beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
My waistcoat just came out the washer machine all come apart down one side.
Also it went in tie dye and came out pretty much blue with some red bits, but that I expected.
It's been waiting to be washed for six months cause it had reached the point where either it got washed really proper or it was gone anyway, but now it's properly structurally failed.
It's very annoying.
I think it has two kinds of fabric down the front and the backing is in one piece while the fiddly front bit has just tried to shrink and come off down one seam. Not sure, could be just the seam were worn.
But boo.

So now I'll have to go find another waistcoat that is colours. Which is always annoying because for some reason portable pockets are not popular. :eyeroll:
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
The (hopefully) last bastion of the moral model of disability is bloody fiction.
Evil is ugly and ugly is evil, evil is scarred and how they're scarred is what drives them to do evil, evil marks people.
On TV.
In the real world, people are mostly injured by accident entirely unrelated to their personality and then have to live with it.
But TV writing textbooks actually instruct people in how to be ablist as all hell, in the name of efficiency and clear communication.
Everything on TV is supposed to be signal, no distracting noise, therefore the only time someone 'should' be disabled is if it means something.
It'll grab the attention of the audience, they'll try and read meaning into it, therefore, according to the books, it must have a meaning, and one from a very limited list.
Every physical disability has to have a psychological or moral meaning, every disability is a symbol, a metaphor.
This is very messed up.

I saw a post on tumblr saying how wrong it is to argue that there should always be a reason for someone to be from a minority. (Ignore the thing where straight white able bodied neurotypical cis males are a minority even in white majority countries). A character can and should be written first and then cast as any kind of person. But the tumblr post was all 'why ask why a character is black, or disabled? you wouldn't run up to someone in the street and ask why they're black.' Except actually? People do ask why you're disabled, either to your face, or in the endless curiosity that leads to reblogging articles about alleged causes. And sometimes people want to know the cause and effect for logical reasons, but mostly it's just, reassure us it won't happen to us? And really, that's how they're going to interact? That's their way to think about disabled people?

I wonder how they learned that.

It also pisses me off that the only words for mental illness on most TV seem to be crazy and madman. And they're only applied to the bad guys. Even when a good guy is clearly experiencing trauma or depression they don't get the words. If they get diagnosed as mentally ill then it's all a mistake. Instead of a thing that happens to one out of four people.

Plus it's bloody lazy writing. If they're going to have people do things that make absolutely no sense at all, they call them crazy. Tada, random string of events ensue. :eyeroll:

I know Batman is the absolute worst at this, but it crops up all over, and it's really kind of exhausting.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
MacGyver moved to Vancouver. I have so much of Vancouver memorised now I kind of vaguely want to visit just to link it all together in real space. It has some really great filming locations, but it has the same really great filming locations in every show, so, memorised.

... actually it's making me want to go play, like, find new things to do with said interesting locations.

I wander around Norwich with the same mind on, like, what fight scene could happen here? There's some excellent ones. And places I've wanted to film a Quickening for... up to twenty years now. And only some of them have been knocked down. Actually when I got my nice new phone with the camera I had planned going and getting pictures of them. I could still do that. Any day. Just as soon as I actually leave the house. Aaaany day now...
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
MacGyver is really very 80s a lot of the time, especially the hair, but some of it I really like. Especially the shirts. Different collars, different patterns, wider range of colours. Maybe I'm not looking in the right places but it seems like there's very little variety in menswear any more. Stripes, plaid, plain, maybe some little dots, almost all blues and greys. Masculinity has just narrowed right down. It's annoying.

Also I used to have a really good rainbows colors shirt and there's nothing even vaguely like it since the 80s. And I've been looking. Granted it was kind of up there with the 6th Doctor's coat in colorful, but I liked it. Clothes went and got boring. T-shirts can be anything as long as it prints in a square, but nice all over woven patterns, boring now.

... wow I'm being an old.

Today my day has had 3 phone calls from a call center with crappy sound quality who tell me I've been in an accident. No, nope, and no I have not, thanks for calling go away. Can they make money from me picking up? It seems very stupid. Like spam but more work.

Other than that my day is pretty boring.
I really need to think of things to do.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
My new shopping trolley is very useful. Read more... )

Then we watched Batman and Robin. Because it's next of the Batman films. And my brother likes it.
I dislike it quite a lot. Read more... )

Mum was here also and helped sort through the things that I do not want any more. Read more... )

I have been reading more fanfic Read more... )

Next week is Avengers Age of Ultron. I've heard what Whedon has done to certain characters and it makes me very much want to protest so he'll hear it, meaning to not go see it. But it has Hawkeye. Being Hawkeye. With lines and everything. Which makes me very much want to go see it. So I am going to go see it. And then I'll feel kind of bad about it. Fail.

Read more... )

... this is why fanfic. Why I read it all the time, why I am going to persist in trying to write it. It has fail too, like ongoing lack of women, but... okay, there is no but to that. Where are the women? Even in stuff we make! I must be reading the wrong tags, right? The popular tags that actually have stories in them, but, wrong.

... I complain about none women, sort and filter my reading, and then end up with none women. Wow, fail in my brain.

But other than that, successful Sunday.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
It's kind of hilarious reading the celeb heights website or any related discussion because no male actor is below 5' 8" until they're like 5' 4", and by my observation 5' 8" is a very flexible inch. Like, all my favourite actors seem to be that exact same height, but if you happened to line them up next to each other I'm pretty sure, based on some of them standing next to me at cons, that some are more 5' 8" than others.

Then there's the shenanigans to ensure that no actor is shorter than an actress on screen, and that the lead is taller than everyone no matter what, and really? Seriously? FFS just let people wander around being the barefoot height they are. I don't think very many of us care. Or possibly we care but in a positive way, because yaay, easier to reach. ... that's my logic anyway, the actors I've met where I'm armpit height are somehow just not as appealing.

Some actors are bonsai people. This is known. Their tendency therefore to walk around in a couple inches of heel and try and hide it is just... quirky.

... all I wanted to know was which of my OTP is taller, if either, and how that would work if one was in heels. Answer, equal height, heels would nudge one higher. So I should go back to making words now.

I have 2150 words. In a row. Telling a story.
The thing where it's probably a rubbish story is not relevant. I made words!
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I dreamed a long confusing no plot mess where there were two of Phil Coulson, one in the usual black suit and one in the white, and I was working for the black suit and shot the white suit guy. And now I feel really guilty? Like, it's not wearing off just because this was fictional and also a dream? Or even though he was only dead for long enough for someone else to confirm he was dead, then I healed him with magics when no one was looking.

I just feel like my brain needs scrubbing and also to maybe apologise forever.

Also in the dream the next thing that happened is Rumple from Once Upon a Time offered to make me a splice like from Jupiter Ascending. I watch neither of those and blame my tumblr reading list entirely. But also, if the Dark One is offering you an upgrade, probably you are on the wrong side right then.

Read more... )

In that particular dream though I already had power enough to heal bullet wounds, so I think mostly I didn't need upgrading, just to use what I got better.

... and if healing weren't the most useful thing, and I think that would seldom be the case but if, there's a whole section on powers in Vampire the Masquerade that points out that the ability to move flesh, bone, and blood around can be considerable more nasty than a bullet.

Still, fixing people is better.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
1225 words. Of actual fiction story. That, like, never happens lately.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
It is tricksy annoying to write something from the point of view of someone who is avoiding pronouns in their own head.

I mean, I didn't even go with 'they', they're just skipping around the whole pronoun concept.

Why do I do this to myself?

On the other hand I just wrote 432 more words of fiction than I've actually put on paper in the past two years. Go me.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I sat down to write the dragon princess mostly PWP thing I dreamed up the other week, and instead found myself digging through pop culture to refresh my memory of early 90s hair, look up a bunch of prom dresses before giving up and giving him Buffy's, then dig around in pop culture to figure out what kind of Princesses there even were in pop culture then.

It kind of depends a lot on when 'then' was. Like, I'd have to decide exact ages for Coulson and Barton, and then start looking up movie timelines. Coulson grew up in the Before, but I've decided Barton is kind of my age so I can ... get pop culture dating all vaguely mushed together but in familiar to me ways?

Read more... )

Basically it's amazing what research rabbit holes I'll go down in order to not start writing.

But also, it's amazing the stupid little things that have changed, when you look back and try and write a flashback in a proper particular year. Fashion and hair and pop culture references ain't the half of it.


Apr. 16th, 2015 01:44 pm
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
The Horror Channel, new to UK freeview, did not sound interesting enough that I'd even checked the listings before. But today's schedule, and indeed all this week?

Highlander, Doctor Who (classic series, probably 6), and Star Trek the Next Generation

I may have a new favourite channel.

... okay, it greatly resembles the contents of my DVD collection, and 'Bad Day in Building A' isn't really worth dropping everything to watch it over again with commercials, but still.

... oh, no subtitles. Okay, so that sucks.

CBS Action has the same flaw, and a whole lot of Star Trek, plus MacGyver.

Pick TV usually has some newer Trek, some Stargate or other, Andromeda, I think Battlestar Galactica. At the minute not much of that, just Andromeda, and I know that passed the point where I'm willing to watch it. (it became a completely different show when Trance changed colors)

... I spend all my time watching re-runs, I really need to find something new and interesting. I mean, it's not even that the re-runs are that good, it's that I already know exactly how rubbish they'll be and I got used to it already.

still, TV is actually showing stuff I want it to, yaays :-)
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Went to the AS women's social group, which was all of 3 people. Had a conversation with someone who is not my mother. Win.

Took my library books back. Could not find the next in the series, only the one after, which seemed to start from a very different place than I just ended on. Didn't get books out.

... went to Waterstones and spent £25 on two books of SF short stories, one of them all by women authors.
... not quite what I'd planned.
Books are good though.

Did not go to the NSFG because sleepy tired now.

So now I am home after my big expedition to have one hour of conversation.
... I need to get this social life thing working more better.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
One thousand words on the topic of…

So we have a secret organisation, like SHIELD. Or Torchwood, though there’s only so many compartmentalised secrets you can have with all of five people. Jack and Ianto managed it, but still. The organisation is secret, and as I pointed out yesterday that severely restricts their data flow. But then the data that goes in goes up, only, and only orders come down.

There are some serious weaknesses built in to this model.

Most of all, there’s no feedback possible. Dude at the top says an order, everyone else either jumps or doesn’t jump.

Read more... )

Smartest thing Tony did was go public as Iron Man, and he may not have even known it. Secrets would put him in SHIELD’s control, and the system would have done its level best to swallow him and redistribute the good bits.

For the agency to be using all of the brains it technically holds? They need data. They need to be a bunch of curious and interested people. They need to know that exonerating people will still get them promoted. And they need to know they can refuse orders, change things around in the field, or plain old fuck up and still survive it. Without all that they system skews to keeping decisions and therefore risks small, and nobody is giving their best work.

Makes you wonder how Hawkeye, who made another call, who was starting to root for the other guy, managed to survive and thrive in the paranoid and HYDRA inflected SHIELD. How long he managed it and how. Cause if Hand was the boss of him she’d have shot him long before we met him, HYDRA would know they didn’t own him so likewise, and pretty much only Coulson of the people we met would have even put up with him. Must have been more and different going on than we saw. Or Hawkeye was just that lucky or that good.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I have been awake many hours and did all the useful cleaner day things. I still need to get the clean laundry out and hung up, but that is the next job. I did more tidying up and sorting out and decided I do not need the broken shelves that don't work. That ought to be an easy decide but it took me a while. Lots more things ready to go now.

I did the vacuuming. It maybe needs the bag changed? Or it just feels like making a noise.

Cleaner was here and cleaned all the things. All better now. But I need to go back to the usual chemistry for the bathroom. I changed things because the usual thing wasn't in the shop and now it makes the cleaner cough pretty bad. I told them to throw it out and I will get new stuff. Is no good making people cough, do not want hurting people just to get clean bath, no. It would have been easier if they'd just told me but I had to figure it out from listening. I'm sure the before sort of stuff will be in one of the shops, or at least that I can change to something not in a spray can. Chemistry is difficult though, very many sorts, confusing array of promises about suitability and results.

Later the shopping will arrive and I'll have apple thing to eat.

Pretty good day.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Okay, so, I’ve been meaning to type this up for a while. I got down my sociology textbook for this. It’s two inches thick and a foot tall and I think removing it has done terrible things to the structural integrity of the book piles so it is possible some accident investigator will find this as the last thing I typed before bookalanche took me. Plus I’d forgotten what an absolute pigging pain it is to take notes out of that thing, I’d need to clear the full size desk to put it down next to a keyboard and no, that’s not happening any time soon. And the book itself is like a dozen years old? Haralambos and Holborn 6th edition. Huh, Amazon remembers things forever, I apparently purchased mine on 9th December 2005. They’re up to 8th edition in 2013. And the bit of research I wanted to dig out a cite for is from 1986, so, you know, classic.

Also I’m going to apply it all to Torchwood and S.H.I.E.L.D. , which is sort of far from the original intention.

The thing I was looking for: Losing the Fight against Crime (1986) Richard Kinsey, John Lea and Jock Young, Blackwell, Oxford, p.42 “The vicious circle of the collapse of consensus policing”.

As it turns out, not something I can pry out of google. So, y’all will have to imagine the little diagram:

Economic decay, deprivation, racial discrimination etc -> Rising level of street crime -> drift towards ‘military’ policing’ -> Alienation of the community -> Reduced flow of information to police -> collapse of consensus policing -> more military policing, rinse and repeat… er, I mean the arrows go around in a little feedback loop around there.

Read more... )

I mean, once people know that aliens fall out of the sky, they’re going to be sold on the idea of police specific to deal with aliens falling out of the sky. It’s going to be a pretty good thing if there’s people who know what they’re doing. The public could be all reassured about it. It’s just, that doesn’t work if they act like Torchwood or movie SHIELD does. Because those are not reassuring agencies. Those are in fact acting like the bad guys. They just got that way because they know there are threats out there but they’ve left themselves less than 10% of the tools to find them, and it’s scaring hell out of them, so they crack down harder. Vicious circle.

This is why openness and accountability actually work better, and the more secrets you pile up the less effective people can be.

Well, one why. Another is to do with getting used to nonsensical orders, relying on authority to have more data than you do, because that breaks feedback mechanisms. But that's a whole other bit of writing.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
My new cute shopping trolley and matching bag arrived :-)

The shopping bag is bigger than I thought it would be, more of a carry things to the car bag I think, but that is something I still need sometimes so that's okay. ... I don't think I need it £8 worth but it was cute and matching.

The delivery driver lives at the other end of this building. When the before driver couldn't find the place they phoned him up and asked if he knows where it is and he's all of course he does, he lives there. He told me while he was delivering, is funny.

Now I just need to go shopping with my new shopping trolley.

... or Sunday. Sunday works too. :eyeroll:
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
We are watching Batman Forever. It is notably less good than the previous two. My brother is 'watching' while reading a magazine. So far he puts it down when Riddler is around but not any other minutes. So clearly this is something worth asking after for weeks and weeks :eyeroll:

it's cause we started watching them in order, so the next Batman film is the only thing to be watching on Sundays now.

Huh, Robin is in this one? I forgot most of this one. He's not a very good Robin, it's sad.

We went and got breakfast. Apparently why the food always takes ages is that the burger takes ages, so now sibling has decided egg and chips is good Sunday food then it will be quicker, which is nice.
It was my turn to buy. Three people, £12.95. Good eatings.

my magazine was in so I got all the shoppings and something to read later. Pretty good day.

Robin origin story is... it's interesting making him a hero from the get go, but it sets him apart from Batman. I know why the movie doesn't want any delay for training or getting to know each other, I can even guess why they made him older, because a 12 year old sidekick has been deeply sketchy for a really long time, but I don't even know what age he's meant to be let alone why he'd need taking in by Bruce. And he's all wrong for all the Robins I know. Don't know what they're trying to do, don't think they managed it.

... he just said "I'm sure you'll land on your feet" to the guy who just watched his family fall and go splat. That's... awkward.

I'm unlikely to find anything good to say about this one so I'll go away.

Is a good Sunday though.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
MacGyver, this episode, once again had one young woman. The opening sequence had her beating Mac at a paintball-ish game, so yaay, competence.
I expected it would be the usual thing where she's only competent enough to get into trouble not out of it, and they'd made her young and into guns and guns never work on MacGyver, so maybe it wouldn't be too bad?
But no, it turns out she's so dumb she doesn't bring a passport to a foreign country, has a backpack full of weapons that oddly enough can't pass customs check there, and then they're arrested. So, epic fail.
Mac escapes with her of course.
But then they have a quiet moment to chat, and it turns out that her real fail is trying to be a boy because she grew up without a mother. They have a heart to heart about it, and how she should just stop trying, and that's the last we see of her until the end of the episode because he talks her out of further participation. Not because competence, because she's trying to be a son. In those words. And needs to quit it.
And the end of the episode, after the daring adventures when they're all home again, the happy ending is she turns up wearing a dress and everyone is so wow because she's a young lady now.

You know, the urge to rewrite this as an actually trans story is kind of epic. It's fuelled by the rage. The tired, tired rage.

I know it's the 80s, I know their writing will be fail, but it just drew to mind many many many many many other stories just like it and ugh, no. Women don't actually need a gendered reason to be awesome. Women have been awesome since always. Women have always fought. Then the stories try and put them back in the patriarchy box. Stupid, stupid fail.

okay, I'll stop bothering to be wound up by TV from my early childhood.

but, ugh.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
I have decided I like MacGyver for the same reason I leave the TV on the comedy/plays radio channel when I turn it off, because it's pretty much inoffensive and won't make me jump or anything when I turn it back on (unlike that one time with the Horror Channel, which has quite different things on it in daytimes).

I have been having lunch and watching an episode, and they are usually a bit fun, if I can turn off the part of my brain that notices Read more... )

Basically, Mac is pretty (as I have always known), science is pretty, and I can ignore the annoying things because they're history. It's kind of like liking it, but more empty.

Probably I should pick a show I actually like and watch an episode a day of that?
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
This author seems utterly unaware of what parts they're building up to and suggesting the story is in fact about.
Because whenever one of them arrives, every time, there's a short conversation about the fact it's coming up (couple of paragraphs short) and then we skip to at least a week after.

Even the sex scenes are about a paragraph each. Why even make the story explicit for about a paragraph at a time? And it makes their sex life seem more perfunctory than their going out drinking, since that invariably takes longer.

... why am I still reading this?
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
People in stories keep having a drink and then driving home. All I know about drinking and driving is the official advice is Don't and that there's no way to both have a drink and stay under the drink drive limit. But people in stories have a couple of bottles and drive home.

This bothers me.

but then it also bothers me when they put something on to cook and then go and thoroughly distract each other.
I have played Sims, I know what happens when you leave the food in the cooker and go woohoo, it involves firemen and not in a recreational context.

... I guess I have no sense of scale about risk. Especially ordinary everyday risk.

I am more likely to believe that a superhero can manage to shoot things while jumping off buildings perfectly safely than I am to believe that they're perfectly safe to leave candles all over the place and consume alcoholic beverages.

... *facepalm* ...
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Do you ever read a story and just feel like the whole thing would work better if the writer had realised their point of view character wasn't the protagonist? Like, there clearly is a story happening, but it isn't happening to them, or indeed where we can see it?

It's a bit frustrating.

Close cousin is the immediately resolved tension, the long series of incidents where nothing much happens but if it does it's fixed by the end of the page, or the work that does not in the end do anything useful. The status quo exists at the start, middle, and end of the story, and barely ever wobbles.

I realise that a lot of people's experience is like this, but in a story, it's just... for why are you writing it? Why are you expecting us to read it? The mild thrill of knowing their work will be accomplished at the end of the day every day? The zinging one liner that wraps the page where a month's worth of incident happened off screen? I'm sure it's realistic, it has that kind of everyday thing going on, but it's not even constructed like a soap opera with a bunch of different stories that rise and fall, there's just no rise and no fall.

Also, I can't figure out why the guys are in love. Which, it's slash, we're reading hundreds of thousands of words a week about these guys, I can understand skipping that kind of explanation given that we all like them both already, but it's actually what I'm reading it for. I want to see them through each other's eyes and fall for them all over again as they discover each other. Just meeting, having sex, and going on to keep having sex at the end of the day when they get back from work, is again a perfectly reasonable and everyday sounding relationship, but why are we reading it? It's not even focusing on the sex much. Mostly it says they had great sex and it takes like a page or so. Good for them. Why good for us?

What does this relationship reveal about the protagonists? What does it change about them? What do they feel about that?

The current story's protagonist feels overworked and has done for a lot of thousands of words so far. Fair enough. Just, I feel like the story could change emphasis only a very little and have it snap into one of the usual genres, and the thing where it hasn't just leaves it kind of... grey? Hanging there formless? It's not a romance because happily ever after is a given, not a stake. If it's about their careers it isn't about achieving a particular thing, more about hoping everything will stay the same despite the economy. Nothing much is changing for anyone. There's no particular feel for why this part of their life is the story, and not some other part.

And it's not the first or second story I've read this week that is like this. Just a whole series of incidents. A twisting set of ordinary days, all alike.

I'm pretty sure that's a genre and an audience too, actually, I just... I'm not feeling it.

So I keep spending all the time in my head taking the stories apart for parts and figuring out how I'd rewrite them as an episode wrapped around a sharper plot, or focus on the slightly earlier time where things apparently changed state in a dramatic way that could focus a story better, or just try and write it to make the audience and protagonists want and yearn and strive before things actually happen, thus making them more satisfying.

It's kind of rude to read other people's work and mostly be thinking of where you'd AU it for more interest, but it is how I tend to watch TV too, so I guess I'm in the habit.

I'd never leave a comment to that effect though, just be vague here about it, so hopefully not very rude.

... and as ever I mostly notice the thing where any finished story is infinitely superior to my ongoing record of not even starting. These stories may or may not be better than the ones in my head, but that's pretty much irrelevant since I don't even get a first draft going on those ones.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
Write a thousand words.

Write a thousand words about Clint Barton and Phil Coulson.


Read more... )

A thousand words achieved, just not very coherently.

this 'write every day' goal seemed simpler when I thought I'd make fanfic words. that's still the goal. I could still do that. I just... I would need to start. :eyeroll:

The other thing about Agents of SHIELD is apparently the season has restarted even in Britain? But I wasn't interested enough to notice. I think it's fair to say I'm not a fan :-( Of our fanfic Coulson, sure, there's games to play there, but of what the TV series is doing, no.

... but I'm annoyed because TV has too many white guys being centered at the expense of like everyone else, and yet I keep reading about white guys. my standards, they need work.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
how long is a reasonable length of time to stay on hold in order to find out the fate of a £40 delivery?
because I'm at 5 minutes so far and their hold music is not that interesting.

ETA: only a couple more minutes, and then someone who very obviously had a cold explained that they had 'an address issue' and couldn't find the house. I don't know how that happens, if you type the postcode in google it finds my house. So now their delivery driver will have my phone number in case they get lost on Monday.

or if I could get to their Norwich depot I could pick it up today, but funnily enough no.

I could have called them yesterday but the delivery started saying 'please call' at around 1400 by which point I was out of spoons having been up since midnight. also, why do I have to phone them? I put my phone number in to the forms like I'm supposed to. It's sitting right there in the order confirmation. blah.

delivery! so convenient! Only 3 days sitting at home waiting on them!
:eyeroll a lot:

but hey, all finished by 0815, like 10 minutes after I called.
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
It is probably a sign I spent far too long in college but when I daydream about joining Starfleet I aspire not to ship's Captain but to teacher at the academy. My utter lack of qualification for such a role would only be a problem in the real world, so, I get to just dream.

And quite a lot of the appeal is the idea of finding (reboot) Kirk in college when he's an arrogant little shit who is not as good as he thinks he is yet and just getting a chance to demolish his arguments and make him learn to at least fake thinking my way. But it's also just the chance to get hold of whole generations of young minds and crack them open long enough a thought might get in before the parts where I end up yelling at the TV and having long meta about how wrong wrong wrongity wrong they are.

Using an English degree for this maybe might be a little tricky.

But there's some stuff that starship captains and SHIELD agents both kind of need to study. Like the kind of course that holds a mirror up to your prejudices and makes you realise you've been systematically programmed to jump, well, probably wrong, but definitely in accordance with the dominant ideology. Great power should at least be aware of the history of the discourse framing their great responsibility. And while I kind of want to drop a sociology textbook on certain parties from a height, that's possibly not the most effective thing (unless you want to knock them out, it's a very thick book). So a course where they think they're watching TV for credit but they're really going to have to think about privilege and colonialism and how their society is screwed up about class and ethnicity and gender and sexuality, that's maybe more helpful.

... kind of generally. If I had any talent for teaching at all I'm sure I could get enthusiastic about teaching cultural studies to just about anyone. It's like learning to pay attention to the programming language and see the Matrix. Your TV will be annoying forever, but it probably beats being oblivious. Somehow.


Subjects specific to explorers and people dealing with weird? Well how do you even train for that stuff? Genre awareness is not the answer, especially given the hazards of being wrong genre aware, but a bit of practice applying the standard toolkits of your trade to non standard problem sets should be handy. You'd need to partner up with other disciplines, it's not an intro course, it would follow on from earlier training. So then you take your mixed class of future soldiers and engineers and investigators and so forth, and you take scenarios pulled straight from your favourite fiction, and you run them through them. Because it's all very well saying people were never trained for gods and monsters, but if you do RPGs long enough you learn that a lot of that gods and monsters stuff is special effects. Like, it matters if the enemy are undead or robots or ninjas with puppets, but it's not like it matters matters. You've still got to approach it with the tools and skills available, pull apart which things are dangerous and which parts are opportunities, and reach an end point your particular career track considers desirable. And it's like how the CDC can use zombie apocalypse as a frame for basic disaster preparedness, or how you can use vampires as a hook to build story about anything from drug addiction to political intrigue and brainwashing: the mechanisms match well enough, the patterns of behaviour, the necessary responses, so calling it a weird name is basically just a way to grab attention and wipe/rewrite your assumptions. Like, standard movie monsters come with some stock tropes, but so many people have done Our Monsters Are Different that you really need to be ready for anything, so it's mostly a way of saying your first need is to figure out the rules.

Defamiliarisation and a large body of literature exploring possible outcomes: ways to approach non standard problem sets and learn the real flexibility of your particular skill set. Science fiction for the win.

It's also handy if you have a body of classified knowledge (say, SHIELD files) and a population you want to teach who happen to be either uncommitted to the career track or a tad bit young to be getting security clearance, or both. You can try and convey the same lessons learned and get their minds a bit wider yet only use data that's in public already, and officially fictional. You can gather a few different yet similar stories and see how the differences play through. Get them to think about how small differences in assumptions or rulesets can lead to big differences in outcomes.

It would matter a lot which genres you draw on though. Like, if you grow up with Star Trek you're going to be ready for first contact, but if you grow up reading horror? Oh, you're going to be ready to jump a little differently.

And then there's all the different ways to raise topics in science ethics, or just plain ethics. Start with the fiction, follow through on the impact. It's not like the real world is short of examples, but the ones that are still real close are real charged too, and people have a lot of pre existing opinions on the validity of certain options or their acceptability and how it changes depending on the targets. Science fiction has always had fun highlighting the improbable, ridiculous, and just plain wrong, by making it aliens saying it about each other. Without the underlying years of ideology a lot of things just look pretty daft. Defamiliarise, change the frame, dismantle the discourse, and make space for students to think and do different.

I don't know, what's the one thing from your learnings you'd want to convey to, say, superheroes in training, or SHIELD agents, or Starfleet?

Or what courses would they teach that you'd really like to study?

I'm off to read SGA fic. freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose has a few thoughts on these lines.


beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)

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