marence: (Default)
 Today I had a revelation.

 

I am not a Feminist.

I am a HUMANIST.*

 

I think we should be focusing less on women’s issues and more on people’s issues. Much of what started as the fundamentals of the Women’s Movement and Feminism – equality, right to work, right to be represented and to represent, right to a voice in the community and culture – these are the same rights that gays fight for, that the physically and/or mentally disabled (or are we supposed to say differently-abled? I’m not getting into that here**) are fighting for, that just about anybody who is not a member of the ruling class, whatever it is, are fighting for.  Misogyny and misogynic cultures? Not a women’s issue, it’s a people’s issue. All of the issues – they’re about HUMAN RIGHTS. Not women’s rights, or gay rights, or [insert oppressed group name here] rights. It’s about making sure that every human on the planet has the same rights and responsibilities.

 

Well, yeah, responsibilities too. You can’t just take and not give; you can’t use up and not replace. It may have been Dan Savage (and forgive me if got the cite wrong; feel free to correct me in the comments) who talked about the good camper theory in the frame of relationships –leave your site as good as, if not better, that when you got there. I’d say this works as a good guide to treating other people (as well as the planet.) Pick up your garbage (real and methaphorical) and throw it away, or better, recycle it into something useful.

 

*I probably should be using "an humanist." I think that's even clumsier than the correct spelling of thru, so I will ignore it.
**I'm likely to call myself a crippled old lady and be done with it. I've been given so many hurtful labels over the years that I feel all labels are potentially hurtful; it's just the intention that matters, not the label.
marence: (Default)
There seems to be a unanimous acclaim for the movie, with the usual "the book is better" contingent (Yeah, I'm usually one of those.) with two exceptions, both concerned with one thing: race.

It's funny to me when people get upset about casting decisions that, in their mind, "betray" the source material, whether it's a book, a comic, or TV or movie. C'mon, people, it's Hollywood! What did you expect?

Also, with books, we create very specific images in our heads as we read. Your head canon is unique to you - it's your head, after all - and just to get an extreme example of this, go to any fan site for a book series and look at a fantasy casting thread.* Two camps of casting critics have sprung up and become vocal, and they come from opposite ends of the fanatic spectrum.

First, there are the obvious racists that object to pretty much any non-whites being cast. This is patently stupid, because to deny that there are humans with different melanin levels is stupid. I'm not even going to address it further.

The other camp is more interesting. These are the ones who feel Katniss especially was miscast, because Jennifer Lawrence is too white and the opportunity to play up the miners vs. townies, poor vs. middle class was lost. Although they have a valid point, once again, remember Hollywood? They don't want anyone "too ethnic" in a leading role, lest they offend (and lose dollars). And films with a message (or too much integrity) aren't as attractive as a cute chick in an action movie.

I haven't seen the movie yet, but from the clips, reviews, and interviews, it seems that the movie was about as faithful to the original as Hollywood could make it. Whatever its flaws, the fact that it's a blockbuster heartens me. I'm glad there's a popular movie, perhaps the first of a series, with a strong, independent young female lead. For a mother of daughters, it washes the taste of Twilight out of my mouth.


* No one appreciates my suggestion that Miranda Hart would make a great Sybil Vimes.
marence: (Default)
Audiobooks are a wonderful thing. Since I don't get out to the library much, I can't consume "regular" books like I used to, but I can download audiobooks from 2 different library systems (CLEVNET and Cuyahoga County) with one library card and minimal trouble. I listen to books all day, and that's the big difference for me - it takes ALL DAY to listen to a book. I could have read it in an hour or two, but it takes six or eight hours to have it read to me. Usually I can gather patience, and enjoy the narrator's voice and the aural experience, but sometimes it just doesn't work for me.
The biggest problem I have is with familiar books. If I know the story, I want to speed up the boring bits to get to the good part. Or worse, the narrator mispronounces words, or names. Example: Nancy McKeown, who is most famous for being Jo on Facts of Life, read a J.A. Jance mystery. Just one, and you'll see in a bit why they got professional voice artists for the rest of the series. The series takes place in Arizona, and one of the police officers is named Jaime. Listening to the book on an mp3 player, I could be heard yelling out loud, "It's Hi-Me, not Jay-me!" every five or ten minutes.
Usually, it's not so bad. Sometimes an audiobook is a surprise, like the Stuart Woods mysteries read by the husband and wife team of Dick Hill and Susie Breck. Between the writing and the excellent voice acting, it's fascinating enough to get you through Iowa.* Sometimes, it's a pure delight, like most of Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels. Nigel Planer brought the characters to hilarious life, and Stephen Briggs made them even more human and outrageous. Sometimes, it changes the way you interpret a book, as when you hear memoirs or autobiographies read by the author, and there are obvious points where you hear the thickening of a voice and know the material is still emotionally effecting; other places, the warmth or coldness of the reading gives more insight than the actual words into the mindset of the author.
An omnivore of books, I consume mysteries, science fiction, humor, biographies, and popular fiction and non-fiction as mood and opportunity allow. Because of the bizarre workings of waiting lists at the library, I often get a chunk of notices for books almost at once - for example, over the past three days, I've downloaded Pioneer Woman, the first Hunger Games book, The Impossible Dead, and Quantum Man. I started with The Pioneer Woman, because I love the recipes on her blog, but soon found out it was little more than a romance novel in real life, although an interesting one. So I moved on to Quantum Man, the sort-of biography of Richard Feynmann by Lawrence Krauss, and ended up staying up late last night because I was fascinated by the science in the story.** I'm not sure if I'll finish that before starting on the Hunger Games, one of today's downloads, because two of three daughters and a dozen other friends have recommended it, and by recommended I mean comments like "you haven't read it yet??? [look of astonished disbelief] It's fantastic, awesome, and other superlatives!!!" The Impossible Dead might come first, though, because I love a good police procedural, and I'm an Anglophile from way back, and it's narrated by Peter Forbes, who also read The Complaints, the first book in this new series by Ian Rankin, which I really enjoyed.***


*True story. And a long one. And now, 6 years later, it's funny. It wasn't then.
**I can't do the math anymore****, but I'm still intrigued by quantum mechanics and the whole idea that observing changes the observed as well as the observer.
***Too many commas?
****My math brain is gone, taken by fibromyalgia and/or the medications. Y'know those obnoxious people who can do sums in their head with no thought at all? I used to be one of them. Now, I need a calculator for anything that can't be rounded to tens. To be honest, I really wasn't any good at the math required for physics, and that's what made me drop out of engineering school ("I don't want to calculate where an electron is at any given point in time, I just want to know it'll be there and doing what it's supposed to do.") but I've always understood the concepts. My brain is so convoluted that quantum mechanics makes sense. I'll explain it to you someday over drinks. Drinks are necessary to explanations of quantum.

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marence

May 2013

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