fictional: (palin master)
So... courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] faris_nallaneen, I see that Sarah Palin has resigned??? I can see four possibilities, all of which are bad.

Possibility 1: Lots (okay, two. But still) of top Alaskan health officials resigned recently. Is Alaska about to experience some form of plague that will eventually take over the planet? Is swine flu really polar bear flu? (Plague = bad. ETA: At least it's an island. SON OF ETA: Er...No. I am just terminally stupid. And I know no geography. Hey, I'm from New York! Cut me some slack.)

Possibility 2: Some horrible sex/drugs/embezzlement scandal about to surface, and Palin thinks she will preemptively kill the story by resigning now. (If this works = MIGHT BE REALLY BAD, because we'll never hear what happened! Inquiring minds want to know!)

Possibility 3: THERE IS NO PLAN and her dipshittery just finally escaped all bonds. (If this is true, we'll never find out if it was really 1 or 2 = definitely really bad.)

Possibility 4: This is the beginning of what Fox News seems to think will be an unfettered run at the presidency - in which case, world: watch out. Swine flu may be as nothing compared to this.

Okay, I'm going back to this &*%$%#@ chapter now. Once it is done, perhaps I can come back to TRULY IMPORTANT STUFF like fic writing/reading, these radio plays that everyone is so excited for and NEW TORCHWOOD. Also talking to real live people. I miss you guys! Yay! And a review of the spectacular Coraline: the Musical.

I was really hoping I could retire this icon. Alas.
fictional: (dr. who family)
[livejournal.com profile] rm gave me a gorgeous bracelet (at some point, I'll take a picture of it and post it -- IHNIIHBT fans will get a kick out of it, I think); [livejournal.com profile] hofnarr, some awesome Whovian comics; Dave took me to see Chicago & Tam took me to see Le Corsaire.

I can't wait till the death trinkets begin to roll in! (Kidding. Obviously.)

But TONIGHT there was, courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] faris_nallaneen the spectacular surprise of seeing Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer at Housingworks, where among other things, they read, sang, told stories, held hands and gazed adoringly at each other like total cuties (!!!) and finally came out of the closet and admitted that they are fucking dating. (All forms of punctuation appear to apply.)

It was the bit where they asked each other questions (supplied by audience) and Amanda says, "Ooh! I like this question... because I want to hear what you're going to say..."

And Neil says, "uh...."

And Amanda says, "So Neil, given that you and Amanda Palmer were naked in a bathtub together on twitter, are you going to admit that you're fucking dating or what?"

Then she blinked at him expectantly, and he stuttered, "Seriously???"

And then said very quietly, "yes, we've been dating for months."

And then Kali yelled said in a penetrating whisper, "Duh!" (I'd had a few glasses of wine by then.)

They gazed into each other's eyes some more, and then said: "AWKWARD!" and moved on. To Amanda auctioning off "Who Killed Amanda Palmer" + some used stockings for $1300. (!!!)

It was a great night.

There were also steamed clams with fennel and bacon, and an utterly divine caramel balsamic gelato. Mmmmmm.

I love Amanda Palmer. I want to buy all her albums.

TOMORROW THERE WILL BE FIC WRITING, OMG. I promise, you guys. (Especially Rach!)

Also, David Eddings is dead. Weird. I have a more contemplate-y post about authors and celebrity and memory, but that will wait for when I am not tired, achy, and soaked by incidental rainstorm.
fictional: (Cowboy)
Best name for a group ever? Or best, best name for a group ever?

A Consortium of Pub-going, Loose and Forward Women is planning a protest against some wingnut right wing group which has been assaulting young women for going to pubs, and is planning on using V-day as an excuse to attack some more in their attempt to compensate for their small dicks effort to be the morals police.

Man, V-day so not my thing, but these ladies seem pretty awesome:

It does not matter that many of us have not thought about Valentine’s Day since we were 13. If ever. This year, let us send the Sri Ram Sena some love. Let us send them some PINK CHADDIS*. Look in your closet or buy them cheap. Dirt-cheap. Make sure they are PINK. Send them off to the Sena.

[...]

What happens after Valentine’s Day?

After Valentine’s Day we should get some of our elected leaders to agree that beating up women is ummm… AGAINST INDIAN CULTURE.


I feel proud!

*chaddis: colloquialism for underwear.
fictional: (palin master)
First, there were the PUMAs. Have you guys heard about these folks? PUMA apparently stands for Party Unity My Ass, (??? Really?) and they seem to be American feminists women of a certain age who feel utterly betrayed by the election, and spend a lot of time totting up grievances about who has suffered more, people of color, or women? (And what about female people of color? They don't seem too bothered. The sisterhood, it seems, doesn't contain them; it doesn't even seem to occur to them that it ought to...?)

In all seriousness, they actually seem certifiably nuts.

I spent a good portion of today rubbernecking the traincrash reading [livejournal.com profile] palinpumawatch and clicking on through to associated links. Whoa. If you don't want it filtered, go straight to Reclusive Leftist and look around. I think the mod, Violet Socks, or whatever is a deranged fruit-bat, but the real gold (or tragedy, depending on how you look at it) is in the comments, and the community being fostered. Here is a pre-election sample. At first I was mesmerized (and enraged!) but then -- I began to see the heartbreak of it. Because, from my reading, these seem to be women who have sad, sad lives. They talk about marital discord. They talk about giving up everything for their families (occasionally in really bad poetry.) They are among the casualties of the system, right? And their lives are ordinary, and seemingly filled with a host of claustrophobic, petty disappointments. And so this neo-con cult of aggressive mediocrity (Exhibit A: Not!Joe the War Correspondent1) is going to be terribly appealing to them. Something that makes a virtue out of victimhood, that places all the blame for everything terrible that has happened to them squarely on the shoulders of someone else -- much like Sarah Palin, and her post-election, 2012 prep interviews that accuse everyone of being so unfair. At least the bizarrely named NiceDeb who actually compared Obama to Hitler (!!!) is the most offensively wingnut of conservatives; these other ladies seem to be left-leaning? Or believe that they are left leaning? But I don't think the word means what they think it means. Much like their beloved Hillary being named "secretary" of state? Because some of them don't seem to like the idea. Why? Not just too little, too late, but ...the idea of being a man's secretary? ...kinda sticks in the craw, doesn't it???

Um. No.

And yet, there's legitimacy in their quarrel with the world, right? Hasn't socialism/communism failed women in a stunning myriad of ways? Of course it has, just like capitalism, and well, basically every system in the world. It's a sexist world, no question.

And then I started thinking about feminism. Third wave? Radical? Sex positive? Post-feminist? What is the place of feminism in my philosophy?

I mean, not the PUMA way, obviously. Voting the other way for McCain and his "women's health" and Palin, who is NOT a feminist, saying that abortion wouldn't be necessary if young girls weren't "sluts" (yeah, these PUMAs are really pretty weird), dissing on Michelle Obama, who is just pretty awesome, even if she's got the most thankless (if prestigious) unpaid job in the world, AND voting against the man who not only supports a woman's right to choose, and you know, equal pay for equal work, and incidentally, say what you will, is closing down Gitmo, and trying to make government transparent, and is shutting down the secret CIA prisons round the world [And that's just the first three days in office!] cannot be considered left or feminist, in my opinion.

But what can? How do we appropriately deal with a climate of institutionalized and internalized sexism?

Unrelatedly -- but to close with a taste of awesome, via [livejournal.com profile] rm, author Cathrynne M. Valente makes this post of sheer poetry about our new world.

1 I don't even like Rick Sanchez, but I must admit to enjoying that clip. But this begs another question. I love participatory culture. I think the ability of the internet to give ordinary people a voice, and an impact on affairs is staggering, and awesome (in the old, non-valley sense of the word). And yet, (oh god, am i agreeing with Sarah Palin?) -- we shouldn't be getting our news from blogs! Because there's a difference between reading people's opinions (the Op-Ed page, the Editorials) and the actual news! Is it wrong to want journalists to be, you know, trained? I don't think I've got any right to go to Gaza and be a war correspondent...! And I'd like my president to be smarter than me. I mean, the problem with majority rule is that the majority of people kinda suck, don't they? But if we agree that the Great Man theory of history is wrong...? ...Although ever seen a movement succeed without some stellar spear-heading? I just go back and forth on it all the time. But this just leads me back to one of my central problems -- how does one unite a desire for excellence with an allegiance to the interests of the common person? And the old problem of communism - what is it that binds the intelligentsia and the workers together? But this is another post, for another day...

today

Nov. 5th, 2008 02:27 pm
fictional: (full face)
I am sick today. Really, I have been for several weeks now, though I try not to talk about it in this forum. (Or really any forum; I tend to be ostrich-like as regards my health - if I ignore it, it'll go away; this system has been epically failing me now for fourteen years; you'd think I'd learn, but you'd be wrong.)

So last night, I stayed up to watch the election anyway. Because I had to. It was impossible to do otherwise.

I'm still feeling ill; my stomach bruised and sore, my skin grey when I look in the mirror. I'm tired. Very tired, even though I've been doing nothing much but sleep since I got back from Chicago. It is raining. It is November, an ugly month, here in New York. Dim. Overcast. Too crammed with too much to do, and not enough time or money to do it with.

And yet.

I think the thing about this election -- and indeed, the last two as well -- was that it was so personal. It's a truism that the personal is political, but it has seemed especially true of late.

In 2004, I remember saying that what frightened me the most was knowing that social issues trumped pragmatic ones. This year, it was different. This year, America said it was more important that people were out of work or were working under increasingly terrible conditions because who knew when another job could be found, that gas prices had risen to an alarming sum, that the dollar had plummeted into an international joke, that they couldn't afford to go to the doctor, or pay for the prescriptions that were issued if they even managed to get there. That they cared more, just a little more about their futures, their pocketbooks, their everyday, ordinary lives than they did about electing a black man to the highest office in the country. Not everyone, of course, but enough.

I am grateful. Not just because my candidate won but because this is a decision I can understand, a universe that makes sense. For I can understand hating me and mine. What I can't understand is robbing yourself in order to do it.

I am grateful too, for the moment when the election had been called, the moment when hair rose up on the backs of my arms, and I glimpsed for a second, the promise of magic that seduces so many children into the ideal of nationhood. I'd never seen or felt it before, but I did then, and for a brief space of time, I felt like I understood.

And then our next president, a man of whom I need not be ashamed, came forward and made his speech. In all its brilliance, it was small things about it that I treasured the most. The ordinariness of inclusion: "It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled -" or even the simple acknowledgement that "this victory alone is not the change we seek - it is only the chance for us to make that change."

Through the ugliness of hearing about Prop 8, about the other terrible anti-gay legislation that was passed last night, when with one hand, America voted with their own self-interest in this single national issue, but withheld the greater promise of civil rights with the other - these are the words I thought of, words that describe a world where we are not outsiders ('gay and lesbian brothers and sisters'), but where we are you.

What we won last night was not a victory; it was possibility. It was work. It was the chance to do better, to be our better selves.

Fiction is my life. It is my vocation and my avocation. So it is perhaps unsurprising that I am unable to look at these events without the lens of narrative. Our next president is a great story-teller. "A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination." What must we do to continue it? For this is a story that must be continued.

I am not sanguine about the road ahead. Far from it. I am not a patriot. I am not a nationalist. I do not trust government or politicians.

But I believe in the power of a great story, the ability of a spectacular narrative to inspire and create. We all heard one last night. I hope we can use it to tell our own.
fictional: (palin master)
...happy election day!

I am almost certain that no one who reads this blog needs my encouragement to go vote. Still, for what it's worth, please, please, please, go do it. It's a symbol that means something, says to the world: thus far and no farther. I'd love for a record number of people to stand up today and say that they've had enough.

I've voted at the same polling place since I was 20 years old. I decided to go today at approximately 10:30am - I figured this was prime voting real estate - late enough to avoid the before work rush, but before people take lunch. Uh. Yeah. I waited for a little more than an hour in line. Actually, it felt good. Historic even. I find myself getting a bit sentimental over it all. (It was the dead grandmother, I think, that knocked me over the edge. I wish she could have lasted just 48 more hours.)

The Republican Inspector (an overweight, pasty white dude with oversized glasses) got into something of a ruckus with the coordinator. Like with shouting and arm waving and stuff. The Democratic Inspector (a tall black guy with silver hair) stood and observed silently. The issue seemed to be about bathroom breaks for inspectors. I couldn't quite tell if the R.I. was for or against. But it seemed oddly metaphorical.

This might be the first time ever that my horse wins.

I've a lot to say about Chicago and the conference, but at the moment, all I really feel able for is the endless refresh of cnn.com

[p.s. I can't wait to retire this icon!]
fictional: (palin master)
Oh, Canada. I envy you. When y'all have debates, they actually, you know, appear to be debates. Like (more than two!) people sitting around talking. It sounds nice...

In addition, hello Sen. Biden. Just about the time you zinged Gov. Palin about the Road to Nowhere, I forgave you for the Rave Act. What's more, [livejournal.com profile] hofnarr did too, and that's saying something. You were great. Also, see what I did there? What's wrong with Mr. Biden? Mr. McCain? Why must we remove all civility and etiquette from this process? WHY? This isn't a barn raising. It's a presidential election. (Granted, the distinction is becoming less and less clear, and thanks for that, Republicans!) I also notice that despite the plethora of "Baracks" and "Johns" and "Joes" - there remained not one single Sarah. What, she's a woman, so gets to retain the courtesy of her title? WTF?

I thought Biden did an excellent job. Much of the time, it seemed like Sarah Palin wasn't even there. He had bigger fish to fry, and I think he fried them. I thought the notes on gay marriage were powerful, and incidentally I loved that he slipped first and called it marriage, when he first said he was for it, and only later in the answer amended it. That slip actually gave me hope, much like the part where he said they supported nuclear energy. It's sad that Dems. can't win an election talking about nuclear energy, because environmentalists (naive ones) hear nuclear, and go crazy. Anyway, those two moments really gave me hope that underneath all the pacifying rhetoric, the Obama/Biden ticket might... for lack of a better term, be on the side of the angels. Which is nice. Biden's affect in the gay marriage moment was great too. "Marriage is between you and your religious leader. If your pastor/rabbi/priest/mullah/holy kumquat won't marry you, I'm sorry but it's none of my business. But there's a justice of the peace who will. WHY ARE WE STILL TALKING ABOUT THIS AGAIN?" And it's so nice to know that Mrs. Palin tolerates me. And some of her best friends are gay. Thanks. That and two dollars'll get me on the subway. Also so disingenously saying that she & McCain won't take away rights that haven't been granted yet. Fuck you. Incidentally, have read several newspaper accounts of the whole thing, and got several different versions: Sen. Biden unequivocally endorsed gay rights; Gov. Palin didn't, vs. neither Sen. Biden nor Gov. Palin support gay marriage and all the varying permutations in between.

I also thought Palin bringing up Biden's wife was one of the tackiest things I've ever seen. Really charming there. But his slam at the end about single fathers - yeah, you don't get to play that card with this guy, Mrs. Palin.

I wish however, that re: healthcare, the Obama/Biden side would stop giving so many numbers. I mean, I like the numbers, but I already know who I'm voting for. Is it so hard to say: in McCain's tax plan, he wants to tax medical benefits. He wants to tax you when you have go to the hospital. I think that would give people pause.

In the end, Palin had five answers memorized, and insisted on giving them over and over, when they had nothing to do with the questions. (Nice zing to Katie Couric by the way, Mrs. Palin. That's it, blame the interviewer for the filter of showing you looking like an uneducated yokel. Nice!) Some news sites are calling this a draw, because she didn't fall on her face. This particular gauge of success is so alarming to me, I don't even know what to say, except that it's humiliating for both my country and gender. On the other hand, you'd think I'd be used to that by now.
fictional: (full face)
Bombs go off in New Delhi.

Some of these bombs went off in the shopping district right near my house in Delhi. I've spoken to my family, everyone is okay.

I'm still in shock. More later.
fictional: (Default)
I keep telling myself that I don't care any more about this election.

Mainly because, after the last one, I cried. Actually cried. With real tears and everything. If you know me in person, you know what that means. I don't get choked up over this stuff. I don't cry at movies or books either, except as a figure of speech.

I also remember watching the DNC last time around, in '04, and watching this speech that came out of nowhere, and saying, "Wow. This guy's going to run for president." Well, lots of us did that, no? That's why we're here. But I didn't think it would be this year, and he has managed to disappoint me in so many ways.

But I've got to say. I got a little teary here:

We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country. The reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio than for those plagued by gang-violence in Cleveland, but don't tell me we can't uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals. I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination. Passions fly on immigration, but I don't know anyone who benefits when a mother is separated from her infant child or an employer undercuts American wages by hiring illegal workers. This too is part of America's promise - the promise of a democracy where we can find the strength and grace to bridge divides and unite in common effort.

I know there are those who dismiss such beliefs as happy talk. They claim that our insistence on something larger, something firmer and more honest in our public life is just a Trojan Horse for higher taxes and the abandonment of traditional values. And that's to be expected. Because if you don't have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare the voters. If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from.

You make a big election about small things.

And you know what - it's worked before. Because it feeds into the cynicism we all have about government. When Washington doesn't work, all its promises seem empty. If your hopes have been dashed again and again, then it's best to stop hoping, and settle for what you already know.

I get it. I realize that I am not the likeliest candidate for this office. I don't fit the typical pedigree, and I haven't spent my career in the halls of Washington.

But I stand before you tonight because all across America something is stirring. What the nay-sayers don't understand is that this election has never been about me. It's been about you.

For eighteen long months, you have stood up, one by one, and said enough to the politics of the past. You understand that in this election, the greatest risk we can take is to try the same old politics with the same old players and expect a different result. You have shown what history teaches us - that at defining moments like this one, the change we need doesn't come from Washington. Change comes to Washington. Change happens because the American people demand it - because they rise up and insist on new ideas and new leadership, a new politics for a new time.


I wish I could believe it.

bzuh?

Aug. 29th, 2008 11:35 am
fictional: (whiskey tango foxtrot)
WHUT??!!!

This fucking election. I just. Palin??? Alaska? Anti Abortion? What???

I have nothing of substance to say, but a profound sense of WTF.
fictional: (Default)
You know, it takes a certain amount of chutzpah to call a playhouse The Theatre. There's a certain audacity to the definite article that is unparalleled by lesser determiners.

Anyway, in case you've not heard, what once was lost has now been found. It's really pretty exciting at least for those of us who are Shakespeare geeks. Richard & James Burbage! Will Shakespeare! They demolished it [The Theatre] in the middle of the night, so that they could steal the boards and reuse them to make the Globe - the first English playhouse owned by a company of players. I bet you could write a pretty phenomenal story or play based on the events of that particular evening. They hauled the boards themselves, claiming later that the landlord might own the lease, but, by gum, the theatre itself was theirs!

I love that it's going to still be a working theatre. That is freakin' awesome. The show must go on.
fictional: (Cowboy)
I have to admit that I'm running in fear from the spectre of reality t.v. taking over the World. Nevertheless - if you've a moment, and are passing by Rockefeller Center - consider bringing the writers a cup of coffee or a snack. The thought of not finding out what happens on our shows is daunting to say the least - but that doesn't change the fact that writers deserve to reap the benefits - new media and otherwise - of what they create.

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5iE0uIqtrdPXiNMr1qniAIsCAa0fwD8SNK2N00

ETA: Today the strike has moved to Silvercup Studios in Queens. Check out this comment for further info: http://kalichan.livejournal.com/131311.html?thread=308463#t308463

Thanks, [livejournal.com profile] magnetgirl!

Son of ETA: http://www.wgaeast.org/index.php/articles/article/1033#wga1033 for information as to what fans can do to help out!
fictional: (Cowboy)
Vote. Vote, vote, vote, vote, vote.

I'd like to say I don't care who you vote for (but of course I do.) Still, Who Cares What I Think? Vote, so you can retain both the moral high ground AND the right to bitch!
fictional: (full face)
Part of me wants to say that to me, anniversaries (especially of this particular stripe) are close to meaningless, and I don't feel today anything that I wasn't feeling yesterday, or last week, or even probably tomorrow (though who knows?).

However, it is a gorgeous day out there - part of the reason I used to love September, aside from my birthday, and that is a little terrifying - that beautiful azure skies with the white puffy clouds at this time of year now signify disaster and catastrophe.

I have to say, I resent that.

And I also have to say, it's hard to believe sometimes that it's been five whole years since my childhood absolutely and irrevocably ended, but in the end, it's all I really feel free to comment on today.
fictional: (dark pixie)
driving into the city after the sun has set is such an interesting experience now. the road stretches out in front of you and the sky ahead begins to show a slight tint of orange (especially if there's snow clouds in the sky). the lights begin to get brighter and brighter, and then all of a sudden you can see the empire state building, pushing its red-white-and-blue spike into the sky.

every time now, i've looked towards the south, knowing that at this point i would have been able to see them. they were taller than everything, they used to eat the horizon. i remember that i used to be able to see them from here, but i can't remember exactly where they are supposed to have been. especially in the dark. i squint at the lights, as if maybe they'll yield some clue. i wish there was some gap, a big sign in blazing neon proclaiming: this is where they used to stand, the twin towers.

they were always my first glimpse of new york.

i walked on the upper west side today, in a snow storm, and the streets were slushy. the snow had just fallen, and it was already dirty and grey. cabs rushing by splashed me with that special brand of new york snow-goo. i looked around at the people, oh gods, so many people, so many lights, the noise. it was breath taking.

i love it here. i thought i knew that before i left. and maybe i did. but not like this.

oddly, i suppose, i'm actually looking forward to going back to another one of my homes. maybe not Ithaca specifically, but taking up my textbooks again, filling up blank pages in my notebooks.

sometimes i wish we could just have it all. in one place. take the island of manhattan and float it right off the coast of san diego, and put a nice ivy trimmed college on a little island in between. i could canoe to my classes.

it'd be great.

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fictional: (Default)
kali

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