queenlua: (pic#9405713)
Trump's most recent ignorant blather is almost too idiotic to be worth discussing. Once again he has managed to outdo even the wildest satirst's dreams. News at eleven.

But I've found the reaction to be quite interesting.

The part of Trump's rambling that irked me the most was the "why couldn't the civil war have been avoided" comment—because it shows an almost mind-boggling ingorance of history. Leading up to the Civil War, there were endless compromises, and attempts at reconcilliation, and proxy conflicts. If the Civil War wasn't averted, it sure wasn't for a lack of trying.

But the knee-jerk reaction here in Coastal Liberal Land has been a bit different than mine. The two major strains:

1) Lots of snarky one-liner takes on Twitter and whatnot, with people angrily pointing out YEAH THERE WAS THAT WHOLE SLAVERY THING TRUMP IT COULDN'T HAVE JUST BEEN WORKED OUT. In a way, they're right. The states' rights interpretation of the Civil War is slowly dying the death it deserves.

At the same time, I think it's important to remember that the Union wasn't these heroic crusaders who'd finally decided the evils of slavery should be expunged once and for all. Lincoln was loath to bring the slavery question into the conflict; he was justly nervous that turning it into a "war against slavery" would alienate working-class whites in urban Union areas; his solution for dealing with the border states was just to militarily occupy them; the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in states he had no control and did nothing for slaves in states he could control; he had that famous bit about "If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it". Implying that the reason the Civil War wasn't "worked out" was because the North universally saw a mighty injustice to be slain just isn't accurate.

(Here I once again include my appeal to actually fucking teach reconstruction in schools. That's the "working it out" Trump longed for, really. The south "lost" the war but managed to get a sympathetic president & fought against all the reforms and enfranchisement meant to lift up blacks blacks, leading to another century of Jim Crow de-facto caste system that suited those old rich southern landowners just fine. The problem wasn't that we didn't "work it out"; it was that we "worked it out" at the expense of the most vulnerable among us.)

2) A lot of folks seemed most furious at the mention of Andrew Jackson—which surprised me, probably more than it should have.

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queenlua: (Greater Bird of Paradise)
i.

a couple weekends ago i stayed up late and had a couple beers while trying to figure out why The Velvet Underground is a big deal.

uh, let me backtrack a bit.

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ii.

when i first played porpentine's "howling dogs", i rolled my eyes at the opening, which is just a long quote lifted from a kenzaburo oe's teach us to outgrow our madness. i had an unconscious, knee-jerk reaction: oh gee, look at this pretentious person, probably into lousy MFA fiction, majored in lit, putting on airs by name-dropping foreign nobel prize winners. (my unconscious it not very nice.)

i played the game and didn't much like it. it felt pretentious. its language was overwrought. there wasn't really a solid core.

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iii. )

iv. )

v. )

vi.

i've noticed lately that i've used the word "patient" to describe art i really admire.

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vi. )

fin. )
queenlua: (Magpie (Snow))
I spent my weekend in the Okanogon, a vast and rural county in eastern Washington, its largest city: population 4,000. The landscape was mostly variations on themes I'd seen before. Yawning stretches of shrub-steppe, low valleys hemmed in by mountains, and on our last day, to the south, a flat endless plateau.

But the highlands were new to me, and they were harrowing.

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queenlua: A black-and-blue jay perched on a branch. (Yucatan Jay)
and then today i got so excited about it that i blathered about it to a friend, and then on tumblr, and then i, uh, accidentally like 2k words about cool stuff i noticed while rereading the script.

the thing's so damn long i probably should've just posted it here instead of on tumblr but, whatever, just linking to it from here for now.
queenlua: (Birds are Love)
i talked about birding in the skagit on tumblr over the weekend, but it occurs to me it may be of interest to some folks who follow me here and not over there, and also it was a really fucking cool trip i can't stop thinking about it, so, there's a link~
queenlua: (Default)
fact: when i moved to boston my roommates claimed i had a southern accent. i had no idea i'd had an accent, but whatever accent i had, i lost in under a year. for a while my roommates claimed it still came out when i was drunk, but i sort of doubt that's the case anymore.

fact: seattle is full of terrible drivers. i know, every goddamn city thinks their drivers are the worst, but seattle's are terrible in a specific way: they are all painstakingly polite. like, in boston, car accidents happen because two assholes tried to pull a fast merge on each other and collided. in seattle, they happen because some dumbass was trying to wave someone across an intersection, when that person really didn't have the right of way, but it's just nice to let other people go sometimes, and then that person gets t-boned because they didn't have the right of way, idiot. *

fact: my boyfriend is a seattlite but drives like a maniac. he claims this is because he learned to drive in Los Angeles. if this is the actual case then i am never driving in Los Angeles.

i was pondering these and other facts when i was wondering how "sticky" certain aspects of culture are. all things being equal (e.g. i know some people naturally pick up new accents more easily than others, i know a lot of this stuff depends on the extent to which you're immersed in a new community, etc), i wonder which regional tics you are most and least likely to lose? i'm not thinking so much about conscious cultural things, like continuing to be southern baptist in a city of liberal heathens, but the unconscious things that you may not even think of as being particularly regional on a daily basis: driving styles, saying "hello" and smiling at strangers, always being on time vs always being late, etc

half-baked theories welcome; i'd produce some myself but am too braindead to do so atm

* the way it was described to me once, by a friend who lived in all three of the cities he described: "in boston, everyone's an asshole, but at least they know how to drive. in seattle, everyone's fucking terrible at driving, but at least they're polite about it. in washington d.c., everyone is terrible and everyone is an asshole about it."
queenlua: (toritachi)
i had no idea final fantasy xv came out yesterday, actually, but i already had plans to hang out and play video games with an amazing brofriend of mine, and he was the one who was like "this came out today and we should buy and play the shit out of it and do the high school nostalgia thing" and i was like "AGREE"

disclosure of my own tastes/preferences: i've played all of FF6 through FF10 and varying amounts of others in the series; i think 10 is objectively the best (for some sense of objective—by this i mean the plot in that one is remarkably tight/streamlined throughout, in a way that even a non-JRPG fan would be able to appreciate, and the gameplay is very polished), but 9 is my personal favorite; i was bitterly disappointed that i couldn't really get into 13; while I appreciated that the series was trying new things, i thought they made some pretty major missteps.

anyway, thoughts so far:

one extremely minor spoiler for something that happens in the first three hours, but really it's just a general take on gameplay and storytelling choices )

in conclusion FFXV is surprisingly fun and hope i get to blaze through more of it soooooon
queenlua: Red XIII from Final Fantasy 7. (Red XIII)
apparently there's another final fantasy movie coming out and i just found out about this yesterday

somewhere, fifteen-year-old me is howling in rage at twenty-five-year-old me, because how has my older self become so lame to not know about this, younger-me would've been counting down the days for months, etc

anyway i'm sure it's going to be a beautiful disaster like every other final fantasy film ever and i've accepted the fact that i'm going to watch it anyway
queenlua: A wolf resting. (Wolf: Resting)
i've mused, in the past, on how it seems like being too close to your subject can make your writing quality suffer. now i'm musing over a highly-related but possibly-distinct concern: being too close to any one character.

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