August 15th, 2003


Come winter, come.

I'm over this August heat.

A few days ago for the first time (well, maybe the second or third, but my memory's bad) I wandered over to the LJ of anaxila's S.O., kjv31, and discovered that he's an artist, which I hadn't been aware of, because apparently the earth rotates around me to the exclusion of all other details. (Which is why this whole power outage thing--so not important.*) His illustrations are way cool. I'm not too familiar with the X-Men universe, as I didn't grow up on comic books the way a lot of people I know did--I've seen the movies and that's about it--but I love the AU take on Jean Grey as a woman of size. Curvy babes galore. I recommend that people go check it out. Pet a fanboy today!

Which reminds me that I also wanted to rec posts from anaxila herself, who came across one of those literary twists on the RPF discussion, namely a transcribed speech and an essay from Guy Gavriel Kay on the ethical questions of using real people in fictional works, and the tensions surrounding privacy and the public gaze in our culture. The first post, Ethics and privacy in fictionalizing real people, has a link to Kay's talk, and its follow-up has a link to his essay. Fascinating musings that everyone should go read. I thought this was a cool quote from his speech:
In Jewish rabbinical law the notion of protection from 'the unwanted gaze' was enshrined, to such a degree that not only was it prohibited to look from one's window into the home of another, it was prohibited to build a window where someone might apprehend they could be overlooked in private space. The anxiety that one might be seen was judged worth assuaging by that society. In translation, the core passage reads as follows, and this, too, I offer as an epigraph to my remarks: 'Even the smallest intrusion into private space by the unwanted gaze causes damage, because the injury caused by seeing cannot be measured.'
I didn't know that, but my gut agrees (even if my head entertains a more nuanced range of thoughts), which is probably why I often find reality TV--which he goes on to talk about--so disturbing, even if there is consent from the subjects being observed--they know they're being watched, but do they know *how* they're being watched? Plus, this reminds me of the whole issue of public surveillance. Occasionally an article will pop up talking about the gradual saturation of the urban landscape with suveillance cameras that watch our every move when we're unaware--e.g., law enforcement cameras at intersections to capture traffic violations, or of course in airports, where your government might be using facial recognition systems to try and identify terrorists. Then there are nanny-cams and those little transmitters that they want to stick on prescription drugs, which aren't cameras but are just as creepingly disturbing.

But all this aside, I finally watched another ep of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy last night--in a probably vain attempt to stay au courant--and liked it. It was cute. Must try to watch more, nourish tiny shred of trendiness.

And must watch Equilibrium again tonight. My god, that movie. I can't stop thinking about it.

(* Steve Martin says: This is irony.)

comfortably dumb

I've accomplished a lot today. I got out of bed and came to work. I ate a scone. Later, I walked several blocks to a place where I ate lunch. I read 24 or perhaps 27 pages of To Say Nothing of the Dog. And all day I breathed. Continuously.

In short, brava. Brava, I say. With great sarcasm.

But I did mail my taxes off yesterday. I think they're even correct. It's a coin toss really. One minute I thought I was getting a $3,700 refund, and a few calculations later this turned into a $36 payment. But whatever.

Poem of the day: The Initiate by Charles Simic.

Thought of the day: ngyahhzzzzzzzzz.

when all else fails...

I will pretend I'm actually writing. I'm trying to whip up my own enthusiasm here. I *did* rough out the next noir story in tiny little bursts over the past few weeks. And I wrote exactly one paragraph. But the interesting thing was that when I turned to my Word file a few weeks back, I found a scene I'd written months ago. It was still there, waiting to be dropped into place at some point in the story. It's set right after Spike brings Buffy a box of clothes and things from her house--an event that was referred to in the very first pre-noir snippet I wrote years ago now, so is hardly a spoiler. (Years. Ago. Feel the frisson of horror imparted by those two simple words.)

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I'm violating my own edict by mentioning the noir here. I keep pushing myself to write, I really do--but my self simply sets its heels and resists, an immovable object with a gloomy, implacable gaze. And then, when I've tired of trying to motivate it, it often wanders over to the couch to eat ice cream and watch violent movies.

I don't know what to do with it.