still quite a bit behind the pace to hit a goal of 50. Of these, 8 books are by authors of color, or about 30%; not great, but by author I'm at 8 out of 18, a slightly more respectable 44%. And since I've read most of the books in series I plan to read this year, I hope for that percentage to go up. Still no non-fiction (although Trevor Noah's memoir is on deck next -- I need to read it in time to give back to my aunt on Thanksgiving) or graphic novels, and I continue to fail at getting older books off my TBR. Why do great new books need to keep coming out? Why? I will never read everything ever written at this pace.

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