langwidere: i am repulsed by wholesomeness. (i made it! it is true.)
It is alleged by the internet that Apple intends to come out with the latest in Mac mini technology later today. Oh, fingers crossed. Hopefully they won’t have moved the price point into another tax bracket and I will be able to afford a new one, and I can finally put poor malfunctioning Eugenie out to pasture. [EDIT: THE INTERNET LIED.]

I have been busy, sort of, but (dammit!) not busy enough. Also I have been a very bad DW citizen. I am sorry, I was reading actual books instead. A poor excuse, I know. Here are the things I would’ve posted, in order, had I been able to marshall the effort —

WARNING: This post is disturbingly long, even for me. Behind every one of those cuts is a 'normal-sized,' Emma-style entry. Even if you really love me (MOM!), do not attempt to read it all at the same time. Especially if you hope to keep loving me. And I really want you to keep loving me, really I do.







Also, I just received this book in the mail. I’ve been trying to get it off various specialty Japanese bookstores for years, and then on a whim I searched for it on Amazon, where I found it for sale for, like, $10 used. FOILED AGAIN, CAPITALISM! YOU ARE A WORTHY OPPONENT. It is the most perfect Japanese grammar book I have ever seen and I am kind of excited to get the chance to study it; the authors wrote it specifically to aid people who are interested in doing academic research in Japanese, and it features sentential structures that I’ve never seen anyplace else. Except in actual Japanese, I mean. (I hope to use it to — among other things — bring you some gay-themed comic content that does not involve, say, the presentation of love-rape as an adorable courtship ritual.) (Or that features some female characters who are not toxically obnoxious!) (Assuming such content exists, of course.) It also has an entire index of nonintuitive Japanese expressions involving "気," one of which (気を付ける, which means "be careful" or "pay attention," or more literally "fasten your essence," haha, what? what??) left me scratching my pointy head for a week when I saw it in a Suzuki Tsuta comic (I can’t remember which one, they’ve all merged together into one giant run-on sentence strung together with でs and のs that’s made of understated masculine angst and misconstrued regret with a light grey background and a cat on it, like a fictive, gay Voltron).

(Parentheses!) (Parentheses?) (Parentheses…)

Okay, done.
See you in July!
(Of 2015.)
langwidere: two characters from a gay-themed web comic embracing (melons in love)

the further a poem strays
  from the rigid, mannered conventions of antiquity —
with their obedient end-rhymes & colossal, world-girding installations of
        ceremonial metaphorical structure and formal language, the more
  likely     a
    p   o   e     m   isto
      be about
some fucking illiterate idiot/moron’s
  f         e     e     eeeeeeeeeeee

Although watching this cretinous dipshit try to mope around while wearing bear legs would in fact be fairly entertaining.

This, Sekaiichi Hatsukoi ("World’s Best First Love"?) ("Gag Me In The Face"?), is the only BL anime this spring. Ew! I guess Nakamura Shungiku actually is the only BL mangaka working in Japan these days. No, really; Suzuki Tsuta lives in a wormhole in Denmark and sends all his her releases out through the coinslot in the Tardis as origami chickens. That’s why nobody can license any of his her works and animate them. I assume this is the case, anyway. It’s the only reasonable explanation I can think of.


ETA: My mom wins all of everything, because when I told her about the incipient Good Omens mini-series (FOUR HOURS LONG!!) she was like, "Oh. Only four?" And I was all, "But that’s at least two more than a movie! How many hours long do you think it should be?" And she said, "However many hours it takes to, um, act out every word in the book." Which is just rational, really.
langwidere: the everything is terrible logo (everything really is terrible)
For some reason — and despite the fact that it is officially the Future, now — we are entering a new ring of the never-ending Circus of Hurrrr! that is the perpetual attempts by various idiots to censor Huckleberry Finn. The latest assault has been launched, apparently, by some sort of professor or something — and they must not be making professors like they used to when I was a kid, because all my English professors were a minimum of 113 years old and they could not have been persuaded, ever, singly or as a group and even upon pain of death, to strike so much as one unnecessary "as" out of the Introduction to Grammatical Principles. Which is what God intended them to do; professors profess, they do not edit for fucking content. But, whatever. Look the story up yourself, it gives me an unwieldy and massive sad.

I understand that people don’t want to look at the word "nigger." I don’t want to look at the word "nigger," either — but, you know, probably the best way to stop being forced to look at the word "nigger" over and over is to make as many people as possible read Huckleberry Finn, unaltered and unabridged. Censorship, no matter how noble its intentions, doesn’t change history. (This is what we’ve been trying to tell Texas all along, you guys. You’re setting a bad example.)

What are we gonna take out next? The bigwords? The prejudicial representations of white Southern characters? The unvarnished portrayal of the horrifying effects of ignorance and poverty? Twain’s loathing for the British aristocracy? References to smallpox? And witchcraft? Should we turn Huckleberry into a middle-class female child, maybe? And Jim into her speech therapist? Because you can de-nigger the shit out of the book if it makes you feel better about yourself and your worthless white ancestors, but I want to see what’s left when you’ve gotten rid of all the rest of the objectionable content.

Because that’s what Huckleberry Finn is, you know: It is a novel-length objection to America, and to mankind. It is a perfectly-shaped literary weapon of perfectly-placed hatred and grief and rage. And as far as I’m concerned, if you touch so much as one comma, for any reason, you are Hitler.

As an American citizen, you are not allowed to hide from your own fucking history. If it’s so bad that you have to edit it to be able to stomach it, the primary problem is not the word "nigger," or any word at all, actually. The problem is that you are a fucking coward who has confused being offended with being injured. The word "nigger" didn’t make it into Huckleberry Finn by accident. It is not an embarrassing defect of Huck’s patois. Twain wanted you to read the book and squirm. He wanted you, the reader, to see how civilization turns every man that fits into it and keeps his head down and follows the rules and goes to church and believes in the importance of hard work and community spirit into a slave-owner or a murderer or an even worse variety of monster. You, the reader, are supposed to be appalled by the word "nigger." You are supposed to be appalled by American culture. You are supposed to be appalled by the vicious, conventional evils of humankind. You are supposed to be appalled by yourself.

You ought to crawl out of that book, heavy-hearted, burdened with all of Twain’s fatal sorrow and endless anger, and with some of your own to boot — and if you can’t or you don’t, then you might as well censor not just "nigger," but every other word in the English language. None of them will ever do you any good, anyway.


langwidere: characters from gundam 00 (mighty hermaphrodite)

Top is the gazing balls in the yard. Bottom is the honeysuckle bower. Snow = pretty.
(Forgive the lack of straightness in the viewport; I am a terrible photographer.)

I guess I got the name of the protagonist in Rashoumon wrong; it’s actually "Menial." Hahaha! Ha? Just me? Sorry.

Some traditional Christmas links:
» Na Wong created this awesome Safari Extension, which single-handedly brings Google Reader out of 2006. Also, they’ve ported Reeder to the big OS, and you can download and use the beta right now. (I’m sticking with NNW for the moment; it is a clunky but functional behemoth.)
» I really like this DIY mason-jar chandelier, and if I weren’t practically guaranteed to burn down my house in the process I would try and make it.
» Yeah, that’s pretty much how I’d review it too.
» Your traditional Christmas Lucius Malfoy interview.
» The next time you see some libertardian jackhole talking about how hatecrime legislation is like totally criminalizing thought! in blog comments somewhere, hit the fucker with this. And then remind him that even after Atlas shrugs he will still never get laid, because he is a greasy loser who mistakenly believes that people who can sometimes fix computers are "producers."
» I wish all Blind Items went down like this :[

Seven days! Eeeee!
langwidere: utena’s hand and anthy’s hand and a rose between them (just a long long time)
So, I saw this on somebody’s otherwise totally inoffensive tumblr (a feat, btw):

Some thoughts:
1. If I am going to plagiarize my sense of self, wholecloth, from a work of written fiction, I am probably going to want to get out of the Young Adult section first.
2. Nobody who is smart would marry Ron Weasley. Seriously. He is a million times worse than Edward Cullen, who is at least considered to be superficially physically attractive by many people. Pretty is a talent!

I have updates coming! I know. So exciting!!
langwidere: a john uskglass pixelbuddy (i came to my enemies in a RAIN OF QTE)
Well, I got my copy of A Truth Universally Acknowledged and I read the Susanna Clarke essay, which is called "Why We Read Jane Austen: Young Persons in Interesting Situations." Generally I am loathe to read things Clarke has written which are not fiction, because I am terrified that she is a jackass. Or, rather, that she is something that I would perceive as a jackass, which would then cast a pall over my fantardian ecstasies* re: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. Which is not to say that I can’t enjoy a novel if I can’t imagine myself being besties with its author — but, then again, this is not "a novel." This is THE novel. This is the only living writer whose autograph I would actively pursue for entirely personal reasons. WHAT IF SHE’S A TORY?

But! This essay, even terrifyingly Austen-centered as it is, is stereotypically amazing. It begins, wonderfully, by calmly insulting the institution of marriage, and it contains this statement:

There is a logical connection for Austen between clarity of vision and true humility (a virtue so unfashionable nowadays that we scarcely believe it exists and use it as a synonym for "hypocrisy").

That is true! Humility is a entirely fictional state-of-being. Much like ninja-turtledom.

I also read the first two paragraphs of Harold Bloom’s foreword (he also contributed an essay, which is titled "From 'Canonical Memory in Early Wordsworth and Jane Austen’s Persuasion'," and with which I have no intention of torturing myself), and I wanted to punch him in the face. I’ve only read one of Bloom’s books, The Book of J (I like it that one of Amazon’s suggested-reading links on the The Book of J page is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows), but I think his ability to randomly irritate people is unparalleled in the modern world. I want to disagree with everything he says, even if I have absolutely no idea what the fuck he’s talking about. Bloom could write an essay on the theme of 'I Like Pie!' and it would be hotly debated on the blogs of English professors for years and years (English professors are famous for their ability to hold grudges) (as is Harold Bloom) (who is an English professor).

The essay that appears right after Clarke’s in the collection is called "The Radiance of Jane Austen," and it was written by Eudora Welty. I LOVE Eudora Welty! I am going to have to read it :<

Which means, at some point in the near-ish future, I’m going to have to read something Austen actually wrote.

So, if you are sitting on the fence about A Truth Universally Acknowledged, for some reason, I would highly recommend it. Even though I don’t really know why and I hate Austen novels.

Lastly: Someone is making a teevee movie version of The Crimson Petal and the White, but there is (as far as I know) still no movement on the Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell film/miniseries. Just thought I’d mention that.

* I spell like a teabagger, by the way. I couldn’t get "ecstasies" right to save my life because I kept insisting that there’s an "x" in there somewhere, and I had to rely on the spellcheck. Also, as I was cleaning my top-secret translation yesterday, I was completely flummoxed by the word "obediently," which does not look to me as though it should have an "i" in it. Speaking of wanting a wife!
langwidere: a cintia dicker editorial (diet coke makes you beautiful)
So, Glee was actually really good tonight, probably just because I said it sucked — although I think it should probably change its name to We Love You, Kurt, Because You Are So Very Adorable and Also Good at Acting. So, it is exactly like Buffy: The Crap Years: every fourth episode is great enough that you forget how bad the other three were, I adore exactly one character and I want to split-kick everybody else in the face, and imaginary gayness is still far more entertaining than imaginary straightness. Dude, I’d better go refill my Accutane prescription! Don’t wanna run out of that stuff :[

Here’s the always-awesome BTB on Glee’s use of the word "tranny." Glee is possibly the only show on television that enrages both fundamentalist Christians and vagina-necklace feminists in equal and constant measure, which is actually kind of comical, sadly enough; I don’t find it transgressive (usually), because it is almost impossible for me to be "offended" by anything that could be even generically classified as art. Also, I am pretty chill with the idea that all Americans — black Americans, gay Americans, Asian-Americans, whatever other kinds of Americans may be hiding out there who have yet to receive their convenient, easy-to-apply identity-politics labels in the mail — labor under stereotypes which can be fruitfully engaged and mocked in public, without hurting anybody. So if, say, Asian-Americans find themselves battling the deeply insulting notion that they all look alike and are indistinguishable from one another (which is just weird, anyway), and then someone on a popular teevee show (Glee, remember) refers to an Asian-American character as the "Other Asian," that doesn’t twist my knickers into an anchor knot at all. Not because I am a hipster racist! (I promise!) But because, you know, at least somebody finally noticed. I can understand why other people might be sort of put-off by it, though. This is America! A lot of brave men died in the cold at Valley Forge so that you could be offended by anything you like. But, I cannot understand why these already-angry people continue to get so het up about every possible 'controversial’ topic that ever appears on Glee, nor do I understand why they keep watching it if it’s so terribly, terribly abusive to their fragile psyches. Turn Glee off and find something else to do with your time, kids! It’s fun and easy. I turn the teevee off five or six times a day. Just, please don’t get all boycott-happy on me and start accusing me of being a bad feminist because I won’t stop watching Glee myself. That’s some Rush Limbaugh shit right there, is what that is. It’s only a teevee show! Just like Sarah Palin.

Anyway, my renaissance of Glee love is not what I wanted to talk about. I wanted to talk about this:

Or, I will want to talk about it (I’m sure) after I’ve read it. I am a little worried about it, quite frankly; Dream looks very muscular and competent and butch in this comic, as though he's the one who goes around opening all of the other Endless's pickle jars. Also, he is sporting a relatively restrained hairstyle, and he is wearing a very restrained (and incredibly un-Japanese) outfit. With a color on it! That is a little unfortunate for him, I think. Dream is engaged in a hot, highly-constested race for Biggest Hater of Colors on My Clothes with his bff/soulmate Angelina Jolie, and I would hate to see him lose just because of this one story. You know how Angelina gloats.

But, what I really wanted to talk about was this thing I found on Demonoid while I was futilely Googling Sandman comics as I waited for my copy of Dream Hunters to be shipped to me. It is called The Song of Orpheus, and boy, does it ever suck.

Let me explain why, because I can tell by that look in your eyes that you care. )

Yes, yes, of course I will find this thing in the comics store and buy it. I am not like that. You know what I am like! I learned Japanese so that I could stop subjecting my precious, precious eyeballs to the illegitimate whore-bath that is scanlations. I will totally give Neil Gaiman his richly-deserved Orpheus money, because Gaiman is still kind of hot, and who wants to make hot people sad? I am a total masochist who likes it when Daddy hits me.

langwidere: the statue of liberty (and her name mother of exiles)
I’m reading The Man Who Was Thursday. I’ve been reading The Man Who Was Thursday for like ten months, even though it is only 150 pages of large-ish print. This is because it’s kind of boring, and also because I have major, first-degree problems with dead white Christian English dudes telling me what time it is. Seriously: You are defending a world in which homosexuality was a fucking felony*. Because of Britannia, and ladies, and the Queen (or possibly the King). So really, really, really, Mr. Chesterton: Shut the fuck up. For Jesus.

Now I have a marginal amount of sympathy for T.S. Eliot.

(Which is made even more difficult by the fact that some of the shit Chesterton wrote was amazing! PAIN.)

Anyway, so, at the beginning of the book, Chesterton’s intentionally-annoying protagonist attends Chesterton’s (possibly intentionally-hilarious) interpretation of an anarchist’s meeting. And then:

Before he had done so, the long, lean man with the American beard was again upon his feet, and was repeating in a high American monotone —

"I beg to second the election of Comrade Syme."

Which made me think of this:

That is all.

* Among many other problems.
langwidere: a john uskglass pixelbuddy (i came to my enemies in a RAIN OF QTE)
I am always having really bright ideas for blog posts while I’m sitting around in the backs of cabs staring out the window or painstakingly explaining to one of my students, yet again, what a preposition is and why we do not end sentences with them when we are writing research papers (MIDTERMS!!), and then I log into DreamWidth and my brain goes: RIBBIT.

Currently I am entertaining the dramz, which I will describe in loving detail once I’ve dealt with them, but I did learn a valuable lesson: Do not ever attempt to edit a freshly-made translation while you are having a panic attack. It does not end well for anybody (especially the commas).

Also I am translating five or eight different comics for The Heart Goes Nine, which I am hoping to have online sometime in the Christmas/New Year’s tunnel. I know I said exactly the same thing last Christmas, but luckily for me I am a prize-winning procrastinator: Last Christmas, I did not have any idea what the fuck I was doing. My concept of "の" as a nominalizer did not exist, for example. I did not know that から, when it shows up after a て-form verb, means "after," etc. (If you don’t give a shit about Japanese, you should know that these things are, like, super-elementary stuff a tiny Japanese child would be embarrassed to hear from a kindergarten teacher.)

But, I am much better now! Now, I am only surprised by things like the fact that "ってゆうか," which is one of Japan’s many exciting quotacular postpositions, can be shortened to "つーか," especially if you have animal ears.

I still want to babble about Sherlock, which I am going to watch for possibly the fifth time this weekend on PBS, and I also have a colossal post about the newer wave of "licensed" manga — but right now: RIGHT NOW YOU GET LINKS!

» This guy is going to be Dirk Gently! Which is a little odd, given that Dirk Gently is supposed to be a short, rotund, ethnically Scandinavian man, and also Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency is utterly unfilmable, but don’t let that distract you from the fact that somebody is making a Dirk Gently movie!

» I was poking around Edroso’s archives last night because I was bored/flipping out, and I found this thing and loled for ten minutes.

» Benedict Cumberbatch said some words and then somebody wrote them down. This doesn’t happen enough.

» Google keeps taking The Song of Lunch off YouTube because, like the new Final Fantasy trailer, it is highly sought after by copyright-disregarding, record industry-bankrupting, adolescent digital pirates? Really? That’s an interesting idea, Google. I think you may have missed a memo somewhere. Anyway, here’s the trailer. NOTE: I downloaded The Song of Lunch off TPB, and it was horrible. Really horrible. Boring. Stupid. It wasn’t even a real poem, anyway; it didn’t rhyme and there were no shipwrecks or anything. Everyone is all, nobody has filmed a poem on teevee for like a million years! And I’m like, dude, there’s a reason for that. (And you know I would watch Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman stir spaghetti sauce for an hour with stars in my eyes, so it can’t be my fault.)

» We are T-minus 33 days until the deployment of something Susanna Clarke wrote into our mailboxes. Yes, it is an essay about Jane Austen novels, but desperation has lowered our standards considerably.

I also have a new, readable layout, which I got from here and did not edit like at all.

Next week, then?
langwidere: a cintia dicker editorial (diet coke makes you beautiful)
I’ve been having frothing fits over the 'critical' reaction to Avatar. To be fair, it is an excruciatingly stupid movie. It’s also really, really beautiful to look at. I suppose, if I were feeling generous, I would give it credit as a sort of backwards-Matrix simile for the holy creation of the personal narrative — the need for every man to generate a lovely image of his better self and inhabit it, ideally in a better world, and for the betterment of all life and for love and for the Mission etc. Which is really sweet and totally forgivable idiocy, right? Also: Talking kitties.

Did you see the news stories about people who are clinically depressed over the fact that Pandora isn’t real? I’m not saying this sentiment is contemptible on its own; it’s just something that, like sailor collars and lollipop munge, only looks adorable on an eight-year-old.

I wish people could get over the fact that Avatar is a "white male fantasy." Everything at the movies is a white male fantasy. Do you think Up in the Air isn’t a white male fantasy? I am embarrassed for you. This is White Male Fantasyland. At least Avatar self-identifies. And what, exactly, is so awful about white men wanting to stop being white men? Modern whatsits accept the genderswitch in actual real life without batting an eyelash — but you can’t abandon the race ship, even hypothetically, no matter how convinced you are that it’s sinking? No, I’m asking. I actually find that really interesting.

But, so, here’s me:
1.) Little, Big by John Crowley. I’ve only gotten a little distance into this book because I’m also reading several Terry Pratchett novels at the same time, but my reflex is to say that Crowley seems to have an educated fool’s fondness for polysyllabic elaboration. It doesn’t bother me all that much, although I do feel it gets in the way of the story. I’m pleased your mind is a thesaurus, Mr. Crowley, but it doesn’t make me love you. But, despite this distraction, I really like this novel so far and I’m looking forward to the end. (Not like that.)
2.) The Magicians: A Novel by Lev Grossman. Haven’t started this one yet, but I think the cover is very haunting & attractive. Tree :]

Next month’s book budget goes to:
1.) Kingdoms of Elfin by Sylvia Townsend Warner
2.) Sensei wa Dummy by Komeya
3.) Mousou Elektel by Nekota Yonezou
(Where available, of course.)

I’m still plugging away at Japanese. I have a couple of great grammar books, and I also bought two folktale/horror chrestomathies (which I’ve found people call "readers," even though that’s not the same thing at all) to work on in February. If I keep doing this well, I should have a translation page up this summer. And then away we go!