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Jan. 25th, 2014

Willow reading

Western K-pop Fangirls: a story of accidental cultural competency.

lolmythesis is my new internet time sink, and this one especially made me laugh and reminded me of a couple people in this community.

I wish it wasn't anonymous, because I kind of want to read the whole thesis.

Nov. 18th, 2013


SMG speaks out about the whoop

Sarah Michelle Gellar is apparently speaking out about whooping cough vaccines.

It's not often that fandom and my real life have anything to do with each other, so that's kind of cool.

I found that link from this other entertaining yet serious article by an adult woman who recently got a whooping cough infection.

Nov. 5th, 2013



I just turned in my dissertation proposal, which means I might actually be around again!


Jun. 30th, 2013


(no subject)

I haven't been around much online lately - trying to finish my dissertation proposal and started a massive experiment that's taking up a lot of my time. :( I should be back more consistently in September.

But I am excited to see that Of Monsters and Men ("Little Talks") is getting a lot of love on my Flist. They're pretty awesome, one of those indie-rock groups that is so delightful they even get play on the crappy top 40 pop stations. (If you genuinely like those stations, no offense, different tastes and all that, but they are just not my thing - the music generally sucks and Katy Perry lyrics are so inane that I want to jab my ears out whenever I hear them.) The Lumineers and Mackelmore have been getting a lot of play on pop stations recently too. I think the success of Mumford and Sons' album Sigh No More opened pop audiences up to more indie-rock/folk/underground/alternative music. At least, that was the first band that I noticed it with, and it seems to have only increased since then.

When I was in Sweden in March, I listened to a lot of Of Monsters and Men while riding through the countryside on trains, and it was a pretty transcendent experience. There is no better way to listen to music than in the place where it was created - something about the sense of place: everything just clicks, the music suddenly all makes so much more sense and you feel connected to what the artist was trying to express. (Okay yes, I know Iceland and Sweden are not the same thing, but Scandinavia has some overall cultural/geographic similarities, and it's a hell of a lot closer than the Midwestern United States.)

So my favorite Music-Place Experiences have been:
- Icelandic band Of Monsters and Men / Swedish band Miike Snow on a train in Sweden
- Peruvian-American and NYC-based rapper Immortal Technique on the subway through Harlem (warning: his lyrics can be somewhat disturbing - lots of references to 9/11 and politics, with tons of swear words)
- French-raised, Spanish-Civil-War-refugee, and Latin-America-Frequent-Traveler Manu Chao while traveling through Ecuador

Do you guys have any similar experiences with music/place combinations? Or do I just sound like a crazy person?

May. 1st, 2013


And now, for the first time ever, I have the urge to write RPF

If you haven't seen the BBC Radio 1 interview with Mila Kunis and rookie reporter Chris Stark, you are missing out (and the New Yorker agrees with me.

Apr. 12th, 2013

Buffy Angry

Fanmix Track 4: O.K. by Ani DiFranco

The message in this song is extremely simple, but so earnest and catchy that I don't care. It's about the irresistible temptation of that one person who you mustavoid, because if you don't, you'll probably end up having unprotected sex in a dark, grimy, semi-public alley and come home with stains from dirt and who-knows-what all over your clothes. In short: mid-season 6 from Buffy's perspective.

(Or, alternatively: an only slightly exaggerated version of my life with the guy from my high school who I had a very Spuffy-like relationship with. Oddly enough, aside from him making some really bad decisions, I was more like Spike and he was more like Buffy. But anyway, back to the music...)

if you ask me / i'll say / yes please / to you today / so don't ask me / cuz i'm weak that way / just don't ask me / o.k.

The first time I heard the second verse I was immediately reminded of Buffy avoiding Spike at all of those places where he awkwardly went to go bother her:

if you see me / walk by / you better just let me / walk by / you better not / bat your pretty eyes / you better not / stop me to say hi

When I first heard her Ani DiFranco in college, I couldn't stand her voice, so I definitely understand people who don't like her. But she's such a talented musician and song-writer, and her quirky/radical/hilarious/feminist personality comes through so well, that it's hard not to grow to love her if you can keep listening. (Or at least love some of her songs - I find it hard to sit through whole albums of hers, but they all have at least a couple truly amazing songs on them.)

Not only that, but she's incredibly versatile, and her sound ranges everywhere from light-hearted coffeeshop girl-with-a-guitar (Fire Door) to funky jam band (O.K. and Red Letter Year Reprise) to soulful balladeer (You Had Time) to mixes of all of the above (Little Plastic Castle). In fact, the most recent album of hers that I have is listed as "country" in my media player.

Complete lyrics behind the cutCollapse )

Apr. 11th, 2013

Veronica Winking

Two more days left for the Veronica Mars movie to get funded!

Get your prizes while you still can! They need about 6,000 more backers to break the record (87,000ish), so even if you can just pledge a $1, every person helps.

Plus the promo video on the kickstarter page is so fucking cute.

(Side note, how do people feel about f-bombs in posts? That's pretty much how I talk most of the time, so it feels weird editing it out, but if people are offended, obviously I can do that.)

Apr. 5th, 2013


Costumes are not Consent

Costumes are not consent. It’s a phrase you may be hearing a lot lately, and one we need to keep talking about. In the past few weeks, the internet has exploded with women speaking up about the treatment we receive at conventions and online. This isn’t a new problem that has suddenly presented itself. The issues have always been there. What is happening now is we finally feel we are allowed to speak up, that doing so will not result in us being ostracized from our community – because we are now acting as a community, a support structure, to create a safe environment for all costumers and convention goers.

A few weeks ago at PAX East an incident happened that would open the door for many costumers to come out and speak up. Meagan Marie, known for her amazing costumes as well as her presence within the gaming industry, encountered a situation that opened up many eyes to the way women are treated at conventions. During a press event, featuring several Lara Croft costumers, a journalist began asking some lewd questions of the ladies. When called out for his actions, he put the onus on the girls; saying that because they were dressed sexy, they were obviously okay with such questions being asked.

Rest at the source, http://www.geeksaresexy.net/

Apr. 2nd, 2013

Buffy Confused

Am I the only person

who doesn't know what reservoir chickens are? Okay, problem solved.

And when I google it, the only intellgible results I get are links to papers like: "Chicken as Reservoir for Extraintestinal Pathogenic Escherichia coli." Which gets me very excited about the spread of pathogens, but no closer to understanding.
Naked Spuffy

Fanmix Track 3: Kiss with a Fist by Florence and the Machine

I'm not usually a fan of songs about love and domestic violence. Eminem's song with Rhianna made me really uncomfortable, to the point that I couldn't listen to it when it came on the radio. But for some reason, Kiss With a Fist is just a really enjoyable song.

I think there are a lot of reasons why the violence in this song doesn't bother me, and most of those are the same reasons why the song applies so well to Buffy's fight with Spike right before they have sex for the first time in Smashed.

First, the violence is described using extremely cartoon-ish language:

You hit me once
I hit you back
You gave a kick
I gave a slap
You smashed a plate
Over my head
Then I set fire to our bed

I can almost see the little "POW!" boxes coming out of our characters' fist, and the ridiculousness of setting a bed on fire actually makes sense in the context of a fight that ends with our heroes literally collapsing a house around them.

Both characters in the song give as good as they get, which removes a lot of the exploitative and gendered components that accompany most domestic violence. This isn't about a powerful bully beating up a weak kid, this is about two equals taking each other on and apparently loving every second, ending the fight with a awkwardly friendly call to hang out together:

So let's sit back and watch the bed burn

It doesn't seem like there are any lasting physical repercussions either:

Your slaps don't stick
Your kicks don't hit
So we remain the same

In the final two lines of the chorus, the music drops out and exposes what could be interpreted as part of a dialogue between Buffy and Spike: she tells him that he's "in love with pain," and he replies that he'll take whatever he can get:

A kick in the teeth is good for some
A kiss with a fist is better than none

The song is also extremely catchy and fun to listen to. The upbeat punk guitar has just enough distortion to be interesting without sounding over-produced. The relatively sparse music gives Florence's voice the opportunity to shine, even though her vocals are more constrained here than on the rest of the album, Lungs. If you haven't already listened to it, I would definitely recommend checking out the whole record. Although it's not seamless from start to finish, there's not a single bad track, and it's much, much better than her follow-up Ceremonials.

lyrics behind the cutCollapse )

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