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posted by [personal profile] jay_walk at 09:27pm on 10/09/2011 under ,
Having some sort of moral conundrum, and nobody to talk some sense into me about it right now with it being the middle of the night. About feminism, I suppose, or maybe about art and culture, really about women, or about the portrayal thereof. I am just unable to remember whether it matters or why it should matter.
So I'm reading this book, which is a very intelligent and complex and nice book overall, but like most books female characters are nothing but plot devices that illustrate or influence actual characters' development. Which I probably would have protested some time ago. Objectification and all that.
So... does it somehow negatively influence the world if I do nothing to women in my own writings except use them as archetypes? (and I'm inclined to use romantic archetypes right now, the ones from grecoroman mythology and the tragic ones having to do with suicide and consumption and drowning and such, which are all quite idealising and quite removed from reality). It probably does generally not help society move on for me to do that, but I frustratingly just can't think of why it isn't perfectly fine for society to just keep on being slightly sexist like that.
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posted by [personal profile] jay_walk at 10:20pm on 06/07/2011 under , ,
"very nice" - this is awful diction, objectively. Use less adverbs, stronger adjectives, etc..

But this particular phrase makes me think of serial killers every time I accidentally use it.

Fun fact: "I send you half the Kidne I took from one women prasarved it for you tother piece I fried and ate it was very nice" - Jack the Ripper

Furthermore every time I write something like "it was very nice" I am reminded of Clegg. The Collector contains some revoltingly bland writing. I don't know how he does it exactly, but it is brilliantly alienating.
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Interesting information for the day:

(when actually I was just trying to find out what his type of glasses is called)

Everything I have read in the last five years, there's been a phrase somewhere to remind me of one of those songs. Caliban is half a person... Nice to know it's not just me, Morrissey is conspiring with everything I read.

"-is that clever?
Everybody's clever nowadays"
I will never get these echoes out of my head.

Allright then, I shall now go watch versions of The Importance of Being Earnest.

I love allusions, references, quoting, stealing, etc.. Because you put all the meaning of the whole referenced work into those few words. Intertextuality = favorite literary device. Especially if it makes no sense, the less logical sense it makes the more true it will be to someone, or to everyone in different ways.
Morrissey: "I'm almost quite speechless now, it's a very historic place and obviously it means a great deal to me... to be sitting here staring at Oscar's television and the very video that Oscar watched The Leather Boys on."
Yeah, like that. I wish I'd even dare come up with that kind of thing that seems like it'll make sense to me and nobody else. But Morrissey proves it can be done, quoting confusing lines from obscure plays and having people like it and understand a meaning.
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posted by [personal profile] jay_walk at 12:24pm on 29/06/2011 under , , ,
is a really really cool idea. Maybe it could be improved by also offering 3-minute or 10-minute versions, because I can't write anything (fiction) at all unless under direct pressure but I could write a lot of cool stuff given 10 minutes of it.

Here's where I write opinions that make me sound like a misanthropic arrogant jerk and expect too much of people:

So far I have written on "morals", I have written on "crush". What most people have written on "morals" disgusts me.
So given 60 seconds apparently what's in people's minds is:
- nobody has any morals anymore; society is awful and degenerate, there should be more morals
- a few odd America-centric christianity-centric variations of the above
- a sense of how useful, right, and holy morals are
- without morals= evil
- morals = idea of what's right and wrong
- different people can have different morals
- where morals do /ought to come from (parents, society, didactic stories)

I don't know, I'm surprised. It all seems awfully regurgitated and meaningless, what people are thinking. I am always shocked to see samples of what people think, or rather don't think. Yes, I take everything too seriously.
No original thinking? No completely bizarre opinions? No nihilists, skeptics, absurdists, artists, megalomaniacs, delusions, delusional despair, hopelessness, complete idealists, god-haters, religious fanatics,...? With so many different interesting things one could write, it ought to be possible for 80% of everyone to not say the normal stuff. But no. Well I knew that, that most of stuff most people have got to say is pretty much the same stuff a million times, but still, it's depressing.
I know if the task was to be deep, creative, surprising, and original in 60 seconds there's probably be more interesting thing. But still wouldn't it be cool if that kind of diversity of thought were in people's minds without specifically trying?

Not that I can do any better, I regurgitated some stuff I got from Dorian Gray probably:
"People who don't have morals are the more moral. Having morals is having defined rules. Life being short, they probably come from cultural background and assumptions. Morals are never true. Morals are all true; the less restricted, the better. "
and in sixty seconds I did not write anything that makes sense, and neither something so deliberately abstract that the lesson is that it makes no sense.

By the way, consider the difference between immoral and amoral. In The Collector, Clegg is not immoral but amoral: he doesn't defy his sense of morality, he just has no sense of morality. Amorality isn't inherently bad, if he'd just had some basic "don't infringe on other people's rights; let people make their own choices" nothing would have happened. Morals or empathy aren't necessary, just some basic leaving people their rights. (Egocentric, solipsistic, that's his problem- doesn't occur to him his plans aren't to everyone else's liking too.) Of course there's more to be said on that book, I wrote a research paper on it.

I loathe fables, for the reason that made-up stories are not proof, not a convincing argument to do anything. When someone wants to convince me to act a certain way, but gives the silliest justifications, I get frustrated. Frustrated like when I'm trying to have a debate with someone and they argue by goofing off. They apparently became popular in the era of enlightenment and independent reasoning. I laughed when I read that sentence, because letting fictional talking animals tell me what to do is exactly what independence and rationality ought to be. Well, maybe it's that at least people are thinking or reading anything at all. Or maybe I miss the point of fables completely.

On "crush", of course there's a lot of people talking about crushes in cliché ways. Boring, mind-numbing, but not that surprising. I wrote about the verb instead, it made me think of crushed ice and I still haven't thought of the word for that odd squeaking sound ice cubes make when they tear. Then there still had to be crushing in the story, so I put all the ice and snow on top of someone.
"The sound of ice cracking, tearing, sliding, sounds like in a glass of lemonade; a crushing weight of hard, sharp blocks digging into his arm, his torso, his face – suffocating - "
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posted by [personal profile] jay_walk at 09:20pm on 16/06/2011 under , , ,
I missed the lunar eclipse completely (as well as writing). Did see X-men.

The moon, I recently heard in a science class I wasn't otherwise mentally present in, is larger than most moons, chipped-off pieces of earth, formerly a belt of rubble, and very slowly leaving us. Earth and moon circle each other, and slow each other's own rotation, so that the moon doesn't rotate at all and the earth rotates more slowly. If/when the moon is gone, it'll speed up quite a lot as well as tilt to be horizontal.

This would get us some unusual weather.

Someone write a book in this setting.

Well I'm sure it's been done.

Best not wait for the moon to leave on its own but have something large collide with it. Or nuke it, or have aliens nuke it. Or steal it. Or something. Mysterious backstory event in ancient times maybe.

Anyway as a result there's be no day and night but hot half and a cold half, resolvable by living in between, but more interestingly extremely high-speed winds. Probably furthered by the temperatures.

For apocalyptic fiction, humans can move underground.
For xenofiction, this would make some interesting organisms- flat, heavy, or both, with either strong breathing systems or less probably breathings systems in which they just let the wind go through them. LIke the the various invertebrates in streams. Or more tunnel-shaped completely, like whales if whales were hollow and less long and their mouths-cavern went all the way through.
If the wind would be a bit slower. It might be if the moon isn't completely obliterated but only somewhat broken.

So yeah, that's why I zoned out on the rest of that class. Writing or illustrating that is going on my list of things to do over vacation.


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