anotheranon: (cool)
From lo these many weeks past:

  • The Star Trek: Into Darkness Spoiler FAQ: Explains the plot holes you can drive a semi through in a very amusing way. Warning: sweary language (the FAQ answerer is clearly of strong opinions). Spoilerage abounds, so I'm declaring comments to this post to be a SPOILER FRIENDLY ZONE for ST:ID.

  • First clip from "Only Lovers Left Alive" features Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton hot un-kissing/making out [YouTube]. VampireLoki + VampireTildaSwinton = how do I get an invite to this party?? 'Cos I need one. For... research.

  • Why do men keep putting me in the girlfriend zone? (Hat tip [ profile] glitter_femme). I've only been in this situation once and the guy got verbally abusive when I told him I wasn't interested. Full disclosure: when I was a stupid teenager I "boyfriend-zoned" a good bit. Then I grew up and learned that the 'verse doesn't owe me boy/girlfriends.

  • Club veteran Princess Julia's piece on the attractions of club life and the role of the DJ. This quote especially resonated with me:

    Mark Moore dj, music producer and frontman of seminal band S-Express began his career as a dj and continues to involve himself in the spirit of it, 'My experience of djing is similar to when friends come round your house and you play music to them. Every record that brings joy to them and blows their mind also brings joy to you so it's really a way of bonding and sharing - communion! The DJ experience is just a bigger version of this with more people and more energy.

    I was the kid ever making mixtapes for my friends to evangelize my taste in music, and that urge to share is part of what got me into radio in college. Even when I was trying to learn to mix, I don't think I ever really wanted to be a club dj - I always wanted to be John Peel, introducing people to sounds they've never heard before.

  • And 'cos the quote is from Mark Moore: Enjoy this trip. And it is a trip. Countdown is progressing... [YouTube]. Oldie but goodie.

  • Remittance Girl's blog post on feeling like an exile stuck in my head: "There have been times in my life, I’ve masqueraded inclusion. I’ve pretended to join, I’ve faked communion, I’ve partaken of the flesh, without swallowing. There is almost always a thin membrane, a wrap of impenetrable film that keeps me in exile." For good or ill, I kinda get that. Even when I've tried I've always felt a bit "off-center", and with age I'm (slowly, oh so very slowly) starting to accept that. (FYI this entry is worksafe but the rest of Remittance Girl's site emphatically is not; having said this if you're looking for quality erotica of all sorts go here).

anotheranon: (quizzical)
Some noteworthy things crossed my screen this morning:

Best dressed of the 2013 Met Costume Institute Gala: which COULD have been interesting as the exhibit is Punk: Chaos to Couture but looking through the images, it seems like only Madonna got the memo. Michael Musto nails it.

For the record, I do plan to go up for the exhibit and I have no illusions about high fashion stealing ideas from the street - it always has and always will. I do find it disappointing that while it appears the exhibit will delve into the roots and philosophy of original punk (anti)fashion, no actual punks were in attendance (lurve you Vivienne Westwood, but you've not been a punk for a long time). Not like punks would actually show up to a fashion gala, but one would think they would have invited some, at least in a cynical attempt to shock.

It's also aesthetically disappointing because it's another parade of pretty people wearing predictably sleek designer gear. Don't get me wrong - I like looking at sleek designer gear and pretty people - but it's not challenging or interesting and one would have hoped the theme would encourage SOMEONE to take some fashion risks, but no.

As an aside, this is also why I don't go out of my way to view the Oscar red carpet - there are no surprises. Gimme another Bjork swan dress (a dress so odd it has it's own Wikipedia page!) and maybe I'll go to the trouble.

The other is this photo essay Rave kids in the '90s vs. rave kids today, and I know I'm going to sound like an old crusty, but here goes: I find it sad that the current styles for women are so sexualized. Nothing wrong with sex or being sexy, but Back In The Day(TM), raving was about dancing - hard, sweatily, all night. You didn't run around in a sports bra to look hot, but because it was so hot it was raining indoors - in short, you dressed so you could dance comfortably.

I love the costumey aspect, but I imagine it's hard to seriously pound the parquet if you're afraid your clothes are going to fall off :P

Also one of the things I loved about raving was that I was coming out of a club scene that emphasized tight minidresses and "dress to impress" and it was a relief to go out and not have to be sexy sexy sexy just to get in the door. I could just dance and let the music take me.

If raving is just another fashion show, I think that's sad. But I'm also heartened that if this is the case there will inevitably be a pendulum swing away from that, if there isn't already.
anotheranon: (neat)
Starting off with the crunchiest and most worth reading: [ profile] hrj's Sex Between Women in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, a worthy followup to her Essay on Cross Dressing in the SCA, which I also highly recommend. It is thorough, somber research but given the subject matter it might be NSFW. Writers and RPGers might find these very useful.

A thoughtful article on privilege and losing it, via @Mactavish.

Will rap music change the face of enterprise IT? "RapGenius is a site that lets users upload lyrics. Then it lets other users annotate and explain the meaning of the words for each song.”

Eric Idle, Eddie Izzard, and Billy Connolly sit down for a podcast - no really! Recommended with one caveat - I had never heard of Sophie Winkleman before, and lamentably didn’t learn much about her from this podcast, as it’s illustrative of the unfortunate fact that women speak drastically less when they’re surrounded by dudes.

An old article on the winning mindset via “Being an effective competitor in martial arts (or doing any challenging task for that matter) requires that you develop faith in yourself and in your ability” - no kidding! I think this is one of my main stumbling blocks - no matter how much awesome I can pull out, I still don’t quite believe I can do it again.

"Held", Jane Fradgley, Guy’s Hospital, London, Through March 2013 - exhibit of “strong clothing” (19th century strait jackets). Sobering but fascinating, I’ve never even heard of such things being exhibited before.

How to start a hackerspace - parts 1 and 2 of a total of 7 are already up. [ profile] dustdaughter, might hackerspaces be the “salons” of the 21st century?

Edited 11/15/2012: Fixed links - I won't be using that editor again!
anotheranon: (eggman)
I can sometimes have a grim view of humanity. Not of individual people, mind - I maintain that many if not most people are basically good, or at least content to live and let live.

No, it's groups of people that I have little hope for. Reading this account and analysis of bullying only gives fuel to the suspicion I entertain on my worst days that given the slightest peer pressure, most people will bully or put up with the bullying of others. They do it because they can, because it's an easy way to feel good about themselves, and bystanders will do nothing out of fear of backlash. Which I get, kind of - standing up and standing alone is difficult and scary.

It's not even exclusively a "high school pressure cooker" thing either, though that's where I learned the damn hard lesson that when it mattered, no one would get my back. I think the link makes an excellent point that people never outgrow that need to take the easy and ugly way, and this is reflected in political discourse and lingering discrimination against the out-group du jour.

As an adult I can be more pragmatic, almost to the point of acceptance that This Is How Things Are, whether I like it or not. Not everyone is cut out to be a rebel or hero, they have their own problems, and expecting different is just banging my head against the wall.

Then... I see something like this (HT [ profile] attack_laurel) and it reminds me that there is generosity, and compassion, and bravery in masses. It heartens me, makes me expect and demand more of people and of myself, as much as it angers me that this seems like such a rare thing.

Despite the gloom/doom lead-in, I'm trying to write a happy post here! Got any examples of human selflessness, bravery, joy? Leave 'em in the comments.
anotheranon: (V)
Yesterday I had a pleasant catchup with [ profile] dustdaughter over lunch. We chatted books and exchanged a few as well, and she was kind enough to accompany my getting lost in a nearby used book store - anyplace with outdoor shelves that say "everything for $2" is like a magnet :P

Like many of the liberal persuasion I enjoyed a few appalled and spiteful yuks at a Tea Partier's guide to DC, but didn't actually expect to run into any given that we were meeting well outside the safe zone. Nonetheless I found myself in a packed metro train full of them on the way home, with ample chance to observe.

Not much to see, really. On the whole they didn't seem any more or less tired, sweaty, and eager to get to their destinations than anyone else. Lots of American flag paraphernalia - t-shirts, folding chairs (! isn't it unpatriotic to sit on the flag?), mini-flags used as hair sticks, the odd pro-life button or large crucifix. The "restoring honor" shirts with the Founding Fathers on them bewildered me - whose "honor" is being restored, and was it really ever lost in the first place? I gather that Glenn Beck holding it at the Lincoln Memorial was an attempt to ride the civil rights movement's coattails which is laughable, but Beck is a blowhard - who knows if he actually believes the bilge he spouts?

Nah, the overall impression I got of my fellow commuters (sartorially, at least) was that they feel threatened in some way, and have something to prove re: patriotism/"Real American"ism. If the writer of the tea partier's guide linked above is representative there's a lot of fear of change and those different from themselves. What a sad, defensive way to view the world.

When I was finally able to sit I read "Girl Genius" and didn't pay them much mind - I reckon they'd be far more afraid of a liberal, feminist, bisexual agnostic than I could ever be of them.
anotheranon: (women)
I'm working my way down the infinite book stack. I'm finally delving into Alternative femininities: body, age and identity, an academic look at tattooed women, post-teen goths, and other women with non-traditional styles who plan to maintain them past college age. It starts with a description of who (the appendix lists details of all interviewees) and why (how do older women navigate subculture?), followed by a chapter defining a common understanding of mainstream femininity.

Just as I start this I run into Painted Ladies: on tats and trashiness a decidedly less academic source but I'm pleased that it criticizes the notion that Nice Girls Don't.

Both stick in my mind as though I don't have tattoos, I do have body piercings that according to mainstream notions aren't only questionable to begin with, but that I've hung onto long past their sell-by date (and plan to keep doing so). I originally got them in my twenties during a time I was getting pressure from family and peers to look a certain way, as a way of marking my body as mine. I also hoped they'd serve as a kind of filter to avoid judgmental lovers - I figured that if someone was going to pearl-clutch at the sight of my steel then maybe they didn't need to be seeing me naked :P

In other words, I didn't do it for the pretty :P

I guess it's just bewildering to me that it's news to some people that not all women want to look the same, or please anyone but themselves with their body adornment.
anotheranon: (Default)
  • 09:18 "...solo art project at the intersections of dance, technology, photography and textile art": #
  • 12:55 RT @librarycongress: Library to acquire ENTIRE Twitter archive -- ALL public tweets, ever, since March 2006! Details to follow. #
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anotheranon: (Default)
  • 10:53 Symposium: Fashion In Fiction - The Dark Side. Oct 8-10 in Philly: . Fashion + writing = I will try 2 attend. #
  • 12:27 @daudi_g - Think you might go? #
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anotheranon: (lister)
Just discovered the Coilhouse blog and it's odd, beautiful, and sometimes thought provoking archives.

One that had me nodding particularly was What does Alt Model Even Mean?. The author rightly points out that even the most "freakish" of alternative models still adheres to at least some mainstream beauty standards: with rare exceptions most are young, thin, and white. IMHO the most obvious exceptions are the "plus size" (I use quotes because a US size 8 is considered heavy in the modeling world) models, who still have thick hair and good skin.

Which makes sense, I suppose: IIRC (can't cite source, regrettably), across all time periods and places, the constants for female beauty are unblemished skin, straight, full set of teeth, clear eyes - humans are animals and it's hard to get outside of that.

Still, I do wonder why Coilhouse's Top 10 Most Preternaturally Beautiful Men still seems to show more variety of facial features, style, and build than their Top 7 Icons of (female) Alien Beauty. To be fair, the uniformity of the latter listing might have a lot to do with styling and photography (the author even notes that #s 3 and 4 look very much alike). Also IMHO most of these women don't look particularly alien, outside the aforementioned styling/photos (except maybe the last, assuming she's not 'shopped).
anotheranon: (busy)
Badass graphic novels, via [ profile] jlsjlsjls

Related: [ profile] almeda posts a roundup of alternative Superman comic art.

Just what counts as "sex"? Opinions differ, via [ profile] rm.

[ profile] belfebe considers creating a website highlighting airport restrooms of the world. Anyone who has had a long layover will surely agree that such a site's popularity would rival that of Yelp and ICanHazCheezburger.
anotheranon: (eggman)
For all my love of clothes and dressing up, I never really got the hang of "fashion". Indeed, I think it's taken most of my dressing-myself life to figure out that the way I defined "fashion" is rather different from the way others do.

I started dreaming about working in the fashion industry when I was 14 or so. In my mind it was a glamorous alternative to the same ol', same ol' everyday wear I saw where I grew up in the suburbs, a place where not only would my versions of goth/punk/new wave/indie (and I use the slashes purposefully - I've danced around with many subcultures but never got the uniform for a single one "correct") fashion would be appropriate but also welcome, where I'd be surrounded by kindred spirits who saw clothes as toys, and the latest trends as a list of possibilities rather than mandates.

College was a welcome respite from trying to keep up with either the mainstream or alternate fashion worlds, and the fact that I didn't mind that should have been a clue that maybe I didn't need to be in the fashion industry. Starting my fashion merchandising major didn't clue me in either - I read fashion history and the like as "5000 years of MORE toys, oh my!"

It wasn't still I started working retail that I realized that many (if not most) people define "fashion" as "keeping up with the Joneses" or "telling the Joneses what to wear next".

Even most subcultural styles are about uniformity - goths don't wear white; ravers don't wear skinny jeans :P

Reading of the snarks over Amanda Palmer's hairy pits or Something Out of Nothing's complaint that most fashion blogs dwell on mainstream feminine looks and little else highlights that fashion is also about enforcing conventional (thin, straight, white, hairless) femininity.

And while I recognize that the fashion industry is in the business of selling stuff, and stuff wouldn't sell if everyone was happy with what they had, it still all comes off as junior high-style snobbiness in a way :P

That it took me this long to figure it out is no surprise because it the only alternative to keeping up seems to be not caring at all: casual sweats forever, or wearing the same stuff you wore in your 20s until it falls apart and then bitching that you can't find it anymore :P Whereas I like change and new things but am leaning more towards additive gender dandy than anything else.

This is why I love costume :)
anotheranon: (neat)
[ profile] dustdaughter pointed out Shonibare's work to me over a month ago. I liked his aesthetic right away - it reminds me of Vivienne Westwood's in the sense that he takes historic European clothing and turns it on its ear - in his case, 18th century frock coats and the like made out of African fabrics.

Which aren't African, as it happens - they're Dutch batiks purchased in London. Steampunker Ay-Leen the Peacemaker has a thoughtful writeup on the cross-cultural inspirations and implications of his work over at her blog. I'd actually recommend her entire Beyond Victoriana series on non-Eurocentric steampunk (go for the pretty clothes, stay for the political/cultural deconstruction).

As it turns out, his exhibit at the NMAfA goes through March 7. Anyone interested in going in the new year?
anotheranon: (Default)
  • 08:48 Is it wrong to covet both Emma Peel AND John Steed's wardrobes? I don't think so.
  • 09:30 RT @Mactavish RT @xenijardin To anonymous gay teen who asked for help in Boing Boing comments
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anotheranon: (Default)

  • 12:23:17: Ideeli/Gilt offer a lot of bags. Lots of handbags = girly thing I don't get. I'd lose stuff xfering between multiple bags! Plz to explain?
  • 16:40:23: @MargoEve - when health benefits became tied to employment.
  • 18:38:39: @MargoEve - 1930s I think. Part of New Deal?
  • 20:40:30: Taking things apart, and putting them back together.
  • 22:02:21: Due to sewing, typing, and rebuilding a weapon my hands and wrists hurt. Want massage, but reading is at least less strenuous :P
  • 22:03:26: @dustdaughter, @MargoEve - ah yes, it is a great thing that Leverage is back :)

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anotheranon: (eggman)
I really wish I were surprised, but I'm not. There's something very wrong when pro-lifers loudly demonize abortion providers and then feign surprise when someone actually acts on their vitriol - freedom of speech comes with responsibilty.

Me, I'm donating to Medical Students for Choice.
anotheranon: (humor)
Am I a total killjoy that I find this (found over at Pharyngula) rather amusing?

'Cos when I think about it, it does seem a bit weird/excessive to invent a jolly, gift-bearing man in red when all the Christmas decorations, gifts, etc. are going to be equally fun whether they come from Santa or Mom and Dad.

I mean, why not tell kids that Wonder Woman is bringing gifts to all the good boys and girls? At least it would render moot the thing about not letting kids find out that Santa isn't real.

I actually don't remember when I figured out that Santa=parents, but I don't remember being particularly traumatized or upset by it.

When/how did you find out about Santa (if you come from that background)?
anotheranon: (V)
I voted today. Small local election, but I think these things matter - I was pleased to go out to the polls before work :)

Still.... the "Diebold" logo on the machine in the booth was... discouraging to say the least. As was the news about still more technical glitches, that while fixed, still illustrates the real and continuing technical problems with paperless voting.....

So in (belated) honor of Guy Fawkes Night (and, face it, just 'cos they're brilliant), I share some sterling political commentary:

Keith Olbermann's special comment on torture (opens YouTube): sharpens the knife and drives it in! While Stephen Colbert's roasting of Dubya is still downright majestic a year later....
anotheranon: (neat)
[ profile] badmagic has some interesting conversations going on about direct asking vs. hinting here and here - are you an Asker or a Hinter, or some combination depending on context?

I think he and his commenters spoke to some stuff I've had on my mind about my difficulty reading "between the lines" and sometimes embarrassing literalism, but have not been able to hammer out into anything coherent. Good reading.

Also linked to the Five Geek Social Fallacies, all of which I've fallen for at one time or another :P

Veddy interesting.....
anotheranon: (books)
I finished Virgin: The Untouched History, a while ago but haven't commented on it until now due to procrastination.

I'd been waiting eagerly for it to come out ever since I found out Blank was writing it, because the importance of virginity (or lack thereof) had been hammered into me from an early age, but my own experiences didn't agree with what I'd been told. I thought it would be interesting to read about the subject minus all the assumptions, by someone who's actually done the research and has something new to say. On these grounds this book delivers, and how!

I enjoyed this book thoroughly because it preached to my particular choir: there's no universally agreed upon means of physically identifying virgins or virginity (the hymen wasn't even noted by medical science until the Middle Ages), and the definition of what does or doesn't constitute "sex" varies widely by culture, time, and place and even individual, but most of the the modern West still perceives hetero PIV intercourse as the "sex act of record".

This further feeds my suspicion that too much is made of virginity, often as a means of controlling women and/or the young. Virginity loss (whatever form that takes - IMHO there are multiple virginities) IS a big deal, but it doesn't separate the adults from the kids or the prudes from the pervs, nor does it change the world :P

In short, I recommend. More at the link above, and Hanne Blank is interviewed about the book on the latest RH Reality Check podcast.
anotheranon: (V)
"Karl Rove's father was not only gay, but a part of the early body piercing scene and a regular at 70s piercing parties... There are pictures of him on BME". So says the afore-linked BoingBoing article which I found through Susie Bright's blog; a more thorough (and graphic - not safe for work, and might squick those who are bothered by body piercing) essay at BMEZine has more.

This amuses me. Not because I think there's anything wrong with being gay or being into body art, or that I assume that kids must be exactly like their parents (in my experience, the fruit can fall VERY far from the tree). But still. Karl Rove's dad. In my admittedly biased opinion, Rove Sr. had more cause to be embarrassed by his son than the other way around.

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