Friday, October 25, 2013

I did it

I made a new site.  I will be using it instead.

This space will remain as archive.  And, y'know, in case I decide I hate the new one.

Space-Born Jellyfish Hate Life on Earth

I've been feeling very linkspammy these days, haven't I?

I love this idea:

From an article on re-reading Xanth (and why you probably shouldn't).

If you found the article, like I did, from the Radish Reviews Friday linkspam page, you probably also found the set of re-titled books from some dude's childhood which I totally loved when he was retitling Dragonflight as "Mary Sue Gets a Dragon," but then I got to "Child Porn is Totally Acceptable in Some Cultures," and he picked the cover of Dragon on a Pedastal and NO NO NO NO


You can eviscerate all the Xanth books you like, as long as by "all" you mean "not Dragon on a Pedestal," because I still have that book memorized.  And yeah I know it's just as skeezy as all the rest with the misogyny and rape threats because it is Piers Anthony but YOU CAN'T HAVE THAT BOOK.  There are thirty-seven other books you can have.  This one is MINE.

So, um, onward with the linking.  How about this lovely, sad, funny short on The Toast?

Or this much longer narrative about biracial cultural identity, especially this bit—

I continued showing off my Indian jewelry and making grand, historic claims about Hinduism as if the culture were my own. I think it even got worse after the trip, given that now I had been to the “homeland” and convinced my friends I could speak with even more authority. But that summer I went to a new camp, and met a girl whose father was vaguely Buddhist and who named his baby son Jai, the male version of my name. She was so excited to find me, and insisted that after camp she would bring her dad into New York and we’d all go get Indian food. 

 I assumed this wouldn’t happen, but a few months later I found myself in one of the basement Indian restaurants on 6th Street, trying to make recommendations off the menu. The restaurant was one I chose, at random, but asserted was the best. I knew samosas, and naan, but the curries all seemed the same to me. My friend, airy blonde curls popping out of her ponytail, said I would definitely know what was best. I looked up at her dad, who leaned down to me and whispered “try the korma, I think you’d like it.” The jig was up.
—because holy shit that sounds like me.

There are a lot of other things worth reading on the Radish Review page.  A piece about how the technology of film was developed for white people, and thus ill-suited for photographing other skin tones.  Because Technology is Not Value-Neutral.  Also an article that mostly exists so it can be titled Space-Born Jellyfish Hate Life On Earth.  I mention it here so that I can title my post that, too.  It's the gift that keeps on giving.  But the list exists already, so there's not much point in replicating it, link for link, here.

Also, since I spent so much time recently redesigning my website, and then a blog I read also went through a redesign, it makes me want to redo this.  Except any of the blogger templates would just look like variants of blogger templates and I like this best out of my options here.  I could move my blog to my official site but that's a terrible idea and will never happen.  I could either try to import this all over to WordPress or start a new one or something there, which gives me access to better templates.  Except I think that what I want is to make this look like a magazine and not a blog except it IS a blog and not a magazine and moving addresses is awkward for everyone and why would I bother?

But they're so pretty!

There's a pretty good chance that I'm going to be posting a link to a new blog soon...

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Once upon a time I would have told you that Glee was the best show on television.  Even the years-old memory of some episodes is enough to move me to awe.  That speech that Kurt's dad gives to Finn when their families are moving in together—yes, it's got that after school special sheen, but the acting and the words are heartfelt, and they're words that need to be said.  And you know, because it's Glee, they follow that with a rousing rendition of some pop song I've already forgotten.  Which is exactly what I want in, well, everything, really.

But the magic faded.  I stopped watching after that godawful Christmas episode that managed to be ridiculously boring AND offensive AND it made no sense.  I remember looking over at my roommates trying to verify that yes, really, this was happening.  And even though the next few episodes raised the bar again, I'd lost my taste for the show.

I know people who still watch Glee, and sometimes they link to articles and fan reactions, and one of them pointed me here:

(There's also a post about Blaine and passing, which we all know is my favorite subject ever.)

It makes me want to watch Glee again.  It actually makes me want to go back to the beginning and watch ALL THE GLEE so I can be part of the conversation.  Because apparently if you want me to watch something, the best thing you can do is subject it to detailed analysis, especially from the standpoint of gender, race, and sexuality.

Which is funny to me, because one of the more common complaints about this kind of writing is that it takes all the fun out of the show.  It's just entertainment is the rallying cry.  Stop taking it so seriously.  It's as if someone took away their cookies and replaced them with brussels sprouts and I do sort of agree.  Academic analysis of popular culture is sort of like brussels sprouts. And I love brussels sprouts.  I love taking things seriously.  I like my games and books and tv shows better when I can look at them like this. 

And now I need to see how many back seasons of Glee are on Hulu.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Old Photos

I was taught history much the way I was taught about foreign cultures.  Historical events were put into context of cultural beliefs, expectations, norms, etc of the time in which they occurred.  Which is not something I object to, but it also came with flavor of making people from the past sort of exotic.  Look at all the strange beliefs and rules they had back then!

We tend to other our ancestors.  We are colonizers of our own past eras, replacing what we see as outlandish and barbaric beliefs and practices with our better, modern ones.  And along the way, we also construct our image of them to suit the story of progress we want to tell.  And as long as we're reaching back far enough, there aren't any people around to object, to stand up for their own subjectivity.  They're dead.

Which is why I am so stunned by many of the digitally recolored old photographs that have been surfacing online.  Old black-and-white photos of people in stiff poses and funny fashions are easy to other.  But not every old photo fits that mold.  And sometimes, just the addition of color is enough to take a civil war photograph and make it into a Rolling Stone cover, or a twitter avatar.  Looking at these faces without the distancing effect of time makes them uncomfortably real.  I am forced to grant them more subjectivity than I am used to giving.

Lewis Powell, 1865.  Photograph by Alexander Gardner
(unknown coloring credit)


1.  You know what's especially awesome to me about the word Latin@?  I always read it first as "Latina," and then catch myself and think, "oh no, the @ means it's dudes, too."  Which is, like, the opposite of all other group nouns.

Now, Adventures in EXPENSIVE Medicine!

My followup appointment with sports medicine did not produce any more answers.  The previous diagnosis no longer seems appropriate, and no new diagnosis has been found.  So I'm scheduled for an MRI on Wednesday to find out more.

What I know about MRIs can be condensed into a one minute YouTube supercut of all the medical dramas I used to watch.  That, and they're ridiculously expensive.  Like, all-the-superlatives-you-can-think-of expensive.  An MRI is bringing out the big guns.  When the doctor said, "If we did an MRI we could be sure if it's the muscle or the bone," I just assumed he'd follow that with something like, "but we'll do _______ before we have to go that far."  So I waited for him to suggest something else.  He didn't.  I was very confused.

And by that time it was 4:30 on a Friday and there wasn't anyone to do the scheduling, so I went home and repeated I'm getting an MRI to anyone who could hear me.  And then I went to knitters' breakfast and told everyone there too.  I think that what really shocks me is the idea that the doctor is taking this seriously.

When a friend of mine asked me where I was on the pain scale, I said that it varied from 0 to 4 or 5.  I think she was trying to help me not worry by making me admit that it doesn't hurt that much, really, not when I put it in perspective y'know?

Except that I don't need to talk myself down from fear that something is terribly, horribly, wrong.  I need to talk myself into believing that my concerns deserve to be taken seriously, that "I feel fine except when I dance," is NOT, actually, the same as "I feel fine."  I need to convince myself that "not able to participate in an activity I love," is, actually, a valid reason for concern.  This is harder than it should be.  I still feel weird going to the doctor for anything.  And when I do, I usually preface everything with well, it's probably nothing...

Friday, October 18, 2013


I know I've been yelling a lot.  Sorry.  But SRSLY.  Mulan dressed up as Xena for Halloween.  Does it get any better than this?

Disney Halloween: Mulan by ~IsaiahStephens on deviantART

Also, I love finding deviantART links because I am assuming that if there are "here's the code to embed this" instructions then I'm supposed to be able to post it.