for days this haze i'm in

Sep. 25th, 2017 10:20 pm
musesfool: text icon that says "go away you are tormenting my soul" (cheer up emo kid)
[personal profile] musesfool
I woke up this morning with an overwhelming sense of existential dread* after a seemingly endless dream of being lost at JFK, and also feeling seriously queasy.

I called out of work and went back to bed, and spent the day reading fic. And, oh yeah, got my period for the first time since May. Coincidence? I think not.

Sigh. Time to restart the menopause clock.

*as opposed to the normal level of existential dread that I've been feeling every morning since last November, which is bad, but doesn't usually prevent me from getting out of bed most days

***

[ SECRET POST #3918 ]

Sep. 25th, 2017 06:35 pm
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[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets

⌈ Secret Post #3918 ⌋

Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.

01.


More! )


Notes:

Secrets Left to Post: 02 pages, 29 secrets from Secret Submission Post #561.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.

Gratitudes

Sep. 25th, 2017 06:26 pm
kass: glasses of pink wine (rose)
[personal profile] kass
1. A friend gave me a bag of freshly-picked sungold cherry tomatoes today, and I have melted them into a simple tomato sauce with a sweet red pepper and some good olive oil and salt and pepper, which will dress my pasta tonight.

2. Also on the docket for dinner tonight is a salad of CSA arugula, mustard greens, and red Boston lettuce -- stunning fresh greens with some feta and a simple vinaigrette. This may be the last head of lettuce this season. Then again it may not, because unseasonable warmth, who knows. One way or another, om nom nom.

3. Kitten. Because kitten.

4. Glass of rosé, because boy howdy is it wine o'clock.

5. Power, and light, and modern conveniences of ordinary living -- with awareness that so many people are impacted by disaster right now and do not have these things at all.

How are y'all?
twistedchick: (autumn fox by Lanning)
[personal profile] twistedchick
More by Lillian Ross:

Workouts -- her interview with Robin Williams (I think 1989).

The symbol of all we possess -- the Miss America pageant, 1949.

Come in, Lassie -- Hollywood and the House UnAmerican Activities Committee (1948)

The shit-kickers of Madison Avenue. (1995)

***

The strange techtonic coincidences of the recent Mexican earthquakes.

The closing of the Dictionary of American Regional English.

The dying art of disagreement.

How many times does it need to be said? Puerto Rico is American. Now can we get going and fix things up for six million Americans dealing with water, low on food and without electricity for the foreseeable future? And here's how you can help. If you need to explain how badly the island was hit by Hurricane Maria, quote from this.

Lessons from Rolling Stone.

Throw the little old lady down the stairs! An interview with John Huston. (1952)

How did women fare in China's Communist revolution?

Will Mark Zuckerberg 'like' this column? Facebook, social media, Russians and the election.

How did marriage become a mark of privilege?

3 ways the Republican anti-health bill differs from previous anti-health efforts.

Remember Anthony Weiner, who not only couldn't keep it in his pants but felt he *had* to send phone photos of it to underage girls? He's going to prison for 21 months. An ignoble end to what once was a very promising political career.

Women need to rewrite/update the New York state constitution. Were women involved in writing the state constitution in your state? Or wherever you are?

(no subject)

Sep. 25th, 2017 10:04 pm
aralias: (eight's shoes fit perfectly)
[personal profile] aralias
so - we started watching 'due south' as it's the sort of fandom that people who like the things i like tend to like, and guess what?

I LOVE IT.

omg, if you haven't watched this show, you should consider it. everything about it is amazing. we're on episode five (pizza and promises, in which our heroes disguise themselves as used car salesman to expose bad guys).

more on this top story as it unfolds.

(no subject)

Sep. 25th, 2017 10:15 am
kittydesade: (and so good night)
[personal profile] kittydesade
So I read XKCD this morning and laugh-cried at how real it was. And then I realized that the best way to deal with those numbers (at least for me, obv) was not to convert it into an equally hard-to-grasp equivalency of pizzas, but to convert it into "what household crap that I need to buy can I buy with that 12k I'm saving, a bed, a TV? a fridge?" and "what is the average cost of having this done *googles* and how much are they saving me" and "what other work am I going to want to do on this house in the first five years of ownership."

In case anyone around me was considering buying a house sometime soon and was also flailing over numbers.

Though thinking of my house we've got a new house being built across the street and another house was recently refurbed and sold some doors down, so I ended up looking up what our house is going for on places like Zillow, and even accounting for Zilloflation holy fucking shit.

The housing market, man. I don't even know what the hell people are thinking.

I did not get nearly enough sleep for the work day I'm having. We had three freight shipments this morning, usually we get that many in a week, some of which we needed for orders, we had backorders coming in that had to be logisticked out into shipped orders, and by now my head is spinning with guilt at not being able to write the things that people want me to work on or the things that I feel I should work on and at best I can do flash card like things with my brain. At worst I'm good for direct responses to questiosn and that's about it.

I need naps. Multiple. All of them. I just tried to drink from my water bottle before I opened it. I keep staring at work-related word things and it takes me a second to make them make sense. I mean on the plus side this is one hectic day at work plus some crappy sleeping? On the other hand dear god I hate not being functional and this is pissing me off and feels never-ending. Not to mention I just remembered how chaotic last week was and argh.

*sighs* Flash cards it is. I have the rest of a day at work, some grocery shopping, and then maybe I can either nap or read and fake napping enough to get my daily quota of words written so I can go to bed without THAT guilt too. On the plus side yesterday's sneezing fit seems to have been allergies because I'm not feeling it today at work in my nice concrete office/store building at all. So if it comes back next week, just start off with the anti-allergies and it should be fine. I hope. Did I mention I'm tired of being tired.
[syndicated profile] sociological_images_feed

Posted by Paige Connell and Danielle Antoinette Hidalgo

Mild Spoiler Alert for Season 3 of House of Cards

Where is Rachel Posner?

Representations of sex workers on popular shows such as Game of Thrones, The Good Wife, and, of course, any version of CSI, are often stereotypical, completely incorrect, and infuriatingly dehumanizing. Like so many of these shows, House of Cards offers more of the same, but it uses a somewhat different narrative for a former sex worker and central character, Rachel Posner. Rachel experiences many moments of sudden empowerment that are just as quickly taken away. She is not entirely disempowered, often physically and emotionally resisting other characters and situations, but her humanization only lasts so long.  

The show follows Rachel for three full seasons, offering some hope to the viewer that her story would not end in her death, dehumanization, or any other number of sensational and tumultuous storylines. So, when she is murdered in the final episode of Season 3, viewers sensitive to her character’s role as a sex worker and invested in a new narrative for current and former sex worker characters on popular TV shows probably felt deeply let down. Her death inspired us to go back and analyze how her role in the series was both intensely invisible and visible.  

Early in the show, we learn that Rachel has information that could reveal murder and corrupt political strategizing orchestrated by the protagonist Frank Underwood.  She is the thread that weaves the entire series together. Despite this, most characters on the show do not value Rachel beyond worrying about how she could harm them. Other characters talk about her when she’s not present at all, often referring to her as “the prostitute” or “some hooker,” rather than by her name or anything else that describes who she is.

The show, too, devalues her. At the beginning of an episode, we watch Rachel making coffee one morning in her small apartment.  Yet, instead of watching her, we watch her body parts; the camera pans over her torso, her breasts in a lace bra, and then her legs before we finally see her entire body and face.  There is not one single scene even remotely like this for any other character on the show. Even the promotional material for Season 1 (pictured above) fails to include a photo of Rachel while including images of a number of other characters who were less central to the storyline and appeared in fewer episodes. Yet, whoever arranged the photoshoot didn’t think she was important enough to include.

Another major way that Rachel is marginalized in the context of the show is that she is not given many scenes or storylines that are about her—her private life, time spent with friends, or what’s important to her. This is in contrast to other characters with a similar status. For instance, the audience is made to feel sympathy for Gavin, a hacker, when an FBI agent threatens the life of his beloved guinea pig. In contrast, it is Rachel’s ninth episode before the audience sees her interact with a friend, and we never really learn what motivates her beyond fear and survival. In this sense, Rachel is almost entirely invisible in her own storyline. She only exists when people want something from her.

Rachel is also made invisible by the way she is represented or discussed in many scenes.  For instance, although she’s present, she has zero lines in her first couple scenes. After appearing (without lines) in Episodes 1 and 2, Rachel reappears in Episode 7, although she’s not really present; she re-emerges in the form of a handwritten note to Doug Stamper (Underwood’s indispensable assistant).  She writes: “I need more money.  And not in my mouth.” These are Rachel’s first two lines in the entire series; however, she’s not actually saying them, she’s asking for something and one of the lines draws attention to a sexualized body part and sexual act that she engaged in with Doug. Without judging the fact that she engaged in a sexual act with a client, what’s notable here is the fact that she isn’t given a voice or her own resources. She is constantly positioned in relation to other characters and often without the resources and ability to survive on her own.

This can clearly be seen in the way Rachel is easily pushed around by other characters in the show, who are able to force their will upon her. When viewers do finally see her in a friendship, one that blossoms into a romance, the meaning that Rachel gives the relationship is overshadowed by the reaction Doug Stamper has to it. Doug has more contact with Rachel than any other character on the show; in the beginning of the series, he acts as a sort of “protector” to Rachel, by finding her a safe place to stay, ensuring that she can work free from sexual harassment in her new job, and getting her an apartment of her own. However, all these actions highlight the fact that she does not have her own resources or connections to be able to function on her own, and they are used to manipulate her. Over Rachel’s growing objections, Doug is able to impose his wishes upon her fairly easily. The moment she is able to overpower him and escape, she disappears from the show for almost a whole season, only to reappear in the episode where she dies. In this episode, we finally see Rachel standing on her own two feet. It seems like a hard life, working lots of double shifts and living in a rundown boardinghouse, but we also see her enjoying herself with friends and building something new for herself. And yet, it is also in this episode where she has leveraged her competence into a new life that she also meets her demise. Unfortunately, after seeing this vision of Rachel on the road to empowerment, more than half of her scenes relate to her death, and in most of them she is begging Doug for her life, once again reduced to powerlessness. 

Every time we begin to see a new narrative for Rachel, one that allows her to begin a life that isn’t entirely tethered to Doug Stamper and her past, she is almost immediately drawn back into his web.  Ultimately, in this final episode, she can no longer grasp her new narrative and immediately loses hold of it.  In her final scenes, after kidnapping her, Doug temporarily lets her go.  She begins to walk in the opposite direction of his van before, only moments later, he flips the van around and heads back in her direction.  The next scene cuts suddenly to her lifeless body in a shallow grave.  The sudden shock of this scene is jarring, yet oddly expected, given how the show has treated Rachel’s character throughout the series.  It’s almost as if the show does not have any use for a sex worker character who can competently manage their own affairs.  Perhaps that idea didn’t even occur to the writers because of the place in our society in which sex workers are currently situated, perhaps it disrupts the fallen woman narrative, or perhaps for some reason, a death seems more “interesting” than a storyline where a sex worker has agency and takes an active role in shaping her own life and affecting those around her.  Whatever the reason, House of Cards ultimately fails Rachel and sex workers, in general.

Paige Connell is an undergraduate sociology student at Chico State University. Her areas of interest include intimate relationships, gender, and pop culture. 

Dr. Danielle Antoinette Hidalgo is an Assistant Professor in Sociology at California State University, Chico, specializing in theory, gender and sexuality, and embodiment studies.

(View original at https://thesocietypages.org/socimages)

oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
Wow, that festival took a lot out of me. Taking the day off Friday was a terrific plan; I slept until roughly lunchtime, then spent the rest of the day being entertained by the Small Monkeys, Now Much Less Small Than When They Were Born. This resting helped me not keel over and die on my NYC daytrip until it was almost time to go home; I shall report on that later. First, the final two operas I saw.

"Elizabeth Cree" was a world premiere, based on a novel by Peter Ackroyd which I have not read (and do not plan to read). The small cast wore Victorian costuming to match the setting and moved amidst a mixture of physical furniture, a movable open metal staircase, and projected silhouettes and text.

I enjoyed this quite a lot, more than I'd expected; I did not quite figure out the mystery until it was about to be revealed, and all of the singers were incredible, particularly Daniela Mack as Elizabeth Cree and Joseph Gaines as Dan Leno. Before I went to see it, I called it a "murder opera," and I stand by that - several brutal murders are discoursed upon and shown in filmed silhouette, and the policeman is more concerned about his own future should he fail to solve the murders than he is about the victims.

Thematically, Murder as Spectacle was reiterated in several different ways, and critiqued by Karl Marx and George Gissing. Women's constrained roles, and the results of those constraints, also popped up, both through what the characters did and through what we the audience thought of what they did. In short, I thought this was great, and I would see it again. I'd put it my second favorite of the festival premieres, after "We Shall Not Be Moved."

Opera News review. Schompera review.

I saw "The Wake World" last night; notably, it was staged at the Barnes Foundation, one of Philadelphia's major museums. Most of the action took place on a long catwalk, with the audience seated or standing around it. The audience was free to move around, and sometimes the singers (mostly chorus, sometimes soloists) moved amid the audience as well.

I liked the idea of that, but in practice I found the constant audience movement distracting from the music, and sometimes I had difficulty seeing over people because I am not tall. The music itself was dreamlike and stuffed with overblown purple prose, most of which I quickly began to ignore in favor of just enjoying the splendid singing. The protagonists, Lola (soprano Maeve Höglund) and The Fairy Prince (cross-dressing mezzo Rihab Chaieb), were excellent in singing, acting, and embodying sex appeal, which was a good thing, since the plot (?) was just a weird, color-based advancement through a dream palace to achieve the ideal lover. Or something like that. The Fairy Prince managed to be really sexy in his three-piece suit and pipe while also mansplaining the palace and its rooms to Lola, which made me kind of hate him. I know characterization and plot was not the point, though, and the whole thing was successful as a spectacle that pushed against boundaries of opera staging, plus the chorus had a lot to do, yay - I used to sit next to the chorus' conductor, Liz Braden, back when my choir was conducted by Donald Nally.

The Broad Street Review's critique.

Dates are already set for next year's O18, so I am going to assume this year's festival was a success for the Opera Company of Philadelphia. Go them!

Sorry to keep beating this dead horse

Sep. 25th, 2017 08:45 am
giandujakiss: (Default)
[personal profile] giandujakiss
Except the horse isn't dead and I truly believe the nation's entire healthcare system is at risk. Graham-Cassidy 2.0 is out, with increases tailored to win the votes of specific holdout Republican Senators, while punishing Blue states, basically, by withdrawing their funding. Please call your senators. And while you're at it, your governor.

And while you have the senators' office on the phone maybe mention that over 3 million Americans are drowning in Puerto Rico and our president is more worried about football.

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