langwidere: a john uskglass pixelbuddy (i came to my enemies in a RAIN OF QTE)
So, I waitedwaitedwaited patientlypatientlypatiently for Apple to squeeeeeze out that new Mac Mini, and then it finally appeared! Last month! Hooray! I ordered it like this: CLICK! CLICK! CLICK! FAINT! And then it came, and it was the worst computer I have ever seen in my life. It appeared to have been assembled by a committee of those weird, embittered Mac-haters who used to troll Daring Fireball back when it allowed comments. It has no optical drive! The specs are weird! The only included monitor cable is three inches long and 100% useless unless applied to Apple’s new $999 screen! It has four USB ports! It is pointlessly tiny! Why is it so fucking tiny! It’s not like I’m going to be carrying it around! It’s supposed to be a desktop computer, isn’t it! You know, if it were slightly less tiny, you could’ve maybe fit a fucking superdrive in there, couldn’t you! Speaking of which, it has no software component! It relies upon the Magic of the Internet to back stuff up/repair problems, in the event of an inevitable (if you’re me) catastrophe! So let’s imagine a scenario in which I attempt the upload of my 450GB of pure binary shit onto some fantastic ephemeral Apple Data Cloud in the middle of the night as my computer gently weeps, and think of the many exciting new dirty words I will accidentally invent! And what happens when the system wakes up cranky one happy Sunday morning when I am supposed to be vetting thesis topics and it can’t find its start-up disk! Those nakedly grasping brilliant Apple engineers! What a bunch of fucking cards! They should just start selling branded computer cases and let us put the parts in ourselves!

Also, ALSO, I bought the ($77! At Amazon!) Apple-approved optical drive that was supposed to complete the Mini, Cameron Crowe-style, but it had such a short cord I couldn’t even plug it in. Well, I mean, I could plug it in, but it looked like this, and obviously I couldn’t exactly sit the fucker on top of the computer itself. (The wifi antenna-thing is still in the top of the case, right?) Also it ate up one of my four (4) (IV) available USB ports, leaving me with three (3) (III) open USB interfaces and approximately nineteen USB devices, including hubs. Really amazing cool idea, you guys.


Also, speaking of which, I have been trying to Write Something for the last nine days, and Things Are Not Exactly Going As Smoothly As Expected. So, rather than wangsting tenaciously over that (MY BRAIN CANNOT CONTINUE COCKBLOCKING ME FOREVER, CORRECT? I MEAN, EVENTUALLY AFTER MANY YEARS I WILL HAVE TO DIE OR SOMETHING?) I thought I would do that thing I do where I write strange long whiny ‘reviews’ of movies everybody else saw eighteen months ago. And that’s what I did: Ta-da!


That was really long! Probably I should post more often, so there’s less chance of these huge tumescent word-monsters escaping unchecked into the unwary wilderness.


Now I am going to go address my e-mail situation. (“HELLOOOOOO, E-MAIL SITUATION!”)


langwidere: the everything is terrible logo (everything really is terrible)
I wrote this on Thursday evening, which is when I intended to post it, but then I got bukkaked by my archenemy the Weather — who only this morning released his strangle-hold on my internets.

People have been talking a lot about Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged lately, because some really stupid fans made a movie about the novel. And, I know, anybody who has ever read (or attempted to read) Atlas Shrugged is flabbergasted by this turn of events, because Atlas Shrugged has the philosophical weight and the narrative impetus of a Cabbage Patch Kids Birth Certificate. It is a monstrously lame book, and every last one of its premises is bland, inert, and facetiously incorrect. You might as well make a movie out of a Chinese take-out menu. At least it would have attractive, distracting subtitles.

But I keep accidentally scrolling into the comments on articles like this, or that one. Or this one. Or that one.

…Maladjusted dorkwad glibertarian say what?

Jesus wept! )

Well, that was therapeutic!

I have three really busy days this week, and then shit gradually slows down to almost nothing for the rest of the summer. On that note, I have a couple of mind-blowingly awesome projects which I hope to share with you later in the season, and also I will get those fucking translations up soon wtf. I am also beginning to be gravely concerned by my treatment of Rashoumon, which, now I look at, it is really awful. Also I was somehow finagled into translating a light novel, which is so, so unbelievably gross, oh my god, you have no idea. All of those things will be making their way to a monitor near you sometime this summer.

Next post: Needs more Sherlock, and the Kindle, too — oops!
langwidere: a cintia dicker editorial (diet coke makes you beautiful)
I can’t get my Kindle to work. Well, I mean, I can get it to work, but I don’t know what it’s doing. I have somehow managed to use it to purchase The Collected Works of Jane Austen, though, so that’s probably not a good sign.

I made this with IOGraph:

It is cool!

Here is a link to the sort of competent, even-handedly critical movie review I am incapable of producing — in this case, specifically because I had no idea any of this stuff was happening at any level of the text. Deep down in my doughty Amurrkin heart I honestly do not believe that there are now (nor were there ever) people in the world who are analogous to Malfoys. To me, the Malfoy family are figures of such uniquely baroque, decorative absurdity that I have little use for them beyond watching fan-authors play Barbie games with their dirty parts. Anyway, this essay is really, really excellent, and I even liked Cristopher Hitchens's linked review, which is nearly miraculous given its origins.

(Hitchens is the world-class dickhead/idiot who wrote that deplorable article in Vanity Fair about how women aren't funny, because of the Holy Uteri, or something, and horseshoe teeth. I later saw the interview he gave to Charlie Rose about his cancer/latest autobiography, and alas! He did not come off as the uncomplicated doucheface I was expecting to see. I mean, he is politically sophomoric, and he loves Tony Blair and he hates Bill Clinton and he believes in 'honor' [?] and in the notion that war is something the Big Boys simply must do when called upon by destiny to liberate the downtrodden, whether the downtrodden are into it or not, which aaaaaaaaaagh. Aaaagh, man. But! While I still would not want him on my Quiz Bowl team, I'm not as interested in seeing him publicly defenestrated.) (Also he is a famous and irascible atheist, which is kind of cute.)

This review, which describes and then demolishes the unwatchableness of the Watchmen movie, is also the sort of thing I am incapable of producing. Mostly because I lack, um — stamina? That's the one.

(I think that Watchmen is unfilmable because it is already more or less a dismantled movie, presented shot-for-shot in the guise of a comic book, and it can go just that far and no farther without becoming something very unlike itself — so "filming" Watchmen, as such, is a bit like trying to make a movie out of, like, real life crime-scene photos. Or this. It already happened!)

January is National Appreciate Some People Who Are Way Smarter Than You Month, though, so I thought it wouldn't hurt to show a little love.

Oh! Also, too — speaking of admirable smart people, Helen posted a new fic! It's alternative-universe baby Kirk/Spock, but I don't see why that should stand in the way of your enjoying it as much as I did.
FUN FACT: The very first slash fanfic I ever read, way back in, like, 1998, was Kirk/Spock. It was not quite so good as this one, let me tell you. I think they had sex, at one point, on the bridge. And giggling may have been involved (not mine) :[

1. I would shank a bitch to get to see this. Arcadia is my favorite play.
2. Weird, but funny.
3. This Is My Taste In Women: Socially-acceptable proxies of naked WASPy teenaged boys, with freckles! Looking at that many photos of anemic, nekkid white chix will give you snowblindness, dude. Also: Gross!

Now I'm going to stop posting every 48 hours and go back to the naked-man comics. Don't cry, don't cry! You'll ruin your make-up.

ETA: YAAAAAAAAY!! (h/t The Brit List)
langwidere: sailor moon, sailor mars, and sailor mercury (ラブリイー)
I had a very nice Christmas — I got a new baby Kindle, a Threadless teeshirt which is not overtly humiliating, and a giant amazing Hokusai book that I have been humping nonstop since I unwrapped it. So, during Christmas, I had the fun — but after Christmas I was forced, by the Politeness Monster (and also the Obligation Monster), to visit some of my adoptive father’s relatives, who somehow always manage to make me feel as though I am the Venus Hottentot and they are all positively astonished I can use my silverware so adeptly. This is no mean feat, considering the intensity of my personal dorkiness. (They are, on average, essentially the figures depicted in American Gothic; when my father’s father was alive, my father’s sister asked my mother to keep me away from him because my blackness made him "uncomfortable.") (Really!) (I didn’t find that out until a couple of years ago, because naturally Mom was too awesome to let something so stupid affect me at the age of eight.) (She did keep me away from the weird old idiot for clearly related reasons, however.)

I'm not getting you down at all, am I? Don't take it personal. I was the designated excuse-generator on this particular excursion; I agreed to accompany my father (who hates his family, of course) specifically in order to feign illness and get everybody out several hours early. I am the very soul of self-sacrifice! Don't I know it.

I watched some things!

Should I cut? It's pretty long; I’ll cut.

But everything you learn there will help when you return there. )

Hey, I am retarded and I like children's movies! I think that goes without saying, though. Adult movies are insultingly loud and misogynistic, or insufficiently full of Alan Rickman as Hwæt the pansermøøse, or boring pointless depressing love stories about long-dead dumb white people who wrote lovely poetry and made pretty hats but failed to notice that they were all going to die sooner or later anyway, so please stop crying already. I mean, come on, lady — what are you, a talking animal? Now, they have real problems.
langwidere: the statue of liberty (and her name mother of exiles)
Yeah, you can just forget all about the role that stupid Winston Churchill fucker played in aiding the Allies during WWII. Totally irrelevant. I refuse to see this movie! I refuse. I will not feel sorry for the fucking King of England. No. Not even if he looks like Colin Firth. YOU CAN’T MAKE ME SO DON’T EVEN TRY.

Speaking of which: Did you know that there are battling 'Groom of the Stool' articles on Wikipedia? This is the sort of thing I keep track of, apparently. And who wrote them, anyway? Jeeves? "The Groom of the Stool was the most intimate of a monarch's courtiers, whose physical intimacy naturally led to him becoming a man in whom much confidence was placed by his royal master, and with whom many royal secrets were shared as a matter of course." Royal secrets = farts.

I was going to update today, but I have one straggling article. Tomorrow, then!
(When I’m on the computer, nobody can tell I’m not "studying" and so everyone leaves me alone. ♥)

All your Christmas cards and gifts will be late! That’s how you know it’s me.
langwidere: severus snape (i think i’ll miss you most of all)
I know that everybody is probably pretty busy right now. And I am generally not much of a comment whore (of course I always like it if other people are able to enjoy/laugh at my posts) (although lately I’ve noticed that, after my extra-pointless entries have sat around at the top of the DW for awhile, somebody — usually [personal profile] starburns — dresses them up with a pretty pity comment, which is super-sweet but also makes me feel kind of weirdly guilty). But I am, like, literally begging you to comment on this post. I’m gonna leave it up for a couple of weeks, just hoping that lots of people will reply. You can comment anonymously! You can comment ten times! You can comment with a novel-length exegesis of your thoughts on yaoi! You can post three words, two of which are "fart"! I don’t care, as long as you register an opinion on these topics, because, uncharacteristically, I genuinely want to know what you think:

Every time you say goodbye, I cry a little. )

Lastly, would one of you rich, sexy, talented, physically beautiful Japanese-literate bastards like to tell me what "やったろう" means? Because it looks like the volitional case tacked onto the end of "やった," and I didn’t know you could do that. Or, is this maybe one of Japan’s many enthralling grammatical abbreviations, like "してる" or "ーちゃう," and I just can’t recognize it, because I am dumb? Thank you in advance.

Also, thank you for your comments. (Please post some!!)

P.P.S.This has nothing to do with anything, but I thought it was really, really funny. For some reason? (I’m hoping it’s Alan Rickman, too. Because she’s probably 40, and she wrote it herself.)
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: severus snape (i think i’ll miss you most of all)
All right, if I don't do one of these I'm going to explode.

» Since Voldemort became Ralph Fiennes, I have had a hard time not rooting for him.
» This is not at all exactly the plot of a Stephen King novel, only starring ants instead of clinically depressed Maine faux-naïfs.
» This is like when my parents got divorced. Only worse.
» Good news for the roses.
» I am dead? I died and went to heaven, didn't I? If someone finds a way to work Alan Rickman in there somehow, I'll probably lapse into a coma.
» In case you thought J.K. Rowling actually made up any of the good parts of her books.
» Reason #56,782 to love Terry Pratchett.
» I made a pact with you, Oscar Wilde --
» Well, that's thoroughly fucking depressing.
» The UK ate all the pies! (Also: Are those not possibly the most disgusting-looking things you've ever seen? Not that we don't eat lots of horrible stuff in the US, but man! That looks like dog food in there!)
» I'm on the wait list.
» Why can't Brother Sharp play himself? He is pretty hot.
» Possibly the most offensive thing I have ever seen in my life.
» Tim Burton's MoMA exhibition. (I didn't even know he was having one.)
» We live in this world, now! Or, you do. I'm going on vacation to Narnia until the last week of November. Try and stop me.
» Some really pretty desktops.
» I'm actually thinking about Cupcake #31.
» It is, in fact, a really good idea to ignore absolutely everything your mother tells you when you go to college.
» If only I had a penis :[
» Is this true? Ten years online has destroyed my ability to detect satire.
» Phineas Gage was featured in a recent issue of the Smithsonian. Is it wrong to find a man with a life-ending brain injury attractive? Seeing as he'd be long-dead anyway, I'm going with "no." (Despite what this piece suggests, Gage was permanently incapacitated by the brain damage he received, and died a painful, disoriented, untimely death in his sister's house at the age of 37.)
» Because if there's one thing the angel Moroni hates, it's immigrants.
» Oh, sad. And yet I'm pantsless. Strange, that.
» SPEAKING OF BEING PANTSLESS: What about the wig? Does the wig have a show, too?
» If Susan Sarandon's new boyfriend put on a pair of glasses, he would look exactly like the Harry Potter of my imagination.
» And here's the real one (HAR)! (I think maybe Lainey read a different set of Harry Potter books, though? Because: "Excellence"? Really?? Maybe not the first adjective that comes to mind when I think of the prose of J.K. Rowling.) (Or those god-awful movies.)


ETA: And they sold them.
langwidere: a cintia dicker editorial (diet coke makes you beautiful)


Iiiiooouu. Sniffles.

So, now I’m in a really bad mood an even worse mood. (I also have cramps.) Helping me out in that department is the mysteriously over-reported opening of Sex and the City 2: Why? I was not ever able to tolerate (or even understand) this franchise when it was actually relevant, so I get it even less now. Watching other, stupider women play dress-up is not my idea of a cinematic diversion. It occurs to me that stuff like Sex and the City is probably parabolic, escapist fantasy — not entirely unlike Tolkien or something. So I suppose, liking Tolkien quite a bit myself, I probably ought to avoid being the first to point the finger of accusation. It's just, you know, I kind of quietly pine for hobbits when I decorate my house for Christmas and nobody really notices, whereas the creatures who watch Sex in the City are spackled tragedies that permanently interfere with my ability to be happy when I see them on television. And that's not fair. I don't costume myself in the attire of my preferred clique of imaginary friends; I don't think it's too much to ask that these women practice similar restraint. Not everyone looks good in the garbage bags and paint cans with which people like Sarah Jessica Parker adorn themselves. In fact, I would go so far as to say that no one looks good in the garbage bags and paint cans with which Sarah Jessica Parker adorns herself. Including Sarah Jessica Parker. Especially Sarah Jessica Parker. Really. Take those off, honey. You look like the box my great-grandma Maudie sent to the rummage sale every year.

Lastly, this was in my newsreader:

ALSO TOO. (I’m feeling a little conflicted about the favicon.)
langwidere: two characters from a gay-themed web comic embracing (melons in love)
I was planning to post an elaborate review of three angel-related, smutty romance novels that I just read (I am a $2 whore for dirty angels) — but I can’t find one of them at the moment. I’m sure it’s around here somewhere? It was the worst one, though, so maybe I threw it out the window at some point and I just don’t remember.

As a consolation prize, I offer you: A few tiny movie reviews!
(All these movies are out on DVD; I seldom go to the theater anymore, because it gives me splitting, week-long headaches. After Avatar, I was literally in bed in the dark for a whole day, and not a very smiley person for most of the following week. Currently I’m trying to collect all my extra pain cards so I can punch them for the new Alice in Wonderland movie sometime this week.)

9 — I really liked this, although it was nowhere near as "adult" as it seemed. Pixar movies in general are heavier, more upsetting, and more emotionally mature — if also less scary-looking. Speaking of which, 9 did in fact look and sound gorgeous, and it was just as scary-looking as it should’ve been considering its provenance and style. If there had been 25% less action and 65% more character development, I would’ve loved it, but as it played I can only muster up some like. Also, had I seen this movie as a child, I would’ve had nightmares about it every night for one million consecutive years. Recommended :]

District 9 — I found this one both dull and yucky. It’s very easy for a movie to make me hide my eyes because something on screen is gross-looking, and much harder to make me avert them because something on screen has reminded me of the many ordinary ways in which I am a giant asshole. District 9 was trying for the second, and only managed the first. And I genuinely hope that I never see another over-earnest fake documentary as long as I live; I now associate the format with The Office, which puts preachy crap like District 9 at a distinct disadvantage. I also felt that I’ve been reading a version of the movie’s plot once a year, every year since I was eleven, in every new edition of The Year’s Best Science Fiction. And the "lesson" with which the movie wished to bludgeon me to death was unspeakably lame, and better learned from other, more subtle teachers; I learned it, for example, when I was about 12, from Kevin Anderson’s story Human, Martian — One, Two, Three. Not recommended.

Inglourious Basterds — My mother is a huge fan of Tarantino movies, so she forced me to watch this one with her while I was visiting last month. It was really good! In a bad way. Before I saw this movie, I had never actually considered the fact that the past — a series of events which actually happened to real, human people — is a place, like fairyland, about which we enjoy making up stories. For fun. Weird? Also note-worthy for fans interested in extracurricular work is the wingnut response to what the tiny, politically-conservative mind tends to view as Tarantino’s point (read: KILLIN' THE EVILDOERS BUT GOOD). Recommended, and Oscar-worthy.

Angels & Demons — This one was far better than the book, which is like saying that gonorrhea is far better than syphilis, but still. Angels & Demons reminded me that, if there was a time when I didn’t want to kick Tom Hanks in the teeth, I can’t remember it anymore. Everything about this movie was vapidly stupid. It made no sense. It was offensive on a very fundamental level — the level that sat through high school history classes, for example. Also, Ewan McGregor was supposed to embody a human metaphor for the traditional model of Lucifer, the beautiful, light-wielding angel cast out of heaven for his misanthropic hubris — which McGregor could’ve done in his sleep, with one hand tied behind his back, and pantsless. Instead, he looked sort of ruddy and uncomfortable, possibly because the movie had robbed his character of any real motivation. Awfulness. AWFULNESS. Not recommended!!!

Hogfather — As with the Harry Potter movies before it, anybody not already familiar with this story would’ve been left behind, scratching their heads, in the first fifteen minutes. The script was ungreat, Teatime was very badly cast, Death overacted like a community theater veteran, and the existential denouement was so retarded and off-kilter (and off-plot) that it made my eyes water — but against my better judgement, I actually kinda liked this one. I liked Susan and Banjo and Albert, and I was really fond of the novel, so I kind of gave it a season pass. What the hell, it’s Christmas. Recommended (especially if you love Pratchett novels).

I’m sure I saw other movies, but I can’t remember what any of them were. Which probably doesn’t bode well for them. Or for me :[